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Weekend of Violence Includes Officer, Nurse Shot and Killed; Police Say Brian Laundrie Family's Odd Story Does Not Make Sense. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired October 11, 2021 - 08:00   ET



ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The half that got the actual drug, only 28 were hospitalized and none of them died.

Now, of course, the question on everyone's mind is, all right, so they have applied to the FDA for emergency use authorization. When might the FDA consider it and possibly give Merck that EUA? It's very hard to know. But if we look back almost exactly a year ago, Regeneron applied for emergency use authorization for its drug, a monoclonal antibody drug. It took about six weeks for the FDA to say yes. The FDA needs to review it, their outside experts need to review it. The same with the CDC. The last time something like this happened it was about six weeks, so it could be in that ballpark. John, Brianna?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: That is not very far away. All right, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So President Biden is not asserting executive privilege over the Trump documents sought by the January 6th committee. Listen to the top Democrat on that committee.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D-CA) SELECT COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING JANUARY 6TH ATTACK: We should, I think, get those documents soon because the sitting president has the primary say on executive privilege.


BERMAN: Joining me now, CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig. He's a former state and federal prosecutor. Elie, what is executive privilege?

ELIE HONIG, SENIOR CNN LEGAL ANALYST: John, executive privilege is really one of the most controversial and high stakes legal theories in our whole system. Generally speaking, it means that certain communications between the president and his top White House and executive branch advisers need to remain secret. They don't go to Congress, they don't go to prosecutors, they don't go to the general public.

Now, executive privilege is as old as the nation itself. The first president to invoke executive privilege was the first president, George Washington. And actually every president since has invoked executive privilege in some way or other. Of course, the patron saint, the godfather of executive privilege is Richard Nixon. In 1974 Watergate is exploding, special prosecutors subpoenas those secret Oval Office tapes, and Nixon says, no, executive privilege. I don't have to turn them over. That case goes to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court issues the ultimate good news/bad news ruling. Good news, we recognize executive privilege. It's a thing. Bad news, Richard Nixon is, you lose on the balance.

And here is the balance. On the one hand, there is a valid need for protection of communications between high government officials. On the other hand, the public has a right to every man's evidence. Nixon loses. The tapes go over. Three weeks over approximately, Richard Nixon resigns. That is an important part of our history. That's the stakes we're talking about.

BERMAN: No interpretation of executive privilege suggests that it should cover potential crimes or evidence of potential crimes. I think that's super important also. So who gets to assert it, though? Is it just current presidents, or does a former president have a right to executive privilege?

HONIG: So this is the question of the moment. We don't have a definitive answer from the courts. However, in 1977, the Supreme Court talked about it. It is actually a different case relating to Richard Nixon. And the court said this is what we call dicta, meaning they said it in passing. It wasn't the basis, so it's not binding. The privilege survives the individual president's tenure, meaning a former president can have some interest here.

On the other hand, the court said, the current president is in the best position to assess the needs of the executive branch and invoke the privilege accordingly.

Now, if we look at the way this has played out in recent history, 2001 George W. Bush exercises executive privilege over documents relating to Bill Clinton who was his predecessor. In 2009, Barack Obama is the president, he declines. He says no executive privilege on torture related documents from the Bush administration.

So the pattern here is clear. Sitting president, sitting president, the difference is in these cases we didn't have a president like Donald Trump, a former president who has now said I object. I want to invoke executive privilege. Joe Biden has said I don't. and that's why we could be headed for a real showdown here.

BERMAN: So where does it go?

HONIG: Yes, next step is right here the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. Important to keep in mind, by the way, even if Donald Trump can exert executive privilege, he doesn't automatically win. The court still has to do that balancing. The calendar is so important, John. January 6th, 2021, they have a little more than a year until the new Congress takes office. That could be a Republican Congress. That could be the end of the committee. They're nine months in already. So Congress needs to be ready to move quickly. The courts need to be

ready to move quickly. By the way, important historical perspective here. The Nixon case, it took the amount of time from the subpoena until the Supreme Court ruling, three months. Three months. Now, I don't think they're going to move that quickly here, but there's no reason it should take much more than that.

