tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 7, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
responsibility for his son's deadly attack. this as we're learning about more warning signs including nearly two dozen calls from the family's home to police. also tonight, a critical moment in the january 6th investigation. we're setting the stage for tomorrow's testimony by former trump white house counsel, pat cipollone. and volodymyr zelenskyy tells me about the very personal toll the war is taking on his family and how his children are in danger. stand by for much more of my exclusive interview with president zelenskyy this hour. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with all the new evidence in the highland park mass shooting including warning signs about the gunman's state
of mind and it's all raising more questions about the potential charges against his father. here's cnn's senior national correspondent, ed lavandera. >> reporter: in the mayhem of the shooting at the highland park fourth of july parade, new details are emerging from a witness that provided key surveillance video which helped identify the alleged shooter. >> see people running, he's walking. >> reporter: it was a camera connected to a building owned by habim. he captured the alleyway the shooter used. >> started looking at the camera here. he was on the film at 10:07 into the alley. and 10:14 coming out. when he comes out, he's holding an orange bag in the rifle butt, something in the bag hits the guardrail and drops. and he looks at it and that's
when we caught him on his camera so we knew who it was and then he left. >> reporter: newly released documents paint the picture of a depressed teenager with a history of drug use and a home life marked by domestic incidents. a report from a 2019 well-being check noted he attempted to kill himself using a machete and mental health professionals responded to the call. in september of the same year, another incident noted he had quote, made a threat in the household. a person who is name is redacted in the report told officer that is the man, quote, stated that he was going to kill everyone. robert crimo iii admitted he was depressed and had a history of drug use, but told investigators he did not feel like harming himself or others. after that incident, police removed 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword from his house. the father picked up the items later that day, claiming they were his. documents also detail a troubling 22 calls to police
from the home. most of them domestic incidents between crimo's mother and father. questions now arise on how despite this history, the shooter was able to legally purchase five firearms with his father's legal consent, which was necessary for any 18-year-old. the alleged gunman's father told abc news he was not responsible for the purchase. >> i still don't -- consent form to go through the process. they do background checks, whatever it entails, i'm not sure. either you're approved or denied. and he was approved. >> reporter: his father later told the "new york post" he believed his son was using the guns to go to a shooting range. >> my community is in despair. grieving. feeling unspeakable pain due to the hands of his son and he signed off on the foid application and i will leave it to the authorities to address the rest of the question.
>> reporter: authorities say the shooter purchased those weapons, eventually using one to kill seven people and injure nearly 40 other victims. one of those victims still fighting for his life is 8-year-old cooper roberts. a family friend says the little boy was shot in the belly and the bullet severed his spinal cord. cooper was at the parade with his twin brother and parents. his mother and brother were also wounded but have been released from the hospital. wolf, cooper and his twin brother with the youngest of six children we are told by a family friend tonight that cooper roberts is in a hospital tonight. he is on a ventilator and sedated. obviously, his family extremely concerned that if he is able to survive, that he will remain paralyzed. >> heartbreaking, indeed. thank you very much. let's bring in cnn legal analyst, paul callan and lynn su sweet who was at the parade.
paul, should these red flags have prevented the gunman from getting his hands on a firearm? >> well, they should have, wolf, but the forms in question and the laws in question in illinois, which is supposed to have tough gun laws, are pathetically inadequate. they only look for people who have been convicted of crimes or have actually been hospitalized for mental disease. however, in this case, of course, you had someone who had threatened to commit suicide. had threatened to kill all the members of his family. had 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword in his possession when he made the threat to kill his family and he just breezed right through the process and they gave him five handguns. it's just outrageous. >> i know lynn you've done a lot o of reporting on this. why is it so easy for someone with such a disturbing history to go out and legally purchase a firearm in this country? >> well, that is the subject
that many people tried to solve and if i could -- i don't know if i could give you the concise answer now. part of it is that no one wants to pass a ban on getting these assault type weapons. much less the other things. it is a subject of intense reporting and scrutiny right now back in illinois and at our paper over what happened and what the illinois state police did. but this also throws a big spotlight though, wolf, on not just how this person slipped through, but that this weapon was available to be purchased. i think in the sense it also helps to keep an eye on the ball. the person slipped through, but where did we end up? one day he was parked at a gun store and he was able to buy a smith & wesson military police style semiautomatic weapon and i think that's also something that we have to consider as we also examine, of course, what and exactly how he was able to
