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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Police Identify "Person Of Interest"; NYPD Releases Video Of Cop Tackling Ex-Tennis Pro; Candidates Prepare For CNN Debate Wednesday; Butte Wildfire Burns 65,000 Acres In Two Days Aired; U.S. to Take at Least 10,000 More Syrians; Campaigning from the Late Night Couch; Vinci Stuns Top Ranked Williams. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired September 12, 2015 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: -- at this point. Oscar Dela Torre Munoz was taken into custody and charged with possession of marijuana. Here is his picture. He is not charged in connection with the highway shooting.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Let's sort of break it down for you. Over the last two weeks, 11 vehicles have been struck by bullets or projectiles on or around the area of I-10. As you can imagine, everyone in that town is on edge.
And there is a group of armed civilians now patrolling their own areas. Sara Sidner joins us now live from Phoenix. Sara, what are authorities telling us about this person of interest?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's really interesting because yesterday I was talking with police about the detention that they made. And they said, look, we need to spend time questioning this person. It is in correction with the I-10 shootings.
We want to ask some questions, but we want to ask some questions about a lot of different things and of course, the I-10 shootings are going to come up.
Now they have arrested that same person, but on a completely different much, much lesser charge, a charge of possession of marijuana. The 19-year-old brought in during a traffic stop. He was actually with a woman at the time and they had brought both of them in and detained them both.
But then they let the woman go saying they didn't think she had anything to do with anything. She was let go, but they said we really want to spend time talking to this person and want to continue the investigation.
But we have to be clear here. They are not even calling Mr. Nunez a suspect. They are saying that he is a person of interest, 19 years old and being questioned, they are continuing to question him on this potential link with the I-10 shooting.
They are also telling people that this investigation is by no means over and they are asking people to continue to call in tips.
SIDNER (voice-over): After nearly two weeks with at least 11 vehicles hit with bullets of projectiles along an 8-mile stretch of Interstate 10, DPS troopers have detained and/or now questioning a man in connection with the shootings.
BART GRAVES, DPS SPOKESMAN: We are calling him a person of interest, but we really wanted to talk to him about a lot of things. So it's fair to say this will probably come up, but we'd be basically want to spend some time with him and find out what he knows.
SIDNER: The man along with the woman was detained of a traffic stop. Investigators released the woman, but continued questioning the man.
(on camera): What can you tell me about what the circumstances were that led you to tip-related or was this something investigators figured out?
GRAVES: It's reasonable to say it's a combination of the two.
SIDNER (voice-over): But no one has been arrested and police are still asking for citizens to call in tips. This as two other incidents, one along Highway 17, and another off Interstate 10, are being investigated to determine whether they are linked to the recently shoot spree.
Interstate 10 has been a target zone for a serial shooter or shooters. Cars to big rigs have been hit during all times of the day and night with no apparent pattern.
Tremain Jackson is one many DPS troopers driving the shooting zone. He says the department is adding numerous resources to the investigation.
TREMAIN JACKSON, PATROLMAN: It's never a one-man -- one-man situation and that is from the -- from the troopers to the police department to the citizens. It's a total team effort.
SIDNER: This is not the first time police and the public here have had to deal with serial roadway shootings. A decade ago, eight people were killed as two gunmen stalked the roadways in Phoenix and that case took more than a year to solve. The man heading the current investigation was a lieutenant working at the Phoenix Police Department during those shootings.
[06:15:06] COLONEL FRANK MISTEAD, DIRECTOR, DPS: That was what they called a serial shooter case. They were literally driving down roads and with a shotgun shooting people walking down the street and killing them.
SIDNER: And that case by the way took about 15 months to solve and you know how it was cracked? A friend heard two men bragging about the fact they were shooting people and went to police -- Martin, Christi. PAUL: All right, Sara Sidner, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.
I want to dive a little deeper into this investigation with former FBI special agent, Jonathan Gilliam. Jonathan, thanks for being with us.
