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House January 6th Committee to Hold Public Hearings During Prime Time regarding Investigation into Capitol Riots; Law Enforcement Training Expert Discusses Techniques Officers and Possibly Teachers May Use to Deal with Active School Shooters. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired June 07, 2022 - 08:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: NEW DAY continues right now.

Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Tuesday, June 7th. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar. Negotiations on gun safety late into the night in the Senate, and we do have new reporting on the contours of possible agreement. I can show you a list of some of the things being discussed right now -- incentivizing states to pass red flag laws, and then there is this, a possible waiting period for 18 to 21-year-olds to buy semi-automatic weapons like the ones used by teenage shooters in Uvalde, Buffalo, and Parkland. This is a new proposal. It would not be a ban on sales to people younger than 21, which is what the president wants, but it would be a potentially significant new development. Also on that list, you can see school safety measures and investments in mental health.

The U.S. is on pace to see its worst year ever for mass shootings. There have been at least 247 mass shootings through June 5th of this year, that's according to the Gun Violence Archive, including at least 13 since Friday alone.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Also this week, the events surrounding the January 6th insurrection will take center stage. And we do have some new CNN reporting that Thursday's prime time hearing will include live testimony from two people who interacted directly with the Proud Boys around the time of the attack. This is significant. It comes amid a serious escalation by the Department of Justice, which charged the leaders of the Proud Boys with seditious conspiracy in the attack, the most aggressive charges brought against the far right extremist group yet.

BERMAN: All right, joining us now, CNN's senior political correspondent and anchor of INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY Abby Phillip, and CNN political analyst and "The New York Times," senior political correspondent Maggie Haberman. Abby, the charges, seditious conspiracy charges against the Proud Boys at the very time we learn that Thursday night, the focus of the January 6th select committee will be surrounding the events concerning those Proud Boys.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY: Yes, it is very significant in a number of ways. First of all, I think a lot of people, especially Democrats, have been watching to see what is the Justice Department going to do? Are they going to take that extra step which requires just a higher burden of proof on the sedition part of it? And they did.

And it's coming at the same time that what it seems like the January 6th committee is about to do is show behind the scenes what the planning was, what the pre-thought was about what the Proud Boys might have wanted to do to stop this certification of the election. The idea here is to show that this wasn't just a spontaneous combustion, but it was a plan all along by people who plotted prior to January 6th to do whatever it took to make sure that the electors were not certified on that day.

BERMAN: What do you think about that, Maggie? Why do you think the committee may be leading with this area?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think Abby is exactly right. I think that we heard Liz Cheney say in recent days that there was a conspiracy. And I think that the House members who were involved in the select committee believe they are going to be able to show that. That starts with showing that the people who rushed the Capitol, who mobbed the building, some of whom were talking about hanging the vice president, that there was a plan, that this wasn't just a spontaneous uprising of people who happened to be of like minds. And that has been missing in a lot of investigations of Donald Trump over several years is proving a conspiracy. And I think that that is a key goal in what you're seeing here.

BERMAN: One of the other days we're told the committee will focus on, they have six hearings we think, six separate days of hearings and each will cover a different subject. One of the subject days may be on fake electors, the idea that the Trump campaign and Donald Trump supporters were trying to put alternative slate of electors forward. There is purporting overnight from Georgia of this email from a Trump campaign official to would be fake Georgia electors saying do this secretly, go into the Capitol, meet in secret. Why you to think this is an important area to focus on, Maggie?

HABERMAN: The fake electors gets to a fraud issue. That is one of the reasons that you are seeing prosecutors looking at this. This is not just -- people who thought that they were allowed to be putting their names forward, these were not certified by states. These were not lawmakers and key officials in states were not sending the slates along. So in order to send these along, you had to know, I think the argument is going to be, that you were doing something that was improper. And that is why you are seeing so much focus on this.

And again, John, what these hearings are is they're going to be layered. There's clearly going to be coming from one angle is going to be the people who rushed the Capitol, from another angle is going to be the fake electors, from another angle is going to be the pressure campaign on Mike Pence, and then from another angle will be what Donald Trump was doing. And I think they're looking at the totality of that to show how this was a large circle of activity.

PHILLIP: And contrary to what people like Peter Navarro have tried to claim, this idea that putting forward fake electors was a perfectly legitimate use of the system, it was not.


And they knew it was not, which is why the idea of secrecy around it is very significant. And as people watch the January 6th hearings unfold, in some ways it is an extension of what began in the impeachment hearings. It is going to include things that did not happen in impeachment, the kind of bombshell testimony, but also the evidence of prior planning that shows there was, as Maggie said, a multifaceted approach.

