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Crowded GOP Field Keeps Growing Ahead Of Debate; Special Counsel Seeks Court Order To Ensure Trump And Lawyers Don't Go Public With Info Shared In Discovery; DOJ Findings: "Systemic Problems" In Minneapolis Police Department Made George Floyd's Death Possible. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 16, 2023 - 21:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: You've been to a lot of places. This place, I think, a new one, for you, in some ways, inside your own mind.


BERMAN: Thank you so much. Can't wait to see the report, Sunday night, "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER."

The news continues, here, on Earth, with Kaitlan Collins and "CNN PRIMETIME."


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Kaitlan Collins.

Tonight, Donald Trump is lashing out, at key figures, that he put, in the highest levels of his administration, including one who said he is quote, "Toast," if even half of what is in the latest indictment proves to be true.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Barr is doing it because he hates Trump, because I fired him. It's very simple.

He knows the indictment is total bull (bleep).

I watched him sitting there, and pontificating, sometimes with other RINOs that are almost as bad. Like a very stupid person named John Bolton; Mick Mulvaney, who's got nothing going, absolutely nothing.

We can't have people like that in our party.


COLLINS: A reminder that Bill Barr was his Attorney General, John Bolton was his National Security Adviser, and Mick Mulvaney, his acting Chief of Staff. These are the people that Trump picked to be, in his White House, all as he is asking for four more years, to do it all again.

Meanwhile, as Trump's legal troubles are multiplying, so are his 2024 rivals. Another new entry, over the last 24 hours, bringing this GOP field that you can see here, to roughly a dozen, and there are fewer than a dozen weeks, to figure out how to cram all of those people, potentially, on a debate stage.

The woman in charge of all of that here, this evening, Republican National Committee Chair, Ronna McDaniel.

Ronna, thank you so much for being here.

When you look at that crowd, and the fact that we just had the Miami Mayor jump in the race, yesterday, is there a point in your view, where the field gets to be too crowded?


We have criteria that candidates are going to have to score or be at 1 percent, in three national polls. They'll have to have 40,000 small- dollar donations. And the voters will winnow the field. I think some of them will run out of cash. But we don't determine the field. Anybody can get in, and the voters will decide who makes it to the very end.

COLLINS: You talked about that debate criteria for the first one. How much harder is it going to be to get on the second debate stage? Was that going to change?

MCDANIEL: The Debate Committee will meet. We put in the first debate criteria to expect some changes, and some incremental growth, in terms of criteria, to meet the second debate stage. But we haven't decided on what that's going to be yet.

COLLINS: OK. But there will be some changes.

One of the requirements right now to get on this first debate stage, in August, is to sign a loyalty pledge, vowing to support the eventual nominee. Some candidates, like Governor Asa Hutchinson want that amended, because it could potentially mean, in this case, with the front-runner, right now, having to support a convicted felon.

Why should Republicans be asked to support someone, who could potentially be convicted of a felony?

MCDANIEL: Well, one, we have the presumption of innocence, in this country. And there is no convicted felon, in the Republican field, right now, so.

But this is a "Beat Biden" pledge. And I think this is a no-brainer, Kaitlan. I think anybody, who's going on the Republican National Committee stage, to compete, to get the nomination, should pledge to the voters that once it's all done, and the dust has settled, and you've made your best case, if the voters choose someone else? Then you need to get behind who the voters chose, and make sure that we beat Joe Biden.

And I think that's the number one issue, I hear from voters, across this country. We can't have division. We can't have people get on the debate stage, where they're going to come out and say, "Oh, I'm not going to support the eventual nominee." We have to do that. We can't win without every Republican and Independents.

So, in order to get on that debate stage, you should pledge to the voters that you're going to commit to beat Biden, and support the nominee the voters choose.

COLLINS: When will you release the text of that pledge? Will the RNC released what that loyalty pledge is going to actually look like?

MCDANIEL: Yes, we have the text of it. And we've been meeting with all the candidates. This is not a shock to any candidate, Kaitlan.


MCDANIEL: And I love our field. I think they're all great. They're all going to be better than Biden. I have great respect for every single person, throwing their hat, in the ring, to run for president.

But we have individually met with every single campaign. Dave Bossie, who's running the Debate Committee, has done that. And that pledge is no secret. So, we'll get that out to them.

COLLINS: OK. But do you know when?

MCDANIEL: Yes, I don't know that. It hasn't already gone out. So, I'll take a look. But very soon.

COLLINS: OK. What they're referencing, of course, Hutchinson, and the other concerns, is the detailed indictment that we saw, last week. Obviously, it has serious national security implications in it.

And I think what you said there is important. Trump is innocent until proven guilty.

But when you look at that, and you see the conduct that is alleged in that, do you believe that that's becoming of a former Commander-in- Chief and the Republican front-runner right now?


MCDANIEL: Well, what I will say, Kaitlan, and I think Bill Barr has even said this too, you just showed, isn't always on President Trump's side, on some of these issues. But he has said it feels like there is a two-tiered system of justice.

