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Erin Burnett Outfront
Trump Trial Date In DOJ Case Set For March, In Blow To Trump; Meadows Testifies In Push To Move Georgia Case To Federal Court; 30+ Million Americans Brace For Expected Category 3 Hurricane; Sheriff Releases Multiple New Videos In Racist Killings; State TV Avoids Showing Russians Mourning Prigozhin's Death. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 28, 2023 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Trump fumes. The former president vowing to appeal after a federal judge sets a March date for his election interference trial. And now all eyes on Mark Meadows who testified today, hoping to move his Georgia case to federal court. Will Trump follow suit?
And just in, police releasing new surveillance video showing the Jacksonville killer moments before he opened fire, targeting Black shoppers. This as we're learning more about why he was forced to abandon what may have been an original plan.
And prepare for evacuate. Warnings now up for Florida's gulf coast as tropical storm Idalia rapidly intensifies. It is expected to be a major hurricane by the time it makes landfall.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erica Hill, in for Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, Trump on trial. A federal judge announcing his 2020 election interference case will begin in March of next year. Now, that is two years sooner than Trump's team had requested. They wanted it pushed out to April of 2026.
Judge Tanya Chutkan, though, saying it will actually begin in six months on March 4th, to be exact. That's one day before Super Tuesday when 15 states hold their contests, it's three weeks before Trump's hush money trial begins in New York. And while we're keeping track here, it also comes just two months before the start of his classified documents trial. So, as you can see here, these dates are really colliding, not just with one another but with the Republican primary calendar.
On social media, Trump says he's going to appeal this March 4th date for the criminal trial. Just a reminder, that is where he's accused of staging a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election.
But those aren't the only developments tonight. We do also want to take a close look at what's happening in Fulton County, Georgia, today. Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows on the stand for some 3 1/2 hours, hoping to convince a judge to move his case to federal court.
Meadows testified he was simply doing his job. He was serving the president of the United States when he set up meetings and called Georgia officials to ask about election fraud. That argument, though, undercut by Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who said the in infamous 2020 call with Trump and Meadows was a, quote, campaign call.
This was the first major hearing since the indictment of Donald Trump, Meadows and 17 others in Georgia, and what ultimately happens could impact all 19 defendants. Time is of the essence here. Everyone who you're about to see on your screen, all 19 there, set to be arraigned on charges that they conspired to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results. That arraignment set for next Wednesday.
As you can see, we have a lot to get to on this Monday night. Sara Murray has been watching the Meadows' hearing. Evan Perez has been following everything happening with the DOJ.
Sara, let's start with you. The Meadows hearing just wrapping up. How did it go for Mark Meadows today? He spent a long time on the stand.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He did. And it's pretty remarkable that he took this stand at all, considering he is a criminal defendant in this case. And, of course, that comes with some risk. But obviously, Meadows and his team wanted to use him to make the case that everything that he was doing in Georgia in the aftermath of the 2020 election had to do with his role as chief of staff.
So, when he was on calls with Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, then Trump's personal attorney, he said that was part of his role as a, you know, a gate keeper, a scheduler, part of making sure that from a federal prospective, that elections were being carried out. He said something similarly when asked about setting up the call between Donald Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, that that was part of his job as White House chief of staff, even though Raffensperger testified that the federal government doesn't play a role in certifying the election results at this state level.
And to give you a sense of just how broadly that Meadows' team is viewing his responsibilities, here's part of what played out. The judge asked Meadows' attorney at one point, could Meadows be acting under federal authority if Trump wasn't acting under federal authority. And Meadows' attorney says the answer is definitely yes.
So, again, Meadows was on the stand for about 3 1/2 hours in a hearing that lasted all day long. The judge did not rule from the bench, but he said he will do so quickly. So we're expecting a ruling on paper, and he acknowledged that arraignments in this case are now scheduled in the state court on September 6th.
HILL: And so, the clock begins ticking.
Evan Perez is in Washington tonight.
So, Evan, you watched this DOJ hearing very closely today when the judge set the trial date for March 4th, 2024.