Those approaches don't all have to be related to each other. I think they were trying literally everything that they could. But it shows an effort on multiple fronts to try to disrupt the transfer of power. And that's what the January 6th committee is trying to put together in a picture for the American public over the next few weeks.

BERMAN: And perhaps connect it to Donald Trump. And there is this new reporting in "The Washington Post" which suggests that the committee may be saving until its final day of hearings the focus specifically on Donald Trump. They brought in James Goldston, former president of ABC News, to help produce these hearings. But Maggie, what do you make of that decision to hold off on Trump specifically to the last day?

HABERMAN: John, I think the key question around all of these investigations that Donald Trump has faced over however many years has always been what he knew, how much he was aware of what he was doing. And unlike the Mueller report, where the obstruction piece was obviously very much about Donald Trump, but the part about Russia in that report, there were fewer appearances of Donald Trump directly than there were a lot of campaign aides.

This report and these hearings are likely to be filled with moments of Donald Trump saying what he wanted, telling people to do things. And I think that they think this demonstrates that was at the center of all of this, that he was the person who was, if not specifically directing various piece, these were his desires that people were carrying out.

And so I think that they are trying -- they're trying to tell a story, and they're trying to build towards something. And I think that's why it's the end.

I will say I do think that hearing is going to be some of the more interesting information we're going to get, because not a lot is known about that timeline still.

BERMAN: You're talking about the last day, those minutes.

HABERMAN: Those 187 minutes, correct.

PHILLIP: That day is kind of a black box. But there are going to be some key individuals, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows, who was there in the White House. And this I think is fascinating to me, because it could prove to be one of those rare times where you see someone who might have been thought in the White House to be a fairly low level person who was almost like could have served as a fly on the wall, watching things happen all around. And she has been willing to testify to the committee, I think it was over 20 hours to the committee, and now in public for some of these hearings.

BERMAN: Can you explain --

HABERMAN: She was under subpoena, I just want to make the point. And I think she did comply, but it was -- she was testifying not on her own.

BERMAN: Who is Cassidy Hutchinson?

HABERMAN: She is a former legislative aide in the White House, and then she became Meadows's top person for lack of a better way of putting it. She was with him at a number of key events. A fly on the wall is a great way of putting it. I think she observed and heard a lot of things. The committee has pressed her on a number of those over three different sessions, exactly what she was witness to, what Meadows was saying, what we understand from people who are familiar with her testimony, what Meadows was saying about various activities, what Meadows was saying about what the president's mindset was, about what the president was doing as the riot was unfolding. The committee heard testimony that Meadows relayed to colleagues that Trump was, for lack of -- in summary positive about the "Hang Mike Pence" chants. So I that she ends up being potentially a very key witness.

BERMAN: Maggie Haberman, Abby Phillip, great to see you both. Thank you so much. Brianna?

KEILAR: In response to the Uvalde school shooting, Governor Greg Abbott is directing Texas state universities nationally recognized Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, or ALERRT for short, to train all school district police departments across the state in order to properly train law enforcement for these threat of active shooters on campus.

So joining us now is the executive director of that program, Pete Blair. Pete, I thank you so much for being with us. I know you have talked extensively about the training that you do, including the three priorities in mass shootings, which is, one, stop the killing, two, stop the dying, and three, start the recovery. So I'm hoping, can you just tell us about that first one, stop the killing?

J. PETE BLAIR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ADVANCED LAW ENFORCEMENT RAPID RESPONSE TRAINING: Sure. Stop the killing is anytime a suspect is up and creating new victims, attacking other people, maybe killing new people. The priority for the law enforcement that are responding at the time needs to get to that attacker and stop them from hurting anybody else.

KEILAR: How long does that normally take?

BLAIR: Usually that phase of the response is over within a couple of minutes.

KEILAR: And so that next one, stop the dying, what does your training say about how long into a mass shooting that phase should begin?


BLAIR: Well, generally as soon as the attacker has been dealt with, you switch gears into the stop the dying phase. People who have been injured may have severe injuries that could kill them within the next few minutes, so it's important to provide whatever medicine you can to stabilize that person at the scene. And then the next step is to immediately start looking at trying to rapidly transport them to definitive care, which is usually a trauma center, because if they don't get that surgery, they can die within minutes or hours after that.

KEILAR: I watched this interesting talk that you gave in 2019 following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, where you were talking about the main problems you see in these shootings. You note, of course, that all shootings are different. But a lot of them share these main problems, and one is mass confusion. And you mentioned that it is really the first five, 10, 15 minutes that there is a lot of confusion about where the gunman is and a number of other factors. That it only lasts five, 10, or 15 minutes was something that really stood out to me. That seems to be the norm?

