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Sixteen-Year-Old Who Was Shot Is Home From Hospital, 84-Year- Old Man Charged Could Face Life If Convicted; Chicago Police Arrest 15 Amid Reckless And Disruptive Behavior Saturday Night; Rep. George Santos Is Running For Re-Election In 2024; Toronto Blue Jays' Pitcher Calls Out Airline Over Spilled Popcorn Incident; Brad Paisley Visits Ukraine. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired April 17, 2023 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Before we go, police releasing the mug shot of the suspect charged in the shooting of a black teenager in Kansas City. 16-year-old Ralph Yarl rang the wrong doorbell while he was trying to pick up his siblings last week. He was shot two times. 84- year-old Andrew Lester is charged with assault in the first-degree and armed criminal action.
Thank you so much for joining us. I'll be back here tomorrow night.
CNN TONIGHT with Alisyn Camerota starts now. Hey, Alisyn.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Pam, great to see you. And we'll be talking about that case, of course, as well.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to CNN TONIGHT.
That 84-year-old man in Kansas City was charged this evening with shooting 16-year-old Ralph Yarl in the head. This was last week after Yarl apparently rang the wrong doorbell. Is this a valid case of stand your ground law or is this the law of the instrument, which says, when all you have is a hammer, you treat every problem like a nail? Here, the instrument is a gun. Our panel shares their thoughts on why it took several days to charge this suspect.
Plus, Congressman George Santos says he's running for re-election, though he has not raked in much cash. In fact, he's had to give back thousands of dollars in campaign donations. We will tell you what his colleagues and constituents are saying.
And Grammy-winning country star Brad Paisley is back tonight. He's just returned from Ukraine and he'll tell us about his meeting with President Zelenskyy and performing his new song, Same Here in the Streets of Kyiv.
We will talk to him shortly.
But I want to bring in my panel. We have L.Z. Granderson from the Los Angeles Times, Republican Strategist Evan Siegfried, CNN's own law enforcement expert, John Miller, and Molly Jong-Fast from Vanity Fair. Also joining us right now, we have Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Missouri, who represents the area where the shooting took place.
Congressman, I want to start with you because you have spoken to local law enforcement. We're all looking for information on what happened here. Do you understand what happened?
REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO): Well, I think I have a pretty good idea of what happened based on what was presented by the prosecutor in Clay County. And what I've heard from the Kansas, Missouri police chief, who, by the way, has been on the job a very short period of time, my first female police chief who I think did a magnificent job in negotiating what could have been a very ugly situation and have all praise for the entire cancer majority police department, particularly those who investigate this issue.
But I also think that we have a problem here in that I think there are a lot of people who are saying that they are happy that the man was hot charge, 84-year-old man was charged, but they are a little frustrated over the fact that he wasn't charged with a hate crime. I think, you know, we need to cool down just a bit. Look, an 84-year-old man, if convicted, whatever he gets is a death sentence, is -- I'm sorry is a life sentence.
And, you know, uh, we're right now -- we would -- right now, I think people of goodwill on the side of right. I don't think they're anywhere close to the majority of people who are upset about the charging. There're obviously going to be some people. But we're right now in a good spot, and I don't think we don't change it by starting to get people to start feeling like they've got to resist being called racist.
CAMEROTA: Well, I guess, one of my first questions is why did it take so long. This happened -- I think he was questioned and brought in on Thursday night. Why did it take until Monday for the charges?
CLEAVER: I'm not sure of all of it. What I believe, based on my conversation, is that the police were doing a very thorough investigation. They wanted to make sure that they gave the case file to the prosecutor where there's much information in there as possible so that the prosecutor could make the right decision.
And, look, for all of the people who -- you know, that's an overwhelmingly white county and there are people who, over the weekend, were saying, well, you know, they'll never charge them in Clay County.
I think what we need to understand, what both sides need to understand, the people who think everybody is always guilty if they're black and everybody is innocent if they're black, it's something very critically important, I think, from my perspective, and that is there are a lot of people who have been programmed to always expect the worst and they were programmed out of experience to expect the worst.
