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Suspect In Capitol Car Attack Posted He Had Lost His Job, Believed Government Was Targeting Him With "Mind Control"; Top Detective: Chauvin's Use Of Force "Totally Unnecessary"; NYT: Receipts Show Rep. Matt Gaetz Sent Money To Women Using Cash Apps But Gaetz Denies Allegations; Nearly Half Of States Reporting A Rise In COVID Cases; Pop-Up Event At First Broadway House To Open Doors Since Pandemic. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 3, 2021 - 15:00   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Jim Acosta, anchoring CNN NEWSROOM after me now on Saturdays and Sundays.

Jim, good to see you. Congratulations. What you got coming up?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Thank you, Fredricka. Yeah, it is great to be here with you. We have known each other for so long so it's wonderful to do the hand-off with you.

We're going to have Dr. Anthony Fauci coming up later on in the show. He's going to be talking about what is being done to get life back to normal in this country. I think it is a key question. It is what everybody wants to know, right? When can we take off these masks and go back to enjoying our lives? We'll talk about that.

I have a lot of other guests coming up in this newsroom for today and looking forward to it. Thanks for having us.

WHITFIELD: Oh, fantastic. I know the gang is all there and ready to christen you for the weekend, and I'm wishing you the best.

ACOSTA: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Good to see you.

ACOSTA: Good to see you.

WHITFIELD: Take care.

ACOSTA: And you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

That is where we begin in the nation's capital where the security of the U.S. Capitol is building once again, in question after two deadly attacks less than 90 days apart. The latest one carried out by a knife-wielding man who rammed his car into two Capitol police officers, killing one and injuring another, shocking a city that is still grappling with the January 6th insurrection. While the motive remains unclear, sources tell CNN that the 25-year-

old suspect ranted online about the FBI and CIA, claiming he was the victim of mind control. His actions took the life of Officer William Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force and father of two. Flags are now flying at half-staff in his honor. And we have a team of reporters up on Capitol who are covering the latest for us.

CNN's Boris Sanchez has new details on the officer who was killed, but let's begin with CNN's Pete Muntean who is learning more about the suspect and disturbing posts he made, disturbing posts online prior to the attack.

Pete, what can you tell us?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, investigators are just now digging into the past of 25-year-old Noah Green and perhaps the most telling are his social media posts leading to the attack.

We have found an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Green and in it, he made a trio of very interesting posts. The first, he said I've suffered multiple home break-ins, food poisonings, unauthorized operations and he said that he was the victim of mind control. In another post, he said with a photo of the Nation of Islam, that the U.S. government is the enemy of black people. A third post, he said he suffered terrible afflictions, presumably by the CIA and the FBI.

Now, Green was a graduate of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, not far away from here. We are told he played football there, that he was a pretty good athlete and that he was a bit of a quiet, loner type.

The head of the DHS says there's still a lot to learn about the case, a lot to still unravel in the investigation. And those guarding the Capitol are not taking chances. The black fence went up not long after the January 6th failed insurrection, but new this morning are the New Jersey barriers that went in to make sure nobody can get close to the Capitol, no chances being taken here, along with 2,300 members of the National Guard now guarding the U.S. Capitol, Jim.

ACOSTA: Yeah, Peter, it seems as though we're not going to see those barriers come down any time soon in light of what happened yesterday.

And, Boris, in the meantime, we are seeing tributes to the officer killed in the attack. Just unbelievable that we're now seeing yet another Capitol police officer mourned in the city. What can you tell us?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right, Jim. You noted some of the symbols and offerings of condolences you see around D.C. including flags lowered to half staff at the Capitol and the White House as well. Lawmakers putting out statements offering condolences and lamenting yesterday's attack on the Capitol. Notably, Officer William Evans had been serving for 18 years and he was known as Billy. He was familiar to people here on Capitol Hill, to lawmakers and staff and the press as well. The people closest to him remember him as a hero and a good dad as

well. Here is some of what they shared with CNN.


