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Effort to Train Rebels in Trouble; Sunday Marks One Year since Michael Brown's Death; S.C. Officers Shoots, Kills Unarmed White Teen; Trump Dumped From Conservative Event. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired August 8, 2015 - 08:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Should probably just get one chance, especially when it comes to the danger that follows him around." Now John, Mike, Andy and Darren on the Facebook page, we see you, Michelle, Bob and Judith also on Twitter, we will get to you. We'll have more comments in the next hour. Use #newdayCNN or visit our Facebook page. We love when you join the conversation.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We certainly do. Cory Wire, thank you so much.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: All right, stay right here. We've got a busy morning of news.

PAUL: Yes, the next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone): She's a lightweight. I couldn't care less about her.


BLACKWELL: We are following breaking news. Donald Trump continuing to lash out after the first big GOP debate. His comments on CNN last night sparking a conservative gathering to pull his invitation.


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


PAUL: Organizers of the event calling Trump hostile, saying Trump's criticism of a Fox debate moderator crossed the line of decency, calling his actions just plain wrong.

BLACKWELL: Trump blaming his ouster on weakness and political correctness, dismissing the gathering's importance and vowing to make another campaign stop today.

PAUL: Whoo! What a morning it's been already. We're so grateful to have you along for the ride. I'm Christi Paul. BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's always good to start a Saturday with you.

PAUL: Yes, so let's talk about this reaction today to the breaking news that we've been following all morning, Donald Trump disinvited from a conservative event after comments that he made last night on CNN. The comments were about debate moderator, Megyn Kelly.

Now, if you'll remember, during that debate, she pressed Trump about past controversial comments concerning women. Here's what Trump said about Kelly to CNN's Don Lemon.


TRUMP: I don't have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly. She's a lightweight. And you know, she came out there reading her little script and trying to, you know, be tough and be sharp.

And when you meet her, you realize she's not very tough and she's not very sharp. She's zippo. Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her. I don't think she's very good. I think she's highly overrated.

But when I come out there, what am I doing? I'm not getting paid for this. I go out there, and you know, they start saying lift up your arm if you're going to -- and then, you know, I didn't know there would be 24 million people.

I figured, but I knew it was going to be a big crowd because I get big crowds, I get ratings. They call me the ratings machine. So, I have -- you know, she gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. And you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.


BLACKWELL: All right, a spokesman for Trump had this to say after learning that he was kicked out of the event, quote, "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."

All right, joining us now to discuss Trump's comments and the event's decision to rescind this invitation is Amanda Munoz. She is one of the organizers of today's Red State gathering.

First, your reaction to Mr. Trump's comments about -- the response to the rescinding of the invitation.

AMANDA MUNOZ, ORGANIZER, REDSTATE GATHERING: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: Sure. Good morning.

MUNOZ: Well, the response to Mr. Trump's comments, just plain inappropriate, plain and simple. We're very sorry to have to disinvite him for this, but we're looking forward to having a great day, day two of the Red State gathering. It's been an amazing event so far, and we've got a lot more good stuff to come today.

BLACKWELL: So, do you stand by Erick Erickson's comments in the past that have been quite controversial, calling the Democratic convention vagina monologues, saying that, you know, using the term feminazis and describing some as too ugly to get a date, that ugly women go back to the kitchen? I mean, if he describes what Mr. Trump has said is sexist, how does he then, you know, justify his own comments?

MUNOZ: You know, Erick is a brand all on his own. He's a very influential conservative writer, and as part of town hall media, the umbrella organization, I'm part of a team of journalists who have varying opinions on just about everything.

So, here today at the gathering, we're focused on having an excited, positive message for conservatives who are really looking forward to putting forward a nominee who can get us through to 2016.

BLACKWELL: I understand that, and you are with a group who is now aligned with Red State, and you've come on to speak about this decision to rescind the invitation, but I'll take another turn of that question.

Erick Erickson, who has said that this has crossed a line, has made comments of his own. Do you believe that Erick Erickson should apologize for those comments that some should have called sexist?

