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Five People Killed In Gay Club Shooting; Hate Is Widespread In America; Republicans Distancing From Donald Trump; Republican Voters Want Something New; Idaho Community Reeling From Unsolved Murder; Science Reached A New Milestone; Jay Leno Out From Hospital. Aired 10- 11p ET
Aired November 21, 2022 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Thanks so much for watching. I will be back tomorrow night and our coverage continues right now with Alisyn Camerota. Hi, Alisyn.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Hi, Kasie. Thanks so much. And good evening, everyone. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Alisyn Camerota.
A new account tonight from one of the heroes who stopped the gunman in the LGBTQ nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs. Five people were shot dead, at least 19 others injured. As their family and friends grieve tonight authorities praise two patron who took down the shooter, no doubt saving countless lives. One of the heroes served in the army for nearly 15 years, and tonight, he's haunted by the people he could not save.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD FIERRO, TOOK DOWN GUNMAN IN CLUB Q SHOOTING: I was done doing this stuff. It was too much, and I -- I'm, you know, it came in handy and I got to protect my kid. I lost my kid's boyfriend. I tried. I tried everybody in there. I still feel bad that five people -- there's five people that didn't go home. And this guy, this guy, I told him why I was idiot. I said, I'm going to kill you, man, because you try to kill my friends. My family was in there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: They were out on a Saturday night, like millions of us having a good time with friends, dancing at a nightclub like millions of us have done. If only there were fewer hateful people out there and more Richard Fierros. We'll have more from that hero later.
But now I want to bring in Senator John Hickenlooper of Colorado. Senator, thanks so much for being here.
I'm so sorry for what your state is going through. I want to just put up some stats right now because they're really striking anti-LGBTQ. Hate crimes are up 41 percent across the country since 2019. And we've heard from people in the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs who say that they've sensed hatred growing against them. So, so why is this happening in Colorado?
SEN. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D-CO): Well, I think it's happening all across the country. The LBG -- LGBTQ community is paying with their lives for the hate and the violent rhetoric that's getting spread all over the social media and really, sometimes in the mainstream media, and certainly all throughout our institutions.
CAMEROTA: I mean, as you say, of course it isn't just Colorado. State legislatures across the country have introduced 344 anti-LGBTQ bills this year. Why are politicians and primarily Republicans, of course, so freaked out about these issues?
HICKENLOOPER: That's a good question. I don't know if it's their morality is that extreme or whether they somehow feel it's a political opportunity. I can't speak for them. I can't say that the problem is way beyond Republican or Democrat. You know, what political advantage can we have?
Our country is being held victim. It's as if we're being terrorized by ourselves and our worst enemy is Russia, China. They couldn't do more harm to us than having our own kids afraid to go to school. People are afraid to go worship and come together in a -- in a nightclub. It's taking us down slowly but steadily. And we need to get, we need to come together as a country and say, all right, as a community, as a country we need to do something about this together.
CAMEROTA: And so, Senator, when, a congresswoman like Lauren Boebert of your state tweets out, you know, hateful misinformation as she has done about this community. And, you know, she -- she relies on that, you know, meme, if that's the right word of kids being groomed, et cetera. What effect does that have?
HICKENLOOPER: Well, again, it is hard to explain why she does this. I don't -- is it whether it's a function of getting attention or, you know, getting her measure of celebrity. But it certainly is hurtful and there could be no argument that it fans the flames of hatred in people that are, in many cases, they're desperate about other things in their lives. They've got mental health issues and they twist off into violence.
Many times it's not the first time they twisted off into violence, but they sometimes that fuse gets lit by hate speech and bigotry.
CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that because this suspect. In this crime had a run in with police. He was arrested in 2019 after making a bomb threat, and a threat of violence against his mother. And I think we actually have a little clip of what he was saying when the police arrived.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: This is your boy. I've got the (muted) outside. Look at that. They got a beat on me. You see that right there? (muted) heads got their (muted) rifles out. If they breach, I'm going to (muted) blow it to holy hell. So, go ahead and come on in, boys. Let's see it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Senator, explain why Colorado's red flag laws didn't stop someone like that from having guns.
