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Four Killed at a Tennessee Waffle House, Police Search for Suspect; Witness Describes the Scene of the Shooting; White House Aide Insists President Trump Has No Intension of Firing Rod Rosenstein, Jeff Sessions; Kellyanne Conway Slams Questions on Husband's Anti- Trump Tweets; Trump: "We Are A Long Way From Conclusion On North Korea"; Man Wearing "MAGA" Hat Accused Of Assaulting Hispanic Man; Evacuees In Limbo As Florida Hotel Vouchers Begin To Expire; Interview With Rep. Mike Turner. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 22, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:08] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
This breaking news we continue to follow this hour. A manhunt underway in Antioch, Tennessee, after a gunman kills four people and injures four others at a Waffle House restaurant.
Here's what we know right now. Police are asking for the public's help in finding 29-year-old Travis Reinking. Authorities say the gunman arrived in a truck and came out wielding an assault-type rifle. Police say a man believed to be Travis Reinking was last seen wearing black pants and no shirt.
CNN's Dianne Gallagher is on the scene.
So, Diane, what are you learning?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So at this point, Fred, that man is still on the loose. They have been able to go and they've served murder warrants at his apartment trying to find him but still searching for Travis Reinking at this point.
Behind me you can probably see it's a very active scene right now. We've got dozens and dozens of officers, emergency vehicles, still sort of investigating, looking through the scene here, trying to figure out exactly not just what happened but why this happened. About 3:25 in the morning, police say that Travis Reinking came into the Waffle House parking lot. He was in his pickup truck. He was nude with the exception of wearing a green jacket and had an AR-15 style weapon with him.
He got out of his pickup truck and began firing in the parking lot, killing two people in the parking lot. He then went inside the Waffle House there behind me, began shooting in the restaurant.
At that time, another man, 29-year-old James Shaw Jr., he was there at the restaurant eating. He (INAUDIBLE). Again, still a very active situation. I apologize for that, Fred. But James Shaw Jr. went into the bathroom. He was trying to escape the shooting and he noticed, according to police and James Shaw's family, that Travis Reinking had just sort of stopped shooting. He was fiddling with his weapon. At that point that's when James Shaw Jr. sprung into action. He tackled the shooter, he got the gun away from him and then took the gun and threw it across the counter. This unarmed man, James Shaw Jr., disarming the shooter. That's when the shooter kind of took his jacket off and ran out of the Waffle House into the woods.
Now again they have not been able to locate him at this point. He was spotted, they say, wearing black pants. He must have gone home and put those pants on, they believe. They do not have a motive right now. But as you said, we have four people who were shot and killed. There were two others who were shot and two others who were injured.
One last thing, Fred, I spoke to James Shaw Jr.'s aunt not too long ago. She said that when he was discharged from the hospital with those minor injuries that he had, shot grazed through his elbow, some abrasions there, he went home, he changed clothes and then she said he went to church with his mama. He wasn't going to let this make him miss church this morning.
WHITFIELD: Wow. And following those heroic acts that you described, Dianne Gallagher, thank you so much for that. We'll check back with you for the latest updates.
Meantime, Nashville's Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper took this opportunity to bring up gun control, tweeting, "Nashville woke up to devastating news. We mourn the innocent victims and thank our brave first responders. Many will say now is not the time to discuss change, but now is the time. We can and must do everything possible to prevent these tragedies and keep Americans safe. That starts with restricting widespread civilian access to military-grade assault weapons." That coming from the congressman.
Authorities provided an update on the situation a short time ago saying the carnage only stopped because of the heroics of that customer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON AARON, PUBLIC AFFAIR MANAGER, METRO NASHVILLE POLICE: Our hero in this matter is a 29-year-old man, a patron. You had a citizen step up to intervene with an active shooter, and that's what this man did. He is the hero here and no doubt he saved many lives by wrestling the gun away and then tossing it over the counter then prompting the man to leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. So, again, all of that is underway with the investigation and the heroics of that young man, James Shaw Jr., is being underscored. You saw the image of him earlier with the injury on his elbow. He was seen by eyewitnesses to tackle the gunman.
I want to discuss all of this now with Chuck Cordero who was there as a witness of the shooting as well.
Chuck, first of all, how are you doing after all of this?