JASON LAROREST, FRIEND OF OFFICER WILLIAM EVANS; 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 loved life, he loved being a dad, and he loved being a part of the U.S. Capitol police.

MATT DERRY, FRIEND OF OFFICER WILLIAM EVANS: It was real surreal to just think, I mean, I had literally just talked to him and we shared a laugh a couple of days ago and now he's gone. It has just been shock ever since. I mean, it has been fighting back tears all afternoon and trying to make sense of it all and knowing that there's none to be had.


SANCHEZ: It has been a difficult few months for Capitol police, as you noted, Jim. In January during that January 6th insurrection. Officer Brian Sicknick was killed. He makes the second Capitol police officer killed in the line of duty just this year, not to mention a number of other officers who were injured and later died by suicide as a result of that day's attacks.


We should point out, Capitol police did put out a statement thanking the world for an outpouring of support. Here is some of what they said on Twitter this morning, writing, quote, the U.S. Capitol police department is deeply grateful for the support we've received from around the world. Wish we could respond to each one of you. Please know your sympathy is appreciated beyond words.

We should note in yesterday's attack, a separate Capitol police officer was also injured. We don't have very many details in the way of their condition or even their identity, but obviously, this is a big deal. A second attack on the nation's Capitol, a symbol of democracy around the world, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Boris Sanchez, Pete Muntean, thank you so much for that.

I want to bring in former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, and CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd.

Charles, Capitol police are confident this was a lone attack, lone- wolf attack, one man in a car with a knife. How difficult is it to protect people and property against one person intending to do what this man did? You know the security situation up on Capitol Hill. This is yet another incident that is just highlighting how difficult the security situation is.

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it is difficult. And you're talking about one individual who it appears had mental health issues. You know, it's easy after something happens, you kind of go back and you are looking for red flags, but the reality is that in many instances, you don't have red flags. You may have -- they may be orange, but they're certainly not red.

And if there's no threat that's being made of violence or anything like that, there's really not much the police can do. Most people who suffer from mental illness never commit any kind of violent or even nonviolent act. So, you know, it makes it more difficult to pinpoint an individual who might be a threat.

But having said that, it is very important that the Capitol police and the members of Congress take a serious look at security in and around the Capitol. Status quo will not do. I mean, we've got to make some changes there because, you know, that's now a symbol that many people are using to carry out whatever it is they have on their mind, whether it is January 6th or what we saw yesterday.

ACOSTA: Yeah, I mean I know from being at the White House for more than seven years that the White House can be a target for people who are mentally ill and want to do something to bring attention to themselves.

RAMSEY: Right.

ACOSTA: And, Phil, this attacker also made social media posts claiming the federal government was targeting him with mind control. That was the phrase that he used, and that he believed Louis Farrakhan had saved him from the CIA and the FBI. I mean, Obviously, this is a disturbed person. What is your takeaway for all of this and what can be done to stop this from happening?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I don't think much can be done. I mean, if I look at the question of how you prevent something like this, instead of looking at the individual you have to look at the American population. So instead of starting with one, start with 330 million people. Start to assume that the federal government can look at 330 million people and look at posts that say things like I'm being targeted by the U.S. government or by the CIA or the FBI.

When I was at the CIA, Jim, we had people drive up to the front gate of the CIA, saying that they wanted us to help them remove the listening devices that we had put in their heads. There are people like this everywhere.

So my point is if you think that you can -- that the federal government can identify these people, do not look at the case, look at 330 million people. Assume that, let's say, one half of 1 percent, 1 percent, one-tenth of 1 percent, whatever it is, have this kind of mental health issues. Even if you could find them all, you would not have the resources to follow them all.

I think we lost an officer but this individual didn't breach the compound. I don't think you can find individuals like this beforehand. ACOSTA: And, Charles, police say when the suspect got out of his car

he went after the officers with a knife. What do you make as the knife being used as a weapon here?

