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NEW DAY SATURDAY
New Explosions Rock China Overnight; Trump And Clinton To Attend Iowa State Fair; Trump Bad-Mouths His Rivals; Trump To Unveil Policy Plans Soon; U.S. And Cuba Embark On New Relations; Law Prohibits Gitmo Detainees in U.S.; Police Patrol Theaters Showing Film; Michael Sam Walks Away from Football. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired August 15, 2015 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:05] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Officials say lightning strikes sparked four fast moving wildfires in Washington State. Firefighters are now battling the flames by air and from the ground. Hundreds of homes and businesses being evacuated and two state parks have also been evacuated.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: An update on a story that we've been following very closely on NEW DAY. The U.S. attorney in St. Louis says there is no truth behind that 76-year-old allegation with a woman says that a Missouri hospital stole her newborn baby five decades ago.
That was her allegation, and in fact, officials now say that the woman's baby was not born at the hospital. We will tell you more about what those records have finally revealed.
BLACKWELL: Yes, an unbelievable development there. But be sure to stay with us, we have a lot more coming up at the next hour of NEW DAY.
PAUL: Take a look at what is happening today in China. Another fire after 85 people were killed earlier this week. More fire now after that warehouse explosion at the same site and rescues still coming today.
BLACKWELL: And a grand entrance, the presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders work the crowds for the Iowa State Fair, but will it pay off for any of these candidates?
PAUL: Also she made a name for herself as the villain on Donald Trump's "The Apprentice," but Am Rosa does not know if she is going to vote for him. What's holding her back? We will ask her.
It's so good to have your company as always on a Saturday morning. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: Good morning to you. I'm Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: Yes, we want to start with that breaking news that we are watching this morning out of China, a new round of explosions there rekindling flames from the ashes. Look at the smoke billowing again, and this is from the same site where that massive blast that killed dozens of people earlier this week.
BLACKWELL: And just hours ago, a glimmer of hope here, crews pulling off yet another remarkable rescue, look at this, a second survivor pulled from the rubble there. This is happening as we are now hearing for the first time from the first survivor. The firefighter is speaking about what is it like to be inside this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I only remember the first blast was very loud. I was on the ground, hands covering my head. I don't remember what happened after that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Will Ripley has been at the site since that first explosion Wednesday. And Will, you have the mask back on, what is happening there this morning?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we have noticed that the air quality has been deteriorating and so we decided to put our masks back on. There is been a lot of concern about the toxic plume from the blast site possibly blowing in this direction.
And to put in context for you, yesterday, I was reporting from here and there were hundreds of people, this is one of the emergency evacuation sites, one of 12 across Tianjin where blast survivors who were left homeless because of that huge explosion have been placed.
But you can see, a very few are here now. We saw today busloads of families being evacuated to a safe location further away from ground zero of the explosions because of fears of sodium cyanide, a deadly chemical that the government now confirms has been detected near the site of the explosion.
And so the operations here have been suspended for the moment, and you can actually see some of the last cars trying to pull out here. These are the officials, and just a handful of remaining volunteers.
The rescues of that firefighter, the 19-year-old, truly remarkable, and you heard of him, and also of the rescue of the 50-year-old man, and both of whom survived in the blast zone, and also a report coming out that a woman who was injured in the explosions, she actually gave birth to a premature baby.
But we have learned that both mother and the child are expected to be OK so those are the good stories and we want to share those with you because there is a lot of bad news as well.
The death toll climbed sharply today, 85 people now confirmed dead, and the number of missing still in the dozens and many of those people looking for them have written their names on white boards outside of the emergency shelter.
And it appears as each hour passes that the number of dead and the number of missing is only expected to grow, which really underscores the human tragedy here as there are calls and demands for answers about why the Chinese government allowed this facility with a list of toxic chemicals to sit just literally within a few thousand feet of people's homes -- Christi, Victor.
PAUL: Yes, very good point. Will Ripley, we appreciate the update this morning, thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right, joining now to the race for the White House, presidential hopefuls are in Iowa.
[08:05:02] They will be there at the Iowa state fair among those set to attend, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump among others. Donald Trump plans to make good on these promises of free helicopter rides.
