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Plans Underway For Biden To Announce Bid For Second Term Next Week; Uvalde Parents Wait 13 Hours To Speak, Demand Vote On Gun Changes; Fetterman Gets Emotional About Depression Battle In New Interview. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 20, 2023 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Inaugural test flight, ended just two and a half minutes, after takeoff.

The rocket had no crew members on board. It tumbled out of control, in what SpaceX called "A rapid unplanned disassembly." SpaceX also said it learned a tremendous amount, from the test, and called it "Quite a show."

The effort comes, after years of explosive tests, regulatory hurdles, and public hyping from Musk.

The news continues. Let's hand it over to Pamela Brown, and "CNN PRIMETIME."


PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST, CNN PRIMETIME: Anderson, thank you so much.

Tonight, the race, for the White House, getting clear, on one end, and more dramatic, on the other.

Sources say President Biden is ready to formally announce, his reelection bid, as soon as next week.

For the latest details, we turn to CNN's Phil Mattingly. He joins us now, from the White House.

So, what's the latest, Phil?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Pamela, for months, the President's top advisers have been very clear, behind-the- scenes that the President was going to launch, a reelection campaign. What they weren't clear on was when that would actually happen.

And it seems, like now, we have some sense of a timeline that to some degree, it has taken a lot longer than people expected.

The President is planning and may go forward, with a decision, to launch his reelection campaign, as soon as Tuesday of next week.

Now, that date is important because it was -- it will be the four-year anniversary, of the day he launched his 2020 campaign, a campaign that he framed, as the Battle of the soul -- for the Soul of the Nation, a campaign where he eventually defeated then-President Donald Trump, somebody who may be his general election opponent, again, in 2024.

Now, advisers say this will be a video announcement, and a fundraising appeal. It will not be some grand, staged announcement. And they make clear that the course for 2023 will be a building process.

Behind-the-scenes, there have been intensive efforts, underway, to build the infrastructure, of the campaign, to work through personnel, to work through the location, the campaign headquarters, in Wilmington, Delaware. But they also acknowledged there's significant work to do, going forward.

2023 will be very much about testing things, whether it's messages, data, digital, trying to get everything set, for what they expect to be a very intense, very complicated battle, in 2024.

Now, they acknowledge the President is very obviously the oldest president, in American history. Would be 86, if he wins a second term by the time he would be done in office.

But they make clear, while there's an age issue there is also what comes with that, experience. Experience that they believe led to the most significant legislative accomplishments, in decades. In his first two years, accomplishments he will spend much of this year, selling, talking about making clear will have very real tangible effects, for the very people, he wants to vote for him, in 2024.

Now, they caution, no final decision has been made yet about the exact date. But it very much looks like they're leaning in that direction, Pamela.

BROWN: All right, we'll see.

Phil Mattingly, from the White House for us, tonight. Thanks so much.

And joining us at the table, tonight, Jonah Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief, of "The Dispatch;" CNN's Audie Cornish; Republican congresswoman, Nancy Mace; and Democratic congressman, Adriano Espaillat.

Thank you all so much, for being here.


BROWN: I want to start with you, Congressman, and get your reaction to this news, Phil just laid out, that there is an expectation--


BROWN: --that next week, President Biden could announce his bid, for reelection.

Now, that is against this backdrop of what the polling shows. The latest CNN poll is showing that a majority of Democrats actually don't want to see him, as a nominee. And I'm wondering, is this the best Democrats can do? What's your take?

ESPAILLAT: I'm excited about it. I think he's done a great job, at the Inflation Reduction Act. He invested in the environment. The CHIPS Act, bringing jobs and manufacturing, back home. He's done so much.

The Inflation -- the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, bringing a new look, to America, rebuilding America. And shepherd us through the crisis, of all our lifetimes. So this is this -- the Pandemic really test him, and I think he came out with flying colors. And I think it's good for the country.

BROWN: It's interesting, you heard Phil note that aides are very aware of the age, right, the age situation. He's 80, now. If he did a second term, he'd be, the end of that, 86-years-old. And they're trying to pitch that as a plus, Audie that that means this is someone, who's had a lot of experience.

AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT, HOST, "THE ASSIGNMENT WITH AUDIE CORNISH" PODCAST: Well, if you look at any potential front- runner, of the two parties, right now, there are no spring chickens involved. So, I don't think anyone is shocked at that.

But the other thing is, you mentioned that poll, about Biden. I haven't actually seen another poll saying, "And here's the other person everybody wants." And I think that's always going to be a problem, for the party. If there's not some other names that they're coalescing around, well, then, of course, why wouldn't he run?

Whereas, at least, on the Republican side, we're watching DeSantis' fortunes, his fortunes rise and fall. We're watching what's going on with Trump. There's sort of a lot of people, in the mix, and you can have that dialog. That's not really happening, on the Democratic side.

So, I think as much as we talk about it, at tables, like this, Biden looks at it, and thinks it's moot.

BROWN: Right. And speaking of, you mentioned the Republican side.

Nancy Mace, we'd love to hear your thoughts, on who you would like to see, on the Republican side, as the nominee, for 2024.

REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Right. Well, it's still very early, and primaries matter, and the candidates. There's only two right now, Donald Trump, and the only other candidate, who's all in, right now, is Nikki Haley, from my district, in South Carolina.

BROWN: And who's endorsed you, when you were running for congress (ph).


MACE: Yes, when I was running, and I was the only Republican, to win, against Donald Trump, last year, in the Republican primaries.

So, we're very good friends. I want to see a woman on the ticket. I haven't endorsed anybody yet. But there'll be others that will be jumping in. And that's what primaries will be for. And I'm looking forward to the vigorous debate, on the issues that really matter, and not just to Republicans.

