tv CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar CNN July 29, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT
i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. under way right now, three dead in california by a gunman opening fire on a crowd at a festival. a 6-year-old boy among the victims. police took down the shooter, but a second suspect may be on the loose. and racism as a political strategy. aides close to the presidency the politics of hate as a winning message. plus president trump nominates a staunch loyalist to be in charge of america's biggest secrets. and just before the cnn debate, kamala harris, who's delivered mixed messages on health care finally unveils her plan and her rivals pounce. first, more on our breaking news. another deadly mass shooting in america. this time in the small town of gilroy, california, at a popular food festival. any moment now we are expecting to get an update from officials who are on the hunt for a possible second suspect. looking at live pictures here as
we await that. so far here's what we know. police have identified the shooter as 19-year-old santino william logan. he is believed to be responsible for killing three people and wounding 12 others before police shot and killed him. he snuck into the festival after cutting a hole through a fence and then opened fire into the crowd randomly, sending visitors into a frenzy running for their lives. so far only one of the victims killed has been identified and his name is steven ramiro, only 6 years old. >> this is really hard. there's no words to describe because he was such a happy kid, you know. i don't think that this is fair. i just wish that they get the people that did it. we need to know that they got this person.
and that there's justice. >> sara sidner joining us live now from gilroy with more. tell us, sara, what else you're hearing about the shooter and the search for a possible second suspect. >> reporter: police have been pretty quiet on this second potential suspect in this. they have certainly not named that person as someone who was also a shooter, but saying that perhaps this person was helping in some way. we have heard no new information on that yet. we are, of course, waiting for that press conference to see if there is something new there. as for the suspect himself that police shot and killed, within one minute they say of him opening fire on the crowds, sending this place of joy and happiness and family time into chaos, within one minute this shooter was able to kill three people and injure up to 12 people. we now understand that there are still seven people at one of the main hospitals here, one person in critical condition.
the ages ranging from 12 to 69. we are also learning a bit more about the suspect. the suspect, we have seen some of his social media posts. in those social media posts, he makes a reference to the gilroy garlic festival. clearly he is from this area, well familiar with this wonderful event that is very family oriented, sunday being family day, which is why dozens of families, everyone from gr d grandparents to their grandchildren all here enjoying themselves. we have now seen some of those posts that he has made and in one of them he mentions there being a high fire danger, potentially reference to firing a gun and he references a white supremacist book that is extremely racist and extremely misogynistic as well. so there are some small details giving you some insight into who this person was. we were also able to talk to one
of the witnesses here whose friends were all with him. he was here just like everyone else, trying to raise money for a charity. that's something this festival does every year. they said they had to throw a table up and get behind it as bullets were flying by. this has scarred many, many people in the gilroy area. >> and we're awaiting information, live information coming from officials there so you're going to stand by for us as we await that. we'll bring that to our viewers as soon as it begins. 2020 democratic candidates are reacting to the shooting. many of them expressed their condolences on twitter and turned the conversation to their positions on gun violence ahead of this week's cnn debates where no doubt this will be something they are trying to discuss. california senator kamala harris one of those sort of talking about this issue. she was, of course, california's attorney general. >> it just keeps happening in our country. and these families are right now in deep pain.
