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Arrest In Austin, Texas Mass Shooting; Interview With Savannah Mayor Van Johnson About Mass Shootings; Orlando Honors Victims Of The Pulse Nightclub Shooting; YouTube Pulls Plug On GOP Senator; President Biden Meets With G7 Leaders On Day Two Of Summit; British Prime Minister Speaks About Biden's Influence; Interview With Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL); World Leaders Talk Climate Crisis At G7, NATO Summits. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 12, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A lot of leaders sighing relief because it's President Biden here instead of President Trump.
PRES. EMMANUEL MACRON, FRANCE: I think it's great to have a U.S. president part of the club and very willing to cooperate.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We have a bilateral relationship that has deteriorated to its lowest point in recent years.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I certainly think that President Putin has done things that are unconscionable.
I think that what Joe Biden will be doing when he goes to see Putin will be giving some pretty tough messages.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: As the nation remembers the 49 victims killed in the Pulse Nightclub shooting five years ago, cities across the country are dealing with new mass shootings every day.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Passengers and crew grappled with an off-duty Delta flight attendant who police say was threatening to take the plane down.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Joe Biden is the 12th U.S. president to meet Queen Elizabeth II during her reign.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe Biden is of a generation that special relationship means something.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world on this Saturday. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. And it's great to have you along with us. And we begin tonight with America's gun violence epidemic showing no
sign of abating or claiming fewer victims. Right now in Orlando, Florida, a community gathers outside the Pulse Nightclub to remember the 49 people murdered and the more than 50 others wounded on this date five years ago.
And at the same time, people in several American communities are dealing with the shock of deadly shootings just within the past day. The biggest is in Austin, Texas. Tonight, we learned that an arrest has been made in a shooting that left 14 people hurt. A short time ago I spoke to Austin's mayor, Steve Adler, and he worries about today and what the future will bring.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR STEVE ADLER (D), AUSTIN, TEXAS: Our Texas legislature just met and passed a new law that lets anyone carry a gun without any kind of registration or otherwise, and you know, I just do not believe that more guns with more people is the answer to curbing this violence.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Ed Lavandera is in Austin tonight.
Ed, the investigation there is far from over.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is moving -- it isn't over but it is moving along as the mayor here in Austin confirming to CNN that one of the two suspects that the police are after this afternoon has been taken into custody and the mayor also has gone on to say that they are closing in on the second suspect. But this is the scene in the backdrop where the shooting took place last night.
This is Sixth Street, the iconic entertainment district here in downtown Austin, Texas. This weekend happens to be a massive biker rally. So this was a situation called the Republican Texas Biker Rally so thousands of people gathered here in downtown Austin this weekend. Austin Police say that this shooting erupted between two people and it appears to be an isolated incident that none of the people that were wounded, 14 in all, did not appear to be targets of the gunman in this situation.
But the mayor also said that there appears to have been some bad blood between these two suspects. And right now, what we know, Pamela, is that Austin Police have arrested one of the suspects and according to the mayor here in Austin, they're closing in on the second suspect. Investigators say they've been going through this area looking for surveillance video. And you can imagine it was a chaotic scene here last night when the gunfire erupted.
But investigators have been using officer body cam footage and video from other establishments around here to try to track down and pinpoint exactly who the gunmen were in this situation. But an extremely terrifying situation is that gunfire erupts in the early morning hours of this morning, leaving 14 people wounded. No one was killed -- Pamela.
BROWN: Fortunately, no one was killed. But still 14 people wounded.
Ed Lavandera, thank you so much.
We want to go over to Savannah, Georgia, now. That is where police need help finding a killer after one person is dead, seven more including a baby were wounded in a late-night shooting. Police say right now they can't find any witnesses who will share any information.
And joining me now, the mayor of Savannah, Georgia, Van Johnson, and the police chief, Roy Minter.
Thank you both for coming on. Chief Minter, why are you having so much trouble finding witnesses? Do you have any more information you can provide us tonight?
CHIEF ROY MINTER, SAVANNAH, GEORGIA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, thank you for having me on this evening, Pamela. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances but, I mean, that's kind of the $64,000 question. We're really trying to figure out why people won't reach out to us and cooperate in this investigation.
This is the second time this particular location was targeted. They didn't provide any information the first time the location was targeted a couple of days ago, and they're still very hesitant about providing information this time, even though one of the shooting victims is an 18-month-old infant.
