tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN April 22, 2019 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
were targeted. at least four u.s. citizens are among the dead. we're just learning the identity of two of them. a fifth grader from washington d.c. his name is keernen. and deeter was on a business trip from denver. recovery works to identify the dead and the sri lanka government has decided to block social media sites. the outage has made it tough for some who are there to make contact with loved ones missing. cnn's senior international correspondent is live in the capital of colombo. one of the cities where the bombs went off. sam, what more do you know about who is behind the attack and the possible ties to isis? >> reporter: well, as you were saying, the u.s. officials are suggesting that this was an isis-inspired group which would
indicate a strong understanding, perhaps, that there was prior intelligence. as the minister said, both the indians and the united states warn the sri lanka there was a complex attack in the offing. that was backed up by sri lanka intelligence. that intelligence was never fully acted upon by the security services here. now, the government has apoll jie jazzed. this was above all a cold and calculated series of attacks. three churches hit almost simultaneously, and then the hotels, and an explosion earlier on today, i think we just heard it there, of another device near st. anthony's church here in colombo, the capital. that was found mid-morning, and detonated by explosive experts. the scale of the calculation here, i think, can be revealed by when we look at a a cc tv
footage we obtained about 45 minutes out of town, in it you see a young man with a backpack pat a young girl, a toddler on the head as he crosses the courtyard on the way in to the church. without really showing any signs of agitation, he walks into the last door that separates the congregation effectively from the alter area. he enters the church and at that point we are cutting the cctv. that is all the church officials would show us. they passed the rest on to the police. it shows the point of detonation where this individual looks around and then kills himself and 122 other people were killed in that blast. it took the roof off the church. it took the head off an effigy of christ. all of this, of course, on the day that the congregation, some 1500 local bishops said had
gathered there to celebrate the easter celebrations on sunday, the resurrection of christ in the christian tradition. a devastating blow to the community here. there are we understand from the foreign ministry, 31 foreigners that have also died in the blasts and more than a dozen of unidentified bodies which are likely also to include foreigners. >> there just are no words for this. sam, thank you so much on the reporting side of it. i should point out one of the six explosions happened at a hotel where many people were gathered for easter brunch. among the victims in that attack, a chef popular in the uk. her daughter posted this picture on facebook moments before the attack. and an american and his wife and two children were killed in the last. he released a statement saying this.
he said anita was a wonderful, perfect wife and a brilliant loving and inspiration mother to our two wonderful children. alex and annabell were the most amazing, talented and thoughtful children. we were proud of them both and looking forward to seeing them develop into adulthood. they shared with their mother the priceless ability to light up any room they entered and bring joy into the lye lives of all they came into contact with. paul is with me now. he's the co-author of the recent book "nine lives my time as the west east top spy inside al qaeda". >> here we are again. based on your experience, does this look like isis to you? >> it may be isis inspired. al qaeda, a month ago that general command put a message out to their flolers around the world to not attack places of worship. i think that's why u.s. intelligence is focussed more on
it being an isis-inspired attack. sri lanka believe it was a local group acting in concert with isis, an international coordinated attack. we haven't seen groups in sri lanka have anything like the capacity or capability to put together this sort of attack. that points to some overseas planning, prance, some overseas links in this attack. >> what do you make of the news we're getting about multiple warnings, this memo being circulated. sri lanka somehow in the dark over this and now apologizing. how is that possible? >> well, that seems to be a blame game. there's a lot of politics in sri lanka. the u.s. has not yet confirmed what that sri lanka minister claimed about information being passed on. even if information was passed on, was it of a scale we saw play out over easter sunday? this really surprised almost
every terrorism analyst i know. there's hardly been any jihadi activity in sri lanka compared to other regions that they've not had the sort of groups that would have this capability operating there. a very, very big surprise. that is very disturbing in and of itself. nearly 18 years after 9/11 that we could see an attack like this which has such a large scale which really caught the counterterrorism community unaware. >> i had an expert who said he's been studying sri lanka for years and he's baffled by it all. to your point about being isis inspired. let me point out, according to census data 7.4 % of sri lankaen people are christian. this happened on easter sunday targeting christians during the moe holy day of the calendar. why that target? what would that signal to you? >> isis has a track record of targeting chunks, christians or