Watching all the action for us is CNN political reporter, Sara Murray. Helicopter ride, it sounds like fun.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, that's right, Victor. Donald Trump will be arriving in style this afternoon on his $7 million helicopter, and it's not that, he is going to land in a parking lot and they will give free rides to the kids who are there to check it out.
And then he is coming into the fair to give the more traditional Iowa State Fair experience and walk through and shake hands with the voters. He is, of course, not the only one doing this today. Hillary Clinton is going to be here as well.
She'll be here a little bit earlier today doing the same thing, making stops along the way. Bernie Sanders will heat up the traditional soap box where he'll give a 20-minute speech and voters will be able to sort of pepper him with questions.
I think the big question for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is whether they really get that one-on-one voter contact. They are both expected to bring security teams.
Hillary Clinton, of course, has Secret Service. That is a little different field than we usually get for candidates at the Iowa State Fair so we will have to see how that all plays out. Back to you, Victor.
BLACKWELL: So I wonder who are they excited to hear from. I mean, a couple of them including as we understand Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are skipping the soap box. Do they see that as a snub?
MURRAY: Yes, that's right. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both skipping the soap box. They sort of feel like they can still meet voters around the fair, but there is a risk to that strategy in a place like Iowa where voters really expect to meet the candidates a couple of times.
They expect to be able to sort of touch and feel them and ask them questions up close. And so if you don't do that, I think you can expect a little bit of grumbling. I think part of that will depends on how much access voters as they have to the candidates to walk through the fair, and whether or not they missed out on the opportunity to get up close and personal with the candidates.
BLACKWELL: All right, I wonder if we'll see Donald Trump with a double bacon corndog or deep fried something. All right, Sara Murray there for us. Thanks so much.
PAUL: Got a hint that those are your favorites?
BLACKWELL: Well, deep fried anything is my favorite.
PAUL: Well, after of course, as he is heading to Iowa, this is coming after the big speech at that key primary state of New Hampshire overnight, in case you missed it.
That is where he spoke out about his rivals, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, and really I think one of the big takeaways is he did give some more insight as to when we will see his policy rollout.
Let's talk to CNN's Sunlen Serfaty. She is live in New Hampshire right now. Sunlen, was that the big takeaway, you think?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that is what Donald Trump said, he is going to be are releasing with the immigration reform and tax reform and he won't do it yet, and it is going to be coming in September.
But he says this is coming from a time of small signals of the Trump campaign that for their part they are trying to be a lot more serious, and be a full-fledged campaign.
And it is notable that Trump is reaching out to some in Washington like senator sessions as he is starting to formulate and write these policy positions, most notably on immigration reform and then tax reform.
But he says, he just won't do it yet. He said that will come in early September, but this does come at a time where we are seeing small signals coming from the Trump campaign that for their part, they are really trying to dig in and be a lot more serious and more full pledge campaign.
So it's definitely notable that Trump saying that he is reaching out to some in Washington like Senator Sessions as he starts to formulate and write these policy positions. Here is what Donald Trump said last night here in New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It will be very soon. I mean, I have some of the most brilliant people in the country working on tax, which I'm involved in very much because I understand the system very well, probably better than anybody who has run for office to tell you the truth, because I am part of the system. But we have amazing people working on immigration so I would say over the next two or three weeks, probably sometime during September.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to go after his opponents on the campaign trail, really not letting up focusing in on Hillary Clinton and her use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state, here is more of what Trump said last night in New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think at some point, she is perhaps not going to be able to run. She is going to have to end her campaign. That seems to be the thinking by so many. General Petraeus, his life was destroyed with a tiny fraction of what she has done.
So it is very unfair to him, if they are going to destroy him over doing by comparison nothing, and I don't see how she can run. I think she has much bigger problems than running for office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And he sort of attacks on his opponents, it's something that we have seen very much coming from Trump during the course of his campaign. So it will be interesting to see how he transitions into more of a policy-specific focus.
But Christi, we have heard from a lot of New Hampshire voters last night and many of them who went out to the campaign event to see his antics. That is one voter said, I want to see his antics. I want to experience Donald Trump.