and so i just want to express my sorrow to them. i want to thank the first responders. it's just tragic. there's no other way to describe it. >> jessica dean is joining us now. tell us where the candidates stand on the issue of gun control and gun rights. >> this is something that all of these candidates have talked about. some of them have very specific detailed policies on their website, others plan to roll those out in due time, others talking about this at different stops on the campaign trail. first let's focus on who's for banning assault-style weapons. all of these people for that ban. i want to draw a question mark on andrew yang because he's proposed a tiered system. he hasn't called for a ban but hasn't called to not support a ban. so he's somewhere in the middle and is in a tiered system which sets him apart from the rest of the field. jay inslee talks about how in 1994 he voted for an assault
weapons ban and that's what caused him to lose his seat so he knows what those votes are like and talks about he would do it again. a second issue, background checks. where do these candidates stand on background checks for gun purchases? you'll see across the board here. again, we were focusing on the candidates who have been profiled by our policy tracker. that's why you see a couple of question marks. these people have all been profiled by our policy tracker. kamala harris in this situation has talked about using executive action to ensure these background checks happen should she become president of the united states. that if congress won't act, she will. you can count that they're going to talk more and more about gun control. it's an issue so many of them have strong feelings about. >> and very timely today. jessica dean, thank you. two nights, two cnn debates and for some 2020 candidates, it is their last chance to break ahead of the pack. on the eve of tomorrow's first cnn debate in detroit, candidates are rolling out some of their key policy plans. in detroit this morning, jay
inslee announcing the details of what he's calling his community climate justice plan. this calls on corporate polluters to invest in minority communities most impacted by climate change and pollution. and in ohio, elizabeth warren unveil her new sweeping trade policy proposal. it is aimed at defending american jobs by negotiating to raise global labor and environmental standards. countries would have to meet preconditions regarding human rights and religious freedoms to forge trade deals with the u.s. senator kamala harris unveiled her version of a medicare for all plan this morning after months of mixed messages on where she stands on the issue of health care. harris' plan would put the u.s. on a path toward a government-provided health care system but stops short of completely eliminating private insurance. during the campaign stop, harris talked about how she's going to be handling the next debate. >> what is your mission in this debate specifically? i mean going off of your health
care answer there. >> to not mess up. my mother raised me to be polite and i will be polite. i will express differences and articulate them and certainly point out where we have differences of opinion because i believe that democrats and the american voter have a right to know that. but there's no reason you can't be polite. >> we will be revisiting this important policy discussion in just a moment. but let's go gilroy, california, where officials are updating us on that shooting at the garlic festival. >> first to speak will be marrowland velasco of the city of gilroy. >> thank you all for being here this morning. one of my greatest honors in life was being elected mayor of this great community. and i could tell you that the people of gilroy are strong, we're resilient, and during the
course of this investigation as law enforcement continues to research and investigate it, the gilroy community will mourn, but we will get through it. on behalf of the community and the gilroy city council, i'm speaking to you today to provide a brief update on where we're at. later on the agenda, you'll get additional information from our public safety personnel. as you know, yesterday afternoon the city of gilroy endured a trage tragedy that a very long night cannot erase. mass gun violence is an epidemic in the united states, and yet one never imagines such a thing can happen here in our beautiful
community. it's beyond sad to see wonderful and a charitable event like the gilroy garlic festival that donates tens of thousands of dollars each year to local nonprofi nonprofits, to have an event like this happen. as i said before, we are resilient and we will get through this. this morning our prayers are with the families of those injured and killed in this senseless shooting. we stand with you and we will be providing whatever assistance we can in the days and weeks ahead. this morning as we learned more about what occurred yesterday, i wish to commend the bravery of our law enforcement personnel,
who in the middle of a chaotic situation acted quickly and professionally to engage the shooter and to end the threat before more people could be injured or killed. and the chief will talk a little bit more about that. it takes remarkable bravery to run to a shooting when the national reaction for all of us is to run away. we are so proud of our law enforcement who undoubtedly saved many lives by putting their own lives in danger. now, i also want to mention our fantastic fire department. i happened to be in the triage area when the victims started to come in, and i can tell you that our fire personnel, paramedics,