Because, if we want to win a majority of voters, if we want to finally win the popular vote, in 2024, we've got to talk about sensitive issues, which is one of the reasons I've been so vocal, on women's issues.

I want to hear our Republican candidates talk about what they're going to do, to support women, and families, and those kinds of issues, because I come from a very purple district, a swing district, a bellwether district.

But, right now, we only have two candidates, and more may follow.

BROWN: Well.

MACE: So, to be determined!

BROWN: There's two of announcers.

MACE: Yes.

BROWN: Others, we expect.

MACE: Yes.

BROWN: One being, of course, Ron DeSantis.

MACE: Right.

BROWN: And, as you were alluding to, I mean, that's where a lot of the focus is, this week, right, on Trump and Ron DeSantis, and the fate -- the headwinds that Ron DeSantis has been facing.

And you look at the endorsements, here. I mean, Trump has the backing of nine Florida lawmakers, so far, while DeSantis only has one. You see it here, on the screen.

Do you think Congresswoman that DeSantis has any chance, of defeating Trump, for the nomination? What do you think? What's the sense--

MACE: Well--

BROWN: --you get among your Republican colleagues?

MACE: Yes. As you've said earlier, in these races, candidates will rise and fall, and the same thing with every candidate, who's thinking about or even in the race, right now.

But still, 60 percent of Republicans in every poll that I've seen are looking to someone else, other than Donald Trump. Now, does somebody else, break through that and get and cobble together all that 60 percent? It's still to be determined, and decided. And we'll see if DeSantis jumps in, or if he isn't. We all know that won't happen before the end of the legislative session in Florida, which is in May. By June, I think we'll know, mid-June, who's running, and who's not, at that point.

BROWN: And I remember, I mean, when Trump was first running, there was all this speculation. "Oh, he's had these stumbles. He's never going to overcome this." And he did. And he became President. And he continues to defy the odds. Right?

When you look at DeSantis, do you think, Jonah, that he can overcome his recent stumbles here?

JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CO-FOUNDER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DISPATCH, HOST, "THE REMNANT" PODCAST: Oh, sure. Look, I think he was overhyped, a little while ago. And now, I think he's under-hyped.

Like, the press gets so caught up in this daily cycle that they make these straight-line predictions, into the future. So, he has a bad week, and all the sudden, they say "He has no chance of getting a nomination." Three weeks ago, there was all this talk about how he could get -- he was locked to get the nomination, or at least two months ago.

I do think, speaking of 2016? Look, 2016, at the end of the day, we, this country nominated the two candidates, who were so unbelievably unpopular, that they were the only candidates, who had a chance to lose to the other one. And I think we really -- like Hillary Clinton was the second most popular politician, in America, Donald Trump was the most unpopular.

It's very possible we'll have a very similar situation, in 2024, where we have two people that the vast majority of Americans do not want to see, reelected, to the White House, competing against each other, which I think is going to open up all sorts of weird possibilities, about, third parties, from the No Labels crowd, and all the rest.

And it creates an opportunity for Republicans to say, "Look, Trump can't win the -- Trump can win the nomination, but he can't win the presidency. I can." I don't know why DeSantis isn't positioning himself that way. Instead, he seems to be positioning himself as Ted Cruz 2.0.

CORNISH: But there's also no Republican potential, who's positioning themselves, the way you're talking about, who's gained proper traction.

GOLDBERG: I agree. It's a hot mess.

CORNISH: So, maybe that's why he's not doing it, right?

MACE: But it's still very early.

CORNISH: Like that's not the--

MACE: It's still very, very early-- GOLDBERG: It's still early, right.

CORNISH: It is. But you--

MACE: --in the process.

CORNISH: But I think what I hear is an argument that says--


CORNISH: --"There have been three losses in a row," right? "Let's stop losing." We hear that from Nikki Haley, and we also heard that from DeSantis, which flies in the face, right, of many years of saying, "We actually won the election, and there was widespread fraud," right? So, you've got to walk that line.

But what I'm not seeing is that those candidates, who say "It's time, for a change. We've been losing," we're just not seeing like a groundswell for them.

GOLDBERG: Yes, because they're terrified of attack, from Trump, in part.

CORNISH: And maybe I'm missing.

GOLDBERG: I agree. You know? It's a--

CORNISH: Do you find--

GOLDBERG: It's a very dysfunctional--

CORNISH: Right, their argument, though, is he's been losing, and yet they're still afraid. I mean, I think that is--

BROWN: What do you make of that?

GOLDBERG: It's not their argument on TV.

BROWN: I mean, that's a--

GOLDBERG: It's only in private, though.

BROWN: Right, right. But it's true.

CORNISH: No. It's on public. It's in public.


CORNISH: Nikki Haley says that in public.


CORNISH: "We don't want to lose anymore." And she's running.

GOLDBERG: It's early.


BROWN: --talk to you, privately. They do.

ESPAILLAT: It's early. But it -- as Yogi Berra used to say, it gets late kind of early in politics, as well. And things happen, quickly. And you could be in a very favorable position, today. And tomorrow, you could be tanking.


ESPAILLAT: And so, I like it -- I like it where it is, right now. And we'll see how it develops. I agree with the Congresswoman. More people will probably jumping, at least in her side. I don't know about the Democratic side.


ESPAILLAT: There seems to be this traditional respect, for the incumbent, in both parties, I think.

BROWN: I want to give the Congresswoman, one last chance, to talk about that, to Audie's point too. Where is the groundswell? Do you think there are Republicans that are just too afraid, to speak out, against Donald Trump? Why do you think he--


MACE: Well, if you speak out, you get primaried. And I'm the only one to survive a primary, last year. So, I have been very outspoken.

But depending on how sensitive an issue is, and talking about Trump can be very sensitive, for many people, because they're afraid of the backlash. But if you're real and honest, with voters, then they're going to believe you, and if they -- even if they disagree with you.