purchase these. >> you know, paul, the gunman's father now says he's not culpable for the attack even though he did sponsor his son's application for a gun license. he says he thought his son would use his guns at a shooting range. what do you make of that defense? >> i looked over that form that the father signed carefully today and there is a clause in it that says that the father must pay all damages caused by the illegal use of a firearm by the son. so he's most definitely responsible and it's probably going to be something that will drive him into bankruptcy. but the other shocking aspect of the form, wolf, is that the entire form asks the father about his own background. whether he, the father, has been convicted of a crime. whether he, the father, has been hospitalized for a mental disease or defect. it really asks the father nothing about the condition of his son and you would think that this father would have known
about the problems his son had had for many years. >> and all the times they had to call the police to come to the family home. you know, lynn, you were there on the day of the parade on july fourth. when you see the images of this little 8-year-old boy, cooper roberts, who's now apparently going to be paralyzed from the waist down, what goes through your mind? >> i have found myself getting sadder and angrier actually, as the time has passed. basically okay. i saw a baby carriage today outside and for a moment, i didn't see the adult next to it and that was kind of a flash back to my moment vivid memory of what happened after the shooting and people abandoned a lot of things including baby carriages. so that's, that's where i, where i'm at, but please, everyone, there are so many people in highland park who as the mayor
said, are grieving and had real trauma from people they knew or loved ones that were hurt or saw this. >> guys, thank you very much. we'll continue this conversation to be sure. just ahead, what the january 6th select committee may learn tomorrow when former trump white house counsel, pat cipollone, finally testifies. and president zelenskyy gets very, very personal in our exclusive interview. he talks about his children and the danger they face as he leads this battle against russia's brutal invasion. we'll be right back. um, oh wow. um, the future is, uh, what's ahead of us. i i don't get it. yeah. maybe ththis will help. so now we're in the present. and now... we're in the future. the all-electric chevy bolt euv with available super cruise™ for hands-free driving. - dad. - yeah? do fish get thirsty? eh. find new answers. find new roads. chevrolet.
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my blood pressure is borderline. garlique healthy blood pressure formula helps maintain healthy blood pressure with a custom blend of ingredients. i'm taking charge, with garlique. tonight, the head of the irs is asking a agency's watchdog to investigate the decision to conduct rare tax youaudits of js c c comey and andrew mccabe. thanks for joining us. do you believe you and comey were targeted by the irs? just how invasive was that audit that went on? >> well, wolf, i don't know if jim and i were targeted but
there are a lot of facts that point in that direction. certainly enough that should compel and seems to have compelled the irs to take a hard look at it. the odds that the two of us would be selected for something that is supposedly a random program are really incalc uable and we have both been targeted by the former president, have been continuously harassed by him. we were both targeted and basically run out of our jobs by that kind of pressure and harassment. so i think it's absolutely a matter worthy of investigation. >> let's move on to some other important news while i have you, andrew. we've getting new body campaign video of the raid against jeffrey clark. it's not clear if clark is the
subject of a criminal investigation but based on the fact he wasn't even allowed to get dressed while investigators cleared his house, what does that suggest about his potential legal jeopardy? >> well, i have to say, wolf, that there are some very standard procedures that the fbi uses when they execute a search warrant at someone's house. and removing that person from the residence while the agents are inside is something that is typically done and it is to ensure the safety of both the person being searched, the occupant of the resident and also for the agent involved. so it seems harsh. it can be shocking and upsetting. to people who are the subject of that warrant, but it is a standard procedure. i haven't seen a video in this case, but that's how the fbi does it in cases across the board. not just people who are politically significant or maybe involved in white collar investigations, but everyone. violent criminals and everyone
across the board. >> let's quickly turn to the january 6th investigation. pat cipollone is set to testify tomorrow behind closed doors. how crucial is that testimony going to be for the select committee's investigation? >> absolutely crucial, wolf. he is one of the critical witnesses who was present for key moments in the course of this timeline. so first it will be very interesting to hear mr. cipollone's recollections and observations from the infamous january 3rd meeting in the oval office during which the president argued with representatives from the justice department and trying to compel the justice department to essentially execute his turning over the results of the election. it will be interesting, also, to hear what mr. cipollone says about the testimony we heard from cassidy hutchinson. whether he corroborates her point of view and of course, his observations from what happened on january 6th.