MUNOZ: Erick can speak for himself, and he does. Erick's a father. He's a husband and he represents our team well.

[08:05:05] He took a stand for women last night and he took a stand for the Republican Party, and quite frankly, the country in general. We just don't stand for misogynistic messages, and we're looking forward to having a great day.

BLACKWELL: OK, so, let me ask you this, what do you believe the impact of the comments that Donald Trump made here on CNN last night will be on Republican women, registered Republican voters in the last CNN poll, picked him over every other candidate running this year. What will be the impact?

MUNOZ: I think we'll start seeing the frontrunners come out. This is just the beginning. We have a very, very busy primary season and we're going to see the other players move forward. The game's just beginning, so we'll see folks pulling forward and moving back as months go on.

BLACKWELL: All right. National committee communications director for the RNC, Sean Spicer, was asked about Mr. Trump's comments this morning on "Today." Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you renounce those comments then? SEAN SPICER, RNC NATIONAL COMMITTEE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Look, I know -- my job is not to renounce comments or not. I think he needs to clarify that. If he stands by them, that is highly inappropriate. I'm hoping that Mr. Trump, because he does speak off the cuff, because he doesn't ascribe to political correctness, was speaking in a way that wasn't fully thought out, but he needs to clarify that first thing this morning.


BLACKWELL: Do you expect or are you hoping for a stronger response from the party about Mr. Trump's comments?

MUNOZ: You know, I think Trump speaks for himself. We asked for a clarification last night. We just didn't get it. So, the party as a whole will move forward. I think you'll see the other candidates come out. We saw Carly Fiorina support Megyn Kelly last night. So, I think this is a great opportunity for the other folks in the lineup to really take a stand on what they think they want the party to represent moving forward.

BLACKWELL: All right. Amanda Munoz, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

MUNOZ: Thanks for being here.

BLACKWELL: And we'll talk more about Red State throughout the morning.

MUNOZ: Wonderful. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: All right, and we should point out, you know, we've been looking at Twitter and what people are saying today as well. Somebody tweeted back to Erick Erickson when he had announced that he had rescinded the invitation to Donald Trump, "then I hereby rescind the last shred of support for you and Red State."

So, I think as we look at this, you have to wonder if this is going to hurt Red State, the fact that they rescinded. We had Ben Ferguson on earlier saying this is just bringing more attention to it.

BLACKWELL: And plays right into his narrative, Trump.

PAUL: And plays right into his game plan, essentially.

BLACKWELL: Yes, yes. Let's bring in CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston, live outside, where today's event will take place. So, we heard from someone with, or a group who's part of this event today, and lots of reaction coming in from both sides.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Yes, no doubt. I mean, listen, since this happened so late last night, Victor, I think a lot of people here are waking up and just finding out about it themselves. And it will be interesting to see now over the next couple of hours how folks here interpret what Mr. Trump said. The folks here tend to support Mr. Trump's really blunt style and his antiestablishment talk.

So, it will be interesting to hear what they have to say that he has been disinvited to attend this event.

BLACKWELL: So, let's talk more about the event. What are we expecting to hear and see today?

PRESTON: So, what we have here is about between 900 and 1,000 activists. They come from all across the country. These are primarily conservatives, social conservatives in many ways.

They come here to talk politics and policy, but they're mostly going to hear from nine presidential candidates, candidates who just debated on Thursday night in Cleveland, but yet, they felt it was important to come down here to talk to this group. And the reason why is because these are the folks, Victor, that go

back home, they're the ones who knock on doors, make telephone calls, talk to their friends. This is what you would call the Republican base.

We talk about the Republican base a lot. The folks here that are attending this conference really are the base of the party.

BLACKWELL: This morning from GOP rival Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, who spoke at the event last night, she's tweeting comments, saying that "I stand with Megyn Kelly. Mr. Trump, there is no excuse."

Do you think Fiorina the next time at the CNN debate, that that will be, I don't want to say confrontation, but that will be the exchange that most people will be looking forward to?