So we just heard there, he is 19 years old and you heard that officials say they want to talk to this person of interest about a lot of things. Does that tell you that perhaps he's been on their radar for a while?
JONATHAN GILLIAM, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: It definitely tells me that the police don't just detain somebody for this long with this amount of questioning unless they have something to go on. First and foremost, they went directly to him. They didn't find him on the side of the road shooting.
That tells us it was probably a tip or a source came and told them this stuff. So they went to him, got him and arrested or detained him. They are saying detained him. At some point this is going to turn into an arrest or eventually let him go.
But I would have to say he's probably somebody that is on their radar for some certain reason and probably told somebody something that came back to the cops.
[08:05:07] PAUL: At what point does somebody transfer from a person of interest to a suspect?
GILLIAM: So basically the difference between detention and arrest is when law enforcement has basically a reasonable suspicion, they can detain somebody to figure out a further investigation to either clear them or find out what their role is in it.
When it comes to arresting them, they actually -- the burden of proof is heavier in order for them to then place that person under arrest where your rights actually change. Right now it's kind of that fuzzy area.
PAUL: And I'm sure that they are probably trying to get some Information out of him. As Sara mentioned, there's no pattern here. It's happening any time of the day. The shootings are in any vehicle on I-10 at the time. Do you suspect that this is a one-person suspect incident or do you suspect there are more people involved here?
GILLIAM: Well, it could go one of two ways. It could be where it looks like there's no pattern. The pattern is actually that it's on the same road and that you can start looking at the times of day that this has happened and you can then -- like with this person of interest, you can look at the times of day and how their day normally unfolds.
And kind of put together a puzzle to say, maybe the reason the shootings have been happening is because he has a job or goes to school and gets out and does it. The other thing is potentially once these things get into the news then copy-cats can spread and come to the area. But let me just say one thing, Christi, there's technology out there called the boomerang. There's other technology similar to this that the military uses that is a gunshot locator.
And I really think that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI should start purchasing these so that when they deploy all these people to something like this, which is happening over and over, they can actually send this stuff out to law enforcement and loan it to them.
So that what they do is they can put it in an area where this is happening and when a gunshot goes off, it uses microphones to locate the area very quickly where that shot is coming from.
PAUL: Very interesting. Jonathan Gilliam, I always learn something. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.
GILLIAM: You got it. Have a great weekend.
PAUL: You too.
SAVIDGE: New this morning, we now have surveillance video from the Manhattan Hotel where former pro tennis player, James Blake was tackled and body slammed. He was standing casually in front of the hotel when suddenly the undercover cop sits on him and attacks him leading him away.
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton have apologized to Blake for what turned out be a case of mistaken identity. But Blake says that's not enough. So let's bring in CNN's Boris Sanchez. What is Blake asking the NYPD to do?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Martin, he's asking for a concerted effort to try and keep this from happening again. We got video of the incident yesterday from the NYPD. And in a lot of ways it corroborates some of the things that Blake was saying about the incident.
If you watch closely, the officer is not in uniform and does not appear to be wearing a badge. It also looks like Blake doesn't try to flee. He says now he's using this incident as a platform to improve relations between police and the community.
He writes in part, quote, "When this incident was reported in the news media, Mayor De Blasio and Commissioner Bratton both called me to extend their personal apologies and I greatly appreciate those gestures. But extending courtesy to a public figure mistreated by the police is not enough."
In that statement, he also said that he was pushing for a significant financial commitment from the NYPD to try to improve relations between the police and the people they serve.
On the heels of that statement, we are also learning more about Officer James Frascatore, who tackled James Blake. We've learned he's facing two separate civil suits for similar incidents. And he's accused of using excessive force to take down two people that he was trying to arrest. Not including a potential third lawsuit now for this incident. CNN has reached out to Officer Frascatore, but Martin, he has yet to respond.
