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Dallas Doctor Calls for End to Violence; Trump VP; Rapper on Race in America. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired July 12, 2016 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:14] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, TRAUMA SURGEON, PARKLAND MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: To know I was unable to save those cops when they came here that night, it weighs on my mind constantly. This killing, it has to stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: You just heard from Dr. Brian Williams, the surgeon in charge of the trauma center at Parkland Memorial Hospital. He was running the shift the night of the Dallas ambush. His and the valiant efforts of his colleagues to save lives, pretty unimaginable. He joins me now, along with his friend and colleague, fellow trauma surgeon Dr. Alex Eastman. He is also the lieutenant deputy chief medical officer for the Dallas Police Department.
Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us this morning.
DR. BRIAN WILLIAMS, TRAUMA SURGEON, PARKLAND MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Good morning, Poppy.
DR. ALEX EASTMAN, MEDICAL DIRECTOR & CHIEF, PARKLAND MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Thank you for having us.
HARLOW: You have an important and a unique friendship and you are colleagues who save lives together. Let me begin with you, Dr. Williams. Your heartbreak is palpable, even through the television screen. This has been gut-wrenching for you and all of your colleagues and all of the people of Dallas. Where does your city go from here right now?
WILLIAMS: Well, it's certainly obvious to me that this city is already on the path to healing. Today was my first visit down to the memorial outside of headquarters. And it was an emotional time for me. But seeing all of the well wishes from citizens of the city and actually from all around the world, from what I can tell, I think that will go a long way towards bridging the divide that exists.
HARLOW: Dr. Eastman, tell me about the friendship between the two of you, because this goes far beyond being friends or colleagues. Your families are friends. You socialize together. One of you is white. One of you is black. One of you is a police officer, as well as a surgeon. WILLIAMS: (INAUDIBLE).
HARLOW: This is - it's important in this discussion, isn't it, to talk about that, because, Dr. Williams, you've talked about the fact that you stand with law enforcement, but at the same time you have fear for your own safety at times in your life when walking past police officers. So, Dr. Eastman, tell me about the friendship that has blossomed.
EASTMAN: So I - I mean I think the friendship blossomed long before we faced horror like this, Poppy. And I think our friendship is exactly emblematic of the reason why we felt like it was important to come talk to you this morning, which is that, you know, for us, we don't - we don't look at each other as a black guy and a white guy or a cop and a civilian. We're brothers. We take care of people together. And I'm hoping that as we move forward and as the city begins to heal itself - I mean neither one of us have had a minute to stop and really focus on ourselves. And I think that's probably consistent with the way that we live our lives in terms of serving other people.
But as we move forward in the healing process, I think it's really important that we try to show people what we know and we experience every day, which is that we all look the same on the inside and we all bleed the same on the inside. And so when you talk and spend so much time talking about how different we are, we look different, we're from different backgrounds. But at the end of the day, we're the same. We're both two trauma surgeons who have dedicated our lives to take care of people who can't take care of themselves. And from my standpoint, and the dual role as a trauma surgeon and a Dallas police lieutenant, I mean we - that's what we do every day and that's what I saw my brothers and sisters doing out here in downtown on Thursday night.
HARLOW: Dr. Williams, I know that the two of you have started to have what you describe as the beginnings of conversations about what happens here between community and police. And those aren't conversations that you're necessarily on the exact same page on. They're not easy conversations. Take us into them. What are you both grappling with right now?
WILLIAMS: Well, I think these conversations are not just something that he and I should be having. This is something that should be a national discussion. The number of black men that have died at the hand of police over the past several years, it's - they're quickly forgotten. Their reputations are besmirched. Their families are frequently left to grieve on their own.
[08:35:16] EASTMAN: Poppy, I think -
WILLIAMS: We - we -
EASTMAN: Sorry, go ahead.
