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Three Dead, At Least 20 Hospitalized After Boat Capsizes Off San Diego; Republican Party Infighting Reaches Fever Pitch; Private And Public Viewings For Andrew Brown Jr. Held Today; Questions On COVID Vaccine Side Effects And Efficacy Answered; Osama bin Laden Hunted Down, Killed 10 Years Ago. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired May 2, 2021 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: I am Pamela Brown in Washington. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Sunday.
And we start tonight with breaking news, a tragedy off the California Coast with a desperate search for survivors going on right now as we speak. This is happening near San Diego. Emergency officials say, a boat flipped over with more than two dozen people on board. Some of those people are confirmed dead, and that death toll going up in just the past few minutes.
CNN's Josh Campbell is near Los Angeles with more details. Josh, officials are about to hold a press conference hopefully with some more information, but what can you tell us at this point?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pamela, we are waiting for that press conference to get additional details on the response from officials and what they are seeing there on the ground. What we do know is that this accident has resulted in fatalities, that coming from officials there in the San Diego area, telling us that at least three people who are onboard this vessel have died.
Now, there were over 20 people that were transported to local hospitals in and around this Point Loma area near San Diego. We don't know the condition of those injuries. We're told that many of those were superficial injuries, but there are some according to at least one official that at least three people are suffering from serious injuries.
Now, as far as the cause of this, we don't have information on that yet or even the circumstances surrounding this particular vessel's route of travel. I tell you that this San Diego area, there near Point Loma, it's an area known for shipping lanes, there are tours that happen in and around there.
This is actually also right off the coast of a U.S. navy air station facility that is home to aircraft carriers, so there's lot of activity in and around that area as well. And we don't have information about what this vessel was doing and what this route of travel was.
We do also know that it's worth knowing that U.S. Customs and Border protection have, in the past, interdicted a certain smuggling operations in and around this area as well. So everything is on the table right now. We're waiting to hear from officials about what the specifics of this vessel, but, again, the top line who were reporting unfortunately, a tragedy, there are three people dead, over 20 people taken to the hospital. Pamela?
BROWN: And, again, we're waiting for that information. I know right now it's tough because you are not working with much, but do you have any idea of what type of boat this was? A pleasure vessel, a fishing charter or working boat?
CAMPBELL: We don't yet know. We have seen some images on social media that we have not yet confirmed that appear to depict a debris field, which would indicate that this was probably not a vessel that was sea worthy, for example, of military grade or some type of shipping or a pleasure craft.
Again, there have been incidents in the past where you see different types of vessels that have been used to transport people illegally that are not sea worthy, and that are maybe kind of a long line of what we're seeing here with this debris field.
Too early to confirm that at this point but at least what we're seeing from some of those early images is that it doesn't appear to be some large sea going vessel, and we hope to get more details on this particular boat, its route of travel and obviously the victims here just coming up very shortly from officials.
BROWN: All right, Josh Campbell, thank you so much for bringing us the latest there.
And turning now to a party in disarray, Republicans caught in a circular firing squad, the carnage on full display just in the last 24 hours. Last night, Republican Senator Mitt Romney narrowly avoided a censure at the Utah GOP convention but he couldn't avoid a chorus of boos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): You know me as a person who says what he thinks, and I don't have the fact that I wasn't fan of our last president's character issues, and I'm also no fan --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: This morning, fellow Republican Senator and Trump critic Susan Collins had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I was appalled. Mitt Romney is an outstanding senator who serves his state and our country well.
We are not a party that is led by just one person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Meanwhile in Arizona, the state party is barely in ahead with the skewed audit of the 2020 election feeding into the big lie cooked up by Donald Trump. Arizona Republican Cindy McCain slammed the effort today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY MCCAIN, WIDOW OF REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: It's ludicrous. And this also comes from a state party in Arizona that refused to be audited themselves on votes that were casts in their own party communications.