I mean if you look back at Hillary Clinton, she had 2,000 classified documents, 22 of them were deemed Top Secret. She had eight different BlackBerrys that were never investigated by the FBI. And she's led off scot-free.

And then, you see a totally different standard of justice, for Donald Trump, who had 17 top secret documents.

What I would say, though, is how are we getting to a place where President Biden, Vice President Pence, Hillary Clinton, President Trump, are, all leaving with classified documents? Clearly, the protocols, of the White House, needs to change, so we don't find ourselves in this situation.

COLLINS: Yes. I think there are concerns about classifications of emails. But you referenced Hillary Clinton. You talked about Pence and Biden. They're very different circumstances than what Trump is facing, given the fact that he refused to hand over the information, when the government was subpoenaing him, and very clearly seeking it.

Mike Pence looks at what's in this indictment. He says he cannot defend what is alleged here. Bill Barr said he would be toast, in his legal term that he used, if even half of it is true.

Do you believe that there are serious concerns about what's alleged about what Trump did here?

MCDANIEL: I think we haven't been able to hear from the Trump defense team. And I think it's way too early, to jump to any conclusions, when you're only hearing one side of an indictment, without hearing the defense. So, let's let the process play out.

But I will say this, Kaitlan. It is very disconcerting, for Republican voters, to continually see one system of justice, for Republicans and Democrats.

And I'm going to point to the Durham report. The Durham report just came out. It showed that the DNC and Hillary Clinton put forward a fake dossier that caused the Mueller investigation, but also a House and Senate investigation --

COLLINS: But if you have concerns about the dossier?

MCDANIEL: But I think it's really upsetting because it was a House and Senate investigation by Republicans. It's thwarted our agenda from getting done, the agenda that the American people elected Republicans to do, because of a dossier, fabricated by the DNC and Hillary Clinton.

Where's the recourse? Where's the recourse? What is their punishment for causing that to happen to our country? It's certainly --

COLLINS: Well I think the concerns --

MCDANIEL: -- hurt Republicans in the midterms. But that's why is that?

COLLINS: But, on the concerns about the dossier, I think the question there?

MCDANIEL: I think if I, as RNC Chair, did that?

COLLINS: I think the questions of the dossier --


COLLINS: -- we've seen now Republicans, on Capitol Hill, raising these allegations about the Bidens that don't have any evidence to back them up.

But separately, on the Trump indictment itself, that's what I want to return to, because I think that is where we have seen some Republicans, defending the former President, and some saying they are concerned, about the behavior, in there, and the fact that it could potentially put armed forces, in harm's way, how he handled national security secrets.

Do you share any of those concerns?

MCDANIEL: I haven't seen the whole process play out. And I think the presumption of innocence is very real, in this country. And we need to honor that.

But I do think it's -- we have a very divided country. I'm a Republican, on CNN, saying that. I'll bet most of your viewers, who may not be Republican, agree with me. We have an incredibly divided country.

And when Republicans feel like there's one system of justice for them, and a different for Democrats, there's one standard for Hillary Clinton, and a different for Donald Trump? It doesn't help bring our country together. And we have an MIA president.

COLLINS: But the allegations are not the same for Hillary Clinton.

MCDANIEL: But we --

COLLINS: Without defending --

MCDANIEL: You know what? Because she never was investigated. She never was investigated.

COLLINS: She was investigated.

MCDANIEL: She had a BleachBit server. She had a BleachBit. She destroyed phones.

COLLINS: But she was investigated.


COLLINS: And we very famously had the FBI Director, at the time --

MCDANIEL: Not at the same level. I --

COLLINS: -- talking about that.

MCDANIEL: But Kaitlan? Let's go back to --

COLLINS: But is it that because of the level of the allegations is different? MCDANIEL: She had 22 top secret documents. Trump had 17. That in and of itself, she had more.

COLLINS: They were emails that were classified at the time that weren't later on.

He was holding on to U.S. nuclear secrets, information about U.S. allies, and their weaknesses.

MCDANIEL: I haven't seen the process play out. And he hasn't had a chance to defend himself.

But we know this. We know that she didn't get indicted. We know her home wasn't raided. We know his was.

We also know we have a president, in Joe Biden, who isn't addressing the American people, in a time of crisis, a deeply divided country. I think a former President being indicted, is a time of crisis. And to not hear from our President, to have Joe Biden, hiding again, and not bringing people together, is very disconcerting.


MCDANIEL: So, we'll let the process play out.

But I will say, as a Republican, and I'm going to go back to the Durham report, as the Head of the RNC, during the 2018 member -- 2018 midterms, to see no recourse, on the Democrats, for creating a fake dossier that I believe if the RNC had done that if I created a fake piece of Intelligence, about Joe Biden, and passed it off, and caused a three-year investigation, and $41 million, in taxpayer dollars?

COLLINS: But that wasn't just because of the Steele dossier.

MCDANIEL: I better -- I believe that I would have some recourse.