And then there are others who say that nothing is racist, and we got to get to a point where we try to base it on facts and what happened. And in this situation, I think the people of our community are feeling a little bit better now that there's going to be some lawsuits and that's another whole situation that I'm not sure that those of us in the political arena are involved with. But, for sure, most of us in our community are pleased that there were charges.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, obviously, I don't know what is in the defendant's head or what he was motivated by, but we do know from the reporting of what's come out that he told police he was, quote, scared to death when this 16-year-old rang his doorbell and that they didn't exchange any words during the incident. So, what could be behind that?
CLEAVER: Well, he also said that he was afraid because the guy was big, which wasn't true in the first place, but sometimes black people start growing in front of people who are already paranoid when they are around people who are different.
CAMEROTA: So, don't you -- does that mean that you think that it was racially motivated?
CLEAVER: Well, here's what I think. The man who shot that young kid did not have a lot of information to make the decision with. The kid was not in his in his house. He shot the kid through the glass door. And so all he could see, black young man on my porch means danger, I can shoot.
And I think -- you know, and I think that evidence is clear. I don't think that, you know, there's any evidence that the young man threatened him or said anything. I think, you know, this young man was shot and then ran to three or four houses asking for help. He finally did get help, thank God, or he probably would not have survived. So, there are good and decent people out there. This is not the gentleman who shot this young man may not be one of them.
CAMEROTA: We will see as we get more facts. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, thank you for your time. We appreciate it.
CLEAVER: Good to be with you.
CAMEROTA: I want to bring in the panel now. John Miller, so is this a case of something in Missouri, where they could use stand your ground if he was on the porch?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: I mean, they have the stand your ground law, but the stand your ground law in Missouri requires that you have that there's an imminent threat of serious injury. So --
CAMEROTA: And just -- doesn't mean that you should be scared to death?
MILLER: Well, part of it is, you know, the mindset of the person, what did they believe, but it's a tough case because you open the front door and then there's a second door, the glass door, which is locked, and the other person is -- we don't have the full breadth of the statement of the suspect in this case. We do know that the district attorney said race was a factor.
So, it's suggestive that there's some statement to the effect of I saw this big black guy at my door. I didn't know him. I was afraid. I shot him. Otherwise, how could race play a factor in his statements? But it's still hard to say if he's on the other side of a barrier and he doesn't present a weapon and that's not in the statement. What was the threat?
So, it's going to be the kind of thing that, you know, if it were in New York State, it would go to a grand jury. And they would hear the victim's testimony. They'd hear the suspect's testimony. They'd be advised on the law. It's not a clear cut case, except for the fact that here's a guy at the door. You don't even know what he wants. There's been no conversation. You shoot him. You better have some story about what you consider that imminent threat before you let a 32 round go at a teenager's head.
MOLLY JONG-FAST, HOST, FAST POLITICS PODCAST: It's insane that we live in a country where you can shoot someone because you might be scared. I mean -- and that's legal in some states. It is insane. I mean, I think this is the guns. This is the law. This is -- I'm sure -- I mean, we don't know the facts of the case yet, but, clearly, they think racism is involved.
But it's in the scene that we have lost that you can shoot someone if you are, you know, worried. I mean --
CAMEROTA: but not necessarily on this. He is not just if you were -- it's usually if they go into your home. That's stand your ground. But this is that.
JONG-FAST: Right. But what we're seeing is a culture that's obsessed with guns, that says violence is okay, that, you know, in many cases, it can be legal.
I mean, I think we have a fundamental, larger problem in the culture.
L.Z. GRANDERSON, OP-ED COLUMNIST, LOS ANGELES TIMES: There are a lot of things that play. The first thing I think about is the fact that Kansas City, over the last three years, has had horrific violence, crime, and that people in the in the state, particularly in the city, they are afraid.
And I'm trying to find some space, have empathy for the suspect, because, as the Congressman said, I don't just want to paint everyone with an ugly stick, but with that being said, it's hard for me to see someone who was born in, what, the '40s, as a white person growing up in American society.
Your city, the last three years, has had a lot of violence and it's 10:00 at night, and there's this black man, as far as you can tell, standing at your door and you're afraid as a white man who's in your 80s.
