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The Situation Room

Officials Give Update On Baltimore Bridge Collapse; Former Senator And Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Lieberman Dead At 82; Obama Ramping Up Effort To Help Biden Beat Trump Again; Police: Divers Recovered Two Bodies From Bridge Collapse; Diddy Associate Arrested On Drug Charges On Same Day As Raids. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired March 27, 2024 - 18:00   ET



COL. ROLAND L. BUTLER, JR., MARYLAND STATE POLICE: Their family members were notified just over an hour ago in person by Maryland State Police personnel with crisis intervention personnel present.

Knowing the gravity of this, we've provided them with a list of resources that they can refer to and refer their friends and family to. At this point, based upon the conditions, we're now moving from a recovery mode to a salvage operation because of the superstructure surrounding the vehicle -- what we believe are the vehicles and the amount of concrete and debris, divers were no longer able to safely navigate or operate around that.

We have exhausted all search efforts in the areas around this wreckage. And based on sonar scans, we firmly believe that the vehicles are encased in superstructure and concrete that we tragically saw it come down.

At this point, as this moves to a salvage recovery effort, the Maryland State Police will continue to support the unified command as the salvage assessment phase takes place and the U.S. Coast Guard will brief you additional information regarding what to expect and possibly how long this could take.

But I'll tell you now, there's no definitive timeline on this. Please be patient. Please keep the family members in mind.

In coordination with our FBI partners, we've determined the countries of origin of those that are presumed deceased to be Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The notifications to these individuals, family members and loved ones outside of the United States is being handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in accordance with their established protocols.

Again, I encourage you all to think about these people and those that they love and they lost. They're going to need your love and support.

Now hand it off to the admiral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening. My name is Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath. First, I want to say our deepest condolences go out to the sympathy go out to the families of the impacted individuals. I also want to announce that the Coast Guard along with our federal and state and local agency partners have stood up a unified command.

Our number one priority in that unified command is to reopen the waterway so that we can safely move commerce in and out of the port of Baltimore. That's our number one priority. We could do that as soon as possible and as safely as possible.

So that's what we're doing from a unified command perspective. Thank you very much.

PAUL WIEDEFELD, MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Good evening. Paul Wiedefeld, secretary of transportation. The entire department is broken to have lost these individuals on one of our facilities.

I do want to update you on the efforts that we're doing to move forward with the reconstruction of the bridge.

As was mentioned earlier by the governor, we have applied for the dollars, the federal dollars that are available for this type of purpose. I sent a letter earlier this morning. I just got off a phone call with the federal highway administrator on the step of the process that we're moving forward.

We intend to receive some additional federal dollars very quickly to start that process, and then we will come up with a design for the replacement of that bridge as quickly as possible to get the port back up and the community back up and running.

Thank you.

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): Senator Ben Cardin. First, let me express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this horrible tragedy. And I also want to personally thank all the first responders. I had a chance to see firsthand some of the diving activities and it was extremely challenging, to say the least.

We know that the quick action of our first responders saved lives by keeping vehicles off the bridge before it collapsed. So, I really want to congratulate our first responders.

When you have a catastrophic event like this that affects transportation infrastructure that's critically important to our community and to our region, the federal government comes to your help.


And we are asking the federal government to help us through this crisis. President Biden has responded in a very direct way. We are very confident that we will get the immediate attention that we need, thanks to the Biden administration and our federal partners.

We also will need the help of the Congress. Senator Van -- working with our entire congressional delegation to make sure that we provide the necessary authorization, support and resources to make this recovery complete, and that we can move as quickly as possible.

Make no mistake about it, our top priority is to get the shipping lane open. We recognize that every day it's closed, the impact it has not just on Baltimore and our economy and the state of economy, but in our country and affects the global supply chain. And we recognize that we have to move with dispatch in regards to opening the channel.

We are also working today on a replacement bridge so that we can also have those plans in place and have the tools and resources available so that we can reconstruct the bridge as quickly as possible.

