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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Donald Trump Met with African-American Clergy Members in New York; The Paris Attack Suspect Still At Large; Interview with President of Planned Parenthood; First Trial in Freddie Gray's Death Set to Begin.. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 30, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:05] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks very much for watching. Hope you had a good thanksgiving.
We begin tonight with a week's worth of controversy in just a single day. In other words, we begin with Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump. He is capping the day with a campaign rally in Macon, Georgia. He began the day in New York meeting with African- American clergy members.
The controversy or at least this controversy, because we have several tonight, began with the candidate claiming this would be a kind of group endorsement, which came as news to some of the participants. Then yesterday a press conference set for after the meeting was cancelled finally today was un-cancelled and certainly had its moments including one you are about to see as one of the participants seemed to upset him. A woman you will see on the left of your screen, by the way, is Omarosa Manigault, formerly "the Apprentice" and currently a Baptist minister. Watch Mr. Trump when the woman speaking, Dr. Cindy Trimm talks about what she calls racial slurs that Mr. Trump used and Mr. Trump clearly is not happy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY TRIMM, MINISTER/LIFE COACH: Concerning the issue of the racial slurs and the racial comments that he has made, it was addressed head on. It was addressed head on and we are walking away with the feeling that perhaps after more conversation we will be able to echo the tone at the top as a voice to those that are lacking a voice. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What racial slurs are you talking about?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, listen, we had a very productive constructive meeting. We made history today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That gentleman says he is endorsing him. As for the candidate that he claims he got many endorsements today from most of the participants but declined to actually get specific.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I thought it was an amazing meeting. I thought that I met some fantastic people, some of whom I have known. I thought it was an absolutely amazing. You know, it lasted for two and a half hours. We came up with lots of good ideas and lots of future ideas, but I thought it was an amazing meeting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: With us tonight, someone who was at today's meeting, Bishop Orrin Pullings, the senior pastor with United Nations church international.
Bishop, thanks very much for being here.
BISHOP ORRIN PULLINGS, THE SENIOR PASTOR WITH UNITED NATIONS CHURCH INTERNATIONAL: Glad to be here, Anderson.
COOPER: So did you go -- when you went to this meeting, what did you expect?
PULLINGS: Well, you know, we were told when we go to have an open mind for Donald Trump's presentation. And you know, and if we have any questions, ask him. Head on and he would answer.
COOPER: So how did the meeting go?
PULLINGS: Well, I think the meeting went so-so because when it came time when we asked Donald Trump specifically that he needs to apologize to the black community for statements that he's made, apologizing about the handicap, a reporter statement, that he made and things that he says are offensive to people. And being offensive and demeaning like that, you're not going to get our vote. And when that happened, Ms. Omarosa.
COOPER: Did you know she was a minister, by the way?
PULLINGS: I just found out today. And she kind of jumped in, you know. And one of the ministers said you don't have to apologize to nobody, likewise you have to apologize. So Mr. Trump kind of sat there.
COOPER: He didn't really say much.
PULLINGS: Not at that point because I don't believe Donald Trump is really ready to apologize for anything. Because we're leading in all the polls.
COOPER: That's what his message was.
PULLINGS: Yes, so pretty much because he is leading not polls to me, he loses the sensitivity of the communities that I serve and I posture.
COOPER: I know the issue of disability is particularly important to you. Your brother was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident.
PULLINGS: Absolutely. My brother has paralyzed at (INAUDIBLE) in the 90s. COOPER: So when you saw Trump do that kind of the hand gesture he did
PULLINGS: It's horrible. And I asked him specifically, I'm actually -- I'm actually the pastor that asked him that specific question. And he said he didn't know who the guy was. And I just said I want to be honest with you, Mr. Trump. You and hill move just the same, you do it perfectly. So that's, you know. He said - he answered that question and said no. That's not what I meant. And I never met the guy and it just happened to come out that way. The media plays things out, you know.
COOPER: I talked to a number of evangelical leaders who have doubts about Donald Trump, you know, about have doubts about his level of commitment, his level of faith. Do you after meeting with him, did that, do you believe he is sincere?
PULLINGS: You know, I think Donald Trump is a businessman. He is an entrepreneur, he's a developer. And I don't think he has full sensitivity like a politician or someone that is people-oriented person like we do because he and Pastor Mike Freeman had a discussion about throwing out one of the black lives matters members during a rally.
[20:05:07] COOPER: Right, got roughed up by the crowd.
