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George Santos Faces New Questions About Campaign Loans; Newport News School Board Cuts Ties With Superintendent After Young Student Allegedly Shot Teacher; Doomsday Clock Moves Closest It's Ever Gotten To Midnight; Dashcam Video Shows A Woman Rescued From Abduction After Husband's Car Is Stolen, Leading To Wild Police Chase; Disney Closes Splash Mountain Ride Over "Song Of The South" Link. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired January 25, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: There are new questions tonight about the source of substantial loans that Congressman George Santos's campaign. The embattled Republican, who has been caught in a web of lies, as you know, previously claimed he made personal loans to his campaign totaling more than $700,000. But in new filings with the Federal Election Commission, Fox is indicating that loans of $500,000 and $125,000 had come from personal funds. Well, those were left unmarked.
I want to turn now right away to CNN political commentators Jonah Goldberg and Ashley Allison, and national politics reporter Eva McKend. Eva, let me begin with you here about these new questions around these loans. What are you learning about the loans he allegedly gave to his own campaign?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Laura, so the broad outlines of the story that you mentioned, that is absolutely correct. He previously said that he personally loaned his campaign $700,000. That was in the filing. He also has reiterated this. You know, he went on that podcast with Congressman Matt Gaetz not too long ago and suggested that this came from his personal wealth.
In these amended filings, he's now changing his story. The boxes (ph) to indicate that these are personal funds are now not checked. But also, really crucially here, Laura, he's still listed as a source of the loan elsewhere in the filings.
So, you know, I don't know if confusion is the point here, but that is certainly the outcome. Our colleague, Manu Raju, trying to get some answers from him today. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Why did you amend your FEC report to say 500 --
REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): Let's make it very clear. I don't amend anything. I don't touch any of my FEC stuff. So, don't be disingenuous and report that I did because you know that every campaign hire judiciaries. I'm not aware of that answer, and we'll have an answer for the press regarding the amendments from yesterday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKEND: So, this is something that he often says, that he will have an answer for the press, and then you can hear him there trying to push this off on financial folks, well, I don't know anything about this.
Also, another sort of curious component to this today, in new filings today, campaign officials listed Thomas Dotweiler as the treasurer of several of Santos's committees. Well, CNN reached out to him and this man says, listen, I spoke with them, they asked me to come on as a treasurer, but I declined. But he is still listed on these new filings as the treasurer. He's not the treasurer, according to his attorney.
COATES: Jonah, how impactful is this? I mean, at a broader -- taking a step back, obviously, I think the American electorate obviously can understand quite easily the idea of somebody lying, the idea of a resume, the idea of conversations around a GoFundMe. But the idea of FEC filings, I wonder if that translates in the same way. What do you think?
JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, look, I've long thought that looking in a properly ordered world, he would have shame and resigned or he would've been forced out. Those things aren't happening. That's not the world we live in.
The way -- if you're thinking he's going to leave Congress within -- before the end of his term, it's going to have to be something like this, when they're pulling on a thread.
It looks like it's possible that this included forging -- illegally forging someone else's electronic signature for this treasurer because the treasurer -- this guy says, I didn't sign that, but then someone else claimed it was e-signed, which is like a crime. And --
COATES: The lawyer in me says, allegedly.
COATES: Go ahead. Here we go.
GOLDBERG: Fair enough, but my point is, like, this is the only thing that's going to get Kevin McCarthy to change his position, which is that he's elected, he hasn't broken any laws, all he is, a big, fat liar, and we need his fourth vote in the republican conference. And the thing that can change that zeitgeist is evidence of an actual crime. That's the only thing that has ever gotten anybody expelled from Congress except for treason or supporting a confederacy.
COATES: To that point, Ashley, I mean, there is no mechanism to remove -- I don't know, obviously, the electorate. There is the idea of shame, which -- I mean, okay, let's put that aside. Shame is not necessarily a big motivating factor we see. But the idea of that being something that could, on the one hand, absolve and relieve McCarthy of having to do what is not the standard, but also try to preserve some semblance of integrity about the GOP more broadly, is this a possible vehicle?