HICKENLOOPER: Well, I don't have any real facts. I was told this morning that the sheriff down in Colorado Springs said that right when the red flag's law was passed, that he wouldn't enforce it. They've had the lowest level of enforcement of any community in the state. But that just calls into question, how do we get this, these laws to work? It's one thing to get them passed.
The communities have to believe in them, they have to embrace them, and it should not be a political dividing line. We are way past the point where we can tolerate this kind of, this political malfeasance. People, you know, making a political issue out of something that cross the lives of people just out enjoying a Saturday night.
CAMEROTA: I mean, one of the problems, and I think we saw this in the Highland Park shooting case as well in Illinois, is that if it relies on the family to press charges, if it relies on the family to say that this person needs to go to prison, it doesn't work.
And so, Senator, what's the -- what's the solution for protecting this community in your state?
HICKENLOOPER: Well, I think that we have to set a new and higher level for red flag laws where you have to have some institutional framework by which the community can, you know, when someone has clearly demonstrated that they are liable to go off the rails.
They've, I mean, that video is chilling because here's someone who's threatened to do what he then eventually did in different form, but what he eventually did was go out and kill innocent people because he somehow got, got amped up. We have to make sure people like that don't have access to guns, and if they do have guns, we take them away.
CAMEROTA: It would be so good to be able to do that before a mass shooting. But we have this conversation, you know, all too often. But Senator John Hickenlooper, thank you so much for your time. It was great to talk to you.
HICKENLOOPER: You bet, Alisyn, thanks for having me on.
CAMEROTA: Now I want to bring in Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD. Also with us is pollster Frank Luntz, and Tom Verni, a former NYPD detective.
Guys, thanks so much for being here.
Sarah, let me just start with you. So, why is this community seeing more hateful vitriol and violence than it did even two years ago?
SARAH KATE ELLIS, PRESIDENT & CEO, GLAAD: Yes. I think the politicians have found a way to bolster their careers and add votes to their election, and they're using us as that political. We have a long history of the LGBTQ community being victimized, demonized by especially right-wing media and Republicans. And I think that they found some sort of in here.
And just in the past year, honestly, even more so. It's like they put critical race series aside and now they're focused on the transgender community and the LGBTQ community again, and they're trying to use us to bolster their career and their reputation.
CAMEROTA: So, Frank, you heard me talking to the senator there, 344 anti-LGBTQ bills in state houses around the country. Why is that issue suddenly so politically active?
FRANK LUNTZ, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: I don't know. And I do know that there is a poison and toxicity that exists in our dialogue right now, and I know that much of it comes from social media. I don't seek to politicize anything for any reason because people are dying. And it's so much more important than trying to find partisan gain over it.
I do see that there's a sickness in our society that that is harder and harder to take. The more that -- and my job is to listen to these people. My job is to hear what they have to say, and it's not a Republican or Democrat issue. It's a social media issue. It's a cultural issue. And there is so much and divisiveness. So much more than when I started in this profession. And I'm scared to death. I'm scared.
CAMEROTA: What are you scared of?
LUNTZ: That it's going to get even worse. I think this is only the beginning. We look at these and we say never again. Well, I'm afraid that it's going to be again and again until we can get a hold of how we talk to each other, how we treat each other.
The fact is, the more faith we have, the more civility we have, the more understanding empathy we have, the less likely this is to happen. But I don't see us moving in that direction at all.
CAMEROTA: Tom, put your detective hat on for us because you've worked on these issues for so long, and can you just explain the motive and mindset of a deranged person who goes into a nightclub where people are dancing and having a great time and thinks that by shooting killing five people, what people aren't going to be gay anymore? I mean, what's the thought process there?