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of his staunchest allies against russia. it's all part of my exclusive one on one interview with president zelenskyy from his war headquarters in kyiv. joining us now, the president of ukraine, volodymyr zelenskyy. mr. president, thank you so much for joining us. i want to start by asking you about the news today that the british prime minister, boris johnson, has resigned. he's been one of your biggest advocates in europe. he's visited you twice during the course of this brutal war. do you believe it's the correct move for him to step down at this point? >> translator: he resigned not because he was in ukraine. i think on the contrary, what johnson has been doing for ukraine was helping us a great deal. i consider him a friend of ukraine. but i think the society also supported ukraine in europe. that's why i think the u.k.,
it's on the side of good, on the side of ukraine. and i'm sure the u.k. policy towards ukraine is not going to be changing because of boris johnson's resignation. relations obviously gained a lot of johnson's understanding. we went through a lot of dramatic moments quite quickly. the help he needed was delivered rather quickly. yes, it will affect the speed of help, i don't know. i will pray to god it won't. firstly, the military help in this moment of time. >> let me follow up on that point, mr. president. in his resignation speech, boris johnson had a direct message to the people of ukraine.
he said the u.k. will quote continue to back your fight for freedom as long as it takes. that's what he said. are you at all worried that whoever replaces him may lead a british government less dedicated to supporting your country in this fight? >> translator: unfortunately, i didn't hear the resignation speech. i will be talking to him at 4:00 p.m. i will be talking to him about everything. i will try to understand the details of what will be going on when it comes to supporting ukraine in this war. i think he's a deep and serious person. when he resigned, he wanted to talk to me in order to calm me down and say that britain will be carrying on its support for ukraine. i also understand that he will be working as a prime minister for a certain period of time after his resignation.
>> that's correct. mr. president, let's turn to the state of the war right now. as you of course know, russia abandoned its efforts to capture the capital of kyiv three months ago. but since then, russian forces have been steadily gaining ground in the east. what's your assessment, mr. president, of where the war stands right now? >> thank you for this question. firstly, i want to say the russians didn't abandon their attempts although we pushed them back and they retreat. i think overall, they didn't give up on their military plans and their leadership plans to capture our country. these are their plans for years and years. they have been always occupying our country. first politically. there was crimea, then donbas and now we've got a full scale invasion.
that's why russia's plans change our political leadership and occupation of the whole country. we are totally convinced. as to the situation in the east, it's very difficult. we have different situations all over ukraine but the most difficult one is in donbas. the russians have advantage in artillery, soldiers and they sustained more losses, but they don't count their military equipment. they don't count their victims. we are counting our people most of all. we are doing everything in order to save lives of our people. this is our weapons. our people are our weapons. we want this disadvantage primarily artillery compared to russia, to get rectified to we
are appealing to our partner frs help. as to the situation in the south, it's a bit different as we are containing the enemy and in some cases, we're counter attacking. as to the kharkiv region, it's almost all liberated. it's not easy because the russians left their combat units. overall, we have to stabilize the situation in the east. >> you pledged, mr. president, to take back every inch of ukrainian territory from the russians, but sir, is that really realistic because u.s. officials recently told cnn it's unlikely you'll be able to regain all of the ground you've lost. what's your reaction to that? >> translator: we are going fight for every inch of our territory.
it's clear that we can't get it all back. but we need equipment and security support in order to continue the fight. but some areas lost to the russian occupiers we will definitely win back. with the diplomatic path, there would be fewer victims. >> so let me follow up on that point, mr. president. are you willing to cede any territory at all to russia to make a peace deal and end this war? >> translator: ukrainians are their land. as new territories of russian federation, this is our land. we have always said this. and we will never give it up. >> president biden still has not visited ukraine since the
invasion began, mr. president. do you think it would help refocus the world's efforts on your country if president biden visited ukraine? >> translator: we would love to see president biden in ukraine. i heard that he supported the idea. there are some security moments which stand in the way of his visit. we understand that. i truly think this would help the ukrainians. ukrainians support the united states, the trust is very high. same is to the u.k. and poland and the baltic states. so visits of the world leaders are not just partners, but real friends, to give a signal, a
sign, that the united states supports ukraine because they believe in ukrainian victory and they're not afraid of russia. they come despite the rockets flying in. they're not afraid of putin because the world is much bigger than one leader of one country. and clearly, if president biden would be able to come, i support it and he would be so welcome in ukraine. and i'm sure he would get this feeling of gratitude and support of the united states from the ukrainian people.
