tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN August 13, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
all right, good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. glad you're with me. jim sciutto has a well deserved week off. and the more we learn this morning the more it seems clear one of the most secure fucelts in the country failed to protect jeffrey epstein from himself. a source briefed on the investigation said epstein apparently hadn't been checked on in hours when he's believed to have committed suicide and that one of the guards supposed to be doing one of those 30 minute checks wasn't even a regular guard but a fill in. meanwhile the fbi has raided epstein's caribbean island, proof the investigation into his network of enablers is very much
continuing. so we'll get to that and the fbi on this private island in just a moment. but what else can you tell us about the developments, clearly a failure here by the justice system. >> reporter: good morning, poppy. we are learning these new developments. it seems one of the most significant ones is that one of the two guards in charge of epstein and overseeing from that friday night to saturday morning when he was found in his cell was not a full time guard but a fill in as you said and a representative of the president of the union told our colleague that, you know, one of the reasons this is happening because there is understaffing there's been a hiring freeze across the law enforcement since the beginning of the trump administration, and that was lifted in ape, but it has taken its toll. now there are other breaches from protocol we learned about, the cellmate supposed to be in epstein's cell moved out on friday.
and the guards were supposed to look at epstein and monitor him every 30 minutes because he was in a special unit. we're learning in fact the guards hadn't checked on epstein for hours. so that left this window of opportunity for epstein to take his life. >> and before we go, those images we were just seeing, jeffrey epstein incredibly wealthy, had this home in the caribbean and now the feds are there. what are they looking for? >> of course people wondered what would happen when jeffrey epstein was found dead. prosecutors have been very clear saying they are still continuing an investigation into his conduct and that includes employees and associates who had worked with him and helped him pull off. one of the places took place was little st. james island and agents from the fbi new york field office were on site. they're looking for evidence to help them continue this investigation, poppy. >> thank you for the reporting. please keep us posted as you
learn more. let's talk about this with someone who has been to the metropolitan correctional center where jeffrey epstein was being held in manhattan. good morning. let's just begin with your experience here. you've been to mcc. you were talking to witnesses who were cooperating against another very high profile person and that is john gadi. so this is supposed to be the kind of place that has no problem handling high profile cases like this. >> as you pointed out visiting cooperating witnesses in the eastern district in new york's case against john gadi and across 25 years in the fbi visited many times dropping off prisoners for intake, interviewing prisoners as well as conducting proffers with the
southern district of new york and eastern district of new york. this is mind-boggling. look, the mcc was built in 1975. it was built with the capacity of 456 inmates. they are now just under 800 inmates. so i understand the short staff issue here, but poppy, this raises so many questions about why all these failures happened. it almost a cascading set of failures to cause something unthinkable like this to happen. >> it sounds like you're saying because of this cascading of events, understaffing, clearly in positions that perhaps they weren't ready to be doing or trained for, that a high profile death or a death like this was inevitable. >> right. so three things we look at in the criminal justice system, the first part is enforcement which i'm infantly familiar with, then the prosecution part and then the corrections part. poppy, any time we cut budgets,
any time we short strip one of those three tiered legs of the stool it's corrections. understand there's 3.2 million people incarcerated in this country. 7.3 million but still for this to happen, the special housing unit, a man who had been on suicide watch for a week, it is simply unconscionable. >> so he worked for the fbi. they've got agents down now on the u.s. virgin islands and that's where we saw his elaborate home. what are thigh doing there and looking for him and why because the criminal case against him is no longer because he's dead. >> because of coconspirators. now his estate can be gone after in the civil sense or even in the civil forfeiture sense from the prosecution angle. but they're going to be looking to see who else was involved in this trafficking of underage minors. number one they'll be looking at
digital exhaust, anything they can pull up on laptops or ipads or cellphones, looking for physical evidence and looking to interview people with knowledge of jeffrey epstein as well as that little cadre of folks that helped him in this perverse endeavor. >> always good to have your mind on this stuff, thank you, sir. let me turn now to a dramatic daytime shootout near los angeles that happened yesterday and has left one police officer dead and two other officers wounded. you can see police ducking behind their patrol cars as they exchanged gunfire with the suspect. the street fight began after a traffic stop. stephanie elum joins me now. do we know why the suspect started shooting? >> so unclear at this point, poppy, for the shootout that
started at 5:37 a traffic stop yesterday evening off the 515 freeway there. what we understand is it was a california highway patrol officer who pulled over this gmc white truck and was in the process of impounding the vehicle when the suspect allegedly went back into the vehicle, pulled out a rifle and began shooting. the first officer there, he was hit, and he was still able to call for backup. and that's when other officers showed up and there was an extensive gun battle. in fact, the riverside police department, the chief called it a long and horrific gun battle that took place between these officers that showed up. they're also saying they did have have multiple different police stations and the suspect was shot and died at the scene. but that first officer that made this first traffic stop initially, he died.
