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Man Arrested In "Heinous" Mississippi Stabbings; Tim Kaine Links Trump To "KKK Values"; Kaine Blasts "Ridiculous" Name Calling In Race; Clinton Shines A Light On The "Alt-Right"; Dwyane Wade's Cousin Killed In Crossfire; Governor of Maine Under Fire. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired August 27, 2016 - 06:00   ET



[06:00:22] SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He has supporters like David Duke connected with the Ku Klux Klan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want white supremacists to vote for you?


KAINE: Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoever committed this brutal act, I pray for that person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rodney Earl Sanders charged with two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of two nuns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They live their lives to make the world better for the people who have nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least ten water rescues occurred overnight in Kansas City as a flash flood emergency was issued for the metro region.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. We're so grateful to have your company as always. Happy Saturday. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. We're starting with the arrests this morning in what Mississippi authorities described as a heinous crime, two nuns stabbed to death in their homes.

PAUL: Police say this man, Rodney Earl Sanders, broke into their house in Lexington and killed them, but authorities are still trying to discern why that happened. Margaret Held and Paula Merrill, they worked as nurse practitioners. They were serving one of the state's poorest countries.

Now when they didn't show up for work on Thursday, their co-workers called police. Their car was found abandoned less than a mile away from their home. Friends and family say they're going to remember these two as outgoing and compassionate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's sad that people come to this whatever motivates them. I mean, you know, my aunt and Sister Margaret, they lived their lives to try to make the world better for the people who have nothing.


PAUL: Now, a wake is going to be held tomorrow for Sister Held and Sister Merrill, and a memorial mass is scheduled for Monday as well.

A national day of mourning meanwhile in Central Italy just days after this deadly earthquake we've been watching hit that popular vacation area.

BLACKWELL: Right now, funerals are beginning for dozens of victims. Italy's prime minister and president expected to attend services today for roughly 40 victims along. Just today, the death toll now 290.

PAUL: The depth of devastation across the region was sinking in as the critical window to find more survivors alive passes. Here's the other thing they are dealing with, hundreds of aftershocks. You can imagine how that's hampering the ongoing recovery efforts here. The 2,100 people are living in makeshift tents right now. We'll continue to follow this throughout the day.

BLACKWELL: And we'll continue to follow this throughout the day. Let's turn now to the flash flooding that has put Kansas City, Missouri, there under water. We've got the pictures. Let's show you the pictures here of what people are dealing with.

The National Weather Service calling this extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation here. And when you look at the video, you can understand why it's getting that classification. The roads obviously impassible.

You see just the roofs of some vehicles here, anyone who tried to drive through it, they watched their cars sink into those waters. Emergency crews have been working around the clock to rescue people trapped by those floods, and to make matters worse, much of the power is out.

PAUL: You just saw there part of what they have to do is they go into these cars they wade into the water with flashlights looking in to make sure that nobody is inside. This flash flooding is part of a severe water system that brought the threat of tornadoes and hail early yesterday.

So residents there are reporting downed tree limbs and branches in the streets. No signs of any damage to buildings, and so far, we're told that no one is hurt. But again, when you take a look at those pictures, you have to feel for those people there and what they're dealing with this morning.

BLACKWELL: Tim Kaine is launching a bold new line of attack against Donald Trump linking the GOP nominee to the values of the KKK, watch.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Victor and Christi, Donald Trump's advisers always seem to invite a little controversy. This time, its Trump's campaign chief who is in the headlines.


FRATES (voice-over): Trump's new campaign chief, Steve Bannon, is drawing Democratic fire.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The latest shake-up was designed to, quote, "let Trump be Trump." To do that, he hired Steven Bannon, the head of a right wing website called as the campaign CEO.

FRATES: But now the conservative news chief is drawing headlines of his own. Bannon was charged with battery and domestic violence stemming from a 1996 incident involving his then wife.

According to documents obtained by CNN an argument over money allegedly got physical after Bannon's then wife told him she wanted a divorce. The responding police officer wrote, "She appeared as if she was very upset and had been crying. I saw her eyes were red and watery. She first said, oh, thank you, you are here."

