tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN April 25, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
i'm kate bolduan. thanks for joining me. it was rumored, speculated, folks were waiting and told to wait some more, and it's finally official. former vice president joe biden jumping into the crowded presidential race today, joining 19 other democrats vying for the nomination. despite their head start, biden begins his candidacy with a big lead as the party's front-runner, and he didn't waste a second taking it right to president trump. >> if we give donald trump eight years in the white house, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. who we are. and i cannot stand by and watch that happen. the core values of this nation,
our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made america america is at stake. that's why today i'm announcing my candidacy for president of the united states. >> and with that, joe biden is off to the races with a full court press rollout of his campaign straight ahead with stops in iowa, new hampshire, and a big focus on pennsylvania early on. but how is a biden presidential run in 2019 different than it was the two times before? let us find out. jeff zulaina is in washington. he's joining me now. this announcement video was not a getting to know you, let me announce who joe biden is. it got to the point. very direct. the first word out of his mouth was charlottesville. >> it certainly did. that was by design. joe biden at this point believes democratic voters know who he is. so by sort of shaking the conscience of the democratic primary campaign, that was the
intent, i'm told, of this video. to sort of reframe the race, if you will, to make it bigger, to make the stakes clearer about what this 2020 campaign is all about. not about specific interparty fights about the green new deal or medicare for all. it was about a chance to reframe this conversation. and by doing so, joe biden instantly shakes up this democratic primary field. he instances asserts himself as the grown-up, if you will, in the race who has served in the white house, as a time to sort of change how things have been going. but take a listen to more of this video as he makes that case very strongly against president trump. >> that's when we heard the words of the president of the united states that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. he said there were, quote, some very fine people on both sides. very fine people on both sides?
those words, the president of the united states assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. and in that moment, i knew the threat to this nation was unlike any i had ever seen in my lifetime. >> so kate, we have seen the very large field of democratic hopefuls get into this race in very different ways. many of whom have in fact appeared on late night shows and tried to do lighthearted approaches. joe biden doing exactly the opposite. again, by design, trying to show how serious he believes this time is. this is not certainly a feel-good, uplifting campaign message, but it does sort of frame the stakes here of this debate to come, kate. >> jeff, you have reporting. you heard from president obama's team following the biden announcement. what are they telling you? >> one of the central questions is, is president obama going to
endorse his former running mate, his partner from eight years in the white house. he's not going to issue an endorsement. he believes this race must play out on its own, but he did issue a statement saying that he supports the idea and still stands behind his decision to select joe biden some 11 years ago, calling it one of the best decisions he's ever made, but again, he does believe and says this primary fight has to unfold, and joe biden has to win this on his own, which is why, kate, the word obama was not mentioned once in the video. the only president that was was trump, and biden says he must be defe defeated. >> thank you so much. joining me now is cnn political analyst, "new york times" correspondent alex burns. van jones is here, cnn political commentator and host of the van jones show. and scott mull houser is a former deputy chief of staff to joe biden in the 2012 campaign. great to have you guys here.
let us begin with my two pages. van, as i said to jeff, first word out of biden's mouth in the video is charlottesville. a singular focus, really, that comes out in this reintroduction video. you happy to see that? what do you make of it in. >> help is on the way. help is on the way. joe biden, we need him. the soul of the country is hurt. everywhere i go, people on both sides, i work with democrats and republicans. people are sick of the toxicity, the fatigue, a distrust. you know, you hit play on your phone or whatever, and there's uncle joe, grandpa joe biden talking in a way that i think americans want to hear. somebody has got to not just call out trump but call us up. he's not just calling out trump. he's calling us up. help is on the way. i'm on the left wing of our party, proud of it. he has a more moderate track record. we can get into the policy later. the person, the person in joe biden is a welcome entry into this race. >> it's interesting, alex,
because for a lot of the candidates, their announcement video was a, this is who i am and where i came from and this is kind of what i stand for. and a lot of them are not talking about donald trump. asked about it, they'll say something, but not talking about donald trump specifically all the time. democrats in 2018 won back the house in large part by not just running against donald trump but running on ideas. do you think that biden sees it different now for this? >> well, i think he certainly sees that his opening argument can be different. he has a luxury of being universally known, by and large, by democrats. seen very, very favorably, even by folks who have some questions about where he stands on policy. and that he feels that he represents a certain set of values and a certain way of being in government that he believes he behaved in the senate and certainly in the obama administration, that people like, and they remember that favorably. i think the open question going
forward, and really going forward in very short order is how is he going to fill in the blanks beyond that? because voters know some things about him. they know about the tragedies his family has been through. they see him as having been a really steadfast ally and friend of barack obama. they don't necessarily know a whole lot about what his distinctive policy record is or what his distinctive accomplishments were in congress or what he wants to do for the country beyond defeating trump. we'll see him out in public and those are the questions he has to answer. >> scott, you worked closely with biden in the 2012 re-elect. there's an additional question, can joe biden, with one of the things we know about joe biden, as he speaks from the cuff, and he is joe biden. can he run a disciplined campaign? because he has not shown that necessarily in the past. what would be different this time? >> well, look, i think you both see him trying to take on some vulnerabilities and also voters want that authenticity.