I can see that perspective of it. And also part of that is all the f'in racism that informed that white man to make him think that it was okay to pull the trigger, to show up to the door with a gun to begin with when someone rings your doorbell. Who does that?
EVAN SIEGFRIED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Racism, absolutely, was involved. Let's just call a spade a spade here. What I want to know is why did he feel the need to have what appears to be readily accessible handgun and shoot him through a glass door? He didn't call the cops. He didn't -- even after shooting him. It was a neighbor who treated this poor kid.
And I think that while it was good that the police thoroughly investigated, I want to see what else was going on here because there's certainly something going on with this guy where he felt that I'm going to have a gun near me. As we've covered, responsible gun owners keep their guns locked and in a stored safe spot.
CAMEROTA: I mean, as we've also covered, there are now more guns in America than there are people.
GRANDERSON: There are.
CAMEROTA: And so it just feels like when somebody -- when you're scared in your house, like we said, if every problems -- you know, if you're a hammer and every problem is a nail, if you have a gun at the ready, then you're maybe you're just scared when somebody knocks on your door at that hour of night.
GRANDERSON: And to be quite honest with you, I don't need a gun to scare white people. I have my skin, right? And I don't mean to offend, you know, all of America who's white and not racist, but we have a history that's well-documented, that shows the color of my skin has been used as defense to justify killing people like me, just simply by presenting myself as a black man, no weapon, no gun.
So, to me, there is a gun conversation but this is also about the implicit bias that we continue to skirt --
MILLER: Which then gets the reverse polarization of this question, which is let's put the gun thing on hold for a second, which is I'm 84 years old, the doorbells ringing. It's -- what time is it? Is it 10:00. 10:00. None of my none of my 84-year-old friends are coming over 10:00. I take my 32. I go downstairs. What's going on? Here is it's a home invasion? Is it a robbery, and I see a white guy on the other side of the glass door. Do I shoot him in the head? SIEGFRIED: I can't help but think about Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed for jogging while black and --
MILLER: Also Trayvon Martin. I mean, there's history here.
SIEGFRIED: Yes. But you have Ralph Yarl, who's a 16-year-old kid who is happening to be a good older brother picking up his kids while black, and that terrifies me.
JONG-FAST: But also he rang the doorbell, I mean, knocked on the door. I mean, this is not like he was halfway in the living room and the guy comes down. I mean, I think that we have to -- you know, we have to like take a real look at, A, the way these laws are crafted, but also, you know, just too many guns.
CAMEROTA: Yes. And also I just want to say that in the charging documents, the shooter did call 911 after he shot him, but as we know, the 16-year-old was having a hard time getting anybody to help him because what the dispatcher was saying was we don't know if the shooter is on the loose, so don't open your door to him. Let him stay out there. We're sending somebody right now. Don't open your door and then a neighbor, a compassionate neighbor went outside with towels and like helped staunch the bleeding.
SIEGFRIED: And saved his life.
GRANDERSON: And that's the reason why that whole good guy with the argument conversation when it comes to mass shootings or events like this is such B.S., because in the heat of the moment, how the hell are you supposed to know who's the good guy and who's the bad guy.
CAMEROTA: Right? Yes.
MILLER: And, I mean, think of in the charging documents, he says, you know, the statement of the shooter is, you know, as the person who just shot in the head going in the other direction is don't you come around here again.
CAMEROTA: A lot to talk about. Thank you all for your perspectives on this.
Stay with me, everybody, because, next, police arrested 15 people after unruly crowds of teenagers and young adults spilled into the streets of Downtown Chicago Saturday night, what they're calling reckless and disruptive behavior, is also described as mayhem, in some reports.
What's going on in Chicago?
CAMEROTA: Police in Chicago arrested 15 people over the weekend amid what they call reckless and disruptive behavior from large groups of teenagers. Young people in the video, as you can see, in Chicago's downtown district, were jumping and dancing on cars, they were getting into fights, they were weaving in and out of oncoming traffic.
Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson putting out a statement saying he does not condone the destructive activity but that it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.
And in separate incidents, Chicago saw another weekend of gun violence. 38 people were shot across the city. Eight of them were killed.
My panel is back with me.
Evan, your thoughts on what was happening, what is happening in Chicago?