COLLINS: OK. That wasn't just because of the Steele dossier. Those were the actions of George Papadopoulos, and people, who were working, for the Trump campaign.

MCDANIEL: It was started by a fake dossier.

COLLINS: But we're not re-litigating --

MCDANIEL: Passed off as real Intelligence.

COLLINS: -- we're not re-litigating 2016, tonight.

MCDANIEL: Well you know what?

COLLINS: We're talking about what's happening, right now, with these debates.

MCDANIEL: We never re-litigate it, because there's no consequences for Democrats, and there's always consequences for Republicans.

COLLINS: I think that that's not answering --

MCDANIEL: And that is why we have a divided country.


COLLINS: I think that that's not answering the question about what is at the heart of this indictment. But you said yourself you want to hear, from the Trump defense team.

MCDANIEL: Absolutely.

COLLINS: We will potentially, when this is in court.

Back on the subject, here, and what you are in control of, which is these debates. Has the former President himself committed to doing the debates yet and signing this loyalty pledge?

MCDANIEL: We haven't had any of the candidates come in, and sign the pledge yet. We'll see as that unfolds. I expect every candidate to be on the debate stage.

I think, Kaitlan, I think, we all agree, the American people want to hear, from these candidates. We want to hear how are we going to fix our broken border? How are we going to tackle fentanyl, which killed 100,000 people, last year? How are we going to tackle crime rates that are rising, and inflation, and energy costs?

And having that Republican field debate and be in front of the American people, and addressing Republican voters, as to how we're going to take back the White House is critical. So, I hope they're all on the debate stage. That will be up to them to decide, what their campaign, what tactic they think is best.

COLLINS: OK. But you haven't received any assurances, from the Trump team that he's going to be, on the debate stage? Is that what you're saying?

MCDANIEL: He has not indicated yet what he is going to do.

COLLINS: What does it say about the RNC, if he doesn't come on the debate stage, in your process here?

MCDANIEL: Well, the RNC is critical. I mean, we set up the data. We're going to be the ground game.

And by the way, the RNC members are all delegates. So, they're voting. We're elected by the grassroots. And we're going to be an integral part of choosing the next nominee.

So, I think all these candidates will be part of that debate stage, I hope. But that will be part of their calculation as their campaigns go forward.

COLLINS: Is the GOP going to have a platform, in the 2024 election? They didn't have a new one written in 2020. They just went essentially off of, the fact that Trump was president, and he was going to be the platform. Will there be a Republican platform for this election?

MCDANIEL: Absolutely, there'll be a platform.

In 2020, we had some extenuating circumstances. I'm sure you'll remember, our rules did not allow a virtual Platform Committee to meet, so we had to revert to the 2016 platform.

But the nominee will have a lot to do with that. And there will absolutely be a platform.

COLLINS: Will that platform include funding and support for Ukraine, do you believe?

MCDANIEL: Oh, that is way too early for me to say. The delegates that are elected to the Platform Committee will be talking about that.

But I will say this, Kaitlan. Yes, we have differences of opinion in our party. We are not groupthink, like the Democrats are. There are differences of opinion, about a lot of things.

But I think the biggest concern I hear from Republicans is why aren't we securing our southern border? Why are we allowing this huge swath of people, to come across our country, our border, illegally? We're allowing the cartels to make billions of dollars. We're allowing children to be human-trafficked. This is not good for anybody. And I think they want to see the priorities of that reflected in our platform.

But we'll see what happens, come 2024.

COLLINS: Those are all issues that I hear from Republicans, all the time, here in Washington, they want to be talking about.

But lately, the only thing that candidates, who are running, for the Republican nomination, to get asked about, especially in the last week, have been the former President's legal troubles.

Did they distract from you what Republicans actually want to be talking about?

MCDANIEL: Oh, if you're in Iowa, right now? That's not what they're talking about. If you're in New Hampshire, right now? That's not what they're talking about. I don't live in the D.C. bubble. I live in Michigan. That's not what people are talking about.

They're saying, "Hey, did you see that gas is almost $4 a gallon?"

COLLINS: But it's what the candidates are talking about.

MCDANIEL: "$4 a gallon right now? Do you see that our kids still have massive deficits, coming from the States that were locked down by Democrat governors? Do you see fentanyl?"

People are very concerned. And that's why you're seeing such poor numbers, for Biden. People do not feel like our country is on the right track. So, average Americans, outside of D.C., they're saying we need help. And that's why they're looking at this Republican field, and really hoping that someone emerges that's going to take on Joe Biden, and take back the White House.

COLLINS: Yes. We'll see what that nominee looks like, of course, and also what the debate stage looks like.

Ronna McDaniel, thank you for your time, tonight.

MCDANIEL: Thanks for having me, Kaitlan. Congratulations on your show, too.

COLLINS: Thank you very much.

We'll get more reaction to those comments there, about what the debate stage could look like, in the broader GOP field.

Plus, an escalator ride that changed the world. It happened on this day, actually, eight years ago. Ahead, where that ride continues to take our nation, and where it could be headed next.



