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Trump Dumped From GOP Gathering; Trump: "I Want A Level Playing Field"; ISIS May Be Shifting Strategy; Aldon Smith Let Go from NFL; Unarmed Teenager Shot by Police; Colorado Mass Shooter Sentenced to Life in Prison. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired August 8, 2015 - 06:00   ET



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone): You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever, but she was, in my opinion, she was off base.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: In response to Trump's comments, officials with Red State, the event, said this. The organizers, Eric Erickson said his comment was inappropriate. It's unfortunate to have -- to disinvite him, but I just don't want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It was just wrong.

Wasting no time, a Trump spokesperson fired back saying this, "This is just another example of weakness through being politically correct. For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr. Trump coming, we will miss you. Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader. We'll now be doing another campaign stop at another location."

So we'll have more on Trump's interview with Don Lemon, but first we want to talk about new developments with CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston, in the studio with us this morning.

Mark, good to have you. Trump disinvited from this Red State gathering. First, help us understand what is this event he was disinvited from?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: So Red State is a gathering of social conservative activists that happens every year. They meet at a different location. This year happens to be in Atlanta. It's going to be about 900 to a thousand people.

They've already met yesterday and probably heard from several of the presidential candidates, and expect to hear from more today including Scott Walker, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee and of course, Donald Trump this evening, but that is not going to happen.

What is interesting about this, though, Victor is that these are the type of folks at this gathering that resonate towards the Trump anti- establishment message. BLACKWELL: OK, could there some blow-back for Red State? I mean, if these are the Trump voters and they were here to hear him, could they struggle here?

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And even on that end, is it good publicity for them? Because now we are talking more about red states than we would have been.

PRESTON: Well, you know, I think certainly some people will be disappointed that they won't get to see Donald Trump in person, but I think the comments that Donald Trump made last night had crossed the line, had gone too far. What's interesting is that he called Erick Erickson a pathetic weak leader. I think certainly in Republican conservative politics, Erick Erickson is anything but a weak leader.

PAUL: Governor George Pataki came out about this whole Megyn Kelly thing on Twitter, saying, "It's sad but predictable meltdown from Trump with all due respect to Megyn, the outrage at Trump's divisive language is long overdue."

I am surprised and is anybody else surprised at how this is playing out on Twitter? You put something out there. We are grown people. Names are being called. It's in writing. It's documented. It won't be able to be disputed. How has Titter changed the whole atmosphere of this campaign?

PRESTON: Well, it's a median. Donald Trump makes these comments just a few hours ago, quite frankly, on our air and it blows up so quickly that Erick Erickson within an hour or so of that interview disinvites him. Now at this hour in the morning, people are starting to wake up. A lot of people don't know about this, I would expect Twitter to blow up this morning all weighing in on it.

PAUL: So are you saying you think that Twitter is what facilitated or perpetuated this disinvite?

PRESTON: No, I think Erick would have done it anyway, but what I think happened is that it accelerates the process very quickly.

BLACKWELL: Mark, I wonder, is there any indication that this will resonate? I mean, I think after Trump made those comments about Senator McCain's war record, people expected that to have some impact.


BLACKWELL: Is there an expectation that this will?

PRESTON: You know, I think there was some impact, although Donald Trump was going to survive it but, I think again, the comments he made today has gone a little bit too far or way too far in many ways.

Now you're going to have women being together, even those who might have been on the fence about Donald Trump and say, wait a second, how dare you say that or even men who have daughters and wives and mothers. I think that you're going to see a massive blow back against Donald Trump. BLACKWELL: Yes, this is a man who has a daughter and has had wives and still says this.

PAUL: Yes, I ask that question, would he say it to his daughter or about his daughter?

BLACKWELL: We will have one of the New Hampshire supporters of Donald Trump on the show a little later. We got another piece of sound. Let's play this. Our producer is cuing this sound.


TRUMP: She's somebody that, you know, pretty tough and I'm sure she can take care of herself but, you know, she is somebody I don't have a lot of respect for. I don't think she has major talent. I don't think she's got very much talent at all. She is sitting there reading questions and she rehearsed for it a long time.


BLACKWELL: Yes, this is not the first time Donald Trump has gone after a woman. Is there something specific, something special about Megyn Kelly, the reason this is resonating?

