tv CNN Newsroom With Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul CNN August 10, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
♪ well, glad to have you with us, 9:00 right now. good morning, i'm christi paul. >> and i'm martin savidge in for victor blackwell. "cnn newsroom" starts now. breaking news this morning, a nevada man with neo-nazi ties is under arrest plotting for bomb synagogues and gay clubs. he was not charged for that 2016 incident. >> and they found bombmaking plans at his home. cnn's polo sandoval is with us. what else do we know? >> this name is connor klimo.
they say he's a 23-year-old security guard from las vegas, maintained encrypted conversations with a white supremacist group that would encourage various attacks. and that would include attacks on government infrastructure. but also minorities, members of the jewish community. and also lgbtq establishments as well. in fact, in some of those encysted conversations, according to investigators, he even mentioned plans to potentially target a synagogue in the las vegas area. as well as a bar that he believes is a gay bar in downtown vegas. investigators moving in and found evidence recovered in his home, as well as possible schematics that would involve executing this kind of attack which, of course, was never realized here. we also understand that he did have various recruitment efforts that investigators say prove to be fruitless.
cnn is currently trying to not only reach out to klimo, but a representative of his. these are allegations right now. important to put things into context, too, christi and martin. we're learning about this, just seven days after this crazed gunman made his way all the way into el paso and opened fire on a crowded walmart. of course, yesterday, based on the latest investigation, we found out that he admitted they was specifically targeting numbers of the hispanic-american community, mainly mexicans. >> polo sand dou dousandoval, t much. polo leading into this new video. i don't want you to be caught off guard. this is hard to watch. there's upsetting images here. >> move. >> it's cell phone video shows
the walmart maparking lot, show moments after the attack. you hear victims running. victims seen on the ground. and you hurt polo say that he was deliberately targeting mexicans. the arrest affidavit says he told police that he was the walmart shooter, straight up. and sources say he picked el paso, because he wanted the attack to be far away from his hometown which is near dallas. the shooter has been charged with capital murder and is being held without bond. that shooting is being treated as a case of domestic terrorism. and most likely, a lot of the conversations about el paso in iowa today. because that is ground zero it's in presidential race. and the candidates are focusing on what to do to stop these shootings. >> right now, 17 democratic candidates are set to speak in a newly organized forum on gun violence.
last night, the candidates spoke at the iowa democrat wing ding dinner. talking about what's happening and what to do about it. joining us from des moines is rebecca buck, she's a cnn political reporter. rebecca, what did they have to say? christi and martin, nine candidates will be giving their tradition at the traditional soapbox. elizabeth warren, kamala harris, will be among them. over the whole iowa week. this is such an important week on the political calendar with the traditional iowa stops but the specter of gun violence and rising hate in america has been coloring the entire week for the democratic candidates, dominating the conversation among the primary field. and we heard a bit about last night in clear lake, iowa. about two hours north here where democrats lined up to speak at the wing ding event. the traditional fundraising event here in iowa.
an important stop on the calendar. gun violence were top of mind for these democrats. take a listen. >> american people want, are begging common for common sense, gun safety legislation. >> we need a president who is brave. we need a president who will take on the battles that no one else will. we need a president who will bring congress together to pass the green new deal. put a price on carbon. get health care as a right, and not a privilege. take on the nra and end gun violence in this country! >> i strongbly believe that mitch mcconnell should have called us back to the senate to vote on the bill out of the house for reasonable gun safety laws. >> reporter: and we likely will hear much more of this discussion today. last night, many of the candidates also touching on the rising hate in america and the president's role, they say, in promoting that hate and driving that hate. today, the candidates, much of
the field, will gather here in des moines, close to the iowa state fair for this gun forum. where many of them will talk about their proposals to curb gun violence in america. to take on this challenge. also talk about the root of the problem. as we've heard from many of these candidates, they believe the president has a role to play and his rhetoric has a role to play so it will be very interesting to see where the field comes down. there's been something of a divide, talking about is the president a white supremacist, is he nearly fuelling this ideology? we'll be watching here in des moines for more of that today. martin. >> we'll be looking for more reporting from you, rebecca buck. as rebecca just pointed out the field discussing whether or not to call the president a white supremacist. a few saying, yes he is. a few stopping short saying he condones white supremacy. here's front-runner joe biden?
