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CNN TONIGHT: January 6 Committee To Hold Fifth Public Hearing; DOJ Issues Fresh Round Of Subpoenas In Fake Electors Scheme; Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo Placed On Leave; House Republican Leaders Oppose Bipartisan Gun Deal As Senate Moves Toward Passage; Arthur Ashe's Legacy. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired June 22, 2022 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Thank you for watching, everyone. But you know what? The night is still young. It's just beginning really because Sara Sidner is here. Sara, good evening.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don. Thank you so much. Good to see you.
LEMON: See you later.
SIDNER: I am Sara Sidner and this is CNN TONIGHT. Tomorrow's January 6 hearing will include -- quote -- "conversations about pardons." That promise made today by Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson. He wouldn't say whether that meant we will see evidence of members of Congress asking for pardons from then-President Trump.
But according to Congressman Jamie Raskin, the panel is sorting through a deluge of new evidence and it's enough to postpone next week's hearings until next month. Some of that evidence comes from a tip line and some of it from a British-made documentary featuring Ivanka Trump, who told a crew in mid-December of 2020 that Donald Trump should continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted because, she said, people were questioning the sanctity of our elections.
Now, that sounds a little bit different from what she said in testimony revealed this month. In April this year, Ivanka said she believed Attorney General Bill Barr's conclusion that there was no evidence of widespread election fraud.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: How did that affect your perspective about the election when Attorney General Barr made that statement?
IVANKA TRUMP, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he was saying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: Barr made his view public on December 1st, 2020, a few days before Ivanka spoke to the documentary crew. We should mention that the documentary by British filmmaker Alex Holder is now owned by Discovery Plus, a division of CNN's parent company, Warner Brothers Discovery.
So, what other surprises might come from this documentary? Footage also includes interviews with then-President Donald Trump, other members of his family, and then-Vice President Pence. And according to the filmmaker, it includes unparalleled access from before and after January 6th.
The public witnesses tomorrow will be members of a Trump-era Justice Department, including Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. But there's one lawyer who's not interested in testifying publicly, former Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. He thinks he has said enough to the committee in private. But Republican Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney is urging him to change his mind and go public.
As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Watergate scandal, comparisons are being made between his potential impact and that of former Nixon White House counsel and Watergate star witness, John Dean, who was asked about those comparisons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT NIXON: I think we need a Pat Cipollone moment. I truly do. And in this situation, Pat Cipollone does not represent Donald Trump either. He represents the office of the president. And I think he really has a duty to come forward to protect democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: And there is still the question of the incredible revelation to many concerning conservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whose text messages pushed the "stop the steal" agenda with a Trump allied lawyer.
Chairman Thompson tells CNN that she has responded to the committee's voluntary request to speak with her, but there is no agreement yet on whether Ms. Thomas could testify publicly.
One trump supporter, however, now says he wants to testify.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: Many folks remember that moment. That's Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, who spoke at the Trump rally ahead of the Capitol insurrection. He says he'll talk but only if he can do so publicly and wants to see any documents the committee might ask about ahead of time.
The committee already tried and failed to serve him with a subpoena while he was on the campaign trail but says it will redo the subpoena and get it to him quickly.
All right, a lot to sift through. I'm joined by a pair of former lawmakers, Senator Al Franken and Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, and a former White House lawyer for the Trump administration, Jim Schultz.
Thank you all for being here.
I know that the person to my right, Senator Franken, has a lot to say because he has been making little responses to what's been going on. So, I'm going to start with you. How about that?
AL FRANKEN, FORMER MINNESOTA SENATOR: Yeah, okay.
SIDNER: Ready? All right. How important could this new video that they've been talking about -- unprecedented access to Donald Trump and those around him both before and after January 6th -- that was shot by a British filmmaker who followed him for six weeks and did a lot of interviews during this time?
FRANKEN: Well, I'm sure it's bad, but it's already bad. You know, it's -- Jerry Maguire, Renee Zelwegger said, you had me at hello --
FRANKEN: -- you know, Trump had me at I need you to find me 11,700 votes. I mean, he is guilty of --
FRANKEN: And then, of course, at the hearing, they played where he is threatening Raffensperger. He was shaking him down. We were talking before about he's vulnerable in Fulton County. It's the same crime. It is a federal election. I don't understand and maybe, counselor, you can tell me why there's any question about whether you can prosecute this guy for a crime.
