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Interview with Rep. Rodney Davis and His Wife; Washington Post: Special Counsel Mueller Investigating Trump; Australian P.M. Makes Fun of Trump; "Blessings in a Backpack" Fights Hunger One Bag at a Time. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired June 15, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] REP. RODNEY DAVIS, (R), ILLINOIS: It was the toughest phone call I've ever made. This was after hearing the first shot, not knowing what it is as I'm standing up to bat at the plate and then hearing the words, "Run, he's got a gun," diving into the dugout eventually because of the bravery of the capitol police officers that were on the scene, the two that are heroes.
Working my way across the street for better protection and then running into an apartment because of a good Samaritan that I found out his name is Ben Childress. Thank you for opening your door to the three of us. I wanted to make sure we called 911 because during the attack I didn't hear any sirens. And I called them. I know I wasn't the first one.
From Ben's house, I called Shannon and then I called my daughter. And I didn't remember my sons' numbers because I had them in my contacts so I had my daughter make the call to them, too. Those were the toughest calls I've had to make.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Had Congressman Scalise not been there and those two police officers not been there -- I don't even need to finish my sentence.
SHANNON DAVIS, WIFE OF REP. RODNEY DAVIS: You don't. Because it's terrifying. And that's something that I think about all the time. And I am so grateful that the capitol police were there and were able to protect them all because it just would be a different story. And we wouldn't be here today. And you know that. And that's what is sad and very scary.
BALDWIN: You do believe that?
SHANNON DAVIS: I do believe that. I believe they are the ones that saved them all and I believe they are heroes for all of that.
BALDWIN: What would you say to them if they were watching?
SHANNON DAVIS: I wouldn't be able to thank them enough for their bravery and service and that they put themselves in harm's way to protect everyone out there and not just them. You saw it on TV, the people walking their dogs on the sidewalks. It could have been such a huge tragedy and they were able to stop that, those two officers.
BALDWIN: Has this all fully hit you?
DAVIS: It's still surreal. We're a little more than 24 hours since. You don't know what you're supposed to feel like. People say you're supposed to feel this way or that way. And I don't. There's still some sense of normalcy. But every time I think about how lucky we are that we had those heroes out there to engage the madman, I am just -- it sends chills. We come together to practice a few months out of the year and we will now be bonded because of this tragedy, no matter what we do or where we go. And I don't want anyone to ever experience what all of us did yesterday.
BALDWIN: How has this changed your relationship, in a blink or your marriage? You've known each other for 28 years. How does this change the two of you?
DAVIS: I don't think it changes us at all.
DAVIS: We'll continue to grow stronger with this tragedy that we have now experienced, and we've experienced the aftermath together. Nothing will change there. You know, be more of security issues not just in my job but daily life will be the biggest change. That's something that I know after having to dodge bullets yesterday. Being more cognizant of where you are, where you can run, where you can get out because of a madman coming to Washington and firing at us. I'm going to now prioritize much more than I did on the past.
BALDWIN: On the threat line, we learned about an e-mail that came into congressman in New York and the e-mail was something to the effect of one down, 216 to go.
DAVIS: That's the hateful rhetoric that we who don't want to see that have to engage in and stop. We have to be the ones to make the extra effort to call out those who are on the fringes for who they are so that they know and feel that the majority is with us, not with them and how they think. Hopefully we can do that and band together. That's going to continue to make this country great. We have to ratchet down this hateful rhetoric on both sides. Otherwise, you'll see tragedies like this.
Steve is going to have multiple surgeries and a long recovery. Steve's alive, and I didn't think that was going to happen when I saw him laying motionless in the outfield.
[14:35:26] BALDWIN: You didn't?
DAVIS: No. I thought he was gone.
BALDWIN: What did he look like?
DAVIS: Motionless, laying down. Steve's been a long-time friend. Not just a colleague and the majority whip, the Republican congressman. Steve's a dad to young children. And I think sometimes in this world of policy difference, in hate and vitriol, people forget we have families at homes, we have kids, dads, moms. That's what hurts me the most. And I thought of those kids when I saw Steve laying there.
BALDWIN: Congressman Davis and Shannon, thank you both so much.
