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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Army Parachute Demonstration Triggers Capitol Hill Evacuation; Adviser: Bernie Sanders Hasn't Ruled Out Run For President In 2024; Macron Spars With Far-Right Challenger Le Pen In Debate. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 21, 2022 - 05:30   ET




KRISTIN FISHER, CNN ANCHOR: An evacuation scramble on Capitol Hill after an Army parachute demonstration at D.C.'s Nationals Park accidentally triggers a probably threat warning over at the Capitol.

Daniella Diaz joins us now from Capitol Hill. Daniella, this was -- this was pretty wild as it was playing out yesterday here in Washington. There was so much confusion. What happened? And perhaps more importantly, how did this happen?

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Kristin, it was a series of miscommunications between federal officials and it was major that this even happened. That they did not know that Capitol -- U.S. Capitol Police did not know that there was going to be this demonstration at the Washington Nationals Park less -- just a mile away from the Capitol. Of course, that being the Nationals who are the local baseball team here.

What ended up happening Kristin is a military parachute event featuring the Army Golden Knights inadvertently triggered, as you said, that quote "probably threat warning" at the U.S. Capitol. And as a result, prompted an evacuation order here. And look, it was part of a military appreciation night event hosted by the Washington Nationals, the local baseball team here in Washington, D.C. But the major problem is Capitol Police was not notified.

And I really believe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi really summed up the seriousness of the fact that U.S. Capitol Police was not notified that this was going to happen, Kristin.

She said in a very strong statement right after this all got cleared up, "The Federal Aviation Administration's apparent failure to notify Capitol Police of the pre-planned flyover Nationals Stadium is outrageous and inexcusable. The unnecessary panic caused by this apparent negligence was particularly harmful for members, staff, and institutional workers still grappling with the trauma of the attack on their workplace on January 6th."

[05:35:04] Kristin, I was here on January 6. Even I was a little triggered reading all of this. Luckily, I was not here. We work really early mornings. But it really did revive some trauma of that day. And thankfully, nothing ended up happening but it did obviously make everyone aware that there needs to be serious communication between these separate federal departments -- Kristin.

FISHER: Yes, absolutely. I think it's clear somebody's probably going to get into a lot of trouble over this.

Daniella Diaz from Capitol Hill. Thanks so much.

So, Bernie Sanders -- in 2024, he'll be 83. But hey, it could happen.

Let's bring in CNN's Annie Grayer. Annie, what's Bernie's former campaign manager saying about the possibility of another presidential run?

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN REPORTER: So what we learned is Sen. Bernie Sanders is not ruling out a run for president in 2024 if President Biden does not run and it's an open race for Democrats.

This comes from a memo from Sen. Bernie Sanders' former campaign manager Faiz Shakir, which was sent to top allies of the senator. And within this memo there are lots of polling that shows why Sanders is still popular, and talking points for his allies about how to address the upcoming midterms and presidential race.

Now, I covered Sen. Sanders' 2020 run from pretty much start to finish and he was considered one of the frontrunners until South Carolina when Biden won and a lot of other candidates dropped out to support him. As you know, he also ran in 2016, so this would be a third bid for Sen. Sanders.

And as you mentioned, he would be -- he's 80 years old now and would be 83 if he were to run and run through the nomination.

FISHER: Wow. Hey, you know what? You can never say when too old -- when it's too old to be running for president, but 83 -- it's getting up there. We'll see what he decides to do. Thank you so much.

So, French President Emmanuel Macron sparring with his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in a fiery high-stakes T.V. debate last night. They're facing each other in a run-off election on Sunday.

Let's go live to Paris and bring in CNN's Jim Bittermann. Jim, that was -- that was quite something.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was quite a fiery debate last night. It went on two hours and 45 minutes.

And the topic of Russia and Vladimir Putin came up. In fact, Macron accused, or at least pointed out that Madam Le Pen had received a $10 million loan some years ago from Vladimir Putin -- from a Russian bank, in fact. And she countered -- she punched back and said that Macron had received Vladimir Putin at Versailles with a meeting of heads of state.

In any case, here's the way that exchange went.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): You depend on the Russian power. You depend on Mr. Putin. A few months after saying that, Madam, you took out a loan from a Russian bank in 2015 -- First Czech Russian Bank. You don't talk to other world leaders; you talk to your bank when to Russia.

This is the problem, Madam Le Pen. We see it. When there are brave and difficult positions to take, neither you nor your representatives are there.

MARINE LE PEN, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): He knows very well that I am a completely free and independent woman. I defend France and the French because I'm a patriot, and I've shown that all my life.


BITTERMANN: And a snap poll by our colleagues over at BFM TV points out that the viewers last night who watched and sat through that long debate believe that Mr. Macron was more convincing 59% to 39% for Madam Le Pen -- Kristin.