BROWN: So, Mayor Johnson, you look at this. I mean, law enforcement experts tell CNN the country is experiencing a spike in violent crime not seen in a decade. How concerned are you heading into this summer? And how are you preparing?
MAYOR VAN JOHNSON, SAVANNAH, GEORGIA: Well, we're actually very concerned. I mean, our thoughts are going with our friends in Austin and in Dallas and Chicago. This has been happening across the country and now it's on our front door. So it shows that it's not limited to Savannah. This is a national issue that's going to require a national response.
As it relates to Savannah, the fact of the matter is, is that we'll find these individuals. But we need the public's help to help us do it. Public safety is the public's responsibility. And we're only as good as the people to give us information.
BROWN: So, Chief Minter, what do you think is behind the spike in violent crime and how do you turn the situation around?
MINTER: Well, specifically looking at our violent crime here in Savannah, we believe it basically revolves around four areas. Unlike what we saw last night, confrontations and altercations that are being resolved by use of a weapon. The second is drug sales and purchases, the third one is gang-related incident, and the fourth one is individuals who are currently awaiting trial for various offenses and who are now victims of retaliation or retaliating against witnesses.
BROWN: So what do you do, though? I mean, as we head into the summer and we're already seeing the spike in gun violence, experts say it's only going to increase over the summer. What do you do about it?
MINTER: Well, we're kind of looking at -- our focus is on like a three-legged stool. I mean, we're kind of looking at wholistic community-based response approach, looking at the root causes of crime in our community, things like poverty, blight, education, employment, mentoring reentry, gang intervention and prevention programs.
The second leg of the stool is relational policing which we're working on right now that's strengthening our relationship with our community. And then the fourth -- I mean the third leg of the stool is enforcement. Working with our local state and federal partners to target and address violent offenders and to seek swift and strong prosecution of these cases.
BROWN: Mayor Johnson, you may have heard Mayor Adler in Austin tell me that he thinks that more guns could be making this issue worse. What do you think?
JOHNSON: Well, absolutely. The reality is in Georgia, we can't be mad that guns are everywhere when Georgia law allows guns to be everywhere. But we also realize that guns are inanimate objects. And so we not only need that stronger gun laws in Georgia and nationally but what we also need to have is to teach our young people better decision making.
When I was growing up, you had an issue with somebody or a beef with somebody, you resolved it with fists. At least that way the next day, you were able to be friends again and life went on. Now it's done in a deadly way in which you can't pull a bullet back. Families are victimized and it tears from the fabric of our community.
BROWN: All right. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, Police Chief Roy Minter, thank you for taking time out of your evening to talk with us. A very busy evening as you try to solve the crime there. Thank you so much.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
BROWN: And remarkably, there is even a fifth mass shooting to tell you about in just the last 24 hours. This one in Cleveland. Three men are dead. Three women are wounded. The shooting happened outside a gas station early this morning. Police tell CNN they don't know the motive yet but it looked like a shoot-out type situation. They have not identified a suspect.
And as these communities deal with one shooting after another, right now in Orlando they are remembering their own tragedy. Five years ago, 49 people were killed. More than 50 others were wounded at the Pulse Nightclub. Family and friends are gathering outside that club this evening to mark the occasion.
CNN's Natasha Chen is there for us -- Natasha. NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pamela, you can see right
behind me a ceremony is underway. There's been prayer, there's currently music, and there will be speeches made including from survivors of that horrific shooting five years ago where 49 people were killed at this site.
This site has now turned into an interim memorial. And on the wall on this side of me, we can see a lot of the names, the faces, the stories of the 49 people who were lost that night.
You know, I spoke to Barbara Poma, the owner of the Pulse Nightclub, who is now the CEO of onePULSE Foundation, about the fact that we woke up this morning to the news of more mass shootings, including the shootings that happened in the cities -- in Austin, in Savannah, mayors you just spoke to on this program. She bemoaned the fact that gun violence is just getting worse. Here are her thoughts on why that's happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA POMA, CEO, ONEPULSE FOUNDATION: There is a gun violence problem. There is a hate problem. There is a problem bigger than what everyone is really talking about, I think, is why is that how we are solving problems? Through violence. Through hateful acts. I mean, why? What makes you think that that person's life is not valuable? What message do you think you're really sending? Again, it goes back to commonalities. That this person had parents, this person had children, that you've just murdered and the lives you destroyed. And was anything really gained by that?