RAMSEY: Well, I mean I don't know. I know Phil is more of an expert on this than I am certainly, but it just seems to me like, you know, this was -- it could have been a spontaneous thing with him, not necessarily well-planned. You know, to use a knife, I don't know how much more damage he thought he could commit with that. I mean he used his vehicle. His vehicle was the actual weapon, not the knife.

And, unfortunately, he was able to kill a police officer. Once he got out of the car, of course, there were other officers there that were able to neutralize the threat. So I don't know what to make of it. You know, fortunately, they were able to stop him before he was able to injure anyone else.

ACOSTA: And, Phil, it reminds me of a phrase used in law enforcement, "suicide by cop" almost in this situation.


Obviously, the investigation is still underway, but officials were quick to say they did not believe this was related to terrorism. You ran counterterrorism at the CIA.

Do you agree at this point?

MUDD: I agree 98 percent. The problem when you are in the business is you want yesterday to get into 100 percent. I suspect today within, you know, it has been less than a day, they're up to 100 percent because they've done interviews and looked at social media.

But just take the -- just take the issue of the knife, to me as a former counterterrorism person, that tells me a lot. As Chief Ramsey suggested, that tells me there's not a lot of planning involved. If you want to maximize casualties and you are a terrorism suspect, you are not using a knife. You are using a gun.

If you're part of a broader conspiracy that's talking around a table over the course of weeks, months or years, you want to maximize casualties, you are not going into a situation using a knife. So, as soon as I saw that, like the Capitol police, like maybe the Metropolitan police yesterday, I came to the conclusion this was not a terror incident, but you just have to cross a lot of T's and dot a lot of I's, Jim. You have to go through social media and interviews and I'm sure that's been done already by today.

ACOSTA: Exactly. And, Charles, this is yet another gut punch for the U.S. Capitol police. Several officers have died in less than three months.

From your level of experience, what do you say to the chief and the police officers today as they are dealing with this? And I guess the larger question, you know, how do we secure this Capitol? Are we going to get back to a day where we can take the fences down, take some of the barricades down, let people in and out of the Capitol the way it was before January 6th or is that day over, do you think?

RAMSEY: Well, first of all, I think that day could very well be over. I mean it is like 9/11, you know. There was a time when you could walk into an airport, walk up to the gate and say goodbye to your friends and relatives. Now you can't do that.

So what those changes will be, I don't know. But as far as the men and women of the Capitol police go, I mean, I understand what they're going through now in terms of the trauma of losing that many officers and they certainly aren't accustomed to it. I was the chief there in '98 when the two officers were murdered in the Capitol. Sicknick was the first one since that time. So, that's a long period of time.

In Philadelphia, when I came to Philadelphia, I had five officers killed in the line of duty in my first nine months, three shot to death, two died responding to calls for service, I lost eight in total. It has a tremendous impact on the agency from the bottom to the top.

I mean, I was listening to Chief Pittman and I could hear it in her voice, the stress, the trauma. We had to go out and get professional help. We had to get University of Pennsylvania to help us with psychological counseling for the men and women of the department, because you can't take time out.

You got -- Capitol police officers are working right now. They don't have any time to grieve. They've got to be able to go back to work, but it doesn't mean that the trauma is not there and it doesn't mean it is not impacting them.

You know, it is going to be -- it is going to take a lot of time but it is going to take some professional help for all of them including the chief.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. And that's a very good point, especially in law enforcement where so often cops want to tough it out and they just can't do it when situations like this happen.

Charles Ramsey, Phil Mudd, thank you so much for those perspective -- those perspectives. Greatly appreciate it.

Coming up, powerful testimony in the trial of the ex-police officer charged with killing George Floyd. A top lieutenant delivers a devastating blow to Derek Chauvin's defense coming up.


MATTHEW FRANK, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: What is your, you know, your view of that use of force during that time period?