The police report went on and say the Bannon grabbed her by the neck and wrist pulling her down and leaving red marks where he grabbed her. The report said she fought back, got away from Bannon and dialed 911.

Neither the Trump campaign nor a Bannon spokeswoman returned request for comment. Bannon joins a line of some in Trump's inner circle with drawn controversy.

Former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort's lobbying ties to Ukraine and Russia and former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski's rough treatment of a female Breitbart reporter drew unwanted scrutiny.

And the defending Trump for a decade's old rape accusation that Ivanna Trump later walked back, Trump Attorney Michael Cohen argued, quote, "Of course, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse."

Trump friend and unofficial adviser, Roger Ailes, left Fox News, the channel he founded following allegations of sexual harassment.


FRATES: Now I asked Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway if this incident will affect Bannon's future with the campaign, she gave me a pretty definitive one word answer, no, and that was it.

Now in an interview, Conway was asked if Trump knew about the domestic case against Bannon, and she said, quote, "I don't know what he was aware with respect to a 20-year claim where the charges were dropped. So it doesn't like Bannon is going anywhere, anytime soon -- Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right, Chris Frates in Washington for us. Thank you so much.

Let's bring in CNN our political commentator and political editor for, and Donald Trump supporter, Scottie Nell Hughes. We also have with us A. Scott Bolden, former chairman of the Washington, D.C. Democratic Party and a Hillary Clinton supporter. Good morning to both of you.

After the speech we heard from Hillary Clinton on Thursday, we heard this last night from her running mate, Tim Kaine, about Donald Trump and his values. Watch this.


KAINE: He has supporters like David Duke connected with the Ku Klux Klan who are going around and saying Donald Trump is their candidate because Donald Trump is pushing their values. Ku Klux Klan value, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values. They're not our values, and we've got to do all we can to fight, to push back and win.


BLACKWELL: All right. Donald Trump is pushing their values, Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values. I want you, Scott, to listen to what Tim Kaine said in his first joint interview after joining the ticket about the rhetoric of this campaign. Let's watch that from "60 Minutes."


KAINE: When I see this crooked Hillary or lock her up, it's ridiculous. It is ridiculous. It is beneath the kind of character of dialogue we should have because we have real serious problem to solve, and most of us stopped the name calling thing about the fifth grade.


BLACKWELL: He was there criticizing Donald Trump. Do his comments last night meet his own standards, Scott?

A.SCOTT BOLDEN, FORMER CHAIRMAN WASHINGTON, D.C. DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well, I think so, because there wasn't any name calling. And remember, I don't like the rhetoric about bigotry and back and forth.

Donald Trump is a dangerous candidate, not because of innuendo or conjecture but because of who he has surrounded himself with the CEO of Breitbart, because of his statements and positions that are offensive to women, Muslims, Mexicans and African-Americans.

So he's brought this on himself and these are documented with citations in his own words. I think that's fair game especially if he's unfit and he doesn't have the temperament. But he is embracing these very right wing and racist values. Seventy percent of Americans believed he's a racist and a bigot. You can't run from those numbers and you can't win the presidency with those numbers.


SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, what's bad about all of this is that we've had the pull the race card on this. There's just no solutions out of it. This a horrendous week for Hillary Clinton starting off with where Donald Trump showed leadership going down to Louisiana and helping them on the ground while she's doing fundraisers in Maine and you had Barack Obama playing golf.

That's how this week started off and it only got worse for her with the disclosure that the FBI had 15,000 of these e-mails. None of that right now we are talking about because she gave the speech and introduced the emotion of race into it and --

BLACKWELL: Has Donald Trump not introduced that before especially in the discussion of Judge Curiel (ph) saying that he's a Mexican, although he is an American of Mexican heritage, that he could not be objective. Had Donald Trump not introduced race into this conversations many months ago?