And so, I would like to see folks, talk about issues, even hot-button issues, sensitive issues, and show the American people we care, and that we're going to work hard, for them and deliver.

And, so far, I think 2024 is going to be a dogfight, no matter what happens in the Republican primary. I think we'll see that in the -- for the White House. I think we're going to see that for the U.S. House. It's going to be tough, for all of us.

But people aren't going to be paying attention, through the summer, even. I mean, we'll know all the candidates by June, most likely.


MACE: But people are going to be, on summer vacation, with their kids. Kids will not be in school. Really, the race is not going to shape up, until after Labor Day. There is a long time between now--


MACE: --and Labor Day, and for all. CORNISH: Which, to be clear, we're OK with that.

MACE: Yes.

BROWN: Yes, I know.

CORNISH: I actually don't want to get there that soon, yes.

BROWN: Yes, for us, in the media.


BROWN: Because it's exhausting.

MACE: Yes.

BROWN: All right, everyone stand by. We have much more to discuss. You're coming back to discuss some key issues of the day.

And new, tonight, we're learning about the motive, for the bank shooting, in Louisville, Kentucky, after extensive notes, from the gunman, are discovered.

Plus, a new interview, tonight, Senator John Fetterman, getting emotional, about his battle, with depression.


SEN. JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA): Those six weeks was for me, it was like every week was about me trying to work back enough to be -- to be worthy.




BROWN: Exactly 24 years, since the massacre, at Columbine High School, tonight, a note, left behind, by the gunman, in another mass shooting, reveals why he killed.

Sources tell CNN, the shooter, in the Louisville bank attack, says he wanted to show how easy it was, for a mentally-ill person, to buy a weapon. He murdered four people. And we're going to have more on that in just a moment.

Meanwhile, after a week of shootings, over wrong turns, and accidents, across the country, another common mistake, leading to gunshots. In North Carolina, a 6-year-old little girl, and her parents, shot, when a basketball just rolls into the wrong yard.


KINSLEY WHITE (ph), ASHLEY HILDERBRAND'S (ph) DAUGHTER: Why did he shoot my daddy and me? Why did he shoot a kid's dad? ASHLEY HILDERBRAND (ph), KINSLEY WHITE'S (ph) MOTHER: He looked at my husband, dead in the face, and he said "I'm going to kill you." And he started shooting, with my daughter, standing, right there, beside of him, and several other kids.


BROWN: It's just heartbreaking!

The suspect has just been apprehended.

And, in Texas, tonight, families of Uvalde school shooting victims are demanding a vote, after pleading, with Texas lawmakers, Tuesday, to raise the minimum age, to buy semi-automatic rifles, from 18, to 21. They had to wait around for more than half a day, just to make their case.


KIMBERLY MATA-RUBIO, MOTHER OF UVALDE SCHOOL SHOOTING VICTIM: I arrived here, today, at 8 AM. And as we've waited more than 13 hours, I'm reminded of May 24, 2022, when we waited hours to be told our daughter would never come home. I expressed confusion, then. And I'm perplexed, now. Did you think we would go home?

JAVIER CAZARES, FATHER OF UVALDE SCHOOL SHOOTING VICTIM: We're not here to take anyone's guns away.

All we're asking is for real -- reasonable, common gun -- sense laws.


BROWN: But let's begin with CNN's new reporting, on the motive, in the Kentucky bank shooting.

Omar Jimenez, what are we learning about this?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for starters, two law enforcement sources are telling CNN that there were two extensive notes, found, by the shooter, one of which was found, on the shooter's body, after he was killed, in a shootout, with Police.

And these notes show that at least part of the motive here was to show how easy, it is, in the United States, for someone, dealing with a serious mental health crisis, to get a weapon.

Now, the weapon used here, was purchased legally, about a week before, the AR-15 purchase, about a week before this shooting actually happened.

And we reached out to the family attorney, for comment, on this latest reporting. And we haven't heard back.

But they have said in the past that they are testing -- the family is testing the shooter, for CTE. Those symptoms could include loss of impulse control, sometimes, suicidal thoughts, though it's not limited just to CTE. The family also has said that this is a shooter that had multiple concussions, in the past, going back to as early as middle school.

So, all of these things are part of the investigation, on multiple fronts, to get to the answer of a simple question that we ask every time, we see, one of these types of mass shootings unfold. Why?



Omar, thanks so much.

Back to the table now.

So Congressman Espaillat, you hear about the Louisville shooter's objectives, and notes, he wrote, the fact that he was able to carry them out. What goes through your mind?

ESPAILLAT: What goes through my mind is that, I had lived in Washington Heights, most of my adult life. And it was during the 80s and 90s, the local precinct used to average over 100 homicides, a year. You take that area, and you drop it in any war zone, and more people probably being killed there. And the common denominator in those homicides was a gun.

So, this is an epidemic of violence, across the country.


ESPAILLAT: And it's becoming sort of like common news. You see it, in the news, every day, and don't even turn around anymore.

So, we got to enact legislation. We got to do something about this. We finally have to do something about this. We got to come together and pass commonsense gun control laws, in this country.

BROWN: And I want to get your take on this, because last year, you voted against raising the age limit for AR-15s, from 18 to 21.

That's exactly what these parents want. They say that their loved ones would still be alive, if that was the case, because as we know, in Uvalde, the shooter bought a gun, bought the rifle, right after his 18th birthday.

Do they have a point?

MACE: Well, I've been working on these -- on gun violence issues, since before I ever came to Congress, as a state lawmaker. And, in fact, I was sworn into office, right before Parkland, Florida.


And that really, as a mom, to see, when you're dropping kids off at school, whether or not they may not come home? That fear, is a real fear, in every mother and father's lives, right, when they-- BROWN: I have it too.