SAVIDGE: Boris Sanchez, All right, we'll continue to follow it through you. Thank you very much. Stay tuned because James Blake will be live right here on CNN live at 12:00 noon today with Fredricka Whitfield.
PAUL: Big Republican shake up just four days before the candidates' debate in California right here on CNN. Rick Perry dropping out and a lot of people wondering how these candidates take on Donald Trump the second time around? We got a political panel who has a lot to say about.
Also thousands of people in London are getting ready to march any moment now. They are calling on the government to welcome in more refugees. We'll look at the impact this crisis could have on the United States as well.
[08:10:07] And just days before the start of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, a construction accident kills more than 100 there. Sand and rain turned into a twisted pile of glass and concrete. We'll tell you what is happening in just a few minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PERRY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a tremendous field of candidates probably the greatest group of men and women. I step aside from our party knowing we are in good hands as long as we listen to the grassroots. Listen to that cause of conservatism, if we do that, then our party will be in good hands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: The Republicans have had their first dropout. I'm talking about presidential hopefuls because the field is getting a little smaller just days before the second debate. Rick Perry as you heard there says he's hitting the silk politically and leaving.
So what does that mean for the 15 candidates that are joining CNN Wednesday for the second Republican debate? Let's talk about all of it. And we are joining by CNN political commentator and former Reagan White House political director, Jeffrey Lord along with CNN political commentator and the host of "The Ben Ferguson Show," Ben Ferguson.
Good morning to both of you. Thank you for getting up bright and early to talk all things political. Let me start with you, Ben, if you are on the, quote/unquote, "happy hour" debate stage, how does this change your strategy or does it at all?
[08:15:09] BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If you're in the earlier debate, I think you've got to talk policy more than you have to attack anybody on the main stage. It worked for Carly Fiorina. And a lot of people who watched the first debate -- you're inside baseball, very connected and tuned into politics and maybe more substance and more just watching for the antics and fireworks of Donald Trump and everyone else.
So if you're on that stage, I think the best thing you can do is really make yourself standout by looking like you know how to deal with problems and you have plans specifically and ideas on how to move the plans forward.
And that could catapult you just like it did with Carly last time, moving you to the big stage. And there's also opportunity with Rick Perry gone. So those people on the earlier stage will get a lot of TV time, which is desperately needed for every one of their campaigns.
SAVIDGE: Jeffrey, who do you think could break out as a result of this and having this opportunity?
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: You know, frankly, I honestly don't really think there's anybody there that's left that's going to score very big or I think they would have already. I think that Carly Fiorina has stood out, not just because she's a woman but because she's a business executive and outsider not unlike Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
I think that's why she's stood out here. The rest of the group are essentially politicians. And, you know, take note that when they did this the last time, the physical audience for it wasn't very big. And I suspect, you know, that might be a problem for some of these folks.
SAVIDGE: And Jeffrey, while I've got you, this is Trump's second time around and knows the others are out there trying to target him. What does he do differently or does he do anything differently?
LORD: He just keeps on being Donald Trump. That's what has gotten him here and he'll keep going. If somebody attacks him, I'm sure he'll go back at them. It was interesting when he was on "Jimmy Fallon" and was talking about Carly Fiorina and said, she's a nice woman and all this kind of thing.
You know, let's keep in mind that some of this, for all these candidates in their own fashion is showbiz business. And they go after people and all that sort of thing.
I don't really think they think, you know, so-and-so is a terrible person. But it's politics and the old saying there from Mr. Douley in the 17th Century, politics ain't beanbag.
SAVIDGE: Now that we have that phrase, what is do you think of that?
FERGUSON: I'm going to write that one down.
LORD: Why don't you chant that phrase?
FERGUSON: I think if you are up on that stage and debating Donald Trump, you have to stay true to who you are as a candidate. Don't try to go out there and out-Trump Trump, because that will get you in trouble. Donald Trump is one of the better counter punchers or political trash talkers.