HUGHES: You don't think it's obviously to distract what's going on. Now that she's opened up Pandora's box, let's talk about Pandora's box, the grand dragon, KKK, Will Craig endorsing Hillary Clinton, putting out videos, going to rallies. Talking about why he supports her.

[06:10:02]Let's talk about her praise of Senator Berg in 2010 saying that he was noble and her mentor, and people go, well, he was the --

BLACKWELL: Scottie, I hear you here, let me ask you about this, Scottie. I don't mean to cut you off. We'll have you here throughout the morning, but I've got to get this number in.

Because it's not just what we're hearing from the Clinton campaign, hearing from Clinton and Kaine, voters in this latest Quinnipiac poll that just came out on Thursday, 59 percent of those polled said that they agree that, quote, "The way Donald Trump talks appeals to bigotry."

This is not something that is simply created by the Clinton campaign, is not? Is this not a real problem with voters, with what Donald Trump says at least?

HUGHES: It's not just Donald Trump, this is a broken record of the Democrats. They do this every election cycle. They paint republicans as being racists. In this time in 2012, Mitt Romney was polling zero with the African-American community and being termed a racist.

John McCain was a racist. George W. Bush was a racist. This is what they always do. It works unfortunately because it pulls to the emotion. But it's not backed up by facts and if you right now think that it works for the communities.

Obviously when you're looking at more people now on food stamps, less home ownership within the African-American communities, then there's a problem. So why don't they look for a solution to be pandering, which is exactly what she's doing?

BLACKWELL: Scott, let me come to you, after the Clinton speech on Thursday, there was no huge rush of Republican lawmakers of conservatives not committed to the campaign to defend Donald Trump against this, but after these comments by Tim Kaine we are seeing that. Has Senator Kaine stepped on the Clinton message?

BOLDEN: No, I don't think so at all. Listen, those 60 percent of the voters are -- those 60 percent of the voters are not getting these racist and support of bigotry from anyone but Donald Trump. He has brought this on himself.

Because if you look at the citations and the reports in his own words, he's bringing it on himself. What's more telling is that after he's been accused of all of these things, not one Republican leader has tweeted or come out to defend him.

The report in "The Washington Post" that raised that question. So, now, I don't think Tim Kaine is stepping on the message. He's carrying forth the message that Hillary Clinton laid out a couple days ago that, again, those documented, it had citations and reports.

And it used Donald Trump's own words against him. And the Republicans going forward (inaudible) we're going to be --

HUGHES: Can I get --


BLACKWELL: Hold on, hold on. We can't have both of you at the same time.

BOLDEN: Without the teleprompter --

BLACKWELL: Hold on. Hold on. Scottie, we'll bring you back after the break. You'll go first after the break. We've got to take a quick break. We'll be right back.



BLACKWELL: Scott Bolden and Scottie Nell Hughes back with us and unfortunately had to cut Scottie off to get that break in. Let's go back to Scottie now. Go ahead with your answer.

HUGHES: We love to pay bill so I definitely I'm glad that we took a break. Listen and I agree --

BOLDEN: I wasn't done, by the way.

BLACKWELL: We'll get back to you, Scott.

HUGHES: No, I think that you can bring up the question and I think it's because Republicans are trying to get involved in the race issue because it is such a problem in our country today and we are not getting solutions from either side.

But you're not seeing any Democrats step up to defend Hillary Clinton on the bigot either and that charge is going to cross her. It has a large connotation with race, it doesn't just have to do with race, guys.

It has to do with someone who is small minded and drives hate towards one group and that's what we saw whether you agree with it or not, Hillary Clinton's speech was very bigoted towards conservatives, right wing Tea Partiers.

And that's what her hatred was towards during that speech the other day. But you don't have people standing up and saying, hey, she's not a bigot amongst the Democratic Party. Not necessarily anything more than we are just seeing for Donald Trump.

BLACKWELL: Let's about the speech on Thursday because the week started with Clinton facing the scrutiny over her e-mails, the connection between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.