What else did we learn?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we learned that there was a lot of discovery that has already been turned over from the prosecution to the defense, and that's one of the reasons why John Lauro, the former president's lawyer, stood up in court and gave a really strenuous and impassioned plea for the judge to just give them more time. Of course, they're asking for two years to prepare for this trial.
The judge was not buying any of that. She said, one of the things that he was raising obviously was the fact that the former president is running for office, he's got three other indictments.
And let me just read you a part of what she said. She said: Setting a trial date does not depend and should not defend on the defendant's personal or professional obligations. She compared it to, you know, a sports star who was going to be on trial. And she said we don't get to, you know, deal with the fact that they have to go play as part of the reasons why you set the trial date. That doesn't work that way.
Now, the former president will now have to sit for trial beginning on March 4th, which, as you pointed out, is day before Super Tuesday. That means he's going to be sitting in court, Erica, during the time that you normally have candidates out on the campaign trail, right, meeting people at cook house and kissing babies. That's the kind of thing that candidates regularly do.
This is not, of course, what this candidate is going to be doing. He's going to be stuck in court certainly at least for the four to six weeks that the prosecution says it'll take to put on this trial. Of course, we expect that the former president is going to try to appeal a whole bunch of things, but this judge has made it clear, Erica, that she does not intend for this trial to wait certainly for the 2024 election. She said that the public has a right to have this resolved before then.
HILL: All right, Evan, Sara, I appreciate the reporting from both of you.
OUTFRONT now, Ryan Goodman, former special counsel at the Department of Defense; Karen Friedman Agnifilo, former prosecutor who worked with special counsel Jack Smith; and Anthony Michael Kreis; assistant professor of law at Georgia State University.
So, Anthony, you were actually inside that hearing today for Mark Meadows. I mean, just take us into that courtroom. When you saw Mark Meadows there for, I believe, some 3-1/2 hours, was he able to make a good case?
ANTHONY MICHAEL KREIS, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF LAW, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, he had a very hard time on -- I think today in trying to make a case. He certainly articulated that, in his view, he had a wide range of activities that fell under his obligations as chief of staff -- you know, making phone calls, getting contact information, gate-keeping, keeping the president on schedule.
But when the D.A.'s office pushed back, there were a number of very important points raised that Meadows really didn't have a good answer for. So, for example, why did he offer campaign cash in order to help Fulton County get a signature audit moving along. Why did he have coordinated efforts with particular campaign officials for the electors scheme or for setting up this phone call.
And finally, I think the big question that was left open-ended was why didn't he rope in members of the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security on the meetings and the kind of conversations he was having with people about events in Georgia if there was a real federal interest involved that he was pursuing and furthering as an officer, an agent, an employee of the federal government.
So, I think he had a really tough time today. I think Brad Raffensperger made it even tougher when he came into court and basically said that when Brad Raffensperger had the phone call that Mark Meadows had set up between him and Donald Trump, that there was no lawful way to change the outcome of the election. So I think it was a pretty tough day.
That said, it's a low threshold for Mark Meadows to show in order to have this removed to federal court. So I don't think we have any great insight as to what will happen. But I don't think it was a particularly good day for him.
HILL: Not particularly a good day.
I have to say, Karen, most attorneys I spoke with last week said to me they would be surprised if he did in fact take the stand. So the fact that he did today, how risky do you think that was for him?
KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's incredibly risky. Most criminal defendants would not testify under oath about the actual facts of the case in an evidentiary hearing that has nothing to do really with your actual trial. And don't forget, he hasn't seen the evidence yet, he hasn't sat through the whole trial. If he were going to testify at his trial, it would be after he saw the government's entire case.
He doesn't ever have to testify. But he put all his cards on the table. It was like a Hail Mary, I think, approach to this whole thing. He's putting all eggs in this basket trying to get the case removed to federal court. And I think because that's step one.
Step two, then we'll argue -- see, I was just doing my job, and therefore, the supremacy clause, which is a defense that would give him immunity from prosecution in state court.
It's a higher bar to get to that threshold, but this is the first step in that -- in that entire process and in that process strategy. And I think that's what he's trying to do.
