Return to Transcripts main page


MLB Moving All-Star Game From GA Over New Voting Restriction; Atlanta Mayor Fears A Boycott If New GA Voting Law Isn't Changed; One Officer Killed, One Injured In Attack At U.S. Capitol; CDC Advising Against Non-Essential Travel Even When Vaccinated; Top Homicide Cop Calls Chauvin's Actions "Totally Unnecessary"; Suspect Killed After Driving Car Into Barricade, Brandishing Knife. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired April 3, 2021 - 12:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We're standing by to hear from Governor of Georgia at any moment now. Governor Brian Kemp is expected to hold a news conference to talk more about Major League Baseball's decision to move the All-Star game from Atlanta in response to the new voting law.

The decision is reverberating across the sports world and the political spectrum. CNN Natasha Chen is at the Georgia State Capitol for us and Natasha, what are we expecting to hear from the governor?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred, we're expecting the Governor any moment here to step behind the podium. You see a lot of people behind the podium on those steps, including some state legislature - legislators here to support him.

I want to mention that I did also get a statement within the last hour or so from Cobb County Travel and Tourism talking about the 100 plus million dollars they could potentially lose here. I'm going to step aside now because it looks like Governor Kemp is starting his press conference.


GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): Good afternoon, everyone. Let me thank all of you for being with us today. And I really want to thank so many grassroots conservatives and great elected leaders who are here with us.

Yesterday Major League Baseball cave to fear and lies from liberal activists they ignored the facts of our new election integrity law, and they ignored the consequences of their decision on our local community.

In the middle of a pandemic, Major League Baseball put the wishes of Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden, ahead of the economic well being of hard work and Georgians who are counting on All-Star game for a paycheck. George's and all Americans should know what this decision means. It means canceled culture and partisan activists are coming for your business. They're coming for your game, or event in your hometown. And they're coming to cancel everything from sports, to how you make a living.

And they will stop at nothing to silence all of us. They don't care about jobs. They don't care about our communities. And they certainly don't care about access to the ballot box. Because if they did, Major League Baseball would have announced that they were moving their headquarters from New York yesterday.

In New York - in New York, they have 10 days of early voting. In Georgia, we have a minimum of 17 with two additional Sundays that are optional for all counties in our state. In New York, you have to have an excuse to vote by absentee.

In Georgia, you can vote absentee for any reason, and you can do it securely. It's easier to vote in Georgia than it is in New York. Even more ridiculous is that MLB didn't cite a single reason that they disagreed with the bill in their statement.

Everyone standing here today and those at home know why because the facts and the truth don't support their narrative. It's because-


WHITFIELD: You're listening to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp there trying to defend the new voting law, which many critics have said is a voter suppression law. Shortly after the November election, and after the January special election, it was this Governor who said that Georgians enjoyed a free and fair election, free of fraud and then returned with a signing a new law that critics say does restrict the free ability.

For one man one vote in the State of Georgia. Last hour I spoke with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms about this decision for Major League Baseball to bring its All-Star game out of Georgia and she worries that this will just be the first of many hits, the state could suffer unless the law is changed.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA, GA: Well, I can't say that I like it, but I certainly understand it. And it is really probably the first of many boycotts of our state to come. And the consequences of this bill are significant.

The metro Atlanta area is home to nearly 30 Fortune 500 companies. We have a very large tourism industry in our state. And just as the legislators and the Governor made the decision - the legislators and the Governor made the decision to go forward with this bill of people are making decisions not to come to our state and it is going to impact millions Georgia's Georgians, employment small businesses or corporations and it's very unfortunate.



WHITFIELD: And while the Mayor said she moved necessarily like the idea that Georgia will lose millions of dollars, with the All-Star game pulling out she does support what the Major League Baseball has done.

Of course, we'll continue to monitor the comments from the Governor and bring you the very latest. Let's turn now to that deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol. Investigators are now working to learn more about the suspect who rammed into a police barricade outside the Capitol building hitting two officers.