>> i believe everything the president says encourages white sprupremacy supremacy. in fact, it might be worse. he's not there trying to curry the favor of white supremacist groups or everything that we live or believe. whetherly lhe is a white supremacist. he used the word white supremacy, he talked about sleepy. he was awful sleepy in the way in which he talked about it. >> the democratic deal focuses on whether they're going to call out the president as a white supremacist. whether he is one. some in the trump camp are reportedly saying they're happy to share that decision. >> they say his supporters will be emboldened by the accusation because democrats are alienating them. we talked about it with errol
louis. >> that said, there's a possibility that might be true. on the other hand, when it comes to something as serious as what we've just seen, if you can't, as a democratic politician, speak out in defense of the base of the party, members of the base of the party, black voters, latino voters who in this case were recently targeted by a domestic terrorist attack, if you can't speak out for them, because you think, you know, trying to game it out somewhere down the road you might lose a few moderate voters or swing voters or something like that. then you have no business trying to run to become the president of the united states. you know, it certainly puts the politicians in sort of a tricky position. i think the clip that you just showed, christi, illustrates how veteran politicians like joe biden handles it and how different than somebody like tom sty who has never run for office
before. that's going to prove problems down the road. that's harsh language to use. the whole point of american politics is not to go into those dark places and have a more civilized discussion. >> exactly. so, i wanted to ask you about one of the lines in the an th a. they're not just attacking the president, they're attacking me. do you think that is valid? >> not really, i mean, it's a valid tactic. i certainly understand what they're trying to do which to say, for whatever reason you support the president of the united states, if you -- you have to swallow all of it together. and these people who are attack something of the more extreme and indefensible positions in words and statements and attitudes of the president, that they're also attacking you.
well, that very divisive stance is in fact what the problem is here. you know, it's not as if you have to say i'm going to live with every single off thing that the president does. because i like the tax cuts or something like that. it's not the way it is supposed to work. it's not the way people vote. it's not the way the country is governed. if people want to point out that the president had said and done some awful things. and he has. they should feel free to do so. and the idea that this is going
to somehow allienate a bunch of people. they can lead poll numbers like everybody else. >> we thank you errol louis again for being with us this morning. listen, we have to shift gears to what's happening in tennessee. a 64-year-old prison official is dead. there is a manhunt for her alleged killer who is an escaped killer. curtis ray watson was doing moeimoe i mowing work when he used a tract to escape. >> he's now wanted for the killing of the prison guard found dead in her home after watson was seen at her home. watson is in prison for aggravated kidnapping. he is haved extremely dangerous. up next, she just spoke at this morning's presidential forum in doses moines, and she just took calls to gun control for mitch mcconnell's hometown. plus, president trump said kim jong-un apologized for recent missile tests.
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the begging for their parents. president trump said raids like these are a, quote, very good deterrent for undocumented immigrants. and the white house has told immigrations and customs enforcement to conduct dozens more raids like this. but we see these images, and we wonder. i spoke with dr. louis krouse, he's chief of child psychologist at rush medical center and asked him what happens to children's minds and bodies when they're taken from parents in such a jolting way. here's what he told us. >> what's horrible they have this well put together raid on these parents for god knows what reason, but nobody has thought through what to do about the children, without their parents what type of interventions are needed. it's as though nobody cared. >> let's remind everybody what was happening with these children. what they were left with. let's take a look.