So, you know, it's -- the election is over. Biden won. I know many don't like the outcome but, you know, elections have consequences. And I -- you know, this does not surprise me, you know, things are just aloof and crazy out there right now with regards to the election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And for the second time in as many weeks, former President George W. Bush sounded exasperated as he warned about the party's future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (voice over): You know, it's -- it's -- to me that's -- it basically says that we want to be extinct. But I know this, if the Republican Party stands for exclusivity, you know, we used to be country clubs, now evidently, it's white Anglo- Saxon Protestantism, then it's not going to win anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And now, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the number three Republican in the House, is in danger of losing her leadership post, because she's out of step with the party on the Capitol attack and Trump's role in it.
In the rise of Trump loyalist that has led to this rift in the GOP is against this backdrop, a new poll shows 70 percent of Republicans think President Biden was not elected legitimately, 70 percent. In any other era, that would be an unthinkable number. Well, they believe this because Republican leaders have lying, fear mongering about last year election results, the election that Biden won fairly and squarely.
Last night, I spoke to Republican Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas. When the Capitol was attacked by right-wingers and Trump's supporters hopping to overturn the election, he was one of the six senators who voted against certifying the 2020 Electoral College results for two states hours later. And I asked him about the consequences of decisions like that from GOP lawmakers like himself and whether he had any regret. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROGER MARSHALL (R-KS): It's time to move on. It's time for this country to heal. It's time for a spirit of forgiveness to be happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: What we would all love to heal, we would all love to move on from this shameful episode of our country. But here is the thing. The reality is Republicans and their followers have not moved on from the election lie, case in point. The elected officials who have enable it or complicit with their silence should be held accountable.
In Arizona, as you seen this video right here, Republicans are still trying to overturn the 2020 results and fuel paranoia with the partisan audit of ballots after two prior audits already found no issues and only confirmed the results, the fact that Trump lost that state.
Well, this year, Republicans in almost every single state legislature have introduced new voting restrictions and they're using lies, like rampant voter fraud, to justify the measures. And the most powerful Republican, the man who lost the 2020 election, is still ranting to whomever is within earshot at Mar-a-Lago six months later, claiming the actual real results of the election he lots will come out any day now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Let's see what they find. I wouldn't be surprised if they found thousands and thousands and thousands of votes. So we're going to watch that closely, and after that you will watch Pennsylvania and you will watch Georgia and you're going to watch Michigan, and Wisconsin and you're watching New Hampshire, they found a lot of votes up in New Hampshire at this time, because this was a rigged election, and everybody knows it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Backtrack, not true, I just have to say that, again. And the same GOP propaganda that lead to a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, as you see, it has not gone away. That is why I challenge every single Republican I have on the show who voted to overturn the election. They don't get to have everybody sing kumbaya until they stop repeating the same baseless claim that cost this.
I'm joined now CNN Chief Media Correspondent and Host of Reliable Sources Brian Stelter and New York University Journalism Professor Jay Rosen, who has written about his issue. He's been very vocal on Twitter about this issue as well. Gentlemen, thanks for coming on the show.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Thanks.
JAY ROSEN, JOURNALISM PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Thank you.
BROWN: So, Brian, first to you. I am curious what you would think, as you watch just play out how Republicans have been since the election, since the insurrection.
Has anything stood out to you about how Republicans have shifted the way they talk about the election and the Capitol attack?
STELTER: Well, as reality has gotten worst, as this has gotten more damming, more embarrassing, as more indictments have been handed down, as more and more of the rioters have been held accountable, reality must be denied. That's been the approach of the right-wing media, the pro Trump media and allies throughout Congress and on Capitol Hill, deny reality, downplay the riot, pretend it wasn't that bad.
Pretend this merry band of patriots was just trying to voice an opinion and not try to overturn the election and do damage to this country. That's the attempt. It's getting more frequent every month.
I think it's happening because this is the war on terror party. This is the pro-police party. This is the back the blue party. This is the party that is supposed to stand with the police and against terror and yet this was a terror attack committed by its members, mostly by its members. That is the fundamental shame that must be extinguished, that must be covered up.
And that's what we are seeing, whether it's stars on Fox News or lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They are trying to somehow extinguish the shame, cover it up, whether they focus on government overreach in particular cases of prosecutions, whether they really emphasize the possibility that Antifa was behind it, which is bull, and we all know it was bull, even people are even saying that they know it's bull.
