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Flash Flood Engulfs Cars on Highway; Oregon Hero Recalls Campus Attack; Donald Trump and Jeb Bush Twitter Feud Over 9/11 Remarks; Three More Deadly Attacks in West Bank, Jerusalem; U.S. Delays Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan; Teen Dead After Traffic Stop; Who is the Biggest Heisman Disappointment?; Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 17, 2015 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god, that car is going to hit us. Oh my god.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Can you imagine being in her position? And we have new flash flooding fears to tell you about out west. California digging out of mudslides along the coast. A threat of dangerous conditions in three states, in fact, this morning.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: New details this morning in the Oregon college shooting massacre. For the first time we hear from the army veteran being called a hero and how he saved others in his own words.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. Trump, can you clarify? Do you think that 9/11 was President Bush's fault?


PAUL: That's not something we've seen from Donald Trump much.


PAUL: Walking away from questions about statements that he made that former President George Bush shares the blame for the 9/11 terror attacks. The GOP frontrunner did finally respond. We'll tell you about that.

It is 7:00 here in the East. Hope that you are enjoying a nice relaxing day. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you this morning.



(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: Can you imagine the position this woman is in? Flash flood rescue, there you see, dramatic video out of Bakersfield, California, is what you're looking at here. This woman narrowly pulled from rushing waters after torrential rains triggered major mudslides. Forcing this couple to abandon their car. Another round of rain now making its way to California and the west.

Now I want to show you what happened Thursday, mudslides trapped hundreds of vehicles. Their drivers on highways, including Interstate-5. And this was mud that was as high as 20 feet in some places. For those who were caught in it, they say it was terrifying.



MIMI ELKALLA, REPORTER, KBAK: Rae Ecklund says she was on her way home from Mojave to Tehachapi with two co-workers when the rain started pouring.

RAE ECKLUND, SURVIVOR: Oh my god. We were heading up on Cameron and we were like in a low spot, and it just kept raining and raining and then the mud just started coming towards us.

ELKALLA: And soon enough the car she was passenger in lifted off of the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god, this car is going to hit us. Oh my god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're floating. We're floating.

ECKLUND: And then we just started floating and banging in the car.

ELKALLA: Ecklund says the worst thoughts were running through her mind as she continued to record.

ECKLUND: We're in trouble now. We're going to hit. We're going to hit.

ELKALLA: Unsure of what was going to happen next as cars turned into boats.


ECKLUND: We were bouncing off of the cars. And I was not sure whether we were going to make it out of there. It looked like there were cars going to float over the wall. It was really shocking.

He's going to go over the edge.

ELKALLA: Once the rain finally came to a stop --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We might get out of this mess.

ELKALLA: Ecklund and the two women in the car with her crawled through the window.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we're safer in the car.

ECKLUND: And then we walked out of there. It took us hours to walk out of there. It was awful. Walking out of there was really bad because, like, we were in mud up to our knees.

ELKALLA: They finally made it to safety. As for the car.

ECKLUND: We ended up on the back of a semi. The car looks like it's ready to be hauled away.


PAUL: And that was Mimi Elkalla from our affiliate KBAK. And thank you to her for apprising us to what's happening.

Another round of wet weather and a potential for more flash floods is what a lot of people are concerned about in California.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let's check in with CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar.

Hey, is there more on the way? Or do they just have to clean up what already came down?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Both. It just kind of depend on where you're talking about. But some areas, it's really the clean-up process. For others, it's kind of keeping watch as more rain begins to move back in. So let's take a look. This is the last three days. Now you can see a lot of areas around two to four inches. Overall, especially when we compare to, say, a couple of weeks ago, we had the South Carolina flooding.

These numbers in and of themselves are not that high. However, keep in mind, Antelope Valley which is just north of the St. Clarita area that you see right here, 3.83 inches in one hour. That officially makes that area a one in 1,000-year flood event. Similar to what we have in South Carolina, but obviously the numbers were a little bit different.

Now here as we continue to push a little farther, you'll notice we do still have the flood threat in effect for California, Nevada, Arizona, and also even to southern Utah, where we expect more of that rain to begin to push back in. The totals again still not quite as impressive as what we saw a couple of weeks ago, but this area, it is. When you have all that scaring because of the wildfires, it doesn't take much rain to cause a lot of these mudslide.