First priority, open the shipping lanes, let us replace the bridge, and we appreciate the fact that the federal government will be there every step of the way.

Senator Van Hollen?

SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): I want to start where the governor and Senator Cardin and others did by saying to the families of the six that we lost in this tragic accident that our hearts go out to you and we as the Maryland family will do everything we can to provide you with the resources that you need in this very difficult time.

It's also a solemn reminder of both the contributions and the sacrifices that our immigrant families make in our community and around the country. And I also want to thank the first responders for, first of all, the search and rescue operation and now the recovery operation. Thank you all for the hard work that you're doing.

As others have said, we have two priorities. The most urgent priority is to open up the port of Baltimore. Because, as the governor laid out, it is essential to the livelihoods of people here in Baltimore, in Maryland, and in fact the economies of the region and will impact people around the country and around the world.

The port of Baltimore is that important and it is the 8,000 people who are working there directly, the tens of thousands of people whose economic livelihood is tied up with the port.

So, I want to thank the president of the United States, who called many of us yesterday and then spoke to the nation, is already delivering on his promise, which he has ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to do everything necessary to clear the channel so that we can reopen those shipping lanes.

We have to open one first and over a period of time. I think we're going to do whatever we can to make sure that we have ships passing through as soon as possible.

The Army Corps of Engineers, the federal government, will pick up the costs for that, and those funds are available. I saw preliminary estimates between $40 and $50 million, but they are very preliminary. But the bottom line is the Army Corps will pick up the costs.

I want to commend the governor and his team for their fast action in putting forward the notice that they're going to apply for the Federal Emergency Relief Fund, part of the Federal Department of Transportation's program, the Federal Highway Administration.

We will be working very closely with the governor, Secretary Wiedefeld, and others and their team, as you process that. Just to give you all a sense of what that means, you can draw down funds immediately for some of the costs of diverting traffic and other immediate costs to adjust to what happened in the short-term.

And then going forward, that relief fund provides a strong federal match. We believe it will be 90-10 in terms of the federal share. For the 10 percent remainder, Senator Cardin and I will be working very closely with the president and our colleagues in the Congress to make sure that we meet President Biden's pledge to do as much as possible to make sure that the federal government picks up the costs.

Some have asked about the ship owners themselves. Obviously, as the NTSB conducts its review, we'll have a better idea of exactly what happened.


And if anybody is liable for negligence or wrongdoing, you can be assured that we will be pursuing those funds as part of the cost share.

From the congressional point of view, we will be pursuing, as I say, what we hope will be about 10 percent of the total costs through the legislative process. We will push to increase -- make any increases necessary in that emergency federal fund and, again, put forward legislation.

Senator Cardin and I are in the process right now of reaching out, putting a phone call into Speaker Johnson because we think that this is something where Americans should come together. There should not be a question of Republicans or Democrats. This is an American challenge. We are a great American city here in Baltimore, and we're hoping that all of our colleagues will come together and join us in making sure we rebuild the bridge. Because as the governor said, we do this together, and we hope that will also be true in the United States Congress.

So, thank you to everybody who's been part of this. I'm now going to turn it over to the mayor of this (INAUDIBLE). I'm sorry, (INAUDIBLE), another great Marylander who is now at the White House doing wonderful work with the president. Tom Perez.

TOM PEREZ, SENIOR BIDEN ADVISER: Thank you so much. Good evening. My name is Tom Perez, and I have the privilege of serving as a senior adviser to President Biden. And President Biden, like the nation, grieves for these victims. And he is no stranger to tragedy in his own family.

And, Governor, thank you so much for your leadership throughout this challenging situation. It's been steadfast, and it has been remarkable.

We are all in this together. When President Biden first heard about this yesterday morning, he summoned everyone who had a relevant stake in the game to come together to make sure that every federal resource was put to bear.

