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CNN TONIGHT: TX State Senator: Uvalde School Police Chief Who Led Response To Massacre Didn't Have Police Radio On Scene; Buffalo Attack Leaves Neighborhood Without A Grocery Store; DOJ Chooses Not To Charge Meadows And Scavino. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 03, 2022 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Again, "MISSING: MADELEINE MCCANN" airs tonight, 10 PM Eastern, here, on CNN.

The news continues. Let's hand it over to Laura Coates, and CNN TONIGHT.


LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Anderson, thank you so much. And have a great weekend.

I'm Laura Coates. And this is CNN TONIGHT.

And frankly, it's another frustrating Friday night, for the families of, and children, and teachers, who were massacred, in Uvalde, along with survivors of the attack. They're all about to head into yet another weekend, can you imagine, without crucial answers, to critical questions, on law enforcement's extremely delayed response, just last Tuesday.

The Department of Public Safety is apparently no longer issuing a preliminary report that was expected to be released today. But there is some new information, and it's trickling out, pertaining not only to what went wrong, but also what happened, inside of Robb Elementary School. And I'm sad to say, that it only compounds the agony.

The Texas State Senator, Roland Gutierrez, told CNN that he'd been briefed that the Uvalde school's Police Chief, Pete Arredondo, he turned into an Incident Commander, remember, he didn't have a radio, on him, when he arrived on the scene.


ROLAND GUTIERREZ, (D) TEXAS STATE SENATE: I have been told that this person did not have, this person, being the Incident Commander, did not have radio communication. And I don't know as to why.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: "Don't know as to why." And it's a great question. Because, if it's true, the Incident Commander, on the scene, of this mass shooting, would not have had a way, to directly contact dispatchers. And I'm wondering, did he ever have a radio eventually?

CNN reached out to both Arredondo, and the Texas Department of Safety, for comment. But we haven't received a response.

But if Chief Arredondo did not have a radio, that day, when he arrived on the scene? He might not have known all those 911 calls were even being made, let alone what was being said, on those calls, from inside of those classrooms, where the gunman was firing.

Now, we know as many as 19 officers, were in the hallway, outside those classrooms, and for more than 45 minutes. And every time, I say that, my stomach turns! 45 minutes! And for some reason, they were given orders, not to breach the barricaded doors.

Now, we don't know, sitting here, today, why precisely that order was given. We don't know, sitting here, today, what was known at the time of the order, or who else may have contributed, to that decision- making.

I'm sitting here wondering if it really comes down to just Chief Arredondo. Or are there other people we should be looking at? That's what everyone's trying to get to the bottom of.

And "The New York Times" just obtained a reported transcript, of one of those 911 calls, one that was made by a 10-year-old student, named Khloie Torres.

Now, look at this heartbreaking readout. It says, quote, "There is a lot of bodies... I don't want to die, my teacher is dead, my teacher is dead, please send help, send help for my teacher, she is shot, but still alive."

"The Times" reports that Khloie's call lasted for 17 minutes! 17 minutes! And a 11 minutes into that 911 call? The sound of gunfire could actually be overheard. And I keep going back to those key words we just said, we heard from this readout, "Still alive."

Now, thank God, Khloie was able to survive. But many of her friends, and teachers, they did not.

And I want you to listen, to Khloie's firsthand account.


KHLOIE TORRES, ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: My friend, Amory, she started trying to call the police, with her friend's phone. And when they did that, he started saying, "You'll die!"

He shot my friends, and my teachers.

He shot the girl next to me. And she said, "I've been shot." And I didn't want to say anything, because I didn't want him to come over, to me. So, I said, "Quiet." And he came back, and shot her again, because she wouldn't be quiet.


COATES: I mean, it's so difficult, to hear that coming, from the voice of a child, and having her describe what happened, around her. And her ability, to tell what happens, in that moment, is so crucial, to better-understanding every part of this.

And I know, as a former federal prosecutor, I know that investigations are going to take time. And it's not always at the pace with what the families want to know, and when they want to know. It takes time, I agree, for all the facts to come in, when you have any crime that's committed, let alone one on a scale of devastation, like this.