encouraging their followingers to do that. we've seen attacks from isis of that ilk in the southeast asia, in europe, in egypt. taking the wall in their view to the crusader west. what better target than churches and hotels where westerners congregate. there will be a number of sloirngens who bought with isis. one line of inquiry will be whether any of the operatives had any kind of role in this attack either by returning back home to sloirri lankaing -- or coordinating attacks online. we saw in 2016 the attack in bangladesh against the bakery there. we covered that back at the time. well, the more evidence that has come to light, the more we
understand now that isis had a very strong role in that attack, linking up with a local group there to help plan that attack. was this what we saw play out in sri lanka? we don't know yet. and isis haven't put out any claim of responsibility. there's been no claim of responsibility by any group at all. >> you mentioned just briefly the encrypted app. apps being used and social media being shut down because so much of these apps have been used to incite violence. a lot of people are frustrated because they're not able to be in touch with loved ones because they can't communicate via instagram. >> it's hard to come up with a judgment call on that. clearly there's a concern from the authorities' point of view that there could be bad information that could go out and lead to a vicious cycle of violence. it's election season coming up. a very tense time in the country. and they don't want sort of communal violence to flow from
this. they're worried one would presume about follow on attacks. have they managed to apprehend the bomb makers in this plot? we haven't heard that yet. if they're still at large, we could see more attacks in sri lanka. >> let's hope not. paul crookshank, thank you for coming on. let's move to the trump white house in open rebellion against a subpoena from the democrats. the president, his sons and the trump administration today filed a lawsuit to stop the house overnight committee from getting its hands own trump's financial records. last week that committee issued a congressional subpoena for the records. trump's lawyers call that move purely political in the lawsuit they accuse house democrats of being, quote, singularly obsessed with finding something they can use to damage the president politically, and now a former federal prosecutor is with me. welcome to you. when you first heard about this, is there any precedent to this?
>> thank you very much, brooke. look, any challenge to a congressional subpoena is rare. i've represented complialients number of responses. we have never considered this type of action. an offensive lawsuit by the president of the united states against a congressman to stop a subpoena issued to a third party, not even to the president himself, i think it's fairly safe to say that's unpress lentelen dented. >> congress's job is oversight. this is what the trump's lawyers claim. chairman elijah cummings has ignored the limits on congress's power to investigate. according toingly investigations are legitimate only as they further some legitimate legislative purpose. >> that is an accurate assessment. the central question in this case is whether there is a
legitimate legislative purpose in play. but i would expect it would be fairly easy for the congress folks to establish that. they have broad authority to investigate. they have broad authority to consider legislation of all kinds, and we've seen subpoenas issued to -- and remember, a lot of this subpoena covers president's time as a citizen. we've seen subpoenas to wealthy private citizens in connection with banking law and regulation reviews. and so this is the kind of thing you see congress do. it's a broad subpoena that covers a long time period. but you see these with some frequency. >> so what can democrats do? what's their next step? >> look, i think we can expect them to continue on the path they've been on which is, and i would expect a continued court fight. it will be at the district court level. it can go up from there. and i would expect further subpoenas and a further battle in a politically as well as
legally. i don't see anyone backing down from this. >> john, thank you very much. good to have you on. coming up next, senator elizabeth warren rolls out a sweeping plan that would wipe out student debt for millions of americans. hear how she covered the trillion dollar price tag. >> president trump pulls his nomination for cain to join the federal reserve. this as uncovered sexist comments are unveiled. and later a comedian who played a president on tv is now the actual president of ukraine. and he won by a landslide. let's talk about how that happened. you're watching cnn. hi i'm joan lunden. today's senior living communities have never been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms
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we're back. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. and then there were 19. massachusetts congressmen seth moulton just jumped into the race becoming the latest democrat to do so. here's part of his message to voters. >> i'm returning because we have to beat donald trump, and i want us to beat donald trump because i love this country. >> we've never been a country that gets everything right. but we're a country that at our best thinks that we might. i'd be honored if you'd join me in this mission. >> the 40-year-old is a marine veteran. if elected he would be the youngest president in u.s. history. the democratic field is now the largest ever and is likely to grow even more with joe biden expected to officially enter the race at some point this week.
