tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN April 19, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PDT
facility in massachusetts and they found him dead within his cell. a bed sheet he had used to hang himself and attach it to his window. but even more than that, things were piled up to the back of the door of his cell so that someone conceivably couldn't get in. at this point we do not know if there was a suicide note. authorities are not releasing that. mash shoe set state police are on the scene with the investigation. they tried to revive him at 3:05 while emergency % neal were on the way to the prison. they transported him to the local hospital. pronounced dead at 4:09 this morning and we do have a statement from the district attorney's office, tom quinn. this was the office that prosecuted aaron hernandez in the murder of odin lloyd and he is serving a life term. the quote is this is a shocking and sad end of a tragic events
that negatively impacted a number of families. you know, friday was a very good day for aaron hernandez. he was acquitted in a double murder, and he was emotional in court. he was ecstatic. he was appreciative and that's quite a feet to be acquitted of a double murder. but the result was he's still in his prison cell in massachusetts serving a life term for the murder of odin lloyd. >> have we heard anything from the victim's family, the mother specifically of odin lloyd. >> there is a lot of victim's families. there is the victims in the shooting of 2012 from the nightclub. at this point they have not spoken out. but i'm sure everyone is trying to assimilate the news right now of exactly what happened. aaron hernan does was a football star. you know this better than i do, the patriots and he was born in a very simple family. father a custodian.
mother a school secretary. he went to the university of florida, became a star football player. won a national award at the university of florida for a tight end. first time the university had ever won that award. dropped out of college. drafted by the patriots in 2010. went on then in 2012 to get another contract for $40 million in total and a year after that murdered odin lloyd. >> always connected to trouble back in connecticut. never fully escaped a crowd he ran with there and ultimately again convicted of killing odin lloyd. thanks so much. joining us now is ben, nfl reporter and former ward of the jail. warden, let me start with you. i have to believe that aaron hernandez was the highest profile inmate in this facility. i have to believe they had their eye on him. so how does this happen?
how do you find an inmate like this dead one morning? >> well, correction officers are required to do supervisory visits of the housing units, and normally that's anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. i haven't seen the policisies and procedures of their prison, but i would assume they would have to check on the prisoners every 30 minutes. that gives mr. hernandez an awful lot of time to prepare for what he was going to do that evening. you know, tieing the sheet around his neck, actually, you know, putting items in front of the door to help prevent the officers from getting into the cell. and, so, it's -- you know, this happens in correctional facilities. the inmates watch the guards every move as they're doing their checks and they time things up when they know the officer is not going to be around. >> what is your reaction, warden, to all of this,
especially the odd times and the fact that the suicide would come just after he had won an acquittal in a double murder case and, you know, just the bizarre timing that the patriots are headed to the white house today? >> well, i think it all adds up. you know, he went through an emotional occurrence last friday when he was acquitted. and i think a lot of his energy and focus was on the trial. and then, you know, seeing his daughter in the court and that was pretty emotional for him and her. and he had tears in his eyes. he was happy that he was acquitted. but in reality, he went back to prison where he was never going to come out of the prison. he was sentenced to life without parole and i think that coupled with the fact his former team is celebrating another super bowl victory. they're going to the white house, he came crashing down. and, you know, i have seen this before where the inmates are kind of on a high because
something good has happened, but the reality of going back to prison and being there for life or for a very long period of time takes an emotional toll and they feel kind of hopeless and helpless and they end their lives. >> and this was for life without the possibility of parole. ben, how have the patriots handled this really over the years and right up until this morning? bill belichick was asked about the acquittal last year and he called the whole hernandez episode a tragedy. >> yeah. certainly. the patriots have really washed their hands clean of aaron hernandez ever since we saw him getting hauled away in handcuffs in june 2013. at that point when the patriots released him minutes after that image, they didn't know he would be charged with murder. they thought it would be accessory or he was a part of it. they didn't realize he was the ring leader of that whole episode. they had a program where you could trade in your hernandez