TOM VERNI, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: You know, as he just mentioned. So, we, here's a breaking news. We live in a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic anti-Semitic country. This is stuff that is learned behavior passed down through generations. And unless we address that root issue, that and upon itself makes everything stems from that.
And then when you add into the mix, you know, the free flowing of guns in our country, which are wash in every neighborhood of every state. Now you have people who are a few sandwiches short of a picnic, like this guy who get their hands on a weapon and then go out and then massacre people just trying to enjoy themselves.
I can't really explain what is behind the methodology of a psychopath. What I can tell you is that we see a reoccurring theme, and as I mentioned on CNN Newsroom yesterday, once we get into the background of this individual, which they now have, you know, coming through his social media and talking to the people that he knows, we see a reoccurring theme of people who are extremely angry and have all kinds of vitriol that they need to just let out.
And as many people in government are guilty of, they are fueling this fire of people. And if they're on the edge to go out and snap and do something that maybe that's all it takes is someone of authority to give them that green light to do it. And it's just sickening. It's sickening what's happening in in this country.
CAMEROTA: It is sickening. Sarah Kate, some parents and politicians seem to be very freaked out about drag story time. And in fact, we have some video of like mask, people with guns at some of these events in Nevada. I think this one might be, yes, in Nevada. People -- do you understand why this freaks people out so much? And do you want to address the people who fear, who have so much great fear about this, that they protest that their kids are somehow being groomed?
ELLIS: Yes. So, we're about to release this study where our news and rapid response team has been watching and looking at this and sort of pulling back to see what is going on here. There have been about 125 attacks or threats to drag events in this country this year, mostly from June to now. And they're throwing fire bombs.
There was a fire bomb a couple of weeks ago at a drag event at a donut shop. It's -- these are actually coordinated and they're very thoughtful. This is not just, I think, a bipartisan issue. I think that this is a very coordinated. The same people who were going after marriage equality when we were trying to move marriage forward, have now put their money and their energy against this. If you look at --
CAMEROTA: It's getting more violent, isn't it? I mean, they --
ELLIS: It's absolutely.
CAMEROTA: -- have quality have this kind of level of --
ELLIS: Well, we didn't. You know, last year we saw 150 anti-LGBTQ bills. This year we see 344. If you look at what the -- how they're written, they are written in the exact same language state by state, by state. So they are being fueled across this country by money and a group of people that are anti-LGBTQ.
Drag culture has been around as long as people have been around. Drag performers have been putting on shows and reading books, and they're the funniest people in the world. Now that they have a coordinated attack and you're seeing nearly a hundred, it's 124 attacks since June pretty much on drag performances.
CAMEROTA: And what's the answer?
ELLIS: The answer is, I think that the answer is that politicians need to stop. The social media platforms need to be held accountable, and I think that we need better gun safety reform.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean that's exactly what you were saying and what you were saying about social media. Everybody is in agreement, but we can't seem to do it.
LUNTZ: We can't talk to each other anymore. We can't have these conversations. We demonize each other rather than listening to each other.
CAMEROTA: Thank you all. I really appreciate it. Sorry, it's under these circumstances and we're going to have much more for you from that hero, Richard Fierro.
And then in politics, some high-profile Republicans speaking out against Donald Trump trying to make a comeback. Who are these never again Trumpers?
CAMEROTA: The battle to lead the Republican Party is heating up ever since. Former President Trump announced his third run for president. Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan coining a new category of anti-Trumper in an interview with ABC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL RYAN (R), FORMER UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I governed with him and I'm very proud of those days. I'm proud of the accomplishments of the tax reform, the deregulation of criminal justice reform. I'm really excited about the judges we got on the bench, not just the Supreme Court, but throughout the judiciary, but I am a never again Trumper. Why? Because I want to win. And we lose with Trump. It was really clear to us in '18, in '20, and now in 2022.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK, joining me now to discuss, we have pollster and communications analyst, Frank Luntz back with us, and he has been talking to Republican voters.