PULLINGS: Yes. He said he didn't know it was a black man. And so, we felt like OK, if you didn't know, then why don't you control your crowd? Because I do big conferences and my wife I and go to big meetings. I mean, we stand before thousands of people at times. And if you are responsible for that many people, even if you didn't know the person that did it or you're not in charge of the person that did it, you could still as the leader of the meeting say hey, we're not going to behave like that, you know. Conduct yourself this way.
COOPER: Was it your feeling that the majority of people in the room would endorse Donald Trump? The majority of the pastors? Hard to tell?
PULLINGS: I would say from what I saw, you couldn't tell on a lot of them but maybe 40 percent, maybe.
COOPER: Would you endorse him?
PULLINGS: Not at this moment, not. Not at this moment. There is supposed to be some follow up meetings and developmental changes, hopefully, and we'll see what happens in the follow-up meetings but not at this moment, no.
COOPER: Well, Mr. Pullings, appreciate you being with us. Thank you very much.
PULLINGS: Thank you.
COOPER: Pleasure. Joining us is CNN political commentators Jeffrey Lord and Charles
Blow. Jeffrey is a Trump supporter and former Reagan White House political director. Charles is neither of those things. He is however "New York Times" op-ed columnist and author and we're glad both of them are with us.
Jeffrey, let me start with you. You heard what bishop Pullings said, not sold on endorsing Donald Trump at this point. Do you believe it was a misstep for the Trump campaign to first of all, advertise this as a unified major endorsement by 100 African-American pastors and then basically have to walk that back?
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, Anderson, I've been around these things a lot and those kind of things happen. I mean, when you have groups into quote-unquote endorse a lot of times I found and this has nothing to do with being a black pastor, it's just any kind of group that you have people inside the group who are enthusiastic about the candidate, others who are really doubters and then you got people in the middle. The thing that I found very hopeful was that it was held at all. I mean, this is the kind of thing Ronald Reagan used to do. He was endorsed as I recall by Ralph (INAUDIBLE) who is the number two for Dr. Martin Luther King and that surprised a lot of people in the day. And this is certainly the kind of thing my old boss Jack Kemp would do. So the fact that Donald Trump is doing this I think is a very good thing.
COOPER: Charles, I mean, a, do you think this is good? And there is this - I mean, disconnect between Trump saying a few days ago that maybe a Black Lives Matter protester deserved to get roughed up in one of his rallies and now trying to do a cell on this or, you know, saying that he has wide spread support among the African-American community.
CHARLES BLOW, OP-ED COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Yes. I don't know what this is, you know, to be honest about it because, you know, I think that any person regardless of kind of religious affiliation and race has a right to endorse whoever they want. However, to come to a person like, you know, Mr. Trump who has said some incredibly negative, even vile things not only about African Americans but about immigrants and about Muslims, about women and this is not just about this cycle. Anybody who has any kind of historical memory or even has a search engine can find all of the things that Mr. Trump has said about people who, you know, kind of ways to marginalize people and be able to compartmentalize or disassociate the person you are sitting in front of from those statements is kind of matrix level disassociation that I have not achieved yet.
COOPER: Jeffrey, how - I mean, you heard the bishop talking about, you know, how he was offended by Donald Trump mocking "The New York Times" reporter who has a physical disability. Trump says he wasn't doing that at all. But, can you really defend him on that? I mean, do you really believe he was not mocking the disability of this reporter?
LORD: Anderson, I take him at his word. But the thing, this is --
COOPER: Really? But you really take him at his word, I mean, based on what you saw in the video, have you ever seen him do this?
LORD: Anderson, let me -- I mean, he does stuff all the time with his hands. He is a hands person. He just mimics and does this and that and the other.
COOPER: And a wide stance. Sorry, go ahead.
LORD: Well, the point is here that I think this outrage is phony and the reason it's phony and I know Charles' paper quoted-unquote "outrage." I mean, Charles is right there. I would like to ask when the Obama campaign went out of their way to make a commercial mocking John McCain's disability because he couldn't use a computer and email, did your paper say this was an outrage? I mean, they endorsed him shortly thereafter and thought he was a fine fellow. Was there outrage then? I mean, I'm asking.
[20:10:12] COOPER: Let me --
BLOW: You're not asking me because I'm not answering because that is perfect deflection, right. So instead of dealing with what Donald Trump did --
LORD: No, no, no --
BLOW: No, sir. I let you speak -- This is indicative.
