tv New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar CNN December 6, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PST
murdering four classmates. the crumbleys were arraigned by video conference saturday morning and charged with four counts of involuntary man sleighter. the couple entered not guilty pleas to all the charges. a judge imposed a combined $1 million bond for both of them and they'd have to post that full amount. an oakland county prosecutor adremsed the seriousness of the charges. >> your honor, this is a serious, horrible, terrible murder and shooting and it has affected the entire community and these two individuals could have stopped it and they had every reason to know he was dangerous and they gave him a weapon, and they didn't secure it, and they allowed him free access to it. >> i'm jennifer crumbley. >> reporter: attorneys representing the parents said the couple had the gun locked up and their son did not have free access to it.
>> joining success oakland county prosecutor karen mcfor alleged. thanks for being with us this morning. you heard the defense saying the gun was locked. did ethan probably have a key to it? >> it's not clear. i know, what we know is that he had free access and based on the social media posts and other comments and evidence that i can't comment on, the gun was considered his and it was purchased as a present for him. >> so michigan doesn't have a safe storage law. does that hurt the case here? >> well, it does not have a safe storage law and hopefully that will change soon, but no, it doesn't. this is a charge based on gross negligence and failure to perform a duty. there's a lot of evidence and
some has been made public and some has not. i do want to say these are mere allegations. they are innocent until proven guilty. however, i can comment on what has been made public and swear to in open court. there was absolutely evidence to suggest that there was an indication he might harm somebody and even kill somebody. you know, we have a responsibility as a community, as a state, as a nation to hold people accountable. we can do a lot in training and we can try to prepare for these things but as a mom and a prosecutor, i'm interested in trying to figure out how they don't happen at all, and that goes back to the weapon. i'm not saying people shouldn't own guns. i grew up in a house, my dad was a hunter, we have guns. i have lots of friends in law enforcement and peers that own guns but they do so safely, and with that right to own a gun comes the responsibility to safely secure it and make sure
it does not end up in the hands of somebody who is absolutely exhibiting signs that he is not okay, that he wants to harm somebody. i mean, the nation has looked at the statements -- >> can i ask you, karen, besides and i don't know it needs more than this but obviously it's important in the case that you're building, aside from the search for ammo, aside from the social media posts where he's referring to the gun as his own and his mom's media post, aside from the drawing that was incredibly disturbing shortly before the shooting, is there other, are there other data points that are revealing to you besides that about his intentions? >> yes, and i can't comment on that. i can only comment on the facts that are made public in the swear to. i will say, brianna, even just the three things there that you
list listed, it's really hard to stomach, as somebody that cares about kids or any of us, that was not revealed that he had open access to that weapon, and combined with the drawings and the statements on the drawings, you know, i just want -- i'm going to do everything i can to prosecute this case and get justice for victims, but i also want us to do better, and you know, we have to start addressing how somebody like that can so easily get their hands on a weapon and we have to hold the people responsible who allowed that to happen. >> in the conversation that school officials had with the parents, were guns discussed? >> not to my knowledge. but based on the statements that the superintendent has made, not to my knowledge. >> did the school ask ethan
crumbley if he had access to a gun? >> not to my knowledge. >> but it sounds like the school was aware, right, that he had access to a gun at least sometime, because they knew according to him that target practice was a family hobby and obviously if shooting sports are a family hobby, you know, you can't do that without a gun, right? >> i really can't comment on what the school officials knew or didn't know. i can only comment on the evidence that's public at this moment. >> but they've said that publicly, right, like that is public information that he revealed to them that shooting sports were a family hobby. >> i believe they have stated that he revealed to one school official after he was searching ammunition that that was a family hobby and i think there's a lot of evidence to suggest that that's true. >> did the school have legal grounds to search his backpack and his locker?