That suspect was shot and killed by police after getting out of this car brandishing a knife. One officer survived the attack but the other William Evans, an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police and father of two died from his injuries. He is being remembered as a hero and a devoted family man.

Right now flags at the Capitol and at the White House are flying at half-staff in his honor. Let's go now to Capitol Hill, CNN's Joe Johns is there for us. So Joe, what more can you tells us about the officer that died?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, he was a product of Massachusetts, Fred and went to Western New England University. They put out a statement earlier today also, that essentially saying among other things that he graduated from there in 2002 came here to the U.S. Capitol Police in 2003 and served for 18 years on the force.

He was a member of the first responders' team, as you said, he had two kids. The U.S. Capitol Police put out a statement earlier today talking about him and thanking all the people who have essentially offered their support saying they're deeply grateful for that support and know that your sympathy is appreciated beyond words. Friends of the officer also talked about him in interviews overnight, listen.


JASON LAFOREST, FRIEND OF OFFICER WILLIAM EVANS: We lost Officer Evans today. It is, you know, incredibly sad and just surreal, you know, to know that Billy died, you know, serving our country, doing something that he loved so much. Above all, he just he loved life. He loved being a dad and he loved - he loved being a part of the U.S. Capitol Police.

MATT DERRY, FRIEND OF OFFICER EVANS: It was real surreal to just think that I mean I'd literally just talk to them. And we shared a laugh a couple of days ago and I was gone, has just been shocked ever since. I mean, it's been the fighting back tears all afternoon and then trying to try to make sense of it all and then no one that there's none to be had.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JOHNS: Now, the Congress was not in session when this confrontation happened outside the Capitol just yesterday, however, the Speaker of the House has put out a statement calling the officer a martyr for democracy Fred, back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Joe Johns, thank you so much for that. All right, Congresswoman Haley Stevens joining me now. She's a Democrat from Michigan and a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Congresswoman, so good to see you so most lawmakers, of course, we're not on Capitol Hill as Joe just underscored. They're not in session. But what went through your mind when you saw and heard of this news?

REP. HALEY STEVENS (D-MI): It was heartbreak. It was anguish, it was frustration. I immediately reached out to my staff. We were getting the information about what was happening on Capitol Hill, making sure that my staff was OK. And they were OK physically, but emotionally.

This just speaks to the toll that it's being taken on all of us who work capital and particularly, are incredible Capitol Police Officers. This was an act of violence meet with salute. Officer Evans, an incredible member of the Capitol Police Force and a dedicated father.

I've just been trying to find the answers to what happened, and I can't come up with anything Fred. Yesterday was a dark day on the Capitol.

WHITFIELD: Did your staffers expressed to you like many Capitol Police have expressed it? It's like reliving what happened in January 6th, few have really recovered from that and now this would happen as well.

STEVENS: Yes. People have started to open up. When we said that they felt their hearts racing again, that panic was being induced, in part because to serve in the United States Capitol as a Capitol Police Officer or a member of the congressional staff or even for our janitorial staff who are incredible people.

It's a huge badge of honor. We were all there on behalf of democracy and yet to see it being attacked over and over again, to hear the words of my colleagues who have also joined in disavowing this. Now was not the time for partisan rhetoric. Now is the time for us to look within this rise of violence particularly surrounding government.


STEVENS: I'm in Michigan, we're not new to seeing individuals take up their guns and storm our capital, seemingly to incite violence and kidnapping attempt against our Governor. I keep thinking, Fredricka, what are children thinking?

You know, the children who are studying American history who are aspiring to go into government and politics themselves one day. We want to show them that this is a safe, fair environment for them to be in. And, and we've got to work towards that. We need answers to what happened yesterday in the Capitol. WHITFIELD: And while we worry about what our kids are thinking. I mean, what goes through your mind too when you talk about what people witnessed at the State Capitol in Michigan, with people bearing arms? And then what you experienced, and the nation experienced as a whole with the insurrection in January 6th?

I mean, what do you make of the climate of America right now with these two, and now a third incident, you know, that we're speaking of now, a second on the Capitol, but a third incident now, where people feel and are witnessing this sense of insecurity?

