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CNN Live Event/Special

Atlanta Hospital Shooting Suspect Captured After Manhunt; Zelenskyy Denies Russian Claim Of Assassination Attempt On Putin; Manchin Criticizes Biden For Not Negotiating, Says U.S. Won't Default. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 03, 2023 - 21:00   ET



STUART VANHOOZER, COBB COUNTY POLICE CHIEF: We have a very, very supportive community, in Cobb County, a very supportive elected official group, and very supportive leadership. And that's very, very important for us.

We had great community members, who were calling us, and giving us information. We have a 911 center, who has shared their data with us.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST, CNN PRIMETIME: You have been listening to Atlanta Police, and Cobb County Law Enforcement, on the shooting and manhunt that just unfolded, for nearly eight hours.

The suspect that was wanted, for the shooting of five, in Atlanta medical building, earlier in the day, is now in police custody. And authorities say, the 24-year-old Deion Patterson (ph) was a Coast Guard vet. He was arrested, this evening, in Cobb County, Georgia, in a condominium complex.

Patterson (ph) is accused of killing one, and injuring four others, after just after noon, local time, inside of a waiting room, of a Northside Hospital facility, in Midtown Atlanta.

So, let's go straight to Gary Tuchman, who is in Atlanta, for us.

Gary, you've been at the scene, of this capture. What do you make of what police has revealed? And what are you learning from your sources about how this all transpired?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All right, Abby, we can give you additional information that you haven't heard yet from the news conference.

This man was captured, in this Waterford Place condo community. It's a gated community. It's upscale community. And because people had heard already that it was likely that this man was in Cobb County, Georgia, and this area is about 11 miles northwest, of where the shooting happened? Everyone was being on alert.

And we just talked to a woman inside. We walked inside the complex. And she told me that she heard two dogs barking, inside, very loudly, and they weren't stopping barking. She's heard them bark before. But they kept barking. And she was suspicious.

So, then she thought, "I'm wonder if this man, who's on the loose, could be in the gondola, at our pool area." It was a hunch she had. So, she called the police. The police rushed in. We were following those police. They came inside the complex. And we just waited outside here.

And these women tell us, and they may say this later in the news conference, but you're hearing it first from me, these women tell us the police went to the pool and gondola, and then started yelling, "Get down! Get down!" And people in the community heard that and they stayed in their house.

And it turns out, the woman's hunch was right, that this man was found, at the pool area, in this condo complex, was put under arrest, and at about 50 minutes ago was taken in a Cobb County police car, out of the gates, and he is now under arrest.


PHILLIP: Wow! That is really incredible. And we heard from police, just a few moments ago, they were getting a lot of calls, about this. Some of them, not the suspect. But one of them, this one, was in fact the suspect.

Gary Tuchman, thank you.

And going now to Ryan Young, who is in Atlanta.

So Ryan, what more do we know, about the status of the victims?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that is the big concern tonight, and this the question.

Of course, we got that update from Grady Hospital, a little early on, about what was going on, in terms of some of the people, who were shot, were still in critical condition, and going through surgery. Of course, Grady Hospital is the Level 1 trauma center that's nearby this location that they were transferred to.

You heard the Police Chief talk about the idea that the firefighters and EMS swarmed this area, despite the fact that there was still maybe an active shooter in the location, getting those people out of here.

The hospital, or the facility, behind me, is where this man came to, earlier on, in the day, with his mother, apparently seeking some medical attention. We know he was a member of the Coast Guard. And, at some point became, very upset, on the inside of this building, and started shooting. And five people were hit. And unfortunately, one woman lost her life.

We talk about that response, from police. It's through the video camera network that's all throughout the city. They were able to get the images, out there, to the public. That really helped. And you talk about the crowdsourcing of information that happened throughout the day. They were concerned about all the parking garages that are behind me because they were scared that someone could steal a car, so they were shutting those down.

You heard the Police Chief say that basically, they know he got a car that was running at a Shell gas station that was nearby. And then, he went to Cobb County. And then, you had that elaborate camera network that sort of linked all the cameras, together, that was able to help them track him down, to the area.

So Abby, you really see all the efforts that police put into finding this man, as quickly as possible.

PHILLIP: Yes, very much so.

Ryan Young, thank you very much.

And earlier, Georgia senator, Raphael Warnock, spoke, on the floor, of the Senate, about his personal connection, to this tragedy.


SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): In a very real sense. I feel it in my bones because my own two children were on lockdown.

The truth is none of us is safe.

As a pastor, I'm praying for those, who are affected by this tragedy. But I hasten to say that thoughts and prayers are not enough.


It is a contradiction to say that you are thinking and praying, and then do nothing. It is to make a mockery of prayer.

Shame on us, if we allow this to happen, and we do absolutely nothing.


PHILLIP: And Georgia's Democratic senator, Reverend Raphael Warnock joins us now.

Senator Warnock, thank you for joining us.