SIEGFRIED: I think it's very bad. And I think that the mayor-elect was absolutely wrong for what he said in his statement.
CAMEROTA: What part was wrong?
SIEGFRIED: I thought it was absolutely wrong to go out and say that we should not be demonizing these kids. The kids went out, and this was an organized group that started on social media, and it was reports of hundreds, possibly even a few 1,000 kids going and jumping on cars, pulling people out of cars, assaulting them, causing mayhem and havoc.
Now, I understand that Mayor-Elect Johnson wants to try to tackle crime by providing more opportunities for people.
And I think, good, I hope that actually works, because we have to try something that will actually reduce the crime rate in Chicago. But the way, he said this, it had two things, it sent two messages. First, it might have signaled to some of the kids who have not been arrested because 15 out of a few 100 is quite a small drop in the bucket. It might signal maybe it's okay if I do this.
But the other thing, and I was talking to a couple of friends who live in Chicago, they have said that there have been some -- they've changed their lifestyles and their behavior because of their perception of crime and how it's rising.
CAMEROTA: What are they doing differently?
SIEGFRIED: They some of them don't go out at night or spend more time with friends. They take alternate routes. They don't take mass transit anymore. And that's part of what I like to call the urban decay loop. We're seeing where but how increases in crime and theft are causing businesses, the Mom and Pops, to major retailers, to have to spend more on security and have many more problems. And then you're seeing quality of life issues. And when residents see that, they begin to say the crime is getting even worse when maybe, statistically, it's not. And it's just is this loop where its keeps cycle of bad perception.
JONG-FAST: Where does the loop? Start the loop starts with Fox News, right, or the New York Post, or one of those right-wing media channels that is super interested in that video. I saw that video again and again from right-wing media, but you never see anyone say, like we should work on afterschool programs, we should work on education, we should give these kids really great free skating -- I mean, there are you know there are a lot of things to give teenagers to do that are not like -- you know, teenagers want to get together. They want to hang. I mean, I'm just saying --
CAMEROTA: I hear you. And that's what Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson is saying. I'll read it to everybody. This is his plan for safety at public safety and reform, an act of one day plan to get smart and serious about crime, invest in youth and communities, expand support for victims and survivors, mental health, addiction care, housing for the unhoused, strengthen police accountability, here's for investing in youth, in particular, youth and communities.
Double the summer youth jobs to more than 60,000, target the most at risk youth, great. Build a comprehensive trauma response network, fantastic. Put youth on the path to prosperity with career and technical education. Who can argue with that? Address the crisis of nearly 20,000 unhoused CPs students and support the peace book ordinance, whatever that means.
So, he's talking about it. But I guess the point, Molly, is that it's not that -- I hear what you say, Fox loves to put that on a loop and play it over and over and over, but it did happen.
JONG-FAST: No, it's not great. But I also think like, you know, this is not -- you know, there were 38 people who were murdered, right?
CAMEROTA: 38 who were shot.
JONG-FAST: 38 who were shot, eight who were killed. You know, two people were shot there, but no one was killed. It was just that the visual was a very, you know, right-wing media visual.
And, again, I say, like focus on giving these kids places to go, you know, parks to hang out, and they're teenagers. I mean, there is a way to sort of, you know, shepherd this energy into a more positive effect.
CAMEROTA: I want to believe that. L.Z., I want to believe that kids who are doing destructive things would go to a nice park and hang out, if one were available.
GRANDERSON: Well, they do. I was a kid in Detroit, you know, like we had devil's night, you know? And anyone can Detroit knows devil's night was like, you know, the night before Halloween, and you went out. You did basically what you just saw. Every year, we find ourselves on national television. Detroit can't be handled, blah, blah, blah.
There is an aspect of this conversation is about teen rebellion, and it's been celebrated in our culture and it's been villainized in our culture. And I don't want to pretend as if what's happening in Chicago is, in and of itself, unique to just Chicago.
CAMEROTA: True. But isn't it against the backdrop of violence in Chicago right now, homicides and --
GRANDERSON: It's against the backdrop of violence in America, not just Chicago. We just talked about Kansas City, right, and some 84- year-old who freaked out. So, it's about violence in this country.