BERMAN: They could. They certainly could, though. That just shows if they put their minds to it, it could move that quickly.

HONIG: Absolutely. It's up to the judges.

BERMAN: Elie Honig, thank you very much.

HONIG: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Brianna?

KEILAR: Former President Donald Trump returning to Iowa for a rally over the weekend, his first time in the state since losing the election in 2020.


In a speech that lasted more than 90 minutes, Trump attacked fellow Republicans, he criticized President Joe Biden, and mostly he repeated long ago debunked claims that the election was rigged.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: First of all, he didn't get elected. OK, forget that.


TRUMP: Some people said, oh, sir, it was COVID.

Hillary conceded. I never conceded. Never.


TRUMP: When you hear these numbers of swing states, there was no reason to concede. They should have conceded.

Mitch McConnell should have challenged that election because even back then we had plenty of material to challenge that election. He should have challenged the election.


KEILAR: Joining us now is Meredith McGraw, national political correspondent at "Politico." And Meredith, you attended this rally on Saturday. Just sort of broad strokes here, how much of this rally would you say former President Trump dedicated to the big lie?

MEREDITH MCGRAW, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "POLITICO": Really, the first part of his speech was a pretty traditional rally, if you will. He went after President Biden and his administration over everything from their immigration policies and what's happening at the border to the Afghanistan withdrawal, and he regaled his supports there with stories from the White House.

But really the bulk of his speech was focused of his false claims that he won the 2020 election, that it was stolen from him, and that there is widespread voter fraud that led to Biden getting into office. And I spoke with dozens of his supporters there at the rally, and I will say every single person that I talk to said that they also believed the election was stolen, a lie that Trump continues to say at these rallies.

KEILAR: So you point out in your story, that doesn't actually make this unique at all, because that is same old, same old Trump. But what was unique about this story were really the elected officials, the elected officials like Chuck Grassley and others who were with Trump, right?

MCGRAW: Exactly. I've covered so many of these rallies, and you do hear some of the same things come up over and over again. But really what was unique about this rally was that after, nine months after January 6th there was this moment where the Republican Party, it seemed like they were maybe going to distance themselves from former President Trump. But that's no longer the case. It was very apparent when I was in Iowa that Trump really is the leader of the Republican Party at the moment, and that was really typified by Senator Chuck Grassley standing by his side. He is sort of a dean of the Senate. He's seeking an eighth term. He's running for reelection for senator in Iowa. But he stood by Trump's side and he accepted Trump's endorsement.

Now, Grassley was pretty upfront about why he was standing there. He noticed that 91 percent of Republicans in Iowa do support Trump, so he wasn't playing coy about just the politics of all of it. But it really was clear that getting Trump's endorsement matters, and Trump really is the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

KEILAR: Yes, such a turn from January 6th there just following when Grassley was really tough on Trump. He really was. Meredith, thank you.

BERMAN: So election lies are not the only thing that the former president is talking about on the stump. He also is attack the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Here's more from Iowa.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Mitch McConnell did haven't the courage to challenge the election. He's only a leader because he raises a lot of money and he gives it to senators. That's the only thing he's got. That's his only form of leadership. He should have challenged the election.

This bill is a sinister combination of job killing tax hikes and woke fascism that will destroy our nation. And to think that we had 11 Republicans go along with an extension.


TRUMP: Headed up by Mitch McConnell. Can you believe that? Mitch McConnell.


BERMAN: He's talking about the debt limit there.