emts, were there quickly, triaging, prioritizing, stabilizing each of the patients and then getting them ready to transport out. today and over the next few days i along with the gilroy city council will be meeting and working with community leaders to assess a situation we now face in gilroy in the wake of this shooting. we intend to come out of this horrible event in a stronger and obviously a closer community. again, thank you for being here. let me turn it back over. >> thank you, mr. mayor. next to speak will be fire chief jeff klett. >> good morning, everybody. as the mayor said, first of all, i'd like to thank our firefighters for responding
heroically to this event. this is something that we train for. in fact had an active shooter training with our colleagues in the police department about a year ago. we were actually planning another one because of another unfortunate event just north of us in morgan hill also involving an active shooter. luckily that we were at an event so we had six total fire department personnel on scene when this shooting occurred, two on an engine in the poark, two n bike teams and two in an ambulance inside the park, so we were able to respond quickly to the situation when the shooting occurred. we had 12 ems public and private personnel also on scene, an emt contract and a public ambulance company there as well. the initial dispatch occurred at 1742 hours. we sent four engines. for note, we only have three
engines in the city of gilroy, so we sent all of our resources as well as our south county neighbors. two additional battalion chiefs and then requested 16 local mutual aid engines to respond down here as well. our gilroy battalion chief assumed command at 1745 hours, along with the first arriving fire engine that was dispatched from outside of the garlic festival event. we had a total of six ground ambulances and two supervisors from the county. we had three air ambulances and we did a total of -- there were 16 total transports, 13 of which were done by the fire department and ems agency. three of those, again, were air ambulances and eight ground ambulances. i will leave it to the police department to talk about the actual state of the deceased in this event.
thank you. >> next to speak to you, police chief scott smith. >> i'll reiterate what i said at the press conference last night. i've got a few additional details and then we will also be planning an additional update because i plan on having more information now that daylight is here and we're getting fresh resources in, so we'll try to put something together for you for later this afternoon. we've got the date and time established already. as most of you know, the gilroy garlic festival is an event that we put on every year. we typically host between 80,000 and 100,000 people to our festival. it takes several thousand people a day volunteering to make this
festival work. and so at the time that the incident occurred, it was near the end of the final day. it was last night, sunday. questions that were asked regarding the security and the way that we manage and monitor it from a law enforcement and public safety perspective is that we have police personnel on site the entire time of the festival. we create a police compound where we have a command center, a booking area, all the things that you would need to run a major operation like this. the officers are deployed throughout the park and assigned to different regions of the park so they're spread out. we don't have officers all in one spot. when this call came in, the shots being fired, the closest team of officers responded
immediately. they were there and engaging the suspect in less than a minute. the suspect was armed with an assault-type rifle and he -- as soon as he saw the officers, he engaged the officers and fired at the officers with that rifle. there were three officers that engaged the suspect. and despite the fact that they were outgunned with their handguns against a rifle, those three officers were able to fatally wound that suspect and the event ended very quickly. of course then we had the aftermath of dealing with the victims and the ems side of things. we put out a call for help. we had over 20 agencies, federal, state, county and local agencies from all over that responded people down into our park. it was just incredible to see
the cooperation and how quickly they put this together and how quickly they were able to render aid to people. i can't tell you how proud i am of the officers for being able to engage this guy as quickly as they did because we had thousands of people there in a very small area. you know, it could have gone so much worse so fast. and so i'm really proud that they got there as quickly as they did and that they were successful in taking the threat out of the equation. we do have three people deceased, confirmed deceased. we have one who is a 6-year-old, a 6-year-old male victim. we also had a 13-year-old female victim and then we had another male victim in his 20s.