34-year-old andre moore died. they're saying he's been working in this unit since 2017. there's one other officer that has major injuries and in critical condition and another officer that was also hit that has minor injuries but at this point, poppy, it's not clear why the suspect went back into his unit, got in his car and got his rifle and began shooting, unclear. but it's an extensive scene they're still processing and looking at here. but thinking about this happening right at rush hour time is very scary and tragic. >> and 34-year-old life gone. a reminder of how these officers put their life on the line truly every single day even in traffic stops. >> now to very sad news involving a police officer. this is just into cnn. we've learned this morning that an eighth officer with the new york city police department has died by suicide this year. >> it really is.
and i can tell you this unfortunately ties a sad record. this is now the most suicides that are occurred in a year at the nypd. this officer was temporarily assigned to detail outside of yankee stadium. he was not on duty at the time he took his own life according to our sources. 35 years old, with the department for seven years. he left behind a note although we don't know what the details of that note were. i can tell you, poppy, i talk would the commissioner james o'neil weeks ago about this when the seventh one happened and when we sat down he'd just gotten back from consoling the family of the man who took his own life then. and he was in tears talking to me then so i can't imagine what he's going through right this minute. >> this is something he's clearly worried about and now they've got this record. >> they've got this record. they're working on it. he obviously said this was a big fear of his, another one would
happen. >> thank you very much for the update. still to come hundreds of protesters block security gates again this morning. look to that. that is inside the eighth busiest airport in the world, hong kong international. it has grounded all flights in and out of there. and now new video of chinese federal police deploying their resources on the border of china and hong kong. we are live there next. plus a cnn exclusive. we will take you inside russian president vladimir putin's private army. this is remarkable reporting by our clarissa ward. you won't want to miss it. and she had man emotional plea for her father during last week's i.c.e. raids in mississippi. what happened to her father, and did he really have any criminal charges against him? we're setting the record straight. ahead. at fidelity, we make sure you have a clear plan to cover the essentials in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you're ready for what comes next, the only direction is forward.
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more on those demonstrations that have really crippled hong kong for weeks now. for a second straight day operations are grounded and hong kong international airport the busiest airport in the world. and came face-to-face with police and foreign travelers. the demonstrations cap off ten weeks of unrest. the city's chief executive says it's pushed the territory to the brink of no return. let's go to paula hancock. she joins me live from hong kong. a little bit of trouble with your signal. so video has surfaced showing chinese military vehicles gathering near the hong kong border. that's an ominous sign. what does it portend? >> this is the chinese media and the video does show military vehicles driving along the highway just across the border from hong kong. it is heavily edited and set to
music, so certainly it is a fairly slick piece of material and chinese media are putting it out there. it's really the third time we've seen over the past ten weeks the chinese military is trying to show what it could do and to remind protesters here it is still very close. they have said if asked by the hong kong government come across the border and try to keep peace, if they believe also there are terrorist activities. we did hear from a beijing top official yesterday they believed some of these protesters have elements of terrorism within them. so certainly we are hearing a certain message from china, but of course this is a message beijing wants these protesters to the hear. and these protesters aren't going anywhere. this momentum is continuing, poppy. there are thousands still here at the hong kong international airport, the fifth day they've been here, the second day they've grounded operations. and just an idea of the frustration and the anger against the police, they're also