I'll give him full credit for that. And if you get into a full war of words with him and you are not quick on your feet, it can end up hurting you. That's one of the biggest pieces of advice I would give.
The other thing is if you are on stage with Donald Trump, I also think you need to make it clear that you can be your own candidate with ideas. Ben Carson is a 180 from Donald Trump. They are completely different candidates and he's been able to surge.
Ben Carson said I'm not going to be Donald Trump. I'm going to be who I am. You can say I'm calm but guess what, I have ideas and plans. I have perspective on certain things in a unique way, specifically Obamacare and health care.
And that's been able to connect with him. But if you're on the end of the stage, if you're Chris Christie or someone like that, Mike Huckabee, I think you have to let people know you're there and just because you're not high in the polls right now doesn't mean that your campaign is over.
Because now people are looking for that next Rick Perry, the next dropout, I think they have to, in many ways, take bigger chances and bigger risks against Donald Trump to get people to realize, we are still here. I'm still running for president. Don't forget about me.
SAVIDGE: Ben Ferguson, we've got to put a lid on it there, Jeffrey Lord, thank you both very much for joining us. We'll talk about this again. Be sure to tune into the next Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN this Wednesday starting at 6:00 Eastern. Don't miss it.
PAUL: And you know, it's turning into a familiar campaign stop it seems, a trip to late night television. Donald Trump just made his first visit to Jimmy Fallon. He's not alone on the late night couch either.
Plus out of control, firefighters in California really struggling as a fast moving wild fire is inching closer and closer to some of the homes. Look at these pictures we're getting in. We'll tell you more.
PAUL: At least 55 people are dead after a building, housing licensed explosives, blew up in India. The blast was so strong houses across the road were damaged. A fire may have triggered the blast. A large crowd, look at this, gathered at the site to look for the people they love who may be buried there in the rubble. Delaying ambulances and other emergency vehicles to come through is a problem.
SAVIDGE: It should be quite a Monday. Kim Davis will be sitting behind her county clerk desk Monday according to her legal team. And it looks like she'll have to issue licenses to gay couples unless the federal appeals court steps in.
She lost an appeal in a lower court to try to get the judge intervene on her behalf to tell the state not to force her to issue licenses. But it didn't go her way. So we will see what happens on Monday.
PAUL: Look how fast and furious these firefighters are working to battle the raging butte fire in Sacramento, California, so far. 65,000 acres burned and thousands of people from San Andreas have been told to get out because the wildfire is just moving so quickly toward their homes.
Look at these pictures. California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. CNN meteorologist, Derek Van Dam is joining us now. We know that weather so often is a factor here. How is it shaping up today?
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's unfortunately so unpredictable. In fact, this fire has just been fueled by the triple digit heat that we have had here, the low humidity levels and the ongoing drought that continues to take place.
[08:25:03] And we're talking about this being extremely volatile. San Andreas, you were talking about it a second ago, that particular area had its mandatory evacuation lifted temporarily because the fire simply changed directions.
But those people are poised to move at a moment's notice because they know that this fire could change directions once again. Thirty four active large fires over the western U.S. that equates to about 8.6 million acres burned so far.
And this butte fire is the one we continue to play close attention to burning across two counties as we speak, over 65,000 acres burned, this one just blowing up over the past couple of days.
And unfortunately there are around 6400 structures that are currently threatened from this fire. Now the weather forecast not looking too promising today or tomorrow. But notice the cooling trend into Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as we broaden this view across the rest of California.
You can see that cooling trend pretty uniform across Los Angeles, Sacramento and Vegas as well. This is all thanks to the remnants of Tropical Storm Linda that will bring some much needed relief helping to battle some of the blazes out here. Christi, back to you.
PAUL: All right, Derek Van Dam, we appreciate it. Thank you.
SAVIDGE: Concerning new reports that Russia maybe building its military presence in Syria. Coming up, what President Obama says how it may change our core strategy.