>> my dad, he's not a criminal. government, please put your heart -- anybody else, please. >> please can i just see my mother? please. >> he said to my mom, take care of the kids because immigration has now captured me. i started praying to god to let them go. i hope you come back. i can't forget you. >> she didn't do nothing wrong. she isn't a criminal. hispanic people, they don't come here to hurt or injure anybody. they come here to make a better future for the kids. >> dr. krouse, when you hear that and when you see that, i'm wondering -- >> yeah. >> go ahead. >> it's heart wrenching, and, you know, begin, there's no forethought in regards to the impact of the children.
i look at this, you know, any reasonable person would have looked at it, and thought through, if you take away one or two parents from these children, what do you need to do to help these children. no thought about it. it's essentially child abuys. >> representative tim ryan said it's state-sponsored child abuse. what's the long-term effect for these children? >> well, the long-term effect can be quite serious. even with just a short-term removal from the parents, you worry about acute traumatic issues. you worry about long-term depressive symptoms. anxiety symptoms. the development of posttraumatic stress disorder. there's nothing more traumatic to a child to have the sudden loss of your parents. depending on the age of these children, especially elementary
school age children, this is beyond words to describe the impact on the kids. that the government did nothing to prepare for this. any reasonable person would have known the trauma that these kids are going to go through and the interventions that they're going to need. and nothing is in place. there have been studies with the eastern european orphanage kids are where they're removed from the kids. the trauma that occurs result ins permanent damage to the child. we talk about the anxiety of posttraumatic stress disorder. these are often permanent changes that you can help and support but the scars and damage may always be is there. >> we thank you dr. kraus for being with us. we've got breaking news. "the new york times," they're reporting that jeffrey epstein, the financier indicted on drug charges. jeffrey epstein has committed
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. i'm christi paul, glad to have you with us. >> good morning, i'm martin savidge. nice to be with you. and we have breaking news this morning. >> according to the "the new york times," "the new york times" reporting that officials say multimillion they're jeffrey epstein has taken his own life
in a new york jail. >> epstein pleaded not guilty to charges of trafficking dozens of underage girls. some as young as 14, forcing them to have sex with his powerful friends. joining us on the phone right now julie k. brown, an investigative reporting for the "miami herald." it was her reporting that opened the sex case. thank you for joining us. first of all, your reaction on the news? >> well, i'm pretty surprised he allegedly would have been paying pretty close attention to him. and had, you know, people really watching him, he should have been on suicide watch as it is. so it's kind of surprising. >> there's word that he hung himself. it was an apparent hanging in the jail, again, that's according to the "the new york times." and that's their reporting from other officials. and this is coming -- what's interesting about this, one of the other lead stories today, were the hundreds of pages of
previously sealed documents that were unsealed yesterday from one of his accusers. virginia giuffre's defamation suit. do you think he got word that what happened? >> yeah, of course, he got word of that. the documents released were pretty damming, they include the names of very powerful people. he doesn't look like -- he would have left jail anytime soon. so, the walls were crashing in on him. and this is a man that isn't used to living life like this. even when jailed here in florida, he had a cushy existence, being able to leave the jail every day with his own valet, and going to his office and greeting guests. so, this kind of, you know, jail treatment that he was having in new york was a far cry from anything that he had had here
before. or ever, really, in his life. >> reportedly, his body was found at 7:30 this morning in a manhattan jail. do you have idea what happens to the investigation now? i mean, of course, it still continues. there are other people that are named. but it's a devastating blow, regardless. >> it is. but, you know, there's other records that they can get, you know, they did a search warrant at his home, and they probably have other witnesses who, especially now, quite frankly, you know, all of this time, a lot of people who knew what he was doing were afraid to talk. they were really afraid of him. the question now becomes how many of those people are really going to stand up now and finally say, you know, i know he did this. and i was a witness to it. and i was just afraid to talk in the past. so, in some ways it might open up the case even more because