COOPER: Jeffrey, let Charles answer.
BLOW: Indicative of the way that he behaves and you, as a supporter, I guess you feel like you have the privilege and the right to behave that way too to kind shut down or just, you know, cut me off. That's not going to happen, right. So I take him at his word as well. And when he prefaced his hand gestures with you should see the guy, right? And then comes back and says well, I've never met the guy, then what does it mean to say you should see the guy? Because that means --
LORD: Why the double standard, Charles?
BLOW: No, this is the question at hand and you basically said you take him at his word. I also take him at his word. And those were his words.
COOPER: Jeffrey, I want you to be able to respond but we have to take a break. We are going to continue this discussion in a moment with Donald Trump still speaking tonight. We are going to pick up where we just left off. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Why would anybody want to watch "the Apprentice" with Donald Trump? And then they said the worst insult I've ever had.
(END VIDEO CLIP) [20:14:54] COOPER: Welcome back. So we say at the top of broadcast, Donald Trump the focus tonight in more than one controversy speaking tonight in Macon, Georgia. We let you see whether he re-states his claim which he has been making again and again that he saw a Muslim celebrating in New Jersey as the twin towers came down. First, he said he saw the celebrating himself, thousands and thousands of people he said. Then he said he saw a video of it. And today asked why no one else can find the video when asked about that and celebrations on the West Bank, he said well, maybe it was erase.
Back now with Charles Blow and Jeffrey Lord.
We are also talking right before, Jeffrey and Charles, about Donald Trump seeming, at least I mean, what appeared to be mimicking a reporter for "The New York Times," he said you ought to see this guy and then as Charles mentioned, then he did the gesture similar to a hand gesture that I guess this reporter has as a disability.
Jeffrey, I want you to be able to respond to Charles Blow. Jeffrey, I mean, do you really believe it is presidential for a candidate for the highest office in this land to be, you know, just speculating like that when saying you should see this guy about a disabled reporter? About anybody with the disability (ph)?
LORD: Anderson, you know, there is a cross of a couple issues here. One is political correctness.
COOPER: No. It's not political correctness. It's like human decency is what it is.
LORD: Yes, but Anderson, when President Obama sits on the set of "the Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and says he bowls like he's in the Special Olympics, that's human indecency. When you mock a war hero for his disability in a planned campaign commercial, that's human decency.
My point is no one cares when those things --
COOPER: Well, actually I believe -- I believe there was outrage when President Obama just off the top of my head said that on Jay Leno's show. I think there are a lot of people who (INAUDIBLE).
LORD: Where was the outrage over the commercial?
COOPER: Well, you said two examples. I just told you there was outrage about one thing he said. We'll have to check on the other thing, but can you answer the question about Donald Trump, do you really believe it is presidential for a candidate, a president to act like that?
LORD: Well, I mean, he says he didn't do it. Now --
COOPER: OK, but you're an intelligent guy and this guy -- but you're an intelligent guy and he said you ought to see this guy and then he start spacing (ph) with his hands. Does that --?
LORD: I don't even know that the guy moves like that. I mean, I have no idea, Anderson.
BLOW: OK, well I work with him. I work with him and I work with him. I have seen him in the newsroom. So -- and I think anyone that who has been in his presence, will know the expanse of his disability and the way he is forced to hold his hands and what have you. And I think that, you know, it's kind of (INAUDIBLE) to say after saying you should see the guy and then imitating, acting in that way. Sorry, I didn't interrupt you. Like you said, you don't know the guy. I do.
LORD: OK. I have met John McCain. John McCain's disability is real. This was a planned commercial and there was no outrage. That's why I think this is kind of thing is a double standard. And this goes far beyond disabilities, far beyond disabilities. We want to talk sexual harassment when Clarence Thomas is nominated to the Supreme Court but it is no big deal for Bill Clinton.
COOPER: Jeffrey, is there anything Donald Trump could do that you would have a problem with? I mean, I understand you are a supporter but I mean, people make mistakes. I don't understand why Donald Trump as a decent human being, which he must be, can't just say, you know, I went too far. I got caught up in the moment. You know what? I went too far. I have done stupid things. I apologized for them. I mean, that's what humans do.
LORD: Anderson, you got to ask him. I mean, you got to ask him. I mean.
COOPER: Well, he clearly doesn't apologize --
LORD: Right. He said what he said on this issue. I'm only saying to you I think that this reaction here is about a double standard and the outrage is phony.