trying to see if there are undercover policeman taking them to one side and really showing the anger against the police. >> thank you for being there. it is an extraordinary site and doesn'tlic like it's letting up anytime soon. meantime the president today will take a break from his vacation. he is going to spotlight one of the key hith highlights of the trump economy. currently one of the largest projects under construction in the country. it comes amid concerns, major concerns over the growing budget deficit and the escalating trade war with china. let's start where the president's going today. he's going to this plant in western pennsylvania. manufacturing jobs have been good for him, right? job growth for manufacturing sector is up 4%, more than double than what obamma said in the last 3030 months of his term
but this is in the midst of a potential downturn, which you call the risks of a recession uncomfortably high. is he highlighting one good thing? >> yeah, i think if you look forward the economies growth is going to be much slower. particularly manufacturing, the manufacturing industries are now pretty close to recession, right on the precipice. and it goes right back to that trade war. so, yeah, manufacturing has done pretty well up until now but looking forward the prospects nearly as good. >> we learned the budget deficit has widened to $867 billion just in this first half ois the eryear, so that means according to omb it will exceed a trillion for the fiscal year. do you remember when the
president said he would eliminate the deficit. talk about that what that means for americans. >> it was a promise. i thought it was something he could not not achieve, but i didn't think we would get larger deficits. what does that mean going forward as this economy begins to weaken and doesn't perform nearly as well and i think we should expect lots of red ink going forward. you know, it's one of these things corrosive on the economy. it doesn't mean a lot in a given day, week, month, or year but it's going to be a problem for economic growth. it's kind of like climate change, right? because we can't connect the dots today we're not doing anything about it. this is the same with the deficit. >> the question is how much do
you care with what we're leaving our kids? it's not just the president's policies and tax cuts but also the spending bill passed by democrats and republicans. september 1st people are going to come back from summer vacation, and boom, more tariffs on china, things like iphones, et cetera. bank of america came out and said they see a risk here. 1 in 3 chance before election day. i mean if this thing happens on september 1st do we call it a recession? >> i think odds are pretty high. bank of america is actually optimistic. if the president follows through i think the odds of recession are probably greater. he could pull this back with a tweet. he could say, oh, i just struck a deal with xi and we're going to wind this thing down. i do think if he did that relatively soon then the economy
would get its groove back and we'd be growing again. but he's got to do that pretty soon. sentiment is going to be undermined and we'll be in recession. >> i wouldn't hold your breath for that. there's no political impetus for china to make an abrupt deal, but we'll see. i appreciate your time this morning. thank you so much. we're moments away from the opening bell. stocks searching for direction this morning. the trade war, of course, as we just talked about the minds of investors as they pour money into gold. ♪ you should be mad they gave this guy a promotion. you should be mad at forced camaraderie. and you should be mad at tech that makes things worse.
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all right, welcome back. this morning extraordinary exclusive reporting about vladimir putin's private army. after months of investigating cnn has discovered hundreds of nurseinaries fighting for the russian president on three different continents. but according to it kremlin they don't exist. and also the man leading the force is a key putin ally and not only that accusing our chief national correspondent clarissa ward of being a spy.