there will be people that maybe not be afraid to talk now. >> julie, you've done so much reporting on this. and all of the time and effort that you've put into digging into the story, what has surprised you the most? >> i think what has surprised me most is that, you know, that there was so many people -- this was -- you know, he was almost hiding in plain sight. there was so many people that knew or suspected or saw things that were wrong. and, you know, it's kind of upsetting to think that these girls were sort of almost, you know, collateral to some people's careers. he kind of decided that this wasn't an important story or important enough of a crime that they should have pursued it and said, you know, look, we've got to do something to stop him. >> is there a sense, i'm not sure i'm putting it the right
way, that he cheated everyone here? he's obviously avoided punishment, prosecution. and so many people who were waiting to see him get his punishment, now will not. >> i don't know if that's really an issue. i think that they want to see justice done. and there are still some people out there that were accomplices in this. he had several employees that scheduled these girls day in and day out. one of them whose name has been prominent. and it was, you know, throughout the documents that were released yesterday which was ghislaine maxwell which was detriment to this case. and it focused on her and other people in her group that helped
him. >> and the people that you're talking about that could come forward that maybe they'll feel as less threatened. are we talking about victims or those who actually worked for jeffrey epstein? who do you envision might be freer? >> both. i think this unburdens a lot of people on various sides of this case. certainly, there are a lot of victims who have been afraid to come forward. there have been a lot of people who worked for him that signed, for example, nondisclosure agreements. one woman that i spoke with just recently, she had said she had a million dollar nondisclosure agreement. you know, those agreements, i don't think -- i don't know how valid they would be at this point. of course, there's other people that are probably afraid that in some ways, they helped -- not only complicit, but by helping him, they also committed crimes. we'll have to wait tole see how
jeffrey berman, the prosecutor in the southern district of new york, you know, refocuses this case. >> all right. julie k. brown with the "miami herald" the investigative reporter who has done so much today. we appreciate your reporting. thank you for taking a few motelmote moments. the news this morning that jeffrey epstein hanged himself in a new york prison. he has committed suicide. we have legal analysis of what happens now for the alleged victims. stay close.
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and a 10% discount card free with purchase. tracker off road. breaking news, officials say multi millionaire jeffrey ep steen has taken his own life in jail. >> and officials saying epstein charged with forcing girls as young as 14 years old to have sex. joining me on the phone, paul allen, what happens to the firm case moving forward? >> well, the federal criminal case will end, with his death. these criminal cases do not proceed after the death of a criminal suspect. but on the civil side, where people are suing for money
damages, those cases will continue. they'll now be converted into an action against the estate of jeffrey epstein. and he -- presumably, from press reports has a substantial estate. i would expect the epstein case would continue full force after, you know, a brief period of time, while the lawyers manage to substitute the estate in for jeffrey epstein himself. >> do you anticipate there could be even more civil cases brought now? >> over the last several weeks and months, this scheme, this ring, even wider than initially reported we saw documents unsealed just this week that showed there were more than dozens, perhaps hundreds of victims. as paul noted, there's a substantial estate left behind here. those victims, i do expect to see more and more coming forward and seeking compensation for the
serious damage that was done to them. >> paul, let me ask you this, if you've got a case against him. you come forward. even in a defamation suit that we were talking about that was settled in 2017, of those documents that came out today, or late last night, if you've got a civil suit against him, what more do you have to have to prove your case, other than just your word, paul? . >> well, you're going to have available pretty much the same amount of information you would have had available, even if he were still alive. because, remember, in those civil cases, it's unlikely that jeffrey epstein would also agree to testify. he would assert the fifth amendment and refuse to testify. so the lawyers in those cases have to prove through collateral evidence. through other kinds of evidence and other witnesses of which there probably are many, the facts of the case. but, of course, in many instances, in sexual abuse litigation, the case often comes
down to the victim herself, or himself. and their word against the defendant. so, they manage to corroborate aspects by saying, for instance, that they complained to somebody else around the time the incident happened. they might use records to show they were in the proximity of epstein during that time. there are ways to collaterally support their claims. frankly, i'm not sure their case will change enormously. there's research done and thousands and thousands and thousands of pages of discovery that's already been generated. i think it's likely you'll see these cases going forward. and i think it's likely that some of the victims will be able to prove very compelling cases around the united states. i think you'll see cases filed elsewhere, as well as the ones now filed. >> we were talking to julie k.