But unfortunately, I think, Pamela, it comes down to this attempt to deny reality that's gaining momentum over the months down the memory hole out of shame and embarrassment.
BROWN: And from a journalist perspective, you really have to make a decision, right? I mean, there's three buckets here. You can choose not to have these elect the Republicans on, give them a platform. You can choose to give to give them the platform but also challenge them on how they were enabled or were complicit of silent in the big election lie, the insurrection, or you can have them on and, of course, not bringing up at all?
On that, Jay, what do you think should happen? I mean, you heard my guest last night, the Kansas senator, Roger Marshall say, it's time to move on. What is the appropriate way for the media to handle this, do you think?
ROSEN: Well, I think one thing that people in Europe has ought to do is make a hierarchy among the 147 Republicans who, in some way or another, voted to overturn the election, who are the most serious deniers of reality in the election, versus the least, and perhaps have different policies for them.
I think you have to have a discussion within each organization, what they need to show about what is our policy? Do we invited, confront, do we not allow them on the air until they have disavowed their original views?
The one thing that is not doable is denial, which is -- it has been practiced, I think, by the media as well as so many Republican politicians, as Brian said, when Senator Rick Scott can just waltz on to ABC News and George Stephanopoulos this week and face zero questions about stop the steal and his vote to decertify the results in Pennsylvania. That's the kind of denial among the media class. I don't think that does anything good.
But to pull the camera back a little bit, Pamela, we have a two-party system and one of the two parties is anti-democratic. The routines and assumptions of mainstream political journalism aren't built for that situation. And the real problem is not just these kinds of questions and what to do about the stop the steal politicians, it's what do we do when we have a two-party system and one of the two party is anti- democratic. I don't think our press has started to grapple with that yet.
BROWN: What do you think, Brian? You know this is something that you have thought about, you have written about as well.
STELTER: Well, Pamela, I think you deserve credit for not letting go of this. I think State of the Union, its bookings, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash have follow thought about how to handle this issue with Republican lawmakers who were a part of this anti-democratic movement.
It is fundamentally true that we are in the battle, as Biden has said, about democracy versus autocracy. It's one of the stories of our time. And there's lot of ways to cover that story. But to pretend like it's not happening is the worst way. And that's what I worry about when I watch Fox News (INAUDIBLE), and they have moved on entirely from the riot and essentially acted like it didn't happen.
Can you imagine those channels in 2001? Right behind me is the rebuilt World Trade Center, right, in this monitor behind me. But to think about those networks in early 2002 pretending that the towers had not been taken down by terrorists.
Obviously, what happened on January 6th was a different magnitude, thank God a lower magnitude. But we saw this embarrassing invasion of our own seat of power by extremists within our own country. It's something that folks don't want to think about because it's so embarrassing, it so uncomfortable, it's so frightening.
And I wonder sometimes how the folks at these right-wing networks, how are they comfortable ignoring it? How are they comfortable ignoring this threat to democracy? I don't know is the honest answer, Pamela.
BROWN: But it's so interesting, they are ignoring that and yet they're still pushing GOP propaganda about the big election lie.
BROWN: I mean, that's the thing. You saw it -- I mean, you're seeing it play out in Arizona with this audit going on.
And, you know, Jay, I've talk to some Republican officials -- politicians privately, who say they don't want to go near this issue. They say it's like the third rail (ph). They know Biden was legitimately elected. But if they say so publicly, they will just get hammered by their constituents and their political career within their mind. We have seen that play out publicly doing extent with Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney and others.
So, you know, by journalists ignoring this issue and not bringing it up, are you just giving Republicans who don't want to be held accountable in their party exactly what they want? I mean, as you have seen on this show, I've chosen, to put it out there, invite Republicans on but hold them accountable. What do you think about staying silent, Jay?
ROSEN: I think it's an abrogation of responsibility on the news media's when they invite politicians on and don't confront them. But I also think there's something going on in the background here which is the Republican Party convinced its base that the election was stolen to such a degree that the stop the steal idea is kind of running the party, it's sort of taken root and it's got its own kind of momentum behind it.