CHUCK CORDERO, WITNESSED SHOOTING: I'm just exhausted, tired, frazzled.
WHITFIELD: So, Chuck, if you don't mind, just kind of take me back to the early hours overnight and what happened from the start at your visit there at the Waffle House.
[14:05:12] CORDERO: I pulled in to the Waffle House to visit my buddies that worked there. I sat in my car for a minute because they were very busy. I guess me and the gunman pulled in at the same time. The cook, my buddy T, was outside smoking a cigarette and he waved at me. I figured I would go talk to him while I waited. As I got out of my car, the gunman got out of his truck, shot one of the customers that was entering the restaurant and then shot my friend as he was trying to get away.
At that time I dropped to the ground and was able to keep an eye on the shooter from underneath my car. I was just fearful that he was going to come around my car and try and get to me, but as I watched him, he fired a few shots through the window and then he stepped inside the restaurant and started opening fire inside the restaurant.
WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. So when you -- you saw that he, you know, aimed and shot at your friend and then made his way inside the restaurant. What was the lapse of time here? How quickly did all of this happen and describe for us who is now -- this suspect is being described as Travis Reinking. But describe for me the demeanor, what he appeared like to you when all of this was unfolding.
CORDERO: It was just really, really bizarre. He had tall, thin, kind of disheveled brownish-blond hair and naked. It was just really, really bizarre. No real demeanor. He got out of his vehicle and just started shooting. He didn't say nothing to nobody. He didn't have anything to say. He just came to shoot people, I guess.
WHITFIELD: And then after shooting your friend and then you hit the pavement, right, and then this gunman then went inside the Waffle House. What did you hear when you weren't necessarily able to see what was happening?
CORDERO: Well, when he was outside, his shots were very deliberate, like one at a time. When he stepped into the restaurant, he pretty much just opened fire. I heard a lot of shooting, but at that time, I was trying to distance myself from that restaurant. I was crawling on my hands and knees across the parking lot trying to get to safety.
WHITFIELD: And then what about your friend? How far away from you were you from your friend who was, you know, down with a gunshot wound?
CORDERO: Maybe 20 yards, maybe less.
WHITFIELD: I know how difficult that was, because you're trying to see how your friend is doing at the same time, you know, you're trying to take cover. Describe for me what that moment was like for you.
CORDERO: Well, I did not get a chance to get to my friend until everything was over and done with. Self-preservation, I pretty much stayed put until it got quiet. At that time when I peeked up, James Shaw Jr. was wrestling with the gunman inside the restaurant. I saw the rifle go flying, and then I went -- I just kind -- I just ducked back down again and at that time is when the gunman took off running.
WHITFIELD: And you mentioned, the rifle, you know, went flying there in the restaurant. You were able to see that. And now perhaps putting, you know, some of the pieces together, and we're looking at an image of a young man by the name of James Shaw Jr. who witnesses say actually tackled that gunman and was able to, you know, stop what was happening. He's being described as a hero and he's got this, you know, wound on his elbow. Now that you're hearing some of the story behind why you saw that gun flying, what are your thoughts?
CORDERO: He's a hero. I mean, four people died and it could have been four times that many had he not done what he did. The gunman had more ammunition on him. He was definitely not interested in stopping. If James Shaw Jr. didn't step up and do what he did, this would have been a lot worse than it was. He is definitely a hero. Definitely.
WHITFIELD: James Shaw being described a hero.
Chuck Cordero, thank you so much for your eyewitness accounts and I know this is -- you were quite shaken up for some time. I appreciate you bringing your side of events.
CORDERO: All right. Meantime, while that manhunt continues to be underway as authorities are looking for the gunman being identified as Travis Reinking, now some new information. President Trump is boarding Air Force in just a few moments from now, returning to the White House with a very busy week ahead. The president and First Lady Melania are hosting French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife beginning tomorrow. They will also join the Trumps Tuesday night at the White House for the first family's first formal state dinner. But President Trump has much more on his plate.
[14:10:02] The ongoing Russia investigation is casting a cloud over that event. The president tweeting this morning, "Good luck with that," in response to GOP lawmakers asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate former FBI director James Comey and Hillary Clinton. But today White House aide claim Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's jobs are safe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK TODD, CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS": Do you believe that Republicans on Capitol Hill would be supportive if the president fired Mr. Rosenstein or Mr. Sessions?
