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AT THIS HOUR

NYPD cop, mother of three, "assassinated" in ambush; CNN tracks down Reddit user behind wrestling video; 44 states now defying Trump voter fraud probe; Three options for Trump to deal with North Korea. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired July 5, 2017 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST, AT THIS HOUR: Details with CNN national correspondent Brynn Gingras. Sad story.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's such a sad story. No motive yet. And it's just so unclear why anybody would do this, right, Ana?

I mean, that officer, Miosotis Familia, she was a 12-year veteran of the NYPD, a mother of three and just 48 years old.

And as Ana said, the officer was sitting in a mobile command unit. It's one of the NYPD's larger vehicles. It was parked in the area of the Bronx, which really has seen a number of gang-related incidents, and that's why it was there.

According to police, again, this was an unprovoked attack. The 34- year-old suspect, his name Alexander Bonds, he walked up to the truck, according to police, and fired the shot through a window, striking officer Familia in the head.

And you can hear the panic as Familia's partner called for help, called for ambulance.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OFFICER: 10-85! 10-85! Shots fired! 183. 183.

10-85! 10-85!

DISPATCHER: What's your location for shots fired?

OFFICER: Give me a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bus! Give me a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bus.

DISPATCHER: What's the location?

OFFICER: 10-85! 10-85! 183. My partner is shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRAS: You could just hear the chaos that was going on just from his voice. We're told by police, a separate NYPD unit found the suspect about a block away and killed him after he pulled out a gun, according to officers. Police have given us a picture of a silver revolver that was found at the scene.

And what we know about Bonds is that he had a criminal history. He was on parole for a robbery that happened in Syracuse, New York.

Now, officer Miosotis, she died from her injuries early this morning in a Bronx hospital, which was just filled with other members of the NYPD, the FDNY, all in mourning this morning for what the police commissioner called on really an assassination.

It's just - it shouldn't happen. It was Fourth of July. People were celebrating and then this.

CABRERA: A lot more to learn about the motive behind that. Thanks so much, Brynn, for joining us.

And straight ahead here, AT THIS HOUR, President Trump wheels up to Europe and the G20 summit, but the focus is on North Korea after a new provocation. What are President Trump's options when it comes to dealing with the rogue nation? We'll discuss.

Plus, just days after the president's tweet drew criticism, the person who created the video showing Donald Trump body-slamming a CNN logo is now apologizing. What he's telling CNN?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:36:41] CABRERA: The person who created that video showing Donald Trump body-slamming the CNN logo is now apologizing, saying he doesn't advocate violence against the press.

Now, the clip went viral after the president tweeted it. The Reddit user behind it posted his apology after CNN identified and tried to contact him. He said the video was intended purely as satire. And he also admitted trolling Reddit users for reactions.

And he apologized for some of his other posts that were racist and anti-Semitic.

Now, CNN is not publishing the user's name because of his apology, his removal of all the offensive posts and his pledge not to repeat this behavior on social media. He also said trolling can be an addiction and he urged online trolls to get help.

CNN did talk with him yesterday. He said the Trump administration did not ask his permission to use the video and the White House still has not told CNN how it ended up as a tweet from the president.

Let me bring in CNN political commentator Alice Stewart. She is the former communications director for Ted Cruz. And also with us, CNN political commentator Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide. And Tara Palmeri, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for "Politico." So, I'll start with you, Keith. This guy, he has apologized. He even admitted to getting some kind of fixed satisfaction from trolling and he vowed not to do it again. Do you see this as some progress?

KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it shows a little bit of maturity on his part that he was willing to apologize for his behavior, but he shows more maturity than the president of the United States, who is yet to apologize for tweeting this, yet to apologize for his continued childish, immature behavior, and for his supporters who continue to defend and enable this type of caricature of the presidency that we see right now.

I think we need grown-ups again, we need mature adults to be running our country. Donald Trump is not one. The people around him, I assume, are. I assume that they have the courage or should have the courage to stand up and speak to him and demand some accountability.

That's the only thing that's going to move us forward. It's not some Reddit user nobody knows. He should be accountable, yes, but the president of the United States should also be accountable.

CABRERA: So, this Reddit user, Alice, obviously, had a moment of reflection. He has tweeted out all these things. Didn't take it down. Didn't apologize. And he was called to the carpet. The president has not apologized even after people have criticized some of his tweets.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And he probably won't. And in another distinction, we had this person apologize, take it down and vow not to do similar disparaging posts on social media in the future, which we will also probably not get from the president.

And for me, personally, I think the whole thing is childish. I think it's unbecoming of a president. And I also think it really doesn't matter where you got the video from, whether this person hand- delivered it to him at the White House or whether they pulled it - it really doesn't matter.

The fact that the president is on the verge of these major foreign trips and speaking with Vladimir Putin and having very important meetings about our nation, our national security, and how we deal with North Korea, for us to be distracted by this I think is unfortunate.

And I think it doesn't matter where it came from. I just think these types of social media posts and engagements, there's no place for that at the White House level.

CABRERA: Those world leaders too are seeing those posts. They have access to social media. You think this impacts the foreign trip coming up?