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: And many of the lives that were destroyed five years ago they are here tonight. Survivors, family members writing messages now beneath this sign of Pulse right here, it says rest in power. We love you. And here, hate killed you, love remembers you forever. So just really heartbreaking messages here. You can tell the impact that this had. Not just on the immediate Orlando and LGBTQ community here but across the country as well -- Pamela.
BROWN: And that impact lasts to this day five years later. Thank you so much, Natasha Chen.
Crew and passengers grapple with an off-duty Delta flight attendant after he allegedly said he wanted to take the plane down.
A terrifying moment unfolds during a Euro 2020 match as a Danish player collapses on the field.
And a lobster diver claims a hump back whale, no kidding, tried to eat him. No, really.
But first, YouTube -- suspends, rather, Republican Senator Ron Johnson for posting dubious COVID-19 treatment videos. CNN "RELIABLE SOURCES" anchor Brian Stelter joins me live in just a moment.
BROWN: Well, YouTube says it is suspending Senator Ron Johnson's account for violating its COVID-19 misinformation policies. The Wisconsin Republican posted a video about disputed treatments and prevention. In a statement to CNN, Johnson says, quote, "They have decided there's only one medical viewpoint allowed and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies. YouTube's ongoing COVID censorship proves they have accumulated too much unaccountable power. Big tech and mainstream media believe they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives."
Now we should note that the medical doctors most disagree with what he posted. CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter joins me now. He is also the author of "Hoax: Donald Trump, FOX News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth," now available in paperback.
Brian, so great to see you. So happy we can have you on our show.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Thanks. You too.
BROWN: I just want to note. I think you need some more copies of your book on your book shelf. I only see like seven?
BROWN: I think you need some more.
STELTER: You're calling me out. Room Rater is going to give me a bad review. All right. Well, I'll send --
BROWN: Uh-oh. We'll also watch that.
STELTER: I'll send all the copies to your team. But, Pamela, I really think this thing with Senator Johnson is an example of a hoax. We've been talking for more than a year about hydroxychloroquine and the evidence is clear, the medical research is clear, it is not an effective treatment. And every minute that these Republican senators or other people talk about hydroxychloroquine is a minute we're wasting when we should be talking about what actually works, vaccines and other solutions to COVID-19.
But, you know, look, this is really notable for YouTube to suspend a U.S. senator for a week and there's going to be ripple effects. You know, he's going to be out campaigning on this saying that he's been canceled. But YouTube is in a tough situation. They have to tackle misinformation. They're trying to protect their users. It's not -- they're not perfect. These companies are not perfect but at least they're trying.
BROWN: Do you think this is just going to give fodder to the right who are going to say, oh, once again big tech cancels a Republican? STELTER: That's absolutely going to be the narrative but I think it's
a faulty narrative. These tech companies are trying to apply rules across the board. So if a popular prominent Democrat was posting misinformation about COVID, they would also be in trouble with YouTube.
Now do these platforms have too much power? Are they making up the rules as they go along? Those are all fair questions. But I think these rules are supposed to apply across the board.
BROWN: So let's talk about the paper book edition of -- paperback, rather, edition of your book released just this week. You can see it on your book shelf right behind you. A lot has changed since the hard cover edition was printed, Brian. The election, the big lie and of course the January 6th insurrection. How did FOX play into the finale of the Trump presidency?
STELTER: Yes. So much changed that I added 12 new chapters to the book because what we saw between election day and the insurrection is an example of the dangerous power of right-wing media. People have forgotten what happened in December and January but I documented all of it in "Hoax." All the revolutionary war talk that was on FOX. All the talk about trying to stand up for the democracy when what they actually meant was to try on up end democracy.
It was an upside-down world of lies and that's really led up to the riot. And I think the lack of a national commission to study this, the lack of a true examination of all the factors that led up to the riot, it is an embarrassment. And so I tried in this book to provide some of that primary source evidence of what went wrong. And now six months later, where are we? We're in this upside-down world again where on News Max, on One America News, on these fringe right-wing channels, they view FOX as too liberal.
It's a really remarkable thing. They attack FOX News from the right and say it's too leftist. That is a real sign of our two Americas in two bubbles in a way that, you know, is very concerning, I think, whether you're on the left or right.