MARC SHORT, WHITE HOUSE LEGISLATION AFFAIRS DIRECTOR: You know, Chuck, I think on your show you've had me several times, I'm grateful. We always have the same conversation of when is the president going to fire one of these guys. TODD: I must say, he himself brings it up. It's like we don't --
SHORT: OK, when is he going to fire Rosenstein? When is he going to fire Mueller? We have the same conversation. As far as I know, the president has no intention of firing these individuals.
TODD: Right, but it's always as far as we know and the president -- he never says definitely no, no.
SHORT: Why not? It's the -- he has no intention.
TODD: Why doesn't he say definitively, it's not going to happen? This investigation is going to run its course, period, end of story. I'll never --
SHORT: Because you don't know how far up the investigation is going to veer. Right now he has no intention of firing them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Joining me right now in the president's resort in Florida, CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez.
So, Boris, a few mixed messages perhaps coming from the White House on that issue?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred, a bit of a mixed messaging. You have the president sort of in the past voicing his displeasure with his Department of Justice not launching investigations into the former FBI director James Comey or the president's political nemesis in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, It's something that we've seen the president do before. He's often called out his Attorney General Jeff Sessions by name when voicing his displeasure or frustration at actions that Sessions has taken namely recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
The president views the Department of Justice as an extension of his political power and he has not been shy about voicing his anger when they don't do what he wants them to do. Marc Short obviously pushing back on that notion, saying that Sessions' and Rosenstein's jobs are safe. He was not the only Trump surrogate on the Sunday morning talk shows. Kellyanne Conway was actually on CNN. And part of the conversation with her centered on the president's personal relationship with Michael Cohen, his attorney.
You'll recall that on Friday there was a report published in the "New York Times" that shed some negative light on that relationship, with some sources indicating that in the past the president has been abusive toward Michael Cohen. Kellyanne Conway pushed back on the idea that that relationship was a one-way street, solely benefiting the president.
Listen to what she told Dana Bash on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning. BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He's defending someone who he's worked with and known for a dozen-plus years, Dana, who he thinks is being treated unfairly. I'm telling you that the president's concern has been for Michael Cohen and the way he's been treated. And he has said that again and again in tweets and again and again with the cameras rolling, with the media in the Cabinet room and elsewhere.
And why is that? Because I see people go on TV constantly who don't know President Trump at all and say he's loyal to no one but himself. That is completely not true. He stands up for people in his inner circle and people he knows when he thinks they're being treated unfairly, and he's done it again and again. He shows a great sense of loyalty to people whom he thinks are being treated unfairly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Now, Fred, it's safe to say that the relationship between Michael Cohen and the president will remain under scrutiny as the criminal case that Michael Cohen is involved in moves forward.
You did note the busy the busy week that the president has ahead specifically when it comes to foreign policy. Not only is he hosting French President Emmanuel Macron but also German chancellor Angela Merkel. Said to be part of the discussion with the president this week, you can imagine some of the topics of conversation will include one of the president's favorite subjects, trade, as well as the situation on the ground in Syria and the preparations for this proposed summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.
All right. There were other sentiments still ahead coming from Kellyanne Conway. She said asking about her husband's anti-Trump tweets is a still double standard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I would ask you about it if you were the man --
CONWAY: No, you wouldn't.
BASH: That was not --
CONWAY: No, no, no --
BASH: And it's not about that, it's about -- it's about questioning, publicly questioning, what you are doing for a living with regard to your boss. And it has nothing to do with your gender --
CONWAY: No. It has nothing to do with my spouse. And -- BASH: Right. That's what I was just asking.
CONWAY: No, no, you just brought him into this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:18:54] WHITFIELD: A double standard or a legitimate question? Counsel to the president, President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, is firing back over questions about her husband's political leanings. George Conway recently deleted several re-tweets of reports criticizing the Trump administration. Kellyanne Conway was asked about that on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: I just want to ask you one question that a lot of people are asking me. Probably you, too. And that is what is up with your husband's tweets? Your husband is a very well-respected lawyer and he's been sending some tweets that have been critical of the administration. Just an example in response to a tweet he saw saying President Trump's aides are reluctant to speak for him because he contradicts them. Later your husband wrote, "So true. It's absurd."