So, we see the Coast Guard. We see the Army Corps. We see the National Transportation Safety Board. We see the Department of Labor. The president directed us to make sure that we are doing everything possible. Success occurs when everybody is working together. That's exactly what is happening here.

I met with the families earlier today, and it is really, really tragic. And we will get through this. We have no doubt about it.

And the president has directed us to move heaven and earth. Those aren't my words. Those are his words. To make sure we are helping the remarkable people of the great state of Maryland to move forward. And we will indeed, Governor, I can inform you with confidence that we will process your request promptly because the situation calls for prompt action.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HST: All right. We're going to continue to monitor this news conference. We'll get back to it when there's more news. It's a significant, significant development. We've been getting an update on what happened in the -- what has happened now in this investigation of the horrible Baltimore bridge disaster.

Once again, I'm Wolf Blitzer here in The Situation Room.

Authorities have been revealing moments ago that divers have recovered the bodies of two victims, but now they say search efforts have been exhausted, at least for now.

I want to go out quickly to CNN's Brian Todd. He's in Baltimore. He's been there watching all of this unfold. Break down what we just learned in this briefing, Brian, the new information.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, you know, what we just heard really illustrates the point that with every new detail we're hearing, it just seems that the details of this accident just grow more and more horrific. This coming just moments ago from Colonel Roland Butler, the superintendent of the Maryland State Police, giving us the new breaking information now that at about 10:00, a little bit before 10:00 this morning, divers and other teams discovered in about 25 feet of water, they discovered a red pickup truck and they did discover two victims inside that truck, again, in 25 feet of water, near the middle span of the bridge in that depth.


And he identified the victims as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35 years old, and Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, 26 years old. That identifies two of the victims that we know now have perished in this accident. That means four remaining victims are presumed dead, but their bodies have not been recovered.

Also, the superintendent did say that this is now moving to what he called a salvage and recovery operation, but the recovery process is very, very problematic. He did say that divers are no longer able to navigate safely in that area of the river, the Patapsco River, and where it meets the Baltimore Harbor right there at the Francis Scott Key Bridge. He did say that there are some vehicles they believe that are encased in the superstructure and concrete.

Again, with each new detail we're getting here, Wolf, just a horrific picture of what divers and other teams are going through trying to get to the victims who have perished, that the bodies have not yet been recovered.

It is very dangerous under the surface. The water is incredibly murky. It was murky yesterday when we were out on the harbor very near the ship, and that was in good weather conditions. The weather has really worsened today with driving rain and wind. It has made the water colder and murkier, much more dangerous for divers to navigate through that.

And remember that as horrible as the scene looks above the surface with the twisted metal and the concrete draped over the ship, it is just as bad, if not worse, below the surface, a lot of twisted metal there, again, extremely dangerous for divers to navigate through that.

So, they are suspending that, at least for the moment. Again, they will, I'm sure, put divers in as soon as they can, as soon as it's safe. But the weather here is just not cooperating. It hasn't today, and it likely will not cooperate tomorrow.

Again, the news from Colonel Roland Butler of the Maryland State Police that, at a little bit before 10:00 A.M., this morning, they discovered a red pickup truck in about 25 feet of water near the middle span of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. And inside that red pickup truck, they discovered two deceased victims identified as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35 years old, and Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, 26 years old. That means that there are four remaining presumed victims that are presumed dead, whose bodies have not yet been recovered.

I think another additional detail that he provided was that they believe that the victims, all six of the deceased victims, are from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Wolf?

BLITZER: All right. Brian, we'll get back to you as well.

We're coming -- we're watching a lot of breaking news right now, including the former vice presidential candidate and longtime U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman has died at the age of 82. We'll have more on his life and his legacy right after this quick break.



BLITZER: There's more breaking news we're following right now. Former U.S. Senator and Vice Presidential Nominee Joe Lieberman is dead at the age of 82. His family says he suffered complications from a fall. Right now, I want to bring in our Political Commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin, our Senior Political Commentator Van Jones and CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash.