But there's the big picture. And then there are the details you know in the moment. And it's not unreasonable to question what people knew, in the moment, and what they did, in the moment. Because anything people knew, in real-time, ought to be able to be disclosed. You heard it now, from a young girl, able to tell what she knew.

But the questions being asked, we're not asking what everyone knew. Before you tell us what you knew, I'm asking, what you knew? Those who were in a position, to make a decision?

A fourth grade student, at Robb Elementary, and the parents of a slain 10-year-old are going to testify, before the House Oversight Committee, next week. And the lawmakers are going to hear a lot of emotional testimony.

But there also lies the key question, of what they are going to do, with that testimony, and what are they going to do about these things? Will lawmakers demand answers, to the questions that we've all been asking? Are they actually going to have access, to the things that are being withheld, from the media?

Just please, when you hear, from that little girl, and the families, of those who have lost their loved ones, please tell me that you're not only going to offer and extend thoughts and prayers.

Joining me now, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Anthony Barksdale, a former Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner, and Chris Vanghele, the officer, who led the initial entry team, at Sandy Hook.

Gentlemen, I'm happy to see you both.

But, on this Friday night, how absolutely devastating, is it, Anthony, to know that we don't have more answers, the week after, and going into another weekend, for these families, to be agonizing.

What is your reaction to the fact that we're hearing that potentially, the Incident Commander did not have a radio on the scene? What does that tell you?


When you take ownership of Incident Commander, over a significant event, you own it all. If there was someone who, from another agency, who teamed up with him, then it becomes a unified command.

But, from what we're getting, he's the Incident Commander, alone, and to not have a radio, is just, there's no excuse for it. Because it's Command Control. And you need to be sure that everyone's on the same page.

If I set up a command post, everyone reports to that command post, and get your name, your information, and I'll tell you what channel we're on. I want to know what's going on, inside the incident. And you kick out to me, what's going on, to the outside. If I need to put eyes--

COATES: So, well, on that point? Excuse me, Anthony?

BARKSDALE: Go ahead.

COATES: On that point, I just want to say, let's just say, for the sake of argument that he did not, for whatever reason, have a radio, on scene, when he first arrived? Are you suggesting that, look, because of that, it puts him at such a disadvantage, to have all the information that somebody else, should have assumed control, in a more meaningful way?

BARKSDALE: Absolutely. If you don't have your radio, how are you - how can you coordinate? How can you talk to the officers, give orders, or hear what's going on, what they're seeing during this incident? It's just - it's just inexcusable, for that type of failure, as the Incident Commander.

COATES: When you hear this, and I'm wondering, from your perspective, as well, on this, and how this goes, Chris Vanghele, when you think about it, it's one thing about the equipment that one has. But the key, to me, is the decision-making process, here, and the choices that were made.

And when you hear about the fact that there is a, and I can't even believe I'm saying this, a 17-minute 911 call, from a 10-year-old girl, telling and describing what's happening? I see you're shaking your head right now. What goes through your mind when you hear that?

Is this, I mean, is delayed reaction? Or this is, it appears to be, I don't know if it's incompetence, unconscionable, a little bit of both? What's your reaction?

CHIEF CHRISTOPHER VANGHELE, PLAINVILLE, CT POLICE DEPARTMENT, OFFICER WHO LED INITIAL ENTRY TEAM AT SANDY HOOK SHOOTING: I mean, it's heart- wrenching to hear that girl's retelling of what she went through.

As far as the Incident Command, the Incident Commander should be outside.

COATES: Yes. VANGHELE: And at this particular stage, of an active shooter situation, within the first five minutes, 15 minutes, your job is to just go in there, and neutralize the subject.

Doesn't matter if you're the chief, if you're an officer, with one year on, whether you have a way (ph) or not, as long as you have a gun, your job is to go in there, and neutralize the suspect. Then, you can set up your incident command, and decide what you're going to do, as far as your resources.