what you hear most from voters is the desire for an authentic candidate and an electable one. he sees what happened in the white house and it's clear he thinks we can do better. it's that candor that connects with voters and i think it's a way to say i hear you, i get you. let's do this together. >> and, i mean, the race is at a different place today now, alex, than it was the day before joe biden got in. he was leading in the polls before he was even in the race. i mean, that comes with risk, right? because you don't -- you have room to go up, but you have a lot of room to go down. they have this singular focus almost on, big focus on pennsylvania. why? what does that represent here? >> the cornerstone of his appeal to a lot of democrats, beyond scott's absolutely right, this sense of personal authenticity, a real person, uncle joe, is the idea he can beat trump and go to places like pennsylvania where democrats didn't lose for a generation until 2016.
so that is just fundamental to his case in the primary even before the general election. you know, it does put a lot of pressure on him to look as of today like a really strong general election candidate all the time. there are other people in the race who are polling far behind him who are less well known, where i think democratic voters will be more willing to say listen, there's a learning curve. i don't know much about this person. they have never run for president before. i would like to find out more. for joe biden, a person of his stature, making that commanding case today, i don't know how much room there is to screw up. >> one thing we heard from democratic primary voters so far in this race is there's a real appetite, they see as very attractive something, a fresh face, diversity, not necessarily do those two things, joe biden represent. how do you see him making that argument that he's run -- he really didn't even get out of iowa the last two times he's
run. how is he the guy for this moment now? >> i think that there's a split in everybody's thinking about this. on the one hand, people say listen, trump was authentically whatever trump is. we should go authentically our way. we can find a left-handed lesbian of color, let's just go all out and screw it, and i think that's a real powerful thing. i also know, though, that when you talk to republicans, there's only one candidate they're scared of, and it's joe biden. because where we lost this thing, we lost by 70,000 votes total in three states. out of, whatever, 110 million votes, it was three states combined, 70,000. who can go and get the 70,000 votes in the industrial midwest? joe biden can. at the end of the day, the party has to make a decision, and we'll see how it goes out, but the person who can go and get those votes back is joe biden. >> scott, what do you make of the obama factor? we heard jeff zeleny talking
about obama's response to this, his kind of positioning here. he's excited about the diversity of the field. he thinks a robust primary made him when he was running a better candidate and better president. while he loves joe biden, he's not likely to be endorsing anyone anytime soon. does it surprise you? >> i think it shows both that they have a genuine and sincere friendship that was great for both of them and great for the country, but also shows that joe biden has to win this race on his own with the allies, with the folks who fight for him. >> i guess everyone would probably want that. >> we as a party do better when it's not a coronation, when it's a fight. i think that watching this fight for our values and who we are as a party and as a country mattereds. i think his fight for opportunity for all is something he's happy to lay against any other candidate and me can take that to them and to president trump. >> people talk about hillary clinton having had a coronation.
the establishment certainly liked her, but obama did not endorse her. >> they fought that throughout that election, right? >> exactly, but obama, it was pretty clear he had great affection for hillary clinton. he didn't endorse her early and i don't think he's going to endorse biden early and it's healthier that he does not. >> one thing he did was discourage other candidates from getting into the race, candidates like joe biden. that's a stark contrast where he has met privately with over a dozen people and told them all, you should run. a contest of ideas is a good thing. if i were joe biden, i don't know how i would feel about that, but a nice statement from his spokeswoman this morning. >> great to see you. thanks so much. >> coming up for us, president trump says he's fighting all of the subpoenas coming from congress. for now, it appears to be working. what can democrats do? plus, a big bank with connections to president trump and russia is in the spotlight, and now that bank is responding to a subpoena from new york's attorney general. what will the a.g. find? stay with us.