CONWAY: He writes a lot of things that are also supportive and he writes a lot of things about corgis and Philadelphia Eagles, and sports, too. But the fact is that -- well, two things I'll say to you.
Number one that, again, that woman who lost the election whose name I never say on TV anymore is wrong that women -- I think she said white women have to listen to their -- the men in their life to form their own political opinions. Wrong again, lady.
[14:20:04] Number two, it's fascinating to me that CNN would go there but it's very good for the whole world to have just witnessed that it's now -- excuse me, that it's now fair game what people's -- how people's spouses and significant others may differ with them. I'm really surprised but very, in some ways, relieved and gratified to see that.
BASH: No --
CONWAY: That should really be fun.
BASH: No, I actually -- first of all, I would ask you that if you were the man and your wife were to --
CONWAY: No, you wouldn't. I mean, you would not --
BASH: A thousand percent I would.
CONWAY: No, no, no, no, no.
BASH: And it's not about that. CONWAY: It's different than --
BASH: It's about questioning -- publicly questioning what you were doing for a living and with regard to your boss. And it has nothing to do with your gender --
CONWAY: No, it has nothing to do with my spouse. And --
BASH: Right. That's why I was just asking.
CONWAY: No, no, no, you just brought him into this, so this ought to be fun moving forward, Dana.
CONWAY: Now we're going to talk about other people's spouses and significant others just because they either work in the White House or at CNN? Are we going to do that? Because you just went there.
CONWAY: CNN just went there. Look, differences of opinion --
BASH: I'm not --
CONWAY: By the way, divided the nation --
BASH: This isn't critical, I'm just asking about --
CONWAY: Of course, it was. It was meant to harass and embarrass but let me just tell you something.
BASH: Absolutely not.
CONWAY: Let me just tell you something. By definition spouses have a difference of opinion --
BASH: I could not agree more.
CONWAY: By definition, spouses have a difference of opinion when one is, I don't know, draining the joint bank account to support things that maybe the other disagrees with. So this is a fascinating cross the Rubicon moment, and I'll leave it at that.
BASH: OK. Well, that certainly was not intended to cross any Rubicon. It was actually intended to be somewhat lighthearted about the fact that we are all grown-ups who have different opinions. But I'm sorry that --
CONWAY: No, it's not. You said I've got to ask you a question that's on everybody's mind.
BASH: Yes. It is. It is. It is. I'm sure you hear it, too. And it is hard to have two adults in a situation like this but it is unusual for --
CONWAY: I'm sorry, what does that mean?
BASH: It is unusual --
CONWAY: Hard for whom? I'm sorry, back it up.
BASH: It is hard --
CONWAY: It's hard for the two adults. My husband and me?
BASH: You and your husband. My point is that --
CONWAY: Now you're talking about my marriage again?
BASH: I'm not talking about your marriage, I'm --
CONWAY: You're talking about my husband.
BASH: Kellyanne, Kellyanne. Here was whole point in this.
CONWAY: It's hard for whom?
BASH: Is that you are a professional working for the president of the United States. And your husband is a very well respected lawyer and my point is that we don't often see, in fact, I don't remember the last time we saw somebody working for the president in a high-profile position when their spouse is saying critical things about them. That is all. That is all.
CONWAY: Well, that, A, is not true. There are other family members of people who work at the White House who certainly don't support the president privately and publicly, but I will tell you this. And there are people who have been in this administration who work for Democrats, or give money to Democrats, but all that aside, that really is meant to divert attention from, again, the big issues that America cares about. But like I said, CNN chose to go there. I think that's going to be fascinating moving forward, and don't deny that when you just said it must be difficult.
I do want you to clarify there for the whole world wide audience, and in fact for me, since you raised me. It's difficult for whom to have two adults that work --
BASH: You know, my point only is that --
CONWAY: Difficult for my children who --
CONWAY: -- are totally watching you right now because it is not hard for them.
BASH: No, I didn't say the tweets. CONWAY: They've already seen a double standard for their mother for
BASH: It is not about gender. I don't want to have this conversation, and you know that I don't believe that this is about gender.