FISHER: Well, we'll see what -- see what the voters decide in that run-off election on Sunday.

CNN's Jim Bittermann. Thanks so much.

So, still to come, the moment a pitcher tackled a batter who just hit a home run. And, Johnny Depp telling the courtroom about how he almost lost his finger. This is real life, not a movie script.



FISHER: A Hollywood spectacle playing out in a Virginia courtroom. Actor Johnny Depp testifying for a second day in his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard.

Depp denies abusing her and claims that she was often the aggressor in their brief marriage. On the stand Thursday, he recounted a violent argument in which he suffered a severe injury.


JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: She threw the large bottle and it made contact and shattered everywhere. And then I looked down and realized that the tip of my finger had been severed and I was looking directly at my bones. I don't know what a nervous breakdown feels like but that's probably the closest that I've ever been.


FISHER: Wow. So, the Depp suit centers on a Washington Post op-ed in which Amber Heard wrote about experiencing domestic abuse. She didn't explicitly name Depp in the piece but he claims it led to him losing lucrative film work, including being dropped from his role in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.


Well, they say don't get mad, get even. Many see Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' move against Disney as just that. The State Senate Wednesday advancing a pair of bills pushed by the governor aimed directly at Disney. It comes after the company paused political donations in Florida and condemned the new state law opponents call the Don't Say Gay bill.

Let's bring in Catherine Rampell, CNN's economics commentator and Washington Post opinion columnist. Good morning, Catherine.

So, you know, I think it's important to remember that this isn't just politics, right? This is some very real-life day-to-day implications, especially for people who live in and around Orlando -- in and around Disney World.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS COMMENTATOR, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST (via Webex by Cisco): Yes. So, right now, Disney effectively gets to self-govern and it also has to fund the services that are provided to residents in this special taxing district that the state of Florida set up something like a half-century ago. That means Disney covers the costs of road maintenance, sewage treatment, 911 calls -- things like that.

Now, assuming this bill eventually passes both chambers of the Florida Legislature and the governor signs it, all of those expenses and all of the debt that has been incurred by that special taxing district will be have to pay -- will be -- have to be assumed by a local municipality, essentially. So they'll have to raise taxes to cover the something like $164 million worth of annual expenses, plus the additional debt.

FISHER: Wow, that's a lot of money.

So you actually think that this move has perhaps some bigger implications for the future of the GOP. How so?

RAMPELL: Well, historically, the Republican Party has portrayed itself as a party devoted to free markets, devoted to limited government. Letting the market decide winners and losers. And they criticize Democrats, of course, for making regulatory or taxing decisions that would favor one particular set of entities over another.

Today, that's no longer the case. Today, the Republican Party seems to view the role of the state -- the economic role of the state as not getting out of the way but being leveraged to essentially reward friends and punish political enemies -- or at least perceived political enemies.

You see that happening in Florida here where DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has specifically gone after Disney because they've taken positions that he doesn't like on social issues.

And you've seen -- you've seen this happen in Texas, for example, where the governor of Texas has decided to bar various kinds of companies from doing business with the state because of positions they've taken on firearms or positions they've taken on COVID and vaccinations.

And there's a proliferation of these kinds of policy decisions. DeSantis has also threatened to exact revenge against Twitter for whatever reason besides.

And you see a number of conservative commentators suggesting that if Republicans regain control of the federal legislature -- of Congress and the Senate, then they should use their power and their authority to use anti-trust and government procurement trademark and copyright law -- that sort of thing -- to go after perceived enemies like Disney, like Apple, and others. So it's a real transformation for this party.

FISHER: Yes. Catherine -- well, I'm just going to leave it right there. But, you know, it certainly is a -- you can understand -- let's put it this way. You can understand why some folks in Orlando might be a little bit upset about this.

Catherine Rampell, CNN's economics commentator. Thanks so much.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

FISHER: So, the Celtics pull off an incredible comeback to take game two against the Nets.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's Bleacher Report.


So, you know, the Nets looked poised to even this series last night and opened up a 17-point lead in the second quarter. But the Celtics -- they just completely shut down Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the second half. Boston playing just stifling defense. Durant going 0-10 in the second half with four turnovers. It was the worst shooting half of his entire career.

Kyrie, meanwhile, didn't really get into it with the fans like game one. He also didn't score like he did in game one, finishing with just 10 points.

The Celtics outscored the Nets by 12 in the fourth to win 114-107. Boston is 40-1 all-time when taking the 2-0 lead in the best of the set -- in the best of the seven series.

Now, the Raptors, like the Nets, also blowing a 17-point lead to the Sixers last night. And Philly's MVP coming through big-time. With under three seconds left in overtime, Joel Embiid, a fadeaway three to win the game. This was the first game-winner of Embiid's career.

