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Erin Burnett Outfront
Special Counsel Probing Trump Org's Handling Of Mar-A-Lago Footage; Russia Vows Revenge As Ukraine Denies It Attacked The Kremlin; Interview With Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV); Massive Manhunt Underway For Atlanta Mass Shooting Suspect; Protesters Call On Biden To Bring Home "Wrongly" Detained Americans; Carlson Sent Racist Text To Producer: "Not How White Men Fight". Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 03, 2023 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, the special counsel is investigating the handling of Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage by Trump employees, spurring a new round of grand jury subpoenas. Did someone tamper with the tapes?
Plus, Senator Joe Manchin on the debt ceiling, Biden's reelection and whether he'll derail the president's pick for labor secretary. That interview is coming up.
And who is behind the drones the Kremlin says were sent to kill Putin? A top Ukrainian official speaks exclusively to OUTFRONT.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Pamela Brown, in for Erin Burnett tonight.
And OUTFRONT, breaking news, Trump tapes at Mar-a-Lago, sources tell CNN, special counsel Jack Smith is now asking questions about the handling of surveillance tapes from Trump's home in Florida, and whether the tapes could have been tampered with.
Smith, of course, is leading an investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents. We're told, prosecutors want to hear from one or two of Trump Org executives, and these are people who are said to know a lot about the inner workings of Mar-a-Lago.
It was just a week ago that Trump went on Fox News, as you may recall, to boast about the tapes he handed over to prosecutors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: They raided Mar-a-Lago, viciously raided Mar-a-Lago. I have them tape and I give them tapes. I give them tapes of storage areas, I give it to him. I could've held that back. I wasn't holding anything back that I care but I gave them tape. But you know the tape they don't want me to reveal? Impossible, they've asked me, I've so far adhered to it, the raid itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: He gave those tapes under subpoena, but were those tapes everything?
Paula Reid just broke the story.
Paula, what more are you learning?
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, good evening, Pam. Our colleague Katelyn Polantz and I have learned that prosecutors working for special counsel Jack Smith have been asking about security footage from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. And specifically, how it was handled after Trump Organization received a subpoena for it last summer.
Of course, this footage is critical to understanding how classified materials were handled, once they went down to Florida, and, of course, the special counsel is not just looking into the possible mishandling of classified documents, he's also looking at any efforts to obstruct this investigation.
And we have learned that tomorrow, two top executives from the Trump Organization are expected to go before the grand jury to ask questions related to this exact subject. Specifically, Matthew Calamari Jr., he's a longtime Trump Organization executive, he's worked for decades, he's currently the chief operating officer, executive vice president.
And during his time there, he is primarily overseen security. Now, his son, Matthew Calamari Jr., also works there. He's now officially the director of security. Both of them are expected to appear before Smith's grand jury tomorrow. And we have learned that they are expected to be asked about this security footage and how it was handled, and any conversations among Trump Organization employees once they received that subpoena.
Now, we've also learned that other lower level Trump Organization officials have also been asked about what happened to this footage after the subpoena, how was it handled? And the Calamaris tomorrow, they are among several witnesses expected to go before this grand jury.
Pam, this is a significant development for the special counsel, to go this far into Trump's inner circle. Calamari is widely considered to be one of his top and most trusted advisers, so, for him to go before the grand jury in this investigation is significant, and also a reminder, they're not just looking at how this materials were handled, but they're also very closely examining whether anyone tried to get in the way of them having all the evidence that they had subpoenaed.
BROWN: Paula Reid with this exclusive reporting tonight with our colleague Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much.
And OUTFRONT now, Ryan Goodman, co-editor in chief of "Just Security", and former special counsel at the Defense Department.
Also, Elliot Williams, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor. Ryan, I want to kick it off with you here because CNN, as you just
heard Paula lay out, is learning that the special counsel is looking at the handling of surveillance footage from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, that was turned over under subpoena. How significant is this development in this investigation in your view?
RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF, JUST SECURITY: It's highly significant if the special counsel has reason to think that the surveillance video was tampered with. It's very significant into respect. One, this is a case about obstruction, that would be obstruction on steroids. If people tampered with the video surveillance that the Department of Justice specifically subpoenaed in order to find out what had happened to the classified documents.