But, if they're inside the building, and he's acting, as an Incident Commander? That's the wrong thing to do. His job is not to sit there, and tell people, what to do, and try to coordinate things.


His only job - his first Mission One, is to get into that classroom, and neutralize that suspect, especially if they heard gunfire. That right there would tell me this is not any type of a barricaded suspect. This is an active shooter. It was, from the start. And it remained so, until that suspect was killed.

COATES: That's interesting that he says that, Anthony. Because, the idea we've been going, and thinking about, the notion of an Incident Commander, coming first, and then everything else follows? That's the initial course of action.

But do you agree that the initial course of action is, according to the training, to try to neutralize the threat, and then worry about the logistics? It seems to some that well, one, maybe two, can happen the same time.

BARKSDALE: It depends on what you have. I don't know when he arrived. If there already - if there's contact, then you have a green light, to keep engaging, keep going, at this individual.

If you have a memorandum of understanding, with other agencies, you need to coordinate, when they arrive to that scene. You can't just have everybody running around. That Incident Commander has to take control and get order in the chaos.

So, we still need a lot of things answered. How did arrivals, what units arrived? What was the - what were the decisions made? And we're not getting those answers.

COATES: When I think about this, and we know about the radio, potentially not being there? And I understand both of your points, the idea of you don't figure out, who's in charge, until you figure out, who's shooting, and how to get that to stop. I understand that premise.

But what about the potential for body cam footage? I mean, these had been available, in places, like Uvalde. And I ask the question, particularly about maybe audio footage that could be used, to try to help understand, what happened there. Do you think, Chief Vanghele that this would actually be available, any sort of body cam footage, to try to figure out, what happened, in that hallway?

VANGHELE: I think body cam is invaluable in this situation. According to the news reports, Uvalde's had body cameras, since 2015, and had an upgrade, in 2020.

When you're going through an event like this, as an officer, you can't necessarily rely, on your memory, of what happened. You're going through extreme stress disorder. You have a lot of gulp of adrenaline. And there are - you have auditory exclusion. There are visual distortions. There are time lapses, where time seems to speed up, or slow down.

And so, if you're giving a statement, right, from the start, you're going to miss a lot of things. The body camera, though, is incontrovertible. You watch a body camera, you know where that person went, who they talked to, what they said, and the times that they said it.

So, when they use those body cameras, as pieces of the puzzle, along with the radio transmissions, along with witness statements, along with statements, from the officers, they're going to get a very exact picture, of exactly what happened, and what the exact timeline is. Unfortunately, that's probably going to take several weeks, if not, maybe even months.

COATES: Anthony Barksdale, Chief Chris Vanghele, thank you both.

VANGHELE: Thank you, Laura.

COATES: I want to dig much deeper, into this, and talk about the lasting impact, of mass shootings, ahead. Beyond the impact of families and victims and survivors, but also how these tragedies impact entire communities, in the long-term, long after the TV cameras are gone. Next.



COATES: So, we really have to talk to one another, about what comes next. I don't just mean legislatively.

I'm talking about the after. After the police tape comes down, after the memorials seem to go away, after the cameras leave, after the names of those that we have lost, are heard less, and less, on our airwaves than they deserve.

Now, maybe it's out of self-preservation, I don't know. Maybe it's compartmentalizing. Your focus is going to shift, and you're going to find yourself, maybe trying to forget, about these incidents that are so tragic, where people were killed, just doing the very activities that you probably did, today. Going to school or a doctor's appointment, attending a synagogue, or going to a trip, to the grocery store. Just like 10 people in Buffalo, New York, who never came home!

You see? While we're trying to find out the, what happened, I also want to focus on the after. And it's all part of it. You know that the lives lost will leave a void. But you may not realize that the voids that the mass shootings create, well, create voids, in other ways, the collateral damage, and the impact.

And one, perhaps, surprising way to some? Hunger. This is what is too often lost in our conversation. We think about the aftermath, only being about the legal aspect, or the accountability, or in the confines of what we think of as justice.