i think it would be amazing. >> just ahead, president zelenskyy opens up about the toll the war is taking on his family. as he barely gets to see or hug his children. my exclusive interview with president zelenskyy continues. that's next. plus, brittney griner's legal team is now speaking out about the wnba star's decision to plead guilty to drug charges in russia. ok so they were trying to verify my employment status while i was at work, in a giant hole, in a mine. but then s something amazing happened. hello? carvana worked with my shift manager and got everything sorted out so i didn't miss out on the car. super helpful. i was over the moon, even though i was underground. we'll drive you happy at carvana. [whistling]
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president volodymyr zelenskyy coming up in a few moments, but first, a major development in moscow today. wnba superstar and olympic gold medalist, brittney griner, has chosen to plead guilty to drug smuggling charges. her lawyers say it was her own choice to do so and they hope russian prosecutors will give greiner some leniency now. brian todd is joining us with more details on what happened in court today. brian? >> as you mentioned, the decision to plead guilty according to sources close to greiner was her own decision and now her lawyers say they expect her trial to conclude around the beginning of august. we have also other new information on where the case could go from here. brittney griner doesn't speak as she's led in handcuffs outside the courtroom today but inside, the american basketball star's words were captured in an audio recording. >> i would like to plead guilty on the charges but i had no
intention on breaking any russian -- >> greiner told the judge she wants to give her testimony later. her lawyers gave more detail on the less than one gram of cannabis oil she was carrying. >> she admitted that it was her, hers, but she said that it was unint unintentionally brought to russia because she was in a hurry as she was packing and it was just by accident that it happened in her luggage. >> why would she plead guilty? one reason is that an estimated 99% of all criminal cases in russia end up in convictions anyway. >> the smart move is to admit guilty and try to get a lesser sentence. the russian government has made noises about there can't be an exchange until convicted so this may expedite that process. >> the white house responded to
greiner's guilty plea by saying they're working aggressively to bring her home. and secretary of state blinken tweeted we will not relent until brittney, paul, and other detained americans are reunited with their loved ones. one of america's top diplomats in russia said she was able to speak to greiner in court and shared detail on her condition. >> she said she's eating well. she's able to read books and under the circumstances, she is doing well. most important, i was able to share with miss greiner a letter from president biden and miss greiner was able to read that letter. >> president biden's letter to greiner following her letter to him pleading for her release. part of a ramped up pressure campaign on the biden administration by greiner's family and oadvocates. including a rally last night in phoenix. >> i'm frustrated that my wife is not going to get justice. >> has her family's pressure and the biden administration's
reaction to it raised the asking price? >> russians are not if not mercenary so the more prominent the person they've managed to detain, the hodstage, if you will, obviously the more they think they can get from this. this is essentially a hostage taking. >> greiner's lawyers have just revealed she and her wife have not been able to speak on the phone since her arrest in february. they say russian officials have granted permission for a call, but it hasn't happened yet. >> thank you very, very much. coming up, my exclusive interview continues with volodymyr zelenskyy. stand by. ♪ you had me at allison® 10-speed transmission. ♪ features available on gmc sierra heavy duty.
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now we have more of my exclusive interview with ukrainian president, volodymyr zelenskyy. sh he's also a husband and a father who misses his family. mr. president, i have a couple of personal questions. your wife, the first lady of ukraine, recently told cnn that your marriage has effectively been put on pause because of the war. when was the last time you were able to see your wife, your daughter, and your young son and what impact is this conflict having on them and you? >> translator: thank you for this question. you know, it's much more difficult for my wife and my children. it's more difficult for them
because my children almost don't see me. my wife comes to my workplworkplace, to the president's office. as to the children, the main problem is they're this age. my daughter is grown up. she's almost 18. and my son is 9. they grew up without me and they're lacking communication. they're lacking advice. they're lacking my hugs and just a usual dinner. something that was normal for us like for every family. this is the question. the children are lacking family.
at the same time, why i said it's more difficult for my children is because they've had to grow up quickly because of this war. many things they have to think because of this war as a grown up. many decisions they have to make quickly. they're in a dangerous situation. every night, you have to be in a bomb shelter because of sirens and it's all over the country. that applies not just to my children, but to all ukrainian children these days. this is grown up challenges they're going through.
maybe my children are even kind of slightly more affected because they cannot even talk to children, to their friends these days, because of security measures. i'm working. i have people around me. there's still some life. i see the result of my work. and the children, despite their age, they have to be independent and they don't socialize. i'm very grateful to them and to my wife that they are with me in kyiv and they understand they're not only wife and children.