SIDNER: It's a darn good question.
JIM SCHULTZ, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: No, I really think his biggest liability and if I were Donald Trump, I'd be worried mostly about Fulton County, Georgia for a number of reasons. One, they have grand jury in panel. Number two, they have a solicitation statute. So, if you solicit someone to interfere in an election in Georgia, that's a crime.
SIDNER: So it doesn't just have to be you personally. If you ask someone else to do it on your behalf, which also happened, that too is a crime.
SCHULTZ: Right, and there's a hook. All this testimony that we've seen over the -- through the January 6th panel and we are going to continue to see all continues to build that case and they're going to look at that and use that information and hold people down in Georgia.
ABBY FINKENAUER, FORMER IOWA REPRESENTATIVE: And when it comes to the documentary, I mean, selfishly, I really, really want to hear what this former president of the United States was saying as my friends and my former colleagues were scared for their lives that day.
I mean, I was literally sitting at my house in Cedar Rapids texting a chain of congresswomen knowing that they were in the building. They were in the House as I watched these insurrectionists go up the stairs that day. I want to know what he was saying, what he was doing, and what he said afterwards.
SIDNER: And some of that might be revealed in this -- this documentary that no one has seen except for those --
FRANKEN: Are we talking about three plus hours where he knew --
FRANKEN: -- your former colleagues or my former --
FRANKEN: -- colleagues were being endangered and he did nothing?
SIDNER: Well, that included Vice President Pence. What do you think as far as going forward -- I mean, do they not have enough, I mean, legally? Do they at this point from what you have seen -- and the evidence has been brought forward. It seems they're going through this as a prosecutor would go through this. Did they have enough to already say there was criminal activity and we need to look at this?
SCHULTZ: I'll be interested to see what Congress says because there's been some reticence by some folks on the committee and Democrats on the committee to make a criminal referral in this matter, because you know what they're worried about, they're worried about political implications of it, because if there is a criminal -- if there are criminal charges brought at the federal level, they're concerned that, you know, if they were the ones to recommend it, that it's just a political witch hunt, if you will, or there'll be an argument that there's a political witch hunt. So, there's some concern there. But you're seeing some folks like Liz Cheney, you know, very aggressively saying, look, we should make a referral here.
SIDNER: Okay. But before you go --
FRANKEN: That really wasn't the answer to the question.
SIDNER: No -- FRANKEN: The question is there enough there --
SCHULTZ: Prosecutors have to -- prosecutors have to sift through that information and make a determination whether they can get before a jury and get a conviction. The last thing a prosecutor is going to want to do is get before a jury before the president of the United States and lose. So that's a judgment call that that prosecutor in Fulton County, Georgia and perhaps Merrick Garland are going to have to make.
SIDNER: You mentioned something. It is important to listen to this because you just -- you alluded to it. They're looking for votes or they're asking to find votes. Let's listen to some of what was said and these are pretty big moments. Each of the people you hear from are diehard Republicans, secretaries of state speaking to the committee. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSTY BOWERS, SPEAKER AND MEMBER, ARIZONA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I just thought this is a --- this is a tragic parody. I do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner or a vengeful manner. I do not want to be a winner by cheating. I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Mr. Secretary, was the president here asking you for exactly what he wanted, one more vote than his opponent?
BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: What I knew is that we didn't have any votes to find. We continued to look. We investigated. I can share the numbers with you. There were no votes to find. That was an accurate count that had been certified. And as our general counsel said, there were no shredding of ballots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: Okay. These are two well-known Republicans. Doesn't this hearing from them saying what they said negate the whole idea that this was a witch hunt? I mean --
FINKENAUER: I mean, absolutely. One of the things I remember, you know, even just hearing this week Trump is upset he doesn't have his people on the committee and there's not, you know, a bipartisan committee. It is a bipartisan committee. But the reality is, no, there aren't Republicans on the committee who believe in the big lie. There are Republicans on the committee who are actually defending democracy and following the oath that they took. That's the issue here. It is bipartisan. There are people trying to do the right thing, and unfortunately, there are too many cowards on the other side right now who just won't call out the lies as they happen and call out the conspiracies. And that's, again, what they're talking about when they don't have their people.