I think there are different aspects of this conversation. The mayor is absolutely correct. The teens in Chicago need more things to do. But if there's a conservative aspect in this conversation that's also correct, and liberals don't like to talk about it, but it's true. Where the hell are your parents? I have raised a kid, so I feel like I have some teeth in this game. You have to stay on top of your kid.
And I get it. Life is hard. You got to work. I balanced three different jobs at one point didn't care of my kids, but, damn it, I needed to make sure I knew where he was. And so I think that's a part of the conversation, too, that some of those parents who have a come to a Jesus meeting in terms of, yes, kids need more activities to do, yes, this is just about teen rebellion, but also you're a parent, so parent.
CAMEROTA: Here are some of the stats, John, about what's happened since 2019 in terms of Chicago and the citywide crime, burglaries down, aggravated batteries down, criminal assault -- sexual assault, I should say, basically the same, but murder, robbery, theft, car theft is up.
MILLER: So, we're having the opposite in New York, which is murders and shootings down, other crimes are flat. Chicago has struggled with this for a long time. I mean, I can go back through five mayors, two of whom I know personally and talked to crime about, multiple police superintendents there, all of whom I knew, you've got the last mayor who probably lost the election on crime and the new mayor who's coming in saying, I'm not going to hire more cops, and we don't need to make more arrests. We need more homicide detectives to solve the murders because somehow if those murders go away, the murders will stop. These are rookie mistakes, and I think the mayor-elect is going to learn the hard way, the same way.
And I'm with Evan on this. You cannot say you cannot come downtown bent on disorder and breaking laws and committing damage and violence and then backend that sentence with an excuse, which is, but it's really our fault because we didn't build the --
GRANDERSON: I don't know if it's an excuse, though, right? I mean, it's context.
MILLER: It's a mixed message that goes beyond context to me. And, I mean, in New York, Chauncey Parker, the deputy commissioner of the NYPD, spent the entire summer after we had a spate of terrible youth- on-youth violence, teenagers with guns shooting and killing each other 14, 15, 16. The Bronx was the leader in this.
We rebuilt all the basketball courts we could. We found the money, dug up the money, stole the money. I mean, we did amazing things with funds. We did the biggest summer jobs program we've ever done before, and the biggest higher was in the police department, then the parks department, everywhere else. I mean, we really did the all-out approach to answer this question about provide other avenues.
CAMEROTA: And did it work?
MILLER: You know, did it work? We think it worked, but you can't count what didn't happen. We also did all kinds of policing initiatives by flooding certain areas with cops, doing violence interrupter programs, coordinating the two and we were able to put a dent in it, but we never made excuses for people shooting each other by saying it was somehow society's fault.
CAMEROTA: Quickly, Molly.
JONG-FAST: I have question, which is if Chicago, you know all these people in Chicago, why couldn't they get it together?
MILLER: Chicago, the politics overrides everything in Chicago. The police superintendent in Chicago can't fire bad cops. It goes to some politically-appointed commission that's, you know, in league with the FOP, things don't get done without all of these machinations.
So, you know, when 38 percent of your gun collars are being tossed at arraignment and the biggest gun supplier is a gun store just outside the city limits because the state law is different from the city, you've got a system that's been broken for a long time that politics will not allow the fixing of.
CAMEROTA: That's really interesting context. Thank you all very much for those thoughts.
So, as you know, there have been a mountain of lies from Republican Congressman George Santos. But one thing he does not seem to be lying about, the announcement of his 2024 re-election campaign. We'll discuss how it's going, next.
CAMEROTA: Truth challenged congressman, George Santos, announcing his bid for re-election in 2024. His campaign call Santos a, quote, "diligent legislator" but Santos is better known for his lies about everything from being Jewish to being a star volleyball player.
Santos also has a lot of investigations to answer for. Calls to resign from his constituents and members of his own party also happening within a campaign in deep fundraising trouble. My panel is back with me. So, Molly, George Santos has apparently raised in the first quarter $5,300 in contributions, but he's refunded $8,000 in contributions. So, I'm no mathematician. That's not -- I don't think a winning strategy. I might -- I could be wrong, John, but that's how I feel about that.