the previous record was 17 during the republican nomination in 2016. 2020 contender elizabeth warren is out and about with another ambitious policy proposal eliminating student debt for millions of americans. it's a massive plan that would forgive billions of dollars in student loans and expand on her promise for free tuition at public colleges. she sat down to talk about it. >> there's a real access problem for low income and students of color. it's not just paying the tuition. it's how they pay for books and the expenses of having a baby taken care of if they have a child at home or being able to cover commuting expenses or maybe it's a chance to live in a dorm. >> and you're already a co-sponsor of bernie sanders's free college bill. how is your plan better than that plan? >> it goes further. >> is it fair to say your bill is more progressive than bernie sanders' bill? >> well, it's certainly bigger.
>> mj is with me live from new hampshire, the site of tonight's town halls. give me the details. lay out the plan for us. >> reporter: well, brooke, you said it. this is a giant proposal. probably one of the most ambitious plans on this topic that we have seen come out of the 20 20 field so far. let's walk through it. there are two main portions. the first one is the student loan forgiveness part. she's suggesting $50,000 in student loan debt would be wiped clean for anybody that makes under $100,000 a year. the amount is smaller as you make more money, and anyone who makes more than $250,000 in income is not eligible for loan debt forgiveness. the second part is a universal free college portion. she's saying all public colleges, two-year and four-year colleges would be tuition and fee free. then there are other investments she's proposing including $100
billion in investment into pell grants over a period of four years and a $50 billion fund to fund historically black colleges. there's a focus on helping especially lower income students and students of color. now, what was interesting from my sit-down with her is that she said and she straight up came out and said this when i asked her, that her plan is bigger and goes further than bernie sanders' plan. when i asked her about pete buttigieg who happens to not be a fan of the idea of free college or tuition-free college, she said she simply disagree es with him on the philosophy. this 19 candidates now in the field, we are going to see these accounts fall on different ends of the spectrum whether it's on this issue or another issue, and all of them are going to be topics that these can tcandidats each try to use to set
themselves apart. >> and you can hear the ears of young people perking up at the thought of doing away with debt, but how does she pay for this? >> yeah. the fact that this is a giant proposal also means that the price tag is also big. $1.25 trillion over the course of ten years. and she says she's going to pay for this by using the revenue from her wealth tax. this is a plan that she put out earlier this year where you would tax anybody whose wealth is more than $50 million. what's interesting is this is not the only thing she says she would pay for with the revenue from her wealth tax. her universal pre-k -- child care plan rather was also paid for by the revenue from this plan. you can imagine even though she says that this is totally available, any critics are going to latch on to the fact that this has a giant price tag and simply say this is not realistic. this is not viable. >> okay. mj lee, thank you very much for
that with senator warren. senator warren will be one of five democratic candidates participating in tonight's big event this evening. back to back town halls starting at 7:00 with amy klobuchar, elizabeth warren, bernie sanders, kamala harris and pete buttigieg. don't miss the evening on cnn. in a short time nancy pelosi will lead a call with democrats to figure out how to move forward as so many in her party are calling for impeachment of president trump. details on the letter she sent to her colleagues. plus uncovered sexist comments made by stephen moore including the opinion that female athletes, quote, don't really want equal pay for equal work. they want equal pay for inferior work. we're going to go there.