She obviously changed the narrative on Thursday with that speech connecting Donald Trump to some conservative groups, the Alt-Right. Let's learn more about that actually and bring in CNN's Brian Stelter. He filed this to give us a little details on that and then Scott, we'll come to you after that.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While Donald Trump says he is seeking minority voters --

TRUMP: I think we're going to do great with African-Americans and Hispanics --

STELTER: Hillary Clinton is trying to tie Trump to the so-called Alt- Right, a movement often associated with white nationalism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Propelling the term Alt-Right into the national spotlight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Explain to us what Alt-Right is.

STELTER: The answer depends on who you ask.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just a dressed up version of the American Neo-Nazi movement, to be honest.

DOUG MCKELWAY, REPORTER, FOX NEWS: The mainstream media spot of portraying the Alt-Right as a mob of unruly racist, bigoted, sexist, uneducated white males. STELTER:, the website shared by Steve Bannon has proudly led the charge. Last month, Bannon told Mother Jones, "We are the platform for the Alt-Right."

Now Bannon is the Trump campaign CEO and Clinton is seizing on the connection, calling the Alt-Right disturbing and extreme. So what is it, exactly?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a home, a place where we can be with people like ourselves.

STELTER: This video blogger says the movement which started online several years ago is about ethnic nationalism. Race specifically the sense that white identity is under assault in America fuels the Alt- Right, which stands opposed to both progressive and mainstream conservative thought. Supporters say they're not racist or divisive but that is what some critics charge.

CHARLIE SYKES, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I spent 20 years trying to say that conservatives are not racists. We are not misogynists. This is not what we stand for and now suddenly we have the Republican nominee who has become associated with some of these darkest elements of American politics.

STELTER: Trump is a favorite of the mostly young, mostly white men who identify as Alt-Right.

TRUMP: We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.

STELTER: Nativism and even racial separatism are themes of Alt-Right websites that embrace Trump. But some of the loudest adherents say they are just being provocative. Milo Yiannopoulos has become the face of the movement through social media stunts though he's now been banned from Twitter. He is cheering on Trump.

[06:20:02]MILO YIANNOPOULOS, EDITOR, BREITBART NEWS: He represents the best hope we have of smashing political correctness apart, of breaking open, you know, all of the taboos, the stuff you're not supposed to say, allowing real debate to be had again.

STELTER: Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.


BLACKWELL: All right, Scott, let me come to you. Before we ran that package, Scottie brought up a point and I'll put it to you, is it fair to make Donald Trump, or hold him responsible, for the views of the Alt-Right, considering he says that he doesn't want the votes of white supremacists, white nationalists. Is it fair to hold him accountable for all of their views?

BOLDEN: Well, of course, it is because he feeds that narrative. It's one thing for him to say I don't want the white nationalists or the Ku Klux Klan vote even though David Duke and others and the extreme right of this Alt-Right are big supporters of his, they are because he feeds that narrative. And he's not afraid because that expands or rather energizes his base. You can't have it both ways. You can't say listen, I'm a willing prisoner of the Alt-Right movement or the neo conservatism or the Nazi party, but then feed the narrative of your policies on immigration, on building a wall, on the religious test for Muslims, on African- Americans being unemployed and poor and being shot in their communities.

This all feeds that negative narrative and then you combine the Breitbart with his campaign, you defend it and say, listen, I want to expand my base. You're not going to expand your base, you are energizing it.

And there's not enough of that base to get him to the political end zone of the presidency. He's only got 70 days left. He's run out of time. He's dug himself a hole, but he's going to have to live with Breitbart and the Neo-Nazi conservative issues that he feeds into their narrative. He can't deny that.

BLACKWELL: Scottie, let me put the logic on you. If Donald Trump brings in Steve Bannon to become the CEO of his campaign, a man who ran Breitbart, Breitbart claimed proudly to be the platform of the Alt-Right, does he not deserve all of the criticism that comes, if you choose Steve Bannon to come in and run essentially your campaign?

BOLDEN: Exactly.

HUGHES: I honestly do not believe Steve Bannon and I know Breitbart and if you were to look at their website, it's had over 1 billion visitors this year. It's a very popular website.