PRESTON: Well, Megyn Kelly is beloved by conservatives, no doubt about that. I don't think anyone can say that Megyn Kelly is not very skilled. She is extremely smart and very good at her job and she is a very good journalist.

[06:05:06] So not only do you have that piece of where people say, wait a second, you know, that's not true. But you go one step further where she has such a following in the conservative community. Erick Erickson invited her in place of Donald Trump to come and speak --

PAUL: Is she going to? That was my next question.

PRESTON: I don't know about that. You know, I think that I doubt it, actually, because it probably would be a little too far for a journalist to come and do that, but it is telling he made that invitation.

BLACKWELL: We have got from Carly Fiorina tweeting I stand with Megyn Kelly and Mr. Trump, there is no excuse. Do you think if Fiorina in the next GOP debate, a lot were impressed by her performance on Thursday, she will take Donald Trump one-on-one?

PRESTON: Right. So interestingly she was asked this question at Red State yesterday. She spoke at Red State and she was asked about Donald Trump and some of his comments, not the Megyn Kelly comments, but just Trump's reaction to Megyn Kelly because even though Trump made these comments last night, all day yesterday, he had been going after Megyn Kelly on Twitter.

So she was asked this and she said it was inappropriate and she pivoted off of it. Now there is an opening for her to step in and say I'm the CEO. I'm the successful person. By the way, I'm a woman. PAUL: Is there any indication -- I mean, we know that people love Trump for his boldness. They see him as telling it like it is, as not giving in to being fitting into some sort of mold, but when you're talking about the highest office in the land, is there a sense of self-control and decorum attached to that.

Are some people seeing that missing with Trump at this point? Do you get a sense from the people you've talked to and where you've been, that that is starting to be a conversation amongst voters?

PRESTON: I certainly think -- certainly his reaction to Megyn Kelly's questions Thursday night during the debate and how he was so angry and said she wasn't nice to him, well, if you're the commander-in-chief, no one is going to be very nice to you and if you're going to be negotiating against the Iranians or North Korea or wherever it's going to be, you have to be able to --

PAUL: Take criticism?

PRESTON: Take criticism and be able to keep your mouth shut when you need to keep your mouth shut. Now Donald Trump is not one to apologize. He didn't apologize after the John McCain incident, but we will see what he does in the next few hours.

PAUL: Do you think that he might?

PRESTON: I don't think so, but we will see what happens.

BLACKWELL: All right, Mark, stay with us. We are going to invite Jason Johnson in, an analyst, and get his views on this and talk more about Donald Trump's interview with CNN last night. Stay with us. We will tell the conversation in a moment.

PAUL: Also ahead, a jury decides life or death for James Holmes, the man who shot and killed 12 people in a Colorado movie theater. We will talk about it.

BLACKWELL: This monster typhoon pounding Taiwan, killing several and injuring dozens more. You'll see more of this devastation.

PAUL: Later, another controversial fatal police shooting. This is an unarmed white teen and a lot of people asking, where's the outrage?




TRUMP: Look, I'm a smart guy. I went to the Wharton School of Finance. I was a really good student and all of that stuff, right? I built an empire. I did the art of the deal and I did "The Apprentice." I had an amazing life. I'm like the smart person so I can handle the toughness question. Give me a question on physics I can handle.


BLACKWELL: Trump said a lot last night during that interview with Don Lemon, controversial Republican candidate hitting back at his opponents, taking on critics who call him thin-skinned.

I'm joined now by CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston, and political analyst and professor at Hiram College, Jason Johnson. Jason, I want to start with you. He says he is a smart guy.


BLACKWELL: Was it necessarily a smart idea to raise his hand and not taking that pledge at the start of the debate?

JOHNSON: He is always on brand. It was a very smart thing for Donald Trump to do.

BLACKWELL: Let me say that that pledge was to not run as a third- party candidate.

JOHNSON: Exactly. Look. He is the Tea Party candidate and Donald Trump, as long as he stays true to himself, he is always making a smart move. You go into a debate, you say you're honest and attack the media and stay on brand and did all of those things.

Even his argument is Megyn Kelly is right on brand with Donald Trump. It's going to engraciate him to the kind of people who've always loved him.

BLACKWELL: Now for the part of the Republican Party that absolutely despises the Clintons and Hillary Clinton's possibilities being the next president of the United States. Will that moment resonate considering what they just went through -- I guess, just what went through, more than 20 years ago in 1992 with another billionaire who stepped in who they blame for handing the White House to the Clintons the first time?