COLLINS: It was eight years ago, today, hard to believe that this happened. Donald Trump, riding down that golden escalator, at Trump Tower, before formally announcing that he was running for president.

Fast forward, from that moment, there, to everything that happened, since then? A crowded 2016 field; James Comey; Hillary Clinton; Robert Mueller; two impeachments; a Pandemic; January 6; and now, multiple investigations. And you get to this moment. It all ties directly back to that escalator ride, in a New York building, bearing Trump's name, but is no longer his home.

Here with me now, to talk about how this moment has brought us here, former Ted Cruz Communications Director, Alice Stewart; and CNN Senior Political Analyst, Kirsten Powers.

It is kind of remarkable. It's hard for me to believe that it's been eight years since that.


COLLINS: And here we are, still talking about loyalty pledges, and trumping the nominee, obviously, with a much different twist to it, now as he's a twice-indicted former President.

POWERS: Right. Well, I mean, there's just -- nobody could have predicted everything that happened. If someone had written a novel, or a screenplay, and said this people would have said, "This is too crazy. This could never happen," right?

So, I think when we think back to watching that, I mean, I can certainly remember watching that, and just thinking, "This is ridiculous," right? "This is not. There's no way," based on what we thought we knew about the Republican Party, at the time.

And, I think, we learned a lot, obviously, during that period, about exactly who the Republican Party was. And it was quite different than a lot of people had thought.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Having been on the Cruz campaign, at the time, we watched that and we thought reality TV star, starting off their presidential campaign, down an escalator? Clearly unconventional. No one thought it would lead to where it is today.

But he clearly started his campaign, ran his campaign, went into office, and ran this country, in an unconventional way that was, I think, very divisive, in many ways. And the tone and tenor of it was not what many people would expect.


But look, what he did by starting his campaign, the way he did, people that knew him, all these years, as a reality television star, laid it to him, and they didn't want him to start off his campaign the way everyone else does, and they didn't want him to run this country --

COLLINS: He certainly did.

STEWART: He didn't (ph). And that's what endeared him to a lot of his voters and supporters.

People across this country that Ronna McDaniel talked a lot about, in your interview, which was excellent, by the way, people that felt like no one was listening to them, no one was speaking for them, in Washington. And they looked at Donald Trump doing things differently, and said, "He's the one that can take my voice and take it to Washington." And a lot of what she talked about, in your interview, is the voice of his supporters, and his base, across the country.

COLLINS: The other thing, though, I mean, well, I mean, that was, of course, the moment, when he famously talked about Mexican rapists being sent across the border, it set the tone, really, for his campaign, and his presidency, and what we saw.

But the fact that here we are, eight years later, talking about this, he is the Republican front-runner? You worked for Ted Cruz, who did sign a loyalty pledge, but didn't really honor it. He came out of the Republican Convention, and did not endorse Trump as a nominee.

What do you make of the fact that we are still having this conversation about candidates, who now don't want to sign it for a very different reason?

STEWART: Well, that's because a lot of people are in this for personality over politics and for the party.

And I think Ronna was very wise, in the interview, and moving forward, to encourage, not just the candidates, but Republican voters, across the country, is we need to get together. We need to rally behind one person, a united message, a united front, to take on Joe Biden, and whoever the Democrat might be. That's the only way we're going to move forward.

I think the Unity pledge is a great vision and a great idea. I'm not certain everyone's going to go for it. I understand Asa Hutchinson's reservations about potentially supporting someone, who might be convicted of serious crimes.

COLLINS: Well it's not just Asa Hutchinson, the former Governor of Arkansas. It's also Chris Christie, former Governor of New Jersey, who's saying, "Yes, I'll honor it as much as Trump did in 2016" --

STEWART: Right, right.

COLLINS: -- when, of course, he signed, and he got on the stage, and didn't raise his hand, when everyone else did --


COLLINS: -- about supporting the nominee.

POWERS: Well, I think it's meaningless, honestly, because they're going to do what they want to do, for the most part. So, they'll sign it to get on the stage, if they have to get on the stage. But they're not going to honor it unless they feel that it's going to be good for them, I think.

I'd love to say that they're all just honoring their consciences. I think some of them are. I think some of them just think about what's best for them.

But I actually think that people should honor their conscience. They shouldn't just get behind somebody, because the RNC is behind them. If they feel like this person would be a bad president, they shouldn't be saying that they support them.

COLLINS: Yes. And we spoke to her, about what she believes Trump is going to do, about the debates. He's threatening to boycott them. This is what she just said.


COLLINS: You haven't received any assurances, from the Trump team that he's going to be, on the debate stage? Is that what you're saying?

MCDANIEL: He has not indicated yet what he is going to do.


COLLINS: I mean there's a very good chance he doesn't show up, on the debate stage.

STEWART: Exactly. If anything, he's indicated more than not that he's not planning to participate in the debate.