Joining me now is Scott Jennings, CNN political commentator and former special assistance to President George W. Bush. Scott has also advised Secretary McConnell. Nice to see you. The debt limit discussion aside, I don't want to talk about the policy of that, but what we have here is a conflict between President Trump and McConnell that really has been years in the making at this point. You say they have fundamentally different aims.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. McConnell's aims are very simple, and it is to regain control of the Senate and to do whatever he has to do to stifle the Democratic agenda until Republicans are back in the majority.

Trump's aims are much different. They're very personal. The aim is to regain control of the White House and to punish his enemies and all the things that are personal to him.


And it's just two different reasons for being in politics, right. McConnell's reason for being is to have a Republican Party that can govern, and Trump's reasons for being in politics in Trump. And so those two worldviews actually were aligned at one point when Trump was the president, McConnell was in charge of the Senate. They had aligned aims. But now they're obviously on two different tracks.

BERMAN: Do you think Mitch McConnell will do anything to get in the way of Donald Trump's aspirations?

JENNINGS: Well, I don't know what he could do, to be honest with you. The reporting you just aired was pretty accurate, I think, with the number of Republicans who support Donald Trump. In my view, if he wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, he's going to be the nominee. Also in my view, Republicans have a really good chance to retake the majority in the Senate in the midterm, and McConnell I think would be well positioned to be the leader again. And so I'm not sure Trump can get in the way of McConnell and I'm not sure McConnell can get in the way of Trump. I think these two guys are both, in many ways, masters of their own domain, Trump being master of the grassroots of the Republican Party, and McConnell being master of the Senate Republican Conference.


BERMAN: I want you to listen to the number two in the House, Steve Scalise, dodging, weaving, lying when pressed by Chris Wallace about the 2020 election. Listen.


REP. STEVE SCALISE, (R-LA) HOUSE MINORITY WHIP: At the end of the day, are we going to follow what the Constitution says or not? I hope we get back to what the Constitution says. But clearly in a number of states they didn't follow those legislatively set rules.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So you think the election was stolen?

SCALISE: What I said is there are states that didn't follow their legislatively set rules. That's what the United States Constitution says.

WALLACE: Last time, I promise, do you think the election was stolen or not? I understand you think there were irregularities and things that need to be fixed. Do you think the election was stolen?

SCALISE: And it's not just irregularities. It's states that did not follow the laws set which the Constitution says they're supposed to follow.


BERMAN: Wallace spent two minutes, I think, at least, trying to get Steve Scalise to admit the obvious there, which was no, the election was not stolen, but he wouldn't do it. And instead, he basically was lying there. Scott, that's the leadership of the House. It does seem as if that lie is now a central part of the party for a lot of people.

JENNINGS: Well, I think the House Republican leaders don't want to befall the same fate as Mitch McConnell. They don't want to become part of the script at the next Trump rally, right. They don't want to be up there being pilloried.

And I do think in the House Republican elections that they do believe that Donald Trump is important, if not central, to their fundraising operations, to their candidate recruitment operations, to keeping them on track to winning the majority. I'm not sure he's quite as central to winning back the Senate majority. Those races have a different flavor and different character. But in the House, under the leadership of Kevin McCarthy, they have tied their fortunes to Donald Trump. Steve Scalise was reflecting that. So I'm not surprised that that's the way he answered that question. In fact, I expect that will be the way they answer it for the rest of the cycle.

BERMAN: Long term, and I don't know if I'm talking months, years, decades, though, Scott, doesn't the truth matter? Won't the truth ultimately dictate the path of things?

JENNINGS: Well, you and I have had this conversation on air before. I actually think these conversations about the 2020 election are less impactful on the upcoming midterm and more impactful on the 2024 presidential cycle. Ultimately, the Republicans are going to have to ask the American people for governing responsibility again. And that means facing up to what happened in the aftermath of the 2020 election and the steps that were taken.

And so while I think the Republicans could do well in the short term with this, there will be a longer term reckoning. And that is short of the danger, I guess, of Donald Trump being the nominee again, is his unwillingness to own up to what happened.