ACOSTA: Totally unnecessary. That's how the senior-most officer in the Minneapolis police department described Derek Chauvin's use of force against George Floyd. It was a dramatic end to a dramatic week of testimony.

And CNN's Omar Jimenez reports on more.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The theme of a shorten day 5 of testimony was training.

MATTHEW FRANK, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Have you ever in all the years you've been working for the Minneapolis Police Department been trained to kneel on the neck of someone who has handcuffed behind their back in the prone position?

LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT HOMICIDE OFFICER: No, I haven't. That would be the top tier, the deadly force.


ZIMMERMAN: Because the fact that if your knee is on a person's neck, that can kill him.

JIMENEZ: Thirty-five-year veteran, Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman, who said his serve longer than any other officer in the Minneapolis Police Department, testified of the risks of restraining a suspect way George Floyd was held.

FRANK: What was your view of that use of force during that time period?

ZIMMERMAN: Totally unnecessary. Once the person is cuffed, you need to turn them on their side or have been set up. You need to get them off their chest. Your muscles are pulling back when you're handcuffed and if you're laying on your chest, that's constricting your breathing even more.

JIMENEZ: It was even something former Officer Derek Chauvin was asked about in the moment by former Officer Thomas Lane.

THOMAS LANE, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: Should we roll on his side?

DEREK CHAUVIN, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: Nope. He's staying where we've got him.

JIMENEZ: During cross-examination, the defense pointing out the differences between a patrol officer and Zimmerman's role as a homicide detective, largely investigative in nature, despite the annual defense training.

ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR DEREK CHAUVIN: The frequency with which you have to use higher levels of force as an investigator doesn't happen all that often, right?



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

ZIMMERMAN: That's correct.

JIMENEZ: Zimmerman's testimony comes on a tail-end of a week filling in gaps of what happened on May 25th, 2020, including what happened when medical personnel arrived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In layman's terms, I thought he was dead.

JIMENEZ: Painful testimony about what it was like in the moment that day just steps away from Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel helpless.

JIMENEZ: An insight to how Derek Chauvin interpreted to what's adjust to happen.

CHAUVIN: We got to control this guy because he's a sizeable guy. It looks like he's probably on something.

JIMENEZ: All of it stemming from an excruciating 9 minutes and 29 seconds of a knee to the neck that according to Friday testimony should have ended much earlier.

ZIMMERMAN: The ambulance will get there in whatever amount of time, and in that time period, you need to provide medical assistance before they arrive.


ACOSTA: And I want to get straight to CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson.

Joey, thanks for joining us.

The last testimony the jurors heard before heading home for the weekend was from the senior-most officer of the Minneapolis police force, saying that officers have never been trained to kneel on someone's neck while they are lying on their chest. That is deadly force. It also seems totally obvious to anybody watching at home and people who aren't schooled in law enforcement.

He went on to say it was, quote, totally unnecessary. A former federal prosecutor called this testimony devastating.

As a defense attorney, what do you call it? What do you call this?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I call it, Jim, a very bad day for the defense. Great to see you. Let's talk about why it is a bad day for the defense. I think we do

that by looking at the charges. This particular witness checked a lot of boxes. The first thing we have to all be mindful of is this is an officer who is the senior-most officer in Minnesota. He is a person who, right, you talk about the blue wall of silence, no more.

The significance of this testimony is you have an officer telling you that what another officer did, right, was not only inappropriate but it was against every rule, violation of policy and procedure. So as to the charges what boxes does it check?

The first count they're looking at is this second degree murder count, Jim. That relates to doing something in an unintentional manner. What happened? If you could show that while engaged in an assault, that assault led to a death, then guess what? That's second degree murder.

Why can you establish the assault? You can establish it because the protocol says that you don't put your knee on the neck, because the policies and directives say that you don't put the knee on the neck. So if you are, is that not indicative and suggestive of an assault such that you meet that count?

Now, let's say, Jim, you have another bite at the apple because the jury says, you know, I'm not quite convinced that the officer was attempting to assault him, so we're going to bypass the second degree murder charge.