CONWAY: No, no, I didn't say -- no, no, it's not about gender. Hold on. It's not about gender. There's been a different standard for me than there have been for other people. And we bite our tongue plenty because I work for the people of this country, the United States government, and the presidency, and the president of the United States. So there's plenty that I don't say. There's plenty that I don't talk about.
CONWAY: One day, I will have my say.
BASH: OK, well, I'll just give you -- I'll just give you -- because you went --
CONWAY: And you felt --
BASH: Because you went there -- you are always invited back here. Because you went there, I'll just give an example because you asked. Andrew McCabe. The president went after Andrew McCabe for something that his wife did, ran as a Democrat, and that had nothing to do with the president. So --
CONWAY: No, no, no, no. The president knew something early that everybody else is now finding out. The president has excellent instincts and he knew Jim Comey and Andrew McCabe --
BASH: But he didn't say that. He talked about his wife.
CONWAY: You don't know that he didn't say that. But he knew that Andrew McCabe could not be trusted. And look what happened just this week. Andrew McCabe -- it's admitted now that he lied four times, at least three under oath, Dana. Criminal referral just this week because he lied about leaking to the media.
This is the number two at the FBI. This should have everybody concerned. Everybody should go back and look at what the FBI was doing and not doing while Comey and McCabe were in charge of it. And they're all thought, if not wanted, the other person to win the election. And that's so colored and politicized so much of their actions and their inactions.
BASH: Well, as you know, as you mentioned, the inspector general is asking to look into Andrew McCabe and we are covering that and we will continue to cover that. Thank you very much.
CONWAY: Thank you, Dana.
BASH: Thank you, Kellyanne. Appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Let's bring in CNN political analyst Ryan Lizza and CNN political commentator and former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz, Alice Stewart.
Good to see you.
[14:25:02] ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Fred.
WHITFIELD: Yes. Some really tense moments in that exchange.
So, Ryan, is it a legitimate question? Because there have been so many reports about a variation of tweets coming from George Conway where he was critical of the administration. One of the more recent ones when the president was talking about or there were considerations about pardoning Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, it was, you know, George Conway who said, flabbergasting, you know, in his tweet.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
WHITFIELD: In reference to it, and now here is a question to a senior counsel of the president saying, you know, how unusual is this that your spouse would be tweeting criticism, commenting critically about the administration in which you work for? So is it legit or is this a sore spot?
LIZZA: Well, I think the first thing to say is Kellyanne Conway works for President Trump, and as she knows very well, President Trump both as a candidate and president, has never been shy about criticizing the spouses of people who he is reflecting about on Twitter or in public. I'm sure Alice --
WHITFIELD: You're talking in the case of Senator Ted Cruz's wife. That's one of the examples you're talking about?
LIZZA: Absolutely. And that was really sort of a really low point of the campaign when he retweeted a sort of unflattering picture of her and compared her to his own spouse. His campaign --
WHITFIELD: I think we have that. We have that reminder of that tweet.
LIZZA: Yes. I'm sure Alice --
WHITFIELD: There you go, candidate, you know, Donald Trump and then, Alice, I'll get your view on that because you --
LIZZA: And it's never been deleted as far as I know.
WHITFIELD: You worked with Senator Cruz. OK.
LIZZA: It's never been deleted.
LIZZA: Similarly in the general election, obviously Bill Clinton and Bill Clinton's private life was a huge part of the Trump campaign's case against Hillary Clinton. If you remember, Kellyanne Conway was part of a campaign that actually brought Bill Clinton's former mistresses and accusers to a debate. So they made Bill Clinton a huge part of the campaign, whether that was right or wrong.
So I'm a little surprised that she's taking so much umbrage to the fact that a fairly innocent question about a high-profile public Republican who's a very -- who's long been a very important player in the Republican Party, I'm a little surprised that she's surprised that someone would ask about that.
Now I take her point that she shouldn't personally have to answer for anything her husband says or does, but it is interesting that this high-profile lawyer in the Republican Party has a lot to say about Donald Trump, and who better to ask for some insight about it than his spouse? So, you know, I'm a journalist. I don't think -- I think all questions -- most questions are good questions, and I think Dana was just doing her job.
WHITFIELD: Right. And so, Alice, you know, this is an issue of, you know, fair game, or is it a case of when the shoe is on the other foot, you know, the rules are a little different?