JOHNSON: Well, whenever you look at a political situation you have to say who are the winners and who are the losers, right? So when Donald Trump came out made the disparaging remarks about John McCain at that moment, the winner was Jeb Bush because Donald Trump had been putting all of his fire on Jeb Bush, took a little bit of the heat off.

I think last night when Donald Trump made these comments, the winner, the Republican establishment because now Donald Trump will come under more criticism and a possibility that there will be more of a movement to push him out.

BLACKWELL: OK, we have a sound bite where he talks about breaking from the party. Let's play it.


TRUMP: What happens is, you know, look. I'm leaning as a Republican. Obviously, it's better to run as a Republican. But I'm leading as the Republican. That's what my choice is and if I'm treated fairly and with respect and even if I don't get it, I would, you know, most likely go ahead and not do that.

But if, on the other hand, I'm not, I might very well might. Now, at some point, I may switch over and make everybody happy and I would be happy also. I would say with that being said, I'm being treated very nicely by the RNC and everybody is treating me very nicely. That's what I want. I want a level playing field.


TRUMP: If I get a level playing field, fairness, then it's highly unlikely I do the other which would be you would call a third-party.


BLACKWELL: So he says he is being treated nicely by the RNC and by Reince Priebus. Jason, we spoke this morning before the show. You don't believe he was treated especially fairly during the debate?

JOHNSON: No, I don't think he was treated fairly at all. I think that first question was almost unseemly. It seems that Reince Priebus slid that up there. Tell him that he will not run as a third-party candidate.

[06:15:08] I really feel that a lot of the moderators in particular Chris Wallace were very aggressive with Trump. He was the only person who was asked follow-up questions. I really think they were out to get him.

I have no dog in this fight. I think his supporters very much feel that the establishment is after him and that's something that will help him out down the road.

BLACKWELL: Is that resonating, Mark? Do people in the party believe that as well?

PRESTON: Look, I think that someone like Donald Trump, who wants to draw all of the attention to himself during the debate is going to get all the attention. The elephant in the room ironically in the Republican Party is Donald Trump going to stay as a Republican?

So in many ways the question had to be asked, that question had to be ask, but perhaps not off the top because it certainly, you know, was a right hook.

However, again, I think that a comment like this, you couldn't even find common cause if you can imagine this, between Democrats and Republicans on this comment that he made about Megyn Kelly, certainly women's groups.

BLACKWELL: One other thing he said last night, he talked about the phone call reported by "The Washington Post" between Bill Clinton and Donald Trump before his launch. Let's listen to what he had to say about that.


LEMON: When you and President Clinton spoke, what did you discuss?

TRUMP: Well, that's none of your business, but it was very routine and I will say my mind -- when we spoke, I mean, this is where most of it was written incorrectly, my mind was almost fully made up in other words, I was already going to run.

LEMON: Did he encourage you to run?

TRUMP: No, not at all. In fact, I think he was upset. We really didn't discuss it, but I think he -- look, I am Hillary's worst nightmare. She knows it. He knows it and I think the smart people in politics know it.


BLACKWELL: Miss Fiorina brought that up in the earlier debate saying I didn't get a call from the Clintons before I launched. Is this getting some traction in the party? What is going on with this connection between Trump and the Clintons that was certainly brought up during the debate?

PRESTON: The question is Donald Trump a chameleon certainly on his political affiliation and also his positions? He's come out and said, listen, I've changed my views on pro-life, for instance. He was pro- choice at one point. He is now pro-life.

But there is a question about whether he is a chameleon and he tends to go -- it works well to be a Republican now so he is a Republican. He was once a Democrat and worked well from that point.

BLACKWELL: OK, all right, Jason Johnson and Mark Preston, thanks for staying with us. We are going to, of courses, come back to this topic in just a moment.

Also a programming note, the Republican presidential contenders will debate on CNN next month, Wednesday, September 16th. The Democrats will also hold their first debate right here on CNN. That's on Tuesday, October 13th -- Christi.

PAUL: A massive typhoon strikes Taiwan, killing at least four people and injuring dozens. You're going to see the dramatic video that we are getting in this morning.

Also take a look at this, the Colorado River, yes, it's orange. What is behind this and is it harmful?



PAUL: All righty, a lot of things going on this morning. The estate of Bobbi Kristina Brown has filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against Nick Gordon.