You notice as we go through the day Saturday, more of that rain is expected. And again look some more, two, four, even slightly higher than four inches possible in a few spots, Victor and Christi.

[07:05:08] So again the key thing to note is we can't pinpoint exactly where the mudslides will be, but the best area to keep an eye out for is where you have a lot of the scaring from the wildfires. Those are going to be the first places that you end up seeing some of those mudslides.

BLACKWELL: All right. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

All right. So we want to get you this new account this morning of the campus massacre at the Umpqua Community College, this is in Roseburg, Oregon. For the first time, Chris Mintz, one of the man who's being hailed as a hero for running towards danger and warning his fellow students about the gunman, he's sharing his story. It's through a Facebook post.

Mintz describes how this normal day just descended into the massacre we all about now. And the moment that he came face to face with this gunman.

Nick Valencia has these new details for us. Nick, good morning.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. Chris Mintz did what we would all like to think we would do if presented with such extraordinary circumstances. Selflessly sacrifice your own safety to ensure the safety of others. Now for the first time, we're hearing in his words what happened that day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dispatch as many ambulances as possible, we have upwards of 20 victims.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Chilling new details in the Oregon community college massacre from shooting survivor, Chris Mintz, the army veteran who has been called a hero for protecting others.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exchanging shots with him. He's in a classroom.

VALENCIA: In a Facebook posting Mintz recalled the day that he says started out as normal but quickly descended into chaos. He writes, "There was a bunch of yelling and that there were gunshots going off that sounded like fire crackers."

Mintz, who says he sat in the front of the class, says everyone got up and took off. "I stopped and held the door open and waited for everyone to leave safely," he writes. "He then says he took direction from a counselor that kept screaming someone needed to tell the people in the library, and I told her I'd do it."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody is outside one of the doors, shooting through the doors.

VALENCIA: Mintz writes that he made his way back into the classroom area where he came face to face with the gunman.

"He leaned out and started shooting as I turned toward him," he recalled. This is how he described the shooter. "He was so nonchalant through it all, like he was playing a video game, and showed no emotion." Mintz says, "The shots knocked me to the ground and felt like a truck hit me." He then says he was shot again while on the ground and that the gunman said, "That's what you get for calling the cops."

Mintz writes in the Facebook post that he told the gunman that he didn't call police and they were already on the way. He then yelled to the gunman, "It's my kids birthday, man." Mintz says, "The shooter pointed the gun right at my face," and then retreated back into the classroom."

CHRIS MINTZ, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Hello, everyone. I'm doing well.

VALENCIA: A friend posted this video of Mintz in the hospital. He's since been released and has this lingering question. "I'm still confused at why he didn't shoot me again."


VALENCIA: Mintz posted that statement last night. He said in his post that he decided to post on Facebook because he didn't want to do any on-camera media interviews to him. He says this is not about politics, it's not publicity. He was shot five times, once in each leg, once in the abdomen, once in the left finger and once in the top shoulder that came an inch within hitting his heart. He says the lingering question of course that he has is why his life was spared that day -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: It tells the gunman, it's his kid's birthday. Well, amazing he's still alive.

Nick, thank you so much.

VALENCIA: You got it.

PAUL: All right, let's talk about the 2016 presidential race and the intensifying Twitter feud between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. It really amped up overnight after the Republican frontrunner took shots at President George W. Bush's record on 9/11.

Listen to this Bloomberg interview.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time. If you --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Hold on, you can't blame George Bush for that.

TRUMP: He was president. OK. Don't blame him or don't blame him. But he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.


PAUL: Well, Jeb Bush fired back, tweeting, quote, "How pathetic for Donald Trump to criticize the president for 9/11. We were attacked. And my brother kept us safe." It didn't end there, particularly after CNN asked Trump about his comments later in the day. Let's go to CNN's Chris Frates because, Chris, I don't know that I've

ever seen Donald Trump walk away from a microphone.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT: So you're exactly right, Christi. The story did not end there. After a campaign rally last night, you know, our very own MJ Lee caught up with Trump. And she asked him, point blank, you know, did he think George W. Bush was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Here's what he said.