PRESTON: Well, I mean, it remains to be seen whether Carly Fiorina will qualify to be on the debate stage with Donald Trump. On Thursday night, she did appear in the Fox debate, but she appeared in the first part of the Fox debate.

She did not appear on stage with Donald Trump, who is the front-runner for the Republican nomination. Really, what's going to be interesting, too, to see is over the next couple of hours, will we start to see the other rivals for the Republican presidential nomination coming out and being critical of Donald Trump?

[08:10:06] They'll have the opportunity. Several of them are coming here to speak -- Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, they'll all have the opportunity and surely will be asked that question from the stage, whether they agree with what Donald Trump said last night about Megyn Kelly.

BLACKWELL: All right, Mark Preston there outside where the event will be held today. Thank you so much.

PRESTON: Thanks, Victor. PAUL: All righty. And we certainly appreciate all the thoughts that are coming in on this because they are being tweeted fast and furious, and we love to hear from you. So, please go ahead and let us know your thoughts as well. They're important to us.

You know, with all the controversy, too, over these remarks, not just last night but even at the Republican debate, the big question is, are there going to be changes in the way that candidates handle the next debate?

BLACKWELL: Yes, coming up, we'll take a look at debate strategies and what Donald Trump can do to possibly improve his image.

Also, France is expanding its search off Reunion Island for debris from missing flight MH-370. The latest here in a moment.



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: With every experience you learn something, what did you learn from this experience?

TRUMP: Nothing. I mean, just that -- what did I learn? I went in, I did a great job. I was asked really nasty questions by people that are not nice people.


PAUL: Donald Trump there giving some of the lessons he says he learned from Thursday night's debate. With the next debate here at CNN just one month away, are we going to see a different Trump? Will he start working on his technique or are we going to see what we've seen up to this point, which some people really appreciate?

The questions clearly are not going to get any easier as they are asked to the candidates. So, let's talk about this with Ed Lee because he is a debate director at Emory University.

And first of all, I wanted to ask you, and thank you for being here, Ed.


PAUL: What was your initial takeaway after Thursday's debate, specifically of Donald Trump?

[08:15:04] LEE: I initially thought that he was in over his heels, that the debate is a stage where people are interested in substance, having a conversation about policy choices, and that he is an entertainer. He is interested in theatrics.

And that in three hours gets old, particularly when it's being contrasted by politicians who were forwarding some policy suggestions and engaging in a way that met the expectations for the debate format. PAUL: We should say, though, people resonated, or Trump resonated with an awful lot of people. He is still, as far as we can tell based on polls, the frontrunner. This is, in fact, how Trump says that he's preparing for the September debate now on CNN.


TRUMP: Why should I prepare differently? You know, preparing for debate is hard because there's so much knowledge you have to have that you wouldn't be able to prepare. I mean, you can't, you know, study in one week what you've learned over a lifetime. (END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: If you were able to sit down with Trump, if he was open to getting some advice, what would you say to him?

LEE: I would say two things. One is that you've capped where you're at in the polls, that you do --

PAUL: You don't think he's going to go any further?

LEE: No, not with the current strategy. That he does have a way to contrast himself with the other candidates, that he can speak about being a job-creator. He can speak about being the sole businessperson who's in the race who can actually win at this particular juncture.

And that is something that would resonate with a larger pool of folks who are out there in the voting public. At this particular juncture, the vitriol, the bombastic language, the toting the line and carrying the torch of sort of being the hyper masculine defender of incivility, it's not going to get him any closer or any higher than the 20 percent that he's at, and it runs a risk of reducing that.

PAUL: Well, let's talk about this, he's not the only candidate who's on that stage. There may be candidates standing there thinking, how am I going to get my time in, you know, when he is garnering all the attention that he is. What would you say to other candidates to make sure that their voices are heard in the debates?

LEE: It depends on where the candidates are in the polls. I think that John Kasich did a fantastic job, and the reason why some people are talking about him now is that he contrasted himself very well with Donald Trump and being hyper aggressive.

His folksy, commonsensical ways of engaging in politics was awesome, because there are so many other people who were being very aggressive in the way in which they engaged each other, whether it was Trump or Rand Paul or Chris Christie, that John Kasich came off as being quite refreshing.