I want to first get your reaction to the breaking news, of the capture, of this suspect, in the case. What more can you tell us about that?

WARNOCK: Well, thank you so very much. Good to be with you, on this very sad day in Atlanta.

Of course, we are heartened to hear that the suspect has been apprehended, by local authorities. And so, we breathe a sigh of relief, for now. But, sadly, these kinds of mass shootings happen, every day, in America, so far this year. PHILLIP: And you mentioned, today, in a really powerful and impassioned speech, on the Senate floor, your two children, who were actually in lockdown, today, as this unfolded.

How are they doing? And really, what did you tell them, as a father, but also as a lawmaker, who is in a body that potentially has the power to do something about all of this?

WARNOCK: That's right. They are physically safe. But you ask me, how are my children doing? How are any of our children doing? And do we really know the answer? What are the long-term traumatic effects, of basically telling our children, "We can't protect you. And the best we can do is to tell you to hide."

We are a nation living in fear. And some seem to think that this is the price that we have to pay for freedom. I reject that. It's a strange kind of freedom that causes our children to have to go on lockdown, any random day of the week.

We can do better than this. We are the United States of America. And I'm not about to allow to let any of us, any of my colleagues, on either side of the aisle, off the hook. We must act and we must act now.

PHILLIP: Based on what we know, it seems that this suspect was receiving, or seeking mental health care. And this is just another incident of several, in the last several months, even years, that have really been at this intersection between deadly weapons, guns and mental health.

What is going to be done about that? I mean, this is a State, Georgia, where there are not that many gun laws. But at the federal level where you are, do you see a path to really doing something to address that issue?

WARNOCK: Well, 87 percent of Americans, according to a Fox News poll, support universal background checks. And I can tell you that in spite of that, there virtually was no conversation happening, here, in this building, on this issue. Even as we saw what happened in Tennessee, almost no conversation.

And so, I raised this, with my colleagues, several days ago. I had -- ironically had just had a meeting, with leader Schumer, on this very issue, earlier today. And then, an hour later, I received news, about this shooting, in my own hometown that left my own children, on lockdown.


WARNOCK: So, a good start would actually have to be -- would be to have an actual conversation about this.

PHILLIP: You say you were talking to Senator Schumer, about it. Is the idea, to potentially bring something, to the Senate floor, on this issue?

WARNOCK: I think that we must act. And I think that the American people are calling on us, to do something, in the area of gun safety.

And think about how divided we say the country is, and the divisions are there to be sure. But on the left and the right, the people are closer in agreement than what we see reflected, in the legislation that we've been able to get done, so far.

If 87 percent of Americans believe that we ought to have universal background checks, and still we're not even having a conversation about it, let alone a vote? That means that there is something awry, in our democracy, that increasingly, the people's voices are being squeezed, out of their own house.

And so, today, as a senator, but more importantly, as a father, I tried to give the people, their voice, on the floor, of the United States Senate. And I pray and I will keep working, to try to get us to act. The time is now.

PHILLIP: All right. Senator Raphael Warnock, thank you very much for joining us. And our thoughts are, of course, tonight, with all of your constituents, in the State of Georgia. Thank you.

WARNOCK: Thank you very much.

PHILLIP: And now, we turn to a very serious development, in the Trump classified documents investigation.


CNN is learning that Special Counsel, Jack Smith, is looking into whether Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage was actually tampered with. Prosecutors are focusing on who handled those tapes, after they were subpoenaed.

Two longtime employees, of the Trump Organization, are expected to testify, tomorrow, news that could put renewed focus, on these recent claims.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They raided Mar- a-Lago, viciously raided Mar-a-Lago. I have tape. And I gave them tapes. You know, I gave them tapes of storage areas. I gave it to them. I could have held that back. I wasn't holding anything back that I cared about.


PHILLIP: My next guest was an Assistant Special Prosecutor, on the Watergate investigation. So, he knows this type of investigation, complete with tape tampering and all. That's Nick Akerman.

Nick, thank you for being here.

So obviously, the obstruction portion of this was always a pretty significant part of this case. But when you hear that they're looking at the tapes, what does that say to you? NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Well, it says to me, they're looking at it for a couple reasons.

First of all, these videotapes would have shown who went in and out of the facility, the storage facility, at the time that, grand jury subpoena was served upon the Trump Organization, for all of these records.

So, the question becomes, well, did they tampered with those? Did they destroy some of those? Did they move some of those things around, so that the investigators wouldn't see what was going on? That is the real question here. Were they trying to hide the ball, and conceal what was happening, with respect to the classified documents?

PHILLIP: And so often, with Trump, the things that he talks about, really, tell you a lot about the things that he's worried about. And, in this case, we just played a video, which is not the only one, of him talking about these tapes, wanting to release them, to conservative media.

When you hear him talk about it, in these interviews, does it hit your ear, in a different way, now?

AKERMAN: Well, absolutely. I mean, he is concerned about what's on these tapes, what people are going to say about it.