unethical behavior that does not bring honor to the office he holds. scathing words from nancy pelosi today who blasted president trump in a letter to her democratic colleagues. spoker pelosi was talking about the findings of the mueller. >> translator: and he letter came hours before there's a conference call on what to do
next. manu raju is with us. what is she saying specifically about the issue of impeachment? >> reporter: well, she's making it clear she wants to go slow. she does not want to put the pedal on the glass toward impeachment. she's been clear that's not her preferred course of action. she alludes to that in this letter that went out to all members of the house democratic caucus and saying this specifically. while our views range from proceeding to inve
gait the findings of the mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth. it is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings. as we proceed to uncover the truth and present additional needed reforms to protect our
democracy, we must show the american people we're proceeding free from a passion or prejudice strictly
on the presentation of fact. and that line about information that can also be gained outside of impeachment hearings is very clear about the path that she and other pop democrats want to go down. they want the investigation to take place. they want to proceed in the house judiciary committee the way it is right now. a significant sprawling investigation into potential obstruction of justice to pursue the revelations found in the mueller report, bring forward key officials starting with bill barr, and then robert mueller. other people are named in this report. including five former white house officials. the committee has already issued authorized subpoenas including the former white house counsel don mcgahn among many others to have public hearings to continue the investigation. not necessarily go down that path of impeachment where republicans are showing no willingness to go down. they don't want to go through a
fruitless impeachment attempt that can consume all the oxygen in the room and lead to an unsuccessful attempt to convict him in the republican-led senate. pelosi sending the message to her caucus tonight, let's hold off on the impeachment talk for now even as our views differ. that's one of the messages we can expect to hear in the conference call. >> we're wait for your reporting after the call. thank you so much. up on capitol hill for us. next president trump pulled hermann cain out of the running. we have recovered sexist comments from stephen moore who has said things like, quote, is there in area in life where men can take vacation from women? we'll give you the full context just ahead. plus as prince harry and meghan markle expect their first child any day now, there are reports of drama within the royal family. we have those details ahead.
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hermann cain is out as a possible pick for the seat of the federal reserve board. cain faced scrutiny over allegations of sexual harassment that ended his presidential campaign in 2012. the other pick stephen moore has problematic thoughts about women, specifically women in sports. listen to this. there have sexist comments he made when discussing the pay
disparity. he said women were asking for e quail pay to inferior work. he wrote that changes to include women were, quote, un-american. and when we reached out to moore he said this. this was a spoof. i have a sense of humor. well, no one is laughing. criticizing female athletes for advocating for equal pay asking if there is any area in life where men can take vacation from women. let's go to our guests. andrew, first to you. we should also just point out that stephen moore was a cnn contributor until recently. i was unaware of any of this that he had ever said. what else did he write? >> so he -- the thing that was interesting about his comments that he said, this was a spoof, i have a sense of humor is first off, what is the joke?
>> there is no joke. >> right. what is the joke. the second thing is he wrote the columns in 2001 and 2002 twice and 2003. the bigger column where a lot of the quotes come from he proposed changes for march madness and said there shouldn't be woman refs. there shouldn't be women announcers. he wrote that in each one of the four columns. and he did appear to get some backlash at the time because in a column two weeks later people complained to him about his column. they said it was sexist. he said look, for all i care, women can use chim pan skis to ref their games. i hate women's basketball. he was mocking this and did not see it as an issue. >> again, it's not like he was sitting on a podcast and speaking off the cuff. these were columns where he thought to write them.