HILL: One thing that's interesting, too, Ryan, you and I have talked about -- I mean, Erin -- you and Erin have talked extensively about could Mark Meadows, right, perhaps be working with Jack Smith in a separate investigation, right? The fact, though, that he took the stand today, the fact that we heard so much of what we did hear from him, that would lend a non-legal scholar like myself to say didn't look like he's working with Jack Smith.
RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: And you'd be right.
GOODMAN: It certainly does not look like he's "fully" cooperating or working with Jack Smith. The reason is on the stand today, Mark Meadows said basically, I did nothing wrong, I did everything within the duties of my office, I also thought maybe there was election fraud still that needed to be investigated, around the Raffensperger call.
If he were truly cooperating with Jack Smith, he would have to admit to wrongdoing, he would have to like potentially plead or potentially plead and say, okay, I committed some of these crimes, give me a lower sentence and I'll be one of your -- one of your star witnesses or principal witnesses that.
It does not look like that at all. Jack Smith would never want to put somebody like that on the stand because then Trump would say, I did everything he did, and he said he did everything right.
HILL: It's fascinating.
Anthony, as we -- as we look into more about what we heard today, what stood out to you in terms of the larger case here, and specifically the charges against the former president?
KREIS: Well, I think it kind of speaks to what you were just talking about, which is where is the off-ramp for Mark Meadows. I mean, he certainly has, I think, in some respects, at least arguably, the least amount of culpability of many of the defendants here, at least patent -- you know, things that might be patently criminal or obviously criminal.
So, right, does that lead him to a place where he wants to make a deal, where he's more willing or possibly in a better position to come to some agreement with Fani Willis? But, of course, he has a federal case potentially to participate in as well. So I think it's really quite -- you know, it's kind of chaotic at -- at this point in time, but I think if Mark Meadows is in a position to make a deal and the D.A. wants to do that, that could also spell a lot of trouble for Donald Trump.
So, a lot to be seen. But I also think, again, I think that Mark Meadows -- this is a big threshold question too because there are other people who want to get into federal court. So if Mark Meadows can't get into federal court, it's really unlikely that they will be able to as well.
HILL: Yeah, absolutely. That was the next question I think we have.
When we look at what happened with the DOJ today in terms of setting this trial date, so March 4th, 2024, is what the judge decided on. Trump's attorney, John Lauro, noted, for the court record, he believed the trial date will deny President Trump the opportunity to have effective assistance of counsel.
That didn't seem to land very well. That being said, it was put out there.
GOODMAN: It was put out there, and then President Trump himself tweeted that he's going to appeal this. There's nothing to that, really. And so if somebody's even a Trump supporter, they should not count on that, that appeal's going nowhere.
It's really within the discretion of the judge to set their calendar. And, in fact, she is accommodating him to some degree because the DOJ said that they wanted it early January. There was an amicus brief submitted by very prominent conservative lawyers including Judge Michael Luttig, Alberta Gonzales, Stuart Gerson, who's acting attorney general, and Republican administration. And they all said the Justice Department's January 4th date was practicable, that she could go with that, and she didn't.
So, the idea that this denies him effective counsel. He also has some of the best counsel in the country, has huge resources, that's not an issue here.
HILL: And really quickly, you said this is going to happen. In terms of an appeal, I heard back and forth today, but bottom line, it's a very tough thing, Karen, to appeal a court start date.
AGNIFILO: Yeah, absolutely. It's not -- it's not an appealable issue. I think they'll try to find some other issue to appeal, and to try to get into ultimately the Supreme Court, right, to get to the D.C. circuit in the Supreme Court and then use this -- look, it's hard to think like they think because I don't think like them, and most lawyers don't.
But I think they're going to try to find something to appeal that will then slow things down so that they don't have to -- that they don't have to start on that date because, don't forget, the Supreme Court is highly conservative.
HILL: Well, there are certain things to your point in terms of slowing things down. There are certain playbooks that we are all familiar with, and slowing things down certainly seems to be one of them.
Thank you all. Appreciate your insight.
OUTFRONT next, new polling tonight about the words that first come to mind when people are asked about Donald Trump. What do Americans think of the former president, and what could that mean as we head into 2024? Plus, new surveillance video just in of the Jacksonville gunman
entering the Dollar General, moments before entering fire and killing three Black shoppers.