STEWART: Look, let me just say this right out of the gate, Fred, that Kellyanne is a friend of mine. I've spoken with her since the show this morning and she was actually really happy to have the opportunity to address these tweets which have been out there for quite some time.
WHITFIELD: That did not look like a happy Kellyanne Conway.
STEWART: She was happy to address the tweets because her point was, and I'm really glad you played the entire clip. She was able to say that she and her husband, like many spouses across the country, have different opinions on many issues, and he has some opinions and some tweets that are favorable to Trump and the administration and some that are not favorable. That was the point she was trying to make.
WHITFIELD: And that is true, no people has, you know, monolithic thinking but that's not quite how she put it. I mean, if it were in a simpler form just like that which is, you know, we think differently, you know, I've got my job, he's got -- it wasn't quite presented that way. It really did seem like it was a sore spot and, you know, she was very upset at the question.
STEWART: Well, the frustration obviously came when gender became part of the question, which was brought up a couple of times, and that was frustrating to her. She felt as though there was a double standard because she is a woman in a high position in the administration, and her husband is making derogatory statements. That being said, what he says or does on Twitter or in public life or in private life has zero impact on her as her job as a senior adviser to the president. She is doing a tremendous job in her role, specifically with the opioid crisis, with health care and tax reform. So I think that should be the focus. Let her husband say and do whatever he wants to do in public and private life, but that has not had any impact whatsoever on what she's doing in the White House.
WHITFIELD: And that's a very succinct thought, but then I wonder, Ryan, what's behind not answering it just like that?
LIZZA: I don't know. I mean, there's a conversation to be had about Republicans who have different views about Donald Trump and she happens to know one of them quite well, so that's a pretty legitimate discussion to have especially since George Conway is a longtime lawyer in the Republican Party, very smart lawyer.
He famously wrote a successful appeal to the Supreme Court that was instrumental in the Paula Jones case --
WHITFIELD: And wasn't he in consideration, at least, for the position in the Department of Justice under this administration?
LIZZA: Yes. He was someone you would want to have on tv talking about a locality of these legal issues because he knows a lot, has been around a lot. His comments on Twitter were worth discussing, and obviously he has taken a public role. So, I don't think it's illegitimate.
The one thing I thought was a little unusual was when Kellyanne then said, is CNN now going to play this game? To me it almost sounded like a threat. Well, you're talking about a spouse, so maybe I should talk about your spouse.
I think that is a real misunderstanding of what the difference is between a public official who is on the government payroll and this sort of territory that comes along with that versus private citizens, journalists, who are trying to keep a check on those in powerful positions.
And I really was a little surprised that she sorts of went up to the line of almost sounding like she was threatening people with that response.
WHITFIELD: With my marriage? She did say something like that, with my marriage? Alice, do you want to put your thought on this on whether this is kind of put to rest, or is this an issue that still might rise to the surface?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I hope it's put to rest, and I do think it's a valid question for Dana to be asking, and it's good that Kellyanne had the opportunity to address it. But at the end of the day, I think the question was asked, it was answered, and my thought as I was watching this morning should have been a period at the end of that question and moved on, however, it unraveled as we got to the more heated aspects of a double standard in talking about gender.
I want to talk about the president's tweets about Heidi Cruz. That's a totally different comparison. I think what the president did with Heidi Cruz was disgusting, I think it was inappropriate, I think it was uncalled for and I applaud Ted Cruz for being frustrated about it and attacking back to the president.
But I do think that is a lot different than George Conway tweeting out disparaging comments about the administration.
WHITFIELD: Different circumstances but common denominator of the spouse territory thing.
LIZZA: I've always liked Kellyanne Conway, always gotten along with her. In 2016, I wrote about her extensively, spent a lot of time with her. One of the things she talked about a lot was her husband. She really had no problem with me writing about her husband, including how they met each other and sort of their personal story in an article about them.
They posed for pictures in magazines before. They're sort of a Washington power couple, to be honest, and have never been shy about, you know, showing that off. So, that's why I'm a little surprised that she's taking -- she's so surprised that anyone would ask about him.
WHITFIELD: Thanks to both of you for bringing all of those thoughts. Appreciate it.
In the meantime, President Trump tweeting, maybe things will work out and maybe they won't when it comes to North Korea. So, how skeptical should the U.S. be when it comes to North Korea's surprise announcement that it will stop its nuclear testing?