>> yes. >> but they didn't? >> it doesn't -- no. we don't know exactly if that weapon was in his bag, where it was. we just know that it was in the school and he had access to it. and i just want to say, i'm sympathetic to parents. my husband and i have raised five children and i'm certainly not suggesting that parents should be criminally prosecuted for any bad act of a child, but in this case, you can't possibly look at their actions and say that they didn't have reason to believe that there was real concern about a violent act, and again, these are just the details that i'm, that we've made public. so going to the source, if he had not had access to that weapon, if it was secured away
from him, whether it's locked or not, he had access to it, and all of this could have been prevented if he hadn't had access or one of those parents had said, i'm concerned about what i'm seeing right now and i also want you to know we just bought him a gun for christmas. that didn't happen. i can't let that go without holding them accountable and i think most of the country feels that way, too. no one's trying to take anybody's right to possess a weapon, but four kids were murdered. seven more were shot, and hundreds and hundreds more their lives will never be the same. so i just think it's time we start -- stop talking about how terrible it is we have school shootings and what we can do to prevent them from happening again. >> i could not agree with you more on that. i do not want to cover these school shootings anymore but i
am sure that i will cover them again. in this particular case, the parents, we're told, resisted taking ethan crumbley home after this meeting they had shortly before the meeting. did they flat-out refuse to take him home? >> i only know the same as you in terms of the recent statement from the superintendent. i can't confirm that the statements made by school officials are consistent with that, but i just don't know, but we all know that a school -- they don't have to agree to -- >> it was law enforcement that said they resisted, and it's sort of hard to understand exactly what that means. but i do just want to ask you, have you ruled out charging any school officials?
>> it's under investigation so no, we haven't ruled out charging anyone. right now we're focused on -- i'm focused on making sure this community knows our first priority is keeping the community safe and holding the people accountable who could have prevented this and right now the crumbleys are those two people. none of this should have happened. a 15 1/2-year-old should not be sitting in jail facing life in prison. these children who were terrorized and killed and shot, none of it should have happened and it could have been prevented. >> karen, i really appreciate you joining us. obviously there's so many details we do not know. i know that is on purpose, but i appreciate you sharing with us what you can. karen mcdonald, thank you. >> thank you. back with us now, elie honig, senior legal analyst, former federal prosecutor.
how hard of a case is it to make against the parents and from what we just heard there from that, does she have the evidence to convict? >> this is not going to be an easy case. i think we all need to be clear about that. this is the first of its kind. first of all, involuntary manslaughter charge in a case involving a mass shooting like this. i've never seen anything like it. i think it's unprecedented. what the prosecutor has has to show is not just negligence or carelessness but the parent's actions were so inexcusable they created a situation dangerous to life or great bodily injury. that's a fairly high bar. the prosecutor has three pillars of the case. the purchase of the firearm by the father for the child, which may have been illegal, a straw purchase, if an adult allowed to purchase a gun purchases it really on behalf of the child, there is the search, the internet search for ammunition, which i think the strongest piece of evidence in the case is the mother's text to the son saying "lol, just don't get caught next time" and the
parents' response or lack of response when the school brought to their attention the drawing and the warning. those are the three pillars of the case. legally i think it's a justified charge but it's not an easy win. >> what about the school there? i will say, she said they haven't made any decisions yet but her body language was i'm focused on the parents not the school. she said the school had grounds to search the backpack. >> it's low bar to search a backpack or locker. we know from the supreme court, reasonable suspicion. i also think it's unlikely she would charge the school with a criminal offense here. >> because they had grounds to do it, the act of not doing it doesn't necessarily make it illegal. >> right, that may fall under negligence but to me it doesn't rise to criminal nemgs. there are situations all the time where schools may or may not want to search or need to search and we can say they should have but i just think it's a bit of a stretch to say that school administrators engaged in a crime here.