And CNN visits the site of where Prigozhin's plane went down. You'll see what our team saw and hear the incredible reaction from Russians speaking out now after the death of Wagner's chief.
HILL: Tonight, Trump's tirade slamming everyone from President Biden to special counsel Jack Smith after a judge scheduled Donald Trump's federal trial for trying to overturn the election for March 4th. Trump writing on social media that Smith and his team, quote, have been working on this witch hunt for almost three years, but decided to bring it smack in the middle of crooked Joe Biden's political opponent's against him. Election interference.
OUTFRONT now, Karen Finney, former spokesperson for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, and, Jonah Goldberg, editor in chief of "The Dispatch."
Nice to see you both tonight. So, Jonah, Trump says this trial date, the day before Super Tuesday, this is -- it proves that this is nothing more than election interference here, plenty of legal minds will tell you it means the opposite. Most Americans, though, may be scratching their head and saying, oh, hey, wait a minute, what about this date? Does it actually help Donald Trump in some says, Jonah?
JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Big picture, no. It helps him with his role in the primaries and how the base is going to rally around him and all that. But that was going to be the case no matter what.
Basically the first question you have to ask is should this trial go before the election or after the election?
And if you think it should go before the election, for whatever reason, legal, political, moral, entertainment, whatever, then it's basically impossible to find a good date that wouldn't prompt Trump to say election interference, because he announced incredibly early that he was running for president at least in part so he would be able to claim election interference if he was ever prosecuted for anything.
That is his legal. It's also political strategy. And it's just going to be baked into the cake of all the discourse about this stuff.
HILL: So, in terms of being baked into the cake, Karen, this is just more of the same.
KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is just more of the same. I think that's what we're going to continue to see unfold, right? He's going to continue to use -- this is the centerpiece of his campaign, right, the grievance -- they are coming after me, they are persecuting me, then you, and I'm the only thing standing, you know, in between them coming after you. That is the rationale for his campaign. So I suspect they're going to try to raise more money.
I agree with Jonah, though, ultimately, I don't think it will be good for his campaign Yahoo News/YouGov poll that showed for the first they asked a question about whether or not he would support President Trump if he was actually convicted and his support actually dropped. So, when these trials start and people start hearing the evidence, it can't -- I can't see that it's going to be good for Trump with the larger American electorate.
HILL: There's another poll that I found really fascinating from the "Associated Press", asking Americans the word or phrase that come to mind when thinking about Donald Trump. Fifteen percent of them, Jonah, said words corrupt, criminal, or crooked, the most common response. Another 8 percent said words like liar, dishonest and untrustworthy.
What do you make of those numbers?
GOLDBERG: I, for one, am not going to sit here and gainsay the wisdom of the American people.
No, I think -- look, I mean, obviously, that's going to be breaking down in a partisan way. Like you're not getting a lot of people who are inclined to vote for Trump with that kind of word association there. But it does point to the general problem that Donald Trump has, which is that he's extremely popular among the subset of Americans that he's extremely popular with. The broader American public, much less so.
And as I was saying here the other night, you know, his whole argument since he got into the White House to begin with has always been to sort of feed red meat to his base, always play to his base, never forget his base, with the assumption that somehow that expands his support generally. And it's like the salesman who says, you know, sure, we lose money on every sale, but I'll make it up in volume.
If all you're doing is preaching to the people already converted to you, it's very difficult to see how any of this helps him win swing voters, people who don't like both Biden and Trump, anybody in the middle, even the 25 percent of the GOP who said they're never going to vote for the guy again. It doesn't seem how -- I don't see how any of this helps.
HILL: I wish we had the poll did ask the same question about President Biden. Six percent first thought of words like crooked or corrupt. The top answer, though, for Joe Biden, 26 percent say the words they think of were old, outdated, elderly. You see some of those words there, senile.
Joe Biden 80 years old. Another 15 percent said words like slow, confused, gaffe. So, Karen, Biden/Trump rematch 2024, all signs point to yes for that.
Does old and confused beat or lose to crooked and dishonest?