MILLY JONG-FAST, HOST, FAST POLITICS PODCAST: We've seen a lot of crazy financial disclosure numbers this cycle with Nicky Haley and, but, yeah, no. Santos is an amazing candidate for Democrats, right? That's a D-plus 2 districts. I mean, he, you know, it's Nassau County like you, you know, between the lies about being Jewish and the lies about this. And I mean, it's hard to imagine a world where this guy gets re-elected, but part of his, I don't want to say charm.
Part of his schtick is that he does outrageous stuff. You know, he tries to sort of be Long Island's Marjorie Taylor Green. So, he has this Nicki Minaj anti-vax bill he just authored. I mean, I don't know how this works for him, but maybe he's auditioning for conservative television.
CAMEROTA: Maybe. And, but you also make a great point like, Evan, never underestimate the, you know, constituent's power at some point to kind of like the flamethrower, unpredictable, strange court jester, right? I mean, sometimes don't they vote for those people? She cited the Marjorie Taylor Greens popularity in her home state.
EVAN SIEGFRIED, PRESIDENT, SOMM CONSULTING: Yeah, but they don't really have any alternatives in the primary, whereas George Santos does have a serious primary challenger who is African-American, and we've confirmed that. He was an Afghanistan veteran, confirmed that. And did something that George Santos also claims to have done, which he is -- he was a V.P. at JPMorgan. And his name --
CAMEROTA: You fact-checked that?
SIEGFRIED: Yes. We fact-checked Kellen Curry's biography and no way is he making anything up. But George Santos, he really doesn't have a place to live in the Republican Party because he doesn't really have any committee assignments. He doesn't -- I don't know what his diligent legislating is really about, what he's doing.
But what he does have is he hired as one of his first hires in January, a man who is known as a fixer for MAGA. He's Bannon acolyte who was pushing the January 6 stuff and there were rumors about him being involved in the actual riots, and that was one of his top hires.
He's been out there, pushing himself into MAGA crowds because that's the only place that will take him saying, look, I'm a target of the media. Woe is me. I'm such a victim. He's not a victim. He's a con man.
CAMEROTA: We have a long way to go before 2024 in the political world, but here's how some of his constituents felt about him last month when we asked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: I don't understand why he's so bare.
UNKNOWN: He has completely humiliated himself and it's -- it just seems like he's detached from reality.
UNKNOWN: We don't know who he is and we don't like what we see. And it's time for him to go home.
UNKNOWN: I hope he just goes away. I mean, there's just so much turmoil with response to his environment, the environment he has created.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: John, you know New Yorkers. Is this going to work for him?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: So, I think for a Long Islanders who are pretty savvy, it's a fool me once you know. I don't see this happening again. But also, I mean, we know a lot more about George Santos than we did before. So, A, he says he's going to run again. First of all, how can we believe him?
MILLER: Second of all, what's the campaign slogan Like re-elect George Santos, no shame? So, I don't --I don't see this as a likely possibility.
CAMEROTA: Got it. L.Z., quickly.
L.Z GRANDERSON, OP-ED COLUMNIST, LOS ANGELES TIMES: In the midst of trying to -- besides Speaker of the House, he was hanging out with other Republicans.
GRANDERSON: Validating everything after all the lies have been exposed. They're not serious people. We have A.I., we have gun violence, we have diseases. We got China with secret police forces and George Santos; his ass is in Congress.
CAMEROTA: On that note, be sure to tune in to the top of the hour. Our favorite reporters will be here to discuss their scoops and the stories that they are covering including what's going on with the Fox defamation trial that is set to begin tomorrow.
But first, if your two-year-old spills popcorn everywhere on an airplane who should clean it up? You or the airline? One major league pitcher has some strong thoughts about this after what happened to his family and our panel has strong thoughts, too. That's next.
CAMEROTA: Should parents have to clean up the messes their children make on airplanes? Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass says no. He tweeted, quote, "The flight attendant at United just made my 22-week pregnant wife traveling with a five-year-old and a two-year-old get on her hands and knees to pick up the popcorn mess by my youngest daughter. Are you kidding me?" I'm back with my panel. L.Z., you're a parent. Would you clean up popcorn that your child threw around the airplane?
CAMEROTA: You would?
GRANDERSON: I would.