MJ LEE, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Mr. Trump, can you clarify? Do you think that 9/11 was President Bush's fault.


LEE: You said to Twitter that your comments about 9/11 are --


[07:10:12] FRATES: So a shockingly quiet Trump there, Christi. And you know, he regularly takes questions from reporter so it's unusual to see him walking away without responding. But in fact, you know, Trump wasn't done there. A few minutes later he took to Twitter instead.

Here's what his tweet said. He said, quote, "At the debate, you said your brother kept us safe. I wanted to be nice. And I did not mention that the World Trade Center came down during his watch, 9/11." Then he tweeted, "No, Jeb Bush, you're pathetic for saying nothing happened during your brother's term when the World Trade Center was attacked and came down."

So, you know, that last tweet, Christi, has a real kind of I know you are, what I am feel to it, a real tit for tat. And that's kind of how this Twitter feud between Jeb Bush and Trump has been going for months. You know, Trump hit Bush for immigration. He's re-tweeted messages calling Bush crazy, calling on him to stop speaking, quote, you know, "Mexican." So this is really just the latest chapter in a long running Twitter feud between Bush and Trump. And we'll see if Bush responds today.

PAUL: All right. Hey, Chris Frates, thank you so much. I'm just amazed that it's come to this. Twitter feuds amongst candidates.

Be sure to stick with CNN as we follow the 2016 candidates throughout the weekend. It is a busy one. White House hopefuls making stops in key states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. And Vice President Joe Biden set to attend an event tonight in New York. Is he going to make an announcement?

Later this hour, we're going to have more on the VP's possible decision which is said to be imminent.

BLACKWELL: All right. Looking forward to that. Also, first let me take you to Houston, at look at this mess. A huge portion of scaffolding. Watch it fall, trapping several construction workers. We'll tell you what rescue crews were worried about most.

Also check this out. This dust storm sweeping into Arizona, causing huge problems for drivers there.

Also Hillary Clinton opening up to Jake Tapper in an interview talking about Benghazi, Trump and whether the vice president should make a run for the White House.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Certainly I'm not in any way suggesting or recommending that the vice president accept any timetable other than the one that is clicking inside of him.



[07:15:33] PAUL: Want to get to some breaking news, no let up to the deadly violence or the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. Three more Palestinians have been shots and killed in Jerusalem and in the West Bank city of Hebron. Israeli officials say in all three incidents the Palestinian attackers had knives and went after police officers and a civilian.

The video you're looking at here is from the incident in Jerusalem.

CNN international correspondent Phil Black is in Hebron where the other two attacks took place.

Phil, I just saw you, looking behind you. Is something going on there right now?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi, we're going to take you straight to what's going on at the bottom of the hill just behind us. As the camera zooms in, you'll be able to see young Palestinians behind barricades, hurling rocks using sling shots there. They're lobbing those projectiles up towards Israeli Defense Force soldiers, which are a little further up the hill around the corner there.

What we're seeing here today is really an extension of the cycle of violence that has been taking place here for some weeks now. In Hebron, as you mentioned today, according to the -- according to Israeli officials, there have been two attempted knife attacks against Israeli Hews. One against Jewish settler that lives in this Palestinian city. Another against an Israeli police officer, a woman. In both cases the Palestinians wielding knives were shot and killed.

The shooting of those Palestinians is what triggers this wider violence, the clashes that you're seeing going on behind us just here. So this is what's been happening here for two weeks now. Ever since this strange new surge of violence, which has involved Palestinians off and on with knives and cutting implements randomly attacking Jews and Israelis on the streets.

It's largely been in Israel -- I'm sorry, I should say in Jerusalem, east Jerusalem. But what we're seeing now that these attacks spreading to the West Bank and they're triggering these broader street violence, the broader street violence that we're seeing taking place here behind us now.

The result of this two-week surge in violence according to Israeli government is seven dead Israelis who effectively have been knifed down on the streets in this way. And then Palestinian officials say some 30 Palestinians have been killed in the often lethal response to those knifing attacks, Christi.