BLACKWELL: Popular does not always mean that it is ethical or right. It doesn't mean that it's wrong either. Numbers doesn't mean much, does it?

HUGHES: But I'm telling you the numbers on it to say that when you come out there and you claim the whole group is racist and they are Neo-Nazis that is slander. That is false and that's -- that is complete demonization.

That's like saying me turning around and calling the alternate left that they are Bill (inaudible) bombers. That they are alter progressive. I mean, none of that, that's not fair to do. That's not right to do it and let me --


HUGHES: May I remind you, where I said the grand dragon of the KKK in California is endorsing Hillary Clinton. She has more of an outspoken support from the KKK than Donald Trump. Whether you don't want to hear it --

BOLDEN: That's ridiculous.

HUGHES: It's the truth. You've got Robert Bair who is using the "n" word on interviews with Tony Snow in 2001 repeatedly saying it over and over again. There are strong -- and then look at what we saw on the DNC e-mails making fun of an African-American woman's name and these were staffers of the DNC. You cannot sit there and open up Pandora's Box and (inaudible) to your own house --

BLACKWELL: Scottie, e-mail whatever your claim is about the grand dragon of the KKK. I'd push back against it if I had more details. I simply don't. I don't know that that's been reported that the grand dragon of the KKK is endorsing anybody. Give me that name and details. Scott, you've got 15 seconds.

BOLDEN: The whole idea of Hillary Clinton being a bigot, she's walk the walk with diversity and advocating for African-Americans and children and women historically. So she doesn't really need to be defended by Democrats and I've never heard of this grand dragon endorsing her, and if he has, that's ironic, because Trump has driven it that way.


BLACKWELL: You can't do both at the same time.

BOLDEN: Hillary Clinton is not a bigot that's why that claim by him falls to a thud, if you will. He is the height of pronouncement. He has no plan. He just makes these pronouncements because he's narcissistic about it and he wants you to believe it because he believes it. He can't get it done. He doesn't even know how to sustain bigotry or talk to communities of color. So this is ridiculous.

BLACKWELL: We got to wrap it here. Scott Bolden, Scottie Nell Hughes, I'll be looking for the details to determine if it's accurate or not.

BOLDEN: Send it to me, too, by the way.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, both.

[06:25:04]PAUL: All right. Listen, we want to talk about the cousin of an NBA superstar was killed in Chicago overnight. And we've been talking about what's happening in Chicago for months now, but this really hitting home for one Mr. Dwyane Wade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it's a heart breaking story. Chicago Bulls star, Dwyane Wade's cousin, shot and killed while she was pushing her baby in a stroller. We'll have the latest on that investigation next.


PAUL: The violence we've been talking about in Chicago for so many months has hit home this morning for the cousin of NBA star, Dwyane Wade, the cousin, she was shot and killed. Rashan Ali has more. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time essentially. She's just walking.

RASHAN ALI, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, she was, 32-year-old Nykia Aldridge was just walking on the street yesterday when she got caught up in the middle of a gun fight. She was pushing her baby in a stroller near a school where she was simply registering her children.

Police says she was caughg in the crossfire and was shot in the head and arm. The mother of four was pronounced dead at the hospital. The baby was not hurt.

Just last month, Dwyane Wade joined Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Lebron James on a stage at the ESPYs where the NBA stars pleaded for an end to racial profiling and gun violence.

On Thursday, Wade took part in an ESPN roundtable discussion about violence in his hometown of Chicago. Wade shared his heartbreak on social media tweeting, "My cousin was killed today in Chicago.

Another act of senseless gun violence. Four kids lost their mom for no reason. Unreal. Enough is enough."

[06:30:00] His mother spoke about the tragedy while holding her sister, the victim's mother.


PASTOR JOLINDA WADE, WADE's MOTHER: Just sat on a panel yesterday the undefeated talking about the violence that's going on within our city Chicago, never knowing that the next day we would be the ones that would be actually living and experiencing it.