COOPER: So you wouldn't have a problem if the president of the United States did this sort of thing, talked like this all the time? I mean, do you think that's just a presidential level of talking? And I'm not -- I mean, I don't know if you want to call that political correctness or just dignity of the office. I mean, if Ronald Reagan was doing that, I think people would be surprised, no?
LORD: Well, you know, Bill Clinton was impeached on presidential behavior so I suppose it is not a good thing.
COOPER: Yes, there was outrage on that, I mean.
Charles, it's interesting because it doesn't seem like certainly among the people that support Trump --
LORD: This is a double standard.
COOPER: I hear you. I understand.
LORD: That's the thing that bothers me.
COOPER: I hear you.
LORD: That's what bothers me.
COOPER: Charles, it does seem like among the, you know, say, for independent voters that might be, you know, considering Trump, do you think this hurts him because among supporters, they don't seem concerned with this or what he says about Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on 9/11 even though there is no video evidence which he claims there is because he claims he watched it on television and, you know, networks actually do keep video. I mean, we have video resources.
It doesn't seem -- do you think among independent voters does it make a difference?
[20:20:09] BLOW: I think it makes a huge difference. I think in what you have to look at is say you now have and have had about 30 percent of likely Republican primary voters, that is a very small slice of people who would come out to vote in a general election, right? So that -- take that small slice and say I don't know if that's his ceiling or that's a floor or whatever it is, but it hasn't moved very much from that point, right. So there is that.
And then you have to look at and say well maybe the people who are supporting him actually support him because of the things that he is saying, not in spite of the things that he is saying which I think is the most disturbing part. I think you have to take some of the lens off of the candidate himself and say, you are supporting this person who has said and done these incredibly vile things. And what does that say about you as a supporter of him? And I think that that really is the question that has to be asked at some point. And I do believe that the offense that a lot of people take is because of that. Because the higher you go in public life, the more impact your words have. And so it's not just about PC and it is not just he is just joking in this moment or that moment or that moment many, many years ago. It is the fact that this person continues to say this that in the very nature of forgiveness is first you admit that you did something wrong, which this person refuses to do. And then you say I did it. I'm sorry that I did it.
Like you said, Anderson, it's a human thing. People make mistakes. But it lacks certain humanity when a person refuses to admit they made a mistake and will tell you to your face that what you saw with your own eyes and what you heard with your own ears is not what you heard with your own ears or saw with your eye and that adds to the offense.
COOPER: Jeffrey, I just want to give you the final thought. And to you the bottom line is this is political correctness and a double standard.
LORD: Yes, the double standard thing in particular.
Anderson, one other quick thing here about the Muslim comment in New Jersey. By chance, I had a college friend of mine, a woman call me the other night. She is definitely not a Trump supporter. She is not a fan. But she said she, too, is from New Jersey and she saw the same thing and she said for what it's worth, I think he is right because I saw it.
COOPER: OK. Well, multiple police officials in New Jersey in various towns have all said this is ridiculous. This is not true. This did not happen. Multiple officials in New Jersey as well have said that and some people said, yes, I saw that, too. Lots of people quoting Donald Trump on his twitter have saying that as well. But Donald Trump is saying there is video of it that he saw it on video. So there should be video of it and there's not. So we'll let the voters and viewers make up their own mind.
Jeffrey, appreciate you being on as always. Charles Blow, as well.
Up next, there is breaking news in Paris attack investigation. New reports that another assault was in the works. Plus, new details on the Paris fugitive who got away. This terrorist still on the loose and shockingly, how far away he may have gotten according to some.
[20:27:10] COOPER: String of new details tonight in the Paris terror attacks including late reporting on what the woman killed at the terror hideout in Saint-Denis may have been up to in the additional mass casualty location her terror cell may have been targeting. This is new information and some very specific detail. Paul Cruickshank joins us shortly with that.
But first, new developments on the one remaining fugitive Salah Abdeslam who has managed to evade an intensive manhunt so far bought ten detonators and batteries from a firework shop on the outskirts of Paris before the attacks on November 13th. What's more, French intelligence officials now think Abdeslam may have managed to escape to Syria.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us now with the latest.
So this reporting according to French intelligence officials that he escaped to Syria, what more do you know about it?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, apparently they are working under the theory that he is probably already escaped to Syria. This is something that we are getting from a counter intelligence source, as well as a source close to the investigation, Anderson. It appears quite surprising considering the fact this this manhunt for Salah Abdeslam kicked in very shortly after the attack happened and he has been on the run for two and a half weeks now.