You and I covered Joe Lieberman for many years. Talk a little bit about his legacy as far as our country is concerned.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he certainly was one of the most -- maybe the most pious politician that I ever covered and ever met. And he was well known as a very important Jewish figure. But it's not just that he was Jewish, Wolf, it's that he was an observant Jew, very open and proud of his Judaism and his traditions.

And that, no question, led him through a very long career of politics. And he started out in the Connecticut State House, then he became attorney general in Connecticut and then, of course, was a senator in the U.S. Senate for almost a quarter century.

And, Wolf, he was very well known as pretty hawkish on defense issues and on some domestic issues. Some of his positions when it came to international relations certainly set him apart from his party. And that led to some fraying with the Democratic Party, so much so that even though he was the vice presidential pick for Al Gore in 2000 and came within a little more than 500 votes of becoming vice president of the United States, it wasn't that long afterwards that he -- maybe about a decade, not even, that he was challenged from within his own party in the United States Senate, Connecticut Senate Democratic primary, and he lost. And then he ran as an independent and he won again. And that kind of sums up the career of Joe Lieberman.

And the other thing that I think people might not realize is that the entire Department of Homeland Security, Wolf, was created in large part because it was his idea, along with others, but his main idea, he spearheaded the idea after 9/11 of bringing all of these disparate departments and agencies that didn't communicate well enough pre-9/11 into one umbrella organization, and that is the Department of Homeland Security. And that was in a large part what he did.


And I will say that we're already getting statements from his former colleagues, Chuck Schumer, saying how devastated he is. Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who often traveled with Senator Lieberman, Senator McCain, Senator Graham, said that she's simply heartbroken. And we're going to continue to hear that throughout the evening. There's no question about it.

BLITZER: Yes, a lot of us who knew Joe Lieberman well are heartbroken right now.

Van Jones, Lieberman was the vice presidential candidate with Al Gore, as we all remember, back in 2000. How do you think Democrats, in general, right now should remember him?

VAN JONES, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, there's kind of the tale of two Joe Liebermans. Why was he the vice presidential pick? You know, we have a big party. A lot of people could have filled that role.

Coming out of the 90s, the Bill Clinton White House had been rocked by scandal. There was a sense that maybe Bill Clinton was a tarnished figure. And Al Gore had to figure out how can I signal to people that this is going to be a button-up operation, this is going to be a high- integrity operation? My White House is going to be run by adults. I'm going to get Joe Lieberman, because his reputation, his standing, his -- the esteem that he was held by the whole country, that was the biggest single-weighted signal, the kind of man he wanted to be associated with, and it was very important for Gore at that time.

And so, and, again, as I just said, came within a couple hundred votes of becoming the first Jewish vice president, would have made history doing that. And given his heart for service, would have been a fantastic vice president, no doubt.

At the same time, when McCain ran against Obama, Joe Lieberman actually endorsed John McCain, which, on the one hand, is a beautiful statement of bipartisanship, on the other hand, was heartbreaking for Obama folks, like myself, to see a great figure like that walk across the street and hold hands with the other side.

And that is also Joe Lieberman, independent, tough-minded, isn't going to go with popular opinion, is going to go with his own heart. Sometimes that helped Democrats, sometimes it hurt our feelings, but a lion of the Senate and a legendary figure, for sure.

BLITZER: Let me get Alyssa Farah Griffin into this conversation. Alyssa, Joe Lieberman was very, very, very independent-minded. He joined with the Republicans from time to time, as we all know. How do you see his legacy?

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first, I just want to say condolences to Senator Lieberman's family, his wife Hadassah. I mean, he was truly a consummate statesman.

And hearing this news, I couldn't help but feel like this is, in some ways, the end of an era. He really encapsulated the idea of bipartisanship and championing the idea of working across the aisle. He saw it as a virtue. He didn't feel like he had to fit into one box or only play for one tee. He truly focused on the priorities of the American people.