PAUL: Well, I think is so striking, Phil, from what you just showed us there is it looks as though one of those people hurling rocks was just a kid that was almost being -- then we saw a couple of people that look like adults coming in, and maybe they were coaxing him, or they were training him in some way. But how young are some of these people that you're seeing engaged in these fights?

BLACK: Yes. They're young, and that's not unusual here certainly. They are teenagers perhaps, some of them really no more than boys. Others younger, but men still. That's a common occurrence here in these sorts of street clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces, where you see them lobbing rocks towards the Israelis, and the Israelis respond with tear gas, sometimes rubber baton or bullets or rubber bullets or sometimes lethal fire. Real fire as well.

And that's the cycle that we see here. What we've been seeing, though, particularly with these knife attacks the other disturbing element is certainly the youth of the attackers. They are teenagers or young men who are taking it upon themselves, not acting upon orders from any moderate or radical leadership. Acting up on themselves to take knives and attack Israelis in the ways that we've been seeing here -- Christi.

PAUL: Yes, which I know is so worrisome because you wonder if some of these random attacks may lead to some sort of more organized attacks later on.

Phil Black, we so appreciate the update and the images you're bringing us. Thank you. Just stay safe to you and the crew there, too.

BLACKWELL: The governor declares an emergency right now in Hawaii. This is not over. Violence or a severe weather event. Why homelessness is now a priority.

And new details on the search for El Chapo. Excuse me. Why authorities think they could be closing in on the drug kingpin.


[07:23:17] PAUL: Joaquin Guzman, you know this man. The drug kingpin better known as El Chapo. Well, he was injured while evading authorities, we've learned. This is according to officials who say they launched an operation to recapture him based on intelligence that they received. He did get away. They didn't get him. But they say he did sustain injuries to his face and one leg. Guzman broke out of prison in July. He's been on the run ever since.

BLACKWELL: Now to Hawaii where the governor has declared a state of emergency, not for a storm that's coming but to address homelessness in his state. About $1.3 million in state funding will now be used to expand services including temporary housing and an extension of contract for homeless services. A state coordinator says Hawaii has the highest per capita rate of homelessness among the 50 states.

PAUL: Look at that scaffolding just crumbling.

BLACKWELL: In seconds it all came down. Six construction workers were injured when the scaffolding collapsed. This is outside of a building in Houston. Officials say all of the injured were workers at the scene, not first responders or tourists or anybody passing by.

A senior captain with the Houston Fire Department said there is no confirmation of missing workers, although about 100 firefighters are still looking.

And incredible images from Phoenix, this large dust storm blanketed the area Friday. Look at it just rolling in here. It's known as a haboob. It developed as a result of the same system that brought floods to southern California. And that system brought warm air to Arizona which led to the formation of the wall of dust and sand that swept over Phoenix as you see here.

PAUL: President Obama deciding to keep troop levels up in Afghanistan. A lot of people agree that it's the right call and critics say it could be too little too late.

[07:25:04] OK, let's just put it out there. Should Joe Biden run? Hillary Clinton weighs in on the vice president's potential White House bid.


PAUL: Well, mortgage rates inched up this week. Still remaining below 4 percent from the 12 straight weeks. Here's your look.





BLACKWELL: All right. Look at this, another round of rain heading to California after what we're seeing here. This is just days after parts of California were walloped by severe weather. It came down so quickly. So much at once. It caused major mudslides, flash flooding. And dramatic rescues like this. And look at this clean-up crews, they had to use street sweepers to clear off some of the roads but not everything is opened. The southbound lanes of Interstate-5 are still closed.

PAUL: Now to a CNN exclusive. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton sits down for a one-on-one interview. This comes after pundits applauded her performance during the first presidential debate and as a result a new poll shows Clinton polling even with Senator Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. That's where she'd been trailing and this is a critical state here.

[07:30:07] Clinton seeing this post-debate surge even as discussions swirl about Vice President Joe Biden potentially entering the race.

CNN's Jake Tapper met with Clinton in New Hampshire and spoke about the vice president. Good morning, Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: That's right. I'm in beautiful Keen, New Hampshire, in the first in the nation primary state, the Granite State where Hillary Clinton just pulled ahead of Bernie Sanders in the first poll taken since the first Democratic debate.