WILLIAMS: Poppy, we're all in this together. Law enforcement, as an entity, is not the problem. There are issues of race that permeate through all of this that need to be addressed. A black man dies. He should not have to worry about his reputation being dragged through the mud and his family being hung out to dry simply because of his color.
HARLOW: You know, I think -
WILLIAMS: Having said that, officers, I do not blame them. They have a very, very difficult job. Again, I support them.
HARLOW: Such important words. I think through all of this it's so important for all of us, when the headlines move on, when the cameras are gone from your city, to remember the families, too, right, and every word that is said about people on all sides of this debate and argument. They have their children. They have mothers. They have brothers. They have fathers. And every word that is said, as your police chief said, words have meaning, and we need to know on all sides that there is support.
Dr. Eastman, to you.
EASTMAN: Yes, I would just say, Poppy, I think that one of the things that I hope comes out of this is that, why do we have to wait for something truly horrific to have this discussion, because we really should be having it every day. And again, Brian and I, we talk about a lot of things on a wide variety of topics routinely. Our offices are right next to each other. We see each other all the time. But we shouldn't have to wait for some horrific tragedy to have the discussion that needs to be had.
And while he and I have very different perspectives on our personal relationships with law enforcement and how we've come to believe what we believe, there's one thing that we certainly know together, which is that the path forward involves loving each other and focusing on how we have to come together, because at the end of the day, that's the only way forward from here.
HARLOW: Dr. Williams, if it's -
WILLIAMS: (INAUDIBLE) love each other, at least respect each other.
HARLOW: Dr. Williams, if it's OK with you, I'd like to spend a little bit of time talking about your daughter, because I know before this tragedy you very - you were very aware of the importance of showing your daughter how you interacted with police officers. For example, you would go out of your way to do things for them, to, you know, buy them ice cream, do things for them and show a strong relationship. What are you saying to your daughter right now and what's she saying to you?
WILLIAMS: My daughter is - she's five years old and I have not had any discussions with her about this. I think she's probably too young to really grasp the gravity of what is happening. And to be clear, my - when I interact with law enforcement outside of work - at work it's on a daily basis - but outside of the hospital it just doesn't happen all the time. It's, you know, a handful of times a year I may cross paths with them when I'm in a restaurant. And if I see that, I make - go out of my way to buy their dinners so they can see me acknowledging them.
And there was one incidence a couple of years ago where I had my daughter out for ice cream and there was a Dallas police officer in line in front of me and I purchased her ice cream. Because it's, for me, that's the best I can do in my situation.
But I do not have encounters, traffic stops all the time. It has happened a handful of times over my lifetime. But they've been impactful. I do not see officers outside the hospital every single day, but when I do, I take time to make sure they understand that I appreciate what they do. And I want my daughter to see this as often as possible. She may not understand it, but at least she'll internalize that law enforcement is not the enemy and she will grow up without the same level of distrusts that I have carried with me for my life.
HARLOW: Absolutely. Let's hope that is the case because, as we said yesterday and I'll say it again today, we all owe it to all of our children to do that.
[08:40:01] Dr. Brian Williams, Dr. Alex Eastman, thank you so much.
EASTMAN: Thank you.
WILLIAMS: Thank you, Poppy.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so one of the big remaining questions in the election for president is, who will be the running mates? Donald Trump is looking for someone to help him unify the GOP. Here is a twist, could the best person for that job be a Democrat? There is one on the short list. He is Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Interesting man, interesting ideas, impressive background. Let's put him to the test, next.
CUOMO: Who's it going to be? Who's it going to be? Who's going to be Donald Trump's running mate. That is one the biggest questions that remains in this election. We say that he says that he's going to give us a name by the end of the week. We'll see. One of the names on the short list is actually a Democrat, retired Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and author of the new book, "The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies." He joins us now.
General, a pleasure.
LT. GEN. MICHAEL T. FLYNN (RET.), FORMER HEAD OF DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: Thanks for having me.
