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Teen Dead, Police Officer And 2 Others Shot At Washington Concert; Russia Seizes Town On The Outskirts Of Severodonetsk; The History Lesson Leading Up To Juneteenth Celebration. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 20, 2022 - 07:30   ET



DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's what's hurting on the cultural front.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Well, to your point about Hillary Clinton -- and she spoke to the Financial Times. "We are standing," she says, "on the precipice of losing our democracy and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window. Look, the most important thing is to win the next election. The alternative is so frightening that whatever does not help you win should not be a priority."

"Whatever does not help you win." What is she talking about there?

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, look, she's -- I think she's talking about anything that alienates people, right? And I think one of the things Democrats have been struggling with is Republicans have really seized on what they call woke rhetoric and used it as a wedge successfully. And I think -- I think that's what Hillary Clinton is getting at here.

GREGORY: Yes. I mean, the idea that the left is coming for you -- who you are, what you stand for, whether you're racist or not. That idea is what she's standing for.

I still think she's making an argument that's a 2024 argument, which is it would be much better for Democrats to have a choice rather than a referendum, which is what a midterm is, on the current party in power. On how the presidency of Joe Biden is going. On how the economy is going. On how people feel about their lives in America. All of that is really not looking good for the Democrats right now and for the Biden administration.

So, I think the other point that she's making is say, look, right now, we've got to stand -- as a party, we've got to stand for truth. We have to stand for democracy. And we have to make it very clear that we are the ones protecting that and that Republicans are either looking the other way or actively trying to be bad actors on that front.

KEILAR: That sort of -- that woke problem you were talking about.

HUNT: Yes. KEILAR: Then what topics -- and we'll -- we can talk about if she's

the right messenger -- Hillary Clinton talking to the Financial Times. But what topics -- what issues should Democrats just be dropping then, do you guys think?

HUNT: Well, I mean, look, the answer to this question came -- and we should add a little context here. Ed Luce asked her about J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author, who had come under -- has come under some criticism. I think the way Ed Luce, the interviewer, framed it was should we be calling J.K. Rowling a fascist because she is saying certain things about trans people, right?

So that's how you get this answer from Hillary where she says -- from Hillary Clinton, excuse me -- where she says look, we've just got to worry about winning.

So I think to the extent that Democrats allow it become about the far- left, right, because when you make this argument and you talk about inclusivity, you talk about broadening things out, I think most people are kind of -- at least most middle-of-the-road voters, certainly in the Democratic Party, are on board with you.

But I think to David's point, when you -- when you take it to this kind of farther extreme or you start to use these like certain examples, you can kind of lose people who otherwise would be with you. I think that's what she was trying to say.

But to your point, I don't know that she's the best messenger on, especially, like the democracy issues necessarily because of the way things went in 2016. But look, as a political strategist -- I mean, she's a Clinton. Like, she knows what she's talking about.

GREGORY: Right. But also -- but who is the best messenger? I mean, please show me what the Democratic future is. I don't know. I don't know who it is. I don't know what it is.

HUNT: I think that's the big problem there.

GREGORY: I think on the Republican side, for all the problems that they have I can -- I seem to see what the future is for them.

KEILAR: Well, where's the mess-up on the Democratic side with that?

GREGORY: Well, I think that's a couple of things. One, I think there was a presumption that this was a moment of the left's ascendency. That is the election of Joe Biden. I think that was wrong.

I think it was basically Joe Biden, who would not have become the nominee under other circumstances, saying how about we go back to a little bit of normal after Donald Trump. And he's had some very difficult circumstances, whether it's the pandemic or the economy, the war in Ukraine, et cetera.

But the reality is that the ascendency of the left did not happen and I think that's what Hillary Clinton is getting at, which is I think Biden has got to do a better job of explaining the moment that we are in in this country. Who we are, where we're headed, and why he and the Democratic Party are the ones to lead us into that future, capturing what this moment is about.

I think about the Bush presidency. I think about Obama's presidency. They had more facility in doing that than I think he's shown so far.

KEILAR: David and Kasie, thank you so much for the discussion. Appreciate it.

HUNT: Great to see you.

KEILAR: Overnight, Russian forces seized a town -- this is just on the outskirts of Severodonetsk -- as the battle in Eastern Ukraine intensifies. CNN is live there on the ground.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: One teenager killed and three others, including a police officer, injured after a concert shooting in Washington. What we are learning this morning.



KEILAR: This morning, an investigation is underway into a shooting that has left a 15-year-old dead at a concert here in Washington, D.C. yesterday. Police say two separate incidents before that shooting already had the crowd on edge.

Let's take a look.