BLACKWELL: They accused Brown's boyfriend of giving the daughter of the late Whitney Houston and the singer, Bobby Brown a toxic cocktail to knock her out and that Gordon placed Brown face down in a bathtub of cold water causing brain damage. Gordon's legal team says the suit is slanderous and meritless.

PAUL: And after 34 years on the run, look at this, a Georgia bank robber is behind bars today. The 60-year-old Willy Austin was captured in South Florida and police say he was living a peaceful life there starting a family and running a furniture business under the alias Larry Jackson. He was serving a 15-year prison term when he escaped back in 1981.

BLACKWELL: Ahead, Donald Trump does it again. He is making new headlines this morning for controversial comments he made about one of the debate moderators on CNN last night -- made the comment last night on CNN. As a result he has been disinvited from a conservative event today.

PAUL: Plus, new warnings this morning that ISIS may be working on the ability to carry out mass casualty attacks. Our military panel is going to weigh in on that potential threat.

BLACKWELL: Later, an unarmed white teen is fatally shot by police and his family is now demanding that his killing be treated like the recent shootings of unarmed black men. That discussion is ahead.

PAUL: First though, this week's culinary journey takes us to Hong Kong to meet Chef Vicky Lau. She won this year's title of Asia's best female chef for her work at a restaurant, Tate Dining Room.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Hong Kong's palace is open and winning providing Chef Vicky Lau with a perfect platform to serve both simple and sophisticated delights at her renowned restaurant, Tate Dining Room.

VICKY LAU, ASIA'S BEST FEMALE CHEF: When I started Tate I just really wanted a small homey place to express myself through food and to tell some stories of things around me and inspirations I've had from poems I've read to places I've been and highlighting different ingredients, kind of edible stories inspired by nature or places and scenes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's Lau's ability to extract meaning and elegance from ingredients that has earned her a mission in style and this year's title as Asia best female chef chosen by a group of 300 food industry experts. Today she is unveiling a spring gastronomy menu.

LAU: The reason my cuisine is French and Asian based is because I was born in Hong Kong, but also raised in the states and studied in the states, so that's why I feel that it's necessary to combine the two things because if you ask me to just cook Chinese food, then I would think of it in a western kind of way as well.

And I'm not from the western world so I cannot just do something fully western, so might as well just cook something that is your own character. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The encounters and experiences which took place transfer to the plate with meticulous care. Each dish, a story she has collected.

[06:25:05] A dessert dedicated to urban beekeepers, a Zen garden born from Japanese tradition. Lau believes the feeling to the connection to the food enhances the eating experience.


PAUL: Watch the full show at Stay close.




TRUMP: You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.


BLACKWELL: Yes, after those controversial comments from Donald Trump, the breaking news this morning, the GOP frontrunner has been disinvited from a major Republican gathering today.

Event organizers call his comments about Megyn Kelly, one of the moderators, wrong and over the line. Trump's campaign has since responded and this is part of it.

"This is another example of weakness through being politically correct. For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr. Trump coming, we will miss you."

PAUL: Meanwhile, today, Republicans take the stage in a couple of hours now at the Red State gathering. Big topic already is the fight against terrorists and preventing lone wolf attacks.

Last night candidate, Carly Fiorina said the U.S. missed critical clues to prevent attacks and Senator Marco Rubio said the U.S. has to do better to protect itself.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have the spread of radical jihadists and it isn't just ISIS. Al Qaeda is still in business. They didn't become stockbrokers.


RUBIO: They are still looking to kill Americans.

CARLY FIORINA, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you look at every single lone wolf terrorist-inspired attack that we have seen in this nation from Major Hasan to the Boston Marathon bombers, every single one of those attacks, we had clues. People knew something was wrong, and when we know something is wrong and we have clues, we should be trying to figure out who these people are and what they are going to do next.


PAUL: We are going to dig into that with our military experts Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis and CNN military analyst Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona in just a moment.

BLACKWELL: First, we have new information this morning about ISIS. Some in the U.S. intelligence community warn that ISIS may be shifting its strategy from encouraging these lone wolf attacks.

PAUL: They are now worried that ISIS is trying to increase its ability to carry out strikes that kill mass numbers of people. Here is CNN's chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, the thinking had been that ISIS focuses on small lone wolf attacks, al Qaeda tag groups like AQAP focus on the mass casualty attacks, but there was now a debate, it was in the intelligence community some warning that ISIS is looking to build the capacity to carry out mass casualty attacks greatly increasing the threat from the group.