And how does the United States pick the Syrian refugees allowed to enter our country? We'll talk to Human Rights Watch next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [08:29:52] SAVIDGE: Welcome back.
It was a picture that made the world and President Obama take notice. You know the one I'm talking about, the haunting image of the lifeless toddler washed ashore on a Turkish beach after he and his family fled Syria.
PAUL: President Obama said Friday that picture should prompt every country to find a way to help deal with the European migrant crisis. He's already taking action. The U.S. will accept at least 10,000 refugees, Syrian refugees, in the next fiscal year.
Our Sunlen Serfaty joining us live from Washington now. The President also speaking out about new concerns regarding that report that Russia is increasing military presence in Syria. What are you hearing -- Sunlen?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right -- Christi. And we're really hearing from President Obama for the first time on this since Russia has been expanding and ramping up their military presence in Syria. And basically in essence he sent a warning shot to Russia from President Obama and he really went one step farther than we've heard other U.S. officials say in recent days when they said that the intentions of Russia in Syria as of now are unclear.
But President Obama took that again one step farther, really intimating that they believe at this point that it is Russia trying to prop up Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Here's what President Obama said on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It appears now that Assad is worried enough that he's inviting Russian advisors in and Russian equipment in. And that won't change our core strategy, which is to continue to put pressure on ISIL in Iraq and Syria. But we are going to be engaging Russia to let them know that you can't continue to double down on a strategy that's doomed to failure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And the U.S. has been trying for some time to try to reach out, really gauge Russia's interest in trying to join the efforts to try to reach a political settlement in Syria. So certainly these recent moves by Russia not only causes concern because it could complicate the coalition fight against ISIS. But there you saw President Obama really hinting that it could also complicate the efforts to reach a political settlement, have Bashar al Assad either step down or begin a power-sharing agreement.
I have to say, Christi and Martin, this will definitely be a hot topic as the leaders head to the United nations General Assembly later this month in New York.
PAUL: No doubt, Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much. Sarah Margon joins us now. She's the Washington director of Human Rights Watch. Sarah, thank you so much for being with us. So we heard there the numbers -- 10,000 refugees coming to the United States within a year. Help us understand the protocol here and the process.
SARAH MARGON, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Sure. Thanks for having me. This is a really important first step that the President has announced. You know, I think it's not quite enough if you look at the scale of refugees fleeing Syria, which is four million, and you put it in the context of global refugee crisis, including those trying to come up to the United States from Central America.
But it's an important first step that the White House has announced. They will have to work with Congress to make sure there's an adequate budget. They'll have to work with the State, organizations that help to do the re-settling and hopefully we'll see more down the line be accepted in the United States.
PAUL: Ok. This is something that is part of the conversation as well. Is there concern that some ISIS militants or operatives may infiltrate themselves in these groups that are fleeing Syria? And in doing so, obviously, so they can attack other countries?
PAUL: How do you -- how do you make certain that that doesn't happen? What is the process or how does the U.S. determine who gets in and who does not?
MARGON: So the U.S. has an incredibly rigorous security and background check, particularly since 9/11 for those who want to enter the United States. It is not just that you check a box and are brought into the United States. There are interviews with the Department of Homeland Security, State Department medical checks. It's a very bureaucratic heavy process to make sure that the people who are trying to come to the United States are actually those who are in need and fleeing persecution.
PAUL: When we talk about the 10,000 people who will be coming, once they get here, once they get acclimated, is this seen as a permanent move, not just by them but by the U.S.? Do they believe these are people who will work, who will be here for years and years?
MARGON: Well, I mean for the most part, I think people who want to come to the United States are trying to come here because it's the land of opportunity. It's a place where they feel they can rebuild their lives and be active and engaged members of society.
When they first get here, they may not be doing the jobs that they have been set up to do originally or educated to do originally in Syria. But over time there are opportunities, there are local organizations and in some cases established communities that can help them rebuild their lives in the direction that makes sense to them.