And regardless of what party leaders try to do, if they try to do we made it, they try to not to talk about it, try to move on as Roger Marshall kept saying today in your interview with him, there's something about it, it's almost like a virus that has caught fire and it's -- in a way, it's bigger than the party and the party can't even stop it if it wanted to because so many of its voters had been persuaded by the party itself that this happened. And if the election was stolen, that is a major crisis on American democracy that is ongoing. And you can see how it kind of drives people crazy.
So in a lot of ways the party is leaching power to direct itself because its lies have been so successful.
BROWN: And so it's interesting how circular it has been for these elected officials, right? I mean, by going along with Trump, by going along with his conspiracy theories, they then convince their base that the conspiracy theories were true, right? And now, they are using that as justification for some of these voting laws across the country.
We are seeing a record number, right, on this big lie. And also you have the other Republicans who know that this is a total sham but they're too afraid to say anything because they are too far in. It's just -- it's fascinating what we're seeing play out right before our eyes very eyes right now.
Brian Stelter, Jay rosen, thank you, and I hope you'll be back to continue this conversation. STELTER: Thanks.
ROSEN: Thanks, Pamela.
BROWN: Well, 10 years later, the plot to take out Osama Bin Laden told by the people in the room. Garrett Graph joins us with his extraordinary new reporting from Politico Magazine.
And later this hour, chaos on the pitch as Manchester United fans vent anger at the club's American owners.
But first, Andrew Brown Jr. fatally shot by deputies in North Carolina will be laid to rest tomorrow. Our Natasha Chen is there in Elizabeth City for us tonight, as protesters march for justice and demand the release of body camera footage. We're going to take you there live when we come back.
BROWN: In North Carolina, the family of Andrew Brown Jr. is holding a public viewing ahead of his funeral tomorrow. Sheriff's deputies shot and killed Brown last month as they were serving a warrant. Protesters have gathered in Elizabeth City for the 12th straight day to voice outrage over Brown's killing and to demand release of the police body camera video.
CNN's Natasha Chen is there. So, Natasha, tell us, what are you seeing?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pamela, in the last 15 minutes or so the crowd just wrapped up and dispersed but they had been marching all around Elizabeth City for a couple hours, starting at the waterfront and stopping at Andrew Brown's home where he was killed on April 21st, held vigil there for a moment next to a wall where a new mural had been painted.
Something different about these protests because we've seen continuous protests every single day since his death, and something different today is that his family was marching at the front of the line. And so very poignant, a lot of supporters really joining them and calling for transparency for this body camera footage to all be released, not just the 20 seconds of one camera's angle that was not apparently shown to just one family member, according to the Brown family.
Now, a judge, as you mentioned, did say that the family can view more of the footage in the coming days, but that same judge denied the request for more footage to be released to the public.
Here is one cousin and an aunt of Andrew Brown Jr. talking about how difficult this moment is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JADINE HAMPTON, ANDREW BROWN JR.'S COUSIN: We're grieving but doing what we have to do, because of the way that things happened. We have to be here. We have to support. We have to protest. We know that we have a long road ahead. This is literally just the beginning.
So in the midst of grieving as the saying goes, the cows still have to be milked. So for us that means there's a lot of work to be done and we have to be here, we have to fight for justice for him, and the first order is release the tapes, the whole tapes, all of them, every angle, every body cam that was there, that was on, we need to see it.
LILLIE BROWN CLARK, ANDREW BROWN JR.S AUNT: This doesn't end today, it does not end tomorrow, after we have to celebrate his life. It may not end for a year, but it's going to change things in North Carolina not just in Elizabeth City. So we would not have died in vain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: I also want to mention one moment that I caught on cell phone video of a 5-year-old girl who was given the megaphone for a minute to lead the chants, and with the crowd. She and her family said they're from Elizabeth City, just an example of the many people who brought their small children out here to educate them on the justice they are seeking.
And, of course, and there was a public viewing this afternoon as well for Andrew Brown's body, and there's a funeral tomorrow where Reverend Al Sharpton is expected to speak. Pamela?