Again, this is all -- we don't know all the answers. It is speculative at this point still until we have the complete story. Is this the mechanism that you think might be used?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Perhaps. I don't think Kevin McCarthy wants to lose this seat. He wishes the story just goes away. I find it comical but questionable that it's still be disingenuous in your reporting. Well, don't be disingenuous and a liar as a candidate, George Santos.
I don't think that the House Republicans are going to try and get Santos to resign. I think if criminal charges are brought, he's prosecuted, which it seems like, you know -- he just keeps lying so much that he is going to get caught on something at some point, that that might be the out. But unfortunately, lying is not enough anymore for a sitting congressman.
COATES: Actually, on that point, I mean, you did have a comment from Kevin McCarthy, who was reporting that -- this is CNN reporting that McCarthy talked about Santos in a closed conference meeting today.
And Eva, there's a difference between lying and committing a crime, and then says the latter causes you to lose a committee spot. Is that it? That's the only bar?
MCKEND: I mean, that has been his central argument all along. He pretty much has been saying variations of this for the past few weeks, that it takes a really high bar to call for someone's removal, that ultimately you should listen to the voters in his district who elected him.
He certainly, Speaker McCarthy, not listening to them now because many of those voters are saying had they known about the real George Santos, if that is, you know, his true name, then they wouldn't have supported him.
Also, I spoke with a campaign legal expert, a campaign finance expert today. He told me, you know, this is either sloppy bookkeeping, he has never seen anything like it or clearly some illegal activity.
COATES: We will see which one it is. Maybe he'll give us an answer on that. That was the standard phrase, right? We'll see what happens in that case. Also, stick around, panel, we're going to come back.
But also, George Santos, he actually hosted a business dinner back in November of 2020. That was attended by Christian Lopez and his attorney, Tiffany Bogosian, first reported by "The Washington Post." Now, Santos, if you remember, working for Harbor City Capital, which is a Florida-based investment firm, and Lopez says he was pitching him to invest $300,000, but Lopez declined.
Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission later accused the firm of being a Ponzi scheme. Santos denied any knowledge.
Tiffany Bogosian and Christian Lopez join me now to discuss. I want to begin with you and welcome to the program. Christian, let me begin with you here on this because, you know, according to the reporting, Santos brought you to a restaurant in Queens, a fancy restaurant in Queens, back in November of 2020. He wanted you to invest about $300,000. Can you tell us what happened in that instance?
CHRISTIAN LOPEZ, CLAIMED GEORGE SANTOS TRIED TO GET HIM TO INVEST IN ALLEGED PONZI SCHEME: Yeah, he was trying to pitch me some ideas that -- basically give him $300,000 and then he gives me $3,000 every two to three weeks and things like that, which wasn't really making any sense to me, honestly.
COATES: You described a situation out of a scene from "Goodfellas." Tell me about what you mean.
LOPEZ: Yeah, we went into this restaurant, greeted very, very good like we were family. I never step a foot in there my life, neither have my lawyer and my girlfriend.
So, when we go in there, we get treated, we go to the second floor, and then it's just a big room with one table, a butler, and George Santos. And then right then and there, I was just, like, what? Like, this is different. This is -- this is nice, like, wow. I've never been treated this nice before, but I was just, like, wow, let's see what's going on here. So, we went in, we ordered some food. After that, he got to talking about the business.
And that's where I just started, like, looking at him all wrong right there. That's when flags started coming up. I was just, like, it makes no sense.
COATES: What were those red flags that made you suspicious about this venture?
LOPEZ: Basically, he was saying the worst thing you could say to anybody. He said, you give this 300,000, but you're not allowed to know what you're investing in. Pretty much, I give the money to him, and I don't know if he's making bombs, I don't know, drugs, I don't know where he is investing this money to. I don't know where he is sending it to. He says, like, that has nothing to do with you. All you need to do is just give me the money and then every two to three weeks, I'll give you $3,000.
And I was just, like, how? How does this make any sense? This doesn't sound right. And then he tried to use -- he was down with Trump and his people and all these other things, they're going to do good, and they're going to make big move, you know, things like that.
COATES: I want to bring you in here, Tiffany. We should note that the SEC is looking into this as a Ponzi scheme, not knowing the nature, of course, of any criminal activity that is being suggested in the sense of what was being purchased, what the money would be going for. We will note, of course, that we did reach out to George Santos for comment and did not receive it in this instance.