And he's so -- he's such an interesting person to reflect on in this political moment because he so strongly decried toxic partisanship. I mean, a remarkable legacy, to Van's point, that he was on a Democratic presidential ticket and was very seriously considered years later to be on a Republican presidential ticket. I think it speaks to his character, the seriousness of who he was in the Senate, as the statesman, as this policymaker, but also someone who is just universally respected by both sides of the aisle.

BLITZER: Yes, it's so true, indeed.

Everyone stand by for a moment. I want to bring in a long time aid to Joe Lieberman. Dan Gerstein is joining us right now. Dan, our deepest condolences for your loss. I know you work very closely with Senator Lieberman over these years. How are you remembering him tonight?

DAN GERSTEIN, LONGTIME AIDE TO JOE LIEBERMAN: Well, thank you, Wolf. It's a sad day, still in a little bit of a shock. I guess the, you know, hearing some of the other guests talked about the two I's, as we like to say, integrity and independence, and, you know, those are the values that certainly stood for, will always be remembered for.

And as much as I'm sad, I'm also grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him, but also learned from him. I've learned so much about not just politics and policy, but respect for other people for different viewpoints.

And one of my favorite things about him and what I will always take away is when we were at events and we're, you know, maybe backstage or in the kitchen, he would always take time to talk to the catering staff, the bartenders, and make them feel seen and show respect to them. And that really said a lot about his character.

BLITZER: He certainly did. You were a top adviser at Senator Lieberman's side through multiple campaigns.


Tell us a little bit more about your experiences with Senator Lieberman over the past few decades.

GERSTEIN: Sure. You know, one of my favorite experiences was, and this was really my first experience working for him full-time, was on his '94 re-election campaign, which he was in a dominant position. It was not much of a contest, but he still campaigned hard and went out and met with voters as -- again, as a sign of respect for the process, for the democratic process.

And we came up with the idea that he had been visiting diners off and on as a way to kind of interact with real people, real voters, and we put together a tour. And I had the opportunity to kind of drive with him and oftentimes drive him to some early morning stops to diners across Connecticut.

And, again, it was remarkable to see a man who was very comfortable sitting in boardrooms with CEOs, in meetings with heads of state, with presidents of the United States, but also being very comfortable talking to cops, factory workers, teachers, the kind of people he would meet in diners, and take their questions and take them seriously.

And as much as he was a statesman and a master of policy and negotiated some very important pieces of legislation, he also was a master retail politician. And it's a rare combination these days, particularly in the digital era.

BLITZER: So, bottom line, Dan, what do you see as Senator Lieberman's legacy right now?

GERSTEIN: Well, I mean, I think the word, statesman, I think will be attached to his name and integrity. And -- sorry, phone is ringing off the hook -- that, you know, the way he worked across the aisle and tried to build coalitions and, you know, in an era when compromise increasingly became a dirty word, he still believed in the power of compromise and being in a position to, you know, build agreement and forge consensus from people from different viewpoints.

Because he's always said the only way you can get things done in Washington is through the center out and having bipartisan buy-in, not just to get the votes, but to have legitimacy for the policies that passed. And I think we're seeing the consequences now of that lack of compromise, that lack of consensus in our politics.

BLITZER: And he was very open and proud of his Jewish faith, wasn't he? Talk a little bit about that.

GERSTEIN: Oh, yes. And, you know, as someone who was not observant, I learned a lot about Judaism from him and Jewish values.

And, again, that's one of the things I always respected and admired him for was it's one thing to be a man of faith. It's the other -- it's quite another thing to live your values and honor your faith every day in your work, how you treat people.

And, you know, a lot of it just started with his mother. I think you remember, Wolf, Marcia and what a special relationship they had.