MACE: Right.

And so, when it comes to this issue, looking at the information data research, and why these things happen, in my home state of South Carolina? The vast majority of firearm crimes, are crimes committed with firearms shootings, et cetera, or illegal possession, are with those between the ages of 21 and 39.

When Dylann Roof went to go buy a gun, and murder nine Black church members, at Mother Emanuel, he was 21-years-old, when he bought the firearm, and carried it out.

But there are things that I believe that we can do that Republicans and Democrats can agree on.

My kids and I, two weeks ago, we're a mile down the road, from a mass shooting, where six people were shot. And the first thing -- I think the Police were nearby, all six people survived. And no one died.

But the first thing, out of my kid's mouths, was "Hey, Mommy, why isn't there some sort of an AMBER Alert system, to tell us we're near a mass shooting, and maybe not leave the house, maybe not walk out," because we didn't know what's going on.

And we were in the car, at the immediate aftermath, blocked from the intersection, where it happened. And we saw the immediate aftermath. All the Police vehicles, the EMS, everybody rushing to the scene, had no idea what was going on.

But why can't we have some of those commonsense things? And the minute I bring up, the minute that I say the word, "Gun violence," as a Republican, one side will say, I want to take away all the guns, the other side will say, "You're not doing enough." But somewhere in the middle--

BROWN: But we -- but you said--

MACE: --we got to have a conversation, about some common ground, and what that might look like.

BROWN: Right, I mean.

ESPAILLAT: I don't know -- maybe perhaps, we see, when this happens, with semi-automatic weapons, and we say, "Let's ban assault weapons." And I think we should.

But handguns show up every weekend, in a city corner. And the result is death. And so, what are we going to do about the access of nine- millimeter handguns that result in a conflict between two young men in a corner and death? And that's happening on a weekly, daily, basis across America.

MACE: That's getting worse.

ESPAILLAT: And it's getting worse.


BROWN: And it's getting worse.

CORNISH: --but can you give us a sense of what is the obstacle, at this point? Both of you were speaking about that idea of doing something. But you're both--


CORNISH: --in a position, to do something. What--

MACE: No, we are. So--

BROWN: Yes. Tolerated.


CORNISH: But help me understand, I don't know, submissions (ph).

MACE: Right. So, a couple of ideas that I've had. So, Active Shooter Alert is a bill--

CORNISH: No, no, not that.

MACE: Yes.

CORNISH: Why these ideas do not move through Congress, in any substantial way, over the last 10 to 15 years?

ESPAILLAT: Yes. I think the institution disallows this from moving forward. And I say, follow the money, the NRA money. That's a factor--


CORNISH: Can I pause here? Coming from a purple district?

MACE: They wanted the--

GOLDBERG: That is a fact. The NRA is all gone bankrupt.


CORNISH: Yes. The NRA is setting (ph) the problem. But coming from a purple district--

MACE: I would disagree there. I don't -- I don't make--

CORNISH: --to you, what do your constituents say to you?

MACE: --any policy, based on who writes checks.


MACE: I cash all the checks, so. CORNISH: But what do your constituents say to you? Because, one of the things I hear is there are a number of people, in this country, who have an AR-15-style weapon, in their collection. It is just extremely common weapon, which is probably one of the reasons, why we are seeing it in the places we are.

MACE: Yes.

CORNISH: So, given that you have a lot of people, who are going to be very fearful. And you've said it yourself, "They're going to take our guns away." I don't know who the "They" are. I don't know what that will involve.

MACE: Well the government taking guns away. I mean, that gun control isn't the answer.

CORNISH: So, then, what, to you, gets over that hump?

MACE: Well I'm not a gun control person.

CORNISH: It sounds like yours--

MACE: So, I am not--

CORNISH: I'm not saying control.

MACE: Yes.

CORNISH: But I'm saying what -- when you say--


CORNISH: --"We should do something?"

MACE: Yes.

CORNISH: Is the idea, basically, AMBER Alerts, and these other things that are ancillary? Because, you feel, fundamentally, there will not be-

ESPAILLAT: So, the possession issue.

CORNISH: --any other conversation about possession.

ESPAILLAT: The possession of the weapon, right?

MACE: In order to get anything done, it has to be bipartisan.

ESPAILLAT: The possession of the weapon, right? We have ghost guns that are now emerging, as the weapon of the future. You get a kid, mailed into your house, you put it together, and all the sudden you have a nine-millimeter weapon!

CORNISH: I guess what I hear is--

MACE: And-- ESPAILLAT: So, what are you going to do about that? So--

CORNISH: --I hear a distinct understanding, of what the problem is. I do not hear a distinct explanation--

MACE: So, we did an Active Shooter Alert bill, last year.

CORNISH: --for what should happen next.

MACE: With Democrats in the majority, it never got signed into law. And so, the Democrats had the House, they had the Senate, and they had the White House. And so, not even what would just, to most people, the average American, why can't you do that? It couldn't even get signed into law, last year. That's something that I felt and a handful of others--


GOLDBERG: And so--

ESPAILLAT: That's not -- that's not--


GOLDBERG: I have a more fundamental disagreement. I don't think there's an agreement about what the problem is.

I think, in a country, with -- where you have easily, almost twice as many more guns, than you have people, where you have this problem, with ghost guns, right, where we're going to get more 3D printing? The idea that you are going to somehow solve this through stopping gun sales seems to me naive.

You could ban gun sales tomorrow. There are still enough guns sloshing around this country that you're just going to have to deal with the fact that it's not gun violence. It's people shooting people. That's the problem. Guns aren't going around killing anybody.


And so, like, when I hear this guy, leaving a note, saying, "I wanted to demonstrate how easy it is, for a mentally-ill person, to get a gun," I think it's tragic that that's getting -- and I understand the news value of it.