they could go anywhere. they could go wherever they want. but they cannot do that. it's their decision to be with me here because this is a signal to all ukrainians. i'm very happy they understand and they understand this tragedy and that's why we all want to win. equally. children and adults, men and women. we're all the same here. we are all after ukraine's victory. >> mr. president, please pass along our love to your family during these extremely difficult moments. please pass along our love. i have one more personal question i'd like to ask you, mr. president. like me, you're jewish and the son of holocaust survivors. my parents were polish jews.
when you hear putin accuse you and other jews of being nazis, is that painful for you? >> translator: when i hear something from the russian federation officials, i have two types of feelings. first, it's anger because of this unfairness. because of these accusations against ukraine. and then the second feeling comes in. i think it's warfare and it makes me laugh. it just doesn't give me any emotions. it's just laughable. it's like a joke. it's like a caricature. in a country like ukraine with so many ethnic groups where people speak different languages, ukrainian, english, they sometimes speak russian better than the russians. they speak perfect ukrainian and perfect russian.
and a single person in ukraine could have both ukrainian and jewish blood. can be belarusian. even russian . we had it in our families, they were shot, because they were jews, because they didn't have the right kind of blood, it's color, taste, something else. i always thought it was a medieval weapon, they were just
given rifles. i always thought it would stay in the past. it'll never happen again and now it's returning. people who say these things, they are just sick. you can't really laugh at sick people. a disease can be cured but what i hear from them is a disease that can't be cured. they wanted to be ill, they wanted to be sick, the russians. and i could see totally weird people but fair. i find it difficult to take it seriously. despite every horrible bit attached to this, i just take it as a laughable issue. >> if putin is watching right now, mr. president, what is your message to him?
>> i don't think he's a personality to send him a special message. this is a bloodied war that russia wages against ukraine. i just want him to realize that he's personally responsible for this and he can stop it now. that's his choice to carry on or stop it. >> do you still believe it's actually possible that this work would be over by the end of this year? >> it depends on us. it depends on you. it depends on someone who is
above us. >> could you elaborate on that? tell us what you mean? >> of our country will stay united and unified, if the powerful weaponry from our partners will be coming to us on time, and if good luck and god will be on our side. we can achieve a lot of things and we can stop this war. we can stop the military part of this war. if we are strong, as i said, we could come to the point where russia will have to sit down for negotiations. they will see the world united around ukraine. it depends on the strength of ukraine and certain victories and certain operations.
if this happens, it will be a very strong position from which we will be able to talk and negotiations are the final stage of any war. >> president zelenskyy, thank you for spending time with us. we are deeply, deeply grateful to you. good luck to you, good luck to all the people of ukraine. once again, thank you very much. >> we will have more news just ahead, including the distinguished recipients o of t nations highest civilian hohonors, stay with us. (man) that's really something. (burke) get a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks. (dad) bravo! (mom) that's our son! (burke) we should.
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(fisher investments) it's easy to think that all money managers are pretty much the same, but at fisher investments we're clearly different. (other money manager) different how? you sell high commission investment products, right? (fisher investments) nope. fisher avoids them. (other money manager) well, you must earn commissions on trades. (fisher investments) never at fisher investments. (other money manager) ok, then you probably sneak in some hidden and layered fees. (fisher investments) no. we structure our fees so we do better when clients do better. that might be why most of our clients come from other money managers. at fisher investments, we're clearly different. president biden awarded the highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom to 17 distinguished americans, among the honorees, former arizona congresswoman,
gabrielle giffords, president biden said she the ideal of never giving up and said she's proof that americans can channel the pain of gun violence into a movement that he said, will prevail. olympic gymnast, simone biles was also honored, she's the most decorated gymnast in american history. president biden joked, she he wasn't sure where she would find space for the latest medal and praised her for standing up and speaking for those who can't speak for themselves. two-time world cup champion, megan rapinoe was honored as one of america's great athletes. president biden praised the soccer superstars work fighting for equal pay for women and called her a champion for the essential american truth, that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. sidney mccain accepted a medal on behalf of her husband, senator john mccain. he said he never stopped admiring mccain because he knew his honor, and commitment.
17 trailblazers and american heroes, are congratulations to the recipients. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. erin burnett out front starts right now. new body cam video of a raid on a trump ally. part of the doj's investigation into trump's attempts to overturn the election. the father of the 4th of july shooter defending his son's purchase of guns, and defending his role in helping his son get those firearms. the top prosecutor on the case is out front. an exclusive audio tonight of an american captured in ukraine, confirming e
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