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Shooting at Virginia Graduation; PGA Tour and LIV Golf Team Up; UPS Workers Voting on Strike; GOP Field Keeps Growing. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired June 07, 2023 - 08:30   ET




SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: And we're back. This morning, new video shows fights breaking out at a protest in Glendale, California -- that's in Los Angeles County -- on Tuesday outside a school district meeting to debate recognizing Pride Month. Tension boiled over when the 200 demonstrators were debating gender and sexual identity studies which was not, by the way, on the agenda for the meeting. Around 50 officers ended up showing up on the scene. They could not de-escalate the crowd. In the end at least three people were arrested. School administrators point out that many of the protesters didn't even have students in the district.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Graduates and their families left running for their lives after a gunman opened fire outside a commencement ceremony in Richmond, Virginia. That ceremony had just ended when police say a 19-year-old gunman opened fire yesterday. Two people were killed, including a teen who had just graduated. At least five others were injured. A witness described what they saw.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just everybody started running and I pushed her down on the ground. We got down on the ground and it was just chaos from there. You just kept hearing shots. It was like eight, nine, ten shots.


MATTINGLY: Now the attack is one of at least 279 mass shootings in the U.S. this year.

CNN's Brian Todd is with us live from Richmond.

And, Brian, what do we know about the suspect at this point?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Phil, we do know from police that the suspect is a 19-year-old male. I'm going to tell you more about him in just a second.

You heard that witness talk about chaos. That is what police are telling us unfolded at the scene, too. And I'll take you through it right here. Police telling us that the graduation ceremonies were taking place right inside there at the Altria Theater. When the ceremonies were finished, at least one of the ceremonies was finished, people started spilling out, of course, and into Monroe Park here, taking pictures, doing the usual stuff that you do after graduation. We're told by police that there were hundreds of people here in Monroe Park when the shots started to ring out.

And from amateur video that we observed, we did see two of the victims being treated right around here. One of them was laid out right there. Another one was in this area here. Of course, we now know that two of the victims died, five others were injured, at least one of them suffered life-threatening injuries.

The interim police chief, Rick Edwards, did talk about that suspect that you mentioned. Here's what the chief had to say about that.



INTERIM CHIEF RICK EDWARDS, RICHMOND POLICE: We have another individual who is in custody who is 19 years old who we believe was involved in the shooting.

We plan on seeking charges for second-degree murder times two for that individual. But more potential charges to follow.

We think that the suspect knew at least one of the victims.

The subject is -- the 19-year-old suspect is a male. And I'm unclear if he's currently a student.


TODD: And some other detail that the police chief gave last night was that the suspect actually fled on foot and that security officers, not police, but security officers from Virginia Commonwealth University, which is not far away from here, they were the ones who actually apprehended the suspect and took him into custody, not Richmond Police, but several police agencies did respond immediately to the shooting. That suspect fleeing on foot, then taken into custody by university security officers.

To give you a sense, Phil, of, you know, another sense of the chaos that unfolded here, police say a nine-year-old girl was struck by a car in the mayhem that occurred. Luckily, she has non-life-threatening injuries.


MATTINGLY: Brian Todd, thanks so much. Great reporting.

SIDNER: Saudi Arabia clinching a major victory in the world of sports as the PGA Tour agrees to partner with LIV Golf. How players and fans are reacting and why 9/11 families are seething. Golf, though, not the only sport the Saudis are looking to take on. Bob Costas, yes, the man, the myth, the legend, is here in studio to discuss.



MATTINGLY: And we've just gotten this into CNN. Taylor Budowich, who has worked as a spokesman for Donald Trump, has arrived at the federal courthouse in Miami to appear before a grand jury as part of Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation into the former president's handling of classified documents. Now, it remains unclear why the special council is using a grand jury in southern Florida after months of relying on grand juries in Washington, D.C. Those juries used to help gather information and evidence and witness testimony in this case. We'll keep you posted as we learn more developments.

SIDNER: All right, I hate to say the word shocking, but this actually is. It is a shocking reversal as the PGA announces it will now be partnering with Saudi-backed LIV Golf in a move that surprised even some PGA golfers themselves. Collin Morikawa tweeted, I love finding out morning news on Twitter. Obvious sarcasm. Just last year the PGA's commissioner, Jay Monahan, criticized golfers who left the tour to pursue bigger paychecks with LIV Golf, reminding everyone of Saudi Arabia's ties to the terrorist attacks of September 11th.



JAY MONAHAN, COMMISSIONER, PGA TOUR: I think you'd have to be living under a rock to not know that there are significant implications. And as it relates to the families of 9/11, I have two families that are close to me that lost loved ones. And so my heart goes out to them. And I would ask, you know, any player that has left or any player that would ever consider leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?


MATTINGLY: And here is where the message shifts. Same individuals, same issue, yesterday.