STEVENS: Right, and some of this Fredricka goes back to your youngest days, your earliest days about words having consequences, rhetoric having consequences that words can cut in, it's very clear that our rhetoric surrounding our government and in the sparring of politics has gotten out of control.

And certainly, the actions that that led up to January 6th, the president, the former president who incited a mob who didn't respond to a call for help as Commander in Chief when the Congress was being taken over his own vice president running for his life.

And it was all based on the bid line. And it shows you how out of control to become. I came home after the event on January 6th, the insurrection on January 6th, I came home to Michigan, and I had a - I had individuals saying, well, we don't want to see more violence, but shouldn't we look into what actually happened with our election, it could lead to more violence.

Violence is never acceptable. You know, Martin Luther King lost his life 53 years ago today, think of the words and the way he preached to achieve his mission of civil rights of equality of economic equality along with racial equality.

It was through peace, even though stones and pits were being thrown at him and the individuals like the great John Lewis, who marched alongside him. So we are at a moment of reckoning we are in a new moment of history.

And I am in part in Congress to show that there is a no other way to achieve our political purpose here, which is through dialogue through regular order and through disavowing racism, hatred, bigotry, wherever it rears its head because it leads to violence. It leads to lives loss, and we're sick of it.

And I could go on Fredricka because we all know what this is also leading up to this, which is that we need to pass common sense gun safety legislation in the United States of America. We have bipartisan legislation that we've passed through the House to ensure that, like what we're seeing with these shootings in this country, too, it's all related.

I just pick up constituents Fredricka, who are reaching out to me and they're saying they're sick and tired of this violence. They want us to come together. Some of it is politically motivated, and some of it is isolated instances. We have got to turn the pages America renew, heal and pass laws to ensure our safety.

WHITFIELD: Congresswoman Haley Stevens, thank you so much. Appreciate your time. And we're continuing to monitor the news conference out of Georgia involving the Governor Brian Kemp after Major League Baseball pulls its All-Star game from the state over the new voting law. We'll have the latest coming up.

Also up next as COVID-19 vaccines ramp up there are some alarming signs as cases are surging in parts of the country. What's driving those surges?



WHITFIELD: As the CDC urges Americans to avoid travel, the TSA is reporting a new pandemic high for air passengers. Nearly 1.6 million people pass through airports yesterday heading into the Easter holiday weekend. More people have been flying lately in general yesterday was the 23rd straight day that more than a million Americans got on a plane.

Meanwhile, experts are worried by spikes in a number of states including New York, New Jersey and Michigan. Polo Sandoval has more.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): First, the promising news the total number of people who have been administered at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine exceeded 100 million yesterday, and shots are going into arms at a seven-day average rate of about 3 million a day tells the White House.

The CDC is also out with much anticipated guidance announcing the roughly 18 percent of Americans that are fully vaccinated should feel safe while traveling, eliminating some testing and quarantine recommendations. The CDC also issued guidance saying it's safe for vaccinated people to gather indoors this Easter.

The rest are still advised to keep celebrations outside and within the household. But with more than three quarters of the country still not fully protected by a vaccine CDC Director Rochelle Walensky still advising against non-essential travel.


DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: While we believe that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves. CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases.

SANDOVAL (voice over): And that's what worries health officials, especially with the increasing number of viral variants. This week, Michigan confirmed its first patient infected with the mutation of the virus first reported in Brazil, but it's a dreaded B-117 variant that has Michigan hospitals dealing with another patient spike. GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): We haven't abandoned our protocols. It's just that we've got a higher proportion of variants and part of that are people getting tired, there's fatigue and there's variants and there's more travel and that's some of what the story is here for sure.

SANDOVAL (voice over): That's Michigan's Governor who says in her state young people are among those fueling Michigan's latest surge. This Infectious Disease Expert agrees.