PAUL: You know, what happens to, as we look at what's happened since the debate and what's happening just overnight and moving forward, all of the riffraff, all of the name-calling that's happening -- what happened to respectful debating? It's almost as though it's gone out the window because it doesn't garner attention.

LEE: I think that in some ways you're asking me a question about sort of a larger set of cultural dynamics that are at play.

PAUL: Yes, yes.

LEE: That in many ways that social media has come to inform the way in which we engage each other, that it's the creation of a persona, and we no longer exist in a society where we have filters and the notion of respectability is maligned. Donald Trump even said, I don't have time for pc. America doesn't have time for pc.

PAUL: Do you see what -- do you believe what we're hearing from him is political correctness, or is it beyond that?

LEE: I believe that it is not just a rejection of political correctness, but it is endemic of a set of social norms, particularly in dealing with women, that doesn't see women as having the capacity to lead or having -- or even being in a place in which women should -- we should entertain their voices. And I think that it's a larger problem that the Republican Party is seeing and even responding to this morning.

PAUL: Interesting. We'll have to see how it all plays out. Ed Lee, we appreciate your insight. Thank you for being here.

LEE: Thank you for having me.

PAUL: Sure. A reminder, the next GOP debate, September 16th right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: A powerful typhoon is leaving behind widespread damage in Taiwan. We've got these massive floods, landslides, and there are some pretty dramatic rescues happening right now. We've got the latest developments there.

Also, look at this, sparks here, fire coming out of an American Airlines jet, the engine here. We'll explain this in a moment.



PAUL: All right, here's what we're talking about today.

BLACKWELL: It's 23 minutes after the hour. France is expanding its search off Reunion Island for debris from missing Flight MH-370. A military plane will conduct flights over the waters there. And security forces will carry out foot patrols as well as helicopter and naval searches continue.

The increased activity was ordered after a wing part was found on the island last week, which French and Malaysian officials say are from the vanished Boeing 777.

PAUL: Now, listen, if you've been on a plane, wondering what you think as you look at this. Sparks and fire coming out of an American Airlines plane engine. A passenger in the plane shot this video. Thankfully, that Airbus 320 was able to land, make an emergency landing in Philadelphia, specifically, and there were no reported injuries.

BLACKWELL: James Holmes will spend the rest of his life in prison. The jury could not reach a unanimous sentencing verdict for the death penalty. You'll remember, Holmes admitted to killing 12 people and injuring 70 others during this 2012 shooting rampage at an Aurora movie theater, but he pleaded not guilty because of insanity.

PAUL: A typhoon is barreling towards China now, this after pounding Taiwan with fierce winds and heavy rain. Take a look at what it was dealing with. At least four people have died as a result of this storm. And among them, a mother and a daughter who were swept away in the sea. The girl's twin sister is also missing. That typhoon injured dozens of others.

BLACKWELL: And to find out how you can help the people there in Taiwan recover from the typhoon, go to our website, Our "Impact Your World" page has links to the organizations on the ground there in the hardest hit areas. Again, it's

PAUL: Ahead, the story we're covering this morning, Donald Trump making headlines yet again for controversial comments that he made just last night about one of the debate moderators. He did it here on CNN. And as a result, he's been disinvited from a conservative event today.

[08:25:11] BLACKWELL: Plus, new warnings this morning. ISIS may be working on the ability to carry out mass casualty attacks. Our military panel weighs in on the potential threat.




TRUMP: You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.


PAUL: Breaking news this morning after those controversial comments from Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner made the remarks on CNN just last night concerning debate moderator, Megyn Kelly.

Well, as a result, Trump's been booted from a Republican gathering tonight, and event organizers call his comments about Kelly wrong and over the line.

We are waiting for Red State's Erick Erickson, who disinvited Trump from that event, to speak publicly about his decision. He's expected to do so at any time, and we're going to take those comments live when he steps up to the podium.