CAMEROTA: Isn't that time consuming.
GRANDERSON: Yes, but it's also my child. He is my responsibility.
CAMEROTA: But the airline gave them the popcorn.
GRANDERSON: I understand that and I -- and I don't expect people to all have my view. It's just I'm constantly am conscious of my example is what my son is going to follow. He needs to see me clean up the mess. If he sees me pass the mess on what is that saying to him as a child?
JONG-FAST: I have three kids so I would try but I can understand being 22 weeks pregnant, having two kids, being on an airplane and trying to clean it up. So, I think it's more of a question of like, yes, obviously, we want to be respectful and nice to our environment, especially traveling with children is -- anyone who's done it, it's a nightmare.
So, I do see it, but it also -- I mean, she's pregnant and she has two babies. I mean, it's a hard -- it's not the easiest thing to do.
CAMEROTA: You guys are so much nicer than I am because I would think that I didn't have to clean up the little teeny kernels of popcorn because I would think they have an industrial vacuum cleaner, like I would think that instead of me getting down on my hands and my knees --
GRANDERSON: I have never seen one.
CAMEROTA: -- I haven't either.
GRANDERSON: I just wanted to play. I didn't see anything like that.
CAMEROTA: But, I mean, to get down and like (inaudible) like little shreds of popcorn out of the --
CAMEROTA: -- on your hands and knees --
GRANDERSON: She also could have -- she also could have said no. SIEGFIRED: L.Z. was right. It's basic human decency and setting a good example for your kids. And at the same time, there seems to be something a little off with the flight attendant.
SIEGFRIED: She also seems to be in the wrong because why are you forcing someone, forget if they're 22-weeks pregnant or not, to do this. And, you know, what are you going to threaten them with? We're going to turn the plane around or have an Air Marshal yank you off.
JONG-FAST: And also, traveling with babies is hard and traveling pregnant, it's hard.
MILLER: I've never traveled pregnant myself, but I have traveled with a three-year-old and a five-year-old. I have traveled with spilling -- and you know. What you do is what you can, which is you're considerate of the people around you. I'm with L.Z. is. I pick up everything I can. And Emily does the same thing.
But you know, kids at this age, you know, people say control your kids, like, would you like to try. I called my favorite flight attendant before this segment. I said, what's the rule here? And she said this is wrong. That's why we have a cleanup crew between flights.
CAMEROTA: Good. I'm right. Thank you. That's what I got out of that.
-- very much. All right. Thank you all. It was only weeks ago when country star Brad Paisley released the song "Same Here" to honor the people of Ukraine and he was on this show to talk about it. Now he's back. He just went to Ukraine. He just met with President Zelenskyy. And he just performed that song in Kyiv. He's going to join us to talk about it next.
CAMEROTA: So that's country music star Brad Paisley playing his song "Same Here" in Kyiv, Ukraine. Paisley wrote the song to mark the first anniversary of the war and to raise money for the charity United 24 to help build housing for the people of Ukraine whose homes have been destroyed by Putin's war.
Brad paisley has just returned from Ukraine, along with a bipartisan group of U.S. senators. And while there, he met with President Zelenskyy. And brad is back with us now. Brad, great to see you.
BRAD PAISLEY, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: I'm glad to be back talking to you. What a week. CAMEROTA: I bet. So, what was it like to play that song, to play
"Same Here" in Kyiv?
PAISLEY: It's really surreal. About a year ago, I remember hearing about the invasion from Mark Kelly, Senator Kelly, who I've known a long time and I had -- he had texted me about something and said later on that evening that they were being invaded.
And to fast forward a year to be on a train with him rolling into a station in Kyiv, about to see it for the first time with my own eyes, it's really something that I never would have imagined in a million years getting to do.
And then to stand there with this song and to sing it in front of this, you know, the remnants of things that have been bombed and as well as surrounded by people that are living their lives in spite of the air raid sirens, I don't know how I was able to even do that without breaking down emotionally. I didn't break down until I got back and then I did.
CAMEROTA: So, what were your impressions being in Kyiv of how it is a year -- more than a year later since the war began?