SIDNER: We've got a lot more to talk about. I want to do a quick yes or no. Yes or no, does this negate the whole idea of a witch hunt when you have two Republicans coming out like this?
SCHULTZ: In his words, you know, it's very difficult to make an argument at this point of a witch hunt, absolutely.
SIDNER: Al, yes or no?
FRANKEN: He should be prosecuted. He has tried to overturn -- engaged in a conspiracy to overturn a legitimate democratic election.
SIDNER: Okay, we've got three yeses and that doesn't always happen. So, we've got a lot more to talk about.
Coming up, we will look at fresh subpoenas issued by the Justice Department in the fake electors scheme. Will that do anything to satisfy critics who argue that Merrick Garland isn't moving fast enough?
Back with tonight's guests here at the table next.
SIDNER: Thanks for sticking with us. Federal agents have delivered new subpoenas targeting people involved in the fake electors scheme in states like Georgia. Yet even as the DOJ moves forward, the January 6th hearings are delaying their most serious active prosecution. A federal judge has delayed the seditious conspiracy trial of five leaders of the Proud Boys until December, saying in court the delay is due to -- quote -- "the prominence of the Proud Boys and the committee's publicly televised hearings."
All right, we are are back with a panel with a new panelist. Al Franken and Jim Schultz are back. And let's bring in former federal prosecutor Shan Wu. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
So, you heard the DOJ is issuing the subpoenas, but those who took part in this phony scheme trying to get different electors put in place of others. Do you think that Donald Trump will ever receive a similar subpoena? I'll start with you.
SCHULTZ: I don't know that you'll see -- he's not going to appear. It's not only that you'll see a subpoena. I mean, there's no question the former president is not going to -- is not going to appear before Congress. SIDNER: Yeah.
SCHULTZ: I can assure you of that. So, I don't believe they'll issue a subpoena or even think, you know, because I think it will undermine the credibility of the panel, I think, if they issue a subpoena where they know he's not going to come unless they're looking at, you know, perhaps contempt and other things that they could -- that they could throw out.
SIDNER: But this is the DOJ doing this. The DOJ is sending these subpoenas out to various people because of this alleged scheme. Should we expect the DOJ also sends one to him since he seemed to be involved in this?
SCHULTZ: The only time you're going to see the DOJ get to the point where they're going to subpoena the president is when they've had enough information that they've gathered along the line that the last person they're going to bring in is the former president.
SIDNER: Okay. I've got to ask you, is there enough evidence so far that you have seen come out in the public sphere for the DOJ to charge the president?
SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Oh, absolutely. There's a mountain of intent evidence. I've never seen this much intent evidence. It is always hard to prove intent but the circumstances of what does it. So, it is really a question of prosecutorial discretion. Does Garland have the will to do it and what's the timing going to look like here? I mean, that's what the real issue is. There is no problem with (INAUDIBLE).
SIDNER: You talked about the timing. You talked about the politics behind this. Politically speaking, what do you say to people who say, you know what, you do it now and, you know, everyone is just going to say on one side of this, this is just a complete political hack job, they're just trying to keep him from being able to run or affect the election?
FRANKEN: I'm not the only one to say this, but the only thing worse than prosecuting him is not prosecuting him. Look, I'm not a lawyer. I played one in a sketch, but to me, this is an open and shut case. Shan Wu has said as much. And he should be prosecuted. And I think he will be because to not do this is very dangerous, to not do it.
SIDNER: From the committee's perspective, what more do you think the committee needs? They have more evidence. They have literally delayed this -- this -- this hearing so that they could look through a whole gamut of what they say is new evidence.
SCHULTZ: Well, they're going to continue to look at new information. They are under a tight deadline. They want to try and get a report out by the fall. So, we can expect that.
[23:20:00] But I think they're going to try to track down as much as they can between now and then, and turn that over at some point in time. They haven't turned it over yet. But at some point in time, turn that over to the Justice Department for their use. Justice Department very asked for it. I imagine Fulton County is going to be asking as well.
SIDNER: What are some of the reasons why the DOJ might not prosecute the president, the former president?
WU: Primarily what's been talked about, which is Garland is concerned about them looking like they're partisan. He's worried that maybe in the future it'll hurt DOJ's image, which has already been greatly hurt during the Trump administration with Barr. That's what he's concerned about right now.
