tv At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan CNN July 1, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT
hearing in just a few moments. here in the rose garden, president obama announcing that the u.s. and cuba are reopening their embassies, located of course in washington and havana. located in their existing offices of the u.s. special interest section in havana and the cuban interest section here in washington. the cubans, as a matter of fact, recently installed a flagpole, that they'll be raising the cuban flag at. and we understand there's no timetable set for when the u.s. embassy will open up in cuba although we expect it to happen this month. the cubans are saying their embassy will open up on july 20th. as for who will be the ambassador, we've been told by senior administration officials that the existing, current interest section's chief who is in havana right now will likely be the ambassador for the time being, the acting ambassador for the time being because it's very likely up on capitol hill that the republicans will block any
kind of nomination of a permanent ambassador. as you know, wolf, there are cuban american republicans up on capitol hill like marco rubio who's running for president who doesn't like what the president is doing here with this new policy. he says that the united states needs to demand a fuller appreciation of human rights in cuba, protection of human rights in cuba. and that's been a sticking point for u.s. and cuba the last several months in terms of opening these embassies, the u.s. wants to be assured that their diplomats down in havana will be able to visit with cuban dissidents in that country. unclear whether or not the white house has gotten those assurances. but this has been a policy priority for the president. and we'll see this play out here in just a few moments at the white house. he has achieved one of the items as he's put it recently on his bucket list, his foreign policy bucket list. we'll see that in a few moments. >> as we await the president, the secretary of state john kerry will probably go to havana for the formal opening of the
u.s. embassy there. and no secret that president obama would like to visit havana at some point before he leaves office. let's go to havana. patrick oppmann joins us. how's it playing out over there? >> reporter: ever since december, cubans have been wondering when an american flag will fly over the american embassy? and the answer we've gotten is very soon. possibly as soon as this month. working out the final details. secretary kerry would like to come for the first time to havana to reopen the u.s. embassy after 54 years of broken relations. but on july 20th, we're told that's the day that in both countries relations will be officially restored, of course the embassy-opening ceremony will come later. but july 20th is the historic date when, despite all these years of cold war, animosity, u.s. and cuban relations will be restored.
the state department's man in havana was at the cuban foreign ministry this morning taking care of the paperwork. it's the end of a long process. this is scott gilbert, attorney for alan gross. you were involved over the months of the secret negotiations, one of the best-kept secrets in havana and in washington, eventually led to the freeing of your client. i know alan gross was informed of the decision today. how he's he doing and what's his reaction to the news that we will once again re-establish relations with cuba? >> this is a magnificent day for the people of both countries. alan is extraordinarily pleased. i talked to him yesterday. each of us received a call from the state department informing us of the final decision. and alan has spentd much of his time since his release working with congress and others in washington to see a full normalization of relations
between our countries. >> reporter: he was in jail here for five years, lost over 100 pounds. a lot of people would be embittered and not have any well wishes for the government that jailed him for so many years. but he's taken a different path saying this is the best outcome for the u.s. people and the cuban people. why? >> alan believed that information flowed between the citizens of both countries was critical. it's why he came to cuba in the first place. and alan continues to have a great fondness for the cuban people and believes, as do a majority of americans and a vast majority of cubans, that normalization of relations between our countries will be the best outcome for both countries and the people of those countries. and he fundamentally wanted his incarceration to mean something. and from alan's perspective and certainly mine, this is the best testament to that incarceration. >> reporter: thank you so much. good to have you here. just a short while ago, the
cuban government put out a statement saying that essentially the deal has been reached after all these months of negotiation, the back and forth. we're waiting to hear some of the details of the deal, whether u.s. and cuban diplomats will be able to leave their respective capitals. there will be some restrictions on the work u.s. diplomats do here. but that's not unlike the work in other communist countries. the cuban government says they feel the relationship moving forward can be based on one of respect. and this will be the longer process of normalizing relations. but as well, the cuban government tracking something of a defiant tone saying they will not change their political or economic system. the government of raul castro says even though there will be a u.s. embassy back in havana, it will be the communist government, the party of raul castro, that will remain in effect. >> huge day here in washington,
a huge day in havana as well. patrick, stand by. i want to bring in elise labott. the president will speak in the rose garden and at some point we'll also hear from the secretary of state john kerry. he's in vienna, austria, right now trying to negotiate the iran nuclear deal. but he definitely wants to go to havana when that american flag flies over havana for the first time in 57 years. >> he definitely plans to be there. it's just been a process that's been going on. everyone's been getting ready for this day. the cubans here put up their flagpole. the u.s. intrasection in havana has been a sore spot since the eisenhower administration. the enemy between these two countries. and now for this to be happening. i think it's been the process of very difficult negotiations after this announcement that the u.s. and president obama, president castro announced
difficult negotiations about as patrick said, how the u.s. would be able to operate in that country. >> only seconds away from the president of the united states. but this is history right now. >> and just look at this week. two countries where you've had decades-long hostile relations, cuba and iran. but even over the last year, it's an example of president obama's risk-taking foreign policy. he's described it as having a confident american foreign policy, the confidence to deal with countries where you've had long difficult relations. critics of the deal say the president is legacy shopping with his agreement. there are still many comfortable with cuba's human rights record, et cetera. but we can underestimate the change that's come over the last few years with cuba and iran, two relationships that were irretractable with democratic and republican presidents.
