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Trump: "So Unfair" A Mother Could Be Killed; Trump Takes Heat Over Chicago Shooting Tweet; NFL Star Sits in Protest During National Anthem; Southwest Airlines In-Flight Engine Explosion; Campaign Website Sells "LGBTQ for Trump" T-Shirts; Italy Earthquake: Reuters Reports More Bodies Found in Rubble Today. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired August 28, 2016 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:01] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're definitely grateful that we were so safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Round of applause for the captain.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: So good to have you joining us here on a Sunday morning. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

PAUL: Yes, also, not just those stories this is hour, but San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick with a protest that's drawing a lot of harsh criticism.

Rashan Ali is going to have the story for this morning.

RASHAN ALI, CNN SPORTS: An NFL star takes a stand by sitting down. I'm Rashan Ali, more on that coming up next.

BLACKWELL: The Trump campaign on the defensive again. This time the GOP nominee is taking heat for sending out a tweet following the news of the death of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade's cousin. Here's the tweet, "Dwyane Wade's cousin was shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago, just what I have been saying. African-Americans will vote Trump."

PAUL: After critics slammed the candidate online, Trump tried to redirect the conversation on FOX News.


DONALD TURMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE (via telephone): So unfair to have a mother walking down a street with a young daughter or a young boy and somebody gets shot, whether it's the mother or the child. It's happening all the time. You look at what's happening in the communities. You look at the tremendous violence. And we can stop that immediately. We can over a longer period of time fix the education. (END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Now, the Clinton campaign was quick to blast Trump's initial response. Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine saying he struck the wrong tone.


SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We ought to just be thinking, we just ought to be extending our sympathy to the family. That's the only reaction that's appropriate right now, and maybe a sadness about this gun violence issue, which we know it's complicated.


PAUL: So complicated, listen to this and look at the headline in the "Chicago Tribune" this morning. Three people have been killed and at least 15 others injured in shootings since yesterday afternoon, in less than 24 hours.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, we've got to talk about this exchange, the tweet and the comments and the larger problem as it relates to Chicago and gun violence.

Let's to that with CNN commentator, Hillary Clinton supporter, Bakari Sellers, and Boris Epshteyn, a Trump campaign senior adviser.

Good morning to both of you.


BLACKWELL: So, let's start here and again, I want to talk about the tweet and this immediate exchange and the larger problem.

And, Boris, I'll start with you.

Was it appropriate for Donald Trump to send out this message initially spelling Dwyane Wade's name wrong but then correcting that, but not expressing any empathy, any compassion, any sympathy for the family of this woman who was killed?

EPSHTEYN: Victor, he sent out another tweet within an hour of that, expressing condolences and thoughts and prayers. But the issue here is not tweets. It's about almost 460 people who have been murdered in Chicago just this year, almost 3,000 shootings. That's something to worry about as a country.

So, this conversation is a little misguided, as is Tim Kaine's saying that gun violence is a complicated problem. That's not a solution, saying something is complicated doesn't solve anything, doesn't save anyone's lives. We need to solve this issue. And Donald Trump will be the one to do that, because Hillary Clinton has proven absolutely inept in doing in her almost over 30 years of public service.

BLACKWELL: OK, I'm glad you brought up the issue of solutions because I looked at Donald Trump's position papers this morning on his website, seven of them. Not a single one about gun violence. So, I ask you about those plans.


BLACKWELL: But let me come to you, Bakari, specifically, there is obviously a problem. We heard the headline there from the "Chicago Tribune", three dead, 15 wounded. And candidates often use specific tragedies to examine a larger problem. Why is this different?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well, I think first and foremost my prayers go out to the Wade family. But this isn't the first time that this has happened. This isn't the first time where we've had a death or a tragedy in Chicago or in any other city across the country.

I thought yesterday's tweet by Donald Trump was the perfect example of callousness, the "I told you so", quote/unquote, I told you so tweet was just a bit much yesterday for someone who just lost a mother, a sister, cousin. So, I think we need to refocus. Yes, you know, this gun problem that we have in our communities that's prevalent and I think Chicago is the perfect example, is a very complicated problem and it has to be treated as a public health risk. And until we start understanding the layers and the complexities that cause this type of violence, I don't think we'll ever get to a place where we can solve it.

And I'm not sure that Donald Trump has any solutions to do so. We've seen the mothers of the movement who have been campaigning with Hillary Clinton. African-Americans -- let me just say this, Victor, because one of the things that drives me up a wall is that people speak to us as if we do not know that violence is in our own communities and they speak to us as if we are not trying to do things on a daily basis to remedy that. Neither of those is true. And so, I hope that Donald Trump recalibrates his conversation.