But I think, you know, to the point that Jim is making about what the committee is still looking for, too, a big target for this committee is making A.G. Garland comfortable. And they're putting out this information for him. Here's the intent, buddy, we got you here.
And also, by putting in front of the American people first -- this is kind of backwards. Usually DOJ goes first. There is also the feeling that Garland may feel encouraged by that. That the people are seeing the evidence first, maybe there is some more sentiment, this is serious, and it will insulate the Justice Department a little bit from being accused of being weaponized as a political weapon.
SIDNER: Okay, that's a really important point because there are a number of Americans, quite a few Americans, who aren't watching these hearings. How long does this go before there's just a shrug and people move on to the next thing and how important is it? And I'll ask you this because you've been in the hot seat before, how important is it for the public to get behind this?
FRANKEN: Well, I think -- I think people are -- a lot of people are watching it and we're coming up to midterms.
FRANKEN: This has been a very -- everyone believes, I think, this has been a very effective set of hearings, incredibly effective. And there's an enthusiasm gap in this election. I think that a lot of Democrats are watching this. And, you know, Luttig said that Trump and his followers present a clear and present danger to this country. I think that's absolutely true.
SIDNER: A lot of Republicans think this is hogwash, correct? I mean, are Republicans starting to shift, do you think?
SCHULTZ: I think you're starting to see Republicans shift. We've already seen some polling where Republicans are shifting towards other Republicans.
SIDNER: Let's bring that up.
SCHULTZ: DeSantis is gaining some steam here and neck and neck with the former president at this point in time and the Republicans, and I think that's the thing that starts to show the shift.
SIDNER: There's the -- there is the latest poll, the pick for the 2020 GOP primary, and you see Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, actually ahead in polling right now of Donald Trump. Is this a surprise to you? Do you think this is a result of these hearings and hearing the president over and over again doing -- saying what he said?
SCHULTZ: I think it's a result of the hearings among Republicans. I think it's also a result of getting involved in races in particular states and picking and choosing among Republicans in some of these primaries. I think it's a function of a lot of things that the former president has been doing since then and the hearings are part of it.
SIDNER: All right, we are going to go out of this. Shan Wu, Jim Schultz, thank you so much. Senator Franken, stick around. We've got a lot more to discuss with you in just a bit later.
Up next, the embattled Uvalde school police chief.
SIDNER: Tonight, embattled Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo is on administrative leave as more inconsistencies in the initial police account are coming to light.
According to Steven McCraw, the head of Texas Department of Public Safety, officers were equipped to take down the gunman three minutes after he entered the school, but they, of course, did not.
Surveillance images obtained by the Austin American-Statesman also showed responding officers had ballistic shields and rifles within 19 minutes of the shooting, but 77 minutes passed before officers acted to save a classroom full of children.
Officials originally said they were impeded by the classroom's locked doors. But now those doors may have been unlocked the entire time. The search for answers is why we're speaking to my next guest. Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez is suing the Department of Public Safety to release all records related to the shooting. Thank you so much for being here, senator.
ROLAND GUTIERREZ, TEXAS STATE SENATOR: Thank you. Thank you.
SIDNER: Can you give us a sense of why exactly you are suing the department, what you are hoping to achieve?
GUTIERREZ: Well, everything has been caught up in this so-called investigation and yet the district attorney now says that she's not investigating. And so, therefore, there should be no reason to release this information. We've asked for this information legally since May 31st. The 10 days have passed. We've got exception and no response from the Department of Public Safety.
Yesterday, in our public hearings, we heard that there were 91 Department of Public Safety troopers in the area. At the 16-minute mark, those officers started to show up. They went into the hallway and simply left. They weren't taking orders from Arredondo or anyone else.
I think that to say that one group is at fault here is disingenuous. Law enforcement as a whole failed, including our own Department of Public Safety.
SIDNER: You just brought up something about the district attorney, and I'm sure you've seen that earlier, the DPS director, Steven McCraw, says that it is the Uvalde district attorney who doesn't want them to release information until the investigation is complete. Is that not what you're hearing? And if it is, is it a satisfactory reason?