>> it's not just women athletes he has made vaguely sexist remarks about. i think he's been on a cnn show in the last couple years saying that it was perfectly appropriate for male bosses to never take one on one meetings with female either underlings or colleagues, i don't remember, because they might be accused unjustly of sexual harassment. he's made weird comments about vaguely sexist comments about female hosts on fox news. so i think the general take away from all of this is that i have been saying and others having arguing stephen moore seems nice, affable guy, nothing against him personally. he doesn't belong on the fed board not because of personal issues whereas with hermann cain, it was a slightly different story. but because he was a long time partisan operative who was unqualified and didn't seem to
have fixed principals when it came to setting policy. all these comments that have been dug up suggests that maybe the part about him being a decent nice guy or at least always behaving decently is somewhat more questionable. and that he definitely should not be in charge of any female employees, for example. >> what does it tell you that this is how apparently this white house picks these positions by watching these people on television? and also the lack thereof of vetting them? >> yeah. i mean, we've seen this time and again. it seems like every time i'm on your show we're talking about someone who didn't get vetted and resigned or dropped out of a role for comments they made. at least with moore we -- he is a commentator. he was on cnn. he does a speech every single night. he's writing columns. and his political views have sort of shifted with the wind on certain things. but one thing is he's been very
pro trump because trump took his views on economics. and i think that's sort of the appeal for the white house. >> yeah. it's about personal loyalty. it's not about conversatiqualifr where have you have principles or whether you treat the people you work with decently. >> what about hermann cain, trump yarngnked the nomination. just your quick reaction? >> i think it's interesting that a few days ago hermann cain a few days ago said no way will i back down or withdraw my name. no way is it going to happen. if trump wants to withdraw my name, that's up to him. trump today said actually, hermann cain withdrew his name. who knows? i mean, the way these kinds of announcements usually work is the vetting happens before the announcement. right? so that the kind of stuff that andrew would dig up or other people have dug up wouldn't come
out publicly. right? the white house would do that on their own and if there's embarrassing stuff there or that show a potential nominee to be unqualified they won't make the nomination. instead this time around they put the cart before the horse and said we're going to -- trump tweeted i'm nominating these people, and then that just created a lot of additional incentive for scrutiny of the records. >> just keep digging back there. thank you guys so much. next, ukraine, a comedian who played the president won the presidential election with the help of social media. what if other kinds of plants captured it too? if these industrial plants had technology that captured carbon like trees we could help lower emissions.
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he played a president on a popular ukrainian sit come. now volodymyr zelensky has been elected to serve as the real president of ukraine. and he did it by ousting the incumbent in a landslide election winning more than 70% of the vote. to say volodymyr zelensky is a political novice does not do him justice. he plays a president on tv that goes on a rant and it goes viral. ukraine is in the midst of an often bitter conflict with russia. max butte is with me now. tell me about who he is and how he pulled it off. >> well, it is a wild story, brooke. it's as if julia la wees dreyfus
became the president after playing one on tv. this is a merging of reality tv and reality going on in many countries including this one. ukraine is the latest place where this happened. i think aside from the fact that zelensky is an unusual character going from a comedian and tv perform tore president, i think we'll have to see how he does. i think it's a good news story. in 2014 ukraine had a revolution. they overthrew a russian-backed strongman. the test of any democracy is whether you hold a second election and can trafr power from one head of state to another. that happened the last couple days. all kudos to the former president for giving up power and recognizing scling zelensky. >> i want to move onto comments made. do you think this win was a trump effect? i mean having a tv star turned
president or is this the effect of people turning to satire for comical analysis/leadership in a country? to what do you attribute this? >> i think what you're seeing in ukraine is what we see in almost every democracy, people are sick of political politicians. they're looking for amateurs in a mr. smith goes to washington kind of way and drain the swamp. unfortunately we've seen that more often than not it's easier to get elected than implement reforms in the v. in the case of ukraine ukraine shanko was elected in 2016 and no political experience. and now voters are disgusted with him and going for somebody else who is a tv comedian. usually the record of people who are complete outsiders is not that impressive once they're in office. >> the previous president saying
zelensky was to inexperienced to stand up to russia. volodymyr zelensky said he would -- how does he handle that? >> i don't think anybody knows. i think this is the ukrainian version of i alone can solve these problems. something we heard in this country not too many years ago. we've seen how that worked out. nobody knows his program. clearly ukrainians are war wary. they've lost 13,000 people in the war that russia launched in 2014. they are also wary of corruption and the country has horrible problems, stagnant economy. lots of corruption. and sclen szelensky is saying ig to clean it up but nobody knows how. that's going to be a huge challenge for him. >> max boot, thank you very much. prince harry and meghan markle are expecting their first child any day now. a new report says they may move to africa after the baby is born. hear how prince william is responding to rumors that it's a