[08:29:50] We're also following some breaking news. A defense official telling CNN one American service member was killed in yesterday's attack on Camp Integrity in Afghanistan. A suspected suicide bomber killed a total of nine people in the attack.

A U.S. official says the bomb was followed by insurgents with small arms and two insurgents were killed as well. The base houses U.S. and coalition troops that help train Afghan forces there.

A senior U.S. intelligence official tells CNN ISIS may be trying to increase its capability to carry out mass casualty attacks. Obviously, this would be a significant shift in their strategy, and so far, they've been focused, of course, on encouraging lone wolf attacks.

BLACKWELL: Well, the U.S. effort to train rebels in Syria to fight ISIS is also running into trouble. A senior U.S. intelligence official tells CNN that the relatively few rebels that have been trained are in disarray, they're missing, or they're deserting their units.

Let's dig into all this with our military experts: Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis, and CNN military analyst Lt. Col. Rick Francona. Good to have you both back with us.



BLACKWELL: So, I want to start with you, Lt. Col. Francona. Why do you expect that this is happening? There were so few -- I think the number was 60 of these Syrian rebels that had been trained for tens of millions of dollars. Why is this happening? FRANCONA: Yes, this is a real problem. And if you talk to people at

the Pentagon, they say the problem has been the vetting. They don't want to train anybody that's going to end up going over to the other side.

But I think what we're seeing with this initial cadre that went back in, that's exactly what has happened. Many of them were kidnapped, a lot of them deserted. They came with the intent that we were going to train them, they were going to go back and fight ISIS. When their real intention all along was to go back and fight the al Assad government.

So, this thing has just been poorly run, poorly managed and poorly executed from the get-go. It is a failure and we need to step back and start over.

BLACKWELL: All right. Lt. Col. Maginnis, I want you to listen to what Republican White House hopeful Senator Rand Paul said and we'll talk about it on the other side.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've been fighting amidst a lot of opposition from both Hillary Clinton as well as some Republicans who wanted to send arms to the allies of ISIS. ISIS rides around in $1 billion worth of U.S. Humvees. It's a disgrace. We have to stop it. We shouldn't fund our enemies, for goodness sakes. So, we didn't create ISIS. ISIS created themselves, but we will stop them. And one of the ways we stop them is by not funding them and by not arming them.


BLACKWELL: So, the senator says that the U.S. should not arm and fund ISIS. I'm sure all people would agree with that. Is this a straw man or does he have some larger points that you agree with here?

MAGINNIS: Well, the issue here, Victor, is that, of course, we equip the Iraqis, who lost a lot of equipment in Mosul when ISIS went in; the same thing in Ramadi. They just kind of left and ISIS took over a lot of equipment. And now, you know, we've spent $42 million of the $500 million allocation for the rebels that were trained and now have disappeared from the battlefield or captured by al Nusra -- the al Qaeda affiliate. It doesn't look good.

And yet, you know, what alternative do we have? The President's strategy is very clear -- air campaign and then use indigenous forces on the ground. The Iraqis we're still training. The Syrians are very disappointing at this point.

And Rick is right, it's very difficult to vet these people and to ensure that they're going to do what they're supposed to do.

Ash Carter, the Secretary of Defense, was over there a couple of weeks ago, over in Iraq, trying to ascertain the will of the Iraqi security forces to do the fight. And that's hard to measure. So, what do you do? You want to send American troops over there? I don't think we have a taste for that. But yet, you've got to have ground forces supported by air forces if you're going to destroy ISIS, which I think ultimately is what the President wants to do.

BLACKWELL: Colonel Francona, quickly, on this shift of ISIS from these lone wolf attacks to mass casualty attacks. One of the things that we've heard from intelligence analysts and from those who know the group well is that this was very effective to simply put out the call and have people attack where they are. If they shift to these mass casualty attacks, there will be the chatter that investigators can use to try to capture them in the planning, is that right?

FRANCONA: Well, you would hope so. And I don't think it's a shift, Victor, I think it's more of an addition. They're going to continue doing what works, and the lone wolf attacks work for them, but they're going to go for the bigger attacks now that they have space where they can open camps, they can do the training, they can gather the resources.