And, to be quite honest, from a communication standpoint, and a messaging standpoint, if he's 30 points, 40 points ahead, in a primary? He probably shouldn't do so, from that standpoint. But obviously, as we get to the general election, there's a completely different story.

But look, I think that the point here, moving forward, these debates are so important, and critical, for the voters, out there, to hear the candidates, hear them contrast, see how they're different --


STEWART: -see how they engage with each other. And whether or not Donald Trump's on the stage or not, that's when we're going to start winnowing the field, and helping voters, make a decision, on who's the best person for the party.

COLLINS: Yes. We'll see if he shows up, come August, and if they all sign this pledge.

Thank you both, for being here, tonight, on a Friday night.

STEWART: Thank you.

POWERS: Thank you.

COLLINS: Coming up, a very important update, today. A guilty verdict, for the shooter, who robbed 11 families, of their loved ones, in the Tree of Life massacre. A jury is now going to decide between life in prison, and the death penalty.

We're going to speak to a longtime member of the Pittsburgh synagogue, where it all happened, who knew the victims.



COLLINS: Today, a unanimous decision, guilty, in the deadliest anti- Semitic attack, on U.S. soil, to ever happen.

Robert Bowers massacred 11 worshippers, at the Tree of Life synagogue, in Pittsburgh. Today, he was found guilty of 63 charges, including hate crimes.

Remember, back in 2018, Bowers stormed the synagogue, where people were praying at Shabbat services. He targeted them, because they were Jewish.

Today's verdict came at a cost, of course, with one Pennsylvania state lawmaker, putting it this way.


DAN FRANKEL, PENNSYLVANIA STATE HOUSE: One by one, innocent people recounted the worst days of their lives, the worst minutes of their lives, worse than anything the rest of us have ever known.

Let us remember that the survivors reopened these wounds, for us, for humanity, because there has to be a record. The work to hold back hateful ideologies and violence stands on history. They told their stories. They recorded history. Now, every one of us must grapple with that story.


COLLINS: He's talking about the testimony there, as the prosecution ultimately called 60 witnesses, over three incredibly emotional weeks of testimony.

The last witness was Andrea Wedner. She told the court, quote, "I saw my right arm get blown open in two places, and then my right hand, and the pain was the worst pain I've ever felt. I looked at it as I felt it and it looked shredded."

She described seeing her 97-year-old mother, who was shot in the face, dying, next to her. She said, quote, "I knew she wasn't going to survive... I kissed my fingers and I touched my fingers to her skin. I cried out, 'Mommy.'"

I'm joined now by Jeff Solomon, who knew several of the victims, who were killed, in that Tree of Life massacre.

And, Jeff, I mean, just to hear even a part of that testimony, I imagine, it has been incredibly difficult, to hear the details, of this entire tragedy, all over again, throughout this trial.

But that was also so important to getting the verdict that they received today.

JEFF SOLOMON, CONGREGANT, TREE OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE: Yes. I mean, I think, the Congressman said it well. It's a chance to record history, so that everybody can hear exactly what happened, in painstaking detail.


It's really hard to hear. I heard Andrea's testimony. I'm just listening to you repeat it. I've known Andrea for a long time. Her brother, Alan, was my basketball coach. We attended synagogue together, for many years. And I knew Mrs. Mallinger really well. I just -- it's hard to get those images out of your head.

COLLINS: Yes. You're talking about Rose, there. I was there right after this happened, and first his son was -- it was just -- this community, the Squirrel Hill community, is such a close-knit -- closely-knit one.

In the light of this verdict, when you walk into a synagogue, the Sabbath, do you think it'll feel differently?

SOLOMON: I think there's some closure, for sure. I don't know that it'll feel differently. Like I think part of it, you know, going to synagogue has not -- new meaning for me, at least anyway, which is, every time I go, and every time I pray, I recognize that this is our moment in history, as Jews. We've heard the stories. And it's part of our heritage. This isn't the first time that this has happened to us. It's probably, it happened -- it's the biggest one that happened here in the United States. And I think that's part of what's shocking. But it's sort of like it's happening in our time.

And, in many cases, I just feel like, when I go to synagogue, I'm very much a part of that history, now, for having experienced this, personally. I wasn't there that day. But certainly, I know exactly where I was. And I remember living through it, with my family, was highly emotional and difficult.

COLLINS: Yes. You grew up at the Tree of Life synagogue. And I know that you knew the victims here, and were close to Cecil and David Rosenthal, the two brothers, who everyone says they were just basically inseparable.

On a day like this, how do you remember them?

SOLOMON: Oh, man, I mean, there's not a day that goes by when I don't think about Cecil and David. Actually, they were so much a part of our community, growing up, and just, their presence.

I'd just say Cecil and David were just -- they were good people, like, genuinely good. And like in the sense that I don't think they actually know what evil was. And so, the fact that this happened to them, it's just, and the nine other folks, just because they were Jewish, just because they went to synagogue that morning, is very difficult.