(Crowd running).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a shooting.


KEILAR: So it is unclear what caused the crowd to disperse but shortly after, a real shooting occurred and three people, including a police officer, were injured.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux has more details. This is unbelievable. I used to live right there. I mean, this is unbelievable as we are looking at what happened here.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's really scary, too. I mean, good morning.

But I know the area very well hear 14th and U Street, Northwest Washington, D.C. I had attended this lively music-dance-artistic festival at that very corner for last year's Juneteenth celebration.

Well, this year, tragedy struck late in the day in what was otherwise a beautiful celebration of freedom here in the nation's capital. A 15- year-old boy died and three other people were shot, including a police officer after the shooting broke out. This is close to a concert site that did not have a permit.


Now, D.C. police say that the venue -- it was not equipped to handle the number of people attending. Upwards of about 100 officers responded to this event even before the shooting and that is because earlier, there were two incidents that caused panic -- trampling at the concert. It was unclear what sparked the chaos initially as people were scattering, some injuring their legs and ankles.

And then the actual shooting happened. Several firearms discovered -- illegal firearms discovered on the scene, including a handgun on one of the two civilian adults who were shot and transported to a local hospital.


CHIEF ROBERT CONTEE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: Right before the shooting occurred our officers recovered a firearm -- an illegal firearm right here in the 14 block of U Street. And shortly before I walked down here our officers recovered another illegal firearm down in the 1400 block of T Street, and was chasing another person with an illegal firearm in the area.

So, I mean, I think there's a theme that you see here. Illegal firearms in the hands of people who should not have them make events like this unsafe for people who just want to enjoy the beautiful weather, who want to enjoy Father's Day, and want to enjoy our city.


MALVEAUX: It was, indeed, a beautiful day erupted by gunfire.

The D.C. Metropolitan Police chief says that the firearm that was used to shoot the four victims has not been recovered. No police officer discharged their weapon. The chief says that when you have large gatherings in a dense area all it takes is one person introducing a gun into that situation to make it deadly.

The ATF is also investigating, helping the police department with this.

But this tragedy comes, of course, as we have sadly seen an eruption of gun violence across the country.

KEILAR: Man, we are feeling it here in Washington, too.

MALVEAUX: We certainly are.

KEILAR: Suzanne, thank you for that report.

MALVEAUX: Thank you.

BERMAN: In a historic move, Colombia has elected its first leftist president, Gustavo Petro. The 62-year-old former Guerrilla fighter with two previous failed presidential bids narrowly defeated his opponent.

CNN's Stefano Pozzebon has all the details.


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN REPORTER (on camera): John, Brianna, history was truly made here in Colombia on Sunday with the election of Gustavo Petro as the first left-wing president in the country's history.

Petro is speaking just behind my back and he called for a new political dialogue with Washington based around protecting the environment and in the war on drugs, and the phasing out of fossil fuel. Those are all issues that are dear to the White House as well. But Petro also called for renegotiating a trade deal with the U.S. and taking Colombia out of NATO.

Surely a new chapter in Washington's relationship with Colombia has just begun -- John, Brianna.


BERMAN: So the world is getting its first look of the moment Russian forces took control of Lyman. This is in Eastern Ukraine. This happened last month.

We have body camera video purportedly from a Russian soldier that surfaced on social media over the weekend. It shows Russian troops moving past destroyed buildings on empty streets and at this point, meeting no resistance from the Ukrainian military. Again, this was last month.

The developments over the last few days of great concern for Ukraine as Russia appears to be making some gains on the ground in this part of the country.

CNN's Ben Wedeman is there with the latest. Ben, the Russians have been making these steady gains.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, in Lyman. We saw it last month and most recently in the town around Severodonetsk. The Russian now control most of that city, but they're also gaining control of some of the areas around it as well.

And they're also apparently advancing from the south of Lysychansk. Now, we were there just a few days ago. There was intense artillery activity outgoing as well as incoming. We were obviously on the -- on the Ukrainian side. But certainly, the intensity of the firing of the -- of the fighting in that area is getting worse.

Now, there are growing concerns about the fate of those two Americans who had joined the Ukrainian Army. That's Alexander Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, both from Alabama. Now, they have appeared on what's known as RT (Russia Today), a Russian propaganda network that said that they were in an internment center in the Donetsk People's Republic. Now, that's the pro-Russian breakaway parts of Ukraine. Now, the worrying thing, of course, is that we saw on the 9th of June two Britains and one Moroccan were sentenced to death. They had been also with the Ukrainian Army charged as mercenaries. Now, in Russia, there's a moratorium on the death sentence, but not in the Donetsk People's Republic.