But there are scenes like this that happen, following mass shootings. Desperate families, relying on the kindness of strangers, for fresh food.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The other stores, you're getting junk food, and it's not good for you or your kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, you can ask anybody who lives over here, like, to lose a staple in your community like that? You almost don't get over it.



COATES: Now, they're talking about the staple being the Tops grocery store. Maybe you've heard of a thing called a food desert. Happens all across this country, and people don't talk about it. They assume it's something that it's someone else's problem.

But the Tops grocery store was the only source of fresh produce, for Black families, in Buffalo's East Side of New York. Government data actually shows the reality of that.

Now, look at this map. Now, around the supermarket, many people don't have access to a car. And they live more than a half mile away, from another supermarket. And that data is from when Tops was actually still open. But today, Tops remains closed. The day after the alleged shooter pled not guilty to more than 20 counts.

Now, other racially-motivated attacks show that it's anybody's guess, when a store like this will reopen. Remember the Walmart, in El Paso? That stayed closed for three months. In Jeffersontown, Kentucky, the Kroger reopened in two days.

But it's an uncertainty, people in Buffalo, now live with, every day, and one that goes even beyond feeding your family.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been scared to even go to the store, by myself, or take my daughter, to the store. Because I don't even know, you know, if I'm going to be targeted.


COATES: Doesn't even know if you'll be targeted!

As a Professor of Urban Planning, at the University of Buffalo, my next guest, Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., he knows that every day Tops grocery stays closed? The risk of people going hungry, only grows.

Professor Henry Louis Taylor, thank you for joining me, this evening.

Many people might be hearing this term, of food desert, for the very first time. But for so many people, the reality of the inaccessibility, to nutritious and fresh food, might seem like a very distant stretch, from a mass shooting.

But it's caused this damage. Talk to me a little bit about what the impact has been, in this community, based on this.

HENRY LOUIS TAYLOR, JR., PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF URBAN & REGIONAL PLANNING, UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO: I think the first thing that we must understand is that this was not just a tragedy. It was a double tragedy.

It was the tragedy of 10 people, losing their lives. But it was also the tragedy of the single, sole source of food, healthy, affordable foods, especially fresh fruits, and vegetables, also being closed down. It was a double tragedy.

So, the challenge that we're facing, on the short-term, is how do we get people to the store, to shop? And it's a complicated issue, in communities, where individuals, many individuals, don't have a car. I remember, years ago, when a woman once told me, "Dr. Taylor, bags, babies and buses don't mix." She was talking about the hardship of the journey to grocery shop.

In many other instances, people have to get cabs, and other rides that costs money. And we're talking about a community, in which rent- gouging, is a characteristic feature, for many individuals, on Buffalo's East Side.

And by rent-gouging, I'm talking about people paying 35 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent, 60 percent, of their income, on housing. And then, when we add the transportation to that, then we really begin to put a strain, on the family's budget.

But food? Food is a necessity. It's the lifeline of a community. So, the shooting, created this double hardship, the pain, the misery and the grieving of lost lives. But then the reality of, how do I get to grocery shop.

And there were other services there. You could get a prescription. You could get a check cashed. You could pay your utilities. A short distance from the food store was a health clinic, and not far away was a bank. You're in an environment, where a single trip could allow you to do multiple things. And for a community, like Buffalo, with a singular store, and many people without transportation, that was a tragic, and significant loss, to the community. And the longer it lasts, the greater the levels of hardship, will be.

COATES: Professor Henry Louis Taylor, thank you so much, for bringing that context, for people to understand.


I mean, 10 lives, were claimed. In fact, one of the people, who was outside, was somebody who was transporting others, to be able to get to the Tops, to be able to have the service you're talking about. 10 lives taken, and then lifelines cut off.

People need to know and understand about the collateral impact, and what happens after, and what the devastation of a racially-targeted and -motivated shooting, in particular, the exacerbation of all of the factors you're talking about, as well, it cannot go unnoticed.

Thank you for being here. I appreciate it.

LOUIS TAYLOR, JR.: Thank you.

One last thing, I want to stress. People call it a food desert. But we call it food apartheid.