>> elie honig, thank you very much. so new u.s. intelligence estimate russia could amass up to 175,000 troops along the border with ukraine, coming ahead of the high stakes talks tomorrow between joe biden and vladimir putin. joining us is jim sciutto. you helped break a lot of this news about russia, what russia is doing on the border and the plans to invade and now -- plans they have drafted for a possible invasion, i hope i'm phrasing that correctly. bottom line is president biden will speak to vladimir putin tomorrow. what is this conversation going to be like? >> difficult one. not just plans. it's resources and u.s. intel assessments have been glaring red for weeks because of the weight of resources russia amassed on and along the ukraine border. could you see it here, it's in the photos. this was an empty deployment area june 16th, 2021, this is after it is filled with heavy
military equipment and forces to back up that equipment. the information several weeks ago was a force of about 100,000 along the border both to the east but also the north of ukraine. more recently the concern is and that's the latest headline, the latest assessment that eventually that force could rise to 175,000 and the concern is that force not only outmans ukrainian forces there, and this is even with u.s. and nato backup, but it also outguns them and you can guarantee that when biden speaks to putin tomorrow, much as bill burns when he spoke to putin weeks ago we know what you're doing and also appears part of the message the u.s. is prepared to penalize russia if it were to go forward with an invasion. >> how do you penalize russia enough to stop it from doing it? >> it's the million-dollar question, right? the u.s. has been penalizing russia economically for seven years since it invaded and
annexed crimea. seven years later, post-2014, russia still controls this part of the country, calls it part of russia, even though the u.s. and the rest of the world's view, this is part of a sovereign nation of ukraine. russia is occupying a whole portion of the eastern part of ukraine. the sanctions applied for seven years since then has not changed the calculus on the ground at all. so the question is, what can the u.s. do to raise the economic price, the targets appear to be putin's financial assets and the assets of people close to putin. the big questions, john, are does the u.s. take an even greater step in terms of sanctions and that would be going after for instance the ability of russian energy producers to raise money in debt markets, that sort of thing. that's considered i don't want to use the term nuclear option but from a sanctions perspective, that would be considered an escalation. we know that's a possibility for
the biden administration. whether they choose to do it is an open question. >> one other point, this aggressive attitude towards ukraine from russia, it's not just vladimir putin. this is something that's popular. alexey navalny, imprisoned dissident more or less supports the russian aggressive posture toward ukraine in the past. >> this is a fundamentally different view of ukraine. ukraine was part of the soviet union. soviet union broke up in 1991. by the way, russia signed an agreement with ukraine, recognizing its sovereignty after the breakup of the soviet union union with then president boris yeltsin. it's not the first time russia has tried to change its narrative. within nato you have a division, john, how boldly to push back against russia. what you see is a sort of geographical difference within nato that the eastern countries, no surprise there, the ones closest to the russian threat,
seem to be more alarmed, more firm in the kind of response they want to russia than some of the western countries. it's not a straight divided line because the u.s. is very firm in this, by the way, we're on the other side of the ocean, but there is that difference there and russia is trying now to exploit that difference, division in the ranks they hope makes any pushback less than they might otherwise. it's an open question russia invades. folks in the pentagon believe that's a possibility. >> that sentence in and of itself should make people sit up straight. your reporting is so important here and why this talk tomorrow is to delicate and the situation so dangerous. thank you so much for helping us understand it. a chilling scene at the lincoln memorial. white nationalists marching in broad daylight. and is the new omicron covid variant making people sicker? the so-called fauci of south africa tells us what he's seeing.
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john avlon. we can agree that one is too many. to see anyone marching on white supremacists to the lincoln memorial is a sight none of us ever wants to see. >> there's something almost too on the nose about having a bunch of guys dressed up like they're ready to go to war, dressed up with battle armor and shields because in their minds the civil war never ended. >> right. >> what they're chanting is always so telling. "reclaim america." when was america taken and who was it taken from and by whom? >> they feel like it's been taken from white folks. >> when are brown and black people -- >> we're applying logic to anx anxiety. >> there is something so remarkable about having self-avowed white nationalists, white supremacists walking, marching on a memorial for somebody who signed the
emancipation proclamation. it sort of exemplifies the country's ongoing struggle with race i feel. >> the fact we're seeing an acceleration in the wake of shore l charlottesville. these are young folks with masks and shields, a sign of weak, anxious people trying to find definition and strength in this kind of militaristic white nationalis. the reason it's a bunch of clowns marching on the lincoln memorial the adl found of this group, patriot front, was responsible for 80% of the white supremacist propaganda found on campus and elsewhere in 2020. it's a young person's group. this isn't a bunch of old cranks waving their fists at the sky how the country changed. >> the leader is 23 years old. >> they were wearing masks. one most chilling about charlottesville, people walking around unmasked, here i am, i
have no shame over this. we are free to express ourselves because that's where we think we are in this country right now. they didn't want their identities known there. >> yes. you know who also wore masks and face coverings? >> i know but there's a difference here and i don't know whether it's that they think the attitude in the country is different towards the message that they're delivering or not. it is notable. >> the question is really what has changed since charlottesville. that's 2017. the fbi director to your point we dismiss this as fringe actors. the fbi director chris wray told us the number one threat is white supremacy, on par with isis and the question is since charlottesville, what has the government done to address this? >> there has been legal accountability and culpability as we saw in a verdict in charlottesville to the tune of $26 million.