WILLIAM HASELTINE, PRESIDENT, ACCESS HEALTH INTERNATIONAL: The majority of people going to hospitals not just getting infected, going to hospitals are under 60. And many of them are between 30 and 20. So this is not what was happening before it's a different virus more transmissible, more lethal and more dangerous to the young.

SANDOVAL (voice over): Michigan joined by New Jersey and New York on the list of states with the highest COVID infection rate per capita, Kansas, California and Arkansas have the lowest as the race between vaccines and variants picks up speed.


SANDOVAL (on camera): And back out to Michigan where the attention is not just on vaccination efforts. But once again, a massive testing effort here as Governor Whitmer calling on Michigan residents who have been traveling to get tested before and after their trips, especially with spring break.

But Fred, especially with it being a holiday weekend as well. In fact, she's deployed dozens of pop up COVID testing sites that will be in place until mid-April hoping that people will use those.

WHITFIELD: All right, Polo Sandoval in Detroit. Thanks so much. All right, coming up next, it wasn't a motional week of testimony in the trial of Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged in the death of George Floyd. Here the potentially damning testimony from Minneapolis PD's top Homicide Detective about Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck.



WHITFIELD: Scared, threatened, sad, helpless and kind of mad. That's how witnesses described feeling as they watch George Floyd lie under the knee of Former Minneapolis Police Officer before his death 10 months ago. The first week of testimony of Ex-Cop Derek Chauvin murder trial coming to a close after five days of emotional and potentially damaging witness accounts.

CNN's Josh Campbell joins me now from Minneapolis. So Josh, what stood out to you in this first week of trial?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred, it was a gripping first week of testimony here. We heard from several key witnesses from the prosecution, including George Floyd's girlfriend who really talked about him as a person. You know, we've talked so much about George Floyd as a victim, but she told his story and really humanized him for the jury.

Now, we also heard from two damning witnesses for the defense. Prosecutors called two senior officers with the Minneapolis Police Department who raised serious questions about it being somehow policy whenever Derek Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd's neck.


CAMPBELL (voice over): The family of George Floyd, kneeling in protest Monday, just hours before testimony would begin in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Former Police Officer accused of murdering their loved one. Prosecutors open with a video that sparked a worldwide movement, capturing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, which they say killed him.

JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: You can believe your eyes that it's a homicide, it is a murder.

CAMPBELL (voice over): Children's attorney argued the video doesn't tell the whole story. That Floyd died of an underlying heart condition and--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ingestion of methamphetamine and Fentanyl and the adrenaline throwing flowing through his body.

CAMPBELL (voice over): New video from the scene and emotional testimony seemed to drive the prosecution's case right from Charles McMillan, the man heard on body camera video pleading with Floyd to give in to police also heard for the first time since the beginning of the trial, Chauvin himself on police body camera footage as he defends his treatment of Floyd to McMillan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind of control this guy because he is a sizable guy. It looks like it's probably on something.

CAMPBELL (voice over): Arguably the strongest testimony for the prosecution came from members of the Minneapolis Police Department. Sergeant David Ploeger now retired was the supervising officer on duty. He was asked if Chauvin followed police protocol.

MATTHEW FRANK, PROSECUTOR: Do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of Mr. Floyd should have ended in this encounter?


FRANK: What is it?

PLOEGER: When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could end the restraints.

FRANK: And that was after he was handcuffed and, on the ground, and no longer resistance?

PLOEGER: Correct. CAMPBELL (voice over): The jury also heard from 35-year police veteran Richard Zimmerman, who testified it was totally unnecessary for Chauvin to kneel on Floyd's neck after he'd been handcuffed, calling it deadly use of force.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you handcuff somebody does that affect the amount of force and that you should consider using?



ZIMMERMAN: Once a person is cuffed, the threat level goes down.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Chauvin's attorney attempted to undermine Zimmerman's credibility, arguing that Zimmerman is a detective, not a patrol officer.

NELSON: And it would not be within your normal role or job duties to do such a use of force analysis, right?