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sketch and say they have a new theory on who the killer might be. >> we also believe this person is from delphi. currently, or has previously lived here, visits delphi on a regular basis or works here. to the killer who may be in this room, we believe you are hiding in plain sight. >> police hope that this new video and sketch might spark someone's memory, so they can find the killer after over two years of investigating. and new numbers out today show another jump in measles cases across the country. the cdc announced 626 people have gotten sick with the measles so far this year. that is 71 more than what the agency reported last week. that includes cases reported in iowa and tennessee for the first time, bringing the total number of states of cases with measles to 22. in the coming week, the cdc says
it expects to pass the record high since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000. we've got an animation for it everything and. here we go. now to a reported drama playing out overseas. prince harry and meghan markle are expecting their firstborn any day now. but there's another headline that could bump the baby right off the front page. the duke and duchess of sussex may move abroad as soon as the baby is born. the london "sun-times" says that plans are being discussed to move to africa where he and meghan will take on a bigger international role. the queen recently appointed ma markle as the vice president of the royal trust. but is that the real reason? victoria arbiter is here with us now. we know about their passions for africa, but why move to africa? what's up? >> i think this notion of
sending them to africa is kind of wide of the mark. i think what's happening behind the scenes here is just trying to -- everyone to get their eggs in a row and to sort of feel out, what is it you're passionate about and what you want to do? harry and meghan are enormously popular and i think the royal family is seeing an opportunity to harness that popularity. we've got brexit going on. we've got republican tendencies rising in a number of the commonwealth realms. so by accessing the commonwealth and sending harry and meghan out there and really trumpeting their role and supporting the commonwealth, there's an opportunity to do a lot of good things. now, this notion of exiling them or banishing them to africa, that seems preposterous to me. i think what's happening here is the queen is saying, harry, meghan, clearly you want to have a massive impact, what do you want to do? where do you see yourself doing that? where can you make the biggest impact? i think for the two of them at the moment, it's southern africa. >> so, as they go embark on that journey with this new little
precious child, is there any truth to the friction, the alleged friction between the brothers? >> i think there's something going on between the brothers, certainly. this narrative has gone on for such a long time, and the old adage, where there's smoke, there's fire, something's going on. but it seems terribly medieval that they're so at each other's throats that william is going to cast harry off and move him down to southern africa to get him out of the way. >> that's, in your word, preposterous. >> that's preposterous. plus, william is not in charge, he's not even the immediate heir, he's the second heir. the queen is the one who makes those decisions and she makes those decisions with prince charles. she's not going to send harry and meghan somewhere where they'd be miserable. to what end? they've had a dramatic impact on their charitable endeavors already. but meghan in rwanda for the clean water campaign before she even married harry. harry with his conservation work, save the rhino, working tell infant conservation
organizations in south africa. he has said he feels most at home there. one of the diamonds in meghan's ring is from botswana. >> it's a precious place for them. >> it's there. it's there. so i think, really, there is some truth, brooke, to whatever is going on with harry and william, but i think it's been blown out of proportion. we don't know what the origins are and we don't know what's going on behind the scene. >> do we know what they would do while they are there? >> i think it's to champion the work of the commonwealth, but meghan is interested in supporting women's rights, making all education accessible to all women. harry will continue with his conservation, his work with behalf on veterans. i think there's a lot they would get stuck into, but they would be afforded some privacy, some quality family time without having to deal with the british press on their back always the time. >> victoria arbiter, thank you for the scoop, as always, from the uk on these royal families and the royal babies now. thank you for being with me. thank you, as well. i'm brooke baldwin here in new
york. let's just remind everyone, we've got this huge night of town halls tonight on cnn starting at 7:00 eastern with five people who would like to become the next president of the united states, so stay tuned here. in the meantime, let's go to washington. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. president trump now going to court to keep you from seeing his finances. "the lead" starts right now. new today, the president of the united states also now tweeting about impeachment, as democrats are just minutes away from debating the next step after the mueller probe. easter carnage. several americans killed. now we know one of them is a fifth grader from washington, d.c. and authorities are still detonating bombs after one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the world since 9/11. plus, 19 for '20. another contender jumping into the democratic battle royal, as some candidates get ready to rumble in one of the biggs cnn town hall events ever.