brown, the investigative reporter from "miami herald" she was thinking that more people will come forward, they were afraid to speak out. now, that may not be the case and we could see more voices added to this, do you expect something like that? >> i do. i agree with julie. i've dealt with victims of sexual assault. there's always a fear factor. they ask prosecutors and detectives, where is he, is he still around? is he still a threat? can he still do things to me? we're talking long-term trauma that stays with these victims for years and years after something happens. i think with somebody like epstein no longer around, or alive, will make it easier for victims to come forward. while he was locked up and that makes a difference, that still is a fear factor.
will he hire people to harass me. and now that's gone. i do agree with julie brown, i think she's right. it will make it easier for victims to come forward and i think it will reduce the fear factor. >> you know, paul -- >> go ahead. >> i just wanted to add, christi, that new york has recently amended its sexual abuse laws, creating the identity for virtually any victim regardless of when the sexual abuse took place to file a lawsuit. now, this is a big development in new york. other jurisdictions are doing it as well. so, i think you're going to find that many victims who were sort of can closed out of lawsuits because they let too much time pass. will file new lawsuits against jeffrey epstein. >> paul, let me ask you this, from this defamation suit and the hundreds of pages that were released just yesterday, regarding the suit involving accuser virginia giuffre, again,
that was settled in 2014, we want to point out, she was alleged abuse by him and others. and there's really big names involved in that. she was alleging that she was abused by former governor bill richardson, by prince andrew, by alan dershowitz. they have vehemently denied these allegations. some of them denying they even knew her. where does it stand for those people who were accused? these high-profile names? >> they're in a really terrible situation, because in some -- with respect to some aspects, lawsuits may not even be filed against them but their names are going to be prominently managed, probably for years to come, agency the epstein lawsuits wind their way through the courts. but you could also expect that there could be actions against other prominent individuals' files, as lawyer s pour through
discovery materials now sealed by the courts and as investigation into epstein's background continue. i'll tell you, this case is going to be a huge highly publicized case that's going to go on for years. the only thing that is as big is the o.j. simpson which there were two trials, a civil trial that followed the acquittal. i think you'll see the epstein case living on in the public media for many years to come. >> paul callan, and ellie honig, thank you as well. for the breaking news of the death of jeffrey epstein in his new york jail. we'll have more news, after this. it's tough to quit smoking cold turkey.