Investigators say (inaudible) was not the intended target in the shooting. Police are currently questioning two people in this case.


PAUL: And that's the irony of it. He just spoke about it.

ALI: Right. It's nothing that he's doing like now that has happened to his family he was already -

PAUL: They were in it.

ALI: Yes

PAUL: Yes, they were in this movement no doubt. All right.

ALI: Very, very sad.

PAUL: Thank you so much, I appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: All right, turning back to politics, this week, we've seen and we've discussed it, some especially rough politics between the Trump campaign and the Clinton campaign. This is not new. There's a history of nasty campaigns. We're going to examine that, when we return.


PAUL: 34 minutes past the hour, always good to see you, I'm Christi Paul. BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Our top story this morning, police in

Mississippi. They arrest a man accused of stabbing two nuns to death in their home.

PAUL: And here is his picture. Police say this man Rodney Earl Sanders was behind the "heinous" crime. They say he broke into their house, this was in Lexington, he killed them and authorities are still trying to decipher why.

Margaret Held and Paula Merrill, here they are. They worked as nurse practitioners serving one of the state's poorest counties. Police made this gruesome discovery when the two didn't show up for work on Thursday. Now we know that there will be a wake tomorrow for both Sister Held and Sister Merrill. And a memorial mass is scheduled for Monday.


So, you think this political season is getting out of hand, one of the nastiest presidential campaigns in recent memory. Some say it appears to be reaching a new low. The candidates spent this week debating who is the bigger bigot.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that's where we are, folks. And now Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine said Trump pushes Ku Klux Klan values and we've still got more than two months to go.

CNN's Gary Tuchman looks at the tradition of harsh campaigning.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gross hypocrite. Godless atheist, who said it, Trump or Clinton? Well, neither. It was associates of Jefferson and Adams trading barbs, that's Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.



TUCHMAN: The fact is all this name calling and dirty campaign is nothing new. Take the election of 1828. John Quincy Adams versus Andrew Jackson in another political brouhaha. Adams taking aim at Jackson asserting that Jackson didn't know how to spell was too uneducated to become president. While newspapers portrayed his wife Rachel as a short fat dumpling.

Jackson shot back claiming that Adams had sold his wife's maid as a concubine to the Czar of Russia.

The election of 1860, another political slugfest. This time Abraham Lincoln versus Steven Douglas. Douglas accusing Lincoln of hypocrisy on the issue of temperance. Claiming that Lincoln himself had once operated a grocery store that serving hard liquor, causing quite the stir. Lincoln's reply, that if that was the case, then surely Douglas was

his best customer.

In the election of 1912 Theodore Roosevelt called his opponent William Howard Taft a fathead with the brains of a guinea pig. Taft in kind calling Roosevelt's followers neurotics.

Modern campaigns have seen their fair share or nastiness too. Turn to 1972, Senator Edward Muskie of Maine, then a front-runner for the Democratic nomination that is until the conservative Manchester Union Leader Newspaper ran two pieces. One article planted by the Nixon Whitehouse accused Muskie of using racial slurs against French Americans. The second implying Muskie's wife enjoyed smoking, drinking and cursing in an unlady-like way.

SENATOR EDWARD MUSKIE: By attacking me, by attacking my wife he has proved himself to be a gutless coward.

TUCHMAN: But it was also reported at the time Muskie broke down and cried sending a message that he couldn't handle the heat and sending his campaign into a tailspin.

In 1988, George H. W. Bush let loose on Mike Dukakis.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH: Michael Dukakis (inaudible) virtually every defense system we developed.

TUCHMAN: Asserting he didn't support the military and stating that Dukakis thought a naval exercise is something you find in Jane Fonda's exercise books. Bush went on to win.

And in 2000 George W. Bush's campaign was accused of starting a whisper campaign. That his primary opponent John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child. His daughter Bridget was actually adopted from Bangladesh. But the false rumor had its intended effect, stalling the Kaine's momentum and Bush of course went on to win. Another example of how even though it's ugly -

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a bigot.