And the second, it would be a very serious aggravating factor, pointing the Justice Department towards indictment under the Espionage Act, if indeed it included this kind of level of obstruction of any tampering with the video surveillance, and would also mean that more than one person was involved. That's another aggravating factor that the Department of Justice would have to take into account.
BROWN: So, let's just take a step back here, Elliot, because as a prosecutor, how much of this do you think is about due diligence? Making sure that nothing that was turned over was tampered with? That there was no obstruction of justice, versus actually having evidence, additional evidence, about the handling of this footage that has now, as we just heard from Paula, led to a new round of grand jury subpoenas for these two top Trump employees?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Pam, it's hard to say. I think as a prosecutor, one does not want to go with on what you call a fishing expedition to find new evidence or simply to look for things that may not be there. So, my guess, and again it's just a hunch, they have some basis before going into the grand jury. They believe that there must have been some obstructive act with regard to that surveillance video footage.
Now, picking up on where Ryan left off, you are looking at a potentially very serious crime if there is alleged obstruction of justice. It carries up to a 20-year penalty in jail time, including fines. And to Ryan's point, once the subpoena came, everyone in the orbit, in Trump's orbit, would have been on notice that there was an ongoing investigation.
That's the first element you have for obstruction of justice, that the person doesn't just temper or falsified something, they know there's an ongoing investigation. And then the act of sort of falsifying or obstruct -- destroying a record for the purpose of impeding the investigation. That's what they'd have to prove their.
So, my guess is, they might know something, but we'll just have to see if any charges come down from this.
BROWN: Yeah, we have to wait and see and learn a little bit more about what's behind these new rounds of grand jury subpoenas, what evidence there is. We just played that sound, Ryan of Trump telling Sean Hannity a week ago, a few weeks ago we should say, quote, I gave them tapes of storage areas, I wasn't holding anything back.
CNN has reported, the security camera footage that was turned over showed a staff member moving boxes from a storage room with the Trump aide. A source told, me directly about this investigation.
So, what do you think -- do you think that there is more footage that Trump does not want out there?
GOODMAN: It's an open question. Also because we know from "The New York Times reporting, that the footage they provided was only of a certain date range, which might be exactly what they do at Mar-a-Lago, they only keep surveillance footage for a certain period of time. That would be very important to know if they had any other footage dating further back in time.
And it also sounds as though, what the special counsel wants to hear about is how people like Walter Nauta, who was caught on the video and others like the Calamaris may have been discussing the video surveillance, and when they're about to handed over to the Justice Department, they know it has incriminating evidence on it -- this aide moving the boxes out after they received a subpoena in the direction to keep the boxes in the storage room. It would be really important for the Justice Department to know what those conversations entailed.
BROWN: And we know when it comes to the classified documents, Elliot, the Justice Department is already looking at possible obstruction of justice. So, that's part of one avenue that they're going down.
And so, what are the potential crimes that you think prosecutors could be looking at, related to the surveillance footage, how does it fit into the broader obstruction of justice investigation?
WILLIAMS: Well, sure, any mishandling of classified information, any mishandling or misappropriation of defense information, if there was national security information there, what's going to be relevant to an obstruction of justice investigation, as being the case with classified documents, or any documents as well, is intent.
Does the Justice Department have evidence that people not just destroyed or sought to tamper with these videos, but knew that they were doing so as a means -- there's a big step that prosecutors have to get through there. The defendant intended to commit the act.
And again, sort of like Ryan's point, were their conversations, they have evidence, that people knew what they were doing here? These are all incredibly serious and if the Justice Department is going down this road, this could all come with significant jail time for any of the individuals charged.
BROWN: All right. Elliot Williams, Ryan Goodman, thank you both.
OUTFRONT next, a CNN exclusive, a former Russian lawmaker says, it was Russia, not Ukraine, who is behind the drones the Kremlin says were part of an assassination attempt on Vladimir Putin. You see the video right there.
Plus, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin breaking with the White House over America's debt, tonight, insisting Biden should negotiate with Republicans.
Why? Well, Senator Manchin is my guest, up next.
And Tucker Carlson reportedly fired, in part, because of a racist message. But what he wrote is really no different from what he's been saying for a while now.
BROWN: Tonight, a stunning accusation former Russian lawmakers, saying that it's Russians and not Ukraine behind these drone attacks on the Kremlin. And an exclusive interview with CNN's Matthew Chance, exiled Russian lawmaker Ilya Ponomarev saying, quote, it's one of the Russian partisan groups, I cannot say more, as they have not yet publicly claimed responsibility.