>> that may be why they were masked. >> may very well be. these folks are cowards. everyone who runs to security in a blood and soil movement is because they are weak and trying to pretend they're strong but we also shouldn't underestimate the hist historical resonance of this, and the fact this is a current issue in our country that we need to confront. when they come masked and carrying battle sheields to the lincoln memorial, pay attention, folks. this is a problem we need to confront, this virus of hate and white supremacy and white nationalism in our country is not done yet. >> the only good thing is this one didn't turn violent. the next one could. >> thank you very much. what have we learned about the omicron variant from the country that first discovered it? south africa's leading scientist is standing by to answer the really key questions about the severity of the cases that's seeing. later, the u.s. space force
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this morning for the first time in two months, the u.s. is averaging more than 120,000 new covid-19 cases each day. the vast majority of new cases continue to be from the delta variant but u.s. health officials detected the new omicron variant in at least 17 states. meanwhile in south africa where omicron was first detected, coronavirus cases are spiking. however, south africa's president says hospitalizations from omicron are not increasing at an alarming rate. joining us now is an epidemiologist from south africa who has helped lead his country's covid response, salim abdool karim. thank you for joining us today. i want to start with two big questions. is this more transmissible and are you seeing it evade vaccines? >> very good day to you. when we look at the virus itself, it has several mutations that should confer on it the
ability to transmit faster but of course we need to know whether it's doing so. now when we look at the epidemiological data we've compared the three previous waves and the rate at which they increase in the first seven days after the wave threshold and what we have found is that the omicron variant is doubling faster than any of the three previous waves. what we have is that in omicron, over the first seven days, the doubling time is one and a half days. in other words, the epidemic is getting twice as many cases every day and a half. in the previous three waves, due to the delta, beta and the 614g variant the average was 2 to 2.2 days in this initial upswing of cases, so certainly the early
evidence, and i have to say it's very early preliminary evidence suggests that it is more transmissible. >> and we are hearing as we of course have concerns about transmissibility, we want to know about how severe it is and there are south african scientists who say breathing doesn't seem to be an issue for patients infected. is that what you're seeing? can you explain this? >> so we have two sources of data. the first is anecdotal data from our doctors at the front line. i've been speaking to the chair of our medical association. she collects this data from all the doctors, and essentially what they are saying to us at this stage is that the cases are generally mild, seems to be slightly more people in the younger age groups, but the presentation is essentially similar to the way patients presented in the previous waves. now, one has to be very careful in overinterpreting that, because it's still very early
days, in that severe cases usually take longer. they occur in weeks two, three and four. so it may be that severe cases will follow later, but certainly at this stage with the data we're seeing in terms of these reports, there are no red flags. the second is, data we get from our admissions database, now there's a bit of a lag, so it's running a few days behind and what we saw early on is an increase in the number of hospitalizations in children below the age of 5. that initial increase in children who are younger is now being offset in that it might have been just an early aberration. it's now easing off and probably the proportions admitted are now correcting themselves. it's also quite possible because schools were open and preschools
were open that we may have seen those cases emerging, but even the children who admitted were mostly mild conditions. so not -- we have not seeing many severe cases. i want to caution we've only known about this for a week so it's early days. >> mostly mild cases. have there been any severe cases in kids? >> we have seen several severe cases in children. we would be expecting to see that. the icus have reported admissions of children as well and adults, so we are seeing severe cases, but it's different from the previous waves. there was this deluge and we became overwhelmed with a lot of patients arriving early on, even though this virus is transmitting faster, we aren't