BLAIR: Yes, that confusion that happens at the beginning is a result of this is not a planned event, usually starts with a 911 call from the law enforcement side of things, they're rushing to the scene to find out what's going on, the information on the 911 calls may be wrong. They're trying to interpret what is happening, other officers are arriving at random, and that initial rush of officers to get to the scene in order to try to stop the killing adds to that confusion that's already on the scene as people are running out of the building and things like that are occurring.

KEILAR: So, Pete, you're having to train humans, police officers, to override some of their understandable survival instincts, right, to run into a really dangerous situation. How do you do that? And how do you stress flexibility in preparing for these situations that are so scary for lack of a better word, and confusing?

BLAIR: Sure. The reason that we do training is to help prepare people to deal with that, because it is not a natural instinct to run to the sounds of gunfire. And with law enforcement, you would hope that most police officers have made peace with the fact that they're going to be expected to engage in dangerous things to protect people. And so building on that initial commitment, we provide the training that puts them in situations that are as close to that real life situation as possible so that when they encounter it, they've had some stress inoculation, they're better able to deal with what's going on.

KEILAR: I know you can't comment specifically on Uvalde because it's an ongoing investigation. Also, you're going to be involved in this after action review, but you've spoken about other shootings, including Parkland, where there was an officer who waited to go in. And I wonder, what is the training that you give police for what they should do when there is a shooter in a room, or in an area where victims or potential victims are? What do you tell them? BLAIR: So, if they've heard gunfire, particularly a large amount of

gunfire, and they believe there could be victims, now we're prioritizing trying to get to those victims, to assess if there are victims. So there is always a balancing act of officer safety versus the safety of the people who may have been injured at the scene. We prioritize the people who have been injured at the scene, we expect officers to assume some risk. It doesn't mean we expect them to do things that are foolhardy, but to try to find out what is happening in that location if they have reason to believe there are injured people there who need help, to try to gain access to that location as quickly as possible.

If the primary method that they would use to do that isn't accessible, say they're receiving gunfire through a doorway or something like that, then we encourage them to look for alternate ways to get in there, whether that be windows, drywall construction in some buildings that they could get through. But as long as there is that problem, they need to keep trying to find a solution to that problem.

KEILAR: Get creative is sort of what I hear you saying, be flexible. And that's part of your training.

I do want to play something that a teacher from one of the classrooms where 11 students died at Uvalde said this about just how quickly it was what happened.


ARNULFO REYES, ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER WHO SURVIVED ATTACK, 11 OF HIS STUDENTS KILLED: It all happened too fast. Training, no training, all kinds of training, nothing gets you ready for this. We trained our kids to sit under the table. And that's what I thought at the time, but we set them up to be like ducks.

You can give us all the training you want. But it's -- gun laws have to change. It won't ever change unless they change the laws.


KEILAR: I know you focus on training. I know you told us ahead of time you're not here to talk about laws. So on training, and specifically training of, say, teachers and students, because I know you've spoken about this, too, is there anything that needs to change when it comes to the training of teachers and students so that they aren't feeling like the training just didn't even do any good, like that teacher felt?


J. PETE BLAIR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ADVANCED LAW ENFORCEMENT RAPID RESPONSE TRAINING: Yes, so we teach options-based responses. So our preferred option is to avoid the attacker if you can, if for some reason you can't avoid the attacker, you want to deny access to your location, close and lock the doors. And as a last resort, you defend yourself. And so that also has to be age appropriate for the kids that you have

in your classroom. But one thing we don't do is say you put all your eggs in one basket and say this is the only thing we're going to do and if it doesn't work, well, then, it just doesn't work.

So we want people to be assessing things. And so, locking -- closing own locking the doors is highly effective. It worked well in a lot of schools. You need to have locks that are easy to access and easy to lock for the teacher so they can do it under stress.

And then you need to position yourselves in a way so that if the person does gain access to the classroom, you have options, whether that's as a teacher to get your hands on the gun, turn it into a wrestling match as opposed to a shooting and having your kids run away or some other option like another door out of the classroom that the kids might be able to go to.

We have never been advocates of teaching people to hide under desks or tables, it is a good idea to not be seen by the attacker, however you want to be in a position that if you are seen, you have an option to do something else.

KEILAR: What is this after action review that you're going to be involved in? What will that entail?

BLAIR: So we'll be taking a deep dive into what actually happened in the situation, we'll be trying to get a very detailed timeline about when people arrived, when gunfire occurred, what actions were taken at what times, so that we have a really clear and accurate picture of what happened in the event.

KEILAR: Pete, obviously, the hope here is that the training you provide, which is considered very much the gold standard, is going to save lives and we thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us this morning. Thank you.