Now the box that this witness checks, Lieutenant Zimmerman, is depraved heart. Why depraved heart? You heard testimony when you have someone in a prone position, that is a suspect laying on their chest face down on the ground, you have to pull them up because you're going to restrict breathing if you leave them there.

You are trained on that yearly. Every year you take a course that says you don't do that, and if you do get them up because you want to turn them to the side so they can breathe. Well, if you leave them there for a prolonged period of time, would that not be suggestive of a lack of humanity? Would it not be suggestive of a depraved heart? Would it not be suggestive of the charge which is third degree murder, and that's what that gets you.

So, final point I will make, Jim, and that's this. Say for an example and you are not buying that, he wasn't depraved, maybe he could have gotten him up earlier but I don't necessarily believe that, this witness, Lieutenant Zimmerman, testified to the policies and protocols you are trained on. That means you are on notice you shouldn't do things like that. Isn't that at least grossly negligence if you do?

If you are a juror and you buy the notion of gross negligence, then you buy the notion of second degree manslaughter which is the third and last count. And that's problematic. So, a very powerful day for the prosecution. A very bad day for the defense.

ACOSTA: It was a powerful week. And also this week, we got a look at how then-Officer Chauvin originally defended his action. The prosecution played part of a call he made to his supervisor at the time shortly after Floyd was taken away in an ambulance. Let's listen to that.


CHAUVIN: I was going to call and have you come out to our scene here. Up, not really but we just had to hold a guy down. He was, was going crazy, wouldn't go -- in the moment, wouldn't go in the back of the squad.



ACOSTA: And jurors have now seen the more than nine minutes of video of Floyd's final moments. Do you think anyone would describe Floyd's behavior in that as crazy?

JACKSON: I think it's highly problematic to make that suggestion. And so, the tape we just heard, what you know is that it cuts off, but the further indication because the person he was speaking to, his supervisor told us what he said, he never said anything about putting the knee on the neck and nor for the extended period of time.

That's what we call consciousness of guilt. You omitted to tell your supervisor what you did. It must mean what you did was wrong.

So, I think in the final analysis it leads to the issue of reasonableness. Did he act in a reasonable way to control and contain George Floyd at the time? I think by every indication everyone said who testified as an officer, there's been two supervisors, you should reassess. If you are under control, reassess -- reassess the control, reassess the use of force. He didn't do it. I think it is a hard stretch to say it was reasonable. I think it is highly problematic on the defense moving forward.

Compelling, riveting and really horrific testimony as to the conduct of Derek Chauvin, who is facing these charges.

ACOSTA: Absolutely, Joe. I thought all week-long, the testimony was devastating and it was gut wrenching and just heartbreaking to watch.

Joey Jackson, thanks for breaking that down for us. We appreciate it. We'll see you again soon.

Coming up, a bombshell report involving Congressman Matt Gaetz and allegations of drugs, money, sex and receipts. And now, a top staffer is jumping ship.



ACOSTA: New details now about the federal investigation into Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz for possible prostitution and sex trafficking crimes, including an alleged relationship with a minor.

The investigation now centers on Gaetz's friendship with a former Florida tax collector named, Joel Greenberg.

"The New York Times" is reporting investigators believe Greenberg recruited multiple women online for sex and that he introduced the women, who received cash payments, to Gaetz who had sex with them.

"The Times" says it has reviewed Apple Pay and Cash App receipts related to the case.

In a statement, Gaetz's office said, quote, "Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex. Matt Gaetz refutes all of the disgusting allegations completely."

But a source telling CNN investigators are examining whether any federal campaign money was involved in paying in travel and expenses for the women.

With me now, one of "The New York Times" journalists behind this in- depth reporting, Katie Benner, and the former chief of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub.

Katie, let me start with you first.