jersey and get another jersey from the patriots pro shop. they pretty much erased any mystery, any existence of him ever being here. he was with the team three years. had a nice start to his career. he was a great young player. signed this $40 million contract. had the whole world ahead of him. belichick would have made him a star. he should be out there right now teaming with gronkowski and helping win super bowls. instead here he is locked up in prison at age 23. the patriots today said they don't really have any statement today as they head to the white house, but they have certainly washed their hands clean of him. >> because of his own actions, because he committed a murder, he is not on the field today, because of what he did. just overall, when you woke up to the news this morning, what was your initial thought? >> i was shocked because as the warden -- just last week, just
friday, he was acquitted. and even though it was a very great chance of him never seeing the light of day again, he still had a glimmer of hope now that maybe his attorney could help overturn the conviction of the odin lloyd murder and there was just like that little glimmer of hope after winning last week's trial. so i was shocked to hear the news this morning and really saddened. i know aaron hernandez did some heinous things in killing odin lloyd. and he was involved in the other double murder. he did some terrible things, but like i said, a guy who had his whole life in front of him, a $40 million contract, superstar athletic career, most tragedically a daughter who is four years old. he was seven months old when aaron was hauled away. she's going to grow up without a father. his peon say who sat by him day after day in court, month after month, all the families
involved, the two victims in the double murder who haven't gotten closure. there won't be a conviction in the murder of their two sons. they were dragged through this lengthy court process and now they wake up to find out he kills himself right afterwards. so just sadness on so many levels and it affected so in different people. >> thank you very much, ben and patrick for joining us. again, hernandez's victim in that 2013 murder is odin lloyd. he would have been 31 years old. this morning president trump is taking credit for a republican victory even though the gop didn't win and the democrat got more than double the votes of his nearest challenger. but what matters? is it jon ossoff 48.1% falls short of a simple majority. so he is headed to a run off against karen handel and suddenly ossoff faces a longer
set of odds. >> overnight the curren president wrote dems failed in kansas and are now failing in georgia. great job karen handel. it is now hollywood versus georgia on june 20th. let's go to the heart of georgia six. 48% is not 50%. >> yeah. he came up a little bit short. at the end of the day, john and poppy, both sides are really claiming victory in this election. but the reality is with most things, the truth lies somewhere in between. i mean, we look at what happened with jon ossoff here. going forward he faces a much steeper hill to climb in that run off election on june 20th. but at the end of the day he was still able to get a little more than 48% of the vote in a largely republican district. so that is something that cannot be ignored. but once again at the end of the day, both sides claiming somewhat of a victory here.
>> they spent upwards of close to $10 million just on tv alone. $5.5 million compared to roughly $75,000 that i spent on television. money buys a lot when it is a compressed race. the republicans are united. we know this is an important race and it will stay in the hands of a republican and i'm excited about the next 60 days. >> and there is no amount of dark money super pac negative advertising that can overcome real grass roots efforts like this. so bring it on. >> bring it on, and it is coming. handel is well known here in the state of georgia. she's the former georgia secretary of state. she was reluctant to say whether or not this special election was
a referendum on president trump. she did say president trump called her to congratulate her. she also said she welcomes him to come here and help her campaign going forward. it should also be noted that tomorrow dnc chair tom perez will be heading here to the state of georgia for a democratic event, and so it begins. john, poppy? >> two months of this in that one congressional district. so brace yourselves, jason. i hope you packed a big bag. we have more political news this morning. a u.s. senator says the president has, quote, a number of flaws. but here's the thing. the person who said it a republican. tremors in the world of broadcasting. is the bill to rilly factor about to become the no bill zone. fox set to replace bill o'reilly within days. >> new supreme court justice kneel gorsuch faces a major religious liberty case on day
this morning a political reality, 48% is not 50% and not winning is worse than winning. still georgia is a wake up call for republicans, even if it is also a bit of a wet blanket for democrats. yes, both can be true. >> let's bring in our panel. so nice to have you all here. david, to you first. nuts and bolts, what went wrong for ossoff here and he had "who's the boss" alyssa milano.