Don't forget, a number of people, low-level people, in the organization, have already been put before the grand jury. Some people have been granted immunity.

And the question is, what do they know about these two Calamaris, one Senior and Junior, that are in charge of security, for the Trump Organization that are being called into the grand jury, tomorrow?

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, that seems incredibly significant. Matthew Calamari, Sr., Calamari Jr.

Calamari Sr. is a longtime 40-year-plus employee of the Trump Organization. He knows a lot about Trump, but also about the inner workings, of the Trump Org, including what might have happened, or what Trump might have ordered to have been done, with these tapes.

AKERMAN: Well, absolutely. And he's very close to Trump. And his son is very close to Trump. And so, the question is, what were they told? Who told them what to do with those tapes? What do they know about the movement, of documents, in and out of that storage area?

PHILLIP: Does any of this ring Watergate bells for you?

AKERMAN: Oh, absolutely. I mean, this is the same--

PHILLIP: The missing tapes?

AKERMAN: Sure. The missing tapes, the cover-up, it's all the same. I mean, what's really at issue, on this entire Mar-a-Lago classified document case, is whether or not justice was obstructed, whether the subpoena that was served, on the Trump Organization, was adhered to, or whether they tried to hide the ball.

It's the same thing in Watergate. The case that actually was brought was not on the breaking, but it was on the cover-up of the Watergate investigation.

PHILLIP: It's not the crime. It's the cover-up.

Nick Akerman, thank you very much, for joining us.

And tensions, dramatically escalating, between Russia and Ukraine, as Moscow claims drones were fired, at the Kremlin, to assassinate Vladimir Putin. Ukraine still denying any responsibility, tonight.

So, what happened? Was this in fact an attack? Or was it a false-flag operation?



PHILLIP: The Biden administration is calling for a heaping dose of skepticism, as the Kremlin accuses Ukraine, of trying to assassinate Vladimir Putin.

Videos, on social media, show an apparent drone, flying into the Kremlin, and then exploding, right on top of an iconic dome. Multiple cameras, in Moscow, captured the incident. And Russia says Putin wasn't at home at the time.

But even with the video, of the damage, CNN has found no evidence of Ukraine's involvement, in all of this.

And Ukraine privately has told the White House that it wasn't them.

President Zelenskyy, in Finland, today, with a flat-out denial.


PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE: We don't attack Putin, or Moscow. We fight on our territory. We are defending our villages and cities. We don't have, you know, enough weapon for this.


PHILLIP: Here with us, Kurt Volker. He's the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO. And he was the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, under the Trump administration.

Ambassador Volker, thank you for joining us.

I wonder, I'm curious, what was your first reaction, upon seeing that pretty dramatic video, of an explosion, over the Kremlin? KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO, FORMER U.S. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR UKRAINE NEGOTIATIONS: Well, to be honest, my first reaction was that this is the kind of thing that Ukrainians are living with, every day, that Russians are targeting their cities, and their civilian structure. And they are facing this.

So, for Russians, to see what that's like? I was actually -- I wouldn't say pleased. But I thought this is a good thing for them to understand what Russia is doing to Ukraine.

Now, that being said, I also heard the, Kremlin statement that, this was a Ukrainian attack, and they considered it a terrorist attack, an assassination attempt, against President Putin. And there, my immediate skepticism goes up, and says, "How do we really know? This is what the Kremlin is telling us? Do we have any other information?" And to this point, we don't.

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, that's the million-dollar question here.

But despite the fact that there's not any evidence that has really been presented, linking Ukraine, to this, former Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, is already using this, to call, for the elimination, of President Zelenskyy, of Ukraine.

What this seems to raise is the prospect that this could just be an excuse, at the end of the day, for Russia, or Russia's allies, to encourage further escalation.


VOLKER: Right, exactly. And let's stress, again, we simply don't know, who conducted this attack, and what message they're trying to convey.

It is quite possible that the Russians did this themselves, as a setup, for exactly the reason that you say, because they want to escalate, they want to create fear, in Western European capitals, about escalation, so that they put pressure on Ukraine to tamp down the counteroffensive. This is certainly possible. And what Medvedev said fits into that narrative, that this is a Russian false-flag operation.

PHILLIP: So, he--

VOLKER: It could, however, indeed be the Ukrainians. It could be that they are trying to signal to the Russians, "Be careful, because we can strike you, if we want to. We're not doing it, because we don't want to. But if we had to, we could." That could also be a message.

And then, the third option is that these are people, inside Russia, who are trying to send a message, to the Kremlin that they don't like what the Kremlin is doing.

And we can't really know where these things are. But this is clearly high-stakes psychological pressure, that one side is putting it against another. PHILLIP: So, on that very last point that you just raised, the prospect that this could be coming, from inside of Russia? CNN's Matthew Chance, spoke with a former Russian lawmaker, who has been linked to militant groups, in Russia.