>> i think what's interesting now to see is, yes, these countries, the u.s. has been engaging with them. but the u.s. is opening and president obama's acknowledged the embargo is not helping. cuba was not changing. the hope is that the more the u.s. can engage with cuba, they'll be a more moderate regime, a more moderate system -- >> that's the hope. but we've gained a lot with china and that hasn't changed china. >> the president will make the announcement momentarily that the united states and cuba are restoring full diplomatic relations. there will be a u.s. ambassador in havana. there will be a cuban ambassador here in washington. there are critics up on capitol hill, they have the power of the purse. they could try to block funding for the reopening of that u.s. embassy. they could try to block a nominee, whoever the president nominates, that nominee has to be confirmed by the u.s. senate. by all accounts, this process is
moving forward right now. there will be critics. there will be many who will applaud this decision. here's the president. >> good morning, everybody. please have a seat. more than 54 years ago at the height of the cold qwar, the united states closed its embassy in havana. today i can announce the united states has agreed to formally re-establish diplomatic relations with the republic of cuba and reopen embassies in our respective countries. this is a historic step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the cuban government and people and begin a new chapter with our neighbors in the americas. when the united states shuttered our embassy in 1961, i don't think anyone expected that it would be more than half a century before it reopened. after all, our nations are separated by only 90 miles and
their deep bonds of family and friendship between our people. but there have been very real, profound differences between our governments. and sometimes we allow ourselves to be trapped by a certain way of doing things. for the united states, that meant clinging to a policy that was not working. instead of supporting democracy and opportunity for the cuban people, our efforts to isolate cuba, despite good intentions, increasingly had the opposite effect, cementing the status quo. the progress we mark today is yet another demonstration that we don't have to be imprisoned by the past. when something isn't working, we can and will change. last december, i announced that the united states and cuba decided to take steps to normalize our relationship. as part of that effort, president raul castro and i directed our teams to re-establish our embassies. we've worked hard to achieve
that goal. later this summer, secretary kerry will travel to havana formally to proudly raise the american flag over our embassy once more. this is not merely symbolic. with this change, we will be able to substantially increase our contacts with the cuban people. we'll have more personnel at our embassy and our diplomats will have the ability to engage more broadly across the island. that will include the cuban government, civil society and ordinary cubans who are reaching for a better life. on issues of common interest like counterterrorism, disaster response and development, we will find new ways to cooperate with cuba. and i've been clear that we will also continue to have some very serious differences. that will include america's enduring support for universal values like freedom of speech and assembly and the ability to access information. we will not hesitate to speak out when we see actions that contradict those values.
however, i strongly believe that the best way for america to support our values is through engagement. . that's why we've already taken steps to allow for greater travel, people to people and commercial ties between the united states and cuba. and we will continue to do so going forward. since december, we've already seen enormous enthusiasm for this new approach. leaders across the americas have expressed support for our change in policy. you've heard that expressed by the president of brazil yesterday. public opinion surveys in both our countries show broad support for this engagement. one cuban said, i've prepared for this all my life. another said that this is like a shot of oxygen. one cuban teacher put it simply, we are neighbors, now we can be friends. here in the united states, we've seen that same enthusiasm. some americans want to travel to cuba, american businesses want to invest in cuba.