One of the questions is, is Vice President Biden going to be at the second presidential debate for the Democrats? I asked her if time is running out.


TAPPER: You've said in the past that Vice President Biden should have -- should take his time, whatever he needs, to make his decision about whether or not to run. But your campaign is now signaling that it might be time for him to make a decision. Your top adviser, John Podesta, said this week, quote, "I think the time has come for a decision." Has the time come?

CLINTON: Well, that's up to Vice President Biden. Obviously, I have --

TAPPER: That's your top adviser.

CLINTON: Well, and I think what John was saying is that whether you are encouraging or not, there does come a point where a decision has to be made. But certainly, I'm not in any way suggesting or recommending that the vice president accept any timetable other than the one that is clicking inside of him. He has to make those decisions.


TAPPER: We talked about much more, of course, including Afghanistan, Benghazi, her e-mail server, making college affordable, Bernie Sanders. You can watch it all on Sunday, on "STATE OF THE UNION" at 9:00 a.m. and noon Eastern.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk now, we've got Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator Maria Cardona, also with Justin Sayfie, a former top adviser to Jeb Bush.

Good to have both of you here. And, Maria, I want to start with you. MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: A Biden adviser, a supporter, sent out an e-mail to possible donors telling them that the vice president needed their support, quote, "yesterday." So the calendar is forcing Biden to make a decision. Are we expecting that he's going to make it very soon? And what's the impact of this delay?

CARDONA: Well, in terms of the timing, I completely agree with Hillary. I think only Joe Biden can make the decision of whether to jump in. This is an incredibly compelling decision that he has to make with his family. But yes, the calendar and the clock are ticking. From what we are hearing from various reporting is that they could wait -- the Biden campaign could wait as long as the end of October in terms of making a decision whether to jump in or not.

My sense is that if they are going to wait, and they're probably going to wait until after Hillary Clinton does her testimony at the Benghazi committee to see how that goes, pate, they will wait until after Hillary Clinton does the testimony at the Benghazi committee to see how that goes. There are various very high-level speeches to Democratic groups at the end of October as well. And so I think that they are really looking to figure out whether the vice president wants to do this or not.

The letter that was sent out was certainly something that was smart to tell those who were getting worried in terms of timing that there is still time but the fact of the matter is at the end of this month, a lot of the windows close.


CARDONA: For filing purposes. I mean, a lot of this is pragmatic. But at the end of the day, the only person who can make this decision is Joe Biden. And from what I am hearing, the people closest to him say that he actually hasn't decided yet. And so he's making all the right moves, he's having all the right conversations in order to be ready if he jumps in. But we don't know whether that's going to happen or not yet, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Justin, let me come to you with something that Hillary Clinton said about Donald Trump.

Do we have that sound bite? Let's play it.


CLINTON: I have called him out on some of the things that he has said which I thought were uncalled for. Some of the insults and the attacks that he's made on immigrants, on women, and it's just unacceptable, you know, that he said about the president. So I'm going to continue to criticize him for going beyond the bounds of what I think is appropriate for anybody running for president.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: And in that narrative, what about this latest comment from Trump saying that -- or at least pointing out that George W. Bush was president when 9/11 happened?

JUSTIN SAYFIE, FORMER ADVISER TO JEB BUSH: Well, look, Donald Trump is very unpredictable. He says a lot of things. I think Hillary Clinton's quote is really interesting, the dynamic between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. We know that Donald Trump financially supported Hillary Clinton's campaigns. We know he wrote a big check to the Clinton Foundation. We know that Chelsea Clinton is good friends with his daughter, Ivanka Trump. So it's a really interesting dynamic.

[07:35:02] I'm struck a little bit to see Hillary Clinton criticizing her friend Donald Trump a little bit. But I know that she has to do it for political reasons. And with respect to Donald Trump blaming President Bush, you know, that's not going to sit well with a lot of Republican voters. I think that a lot of Republican voters are not going to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt or not and that's actually going to hurt him with more Republican voters.

BLACKWELL: But you know, Justin, the last fragment of your sentence is that he is not going to get a pass with Republican voters. It could have been applied to things he said about John McCain, the things he said about Megyn Kelly.