GUTIERREZ: Well, on June 2nd, he told me that there was an investigation by the district attorney's office and that she was going to submit information to the grand jury. That was clearly false along with about four other things that Colonel McCraw has said that had been completely false and proven wrong.
SIDNER: Wait, senator, are you saying that you were lied to in this scenario when you asked that question?
GUTIERREZ: Not only I was lied to but last week, I was called a liar by the Department of Public Safety when I told an express news reporter in San Antonio that there were 12 DPS officers in that room. DPS then turned around and said that I was lying.
At the end of the day, they had to walk all of that back, and because I knew I was able to show that I was correct. And yesterday, I was able to prove yet again that there were 12 Department of Public Safety employees, troopers in that hallway during those 48 minutes.
SIDNER: You just mentioned a lot of details, things that have changed and the inconsistence. Given how many inconsistencies there have been, how many times the stories have changed coming from the many departments that were there, what does this do to your faith in police reports just in general because we have all relied on them as factual for many, many, many years?
GUTIERREZ: That's right. I mean, this community first off is trying to heal. And it doesn't help when you have the largest law enforcement unit with a task force that was placed here by the governor, this Operation Lone Star, 91 of its officers were here, they failed just like everybody else did, it doesn't help when those guys are pointing the fingers at the other cops.
At the end of the day, this community needs to heal. We need the information so that we can move on. And as a legislator, I need the information so that we can assure that this never happens again in another community. We had radios that didn't even function in the school. That is just uncalled for in this day and age.
SIDNER: I want to ask you about Chief Arredondo, who is on administrative leave now. He spoke before a closed hearing yesterday. Have you learned anything about what he said, the account he may have given?
GUTIERREZ: Well, you know, those hearings were undertaken in the House of Representatives in Austin. I'm in the Texas Senate. Our hearings were open to the public. We heard from McCraw yesterday. Arredondo, I don't know if he was invited or not. We have to ask the lieutenant governor.
At the end of the day, you know, my concern in all of this is a lack of transparency. We -- if you don't have transparency, you start to lose elements of our democracy. There is no reason why the public should not be getting this information either from the local police here or from Department of Public Safety in Austin. There's no reason for it. We have to continue to demand change, and that's why I failed my lawsuit.
SIDNER: Do you think you're going to get it?
GUTIERREZ: Well, now it's going to be in the hands of a court, and we'll hear from a court in Travis County in Austin. We serve them properly. We are waiting now to get an injunction hearing. It is my hope that over the course of the next 10 days, a court will find no justifiable reason why they cannot release this information.
SIDNER: I know that the families, some of them are desperate to learn more answers. State Senator Roland Gutierrez, thank you so much for coming on the show and explaining how you're trying to get them some answers at this moment.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you so much.
SIDNER: Coming up, we'll look at the bipartisan gun deal now looking very much like a done deal in the Senate. So, why on a rare point of compromise are House GOP leaders fighting to block the bill, and why does a Republican backer feel the need to sell the plan to the NRA? That's next.
SIDNER: The Senate appears to be on track to pass a bipartisan gun deal by the end of this week even as house GOP leaders are lining up against it.
Al Franken and Abby Finkenauer are back with me, and I want to welcome Alice Stewart into this conversation. Thank you all for sticking around and joining us, Alice.
Alice, we're going to start with you. You're the new person here, but not new to CNN, obviously. What's notable tonight is that we're kind of finally seeing action. Everyone has been asking for some kind of action. What do you think about this potential deal, bipartisan deal?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SENATOR TED CRUZ: Finally, finally, we have taken steps. I know senator has been really fighting for this since you were in the Senate and for many years frustrated with the lack of action, seeking bipartisan efforts on gun violence.
This is a good thing. I hope moving forward, as this makes its way to the Senate on through the House, they will realize -- as Mick Jagger says, you don't always get what you want, but you get what you need. This is what we need at this time. We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Democrats didn't get everything they wanted.
Republicans didn't get everything they wanted. But we did take steps. We addressed not just the gun issue but we addressed the overall causes, putting emphasis on mental health --
SIDNER: The red flag laws.
STEWART: -- on red flag laws, on crisis intervention in the states, and looking at other factors that play a part in this. Closing the "boyfriend loophole" was super important.
And I think another thing that also helped us get through over in the House is the steps they took to satisfy gun owners and the NRA, looking at making sure their due process for red flag laws, closing the "boyfriend loophole" as well as the components of looking at deeper probes for people under the age of 21 who are purchasing guns.