Now, we are also hearing from Belgium officials who say listen, we have absolutely no indication that he would have already gone to Syria. The latest they tracked him would be around the Brussels areas. Keep in mind that he was seen apparently at a subway stop in Brussels shortly after the attack and a day after the attack was apparently at a cafe in Brussels.
But, you know, you're absolutely right. This is a guy who is obviously very well versed in escaping the authorities and also operating undercover. As you mentioned, he bought ten detonators for about $10 a piece at the firework store on the outskirts of Paris. So certainly someone who knows how to operate away from the authorities and still keep the operation going, Anderson.
COOPER: And what about these allegations that there were more attacks planned?
PLEITGEN: Well, the information that we have is that more attacks were not only planned, but were apparently quote "ready to go." And that certainly is something that is very concerning to the authorities here.
Again, this comes from a source close to the investigation saying that this came from the cell around Abaaoud and his cousin, (INAUDIBLE), that apparently they were planning attacks on Jewish areas here in Paris as well as schools and also the transport networks but here in the Paris area, as well. And of course that was a cell that was busted in Saint-Denis shortly after the attacks as well in that police raid. So this is certainly something that is of huge concern to authorities here. And you can apparently see them already clamping down or trying to clamp down on networks here. There is information from the Sunday Times that apparently they are taking a look at security clearances for a lot of workers at Paris' main airport (INAUDIBLE) after it's apparently come out that 57 people there were on a terror watch list and were still working at the airport, Anderson.
[20:30:00] COOPER: That's frightening.
Fred Pleitgen, appreciate it. A lot to talk about on that exact note. Joining me now is CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.
This claims that the ring lead who got killed had more attacks plan, Paul. You learned some more about that.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Yeah, and this comes from French media and from Reuters that the ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud had actually tossed his female cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen to go out and buy two suits and shoes, worth the total of 5,000 euros, in preparation for an attack, a follow up on attack La de France in Paris, the shopping district, a commercial district, lots of modern shopping malls over there. This coming out in a confidential witness statement by somebody who'd been in touch with Abaaoud's female cousin.
So, the idea that they were going to go and buy really expensive suits, get the female cousin to go and buy them, so then can blend in this upscale district of Paris for maximum surprise before the attacks. And actually, if you look back at a plot that Abaaoud was organizing in January in Belgium, in that plot, this ISIS cell members bought police uniforms to try to gain access to sensitive sites, potentially. So, you now have ISIS plotters dressing the part for terrorism for maximum surprise. Obviously, that would be very, very traumatic if somebody in a very small business attire, somebody blew themselves up or - with a collection ... COOPER: And Paul, I mean French and Belgium authorities, it seems like are not on the same page as whether or not Abdeslam, the so- called eighth terrorist from Friday's attacks, whether he is still in Belgium or if he is, in fact, in Syria. Some in France now believe. How could it - how could a guy, though, who at that point would have been on everybody's radar, have actually gotten from Belgium where he was last seen or at least heading towards to Syria? I mean it seems is it farfetched to you?
CRUICKSHANK: I think it is approaching the sort of farfetched, the idea that he would be able to get all the way to Syria despite the fact that he's the most wanted man in Europe on every television local news station, this picture flashing up, but one also has to say that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the ringleader in this attack managed to get from Syria to France without being detected, despite the fact that he was on the radar screen in a big way because of that plot in Belgium I was just mentioning. But I think it will be very, very difficult for him to get to Syria and also somebody that was exhibiting some pretty poor operational trade craft after the attack in Paris, asking two friends to pick him up in Paris to bring him to Brussels. He almost got stopped -- well, he was stopped by the French police. But they didn't know who he was, let him go, got to Brussels and then picked up by another friend, even stopped off in a cafe for some time. That's not the kind of trade craft that gets you to Syria.
COOPER: Paul Cruickshank, I appreciate you being on. Thank you.
Just ahead, breaking news about the suspect in the Planned Parenthood shooting. Why investigators believe that he acted alone.
COOPER: There's breaking news in the investigation in the deadly attack in Colorado Springs. The man accused of killing three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday made his first court appearance today from jail. We have video feed. As you can see, he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Robert Lewis Dear is being held without bond. He's expected to be charged with first degree murder. The judge set his next hearing for December 9TH. Investigators have not publicly disclosed a motive, but according to law enforcement officials, the suspect mentioned baby parts to investigators and also expressed the anti-abortion and anti-government views.