This as Russia is vowing revenge after accusing Ukraine of launching the attacks in an attempt to assassinate Vladimir Putin.
Tonight, CNN has confirmed two separate objects exploded above the Kremlin within minutes of each other, and has no evidence to show the connection between the drones and Ukraine. Ukraine has flat out denying it's behind any drone attacks on the Kremlin.
Mykhailo Podolyak, this Ukraine's senior adviser to the president, told OUTFRONT exclusively, why Ukraine would not carry out such an attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MYKHAILO PODOLYAK, ADVISER TO UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This is obvious, that it's to Ukraine's disadvantage to conduct such kind of operations, because, first of all, it does not reach any military aims.
This does not significantly change the situation on the frontline. Secondly, this will certainly provoke talks about the need not provide Ukraine with long range missiles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Nick Paton Walsh is OUTFRONT in the ground in Dnipro. Nick, Russia vowing to retaliate as it continued its brutal blitz of Ukrainian cities.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it's important to point out, the stage, Russia has for all intents and purposes, been doing all it can to attack civilian areas in Ukraine, over the last week, certainly, but also over the past year of this war.
The question that many Ukrainians are asking themselves here, after they see these Kremlin claims of an attack against the seat of its power is, whether this is potentially going to be used by Moscow to further escalate still its attacks against Ukraine. What else could they possibly do? That's something we're definitely hearing from Ukrainians who have been witnessing parts of Ukraine bombarded heavily over the past 48 hours, specifically Kherson region, where we've seen over 20 lives lost in a bombing of a railway station, and a shopping center there.
Devastating scenes, an area just recently liberated from Russia, discriminate shelling it seems in a place to which is so concerned about potential counteroffensives launched by Ukraine. And it's asking residents to potentially stay indoors, for 58 hours from Friday.
A lot of questions still to be answered, Pam, as to exactly what occurred above the Kremlin. Very little evidence provided by Moscow to support its claims of an assassination attempt against Putin, a lot of videos that appear to match up together. Backing up some of their accusations, still, very little else supply to them physically, about the existence of these drones.
And so, two possible theories emerging here, is this an awful security lapse that we've actually seen over Moscow? Where the center of power has indeed been attacked by some form of drone, that would be deeply embarrassing for Vladimir Putin, certainly, an ex-KGB men priding himself on security and is tight control of Russia, or are we perhaps seeing something here put on by Russia to suggest it under attack in a new, unprecedented fashion? That it seat of power, it sovereignty, is under threat? Is that, as many Ukrainians are concerned about here, potentially heralding some escalation, if Moscow can find it in its arsenal against civilians or Ukraine itself? Pam?
BROWN: Those are key questions, Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much.
And OUTFRONT now, let's further delve into those questions Nick asks, retired Army Brigadier General Peter Zwack. He's also the former senior defense attache to the Russia Federation.
General Zwack, what do you think? Do you think Russian partisans were behind these drone strikes, as you heard from this former Russian lawmaker?
BRIG. GEN. PETER ZWACK, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Pam, I don't know. It is certainly a possibility. We've all been watching the last 14 months, on and off, these sort of attacks and incidents, of deep in Russia, and close to the border, oil refineries, and several other types of infrastructure attacks.
And then, just most recently, trains have been knocked out, and again, more oil refineries, there is thought, and there is seemingly a resistance. We saw how many people left Russia, that meant a lot remain. So, something is going on. We just don't know. I don't know if it was a Ukrainian attack, it doesn't appear to be, the more we dig into it. Is it partisans? There's a long history, historically, of that in
these regions. Was it a false flag? But then, and, you know, to engender Russian support (ph), we're on -- we're on the edge of victory day, on the big parade on the 9th of May, rally the Russians, mother Russia, defense of the homeland, who knows? But why would Putin want to then Russian vulnerability, which is what this shows to.
BROWN: Right. I mean, because you heard Nick talk about that, it would be embarrassing, right? I mean, he's the center of power, for it to look like he doesn't have, you know, appropriate security measures in place, that would be embarrassing to him. So, you would think that a false flag operation would work against maybe his own objectives?