SCIUTTO: From the bloody rampage in Paris on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, to attacks on commercial aviation ...


SCIUTTO: U.S. intelligence community divided on whether ISIS today focused on less ambitious lone wolf attacks and maybe working to build the capability to carry out mass casualty attacks. More complex, more coordinated, more deadly. The motivation, in part, to compete with AQAP, that same competition was evident this week when AQAP made its own pitch to supporters to carry out lone wolf attacks, but, so far, have been largely ISIS's territory.

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.) CNN MILITARY ANALYST: So, I think they are taking a lot of the new recruits if they don't have time to train who have not been brought up in their systems and they are using them to create the kind of mass casualty, which produces the media attention that exactly is what they want that shows they are still powerful.

SCIUTTO: U.S. intelligence assesses that the formidable flow of foreign fighters to ISIS has not abated.

CROWD: Allahu akbar!

SCIUTTO: Today, the total number of ISIS fighters numbers between 20,000 and 30,000 similar to levels when the U.S.-led air campaign began. Despite thousands believed killed in coalition air strikes. Turkey, the prime transit point into Syria, is still struggling to stem the flow, however, the U.S. believes it's agreement to allow U.S. air strikes from a Turkish air base and help establish a safe zone along the border indicate that Istanbul is stepping up. The administration is also claiming gains on the ground.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: In Iraq, ISIL has lost the freedom to operate in some 30 percent of the territory that they held last summer. Over all, ISIL has lost more than 17,000 square kilometers of territory in northern Syria.

SCIUTTO: Still, U.S. officials say the process of degrading ISIS will take at least three years. In fact, the president pledging no specific timeline for defeating the group. Not disputing that he will hand this war to the next president.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think my key goal when I turn over the keys to the president, the next president is that we are on track to defeat ISIL.


SCIUTTO: Now, one group the U.S. has been having success against, that is the Khorasan group, it's an off-shoot of al Qaeda present in Syria at the start of the U.S.-led air campaign, U.S. officials had said that possible attacks from the Khorasan group were imminent. They say that now because of the pressure they have been putting the group under that is no longer the case. The group still exists, of course, it is still a threat, but no longer an imminent threat. Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Jim, thank you so much.

Listen, in June, we saw three terror attacks in one day across the globe. I want to get to our experts here. So glad to have you with us. Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona. Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis, I want to start with you. Do you see a new tactic in ISIS in terms of the possibility of these mass casualty attacks and how might the U.S. need to modify its strategy?

BOB MAGINNIS: Yeah, Christi, outside of the Middle East, if, in fact, that is the transition that ISIS is making, yes, that is a change because they have been focused on the establishment of their caliphate.


MAGINNIS: Not only in Iraq and Syria, but expanding it throughout the region. Should they come after, much like al Qaeda has in the past with mass attacks, mass casualties being the intent, that communicates something very different and, yes, it is a very significant shift in strategy. They do have a lot of resources, they have a lot of social media influence across the world so these are issues that are intelligence communities going to rapidly try to understand and, obviously, put our forces in a posture that they can prevent such things like this happening, whether it's an airline attack or attack in a mall or whatever it may be.

PAUL: Lieutenant Colonel Francona, a mass casualty attack would certainly require a lot of structure, a lot of coordination. How prepared do you think ISIS is to do that on a large scale?

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Right. Now, they are not, but they are gathering that capability. And I do believe that Jim is correct and what Bob says is they are changing their tactics now because they have territory. They can build camps. They can - they own territory. They can begin this training and they can start to acquire the technology and all of the materials they are going to need. In the past, as Bob said, they were focused on acquiring that territory, fighting the Iraqis, fighting the Syrians. Now they own this space and they are going to use that as a springboard. But, you know, we have known for a long time what their intentions are.

PAUL: OK, I think we are freezing up there with him. I do want to - and we are going to get Lieutenant Colonel Francona back here in just a minute. But Colonel Maginnis, I want to change - change up here a little bit and get to the political arena. Senator Ted Cruz. He said this about ISIS and the U.S. strategy to defeat them. Let's listen.


SEN. TED CRUZ: I asked General Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, what would be required militarily to destroy ISIS. He said there is no military solution. We need to change the conditions on the ground so that young men are not in poverty and susceptible to radicalization. That, with all due respect, is nonsense. It's the same answer the State Department gave that we need to give them jobs. What we need is a commander-in-chief who makes clear if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant.