BROWN: All right, Natasha Chen, bringing us the latest there from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Thanks so much.
And next hour we are going to talk to an attorney for the Brown family, Wayne Kendall, and ask him about the discrepancies between the sheriff's department's account of what happened and what one family member describe to CNN after seeing a snippet of the body cam video.
Well, whether it's about vaccines or variants, everyone still has question about coronavirus and the vaccines. And coming up, we will going to get you some answers, like when can we take off our masks? Dr. Celine Gounder is standing by. Stay with us.
BROWN: Well, first off, let's begin with some much-needed good news on the COVID front. The CDC is reporting as of today more than 243 million doses of COVID vaccine have been administered across the U.S. and that's translating into some welcome news for Americans itching to travel. The European Union is expected to announce soon that it will allow fully vaccinated Americans to visit this summer.
But as Europe and the U.S. move toward normalcy, skyrocketing new cases in India and South America are fueling a global crisis. India just set a pandemic record with 400,000 new cases just on Saturday. Meantime, other countries are responding to India's desperation. Emergency aid now pouring in to help fight what is currently the world's worst COVID outbreak.
The trajectory of new COVID deaths seen on this graph tells a story of the stark differences of what's happening country to country. The U.S. in blue, Brazil in yellow, the red line is India.
Wow. CNN medical analyst, Dr. Celine Grounder, joins me now for more on this. She was on the Biden Transition COVID Advisory Board and is a former New York City assistant health commissioner. She is here to answer our questions.
Great to see you as always. So we're at this point now, Dr. Gounder, where people are returning to their workplace soon if they haven't already. What if I'm near someone I know hasn't been vaccinated, what should you do?
DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I think you have to look at the circumstances in your community and also in the workplace. So many parts of the country right now still have very high levels of community transmission, but others do not. And so I think, one, know what is happening in your community and then also know what the guidelines are where you were, with respect to distance apart, with respect to masking, and whether they have ventilation in place.
BROWN: So I want to get to our first viewer question on this. How close are we to saying that everyone who wants a shot has had their opportunity and restrictions are removed in full? And we know the demand for the vaccine is starting to dwindle. When do you think all restrictions should be lifted including mask wearing?
GOUNDER: Look, we've made remarkable progress. We have about half of adults now who have been vaccinated in this country, about 40 percent of adults have been fully vaccinated, not just one dose, so we've made remarkable progress, but not everyone who wants to be vaccinated has been vaccinated. And yes, there's been a slight slowdown in our pace of vaccinations but we are still on average delivering 2.5 million doses of vaccine into arms every day, still.
So, you know, I think we're making great progress. I do think President Biden's projection of probably around the Fourth of July seems to be on target, but it will vary depending on the county and state that you live in.
BROWN: I have to say, I got a lot of questions about autoimmune diseases and how the vaccine impacts those with those diseases. One viewer said, "I have autoimmune illness with a pacemaker. I definitely think after the second Pfizer shot it kicked off inflammation and activated shingles. I still support vaccines but are you seeing reports of this?"
And then we also, we should note, got a similar question from another viewer asking if there are neurological side effects? So what do you know, Dr. Gounder, about possible side effects? Do you think how much of this is people -- if something happens after they get the vaccine, people thinking it's connected to the vaccine or data actually showing there are these other weird side effects beyond what we know with Johnson & Johnson?
GOUNDER: Well, there's definitely some of the -- you know, you have the vaccine and then something else happens, and, you know, a correlation is not causation just because you have a heart attack the day after you get vaccinated, doesn't mean you would not have had a heart attack otherwise. But with respect to the shingles, we have seen six reports out of Israel. Six, of people who had underlying autoimmune rheumatologic diseased who got vaccinated for COVID, and then developed shingles.
And I think it's really important for people to understand they are not getting a new infection with shingles. Shingles is reactivation of the chickenpox virus that you were infected with. It could the decades ago. But we have seen six reports of that. Seems to be quite rare because we really haven't heard of much more than that.