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kara skinel on the phone with us. she's been covering the case since epstein's first arrest. kara, what can you tell us regarding what we know regarding suicide. >> reporter: two law enforcement officials tell cnn that epstein died around 3:30 this morning. he was taken from his jail cell in cardiac arrest and he died at a local hospital. that is the latest details that we confirmed that epstein has died by suicide. this is two weeks after epstein was placed in suicide watch as he was found in his jail cell with injuries to his neck. this has escalated in the past two weeks with epstein dead by suicide. >> any idea how this could happen? because just as you point out,
he had attempted something like this, previous. i presume that authorities know that he is a potential risks. and yet, here he is able to, reports are saying, hang himself in this jail? >> that's a great question that the officials will be investigating. if he is on suicide watch and they know he has already apparently attempted to harm himself, how does this happen now that he was actually able to commit suicide while under the watch of the prison. and the pressure on epstein has not subsided. if anything, it's only gotten worse as more details have emerged from some of his previous business partners. digging into relationships, exposing conditions with people and his wealth. it's a very big unanswered question of how he was able to do this while he was under the protection of bureau of prisons
at his very high-security jail in lower manhattan. >> we were talking to julie brown, "miami herald" investigative reporter about, you know, essentially his mie s mind-set at this point. there were hundreds of pages of previously sealed documents that were just unsealed yesterday. they had lurid details from a defamation suit regarding one of his accusers, virginia giuffre that was settled in 2017. do you think even behind bars he heard the fact that those details were going to be released publicly? >> i would not be surprised at all. that he knew leading up to this, the judge had ruled a cub weeks ago just before he was actually arrested that these documents were going to be unsealed. so, he knew that while he was still a free man. then these documents come out, you know, deposition by virginia giuffre, where she talks about how she was kept a sex slave by
epstein and one of his accomplices or friends and goes into greater detail how she was forced to have sex by epstein and then taken to a long list of very prominent men. he knew this was going to come out. this is only the first wave of documents that are going to be unsealed. there's a whole additional set of documents going to be unsealed in the coming weeks. there is going to be more information coming out. he was under intense pressure. he tried everything to stay out of jail while he was awaiting trial. his lawyers were proposing he stay in his new york mansion with security guards and satellite tracking devices. he knew the stakes here were very high because he faced up to 45 years in prison if he was convicted of these charges just in new york. >> kara scannell, thank you very much. she's been covering this case for some time for cnn.
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53 minutes past the hour right now, we've been talking to you about the apparent suicide of jeffrey epstein, the financier who was indicted on sex trafficking charges. we will continue to follow that, but we do have to shift gears here. we want to turn to another story we've been talking about a lot. how do the presidential contenders hope to solve the rampant gun violence in america. 16 of them are participating at
a gun safety forum in des moines, iowa, happening right now. it is a quick response to last week's back to back mass shootings in el paso and dayton, but gun violence is an ongoing problem that kills 100 people a day and wounds hundreds more. >> the forum was organized by three groups, every town for gun safety, students demand action, and moms demand action for gun sense in america. the founder of that group, shannon watts just spoke at the forum. she's with us now. shannon, thank you for being with us. have you heard any ideas? have you heard any proposals since you've been there that give you hope that there's change on the way? >> i have. not only what we've heard a couple of the candidates who have already spoken say, but also conversations we've had backstage where they're feeling very emboldened and empowered to act on this issue, and it is really becoming a priority in their policy platforms, which is so important going into the 2020
elections. they know they have the majority of american's support, even gun ownser owners and that this has to happen. >> do their words mirror the things you want, you and others who want fast action on legislation? >> we are asking for two simple things. we're asking for a vote on background checks, which already passed the house. it would require a background check on every gun sale in the country, and we're also asking the senate to vote on a strong red flag law, and that allows family or police to petition a judge for a temporary restraining order to disarm someone who seems to be a danger to themselves or others. these are common sense, research proven effective tools that we need to make sure that we have put in place at a federal level. >> all right, shannon watts, moms demand action for gun sense in america. you are the founder. we appreciate you taking time for us, thank you. >> and we'll have more on the breaking news with jeffrey epstein in the next hour of "newsroom." stay with us. unpredictable crohn's symptoms following you?
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christi paul. >> and i'm martin savage. welcome to our viewers in the u.s. and around the world. >> the breaking news, officials say jeffrey epstein, the multimillionaire in jail on charges he sex trafficked underaged girls has died by suicide. >> epstein previously had been moved to a suicide watch unit after being thought unconscious in his cell in july. prosecutors say that epstein sexually abused dozens of young girls for years at his home in palm beach, florida, and new york. some of his alleged victims were said to be as young as 14. let's bring in kara scannell, she has been covering this case for some time. kara, what do you know about the means by which he died and how he was discovered? >> well, martin, we're still getting information on this, but two law enforcement sources say that epstein was found in his jail cell saturday morning in cardiac arrest, and that he died at a local new york hospital later. so the details of exactly how he died