Now, that having been said, Joe Biden is having a terrible go of it. His approval ratings are plummeting. And although I used to think this was unthinkable, as we sit here today, I think not only is it highly likely Trump could be the leader of the Republican Party for 24, there is a world in which he beats Joe Biden to return to the White House because of the way things are going in the country.

So ultimately, as Republicans, my belief is it doesn't make you a bad Republican just to acknowledge what happened. We lost. Bad things were done. They don't have to be done again, and we can be honest about that and still ask the American people for governing responsibility. That seems to be a rational position to have, and I hope more Republicans take it.

BERMAN: Scott Jennings, thanks for being with us this morning.

JENNINGS: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Up next, a police officer and a nurse are among the latest victims in a deadly wave of violent crime across the country.

KEILAR: Plus, a new admission from police in the Brian Laundrie manhunt. And the three-year-old boy found alive after being lost in the woods for days.



KEILAR: The U.S. has seen a wave of violence over the weekend leaving a Georgia officer with a six-month-old child killed on his first shift. A nurse in New York dead after being mugged in Times Square, and so much more unfortunate news.

CNN's Omar Jimenez live for us in Chicago with the latest -- Omar.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, nearly every major city through at least the first half of this year, violent crime has been up and that's compared to the especially violent 2020 according to the Major Cities Chiefs Association and those trends in numbers play out in the form of human life and tragedy.

This weekend was no different in the form of law enforcement officers and a nurse.


PETER PARKER, WITNESS: There were no problems all night, and then wild gunfire. JIMENEZ (voice over): A string of violence in a number of communities

across the country this weekend. In St. Paul, Minnesota, three men were arrested following a shooting at a bar just after midnight Sunday that left one dead and more than a dozen injured.

STEVE LINDERS, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, ST. PAUL POLICE DEPARTMENT: Officers rushed to the scene. They got there quickly and they walked into a hellish situation. There were gunshot wound victims laying in the street. Outside the bar, there were gunshot wound victims lying on the sidewalk outside the bar, and there were gunshot wound victims lying on the floor inside the bar.

JIMENEZ (voice over): The DJ in the bar described the scene.


PARKER: I crawled off the stage so I could see a little bit and the people were running out of there, after the shooting stopped and then I kind of got up to look, and that's when I saw there was like four or five people in the party that were down.

JIMENEZ (voice over): The city's mayor says the city is allocating a million dollars for police overtime to deal with the rising crime.

MAYOR MELVIN CARTER (D), ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA: It is of course one of the hardest nightmares that a community can endure. For our community to wake up this morning and hear that 15 individuals in one setting in one moment were shot, that one young woman lost her life, it is just heartbreaking and unacceptable.

JIMENEZ (voice over):" In South Carolina, two people are dead and three others wounded after multiple shooters opened fire near a nightclub, this according to CNN affiliate WPDE, which says local law enforcement is working to identify the shooters.

In neighboring Georgia, an officer was shot and killed during his first shift. Twenty-six-year-old officer, Dylan Harrison was ambushed outside the Alamo Police Department early Saturday morning. He is survived by his wife and six-month-old son. Police said Damien Ferguson was arrested and charged with murder.

In Louisiana, a shooting rampage that spanned over two different parishes left two dead, including a State Trooper. The gunman shot and injured two people in Livingston Parish then traveled to Ascension Parish where he shot and killed a woman and injured another person.

Following that shooting, the gunman killed a State Trooper.

COL. LAMAR A. DAVIS, SUPERINTENDENT, LOUISIANA STATE POLICE: Trooper Gaubert, a 19-year veteran of our department was ambushed while in his patrol unit.

JIMENEZ (voice over): And all-day, multi-agency manhunt ensued until law enforcement announced they've apprehended 31-year-old Matthew Mire. A tragic scene in New York's Times Square after a New Jersey oncology

nurse was shoved to the ground and hit her head. She later died from her injuries.