And he said definitively that this was the work of what he calls Russian partisans. Take a listen.


ILYA PONOMAREV, FORMER RUSSIAN LAWMAKER: Some of them are focused on railroad sabotage, some of them doing arsons of military recruitment posts, some of them doing attacks on activists, pro-war activists, some of them doing hacking attacks.


PHILLIP: And we have seen attacks, somewhat mysterious attacks, occurring, inside of Russia, in this Bryansk region, a train derailment. There's another one in a storage facility, an oil storage facility.

So clearly, this former Russian lawmaker is saying that Ukraine had absolutely nothing to do with this incident. Do you think that that's plausible that this could be an inside job?

VOLKER: Well, it is plausible. There certainly are in -- groups inside Russia, that are trying to conduct activities, like this. And they are getting some financial and other support, in order to be able to do it. So, it is certainly plausible. I would not rule that out at all.

In the end of the day, I don't think we're going to know, until this whole war is over, what really happened, because it could very well be the Russian government itself, the Kremlin staging this.

It could in fact, be the Ukrainians, some special forces operating out -- in Russia. I don't believe this drone flew, from Ukraine, to Russia. I think it was launched inside Russia. But who did that, we don't know.

Or it could be that type of partisan, inside Russia, as the beginning of some kind of pressure, against Vladimir Putin.

It's all plausible. And the fact is, we don't know.

PHILLIP: And it almost seems like either way, the reaction, from Russia, really might be the same, regardless of who is responsible for it.

We'll have to leave it there though. Former Ambassador, Kurt Volker, thank you very much, for joining us, on all of that.

VOLKER: Pleasure. Thank you.

PHILLIP: And up next, for us, the Mayor of New York City joins me, live, in the studio, as he accuses the Texas governor, of sending migrants, to cities, with Black mayors.

Plus, a deadly encounter on the New York City subway system, a Black man said to be acting erratically, is now dead, after being put in a chokehold, by another passenger. Was it self-defense? Will there be charges coming for that individual?

Eric Adams is here with me next.



PHILLIP: Tonight, the Manhattan D.A. is investigating a disturbing incident that occurred, on the New York City subway system. A man died, after he was put into a chokehold, by another rider, on Monday.

A warning, the video that I'm about to show you is difficult to watch.





PHILLIP: Man in jacket (ph) has his arm, wrapped around the neck, of a man, in a White-T, who police have since identified a 30-year-old Jordan Neely. And at least two other riders then jump in, to subdue Neely.

At this time, CNN has not independently confirmed what happened that led to this incident. And we do not know how long Neely was restrained, or whether or not he was armed.

But witnesses say that Neely was acting erratically, when he boarded the train. He did not, however physically attack anyone, according to that witness.

Neely was found unconscious, and given first aid. When police arrived, he was then transported to a nearby hospital, and was pronounced dead, later that day. The Medical Examiner's office has ruled the incident a homicide, due to chokehold.

So joining me now is New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, on this, and a number of other topics.

Mayor Adams, this is something that is really at front of mind, for your city, right now. It is about both what is happening in the subways, but also about the death of this 30-year-old. What can you tell us about what led up to this incident? What do you know?

MAYOR ERIC ADAMS, (D) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Well, right now, it's still ongoing. And really, our hearts go out to the family, and this terrible incident. And the District Attorney, as you stated, the M.E., Medical Examiner's office, just ruled the case. And now, it's in the hands of the investigators, to determine exactly what happened. There's so many unknowns at this time.

PHILLIP: So, one of the reasons that this story is really hitting a nerve, is because this man appeared to be having mental health issues. This is something that you've talked a lot about.

But I want to read to you, this is a response, from the Comptroller, Brad Lander. He tweeted this. New York City is "Not Gotham. We must not become a city where a mentally ill human... can be choked to death by a vigilante without consequence."


There's also this, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic congresswoman. She said, "Jordan Neely was murdered."

What is your response to what they're saying here?

ADAMS: Well both the Congresswoman and the Comptroller? The Comptroller is a city-wide leader. And I don't think that's very responsible at the time, where we're still investigating the situation.

Let's let the D.A. conduct his investigation, with the law enforcement officials. To really interfere with that is not the right thing to do. And I'm going to be responsible, and allow them, to do their job, and allow them to determine exactly what happened here.

PHILLIP: Can I just ask you, though?


PHILLIP: I mean, on the question of vigilantism, what do -- what do passengers do, in situations, like that? Is it appropriate to take matters, into your own hands?

ADAMS: Each situation is different. And how a passenger, we have so many cases, where passengers assist of other riders. We don't know exactly what happened here, until an investigation is thorough.

And each situation is different. I was a former transit police officers, and I responded to many jobs, where you had a passenger, assisting someone. And so, we cannot just blanketly say -- blanketly say what a passenger should, or should not do, in a situation like that. We should allow the investigation to take its course.