A desert make it sound as if it's something that naturally happens.

When we say "Apartheid," we want to bring people back to the idea that these decisions are driven by public and private shop decisions. And these are the same set of decisions that lead to the racial segregation of communities, and the denial or the limitation of certain types of critical institutions, including food stores--


LOUIS TAYLOR, JR.: --that are so valuable, to human beings. Thank you.

COATES: Thank you. So well-said, and poignant, and needed to be addressed. Thank you so much.

LOUIS TAYLOR, JR.: Thank you.

COATES: Another former top adviser, in the Trump White House, was arrested, today, after being indicted by a federal grand jury, for dodging the January 6 committee. The legal peril he now faces, who could be next, and who we're now learning, won't be charged. That's coming up.



COATES: So, this is just in. The Department of Justice has chosen not to charge former Trump White House aides, Mark Meadows, and Dan Scavino, for their refusal to cooperate with January 6 committee.

Now, this is coming, on the same day, mind you that Trump's former White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, was actually arrested, indicted, and hauled into federal court, precisely because he wouldn't testify, or hand over documents, to that same committee.

CNN's Gloria Borger, joins me now.

Gloria, what a day!


COATES: What do we know, about the distinction, between these two cases? Why indict and charge one, and not the other two?

BORGER: Well, Peter Navarro never even attempted to cooperate with the committee, in the same way, Steve Bannon never attempted to cooperate with the committee. And he was also indicted.

But when you look at Dan Scavino, and you look at Mark Meadows? You know that these two gentlemen spent, almost all their time, with the President. And you're the attorney. I'm not. But there are a lot of privilege issues here, right? There, it's a very, very complicated set of privilege issues.

And also, both of these men had attorneys that dealt with the committee a lot. And you know that Mark Meadows handed over thousands of pages of emails. And there is a long set of negotiations, between Dan Scavino's attorney and the committee's attorney. So, though they didn't come to any agreement, there was at least some conversation. And in the end--

COATES: And I think - I think Navarro doesn't have an attorney, right? He wants to represent himself, as well.

BORGER: Well there you go!

COATES: That's the exact point.

BORGER: And you know what they say about people who represent themselves! But he--

COATES: I won't say it on air! But yes!

BORGER: Right. So, the other two men had much more complicated issues, and did try and deal, with the committee. And the Justice Department basically said, "We're not going to hold you in contempt."

But Bannon and Navarro? Totally different cases.

COATES: Well, this is all around the select committee, and January 6 committee.

BORGER: Right.

COATES: And speaking of that committee, hearings are coming up, next week. And they're going to be led by Congressman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, for whom January 6 is especially meaningful.

BORGER: That's right, Laura. I traveled to Mississippi, with Bennie Thompson. And during that time, there, I learned that he comes to this job, with a very personal view, of what a free and fair election means. In fact, to him, it means making sure every vote counts. And that has been his life's work.

Take a look.


BORGER (voice-over): The way, Bennie Thompson saw it, from a House gallery, on January 6, his congressional lapel pin was a badge of honor.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Security told us, "You need to take your pin off. Because, they break in, and see you with that pin on? They could kill you."

I said, "No. As many people I know, who fought, and died, in this country, for me, to have the right, to represent, and for them to have the right to vote? I'm not going to let, any insurrectionist, rioter, crazy person, come here, and take this pin."

BORGER (voice-over): He's been wearing a pin for 13 terms, the only Democrat, and only Black member of Mississippi's congressional delegation, representing one of the poorest districts, in the country.

Now cast into the national spotlight, as Chairman of the January 6 committee, taking on a challenge, unlike any other, in American history.

BORGER (on camera): What's at stake with these hearings?

THOMPSON: Well, our democracy is at stake. We have to defend our democracy. We have to defend our government.

BORGER (voice-over): For Thompson, now 74, this job is about a personal history, come full circle. As a product of the Jim Crow South, the right to vote, and be counted, in a free and fair election, has been his life's work.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): It's an extraordinary arc in a political career. He had to struggle for representation, at the local level, at the county level, at the federal level.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): It wasn't possible, in his state, for a person of color, to be elected.