BLACKWELL: To many of the other things he said. But he's been number one at the top of these polls for three months now. Essentially since he jumped in. And Jeb Bush has been in single digits trying to get a grasp. Why is that happening?

SAYFIE: Sure. Well, look. You've got 10 candidates running. You have a poll with 10 candidates in it. And Donald Trump has gotten maybe 20 percent, 25 percent, 29 percent. Seven out of 10 Republicans do not support Donald Trump. Most of the overwhelming majority of Republicans don't support Donald Trump. So yes, in a field with 10 or 11 or 15 candidates, he's number one. But let's see where he is. We saw it happened with Scott Walker, who's leading the polls earlier this year, he's now out of the race. Donald Trump should be careful because the same fate could happen to him just as it happened to Scott Walker.

BLACKWELL: So, Maria, are Democrats preparing for a general election against Donald Trump? Does it seem more likely now that this is not just the summer of Trump? That this is Trump's cycle?

CARDONA: It definitely seems more likely, Victor, and I know that Republican strategists are just completely keeping themselves up at night with this thought. But there has never been a candidate in history that has been at the lead for so long with numbers that are so deep that has not gotten the nomination. Now that doesn't mean that he will but I really think that Republican strategist need to gird themselves for the very real possibility that Donald Trump is going to be their nominee. Now Justin is right, you know, the majority of Republican voters right

now don't support Donald Trump. But that also means that even more Republican voters out there don't support Jeb Bush, don't support Marco Rubio, because as you mentioned they are in the single digits. So what can we imagine Donald Trump saying or doing that he hasn't done or said up until now that would actually bring him down in the eyes of Republican voters?

And Hillary Clinton, frankly, has been the only one that has been the adult in the room and has taken him to task for things that are utterly offensive to voters.

BLACKWELL: Well, I'll tell you --

CARDONA: I know Republicans squirm, but that's the truth.

BLACKWELL: It was quite interesting to see him walk away from MJ Lee who asked him twice about his comments, and then he went to Twitter. We'll talk more about that throughout the show.

Justin Sayfie, Maria Cardona, thank you both.

CARDONA: Thank you, Victor.

SAYFIE: Thank you, Victor.


PAUL: You know, President Obama has decided to keep troop levels up in Afghanistan. Critics say it could be too little too late. But at least one candidate agrees with the decision.

Also an officer caught on his own body cam shooting and killing a 17- year-old. He was cleared. Hear why the family of that teenager is suing the cop.


[07:41:45] BLACKWELL: All right. So in an exclusive CNN interview, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she is standing by the president as he delays a plan to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. Listen to part of the interview.


CLINTON: President Obama is a perfect example of a leader who has strong convictions about what he would like to see happen, but also pays attention to what's going on in the real world. And his decision is one that I agree with. I will not sit here today and say what I would do upon taking office because, again, we want to bring our troops home. We certainly don't want them engaged in -- on the ground combat.


BLACKWELL: Well, former Secretary Clinton is talking about this, the president's plan to leave thousands of troops in Afghanistan. Right now there are 9800 troops in country. The U.S. had planned to leave 1,000 troops there at the end of the president's administration. But now that plan is scratched. There will be 5500 troops there stationed in four key areas, in Kabul, around the embassy, Bagram Air Force Base there to protect the air resources in this fight, in Jalalabad, but also in Kandahar.

To talk about this plan, this reversal of sorts, we're joined by Marine Corporal veteran -- Marine Corps veteran, rather, Sergeant Patrick Miller. His unit was one of the first in Afghanistan back in November of 2001.

Sergeant Miller, it's good to have you and I want to just get your reaction. What were you thinking when you heard about this reversal that there would be 5500 troops there at the end of the Obama administration?

SGT. PATRICK MILLER, U.S. MARINE CORPS: Well, we need to decide who we are you leaving there. Conventional military versus special forces. And what is the true mission and goal and what defines success. We need to clear the definition of success and is it worth our losses and -- of our brothers and sister to stay any longer in Afghanistan?

BLACKWELL: Well, the State Department says that the mission has not changed, fighting terror groups, training and advising Afghan Security Forces there. Do you think that the U.S. is making any advancement in accomplishing either of those goals?