And, you know, it's -- again, one of my fondest remembrances of the campaign was in 2000 when he was the vice president of the nominee was so many Evangelical Christians coming up to him, and, you know, telling how much they admired him and as a man of principle and a man of faith. And I think that showed the best of America was that, you know, the way that the civic religion and what binds us together has for most of our history been much stronger than our differences.

BLITZER: Yes, good point. Dan Gerstein, thank you very much for joining us. Our deepest condolences to you and to the Lieberman family right now.

I want to bring back Dana Bash. Dana, let me get some final thoughts from you as well. As I said before, you and I covered Joe Lieberman for many years.

BASH: Well, first of all, that was beautiful from Dan Gerstein, who I got to know when he was working for Senator Lieberman back in the day.

I think one of the things that I always think about with Joe Lieberman is he grew up in an Orthodox community in Stamford, Connecticut.

And I actually got to know him separately from the U.S. Senate because he grew up with two of the fathers of two of my -- two people I know very well, two of my friends, one of whom lost her father quite young. And Senator Lieberman said to her, I will always be there for you. And he promised her father that he would be, and he was.


She just recently got a new job. She just told him about it. And that's the kind of man, that's the kind of mensch, if you will, that Joe Lieberman was personally. And his politics, obviously, were, as Van really, brilliantly laid out, very complicated, but his north star was compromise the center and trying to overcome the extremes in both parties. And he will be missed, and as you say so well, may his memory be a blessing.

BLITZER: Yes, indeed. All right, Dana, thank you very, very much. We will all miss him.

We'll take a quick break, much more of our news right after this.



BLITZER: Tonight, Barack Obama is stepping up his efforts to help President Biden keep the White House, Democrats looking to rebuild President Biden's winning coalition and beat Donald Trump again.

CNN's M.J. Lee has more.


M.J. LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Barack Obama jumping into the 2024 election, hoping he can help his former Vice President Joe Biden win a second term at the White House.

The former president making clear to associates in recent months that he believes the Biden-Donald Trump rematch in November will be incredibly close and that he sees the election as an all-hands-on-deck moment, sources tell CNN.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: As you know, Joe is an extraordinary friend and partner. He was by my side for eight years.

LEE: Last Friday, Obama spending several hours in the White House residence recording videos for the Biden campaign, including about the Affordable Care Act.

OBAMA: There's nothing I'm more proud of than the ACA.

LEE: Off-camera, Obama telling Biden that the president's State of the Union remarks this month appear to have broken through, and that he believes health care will once again be a potent issue in the upcoming election.

The passage of that landmark health-care law, one of hallmark achievements of Obama presidency, that 14 years later, President Biden is continuing to tout.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: I thought it was a big deal at the time. Well, it's even a bigger deal today.

LEE: Sources telling CNN that the two presidents who have made much of their friendship and so-called bromance still speak regularly. OBAMA: This also gives the internet one last chance to talk about our bromaance.

LEE: And that Obama is also in direct contact with some senior White House officials, including Chief of Staff Jeff Zients.

On Thursday, three U.S. presidents, Biden, Obama and Bill Clinton, set to appear together for a star-studded fundraiser in New York City, moderated by Comedian Stephen Colbert.

Tickets to the sold-out evening at Radio City Music Hall, ranging from $225 to a whopping half a million dollars, and numerous celebrities expected to be in attendance.

Some audience members also getting the chance to have their photo taken with the three presidents by famed photographer, Annie Leibovitz.


LEE (on camera): And, Wolf, this high-dollar fundraiser tomorrow night is expected be just the beginning of former President Barack Obama's growing involvement with the Biden campaign. And particularly, as we start getting into the fall, sources say he is expected and likely to visit college campuses and key cities and key battleground states.

And, certainly, when we see these three presidents on stage together tomorrow night, it is going to highlight the deep anxiety that so many national Democrats are feeling about the prospects of Donald Trump returning to the White House. Wolf?

BLITZER: M.J. Lee at the White House for us, M.J., thanks for that report.