Coming up tonight, a CNN exclusive. For the very first time ever, Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will appear together live from the congressional baseball game here in D.C. at 7:00 right here on CNN.
Today, the president of the United States lashing out at the report that says he himself is under investigation for obstruction of justice. We'll talk about exactly how significant a development this is and how he has responded.
Also, a world leader and ally caught on tape mocking and poking fun at President Trump. Hear what Prime Minister Turnbull said. That's next.
[14:41:33] BALDWIN: President Trump today attacking reports that he personally is under investigation for possible obstruction of justice. The president fuming over the FBI's investigation into Russia for months now. He admits repeatedly asking former FBI Director James Comey if he, President Trump, was also part of the investigation and to put it out publicly that he wasn't, because he wasn't at the time. Director Comey, former Director Comey, telling the president that he wasn't. But then, the president fired James Comey and everything changed.
Now "The Washington Post" is reporting today Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has been expanded to include the president. CNN has not independently confirmed the reporting but the president calling it, in essence, a witch hunt.
Let's talk to Chris Cillizza.
You know, I had the reporter on who broke the story for "the post." but according to "The Washington Post," we now have the president of the United States under investigation.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: That's right. Quick point of personal privilege. I thought that Rodney Davis interview with you and his wife and him was really awesome stuff.
BALDWIN: Thank you. They're amazing.
CILLIZZA: No. Really good. Yes, look, this now, according to "The Washington Post," isn't about just Trump aides or allies of Donald Trump who work for him. But this investigation now goes up to the Oval Office. In some ways, Donald Trump has himself to blame for it, Brooke. You're exactly right. We know as recently as April, Donald Trump was not under investigation in any way, shape or form. Apparently soon after James Comey was let go by Donald Trump on May 9th, the prospect of investigating Donald Trump began in earnest. It's hard not to speculate the fact that some of this has to do with the way that Donald Trump handled his conversations with James Comey and the firing of Jim Comey, that he wasn't under investigation until he began trying to figure out whether or not he was under investigation. It's a remarkable thing. And I think a significant ramping up of the danger, certainly politically speaking, for this president.
BALDWIN: Obviously, he's not happy about it because of what we saw on Twitter. But he may also not be happy about this, Chris Cillizza.
Let's talk Australia. There's now this audio.
BALDWIN: You have the Australian prime minister, this happened during what is being termed as a boozy mid-annual winter ball and poked fun at President Trump.
If you haven't seen it, roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALCOLM TURNBULL, AUSTALIAN PRIME MINISTER: The Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls.
We are winning so much.
We are winning like we have never won before.
We are winning in the polls.
TURNBULL: Yeah. We are.
Not the fake polls.
Not the fake polls.
(LAUGHTER) They're the ones we're not winning in.
We're winning in the real polls. You know, the online polls.
They are so easy to win.
I know that. Did you know that?
I kind of know that. I know that. They are so easy to win.
I have this Russian guy.
Believe me, it's true. It is true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:45:15] BALDWIN: From our friends in Australia.
Chris Cillizza, the next phone call with the prime minister could be awkward.
CILLIZZA: I was going to say, if you had bet me, we would be talking twice on the national cable network about Australia and our relationship with them in the first 150 days in the Trump presidency. I would have been skeptical but Donald Trump had a very contentious phone call in which he said this was among the worst phone calls he had with any foreign dignitary.
I'm going to give a little bit of a pass here in that I know nothing about this but it kind of feels it's meant to be fun, it's meant to poke fun.
BALDWIN: I was thinking the same thing, yeah, yeah.
CILLIZZA: But man, that's a tough treatment. It's not going to improve Donald Trump's view of the prime minister of Australia.
BALDWIN: You think the president has tough, thick skin?
CILLIZZA: Yeah. Good thing.
BALDWIN: Chris Cillizza, thank you. You're the man. CILLIZZA: Thank you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Just ahead, legendary journalist, Carl Bernstein, weighs in with the "Washington Post" reporting that the president is under investigation. We'll discuss with Carl.
Also ahead, details on the condition of Congressman Steve Scalise. And President Trump says that he is, quote, "in some trouble." We'll talk to our chief medical correspondent about Steve Scalise. Sanjay Gupta up with me, coming up.