But, at the same time, one of the things we know about the psychological profile, of mass shooters, is they are desperate for attention. They are desperate to be remembered and talked about afterwards.

And this was a very clever hack, because we've stopped naming these people, we've stopped giving air, to their manifestos. But now, because this thing feeds (inaudible) way to sort of get his last testament, out there, and make him a more significant mass shooter than he was. We have mental health problems, in this country, that can be tackled, that would help with homelessness and mass shooting, that don't require some of the things that are just politically impossible.

CORNISH: So, does this feel like the same discussion you have at a circle table, like this, almost every time there's a shooting?

Which means, someone brings up the fact that there should be something done, because they deal with urban crime, in their district? Someone from a purple rural district says, "Well, no, no, no, we can't take away guns. Lots of us own guns." And then someone jumps in and says, "Well, it's mental health." And then there is silence!

BROWN: And then--

ESPAILLAT: But the reality -- the reality is -- the reality is--

CORNISH: Because I have never seen any spending on mental health ever--


ESPAILLAT: --the reality is that 80 percent of homicides--

CORNISH: --after any one of these shootings. Nothing ever happens after that.

ESPAILLAT: --occur with weapons. And, yes, people may have mental health issues. But it's pervasive.

GOLDBERG: I agree.

BROWN: Right. And--

ESPAILLAT: It's all over the country.

BROWN: And--

GOLDBERG: One of the reasons why we should actually not decriminalize gun violence by not--

ESPAILLAT: We have to disarm--

GOLDBERG: --prosecuting gun -- people--

ESPAILLAT: We have to disarm society, yes.


MACE: But when I was doing that--

GOLDBERG: Now, Alvin Bragg doesn't prosecute gun crimes nearly as much as he should. Lots of prosecutors aren't. People are saying, "We want more gun control."

BROWN: I do want to say-- GOLDBERG: One form of gun control is to actually prosecute people--

BROWN: As someone who is covered?

GOLDBERG: --who shoot people.

MACE: Yes.

BROWN: But let me just say this, too.

MACE: Yes, correct.

BROWN: Because I'm very sensitive to stigmas. People, who are mentally ill are more likely to be victims of gun violence. I think that that--

GOLDBERG: Oh that's still a point (ph) yes.

BROWN: I think that that's really important, here.



BROWN: I'm going to ask you a question, though.

MACE: Yes.

BROWN: Because I want to -- I want to circle back. And I know we have to go. But I think this is an important discussion.

MACE: It is.

BROWN: I think it's very important. And we have two members of Congress, right here, who actually can do something.

You speak about, in South Carolina, and the age, and most of the shootings happen, after 21.

MACE: Over the age of 21.

BROWN: But and you look at the six of the nine deadliest mass shootings, in this country, from 2022, six of the nine, it was from people, who were 21, or younger. In Uvalde, that man turned 18, and just went, bought an AR-15, and slaughtered children, in school.

MACE: But the other thing we can't ignore, which is what Jonah just said too, is that there's almost always a note, or a manifest, or someone in the family, knew, and report it to local law enforcement, or the FBI. It is a complex issue.

When I was growing up, people -- kids had guns, in the car, because they were going to go hunting, or going to go do something, after school, or that weekend. But nobody was picking up those guns, and then shooting their classmates with it.

BROWN: So then, why it's changed? MACE: But something has changed dramatically, over the last 20 years. And if you don't recognize the mental health crisis, in this country, then you're not recognizing the problem.

I toured, our largest jail, in the State of South Carolina, is in my -- is in Charleston, South Carolina, where I live. And almost 50 percent of the residents, or inmates that are in that jail, have mental health issues.

And if you don't address that, with mental health counselors, in schools, mobile mental health units, that, can go out with the law enforcement? Our Police aren't trained for the mental health crisis that our States and our cities are facing today. You have to look at it in totality, in the whole--

BROWN: Exactly, yes.

MACE: --and fix it that way. Taking guns off the street isn't going to fix gun violence. If it were, Chicago--

CORNISH: Can you talk about like what the Republican legislation--

ESPAILLAT: And it would reduce--

CORNISH: --is, right now, around mental health, and suicidal tendencies?

ESPAILLAT: --it would reduce gun violence.

CORNISH: Like, tell me what legislation is out there that does this? That deals with mental health?

MACE: Well, States, by and large, let's say, in South Carolina, they have funded mental health counselors, in schools. They have funded school resource officers, in schools, for example. My largest county, in my district, they have a mobile mental health unit that's going out, with different law enforcement units. It's not statewide. But they've been measuring the effective--

CORNISH: So, on a federal level, you see a similar movement?

MACE: If we can encourage States, and counties, and towns, and municipalities, to do that? Having a mental health counselor, in every 911 center, that they're fully funded and fully staffed? Well it would go--

CORNISH: Where would the funding come from?

BROWN: Why--

GOLDBERG: The Biden administration, hundreds of billions of dollars for schools--

BROWN: Let me -- let me ask you this too.

(CROSSTALK) BROWN: Hold on. Hold on. Because I think this is important.

MACE: There's a lot we'll have to overcome with money.


MACE: Nobody knows what's going to happen anyway.

BROWN: And I don't think anyone's saying it's either/or.

MACE: Yes.

BROWN: "It's either guns or mental health." I mean, they're not mutually exclusive, right?

ESPAILLAT: They're not.

BROWN: But then, it's -- why didn't you support the mental health legislation that came across your desk, last year?

MACE: Well, we've had -- I'd have to remember which bill it was, and take a look at it, specifically. But--

BROWN: Mental Health Matters.

MACE: Yes. I don't remember the specifics of that legislation. But I have supported, over the years, mental health funding, in schools, and in counties, and in other ways that I felt were appropriate.