[08:10:03] So certainly this is potentially a next phase of the campaign hopes to have where there is talking about policy specifics.
PAUL: All right, Sunlen Serfaty, we appreciate it. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Well, she famously applied to work for Donald Trump, later worked with him, but would she vote for him? Former "Apprentice" contestant, probably the most famous "Apprentice" contestant, Omarosa says, she hasn't made up her mind yet. So what does he have to do to earn her vote?
Plus the American flag now flying in Havana, Cuba, but that does mean everything is OK now between the two governments especially when it comes to human rights. We will look at and we are going to Havana.
And detainees from Guantanamo Bay inside prisons in America, well, the U.S. military is checking out some facilities right now. We'll tell you which ones and how likely they could be moving.
PAUL: It's 13 minutes past the hour and she is one of the most memorable reality show stars to come out of "The Apprentice." Omarosa got her big break by being fired by Donald Trump. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You not only lost, but you got creamed. You know I am a big fan, but you are fired. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Well, now that her former boss is running for president, Omarosa says she has some lessons for the men and women running against him. Let's talk to her about it. She is joining us live. Omarosa, thank you for being here.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT, FORMER CONTESTANT ON "THE APPRENTICE": Good morning. Glad to be with you.
PAUL: Good morning. You got to know him quite well. In your opinion, do you think Donald Trump is capable of running the country?
MANIGAULT: Absolutely. Our country has serious domestic policies, and serious foreign policy issues. They are all very big business issues, and he is a brilliant businessman. So I think that he would be great at managing it, but he has to get through Hillary Clinton first.
[08:15:02] PAUL: And so what do you think is the biggest obstacle for him in that regard?
MANIGAULT: Well, I think that he is working through that right now. He has to come up with a very strong policy platform so that people can know that not only is he a serious contender, but he is capable of governing at the highest office in the land.
PAUL: He has made some controversial comments of women in the last, well, many times, but certainly in the last couple of months that people have taken note of it. What did you think of him when you were on the show? Did you every experience anything from him that you felt would have been sexist?
MANIGAULT: Well, first of all, you have to remember, "The Apprentice" is entertainment. I did three seasons with Donald Trump. The first season, I did the "Celebrity Apprentice" and then I went back for "all stars." It's important to know that when you are in an entertainment environment, you're there to entertain people.
It's very different when you get on the international stage of trying to run the most powerful country in the world. That takes a whole different set of skills.
He has always been a great showman, but now people want to know does he have what it takes to run this country, and I am here to tell you that he does, and people need to take Donald Trump very, very seriously.
PAUL: So you say that he has what it takes, but as I understand it, you told several people that he does not automatically have your vote. What is your hesitation? MANIGAULT: No, I am a die-hard Democrat and Donald Trump is going to need to pull some Democrats. He's going to need some independents and maybe some moderates if he is going to be successful of getting the Republican nomination.
I worked in the Clinton White House. I am probably one of the most unique people in the sense that I have worked both for the Clintons and for Trump.
And I will tell you that it would be my greatest wish to see Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton go head-to-head for the most important position in the world. I am vying to be his apprentice. I'm wondering how he will appeal to the United States to be their president.
PAUL: Well, I'm wondering since you said you didn't know for sure if you'd vote for him, what would he have to do to secure your vote? Is there anything he could do to secure your vote as a Republican nominee?
MANIGAULT: You know, the Republicans have a big issue right now dealing with issues that are important to me and to my community particularly, I am very interested to see how he will deal with the criminal justice reform that's needed to address black lives matter issues, to deal with the economy, jobs issues.
And I'm very, very curious about how he will approach the wage gap particularly for women. You asked me a question about whether or not he had an issue with women, I don't believe that he has a women issues.
But he will have to address issues that are important to us like reproductive health. I want to know clearly what his position is on whether or he wants to defund or fund Planned Parenthood.
There are tons of issues that are important to me and to my community and every single candidate will have fight for my interests before they earn my vote, but I am a die-hard Dem, but I am very curious to see how far Donald Trump will go?
PAUL: So as a die-hard Dem, is your hat in Hillary's camp right now or is your hat flung in the air, and you're trying to decide?