Tonight, we have new details about who investigators are talking to and whether they believe the suspected shooter had any help. Pamela Brown joins me now with the latest.
So, there has been some indication that a security officer is usually stationed at this Planned Parenthood location for added security, but there may have been some kind of a gap in the time when one wasn't there, is that right?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right. We are just learning this today from Planned Parenthood, Anderson. Officials saying that there was a security guard that was posted at the Colorado facility. That security guard left prior to the attack, once patient had come in for the day and the security guard's shift has ended and then another guard was supposed to come into work later that day, so this Planned Parenthood official says basically that the security guards, they work different shifts based on the need in certain areas, but in that lapse of time, Anderson, Robert Dear allegedly walked in and launched his attack.
COOPER: And from what I understand, they believe, investigators believe, he acted alone concerning the new details about the suspected gunman that may not be so surprising, right?
BROWN: Right. This is a man who really lived off the grid, he lived in this tiny yellow shack in North Carolina, then moved to Colorado and lived in this RV in a remote piece of land in the past year or so. Neighbors say they didn't know much about him. He did have brushes with the law over the past several years. He had been involved in a domestic dispute with his wife several years ago, he wasn't charged for that. A neighbor complained he tried to peer into her house, but those counts were dismissed, and then also there was a civil citation for letting his dogs run loose, but nothing, Anderson, to indicate he would walk into a Planned Parenthood and launch an attack. The investigation very active, investigators have been speaking to those who knew him in North Carolina, South Carolina as well as Colorado and by all accounts, this is someone who acted alone at this point in the investigation.
COOPER: All right. Pamela, I appreciate the update. Like other Planned Parenthood clinics, this one in Colorado Springs provides a range of health care services to women including abortions and as we said, the suspect mentioned baby parts to investigators, as well as anti- abortion and anti-government views. The attack comes as abortion has once again become a white hot issue on the campaign trail fueled in part by controversial videos made by an antiabortion group about Planned Parenthood.
Joining me is Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood.
First of all, I want to extend our condolences to everybody at the Planned Parenthood and to the family members of all those who lost loved ones. The shooter in this allegedly said to police, mentioned baby parts, apparently had anti-government, antiabortion views.
What was your reaction when you heard that?
CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Well, I wasn't entirely surprised. I mean obviously, he is - he was there in a Planned Parenthood health center, and but it's very upsetting, obviously. Our hearts go out to the families who lost their loved ones, to many other folks who were injured, and it is really disturbing to see the kind of hateful rhetoric that's been talked about both about Planned Parenthood, about the women who come to us, about the doctors who provide health care. It's very hard to see these kind of violent incidents that I think sometimes this rhetoric fuels.
COOPER: I want to -- to that point, you said earlier today, you said hateful rhetoric and words and harassment of doctors and harassment of women going health centers have real implications. And you said, and you've never seen the kind of rhetoric that we're seeing from presidential candidates. Do you directly link the rhetoric that you're seeing -- you're hearing from presidential candidates to what happened?
RICHARDS: Well, I can't, of course, I can't directly link it, Anderson, but I do think that everyone in public office, people who are leaders in this country have a responsibility to think about the words they use, the language they use and the possibility repercussions.
COOPER: You believe some of the language that has been used is not only inappropriate, but you believe it can and maybe has led to violence.
RICHARDS: Well, I think you have to look at what we've seen over the last three or four months. We've seen increased harassment at health centers, at women's health centers, including Planned Parenthood. We've seen rhetoric that I haven't ever seen in a national presidential election before. Again, demonizing women and many of the health care providers that provide services to women. I just think it behooves all of us in this country to look at these kinds of incidents and take stock of what we can do to prevent them in the future.
COOPER: Are you taking stock of security at all Planned Parenthood facilities?
RICHARDS: We always do. We always do. And, in fact, at Planned Parenthood, we not only, we work with local law enforcement all the time, we train our staff and we invest in security precautions and thank goodness we did it even in Colorado Springs. It made an enormous difference to be able to work with the local police, as we did throughout ...
COOPER: There was a secure room and I believe cameras at the facility.
RICHARDS: Absolutely. And, in fact, we worked very closely with the police to ensure that they got as much information as they could about the shooter and I think really helped prevent further loss of life and in fact, the apprehension of the shooter eventually.
COOPER: Since those videos were released, can you quantify the number of threats you've received, or in terms of, has it increased?