PHILLIP: All right. So, I want to move on now to the issue of immigration. You've been talking a lot about this, and how it's affected New York City. Next week, Title 42 is expected to end. The estimates are there could be 1,000 migrants coming to the city, every day.

Do you think that the Biden administration has done enough to prepare for that moment? They sent 1,500 troops to the border, just this week.

ADAMS: Yes, and I'm going to answer that. But I want to go back for again-- PHILLIP: Yes.

ADAMS: --the issue on the train. This is what highlights what I've been saying, throughout my administration. People who are dealing with mental health illness should get the help they need, and not live on a train. And I'm going to continue to push on that.

Dealing with the migrant issues. No, I don't believe the White House has done enough. And I also believe the Republican Party has not done enough, with real immigration reforms.

And I think Governor Abbott is reckless in his behavior, by playing politics, with human beings. He's done -- he has done this, for a long period of time, since April of last year. And that's cost New Yorkers since April of last year, to July, that's cost to -- up to this year's, that's cost us almost a billion dollars.

PHILLIP: But what do you want to see from the Biden administration, as it relates to the Title 42 expiration, next week? Is there more that can be done, right now?

ADAMS: Yes. Number one, we need to identify one person that is coordinating the decompression strategy. That is so important. This should not be one city, or several cities. This is a national problem.

Then, we need to expedite the money that's coming from FEMA. Senator Schumer, Congressman Jeffries, and others were able to get $800 million allocated, through FEMA. And then, we must allow the temporary work status. That is so important. With so many jobs that are needed to be filled, this will allow us to ensure those who come here can be employed.

PHILLIP: Can I ask you about what you were saying about Greg Abbott? He has been busing, even today, busing, thousands of migrants to the city.

But you said this week that he's sending them to Black-led cities, your city, Washington, D.C., Chicago. Are you saying here that he is doing this because of the race of the Mayor of the city?

ADAMS: Well, let's be clear here. It was placed in quotes, running the front pages of our people that I called him a racist. It was placed in quotes. I never said that.

PHILLIP: I mean, I didn't say that you called him a racist.

ADAMS: And I understood -- and I understood that you didn't.

PHILLIP: But you said he was sending it to all Black-led cities, right?

ADAMS: Right. I want to be clear.


ADAMS: I said the front pages of "The Post," not you. PHILLIP: Yes.

ADAMS: That's what they stated.

What I'm making clear of the fact, and not based on my opinion, he sent them to New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Denver, all--

PHILLIP: But also Philadelphia, which has a White Mayor.

ADAMS: All of the -- all of the -- I have not received any reports, from Philadelphia. I believe that he sent them to Black cities -- I mean, mayors, where Black mayors are. And I don't know if it's to undermine these large cities that are run by Black mayors, because of his political agenda. I don't know if he's doing it be for their race.

I'm giving the facts of where he has sent them to. Washington, D.C. These are cities that have Black mayors. And that is a fact. That is not my opinion. And that is not defining why he's doing it. I'm laying out the facts.

PHILLIP: But you acknowledge, I mean, we did the research. He did send them to Philadelphia, as well. Does that change your view of--

ADAMS: No, not at all.

PHILLIP: --politics of what he's doing?

ADAMS: We have -- we have 108,000 cities, in America, in towns and villages. 108,000. Look where he sent them to.


PHILLIP: Can you talk to me a little bit more about the impact of this issue, on New York City, specifically? You've said publicly, speaking of headlines that migrants are destroying, or have destroyed this City. Can you elaborate how has that happened?

ADAMS: I didn't say migrants have destroyed the City. That is not what we're saying.

PHILLIP: No, not migrants.

ADAMS: I didn't--

PHILLIP: But this issue of the migrant flow to New York.

ADAMS: I've been very clear on this, from day one, when this first started to happen. The fiscal dollars that's coming with this issue of migrants is destabilizing our city.

Our migrants and asylum seekers are not the issue. We need to be clear on that. It is what is costing the city, and we're not being compensated by the national government. This is -- this is predicted to cost us $4.3 billion. As we cycle out of the pandemic, this is a major financial crisis, to our city. We -- our migrants, when I speak with them, they say "We just want to work. We want to provide for ourselves." And we're not allowing them to do that. That is just wrong. And no city, Brownsville, El Paso, New York, Washington, no city should be funding a national problem.

PHILLIP: So, when you make this point, a lot of Republicans, in Washington, say, "Right on! You're making exactly the point that we've been making."

But what I want to ask you is do you see yourself as being able to play a role in actually getting to a constructive place, on immigration reform, where it's needed the most in Washington, by working, with Republicans, for example?

ADAMS: No, I'm going to work with any Mayor that would like to coordinate and assist in this national crisis that we're facing. I believe in working with those elected officials, particularly my fellow mayors, across the city.

When I went down to El Paso, I spoke with the Mayor there. I communicated with the Mayor of Brownsville. I've communicated with all of the mayors that are impacted by this, and stated that we should coordinate together, to make sure we resolve this national issue. It should not fall on the backs of mayors, and cities, to resolve a national problem.