clulissa ward, not a russian asset joins me now. you spoke to a former fighter. why was he willing to talk to you? >> well, it did take some time and we had to go through some connections before he essentially began to trust us and agreed to talk to us. we had to go through great pains to disguise his identity as well because officially the kremlin says it has nothing to do with these mercenary forces being used more and more in these unstable countries across the world. they are there to boost russian influence but also to outmaneuver political rivals like the u.s. take a look. this is oleg. for years he says he worked as a hired gun in syria for a shadowy russian mercenary group and had become a valuable tool for the kremlin. >> translator: it's putin's instrument for resolving issues by force. when action has to be taken
immediately, urge lntly and in the most concealed way possible. i cannot say it's an army in the proper sense of that word. it's just a fighting unit that will do anything that putin says. >> reporter: this is the first time a former wagner employee has agreed to speak on camera and oleg asked us to describe his identity. private military contractors are illegal in russia. officially vaugnere doesn't exist but cnn has discovered the group has hundreds of fighters operating on three different continents and this is the man believed to be behind that expansion. dubbed putin's chef because of lucrative contracts he's also sanctioned by the u.s. for funding the internet research agency accused of meddling in the 2016 election. >> translator: i'm a mercenary and 90% of participants of the
company were like me, and they were motivated by money. >> reporter: what sort of training was it? where did it take place? >> translator: you know i didn't have any training as such, not then anyway. i spent six days in the training camp. i went to a firing range twice and shot a machine gun once. that was it. >> reporter: cnn traveled to the remote russian village to try to get to the training camp and found the group has a surprisingly close relationship with the russian military. the only way to get into the vagner barracks is to get through that checkpoint which is man bide the russian military because this actually belongs to a russian specialist unit. not far there's a monument to fallen vagner fighters. visitors are not welcome so we approach with a hidden camera. it looks less like a memorial
than a fortress. a guard soon comes up to us. is the church only for vagner i ask, i don't know he says. i for the people who were in syria i press him? i don't know, i'm telling you, he says, i'm just guarding here. he begins to get suspicious of our question and we decide to leave. they didn't let us inside which is not surprising because in that compound is the only tangible visible proof that vagner is real. no surprise perhaps that the monument is funded by a -- owned company. it was five years ago mysterious unidentified fighters dubbed little green men helped moskow rest the province from ukraine even as the kremlin foehned ignorance. it was a success and moskow's
use of mercenary forces has since grown. analysts say none of this could happen without putin's approval. do you think that part of the mission of vagner is to help russia restore its role to become a major global super power again? >> translator: yes, 100%. this is the top priority for vagner. >> reporter: and so it's trying to be a rival to america? >> translator: russia is trying to suppress the u.s. in every way possible using legal and illegal means. it's trying to smash it, get the better of it somehow. what will come of it? as a result, nothing good i think. >> reporter: but for russian president vladimir putin vagner is still a worth while gamble, an expendable fighting force with no accountability. >> cnn has tried to reach out through his lawyers. we did not receive any response. we also of course wanted to contact vagner but because the
group doesn't officially exist it doesn't have an address or a phone number or a website. and finally, poppy, we also tried to reach out to the russian ministry of defense. perhaps unsurprisingly we did not get any response there either. >> that is remarkable reporting, clarissa. literally going there trying to get in as you always do. a few questions for you. we heard him say he was a mercenary essentially in it for the money but was that all motivating him, because it seemed from the interview his heart wasn't necessarily in it, he didn't agree with the mission. >> oleg said his primary incentive for doing this was he had seen isis videos and of course we all understand the real narrative in syria is much more complex than that, though
he concedes also money played a huge part in it, too. and i think his disillusionment with vagner is because it's technically illegal in russia, they're not given the same level of support or respect or sort of infrastructure that you would be if you worked for a company that was a proper legal entity. he felt very much he wanted to see this whole thing, these mercenary groups legalized and made public and therefore given some kind of a credibility. >> clearly your reporting got under the skin of the kremlin. russia is now accusing you of being a spy and they have gone as far as to follow you, film you in africa? >> well, yeah. so this is interesting and not something i've experienced many times before, but basically in in addition to owning to these mercenary groups he's also linked to a russian news site
but really they're a propaganda machine. they released a 15-minute clip, poppy, about me and my team for the report we did in the second part of the series. in this clip they are in my hotel room at one point, after we left a man walking around the hotel room saying where i was sitting, saying i had offered him $100 to say bad things about the russians. there were a number of shots of us as a team in our hotel lobby and at the airport who have clearly been filmed surreptitiously by someone watching us and following mus. accusations we were spies and bribing people. at the one hand it's frankly scary stuff but on the other hand you think this reporting clearly did hit a nerve and we clearly are talking about a topic that russia rather we were not talking about. and it's an important one, poppy, because specifically with regards to the central african republic, three russian journalists were actually ambushed and murdered there one
year ago. they were there to talk about the same story of what the russian mercenaries were up to, and of course we'll have that sek second part for you tomorrow. >> i cannot wait to see that. clearly they do not know you because you will not be deterred. c clarissa, thank you so much. senator bernie sanders is making an accusation similar to the one the president has made to "the washington post." "the post" hitting back hard. all of that is next. have a tra? we do! the discover it® miles card. earn unlimited 1.5 miles on every purchase, plus we'll match your miles at the end of your first year. you'll match my miles? yeah! mile for mile! and no blackout dates or annual fee. nice! i was thinking about taking a scuba diving trip! i love that. or maybe go surfing... or not. ok. maybe somewhere else. maybe a petting zoo. can't go wrong. can't get eaten. earn miles. we'll match 'em at the end of your first year. plus no annual fee or blackouts.