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. History will be made this week when leaders from North and South Korea meet Friday in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. The talks are also expected to lay the groundwork for an upcoming segment between North Korea's Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump ahead of the meeting.
They made a dramatic announcement saying they would suspend their nuclear and long-range missiles. According to the "Washington Post," officials are slightly skeptical about that announcement, expressing concerns that Kim Jong-un could be trying to set a trap for the U.S.
This morning President Trump tweeting out, "We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea. Maybe things will work out and maybe they won't. Only time will tell, but the work I am doing now should have been done a long time ago." That from Trump. I want to bring in Congressman Mike Turner. He is a Republican from Ohio and a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Good to see you, Congressman. So, in your view, is it believable that Kim Jong-un will give up his weapons or is this temporary, perhaps even conditional?
REP. MIKE TURNER (R), OHIO: Well, I am a skeptic when it comes to North Korea having served on the Armed Services Committee in the past 10 years and looked at this issue in the Bush administration, the Obama administration and now the Trump administration.
I'm obviously very concerned. It is a regime that's not truthful. They're going to cheat and certainly their motivations are always to be questioned. They're not a regime that we would want to have nuclear weapons.
However, we are faced with a situation where they do, and I think this administration has rightly turned the pressure to China. There would not be a nuclear North Korea if it wasn't for China. Even the regime would not exist if it wasn't for China.
[14:40:01] So, the administration has built up our military presence in South Korea. Significant military exercises have occurred. There's been initiation of talks between South Korea and North Korea, and obviously the CIA director has reportedly met in North Korea.
This all leading up to trying to apply pressure on the regime so that they see there is a turn where they need to denuclearize the peninsula and certainly the United States is going to stand firm on that as its principle.
WHITFIELD: So, take a listen to Republican Senator Bob Corker earlier today on CNN about the current state of tensions with Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Do you think that the U.S. should be preparing for an armed conflict with Russia?
SENATOR BOB CORKER (R) TENNESSEE: What I'm saying is, look, our relations are at that low point, the lowest since the Cuban missile crisis. Our leadership knows that. Secretary Mattis knows that. And, therefore, the rhetoric, the kinds of things we're doing to deconflict in Syria are very important, because things are hot right now between us. And it's not that we should be preparing, it's that we should be aware that miscalculations could lead us to a very bad place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: At least two tense things here, North Korea and Russia. You had called, in fact, for further sanctions on Russia, gas attack in Syria and a tank on a former spy in the U.K. So, are those meant to send a more terse message to Vladimir Putin?
TURNER: I think so. The question whether we should be preparing for conflict with Russia should be that Russia has been preparing for conflict with the U.S. for quite some time with the modernization of particular weapons, its ground forces and equipment, its armament, its weapons exercises, including nuclear weapon exercises.
I think what our response needs to be a coordinated response with our allies. But we also need to be reinvesting into our military. We're coming out of the period of the threats of sequestration, and we need to be preparing not for a conflict but to deter. Our allies are such that they would not be successful.
At the same time their behavior in Syria, in the Ukraine, what occurred in London, all are issues that are going to be unacceptable to the rest of the world, and I think sanctions are the appropriate response to that. You cannot be at the table as if you are an equal when you are executing behavior that is unacceptable.
WHITFIELD: So, Ambassador Haley had promised last weekend that more sanctions are coming. How concerned are you that President Trump never followed through on those additional sanctions?
TURNER: Well, I don't know what the internal deliberations are at the White House. I don't know what they are considering. I know that, as you reported, I certainly am for additional sanctions. I believe this is rising to the point where there is a pattern.
When we have, you know, chemical weapons being used in London, we have chemical weapons being used in Syria, clearly that shows that Russia is outside of the international norm. These are weapons that are to be banned, that are not to be used.
And here we have Russia acting as if even with our Russian allies they could go on the streets of London and use them to kill an individual. This is something that I think requires a very strong response.
WHITFIELD: Congressman Mike Turner, we'll leave it there. Thank you so much for your time.
TURNER: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Police in New York are on the hunt for a man they say pushed another man onto the subway tracks after an argument. What we know about what started all of this and why police are calling it a hate crime. That's next.