We've known all along what their intentions are. They just didn't have the capability to do it. So, I think it's incumbent on the intelligence community to keep watch of them, and when they detect these training camps, use the airpower against it.

And Bob brings up a very good point. Air power with indigenous ground forces is very, very difficult to do. We tried in Afghanistan with limited success, but we're not having much success in the Syria/Iraq environment.

[08:35:04] BLACKWELL: All right. Lt. Col. Rick Francona and Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis, thank you both.

MAGINNIS: Thank you.

PAUL: In the next hour, there's going to be a silent march in Ferguson marking the one year since Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson. We're talking with one of the organizers about where things stand in Ferguson now and what activists say still needs to be done.

BLACKWELL: Also, an unarmed, white teenager 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.


BLACKWELL: In a little while, a little more than an hour, we'll see the start of the silent march in Ferguson to mark a year since Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson. Activists will walk from the Camp Field drive, the place where the unarmed teenager lay dead for hours, to Normandy High School, that's where Brown graduated. Brown's death became a symbol for the Black Lives Matter movement.

And a lot of things have changed in Ferguson since august 9th of last year. A key change: a new police chief.

CNN's Sara Sidner spoke with him.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Does Ferguson have a racist view? Is there a problem within the department?

ANDRE ANDERSON, FERGUSON POLICE CHIEF: I think that in the department there are individuals and factions that don't understand the community. But in fact, there have been some issues with respect to having race problems. There has been.

And I think that the police department is doing a good job, has done a good job at getting rid of people that have caused those types of problems.


[08:40:04] BLACKWELL: We'll have more of Sara's interview in the next hour.

PAUL: You heard the new police chief there saying the city has done a good job getting rid of people found culpable of causing race problems in Ferguson or dealing with them, we should say. Have things really changed, though?

Joining us is the field organizer for the Organization for Black Struggle, Kayla Reed. Kayla, we appreciate you being here. Thank you.

Can you let me know, based on what we just heard there, what changes have you seen? Do you think that the police department has made some significant changes?

KAYLA REED, ORGANIZATION FOR BLACK STRUGGLE: So, I think the most significant thing that we've seen in Ferguson since august 9th, 2014, is definitely the removal of some figure heads, the city manager, the former police chief Jackson, and hiring this new chief.

However, most of the officers that were staffed last year during the killing of Mike Brown are still on the force. So, there's still a lot that needs to be changed that hasn't been addressed yet.

PAUL: So, you think there are still things. What specifically would you like to see addressed, other than that?

Reed: Well, I think that Ferguson is still operating as the same Ferguson that it was pre-August 9th. You're still seeing high numbers of people pulled over in the municipality. The municipal court is still operating as a debt-collecting agency. The mayor is still intact. City council just actually revoked the first proposal of change from the department of justice.

So, I think that there is resistance on the side of Ferguson city officials to actually invoke the change that the community's saying they want to see.

PAUL: Have businesses recovered at all since the protests?

REED: I think that some businesses are thriving. On West Florissant, you saw a lot of people standing in support of the protests. On South Florissant, where we are now, you see they've proactively blockaded businesses that have never had any incidents. But I think that a lot of things are returning to business as usual for the businesses, but the culture of Ferguson is very much the same.

PAUL: Well, we understand officers are wearing body cameras now. Do you support that? Do you think that that has improved accountability in any way?

REED: I think that body cameras are a step toward accountability. I don't think that it's the solution. I think that what body cameras have done in the last few months is actually exposed the truth that people have been saying for a very long time.

So, we saw that in South Carolina with Walter Scott. We saw it again in Cincinnati with Sam Dubose. So, I think that cameras are a step toward accountability. But there are other measures that need to be taken to ensure that people are not dying at the hands of police.

PAUL: Kayla, let me ask you this, do you get a sense that the residents there in Ferguson are hopeful of where the city is headed? And do you feel like your voice has been heard?