Tiffany, you know Santos and you actually agreed to dinner. You have been a liaison between the two. You had a feeling right away that this could be a scam. What set off the alarm bells for you?
TIFFANY BOGOSIAN, WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH GEORGE SANTOS, ATTORNEY FOR CHRISTIAN LOPEZ: Unfortunately, I was the intermediary between Christian and George. You know, I regret that, you know, a thousand percent. Thankfully, it didn't go further than it said.
But essentially, I knew George from junior high school. He went to junior high school with me. We attended I.S. 125 in Sunnyside, Queens. After junior high school, we kind of lost touch. We reacquainted ourselves in or about 2019.
This case, Christian's case, occurred in 2018, but by the time it came to settlement, it was 2020. And as it got closer to settlement -- I mean, this was, you know, my first large case out of law school on my own. I was excited about it. I was telling everybody. You know, I worked in the past with different annuity companies. So, that's what George kind of represents it.
As far as Harbor City Capital, I find so ironic that he says fake news, fake media, disingenuous reporting. He never said anything about Harbor City Capital at that dinner. He led us to believe, led Christian to believe and led me to believe, that at that time, he worked for Goldman Sachs and he was a personal banker on behalf of Goldman Sachs, and all his representations were on behalf of Goldman Sachs.
In fact, after Christian -- I mean, so the red flags came up as far as you don't know you're investing in. For me, the red flags came up immediately when I hear $3,000 a month in interest on an investment. I mean, I've worked with several annuity companies with large investments. Three thousand dollars a month is unheard of anywhere. I mean, that was a huge red flag.
And then, you know, thereafter, he followed up with Christian, sending confidential memorandums again from Harbor City Capital, but was acting at the dinner and everything as if that he was on behalf of Goldman Sachs. He made all these representations as if he was an employee of Goldman Sachs. In fact, when Christian declined to invest, he essentially called me and was very upset.
I mean, that was the last conversation that we had over the phone, where he said he was very upset he used disbursements from Goldman Sachs, it was a company card. And I said, listen, this is the nature of your business. Clients have the right to choose or not choose to invest with you. He decided to forgo it.
COATES: Wow! BOGOSIAN: And that was that. And essentially, I mean, he never spoke to me after that. And then when all these lies were exposed and I heard that he never worked for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup or anything like that, I was beyond belief because now you're thinking, somebody is going into their own pockets to disperse this kind of money, to, you know, create all these bells and whistles to essentially take advantage. I mean, he was essentially --
BOGOSIAN: Yeah, and make off with it, essentially.
COATES: At one point, I would say --
COATES: Sorry. At one point, all three of us just shook -- we are just shaking our heads throughout the story, just thinking about that this is what you're describing and what you're telling here. It's not in a vacuum, right? We're talking about this is a sitting member of Congress.
Thank you so much, all of you, for joining us today. I appreciate it.
LOPEZ: Thank you, guys.
BOGOSIA: Thank you. Have a good night. Thank you.
COATES: Well, there are more disturbing details in the already shocking story of a teacher allegedly shot by a six-year-old student. Teacher's lawyer now claims the school was warned not once, not even twice, but three times the actual day of the shooting, that the child had allegedly had a gun on him. We also have new and more developments on all of this, next.
COATES: The Newport News School Board voting to cut ties with the superintendent almost three weeks after a six-year-old allegedly shot a teacher in the district. This is coming the same day that the assistant principal in the elementary school resigned. We're learning that the teacher who was shot is planning to sue the school district.
Abby Zwerner's lawyer claims school officials were warned three times the day of the shooting that the child had a gun.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIANE TOSCANO, ATTORNEY FOR ABBY ZWERNER: When a fourth employee who heard about the danger asked the administrator for permission to search the boy, he was denied. Tragically, almost an hour later, violence struck Richneck Elementary School.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: I'm back now with Jonah Goldberg and Ashley Allison, and we are joined by Tia Mitchell as well, Washington correspondent for the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution."
I mean, this story is stunning for a lot of different reasons. The idea that a six-year-old child has allegedly shot a teacher, hearing about the fact that she survived it, that she was able to get her students to safety, thank goodness. But the lawyer for the teacher laying out today the different moments in time when it could've been prevented perhaps. I mean, why did the school not react? What are we learning?
TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Yeah, I think the school still has a lot of questions to answer on, after all these warnings, they still didn't find the gun on the student. They had another student saying that he flashed the gun. They had school --other teachers saying, you know, search him, we hear he has a gun. They searched his backpack. But when it was said that he probably had the gun in his pockets, they didn't have permission to search the student himself.
So, that leaves a lot of questions about not listening to the warning signs of an imminent threat, you know, even if they didn't think the student would actually point the gun at the teacher, which he did, obviously. But there are so many other ways that a gun in possession of a six-year-old is not a smart thing. He could have shot himself. He could've shot another student, even accidentally.
So, those are the issues that I think are really causing questions about the administrators at the school and the decisions they made that day.
COATES: It's an important point. Again, about 20 years ago, there was -- "The Washington Post" features a story about a six-year-old girl who was killed by another student. I believe it was in Michigan. Just a real tragedy to think about. The prosecutor in the case was trying to figure out what can be done when you have a six-year-old assailant, essentially.
But here, the idea of who to hold to account, particularly when you got the challenge of the youth of the offender -- alleged offender in this instance, you know, is it the right call when you think about the superintendent or the idea of who ought to be fired or resigned? You get the sense of something has to be done. Is this the right course correction?
ALLISON: Look, I used to be in a classroom. The furthest thing removed for me on a day-to-day basis was the superintendent of the school. If we were facing an imminent threat, we would not have taken the time to call the superintendent.
So, I think if the procedures of the school district are inadequate, that would be a reason why the superintendent would fall -- would take some blame, like, you aren't allowed to search a student if there's -- even if there is a threat.
I think the person who is responsible once those threats were raised and they took no action, there is some -- there has to be some type of repercussion. This is a terrible scenario. I mean -- I don't know. I would hope that -- if someone comes to me and said a six-year-old had a gun, I would say, oh, you know, you don't think a six-year-old has a gun. But in this day and age, you cannot take something like that lightly.
And so, somebody has to pay for a failed protocol and procedures being implemented that day.
COATES: And, of course, the teacher is paying the price, in part, having been shot. This is actually, Jonah, the fourth school shooting involving and by someone as young as six since 1970. Given the numbers we have and gun violence overall, some might sort of scoff at that number. But this is significant. We're talking about a six-year-old.
How do you protect elementary schools in the conversations? I realize there is no simple answer. But without having more draconian measures, that undermine what the school experience parents want their children to have could be.
GOLDBERG: Yeah. You said the sixth, the fourth one since 1970?
COATES: Fourth since 1970 of a six-year-old shooting.
GOLDBERG: Right. You're talking about out of a population of probably over time, 80, 100 million kids have gone through schools since 1970. At the far-right tale of distribution, when you have these horrible incidents, they're not unique, but they're rare. It is really hard to extrapolate like big unifying rules for everybody.
I have -- if I were one of the parents, I would want to be on a jihad about people getting fired. I would not be subtle about it. I would just be so angry and so terrified for my kids. I have -- at the same time, to your point, this is like -- hard cases make for bad law. The idea that a six-year-old is packing heat (ph) and they don't find it in his backpack and they don't think -- they don't search him for it, yeah, the teacher has absolutely right to sue.
It sounds like she has got a good case. And it sounds like they need to figure out a whole bunch of new procedures. Some heads are going to roll. Some lessons are going to be learned from this. But let's, you know, also have some sympathy for people who, like, in real life, they just thought this was outside the realm of their imagination and they responded badly. But not like monsters. Right?
I mean, this was just a horrible, horrible situation. And sadly, hopefully, we will have some lessons learned and some best practices come out of it. I don't know what they could be.
COATES: A lot of us are trying to figure out and grapple with this very question. If there were a simple answer, we already have deterrence, 100%. But we will follow this as well. Everyone, stick around because, well, it's called the doomsday clock. Have you heard of this? And, of course, it's as close to midnight as it has ever gotten. So, what does that mean, exactly? Spoiler alert, it ain't good. We'll explain, next.
COATES: All right, so, check this out. The "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" making a historic announcement about the well-known Doomsday Clock.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: We moved the clock forward, the closest it has ever been to midnight. It is now 90 seconds to midnight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: So, the Doomsday Clock started way back in 1947. The artist saying that he set the original clock at seven minutes to midnight because it looked good to his eye. Over the years, the "Bulletin Science and Security Board" has met to discuss current events and whether the clock needs to be reset.