MILLER: Well, we've been training security forces 15 years now. At what point are they going to be ready to defend themselves, in fact for their own country?

BLACKWELL: So do you expect that 5500 will not be enough to get this done?

MILLER: I personally don't think it's enough.

BLACKWELL: Is there a number that -- with your experience you think would be more feasible?

MILLER: Well, I was Marine co-enlisted so I would say that's above my pay grade.

BLACKWELL: I respect that. Let me ask you about what the "New York Times" is reporting. That the Afghan government is considering expanding the local police program. And what we're talking about here in the advising and training is these security forces, the national force, but these would be some of the smaller local militias.

The President Asraf Ghani did not want to do this. The U.S. president and administrative -- and administration did not want to do this. What do you think about the expansion of this local police department?

MILLER: Well, you've got to remember, Afghanistan is ran by tribal communities. So who can you trust and who can you not trust? And then, you know, you have the problem with training their forces and then you have the green-on-blue attacks that we've been experiencing over the last 15 years old.

[07:45:01] BLACKWELL: What do you feel, 14 years after you first went into Afghanistan, looking at the situation and the condition of the country today?

MILLER: I feel -- I feel 15 years is too long. But we have to look at it as, are we willing to -- you know, I'm willing to deploy in the face of growing threat to keep my children safe here rather than to have the threat coming to my doorstep? So we look at the threat of al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS now in Afghanistan, we got to decide whether or not we want to keep that fight over there or let them bring that fight to us?

BLACKWELL: All right, Sergeant Patrick Miller, thank you so much for speaking with us as we try to explain and understand what's happening there and what will be there in the next 18 months or so. Thanks so much.

MILLER: Thank you.


PAUL: Well, the family of a Michigan teen says his civil rights were violated during this traffic stop that ended in his death. Now they've filed a federal lawsuit. We'll talk about this one.

Also, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel admitting to drinking after getting pulled over by police. What this could mean for the NFL quarterback now.


PAUL: Forty-nine minutes past the hour. And it began with a traffic stop, ended in the fatal shooting of a Michigan teen. Now the family of Deven Guilford has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit saying their son should never have been pulled over even in the first place.

CNN's Jean Casarez has more on the incident which was partially captured on camera.


[07:50:07] DEVEN GUILFORD, TEENAGER: How are you doing?

SGT. JONATHAN FROST, EATON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: I need your driver's license, registration, proof of insurance, please. Pulled you over today because you flashed me. I didn't even have my brights on.

GUILFORD: Yes, you did, sir.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Watch this police body camera video. Seventeen-year-old Deven Guilford on his way to his girlfriend's house back in February. Sergeant Jonathan Frost pulling him over for flashing his high beams.

FROST: Driver's license, registration, proof of insurance, please. I did not have them on. Driver's license, registration, proof of insurance, please.

GUILFORD: I don't know even know you're an officer.

CASAREZ: Sergeant Frost asked seven times for Guilford's license. And every time the teen refuses, questioning why he was stopped.

GUILFORD: Am I being detained?

FROST: Yes, you are.

GUILFORD: For what crime?

FROST: You flashed me with your high beams.

GUILFORD: You had your brights on, sir.

CASAREZ: As the traffic stop continues, Guilford begins recording their interaction on his cell phone. And continues to not cooperate.

FROST: You can get with the program and start to comply with this traffic stop or you're going to be taken to jail.

CASAREZ: The officer calls for backup two times. As the situation escalates, backup doesn't come.

FROST: You do not have your driver's license on your person? Correct?

GUILFORD: Yes, I do.

FROST: Where is it?

GUILFORD: You do not have to see it.

FROST: Do you realize that if you don't comply with this traffic stop it would have gone a whole different way for you?

CASAREZ: The officer sees Guilford try to make a phone call and orders him out of the car.

FROST: Out of car or you're going to get tased. Everything is being recorded, son. I've got no problem with that. Get out of the car. Get down on the ground. Now. Down on the ground.

GUILFORD: Oh, my gosh. Stop yelling at me.

FROST: Down on the ground. Right here. Facing me. Down on the ground. Now.

GUILFORD: What do you mean?