ZWACK: Yes, I mean, you can get that immediate visceral bump rating about the media and all that, and Russia are outraged, victory day parade at all that. But as it sets in, the word gets out in Russia. It just -- it just a lot of the Russian citizens, frankly, just definitely don't want to believe the news and they want to support the regime.
But this is bad.
Either way, it's bad. And the Russians will spin it, and what we're all worrying about, watching, what will be the reaction, not just in Russia, but what will be the -- what will be the reflex action into -- into Ukraine and surroundings?
BROWN: I want to go a little bit hear more from this senior advisor to Zelenskyy in this exclusive interview. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PODOLYAK (through translator): Any such actions will cause a great deal of media fear in Russia itself. They will lead to the consolidation of Russian political elites around Putin, who's recently been losing control of the elites, because he does not provide these elites with certain guarantees, and because they doubt his strategic plans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And, of course, as you said, Russia is going to spin this the way that it wants, right? And you had Kremlin's top propagandist suggesting Zelenskyy will be targeted. What kind of retaliation do you expect to see from Russia?
ZWACK: There will be, there has to be, fury. The Russians, in part, this whole campaign in my mind in Ukraine is they want Ukrainians, a free people, to submit. And I use that word submit and the Ukrainians, not just any free people are going to push back against that. I think that, as a minimum, we're going to see fire in fury, as far as more rockets and missiles and all of that into so-called Ukrainian infrastructure targets.
But really, civilian targets. Another 21 tragically died in the last 24 hours. That's one option.
But two, do they know, specifically, target Ukrainian seats of government, especially in Kyiv. That's out there. And then there are these options that are more unthinkable. But not outside the realm of at least having to think through, if for whatever reason, they brandish their nuclear saber, or god forbid, make an example with a tactical nuke, as unlikely as that sounds.
BROWN: Let's hope it does not come to that. General Zwack, thank you very much.
OUTFRONT next, Biden's pick for labor secretary trying to save her nomination, and it's the Democrats she has to convince. She just left Senator Joe Manchin's office, will he back her? Senator Manchin is OUTFRONT, next.
Plus, a manhunt in Atlanta for a gunman who allegedly opened fire in a medical facility. Police say he is armed and dangerous. We are live there, next.
BROWN: Tonight, Biden's pick for labor secretary trying to save her nomination and it's the president's own party she has to convince. Three Democratic senators still remain undecided on Julie Su's nomination. Biden can only afford to lose one Democratic vote and that's if Senator Dianne Feinstein, who's been out since February, returns to Capitol Hill.
If Feinstein doesn't return, Biden can't afford to lose a single Democratic vote or Su would become the highest ranking Biden nominee to be rejected by the Senate.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
Hi, Senator. Thanks for your time.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Hi, Pamela. How are you?
BROWN: So, you have just wrapped up a meeting with Julie Su. You are one of the three key Democratic senators who has not yet committed to voting for her. Where do you stand tonight?
MANCHIN: Well, we had a respectful meeting. We just finished up our meeting. It's very respectful.
It's a good meeting and I have a lot of work to do here. And that's what I will do, to make my final decision, but I haven't made that yet.
BROWN: You have not made a final decision yet.
BROWN: Okay. You have called it a mistake for Biden and top Democrats to demand to raise the debt ceiling first before negotiating a spending cut deal. Biden now has meetings set for May 9th with Republicans, but the White House still says no negotiations.
Is the U.S. headed for default?
MANCHIN: We're not going to default. I truly believe that, with all my heart that we will not default. We know how detrimental that would be, how many average Americans would be hurt so bad by us defaulting because of a political toxic atmosphere that we're in, and just not able to do our job. That's not part of it.
But to say you're not going to negotiate when this representative form of democracy we have is all about negotiating, where the United States Senate is the most deliberative body in the world, how can you be a deliberative body if you're not deliberating and talking?
So, it's just who we are, and I think the president knows that as well as anybody else. He's been in this Senate for many, many years. And he has negotiated many pieces of legislation, including the debt ceiling.
So, let's just hope for this -- they're going to be together pretty soon, next week or so. And maybe we'll see that the grown-ups in the room do what needs to be done for our country and put politics aside. I hope so, because I think you can't sustain a runaway debt that we have, you should be looking at how we accumulated so much debt so quickly and find out that we don't continue making that mistake, without hurting anybody.
BROWN: So, do you think he will end up negotiating?