we don't have a motive for the shooting as yet. we did have reports of a potential second suspect. we don't have any confirmation that any second suspect did any shooting. but we certainly are investigating all leads to try to determine who that potential second suspect is and what exactly that person's role was. we found out some of the federal agencies helping us out, we found out that the rifle that this suspect used was an sks -- there's an ak-47 type assault rifle. it was purchased legally in the state of nevada on july the 9th of this year. and reports have been going out of potential suspect. i will confirm that the suspect
is the person that several news media have been inquiring about. santino william logan who was 19 years old. and i say that name with some hesitation because i don't believe that somebody like this deserves the notoriety or the recognition, but i also understand that you all want to have some confirmation of that. i think the last thing i'll say before i turn it over, i want to thank all of the agencies and all of the people that came to help. i don't even know how many people, but there was a lot. when we put out the call for help, they came. because it's such a large crime scene, the fbi has come in and offered some assistance and we have accepted that assistance because of the size of the area
that we need to cover. and so before we open it up for questions, i'm going to have them come up and talk a little bit about their role and how they're helping us with this case and then i'll come back. >> next to speak with you, deputy special agent in charge of the fbi, craig fair. >> thank you. my name is craig fair. i'm the deputy special agent in charge of the san francisco division of the fbi. first off i'd like to express my condolensces to the city of gilroy and to the family, friends and victims of this absolutely heinous act. the fbi's principal role is assisting the city and police department of gilroy in the investigation. our preeminent and principal concern at this point is motivation, ideological leanings, was he affiliated with
anyone or any group. that still has to be ruled out and still has to be determined at this point. we are supporting gilroy police department in making those determinations. our evidence recovery team, it's a sizeable team. we have about 30 individuals out there right now collecting evidence. as we find evidence, as we flag it, as we mark it and map it, we're determining that the crime scene is much more expansive than what we originally thought and it amounts to many, many, many acres. we appreciate the public's patience as we process this. it's done very slowly. it's done very methodically and it's done for a reason should we have to use that evidence in prosecution later on. i'd also like to thank the first responders. as the mayor cited in their heroism. the fbi personnel who worked tirelessly throughout the evening and will do so for the next several days, our
partnership with the gilroy police department and the city of gilroy as we move through this crisis, and members of the general public who are offering, continue to send in tips, photos, and assist with the investigation. thank you. >> we will now take a few questions. i ask that you direct your questions to me and we will put them to the correct person. i saw that hand go up first. >> probably for the chief, but you talked about potentially another suspect. do you believe there's somebody else out there or is there the potential that that was -- those were erroneous reports and that they thought they saw somebody? >> you know, we really don't know. we've gotten multiple reports that there may have been another person with him, that they ran this way or ran that way, but different people give different versions, so we just -- we really don't know at this point.
>> i saw this hand go up next. >> will you be able to identify the victims at this point? >> we are not identifying the victims at this point. typically that's something that we leave up to the county coroner's office to make sure that all the notifications are done before that's released. >> the gentleman in the jacket. >> two questions for you. had your officers not acted quicker, would there have been more bloodshed and were those officers wearing body units? >> so the answer to the first question is there absolutely would have been more bloodshed, i believe. with the number of people and the small area that they were in, i think it's very, very fortunate that they were able to engage him as quickly as they did. and then the second part of the question is we do -- our officers do wear body cameras.
who was at the moment that this happened and who had them on, i don't have that information yet, but we will get that as we move forward in the investigation. >> the gentleman with the mustache. >> chief, could you give us a rough idea, sort of a laundry list of the type of evidence you are trying to gather? because i know you want to try to find out what the motivation was. what type of things are you and other law enforcement agencies trying to gather to help try to figure out what triggered all of this? >> well, there's a number of different aspects of an investigation like this. we have partners from all different agencies, so whether it's information concerning the suspect, whether it's information concerning this potential second person, there's a very, very large crime scene that needs to be processed diligently. there's all kinds of background information that we need to process. it's going to be a very