A lot of times, when you have these big bills, there's a poison pill in there. And then, for some reason, because of that poison pill, you can't get support around it. And things are maybe sometimes very partisan, or it's just a straight-line party vote, and folks are unwilling to work together.

I showed last year, again, I'm going to go back to Active Shooter Alert, where I was willing to raise my hand, and say, "Hey, this would be a great idea," and not knowing that a year later that my kids and I would, would be so close, to a mass shooting, and not realize it and say, "Man! I really wish I could have been alerted to that, and maybe take cover, and not leave the house, not have to have my kids witness that." They had friends on the beach that were running for their lives.


Just simple commonsense measures, you could strengthen your background checks. In South Carolina, and many States, you have between eight, 10 and 12 databases, with criminal information that don't talk to one another. This shouldn't be that difficult.


All right, we're going to hit the pause, really, really important discussion, and the talk, and the discussion, about potential solutions that will continue. But I thank you, for your time. Standby everyone. We're going to be back.

Also "My Pillow" CEO, Mike Lindell, he is -- he put out this dare. And guess what? He lost. He put out a dare to prove him wrong about his election conspiracies. There was a cybersecurity expert, who actually did. Now, Lindell has been ordered to pay up millions of dollars.

Also, the legendary Bob Costas joins us, live, with his unique perspective, on the cost of lies, in American society.

We'll be back.


BROWN: Put $5 million on the running tab for election lies! After Fox News settled its latest defamation lawsuit, for $787.5 million, now, it's Mike Lindell, who has been ordered to pay up.

A cyber expert, Robert Zeidman, took the "My Pillow" CEO up on his offer, to debunk his election data. Well after Zeidman did exactly that, Lindell refused to fork over the $5 million that he promised.

Erin Burnett just spoke with Zeidman, about this arbitration, and the panel's decision.


So, Erin, it was so interesting what he said, about how quickly he was able to prove the data was false.

And we should note. He is a conservative, who voted for Trump. Here's what he said.


ROBERT ZEIDMAN, CYBER EXPERT: I never expected to be able to show that it was bogus data, because normally data analysis could take weeks or months. And I had three days. But the data was so obviously fake that I spent a few hours, before I could show it was fake.


BROWN: So, why did he say it was so easy to spot the fake here?

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST, "OUTFRONT": I mean it's amazing, right? So, he thought this would take months.

BROWN: Right.

BURNETT: The terms of the deal, where you had three days. And it took him hours.

So, basically, he's a data scientist. So, he comes at this, from a different perspective than, say, we would. But he said, "Look, it was essentially two pages of code." Imagine if you're in the newspaper, and you're doing a simple, where you substitute, a letter, for a number or, if you're -- and hidden behind it is a message, and then you decipher the message. He's like, that's basically what this was.

It was incredibly, incredibly fast, and easy to figure out that it was completely bogus. And it really only took him, a few hours, to show that all of these things that Mike Lindell said -- and, by the way, he thinks Mike Lindell believes, because he psychologically needs to believe that at this point.


BURNETT: With false.

BROWN: He's staked so much of his reputation on it, right? I mean, that's--

BURNETT: Right, right.

BROWN: --that's his thing.

But it's probably the fastest anyone has ever made $5 million, right?


BROWN: I mean, to do that, and now be told that -- by the court that he gets $5 million? The question is, will he ever get that? What does he think? Does he think he'll get it?

BURNETT: So what's amazing is that, Mike Lindell had come out and said, "Anybody here that's for that $5 million, you sign the sheet," basically daring them to do this, right? He's the one, who put in that.

And if you come forward with it, there'll be this arbitration panel. So, there really is no kind of court recourse here.

But Bob Zeidman doesn't think he'll ever see the money anyway, Pamela. And the reason is, is because he's like Lindell was being sued, by Dominion, and others, for a lot of money, and he just doesn't think there's going to be any money left. Even though Lindell says he'll take this to court further, he just doesn't think there'll be any money left.

But he doesn't care. He says he wanted to do it, because it was the right thing to do.

BROWN: Right.

BURNETT: And he wanted to get to the truth. And as you point out, he did vote for Trump, twice. But that he wanted to get to the truth. And the truth was that this was false.

BROWN: And it didn't take him long to prove that.


BROWN: All right, Erin Burnett, thank you so much.

Catch "OUTFRONT" 7 PM, every night.

All right, we're just talking about the truth there, while the distorted reality, presented on Fox News, impacts the lives of people, who may never even watch the channel.

Even as Ralph Yarl recovers from gunshot wounds, the result of simply ringing the wrong doorbell, the shooter's own grandson, points to Fox, as a reason why.


KLINT LUDWIG, GRANDSON OF ANDREW LESTER: Feel like a lot of people of that generation are caught up in this 24-hour news cycle of fear and paranoia, perpetuated by some other news stations. And he was fully into that, sit and watch Fox News all day, every day, blaring in his living room.

And I think that stuff really kind of reinforces this negative view of minority groups, and leads people to be a little bit -- it doesn't necessarily lead people to be a racist. But it reinforces and galvanizes racist people, and their beliefs.


BROWN: Well, few people, who know the responsibility, of what you say, on the air, like our next guest. Bob Costas' words have reached across the globe, for decades. He is a Hall of Fame sportscaster, with more than 28 Emmys, to his name.

So Bob, I'm going to bring you in to get your perspective.

And what do you think this week's legal action tells us about the responsibility for what people, like us, say on the air?

BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, before directly addressing that, I think what the gentleman just said? And it's understandable, his family has been impacted. No matter what our misgivings may be, about Fox News, it's a bit of a leap, to directly connect, what happened in this one incident, to what people hear on Fox News.