PHILLIP: And on the political front, you are a strong supporter, of President Biden.


PHILLIP: Is that fair to say?

ADAMS: Yes, it is.

PHILLIP: This is an issue, though, that Republicans intend to run on, I'd say, run against him, for the presidency. Does it concern you at all that you might be viewed as feeding into a narrative that is being used against your political ally?

ADAMS: No. You know what concerns me, is that New Yorkers are going to be impacted. Every service we deliver will be impacted by the financial crisis that's associated with the migrant and asylum seeker issue, every service. And we're witnessing that every day.

PHILLIP: Does that include public safety, I wonder?

ADAMS: It includes everything.

PHILLIP: What is your concern, as it relates to public safety, and this flow of people into the city?

ADAMS: I don't understand the question.

PHILLIP: I'm just asking you.

ADAMS: Yes--

PHILLIP: You're saying it will affect public safety. I'm--

ADAMS: Yes. But we had to -- our law enforcement community had to do what's called a PEG, Program to Eliminate the Gap. That is 4 percent, in efficiencies, they had to find, as all of my agencies had to do that. We had to find the dollars, so that we can balance out budget. And much of those dollars, we've spent, close to a billion dollars, thus far, that came out of our coffers.

PHILLIP: All right, Mayor Eric Adams, thank you very much--

ADAMS: Thank you.

PHILLIP: --for all of that.

ADAMS: Thank you

PHILLIP: And up next, a new racist text, surfacing, from the ousted Fox News' Tucker Carlson, one that may have contributed to his firing. And it was sent in the hours, after January 6.

We will have all of that next.



PHILLIP: Tonight, new fallout, from the lawsuit, filed by Dominion Voting Systems, against Fox News.

In focus is a text, sent by Tucker Carlson, to one of his producers, in the hours, after January 6, the Capitol attack. And, in it, Carlson describes a fight that he saw, on the streets of D.C., a few weeks prior.

And it reads in part, "A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least." Jumping a guy like -- "Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It's not how White men fight.

Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they'd hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn't good for me."

The text was first reported by "The New York Times."

And joining me now, at the table, is Catherine Rampell, of "The Washington Post" Opinion Columnist; Jason Osborne, a former Trump official, and Ben Carson adviser; and Solomon Jones, host of the radio -- of a radio show, and Columnist, with the "Philadelphia Daily News." He's also Author of "Ten Lives, Ten Demands."

So, all of you, thank you. This text message is a little eyebrow-raising. But if you watch Tucker Carlson's show? To me, it did not come as a huge surprise. But it seemed perhaps to be a surprise to Fox executives?


I think the thing that surprised me most is that Tucker Carlson didn't abide by the rule of thumb. If you don't want it on the cover of "The New York Times," you don't put it in a text message. And well, here we are! So, he does that.

But it is right in line with everything that he said on his show that immigrants make us dirty and poor, that there is a plot to replace White people with Brown people that somehow White nationalism was the core of what he said. And so, no, what he said was not a surprise. I'm surprised that he put it in a text message.

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, if you really look very closely at what he's saying here, just to be clear, he's saying that what is honorable is how White men fight.

To me, that is pretty clearly a White supremacist sentiment. And I mean, at the end of the day, Tucker Carlson was kind of dressing this up, in a bow, on his show. But now, it's in a text message.


And I think a lot of people are raising some honest-to-God questions, about whether this is even really the thing that did it. We don't really know.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, WASHINGTON POST OPINION COLUMNIST: We don't know. And we don't know what else might be out there. But it doesn't quite add up to me that this would be the precipitating event that got him canned, just because OK, he put it in a text message. But he said it on live TV!

JONES: Right.

RAMPELL: I mean, not these exact words, but pretty much the same message. So, what was the surprise or shock value of this? If you are a Fox News executive, for example, what's different here? It's still bad. Don't get me wrong. But the stuff he said on TV was almost as bad, just as bad, which makes me wonder, was this to head off other things coming out?

JASON OSBORNE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER, FORMER SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIST, CARSON FOR PRESIDENT: But, I guess, when I first saw the text message, one, I sat there and wondered, how was this so long? Like who texts those long paragraphs?

And then, it went from, it was almost like he was giving a deep thought seminar, and this is something that he was going to put in a book. But -- and I'm still trying to figure out what it means by "This is not how White men fight."

But at its core, I think, to your point, yes. I mean, this is stuff that he says online or on TV, all the time. Is it the reason why he was fired? I don't think so. I think Fox News probably got -- they realized they're under threat from multiple lawsuits. The Dominion lawsuit was just the start of it. It's only going to get worse, as it continues down the road.

I think Tucker needs to do a good job, a better job, of explaining what it is that he means, when he says these things, about immigrants are bad, that, "White men don't fight like this," and to your point on, the White nationalism. I mean, I was shocked when he said that there's not a problem with White supremacy, in this country. I mean, I wish.