MANCHIN: I hope. I'm very hopeful for that. I asked about 90 days ago, and they had their first meeting. And now, it's time to be serious about having not only a meeting, but negotiating, and putting what's on the table.
How do you know? I mean, there's -- you know, we're not talking about taking a meat cleaver and slicing things, but, you know, we've had more spending in the last 10 years and in the last 20 years, Pam, we've accumulated more debt than every time -- than any time before.
For the past 21 years, we have spent more money than we've brought in. You can't run your household that way. You can't run your private life, you can't run any business, small or large, that way.
How can we continue to sustain accumulating all this debt? And who's going to pay the real price? Look around at your children and grandchildren.
BROWN: You have criticized Biden on a host of issues beyond the debt ceiling. He has announced that he is running for a second term. Are you backing him?
MANCHIN: I'm not involved in any politics right now, my own or anybody else's. I won't be for this entire year. What we just talked about --
BROWN: But do you support him running for a second time for president? Do you support that? MANCHIN: I'm not -- I'm not involved in any types of politics, nor will I say what. I'm doing my job and I think everyone else should do the same.
We have an awful lot of work. We shouldn't be facing this theatrical debt ceiling. We shouldn't be looking at how we do our job.
We've got permitting coming up, that we can't do and meet the needs and challenges we have in our country, unless we're facing and fixing the permitting process of America. So, I'm functioned on that.
As soon as you say, you're doing this, you support this, or whoever, everything comes at you with such a way that you can't even functionally do your job the way you should. And my job is the most important thing for the people of West Virginia right now.
BROWN: But the bottom line is, you are not publicly throwing your support behind Biden. What do you think about the fact that Biden --
MANCHIN: I'm not -- I'm not putting any support anywhere. I'm not talking about anybody's election. I'm not involved in anybody's election, nor will I be, including my own until I finish my job, at least at the end of this year.
Only in America, Pamela, do you start the next election the day after the last election. We've got a long time. Think about it, we have a year and a half to go. Give us -- let us do what we need to do right now.
BROWN: All right. Fair enough, so you said you to wait until the end of the year to make those decisions.
BROWN: But you also noted that you are up for reelection next year, and I have to ask, you know, your Senate seat is one of the most vulnerable for Democrats.
West Virginia governor, Republican Jim Justice, announced he's running for your seat. He won his last reelection in 2020, the year Biden beat Trump, by more than 33 points. You won your last little reelection in 2018 by only about three points.
How much is Justice's candidacy factoring into your decision on whether you run for reelection in your home state, or whether you run for president?
MANCHIN: Pam, not at all. Really hasn't looked -- I'm looking at -- I was a governor and I enjoyed such high ratings from everybody, Republicans, independents, and Democrats, okay?
Your governor is a complete different position than anything on a national level. Once you get to the national level, they're thinking, okay, who's going to control this, who's going to control that. They know nobody controls me. I'm the same independent I was when I
was in Charleston. When I've been in state legislature, I vote what I think is best for my constituents, and I said, if I can go and home and explain it, I can vote for it. If I can't explain, I don't vote for it, simple as that.
So, no Democrat or Republican's going to tell me how to vote. Now, with that, there's going to be -- you got Congressman Mooney running, and you have Jim Justice, so far, the announced candidates running for the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate. That's going to be a tremendous entertaining show to watch here. So, let's enjoy it.
BROWN: But if he wins, if Justice wins the primary, do you think you could beat him?
MANCHIN: If I get into an election, whatever I get into, I'm -- I'm going to win. I'm not going to lose. I've only lost one of my life in 1996. I've been in many since 1980. And that's not -- that's not in my -- you know, the state, basically, has turned (ph), as you know, you noted that.
I won in the most unpredictable terms. I don't think anyone's ever won in a condition like I have. People know me as being basically all about my state and my constituents, and my country. And I'm going to fulfill that before I'm going to be a Democrat or a Republican.
BROWN: Well, part of your job is what you just introduced, this new bill to speed up the permitting process for energy infrastructure projects.
Why is this so important to you? Because you've introduced this before, it failed, now you're reintroducing it.
MANCHIN: Well, I was -- my bill is the only one that truly has bipartisan support. It was a far-reaching. It got into politics last year, you know, and now, we have Republicans eager to come to the table again. That's exciting, let's do it.