RICHARDS: Absolutely. Absolutely. No, I mean, we - I mean we've seen -- I know there was just a report out that not only at Planned Parenthood, but at women's health centers across the country, the number of incidents of harassment and violence have doubled in the last five years. I know that at Planned Parenthood, you know, we had a clinic in Pullman, Washington that was the target of arson and was - and we had to shut down, although, the Planned Parenthood staff, you know, put up card tables and provided birth control to patients that were waiting for services and I think that's what we -- so we take nothing is more important than the health and safety of our patients and of our employees, and it's -- but we're also an organization that is resilient and it's amazing to me to see even in Colorado after the incidents of Friday and the tragic results of that shooting that our health centers were open again on Saturday seeing patients and open all across the country this weekend and again today.
Our motto at Planned Parenthood is care no matter what. And I feel like our staff has the resolve to make sure that women receive health care that they deserve and that they want and free from harm and injury.
COOPER: I appreciate you being with us, thank you.
COOPER: Well, just ahead tonight. The first police officer goes on trial in Baltimore in the death of Freddie Gray, the African-American prisoner who died after being shackled and put in a police van without a seat belt. His death, of course, obviously, led to massive protests riding the question tonight, can an impartial jury be picked in the city? We'll take a look at the expected strategy for the defense.
COOPER: In Baltimore today, the first of six city police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray went on trial. The first order of business, picking a jury, which won't be easy in such a polarized city. Gray is the man who died in police custody after being shackled and put in a police van without a seat belt. His death in April led to massive unrest on the streets of Baltimore. Police officials have acknowledged mistakes. The city's even agreed to pay Gray's family $6.4 million in a simple settlement, all of which could make it hard to defend the officers. Miguel Marquez has an inside look tonight at how their attorneys plan to do just that.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Murder, assault, misconduct. They are among the charges six Baltimore police officers face in the wake of Freddie Gray's death. Prior to the court issuing a gag order in the case, CNN confirmed key details about the defense's strategy.
ANDREW ALPERSTEIN, CNN ANALYST: The defense for the officers that are going to be related to what happened in the van.
MARQUEZ: The van and that 40-minute ride Gray took after his arrest. The defense tells CNN it will content Freddie Gray's death was tragic, but an accident. That it was Gray himself who handcuffed and shackled struggled to his knees when the transport vehicle came to a normal stop, Gray lost his balance pitched forward falling with all of his weight causing the injuries that eventually killed him. Defense medical experts expected to testify and hammer away at the Baltimore medical examiner's finding of homicide as the cause of death. Andrew Alperstein has represented Baltimore police officers and knows the defense attorneys involved.
ALPERSTEIN: They are going to argue exactly that this was a normal stop or maybe he just fell down on his own while the vehicle was moving.
MARQUEZ: But different officers face different charges. First to face trial, William Porter, 25 years old on the force since 2012 charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault, misconduct and reckless endangerment. He made statements potentially incriminating other officers. He told the van's driver Caesar Goodson, who faces the most serious charge of second-degree murder that Gray might need medical attention.
The key question, did Porter ignore Gray's life threatening injury?
WILLIAM MURPHY, GRAY FAMILY ATTORNEY: Proving that an officer had a duty to do something and he didn't do it. And that there were consequences to his lack of performing that duty is classic malfeasance in office.
MARQUEZ: All six officers face misconduct charges, three of them are facing reckless endangerment for failing to seatbelt Gray. Defense lawyers say that may be a policy violation, but criminal?
ALPERSTEIN: If you have an accident and somebody dies for not wearing a seat belt, is that going to rise to the level of manslaughter or murder?
MARQUEZ: The trial aside, Freddie Gray's death has already changed Baltimore.
MURPHY: It made us ask some questions that we haven't asked in years, and that is, how could this be?
MARQUEZ: A city outraged by the death of a young man. Will anyone be satisfied these trials will deliver justice?
COOPER: Miguel Marquez joins us. Now, Baltimore obviously erupted in protest and rioting after Freddie Gray's death. What is the mood like in the city now?
MARQUEZ: Well, we did have some protests today. At the beginning of the day as jurors sat, the first 75 jurors sat, they heard those same chants all day, all night, all day we're going to fight for Freddie Gray at night. There were about two hours of protest outside the courthouse. They then marched down to the Inner Harbor, the tourist area of the city. Tension. I mean there is a lot of tension in this town. They want to get this first trial going. So far that jury has not been selected. I think that everybody will feel much better once the trial begins and they can start to feel out how it's going to go. COOPER: All right. Miguel, thank you very much. A lot to discuss,
joining me Sunny Hostin, a former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst. Harry Houck, a retired NYPD detective and CNN law enforcement analyst. And Jeffrey Toobin, also a former federal prosecutor and CNN senior legal analyst.