american universities and colleges want to partner with cuba. above all, americans want to get to know their neighbors to the south. through that engagement, we can also help the cuban people improve their own lives. one cuban american looked forward to reuniting family and reopening lines of communication. another said bluntly, you can't hold the future of cuba hostage to what happened in the past. that's what this is about, a choice between the future and the past. americans and cubans alike are ready to move forward. i believe it's time for congress to do the same. i've called on congress to take steps to lift the embargo that events americans from traveling or doing business in cuba. we've already seen members from both parties begin that work. after all, why should washington stand in the way of our own people? yes, there are those who want to turn back the clock and double down on a policy of isolation. but it's long past time for us to realize that this approach doesn't work. it hasn't worked for 50 years. it shuts america out of cuba's
future and it only makes life worse for the cuban people. i'd ask congress to listen to the cuban people, listen to the american people, listen to the words of a proud cuban american, carlos gutierrez, who recently came out against the policy of the past saying, i wonder if the cubans who have to stand in line for the most basic necessities for hours in the hot havana sun feel that this approach is helpful to them. of course nobody expects cuba to be transformed overnight. but i believe that american engagement through our embassy, our businesses and most of all through our people is the best way to advance our interests and support for democracy and human rights. time and again, america's demonstrated part of our leadership in the world is our capacity to change. it's what inspires the world to reach for something better. a year ago, it might have seemed impossible the united states would once again be raising our flag, the stars and stripes, over an embassy in havana.
this is what change looks like. in january of 1961, the year i was born, when president eisenhower announced the termination of our relations with cuba, he said, it is my hope and my conviction that it is in the not-too-distant future it will be possible for the historic friendship between us once again to find its reflection and normal relations of every sort. well, it took a while. but i believe that time has come. and a better future lies ahead. thank you very much. i want to thank some of my team who worked diligently to make this happen. they're here. they don't always get acknowledged. we're really proud of them. good work. >> you heard a reporter shout to the president, what are you going to go to cuba? the president would like to go to havana before he leaves office. he's got about a year and a half to go before he leaves the white house. very historic day.
i want to go to alina machado who's in little havana in miami to get reaction. we know there have been various voices coming out of the cuban american community, older cuban americans who lived through the castro regime through the '50s and '60s, not very happy, their children a little more accepting and the grandchildren on board, pretty much. give us a sense of what's going on in south florida. >> reporter: i want to show you a little bit of what we're seeing here. we're starting to see some reaction here. these two gentlemen over here just came out a few minutes ago holding signs very critical of the president, very upset by the fact that these embassies will be reopening. and this is what we saw back in december when the president opened the possibility and started talking about the reestablishment of relations, diplomatic relations between both countries. the older generation of cuban
americans in miami, many of them feel like these gentlemen. they feel that it's a travesty, that it's the wrong thing to do. some of the younger generations of cuban americans here in miami that we spoke with back in december, they favor the change, wolf. so we're yet to see some of the reaction here. this is the beginning of the reaction here in miami to the change. >> we're going to see what the reaction is over there. i want to quickly go to jim sciutto. the president said to congress, lift that embargo. congress needs to do so for that embargo to be lifted. congress has to confirm the nomination of the u.s. ambassador to havana. there's a significant role that members of the house and senate will play. >> the president's done just about all he can do at this point with the lifting of travel restrictions, permits for some economic activity. but for the embargo, congress has to weigh in. for a permanent ambassador, congress has to weigh in.
these are major obstacles going forward. but interesting the president already laying the groundwork for that fight. placing the cuba policy firmly in the cold war era. it hasn't worked. in his words, we can't be imprisoned by the past and also trying to counteract the republican argument that cuba is still behind on human rights, et cetera, by saying engagement is the best way forward to change those policies. but there's been a lot of engagement with china and russia, you haven't changed those governments much. and iranian regime is no more friendly at home in terms of rights, et cetera. >> we'll see what happens in the weeks, months to m co. jim sciutto, thanks very much. elise labott, thanks to you. patrick oppmann in havana and alina machado, jim acosta at the white house. other breaking developments we're following here on cnn right now. another african-american church in the south up in flames. i want to go right to john
berman and kate bolduan who will pick up our coverage here on cnn. >> thanks so much. this church fire comes two weeks of charleston. this church in south carolina was once burned down by the kkk. hearing new information on the likely cause this time. plus, you can't dump me, i dumped you. breaking news on donald trump, a messy new corporate break-up, losing business as he gains surprising ground in a brand-new poll. and the two inmates who escaped from prison made it all the way to a different manhole on a dry run the night before. we'll speak to a former inmate at clinton correctional who knew david sweat and see what he thinks he's capable of. and a former corrections officer who became an inmate himself. you don't want to miss this. ♪ how's it progressing with the prisoner? he'll tell us everything he knows very shortly, sir.