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>> guys, guys. >> we love you. >> all right, so what we're seeing right there was joe biden, he's at a train station. i think i just saw probably the train station in wilmington, delaware. joe biden is know for his love of amtrak. let me go to arlette saenz. she's been in wilmington to hopefully -- i don't think we have her yet, but when we get to her, we'll bring her in. maybe we can get a little more window into what joe biden told reporters. that's the first time we have seen him other than the announcement video this morning he officially announced his candidacy for president. we'll see what he had to say. >> moving on, though, is this one promise that donald trump is sure to keep? the promise to fight every subpoena coming his way from the house of representatives. so far, that does seem to be the case. this week alone, defying a
subpoena to depose a former white house official on security clearance process there. pledging to fight the subpoena to get former white house counsel don mcgahn to testify, and stopping a doj, justice department official from testifying about a question having to do with citizenship that ended up on the census. if that's the white house's play, what's the next move for house democrats in charge there? joining me is democratic congressman lloyd doggett of texas. he sits on the house ways and means committee which is trying to get the irs and treasury department to turn over years of president trump's tack returns. thank you for coming in. >> thanks, kate. >> the treasury secretary, let's talk about what your committee is trying to get done here. to get donald trump's tax returns turned over. the treasury secretary has now blown through two deadlines. he says that he's going to respond by may 6th. do you want the committee to wait until then to take next steps or do you think you all should make your next move now?
>> well, i hope the committee will act very soon. it took a long time to make this request. wasn't made until this month. it's clear that mr. mnuchin has had time to consider this since last fall. he doesn't need any more legal advice. it's just a question of how many more excuses he can make. you know -- >> do you wait until may 6th or want chairman neal to move before then? >> well, i'm entrust that decision to chairman neal, but i would encourage him to act promptly. we have passed the time where we can say kumbaya and hope republicans will do right. with the exception of mitt romney, i have yet to hear a single republican even recognize the horrible conduct of the president reflected in the mueller report. >> now, i have heard some top democrats like jerry nadler of judiciary say if the administration continues to stonewall when it comes to handing over information and responding to subpoenas,
basically what you're all asking for, then they could move towards punishment that hasn't really been seen in basically forever. jailing officials who defy subpoenas, imposing fines until they comply. not necessarily going to happen immediately, but it's on the table, is basically how jerry nadler has said. would you support that if it gets to that? >> chairman nadler is absolutely right. congress has an inherent contempt power. while we don't want to use that power, we see a president who has shown great affinity for law walls now in the process of constructing something much broader and stronger than anything contemplated for the rio grande river. that's a wall to destroy the systems of checks and balances that our founders recognized was so essential to democracy. you know, he recently had the tyrant from egypt there to celebrate his accomplishments. he had the tyrant from the philippines. he admires these strongmen from
afar, the love affair with the head of north korea. i'm not saying he would use the same tactics, but he prefers a government in which the judiciary is there to act only on his behalf, that those of us who speak out against him are guilty of treason for not clapping enough when he speaks, that all of our freedom of the press is to be reduced to fake news unless it supports the president. all of this weakening of the systems of the institutions that are so important to our government, and now he thinks he can just pick and choose which laws to follow and can ignore the separate power that congress has. we need to move forward vigorously now and recognize what we're dealing with. and that is a president who's unhinged, out of control, surrounded by a sleazy group of people who have no regard for democracy or for telling the truth. >> but, congressman, to my question, would you support a move like that? yes, it is possible for democrats to do it, but would
you support fining and jailing folks who don't comply with subpoenas? >> i don't believe any of them are above the law. if they will not comply with a valid subpoena, then yes, we need to take that kind of action that is within our inherent power of congress. and not just direct it toward the president. that needs to be directed toward the individuals who violate their responsibilities, who ignore the law. and so i'm in favor of taking action against them if they're not there to testify when subpoenaed, if they don't produce the documents that they're required to provide. that is the responsibility of congress, to exercise the system of checks and balances. i understand this comes as a big surprise to this administration. because for the first two years, they have had only overlook, no oversight. now, they have to deal with a body that has the same powers as the executive in terms of its stature in our government. and they have to respond and