With respect to neurological issues, there were some concerns early on, could these vaccines cause facial paralysis, what we call Bell's palsy. And what we have seen there was recently a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine looking at this question, and we do not see an association of the COVID vaccines or really any vaccines with facial palsy. We know viral infections can cause it so it's possible if you got COVID, you could have this but not the vaccines.
BROWN: That is so helpful. And just to be clear, if you have an autoimmune disease, your recommendation is to get vaccinated, right?
GOUNDER: I would still recommend getting vaccinated.
GOUNDER: Whether you have an autoimmune disease or cancer or anything like that. Yes.
BROWN: OK. All right. Well, stay with me. Plenty more questions to be answered right after this short break.
BROWN: CNN medical analyst Dr. Celine Gounder is back with me to answer your questions. She was on the Biden Transition COVID Advisory Board and is a former New York City assistant health commissioner. That was a bit of a mouthful.
All right. So let's go to another viewer question here. "The reason I don't want to get a COVID vaccine yet is because there are no long- term studies on the effects of the vaccine that millions of people are taking. I am not against vaccines."
I have to say, Dr. Gounder, I've heard this from a lot of different people. What is your -- what are your thoughts on this? GOUNDER: Look, they're right. We don't have long-term studies on the
COVID vaccine in people. We only started studying these vaccines in people about a year ago, so that's as long as we have follow-up information on. We do know that with other vaccines, if you're going to have a severe complication it's usually going to happen within the first two months and we also know a lot about what happens if you get COVID and if you develop long COVID.
Between a quarter and half of people who get COVID end up with long- term symptoms which include loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue and brain fog. So that we very much do have a handle on and know that COVID itself really does have some long-term consequences.
BROWN: And also, I remember speaking to another doctor about this who said the MRNA technology for the two vaccines approved in the U.S. that technology has been around for a long time, and so while there's no specific long-term data on these vaccines per say, the technology they're using has been around for a long time.
I want to ask you about vaccine inequity, leading to a prolonged pandemic. One viewer was asking -- I mean, we show the numbers on the screen when we first introduced you, Dr. Gounder, what's going on in other parts of this world, in Brazil, in India, and so forth. Do you think that that could lead to a prolonged pandemic?
GOUNDER: I think it absolutely could. I think so long as you don't have equity in vaccine distribution, whether it's here in the United States or overseas, you know, here it's going to take us that much longer to get life back as normal, to stop having to wear mask for our protection, if people don't get vaccinated and we don't have equitable distribution of vaccines. And if you have ongoing transmission, replication of the virus in places like India and Brazil, you will have mutant viruses arise, which threatens our own recovery.
Not to mention the fact that when these countries are suffering the way these countries like India and Brazil are suffering, they are not participating in the world economy, they are not purchasing American goods, and so there are many ways in which this affects us as a country.
BROWN: All right, Dr. Celine Gounder. Thank you for your brilliant analysis, expertise as always.
Well, this weekend marks 10 years since U.S. Navy SEALs raided a compound in Pakistan killing the world's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden. Garrett Graff spoke to people inside White House situation room during that major moment in history, and he learned new details of what was happening behind the scenes. He joins us next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: CNN is told by several sources now that the president of the United States will announce in just moments that the United States has the body of Osama bin Laden.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Did you see the date on that clip? May 2011. It was 10 years ago this weekend that the United States successfully carried out what many Americans consider the definitive foreign policy achievement of a generation. An intelligence and military operation that hunted down the man responsible for the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil, 10 years since the U.S. Navy SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden.
Journalist and author Garrett Graff joins me now. He's a CNN contributor, and he is also the man behind this book "The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11."
Garrett, you have had this rare opportunity to talk to many of the people shown in that famous photograph, and those who weren't in it on that historic night when President Obama and a few others watched and listened to that top secret mission that was so risky but so necessary to bring some closure to the American people.
You know, a lot of us may think we know a lot about how all of this went down. I certainly did. But I for one learned so many interesting tidbits reading through this. Tell us what you discovered.