REUBEN ANDERSON, FORMER MISSISSIPPI SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: When he was growing up, voting was such an important and treasured thing. So many Mississippians lost their lives, over the right to vote. That sticks with me, for a while.

BORGER (voice-over): Or a lifetime. In Washington, D.C., Thompson hasn't been one of those well-known faces, parked in front of a camera. But, in his hometown, of Bolton, population 521, everyone knows Bennie, and the way to his office.

DERRICK JOHNSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: People walk in. They sit down. They go get something, to drink out the refrigerator, water, or soft drink, and they leave. It is like the community office. And that's the person he is.


THOMPSON: This was the police station, City Hall, everything.

BORGER (voice-over): He lives in the same brick ranch house, in the same affordable housing community that he fought to build, as Mayor, in the 70s.

THOMPSON: Person, who sold us this land, got his life threatened, because he sold it to the Black community.

BORGER (voice-over): And he's back, every weekend, driving around his 300 mile-long district, which includes the capital city, Jackson, and the rural Mississippi Delta. He likes to travel with his fishing pole and guns in the truck.

THOMPSON: I will call friends, and say, "Look, I'll be in the area. Let's go hunt."

JOHNSON: Duck, deer, we're going to quell.

ANDERSON: People like that about him. He's just a regular person.

BORGER (voice-over): Who grew up in the segregated South.

THOMPSON: I went to Bolton Colored School. We had no indoor plumbing. Obviously, no cafeteria, no library.

BORGER (voice-over): Until he got to the private, desegregated Tougaloo College, in 1964. The place where Black Power found its voice, and Thompson found his.

THOMPSON: Martin Luther King, Jr., Stokely Carmichael, sitting in this very building, in Mississippi, at that point, did not allow Black and White people, to assemble, in public buildings. And, for me, having never gone to school, until I got to Tougaloo, with a White student.

BORGER (on camera): Never?

THOMPSON: Never. It was like, "Whew!"

BORGER (voice-over): It was a revelation of sorts. He was determined not to be one of those people, who got an education, and left. He was going to get it, and use it, at home. He started, by registering voters.

THOMPSON: I told my mother, how excited, I was, to go to Sunflower County, Mississippi, and help poor African Americans, to register and vote. And my mama said, "We don't vote, here, in Bolton."

BORGER (on camera): Did you register your mother?

THOMPSON: Oh, absolutely.

BORGER (voice-over): For years, the courts became his battleground, as his local election wins, were consistently challenged. And when he became Bolton's first Black mayor, in 1973, winning by just 18 votes, he was sued, once again, by a White challenger.

THOMPSON: We proved that there were people eligible to vote that the election officials denied. And under the Voting Rights Act, they couldn't do that.

People somehow said, I cheated, that it just couldn't be a lawful election.

BORGER (on camera): Rigged election? I've heard that before!

THOMPSON: Fast forward. Some of the same comments that I heard, back then, resonated, on January 6.

BORGER (voice-over): Now, he's leading the investigation, into what happened that day.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to walk down to the Capitol.

BORGER (on camera): So, do you believe that Donald Trump provoked, and led the insurrection, and then was applauding it, as it occurred?

THOMPSON: I believe Donald Trump was the puppet master. He allowed, with his rhetoric, people to be bamboozled, into believing that the election was stolen.

BORGER (voice-over): And, for Thompson, that's personal.

THOMPSON: My dad that (ph) - dad, when I was 10th grade, but he never had a chance to vote. And for his son, to be elected, I think, is a sense of how far we've come.

The bragging rights, as Americans is, you can support the candidate, of your choice. And sometimes, you win. Sometime, you lose. But you don't tear the place up, if you lose.


BORGER: And Laura, that's only the beginning, of the story, he wants America, to hear, starting next week, at the hearings.

COATES: What an important piece to better-understand this man!

BORGER: Thank you.

COATES: Thank you for doing it.

BORGER: Thank you.

COATES: Phenomenally done! Gloria Borger?

BORGER: Thanks.