Our Senior Political Commentator Van Jones, is back with us right now. Van, how much can former President Obama and former President Bill Clinton's embrace of President Biden's re-election help energize so- called disaffected Democratic voters?

JONES: I think it can do a lot. Anybody who underestimates Barack Obama, any time you spend doubting Barack Obama is time wasted. He is a world-class talent. He is the most talented politician of his generation, with no peer. And he's coming off the bench.

And don't -- oh, well, you know, Biden, and he has to hang on to Obama, don't forget, when Obama was going for re-election, Bill Clinton came off the bench. And Bill Clinton gave an unbelievable speech at the convention, and turned the tide for Biden.

So, this is a tradition that the former president comes out and embraces the president, but any time anybody spends doubting Barack Obama's ability to appeal to people, it's just wasting their time. There are disaffected voters in our party. Some of them are young. Some are men of color. Barack has a unique ability cut through to that constituency. That's going to be very, very important. But, by the way, there are two Obamas, there are two Clintons, and there are two Bidens, all six of whom are going to be on the court and I'm excited about it.

BLITZER: Yes. Do you see Obama's involvement, Van, as more about turning out Democrats to go out and vote for Biden or persuading independent voters?

JONES: Look, I think that he has the unique ability to do both. I do think there are people -- our base voters need some more encouragement. You're seeing some black voters move away, some male voters move way. He can support, he can help on that. But there are also our independents who remember him as a no red states, no blue states guy. And Obamacare has done a great deal of good for a lot of people. He's a full court utility player. He's going to do a great job. I'm excited about it.


BLITZER: It's going to be very, very impressive and important.

Van Jones, thank you very much.

Just ahead, we'll have more on the Baltimore bridge collapse as officials now confirmed, divers recovered two bodies from the water. We'll have a closer look at the victims and more, when we come back.


BLITZER: We're following breaking news in the Baltimore bridge disaster. Officials now revealing just a little while ago that divers have recovered the bodies of two of the six construction workers who were on the bridge working when the cargo ship crashed into it.

CNN's Danny Freeman is taking a closer look at the victims.


DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early Tuesday morning, a group of workers were on the overnight shift filling potholes, doing routine surface work on Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge when the unthinkable happened.


CARLOS SUAZO SANDOVAL, BROTHER OF BRIDGE COLLAPSES VICTIM: For us and the family in Honduras, we still have hope. I know time is our worst enemy.

FREEMAN: Among those presumed dead, 38 year-old Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, a Honduran national, one of eight siblings, a husband and a father of two.

Maynor's brother, Carlos Suazo Sandoval is desperately waiting for any updates for officials. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He was the breadwinner for his

children right now. God is going to provide for us, too, so we can get together as a family and see how we can help each other because at this moment, his wife is left with his girls and everything.

FREEMAN: Miguel Luna was a father of three, an immigrant from El Salvador, also presumed dead.

Nonprofit CASA announced that Luna was a member of their group which provides services to working-class families from marginalized communities, including immigrants

CASA said Luna lived in Maryland for over 19 years.

Twenty-six-year-old, Dorlian Castillo Cabrera was an immigrant from Guatemala, found dead earlier today. His sister-in-law told CNN he loved his job as a construction worker. His cousin added that Dorlian came to the United States to follow his dream and help his other.

The Guatemalan government confirmed another immigrant from that country was among missing, but did not provide details.

Maryland's governor said he prayed with the families of victims yesterday.

GOV. WES MOORE (D), MARYLAND: We're hoping for right now that in this moment that we can just bring them a sense of -- a sense of closure after this, after this horrific incident.

PRES. ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, MEXICO (through translator): We are very sorry for the situation of what happened in general.

FREEMAN: This morning. Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said three Mexican nationals were also on that bridge when it collapsed. Two died and one survived.

LOPEZ OBRADOR: This shows that migrants go to work in the middle of the night, very risky jobs. And that is why they do not deserve to be treated, as usually happens by some irresponsible politicians.