>> she went be so upset by the results out of georgia six. look, it is a district that is drawn for republicans. it is a district full of republican voters who re-elected tom price with 62% of the vote. it is also a district that wasn't very high on donald trump. they only chose him by one-and-a-half points over hillary clinton. that's a big deal when you look at the voting patterns there over the last 30 years basically. so i think ossoff actually did reasonably well. he came close to winning the seat outright and capitalizing on a lot of republican infighting and scrambling for second place in what they presumed would be a run off and they were right. the thing that should give democrat pause in terms of candidate recruitment going forward in other races and in fund-raising they should feel good about what happened, what should give them pause is they had more than $10 million. they had an army of supporters and they had republicans fighting amongst themselves and
they still couldn't get across the finish line. i think both sides can take away something good here, but i actually don't think that ossoff had a horrible, horrible night. i know democrats don't think so. they were worried he might get in the low 40s. they would try to spin that as an achievement. >> that one-and-a-half percent he didn't get means everything here. it means he might never be, by the way. there is a run off in two months and the full weight of the republican party will rain down on georgia six, you know, with mighty pulp fiction like wrath. what does that tell us, perhaps about the resiliency of some of these republican districts? >> it will tell us about this district in particular. but it also does speak to this larger question about whether or not highly educated, high income suburbs, which are supposed to be part of the clinton coalition and part of what democrats were
going to go, a little bit off their normal base in the working class. they came close in georgia overall last fall, you know. trump won the state with less than 6% of the vote. it is an area of interest to democrats, but they've got some hard questions to answer about can they do this 25 times in 2018? you know, they've got a lot of different district and they can't pour $10 million into each and every one. >> we saw the president tweeting, really gloating about this ending the tweet saying glad to be of help. but to whom was he more of a help, republicans by tweeting at them to vote or democrats, by energizing them? >> in this case because -- because a democrat did so well, came within striking distance of an outright win, my guess is that those tweets only energized the united democratic base and
even if trump did bring out more republican voters with those tweets, that activism, that turn out was divided between too many, more than a dozen candidates. so i don't think technically you could say that the tweets alone for decisive. new ball game in this again election. i would think that the big money will be on both sides. the issues may be a little different in what the republican, karen, hanley has to now do. if she wants to distance herself from trump, she can't distance herself from congress. right now the trump administration hasn't scored any legislative wins. they have claimed accomplishments mainly through the pen, through executive order. but i'm sure the democrats will be watching to see what openings they could have in saying, see, this congress can't do anything. this guy could come in and maybe make a difference. but he could run a very local
campaign on the ground and still take the benefit of national money, which both sides could do. >> look, i don't think there is any question that this race would never have been this close if not for the kpis tebs of donald trump in the white house. he made this better or worse. there's a question will he go campaign there? does it help karen handel. there is a question about how republicans in general treat donald trump. there was some glaring comments from a conservative republican senator from the state of iowa who spoke at the convention and had some, you know, not glowing things to say about the president. listen to this. >> i think that we have a president that has a number of flaws. i would say i support more of the policies. i think i support a majority of the policies versus the actual person. but i decry, i would decry any time a person is ugly towards
another person, i don't think that's appropriate. >> we have a president with a number of flaws from a republican senator, david. what are these republicans out there seeing? we talked about taxes, what are they seeing that emboldens them to create this distance. >> congressional cya of the highest order. but this is where republicans seeing where president obama and the democrats ended up during his eight years. i think republicans want to make sure that they have adequate distance from donald trump if they need it. i thought the ernst comments were interesting because she comes from a state that voted heavily for trump and really trump support in iowa is still reasonably solid because a lot of these approval numbers are not evenly distributed. so he is popular in some places and highly unpopular in other places. we saw similar comments from a senator in oklahoma saying he
uld like to see the president release his tax returns. so i think what republicans are trying to do is make sure that they have some independence and distance from the president where they need it so if the mid-term elections get dicey they're able to have a record of standing apart from him and opposing him and i'd say smart thing to do. >> a lot of those voters i've talked to in iowa, there is a great washington post piece about a month ago, those voters that supported the president were focussed on results. so far they haven't seen a lot of results. they were willing to take but not like what he said. now they're still not liking some of those comments he's made about women, et cetera. >> that's right. the reason a lot of these states flipped, a lot of these states that trump won were that people are not watching us every day. they're not following issues day after day after day. they saw their lives hadn't improved and they just wanted a change. they went in and trump represented a change. i heard the senator saying, by