JAY MONAHAN, COMMISSIONER, PGA TOUR: I recognize that people are going to call me a hypocrite. And anytime I've said anything, I said it with the information I had at that moment. And I said - I said it based on someone that's trying to compete for the PGA Tour and our players. And so I accept those criticisms. But circumstances do change.


MATTINGLY: Well, a group representing the families of September 11th victims is slamming the PGA's move, saying in a statement, the PGA and Monahan appear to have become just more paid Saudi shills, taking billions of dollars to cleanse the Saudi reputation.

Join to now to discuss all of this, CNN contributor and veteran sportscaster Bob Costas.

So, we've been stunned.


MATTINGLY: And I've been following every turn of this. Can you tell people, just broaden it out, what actually happened here? Because I'm not even sure I understand yet.

COSTAS: Well, and I think it dawned on the PGA and Jay Monahan, as the head of the organization, that they couldn't wait the Saudis out. The Saudis have a bottomless well of money. Some $600 billion. So even though the PGA Tour upped the prize money, they put in some special events, they made some concessions to those who didn't defect and stayed, they figured out that in the long run this isn't going to work.

I think they hoped that when the exemptions ran out from those who automatically were in the majors, which is what most of the public pays attention to, like Brooks Koepka, a LIV Golfer allowed, as Phil Mickelson was, to play in the majors, the Masters, whatever, and Koepka won the PGA recently, that there was no way to wait these guys out. So, instead, they merge.

The difference is, this isn't the NFL and the AFL, the NBA and the ABA, because there's no moral objection. Those were straight business deals. We don't have to go through chapter and verse about the moral objections here. And it isn't just 9/11. It's Jamal Khashoggi and it's the ongoing human rights abuses within Saudi Arabia itself.

SIDNER: We are going to talk a little bit more, though, about the 9/11 families because, in part, Bryson DeChambeau, who is a former PGA golfer, who left that tour to go to LIV for what was reported to be somewhere in the $100 million range -


SIDNER: He was asked about what he says to the 9/11 families. Let me let you listen.


BRYSON DECHAMBEAU, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: I don't know exactly what they are feeling. I can't ever know what they feel. But I have a huge amount of respect for their position and what they believe. Nor do I ever want anything like that to ever occur again.

I think as we move forward from that, we've got to look towards the pathway to peace, especially in forgiveness, especially if we're trying to mend the world and make it a better place.


I think this is what they're trying to accomplish, LIV is trying to accomplish, the PIF is trying to accomplish, we're all trying to accomplish, is a better world for everybody.


SIDNER: Peace, forgiveness, is that what this is about or is this just about money?

COSTAS: Yes. You know, Bryson is a golfer. He can't be expected necessarily to have the best grasp on all the dynamics of this. But here's where peace comes in. Litigation on both sides. There were suits and counter suits. Now the litigation goes away. Who knows what the PGA may have feared in terms of what might have come out in discovery. They have non-profit tax-exempt status. That may be imperiled by the publicity surrounding this as it is. Maybe Congress will look into it. But certainly they didn't want to risk that ongoing litigation. And so now they'll dance with the devil, I guess.

MATTINGLY: Can I ask, on the morality issue, the thing that bothered me is just the -- one, the rank hypocrisy from the PGA.


MATTINGLY: And, two, the fact - and I think the 9/11 families pointed this out - that they leveraged them. There's no question - like, I'm sorry.

COSTAS: Uh-huh. They did.

MATTINGLY: It's just the reality. They are plenty of lobbyists on Capitol Hill that would give me this pitch.


MATTINGLY: Completely tethered to that who now have to do a complete 180.

Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, is in Riyadh right now.


MATTINGLY: The U.S. government works with and considers an ally, Saudi Arabia. Why should sports have to require some level of moral purity or --

COSTAS: I think it's because of the visibility. You know, the Saudi regime, the private investment fund, is invested elsewhere. Uber and other U.S. companies, and companies around the world. But the reason you get in bed with sports is because of the general good feeling that sports generates. Nobody knows the names of the uber people, but they know Phil Mickelson. They know Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau and they know that Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy wouldn't go. And you're right, that they did leverage, from the standpoint of public opinion and sentiment, they did leverage the 9/11 families and the whole issue and then that issue was swept away.

MATTINGLY: Yes, it's fascinating.

MATTINGLY: At least - at least for them.

MATTINGLY: For them.

It's happening in soccer, too. Karim Benzema just signed with a Saudi team. I mean the scale is something else.

SIDNER: And you're looking at owning, putting money into more -


SIDNER: They're looking for bigger teams.



SIDNER: All right.

MATTINGLY: Bob Costas, thanks so much.

COSTAS: All right.

MATTINGLY: Appreciate it.

SIDNER: Thank you.

COSTAS: Yes, money over morality, as some have put it.

MATTINGLY: Yes, it's a pretty good through line throughout history to some degree.