Sixers win 104-101 after never leading in regulation. They'll go for the sweep of that series on Saturday.

And after a poor performance in game one against the Bucks, Chicago's Demar Derozan said no way in hell I shoot six for 25 again. Well, he's a man of his word. The five-time all-star delivering on his guarantee, scoring a career playoff-high 41 points last night in game two, and becomes just the second Bulls player to score 40 points in a playoff game since Michael Jordan in 1998. The other was Derrick Rose.


The Bulls win 114-110 to even the series at a game apiece. Game three of that series tomorrow night in Chicago.

In the meantime, Jay Wright shocking everyone, announcing his retirement yesterday as Villanova's head coach. The 60-year-old won two national titles with the Wildcats and took them to their fourth Final Four less than three weeks ago. Wright said it's been a dream to coach Villanova for the past 21 years.

His former assistant, Fordham's Kyle Neptune, is going to be the next head coach. A press conference scheduled for later today.

All right. Tennis players from Russia and Belarus, meanwhile, will be banned from competing at Wimbledon this year because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. That means the men's second-ranked player in the world, Daniil Medvedev, won't be able to compete at the tournament beginning in June. Russia and Belarus also have six women ranked in the top 40 that will be out of the tournament.

Several Ukrainian players took to social media saying players from Russia and Belarus should be banned from all tournaments unless they speak out against their governments' actions.

All right. Finally, an ugly moment in junior college baseball in Texas. As North Central Texas' player rounded the bases after hitting a 2-run go-ahead home run, Weatherford College's pitcher throws down his glove -- watch as you gets -- he gets toward third base -- and he just goes and levels him. North Central Texas players immediately pounced on that pitcher.

The game was suspended and the pitcher faces disciplinary action, including possible expulsion from the school.

And, you know, Kristin, I've seen pitchers and batters get into it after a home run as the batter went to first base. I don't think I've ever seen it as the batter got all the way around third. More to come on that story for sure.

FISHER: Yes, no kidding. And Andy, I have to correct myself because, I mean, I'm the biggest sports fan. But I believe I said Keltics and not Celtics. And that is just so embarrassing I have to correct myself right there. So, come on.

SCHOLES: It's all good. It's early, right -- 5:50 in the east right now.

FISHER: It is. What can you do?


FISHER: All right, Andy, thanks so much.

SCHOLES: All right.

FISHER: So, Russia's Vladimir Putin now says that he's changing tactics. His new plan for the Ukrainian holdouts inside a steel factory.



FISHER: Well, some tough news for Netflix. A day after announcing it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of the year its stock plunged 35% and that wiped out about $50 billion from its market value. Netflix expects another two million subscribers to quit in the current quarter. And the news dragged down shares of fellow streamers like Disney and Paramount.

Well, a strong storm expected to target the Plains and the Midwest over the next several days with high winds, large hail, and even some tornadoes.

Now, let's get to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Good morning, Pedram.


Yes, right across the central U.S. -- that's where we're watching carefully here for afternoon storms. Later on this afternoon, even into the evening hours, we'll see some of the storms being to really flourish across this region, including areas of, say, Wichita on into Kansas City as well. That's where the highest threat zone is. A level two on a scale of one to five.

Large hail, isolated tornadoes the primary threats and certainly, some straight line winds. Could see some of those gusts with these storms get up to maybe 50 to 50 miles per hour.

But notice this. As we transition into Friday, expand the coverage and take it up to about 10 million people from Sioux Falls all the way southward towards Lubbock, Texas. That's where a level three is in place there. It's on a scale of one to five, again. And notice strong gusts and large hail back in the primary threat zone with a few isolated tornadoes right across this region.

Now, the storms this morning -- they're popping up right around areas of, say, eastern areas of Arkansas on into western areas of Tennessee. Memphis, in particular, getting in some strong thunderstorms this morning. Nothing severe quite just yet.

But speaking of strong, wet weather, look at what's happening around the western U.S. One system after another. They're barreling right into portions of the northwest.

And for California, very beneficial rainfall. This region has been bone dry in what is typically their wet season -- January through, really, March. And now we usher in the latter portion of April and we're getting some beneficial rainfall and some heavy snowfall even into the High Sierras and portions of the Siskiyou into, say, northern California and southern Oregon. As much as eight inches there, where up to three feet of snow are possible across the High Sierra.

Again, a good way to wrap up what is typically the wet season across portions of California.

FISHER: Yes. I'm sorry for the folks out west but, hey, at least we're not talking about snow in the northeast in April --


FISHER: -- anymore like we were earlier this week.

Thanks so much.

And thanks all of you for joining us. I'm Kristin Fisher. "NEW DAY" starts right now.