It leaves a hole in your heart. It does. But it also, at least for me, has motivated me to go out and do good things, right? Every time I do something good, consciously, I try to do it. One extra good thing a day, for the last five years, in memory of those.

Because honestly, all 11 people, they were they were good people, they did good things. And so, the world is missing their good acts because of this. And so, I think, it's incumbent upon me and all of us to do good things, and extra good things, to make up for the fact that their lives were cut short by this tremendous tragedy.

COLLINS: That's one of the loveliest things I've ever heard that you're trying to make up for the good that they can't do, by you doing those good acts.

Jeff Solomon, I know this is a tough thing to talk about. And it's incredibly personal. So, thank you for joining us, tonight.

SOLOMON: Yes, thanks for covering this story, and for continuing to help us make sure that the 11 lives weren't lost in vain. And we get to talk about them. And every time, we talk about them, is as if they're here, so thank you for that.

COLLINS: Absolutely.

And, as we mentioned, before we go, we want to also remember all of the 11 lives, who -- all of the 11 lives, who were lost in that attack.

Joyce Fienberg, a widowed grandmother.

Dr. Richard Gottfried, who ran a dental practice, with his wife.

Rose Mallinger, who was 97, spry and full of life, as many said.

Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, who treated early HIV patients.

The inseparable brothers that we just mentioned there, Cecil and David Rosenthal.

Sylvan and Bernice Simon, they were killed in the synagogue, where they were married.

Daniel Stein, who was just enjoying retirement.

Irving Younger, who liked to greet congregants, with a smile.

And Melvin Wax, who was always in a good mood, and full of jokes.

May they forever rest in peace.



COLLINS: Special Counsel Jack Smith's team is pushing for a court order, to limit what former President Trump, and his attorneys, can say publicly, about some of the documents, and evidence, in the case. This was an expected step. It's a procedural one.

But investigators could also have a reason to be worried, about what he could potentially share. Look no further than the former President's Truth Social page, today, and what he posted.


TRUMP: Bill Barr, a disgruntled former employee, and very weak person, and a very, very lazy Attorney General, was totally ineffective.


COLLINS: Let's discuss the legal and national security risk, of Trump taking to social media, with what he learns, about this case.

Here with me, tonight, Jamil Jaffer, the Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute, at George Mason, as well as CNN Legal and National Security Analyst, Carrie Cordero.

Thank you both for being here.

Jamil, I know this, this is a procedural step.

JAMIL N. JAFFER, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY INSTITUTE: Yes. COLLINS: It's not exactly the surprise that Jack Smith's office is asking the judge to do this.

But do they have a reason to be concerned that Trump could potentially share what they've learned, what they're sharing with their team?

N. JAFFER: Well, obviously, there's a lot of witness testimony that's going to go into this case. There's a lot of potential evidence. There's ongoing investigations of others involved. If any of that gets out, it could make those investigations, harder to pursue.

And Donald Trump has a penchant for getting out there and talking about anything and everything that comes to his mind. And so, it's no surprise they've asked for this protective order. The question now becomes, will the judge be able to enforce it, if in fact, it gets start being -- starts being violated, by Trump, or any of the people around him?

COLLINS: Yes, and he speaks frequently about this. I mean, he speaks frequently about everything. He's basically going after Jack Smith, non-stop.

Why he made that video going after the people that he put, in the top levels of government, was because this is what they said about their view, of how much legal trouble he could be in.


BILL BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: If even half of it is true, then he's toast. I mean, it's a pretty -- it's a very detailed indictment. And it's very, very damning.


MIKE POMPEO, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I suppose we can all make mistakes, and get them to the wrong place. But when somebody identifies that, you got to turn them in. And so, that's just, that's inconsistent with protecting American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. And if the allegations are true, some of these were pretty serious important documents.

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR OF THE UNITED STATES: If he has anything like what the complaint, what the indictment, alleges? And, of course, the government will have to prove it. Then, he has committed very serious crimes.


COLLINS: What do you make of that compared to, for example, we hear from Ronna McDaniel, who was saying, "Yes, I want to wait and see what their defense is?" These are his own people, who worked for him, who were saying, it's pretty damning, if it's true.

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, these are all people, who had national security responsibilities, when they were in government, including in the Trump administration. And every single one of them knows that if they saw a case, like this, come through the Justice Department, when they were in government, in senior leadership positions? They each absolutely would have supported the Justice Department, going forward, with a prosecution, based on the nature of the documents that were mishandled, based on the obstructive conduct that took place.

So, they all know that. And so, they are being honest in their assessment.

COLLINS: And so, they're asking Judge Cannon, for this order.


COLLINS: She has gotten a lot of scrutiny, in the last several days, of course, of how she's going to handle this. What's your sense of how she'll do?

N. JAFFER: Well, look, Judge Cannon, like every federal judge, has an obligation to uphold the rule of law, and apply the rule of law.

Now, she had some rulings that people disagreed with, when in the prior version of this case, when the matter was before, went up to the Eleventh Circuit, was reversed, came back down, she implemented it.