CUOMO: Congratulations on being in this process. FLYNN: Amazing, isn't it?
CUOMO: So, for someone who knows all about intelligence, let me ask you a question. Why would you put yourself in this position of entering this crucible of politics?
FLYNN: Yes. I - I - about a year and a half ago, I decided that I - when I was contacted by different candidates, I decided that I was going to help provide guidance to any of the candidates, either side, that wanted advice on what was going on around the world because of my, you know, three and a half - almost three and a half decades of experience. And I felt like I still had something that I owed this country. And so I opened myself up to that and Donald Trump was one of the individuals who approached me. And I met with him. And, very impressed.
CUOMO: Tell me why. What impressed you about him?
FLYNN: Yes, I think, number one, he's very serious. I felt the conversation that we had was enlightening to me, but it was the kinds of questions that he asked, the breadth of conversation that we were able to hold. And, you know, my world has been the globe and the threats that we face, all sorts of threats, not just what I lay out in the book. And I found him to ask really good, tough questions. So, I mean, you know, I found him to be somebody who was willing to listen and willing to learn.
[08:45:20] CUOMO: In getting to know about you, the traits that define him as a candidate -
CUOMO: You don't check any of those boxes. You are not a guy known for hyperbole. You are a guy who does not exaggerate situations. You're not a salesman and you're not looking to do a lot of the things that are effective for Trump. So, where do you see the synergy or is it the contrast that you find appealing?
FLYNN: Yes. I - I think what's happening, Chris, is there's a - there's a shift in this country, you know, those of - those that sort of are in the bubble of Washington, D.C., or in the bubble of, you know, of Hollywood, they - they have missed what is happening in between. And I think that there's a shift going on in both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. And I - I'm, as a kid who grew up in a very strong Democratic neighborhood right up in the state of Rhode Island, I don't recognize the Democratic Party that I learned about. I mean I grew up in a very strong Irish catholic - nine kids in my family. And the Republican Party, I don't - I'm not sure they have - they have really been able to clearly define who they are.
So, I mean, I'm in one of these places where I deeply believe in this country. I don't believe that the direction of the country is going in the right direction. I believe that I have something to offer. But I - but to be in the place where I'm at with this vice president stuff, I take that very seriously. It's an unbelievable honor. But, you know, it's not something that I, you know, stepped into that - that - CUOMO: Right.
FLYNN: It's not what I necessarily wanted to do.
CUOMO: The word on Lieutenant General Mike Flynn, when you ask the administration is, smart as hell, super dedicated. Went bad on us. Decided that he was frustrated with what was going on and he's blaming it all on us. Why did you get so negative about what the administration is doing in the war against ISIS?
FLYNN: Yes, I think that -
CUOMO: What's so wrong?
FLYNN: I think that that's unfair that I went bad. I mean I think that I was very strong to - to my - you know, to those that I worked for and frankly to the Constitution of the United States. I, inside of the military, I was - I was talking about this issue that's in the field of fight, you know, and what we were facing and what our intelligence community was saying to the president and - and, you know, and the kinds of forces that were out there that were against our way of life, Chris. So - and you've seen it here in New York. We've seen it all over this country.
So - so I - that, you know, I just think that that kind of went cross wise with the administration and the message that they were trying to - to put out. And, frankly, there was the disconnect. And I was asked to leave, you know, leave a year early and -
CUOMO: So what's the reality, general? Tell us, what is the reality of the war against ISIS versus what we're being told it is by the administration?
FLYNN: Yes. Well, the first thing I think we need to do is we need to clearly define - I mean when the president said what - the president says, what does it matter to call something by its name, in this case radical Islamism, that's very true that we have to do that. And then the big issue really is to figure out ways to discredit the ideology that exists within this cancerous form of Islam. And we can actually discredit that ideology, just like we discredited communism, fascism, you know, Nazism over the last century.