ZIMMERMAN: That's correct.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): During the week of testimony, a common emotion emerged from some of the eyewitnesses, remorse. Christopher Martin was the cashier who suspected Floyd handed him a fake $20 bill, an interaction that initiated the police response, the teenager was asked what he now feels about the encounter.


NELSON: Why guilt?

MARTIN: If I would have just not taken the bill. It could have been avoided.


CAMPBELL: Now people have been wondering what it's like inside that courtroom. I was in the courtroom for part of the trial this week, sitting actually behind Chauvin. He remains still throughout most of the testimony taking notes frequently. It was interesting, Fred, whenever his audio and video from police body camera footage was played in that courtroom, he started fidgeting, his feet were shaking, he looked away from the screen at one point.

For their part, this jury has been very focused with rapt attention taking copious notes, paying attention to the exhibits, to the witnesses, no doubt, very much aware of the gravity of this case, and the decision that will ultimately await them in this trial that is being watched around the world, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Hey, Josh, have you seen whether the jurors in any way elicited any emotion?

CAMPBELL: Some of them have indeed, some there -- it's a mixed group. Some are very focused, taking notes. There have been others that especially when some of that dramatic video footage was played of George Floyd in the ambulance and outside interacted with officers, you had -- saw some of the jurors actually covering their faces with their mouths, just that sense of agony that I think all of us feel whenever we see that, and so you see that it's a very serious jury.

They're taking their role very seriously. But they're also human beings, as evidenced by some of their reaction to some of that gripping testimony.

WHITFIELD: All right, Josh Campbell, thank you so much. And we'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: New evidence is emerging about the suspect in Friday's deadly attack outside the U.S. Capitol building which left a police officer dead and another officer injured. Federal and local law enforcement sources identify him as 25-year-old Noah Green.

He was not known to investigators before ramming his car into a police barricade. But his social media posts show a history of paranoia and distaste for the U.S. government. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is looking into all of this for us. So Shimon, what more are you learning about where this investigation stands on him?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly investigators are looking at mental illness on from the attacker what role that played in this attack from speaking to his friends to his family. They're learning that he did suffer from some kind of mental illness and they're evaluating that factor.

When you look at the social media postings from the attacker, this is something the FBI has been looking at, you see a person who was very, very troubled and some of the thinking. One of the things he was concerned about was mind control whether or not someone was controlling his mind.

He also talked about having issues with the FBI, suffering some kind of affliction from the FBI and the CIA, and just overall the U.S. government. So this is something that the FBI is certainly taking a look at something that they are very concerned about, and are looking, Fred, of whether or not this was a leading factor in what led up to this attack.

WHITFIELD: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much in D.C. Appreciate that.

So for more on all of this, let's turn to CNN law enforcement analyst and former Secret Service agent, Jonathan Wackrow. All right, Jonathan, good to see you. So it sounds like police have social media posts to sift through. But how insightful can that be to investigators trying to determine why this happened?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Good afternoon, Fred. And listen, this is the challenge for law enforcement right now, in answering that question, why? One because we don't have a suspect, the suspect is dead. So we can't question them. We can't actually observe them and fully understand what those triggers were that led to this violent act.

What we do know is that, you know, right now investigators are saying that there's really no nexus to terrorism. But what other influencers can be identified. And then what investigators are doing is they're looking at his friends, his family, and then taking a much deeper dive than what we're looking at, at the surface level in social media to see, you know, if someone has, you know, mental illnesses, as reported, how much did social media influence and the digital media influence that thinking in a skew it that could have led to this incident.

So, I mean, listen, reports of mental illness, in struggles with paranoia and delusion, leading to violence is commonplace. Law enforcement faces that every single day. The challenge in this case is understanding with this individual, what was it that led them to, you know, not only ram the vehicle into a barrier, but actually go after uniformed law enforcement officers so violently.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And, you know, there has been criticism surrounding the decision to keep barricades around the Capitol in place after the insurrection in January. Do you believe this latest attack could make those security measures permanent, a permanent fixture there?