EMILIA CRUZ, FRIEND: It's horrible. I don't know what to tell you. I can feel it now because she is gone. She is gone.

JIMENEZ (voice over): Police say the 26-year-old man who pushed her was accused of stealing another person's phone right before the incident. He has been charged with murder.

CRUZ: She is a friend that anybody wants to -- she is a very kind person, you know extremely sincere, honest, and loving.


JIMENEZ (on camera): Marie Ambrosio, the nurse was 58-years-old.

Now, throughout the country, the F.B.I.'s Uniform Crime Report showed a jump of nearly 30 percent in murder from 2019 to 2020. That's the biggest year to year increase we have ever seen in the United States. And as I mentioned before, much of that is carried into 2021.

I should mention though, as high as the numbers are now, it is still about 40 percent lower than what it was in the 80s and 90s. That's little comfort though, to the families of those who have lost loved ones and of course, the families of those still grieving from this weekend -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Certainly, little comfort. Omar, thank you for that report.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New developments in the manhunt for Brian Laundrie. North Port Police are highlighting the oddness of the Laundrie family's explanation of how Brian disappeared. Watch this.


JOSH TAYLOR, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, NORTH PORT POLICE: I mean, we've said from the beginning, there was a lot of hardness here. A lot of things that just didn't make sense. I mean, if your son walks out there, now they're saying on a Monday, you know, to report that on a Friday, and then be confused on what day that was. I mean, there's a -- a lot of things that are odd there.


BERMAN: Joining us now is forensic psychologist, Kris Mohandie. And to be clear, this is the first time that police have spoken like this in public noting that the things that the family has said over time are odd, suggesting they don't add up. Why do you think the police are talking like this now?

KRIS MOHANDIE, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: I think the words oddness and not making sense is their gentle, non-confrontational way of highlighting the obvious in consistencies, you know, in the story that the family is reporting. The truth doesn't change, and there is some big inconsistencies here.

You don't forget -- you know, memory doesn't work that way that you would forget the last time that you saw your son. So, I think they're turning the pressure up in a subtle way, you know, on the family so that hopefully they're encouraged to be forthright and whatever it is that they may or may not be concealing is you know, ultimately divulged to further this investigation, but I think it's a tactic of turning up the pressure.

BERMAN: What impact do you think it might have on the family?

MOHANDIE: I think they are feeling the pressure, big time. I mean, we've heard from the sister obviously that you know, that there's a lot of conflict going on. And you know, ultimately this all lays at the feet of Brian Laundrie. It's creating conflict in his family and I think that they are going to get tired if they are covering for him of doing so and that hopefully, it will through this public method, create that pressure so that they are more forthright with whatever, you know, information they may already have.


BERMAN: If you're --

MOHANDIE: So, I think -- I think they're feeling it.

BERMAN: If you're on the law enforcement side of this, how much longer do you go with this soft approach? When do you turn the switch and get tough?

MOHANDIE: Yes, that's a good question. I think, they're just going to let it ride like this for a little bit of time while they are concurrently searching for him. So I think they're working it on many different fronts to get the truth out.

The biggest front is obviously trying to find him, but anybody who likely has information that could be, you know, relevant to the investigation, especially the family who last saw him, they are also going to be experiencing that pressure.

So, they are turning it up on multiple fronts and putting the pressure on, so I think it's going to be a while longer until they take a harder line stance. You know, I think they need to get more information probably before they'll be able to, you know, do anything more aggressive.

And so this is where they're starting.

BERMAN: Forensic psychologist, Kris Mohandie, thanks for being with us this morning. I do appreciate it.

MOHANDIE: Thank you.

BERMAN: So one Democratic analyst giving his prognosis that his party might not want to hear, they may not see another majority again for the rest of the decade. Hear why. KEILAR: Plus, how a young boy managed to survive four days in the

woods without food, water, or shelter.