MANIGAULT: You know, Trump entering the race has changed everything for a lot of people, but particularly for me. One, I'm a very loyal friend to Donald. Donald and I have been a loyal friend for over a decade so I know that he will do well.
However, Hillary Clinton, she appeals to so many different issues that are important to me. I have seen her pay her dues over the years and it would be so remarkable to see a woman elected to be president and to see the first woman elected president in my lifetime so those things are important.
However, I think it's important first that we see, one, there is no cloud of suspicion around her and that these e-mail issues go away and that she is capable of running the country without worrying about whether or not she will be effective and based on my experience with her, I believe that she can.
PAUL: All right, Omarosa Manigault, I am sure that when Donald Trump hears that you have not made up your mind yet, he's going to be calling you to try to change that and that would be one interesting conversation.
MANIGAULT: He's going to have to earn it, but he is more than capable.
PAUL: We appreciate so much your thoughts on this. Thank you so much.
MANIGAULT: Thank you for having me.
PAUL: Take good care.
BLACKWELL: I feel a tweet coming. There is a tweet on the way.
PAUL: Omarosa, come on!
BLACKWELL: All right, thanks, Omarosa. Thanks, Christi. Let's stay with politics. A win or loss in Iowa as you know can make or sometimes break a presidential campaign. Does Donald Trump or Scott Walker or maybe Ben Carson, do they have the nation's first caucus in the bag?
Coming up in our 10:00 hour, we will talk to the state's GOP communications director although we are looking at Martin O'Malley and I don't know why, but what does it take to win in Iowa?
Plus an historic moment in Cuba, the U.S. flag flies in Havana for the first time in more than 50 years, but how will Cuban human rights record impact this changing relationship?
BLACKWELL: Well, now that the U.S. and Cuba have restored diplomatic relations after 54 years, what's next? Well, for starters American tourism to the island will pick up again now that the U.S. Embassy has been reopened, but even Secretary of State John Kerry warns the two countries still face many obstacles and a lot of challenges particularly when comes to human rights abuses by the Castro regime.
CNN's Patrick Oppmann joins us now from Havana. Let's start with these normalized relations, what they mean for ordinary Cubans? Is there some general consensus that you are hearing and has there been any immediate impact?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, we are hearing by and large, very positive reviews from the Cuban, and I have to say, Victor, in driving in this morning, I went by the U.S. embassy, which is right in the middle of Havana, and the flag was flying this morning.
And it takes for everyone some getting used to, and I have not seen it except in old black and white photos so the Cubans are marveling at the symbolism, the change of tone, there were a lot of coverage yesterday in the Cuban media.
It was very respectful and talked about how it was an important step, but merely an initial step. Secretary of State Kerry had a very busy day raising the flag, had the ceremonial reopening of the U.S. Embassy, but talked to some business with Cuba's foreign minister.
They talked about the future relationship, human rights. Secretary of State Kerry said that Cuba has to clean up its human rights record if it hopes to get the U.S. embargo lifted.
[08:25:04] It also seemed like the secretary had a pretty good time while he was in Cuba. He toured the old part of town, the historic old Havana section. He went out to Ernest Hemmingway's house, and he seemed that he was enjoying himself.
He did not meet with either of the Castros as some people had wondered if he might, but you know, this is just the beginning. I think most Cubans realize that there has been the lifting of the restrictions like on travel to Cuba.
But still a lot of sanctions in place, and if they will have more established relations, but normal relations will require years more of work -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and if this will have some impact on access to the internet, access to the media, and maybe free media, and that will obviously not be answered in the rest of the segment or probably this year. It will probably be over the next several decades. We'll watch it, of course. Patrick Oppmann in Havana for us, thanks so much.
PAUL: So can Donald Trump really win Iowa. What do they need to do to keep his momentum going? We'll talk about that.
Later, Gitmo detainees in American prisons, well, there is a federal law against that so why is the military checking out facilities in Kansas and South Carolina right now?