FINNEY: Crooked and dishonest loses all the time and twice on Sunday because, at the end of the day, President Biden -- there's a couple things I would say. First of all, I'm not surprised that those are the words people came up with, because talking about Joe Biden's age in this election cycle has become like talking about Hillary Clinton's emails in the 2016 cycle. And I was there, I lived it, it feels like we talk about it over and over and over again.
So, of course, it's top of mind. Instead of, again, during the election, the president will have, I believe, he has a strong record to run on. I think we've seen people count him out time and time again. I think we're going to see him, you know, continue to run a strong campaign, he and the vice president. And I think he'll beat crooked Donald Trump.
HILL: Jonah, Karen, nice to see you both tonight. Thank you.
GOLDBERG: Thank you.
HILL: OUTFRONT next, police just releasing new surveillance video of the moments leading up to the racially motivated deadly shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, over the weekend. We're also learning why the gunman was forced to change his original plan.
Plus, Florida's national guard has been activated. Millions along the gulf now being told to prepare to evacuate as Idalia rapidly gains strength and makes a course for the Florida coast.
HILL: We want to get you updated on what is happening in Russia. CNN is going to take you to the scene of the Prigozhin plane crash. That is coming up.
We're also very closely monitoring this hurricane, which is taking aim at the Gulf Coast in Florida.
CNN's Chad Myers is in the CNN Weather Center.
Chad, this is a massive storm, and Idalia could really make landfall as a category 3?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, absolutely. I think it could. And it could even creep a little bit higher than that if it stays in the warm water. This storm, though, the good news, Erica, right now, it has not organized today. It is still only a tropical storm. Hurricane Hunters are on the way right now. But even a satellite presentation doesn't look that great.
Here are the warnings. Hurricane warnings from Apalachicola, all the way back here, all the way down to Tampa. What you will notice is that these hurricane warnings are not just along the coast. If this storm has 120-mile-per-hour wind, maybe some gusts of 140, those hurricane conditions are going to last well into a few counties into parts there of Florida.
So the wind is going to continue. There will be wind from the east on the other side. That's why we have the tropical storm watches over here. A lot going on here.
This is going to be a storm that gets in very warm water. It doesn't have any dry air to kill it. It doesn't have any sheer for the next couple of hours, really 24 hours to kill it.
So these are the things we always look for, hoping that hurricane intensities go down. We don't see any of that. We don't see anything that's going to stop this thing from turning into a major hurricane. I think there we go right here, a category 3.
My concern is that when you look at the wind for Tampa Bay with the position right here, it's going to be blowing that water right into the bay.
And Tampa has been forecast to get hit a number of times, and it's always been a miss, especially Ian. Ian your forecast was here and it went down here and people in Tampa went, well, that was nothing.
That's my concern. This isn't nothing. If this storm here decides to go a little bit farther this way, then Tampa's even more inside the cone. And really they haven't been out of the cone for a while until today when now you have to get north of New Port Richey.
But, Erica, I don't think many know this. The cone is only made to catch 66 percent of the storms inside the cone. One-sixth of the cone off to the right, and another sixth of the cone off to the left.
This is how the hurricane center actually draws the cone. They just want to look at the middle, but then you have to think on the outside of the cone, you're not out of the woods just yet. Look at the water here -- around 90 degrees in the Gulf of Mexico.
HILL: And I feel like we've talked so much this summer about the temperature of the water and how concerning it is, right, as storm season really ramps up. I know it goes through November. But, still, at this point, and your point, Chad, you and I have covered a lot of storms in the 20 years that we've known one another, and talked to people in those areas like Tampa who have been told multiple times to evacuate, then it wasn't as bad.
What do you think can be said, then, tonight, in terms of those concerns to say, hey, you have to take this one seriously?
MYERS: We already have mandatory evacuations for many zone A people. And those people should be gone tonight. If you can get out of there, go to a neighbor's house, 15, 20 miles, in a friend, any kind of a relative, do it. That way you're ahead of the traffic that's going to come out tomorrow.
But here's your 8 to 12-foot storm surge up here from just north -- almost Apalachicola, not quite, but then all the way back down here to the north of Tampa. If this slides just a little bit because the storm turns a little bit to the right, like we saw in Charlie, when Charlie was supposed to hit Tampa, it hit Punta Gorda. If this just one the wrong side, Tampa's just on the wrong side of this turn if it happens, and then all of this rainfall.