SIDNER: All right, happening today, hundreds of thousands of UPS workers are about to decide whether to go on strike. What it at stake and what it could mean for you and for businesses.

MATTINGLY: And a live look over a hazy New York City. The smoke from those Canadian wildfires blanketing portions of the northeast. How long it will last, more next.



SIDNER: Hundreds of thousands of UPS workers are now voting on whether to authorize a strike that would bring the company's deliveries to a grinding halt. The union representing UPS workers is currently negotiating a new contract with the company.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich is here.

So, if this happens, it's not just about consumers and us not getting our packages, it's about businesses as well. This is a - this could be a huge thing.

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Huge economic impact. Six percent of U.S. GPD moves by UPS trucks. So, this voting is underway this week. Results announced on June 16th.

I just want to be clear for viewers, though. This doesn't mean a strike will happen. This is largely procedural. These strike authorization votes happen all the time. But basically it gives the union power if the union members vote yes on a strike.

And it's important to note the impact would be widespread. We're talking about everyday Americans, especially in rural areas who rely on UPS, businesses, factories, newsrooms getting our pieces of paper that we need every day.

But what is at the heart of the negotiations for the union is better pay, better benefits, but also simple things like air conditioning in UPS trucks. They say it's a health hazard for many of their drivers if they don't have air conditioning.

We know that the two sides are negotiating this week, so that is good news. UPS is saying that they are committed to getting a deal before that August 1st deadline. But here's the thing, if there is a strike, U.S. Postal Service, FedEx cannot pick up the slack. They don't have the capacity to move that kind of volume.

And the last strike we saw with UPS was in 1997. That was about half the workforce, though, that exists today. So, we're talking about double the amount of people that would be on strike and likely double the amount of volume of packages that needs to be moved.

We are all online shoppers. That is how we're getting the -- most of our stuff. This would be very detrimental to the economy.

SIDNER: Yes, catastrophic in some ways.


SIDNER: Six percent of the economy relies on UPS.

YURKEVICH: A huge number.

SIDNER: It's a huge number.

Thank you so much, Vanessa Yurkevich. Appreciate it.

MATTINGLY: Thank you for coming in.

SIDNER: Just showing up. Just, hey.

MATTINGLY: I love that they decided to be like, hey, the Washington guy needs some adult supervision, so we're going to have Sara Sidner come in while Poppy goes to graduation.

SIDNER: They made a bad choice.

MATTINGLY: Well, I appreciate it because I like hanging out with you.

Sara's going to leave. We loved having her. Two more Republican candidates jumping into the president's race in the last 14 hours. Harry Enten is here -- are - wait, are you my new supervisor now? He's going to have the morning number.

SIDNER: He's - yes, he is. Yes. Oh, God, here we go.



MATTINGLY: So, we've got Pence, we've got Christie, soon North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. They've all thrown their hats and their names into the 2024 race for president, crushing the prompter read.

Joining us now is CNN's senior data analyst Harry Enten.


MATTINGLY: Reporter, analyst, always crushes prompter reads.

You have the number of the day, the morning number. Tell me what it is. Tell me your story, Harry.

ENTEN: Tell me your story.

This morning's number is ten, because that's now the number of Republicans running for president if Doug Burgum announces today, as expected.

And I want to give you an idea that this is a bigger primary field than I think I expected. Why? Because I want to look at the size of primary fields when the early polling leader is polling at 50 percent plus. We've got 10 up here. IF we look at the prior years, look at that, 2016 Dems it was just six, 2000 Dems it was just two. So, this is a very large field.

Now, Phil, let's talk about the candidates who are just entering the race this week. Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Doug Burgum. Trump leads the GOP field at 54 percent. Look at where these folks are. Pence is just at 4 percent. Christie is at just 1 percent. Burgum is just at 1 percent.

So, you might be asking yourself, can these candidates make a comeback, right, given that they're 50 points behind the leader. So, let's take a look through history.

Nominees who trailed by the most in the early primary polls, how far back were they but they still went on to win the nomination? George McGovern back in 1972 was 28 points back. Jimmy Carter was 18 points back. Barack Obama was 15 points back. So, the idea that a candidate would come back from being down 50 points just really doesn't line up with history. But, hey, history may be made to be broken.

The other little thing I'll note is just candidates announcing, the latest primary winners entered the race.


Bill Clinton was the latest, August 16th. Ronald Reagan, we're already past this point, at May 18th. So the fact is, it's very late to get in, if, in fact, you want to be your -- the party's nominee for president.

MATTINGLY: We got all your slides. And I appreciate that. And I appreciate you. I appreciate the number. I appreciate you looking at me when you talk to me.

ENTEN: Oh, warm my heart.

MATTINGLY: Harry Enten, thanks so much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

MATTINGLY: Good news for everybody, more TV.

CNN NEWS CENTRAL starts right now.

Have a good day.