BLACKWELL: In today's "Impact World," it can be a pretty bleak future for kids in Baltimore. The graduation rate is at 56 percent and almost a quarter of the kids are living below the poverty line, but there is an organization that's literally getting kids to fight their way up the ladder, and maybe not literally. Chris Cuomo explains.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": For Lydel Henry, director of "Beat the Streets Baltimore," wrestling is much more than just a hobby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I grew up in the same town, Winchester community where the riots in Baltimore occurred. It's the only time to be outside of selling drugs, I was in wrestling. Wrestling teaches a person to be mentally tough, to persevere, which carries over to other parts of the life.
CUOMO: "Beat the Streets" mixes wrestling with STEM for kids with academic challenges.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: STEM wrestling is a hook to engage students in STEM, the opportunities that minority students are not getting in STEM. It becomes very, very crucial for us to get kids that are younger age engaged and involved.
CUOMO: The counselors teach kids that wrestling can build more than just physical strength.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really like wrestling because it helped me to become a man definitely through hard work, commitment, and being a man of my word and then once I am able to shift it to almost anything, I was able to be a bit more successful.
CUOMO: The kids don't need much convincing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to be better and win state championships and keep coming.
CUOMO: For more information on how to get involved, please go to CNN.com/impact.
[08:31:51] PAU: 31 minutes past the hour.
We want to share with you some of the most recent pictures we are getting in of a new round of explosions in China. You see the smoke there billowing again this morning. This is from the same site of where that massive blast killed dozens of people earlier this week.
We don't have reports of new injuries, but we do have this. Just hours ago, crews pull off yet another remarkable rescue. Look at this. They dug a second survivor from that rubble this morning.
It is a campaign rite of passage -- candidates from both sides of the aisle are descending upon the Iowa state fair today, shaking hands with potential voters. And if you are Jeb Bush, breaking your diet while indulging in some of the famous fair food --
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Oh, yes.
PAUL: If you're there, you just have to do it. Frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump speaking today, both are skipping out though on the tradition "Des Moines Register" Soapbox apparently.
BLACKWELL: All right. So let's talk more about Iowa. We've got with us CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson and Jeffrey Lord, the former White House political director in the Reagan administration, and he's been very fond of Donald Trump. Thank you for being with us -- both of you.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to be here. Good morning.
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN AIDE: Thanks -- Victor. Nice to talk to you again.
BLACKWELL: I want to talk about this Politico article that cited six out of ten Republican early state insiders, as they're called, who said that Trump cannot win in the early states. One in Iowa said this, "Trump supporters have to show up to the caucus finding that many Trump supporters that I talked to have never attended a caucus before. And when they find out it is not just showing up and casting a ballot they may find that this is not worth the effort. His is a campaign built entirely on celebrity and short attention spans."
Jeffrey, first to you, I mean telling a pollster over the phone that you support Trump is much easier than the caucusing process.
LORD: Well, Victor, the key to this, I think, is a guy by the name of Chuck Laudner. Chuck is a professional. He ran -- is from Iowa -- he ran Rick Santorum's campaign four years ago, and Senator Santorum won the Iowa caucuses. So he is extremely experienced.
He knows exactly what he is doing. He is busy there getting everything organize and I really think, you know, they have the best person on the ground that you could -- that any campaign could possibly have. So I am sure he knows this far better than I do, and I think he knows exactly what he is doing, and he'll get people out.
BLACKWELL: How about that -- Ben? I mean this is someone who helped Rick Santorum win in 2012.
FERGUSON: Yes. You can only -- your team can only do so much. And look, full disclosure, I helped the Santorum team last time around, and let me tell you, you can have a guy that knows the area, but Rick Santorum won that because he literally was there and knocked on almost every registered voter's door that could possibly vote for him. He had a ground game where he was there for months on end.
Donald Trump is one, never going to do what Rick Santorum did. I mean Rick Santorum -- that was literally a grass roots all-in as an individual. Yes, he had a great adviser and team, but Rick Santorum literally did that in an organic way that Donald Trump would never even think about trying to do.
[08:35:05] That amount of dedication and commitment to meeting and shaking hands -- I mean Santorum was literally going in and speaking to four or five people in a living room, ten people in another living room. And this was day after day after day. And I will say this, Donald Trump may have bought the right person to help to advise him, but Donald Trump can't buy an extra Donald Trump to go do all the tough work that's needed and Donald Trump is not going to do that.