PAUL: All right. First of all, Colonel Maginnis, what are your thoughts on that?

COL. MAGINNIS: There are two factors here, Christi. There is no question, as you introduced the piece here that they have 20,000 to 30 thousand fighters and those numbers have not changed radically for about the last year. They need to be killed or they need to be removed from the battlefield. But also, we have to recognize as the Special Operations command has made very clear, that they continue to pull jihadists from across the world. So part of what Cruz is saying here is that we have got to shut that off. We have got to keep people from certainly the United States, Western Europe, elsewhere, from flooding into Syria, much less coming back to the homeland and endangering our lives. So you've got to fight the ideological, but at the time, you have got to cut off the flow. And so, it's a multi- prong effort here. And General Dempsey, you know, to his credit, he understands that we can kill people left and right, but we have to stop the flow and this more is ideological that it is just a kinetic type of operation.

PAUL: Colonel Francona, you get the last word on what was said there. And how did you cut off that flow? FRANCONA: As he said, it's not only a military solution when I think

we are making great - by shutting off that flows in Turkey. Turkey is the main transit point and I think we have had a diplomatic success in finally coming to an agreement with the Turks. Not only we are going to have access to the Turkish air bases, but the Turks have committed to shut off that flow. And once that happens, I think you're going to see a decrease in the number of fighters as we kill them -- just a process of attrition will lower those numbers, but it's going to take time. And we have to give the Turks credit and because the Turks are going to incur the wrath of ISIS so they are in this now. And I think that that is the first step.

PAUL: OK. Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis, so grateful to have you voices in this. Thank you for being with us, gentlemen.

BLACKWELL: Up next, the controversial shooting of an unarmed white teen by police in South Carolina. Now, the family is calling for this incident to get as much attention as the recent shootings of unarmed black men.

Also, a popular football player is cut from the team over his conduct. CNN's Coy Wire has a preview. Coy?


COY WIRE: Aldon Smith was let go from the team after his fifth run-in with the law since being drafted in 2011. When it comes to our sports topic today, this is where we want to get you involved. Using hashtag "NewDayCNN," how many opportunities should star athletes get when they mess up?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Sarina Williams' coach Patrick Mortoglu isn't helping to shape the game of the world's top women's star, chances are he is overseeing the expansion of his own tennis camp in France. He is pouring time and plenty of money into a project that will make it one of a kind.

: It's a very big investment, of course. But I think it's worth because we have a lot of players. We don't have the same culture getting this as Australians or Americans. But I think there's a space for one or two big academies in Europe besides that you have a lot of players here who have - study full time, who do school and - practice at our academy for a full year shows the ability - to do it and that's now is going to be the biggest in Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The camp will feature 34 courts, including indoors courts which have been very scarce in this part of Europe even for the world's best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember a few months ago, Djokovic who's living in Monte Carlo called me and he says look, I'm looking for an indoor court because it was raining. Where can I play? There are zero.



CHIEF JOHN COVINGTON, SENECA POLICE: It's a horrible situation. I mean, you get put in a predicament sometimes.


COVINGTON: You know when you sign up to be a police officer that potential is there during your career that you might have to use deadly force.


BLACKWELL: An unarmed teenager killed by police. An officer there in South Carolina. This incident happened almost two weeks ago now. The question -- why are we talking about it this morning?

PAUL: Well, the victim's parents say it's because that victim was white.


PAUL HAMMOND, ZACHARY HAMMOND'S FATHER: I definitely believe it would have been -- it would have been a white officer and a black 19 -- unarmed 19-year-old and I believe it would have got -- quickly got national attention.

ERIC BLAND, ATTORNEY: You have a 19-year-old kid who weighs 121 pounds that's unarmed and he's shot from the rear and for the public not to be in an uproar over that and whether it's predicated on his skin color or not, really is hypocritical.