WHITFIELD: Police in New York are searching for a man wanted in connection with a possible hate crime at a Manhattan subway station. The NYPD has released surveillance video of the suspect wearing a "make America Great Again" hat and shirt.
They say he made derogatory comments about the ethnicity of a Hispanic man, assaulted him, and then pushed him onto the train tracks. Friends of the victim were able to pull the man off the tracks before the train arrived.
CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now with more on this case. Polo, what more can you tell us?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, certainly not what you expect in one of the most ethnically deserved cities in the world here. This happened at one of the subway stations here in Midtown Manhattan. We know an African-American man was getting into a confrontation, an argument, with a 21-year-old Hispanic man on the train.
He then followed him on the platform and witnesses say the man in that "Make America Great Again" hat punched this Hispanic man and pushed him onto the tracks. Investigators are treating this as a hate crime, because according to witnesses, he was making derogatory statements toward this man here.
Police putting this description out, putting this picture out as well again, the suspect wearing a "Make America Great Again" and t-shirt as well, obviously a slogan for Trump during the campaign. Investigators are treating this as a hate crime, but they still want to find this man, obviously, to speak to him and potentially even file charges -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Polo Sandoval, thank you. Appreciate it. We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that hit Puerto Rico last fall, Florida Governor Rick Scott encouraged evacuees to come to his state for safety. FEMA rolled out a program for temporary housing and people were able to find work. But now nearly seven months later, people feel trapped in a constant state of homelessness, moving from one hotel to the next, and the FEMA is about to expire. CNN correspondent, Ed Lavandera has more.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a pet talk for the soul following a week of highs and lows that symbolizes the road to recovery facing thousands of Puerto Rican storm survivors. After Hurricane Maria, thousands of families left the island is signed up for the FEMA transitional assistance program.
It pays for hotel rooms until families can move back into permanent housing. Seven months following the storm, there are still 2,700 families still using the program like Millie Santiago and her family.
(on camera): Why did you come to Florida?
She says it was never her intention to stay here this long. She thought she would be able to come here a little while and go back.
(voice-over): Instead Santiago is considered the mayor of the Super 8 Motel. She helps evacuees who ended up in a string of motels along highway 192 in Kissimmee, Florida navigate the red tape of disaster relief.
These families say they were told that the hotel voucher program would last until May, but about 16 percent of the families were stunned to learn they were no longer eligible and about to be kicked out of their rooms a month early.
That set off an intense week of rallies, tears and calls to political leaders and activists demanding help. Then relief as word spread that the FEMA program would likely survive until mid-May.
Father Jose Rodriguez says there is no transition plans to help these families get back on their feet.
FATHER JOSE RODRIGUEZ, CHRIST THE KING EPISCOPAL CHURCH: These are people who have been impacted by a natural disaster. They didn't come here for spring break. They didn't come here for a vacation. They're not out here at the beachside tanning. They're not at the hotel pool.
LAVANDERA: The Florida project film captured the gritty reality of motel life along Highway 192 in Kissimmee. Since the great recession 10 years ago, the marginalized and homeless have found refuge in the cheap rooms on this stretch highway surrounding the utopia of Disneyworld.
(on camera): After Hurricane Maria, community activists say about 180 Puerto Rican families moved into these same hotels along Highway 192. They say they're trapped in this hotel life because they're working minimum wage jobs, housing is scarce, and the benefits just aren't enough.
FEMA says however, this is no longer a disaster problem, but a social problem and they are doing everything they can to help these victims. They say the program is only for those left stranded on the island, not for those who left. It wiped out their daycare business and they came to Florida, so their two children could be enrolled in school.
Do you want to stay here?
LAVANDERA (voice-over): I don't have a choice here, she says. She is working full-time taking culinary classes hoping she can land a better job in one of the Orlando theme parks. Without the motel room, she worries she would be sleeping in her car.
(on camera): She says is, I'm incredibly scared. I have no idea where I'm going to go.
(voice-over): Ramos and other evacuees living in this motel, knowing time is running out. Ed Lavandera, CNN, Kissimmee, Florida.
WHITFIELD: Hello, again, everyone, and thank you so much for joining me on this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We're following breaking news out of Tennessee where a manhunt is underway following a deadly shooting this morning at a Waffle House restaurant. Four people are dead, and four others injured.