More people now die from freshwater rainfall flooding than from storm surge because people know how to get away from the surge. But then they evacuate and they evacuate to here where it flash floods. So you have to really put all of these things together if you're going to get away from this storm. Think about all of your options, when it arrives, probably the first tropical storm tomorrow night.
But look at the wind, everywhere that you see purple is going to have a wind gust, or really sustained, of 110 miles per hour. The population density isn't that high here. But it's not going to be dying off much from Gainesville to north of Jacksonville, all the way up to Jekyll Island, Georgia, could see hurricane-force winds, because the storm is going to have so much momentum.
HILL: Wow. Chad, appreciate it. We know you'll keep us posted on any of these developments. Thank you.
MYERS: You're welcome.
HILL: OUTFRONT next, police in Jacksonville just releasing new surveillance video from moments before the deadly shooting there over the weekend. This as President Biden says hate in the country is on the rise.
And new video into OUTFRONT from the front lines in Ukraine of the dangerous and deadly fight for a crucial town.
HILL: Tonight, new video revealing the white gunman behind a racially motivated mass shooting that left three people dead in Jacksonville, Florida. This new video shows him visiting a different store before carrying out the fatal attack. He may have left, though, due to a security guard's presence. That's according to Jacksonville's sheriff, who said the gunman, quote, hated black people and was very focused on the Dollar General store where the shooting took place.
Isabel Rosales is OUTFRONT.
ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Jacksonville sheriff's office revealing new details tonight about the gunman, 21- year-old Ryan Palmeter. According to investigators, he worked at a Dollar Tree store last year. And authorities have now tracked his movements on the day of the shooting.
Newly released surveillance video shows he stopped at a Family Dollar five minutes away from where the shooting took place.
SHERIFF T.K. WATERS, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: So it looks like he wanted to take action at the Family Dollar. That's what it looks like. And he did not because I think he got impatient, got tired of waiting.
ROSALES: He then drove to Edward Waters University, a historically Black institution. There, he donned this tactical vest.
The final video shows the deputies inside the Jacksonville Dollar General after the shooter ended his 11-minute racist rampage. Investigators believe this is the moment he took his own life.
Today at the university, Lieutenant Antonio Bailey hailed a hero for chasing off the gunman when he entered the parking lot of the school on Saturday.
DR. A. ZACHARY FAISON, JR., PRESIDENT, CEO OF EDWARD WATERS UNIVERSITY: He could have gone anywhere. It's not by happenstance. It's not just on a whim that he chose to come to Florida's first historically Black college and university.
ROSALES: Police have not reported finding any firm evidence the suspect intended to attack the university.
LT. ANTONIO BAILEY, EDWARD WATES UNIVERSITY POLICE OFFICER: There were students that stopped me in that parking lot and advised that there were gunman.
ROSALES: The shooter drove off after being approached by Bailey.
BAILEY: To me, the students that, you know, we preached the same saying every day, you see something, say something. And the students, they saw, they said, and I was able to approach that vehicle. I was definitely saddened. That is indeed tragic.
ROSALES: The scene of the tragedy that followed now marked by flowers and crosses. A community grieving three killed Saturday in the racist attack. The victims in Saturday's shooting identified as store employee AJ Laguerre Jr., and customers Angela Carr and Jerrald Gallion. His killing leaves a 4-year-old fatherless.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just trying to figure out how to tell his daughter that her dad's gone. It's hurtful because I thought racism was behind us, but evidently it's not.
ROSALES (on camera): And, Erica, I've been texting with Ashley Carr, the daughter of Angela Carr, one of the three victims. She tells me her mother was an Uber driver who was dropping off someone when that shooter fired 11 rounds into her car, killing her. It's unclear whether she was working at the time or dropping off someone she knew.
She also says this, quote: My mother was an incredible woman. She was fearless and thoughtful, rough, yet gentle. My family lost a light but gained a star.
And to the shooter's parents, she's sending prayers and condolences because they lost a son, saying this to him. Although his actions were malicious, I don't blame them.
HILL: Remarkable grace in that moment for a woman who is grieving.