FREEMAN: Seven of the eight people on the bridge that night worked for local construction company Brawner Builders. In an interview with CNN, it's executive vice president Jeffrey Pritzker said, quote, these were wonderful young men. They were doing a tough job. These guys were hardworking wonderful people and now they're gone.


FREEMAN (on camera): Wolf, and I want to mention Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, who was discovered earlier this morning alongside of Dorlian. And one thing, Wolf, is you can see this entire community really has come together around these families. There have been multiple GoFundMe set up. These politicians have come and made multiple promises and EVP of the company that many of these his men worked for told me he's going to make sure the families are well taken care of -- Wolf. BLITZER: And our deepest condolences to their families. May they rest

in peace and may their summaries be a blessing.

Danny Freeman, thank you very much.

Just ahead, we'll have the latest on the human trafficking investigation involving Sean Diddy Combs. What we're learning about his whereabouts as the raids began.



BLITZER: Tonight, we're learning new information about the federal human trafficking investigation involving Sean Diddy Combs, including his whereabouts as the raids on his properties began.

CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell has our report.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sean Diddy Combs seen in this video obtained by TMZ said to be filmed at a Miami airport. He and his twin teenage daughters were headed away on a planned spring break when federal investigators searched his homes Monday, according to a source close to the musician with direct knowledge of the situation.

A video obtained by TMZ said to show the aftermath of the law enforcement action that is home. So far, his current whereabouts are still not publicly known, after Department of Homeland Security investigators search for documents, phones, computers, and other electronic devices, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the searches.

Combs attorney issued a statement Tuesday calling the search of the homes a gross overuse of military-level force and a witch hunt based on meritless accusations, claims disputed by law enforcement veterans.

ANDREW MCCABE, SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, the round house swing he took at the show of force, really kind of classic defense attorney tactics to try to turn around a bad press day.

CAMPBELL: The law enforcement action coming after a series of civil lawsuits alleging combs involvement in sex trafficking and sexual abuse, allegations Combs has denied. His attorney statements saying the musician was, quote, never detained, but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.

ELIZABETH GEDDES, PROSECUTED R. KELLY: Until there is an indictment and a potential bail hearing, which could include a limitation on a defendant's travel, you would not expect in this type of case there to be any limitation on his travel.

CAMPBELL: Combs' legal issues stemming from civil lawsuits, including one filed in February by producer Rodney Jones, also known as Little Rod, accused combs of among other things sexual assault and other members of his inner circle also now facing legal issues.

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. named as a defendant in an amended complaint filed by Jones in February. Jones stating in the lawsuit that he believed Combs was grooming him to pass them off to his friends, alleging that Combs suggested Jones get to know Gooding Jr. while on the mogul's yacht in the Virgin Islands last year, and claiming Gooding Jr. began touching, groping, and fondling Jones before he was able to forcibly push him away.

The filing included two images described a screenshots from a video of Gooding Jr. with Combs and Gooding Jr. with his arm around Jones. An attorney for Cuba Gooding Jr. has not responded to CNN's request for comment.

And on Monday, at the same time as the execution of the search warrants were underway, an arrest of one of Combs' associates unrelated to the search warrants and the civil lawsuits. Twenty-five- year-old Brendan Paul was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana-laced candy, allegedly found inside his personal travel bags at a Miami airport.


CAMPBELL (on camera): Now, we reached out to Paul for comment, we have not yet heard back.

You're looking now, Wolf, at new affiliate video that we obtained. That is Sean Combs' Gulfstream 550 executive jet today in Miami. Still no public sign of the singer himself. We have not heard directly from him, nor for that matter, have we heard from authorities about what, if anything think they found at those residents, Wolf, and whether any of that information might result in criminal charges.

BLITZER: Josh Campbell reporting. Thank you very much.

And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

The news continues on CNN right now.