OK. So, Frank, we have a clip of this. But first just give me an overview of these are all people who had voted for Trump and now after the midterms, they feel differently.
LUNTZ: Most of them do feel differently, and most of them voted for Trump twice, not just once. So, these were part of his core base and they didn't even know what the conversation was going to be about because I didn't tell that. So, we got into this and I was shocked at what they had to say.
CAMEROTA: OK, so let's watch a clip of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUNTZ: OK, if the race was between and you had to choose now, who would you vote for? Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis. Raise your hands physically if you would choose Trump in that contest. One, two, three.
Raise your hand if you would choose Ron DeSantis. All the rest of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So, what did they tell you about that?
LUNTZ: And hopefully we'll play the clip of it. They told me that they're tired, they're just worn out. They still believe in what Donald Trump said, and they believe in what he tried to do, but they're tired of the chaos.
They're tired of, I use the phrase mishigas, but I don't think Trump understands those words, and they're just simply worn out. And they want someone who they believe will bring their ideas, their ideologies, their vision to success, and they simply don't think that's Donald Trump anymore.
CAMEROTA: They also told you that they thought it was too much about Donald Trump. So, here's that moment. Let's watch that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Not too much about Donald Trump. He used to be the stand in for the establishments and other people against us. And then now it's all about him.
UNKNOWN: Did they, I don't think they voted for Biden. They voted against Trump and I think DeSantis gives a better reasoning to vote for him and not against him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So, interesting, Frank, because I'm not sure Donald Trump has changed.
LUNTZ: Well, I'm not sure how he would react watching this right now. I think he'd find some reason to dismiss it. And I know we're going to be talking about Jay Leno and I want to foreshadow it because Leno got involved in an argument that I had with Donald Trump.
LUNTZ: So, because Trump tried to get me fired from my news outlets. I worked for Fox News at the time, and CBS and Trump went out of his way because he hates these focus groups. He hates listening to real people. And they had a lot of negative things to say about him. He blew up. And Leno, as I will say later on, came to my aid, but we got polling
data now that was done by the Premise poll. Completed on Saturday evenings. So this is 48 hours. And it has Joe Biden now defeating Donald Trump by six Points, but Ron DeSantis has a four-point lead over Biden. You have a 10-point swing between Trump and DeSantis, and that's a lot at this point.
CAMEROTA: That's really fascinating, Frank, but it is a lot at this point. Do you think that as people, I mean, Ron DeSantis is not in the race. Obviously, when somebody enters the race, the bloom is off the rose a little bit and people get to know them and they're not a shiny new object. Do you think that that would happen? I mean, do you think that that's how it normally goes.
LUNTZ: As a fair point, but they look at what he achieved in Florida, a landslide for new Republican congressman taking the positions, these tough positions that Trump took in Washington DeSantis actually got it done in Florida.
And while there was still some controversy about him, voters are looking at him with a fresh light and he can actually get some Democrats that Donald Trump could never touch.
CAMEROTA: You know what's interesting, Frank, is that it's the midterms that got that -- it sounds as though that was the tipping point. OK? So not an insurrection on the capitol, mishandling of COVID. All of the things, the criticisms that people could level against Donald Trump. People still stuck with him, and then his candidates don't win in the midterms. That was the tipping point?
LUNTZ: And he went after. And what we actually have in the -- in the Premise poll is that DeSantis is now pulled even with Trump. One asks why and the answer from the voters, because they're just tired and worn out of the chaos, of the disputes, of the arguments, of the hearings and the task forces and everything. And they want to go back to a sense of normalcy.
CAMEROTA: So, this is not CNN polling obviously, that we have and we haven't confirmed all of that, but you have your own polling and data that shows all of it. It's just really, it's really interesting to see how people feel today and if it sticks, because sometimes we've seen it turn around.