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new information about a fire at an historic african-american church in south carolina. senior fbi officials tell cnn that lightning may have been the cause of the fire at the mt. zion ame church. >> a cnn weather analysis shows there were four lightning strikes in the immediate vicinity of the church last night. this marks the sixth black church to go up in flames in recent weeks since that charleston shooting. victor blackwell is on the ground in south carolina for us with much more. what's the very latest, victor? >> reporter: kate, we know that as investigators are here on the scene trying to figure out exactly the cause of this -- and as you said, sources say that it was likely weather related, the pastor has now arrived. just a moment ago, he was hugging individual members of his congregation who came here
in tears for some type of comfort. let me get out of the way and show you the scene here. this is mt. zion ame. just the brick shell and the cross is left. the fire that started about 8:30 last night, completely gutted this building. what we've seen throughout the morning, investigators at the state level, atf at the federal level, even the fbi will be part of this investigation, pulling pieces out to determine exactly where and how this fire started and we know from the pastor, regardless of whether this was started by lightning or lighter fluid was involved, they will rebuild and there will be service on sunday. they are not going to get ahead of the investigators, we're told. the pastor is not making any comments at this point. he wants the federal investigators, the state investigators to be able to do their job before he speaks about what happened here at mt. zion ame. >> victor, obviously senior fbi officials tell cnn they believe
lightning may have been the cause. that seems to be the best analysis right now. however, the concern here is obviously, not just one of now six african-american churches to go up in flames, a couple suspected of arson in the last couple of weeks, but this very church you're standing in front of was once burned down by the kkk. >> reporter: yeah, 20 years ago, 1995, it was june of that year in which two members of the ku klux klan burned down the original mt. zion ame, the old building, they pleaded guilty and were sentenced to time in prison. it was 1996 when then president bill clinton came back and rededicated this building behind us. and this church then, the congregation then rebuilt. 62 members, i'm told, by the pastor at this time. they will have to rebuild again. and from all indications, they will. >> victor blackwell for us in south carolina, thanks so much.
coming up for us, donald trump making gains in a new cnn poll but also right now facing some serious problems with his brand at macy's. the latest to cut ties with trump over his comments about immigrants from mexico and other countries. we'll have the details on that coming up next. kids are expensive.
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we've got the number. sounds like a brlot, brianna? >> reporter: it does especially when you put it in this context. president obama for this fund-raising quarter, about $41 million. so that just goes to show you that you see hillary clinton really putting up a number even bigger than that. this is, we understand, a record for the opening quarter of a presidential campaign. this is the second fund-raising quarter of the year. but this is hillary clinton's first because she got into this race in mid april with the idea that she would get a start as close to the beginning of this fund-raising quarter as possible. these are dollars that are to be spent on the primary. so a cap on donations of $2,700. but this is huge. $45 million, we have learned, from her campaign in this fund-raising quarter. and if you think you haven't seen a whole lot of hillary clinton, she's been outdoing
some public events but she's been fund-raising a lot, about 50 fund-raisers that she has attended all over the u.s., from california to minnesota to indiana to missouri to d.c. and new york. so she's been very busy bra fund-raising. but her campaign trying to put to rest some of these rumors that we had heard about a lot of difficulty in raising money because of a lack of enthusiasm that may come from the fact that she's so far ahead of the rest of the very limited democratic pack. >> and of course it is an interesting move coming out first like this. this way she gets to put out the big number. and if jeb bush comes out of the next week or two with a number bigger than $45 million, she won't have to look like she's second best. >> reporter: that's right. i think at this point the campaign feels pretty confident about how good their number is. and that was really -- this is part of it for them. this is them coming out and saying, we have a big number, try to beat us, essentially. and they're just trying to show
that they have this strength, especially after months, as i mentioned -- really months before she declared there were so many stories about how the biggest super pac that was supporting her was really having a hard time, shaking the tree of donors and getting money. so the campaign certainly trying to put some of those concerns to rest here. >> i'd say so. brianna keilar, thanks so much. the money is just rolling in. these numbers, every election cycle, just more and more. >> and they're about to get a lot bigger. >> so true. >> stay tuned. coming up for us, the two inmates who escaped from prison made it all the way to a different manhole in a dry run the night before their great escape. we'll speak with a former inmate at clinton correctional who knew david sweat. we'll also bring on a former corrections officer who became an inmate himself. also, donald trump, you might not always believe what he says. now you might not believe where he sits in the polls.