comply with the law, not just pick and choose what they want to comply with. >> the other side of this is that taking the administration to court, of course, to get at the information you want, to get the tax returns, to get information from his accounting firm. to get the information or get the testimony over security clearance. just to name a few because there's a lot of information that various committees are asking for in the house. if you go to court over all of this, though, i do wonder, are you afraid that that diverts precious time and resources away from pushing forward the democratic agenda that you all won back the house talking about in 2018? >> well, first, let me say that there was a time you would expect that the courts would respond and the justice department would fulfill its responsibilities. unfortunately, attorney general barr has viewed himself essentially as the president's personal attorney, and there's no confidence that the justice
department will fulfill its responsibilities to enforce a subpoena from the congress, and that's why our inherent power is so important. yes, i have been very involved in seeking a solution to prescription price gouging that's occurring to hurt families all over this country, and i would like to see some coming together, to have candidate trump -- or president trump act like candidate trump on this serious problem. our infrastructure problems and our deteriorating transportation system. it would be great to do that. none of those are more important than preserving our democracy. and we need accountability from this administration. the disclosures of the mueller report are very alarming. >> you think, congressman, that right now these erchts we have been talking about right now, these take precedent over other items on the agenda. >> absolutely, there is no item more important than preserving our democracy from the attack, the continued assaults of donald
trump through his lies, through his total avoidance of any accountability. i think we can do more than one thing at the same time. i'm in favor of our moving forward and trying to respond to the agenda of the american people. but just getting some bipartisan agreement on a minor aspect of that as an alternative to preserving our democracy, the two are not even in same category. >> congressman lloyd doggett, thank you for coming in. i appreciate your time. sgroo we're going to go from here back over to talking about vice president joe biden, the former vice president, getting back into, jumping into the presidential race officially. arlette saenz is in wilmington, delaware, at the train station where we saw joe biden jump off the train. we couldn't hear from the top of the tape exactly what biden said. what did he tell reporters? >> well, kate, this was the first time we're seeing joe biden out in public since he officially declared his candidacy. he was asked about the fact that
president obama did not endorse him in any type of statement this morning. and i also asked him specifically why is he the best choice for democrats? take a listen to what he had to say. >> if you are the best choice for the democrats in 2020, why didn't president obama endorse you? >> i asked president obama not to endorse, and he doesn't want to -- we should, whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits. guys, welcome to delaware. >> what is your message? you made this about the debate about president trump, but you're going to have to get through the democratic primary first. why are you the best choice for democrats? >> that will be for the democrats to decide. thanks. >> so clearly, biden is going to be laying out his plan soon, so democratic voters can decide if he's their candidate to take on president trump in the general election. later today, biden will be heading to philadelphia for a fund-raiser, and neck week, he's going to hit the campaign trail,
taking that message directly to voters with an event in pittsburgh followed by a tour of the early voting states before he ends his entire campaign rollout. you can say, in philadelphia on may 18th. his campaign is pointing out that's the birthplace of democracy and it's going to be a point for biden to try to unite the country. kate. >> and only appropriate for the first time that he's seeing reporters and being seen on camera as he's announced his candidacy to be seen in a train station. that's only appropriate for joe biden. >> and this train station is also named after joe biden. i'll point that out. >> that's exactly right. amtrak's favorite passenger. thank you so much. great job getting to him. let me get back over to jeff zeleny. jeff, it's very interesting because we left off our conversation earlier talking about what you have heard from folks around president obama about his process, what he's thinking about the race, and whether or not he would be
endorsing. and joe biden just saying he asked president obama not to endorse. >> kate, that's right. and really, it was a mutually agreed upon decision, i'm told. the reality is both of these men have been around politics a long time. and they know that, a, an endorsement wouldn't necessarily work. almost certainly wouldn't work in a democratic field like this. they both came to the realization, as the former vice president said there, that he has to win this on his own. now, the question is what happens later. i noticed a bit of wiggle room this morning in the statement provided by the obama office. i'm not going to release or have an endorsement at this time or even in the coming month, but did not rule out endorsing at the end of this. that's something to watch here. we'll see how this plays out. we know this field will shrink at some point, and at that point, it will be a tough decision, potentially, for barack obama, if he's going to try to tip the scales as this