prolonged and complicated process for us. >> can you give us, though, as a follow-up, an idea of things you are looking at? i'm guessing maybe computers, the types of people you're talking to, to try to learn more about him? >> yeah, i'm not comfortable at this point because i don't have enough of a detail of that level of briefing to comment on that. i may be able to do that later. >> the gentleman with the blue shirt under the tv set. >> i don't know if it's too early but at this point have you spotted any red flags in his social media? is there any indication of -- >> i'm not ready to comment on that yet. i don't have that level of detail either. >> we were told he was from gilroy. did he have a record or anything along those lines? also is he the one that purchased the gun legally? >> as far as his local
background, i'm not ready to comment on that. my understanding is he is the one that purchased the weapon in nevada. >> we have seen that he had moved in nevada. can you confirm if he was living to nevada? do you know what brought him there? and how long had he been back in california? >> i think he was living with family members, but he's from -- originally from gilroy. i don't yet know how long he was in nevada or how long he had been back. >> one last question. >> many people had to rush away obviously. how secure is -- [ inaudible ] >> chief, would you like to address that? >> i would say it's very secure. we have a large number of personnel out establishing an area around the perimeter because we have to do evidence
processing. there are people that were at the festival that literally ran away and left their belongings and we have vehicles and those vendor tents and whatnot. we can't allow them back in until we finish with the evidence processing portion of this, so we have a team that's set up to help assist those people and to provide some support until we can get them back to their belongings. >> chief, can you talk about the victims, they were so young. you have three people under the age of 22, children, we talked about the suspect here. but can you speak to the young lives being lost? >> well, i think any time a life is lost, it's a tragedy. but when it's young people, it's even worse. you know, it's very difficult. i don't know that there's -- i
don't know what, if any, association there is. it seems this was a random act, but again we got a long way to go before we can come to a determination what his motivation was. >> that's all the questions we're going to take for now. i did make a commitment to the spanish-speaking stations that i would give an interview outside in spanish, so if you folks would like to set up outside, i will take care of that. any other questions, we will take later. there will be future conferences that we put together. >> all right. you're listening to officials there in gilroy, california, updating us on what they know after this shooting at the garlic festival there. so what we learned included we knew there had been a 6-year-old male victim, there was also a 13-year-old female victim among the three that were killed. we just learned that from the gilroy police chief. i want to bring in cnn's sara sidner. she is at the scene now. we don't know the motive.
they say they're going to be looking at ideological leanings, is there some affiliation with a group. that's what the fbi deputy agent in charge said that they're going to be looking at. they're assisting the gilroy police, sara, but there are a lot of unanswered questions at this point in time. i do want to point out we learned this was a legal purchase of a weapon in nevada that happened july 9th and it was an ak-47 style rifle. what stood out to you, sara? >> reporter: what stood out were the ages of the people killed, the 6-year-old, the 13-year-old, children killed at this event. and someone who was in their 20s. so these are young people who are suffering at the hands of someone who used an ak-47. there is one purpose for that weapon, and that's war. and he declared war on innocent people at this garlic festival who had no way to defend themselves and had no reason to believe that something like this was going to happen. it is stunning, it is
disturbing, and for this community it is heart breaking for all of these people to have to suffer like this for no apparent reason. this person has decided to wage war on people who had no idea of his intentions. i do also want to mention that it was purchased on july 9th in nevada. but it is actually illegal to possess assault-style weapons like this one here in california. so had he been caught with it, he could have been arrested. but because he was not, and it was relatively recently that this was purchased, he clearly brought that or got it across state lines and here we are today with three people, two very young people killed, and at least 11 others injured, brianna. >> all right, sara sidner in gilroy. thank you for that report. senator kamala harris is setting up a showdown over health care at the cnn debate with a new medicare for all plan. also, the president inflaming racial tensions, and it's clear that he's doing it in
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senator kamala harris' health care plan puts her in the middle of the democratic pack on this issue. liberals want to move toward a single payer health care system, literally medicare for all, and moderates want to expand coverage and decrease costs while maintaining the private insurance system. now harris is calling for medicare for all with private insurance. this is coming after months of mixed messages and confusion from the california senator on whether she'd scrap private health insurance as part of her plan. julia is the chief washington correspondent for kaiser health news. she's going to help us understand everything that is going on here with senator harris' plan. in terms of the cost or the size of this plan, what can you tell us about how much you see this costing, and just how broad this proposal is? >> it's pretty broad. we don't know how much it would cost yet. no one has done a cost estimate. they have done detailed cost estimates of the medicare for all plan senator sanders has.