Really appreciate as well, Isabel. Thank you.
OUTFRONT now, Marc Morial, who's president of the National Urban League.
Mark, we just heard from that relative of Jerrald Gallion who told Isabel when he was killed in the shooting, she says, you know, she thought racism was behind us, evidently it's not.
Do you believe that's possible in this country for racism to actually be behind us?
MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: We can get it behind us if we have the will and we have the determination to recognize that it is corrosive and that it is a force that can destroy the very fundamental foundation of this country. The fact that here we are 60 years after the March on Washington, three years after the George Floyd racial reckoning moment, and racism is on the rise. A racist hate, anti-Semitic hate, anti-Muslim hate, anti-LGBTQ hate.
What is this that is so in the core of this country that so-called other people are going to be hated to such an extent that people want to kill them and take their lives? This is a reckoning moment for America once again, whether it's Tree of Life synagogue or El Paso or Mother Emanuel or Buffalo, now Jacksonville, where every responsible leader, a faith leader, a corporate leader, a political leader, has to speak out forcefully against hate.
We have young children today who wonder because they're Black if they're safe at their college, if they're safe at school. People are afraid to go to grocery stores or go to the Laundromat or go to a diner for fear that some radicalized hater for no reason whatsoever will use an assault weapon and take their lives.
This is a moment -- I was with the president just a few hours ago. He sounded the alarm that America is at an inflection point. I agree with the president's framing, his tone was absolutely right.
HILL: Marc, can we play -- let's play -- let's play a little bit of that, because I did want to get to that, President Biden. You were there. He's also meeting with members of Martin Luther King Jr.'s family, along with civil rights leader, to Mark, as you noted, the 60th anniversary of the march on Washington. Here's some of what he had to say about the shooting in Jacksonville.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can't let hate prevail and it's on the rise, it is not diminished. We have to speak out that there's a whole group of extreme people trying to erase history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: So, you know, you thought his tone was right today. But you did say you want leaders to do more. Our leaders including this president, are they doing enough to not only acknowledge this rise in hate but to try to stop it?
MORIAL: We encourage the president to host a second hate crime summit last year at our request the White House held the United We Stand summit, the civil rights community, including ADL and the National Urban League and the Asian-American community and the National Action Network and the Latino community and others.
Got the president and the White House to hold a united we stand summit. We need another united we stand. This time, we've got to go to places like Florida and push back to help people heal under the banner of unity. We've got to demonstrate that while the haters are there, we are there, and we are there to unite America. We are there to preach understanding.
We can have differences of opinion, differences in politics. But hate and violence are un-American in furtherance of one's ideology and political views.
HILL: Marc Morial, we really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
MORIAL: Thank you.
HILL: OUTFRONT next, CNN takes you to the scene of Prigozhin's fiery plane crash, the ground now flattened and cleared. This as Russians weigh in about the Wagner chief's death.
Plus, the calls for Spain's soccer chief to resign growing louder tonight. This of course coming after he forcibly kissed the women's team star player.
HILL: Tonight, new video just into OUTFRONT showing Ukrainian tanks opening fire on Russian positions in Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. CNN cannot independently verify just how recently this fighting happened. Ukrainian commander telling CNN they're trying to prevent Russia from establishing defensive positions in the hotly contested village.
And all of this has come as Russians are remembering Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT in Moscow.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Don't expect to see these scenes on Russian state television. When it comes to the Wagner leader who challenged the Kremlin, then died in a plane crash, there's a virtual media blackout on public grief.
And Wagner supporters like Dmitri (ph) in Moscow are simply not being heard.
Yevgeny Prigozhin's death, he says, just confirms that there are fewer and fewer of us who really think about our country, our history, and our goals. Prigozhin really showed everyone how it should be done, he adds.
Wagner did a great job, says Maria, and they are heroes of our country. But, of course, everyone makes mistakes, she explains.
CHANCE: But in Russia, some mistakes can be fatal. The Kremlin slammed as absolute lies allegations Prigozhin was killed for leading this aborted military uprising in June. But the fact is his plane plunged to the ground two months after to the day has fuelled suspicions. Many doubt the official investigation would ever reveal state involvement.