Now, let's sit down and start again. We have a piece of legislation, which I wrote and introduced last year, that got 47 votes. We got seven Republicans and 40 Democrats. That ought to be a heck of a good starting point for us to get something across the line with 60 votes.
Without permitting, in the United States of America, it takes to five to 10 years to get any project into basically reality or it's going to be built. The rest of the developing world takes about three years or less.
So, I'll give you a perfect example, if somebody wants to build a windmill out in the Gulf of Mexico somewhere, if they started today, it would probably take them eight years just to do without any permitting. You put permitting on top of that, you could be anywhere from 18 years or longer.
That's ridiculous. You can't do that. We need pipelines, we need fossil fuel. Everyone's playing the game, which side are you on? You have to have
energy security, and you have to be energy independent if you want to be the superpower of the world. And we can extract the gas and oil and the coal and do it better and cleaner than anywhere else in the world, and replace the dirty fuels that come from Russia or Venezuela or keeping -- preventing Iran from getting back into the market where they are the greatest terrorist supporter to do more harm to humankind.
So, we have a piece of legislation that was all part of the permitting to bring it to fruition. The Inflation Reduction Act has brought more job opportunities, more manufacturing back to America, and we've got to make sure that the administration does what the bill says it does, and they shouldn't try to pass a piece of legislation and basically that they couldn't pass, and then write some rules thinking they can sneak that in.
So, we're making them stay honest. We're going to keep them on track to stay honest. And we're going to get permitting done to make sure that we can build the pipelines, the transmission lines, everything we need to deliver the energy this country must have.
BROWN: I want to just ask you, as we wrap this up, you talk about the Inflation Reduction Act and how you've been very vocal about criticizing the implementation of it.
BROWN: And we were talking about other issues, too.
BROWN: You know, the way the White House has dealt with the debt ceiling, and so forth and so on.
And given your criticism, especially as of late, do you feel proud to call yourself a Democrat?
MANCHIN: I'm -- I'm extremely proud to be an American. That's what it's all about, Pamela.
You know, if a party identification drives you as a human being, maybe you're in the wrong business. If you're in politics, if you want to do the right thing, party identification shouldn't mean anything.
My grandfather was a Democrat, probably because FDR gave him a chance to save himself and the family. Okay? It doesn't mean anything.
I've been a very -- I tell people, I'm fiscally responsible, and socially compassionate. You put me anywhere you want. I think I fit in all categories.
BROWN: All right. Senator Manchin, we'll leave it there. Thank you again for your time.
MANCHIN: Thank you. Appreciate it. BROWN: OUTFRONT next, manhunt. The 24-year-old suspect in a mass
shooting at an Atlanta medical building still on the loose. We are live in Atlanta with the very latest.
And President Biden is facing pressure to bring home Americans held hostage around the world. I'll speak to Elizabeth Whelan, whose brother Paul is still detained in Russia, and she has a new update on her brother tonight.
We'll be right back.
BROWN: Tonight, new video into CNN showing the tense moments inside the Atlanta medical center after a gunman opened fire, killing one person and badly injuring four others. Heavily armed police can be seen clearing the building, searching for that suspect. And now a massive manhunt is underway at this hour in Atlanta and beyond. This is the man police are looking for.
He has been identified as 24-year-old Deion Patterson. A source telling CNN he was at the hospital to seek treatment before the shooting. Their search at this hour focusing on an area near Truist Park. That's about 25 minutes north of Midtown, Atlanta.
Our Nick Valencia is OUTFRONT with the latest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at this. They all have shields and giant guns.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another deadly mass shooting in America. This time during the lunch rush in Midtown, Atlanta.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the middle of a lunch, I just started people hearing say, hey, you know, we are on lockdown. There's an active shooter next door.
VALENCIA: According to Atlanta police, it happened inside an 11th floor waiting room at Northside Hospital Medical. These couple was on the ninth floor at the time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My family was inside the procedure room when we heard the popping and it was just really nothing until we see everyone locking doors and scurrying through the doctor's office. And then they had the television on. And we saw the breaking news on the television and it mentioned that it was that address. So, surprising that it was in the same building that we were in.
VALENCIA: At least one person is dead and four others wounded. The Atlanta Police Department has identified 24-year-old Deion Patterson as the suspect in the shooting, releasing surveillance camera images of him wearing a hoodie and carrying a backpack.