joe biden has some estimates. this would come in between these two things. it looks pretty broad, though. it would offer all of the democratic plans -- it's hard to call any of them moderate because even the moderate ones are pretty expansive, even compared to the affordable care act that's in place today. so this would be probably closer to the bernie sanders than the joe biden end but we'd have to find out more of the details. >> and do we have enough of the details to understand how this would change how americans get their health coverage, get their health care? >> sort of. basically what she's saying is she wants medicare for all, so everyone would transition to and this would be a new medicare program. it's confusing because people's parents and grandparents are on medicare and they like it. but this would be a medicare on steroids. medicare with many more benefits that would cover much more of people's costs of the right now about a third of medicare enrollees are in something called medicare advantage. those are private plans but give all the medicare benefits
usually plus more. sometimes people pay premiums for those, sometimes they don't. basically what senator harris is saying we'll move to medicare for all but keep medicare advantage so you could have the basic government plan or the private plan that goes in place of medicare. what she doesn't talk about is what would happen to people who now have employer-provided insurance, whether they would simply have a choice of medicare or medicare advantage. it's still a little bit murky. >> okay. but that would go away or that would -- do we know exactly? >> we don't know exactly what would happen to employer-provided insurance. i'm sure someone will ask her that at the debate. >> we really need to know. that's a question people who get their insurance through their employers want to know. back to the costs. she's proposing a 4% tax on households making $100,000 or more and proposing taxes on financial transactions such as stock and bond trades. is that something that would work? is that going to generate enough money for something this broad? >> that's obviously the big
question. senator sanders has said that he would need to tax everybody in order to pay for his plan. that's a concern for people in the middle class. you know, what senator sanders says if you won't have to pay any of your health care bills anymore. pretty much people will save money if you have health care costs. if you don't, you might end up paying more. senator harris is saying we're going to protect the middle class but we don't know enough of what the package includes to know whether that would be enough. clearly what she's saying is we're going to try to protect the middle class. that's what they did in the affordable care act, basically taxed the rich. they have been to this well before to pay for health care. it's hard to know how much is left. >> very good point. julie rovner, thank you so much. president trump and his aides apparently see the politics of hate as a winning campaign strategy as she escalates attacks on baltimore and black leaders. plus, president trump wants to give over the keys to the nation's intelligence to a partisan loyalist.
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recently equated the city of baltimore to a third world country. based on that statement, i assume that bernie must now be la labeled a racist just as a republican would if he used that term and standard. the fact is baltimore can be brought back, maybe even to new heights of success and glory, but not with king elijah and that crew. when the leaders of baltimore want to see the city rise again i am in a very beautiful oval-shaped office waiting for your call. sanders making those comments back in 2015 while railing against income inequality. he likened west baltimore to a third world country while touring the city after the death of freddie gray, a young man who died after being severely injured in police custody. joining me now is a a congressman who's also on the house oversight committee. thanks for being with us. >> my pleasure to be here. >> what was your reaction when the president called cummings'
district a disgusting rat and rodent in-fested mess. >> what you've got to understand is baltimore is a very, very proud city. the people here are wonderful. it's a great city. we're very proud of the city and also very proud of elijah cummings. the president's attack on the city and on cummings was just wrong. it was mean-spirited. it doesn't accomplish anything to tear down places like baltimore city or tear down leaders like elijah cummings. we should be working together at all levels to lift up cities across this country. that's what the president should always lead with instead of backing into it three days later. so yeah, people here are angry, but, you know, baltimoreans know how to take care of themselves. they definitely know what a ballot box looks like and they'll be marching to the ballot box next november, and that's where we'll register our grievances with this president. >> the president is essentially saying there's no difference
between what he's saying about baltimore and what bernie sanders said in 2015. you were saying that you find trump's comments mean-spirited. is that the distinction that you're making between these two, that the president isn't, or is this more to it? >> well, for starters that's it. i mean the president always leads with this hard edge, again trying to tear people down. you can acknowledge that the city has challenges. we all do that. the question is where do you go from there? do you try to lift it up? do you do things that are constructive? i think that's the direction bernie sanders would head when you look at the kind of investments he wants to make across the country. but you know what the president is doing, he's revving up his noise machine. this is all about trying to distract people from the fact that he's just not a very good president. he hasn't delivered on his promises. he said he was going to do infrastructure. it's nowhere to be seen. he said he was going to lower prescription drug prices.