BLACKWELL: But let me pushback with this -- what we're hearing from someone in New Hampshire that says -- and this is also from piece from Politico that says, "Sadly the establishment Republican Party refuses to embrace the understanding that people are truly fed up with politicians." It goes on to say that "They will vote for a psychopath before they desire to vote for the establishment."
So while I hear you Ben, pointing out that he is not willing to stay at the three-star business hotel overnight in Des Moines, there are so many Republicans who we're hearing from who just do not want to vote for an establishment Republican as they would call it.
FERGUSON: And I think that is why you saw Santorum get up that early steam that we're talking about just a moment ago. But ultimately, you know, look Mitt Romney was the one that got them. I think most conservatives are terrified of having a Mitt Romney 2.0 or a John McCain 2.0 candidate. That is why Donald Trump is doing so well.
I will give him full credit, being blunt and bold was something that people in the conservative movement were yearning for especially after almost eight years of Barack Obama. And that's the reason why he's been able to connect. But there also are an awful lot of people that absolutely cannot stand him, and they would not vote for him for under any circumstances in that same conservative deal and I think that is the biggest liability.
BLACKWELL: Jeffrey, how much does something like this when you have six out of ten Republican insiders say that Donald Trump can't win just plays right into his hand, right into his narrative.
LORD: Yes, yes. The key word there Victor, is "insiders". What Donald Trump is doing which I might add is something Ronald Reagan did as well is bring in new people to the system, people who were not involved before, and probably never thought that they would be involved but who were very enthusiastic about the candidate.
Ronald Reagan flooded the Republican Party with all kinds of people among them eventually they were called Reagan Democrats, who turned out in droves to support him, and drove the Reagan revolution, and defeated the Republican establishment of the day. So I think that that is what we are beginning to see here with Donald Trump.
There is an article this morning, I think in the "Washington Post" about his ability to appeal to Democrats.
LORD: I think you know, this is going to be a serious problem for his competitors.
BLACKWELL: All right. Jeffrey Lord and --
FERGUSON: Let's not -- let's not --
BLACKWELL: Ben -- we have to wrap it up. I give you ten seconds.
FERGUSON: Let's not forget one thing. Ronald Reagan was running against Jimmy Carter who is one of the most hated presidents of all times, and approval ratings in the 20s. It's a little bit different dynamic than what we are dealing with right now.
BLACKWELL: All right. There are a lot of people who would question that characterization of Jimmy Carter but I leave it there. Ben Ferguson, Jeffrey Lord -- thank you both.
BLACKWELL: And always remember, CNN is hosting the next Republican presidential debate. It's Wednesday September 16. And then the first Democratic presidential debate -- that's Tuesday October 13th and that's from Nevada.
PAUL: Well, lawmakers don't want detainees from Guantanamo Bay inside American prisons. But the military is now checking out a couple of prison facilities -- one in Kansas, one in South Carolina. Could these detainees soon call the United States home?
Also security concerns for the new movie "Straight Outta Compton". Could gang violence on screen lead to tensions in movie theaters?
[08:42:05] PAUL: Disturbing revelations out of Syria that ISIS is now using chemical weapons on the battlefield. U.S. officials confirm an ISIS attack two weeks ago did involve a mustard agent. A second attack in northern Iraq is also being investigated now as a possible chemical attack.
A U.S. official says mortar rounds fired by ISIS held a small amount of toxic chemical that were not as potent as more sophisticated munitions, certainly, but they were present. It is not known if ISIS manufactured the weapons or whether they found them. The Quds say ISIS has attacked them with chlorine weapons in the past.
And the Pentagon is quietly visiting a handful of U.S. prisons as possible destinations for some of the 116 detainees still locked up at Guantanamo Bay. Among them are the federal penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; the naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina is being examined. But here's what puzzling about it. U.S. law currently forbids the transfer of any Gitmo detainee to the U.S.