REED: So, I think a long time ago, we talked about it being two Fergusons, the side where Camp Field resides and then the side where the police department is. And I think those two Fergusons are still having very serious tensions about coming to the same conclusion on what they want their city to look like. I do think that we as organizers have been fighting very hard to get people's voice, the black community's voice at the table with the Department of Justice to talk about what they want to see with the Ferguson police department. And I think that we've gained some traction with that.

PAUL: Ok. Well, Kayla Reed, we really appreciate hearing your perspective. Good luck with everything there and thank you so much for taking time to talk with us.

REED: Thank you.

PAUL: Absolutely. Take care.

REED: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: And we're going to talk about another controversial, fatal police shooting, but this time, the victim is an unarmed, white teenager. And it's got some people asking, where's the outrage?

And with all the fear and the fallout over Donald Trump's recent controversial statements about Megyn Kelly and other women, does he now need to make a change? Should the other candidates make some changes? A debate scholar weighs in, ahead.



[08:47:30] ANGIE HAMMOND, ZACHARY HAMMOND'S MOTHER: It's been very hard. Not only are we grieving that our son is gone, we don't know why it happened or what happened. And we're just trying to find answers.


BLACKWELL: An unarmed teenager killed by a police officer, 19-year- old Zachary Hammond. Here's his photograph. He was shot to death during an apparent pot bust last month in South Carolina. Police say it was self-defense, claiming the teenager was behind the wheel, accelerating, driving toward the officer, but the teen's parents say no. They're saying an autopsy can prove that police are lying.

The story is just now making national headlines, despite the fact that Hammond was shot nearly two weeks ago. Hammond's parents say it's because he's white.

Nick Valencia is following this story for us this morning -- Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Victor. This all happened in late July when 19-year-old Zachary Hammond was on a date with 23-year-old Tori Morton. Morton was the target of a drug sting, and that's when according to a police report, they showed up, their guns were drawn. And Hammond, according to police, used his car and attempted to drive that towards one of the officers. That prompted him to open fire, shooting that young man, that 19-year-old, twice.

Now, the family says they just don't buy what police are saying. They are looking for answers, so they launched their own independent autopsy, and that autopsy concluded that their son was shot from behind and at close range.

I interviewed them yesterday and they say they're still looking for answers.


ERIC BLAND, ATTORNEY FOR HAMMOND FAMILY: In fact, when they went to the police department to get a copy of the police report, the police chief actually let them in. And when he found out that they were the Hammonds, he closed the door and went back into his office and never said a word to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never spoke to us.

BLAND: They've left this family totally in the dark.


VALENCIA: Shortly after this incident, the police chief did offer his condolences to the family, but he is standing by his officer, saying that that officer, Lt. Mark Tiller, was the victim of attempted murder. South Carolina law enforcement division is investigating this, and we've reached out to them to try to get dash cam footage, which we know exists. They say that that's part of the ongoing investigation and will not be releasing it at this time -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Valencia reporting for us. Nick -- thank you. Christi.

PAUL: So, the shooting death of Zachary comes amid the heightened scrutiny of fatal police shootings across the country. Americans are debating after each incident, was shooting and killing the unarmed suspect the only option? Here's what the officer's chief had to say about that.


[08:50:02] CHIEF JOHN COVINGTON, SENECA POLICE: It's a horrible situation. I mean you get put in a predicament sometimes. You know when you sign up to be a police officer that that potential is there during your career that you may have to use deadly force.


PAUL: All right, CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander is with us now. So based on what you have heard about this, what is your first thought?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, you know, here's an incident that occurred in South Carolina. And I think one thing, in all fairness to the police officers and the family involved as well, too, is that we really have to wait and see what this independent investigation reveals, because sometimes we may jump to conclusions around this case.

However, here is what's concerning, I think, to most people. We have another young person, in this case happened to be a white teen that was shot by police. So, the question becomes, again, is this a matter of lack of training? Or is it a matter of abuse by a police department? We can't answer those questions as of yet.

But I think one of the major concerns, and black America has been saying this for a very, very long time, because black teens and black young people, as we've heard over the last number of years, particularly over the last year, have suffered. We have seen this country struggle with a number of shootings involving black young men.