But for many people, who watch Fox, it is absolutely a bubble. They will not, even hear, really, to in any detail, there have been a few mentions, they won't hear about the outcome of the Dominion suit. They won't hear about it.

And apparently, there was enough money, offered up, by Rupert Murdoch, for Dominion, to drop its demand that there be a fulsome, in prime- time acknowledgment, of what Fox News had done.

But what this is, is just the nature of Fox News, writ large. They're a propaganda outfit, not through and through. There are credible journalists there. There are people, who occasionally make reasonable points. But by and large, the general tone has been that.

If, when they started, and this is the point that I came here to make, when they started, in the mid-90s? If they had committed themselves, to being a responsible, right-of-center, honest, journalistically- credible operation, not only would that have been OK, it would have been a blessing.

Maybe the name Bernie Goldberg rings a bell.


Bernie was a journalist, at CBS News, and a good one, for a long time. Colleague of Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite. Later, for a long time, was on "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" On HBO. Full disclosure, he and I are friendly.

He wrote a book called "Bias," in the 90s. He is a responsible and rational conservative. His point was that there were embedded biases, and leanings, that even the best journalists, at CBS, and elsewhere, were not conscious of, and almost all of them were liberal predicates, and that there had to be an antidote to that.

But instead, if the antidote was intended to be Fox, the antidote has turned out to be much worse than the disease.

BROWN: So, then, where do you think we would be, as a society and, as a democracy, if Fox had done it, the right way? As you say, you believe that there is a need for a--

COSTAS: Oh, without question.

BROWN: --right-of-center network--


BROWN: --if it's done the right way.

COSTAS: Not only to make their own points, but to hold Democrats, liberals, whatever that may mean, now--

BROWN: Exactly.

COSTAS: --to account, to keep one another, honest.

But instead? And it was a brilliant business model, as far as it went, by Rupert Murdoch, and Roger Ailes. They realized that resentment, and anger, and feeding people what they want to hear, rather than perhaps what credible journalism would lead, one to believe, they should be aware of that that was the business model that worked.

And the Dominion case proves that because Murdoch himself acknowledged that "We didn't want to go down a path of saying that these election lies were all BS. We didn't want to go down that path because our viewers were turning away from us, and turning to even Trumpier outlets, like Newsmax, or OAN."

So, this isn't about journalism, and telling people what -- look, we're all flawed. It's, we make mistakes. We have blind spots.

But the general idea is to try and present a fair and reasonable assessment as best we can determine it, of what the story is, with all of its texture. And that means that if there's a narrative that appeals to someone, at CNN, but there are pertinent facts that don't align with that narrative? That has to be included too. That critique is legitimate.

But when the answer to that is this nonsense, this kind of Trump propaganda stuff, the cult of Trump? Look what's happened to the Republican Party. When you ask, what would be different? Look what's happened. The Mitt Romneys of the world, the John McCain, even when he was with us, they'd been marginalized.

CPAC used to be a place, where thoughtful conservatives, like Jonah Goldberg would show up, to commiserate, and to make their points. Now, they might as well arrive in a clown car, rather than a limousine.

BROWN: Jonah Goldberg, who, by the way, left Fox.

COSTAS: That's right, left Fox, as a matter of principle, yes. And good for him.

This is not a question of being conservative, or being a -- or being Republican. This is lunacy. They've descended into madness, where people, whose only objective is their next appearance, on Fox News, hold congressional seats, and have sway within the party.

And they all live in fear of Trump. It's a cult. It's not a principle. It's not a philosophy. It's no longer a party so much as it is a cult.

Some of them are just bat-bleep crazy, the Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the world.

But others are just so spineless and cowardly, and so in fear of what turning on Trump, and even acknowledging this madness would cause, that they bite their tongues, or they say things that they should know better, they don't really believe it. But, that's the Kevin McCarthys of the world.

And Fox News could have been -- could have been a corrective to that. If Fox News had said, "Look, hey, we lean right. But this isn't true. This is wrong," you know?


COSTAS: They not only -- they not only made Trump, their hero, but they vilified anyone, who criticized him.

If you criticize him, well, you're a Never-Trumper. You know what a Never-Trumper was? Someone who saw it for what it was at the start. Good for that person!

Or, you have Trump Derangement Syndrome. It's not deranged, to object to someone, whose entire history is that of a shameless conman, who lies, as often as he breathes, who attempted to undermine the very pillars of democracy, who attempted to overturn the election, the only election lies and fraud, well, what he attempted to do. And yet, he still has a hold, on the Republican Party. Are there lots of reasons for that, social media and the internet included? But without Fox News, as the centerpiece, as the hub, of that wheel, a lot of this would not have happened.

BROWN: We will leave it on that note. That gives us a lot to think about, Bob Costas. Very sobering. Thank you.

COSTAS: Thank you.

BROWN: Tonight, Pennsylvania senator, John Fetterman, he's opening up, about his battle, with depression, getting emotional, after his return, to Washington, this week. You'll hear that next.



BROWN: Time is running out, as the federal government races closer, to default, and neither party has all of their own members on board.

And the Senate Democrat, Joe Manchin, is criticizing the White House, for not negotiating, with House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): We're here to talk, communicate, and negotiate.


MANCHIN: So, at least do it. At least they put something on the table. They said "Put it on the table." They put something on the table. Can't we at least look and see if let's find some things we agree on, or just trying to hold our position just to say, "We're going to hold our position." I don't think that's rational.


BROWN: But McCarthy, for his part, he can only lose four members of his caucus, and he is still trying to find the votes, for his plan.

Back with us now, are Jonah, Audie, and the Representatives, Adriano Espaillat, and Nancy Mace.

Nancy, you're one of the votes he is trying to get. What do you need to see, from the Speaker? Where are you?

MACE: I'm not there.


BROWN: I'm sure you're at.