FLYNN: So we just have to take the - we have to clearly define it and then get into the strategy really that I do outline in this book.
CUOMO: So let me ask you something. If you don't get the nod for vice president, are you still going to vote for Donald Trump?
FLYNN: Yes. Absolutely. I have no - no problems voting for him. Absolutely. I - I would not think a second to vote for anybody else. I think at this stage, this is a guy that provide a different vision, a different way to solve problems, a different leadership style and a some - and a sense of change that I believe the majority of people in this country really are starting to look at. CUOMO: "The Field of Fight" is the book. The man is Lieutenant General
Michael T. Flynn.
FLYNN: Thank you.
CUOMO: Sir, thank you for joining us on NEW DAY.
FLYNN: Thank you very much.
CUOMO: Good luck going forward.
FLYNN: Yes, absolutely.
HARLOW: Will he be the pick? We may know in just a few days. Thank you both for that.
Coming up, many celebrities weighing in on the divide between police and their own communities. Among them, rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy. He will join us next on NEW DAY.
[08:52:13] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Here to weigh in on the shootings, policing, race in America, hip-hop legend Chuck D.
Chuck, good to have you on the show. It's important to have this conversation with you today.
CHUCK D, LEADER OF RAP GROUP PUBLIC ENEMY: Yes, even at this early hour our here. How you doing, Chris?
CUOMO: I know, you're on the West Coast, and I appreciate you making the effort.
You've been writing, you've been thinking and you've been discussing the problems with policing, especially in urban communities for decades. I grew up listening to your music and making me think about what was going on in the world that I knew in the world that I didn't. What do you believe to be the disconnect today between police and the people who are policed?
CHUCK D: A lack of communication. A lack of education on how we are as a people, a total population, inside this country. And not just inside this country. There seems to be a lack of education on people in the world. This situation in Dallas is the worst thing that ever happened, after the worst thing that ever happened, after the worst thing that ever happened, after the worst thing that ever happened. And I think when it comes down to a movement like Black Lives Matter, these people who were born after the Rodney King rebellion have been deferred and - and as far as understanding what the hell is going on when they see these acquittals and yet the same brutality that's been going on since the - since the beginnings of this time.
But if people want to recognize a time, the '80s, during Reagan and Bush, was a real turbulent period with guns and drugs and it came at an influx in the community. And the police brutality only increased. And the beginnings of my group, Public Enemy, a lot of people thought it was a policeman in the scope. No, that was the young black person, a young black male inside the scope. So this disconnect that's going on right about now, I think where people feel is that Black Lives Matter is this - this violent movement. It's not what it is. It's a movement against the violence. What it is, is a collective of a lot of people speaking out against it. It's about almost like in the '60s when you had people protesting against Vietnam. You had all types of people. You have all types of people part of Black Lives Matter. You have all kinds of people that's actually coming out and speaking about this. And you have young people out there who are part of the Black Lives Matter movement who have parents and relatives as police officers.
CUOMO: So -
CHUCK D: So it's about making a statement where these voices have been squashed.
CUOMO: But we also have to move past this polarizing negativity on both sides, whether it's people who in the name of supporting the police say, you know, the blacks, the African-Americans, the minority communities, they're the problem because they don't comply and they create problems, or it's the people on the fringes of the protest movement.
[08:55:19] CHUCK D: How - how, Chris, how long has that been going - how long has that statement been going on?
CUOMO: It's been going on a long time.
CHUCK D: These people -
CUOMO: All of this has been going on a long time.
CHUCK D: A long time. Probably since 1619, you know.
CUOMO: So how do we get past it?
CHUCK D: All lives - all - all lives matter is a great statement, but all the way up to this point, that wasn't even mentioned until Black Lives Matter came into effect. You know, this - this has been something where I think this generation, these last two generations are saying, you know, all this - I don't understand these acquittals, yet the murders, what is going on here? And I think that the other side has to realize that you've got to get ready to know the dynamic of people. We want young people, young adults. We want our people growing into their 30s and 40s to turn from being dynamite into dynamic. But education, understanding that they have a chance in this economic system that they think is BS, the environment, and also have a say so in enforcement, that has to be a narrative that people feel that they're a part of and they've felt that it's been lies the whole time.