seeing that same early pressure. part of it is probably due to vaccines and some may be due to the clinical features of the vir t us itself. it's a mixed bag. cases are presenting like our past cases. the usual features we see with the respiratory and hypoxia, we put them onto oxygen, oxygenate them, standard treatments seem to be working fine. so from a diagnostic point of view, omicron's not a problem. easily diagnosed from a clinical presentation, doesn't seem to be a problem, although it's early days and from a treatment point of view, doesn't seem to be a concern. what might be a concern is relating to whether vaccine also hold against it, and there what we have seen in the latest information that's become available from our national
institute of communicable diseases is that we are seeing an increase in reinfection, so there is an early analysis from one of our centers called seseema that looked at the ratio of reinfections to new infections and what we're seeing with omicron is an increase in reinfections. the ratio is 2.4, higher than what we saw in our previous waves. now, we expect some increase because we've had more past infections now, but this increase is way out of range, so that means it looks like past natural infection does not seem to be protecting to any significant extent from omicron infection. on the vaccine front, we really don't have data yet. that's still to come. we are seeing breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals, but so far, they've been mild. but i don't want to make too much of that, still too few
faces to make any comment. >> all the more reason, though, to get vaccinated, ensure that you have one of those mild cases here if you get it. salim abdool karim, doctor, thank you so much. >> pleasure. mayor bill de blasio announced new york city will implement a vaccine mandate for all private sector employers across the board as of december 27th. new york city will also strengthen vaccination screening at indoor public establishments, to include 5 to 11-year-olds. the vaccine mandate for private employers is interesting. i would love to learn more about exactly how that will be implements, a testing option, what that means, size of company and also interesting, december 27th is a week before de blasio leaves office. it's soon from now and also about a week before he leaves
office and i'm curious to see or know if he has the sign-on from the incoming mayor, eric adams. >> with kids 5 to 11, that's an interesting regulation that's going to go into place. we have to see if other cities are going to follow suit, the new development out of new york. the jeussie smollett court case continues in about an hour. is he going to take the stand? and china's last way ahead in the space race with the united states. superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need. (gasps) ♪ did it work? only pay for what you need ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ spider-man no way home in theaters december 17th
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time for 5 things to know for your new day. knew rules for international travelers coming to the u.s. everyone will have to show proof of a negative covid test taken within one day of departure to the u.s., whether you are i u.s. citizen or not and foreign nationals have to prove they are fully vaccinated. the parents of the michigan shooting suspect under suicide watch and each held on half a million dollars bond, after being captured at a detroit warehouse. rescue workers in indonesia are digging through thick layers of hot ash and debris to find survivors of a volcanic eruption that left at least 21 people dead and 17,000 displaced.
nearly 3,000 houses and 38 schools have been damaged or destroyed by the debris. actor jussie smollett's trial resumes in chicago. will he take the stand? last week two brothers told jurors the former "empire" actor plotted a fake attack on himself and paid them to carry it out. a lucky mistake for a north carolina truck driver. scotty thomas couldn't remember if he bought a lottery ticket and bought another one and won twice, that would be 25gs time two each year for life. he chose the lump sum netting just over $551,000. >> always take the lump sum. congratulations to him, times two. >> that's right. >> those are the 5 things to know for your new day. more on these stories all day on cnn and cnn.com and download the 5 things podcast every morning. go to cnn.com/5things, find it wherever you get your podcasts.