COATES: Thank you so much.

BORGER: Thanks, Laura.

COATES: Joe Biden, well, he ran on what his campaign called a "Battle for the soul of America." But as crisis after crisis, batters the Administration, well, there are signs of a battle, inside the White House, for the direction of this presidency.

So, is the West Wing letting Biden be Biden? Or is that precisely what's keeping his approval ratings underwater? Well, examine it, next.



COATES: While the White House is lit up, in orange, tonight, to bring awareness to gun violence, it's a symbol that may bring comfort. But what the country truly needs, is action, and not just on gun violence.

The President is struggling to overcome several major challenges, to be frank. And Biden says he can't do anything, in the short-term, to bring down food and gas prices. He says he didn't even realize the shutdown of a baby formula plant would cause such a massive shortage.

And now, some of his aides tell CNN that dysfunction within the Administration, is making it harder, to deal with all these mounting problems.

Joining me now is CNN Reporter, on that story, Isaac Dovere.

Isaac, I'm glad you're here, tonight.

And we just listed a couple of the issues, and challenges, facing this administration. And he ran, on a platform, I remind the public, of being a problem-solver. But the dysfunction, and the stories surrounding it? The idea of not quite knowing that there were going to be this much of a shortage?

And, in fact, listen to this baby - this notion, he's talking about the infant formula that he didn't realize would actually had these consequences, listen to this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Here's the deal. I became aware of this problem sometime in - after April - in early April, about how intense it was. And so, we did everything in our power from that point on.


COATES: So, what's behind, what is being perceived, increasingly, as dysfunction?

EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Well, look, part of this really does stem from the President, himself, and the way that he is struggling, to get out, and get his message out, to people.


Even that clip that you showed was him talking about the baby formula situation, in a setting, which is pretty familiar to people. He was, at the White House, in front of some screens, talking, out removed (ph), from most people.

It's actually very different from the Joe Biden that we all got used to seeing, for his entire time, in public life, basically until he walked, into the White House, for the first time. Obviously, the pandemic, during the campaign, changed some of that too.

But the guy, who was always, with people, and talking, with people, and having these unscripted moments, and finding the humanity, in them, and having them find the humanity in him? He is sitting there, in what one person, familiar with White House operations, told me, for the story, feels like the set of Jeopardy! And because it's just always at a distance, and always at this reactive situation that the White House, and the President, has been caught in.

COATES: Let's not talk about Jeopardy! It hits too close to home for me, Edward-Isaac.

DOVERE: Sorry!

COATES: But let me just go move on - we'll move on from that, for a second. Wink-wink!

But let me just ask you this. What are the aides thinking, about this notion? I mean, he goes from the approachable Joe Biden, always out and about, like you're talking about. Is there some tension about his planning, and decision, to not be that?

Is that being directed? Is that, in his mind, or in his aides' minds, a way to have a more, I don't know, presidential air, less accessible, to deal with the problems of the day? What's that about?

DOVERE: Well, like, this flows a lot from the President himself. He is, first of all, a man of his generation. He's 79-years-old. He thinks still in terms of newspaper front pages, and cable primetime, no offense, again, obviously.

But there are so many other things in this much more fractured media environment, that are required to break through, and so much more that's necessary, to drive, by repetition, a message, and an idea, of what he's doing, and how he's approaching, all the things that he's got in front of him.

On top of that, there is Biden's own sense of the presidency, as a guy, who spent 50 years, looking up to the presidency, from the outside, and thinking of it, as the President gives speeches, and the President can sit and explain this to the American people. And if he can just explain it, then the American people will understand.

But you know what? Even that speech, last night, the gun speech that he delivered, from the White House, which was a powerful speech? His delivery was intense. It was stage-managed, with those votive candles, along the walkway. All of that, how many people tuned into it, realistically?

And he has to figure out how to make sure that what he's saying, and what he wants people, to hear, from him, breaks through, in all sorts of ways, even to the people, who may not have been sitting, in front of a TV, at 7:30 at night, last night.