BROWN: All right, Brian Stelter, thank you so much. And be sure to tune in to Brian's show --
STELTER: Hey, I'm going to send you a copy, OK?
BROWN: You better.
STELTER: I'm going to send you a copy right now.
BROWN: With all those copies, the whole team better get a copy. We'd love it and look forward to reading it, and congratulations on the book, Brian, for sure.
BROWN: And we look forward to tuning to your show. "RELIABLE SOURCES," tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. Thanks for coming on.
BROWN: But first, a sigh of relief among world leaders as President Joe Biden brings a refreshing message of unity to the G-7.
And our Clarissa Ward is in the U.K. putting the British prime minister right on the spot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He also famously referred to you as a physical and emotional clone of President Trump. I just wonder how you responded to that.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: You're going to hear his answer when we come back. Stay with us.
BROWN: Well, tonight a Danish soccer star is recovering in the hospital after he collapsed in the middle of a Euro 2020 tournament match. Denmark's Christian Eriksen had to be resuscitated on the pitch after suddenly falling to the ground. Watch. You can see it. You can see it in action. There he goes. Right there. Teammates and fans watching in shock as medical staff rushes over to give him CPR. The league's director says he's spoken to Christian and that he sounds like he's doing well. The match was halted for a few hours.
Well, the first G7 summit since the pandemic draws to a close tomorrow with the leaders of the world's wealthiest and most advanced democracies enjoying newfound unity in Cornwall, England beneath a Royal Air Force flyover. This gathering marks President Biden's debut on the global stage.
In the coming days he'll meet with Queen Elizabeth II and then he'll make his way to Brussels for a NATO summit. Then it's all eyes on Geneva for the high stakes face-to-face meeting with the Russian president.
Arlette Saenz is following all of this from Falmouth, England.
Arlette, nice to see you. President Biden is being praised for his cooperation. But allies have to be wondering, how long we'll be able to rely on the U.S.?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's certainly one of the questions that so many world leaders had going into this summit. And President Biden, one of his main goals was really trying to shore up those relationships with allies.
But many world leaders are cognizant of the fact that President Biden will only be in office for so long. But still, he appears to have been welcomed here at the G7 summit with open arms that he found vast areas of agreement with other G7 leaders on things like the COVID-19 pandemic and also have discussions about areas of serious disagreement such as ways to approach China.
Now the president throughout the course of the day, he met privately one-on-one with many of these world leaders. One senior official describing it as diplomatic speed dating, but really, what we have heard from these world leaders, including the French president, is they are happy to have President Biden on the world stage cooperating with them. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACRON: And I think it's great to have the U.S. president part of the club and very willing to cooperate.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States, I've said before, we're back. The U.S. is back. We feel very, very strongly about the cohesion of NATO and I for one think that the European Union is an incredibly strong and vibrant entity.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
SAENZ: Now the president still has another day of meetings here at the G7 summit. And on Sunday, his trip to the U.K. culminates with that one-on-one meeting between himself and Queen Elizabeth, and also, the First Lady Jill Biden.
Now just last night, the president and first lady had a chance to visit with Queen Elizabeth, and Biden will be the 12th president that she has met with one-on-one since becoming queen. Now, the president will also head to Brussels, Belgium tomorrow where he will -- sorry, tomorrow night he'll be in Brussels, but on Monday will participate in a NATO summit there to talk about security issues in ways that allies can work together with the United States on that, and then the week of course culminates in that high-stakes meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
The White House really has said not to expect any tangible results from this meeting. But what they want to do is pave the path to having a more stable and predictable relationship. There will be a working session between President Biden and Russia's Putin. But there will not be a news conference with both of those leaders in the same room. That is different than the approach that was taken by the previous president, former President Trump.
But the Biden administration insisting that what the president wants to do is have this meeting in person face to face to try to establish that more stable relationship as the U.S. and Russia have had some strained tensions over the years.
BROWN: Yes. To put it lightly. Arlette Saenz, thank you so much for staying up. I know it's 12:30 a.m. there where you are in England. Thanks so much.
SAENZ: Thanks, Pamela.
BROWN: Well, the British prime minister has been eager to welcome and praise President Biden and much less eager to discuss the chaos under former President Trump.