LUNTZ: And what I hope is that we don't tear each other apart. It goes back to the very first segment. There are -- there are consequences. There's damage. There are lives at stake, that there's some things that are more important than an election. It's called the next generation. What example are we setting for our children and the people who come after us? And I think it's pretty sorry, and I'm hoping. The next election will get our act together and not tear each other apart.
CAMEROTA: OK, Frank, thank you for all of this. I look forward to talking Jay Leno later. So, we'll see you in a little while.
Meanwhile, police in Idaho still searching for the killer of four university students and the brutal way in which they were killed puts this crime into a different category. So, we're going to discuss that next.
CAMEROTA: It's been one week since the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students. No weapon has been found and still no suspect. After initially saying there was no risk to the community of Moscow, Idaho police are now not so sure.
Joining us now is journalist Mara S. Campo and former detective, Tom Verni is back, also joining us we have Mary Ellen O'Toole, a retired FBI profiler.
Mary Ellen, I want to start with you. And not to get too grizzly, but someone who would stab four college students possibly sleeping, the amount of gore and effort that it takes to stab four people. What does that tell you about who this suspect is?
MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, RETIRED FBI PROFILER: Well, a couple things really stand out to me, and one of them is that this is someone that has experience with that knife, that was a weapon of choice. And I'm not suggesting that he's committed a similar murder to this, but he does have experience with that knife.
It's also someone that's comfortable getting blood all over him, unless he stabbed them through their comforters. But still, he would've had blood on him and he -- and there's no information that's come out so far that there was an effort to clean up the crime scene.
And then lastly, I would say that it -- there still is a possibility that this offender did not know these victims. That he brought his emotions to the crime scene. And he acted out on them at that point. And I think what is really important to understand is that based on what he's described as doing at the scene, he didn't come there to talk.
He came there in the middle of the night, early morning hours, people were in the home. He just started to stab. So that says that he wasn't trying to right or wrong or correct something that had happened earlier that evening. He came there with the intent to do what he did.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I've been wondering about that too, Mary Ellen. And Tom, I mean, you know, the police aren't saying serial killer. But look, I was a crime reporter for five years and what we learned when I was a crime reporter was that stabbing is often a crime of passion because it's so intimate. You have to be - you're touching the person. You have to be right next to the person.
A gun, you can be at a distance and kill someone. Not with stabbing. You're looking at them. Sometimes you're talking to them. That's why, as you know, Tom, I'm going to have to tell you, they often look at the significant other of the person when somebody is stabbed because it is a crime of passion. So, do you think it is possible as a serial killer, or what do you think of what Mary Ellen is saying.
VERNI: I think Mary Ellen is on point. You know, when you talk about someone getting shot, you know, being shot is not pleasant. But nonetheless, when someone is stabbed, especially stabbed multiple times, right? That's someone who the stabber, is someone who's either high on drugs, someone who is psychologically out there and having a moment.
In many cases, though, we see that this becomes a domestic incident of some kind, right? where the boyfriend and or girlfriend or significant other stabs the other person in a fit of rage or jealous rage or whatever it may be. What's interesting about this case is that it's so unclear as to where we're going in, what direction we're going in.
But clearly, the person who committed this heinous act was someone who is seriously troubled. So yes, the community should be on notice until we get a better lead as to who or who we're looking for.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Mara, it's so mysterious. I mean, first of all, there were two other roommates home. We don't know what they heard if they were awake, and then the idea that they invited people over -- that they had people come over before they called the police strikes me peculiar, but maybe they were so completely petrified and freaked out that they needed support. Hard to know. But the community, of course, would be terrified. This is too unsolved.
MARA S. CAMPO, JOURNALIST: Yes. It's hard to overstate how unusual this case is. I mean, you have four college students who are stabbed to death in their sleep in a small town of 25,000 people that hasn't seen a single murder in seven years. There's no suspect. There's no murder weapon, no sign of forced entry.