lingers on. don't forget, in the 2008 primary, that went on until june, that fight with clinton and obama. if it would become a situation like that, he might weigh in, but look, it was not an expected endorsement and biden was saying he didn't ask for it. one thing i also thought was notable, the fact that he did not mention barack obama at all in his video this morning, because it goes without saying when you see biden, you think of obama. >> but also, i also found it interesting, to arlette's question, when she said why are you the best candidate, why are you the best choice for democrats? he didn't -- at least he wasn't ready to give his elevator pitch. what he was ready to say was i'm going to leave it up to democrats. i thought that was interesting. >> it was interesting. look, i think his answer will be, you know, watch the video this morning, and he has the stature for that. but that's a question that he's going to have to answer. so kate, really the campaign
started right in that minute with arlette and the other reporters with joe biden at the train station. he'll be doing thousands of those events. a scripted campaign video is the easy part. joe biden, you covered him on capitol hill, at the white house, as a vie. he often likes to talk off script. kate, this race is now fully engaged and no one knows how it will turn out. >> and those off the cuff, in between train car moments, those conversations are just as important or more than any scripted anything that's going to be put out, a scripted speech or anything. you're absolutely right. perhaps more. that's exactly right, that that was the first big campaign moment right there for joe biden with arlette saenz. thanks, buddy. >> thanks. coming up for us still, it's one subpoena president trump apparently cannot ignore. one of trump's biggest lenders
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the investigation is based partly on the testimony of trump's former attorney, michael cohen, who told congress this. >> to your knowledge, did the president or his company ever inflate assets or revenues? >> yes. >> was that done with the president's knowledge or direction? >> everything was done with the knowledge and at the direction of mr. trump. >> so why is deutsche bank now in the spotlight? and what could it mean now for the president? joining me right now is lou carden, a former correspondent for the guardian newspaper. he's written extensively about the relationship between trump and deutsche bank and author of the book, collusion, secret meetings, dirty money and how russia helped trump win. what puts deutsche bank at the center of this? >> there's a mystery at the center of the story which is why
has deutsche bank loaned so much money to donald trump? we're talking about more than a billion dollars, where specifically, we're talking about back in 2008, when there was a global financial crisis, donald trump defaulted on a loan for $45 million, and he sued the bank. now, normally, what a bank would do is chuck the client file in the bin, but what deutsche bank did was give donald trump another $300 million in circumstances which have not been fully explained. and at the same time, what we know is deutsche bank was running not one but two money laundering schemes out of moscow, out of its branch there. what we have is we have russian money out of moscow going into deutsche bank, and we have deutsche bank in new york lending money to donald trump. i think what everyone wants to know, including congress, is are these two things connected or not connected. >> and you paint the two factors here that are very interesting. you put them all together. it's not just this kind of long
relationship with trump and deutsche bank, but also then the relationship that deutsche bank has with russia, too. tell me more about that. >> well, i mean, that's right. basically, deutsche bank was very ambitious. it was trying to expand, become a kind of global bank. what i'm told and what i have written is that it was more or less kind of captured by state interests in moscow and was essentially running a money laundering scheme for vips, for kremlin connected officials, for oligarchs who were siphoning money out of moxco, bouncing it through the baltic states into america and the western financial system generally. now, deutsche bank has been fined for this by regulared including in new york. it's paid penalties more than $600 million. meanwhile, the bank has been incredibly evasive. i mean, you call them up, you
ask questions. they don't give you any answers. congress has written to deutsche bank, inquiring about lending to mr. trump, and never received a reply. what's interesting now is we now have subpoenas and maybe deutsche bank will finally start shedding light on this. of course, donald trump's tax returns might tell us something, but we're still waiting for those as well. >> in the immediate, i mean, now we know that deutsche bank is turning over documents to the new york attorney general. i do wonder what you think kind of the big at least the most important question that you would have that could possibly be answered from what the new york attorney general is getting. and for that matter, the investigations under way in congress. >> well, i mean, i think we have to be very clear and careful about what we say, because at the moment we don't know. there may be a perfectly incident explanation for all this. but the big question is whether russian state entities in any
form were underwriting, supporting some of this lending, these hundreds of millions of dollars going to donald trump. we have asked deutsche bank this. i have been asking since 2016. they don't want to talk about it. it might be for other reasons, client confidentiality, but that's the big question that is hovering like a specter, if you like, over this, and i'm really intrigued to see whether the new york attorney general gets the answer. >> yeah, and for the first time, seeing real movement in that deutsche is turning some documents over. what comes from that, we don't know, but you'll continue to cover it and we'll follow your reporter. coming up for us, after weeks of waiting, joe biden finally makes it official. jumps into the crowded 2020 field. so where does he stand in the polls at this start? can he energize voters? what are the issues? that's next.