BLACKWELL: Nick Valencia is following this story for us this morning. A lot of unanswered questions. What happened?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It sounds like a familiar story, but in this case, the victim was white. The family convinced that if he was black, this would be getting more attention. This all happened a couple - a couple of weeks ago, late July. Zachary Hammond, 19- years old, he is on a date with 23-year old Tory Mortin (ph) who was the target of a drug sting. When Seneca police department showed up, their guns were drawn and they say that prompted that 19 year-old that you are looking at there, to accelerate his car towards them. That prompted the police officer to open fire. An autopsy was conducted this week that showed that 19-year-old was shot twice. The family went forward and they did their own independent autopsy and that, they say, showed that the car was not moving at the time and that Hammond was shot twice in the back. Shortly after this incident happened, the police chief gave an interview to local media saying that his police officer was the real victim in this case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COVINGTON: A uniformed officer was in a marked vehicle, was out of his vehicle on foot approaching the suspect vehicle, weapon drawn, given it was a narcotics stop violation attempting to arrest the driver when the driver accelerated and came toward the officer. He fired two shots in self-defense.


VALENCIA: Now, it's those comments by the police chief that's enraged the family. They say that they have been insensitive - Seneca police department has been insensitive since the beginning. Have not offered condolences. And we should mention that that officer involved in this, he is a ten-year veteran and he has not had any disciplinary marks against him. The South Carolina law enforcement division is still investigating this. We are trying to get you dashcam video they have not released that - that could make all the difference in this case.

PAUL: Yeah, we know it exists. All right. Nick Valencia, thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: The breaking developments overnight, Trump dumped from a big Republican event this weekend all over a controversial comment he made about a debate moderator. Trump made the comments on CNN last night. That story is coming up at the top of the hour.

PAUL: Also, a jury chooses life over death for James Holmes, the man who shot and killed 12 people in a Colorado movie theater. New this morning, we hear from a juror who had to make that emotional decision.



BLACKWELL: New this morning. James Holmes, the man who shot and killed 12 people in a Colorado theater will spend the rest of his life in prison without a chance of parole. CNN's Ana Cabrera has details.

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, Victor, life in prison without parole is now the sentence for the man convicted of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. And it's the result of a long and emotional trial. 15 weeks 306 witnesses who testified, more than 2600 pieces of evidence admitted, and the jury deliberating for just under seven hours on whether James Holmes should live or die concluding that they do not - were not able to reach a unanimous verdict. And as a result, James Holmes will receive life in prison without parole for killing 12 people inside that crowded movie theater in July of 2012 and wounding 70 others.

Now, all along, the prosecution had argued justice is death. While the defense urged mercy, saying James Holmes was mentally ill and is mentally ill and you don't kill a sick person. Even though this jury did convict him on all counts of murder and attempted murder, saying that they believe he understood right from wrong at the time of the crime. This jury also heard from several mental health experts who testified that James Holmes does, indeed, suffer severe mental illness and perhaps that was a big part of the deliberations. Though, again, the punishment for this crime, life in prison without parole. And it concludes more than three years that the families of the loved ones killed have been waiting for justice and at the very least, this brings some closure.


DAVE HOOVER, VICTIM ALEXANDER BAILIC'S UNCLE: Tomorrow, the sun is going to come up. We are going to have a little more pain, a little more hurt in our lives, but the sun will come up and there will still be love in our lives. We have to remember that. We have to remember the victims.

SANDY PHILLIPS, VICTIM JESSICA GHAWI'S MOTHER: We didn't lose loved ones. Our loved ones were ripped from us and they were slaughtered in that movie theater, but the jury chose another way and we have to accept that.


CABRERA: To add some more perspective, a death sentence in Colorado is relatively rare. In fact, there has only been one person executed in this state in the past 50 years or so, back in 1997 was the last execution. And currently there are only three people on Colorado's death row and ironically, they were all sentenced in this very county. Christi, Victor.

PAUL: Ana, thank you so much. Joey Jackson, HLN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney with us now. So, we are hearing all these reports. So many people in the community were surprised by the sentence. First of all, were you?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I really was, Christi, good morning to you. But I think there's two perspectives. I was surprised, because on the one hand you think if you kill 12 people in a movie theater in the manner, in which he did, the planning, the plotting, dressing up in body armor and letting off a canister of gas, and, you know, and then, of course, there are 70 others, lest, we forget that are injured, if this doesn't merit the death penalty, then what does? And of course, that was my initial reaction. Then the other perspective, Christi, and we heard it from Ana Cabrera there is that, basically, since it's so rare in Colorado, you have to wonder, even if they did pronounce death, would it have been carried out and, therefore, would it have been only largely symbolic?


PAUL: Let's play some sound here from one of the jurors and then talk we'll talk about it on the other side.