That aspect of background checks, I think, is something that -- these are things the NRA wanted, they got it, and so let's hope that they don't put a stumbling block moving forward.
FINKENAUER: Yeah, also, just to put it in perspective, too, just how long this has taken. I mean, I was 10 years old when Columbine happened, and it was two decades later where I was standing on the floor of the U.S. House as a congresswoman taking a vote on the first important piece of gun legislation that actually was brought up for a vote in the House, and that was the background check bill, that was H.R. 8, and yet it got stopped in the Senate.
And so, for this to be evolving the way it has, I mean, it's huge, it's a win, but quite frankly, there is so much more that is needed to happen. The fact this does not address assault weapons, this doesn't address high capacity magazines, this should not be happening in the United States of America.
I mean, you want to talk about freedoms for folks. I talked to a 16- year-old in Iowa who was telling me that she'd go into her school every day not looking, you know, or thinking about her next geometry test but literally looking for the exits.
FINKENAUER: That's not freedom. That is terror.
SIDNER: Hypervigilance, right?
SIDNER: These young kids. I want to ask you about that because you brought up an interesting point. Let's say this does go through and get passed this week or even next week, but let's say it gets passed next week, is it enough and is there any possibility, is there any possibility that further steps are taken? Because once it is done, sometimes, what happens -- I will put this for a lack of a better word with your people in Congress -- is that they say, hey, we did this, we did something, moving on.
FRANKEN: There's going to be more shootings. You know that. This is good. Two days after the shooting, I was on a podcast, I said it's going to be not enough at all, I want something bipartisan, and thank goodness. Now, 10 years ago, after Sandy Hook, I was able to get nothing done. It shocked me. The NRA scored the background check, Manchin and Toomey, and that's why we lost that. The NRA, I understand, is fighting this, and they're going to lose.
I think that's a really good sign. And this is really -- and this will -- some of these provisions will save lives. Also, mental health in schools is actually -- it's funny that Republicans like finally get on the board on mental health because, oh, we can do that on guns and we're doing something about guns and we'll do mental health, but I've been fighting for mental health in schools. It is -- forgetting even guns, it's good for kids and it's good for teachers.
FRANKEN: Teachers shouldn't have to be the mental health counsellors in schools.
SIDNER: Well, there are some states that are also saying teachers can be armed, Ohio, for example. I know that's not a subject that you think should even be out in the sphere. I do want to ask you about this latest horrific scenario in Uvalde. You know, we had Sandy Hook, we had Columbine, and you could name -- I could name smaller ones that I went to as a reporter where there were school shootings, ones we don't even talk about, but the impact is huge.
When it comes to what's happening in Uvalde, and we just heard from the senator, the state senator who's fighting for information, what do you make of what's happening there and how that can impact so many other people and places dealing with this? There is a closing down.
I want to show you some of the things that happened. The Uvalde officials have changed their stories so many times it's hard to keep it straight. You had an initial explanation that the doors were locked in the classroom, they couldn't get in, and the chief was looking for keys. He said that himself, Chief Arredondo, looking for keys, couldn't find keys, turns out the door was likely open to this classroom.
There were -- whether there were officers in, whether they were fully armed and had shields, all of this stuff keeps changing.
What do you make of what's happened in Uvalde and does that have an impact on a larger scale on Congress?
STEWART: It's a law enforcement travesty, what happened. It's not the response that they engaged in. It's the lack of response. We have to investigate this. We have to find out who was giving the order. Why did they do what they did? Why was one of the people giving the orders without a radio? Why did this not work?
These are things that we should already know. We shouldn't be this far-out still be asking the same questions. And what I'm hearing from law enforcement officials across the country is, how can you wear a badge, how can you be fully armed with all the protective gear and weapons and stand outside and not move forward and protect the children?
SIDNER: And let all these children die.
STEWART: And if nothing else, when we get the answers, this will teach law enforcement how to respond moving forward in the future.
SIDNER: All right.
FINKENAUER: The truth --
SIDNER: We've got to get out of here. We'll come back to you. You are passionate. I can feel it. I can feel it. But Al, Abby, Alice, thank you guys so much for being here. There are really important issues.