You have seen the Cash App and Apple Pay receipts as well as evidence of Congressman Gaetz telling women where and when to meet and how much money he was willing to pay.

Just how detailed are the discussions? What do they tell us?

KATIE BENNER, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I think what you would want to look at is the receipts wind up next to the messages asking women to come meet at a hotel that say where and when to meet with the message also saying and there will be, you know, $1,000 for you, whatever dollar figure there was, in the message.

I think investigators will look at that as well to see if they can prove, using those types of receipts and testimony from the women involved, that the cash was, indeed, in exchange for sex.

Because, if they cannot prove that, they can't prove prostitution. It is not illegal to give gifts. It is not illegal to rent hotel rooms for people. What they want to do is actually prove that causal link.

Also, what we found in our reporting is that women told their friends and investigators that, indeed, they not only had sex with both men, but they had sex -- one woman said she had sex with a third man, you know, at the behest of Gaetz and Greenberg.

So you can sort of see this investigation starting to open up beyond just having sex with a woman, just having sex with a woman in exchange for cash.

And then possibly, most troubling and most legally difficult, is the allegation that one of the women involved was only 17 when she had sex with these two men, thus only a girl at the time, which would carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison if proven true.

ACOSTA: And you have seen evidence, Katie, of these meet-ups happening as recently as 2020? How late into 2020?

BENNER: We have seen the messages that say, you know, please meet at hotel in Florida at this time. There will be, you know, this amount of cash. And then we also have seen Apple Pay receipts and Cash App, the money app, the Cash App receipts as well.

ACOSTA: Walter, Gaetz is under investigation for potentially breaking federal sex trafficking laws, as Katie was indicating there.

How do you get from prostitution, which "The Times" appears to have seen potential evidence of, to sex trafficking, which is obviously more serious?

WALTER SHAUB, FORMER DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS: Yes, I mean, from the perspective of a member of Congress, really any kind of criminal activity, if it can be proven, would actually trigger some ethical consequences if the Congress is willing to enforce its own rules.

So the particular elements of the two crimes are very fact specific. And I don't have expertise in what the specific statutory elements of trafficking are. But it wouldn't matter which of those.

And the same, if there was proof that the one girl was 17 years old, that, too, would be a crime. And it would immediately trigger the House ethics standards, which are notoriously vague.


For the most part, they focus on financial interests and relationships. But there's one that says members, officers and employees of the House should conduct themselves at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House.

And there's just no way he could argue this was creditable behavior.

ACOSTA: Katie, I want to play audio of a voicemail of Joel Greenberg and Congressman Gaetz that was left for a Florida female state representative, Anna Eskamani. Let's listen to that.


JOEL GREENBERG, FORMER FLORIDA TAX COLLECTOR: My dear, Anna, this is your favorite tax collector. I'm up in the panhandle with your favorite U.S. congressman, Mr. Gaetz.


GREENBERG: And we were just chatting about you and talking about your lovely qualities and your --

GAETZ: We think you are the future of the Democratic Party in Florida.


ACOSTA: I don't know what is going on there. But what do we know about this relationship between Gaetz and Greenberg? Is Greenberg somebody who potentially could flip on Gaetz?

I mean, it sounds like that could be a problem for the congressman.

BENNER: We know that the men are extremely close. We know they are good friends, that they are really prominent figures in Florida Republican circles.

Clearly, Matt Gaetz has become more prominent than Joel Greenberg, you know, who was a local tax collector. But they also were close to other prominent Florida Republican politicians and donors.

So, you know, I think the question is going to be for investigators, who was in charge, if they can prove that both men actually conducted -- you know, engaged in these acts.

It looks, for the most part, like Greenberg is the person who reached out to women initially online to set up these dates, that Greenberg, for the most part, messaged people and asked them to meet at hotels, but they're going to want to know what was Gaetz's involvement.

Also, even though Greenberg was making initial contact, was Gaetz, in fact, somehow in charge or was Gaetz somehow directing activities. That's going to be one of the big questions for them.