And there's every reason to think that Judge Cannon can handle this case perfectly, effectively, in her position.

COLLINS: Can I ask you about something before we go?

Jim Trusty, one of Trump's attorneys, who has now resigned, from his legal team, entirely? He withdrew from a lawsuit that the former President has, against CNN, actually, citing irreconcilable differences, which stood out to a few people, I spoke with, today, who said, you wouldn't normally put a reason, in a civil case, like that.

CORDERO: Right. Well, I mean, he -- the former President has trouble keeping his lawyers. Trusty had withdrawn, right after you interviewed him, Kaitlan, in the --

COLLINS: And 12 hours later.

CORDERO: -- classified documents.

COLLINS: I'd like to know if it's because of me, but.

CORDERO: In the classified documents case, because he was on, talking about the indictment, and then the indictment turned out to be much different than what he had described, on our air.

So, it is a difficult circumstance, for the former President that he can't keep his lawyers. Who knows whether we'll learn the actual reasons, what actually was the specific reason? I find it unusual, for someone to go this far, with a client, and then right after they're indicted, withdraw from the criminal case, and then, for whatever reason, then that probably I would guess -- COLLINS: Yes.

CORDERO: -- led to his not being able to have a functional relationship, with his client, in the civil case.

COLLINS: And it's just remarkable to see where we are, because Todd Blanche, who is now the top attorney, on his team, he hasn't dealt with this case at all. He's only been on Trump's legal team, for about two months. We'll see if he adds a third attorney.

Thank you both for being here to talk about the implications here and what this looks like going forward.

CORDERO: Thank you.

N. JAFFER: Thanks, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Up next, Donald Trump's use of defense documents, to show off, stands in stark contrast, to another man that is in the news today.

Daniel Ellsberg's illegal release of the Pentagon Papers, in 1971, exposed lies, by multiple presidents, about America's involvement, in Vietnam, and plans to deploy U.S. troops.

Ellsberg died today, of pancreatic cancer, at the age of 92, his family says.

The disclosure of roughly 7,000 pages, of Pentagon documents, led to a landmark Supreme Court case, upholding the First Amendment.

On a personal level, it led to an all-out effort, by the Nixon White House, to discredit him, something you can hear clearly, on the White House Tapes, of Nixon's directing the message that he wants delivered, to the FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover.


RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've got to keep our eye on the main ball. The main ball's Ellsberg. We've got to get this son of a bitch.


COLLINS: If you remember, Ellsberg's case went all the way, up to jury deliberations, only to then be tossed out by the judge, due to a real weaponization of Executive power. We're talking illegal wiretapping, a break-in, at Ellsberg's former psychiatrist office, and President Nixon's aide, offering the judge, a job, as FBI Director. All of that.

Ahead, tonight, also, in the news today, the murder of George Floyd, it prompted an extensive two-year federal probe, of policing, in Minneapolis. And today, the U.S. Attorney General announced the findings, of that investigation, and they are scathing. Will this impact Police departments across the nation? That's next.




MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: His death has had an irrevocable impact on the Minneapolis community, on our country, and on the world.

George Floyd should be alive today.


COLLINS: That murder, more than three years ago, led to a massive Justice Department review, of policing, in Minneapolis.

Today, Attorney General, Merrick Garland, there, announced the findings, of a two-year investigation. Among them, systemic abuses, by the Minneapolis Police Department, like unlawful use of force, racial discrimination, First Amendment violations, and discrimination against people with behavioral health disabilities.

Garland claims that the patterns and practices, his department observed, made what happened to George Floyd, possible.

The biggest question now is how do these findings lead to change? Can they lead to change?

Joining us now is former Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Charles Ramsey.

Chief Ramsey, thank you for being here, tonight.

And I do think that is the big-picture question. And I wonder, do you think that it could lead to lasting change?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, I certainly hope so. But we say that every time these things happen.

I do think that the consent decree that will be put in place, in Minneapolis, will certainly help. I've certainly worked with the Justice Department, in the past. It does make a difference. But it takes more than just a consent decree. It really does take very strong leadership, transformational leadership, at all levels, in an organization.


You look at Minneapolis. They have serious systemic issues, in that department, cultural issues, in that department, that have to be addressed. And it's not going to -- it's not going to be fixed, overnight.

It's going to take time and a lot of effort, on the part of everyone, not just the Police, but the community, the City itself, everyone working together, to really effect any kind of meaningful change. COLLINS: On the consent decree, which my understanding now is that it's basically an agreement, to get an agreement. But when you talk about how those have worked, your time in Washington, and in Philadelphia, how does it help? What is it that is -- about it that is useful, do you believe?

RAMSEY: Well, when I was in Washington, D.C., back in 1998, I actually asked the Justice Department, to come in, and take a look, at our department, our policies, our training, and our use of force, everything. And I'm told that's the first time anyone ever asked the Justice Department, to come in.

And we entered into a Memorandum of Agreement, which is the same as the consent decree, minus accord (ph). It was just an agreement between the Department, the City and the Department of Justice.