the way, if you remember how she won, she came in with this rough and tumble style herself. i castrate bigs and i'll slash pork. even she is now saying, she realizes, i'm not going to compete on this level. donald trump has got that sort of rough and tumble crazy style all to himself. i'm going to do something different to try to make sure i'm strong in my home state. >> what direction do the democrats take now going forward? do you sense there is more unity or not? bernie sanders was asked flat-auflat flat-out, as you sit here, are you a democrat. he said, no, i'm a democrat. i'm an independent. that's hardly an endorsement of the party right now. >> the politics are beyond that for the democrats. they just need to coaless and come out and vote for the
candida candidate. so senator sanders and tom perez were making appearances together. i think it is kind of a difference with no distinction at this point. they are consistently talking about voting for the -- if they're talking about voting for the same candidate, that's all that really matters in the practical world of democrat politics that right now has its own splits within the family. the indivisible movement for example or the bernie sanders that don't particularly identify with the dnc, which was what was the fight was all about. but the point was in the end to get anybody behind the democrat or someone democrat enough as bernie sanders is in the ballot box. and i also think you will see in the case by the way of senator, ernst, i think she is being consistent with who she has always been, which is speaking
out. a lot of military swagger that she has where she will speak her mind. i won't chart this as any reaction to the trump administration as much as who she essentially is. when you have democrats by the way with that authenticity that everyone could get around, even though they might be different wings of the family, that's what the democrats are or will be looking for in the candidates they recruit. >> so beware if you are a hog out there on a farm somewhere. thanks so much for being with us. really appreciate it. >> no negotiations for now with north korea. dana bash, her next stop on her worldwide tour of exclusives with the vice president. that's next. and the mid-sized metris. ...if these are your wingtips... ...if this is your gourmet latte... then these are your vans. vans for professionals. strictly professionals.
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of conventional or nuclear weapons. he down played a bungled message from the trump administration on the warships that were supposed to be en route to the region a long time ago but weren't. >> last week the u.s. military and the administration announced that another ship, the "u.s.s. karl ben son" was headed toward north korea. now we learn that it wasn't. in fact, it was going the other direction. so were these misleading comments deliberate? >> oh, i think not. look, we've got an extraordinary commitment of u.s. forces in this region. and the karl vincent and that battle group are being deployed to the sea of japan and will likely arrive here in the coming wee weeks. but the presence of u.s. forces,
as i saw firsthand in south korea, more than 30,000 personnel here in japan, more than 50,000 personnel being aboard the "u.s.s. ronald reagan" gives me great confidence that the united states presence in the asian pacific is strong and under president trump's leadership it will be stronger still. >> let's talk about north korea and what you have been saying while here in the region, that the strategy of the u.s. will be to reach out to allies in the region and that the best path to die log is through a family of nations. that sounds a whole lot like the six party talks back in the bush administration that failed. how is your policy different? >> i think that the president has made it very clear that after more than two decades of failed dialogue and even what was called strategic patience that the patience of the united
states and our allies in this region has really run out and that we are now going to begin to take such measures dipmatically to isolate the regime. and the encouraging news, dana, for anyone looking on is that because of president trump's leadership, we're not only seeing our allies in south korea and japan and in the wider world standing with us, but china has taken unprecedented steps right now to begin to economically isolate north korea. given the fact that china represents more than 80% of the exports from north korea is enormously important to their economic marketplace. we believe this is an important step forward. >> so i just want to try to drill down on the diplomatic side of this a little bit more. will the u.s. actually sit down in any way, shape or form were diplomatic negotiations with
north koreans. >> whether you go back to the 1990s -- >> whatever version it will be, will there be any negotiating, whether it's direct? i mean, you could answer that. can you see a direct negotiation with north korea and the u.s.? >> i think not at this time. >> all right. i want to bring in cnn military diplomatic analyst, james jeffrey with us as well. admiral let me start with you. the vice president told dana the goal of the trump administration remains to achieve a nuclear free north korean peninsula. isn't it a little late for that? they have nuclear devices they have tested, so don't you have to look for a new goal? >> they certainly are moving forward in testing and developing nuclear weapons capeme capabilitie capabilities. there is no doubt about that. but they seek a denuclear rised
korean peninsula, so i think it is still a worthy goal. so i think they still should pursue that. that still should be the end outcome. >> but at what point, ambassador, does a nation have to take a lesson from failed attempts in the past? i mean, the admiral's point is this is what the goal should ultimately be, but at that point do you have to have a really check or does this administration have to have a reality check and say it's not possible. they haven't shown us anything in the past, you know, decade that says that is possible. >> poppy, what's different is the north koreans are moving towards the ability to strike the united states for the long-range nuclear tipped missile. that changes the game. there is not going to be any collusion short of a war, which