The furthest the clock has been away from midnight was 17 minutes. That was back in 1991 after George H. W. Bush's administration signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the Soviet Union. As we said a few moments ago, the closest the clock has been to midnight is right now. The hand is just 90 seconds away.
The bulletin said multiple factors for why they moved this clock forward. They include Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the continuing threats posed by climate change and also online disinformation.
The clock has actually never reached midnight. But if it does, the bulletin's president and CEO said it will mean there has been some event that has led to total annihilation.
I want to bring back in Jonah Goldberg, Ashley Allison, and Tia Mitchell. Jonah, you're smiling. Tell me why.
GOLDBERG: I don't want to be the bomber here, but --
COATES: In a Doomsday Clock segment?
GOLDBERG: I think the Doomsday Clock has been hot garbage for decades. It's a publicity stunt. I live in think tank world, American Enterprise Institute. I know lots of people in think tank world. The "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board" are no more expert at global affairs than a half dozen other think tanks and universities that you have as guests, bring experts on here all the time.
We have been hundreds of seconds from midnight for 70 years, according to these people. Maybe they got to check their math a little bit. And my biggest problem with it, historically, this whole thing has always been a propaganda tool to put pressure on western governments to sort of buy into certain arms control kind of things. It has no effect on Soviet Union or communist China. It's purely to play on western governments and western fears. I just don't give it any credibility at all.
COATES: Is it working? Is the propaganda that Jonah talks about a gimmick or is it the larger point of alerting people that we are always on the brink? We've heard discussions about being on the brink of nuclear war, on the brink of other things, on the brink of a riot. Is this the sort of illustration of what is the political talking point about being on the brink?
ALLISON: I mean, I didn't need the Doomsday Clock folks to tell me we're on the brink.
ALLISON: I don't know about you. I mean, you know, I go back to Y2K when everything was like, you know, was going to explode --
ALLISON: -- and the world was going to fell apart and we were going to feel like we were back in 1900s. We just went through a pandemic that shut the world down in ways that we thought we would never see in our lifetime. The United States Capitol was under attack and an insurrection happened in the home and the land of the free.
GOLDBERG: We might default on our debt.
ALLISON: We might default on our debt. We have the largest ratio appraising in the world, the summer of 2020, and policy change didn't happen. It feels like we are on the brink of disaster over and over again.
So, I don't think -- and then every day Americans that can barely afford the cost of eggs. And so, I think they're paying attention to this clock. I certainly am not. Unfortunately, it feels a little gloom and doom all the time in America and across the globe.
COATES: Tia, what do you think? We are on the brink, frankly, of having a former president back on Facebook and Instagram. Is that closer to the doomsday?
MITCHELL: I mean, that could definitely contribute to it because we know that when Trump was president, some of the things he said on social media could have caused a war, you know. We know that his own advisers were nervous about him causing nuclear war, about being careless with his words or his actions.
You know, I will be the one to kind of stick up for the Doomsday Clock.
You know, I can't say that it resonated very deeply with me. I don't think most Americans are paying attention. But to their point, nuclear war is a threat because of Russia not doing so well in its invasion of Ukraine. And if Putin gets, you know, desperate, then that's a threat. Climate change, once again, we know that that is a real threat not just in America but around the world. So --
MITCHELL: Misinformation in the way that, you know, Twitter, under its new ownership, misinformation is starting to really just go wild, rampant on that social media site and many others. So, if it takes a weird quarter of a clock unveiling to get people to start paying attention to that stuff, then so be it, because I do think we should be paying attention.
GOLDBERG: I agree entirely with you that we should be paying attention. But it's not a paying attention clock. It's not like, oh, man, we've got problems clock. It is we are seconds from total annihilation and existential erasure on the planet clock. That's how they (INAUDIBLE). And misinformation isn't leading to that.
The threat from nuclear war is coming entirely from Putin and the people who are listening to these people aren't in Moscow. And climate change is real and it's a problem. But the timeline by all the experts who are most passionate about it is very different than, like, nuclear war tomorrow.