75 potential jurors were asked today if they were unaware of who Freddie Gray is. None of them raised their hands. Does that concern you?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It doesn't concern me. I don't want a juror that hasn't heard about this case, because that's a juror that's living under a rock, right? I mean that was sort of watershed moment for Baltimore. Everyone was ...
COOPER: So, knowledge of a crime shouldn't eliminate someone from or potential crime or an alleged crime shouldn't eliminate somebody from jury?
HOSTIN: I don't think so. I think you want a juror that can make a decision based on the facts that are presented to them despite what they have heard. That's - that's sort of the ultimate juror.
COOPER: Harry, do you think the fact that the city - give a settlement to the Gray family tainted the jury or tainted this process?
HARRY HOUCK: I definitely think so. I don't know why they had to settle now. They should have waited until all the trials were over for all six officers.
COOPER: Because you think that sends the message ...
COOPER: That something was done wrong.
HOUCK: And either they come out and she stated that, you know, this has nothing to do with the officers are guilty or not, but that seed is already planted.
COOPER: Jeffrey, do you buy that?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Not only did all jurors - were all jurors familiar with the case, they were all familiar with the settlement for $6.4 million. I usually don't think changes of venue are a good idea. I think this case is one where - where - good idea to move it to Annapolis, move it to Prince George's County. Remember, this convulsed the whole city. This whole city was a crime scene. So, I really, I just think the opportunity for prejudice is so great here that even though it's a small state.--
COOPER: Do you agree with that, Sunny?
HOSTIN: You know, I don't agree with that. Again, I don't know that you could go anywhere in the state of Maryland and not know about that case. So many people were riveted. And as I just said, I mean the city almost imploded, and so I don't know that a change of venue would change the jury pool. I think what you need to do is use the jury pool that you have and make sure that you weed out those jurors, weed out those jurors that can't put aside the fact that there was a settlement or that they know something about the case.
TOOBIN: The judge has said that he will consider a change of venue if after voir dire he can't get a fair jury, but I think it was --
COOPER: What do you make of the fact, Jeffrey, that Officer Porter rejected a plea deal?
TOOBIN: You know, I think he has a defensible case. Remember, he's going to be the only person who can talk about what happened in that van. So he is going to have a story to tell. Now, the jury may not buy it, but you know, we just got finished watching this horrible videotape from Chicago. This case is very different. This is a case without an eyewitness to how Freddie Gray died and, you know, I don't know what the result is going to be, but I can see why he didn't plea.
COOPER: Harry, I've heard you said that police are going to be watching - police around the country are going to be watching what happens to Officer Porter very closely.
HOUCK: Exactly. Once he told the sergeant that Gray needed medical attention, and his culpability is gone now, because it's now up to the sergeant to make a decision whether or not Gray needed medical attention. So, I'm sitting and trying to think what is Porter really being charged with? He didn't commit any crime here.
HOSTIN: And the prosecutor - I don't know about that.
TOOBIN: We don't know about that.
HOSTIN: And the prosecutors have said that they want to try Porter first because he's a material witness against two others, which is I'm sure why he got this plea --
COOPER: The offer of a plea deal.
HOSTIN: Yeah, that's why he got the plea offer. No question. But I mean, I think there certainly can be culpability. I think that's why he's been charged, but I do think jurors find it typically very difficult to convict police officers. Juries like police officers. They believe police officers. So this is by no means a slam dunk by this prosecution.
HOUCK: I'm sure there is probably a lot that I have not seen yet, but it's going to be very interesting once this trial starts exactly what they have here, because I see no culpability at all for Porter so far based on what I've seen.
TOOBIN: Well, we haven't seen the evidence in the case. Remember, also, in a case that has so many complicated racial overtones, you have an African American police officer who is the defendant, African American victim, which, you know, certainly changes things, at least in terms of how people might perceive the case initially. The evidence obviously is going to be the most important thing. None of us have seen it specifically, but I just think it's a tough case.
COOPER: Thank you, all. Appreciate it.
just ahead at the top of the hour, more on the breaking news, frightening new details on what the ringleader of the Paris attacks was planning, next.