GARRETT GRAFF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. This was, as you said, one of the biggest foreign policy achievements of the Obama administration, it was also perhaps one of the most secret operations in modern American history. And time and time again, as I was talking to the participants in it, I was just struck by the sheer cloak of secrecy that surrounded this. I mean, I remember being so surprised that Sunday evening as the -- as news networks broke in with news of the president's upcoming address.
But even within the White House, many senior White House officials had no idea what was going on that day, and I talked to the NSA for the first time for their participation in this raid. They said that within the NSA just 50 people knew that weekend about the operation.
BROWN: It's so remarkable. That is one of the tidbits that struck me, how many people were kept out of the loop even on the day it was announced. How the Secret Service wasn't told to boost up security, and they kind of felt miffed I guess, because they had no idea what was going on. And then you have the tidbits there about how President Obama made subtle changes to his White House Correspondents Dinner speech on the weekend of the raid.
And this one really struck out to me. Bill Daley turning on the faucet and whispering in his wife's ear, we're going to go after Osama bin Laden. When you learned that, what did you think?
GRAFF: It was such an amazing sort of human moment to see someone at this pinnacle of power, you know, basically unable to keep a monumental secret from his wife. And one of the things that so many of the participants that I've talked to related was how challenging it was to sort of get up that Sunday morning and make excuses to their families, to their spouses to why they needed to head into the office at 6:30, 7:00 that Sunday morning.
Mike Morell, the deputy director of the CIA, actually missed his daughter's final choral performance that weekend, that Sunday, and was unable to tell his wife why. And it was quite the marital row until later that evening he was able to tell her for the first time.
BROWN: And then hopefully she forgave him once she learned. So it has been widely reported that the bin Laden raid was the only time President Obama watched a military operation happen on video in real time. Why was this operation so important to him?
GRAFF: This was just a hugely important operation symbolically for the country and also geopolitically fraught. I mean, it's easy to forget now that this involved sending American troops, the Navy SEAL team 160 kilometers inside Pakistan, which is purportedly an ally of the United States, invading their sovereignty, invading a compound that was just five miles from their own version of West Point, the Pakistani Military Academy.
And just a few miles away from one of their nuclear storage sites. This was an incredibly risky operation. And the president and all of the senior leaders were nervous about the potential fallout. I mean, one of the things that came out in the course of my reporting was how Saturday, the day before the raid, President Obama actually spent trying to line up the support of the Kazakhstan government to allow U.S. supplies to transit Kazakhstan to get into Afghanistan in the event that Pakistan cut off the U.S. military's ability to resupply through Pakistani air space.
BROWN: So many interesting tidbits, information in this, that we are learning thanks to your great reporting.
Garrett Graff, appreciate it. Thanks for coming on the show.
GRAFF: Any time, Pamela.
BROWN: Well, the English Premier League forced to postpone a match after hundreds of Manchester United fans stormed the stadium angry at the team's American owner for last month's Super League debacle.
We're going to have that story ahead for you. And also ahead, from Johnny Carson to Jimmy Kimmel, all your favorite late-night legends are coming to CNN. "THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT" premieres tonight at 9:00 Eastern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNNY CARSON, LATE-NIGHT HOST: Now, look, don't start anything you can't finish.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The laughter. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hot damn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The joke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was hooked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brought all this energy into the room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This could be a game changer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Johnny Carson was the one that made late-night TV important.
JIMMY FALLON, LATE-NIGHT HOST: There's no rules. No one even knows what to expect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything could happen.
CONAN O'BRIEN, LATE-NIGHT HOST: Late night became this ritual.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just felt like one big party.
FALLON: It's electric.
CHELSEA HANDLER, LATE-NIGHT HOST: It's a part of American culture.
JAMES CORDEN, LATE-NIGHT HOST: You really realized the power of these shows to inform and to uplift.
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BROWN: Dramatic scenes in the U.K. as angry Manchester United fans storm the field ahead of today's match against Liverpool. Frustration at the team's American owners has been building since Man U and several other clubs tried to form a breakaway league next month but quickly abandoned the idea when fans revolted. Now some protesters fired flares. Others hurled glass bottles. At least two police officers were hurt. And the match was postponed.