We turn to a hero on the court, the tennis court. Arthur Ashe, his legacy of standing up for others before facing his own very personal and difficult t fight. That's coming up next.
SIDNER: Before Colin Kaepernick kneeled and Lebron James wore a hoodie, Arthur challenged a nation. In 1973, tennis legend Arthur Ashe spoke out against South African apartheid before it was popular to do so, risking public backlash.
Last Sunday, we celebrated Juneteenth. This Sunday, a new CNN film explores Ashe's trailblazing life, the first Black man to win the U.S. Open. Here's a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN (voice-over): He had evolved from someone who was analytical to someone who became more and more about direct action.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Did you get in South Africa feeling that you could change things just by playing tennis?
ARTHUR ASHE, TENNIS PLAYER: I'm not presumptuous enough to think I can change anything per se (ph).
UNKNOWN: He wanted Black South Africans to see a free Black man and the possibilities that a free Black man could live.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: His impact was huge.
Joining me now is Louis Moore, a history professor at Grand State Valley University. Professor, welcome.
LOUIS MOORE, HISTORY PROFESSOR, GRAND STATE VALLEY UNIVERSITY: Thank you for having me.
SIDNER: It's great that you can be here this late evening. We just heard Arthur Ashe talking about wanting to be an inspiration to Black South Africans. Can you give us a sense of what kind of backlash he might have been receiving for speaking out loud and clear against apartheid?
MOORE: Yeah, so, when he goes to South Africa in 1973, the backlash is that he's going and he legitimizes this system of apartheid, right, just by going and letting them use him because the South Africans are -- they denied him entry for three years. And so, by having them -- him there, they're able to say, look, our problems aren't that big, look, he's here.
And so, South Africans came at him, Black Americans came at him. They actually wanted him to stay away, but Ashe truly believed that in that moment, he could break down some barriers.
SIDNER: You know, we talk a lot about athletes and, you know, what it is that they should or should not do. A lot of people have different opinions, but they are citizens of the world and some of them are American citizens. Have things changed much? Because we saw what happened to Colin Kaepernick. He was punished ultimately by the league for doing what he believed in. Arthur Ashe faced a lot of backlash. Have we, you know, progressed?
MOORE: Yeah, that's a great question, and I would say, look, there's always going to be people there to put them in their place, right? And that's what -- because they're trying to silence them, because they understand how powerful a voice a Kaepernick has or an Arthur Ashe has. So, there will always be (INAUDIBLE).
You just have to, if you're an athlete, you know, thinking about, should I get in? You have to follow that path of Arthur Ashe and just push through it. You get criticism, but at the end of the day, it's more important that you do your job as a global citizen.
SIDNER: You know, going back to Arthur Ashe, although he was a prominent activist for racial injustice abroad, he was very reluctant and very quiet to publicly share his HIV status. Why do you think that was? Why was it so much harder to speak up about it in -- I think it was back in the 80s?
MOORE: Yes. So, he finds out in 1988. He believes he contracted it in 1983. And what he was saying is that he was trying to protect his family. So, at that time, many people probably don't remember, but if you had AIDS, it was not only a death warrant but people treated you awful, and he's trying to protect his family, he's got a young daughter at that time, and he believed that when he came out, if he ever came out, which he actually did in 1992, that there would be a lot of backlash not just towards him but towards his daughter. So, he was really trying to protect his family.
SIDNER: How heavy of a burden, do you think, some of these athletes have had and are still having? Because there's now sort of an expectation in some circles that the athletes that have these big platforms use them for causes.
MOORE: Yeah, it's a heavy burden, but like Bill Russell said, it's a burden that we must all share, right? And because these Black athletes have this special platform, because the way they've been celebrated in America as representation of democracy, and because of that, their words carry meaning, and so I think athletes have to follow the path of someone like a Jackie Robinson, who said, look, I'm not free until the lowest and most underprivileged Black person is free.
SIDNER: Had a huge impact, as well as what Muhammad Ali did as well. Professor Louis Moore, thank you so much for joining us.
MOORE: All right, thank you for having me.
SIDNER: Now, be sure to tune in, the all-new CNN film, "Citizen Ashe," premieres Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
And thank you so much for sticking with me. I'll be back Friday night. Stay tuned. The news continues here on CNN.