[08:34:58] PAUL: You mentioned that you thought we should be taking more in. The U.S. has been taking in more Syrian refugees every year since 2011 -- that's when 23 people were admitted. Just to give you some numbers here in perspective, 249 last year, more than 1,100 already this year. Do you think after this year, after this 10,000 that number is going to stay steady in the thousands?
MARGON: Well, you know, the United States is a generous country. And I think there's a lot of room to accept more refugees from Syria and from elsewhere. In the case of Syria accepting more refugees annually shouldn't be seen as a panacea for the overall problem and the lack of real comprehensive policy to address the conflict and the people fleeing such incredibly terrible violence. But it's an important first start, first step.
PAUL: All right. Sarah Margon -- so good to have your insight today. Thanks for being with us.
MARGON: Thanks for having me.
SAVIDGE: Well, officials brace for yet another wave of Syrian refugees to pour into Europe today. Tens of thousands are marching through the streets of London as an issue of solidarity with all the men, women and children desperate to find shelter and, of course, a better life and to demand more action from the U.K. government.
CNN's Sherisse Pham has the latest.
SHERISSE PHAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Marchers are gathering here in London and officials are telling us they expect as many as 65,000 people to come out today. They are going to head down and walk towards parliament and make their voices heard to put a little pressure on the British government.
Prime Minister David Cameron said earlier this week that Briton is pledging to accept 20,000 refugees over the next five years, but critics are saying that that's not enough. That that is insubstantial compared to what other countries in the region are taking in namely Germany which has said that it expects to take in 800,000 migrants by the end of the year.
A German official told CNN this morning that they are taking in as many as 10,000 migrants a day. So we're talking over a span of two days Germany is taking in what David Cameron is saying that Britain will take in over the next five years. Supporters at this event tell us they want this government to do more. They are saying that refugees are welcomed here and that there is space here in the U.K. for them.
And an organizer of this event told us she just wants to see more action and that it is, I believe the word she said was appalling, that the world is turning its back on Syria.
SAVIDGE: Sherisse Pham, thank you very much from London. PAUL: A construction crane on one of the largest mosques in the
world. More than 100 people inside died. We're going to tell you what they're learning may have caused that to happen.
Also, Donald Trump making the late night circuit it seems with Jimmy Fallon last night. And nothing is off limits.
[08:41:23] SAVIDGE: That is some absolutely shocking footage from Saudi Arabia as a construction crane comes crashing down on the ground at a mosque killing at least 107 people. You're looking at amateur video that captured that moment and the chaotic aftermath. More than 200 people were injured. Officials are blaming the accident on powerful sandstorms. Mecca's grand mosque, the largest in the world that's currently undergoing expansion and there were multiple cranes in the area.
Our Ian Lee joins us now live from Cairo with the latest and Ian, we are hearing of course that the investigation is underway. What are they looking for?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, there are a few things that they are looking at. First off, was this crane secured or was there a default that could have caused it to topple over like that. We are also looking at how the weather may have been involved. This was a freak thunderstorm that was taking place. Winds gusting up to about 50 miles per hour, heavy rain mixed with sand. There was lightning, could it have contributed to this crane falling over?
But we also need to note that there are over a dozen other cranes of similar size that were surrounding the mosque at the same time. They didn't fall over. They are going to be looking through those cell phone videos as well trying to see if there are any details there to really understand how this accident happened. Really, over 100 people were killed. They were, you might say quite lucky, if this would have happened an hour later when people had gathered to pray, that toll would have been a lot higher.
SAVIDGE: And we know this tragedy comes just days before millions of people are expected to make the pilgrimage on the hajj. Do you think the numbers in any way are going to be impacted as a result of safety concerns?
LEE: Well, of course the Saudi government is going to need to reassure those pilgrims that it is safe, that they can come and that they will have a safe, secure experience. And it is unlikely, though, that this will really deter anyone ultimately as doing the hajj is one of the five tenets, one of the five pillars of Islam that's required. Anyone who is financially or physically able to do, any Muslim has to complete that.