Boris Johnson spoke with our chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It is absolutely true that with President Biden, with Joe Biden, you sort of feel that he wants to -- he is a great believer in the Transatlantic Alliance, in the special relationship, whatever you want to call it with the United Kingdom. He shares our priorities on tackling climate change.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And President Trump did not would you say?
JOHNSON: And there is going to be a huge -- there is going to be a huge amount on that tomorrow. He shares our objectives on improving female education around the world.
WARD: He also famously referred to you as a physical and emotional clone of President Trump. I just wonder how you responded to that, and whether the relationship is in a better place now.
JOHNSON: The relationship is in extremely good order. And I think that the premise of the U.K. has a job to do to get on with whoever is the President of the United States. That's what we do.
But in this particular case, I want you to know that the relationship is extremely good. It is getting better all the time.
WARD: And was it fair to call you a clone?
JOHNSON: Yes, look, I mean -- I'm not going to -- people say all sorts of things about me. I think if I spent my time, you know, disputing this or that, we would get locked up.
We're getting a huge lot done.
JOHNSON: Here at the G7. It's going well. It's beautiful weather. It's fantastic to see President Biden.
WARD: So, can we just talk about next week quickly?
WARD: President Putin?
JOHNSON: Yes. WARD: President Biden will be meeting with President Putin.
WARD: President Biden famously said that he thought President Putin is a killer. Do you believe President Putin is a killer?
JOHNSON: I certainly think that President Putin has done things that are unconscionable, and I am fairly certain that he authorized the poisonings in Salisbury that led to the death of an innocent -- a wholly innocent member of the British public, the attempted poisoning of the Skripals.
You've seen what's happening to his leading opponent, Alexie Navalny who is in prison on trumped up charges, and facing -- and is effectively being tortured.
And so I think what Joe Biden will be doing when you goes to see Putin will be giving some pretty tough messages. And that's something I'd wholly approve of.
BROWN: So, remember that Trump blimp that greeted the former President during his visit to London? How can you forget that? Well, now, President Biden has one too, as you can see right here.
This year's presidential balloon has a new twist. It shows President Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson holding hands, each wearing swim trunks in the design of their national flags. The groups behind them are using the attention to promote a serious cause though. As funny as these balloons may be, they are calling for world leaders to speed up vaccine donations, curb the climate crisis, and fight inequality.
Well, passengers and crew on board a Delta flight jumped into action when an off duty flight attendant threatens to bring the entire plane down.
BROWN: There are thousands of reports of unruly passengers this year, mostly people arguing and sometimes fighting over wearing masks, but what happened Friday on a flight from LA to Atlanta was much scarier.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
BROWN: An unruly passenger seen here in this video threatening to, quote, "take the plane down." Witnesses say the Captain apparently called on all able-bodied men to help with the emergency. Passengers and crew did subdue the man who police say was an off duty flight attendant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BENJAMIN CURLEE, WITNESS: My first interaction was when the intercom
came on, and apparently, the perpetrator was on the intercom and was telling passengers to return to their seat because oxygen masks were going to be required of them. And that created quite a stir amongst everyone around us, it became very tense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: The flight was diverted to Oklahoma City and the suspect is in F.B.I. custody. No charges have yet been filed.
A secret Trump D.O.J. probe that looked at two House Democrats, their staffers and even their family has alarm bells ringing in Washington tonight. Here's what we know.
Under President Trump, the Justice Department seized data from dozens of accounts connected to Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee. We know Intel Chairman Adam Schiff and Congressman Eric Swalwell were notified their data was seized. And we know former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr, Jeff Sessions as well, the former Attorney General have told people that they are aware of this. They deny that they knew the lawmakers were part of the dragnet.
Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley is on the Intelligence Committee. He joins me now.
Nice to see you, Congressman. First of all, can you update us with any new information? Have you learned anything else from Apple or from D.O.J.?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL): I think it's going to take a little while with Apple. I know the committee staff is asking them for clarification if anyone else was targeted from the committee or anyone else in Congress.
You know, so much of the rest of this is going to flow pretty quickly this week given this circumstance, but I can't help but respond to the Attorney General forgetting this. There is no way in the world something like this can happen without the Attorney General being involved or at least notified. It just defies belief that they could try to convince us otherwise and that they would somehow forget that there was a subpoena on Congress. It just goes to further assault what's left of their integrity.
BROWN: What would concern you more if they didn't know about it, they were aware of it, or this was happening under their watch, and they didn't know about it?