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the first survivor of alzis out there.ase and the alzheimer's association is going to make it happen. but we won't get there without you. join the fight with the alzheimer's association. all right, this morning "the washington post" is pushing back at criticism from senator bernie sanders, a 2020 democratic hopeful blasted "the post"
coverage of his campaign and he argues it is biased because it is owned by amazon ceo jeff bazos. listen to sanders in new hampshire yesterday. >> anybody here know how much amazon paid in taxes last year? i talk about that all of the time and then i wonder why "the washington post," which is own by jeff bazos who owns amazon, doesn't write particularly good articles about me. i don't know why. >> he failed to provide any evidence of that, those past comments along those lines were echoed by his campaign and prompted this reply by the executive editor for "the washington post." quote, senator sanders is a member of a large club of politicians of every ideology who complain about their coverage contrary to the conspiracy theory as our reporters and editors can attest. keirsten powers is here.
good morning, guys. i was a little surprised, keirsten, to hear sanders say it himself but it's not new to see his campaign really taking on the media without provide anything evidence of bias. just listen to his campaign manager, he was on reliable sources with brian stelter just a few weeks ago. >> in about a minute or so or two minutes or so you're going to cut to commercial breaks and you're going to see pharmaceutical ads, a lot of ads basically paying your bills and the entire media frenterprise. >> followed up and asked for evidence and he didn't provide any. >> yeah, i think it's perfectly imbalanced to complain about
your coverage and this is what ever single campaign cuz, even barack obama's campaign complained about the coverage. this is -- people often think when they're running for president they are the only person who doesn't want coverage and that's just not true. moving into these conspiracy theories about why is what's different. and i think in the climate we're in right now with the president of the united states who has really gone after all media who hasn't fallen completely in line with him and really is offering full throated support, pretty much everybody else has been attacked, you know, as fake news and not trustworthy. and so i think what the sanders campaign is doing, it's fallen into -- it's using that same play book, frankly. and it would be problematic even without donald trump. but considering the culture we're in where the media is under such constant attack i think you should be careful about the accusations you make and you better be able to back
them up. >> it's important to note "the washington post" has done really critical reporting about amazon, too. >> absolutely. and i want to underscore something keirsten said, something you said, too, poppy, is that bernie sanders and his campaign have not really put forward any facts or evidence when they're pressed about what "the washington post" is doing. and i do think there's a concern and especially concern as we're gearing up in this primary that bernie sanders is going to be compared to donald trump again, again, and again. that's not a comparison he wants. and when you're going sense such a standard like "the washington post" who has come out and said that you are perpetuating a conspiracy that sounds just like the president of the united states calling "the washington post" amazon's "the washington post," you get into sticky territory. >> i wonder if you think this is going to be picked up by other
democratic 2020 contenders. the biden camp is not happy with, you know, the media covering the multiple gaffes and misstatements he's made over the past few weeks. listen to ohio congressman tim ryan, also a presidential candidate and his read. he said this is such an important election, we've got to all be our best. we can't mick mistakes because the right wing machine make hum sound the same. simone sanders said on this network yesterday this is press narrative not a voter narrative, saying basically the media focuses on this, the voters don't care. what's your read? >> that's important to say if that's what the biden campaign believes. i don't think it's out of balance to say you don't think you're getting fair coverage and, you know, to detail why you think you aren't getting fair coverage. you know i don't agree with what simone said. i think the fact you have a
president that's the age of joe biden who seems to be mixing things up and not getting things right, it does raise a question of is this guy ready to go up against trump, that's a fair thing. i don't expect the campaign to agree with that. the idea somehow people at cnn are asking questions or behaving in a certain way because of the ads that are playing on-air. as we all know, we don't know what ads are coming on while we're on-air, so you need to be able to -- if you're going to make that accusation, you better be able to offer some proof otherwise you are acting just like donald trump. >> but has it been beneficial to donald trump in some groups, brittany? meaning, is there a political price to pay on voters if the sanders camp keeps making unsubstantiated allegations like this? >> absolutely.