So let's bring in CNN military analyst Lt. General Mark Hertling. General -- thank you so much. I'm wondering why would the Pentagon be looking at these prisons if current law prevents them are from being used for that purpose?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, this is a tough issue, Christi and it's generating some real political discourse. First of all, if I can clarify though, the military is looking at two prisons -- the navy brig in South Carolina, not the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas but the disciplinary barracks within Fort Leavenworth. There are two major prisons out there. And the disciplinary barracks is a maximum security prison where all military prisoners are held.
The political issues involved in this are the fact that the President wants to close Guantanamo for several reasons. First of all, it is extremely expensive. It costs about $2.8 million per prisoner. Given the number of prisoners we have there and the amount of resources we have to put into it.
Secondly it's a huge propaganda tool for terrorist. They've used Guantanamo as a way of showing that they must continue the fight against the West, so if we can close that, it would be a good thing.
Third, it is against or it's outside the U.S. rule of law. You can't really deal with the legal issues related to prisoners at Guantanamo. And I think the President really wants to do this.
And this is the fourth reason. It is the right thing to do. It is who we are as a people. The problem is on the other side of the aisle, you have a lot of politicians who say they also want to close the prison, but they don't want any of the prisoners. So you are really caught in a very difficult situation where it is the right thing to do, but you don't want to bring the prisoner to my state, I won't have them there.
It is challenging. Now what we are talking about is only 50 of the 160 remaining Guantanamo prisoners, and these are the ones that will probably go through final court proceedings, and legal adjudication.
[08:45:04] PAUL: All right. Lt. General Mark Hertling, I so appreciate the input. Thank you -- sir.
HERTLING: Thank you, Christi.
BLACKWELL: All right. So there are concerns about on screen violence and may be causing some chaos in theaters. A heavy security presence for the new movie "Straight Outta Compton". Is this additional security warranted? And will it stop some from seeing the film.
Plus big changes for Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team now walking away from the game again. Christina Fitzpatrick is following this story for us.
CHRISTINA FITZPATRICK: Yes, Victor, for the second time in three months, Sam is leaving the Canadian Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian football league. So is his professional football career over?
We'll discuss that -- coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys supposed to be somewhere?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are artists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rap is not an art.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot come down here and harass my clients because of what they look like. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: "straight Outta Compton", the bio pic about the 90s rap group NWA could be the summer's biggest surprise. I mean the film could take in $50 million to $60 million this weekend, far more than many expected. The fans have been lining up since the Thursday's premier at more than 2,700 theaters across the country. Now police are redirecting officers to patrol theaters showing the film particularly in Los Angeles.
We've got CNN senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter with us now.
[08:50:04] Brian -- what's the justification for the additional officers -- and again we're speaking about the LAPD here.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This is primarily in Los Angeles, although Universal, the studio that's making the movie and releasing the movie says it's working with police departments in other areas, working with theaters and other areas in case there are concerns there as well.
This is a film about the birth of gangsta rap but it's not inherently violent. There are violent scenes but lots of other movies have violence as well. So here's what the LAPD spokesman says are the reason for this increase in patrols.
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ANDY SMITH, LAPD: We have extra security in place at the theaters this weekend for this particular movie, and the reason is really twofold. The first prong is basically because we have seen violence across the country at different movie theaters. Obviously that is a concern for us here in Los Angeles. We don't have any expectations that something is going to happen here, but we want to be prepared and we want to do as much as we can to prevent something like that.
The second idea is that maybe, you know, different factions of youngsters from different gangs will show up at the same theater at the same time. And that is always a bad recipe. So we want to have extra police officers out there just to make sure that's ok.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: So that is in Los Angeles. And we've heard that it is possible at other theaters and other part of the country as well. That is why the Universal is offering to help these theaters. But you know the movie theaters said they weren't out there soliciting extra security. They don't believe it's necessarily necessary. They have no expectations or any concerns. They point out that thousands of people saw the movie ahead of time, and nothing went wrong.
But Victor, perhaps it's but it is an example of extra vigilance. And you know, we also heard that comment about the recent violence of those two theaters in two different states. Unrelated events and not at all related to the movie, but maybe it makes moviegoers a little extra nervous. BLACKWELL: But there's also the push back that some are offering that
there have gang-related movies -- Gangs of New York --
STELTER: That's right.