everybody rules out. what the trump administration is trying to do is shake china, pressure china, play with the thought of war to get china to do something china doesn't want to do, which is put north korea under economic and diplomatic pressure. >> you say that's what we should be doing. is there any signs it is working with china? >> it has worked to some degree. they have cutoff exports of coal from north korea. i still do not see -- although there is a debate in china for the first time. i do not see china waking up -- yes historians are saying north korea is not our ally and china needs to understand it cannot use north korea as a pawn in its larger competition with the united states and up to this point they have not crossed that rub con. >> we have to address something across front pages of all the papers this morning. i mean, the fact, admiral, is the president came out last week
and said, quote, we are sending in our motto warships to the sea of japan. that armada was actually we now know headed in the opposite direction to the indian ocean for these exercises. the white house says miscommunication. but they didn't come out and correct the record. this way you never have come to light. if the navy hadn't posted a photo of where the aircraft area actually was. >> we haven't used the word armada in the navy for i don't know how long. i think the last one was the spanish in 1968, so a long time ago. it is a carrier strike group and it is a carrier and four escort ships, so let's be clear about what it is and what isn't it. secondly, a lot of things happened here and the pentagon has owned the fact from a public relations perspective, they could have done a better job of being more clear about what they were going to be doing when they
left singapore. the truth is they accelerated the start date of this exercise and curtailed the length of it so she could get it done and start heading north. the second thing that happened was from an operational perspective, there wasn't a lot of clarity in terms of moving that information up the chain of command. i think the white house should get a pass on this. i think the information didn't filter up to them the way it should have from the military and the pentagon and it is unfortunate but i don't think there is any malfeasance here. >> they could have told the truth and the white house could have told the truth and when they knew it was being reported differently, they could have corrected it and they didn't. and, i mean, i'll ask the ambassador here. you know, as a reporter, how can you trust what's being said when something like this happens, what are you supposed to take for this? we don't have satellites and look and see. what are you supposed to do with
that, ambassador? >> john, i was hoping you would direct all your carrier questions to the admiral. he knows better than i. this kind of mistake happens all of the time. people fumble about and then they try to backtrack and you get that. the larger issue is this north korean situation is truly dangerous for the first time soon for the american people and clearly for the south koreans, japanese and the people of north korea. admiral, thank you. ambassador thank you as well. coming up for us in just moments, a major religious liberty case faces the high court. supreme court justice neil gorsuch gets this one on his first week. we'll talk about that straight ahead. ears you shed should come from joy... ...not allergies. flonase allergy relief helps block 6 key inflammatory substances that cause nasal congestion and itchy, watery eyes. it's an allergy nasal spray that works beyond the nose. flonase.
case about a church run preschool suing the state after they were denied funds to build a safer playground for children. >> this is a debate about religious liberty. our supreme court reporter has this for us. what are you expected to hear? >> well, this religious liberty case actually begins with recycled tires. in 2012 missouri came up with this program to give schools subsidies to use resickled tires to surface their playgrounds to make them bouncier and safer
for kids. but the dispute began when a church run preschool applied for the grant was denied. they said our state constitution says we can't give state funds for religious activities. the church came back and said, look, you can't give these to everybody and not us. that's discrimination. so that's the issue before the court today in this big case
because if the court rules in favor of the church, it's going to narrow the situation between church and state and of course everybody, as you said, is going to be watching justice kneel gorsuch. this is his first big argument and a lot of people say he could be the deciding vote in this case. >> thank you very much. you'll be watching it for us at the high court, i know. also of course this morning news that former president
george bush is back in the hospital. he's recovering from pneumonia. we are told he is in good spirits. right now x pekted to spend a few more days in the hospital for observations. >> he was admitted with a could have that slept him from sleeping. he is recovering at the same houston hospital that treated him this past january for a similar and we're told mor serious issue then. >> this morning a huge question. does bill o'reilly still work at fox news? and if the answer is yes, for
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morning that could up end the television industry. signs that bill o'reilly could be out at fox news within, like, two days. a network board meeting taking place tomorrow could decide the anchor's fate. >> the pressure is mounting to nix the host after a string of sexual harassment settlements. our senior media correspondent host of "reliable sources" brian stelter has more. a lot of this is not new.