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does today feel different to you, like a whole new chapter has begun, perhaps? if you're running for president, it should, because joe biden just jumped into the race officially. his announcement coming in the form of a video. where exactly does biden start off in the race? what does it say about the long road ahead to the nomination, and what does it also change for the rest of the democratic field? joining me now is the man with the answers and the numbers. harry enten. good to see you. >> feels like a new day for me, always. >> you're so upbeat.
let's move on. joe biden, he's been leading in polls even before he got in the race, but where does he stand? >> i took an average of all the polls in the early states as well as nationally since january 1st and she's polling 30% nationally, and that's good enough for first in all of them, although in new hampshire, he's tied with bernie sanders at this point. >> put that in perspective, what that means for who wins in general. >> essentially, 538 did this analysis, and they looked at the polling averages during the first part of the year and said okay, if someone is polling where biden is, right, in between 20% and 35%, how often do they win the nomination. they win about 35% of the time. that's pretty good considering we have a field of about 20 people. that makes him the front-runner, but it doesn't make him the odds-on favorite. he's got a pretty good shot at this point. >> no matter what, still a long road to the nomination. >> 20 people, nine months, you know how it is.
>> we don't often see this. no, i don't. every candidate has strengths and weaknesses. where are you seeing in the numbers where biden is facing weaknesses. >> i would say this perhaps is his greatest weakness. he's over the age of 75 come inauguration day, election day 2020. and nbc news asked this question. do you feel enthusiastic or comfortable with a candidate over the age of 75. among democrats, only 33% say they feel enthusiastic or comfortable with a candidate over the age of 75. the real question is whether or not the polls right now are factoring that in. do voters know if he's over the age of 75? if it is, that's not a big deal, but it might be the reason his polls may be artificially high. >> coming up for us, inside the u.s. prison system in a way you have never seen before. cnn's van jones is shining a spotlight on redemption and what happens when victims come
face-to-face with the people who committed the crimes against them and their family. van jones joins me next. but first, a new online challenge going viral around the world. it's called hashtag trash tag, and it taps into the selfie craze as a way to help the environment. here's this week's impact your world. >> i declare our second area clean. let's move on to the front part. my name is byron, and i have recently reignited the hashtag trash tag challenge. my hope was mainly to inspire or motivate younger people. the challenge is taking an photo of an area that needs to be cleaned up, and they clean it up, and they're doing selfies or shots of the area they had cleaned up. >> and they post it using the #trashtag. i did not think ahead of the magnitude this was going to take on. my post has been shared 330,000 times and liked about 100,000
times. i started receiving more pictures being posted. when it started going viral from people in vietnam, from india, nepal, and europe, of them doing their share. i'm very humble that someone like me was able to share a post that crossed countries, crossed cultures, crossed languages, and inspired people to make the world a better place. so the challenge right now is for you to find an area, get some trash bags, whatever it is, pick it up, take a photo of it, and post it online. >> i declare this area clean.