[14:49:55] BALDWIN: All week long, we've been running this special series called "Champions for Change." CNN and HLN anchors, including myself, headed out to spend some time working alongside the people whose causes are near and dear to our own hearts. So these are extraordinary individuals. We want you to meet them, our "Champions for Change. Learn about the challenges that they face every day and see the real difference they are making in the lives of others.
Robin Meade has a story of the non-profit Blessings in a Backpack, a charity with one goal, keep kids who rely on school meals from going hungry over the weekend.
ROBIN MEADE, CNN ANCHOR: I think it's important to realize that not everybody who is hungry is necessarily homeless. Sometimes families just really need help to get by.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): It happened when my husband and I were having a hard time. He didn't have a job. We couldn't even afford to buy meals for Anthony. Those were really hard times for us.
MEADE: So what is everybody thinking, oh, my gosh, when I'm bigger, I want to be? I heard that you're going to be a reporter or an actress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I like movies and tv. They live in big Houses and it looks so amazing, wearing the latest clothes but I can't wear the latest clothes.
MEADE: How about you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still don't know what I want to be.
MEADE: Well, that's OK. How about you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be a manager of building homes to make them perfect so people can live.
MEADE: Why that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So they don't have to struggle and live in a tiny apartment. MEADE: So haven't you always wondered what might become of a
person's life if only they had a little bit of help? What might they become? As a young person here, if only they're not distracted by hunger, for example, and blessings in a backpack, I think, could be that "if only."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We must have one extra.
MEADE: How did it first get started?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first person was a school teacher. She was really concerned and could not believe the children were coming back to school this tired, this hungry. She realized the last meal they were having was Friday at lunch. The $100 feeds a child for the entire school year. It's weekends and gets the kids back to Monday and ready to learn.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): To some people, it might not be that much, but for people like me, I can make a big, special meal for the kids. And the kids are very happy.
MEADE: This cause meant a lot to me, because I know that my dad grew up in dire poverty. The 14th kid in the hills of eastern Kentucky. Now, he says because they farmed, they always had food to eat. When he talks about how he would pack lunch for school, it was this, he would take stale cornbread, put it in a mason jar, put milk in it and tie it to a string and keep it in the stream so it stayed cool.
So knowing what my dad went through, even knowing he had something to eat, it makes me feel empathy for what these kids may be going through and how it could help them.
I visited a school in Roswell, Georgia, that most would consider relatively of an affluent. 73 percent of the kids qualified for free meals.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In class, they were falling asleep. Their attendance was poor. So that was the main red flag. Since we started a program with most of the kids, their attendance improved.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The kids are focused. They are looking forward to being in the classrooms and working hard. They feel that this could happen to any of us. And that there's nothing to be ashamed of.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We get together every Wednesday and we pack all the bags and then take them on to the schools.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There we go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The hardest part is knowing that there are other children in the school and we don't have the funding to include them.
MEADE: And I think it's just absurd that in the United States of America, people are experiencing poverty to the level that a child looks forward to going to school because that's when they will get something to eat.
Is there a misconception about who is hungry?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think so. I didn't realize it was so close to home. I didn't think it was in the suburbs and I thought it was --
MEADE: Somewhere else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): I just want to thank the families because they are a big help. There are times when parents are left without a job. That's when they help us. So our kids won't be left without food.
MEADE: What a wonderful son you have. You must be proud.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My mom is a hero because she supports me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My dad taught me to never give up.
[14:55:25] MEADE: It's amazing to think that just a little bit of food can fuel such a bright future.
MEADE (on camera): Hi, Brooke. I want to show everyone what is in that backpack. For one weekend, two breakfast cereals, two snacks, chicken noodle soup, apple sauce, just enough to get you by. If you depended on it, could you imagine if you didn't have it? Cost-wise, it's about the cost of a cup of coffee. It serves about 93,000 kids in the United States but they say 16 million children actually qualify.
Which leads me to, if you feel so moved, go to blessingsinabackpack.org for more information or if you want to start a program in your own area -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: Love it, love it, love it.
Robin Meade, thank you so much.
Go to my Twitter page @brookeb.CNN. For more, go to CNN.com/champions for change.
And check out our position, "Champions for Change," hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, airing this Saturday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on CNN.