CLINTON: This is someone who re-tweets white supremacists online.

TUCHMAN: -- it can work. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.


PAUL: It is something. All right. We've got some stories that we want to share with you here on the other side of the break. The stories of survival.

And they are emerging now from the rubble in Italy. CNN travels to a hospital near the epicenter here of this week's deadly quake. Wait till you hear this. Stay close.



BLACKWELL: Italy's President is attending a state funeral for 35 of the earthquake victims today. The death toll now 290.

PAUL: The depth of devastation though across this region that's finally sinking in here as the critical window to find more survivors alive ticks by. Hundreds of aftershocks are really hampering ongoing efforts there to recover some of these folks and we know 2100 people are living, as you see there, in these makeshift tents right now.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us now from one of the most devastated towns there.

Fred, show us what you're seeing there, and tell us what you've learned.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, I mean, the devastation here is just absolutely stunning. We're in Amatrice, and you were just saying that the updated death toll is now 290. Well over 230 of those killed were now known to have been killed were right here in Amatrice. And I can tell you that the search and rescue efforts are very much still ongoing by the Italian authorities. They do have a large team on the ground here now. They have search dogs. They also have some heavy equipment as well to try to help them essentially pry people out of the rubble if indeed they find any.


PLEITGEN: However the problem is, they really haven't found many survivors in the past day or so. There were some people that were pulled alive out of the rubble in the first hours after the quake, and the first day and a half, maybe after the quake, but now it really has become very few and very far between.

However they are, of course still pulling dead bodies from the rubble. And it really is something that has devastated this community. You know you see some of the folks that live here, and virtually every single family here in this town is affected by this quake, has had some family member either injured or killed in this.

And then you have the other big problem which is that you still have major aftershocks here in the region. And one of those aftershocks has caused a building that was already damaged to collapse. And of course, it makes it very difficult for these rescue crews to continue their work, because every time there's an aftershock, they need to evacuate the area immediately because of course all the rubble then shifts, and there's a real danger of the rescue crews themselves getting buried underneath.


PLEITGEN: So very difficult circumstances. As I say the Italians are doing a very good job coming to terms with this, but of course, a devastating event that really is touching everybody in these communities here in central Italy, Victor. BLACKWELL: No doubt. And again the President and Prime Minister

attending that state funeral today for 35 of the 290 victims. Fred Pleitgen for us there in Amatrice, thank you so much.

PAUL: And you know amongst all of that rubble and what we've been seeing coming in from Italy there are stories of survival. There are stories of heartache of course that are emerging from it.


And we've got some of those for you from CNN's Atika Shubert. She went to a hospital near the epicenter. Here's what she learned and heard.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A little girl plucked from the rubble alive rescued 17 hours after the earthquake. Many of the victims here were children. Enjoying their summer holidays with their families. 4-year-old Georgia Rinaldi, survived because her older sister Julia shielded her from the rubble, sacrificing her own life for her baby sister.

This is the hospital and this is where that little girl pulled out of the rubble was brought to for treatment. 99 of those injured in the earthquake were brought here. And this is where family members wait for word of their loved ones, still living the trauma of their ordeal.

Here, Georgia's father is coming to terms with the loss of one daughter and the survival of the other. He told doctors he was not yet ready to speak to media. But others talk to try and make sense of the destruction. Giuseppe Bagnato was lying in bed with his wife Domenica when the earthquake struck. Now, he is waiting for her to come out of a lengthy surgery.

For us, it's the end, he told us. It's a house with so many memories, so much life but it's finished. We're scared we won't be coming back. We saw death, we felt it, my wife -- and then he breaks down in tears. He said we prayed. The Madonna wanted to save us.

19-year-old Mattia Rendina was sleeping on the top floor of his family's summer house his mother in the room next door when the house collapsed.

MATTIA RENDINA, SURVIVOR: My first thought was my mother. My mother is here, but I can't help her.

SHUBERT: Rendina was buried in rubble. It took an hour for his uncle to find him and dig him out with his bare hands.