Police say he is still on the run and considered armed and dangerous. A high-level source Atlanta police telling CNN the suspect and his mother were at the hospital for a medical appointment for Patterson. At some point, he became agitated, and allegedly started shooting with a handgun before leaving the building, according to police.
CHIEF DARIN SCHIERBAUM, ATLANTA POLICE: We believe he carjacked a vehicle a short distance away and was able to flee the scene as the law enforcement agencies were just descending on this area.
VALENCIA: We have learned the suspect is a former member of the coast guard, and was discharge in January.
MAYOR ANDRE DICKENS (D), ATLANTA: This is a deadly situation. This individual has just indeed conducted an act that we want to make sure that you know that if you see him, do not approach. You are to call 911.
VALENCIA: The suspect's mother is reportedly cooperating with police.
SCHIERBAUM: We have a multi jurisdictional effort underway to bring this effort individual to justice and make sure that we remove him from the street.
VALENCIA: Atlanta police say all the gunshot victims are women.
SCHIERBAUM: Unfortunately, a 39-year-old female has lost her life. And of those that are injured, it's a 71-year-old female, a 56-year- old female, a 39-year-old female, and then a 25-year-old female.
VALENCIA: The four injured victims were taken to Grady hospital. Three are in critical condition. One is in stable --
SCHIERBAUM: It's still to soon to know why these individuals were chosen.
VALENCIA (on camera): A source with the Atlanta police department tells CNN that the suspect was seeking treatment here after being dissatisfied with the help he was getting at the V.A.
We have reached out to the V.A. for comment. Meanwhile, the facility here is closed tomorrow, canceling all appointments.
And, Pamela, there have been several reported sightings of this individual in Atlanta as well as the surrounding suburb in Cobb County. So far, none of those leads have led police to the suspect -- Pamela.
BROWN: All right. Nick Valencia, thank you.
OUTFRONT next, Russia says it may consider a possible prisoner swap involving American journalist Evan Gershkovich. Could that bring Paul Whelan back, too? I'm going to ask his sister coming up. Plus, a bombshell racist text message reportedly behind Tucker Carlson's ouster from Fox News. But did it reflect what he was already staying on the air about race?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: It's going to overwhelm our country and change it completely and forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Tonight, protesters are rallying outside the White House, demanding that President Biden bring home Americans wrongly detained, or held hostage in Russia and around the world, including "Wall Street Journal" reporter Evan Gershkovich and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. He was first arrested in Moscow on espionage charges back in 2019 and is now serving a 16-year prison sentence.
Earlier today, Secretary of State Blinken slammed Russia for what he says is a clear pattern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: We have a country, in the case of Russia, that like a handful of other countries around the world, is wrongfully detaining people, using them as political pawns, using them as leverage, in a practice that is absolutely unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And Elizabeth Whelan, Paul Whelan's sister, is now OUTFRONT.
You spoke with the Biden administration earlier today about your brother. Did you hear anything to suggest it is any closer to being bringing your brother home?
ELIZABETH WHELAN, PAUL WHELAN'S SISTER: Unfortunately not. We are hoping that the U.S. government is putting all the resources they can towards getting Paul released. But so far, I have not heard of any movement.
BROWN: I know your parents spoke to Paul earlier this week. How is he doing?
WHELAN: Well, you know, he's doing as well as a person can be, who spent four and a half years in Russian prison. It's been a very long road for him. He was held for 20 months at Lefortovo prison, where Evan is now being held. And now has been for almost two years at a prison camp in a distant province.
He is trying to survive day-by-day, wondering when someone is going to come and rescue him.
BROWN: Let's talk a little more about that, because we know President Biden demanded the immediate release of Evan Gershkovich today as part of World Press Freedom Day.
Russia has said it may consider a prisoner swap involving him after his trial on alleged spying charges.
What do you think this could mean for any possible swap involving Paul, your brother?
WHELAN: It's so difficult to know. The Russians did the same thing to Paul. They kept him for 18 months before having a sham trial, and then said, you know, discussions could start. But as you can see, we're almost at four and a half year mark, and nothing has actually happened. We just have to hope that whatever resources the administration is finding to potentially bring home Evan will be used for Paul as well.
BROWN: We showed the images of the vigil today outside the White House, to bring your brother and other American hostages back home. You also spoke at the United Nations last week. And you called out Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov about your brother's arrest.
Do you think any of this has moved a needle in bringing more attention to your brother's case and getting him home?