That's one of the reasons so much pressure is being applied to Greenberg. You can see it in the indictment.

They keep on filing superseding indictments with more and more charges that carry not just the 10-year mandatory for child sex trafficking but others, including trying to defraud the government of the COVID emergency loan programs.

They continue to ratchet up the pressure. There's not yet any indication that he would flip, but that doesn't mean investigators are not trying to make that happen.

ACOSTA: Walter, CNN is separately reporting that Gaetz showed off to other lawmakers nude pictures and videos of women that he had slept with. This is repugnant behavior obviously. He even did this on the House floor, we are told.

How would the formal complaints about this behavior begin? I mean, could other members say, let's get the ball rolling here, this is outside the bounds of anything that is appropriate?

SHAUB: Yes. In fact, the House Ethics Committee and the separate Office of Congressional Ethics can accept a complaint from anyone. And if you were to file a complaint raising this issue with them, the Office of Congressional Ethics, in particular, can be vigorous in investigating.

I think one of the more unseemly aspects of this is that these other members of Congress are alleged to have participated. And even if Gaetz is the one showing them these photos, this is conduct occurring on the floor of the House of Representatives. It is just impossible to believe that there's any meaning to this

general ethical standard about behaving in a manner creditably of the House if this kind of conduct doesn't lead to any kind of consequences.

In fact, we saw Representative Katie Hill resign a while ago when somebody leaked nude photos of her. And she was the victim of that. And then somebody alleged, without proof, that a member of her congressional staff and she had had an affair.

She admitted to one with a campaign staffer, which is not covered by the House rules, but denied the allegation about her congressional staffer.

We can remember that that matter was taken very seriously and led to her resignation.

If they don't hold Gaetz to a similar standard, you have to ask why.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. It is also appalling. It demands some kind of action, no question about it.

Katie Benner, thanks for reporting on this.

Walter Shaub, thanks for helping shed light on this. We appreciate it.

Coming up, the CDC is rapidly releasing highly-anticipated guidance for people who are vaccinated and want to travel. What you need to know before you head out the door for the Easter holiday.


Plus, witness the powerful story of Beulah Mae Donald and her historic victory against the Ku Klux Klan. "THE PEOPLE VERSUS THE KLAN," premiers with back-to-back episodes, Sunday, April 11th, at 9:00 p.m., right here on CNN.


ACOSTA: This just into CNN. The U.S. smashing records by vaccinating more than four million -- that's right -- four million people in just the last day. That is great news.

This brings the new average of doses administered each day to more than three million people, bringing us closer and closer to herd immunity.

This news comes just one day after the CDC issued new guidance, saying it is low risk for fully vaccinated people to travel.

The catch though, the CDC still doesn't want people to travel extensively just yet.

That's because even as vaccinations are on the rise, so are cases. Right now, we're seeing a concerning uptick in nearly two dozen states across the U.S. I want to bring in CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro in New York.

We have known each other a long time. It is great to have you on the show.

You are in Times Square. You know, as somebody who has been up to New York during this pandemic, that is unbelievable, first of all, to see all of those people behind you. Glad to see many of them wearing masks.


This is the original epicenter of the coronavirus here in the U.S.

What are you learning about this vaccination milestone? It is great news reached by the state of New York today that so many people are getting vaccinated.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jim. It is great to have you steering the ship.

Nice to talk to you here from Times Square where, as you can see, spring has sprung. We are back to some New York normalcy.

Now on to your question, New York announced today it has vaccinated -- it has delivered 10 million doses of the vaccine since the vaccination process started.

To put that number in perspective for you, that means, according to the governor's office, one in three New Yorkers have received at least one dose and one in five are fully vaccinated.

More people can get vaccinated in coming days. Starting Tuesday, anyone over 16 can get sign up for an appointment and get vaccinated here in New York.

Officials hope to get the vaccine out fast, keep the variants in check, and let scenes like the one behind me, that New York normalcy, start to return -- Jim?