MACE: --vote. I'm not there. I'm still sifting through the plan that we just got into our hands, yesterday. I do have concerns. I don't know why we can't have a plan, to balance the budget, over the next decade, however long it takes.


Because both Republicans and Democrats, alike, under President Trump, he added $8 trillion to the debt, under President Biden, today, over $5 trillion. Both sides are at fault for why we're in this mess, to begin with. And both sides ought to come to the table, and come up with a plan that will balance the budget, over the next decade, if it takes longer than it does.

But the last president to do that was President Clinton in 1998. The last Republican, to balance the budget, was Richard Nixon, in 1974. So, it's just -- it's mind-boggling to me that we just can't get it together, on this.

The other thing that I'm concerned about just at top level, having looked through a few pages of it so far, is the way that it will affect Green Energy. So, I come from a state. We have a lot of solar, in South Carolina. And I want to look how the plan may or may not, but likely would, adversely affect some of the Green Energy projects, and energy that's happening, in South Carolina.

So, I'm still sifting through it. I'm not there yet. Those are my two biggest concerns at this point.

BROWN: All right. And it's been 78 days, meantime--

MACE: Yes.

BROWN: --since President Biden met with Speaker McCarthy. You just heard the criticism there, for Senator Manchin, saying, "You need to negotiate, put something forward." Politics is about compromise, negotiation.

Do you think that the President should be coming to the table more with Kevin McCarthy?

ESPAILLAT: Well, I think that there, there's an attempt to create an artificial crisis, once again. This has been done 79 times. The debt ceiling has been extended or addressed 79 times. So, this is not -- we're not splicing items, here. This is not new terrain. This is something that we've done before, and is sort of like weaponized, and used, for purpose of that.

BROWN: But does that justify Biden not coming to the table with Speaker McCarthy?

ESPAILLAT: No, I think there needs to be dialog across the board.

BROWN: So, you do think that President Biden--

ESPAILLAT: I think there needs to be dialog, right? But, on the other hand, I think that the proposal is far too extreme. And it is not just about Green -- energy and Green jobs, or -- it's also about daycare. It's also about food stamps, for seniors. A host of issues are going to be dramatically impacted, if this comes through. And this is an artificial crisis.

And, by the way, Bill Clinton--

BROWN: Well, it is a crisis, though, if the country defaults, on its debt.

ESPAILLAT: Yes. Well it is a crisis that depends--

MACE: We're getting plenty of tax revenue.

ESPAILLAT: No, no, but--

MACE: We're not going to default.

ESPAILLAT: Well -- well--

MACE: We're getting enough tax revenue to cover, unresolved debt.

ESPAILLAT: Well it will be--

MACE: But it will.

ESPAILLAT: --it will be -- even the threat of it could impact the markets. And so, this is something that should be done with.

Let's sit down, talk our differences. Let's move forward. It doesn't have to be an extreme position, like the one that I feel McCarthy has put forward that will keep people away.

It should be reasonable. It should be practical. No one should get hurt from this. And let's move forward and see, "Yes, how do we address this long-term? How do we address the deficit long-term?" And I think Biden is willing to do that.

BROWN: Jonah?

GOLDBERG: Yes. I think the whole spectacle is sort of unserious and silly.

I agree that people should talk. I think one of the reasons -- but it's going to be much easier, for Kevin McCarthy, to get Joe Biden to talk, if he could actually get his caucus together, to vote on something.

The problem is you're asking a lot of people to vote on something that may not pass, and then they're out there, putting their necks out for a package that is going to make it much easier, for people, to run against them on. And so, it's a difficult thing, for McCarthy to do, with only four votes to spare.

I see these arguments, about the debt ceiling thing, very much like the arguments about like the judicial filibuster, right?

It's like Democrats do it. And then Republicans say "That's outrageous that you're doing that." And then, the parties in power switch. And then, Republicans do it. And Democrats say, "It's outrageous that you're doing this."

This is -- you're right, it's happened 79 times in the past. But there's an enormous amount of hypocrisy, on both sides, about this, both on the overspending, and also the fighting about it.

BROWN: All right, Audie Cornish, Jonah Goldberg, Representatives Espaillat and Mace, thank you. Great conversations, tonight.

ESPAILLAT: Thank you.

BROWN: Well new video, tonight, of the explosion aftermath of the most powerful rocket ever made, SpaceX's Starship blasting out, windows, from a parked car. Unbelievable scene, you see, right here, on this video.

We're going to be back, in just a moment.



BROWN: Pennsylvania senator, John Fetterman, is opening up, about his battle with depression.

In a new interview, he explained, why he decided to check himself, into Walter Reed, for in-patient treatment, back in February.


FETTERMAN: When I was in the throes of depression, to be 100 percent honest, I was not the kind of Senator that was deserved by Pennsylvania.

I was so depressed that I didn't even realize how I was depressed.

I didn't even understand it. This to me that just became the new normal.

My oldest son had a conversation where he was having a hard time understanding, "Why dad, why are you depressed? Like, you ran and you won."

And I tried to explain to them. I'm like, "You know, geez, you know, Karl, like I had a stroke, and, you know, all of these ads and everything."

And he's like, "But aren't we enough? Aren't we enough?"



The Senator, returned to Congress, this week, and is now encouraging people, to pay attention, to their mental health. Well, up next, on "CNN TONIGHT," criminal charges dropped, against actor Alec Baldwin, in the deadly "Rust" movie set shooting. But it doesn't mean he is in the clear.

And Alisyn Camerota takes the pulse of the people, asking Fox News viewers, if they still trust the network, after their massive defamation settlement.

We'll be right back.



BROWN: Busy night of news, and good conversation. Thank you so much, for joining us.

"CNN TONIGHT" with Alisyn Camerota starts, right now.

Hi, Alisyn.