Now, these Americans -- if they're put on trial as mercenaries, there's a very real danger they can also face the same charges and face the same sentence -- John.


BERMAN: All right, Ben Wedeman. Please keep us posted. Please stay safe. Thank you.

Thousands of flights canceled over the busy travel weekend. Is this going to be a summer-long problem?

Plus --


OPAL LEE, "GRANDMOTHER OF JUNETEENTH", TEACHER: It's mind-boggling to think that we actually have a holiday.


KEILAR: That was Opal Lee, the Grandmother of Juneteenth, during CNN's live special last night. We'll have more on the show and the history of Juneteenth when we get a reality check, next.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will be someone's ancestor. Act accordingly for our children, for our children's children. For those weapons that will inevitably be formed against them.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pastor, can you, pretty please, pass the plate to me? Can I get a ride to my job in your Mercedes? Ain't it you who's supposed to be guiding the sheep?

EARTH WIND & FIRE, BAND: Singing "Body Ah."


KEILAR: Earth Wind & Fire and a host of other incredible performers celebrating Black advocates, trailblazers, and creatives during CNN's special "JUNETEENTH: A GLOBAL CELEBRATION FOR FREEDOM."

While the holiday marks a moment for America to celebrate freedom, it's also a reminder that the progress Black Americans fought for is constantly at risk.

John Avlon has more in our reality check.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Juneteenth is now an American celebration -- a new national holiday marking the day that enslaved people in Texas finally learned about their freedom. But this was a delayed revelation. It came 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, almost six months after the passage of the 13th Amendment, and 71 days after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox.

It's a reminder that delay can be denial for some and that while history gives us hope, the details are often really messy, even in America's second founding. Because while Juneteenth symbolized the end of slavery, it did not ensure freedom -- not by a long shot.

The post-Civil War era known as reconstruction often gets short shrift in our history books but it has urgent lessons for our own time. Among other things, reconstruction reminds us that progress is not inevitable or self-perpetuated. It was a time of progress and backlash when Americans of African descent briefly served in Congress and state legislatures. But also in white terror groups, like the KKK, surged in violent resistance to even the prospect of multiracial democracy.

And let me clear up some memes you might have seen. Yes, the Black legislators were Republicans -- members of the party of Lincoln -- while the white south was overwhelmingly Democratic at the time, including some members of the KKK.

But party labels don't translate apples to apples across the centuries because Republicans were the moderate progressive party of the time, dedicated to ending slavery, while southern Democrats were conservative populists, largely rural and rallying around state's rights, defending slavery as an issue of constitutional liberty while many ex-Confederates refused to recognize their loss by embracing something called lost cause mythology.

Now, the influence of these ideas extended beyond the Deep South. Even President Andrew Johnson, a southern war Democrat who succeeded Abraham Lincoln, reflected many of these positions. He gave amnesty to Confederate leaders, and approved so-called black codes that amounted to slavery without the chains, and vetoed bills designed to move toward equal rights.

Johnson vetoed the 1866 Civil Rights Act, saying it was a stride to centralization, while raising the specter of special rights for the former slaves, arguing that the distinction of race and color is by this bill made to operate in favor of the colored and against the white race.

Now, if contemporary echoes come to mind it's also interesting to note The Atlantic described Johnson as being egotistic to the point of mental disease and insincere as well as stubborn. But under Johnson's successor, President Ulysses S. Grant, the 15th

Amendment was passed giving Black men the right to vote. For many though, victory was short-lived as white mob violence often framed as self-defense to social chains became widespread and soon segregation would place slavery in the south for a century.

That's why the tools that were used -- voter intimidation, voter suppression, election subversion -- resonate to this day. It's also a timely reminder that even rights enshrined in the Constitution can be rolled back if they are not enforced on a local level.

Every child is born innocent but every citizen needs to understand the history of our country -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- because that polar understanding makes us stronger. It's our shared legacy that provides crucial context for how we got to where we are. It'll help us listen for the echoes of old arguments and apply the lessons of the past to the present so we can charter a course towards a more united future armed with a common set of facts. Imperfect people aiming to form a more perfect union, also known as Americans.


And that's your reality check.

KEILAR: John Avlon, thank you.

Texas Republicans declaring homosexuality is a, quote, "abnormal lifestyle choice and Biden's election win illegitimate." We're going to discuss this shift further to the right

BERMAN: Passengers stranded across the country after airlines canceled thousands of flights over the weekend. This is a growing trend. We're live with the latest information ahead.



Clip from "Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine."

BERMAN: So how are you celebrating the 20th anniversary of the live- action "Scooby-Doo" movie?