FROST: Get on your belly. Right now. GUILFORD: This is what American --

FROST: Put your phone down, you put your arms out to your side now.

CASAREZ: Sergeant Frost kicks Guilford's cell phone away.

GUILFORD: I don't have a weapon. Hey. You can't do that.

FROST: Son, get your hands behind your back. You're under arrest.

CASAREZ: Just about 90 seconds before backup arrives, Sergeant Frost tases Guilford but he's too close for it to work properly. Roughly 14 seconds later you hear gunshots.

Sergeant Frost says Guilford attacked him, hitting him repeatedly with his fist. Take a look at this slow-mo frame by frame. You can make the scuffle out just a little more clearly.

FROST: Central Point Z72. I shot one. Priority backup. Send EMS, I'm bleeding.

CASAREZ: This body cam video captures Sergeant Frost at the scene transported to the hospital with these injuries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks like a small abrasion on the back of the head.

CASAREZ: Guilford's family says the teen's death should never have happened, saying the traffic stop was illegal.

CYNTHIA HEENAN, GUILFORD FAMILY ATTORNEY: They are outraged. It boggles their minds how the kid could be stopped for flashing his lights and be dead five minutes later.

CASAREZ: But prosecutors cite the Michigan Safe Driving Manual which states, "It is illegal to use or even flash high beam headlights within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle."


CASAREZ: The officer cleared of all wrongdoing. The prosecutor concluding that Frost was acting in self-defense, that he reasonably believed that he would die or have serious bodily injury. Among the cited evidence, damage to the body camera. It was in pieces around the area. And the medical examiner's findings that Guilford's wounds were from the front indicating a struggle.

The family now filing a federal and civil lawsuit alleging the officer used excessive force, violated their son's constitutional rights, and wrongfully caused his death -- Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jean. Thank you so much.

More knife attacks, more deadly force as tensions rise in the Middle East. We'll have a live report coming up it at the top of the hour. PAUL: Also, the Twitter battle between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush

intensified overnight. This after comments Trump made about George Bush and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


[07:58:07] PAUL: New details this morning on NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel and his latest run-in with police. Officials say earlier this week the Heisman Trophy winner was pulled over after a dispute with his girlfriend. It was during the stop that Manziel admitted to police, I've been drinking. Manziel and his girlfriend were questioned after the incident. No charges were filed.

BLACKWELL: All right. So last hour we asked everyone at home, who is the biggest Heisman disappointment? Well, nine-year NFL veteran and CNN sports anchor Coy Wire is here with the answer.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Yes, and we have a lot of great answers actually, but this is a disappointment for Manziel. All right. I mean, his girlfriend told the police that he shoved her head against the window and then he's drinking again. He spent 10 weeks in a rehab facility so certainly he's been a big disappointment for Cleveland Browns fans. And football fans, you know, as a former Heisman Trophy winner.

But let's take a look at some of your responses, who you thought some of the biggest Heisman disappointments. Well, Chris said, unfortunately this is a long list. Matt Lienert, Eric Crouch, and what will soon include RGIII. Andy said Jason White, he never got drafted or perhaps Charlie Ward who went to the NBA instead. A lot of people wanted to see him play football so that was disappointing to some. Frank said the biggest -- Heisman disappointment, Charles White, the old running back from USC in 1980, that's marked the field issues. Ahmad said, I was going to say Brian Bosworth, but he finished fourth. So I just thought that was funny. Always give me a laugh.

BLACKWELL: That's a bust.

WIRE: Now Bob took it for a turn, he says none worse than OJ Simpson.


WIRE: Had a great NFL career, but a huge disappointment, obviously. And Banning agrees. He said OJ Simpson, the biggest disappointment, no comparison.

So really good responses. Howie actually said Johnny, take this simple advice, check yourself back into rehab fast. He's concerned about Johnny Manziel. He said, for real no joke. And clearly Johnny Manziel has some issues. He hasn't yet learned unfortunately.


WIRE: But great responses. Thank you so much for joining.

BLACKWELL: Always appreciated.

PAUL: Glad to hear from you.

WIRE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Coy, thank you.

WIRE: You're welcome.

PAUL: Thanks, Coy.

All right. There is so much more to talk about with you this morning.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.