However, in this case, we're talking about a white young man. But each one of these lives are very important. And when you think about it, if we're going to raise our voice about this issue, if anyone's going to raise their voice about this issue, you have to raise your voice about the issue as it relates to all human beings, and that is really important.

PAUL: Yes. And you know -- I saw, there are so many tweets on this. Kevin Daniels tweeted, "#ZacharyHammond. A cop killed a white teen and the all lives matter crowd said nothing."

Another tweet YNubian (h) "When a black person's fighting for justice and tweets #blacklivesmatter, we are also fighting justice for every race as well #ZacharyHammond."

Where are people outraged? People are wondering, where is the outrage over this?

ALEXANDER: I think part of --

PAUL: Is it just because he was white?

Alexander: No, I don't think it's that. I think it's typically it's going to be this. There has been a longstanding separation between the black community and the police, and we've seen an abundance of these cases. Some have been subtle, some have not, that are still under active investigation.

In this case, you have a white male. Many people will see that as being an anomaly. However, if you bring all these cases together, however, and if we're trying to reform our relationships between police and community, then every organization, regardless of who that organization is, Black Lives Matter, whomever, we should have a concern about the civil rights and human rights of all people.

It's not that we know for certain police did anything wrong here. That is a very difficult --

PAUL: Yes. But there are two -- there is the county coroner that classified the death a homicide and a private autopsy concluded that both bullets were from behind, so what does that conclusion leave for the police department? Because it doesn't sound good on the surface.

ALEXANDER: On the surface, it may not sound good, you're absolutely right, but we still have to remember that this is under investigation by the state of South Carolina.

PAUL: Right.

ALEXANDER: And until we draw that conclusion but here again, the emphasis and the thrust of this conversation is more around the fact that a young life has been lost. People are very concerned about it. And we, all of us as citizens in this country, even police officials like myself in communities across the country should pay attention to it, have concern about it and find a voice as to how we help to prevent these types of incidents, if they were deemed to be unnecessary.

PAUL: To be unnecessary. And a lot of -- really interesting to see so many people supporting #blacklivesmatter on Twitter also outraged about this as well. So, it does seem a lot of coming together of people, which could be a good thing.

Cedric alexander, appreciate you being here, as always.

ALEXANDER: Thank you for having me.

PAUL: Thank you so much.

ALEXANDER: All right.

PAUL: Victor.

BLACKWELL: A jury chooses life in prison over the death penalty for James Holmes, the man who shot and killed 12 people in a Colorado movie theater.

New this morning, we hear from one of those jurors who had to make the emotional decision. So, stay with us for that.

And breaking this hour, Donald Trump responds on social media to the fallout over his attack on Fox's Megyn Kelly. In just the last ten minutes. We've got it for you in just a moment.


PAUL: Edging toward the 9:00 hour here. And Senator Chuck Schumer says that he will not support the Iran deal. He made the announcement after President Obama spent a week pitching the Iran pact to Congress. The Republican-controlled Congress says they will say no to the deal, which the President has pledged to veto.

President Obama sat down with CNN's Fareed Zakaria this week for an exclusive interview. Now, to watch the full thing, we want to let you know to be sure to watch "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" tomorrow, 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: A Texas man is being forced to marry his girlfriend or spend 15 days in jail. Ok, here's the story. A Smith County judge also ordered the 19-year-old, Jostin Bundy, to write bible verses and get counseling. Bundy was charged with assault for fighting his ex- girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. Our affiliate, KLTV, spoke to an attorney who said the order to marry is not legal.

The San Francisco 49ers cut-out side linebacker Aldon Smith after he was arrested Thursday night for hit-and-run, DUI and vandalism. Smith's 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 as well.

Listen, glad to have you this morning with us, and we have a lot more coming up.

Yes, don't go anywhere. We are coming back here in just a moment. NEWSROOM starts now.

[09:00:00] Donald Trump dumped: a major gathering of conservative voters kicking off right now without the Republican frontrunner.

Hear the CNN interview that got Trump disinvited.