hasn't done that. in fact he's attacking the aca, would throw 20 million people off of their health care. he said he was going to clean up corruption in washington. he's made it worse. and he said he would protect our country, but he's not paying any attention to election security issues, even though we know the russians are coming next year to attack our elections again. so this is about the president not being effective, not getting the job done for people. he creates this noise to try to distract from that. that's right out of his playbook. we're not going to take the bait. we're going to focus on the issues that people care about and then we're going to deliver a verdict next november that says we want a new president. >> i want to switch gears now, because you are on the oversight committee. you have not so far taken a position in favor of impeaching the president. where are you now after the testimony of former special counsel robert mueller? >> well, i thought mueller's testimony was effective on two fronts. one is he re-energized all the
investigative committees that are looking at what trump did during the campaign, and frankly what he did since he came into the white house. and we'll continue to shake those trees. i think our committees are doing a very good job. i think they should stick with that. the impeachment issue is tricky, because the problem is you have a corrupt jury on the senate side. mitch mcconnell and the republicans over there are not going to convict this president, they made that very clear. so as a prosecutor do you want to take your case to a corrupt jury, to a kangaroo court? i would prefer, looking at it now, i would prefer to put, you know, 70, 100 million americans in the jury box next november 3rd and have them deliver a verdict on this president. our job in the meantime through our investigative committees like the one that's headed up by jerry nadler, judiciary, but also elijah cummings on oversight, our job is to get as much evidence as we can in front of the american public so that they're equipped to make that
judgment. >> congressman john sarbanes, thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. so do you remember the recent hearing when congressman cummings defended republican mark meadows from an accusation that meadows was racist? well, now meadows is silent about the president's attacks oncomings. they come from people. were brave. and took risks. big risks. comings. to life, like never be. get started for free at ancestry.com.
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geico could save you 15% or more on car insurance. president trump is nominating congressman john ratcliffe, a deeply partisan loyalist as the next director of national intelligence to replace dan coats. ratcliffe, a texas conservative, has also been an aggressive critic of robert mueller's russia investigation and a defender of the president. this is him in last week's hearing. >> i agree with the chairman this morning when he said donald trump is not above the law. he's not. but he damn sure shouldn't be below the low which is where volume two of this report puts him. >> now dan coats has been in his job since the early days of the
trump administration. he's also at times been the target of the president's ire. who can forget this moment at a national security conference where coat was caught off guard by the news of a white house visit by vladimir putin. >> the white house has announced on twitter that vladimir putin is coming to the white house in the fall. >> say that again. [ laughter ] >> you -- vladimir putin -- >> did i hear you -- >> yeah, yeah. >> okay. >> yeah. [ laughter ] >> that's gonna be special. >> house speaker nancy pelosi is raising concerns about ratcliffe's nomination saying dan coats was respected on both sides of the aisle and warning that dni coats' successor must put patriotism before politics and remember his oath is to protect the constitution and the american people not the president. julie davis is the congressional
correspondent for the new york times and dana millbank is from columnist for "the washington post." the questioning that ratcliffe gave or his appearance, his protest, if you will, over volume 2 of the mueller report, did that endear him to the president? >> absolutely. he met with the president before the mueller hearings and the president knew of him and was already considering him for this position. no question when he came out swinging in the hearings you saw he's very telegenic. he looks the part which trump loves, of a congressman, a cabinet member. the fact that he was so aggressive not only in putting the spotlight and questions on robert mueller but in defending president trump was a big factor in his favor. the president likes to see that. >> how do you read the shift, dana, from someone like dni coats -- i mean, you heard nancy pelosi say he's respected on both sides of the aisle someone democrats could live with to someone now who's partisan.