QUIGLEY: You know, it's a really good question, because it gets to a larger issue that I am very concerned in and that is rogue actors, potentially within the Justice Department. But who knows where else?
If anyone thinks this is an isolated incident, there are forgotten issues like Mr. Barr interceding on sentencing cases and dismissing cases, and the President pressuring them on who to target. So, if they have these things going on in justice, what else were they doing with the rest of the United States government, including the Intelligence Community? It is an area of concern.
BROWN: And to be clear, there's a lot we don't know. But apparently, this request was made in 2018 before Barr came to the Justice Department, but "The New York Times" is reporting that he then revived the investigation and brought in an outside prosecutor.
Congressman, yesterday you told CNN, quote, "I assumed a hostile government would do something like this. I just didn't think it would be our own hostile government." As I mentioned, we still have a lot more to learn. If this was a case where D.O.J. was investigating someone else, say someone on a congressional committee, a staffer, a lower-level staffer, and ensnared the congressmen, does that assuage your concerns at all?
QUIGLEY: Look, you're right. We simply just don't know enough exactly about what happened here, or what happened elsewhere. But obviously, this was a broad phishing expedition. You know, one could easily take what took place here as an effort to silence or an effort to punish those two of their harshest critics in Congress. So, I think that's the area of concern.
Obviously, there's a clause in the Constitution that protects the speech of Members of Congress. So, this is an assault on the separation of powers in our country.
BROWN: I just want to circle back what I asked you at the beginning about D.O.J. Has D.O.J. been forthcoming with information? And are you disappointed that you learned about this? I'm assuming when "The Times" reported on it, and that you didn't learn about it from D.O.J. coming forward?
QUIGLEY: Well, I think it's time for the Department of Justice to come forward and brief all of Congress on everything they know. It is a good first step that the Inspector General is going to get involved. But that takes some time and who knows what their scope is.
I think it's up to Congress to be able to ask those questions and get a full picture of what we know right now. I get that we need the Inspector General as well, and I think the Attorney General has to recognize this isn't an isolated incident. This is a systemic abuse of power as we described before. He has to get a handle on that because what appears to be the case is that there are aspects of the D.O.J. that have moral, ethical and legal, serious issues.
BROWN: I just want to ask again, though, has D.O.J. under Merrick Garland, has it been forthcoming with your committee? With more information since these revelations broke in "The New York Times"?
QUIGLEY: Yes, they broke what -- Thursday night? Not yet. We come back into session, Monday, but is a good point. And I do believe the Attorney General, should brief all of Congress with all the details and all the information that he has at this point. BROWN: I want to ask you really quick, I'm going to contrast your view
of this with Senator Chuck Grassley. He says, "Investigations into Members of Congress and staff are nothing new, especially for classified leaks." What do you say to that?
QUIGLEY: Yes, he knows better. The vast majority of leaks, especially out of the Intelligence world have always come out of the White House, you know, just a wild coincidence that they targeted two of their most fierce critics. He knows exactly what this is.
When it comes to subpoenas to Members of Congress, this is an extremely rare bird. It's one thing if you're involved in a direct corruption probe. This is an entirely different matter. Remember the timing. This is in the middle of the Russian investigation, the beginnings of the impeachment investigation. There is no coincidence here.
BROWN: When you say -- really quick -- when you say most of the leaks come out of the White House, what evidence do you have for that?
QUIGLEY: Oh, no, it's just a historical fact that most leaks that take place in government come out of the executive branch. It's not that there are any that don't come out of the Congressional side, but the fact of the matter is, most come out of the White House.
And if you talk to those that had been involved in this, including those in the press, they seem to say they got most of their information, most of the leaks came out of the White House. So the President was mad. The leaks have been happening since there has been information to leak and the White House always refuses to point fingers at themselves.
BROWN: Right, and as you know, the press doesn't talk about their sources, where they get the information from. But all of this certainly raises serious, serious questions and we hope to learn more, and Congressman Mike Quigley, I hope that you will continue to update us with any new information.
BROWN: Thank you.
In New York City, early voting began today for a mayoral race that some are calling the most consequential election in a generation. Fifteen candidates are on the ballot, 13 Democrats and two Republicans. Instead of casting a single vote for a single candidate, voters are allowed to select up to five candidates they like and then rank them in order of preference.
The primary election is set for June 22nd and the general election in November.