Apparently, a lot of people knew the code to the keypad. The killer is on the loose. And police say that the community may be in danger. And to your point, all these other unanswered questions, how could the two surviving roommates have slept through four of their roommates being murdered in the same house?
How could the killer disappear without a trace when a crime that is very messy. Stabbing is messy. It leaves a lot of evidence behind. As we heard, the killer would've been covered in blood, so there were so many que -- this is not your typical who done it. I cover a lot of crime. I have not seen anything like this.
CAMEROTA: And so, Mary Ellen, does this lead you to believe a serial killer is on the loose?
O'TOOLE: Well, I think it would be too premature for me to offer an opinion on that, but it does take me back to the case of Ted Bundy who was a serial killer in the northwest. And once he escaped from jail in Utah, he traveled down to the Kyle Omega house in Tallahassee, Florida, and he committed multiple murders inside that house. And they were a mess. So, I mean, we've seen this happen before. This is not the first time
that, you have an individual who goes from one type of murdering to another type of murdering, but at this point, I think it's too soon to offer an opinion on that.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I hear you. Tom, nowadays there are so many cameras around, there's so many surveillance cameras, there's so many doorbell cameras. People have cameras.
CAMEROTA: And so, you see a little bit of the surveillance video of two of the roommates who are out at a food truck beforehand. But are you surprised that the police aren't releasing more video or haven't said more yet?
VERNI: Not necessarily. I mean, you have to think about how much camera footage they have to actually go through. So, they were out at an establishment then they were at a food truck. Right. So, there's cameras in both those places. I would have to imagine. There's cameras all over that campus.
So, they're trying to, you know, follow the breadcrumbs, right? Going back from the last known location that we saw these individuals alive and then go forward to where they were found. That is being done. And also, the collecting mounds of forensic, you know, evidence there in the dorm room. There'd be tons of DNA evidence that they have to go through as well.
So, there's a lot of stuff to deconstruct at that scene. It's an awesome task that they have in front of them. And between the local state, and federal authorities involved I would hope that that is expediting the situation a little bit if they're hopefully working all together on the same page, and hopefully that will lead to some sort of a direction to go in, you know, by the more evidence that they can collect.
CAMEROTA: Obviously, we will stay on this mystery. Tom, Mara, Mary Ellen, thank you very much. I really appreciate your time.
OK, now to this, they were embryos frozen 30 years ago and now they're newborn twins. What some are calling the world's oldest babies. Their parents are here to share their amazing story and why they made this choice. That's next.
CAMEROTA: In April, 1992, the world was a very different place. Bill Clinton was running for president. Phones still had cords, and two babies that were born just weeks ago were frozen as embryos. They were kept protected in liquid nitrogen at about 200 degrees below zero for nearly 30 years. Until October 31st, little Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway were born from what is considered the longest frozen embryos to ever result in a live birth.
This is according to the National Embryo Donation Center.
Joining us now are the parents of these little twins, Rachel and Philip Ridgeway. Great to see -- great to see you guys and how nice that twins are sleeping at the same time.
RACHEL RIDGEWAY, PARENT OF TWINS FROM EMBRYOS FROZEN 30 YEARS AGO: You know, we've gotten pretty good at coordinating that now with bottles and feeds. They're pretty -- they're predictable at this age.
CAMEROTA: Well done, Rachel. I had twins myself, so well done. And that is, you guys have already accomplished more than half of the battle. So, Rachel, what made you want to adopt, for lack of a better word, these embryos? So, in other words, not your own genetic material and knowing that they were 30 years old.
RIDGEWAY: So, for us, we have four biological children already and the journey of having them gave us an appreciation for children and pregnancy, because the first three required a little assistance. And we'd heard about embryo adoption through our process of having children. And the idea for me of giving birth to my adopted child seemed like a dream come true. I just, I enjoy being pregnant. I'm able to do it well, and it seemed like kind of a no brainer for me in regards to why, why wouldn't I do that?