STEWART: More than anything, it diminishes the focus of the presidency and he should be talking about what are we going to do about another test by North Korea or how am I going to deal with Vladimir Putin with regard to Russian interference in our election. Those are the things that need to be occupying his time and certainly social media.

[11:40:15] And anything aside from that and furthering his legislative agenda, which we're making progress on healthcare, let's talk about that. We've made progress on the travel ban, let's talk about that,. I just like it needs to be a more concentrated effort.

Use his vast platform on Twitter and Facebook to further the agenda and not to distract on childish things.

CABRERA: And Tara - I want to ask Tara real quick about the vetting procedures because that's what this does, right? When this comes up, we immediately say, where did this go before it was put on Twitter. Do we know what the vetting processes are for social media? Is somebody looking at the posts before they are going out to everybody?

TARA PALMERI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: They aren't. A lot of this social media happens instantaneously.

I don't have the exact details of how the president was shown this precise video, but he is often shown things. He finds them to be amusing. He chooses what he tweets. He dictates what he tweets, down to the exclamation point, the punctuation to everything.

So, this president is very much in control of his Twitter account and he doesn't go to others to vet it. Afterwards, he may ask aides, what did you think of this, what did you think of that. But at the end of the day, it is the president who decides what he tweets.

And back to the point of will we see an apology, absolutely not. President Trump does not want to be pressured into apology, especially by the media. So, you can - don't hold your breath that he will actually apologize. And this comes from people who are very close to him in the White House. Do not expect an apology.

CABRERA: Well, the history, of course, is a predictor of the future. We've seen him double, triple, quadruple down on some of those controversial comments.

Let's pivot now to the president's voter fraud commission because 44 states, guys, are now refusing to hand over the commission's request for information. The administration says they're only expecting the states to give them the information that would already be available to the public.

But I want to remind everybody of what was requested. This is the short list here. Alice, it's not just Democrats. Republican officials are saying, this isn't right. We're seeing rare bipartisanship over this issue. Do you think the White House and the administration miscalculated here?

STEWART: So, the bipartisanship, in my view, is the commission overall as a whole working to address the integrity of our elections and doing what needs to be done to make sure that one person, one vote in our elections are error-free.

And that is the role and responsibility of election officials and secretary of states across the country.

I once served as deputy secretary of state in Arkansas for a period of time, and this is a big focus. This is something every state takes pride in.

And a lot of those 44 states are complying with information that is readily available out there.

CABRERA: Let me just read you what a Republican from Mississippi, the secretary of state there. "They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from." I don't think that's Republicans saying this is a legitimate request, right?

STEWART: He's not fully on board. It will put him in -

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: (INAUDIBLE). But surely, there are some concerns, but the overall goal of this project is to make sure that our elections are full of integrity and fair and free for all Americans.

And there are many of those in that 44 that are complying with some information, just not all, because they do want to participate -

BOYKIN: I love Alice. She's a good soldier. A good spinner. But this is just baloney.

The reality is that this is an effort by Donald Trump to continue his obsession with why he lost the popular vote. He feels that the election was not a faithful indicator of the public sentiment because 3 to 5 million people voted illegally.

So, he created this fraudulent commission that's supposed to investigate voter fraud, led by Chris Kobach of all people.

And the truth is that not only is the guy from Mississippi, the secretary of state of Mississippi, but in Louisiana, another Republican - Republican secretaries of state across the nation are saying this is wrong.

And it's a reflection of how Donald Trump is not respected, not even within his own party, not even by the various state leaders, not even on the international scene going back to the first story.

I just came back from Madrid yesterday. I was in Latin America a few weeks ago. People all across the world despise Donald Trump. He is a laughingstock across the continent and is an embarrassment to our country that people still defend him.

It's time that people stand up to him. And now, we're seeing that the secretaries of state are starting to stand up to him as well. Republicans and Democrats are saying, it's enough, Donald Trump, we're tired of your chicanery.

CABRERA: Chris Cillizza, he has an interesting take on this out today. I do want to remind our viewers that, to date, there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud. And this is what Chris Cillizza says in his article.

"What this Kobach commission is doing is offering a conclusion in search of a problem." So, what happens as is expected that the commission comes back and does not have evidence to back up the president's claim that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election?

[11:45:05] PALMERI: Ana, the results are not the important part for Trump. Just the fact that he's put this commission together furthers the narrative that there is widespread voter fraud.

Among the people who support him, 30 percent of the country, his base, truly believe that there is widespread voter fraud, that dead people are voting, and they want to see this happen regardless of the governors actually helping the president. It's just the fact that he has done this.

And if there's one thing we know about Donald Trump, he is all about action, action, action, not necessarily results. This is action and it pleases the base.

CABRERA: Tara Palmeri, Alice Stewart, Keith Boykin, our thanks to all of you.

Still ahead, ahead of a crucial European trip for President Trump, North Korea's latest military move is now front and center. We'll break down the possible options for the US in responding to the rogue nation.