COATES: Including, of course, as he well knows, the idea of his inaugural address, talking about bringing the country together, recognizing that there is the partisan filter, by which we actually are sometimes, able to see things. There's the siloes and echo chambers. He's aware of all of this.

And finally, how much do you think might be attributed to the idea of him comparing to maybe his predecessor, not being a Twitter President, not being somebody, who's in that same vein? Don't answer that! It was rhetorical!

Thank you, Isaac Dovere. I appreciate your time.

DOVERE: Thank you.

COATES: And coming up, is the International mystery, over Madeleine McCann disappearance finally over? Randi Kaye is on the case, next.



COATES: It's been 15 years, since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. A 3-year-old little girl, who vanished, from her bedroom, on May 3, 2007, during a holiday, with her family, in the Algarve region. Little Madeleine went missing, while her parents, were dining with friends, nearby, in the resort, of Praia da Luz.

Last month, Portuguese authorities named the first formal suspect, in the case, since Madeleine McCann's parents were officially cleared.

CNN's Randi Kaye, traveled to the McCann hometown, in the U.K., and to Germany, for interviews of the prosecutor, and crime and intelligence analysts, to discuss the latest developments, in the case, including new evidence that connects a suspect, who was a convicted rapist, and child abuser, to McCann's disappearance.



RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (on camera): What makes you so certain that Madeleine McCann is dead? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have some evidence for this. We have no forensic evidence. But we have other evidence. But I'm not allowed to speak about this, in detail, at the moment.

KAYE (on camera): You wouldn't come out and say that Madeleine McCann was dead, if you thought there was a chance that she wasn't, correct?


KAYE (on camera): So, to be clear, the formal suspect, in Madeleine McCann's case, is a convicted rapist, and a known pedophile?


KAYE (voice-over): Shockingly, authorities received their first tip, on Bruckner (ph), back in 2013. But, as a witness, in the McCann case, not a suspect. He allegedly lied, and told authorities, he wasn't in Portugal at the time of the disappearance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This may have been the biggest mistake in this case. In the letter, inviting him, for this kind of interview, they explained to him that this was about the Maddie McCann case. And if he's guilty, this gave him, all the time, in the world, to destroy evidence.

KAYE (on camera): When you have this man, who was living about a mile away, from the Ocean Club, he has a clear criminal record, why did it take so long?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's one of the big questions, in this case. Christian B was hiding in plain sight. So, he lived next to the place, and he was a known child molester. It should have been possible, to identify him earlier.

KAYE (voice-over): Two years, after German authorities went public, Bruckner (ph) still has not been formally charged, and he denies any involvement in the McCann case.


COATES: That clip is just a small part of an intriguing one-hour special, with new details, about the prime suspect.

Randi Kaye, joins us now.

Randi, it is an unbelievable story. All these years later, we are still so captivated. Why hasn't he been charged yet? What are the prosecutors waiting for?


KAYE: Well, Laura, we went to Germany. And we spoke with the prosecutor. And he did tell me that they do have cell phone evidence that puts this suspect, Christian Bruckner's (ph), cell phone, at the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine McCann disappeared from. But just in the area of the Ocean Club. They can't tell if his cell phone was actually at the Ocean Club, the night that she disappeared. But the trouble is, while logic would follow that if his cell phone is there, he was there too? They still can't prove that. And that's why they haven't brought charges, yet.

They were still looking for the person, the key witness, who called Christian Bruckner's (ph) cell phone.

And that's the person who would be able to tell this prosecutor, "Yes, I called that phone. Yes, Christian Bruckner (ph) had his cell phone. He was in possession of it. He answered it. He was at the area, where the Ocean Club was."

But they still don't have that witness. They haven't been able to find him. And that witness hasn't come forward either.

So, the good news, for the prosecutor, is that there is no statute of limitations, for homicide, in Germany. So, they have a lot of time, to figure this out. But, of course, Laura, they want to charge this person, as soon as they can.

COATES: Wow! Thank you, Randi Kaye. Unbelievable story!

KAYE: Sure.

COATES: And thank you all, for watching.