And maybe, telling everybody that we are seconds from the apocalypse, which is what so much of Twitter and social media does already, is part of the problem, right, because it keeps everybody in the state of panic.
And if you tell a whole generation of kids, the world is ending tomorrow, anyway, that's not a way to get people to be productive contributors to society to build a social movement, to build a political movement. It is basically saying, well, world ends tomorrow, let's just go have fun.
ALLISON: I feel people are living like that, anyway.
GOLDBERG: That's a problem.
ALLISON: But I also generationally think that a lot of people don't know what the Doomsday Clock is, honestly. If we actually pull the voting population, I would air that more than 50% aren't familiar with it and what it is supposed to have -- real impacts supposed to have.
COATES: They wouldn't know reality show is about doomsday (INAUDIBLE) because we all have to watch something every now and then.
COATES: Thank you very much. And as you heard from Jonah here, apparently, Doomsday Clock is the reason for quiet quitting. (LAUGHTER)
COATES: Everyone, a wild police chase in Wisconsin with a very dramatic ending. And the most shocking part? The wife of the car's owner was actually inside. She was asleep when the car was stolen. The details on the brink, next.
COATES: Try to imagine what you would do if this happened to you. Picture it. You're asleep in the backseat of your own car, your husband has just stepped out when a stranger jump into the car and then steals it, sparking a wild police chase. This happened to a woman in Wisconsin earlier this month, and the whole thing was caught on dashcam video. Michelle Baik of our affiliate WMTV has more.
MICHELLE BAIK, REPORTER, WMTV (voice-over): Shown from three different cameras, this is the 4:00 a.m. chase to find a driver later identified as Kyle Wagner. He's accused of driving away on January 14th and someone else's car. In the back seat was a woman who woke up to the high-speed drive.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Columbia County 911.
BAIK (voice-over): This is her call for help.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Hello, I was in a gas station. My husband just get out from the car.
BAIK (voice-over): The victim told the dispatch that she does not know where she is, but then he heard her talking with Wagner.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): No, no, I'm not trying to do anything because I'm really scared. You know, you should get back.
KYLE WAGNER, SUSPECT (voice-over): I will.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Please, now.
WAGNER (voice-over): I will. Okay, I'm going back.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): No, you are not.
WAGNER (voice-over): I turned around.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): No, no, you are not turning around.
BAIK (voice-over): According to a criminal complaint, the victim said Wagner told her he was a truck driver and there was a conspiracy that people wanted to kill them so he was saving them.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Why you take the car from the gas station?
WAGNER (voice-over): Because they're following us.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Who is following us?
WAGNER (voice-over): Your husband.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): My husband. Of course, it's my car.
BAIK (voice-over): The deputy behind the squad car footage cited in court documents. He details how Wagner drove at about 90 miles ab hour and on the wrong side of traffic. That is until a state patrol car used a chase tactic to cause the car to crash into a guardrail. Watch as the car lifted into the air and airbags exploded. The victim came out first from the backseat, crying.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): I am scared. I don't know who's this guy. Who is this guy?
BAIK (voice-over): Officers then took the 51-year-old man from New York into custody after admitting he used fentanyl and meth within 24 hours. Wagner now faces multiple felony charges.
COATES: Michelle Baik with affiliate WMTV, thank you so much.
I want to bring in CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem. This is really unbelievable.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yeah.
COATES: It's like a horrible scenario to happen. Thank God, the woman is okay. But what is your reaction? What should she have done? She called 9-1-1. She stayed on --
COATES: -- the phone, talking calmly while this was a 90 mile per hour high-speed chase. Was that the right approach?
KAYYEM: Oh, absolutely, and we should put this as not just one incident. The increase in carjacking, for people who look at sort of the harms that are occurring, some areas have increased to 50%.
That is also related to COVID. More people are home. These are the taking of property. Many of these people do not want to encounter people and so they're not going into homes. So, carjackings are increasing. And this coincidence that she was actually in the car, she did exactly -- she kept her calm, relatively. She called for help and try to get out of that situation in the best way she could.
This is actually a national phenomenon with this twist that we're showing here which is, of course, someone was in the car. It is a reminder that when we look at this kind of crime, locked doors, windows up, and not leaving people in cars is -- it's like so fundamentally obvious but nonetheless something that should be reminded when people worry about this. There's a lot of quick fixes that we can put in place.