"the new york times" put it together. >> the spotlight is on o'reilly and advertiser boycott. dozens of advertisers have abandoned the pressure which increased pressure on the murdochs. there are exit talks that are starting between o'reilly and fox. nothing definitive yet. some of o'reilly's allies are denying that saying no, as of now he'll be back to work on monday. he's on vacation in italy so he doesn't know if he'll be back on the air on monday. it is unlikely that he will be returning. the board meeting on thursday is pivotal. rupert murdoch are talking issues and the writing is on the wall including from murdoch's own "wall street journal" indicating he's on the way out. >> the writing is not just on the wall. when you see it on "the wall street journal," "new york times," with the same language, fox is getting it out there in the way that bill o'reilly's days are numbered.
a lot of this was known before and "the new york times" put this together, $13 million between fox and bill o'reilly. there a legal reason that their hand has been forced now or is this bad pr that they're sick of dealing with. >> it could be both, but their hand has been forced for one primary reason when you have gretchen carlson and megyn kelly. when this was an isolated incident and perhaps the employer should not be liable for what they do not know and now there is an issue at being a settlement and it hinted that the culture of a hostile workplace environment was certainly known. it was paid for to some degree and now they have their hand forced because when an employer knows about it and there's any tangible work action related like there is a demotion, a firing, a mistreatment. those two go hand in hand to make fox news liable. >> so here's what bill o'reilly's attorney is saying in a statement. bill o'reilly has been subject
to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in the post-mccarthyist america, this law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far left organizers bent on destroying o'reilly for political and financial reasons. smear campaign, brian, by the far left and that's the legal case, it sounds like. >> this is a lawyer well known as a pit bull and has represented donald trump in the past. it is true that some groups are calling for o'reilly's ouster and one of those groups held a protest outside fox news yesterday. there are tapes in a couple of the cases of o'reilly's own behavior. he has said the other claims are meritless, but this is simply put, this is fox and o'reilly where this story lives. it is liberal groups that are now jumping on trying to encourage fox to remove o'reilly, but it started with the man himself.
>> it could be that the lawyer would shape the post-fox narrative for bill o'reilly. >> i think there are upstart conservative cable news channels that might be interested in hiring him. >> the bill o'reilly contract that we believe, were signed, has a moral turpitude clause for things that happen after the contract, but given that these incidents may have happened before the contract signing does that give fox cause still to fire him? >> well, that term moral turpitude is negligent for a lot of people for good reason because you don't want to have a definitive reason to fire someone. you want to have the discretion and leverage to be able to exercise your judgment based on advertisement or your corporate culture and you want to be able to use that clause to say, listen, this goes against our company values, our office morale and our firm culture and that's what we're trying to do here so it can be used as additional leverage to give what could have been otherwise a
firm, locked contract into an at-will employment that says, listen, we have violated some of our clauses and he has every right to be paid out and certainly, they would have more cause to have leverage over him for that reason and in full disclosure, i used to work for the very law firm that his attorneys represent him with and there are attorneys that certainly have earned the reputation, but it does not change the fact that this is, indeed a big scar on the fox news network legacy, whether it was paid by bill o'reilly and otherwise precisely where fox news said we had no idea this was going on and this sounds like, in fact, they may have been, maybe wanot complicit, bu all knowing. >> brian stelter and laura kurtz, thank you very much. how does wells fargo come back from the explosive fake account scandal.
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all right, good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. >> i'm poppy harlow. this morning democrats in suburban atlanta are lamenting a victory that has slipped away, a seat that has been held by republicans since jimmy carter was in the white house. john ossoff, all that matters is he didn't win. he didn't get a simple majority and therefore no victory. he faces a june runoff against the leading republican karen handel and she'll have the full