We also have a passion for life, and we believe that each of these children in the freezer are indeed children that need saving. And for us, when we went to the NEDC, we were looking at who was the most needy, who was waiting the longest for a mom and a dad.
And these guys happened to be those embryos that had, as far as we could tell them, waiting at the NEDC longer than any other embryos that were there.
CAMEROTA: So Interesting. And so, Philip, did you have any concerns or did your doctor have any concerns about the fact that they'd been frozen for 30 years?
PHILIP RIDGEWAY, PARENT OF TWINS FROM EMBRYOS FROZEN 30 YEARS AGO: No. And in fact, when we visited the NEDC for the first time, Dr. Gordon told us there -- there is no such thing as like frozen embryo syndrome. As far as they know, there's no known shelf life in that these, these children can stay frozen on ice indefinitely.
So, there's no concern about the length of time that they were frozen. There was -- there was some concern about the freezing technologies at the time, whether they, any of the embryos would survive the thawing process. But once they're thawed, they're, they're just like any other, any other baby at that stage of development.
CAMEROTA: Modern medicine is incredible. I mean, that's just remarkable to hear. I think that the previous, the longest record before you guys was 27 years. Before that, it was 24 years and now it's 30 years. It's just -- it's incredible.
And so, did you know, did you know when you adopted these embryos that they were the oldest in the country?
R. RIDGEWAY: Well, when you go into the NEDC, they have a wall that with some pictures of the record holder. So, in my mind I knew, OK, so the record is 27 years, it didn't really hit me until after they -- we had found out that two of the three they had transferred implanted, and then we had our first ultrasound and everything looked well.
And then it kind of crossed my mind, so these guys are probably the new -- the new record holders, but didn't really think much of it after that until Mark Mellinger from National Embryo Donation Center reached out to us later in the year to talk about the fact that they would be now the new record holders, Lord willing, that they would come to -- come to birth.
CAMEROTA: And Philip, I hear what you guys are saying that you, you basically consider it rescuing these embryos and that you felt that they weren't being chosen by other, you know, potential parents. I guess that my question is, you know, there are tens of thousands of frozen embryos, maybe hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos around the country. You can't give birth to all of them. I mean, what is your -- what's your feeling about that.
P. RIDGEWAY: No, that's a good point. I think there's sort of two problems. One is the upstream problem if there's more and more embryos created and then frozen every day. But then there's the downstream problem of what do you do with the embryos that already are frozen.
And we can't do anything about the upstream problem, but we can do something about the downstream problem. And yet adopting these two children may have been just a drop in the bucket. But these are two children that are no longer sitting in liquid nitrogen waiting to be adopted. So, whether it was two children or however many we accomplished what we set out to accomplish, which is to, yes, rescue children.
CAMEROTA: And did you guys consider adopting, you know, traditional adoption kids who have already been born.
R. RIDGEWAY: No, that was never really a thought process for us for our journey. I know for some people, you know, it definitely is a consideration, but for us and for our family, the idea of, like I said before, giving birth to my adopted child, knowing that there are some, you know, kids still struggle with separation even as infants, and to be able to avoid that trauma for them was very appealing to me.
And then, really giving these children value a lot of embryos, a lot of people look at embryos as somehow less than human. And the reality is, is that God created every single embryo, that it's because of Him, that they are -- that they are living, that they are given life, and they each have value. They're made in His image.
And we really wanted to show how Timothy and Lydia were embryos, but they're the same children. They were the same children now as they were then. They were just small. And so, we really wanted to give these children, in particular these embryos that are frozen a voice and show the world that they deserve life and that they should be given the opportunity to have life, you know, one parent and couple at a time.
CAMEROTA: Well, it's really interesting to talk to you guys. Obviously, there are all sorts of ethical questions. I mean, you know, science in some ways has outpaced our ethical decisions about some of this stuff, and, you know, you guys are just touching on all of that. But it's really interesting to talk to you and to learn that after 30 years you -- you're able to have healthy kids from frozen embryos.