CUOMO: Well, but how do we do that because - CHUCK D: Especially if all - if they're 30 years old - how do we do that? Number one -
CUOMO: But, Chuck, here - but here's what I'm asking you. Look, where we came up and when we came up, there was all this talk about how there was not enough color in the police force. It was too white. So then they had this big push and they brought in diversity into the police force and you have it now. And then it was, we don't have cultural diversity. So we had multiculturalism.
CHUCK D: We have it now?
CUOMO: Well, you have a lot more diversity in the police force than you ever had before. You have a lot more multicultural teaching than you ever had before. You have hip-hop, which is a mainstream cultural dynamic, probably the dominant cultural influence in the country right now, and yet we seem to have the exact same problems. That's the confusion that I'm bringing to you.
CHUCK D: The confusion is in the education, which you might say is diverse. It really hasn't been. The control over economics. You might say there's people in the community, they still don't own the community. And when it comes down to enforcement, they feel that - and people feel like it's still a slave patrol. People parade around in tanks.
When my father was growing up in Harlem, Chris, he said police used to walk the beat. Whether they was black in Harlem, whether they was white or whatever, they knew people. They knew the dynamics of families. Families knew them. They walked the beat.
This parade around in a tank, look out my window, all - and then here's the quota system that we've got to make this money, so we'll stop you for a taillight. We'll tell you stop, you know, selling these CDs. We'll throw tickets for jaywalking. This does not spell that everything is OK now that we have a diversity in the police force. It's still the same old game, Chris.
CUOMO: Look, we're still seeing the same problems, that's for sure. The question is, how do you move past it? I'm sure you'd like to see some progress as part of your legacy on this. You say conversation. Tip said we need conversation. But how do we have them and with whom?
CHUCK D: (INAUDIBLE) we call that, Chris - Chris - Chris - (INAUDIBLE) - (INAUDIBLE) ain't never stopped. Number one, the media has detached older black folks out of the narrative. It would be great to have a Belafonte or a Farrakhan or a Maxine Waters continue the talk on and lessen the gap, not just between older blacks who kind of understand the (INAUDIBLE), a Dick Gregory and - but not - and just younger blacks, but just younger people in general that's able to see older blacks spell it out for them. This whole - well, the young people are going to have all the answers when it comes and you see five talking heads on television all competing against each other and then you have a breaking news come out, you're going to flash over to the breaking news and leave the narrative. Young folks the last 30 years said, this is BS. This is some garbage.
Then they see the political turmoil that's coming on and they say, oh, politicians just about that same old game right here. What do you expect in movement? One thing we appreciate with the movement that people are becoming less individualized and they are collecting and coming together and making a statement because they're ignored by the media. They're ignored by the politics. They're ignored by the country. And they're even gravitating to other places around the world who are looking at the United States of America as a crazy place that can't get it together.
CUOMO: Well -
CHUCK D: Affiliated and attached to the gun. When the president comes out and says, look, we've got to do something about the guns, and then the NRA goes into their laughing mode and everybody says, yes, sure, you've got a couple of months, you're going to be out of there. I mean what do you think he got to say about this?
[09:00:03] CUOMO: Chuck D, you're raising good points and good questions. We'll hear what the president has to day today when he's down in Dallas and let's continue this conversation as we move forward. Let's not let it stall out, all right.
CHUCK D: Education will help the anger, but the anger's already there. So, you want to diffuse the anger with some real answers that gives somebody a chance of being dynamite into dynamic.
CUOMO: I agree. Dynamite into dynamic. It's a good line from a man who knows how to write them.
Chuck D, be well.