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mexican immigrants calling some of them rapists and drug dealers. this is part of the statement that macy's put out. they say, we have no tolerance for discrimination in any form. and in light of the statements made by donald trump, we're discontinuing our business relationship with donald trump. >> so macy's says they're dumping donald trump. but donald trump says, no, i'm dumping macy's. and he goes on to say that clearly nbc and macy's support illegal immigration which is totally detrimental to the fabric of our great country. it goes back to statements he made about undocumented immigrants coming into the united states, he called them rapists and said some of them are okay. joining us to talk about this, both the business side and the legal side, we're joined by christine romans and joey jackson. christine romans, let's talk
about macy's. >> wow. macy's -- we just asked them if they would like to clarify who dumped who, if they dumped him or he dumped them? they said they're standing by their original statement. and they said the statements trump made don't reflect the toleraerance and diversities th macy's does phasing his his shirts and ties from their stores. donald trump quickly with his own statement saying, oh, i didn't make very much money from that anyway. and i never really liked that it was made in china. i don't like that china manipulates its currency. so i'm going to make that a big core of my campaign. so he's turning this dumping into a means to -- >> i tried this stuff in high school. i didn't work for me. >> i'm pretty sure she dumped you. but that's another story altogether.
but people are saying that now that there's scrutiny of his positions on immigration, it's currency -- >> there's a lawsuit, on the business side of this, i found this interesting because when this popped up, it reminded us that back in 2012, there was another push to have trump's stuff taken from macy's. and at that time, macy's defended its stance saying, this is a free society. the merchandise on our shelves are not political statements. we don't always agree with the things that folks are saying. but this is a free society. >> now there's a pattern of behavior, quite frankly. and there are other big brand name company, univision is one of them, nbc is another, who quickly made a stand on this. so macy's found itself in a position where they couldn't back down. and they're trying to sell -- if you are a businessperson and you're talking about any particular demographic,
millennials and the fact that this country is more and more diverse and tolerant, the kind of statements that donald trump made, if you're a businessperson looking at your market to sell to, you don't want to be associated with that. >> joey, donald trump is suing univision for $500 million. >> a lot of money. >> which is a lot of money considering his whole contract with univision to air the miss usa and miss universe was only $13.5 million. how on earth do you come up with $500 million? a lawsuit? >> because what he's saying is they're impairing his ability to make revenue. the contract itself as you mentioned for $13 million as chan and change had to do with licensing fees to put out the pageant. but he's making the argument that that's money that would be lost revenue as to him making a number of claims, breach of contract, breach of warranty and covenants of fair dealing, intentional interference with his business relationship with nbc and of course asking for attorney fees.
and don't forget the defamation claim he's leveling against the univision president for making some statements against him, which of course when you make statements predicated upon opinion, we all can have opinions as long as they're not factually untrue. >> there could be a little bit of this, that a lawsuit is just maybe a p.r. stunt, i'll just say it. >> throw it out there. >> does he have a chance? what do you think? >> i looked at the lawsuit. here's what he's claiming. he's making the claim that according to the language of the actual contract that existed that this was not a basis in which univision could actually pull what they did here. so ultimately he's relying upon the contract itself which has a limited basis on which they could pull out. the issue becomes, to what extent if you're my partner and we're doing things together should i be compelled to engage in activities with you when you clearly are doing things that are disparaging to my audience,
when you're engaging in activities which impair my value and my brand? should the court take that into consideration? should i consider my contract with you -- >> and a cynic might say he's doing it for publicity, to increase his position in the polls. christine romans, some spentics have said that donald trump is running in the first place to get his name out there -- >> it hurts his brand. >> if he wants more business partnerships with retail stores and broadcast stations, maybe he's in trouble. but if he wants to be a politician -- >> if he starts a new line of ties and shirt, he will make sure they are made in america. he gets things done and knows how to do the deals. but the irony here is the last time when he kept everyone on peninsula and needles about whether he was going to run, when he said he wasn't going to run, he talked about "celebrity
apprentice." he was focusing on his brand and his show. now he's given up the brand stuff in order to run for president. when you hear the words donald trump, you only hear the disparaging remarks he made and his big partners are dumping him. >> and they're looking for a new celebrity apprentice to say, you're fire. so the issue becomes to what extent if he was looking to run for president to build his brand is he actually impairing it. >> number two in the new cnn poll. and second in the new quinnipiac poll in iowa. from a political standpoint -- >> see what it says next week. >> we said it earlier, stay tuned. i think that has to apply here. thank you. a lot to work through with donald trump today. be sure to watch cnn tonight because donald trump will talk to ldon lemon about his presidential reason. 10:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. >> don't miss that. coming up for us, we have breaking developments in the investigation into the prison breakout.