PHILLIP: Well I guess--



PHILLIP: Look, I think Tucker can do a lot of explaining on a lot of things. But the idea that it is dishonorable, to fight, to jump a guy, right, and that White men don't do dishonorable things? That seems -- I don't think I need a dictionary for that. That seems pretty clear to me.

But Catherine, you've made a really interesting point about the Fox landscape, here. They are a inside of a publicly-traded company. They have shareholders. They have a Board of Directors. They have to do something to show that they're not just going to write this massive, almost a billion-dollar check, and no heads roll? So maybe Tucker Carlson is the head that had to roll?

RAMPELL: I guess. I think Fox News is in a tricky position, strategically. They are almost a victim of a strategy that they themselves pioneered, which is to cast the rest of the media as the Establishment, the Mainstream.

"They're the sole truth-teller. They are the only ones, who are willing to give you the unvarnished, uncorrupted truth," which sometimes veers on the side of conspiracy theorizing, right, if you're telling it? If you're saying something that nobody else was saying? Sometimes, that's what that turns into.

Since then, since they were founded in the 90s, they have become the incumbent. They have become the Establishment. You look at their ratings. They have many more viewers than other cable networks. And so, it's very hard for them to maintain that same positioning. Meanwhile, there have been a number of upstart media organizations that have copied the same strategy position, basically, out-crazied the crazies.

PHILLIP: Gaining on that.

RAMPELL: Right? And you have OANN, and Newsmax, and some of these other outlets.

And now if you're Fox, do you embrace the fact that you're the Establishment in the Incumbent? Or do you try to out-crazy the out- craziers, in which case, that can lead to a lot of political liability, as we just saw.

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, we'll see how that turns out.

JONES: It goes to that text message, though. The text message to me, is delusional, right? "It's not how White men fight." So, that is a delusion.

Because if you look at what happened, in Rosewood? If you look at what happened in Tulsa? If you look at what happened on January 6? If you look at the lynching of Emmett Till? If you look at all of these incidents that have happened, where there has been mob violence, at the hands, of White men? It's a mass delusion that this is not how White men fight.

And so, everything that Tucker Carlson has done has been based in this hate. If you look, later on, in that message, he talks about how he would hate this Antifa guy, if he knew him. He talks about how he hated Donald Trump passionately. And I think that's what made him the lead of -- the lead person, on Fox News, was that everybody understood that what he was doing was grounded in hate.

PHILLIP: Yes. It's a--

OSBORNE: I mean, I think just one quick point. I can't believe I'm having to defend Tucker, on this.

But the last half of that text message, where he actually acknowledged the fact that he, by having these feelings, then he is becoming one of those people that he hates, that he abhors, right? So, at least, there's a recognition, there, on his behalf, that he shouldn't be having those thoughts, which clearly he should.


JONES: I think he catches himself, midstream. "I'm writing this. And now, I have to correct it because maybe it will be on the front page, of 'The New York Times.'"


PHILLIP: Well, I--

OSBORNE: Well, I mean, clearly he's -- I don't--

JONES: And then it turns out that way.


OSBORNE: At that point, he just deletes the text message. It's going to his producer. So, it's not -- I wouldn't take it that far, in the point. Look, the words that he said were wrong. There's no question of it. The fact that he thought that was wrong.

But I think you have to acknowledge also that there was a recognition that "Wait a minute. If I'm having these feelings, and I'm becoming just like the people that I don't want to be," which is having this hatred towards another human being.

JONES: Yes. But he expresses hate.

RAMPELL: Yes, I don't know if this is as redemptive as.

JONES: Yes, it's not.

OSBORNE: Well, no, I'm not saying that this.

JONES: Not at all.

OSBORNE: But to the point that he caught himself that all the sudden, he then realized "This is going to be on the front page of "The New York Times" that I better -- I better backtrack," no, just delete the text message. It's a text message that hadn't been said. This wasn't two or three text messages in a chain. And then, he realized it. I mean, this was--


JONES: And the fact that it was so long makes me think that he had a lot of time, to think about it, to go back, correct it, to fix the syntax, to do whatever. I mean, I'm an author, and I was impressed that he could write a text message that long, and that the text message--

OSBORNE: Yes, I did too.

JONES: --actually made sense.


JONES: I think he thought about what he said and knew exactly what he was saying.

PHILLIP: Well, I mean, I don't know that he knew that this would end up anywhere. It seems like he was texting pretty freely, thinking that all of this would remain private, between him and his producers. But now, of course, we see it for what it truly is.

And stay with us. Because coming up next, on "CNN TONIGHT," first, it was Whole Foods, and now it's Nordstrom. Alisyn Camerota is delving into crime in San Francisco that has major businesses fleeing.

Also, the President's not budging, and Republicans are refusing, to raise the debt ceiling, unless Biden makes some huge concessions. But with the clock ticking, Senator Joe Manchin is making this bold prediction.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): We're not going to default.