WACKROW: Well, what we saw yesterday with this incident, that barrier was permanent, that was installed a long time ago and it's actually commonplace throughout Washington D.C., at critical locations. Why? Because when they were placed, you know, installed, the threat was from high-speed avenues of approach for vehicles ramming into the Capitol Building.

We need to take that approach and methodology and apply it to the new threat environment that we are dealing with ever since January 6th. So there does have to be an increase of perimeter security, additional personnel and technology to match the threat environment that we're operating in today. We don't have to over index and go to the high fencing and razor wire that we saw in the immediate aftermath of this of January 6th.

WHITFIELD: Well, that's what I'm warning about because, you know, what the barriers that pop up out of the ground, those have been there for a very long time. But when you talk about the measures, the fences that were put in place after January, there have been those who argue that, you know, it removes, you know, from the people's place, you know, the people's house of the Capitol and this barrier doesn't make it appear, as you know, friendly to the public by keeping them in place. But then clearly, the U.S. Capitol, it has been established that it is

an ongoing target. And then there are others who argue that something other barriers have to stay in place. Where are you on that?

WACKROW: Well, listen, Fred, there's another house in Washington, D.C., and that's the White House. And we have a fence around it. And we have gates and we have guards and a clear line of demarcation of where the property begins and ends in a security structure.

We do that while allowing tens of thousands of people and visitors into the White House every single year combined with dignitaries and, you know, senior leaders of the government. So the model can be built for the Capitol. It's just that does everyone have the will to understand what this new threat environment is, and then apply the new security measures that we have to. Again, this is about balance, balance to security against the access to the Capitol.

WHITFIELD: All right, Jonathan Wackrow, always good to see you. Thank you so much.

WACKROW: Thanks a lot Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right and this quick programming note. The new CNN original series, The People versus the Klan, tells the true story of Beulah Mae Donald, a black mother who took down the Ku Klux Klan after the brutal lynching of her son, Michael, don't miss this powerful new series, The People versus the Klan, premieres with back to back episodes Sunday, April 11th, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN. And we'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right moments ago we heard from Georgia's Republican Governor as he blasted the decision by Major League Baseball to move the all-star game from Atlanta as a response to Georgia's new voting law. The Governor accuses MLB of caving to what he calls fear political opportunism and liberal lies.


GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): The Election Integrity Act expands access to the polls and ensures the integrity of the ballot box. Then why did MLB moved the all-star game yesterday because Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams have spent days lying to Georgians and the American people.


WHITFIELD: The decision is also being met with support from voting rights groups and some Democrats who believe the new voter laws are voter suppression. Last hour I spoke with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms about the decision to move the all-star game out of Georgia, she does worry that this will be just the first of many hits the state could suffer economically, unless the law is changed.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: Well, I can't say that I like it, but I certainly understand it. And it is really probably the first of many boycotts of our state to come. And the consequences of this bill are significant. The metro Atlanta area is home to nearly 30 Fortune 500 companies, we have a very large tourism industry in our state.

And just as the legislators and the Governor made the decision, the legislators and the Governor made the decision to go forward with this bill of people who are making decisions not to come to our state and it is going to impact millions of Georgia's, Georgians, employment, small businesses, our corporations, and it's very unfortunate.


WHITFIELD: All right, let me bring in now our CNN's sports analyst Christine Brennan. Christine, so good to see you. So let's talk about this decision that MLB has made moving the all-star game out of Atlanta. How big of a deal is this for MLB to do this?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Well, it's a very big deal Fredricka. And once again, sports takes us to national conversations that we should be having. And that's -- there's no doubt about it, right? This is a national conversation. Whatever side of the issue you're on, you're talking about, you're thinking about it, that's the good thing. And I think that's what MLB did, obviously was also a business decision.

And we hear so much about canceled culture these days. And somebody disagrees with something so they just cancel it. Well, this was a business decision. Major League Baseball, I think surprised many of us, surprised me and making this decision, because they haven't been as quick as the NBA or the WNBA. Even the NFL moving the Super Bowl out of Arizona after it voted against Martin Luther King Day as a holiday back in the early 1990s.