ROSALINA NIEVES, HOLMES TRIAL JUROR: We did our best to come to a unanimous verdict, of course. And it was not possible. There was one firm holdout against the death penalty and two that were still in the process of discussing. They were on the fence. But I don't know if they could have been swayed or not.


PAUL: All right. So one was a definitive holdout for them. Do you believe that there might have been a stealth juror in this case?

JACKSON: You know, it's always hard to know and I'm sure that matter will be investigated and you might recall, Christi, us speaking about another case that being Jodi Arias in Arizona. Similar outcome where there was one juror who potentially could have been a stealth juror, a planted juror, however you'd like to call it, who held out and said no, I'm not going to vote for death and so here we go again in another case.

However, that juror that we just saw questioned there, I believe it was juror 17, felt, in a follow-up question, that the person who voted and said, listen, there's no way I'm going with death, she felt, at least from her perspective, that it was genuine and sincerely held belief that, in fact, it was just this juror's perspective that that is not the way they can go. And let's not also forget that although mental illness did not work in terms of the defense to find him insane, it could have very well worked here where it could have been what we call a mitigating factor to that juror to say, listen, there is mental illness here. Perhaps, we want more forward in this way.

And the Supreme Court by the way, Christi, also has weighed in on that issue and found it cruel and unusual. So, who knows again whether even if they did pronounce death, that is this jury, whether or not he would have actually gotten the death penalty in the years to come based on the appeals.

PAUL: Well, and not only that, but, you know, we hear that it took seven hours, the jury made no eye contact with anybody as they walked back into the courtroom right before it was announced. Why couldn't the judge rule differently if he had - I mean was that not an option? Does protocol just immediately default to life in prison, if there is no unanimous decision?

JACKSON: That's right, Christi. Two things if I could mention. You know, it's always interesting when you're defending people, even as a prosecutor, you could take so much away from the eye contact of that jury when they walk into the room if they are making eye contact with you and your client, what it means versus them not. Number one. Number two, in terms of the judge and what the judge's role is, we know that if you're going to pronounce death and each state does it differently but when it comes to, that it's a juror's decision and it's a jury collectively to make that decision. And if they don't and if they don't make it in a unanimous way, there are 12, we know there were nine women and three men, then what happens, of course, is it defaults and it's a life sentence without the possibility of parole. We know there will be a hearing coming up and the victims again will have an opportunity to talk about what this loss has really meant to them, their lives, their families, and the community.

PAUL: Yes. I cannot imagine. Joey Jackson, I appreciate your insight, sir. Thank you. JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Turning now to sports. The San Francisco 49ers cut outside linebacker Aldon Smith after he was arrested Thursday night for hit and run, DUI and vandalism. But Smith football career has been marred by off the field problems. He was suspended for nine games last season for violating the NFL's personal conduct and substance abuse policies.

PAUL: Coy Wire has more, of course, on this. Hey, Coy.

WIRE: Good morning, guys. This is what part of the show we want you guys to get involved. We are going to take your comments and hear your thoughts on this. But Aldon Smith is the heck of the player, one of the best defensive players in pass rushes in the league when he's at the top of his game. He set a franchise record with 19 1/2 sacks on 2012. Life on the field has been great, off of it, it has been grim. He missed the nine games you mentioned last season, then in 2013 season he underwent treatment at an inpatient facility after a DUI. Later that year he pleaded not guilty on three felony accounts for illegal possession of an assault weapon. Then last April at LAX he was going through secondary screening at TSA check point. He became uncooperative, said he had a bomb. Just trouble seems to follow him.

Now, the 49ers gave him second chance after second chance after second chance. And the question we ask you how many is too many? How often should we give these players second chances when they mess up? What kind of message are team owners saying when they continually bring these players back, give them a roster spot when there are plenty others who are walking a straight line doing the right thing. So, use the #new day CNN. How many opportunities are too many when you have players doing things that they shouldn't be doing?

PAUL: All right. Looking forward to hearing that. Coy, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Coy.

PAUL: And there is so much more news to get to you today.

BLACKWELL: The next hour of your "NEW DAY" starts right now.


TRUMP: Lightweight. I couldn't care less about her.


BLACKWELL: We are following breaking news this morning.


BLACKWELL: Donald Trump continuing to lash out after the first big GOP debate. His comments on "CNN Tonight" sparking a conservative event to call his invitation.