PAISLEY: I think the main thing that I was left with is that I don't know what I was expecting whether I thought I'd get off the train and see just buildings that were rubble, and it's not necessarily like that. They have fixed things immediately, like they -- there were a couple of young women that work for United 24 that as soon as I got there, the senators went to a top secret briefing and I went for a couple of hours and tried to sightsee, sing the song in some places, do some filming and meet some people that I had been working with.
And these girls that were showing me around we're so excited to show me their city in the same way that somebody would who lives in Paris. And meanwhile, but they had sources of pride that are beyond any of us have ever gone through. They were showing me an intersection that during rush hour traffic had been hit with a missile and left the 20- foot crater and on her phone, she was showing me what it looked like that day.
And then they had it fixed four days later, and they -- the stoplights worked again and cars were driving and they just went back to living. And I've never seen defiant life. Just absolutely, they were going to restaurants.
We're in armored cars going around the city prior to go into the presidential area to say hello and do some more meetings there. And I'm looking out the window at school kids and raincoats with backpacks going home, walking up the street after school. And I guess I don't know what I thought I'd see, but I guess that's what you do, right? You go, you live your life in between the sirens.
CAMEROTA: I guess, but I would say that just hearing you describe it and everything that we've heard about the Ukrainian people over the past year, their resiliency does seem to be in a different league. They just seem to be stronger than anybody -- any of us can imagine. And so, Brad, what was it like to meet with President Zelenskyy?
PAISLEY: Well, it's pretty surreal because there's an honesty and a humility to him that is sort of -- it's disarming in the sense that the amount of weight on his shoulders at this point is probably just inconceivable to all of us. But the man was an actor and a comedian, and I haven't sat down and talked to somebody that seemed anymore genuine.
So, it's an interesting thing to see him rise to this. I feel like he --this is a strange situation where it's almost like it's -- he was the one guy that could do this or something. And I think the thing though that I saw in all of it really was every single person from him on down was thanking me as an American citizen.
Thank you. Tell the people of America, thank you. And also, another aspect of it that I was left with more than anything, they just want to be us so bad. They want this. They want everything that we take for granted.
CAMEROTA: Meaning freedom.
PAISLEY: Oh, yeah. As well as the fact that they really, you know, they had it for a minute. They were getting there. They had, you know, when I was right around the city, there's a Nike store. There's, you know, there's restaurants open. People are doing these things and they don't want to go back to whatever it was before. They want to be -- they want to be a free nation in a democracy at all costs.
CAMEROTA: The last time you were here, our friend, Frank Luntz, one of our panelists offered you $10,000 for the charity if you would have coffee with him. Has that happened?
PAISLEY: Yes. It has not happened yet. So, I'm -- he did -- he did reach out and he said, tell me where to write the check and I'm going to do that as soon as I can be in the same city as him. He's also fascinating. I want to pick his brain and see that the stories he must have, right. I mean, you know a few of them.
CAMEROTA: Oh, for sure. The conversation between you two, I wasn't kidding that I'm going to be at the next table with like a menu listening in because I think it'll be a great meeting between the two of you and I'm glad that that's still happening. So, Brad --
PAISLEY: I think you should be there for sure.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Well, I'm going to tell Frank that that's a must. Brad, it's great to see you. It's great to hear all about this and --
PAISLEY: Great to see you.
CAMEROTA: -- great inspirational travel that you've done there and sharing it with us, and we really appreciate it and we look forward to what's next.
PAISLEY: Thank you, and thanks to the senators, Senator Manchin, Senator Murkowski, Senator Kelly for taking me with them. They didn't have to, but I think they just wanted free entertainment. It was very nice of them to let me go.
CAMEROTA: That's very -- that's very cool. And any time we could say a bipartisan group of senators did something, that's also very cool.
PAISLEY: Well, they introduced me as the largest constituency among them, which was really nice. I'm not elected to anything.
CAMEROTA: That's awesome. Brad, great to see you. Thanks so much.
PAISLEY: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Next, some of our favorite reporters join me to give us the low down on the biggest stories that they are covering for tomorrow. We've got the latest on the Fox defamation trial and what's going on with Justice Clarence Thomas, why he's now changing his financial disclosure forms. All of that and more when I join our panel. Great to see you guys. That's next.