BLACKWELL: Many other movies were about gangs of the last 15 or 20 years -- some put out by this studio, and no additional security there, and was there any additional security for the showings of the films that were showing when these shootings happened like "Train Wreck" and others?
STELTER: That is exactly right, and I have heard a lot of that online, when the talk of these extra security started a couple of days ago. There was a lot of pushback and I think very appropriate pushback for the reasons that you are describing.
When I was at a theater by the way yesterday here at New York, and I saw no extra security, and this movie is like you mentioned maybe one of the biggest of the summer. It's actually probably the biggest surprise of the summer according to the analysts. There is a lot of interest in it.
And that might be partly because of the moment in time that we are in with a new wave of attention around issues involving police relations with the black community, and involving, you know, the Black Lives Matter movement. We have seen the marketers of this movie try to tap into that event. Even they're not entirely -- they're not directly related obviously in a slogan like Black Lives Matter, and a movement like Black Lives Matter was not around in the 1990s.
STELTER: We have seen increased I think interest in a movie like this for reasons like that, you know what I mean?
BLACKWELL: All right. And we will certainly have an expanded conversation about that in our 10:00 Eastern hour of what has changed and what has stayed the same. Brian stelter -- good to have you.
PAUL: Well her husband was changed for five month because he was an undocumented immigrant. Well now, one woman wants Pope Francis to hear his story. And she's not alone. At 10:00, the lengths this group is going to, to get a meeting with the Pope.
And when we come back, more problems for Michael Sam. He is walking away from football. Why?
BLACKWELL: All right. Coming up on the top of the hour now, investigators arrested and this is what they are calling him a dangerous scam artist. He's accused of impersonating a clinical psychologist and medical doctor in New York. Here's the story. Officials say that Donald Lee Edwards lived with his parents and ran a pseudo office out of their basement. He potentially provided mental health service and prescriptions like anti-depressants to more than 100 patients over a span of about three years.
PAUL: The office in my parents' basement might have given me away.
BLACKWELL: Yes, just come around to the back.
PAUL: Just saying.
All right. Today marks the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender and the effective end of World War 2. Commemorative events and memorials have already begun in Japan as well as London, in Pearl Harbor. Yesterday the Japanese prime minister reiterated his country's profound grief for the millions killed in the war, but stopped short of offering any new apologies.
And Bench Coach now, Tori Lovello will serve as the Red Sox manager for the remaining weather season. This, of course, while John Farrell steps away to battle stage one lymphoma. According to reports Farrell says his conditions is quote, "highly curable." We certainly hope that for him.
BLACKWELL: Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team says he is stepping away from the game again.
PAUL: Christina Fitzpatrick is joining us with -- the reason why.
FITZPATRICK: And this is probably the reason, not the first time he'd done this this year. But the 25-year-old tweeted yesterday. He's concerned with his mental health.
He played his first professional football game for the Montreal Alouettes and Canada just last week and wasn't much of a factor, failing to record a cackle in game. He's had a little bit of a rough time for college days at Missouri. If you go back, he was drafted in the last round by the St. Louis Rams then cut after last pre-season.
Then he spent some time with the Dallas Cowboys and the practice squad last fall before being released and just back in June Sam left training camp in Montreal for a couple of weeks citing personal reason. So we ask the question -- we want to know what you guys think. Will Michael Sam ever find success on the football field, tweet with us the #newdaycnn or leave a post on our Facebook page.
BLACKWELL: Well, kudos to him for acknowledging that there is an issue -- we use the term problem. But an issue that needs to be addressed.
FITZPATRICK: So much so that he has had to step away from a game he loves to play.
PAUL: All right. Strong guy -- for sure. Thank you so much, Christine. FITZPATRICK: Thank you -- guys.
PAUL: Good to have you here.
BLACKWELL: All right. That's it for us. We will see you back here at 10:00 for an hour of NEWSROOM.
PAUL: Don't go anywhere "SMERCONISH" starts for you right now.
[09:00:11] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: I'm Michael Smerconish. Welcome to the program.