especially with young voters and swing voters. and i want to touch a little bit on what joe biden's camp is saying because it's similar with bernie sanders, sure there's a media narrative and voter narrative, that's valid. but the voter narrative is not solidified and even in the polling bernie sanders among the twoup three or top five. and they have a duty in their base to not only solidify the support they have but to get new voters. so young voters about to make up 20% of the electorate in 2020. the young voters across the board not necessarily gunning for any of the top contenders. so bernie sanders if he wants to risk losing those young people he should be aware of what he's saying in regard to fake news media coverage. >> thank you, ladies. so much more i wanted to get to. we'll get to it with you both next time. a programming note for you, our special report the age of amazon premieres this friday
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he's not a criminal. government, please let my parents be. >> at least 300 of those almost 700 people detained have been released, but not her father. and on sunday mark morgan, the acting commissioner of u.s. customs and border protection said this to our jake tapper. >> so i understand that the girl is upset and i get that. but her father committed a crime. and just so the american people know also, is that girl, her mother was home and she was reunited with her mother within a few hours that night. >> did you hear that committed a crime part? now a spokesman for i.c.e. tells us that the little girl's dad has no prior criminal convictions. his family still has no idea where he is or if he will be deported. let's go to jackson mississippi. dianne gallagher is there. i know you spent time with the family and i would like to know what they said to you. and it's possible mark morgan
was talking about an illegal crossing into the u.s. as a crime. it sounded like he said there was another criminal record here. >> reporter: yeah, and poppy, look, it would be very well that he was talking about workplace crimes in the act of working well.horized in this country as- according to his wife, the mother of their four children, who is frightened, she is confused, she doesn't know how to get in touch with him. she's not spoken to her husband since he left for work that day. she just wants them to know that he is not violent, he simply came here a little more than ten years ago to work. he has been a provider for their family, the only provider for their family and she doesn't know what she's going to do without him here. she told me that even though all four of her children are u.s. citizens, that if he gets deported, she may have no choice but to take those u.s. citizen
children back to guatemala, where not only have they never been before, but they don't want to go. she was doing her math homework when i was there with her mother and she told me she wanted to grow up to be a math teacher. this fifth grader said that she hadn't slept since they took her dad. they're waiting for a phone call desperately. if a phone number calls them and they don't know it, she assumes it's him. it's this sad desperation of waiting for them. also the fact that her daughter went viral has honestly been one of the worst things for them. it has put a face on what happened in mississippi, but they've received a lot of intrusive and creepy requests and suggestions. people calling and asking if they can adopt her from a loving family. she doesn't need new parents, she just isn't able to find her dad. they really are kind of an emblem or example of what so many are going through.
she said so many of her classmates had their parents detained and a lot of them, just like her, don't have a parent back yet. >> and the other question becomes is the trump administration going to go after these companies that they raided? are they going to prosecute? because that is not the record that we've seen from the trump administration against the employers of these undocumented immigrants. thank you very much for the reporting. i'm sorry we have to leave it there. i appreciate you bringing us that from the family. thank you so much. we do have new questions surrounding the suicide of jeffrey epstein. one of the guards assigned to watch him was a substitute, not even part of the regular guard force. was in an accident. when i called usaa, it was that voice asking me, "is your daughter ok?" that's where i felt relief. we're the rivera family and we plan to be with usaa for life. see how much you can save with usaa insurance. summer's not the time for making bucket lists. bookers know summer is for booking it. (chime, slam, chime)
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good morning, everyone. top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow in new york and we begin with breaking news. the market is surging right now. news just in that the tariffs, many of them set to go into effect september 1st, it looks like they're going to be delayed, at least some of them. the market likes that. the dow is up 431 points. so these were tariffs that were going to be on iphones and ipads. are they all being delayed? >> they were going to hit the consumer really hard. this is the first round that was going to go into effect and the consumer was going to feel it directly.