Here in Egypt who will save their entire lives just to go on this. So it is unlikely it will really deter anyone from doing it. But of course, the Saudi government does need to reassure them. This expansion of the grand mosque was to make it safer, was to expand it so that they could have those 2 million people in that area safely, secured.
So they are going to have to answer that question. Is it going to be safe? But Saudi officials right now looking into those questions.
SAVIDGE: Ian Lee joining us from Cairo this morning. Thank you.
PAUL: Well, if you can handle it, it's two times the Trump on late night TV. Fallon and oh, you've got to hand it to him, goes face to face with the GOP front-runner. But with four days before until CNN's big debate, can any of the other candidates catch up?
Also did you know a million people were Googling Roberta Vinci? And unseeded relatively unknown who just defeated that world number on Serena Williams in the U.S. open semi-finals. Who is this Italian marvel?
[08:48:31] SAVIDGE: The road to the White House just keeps getting longer. The town halls, the debate stages, now a trip to the late night couch. Trump sat down with Jimmy Fallon. Biden had a talk with Stephen Colbert about contemplating a run. And Hillary Clinton went stateside with Ellen DeGeneres. Here to break down their appearances, senior media correspondent Brian Stelter.
So what is it about, I don't know, late night shows that the audience and candidates just seem to can't get enough of?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well, they have a chance to humanize themselves, show that they are about more than policy, right? And Donald Trump on Fallon was especially interesting last night because we had not seen him in a late night environment ever since he announced for president. We all know he has a bit of an ego. He's not the most self-deprecating guy on the planet, but he did so that he can have some fun with himself and his persona. And here was the best part, I thought. This was a "man in the mirror" skit on Fallon last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: The only one qualified to interview me is me.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Me interviewing me, that's what I call a great idea.
FALLON: Of course it's a great idea. We thought of it. Ok, interview time. Question one: are you ready for the Republican debate next week?
[08:50:00] TRUMP: You know, the truth is, I'm always ready. It's really going to be a big debate, but I'm always ready.
FALLON: It's not just big, it's huge. Huge. Huge. Huge. Huge. Huge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: You know, he's able to show that he's able to laugh a little bit at himself. And that's a valuable trait sometimes. I was over at 30 Rock for the taping yesterday and it was a spectacle. More than 100 people waiting outside to see Trump leave the building. And he was quite happy about his appearance. He was tweeting about it all night and into this morning -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: But potentially these kind of appearances can also get you into kind of trouble. And I wonder --
STELTER: Oh, sure.
SAVIDGE: -- how far can you take it? How far can this humor go and especially with Donald Trump?
STELTER: Well, especially with Trump because people perceive him to be an entertainer as well as a presidential candidate. He himself has called himself an entertainer. And an appearance like this is exactly what we're seeing. As we see the world of politics and entertainment blur to the point where it's sometimes hard to recognize what we're watching. But the late night shows are a forum for that.
We're going to see Hillary Clinton on Fallon next week. We're going to see Trump back in late night on Stephen Colbert's show in two weeks. But these shows are, at least, at moments a chance for more serious conversation as well. We did see Trump repeating his policy positions last night and taking on Hillary Clinton. Here's what he said about Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FALLON: What do you think we're going to find in Hillary Clinton's e- mails?
TRUMP: I think a lot of bad stuff. I think it's something she should not have been doing. She has a server in her bathroom in a place in Denver? I mean what is going on? It's wrong.
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STELTER: This was mostly a news appearance by Trump on Fallon. But I thought there were six words that perfectly encapsulated the current presidential primary cycle. He said of all his rivals -- all 15 rivals on the Republican side, he said, "to me they are all the same". And if we know one thing about Trump, it's that he stands out from all the rest.