david sweat not only talking but he's revealing more details about the botched getaway plan and the dry run that he and richard matt pulled off the night before. plus, we have new information on an african-american church in the south that went up in flames. of course happening just two weeks after charleston and this church, this new church that burned down in south carolina was once torched by the kkk. we are now hearing the likely cause. stay with us. soccer.
disco! [singing] say it and see it. the x1 voice remote, only from xfinity. new information in to cnn about a fire at an historic african-american church in south carolina. senior fbi officials tell cnn that lightning may have been the cause of the fire at the mt. zion ame church. >> a cnn weather analysis shows there were four lightning strikes in the immediate vicinity of the church last night. this marks the sixth black
church to go up in flames in the south in -- across the south in recent weeks in the aftermath of the shooting at the church in charleston. lonn lonnie randolph is joining us right now. mr. randolph, thank you so much for joining us. we hear that investigators are saying they're leaving no stone unturned in terms of finally figuring out what happened in this situation. preliminarily, we're hearing from sources it is a lightning strike that caused the fire at this church. are you statusatisfied with tha? >> well, we are listening to the reports and we will get all the material. one of the things that our state law enforcement division and the other agencies have done in sister-in-law is that we're often updated -- very often updated and they contact us very frequently from the u.s. attorney's office to our state
law enforcement authority. so we'll get enough reports and have our committees in this organization that also work and investigate material and give us a report back. i have no reason to doubt them. they have been honest and straightforward thus far. and the weather at that time was where it could be part of the question. >> obviously, you have to investigate this all the way through. but this is just one of at least six now african-american churches that have burned down in just the last two weeks. at least two of those have been due to arson. what are you telling churches now in the south? >> well, there actually have been seven in the last seven days. that's a pretty good average, if we continued this rate and i truly hope that we won't, next year this time, we will have 365 days of church burnings. i don't expect that to happen.
again, we are telling churches to be very cautious, to be very observant, to contact law enforcement, to contact the naacp office here in columbia for any information that will assist us in getting information to law enforcement to law enforcement to do the proper investigation. and if a person is found to be in the gray area we want that person off the streets. >> now, tell us, you say you're recommended take precautions. what are those precautions? especially in the aftermath, in the wake of the horrific shooting in charleston. what are you telling -- what you r you suggesting to churches to do about security, changes to their protocols and the precautions you're suggesting? >> well, security is one example. and be observant of persons that traditionally this young man may have been in the area in the past but he had never attended
this church before and, yes, be suspicious. we have to be suspicious. not just as a result of what happened on the 17th of june. unfortunately, as dr. king so eloquently stated, churches aren't safe places, especially when you consider the race factor of churches. 11:00 on sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week. so we still have a lot of work to do of the partner shship ande unity effort of bringing churches together across the state and across the community. >> lonnie randolph, thanks so much for being with us. wish you the best in the next few days and weeks. appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up next for us, a former inmate at clinton correctional who knew david sweat joins us live to react to everything the captured fugitive is now revealing from his hospital bed and, boy, it's a lot. from the get away to the dry run to the guard who allegedly helped them.