Plus, an antifraud expert at the Department of Justice has quit her job, blaming the president's conduct as her reason for walking out. Why she says her job was starting to (INAUDIBLE) critical?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:50:07] CABRERA: As President Trump heads to Europe for the G20 meetings, his diplomatic and security advisors are deciding just how they will deal with North Korea's test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says he won't negotiate. And Russia's foreign minister says Russia and China are against a military response or attempts at what they say is economic suffocation of North Korea, calling those two options unacceptable.

So, what can the US do to force the end of North Korea's nuclear ambitions? Joining us to discuss the options Washington has is Michael O'Hanlon. He's the senior fellow in foreign policy with the Brookings Institution and he's also the author of Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy.

Michael, thank you so much for joining us. The first option you've thrown out there is to prevent or intercept future missile launches. Explain how that would work. And can you do that without escalating the situation? MICHAEL O'HANLON, SENIOR FELLOW IN FOREIGN POLICY, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Greetings. Well, I don't know that you should do this. I'm not sure you can do it without escalation. So, it was an option in the theoretical sense, not one that I'm advocating.

But to get to the point, first of all, this would not directly affect the nuclear program. It doesn't have any way of targeting most of the nuclear infrastructure and it wouldn't try to.

What it would try to do would be to prevent North Korea from doing long-range ICBM, intercontinental range missile tests of the type that we just saw yesterday. And the way you could try to do that is twofold, although one of those options may be going away.

Option one for that - one approach is to destroy a missile on the launchpad as it's being readied for launch, while it's being fueled. Since we know where the North Korean major launchpads are, anything that's being launched in that way, we probably could see being prepared for launch in advance and simply use a regular conventional bomb to destroy the rocket.

The problem is that the July 4 launch seems to have been from a mobile launcher, and therefore, we probably didn't know where it was being set up. So, that approach may be no longer valid.

You could still try to intercept the missile just after it was launched. And the argument there would be let's deprive North Korea of the ability to see if its rocket works and its ability to see if the reentry vehicle, the very tip of the rocket where the warhead would be placed in an actual launch, deprive it of the ability to see if that survives atmospheric reentry.

So, that's option one. It's not a big solution, but it helps prevent North Korea from perfecting its missile technology at the risk of escalation.

CABRERA: Right. Really would, I guess, take away some of the information that they could gather about how advanced their missile technology is, but that would be a more reactive option.

Another option, though, on the front end, you say the US could try is trying to get China to sanction North Korea more. Now, hasn't that already been tried?

O'HANLON: Yes. And so, option two, if you will, as we go through this list, is the option that essentially all American presidents have been trying for a long time. And it's to try to put pressure on China, in this case, historically also South Korea, to do less economic interaction with the North until North Korea shapes up essentially.

And since those are the two countries that have most of the economic interaction with North Korea, if they were to clamp down, North Korea wouldn't have many options left and would feel the pain presumably and perhaps reconsider. And I think that's still a good idea. The problem is China doesn't like this idea. And therefore, if you're going to get China to really do it, as opposed to just paying lip service to it and tightening a little, you're going to have to probably sanction the Chinese companies and banks that do business with North Korea when you can identify them.

The Trump administration has just done this. They've just begun that process. I agree with their decision, but one could imagine going much further and, basically, making it a matter of US policy to sanction any company or bank anywhere that does business with North Korea in violation of UN sanctions.

It seems like common sense. And frankly, it probably is common sense. I think that's going to be part of the solution. The problem is it doesn't guarantee any North Korean compliance. It doesn't even guarantee Chinese compliance with putting on the chokehold. It certainly doesn't immediately produce a change in North Korean behavior. So, it's more of a longer-term strategy.

CABRERA: It would be a trickle-down effect, I suppose. We have only about a minute left, but you have a third option. You say a new negotiation strategy. Explain what it is.

O'HANLON: Well, option three would build on the economic sanctions. It's not either/or. You still need the economic pressure, but then you try to give North Korea a light at the end of the tunnel.

And since they seem to adamantly want to hold on to their nuclear arsenal of maybe 15 or 20 bombs at least for the foreseeable future, we may not be able to negotiate that away in the first instance. Some kind of a freeze.

Now, this idea of a freeze on North Korean nuclear and missile testing has already been proposed, but I think it has to go further and freeze North Korean nuclear production of plutonium or highly-enriched uranium. That's a very hard verification challenge, but I think it's worth considering.

And we could freeze our biggest exercises with South Korea as sort of a quid pro quo. That's a controversial idea. Americans have rejected it so far, but we haven't really looked at whether we could freeze their nuclear production. And that's the part, I believe, we should investigate further.

[11:55:16] CABRERA: Great information. Thank you so much for providing that expertise for us. Michael O'Hanlon, thank you.

Straight ahead, a Justice Department official calling it quits after what she calls stunning comments from the president. Her candid comments next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": Welcome to "Inside Politics". I'm John King. Thanks for sharing your day with us. President Trump is on his way to Europe for a big economic summit and consequential meetings with the leaders of Russia, China and more.

Plus, protesters fill in for a congressman who skips the Fourth of July parade. Just one of the many holiday wrinkles for the contentious Obamacare repeal debate.

But we begin with the most pressing of many global challenges confronting President Trump all at once.