Still ahead, this is such a crazy story, a lobster diver -- he is smiling now -- this was after he was swallowed by a humpback whale for his story and he lived to tell the tale. So, we're going to talk about that up next.
And coming up also, how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have redefined Royalty. Hear their untold stories, when the CNN special report, "Royal Revolution: Harry and Meghan" premieres at the top of the hour.
BROWN: "We'll pull together," that is the advice from Britain's Prince Charles for world leaders at the G7 Summit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: We are doing it for the pandemic. So, if you don't mind me saying so, we must also do it for the planet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: The global climate crisis is a key issue for both the G7 Summit and the upcoming NATO Summit on Monday.
Meantime, there is more than enough evidence we are in a race against time. In the Southwest U.S., drought conditions are already bad and getting worse. Water levels at Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir have hit their lowest mark since the lake was created back in the 1930s.
CNN's chief climate correspondent, Bill Weir joins me now. Bill, good to see you.
Let's start with the G7 and NATO meetings. Are world leaders thinking big enough about what they could do right now to slow human impact on the planet?
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: I think if we put that question, Pamela, to you know, the 98 percent of climate scientists who think this is an emergency, I think they would resoundingly say no. Nobody is talking about this issue with the urgency that it deserves. Because unfortunately, we are set up on four-year election cycles or quarterly returns for corporations. But the laws of thermodynamics don't care about any of that and they just keep working.
And since the lockdown, you know, sort of reopened now, we're already seeing that any minor cutback in planet cooking pollution is already being, you know, back to what it was before and even more so as the world ramps back up again.
Unfortunately, as you say, though, as well, we're seeing the proof of inaction from decades past right now, right here in the American Southwest. This drought is the worst in a generation, the worst 20- year stretch since they started keeping records in this country.
As you mentioned, Lake Mead, which is basically the water basin that keeps Los Angeles and Phoenix and San Diego and Tucson and Albuquerque and Las Vegas alive, is woefully low. The bathtub ring as that water level goes down is now almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty. So, this has been happening decade after decade.
This is a slow motion manmade disaster. And unfortunately, we're at the beginning of the summer, and the suffering that will be the result of just that disaster is yet to come. But ultimately, back to the original question. No, nobody is talking about it.
But they are talking about, you know, China, you know, rallying around a way to combat that. China actually added more coal fire power plant capacity last year than the rest of the world combined. They are making huge pledges, but that, again, is the challenge of this particular topic.
You've got allies and enemies all -- really, they need to get to the same place, which is to stop using fuel burn as fast as possible, and literally nobody is doing that.
BROWN: And just really, really quickly, you know, you were saying what we're seeing now with a drought and so forth, that is from human behavior in years past. Given the human behavior now, what do you project in years to come? What do you project the planet will be like for us?
WEIR: Well, I think all the projections are if we stay on the status quo, it's going to mean maximum pain, both in the near term and the far term. We're all sort of first responders to this urgency right now. So yes, if nothing is done, but we're seeing action in the courts internationally, we're seeing action from shareholders and even big oil companies trying to rally around this right now.
But what is not done today means real pain for our kids and grandkids tomorrow.
BROWN: That's so troubling. Bill Weir, thank you for bringing us the latest on this.
WEIR: You bet.
BROWN: Well, tonight a lobster diver is claiming that he got caught inside the mouth of a humpback whale. Fifty-six-year-old Michael Packard tells Boston TV station WBZ, he was diving off the coast of Cape Cod when something struck him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL PACKARD, LOBSTER DIVER: All of a sudden, I just felt this huge bump and everything went dark. And I realized oh my god, I'm in a whale's mouth.
And then all of a sudden, he went up to the surface and just erupted and started shaking his head and I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water.
[19:55:09] JOE FRANCIS, FISHING CHARTER CAPTAIN: I saw Mike come flying out of
the water feet first with his flippers on and land back in the water. So, I jumped off the boat. We got him up, got his tank off and got him on the deck. Calmed him down. He goes, "Joe," he goes, "I was in the mouth of a whale." He goes. "I can't believe it. I was in the mouth of a whale, Joe."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: It looks like something out of a children's storybook, right? He was hospitalized with minor injuries, but has now been released.
Well, thank you so much for joining me this evening. I'm going to see you again tomorrow night starting at six Eastern. Have a great Saturday.