MLB has been slower, Major League Baseball has been slow at the mark on this and they picked up the pace. So clearly this was important to them. They did this for a reason. And business decisions are also part of the equation here. Clearly corporations are making their voices heard.

Now sports teams are making and leagues are making their voices heard no surprise, the voter suppression law is not popular around the country. And they made a decision that was the right decision to make, in my opinion, but also a smart move for their fan base and their future fan base in particular.

WHITFIELD: I mean, it really has become far more acceptable. It's not expected right for people in the sports arena to use their platforms on social and political issues. And we saw it with the NBA in Charlotte as well, you know, in protest over that state's controversial transgender bathroom law, you remind us of the NFL in Arizona. So has the economic power of sports franchises grown?

BRENNAN: In both of those cases, there was a resolution and sports helped make that decision, Arizona back in the early 90s and then the NBA moving it's all-star game and then bringing it right back to Charlotte after some parts of that law, the bathroom law so to speak, were changed. And so yes, sports is flexing its muscle as never before and particularly athletes.

Used to be they had to hold a press conference, they had to go through people like us to tell their story. And of course, that's good for journalists to be able to do that. And we're still here doing it. But now they have those voices those platforms, social media, in a way that we saw with women's basketball a couple weeks ago, the inequities within NCAA, we see it LeBron James all the time, Serena Williams, they have voices, they use them and they reach people directly.

And I think no bigger example other than this are also in Georgia was the WNBA players who played for Kelly Loeffler who went against her and supported Raphael Warnock and Warnock basically, you know, WNBA players, Fred, elected a senator to the U.S. Senate is again an extraordinary statement and a wonderful part of history.

It will be looked at going back, you know, now, certainly in the future, we will look back at moments like this. And what how big a deal sports is transcending, sports in moving into our culture.

WHITFIELD: Yes, it is quite extraordinary. So you're in Augusta, Georgia, where the Women's Amateur Golf Tournament is now being played. And it's where the Masters will tee off next week. So the PGA is planning to keep the tour in Georgia. What kind of pressure is the PGA getting from golfers or anyone else about where it stands with doing business in Georgia?

BRENNAN: Golf is not exactly been a model of diversity and inclusion there. It's a white man sport. And even with women, Augusta National only allowed women members, see, are just nine years ago. So golf history is not a good one. But I plan to ask some of these golfers today and certainly the men next week, these exact questions.

The -- there's no chance of the Masters moving out of Augusta, Georgia right now, clearly the Masters is about to be played. And I'm all here prepared for that. But these are questions they have to answer because they are doing business in Georgia. And they can set out the world for a while, you know, they can they can try to have their Oasis here, basically, of white privilege men, and something I've covered for years, Fred. And now the world is crashing in on them and it will be discussed here as well.

WHITFIELD: Wow. All right, Christine Brennan, thank you so much. Thanks for bringing it all to us and we look forward to your additional reporting in Augusta as the Masters gets ready to tee off. Appreciate it.

BRENNAN: Thank you, Fred.

[12:53:59] WHITFIELD: All right, amid a surge in migrants crossing the U.S.- Mexico border, CNN has learned the Biden administration has ramped up an ad campaign to discourage people from making the journey here. We'll bring you the details, next.


WHITFIELD: In March Border Patrol encountered more than 170,000 migrants including a record number of unaccompanied minors, more than 18,000 children. These new numbers come as this shocking video shows toddlers being dropped over 14-foot-high border fence into New Mexico. Border Patrol agents found a three-year-old and a five-year-old, they were sisters from Ecuador, according to CBP.

And CNN is also learning the Biden administration has placed around 28,000 radio ads in Latin America as part of a stepped up campaign to discourage people from making the trip to the United States by targeting disinformation.

In one, a narrator says don't put your kids' lives at risk based on false hopes. The ads have been placed into media markets in Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras since January.

All right, hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. All right, we begin this hour with that deadly assault at the U.S. Capitol that left one police officer dead and another injured Friday.


Investigators are now working to find out more about the suspect who rammed into a police barricade --