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new this morning, fascinating new details about the prison break at clinton correctional. david sweat speaking from his hospital bed says he and fellow inmate richard matt made a dry run the night before their daring escape. he says the pair climbed through a maze of tunnels and pipes before popping out of a manhole. but they saw too many houses around so they decided to head back to the facility and try it again the next night, escaping through a different manhole that time. >> now, prison worker joyce mitchell was supposed to meet them there, drive them mexico. as we know, she never showed up. sweat also now says he was the mastermind of the entire plan. fascinating new details. joining us to discuss, this gary hayward, a former corrections officers at rykers who became an inmate after selling drug in prison. we'll talk about that dichotomy. also former clinton correctional inmate eric jansen.
gary, i want to start with you. off complicated or interesting dichotomy here.rikers and an inmate. so these inmates staged a dry run. they might have been climbing around in those walls and tunnels for months and months without being detected. my question to you as a guard, how does a guard not see that? how can guys be climbing around in those walls night after night for months and months without being detected. is this a case of guys not doing their jobs? guards missing signs or deliberately ignoring things that are going on? >> it could be a combination of everything that you mentioned. it could be comfortability, meaning that sometimes these relationships between guards and inmate, guards get real comfortable. if an inmate hasn't ever been in trouble or posed to be a problem inmate they get lax with that inmate and don't fully carry out their duties as in searching the
cells and the inmate per say. this is one of my good inmates, per say. and if they're on the honor role or honor segment of the jail, that means they're good inmates and i really don't have to be as thorough with them and the inmate knows that and took advantage of that. especially being able to go out and come back in without the guards checking. >> took advantage of a lot of people. and vulnerabilities. the reason we're getting these details, eric, is because david sweat is talking. >> a lot. >> people say he's singing like a bird from his hospital bed. you knew him inside. how much do you trust him? how much do you -- how much do you think this could be bs? >> it could be bs. he could be singing like a canary because he wants everybody to think of him as this great mastermind that escaped from a maximum security prison that made worldwide headlines and he wants this story to be told how he wants it to be told. david was a very articulate man.
he was smart. so it might be what he's trying to do. >> won't change the outcome. he still has a world of hurt coming his way. >> that's true. >> gary, let's get to you, this dichotomy. you were a corrections officer, you were a guard and you were dealing drugs. >> yes, sir. >> inside to inmate there is. one of the questions we've been asking day after day here is how do inmates come to use the guards? your one job is keep them in there yet you end you will being part of a larger crime. how does that happen? >> as i wrote in my book "corruptions officer" it's the familiarization. being comfortable on the job. as a corrections officer, when you first walk inside the job. >> you'll be approached. inmates will ask for all kind of small thing. big things. as a co, there's a saying that if you bring in an inmate a stick of gun you'll bring them a gun which i didn't believe but
in one chapter in my book an inmate did shoot another inmate inside the jail and that was my first rude awakening that contraband is being brung inside there. now when a person walks inside the jail, he doesn't go in there and says "i'm going to be corrupt. i was in a bad predickability, other officers are. certain situations that officers place them that they decide okay i can make money from in here to help my situation for whatever reaso reason. >> it started with cigarettes then moved to cocaine, cell phones are one of the biggest you're talking about. the reason is a lot of this matters is because this is what the fbi is looking into. if this was part of a drug ring that could have involved authorities. >> the drugs at clinton so
prevalent, you can go to any section of the outside yard, the north yard, and you can go to any section of it, you can get heroin, you can get crack, you can get cocaine, you can go over here and you can even get pain pills. >> did you see this? >> oh, it's well known. >> did you buy drugs? >> no, i didn't use drugs, if i did i would have lost my good time because they do do urine analysis. >> were the guards involved? >> well, it's been said that guards are involved. >> but did you see it yourself? >> no, i've never seen it firsthand knowledge because in order to do that you have to interact with the guards and you're the one that's buying the drugs or binging the drugs like having your family bring the guard to drugs to bring to you. is. >> but when i was being corrupt as an officer i ran something like an organization with inmates whom i trusted and then they brung it back to me.
>> and you served your time. >> i put in the my book. >> thanks for your insight. >> fascinating, thank you both. >> thank you all for joining us at this hour. it's been a busy day. >> it sure has. "legal view" with brianna keilar starts right now. another southern black church up in flames. there was lightning the area overnight. and also, donald trump under fire, two tv networks and a retailer dump trump but the presidential contender doubles down with a half billion dollar lawsuit and even more anti-mexican remarks. guess what the bad press is doing to his poll numbers? and the prison escape that gets more dramatic by the minute. from his hospital bed, david sweat tells how he masterminded the plot and made it all the way to a manhole a day before the big breakout.