So, thanks so much for taking the time and for talking to us tonight.
R. RIDGEWAY: Thank you so much.
P. RIDGEWAY: You're welcome. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Good luck with them. OK. Now to this, Jay Leno discharged from the hospital more than a week after suffering serious burns in a gasoline fire. He's released a photo that reveals some of his injuries. So, we'll talk about it.
CAMEROTA: Comedian Jay Leno is out of the hospital after being treated for burn injuries. The former Tonight Show host, who's an avid collector of cars, was injured in a gasoline fire a little more than a week ago. Suffering burns to his face, chest, and hands.
Doctors at the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles say they are optimistic that he will make a full recovery, the hospital releasing a photo of Leno with some of the medical staff.
We're back now with Mara S. Campo and Frank Luntz. We're also joined by Charlotte Alter, the national correspondent for the Time Magazine.
Guys, I'm so happy to hear this because I was on the air last week when we first got word that this had happened and it sounded really bad. It sounded as though he was not going to be out of the hospital in a week, and so I'm surprised that he's made this kind of recovery.
CAMPO: It's great to see these photos, to see him recovering and healing, but I also really love that he posted these photos of him as he is in the healing journey. Because we live in the age of transparency, right? Everybody shares everything, but it's not necessarily the age of authenticity. People aren't really real about what they're going through.
So, when someone like Jay Leno post this as he's healing not after the healing is done, but as he's going through it. I think with other people who are going through it, it really offers a lot of comfort.
CAMEROTA: And if we push in on that photo a little bit, and I'm not sure if we can, you can see that he's still swollen. I mean, I can see that the right side of his face, so the left side of our camera, it does look like he's burned. I mean, you know, he doesn't -- he doesn't look entirely just like Jay Leno there. And, but here again, I mean, I think that it really helps to see him standing and looking virtually normal, Charlotte.
CHARLOTTE ALTER, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, TIME MAGAZINE: Yes. And, you know, reports from the hospital say he's his old self, he's joking around, he's bringing cookies for the staff. I also thought it was nice that he posted a photo with the nurses who treated him, and sort of, you know, again, shared the details of his journey to kind of give credit where due to the people who helped him through it.
CAMEROTA: So, tell us your Jay Leno story.
LUNTZ: I was at the car show in Pebble Beach and Trump had actually helped get me suspended from both Fox and CBS. It was working.
CAMEROTA: Is that right? What year was that?
LUNTZ: This was, 2015 and I was very upset and I'm at the car show. He comes over and he's watching this because he's -- he follows politics. So, he says to me, how you doing? I said, I'm not doing great. He said, I'm going to talk to you. Hold on. Now he's the king of the car show. He's in charge. This is the (Inaudible), I don't know. It's the best show in America for cars. He comes and sits with me and he says to me, I'm not going to leave you until you feel OK.
So, whatever it's going to take, he made me laugh. He gave me advice. He's taken me to his garage several times. This guy is a prince, and I am so happy that he's back out. I want him back on TV. And everyone who's listening should know that not only does he appear like a nice guy in private or on TV, he's a wonderful human being. And he really did. He brought me back.
CAMEROTA: That's really nice --
LUNTZ: So, Jay, I don't know which camera to look at. There we go. Jay, get well, get healthy and you are awesome. And I owe you. I will donate to any charity. I will do go anywhere for you because he did it for me.
CAMEROTA: You heard it here, Jay. He'll donate to any charity. So, get well and let Frank know what charity you want. Frank, that's such a nice story. Thanks so much for sharing that. Thanks guys. Thanks for being here.
CAMPO: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: All right. America is facing one tragedy after another from mass shootings to political violence. What can our leaders do to break this cycle? We have presidential historian Jon Meacham on how to heal the soul of America. Jon is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CAMEROTA: New details tonight about the attack on the LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs that killed five people and injured 19 others.
Authorities are praising two heroes at that club who took down the shooter, saving countless lives.