We will not default.




PHILLIP: President Biden is facing criticism, from within his own party, over his approach, to the debt ceiling debate. And one of his critics is West Virginia Democrat, Joe Manchin.

The Senator is set to meet with Congressional leaders, soon. But he says he will not negotiate, on the debt ceiling increase, and will only accept a clean bill that will raise the country's borrowing limit.

So, tonight, Senator Joe Manchin told CNN that he doesn't expect a default, but that refusing to negotiate, he thinks, is the wrong approach.


MANCHIN: We're not going to default. I truly believe that with all my heart.

But to say you're not going to negotiate, when this representative form of democracy, we have, is all about negotiating.

They're going to be together pretty soon, next, next -- next week or so. And maybe you'll see the grown-ups in the room, do what needs to be done, for our country, and put politics aside.


PHILLIP: My panel is back with me.

And I think we all hope to have the same optimism that this is just going to happen nicely, and all the grown-ups are going to be in the room, next week. Is that wishful thinking, though, you think?

RAMPELL: I am very concerned. Just because this has been resolved, at the 11th hour, before, including in 2011, and many other times, when there's been some degree of debt limit brinksmanship, I think that is not a reasonable assumption to make that it will happen, again.

The party has changed quite a bit. The Republican Party has changed quite a bit, since the last time we had a showdown, like this.

I think, frankly, the media has not covered the issue, in a way that is clear to the public, what is actually at stake, and what it is Republicans are asking for, or rather not asking for. They have been very vague about what their demands are. They have these across-the- board spending cuts, but they don't actually specify what any of them are.

I'd love to hear Joe Manchin talk about what it is he wants to cut.

I agree. We do have fiscal challenges. But we're not in a space, where we actually know what's being negotiated. And if you don't know what their demands are, I think it's very difficult to come to some sort of compromise.

OSBORNE: I would disagree. I mean, I think Republicans, in the House, have been pretty clear, on just across-the-board cut. I mean, we just reauthorized the debt limit, a few years ago, or last year, whatever the case may be.

And what's interesting to me is that you have -- it's like Groundhog Day. And I've worked, in D.C., for over 30 years.

And you had, in 2017, you had Schumer, and you had Pelosi, both saying we need to sit down, and negotiate this, with the President, and then President needs to bring everybody together, and negotiate this.

Now, they're saying the exact opposite. And that's what people in the ruling party--

RAMPELL: That's not what happened in 2017.

OSBORNE: No, that--

RAMPELL: There was no threat of default.

OSBORNE: There's always a threat of default.


OSBORNE: But, at the same time, if you were going to do--

RAMPELL: There is not.

OSBORNE: If you're going to talk about--

RAMPELL: There is not.

OSBORNE: --debt limit, raising the debt--

RAMPELL: Country's been around for hundreds of years, we have not defaulted on our debt.

OSBORNE: We've never defaulted. That's right. Because -- but there's always been debate on the debt limit ceiling, and continuing to come back, and say, "We're going to continue to lift the debt limit ceiling without actually having cuts?"

RAMPELL: No. No. No.

PHILLIP: First of all--

OSBORNE: Like why are we spending so much to go forward? RAMPELL: This is exactly the wrong frame.

PHILLIP: But you know what? I have to say.

RAMPELL: Exactly the wrong frame.

PHILLIP: What you are saying--

RAMPELL: It's about past spending.

PHILLIP: Back -- back when--

OSBORNE: I understand that.

PHILLIP: Back when Trump was--

OSBORNE: But you can stick with the things that were put in place.

PHILLIP: --the President, he raised the debt ceiling, without cuts, without taking the country, to the brink. And he said that you do not negotiate, over the country's ability, to pay its debts. I mean, that's what Trump said, back in the day. Republicans raised the debt ceiling, under Trump, and didn't bat an eye, about it.

OSBORNE: I agree. I'm not saying it's not the right thing.



PHILLIP: So, I think, just to Catherine's point, the question -- this is not how it's always been. This is a kind of more recent phenomenon, to use it as a negotiating tactic.

And Manchin, I think, if you're the White House, you're probably a little bit worried because he may run for reelection, right? And Manchin, might want to be a little closer to the Republican side of this thing that his Democratic colleagues.

JONES: Absolutely. Joe Manchin is the guy, who sat with the Republicans, at the State of the Union. I don't think you can send a clearer message than that that you are actually on the other side.

I think that Joe Manchin, talking about "I'm not engaged in politics, right now," that's one of the things he said, in that interview, is absolutely false. And he could be a guy, who could help the Republicans get the cuts that they want, by siding with them, in this whole negotiation.

There will be a negotiation, absolutely. But the question is what side will Joe Manchin be on?

PHILLIP: Yes. And what form will those negotiations take?

Catherine, Solomon, Jason, thank you all very much, for joining us.

And thank you, for joining us, tonight.

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

Hey, Alisyn?