It made a huge difference. They brought in subject-matter experts. They went through all our policies, all our training, made sure everything was up to standard, as it should be. And it also put the City, in a position, where they had to provide the funding, I needed, to upgrade technology, upgrade training, upgrade all those things that needed to be done, in the Department.

In Philly, we went with a collaborative reform, may call it, again, a partnership with DOJ. Made a tremendous difference, in our ability, to be able to turn the department around, and get it on track, to where it needed to be.

So, it plays a role, a critical role. But it's also important to have a strong judge that oversees the consent decree, like they do, in Baltimore, for an example, keep everybody's feet to the fire, keep the process moving forward. So, there are a lot of moving pieces, but it does make a difference.

COLLINS: Yes. We'll see what that consent decree looks like here.

Chief Ramsey, thank you for your time, tonight.

RAMSEY: Thank you.

COLLINS: And more perspective, now, on the systemic abuses that are listed, in this scathing report.

We have the former President and CEO of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks. He's also a Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

And thank you for being here, tonight.

CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, FORMER PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: It's good to be here. It's good to be with you.

COLLINS: Great to have you here.

And as we were watching Attorney General Garland, today, laying this out -- WILLIAM BROOKS: Right.

COLLINS: -- in this press conference, one of the most chilling parts, to me, was talking about Derek Chauvin, the officer here, and how he had a history --

WILLIAM BROOKS: That's right.

COLLINS: -- of this kind of behavior --

WILLIAM BROOKS: That's right.

COLLINS: -- of breaking these protocols, using excessive force --

WILLIAM BROOKS: That's right.

COLLINS: -- in multiple incidents --

WILLIAM BROOKS: That's right.

COLLINS: -- when others were there to watch, almost textbook of what we saw.

What does it say to you that -- it made it sound like it could have been preventable, if only there had been the proper systems in place?

WILLIAM BROOKS: That's precisely it. It's not a matter of having bad actors. It's a matter of having bad actors, in a culture of bad policing.

So, in other words, we have Police officers, who leave like cookie crumbs of cruelty. They leave traces of bad behavior, over months, over weeks, over years. And so, it's not a matter of going after the bad apples. We need to go after the bad bushel. And so, that means the use of consent decrees.

It also means Police departments and Police Chiefs, calling on the Justice Department, agreeing to enter into consent decrees. In other words, this law, which allows the Justice Department, to use these voluntary consent decrees, goes back, over 30 years.

And this administration, the Biden administration has literally resurrected, and resuscitated, the use of consent decrees, when they were literally not used by the Trump administration at all.

And so, this is critically important. But we need to do more. Why? Because we have 18,000 Police departments, in 19,000 jurisdictions, over 50 States. We can't use consent decrees everywhere.

COLLINS: I'm so glad you said that. Because listening to Garland today, one thing he did go out of his way to say was, he said "We observed many MPD officers who did their difficult work with professionalism."

WILLIAM BROOKS: That's right.

COLLINS: With courage, with respect.

But taking that into account, and looking at the bigger picture, do you have concerns that speaking of those other departments, there are more Minneapolises out there?

WILLIAM BROOKS: I definitely have more concerns.

And more importantly, people all across this country, remember, when George Floyd was killed, 26 million Americans, across 550 jurisdictions, took to the streets.

So, the whole country is concerned. So, we need the George Floyd Act to pass, out of Congress, because we need more tools.

COLLINS: Which it doesn't seem like it will.

WILLIAM BROOKS: But it has to. It has to, because, here's the thing. We want to gather at this table, not just to talk about the next George Floyd, or the last George Floyd, but talk about policing that ensures public safety, including people being safe from the Police.

COLLINS: And when you talk about that, that moment, I mean, it was just this watershed moment in our nation --

WILLIAM BROOKS: That's right.

COLLINS: -- of how people responded.


But "Defund the Police" was a pretty big rallying cry, at the time. And you look now, at how people view it. I mean, we've seen the polling that shows support for it has dropped significantly, in that time that you can see here.

WILLIAM BROOKS: That's right.

COLLINS: What it looks like in the summer of 2020, and what it looks like now?

WILLIAM BROOKS: That's right.

COLLINS: What's the force behind that?

WILLIAM BROOKS: I think many people, in this country, have been presented a false choice, a Faustian choice, between being safe from Police, or safe from crime, when in fact, you can have both.

It's not a matter of defunding the Police and nothing. It's a matter of funding those things, which do work, and declining to fund those things, which don't work and are, in fact, dangerous. We can do both in this country. And there are Police departments that are doing that.

COLLINS: Yes. It's not just one choice.

Cornell William Brooks, thank you for being here. And thank you for joining us on set, tonight.

WILLIAM BROOKS: It's good to be with you.

COLLINS: It's great to have your perspective on this.


COLLINS: Thank you.

And thank you all for joining us, tonight, on this Friday night.

"WHO'S TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE?" with the special guest, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the actor, Andy Garcia, is up next.