Already, there are concerns of how quickly and carelessly evidence has been dragged from the crash scene.
When CNN visited Monday morning, it had already been flattened and cleared, just a small memorial to mark the spot.
But the memory of the Wagner leader may not be so easily erased.
All of us are angry at what happened, says this former military officer, now running for political office in the Russian far east. We all considered Prigozhin our primary commander in the special military operation, he told crowds of mourners.
The Kremlin may not like it, but even in death, Russia's mercenary leader continues to strike a chord.
CHANCE (on camera): Well, Erica, the next big significant event is likely to be Prigozhin's funeral, the date of which has not been announced. The concern for the Kremlin is that it could see yet more public support for the killed mercenary leader and, of course, to his criticism of the Kremlin's conduct of the Ukraine war.
Erica, back to you.
HILL: Matthew Chance, thank you. OUTFRONT now, Abbas Gallyamov, a former speechwriter to Vladimir
It's good to have you with us tonight.
What do you think Prigozhin's death -- what does it say to you about Vladimir Putin's mindset?
ABBAS GALLYAMOV, FORMER PUTIN SPEECHWRITER; RUSSIAN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, the fact that Putin preferred Prigozhin to be dead instead of being active says to me that Putin cares much more about defense now than in the past. He's more on the defensive than on the offensive. You know, Prigozhin was really necessary for him from the point of view expansion, both in Ukraine, in Africa, in Belarus now. He was the kind of person on whom you could rely on from the point of view going forward.
But he was too dangerous from the point of view of domestic security. He was too wild. He couldn't be controlled well. So, he was like, you know, destabilizing (INAUDIBLE) in the Russian elites a lot. And so, Putin preferred to, like, you know, domestic stability to foreign expansion.
GALLYAMOV: This is what I see. He prefers him to be dead just to protect his throne.
HILL: So, do you think -- do you think that Putin has more or less support inside Russia right now since Prigozhin's death?
GALLYAMOV: Look, I would say that the result is twofold. From the point of view of the elites, of the ruling bureaucracy, which is of extreme importance in an authoritarian state, Putin's position has greatly improved. Like, you know, all the Russian elites, now they see that Putin is still capable of controlling the field, so to say. Like, if somebody causes trouble, he will not live for a long time.
You know, for this two months that passed since the moment of Prigozhin's mutiny until he was dead, like it seemed the whole world of Russian politics was shaken, like it seemed that you could cause trouble to Putin and still feel well. Prigozhin was doing okay. He was -- you know, he got new projects.
He got finance from the government. All the criminal investigations against him were stopped. All the money confiscated from him, he got it back.
So, it seemed that those against change, you can like act on your own without caring for Putin. And now it's over. Now all the Russian elites see that, no, the message is clear. Putin is telling, man, don't think that if you cause trouble, you will feel okay.
The general public, it's different. They care about the aesthetics, so to say. It should be not just done. It should be done nicely, convincingly. And, you know, what Putin made, it doesn't seem beautiful. It doesn't -- you know, it's not a knightly behavior, so to say.
Prigozhin was acting in the open. He was acting open. And what Putin made was something like a, you know, treason, some kind of treachery. He stabbed Prigozhin in the back.
So, from the point of view of Putin's image, like not nice. So, Putin, he won the one side. He lost on the other side.
HILL: Yeah, it sounds like, from the way you put it, too, it makes the possibility of perhaps another challenge to Vladimir Putin much less likely today. We will see what the coming months bring.
Abbas Gallyamov, I really appreciate your insight tonight. Thank you.
GALLYAMOV: Thank you.
HILL: Up next, prosecutors investigating Spain's soccer chief after he kissed the star player.
HILL: Tonight, new calls for the resignation of Luis Rubiales, the president of Spain's soccer program. This, of course, after he forcibly kissed World Cup soccer star Jennifer Hermoso.
Prosecutors today announced an investigation into that incident, which could end in sexual aggression charges. The moment is becoming a flash point internationally. Supporters of Rubiales demonstrating outside a church, where his mother is now staging a hunger strike. While elsewhere, people are taking to the streets in support of Hermoso.
Thanks so much for joining us tonight.
"AC360" starts right now.