SAVIDGE: Yes, he definitely does do that. Brian Stelter -- thank you very so much for the insight. By the way, you can catch Brian on Sunday as he hosts "RELIABLE SOURCES". That will be at 11:00 a.m. Good to see you, Brian.
PAUL: And we're gearing up for a busy day on the political (INAUDIBLE). Just ahead, four GOP presidential hopefuls converging in Iowa today and tailgating, college football. We have a live report from a Trump rally.
Also Serena Williams is not making history this year. Her grand slam hope it just didn't happen -- taken by an unknown Italian player. Who is this Roberta Vinci?
[08:56:25] PAUL: Other stories making headlines today, a plane flying from Colombia crashed Friday and it killed two people. This was a plane carrying crew members from a recently wrapped Tom Cruise film. The pilot, Allan Purwin, was one of those killed. For 30 years Purwin, piloted planes that carried camera crews all over the place -- crews who captured, sleeping aerial shots from movies and TV shoes.
SAVIDGE: You know, any time anything goes wrong in an NFL game now we want to blame the Patriots. The NFL says that the New England Patriots had nothing to do with the latest football controversy -- headset gate. The Steelers' headsets apparently were not working. Instead the coaches were hearing the Pats' radio broadcast. The NFL was quick to take blame. They've released a statement saying that the problem quote "Involved no manipulation by any individual that the Patriots had nothing to do with it." You get it. They blamed bad weather and the stadium's power system.
PAUL: Yes, that's it. Well, Serena Williams is most likely waking up this morning and she, like so many, still in shock over her U.S. Open loss. Her hopes for that grand slam were just crushed. And a lot of people who were cheering her on were thinking the same thing. The number one player in the world upset by unseeded by Roberta Vinci, there she is, of Italy.
Andy Scholes joins us live from the U.S. Open with more. So Andy -- you are there, I want to know what that moment was like when she realized she lost? I mean, for everybody there.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS: Christi, I mean everyone was just in shock at what just happened. No one could believe that Serena had just lost to relatively unknown Roberta Vinci. Serena's 33 grand slam match winning streak is over. Her chance at the Calendar Year grand slam was now over. And no one expected Roberta Vinci to come into this match and win. And it's funny because you know, all the fans disappointed that they're not going to get to see Serena go for that Calendar year grand slam, especially all the fans that had tickets for the final today. And Vinci actually sympathized with those fans because after the match she actually apologized for disappointing them and beating Serena.
ROBERTA VINCI, TENNIS PLAYER: I was a little bit sorry for this because for me she cannot reach the grand slam.
SCHOLES: Roberta Vinci who's ranked 43 in the world said she never believed she could beat Serena.
VINCI: It's amazing. It's like a dream SCHOLES: She actually had already booked a flight for Saturday to go back home.
VINCI: 10:00 in the night. Maybe I can -- maybe, eh?
SCHOLES: Her game plan to keep the ball in play and just keep running worked as she played the match of her life.
VINCI: I played good today. If you don't play good, you cannot win against her, especially.
SCHOLES: At 32 years old, Vinci is the oldest first time grand slam finalist in the open era. But she's full of energy.
VINCI: Coffee. I like so much coffee. Really.
SCHOLES: And right now she's on top of the world.
VINCI: I am good right now. Maybe I can touch the sky with my fingers.
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SCHOLES: Vinci is quite the character and later today she's going to be taking on Flavia Pennetta in an all-Italian U.S. Open women's finals. First time ever that happened. Definitely not the final we all expected and as you can see, it's pretty beautiful out here right now in Flushing Meadows but we are expecting rain later this afternoon. Fingers crossed though that we're going to get that match in.
PAUL: All right. Andy -- thank you so much.
PAUL: We're wishing her the best because she is so charming. She may say people will be disappointed that it's not Serena but they'll be (INAUDIBLE).
SAVIDGE: She was. All credit to her -- really.
PAUL: Absolutely. "SMERCONISH" is next.
SAVIDGE: That's it -- we'll be back.