BLAIR: Thanks for having me on.

KEILAR: Some new revelations that the Trump campaign asked fake electors in Georgia for complete secrecy in their efforts to secure a win for Trump. A former U.S. attorney in Georgia is going to react next.

And just in, some big changes to international figure skating rules after the doping scandal involving Russian skater Kamila Valieva.

Plus --


BERMAN: All right. Deep cut right there. What happens if that weekend everybody is working for is permanently three days instead of two? A huge, huge study is about to find out.



KEILAR: A new email obtained by the Department of Justice reveals Trump campaign officials in Georgia asked a group of fake of electors for complete secrecy and discretion in what's being investigated as an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Joining me now is Michael Moore. He's a former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. He's a partner at Moore, Paul.

Michael, thank you so much for speaking with us about this email. It is really quite a stunning email. And I wonder what stands in it to you.

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: You know what, good morning. It is a stunning email in a sense that it is all laid out in a playbook now for prosecutors to look at. I think what they'll have to consider is whether or not this idea of secrecy was something criminal in and of itself or just painting the picture of what was going on in maybe a broader scheme to affect the outcome of the election.

And by that I mean this, you know, there is a legitimate way to challenge an election, to challenge the electoral process if they want to do it. The problem here is that anytime a prosecutor sees somebody trying to act covertly, to try to act under cover of darkness, telling people to not talk about things, that begins to sort of give you an idea that there is some nefarious motive behind what may otherwise be a legitimate challenge.

So, it's -- it will be up to the prosecutors to look at and use this as one piece of a larger puzzle.

KEILAR: So this is in writing. This is an email, to be clear. It is in writing. And it is telling these folks who would be fake electors actually to lie to security guards because there were some COVID restrictions.

MOORE: Right.

KEILAR: If they go in there, they should say they're attending a meeting with two state senators instead of the reason that they're actually there. How problematic is that and what could that mean legally?

MOORE: Well, I mean, it is sort of silly anyway to think that anybody is going to be able to keep their mouth shut. I mean, that's like asking milk cows at the barn not to moo. These folks going into the Capitol, that's nonsensical.

The problem they have is this often what hangs conspiracies is what -- this is what gets people to corrupt processes in trouble. That is if somebody is going to talk. You don't always have it laid out in a typed email, you know?

In a mob situation, you don't have an email from the big mob boss saying I want you to be quiet. This is what you happen to have some discussions.

So, it is troubling in the sense that it looks like, again, if you take circumstantial evidence, if you take these types of things and you piece them together and start to talk about what was the motive behind this, was this something they intended to do on a grander scale? Was this something they were intending to subvert the vote, something where they were actually going to create false state documents, false federal election documents at the meeting? And is this evidence that there was an intent to do that, to make these false documents?

The secrecy itself, I guess what I'm trying to say, is not probably the crime or may not be the crime. It is what is -- what does that secrecy tell you about what their ultimate motive was and that ulterior motive as they move forward.

KEILAR: This is all part of a lot of activity that we are seeing with the DOJ investigation. What do you think ultimately could happen there?

MOORE: You know, I think it is good to have the DOJ move on it. I always thought that was a better plan than to have different states look at it. It is better to have sort of a concerted and united effort to look at the various states and pull those together into one big case if they want to do that.

You know, I'm a little troubled that it has taken so long for things to come out. I think that, you know, the memory of the American people and what went on back then, that the memories are often short and we forget to move on to other things, gas prices or whatever else, you know?


But here I think is where sort of watching the DOJ move. They're doing it methodically. They will be in conjunction with some information I think that we see come out of the January 6th hearing this week, maybe new information we hear, is they finally have some testimony in the Georgia investigation and the D.A.'s office, may hear about some things we didn't know before, those things may become public.

And it tells me there is a serious investigation under way with a real attempt, and I think an earnest attempt to not make it little political, but get at the facts, to get at the witness testimony, and to understand the bigger picture as opposed to a knee-jerk move about whether or not somebody said something somewhere at some time.


MOORE: So I think this is, again, I think I have great confidence in the Department of Justice, having worked there, I think they're skilled prosecutors, great lawyers there, and it's not uncommon to watch a very methodical investigation and hopefully we'll see now some traction and we'll see it start to pick up as we, you know, move deeper into some public revelations.

KEILAR: Yeah, we will certainly be watching with you. Michael, thank you. Great to see you.

MOORE: Good to see you. Thank you.

KEILAR: GOP senators say raising the age to buy semi-automatic weapons is likely off the table. But what they are willing to do instead.

KEILAR: And President Biden says no dictators allowed at the upcoming summit of the Americas. So why is his meeting with Saudi Arabia still on?