ACOSTA: Evan, on Broadway, the lights have been dimmed more than a year due to the pandemic. Everybody has been frustrated with that and saddened by that.

What are you hearing about signs of a Broadway comeback? Because we all can't wait for that one to happen.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: That's right. Well, New York -- you know, Times Square is, of course, the theater district.

And that's why I'm here because earlier this afternoon we saw the first, kind of Broadway production in a theater we have seen in a long time.

As you mentioned, theaters here closed down on March 12th, 2020, and have been closed since then. That's the longest shuttering of this important economic engine ever.

So today, we saw that kind of return. The St. James Theater, nearby to where I'm standing right now, hosted a small event for less than 100 people, frontline workers people from the theater community.

It was just a short period of time, only about 40 minutes long, but it was a really big moment for people who are in this industry.

I spoke to one woman who works in the Broadway industry, and she was emotional about what it was like to be in the audience for this play after all of this time.


SUSAN SLOTOROFF, THEATER INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL: I'm smiling so hard behind my mask. I think I was smiling every second.

Just feeling, being in a room with people again and having a shared human experience was incredible. My heart was like beating out of my chest. You could feel the excitement and anticipation and just positive energy in the room.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Now, Broadway is not reopened. That's not scheduled to happen until September. But this isn't plays, you know? It is about one of the things that makes New York City New York City.

Today, to see the Broadway industry, the theater district do its thing again, was a big, big moment -- Jim?

ACOSTA: Absolutely, Evan. I mean, that is something that everybody is just dying to see, you know, occur in New York City, to see Broadway come back to life. That will be a major moment for the big apple. I can't wait to see it.

It is good to see all of those people behind you in the Big Apple enjoying this Easter weekend, but also want to see them staying safe as well. Wear those masks, everybody out there.

Evan, we know you will as well.

Evan McMorris Santoro, thank you so much for that report. We appreciate it.

And a programming note. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser on COVID-19 to President Biden, he will join me live in the CNN NEWSROOM coming up at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Don't miss Dr. Fauci. He is coming up.

And we will be right back.


[15:53:17] ACOSTA: Now to the crisis at the border. New numbers from Border Patrol show migrant apprehension spiked in March, including more than 18,000 unaccompanied minors.

These new numbers come as the shocking video shows an -- that just stop shocking us. A toddler is being dropped over a 14-foot-high border fence into New Mexico. Border Patrol agents later found a 3- year-old and 5-year-old sister, two sisters from Ecuador.

I'll be talking to Congressman Joaquin Castro. He's made a recent trip down to the border. He'll be talking about that visit and this video coming up in 5:00 hour. You'll want to be there for that.

In the meantime, CNN is now learning that 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 that dangerous trip to the United States by targeting disinformation.

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

And recent attacks on Asian-Americans are just the latest reminder that prejudice and bigotry remain a serious problem here in the United States.

This week's "CNN Hero" salutes two tattoo artists in Murray, Kentucky, for their efforts to fight intolerance by covering up hate tattoos for free.

Since last June, their Cover the Hate campaign has helped dozens of people by erasing the vestiges of their racist paths.



RYUN KING, CNN HERO: Seeing people risking their living for the Black Lives Matter movement on TV, that moved me greatly. This is generally helping people move past their past. It's powerful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growing up, I was never raised to be racist. I just was around wrong the people. I wanted to show everyone that I was above them.


And one day, you just realize this racist thing is stupid. Everyone is equal. I look back on it now and I'm ashamed of it. You know?

KING: Let's go ahead and look at the design here.

Most of these tattoos are outworn, old, and dated, just like the ideology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got two granddaughters and they're mixed. I love my grandbabies to death.

It's like a change in life. And this is the last step. And this man's here to help you fulfill it.

That is so cool.


ACOSTA: Great stuff. And get the whole story and nominate someone you know to be a "CNN Hero" at