COATES: I mean, interesting the way you frame it, the idea of talking about the types of crimes post-pandemic, the idea of having not a victimless crime but a property-based crime, drugs as well. I mean, are you seeing a reaction from law enforcement to better prepare, especially given the interaction with drugs in this country as well?
KAYYEM: That's right. Some of these cases, you're seeing -- the one that we're looking at, you're seeing sort of fentanyl and other sort of drugs that are causing this kind of behavior. I don't want to bring it on one particular drug. This is a situation in which the combination of mental health issues, drugs, and then also the desire for property crime, actually not encountering anyone, is the elevated threat right now.
Police departments are responding. Just looking online right now, you can even see a lot more education to the public about just these basic precautions. This is nothing -- you know, these are things that are happening in a large country. It's a phenomenon that people need to address. It is something that is also we are aware of why it's happening right now. We are home more and a lot of these people don't want to encounter people. They just want the property, find out what is in the car.
COATES: Unbelievable. I'm so glad --
COATES: -- the woman is safe. Juliette Kayyem, thank you so much for your expertise on this and so many other topics. We'll be right back.
COATES: Disney World is officially closing down Splash Mountain this week after two years after announcing the -- quote -- "favorite ride" would close (ph). That announcement coming from growing complaints about the theme of the attraction centering around the 1946 film, "Song of the South," a movie wildly criticized for being racist. Now, the is re-theming the ride based on Disney's first Black princess, Princess Tiana. Disney still has Splash Mountain rides, of course, at two other parks.
Back with me now, Jonah Goldberg, Ashley Allison, and Tia Mitchell. Well, save that cool ride rollercoaster schedule to another day, but the idea here that this is being revamped, the idea of looking into the reasons why, the connection, what do you make of it?
ALLISON: I think this is a simple solution to a problem that has gone on for way too long. You ride rollercoasters, particularly Splash Mountain, because you can get wet. It is a water ride on a hot day at the park. And it's a fun rollercoaster. You don't need racial undertones, you don't need glamorizing slavery. Remove the core, save the sun, but the ride, they don't need to be packaged together.
COATES: What do you say?
MITCHELL: I agree. So, Disney has been trying to distance itself from "Song of the South." It is not accessible in any official channels. Past CEOs have said, you know, it's offensive, they're not going to release it on DVD, for example. But yet, they still have this ride at its theme park that is directly connected to characters from the movie.
So, I think they said, you know, if we're really going to distance ourselves from "Song of the South," then we've got to let go of this really popular, really fun ride that is associated with the movie. I think that's the smart thing to do, to repurpose it, so you can still have the log ride fun without the undertones of a movie that from its inception was considered racist.
COATES: Maybe some aren't aware of the connection and not realizing it in some way. But there is a petition to save it on change.org. That's got over 99,000 signatures. Again, by the way, it's not going destroyed, it's just being repurposed in some way. It says that modifying the ride will only encourage -- quote -- "the easily offended." Thoughts?
GOLDBERG: I think they should give the animatronic stuff permit to the Smithsonian so, like, there's some historical memory of it. But this is a private company that cares about its own brand. I think we can stipulate that the overwhelming majority of people who love this ride don't love it for the racism. Right?
So, it is the right thing to do, save the fun parts of it, and no one has a right to -- the people who are complaining about those or easily get offended are those who are being easily offended by this.
GOLDBERG: That is where I put it.
COATES: If you wonder what's going to happen, it's in Florida, of course. We already know that there was that brewing feud between Disney and Governor Ron DeSantis about the tax advantages. This is a bit of a different connotation here now than being proactive as a company.
We'll see what happens. Of course, it's coming back. And I like Tiana. So, there you go, everyone.
Everyone, thank you for watching. Our coverage does continue. And no, I won't break out into song.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight with breaking news exclusively reporting on a story CNN was first to bring you, the discovery of documents with classified markings at Mike Pence's Indiana home. Tonight, we know just what kind of material the former vice president had.
CNN's special correspondent Jamie Gangel joins us now with the very latest. What have you learned, Jamie?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, according to multiple sources, we have learned that among those roughly 12 classified documents that were found at the Pence home are materials described as background briefing memos that were prepared.