a top u.s. space force says china could overtake america by the end of the decade. chai that is developing its space capabilities at twice the rate of the u.s. cnn's kristen fisher is joining us on this. that is quite the statement here. what does that mean for the u.s.? >> quite the statement and it means that the u.s. is going to need to move very quickly in order to maintain u.s. superiority in space. over the weekend, i moderated this space panel at the reagan national defense forum and every single panelist agreed one of the biggest problems with the bureaucracy built into the acquisitions process and this is not a new problem by any means but it's a problem that's taken on increased urgency given china's recent test of that hypersonic weapon. think about it like this. over the last five years, china tested hundreds of hypersonic weapons and the u.s. has only tested nine. it's a very stark contrast. it's only part of the problem, but listen to what general david
thompson, the vice chief of space operations for the space force, listen to what he had to say about it. >> the fact that in essence on average, they are building and fielding and updating their space capabilities at twice the rate we are means that very soon, if we don't start accelerating our development and delivery capabilities, they will exceed us and 2030 is not an unreasonable estimate. >> i mean, that is just nine years away, and a big part of the reason that the space force was created was to move faster, but another panelist, congressman jim cooper says the space force simply is not moving fast enough and i asked him point blank, is the u.s. now officially in a space race with china? he said not only did he say yes, you said "hell yes." >> "hell yes." >> "hell yes." >> it is an alarming statement. kristin, thank you for the report. >> you bet. here's what else to watch today.
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so no hiding under your pillow, or opting for the couch. your best sleep. all night. every night. save up to $500 on select adjustable mattress sets during the black friday event. a live look at the white house with the flag at half staff this morning in honor of long-time republican senator and three-time presidential candidate bob dole. born a small kansas town, russell, kansas, and raised during the great depression, dole was seriously wounded trying to save a fellow soldier during world war ii, weeks before the end of the war. his family says he died in his sleep sunday at the age of 98, noting that he served the united states of america faithfully for 79 years. with us now, alan simpson, former u.s. senator from wyoming, served as republican whip in the senate while dole
served as party leader. senator, i appreciate you joining us. ment i'm prone to say thank you -- i mean say sorry for your loss but sorry for all of our loss. bob dole meant so much to the country. you say you would have gone over a cliff for that guy? what do you mean? >> i was in the military, too, in the infantry and he was obviously heavily decorated. i said to him when i became the assistant leader, i was the assistant leader for ten years and i said, you know, i know what leadership is. you don't have to worry about anything. there's no footsteps behind you. i'm not interested in your job, and we made things work and he worked hard with the other side of the aisle. he worked well with bob dole, robert byrd and daschle and mitchell. i was the assistant when we had al cranston of california.
he was not to my philosophy, ran for an anti nuclear ticket is what he was, and then wendell ford, and he said, you know, we're not members of the republican party. we're americans, and he was a very highly partisan guy and he loved his partisan politics, but when right came down to the final deal, he said you know, we're not just here for the democrat party or the republican party. we're here for americans. that's a whole new pitch out here in washington. >> yes. look, you also said what can you do to a guy who has laid in a hospital bed for three years? you can't spook him. he's invulnerable. >> i did say that. you know, people would come at me and say he's doing this or he had an aserbic sense of humor
sometimes and a great sense of humor and that was what saved him and for him akin with my life, my mother taught me that humor is the universal solvent against the abrasive elements of life. and hit the button and say grab the last arm and the big smile, and he was, he lived that way or he wouldn't have been 90 plus years old with the legislation and his candidate for the presidency and one of the worst things that i watched was the one he ran for president, some of his senior staff, not the ones that i knew, but some of
the heavyweights now there said don't use your sense of humor. well, hell, that was his left leg, and his right leg. that was his persona, and it came across, you know, what's happened to bob dole? he didn't have his usual sense of balance, humor. all i can tell you is that it was a joy and a privilege for me at 90 to think of my career, checkered as it was. >> senator simpson, we've been showing a bunk of pictures of you and the late senator dole smiling, laughing, enjoying each other. again, sorry for your loss, sorry for our loss. i appreciate you being with us this morning. thank you, senator. >> thank you so much. you're very kind. thank you. >> back in just a moment.
me, father, for i have sinned. if you can't laugh at yourself, we're in real trouble, and you make me laugh at myself a lot. >> you want me to play you? >> steve, i'm afraid you understand me too well. >> i vote for that. that would be awesome. cnn's coverage continues right now. very good monday morning to y you. i'm jim sciutto. new coronavirus testing requirements go into effect for international travelers coming into the u.s. everyone, regardless of nationality or vaccination status traveling into the u.s. must now be tested within one day of departure. but we are learning at the same time some promising, new findings on the omicron variant out of south africa. new details, new data suggests the strain i