WHELAN: It's hard to say. But I do know that it's time for us to start confronting directly these bad actors who are taking Americans hostage. Regular diplomacy went out the window the minute an American was arrested wrongfully. And I think it's time to use whatever leverage we have, and the tools we have available, and to stand strong in the face of this particular type of action.
BROWN: Very quickly, the last time we spoke you said Paul was actually able to watch that speech, which we were surprised by that, that he had access to it. Did you learn anything more about that? Where your parents talking to him?
WHELAN: No. He can't really speak Russian. So he did not know what else was being said. But he saw me twice on television at the United Nations. And we hope it gave him some comfort.
You know, Paul has been a hostage for four and a half years. And it's time for him to be released and let him come home to Michigan. We hope that the U.S. government will do everything they can to make that happen soon.
BROWN: Elizabeth Whelan, thank you so much.
And coming up on "AC360", potential Republican presidential candidate Christopher Sununu, the governor there, is Anderson's guest. Will he get in the race and is he concern about a crowded field, helping Trump win the nomination. That's at 8:00. OUTFRONT next, a racist text message is what reportedly pushed Fox to
oust Tucker Carlson. It was far from the first time Carlson embraced white nationalism. More on that coming up.
BROWN: Tonight, a Republican senator is defending a text former Fox host Tucker Carlson sent a producer in the hours after the January 6th insurrection. In that text, Carlson says he watched the video of men who were violently attacking a quote, Antifa kid. And Carlson added, it's not how white men fight.
He went on to say he found himself, for a moment, wanting the group to kill the kid, but then realized, quote, I am becoming something I don't want to be.
Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio saying the text was, quote, light quite introspective and reflected well on the now-fired Fox host, according to "Insider". "The New York Times" reports that text, along Fox's board, and played a role in Carlson's abrupt firing.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the turbulent wake January 6th insurrection, one incident caught the eye have been top Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid, and started pounding him. It was three against one at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable. It's not how white men fight.
That text to our producer was redacted in court documents, but shared with CNN from the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox.
And Carlson would later reject the notion of racism inflaming the crowd.
TUCKER CARLSON, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: There's no evidence that White supremacists were responsible for what happened on January 6th. That's a lie.
FOREMAN: But critics have long argued his rise to power ways propelled by embracing white nationalist ideas. For example, dismissing the Black Lives Matter movement as a tool primarily for shaming whites.
CARLSON: A small group of highly aggressive, emotionally charged activists took over our culture. They forced the entire country to obey their will.
FOREMAN: Saying immigrants will make the country, quote, poorer, dirtier, and more divided. CARLSON: The great replacement?
FOREMAN: And suggesting Democrats want to push aside white voters with a flood of minorities.
CARLSON: It's going to overwhelm our country and change it completely and forever. And our viewers should know that.
OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Over the years, he has trafficked in anti migration rhetoric. He has promoted the White nationalist great replacement theory. And this shouldn't really have come as a surprise, I think, to Fox and its executives.
JOHN OLIVER, TV HOST: He is the most prominent vessel in America for white supremacist talking points.
FOREMAN: For comedians, it all made Carlson an easy target, even as he denied under standing the accusations.
CARLSON: White nationalism. Let's be literal for a moment. What is that, exactly?
I don't even know what white nationalist means and I'm not going to go down that rabbit hole with you now.
FOREMAN: Indeed, even up to the end of his time at Fox, he routinely argued for changes he said will help minority communities, and dismissed the whole idea of a rising White nationalist movement.
CARLSON: This is a hoax, just like the Russia hoax. The combined membership of every white supremacist organization in this country would be able to fit inside a college football stadium?
BROWN: Tom joins us now.
Tom, is there any comment from Tucker Carlson tonight on any of this?
FOREMAN: No, neither Carlson or Fox News has responded to our request for any further comment on the matter. This is obviously a subject that they both like to put very much behind them at this point.
But make no mistake: there's not a real sign, no overt sign of backing away from this argument that has been forwarded so many times on Carlson's show, which is to say, the nation was founded on White Christian values.
And as long as everyone fits into that, then we can be a multi- dimensional, multicultural nation which, of course, other groups say, that's not the point at all -- Pam.
BROWN: Tom Foreman, thanks so much.
And thank you for joining us tonight. See you back here tomorrow night. "AC360" starts now.