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committed the crime, people you would think would never come together, they do just that. here's a preview. >> we like to imagine that after there's been the verdict that the story is over. the reality is whether they are the offender or the victim, the journey is just beginning. >> there was a sheriff's deputy at the door. >> he said louis is dead. >> the drugs. >> i took a gun from him. >> i remember shot him. >> i remember shouting don't do it. >> and i pulled the trigger. >> what is it that you want to know? >> i want him to look me in the face and tell me why he killed my mother. ♪ ♪ my redemption ♪ redemption ♪ how high to the top of the mountain ♪ >> i don't know where we're
going to land, but we're all in, man. >> van jones, the host of "the redemption project" is back with me now. it is -- it is so powerful. >> yeah. >> the episode that i was able to see, i mean, it is moving. it is raw. >> yeah. it's a little -- it's a little terrifying at moments to watch it, but it's also unbelievable the capacity of people. >> mm-hmm, yeah. >> van, to not just come face to face, but to come together, to find a path forward. >> yeah. >> i mean, why did you do this? why did you want to do this? >> because i feel like our culture is going in a direction where there is no more grace. there's no forgiveness. there's no compassion. there's no empathy. it's callout culture. i'm a block you culture and that's poison. we can't go on that way so i wanted to put some medicine back into the system to show something 180 degrees the opposite. i talked to eight people who
have done really bad things. they didn't send a bad tweet. they did really bad things years ago, and they want to make amsds. th they want to atone. i talked to people they hurt, the surviving family members and we put them in a room and film them talking to each other. listen, it's powerful. in two of the cases it does not wind up warm and fuzzy, okay. that's reality. in three of the cases the survivors actually successfully go and get the person out of prison, and you have the full range of human emotion and human experience, and i just want people to give this show a chance. oh, it's too hard. i'm too scared. no, no, this is a heartbreak to hope show and every show, even when it doesn't end up warm and fuzzy. it is healing and they learn something they don't know. >> it is so revealing. >> not everyone is a victim of a violent crime or has a personal connection to something like that but it speaks to something larger. >> listen, every human being has done something that we regret,
that we wish we could over, and every human being has been hurt by somebody that's hard to forgive so the stakes are much higher in this these cases, but it's a fundamental human condition where two people sit down and cross that divide. >> and look each other in the eye, even though it was so hard to. it was hard to watch them looking -- what -- it's hard for a lot of people to understand what it is that makes someone whose son has been murdered, mother has been murdered, who wants to sit down and speak to the person who did this. >> let me tell you why, and this is so important. we assume, and i said that in the thing, we assume that when you get the verdict, and guilty, boom. 40 years. that the family is like hoar yeah a -- like horray and everybody is happy. that's true crime. this isn't true crime. >> this is the truth. >> the truth long after the crime. people are hurting. people have not head. people still don't know what happened.
somebody cops a plea, they never even told you what happened so you're sittinging there wondering and wondering and ruminating, so sometimes the only person who can give you some information to help you heal is the person who caused the problem in the first place and that's what happens. i just want to know what happened. why did you do it? do you still -- do you feel bad? was that confession a forced confession? when you said that you were sorry, did you really mean that? people live with that for years, so in this show we give them that healing, and they don't always say i forgive you, but they always get something they didn't have before, and it was unbelievable. >> i was struck one mother whose son was murdered said you were sentenced to 60 years. i live with the sentence every day. >> a life sentence. >> exactly. >> i have a life sentence. >> my prayer and my plea to everybody is, look, you know, sunday, 9:00. this is anthony bourdain's slot that they gave us. that gives you a sense, that's sacred ground for us at cnn.
sacred ground. that gives us the importance cnn puts on these stories and we wouldn't bring it to you unless we thought it would spring hope and healing. >> it is a full spectrum of emotion. i didn't know what to think of it going in, van, but i'm glad i watched. thank you. thank you so much for bringing it. >> thank you. >> so powerful and strong and so much courage for you to bring it and all of those people to sit down with each other. >> be sure to watch "the redemption project" premiering sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. still coming up for us, it is official. joe biden jumps into the race for 2020. will his direct attack going directly at president trump resonate with voteers? will he be able to energize the democratic party? more on that next.
welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your day with us. president trump lashes out at his former white house counsel disputing a key finding of the mueller report, but don mcgahn is hard lit only top trump aide who under oath detailed presidential efforts to stymie the special counsel investigation. plus, evangelical pastor franklin graham labels mayor buttigieg becau