RENDINA: When I came out, I kissed him because and I said - and I said to him that he was my life. And but, my thought, I still love my mother, because she passed away to god. She's gone now.

SHUBERT: He survived with hairline fractures to several vertebrae. His greatest pain is the loss of his mother.

RENDINA: I am like this because my mother teach me to be a person like this.

SHUBERT: To be strong.

RENDINA: To be strong, yes.

SHUBERT: Give a new life the survivors of Italy's devastating earthquake are healing slowly.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Italy.

PAUL: I know we watch these things and so often feel helpless but want to do something. Well we want to help you do that. Just visit and there are some resources there on how you can indeed help.




BLACKWELL: Coming up on 8 minutes to the top of the hour now, let's turn to Maine. And the governor of that state under fire now for leaving a seemingly threatening voice mail filled with profanity for a state representative.

PAUL: Now he did apologize. But he justified his reaction saying that he was called a racist. Phil Mattingly is looking into this.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, there's a pretty good chance that governors and state legislators they trade voice mails pretty regularly, it's just part of the process right? But what happens when you're in Maine, with a particularly volatile governor who is very upset with something he thinks you said. Well, you get this.

VOICE OF GOV. PAUL LEPAGE: (R) MAINE: I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist you [ bleep ].

MATTINGLY: That's Maine Governor Paul LePage. His target, Drew Gattine, a state lawmaker LePage thought had called him racist. The governor did not hold back.

LEPAGE: I want you to prove that I'm a racist, I've spent my life helping black people and you little son of a [ bleep ] you socialist [ bleep ] I need you to just -- I want you to record this and make it public because I'm after you. Thank you.

MATTINGLY: Ending a page right out of the 19th century, the governor later challenges Gattine to a duel.

LEPAGE: That's how angry I am and I bet - and I would put my gun in the air, guarantee you, I would not be out Hamilton, I'd point it right between his eyes. MATTINGLY: LePage is not stranger to controversy.

LEPAGE: I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular.

MATTINGLY: Something he himself acknowledged in his endorsement of Donald Trump earlier this year. But the parallels go further. An outsider riling up the establishment, a fighter willing to go to the mat with political foes. LePage's daughter even works for Trump's campaign. And yes, he's a politician with a history of not so politically correct comments. From strong words to President Obama.

LEPAGE: And as your governor, you're going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying Governor LePage tells Obama to go to hell.

MATTINGLY: To punctuating a dispute with the NAACP like this.

LEPAGE: Tell them to kiss my butt.

MATTINGLY: And recently on the father of a Muslim American soldier killed in action in Iraq.

LEPAGE: Then there's the mighty powerful ones like Mr. Khan, which is an artist himself, and he uses the death of his son, who's an American soldier which we respect and honor and he uses that to go after Trump which I found that very distasteful.

MATTINGLY: But its comments related to the state's heroin crisis that have followed LePage for months.

LEPAGE: These are guys that they name, D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these type of guys that come from Connecticut, New York. They come up here, they sell their heroine then they go back home. Incidentally half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave. Which is the real sad thing because then we have another issue that we've got to deal with down the road.



MATTINGLY: And guys it really does all go back to those comments made in January. They were called racially charged at the time by Democrats, by civil rights groups and they're comments that LePage doubled down on at a town hall on Wednesday. That's really how this all started.

Now, LePage followed up his comments with a statement - a lengthy statement from his office where he apologized to "the people of Maine for the language that he used in the voice mail." But what he didn't apologize for the threat of the duel or anything else he said related to the state lawmaker. And in fact, he kind of doubled down on that. He said he would do everything in his power to stop him politically going forward.

So a lot of interesting twists and turns. Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Well that's an understatement. We thought it was just the main presidential election.

BLACKWELL: We will watch that one.

PAUL: All right. Yes, all right, investigators are describing this as a heinous crime.

BLACKWELL: Yes, now we're learning more about these two women -the nuns who were killed. And we're learning about the man police say is responsible.


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UNIDENFIEID MALE: Does the customer have four legs?


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