>> coats was a first-stringer to use that metaphor. what we have seen in the administration is we are down to the third and fourth string. ratcliffe was chosen in the usual way. he liked what he saw on fox news. i think there will be a question of, you know, have we gone too far down? it's the equivalent of saying, okay, you passed your first aid course. now we'll have you do a heart transplant. that's the situation we are in now. will people go along with that? there is no question he liked what he saw on tv. he knows the guy will be loyal. >> do republicans worry he doesn't have the expertise he should? >> there is some uneasiness. we saw republicans come out with statements in the wake of the announcement coats was leaving that praised dan coats but not necessarily praising congressman ratcliffe. that's an indication they maybe don't think he's the best person for the job, but the president will get who he wants. they are not willing to stand up and oppose him, particularly on personnel matters. we're at a point also, not just in terms of going down the list
of people willing to serve but it is clear the president doesn't want people who challenge him in the cabinet. he doesn't want people who challenge him in his or bit, particularly with intelligence and national security. that's abundantly clear and there is not a way to push back on it. >> dana, you have a column out over the weekend. you argue senator leader mitch mcconnell is a russian asset -- not a spy, but someone taking positions that aid russia to the detriment of the u.s., blocking bills to enhance election security. you cite a bill that came up on the floor hours after mueller testified that russians are already trying to undermine the 2020 vote. >> i will ask unanimous consent for the senate to take up and pass legislation i have introduced to help protect our democracy from foreign interference. >> is there objection? >> mr. president, i object.
>> i have offered and i will shortly ask for unanimous consent for the passage of s-1247, the duty to report act. >> is there objection? >> mr. president, i object. >> it's odd. that is the senator doing the work of mitch mcconnell. mcconnell is leading his conference when it comes to saying no to all of these things. it's a strange place to be where it is a partisan issue about foreign meddling in an election. >> right. it isn't a partisan issue in the sense that we have people like tom cotton, lindsey graham, richard burr, all republicans, all who have been supportive of various parts of this. the part that confuses me the most is what usually happens here is senator mcconnell doesn't like this, he comes up with a substitute, something he likes. he's not coming up with any alternative here. clearly at some point the whole idea is not to have this kind of legislation pass and then you
need to ask the question, why does he not want this legislation to pass? >> why does he not want this legislation? >> good question. >> that's a very good question. part of the issue here -- normally what would happen is obviously he doesn't like the democrats proposals on this issue. he's the republican leader. you would think they would put the democratic ideas against the republican ideas. >> which they did with the tom cotton-authored bill. >> it's there but it's not coming up either. >> you have the president of the united states who sees any move in this direction to be a challenge to him and his legitima legitimacy. if you are passing legislation to do these things you are admitting russia did interfere, did have a hand in his victory. the republicans' calculation is why would we take the risky steps of having a real debate when we know legislation like this is unlikely to be signed by this president. it puts them in a position where they have to be against something many of them are for. >> yes. that seems to be a theme lately
as well. julie, dana, thank you very much to both of you. that's it for me. "newsroom" starts right now. thank you, my friend. hi there and thank you so much for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin live in the 313, detroit, michigan, the site of the democratic debates. want to get you the breaking details about the victims in sunday's mass shooting in gilroy. among the dead a young man in his 20s, a 13-year-old girl, and stephen romero, 6 years young. his mother and grandmother were wounded. his father described the moment his wife called him with the devastating news. >> she said they shot my son and they took him from her. li