[07:05:03] And we're able to have a healthy conversation about this public health risk that is gun violence in our communities.


BLACKWELL: Let's play -- hold on. Let's play what Donald Trump said at this rally yesterday and then we'll talk about plans and solutions. Watch.


TRUMP: So, we send our thoughts and prayers to the family and we also promise to fight for a much, much better tomorrow. Across Chicago, more than 2,700 have been shootings victims since January of this year. Think of it -- 2,700 people have been shot since January.

We cannot as a society tolerate this level of violence and suffering in our cities. To those suffering, I say vote for Donald Trump. I will fix it.


BLACKWELL: OK, Donald Trump says he will fix it. Boris, how? EPSHTEYN: Well, one of the major issues is of course economics.

You're seeing unemployment rate in the inner cities is sky high. The unemployment rate of African-Americans is double that of white Americans. Twenty-six percent of African-Americans living in poverty in this country.

So, Donald Trump will absolutely make reinvestments into the inner cities, will make sure that those inner cities have a future, have an opportunity.

Now, Hillary Clinton is not bringing any solutions to the table at all. All you have is Tim Kaine using epithets and comparing Donald Trump and his 14 million supporters in the primaries and millions more now in the general to entities like the KKK, which is not at all helpful to resolving the issues.

Listen, the bottom line here is this, these issues are not about African-Americans, Hispanic Americans. They're all about all Americans. So, it's incumbent about all of us to come together and resolve the problems going on in our inner cities.

BLACKWELL: So, let's push you on the point of Donald Trump's plan as it relates to economics and Hillary Clinton not having a plan. Hillary Clinton on her website has a gun violence plan that is quite detailed. Donald Trump has seven position papers there, not one of them relating to gun violence.

Should he be more specific here beyond just the economics because, of course, that helps these communities? But should there be more?

EPSHTEYN: Well, Victor, Rahm Emanuel, a life-long confidant of the Clintons, has been mayor of Chicago for years now and he's shown complete inability.

BLACKWELL: I'm asking about Donald Trump's plan.

EPSHTEYN: So, the Clintons have actually failed on this and all their confidants and all their supporters.

BLACKWELL: But what --

EPSHTEYN: As far as what Donald Trump --


EPSHTEYN: -- Donald Trump is proposing to do, again, he's saying that he will work with our inner cities on the economics, on what's going on where the fact that people don't have jobs, they don't have futures, they don't have a light at the end of the tunnel. The fact that it's those economic situations that are causing the tensions between the people in the inner cities and the police, and we need to cause that, remedy that.

And once that happens, of course, the violence will go down because people will actually have jobs and will have an opportunity to look forward to tomorrow and not just live in the horrible situations they live in now.

BLACKWELL: Bakari, this sounds a lot like what we heard from Donald Trump in that pretty famous now or infamous, depending upon which side of the political fence you sit, that you don't have jobs, your schools are crumbling, you're living in poverty, what else --

EPSHTEYN: I'm talking about specific inner cities, I'm saying.

BLACKWELL: OK, specific inner city, you're relating specifically to economics. I'll just hand it over to Bakari. Boris says that this is an economic issue primarily.

SELLERS: This is more than an economic issue. And this is -- and Boris and Donald Trump and many of Donald Trump's surrogates have this inability to comprehend intersectionality and understand how the system of injustices layer on top of each other which causes these problems.

But even more importantly, when you talk about solutions, and Boris and Donald Trump -- they always want to say it's the economics, it's jobs and when I get in office, I'm going to solve this problem immediately without any solutions.

Let me give you an example of the solution that Hillary Clinton talks about because you already talked about her gunman on a website. But there is a 30-20-10 plan where you're dedicating 10 percent of government spending to the 20 percent of communities that have been facing poverty for 30 years or more. And we're talking about infusing direct resources right into those communities so you can actually have those jobs. You can invest in science, technology, engineering and math, things that are very important.

But I want to know one thing from Boris. Do you even know the young lady's name who was killed two days ago, Boris? Say her name.

EPSHTEYN: Yes, her name is Nykea Aldridge. That's her name, Bakari. I do know her name.

SELLERS: Thank you.

EPSHTEYN: I don't appreciate you bringing that up --


EPSHTEYN: -- and trying to paint me somehow as out of touch.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you --

EPSHTEYN: The left has been using this issue to divide America, to not unite America.

BLACKWELL: Hold on. Let me ask you -- I have the same question for Bakari. Has either campaign, either nominee reached out to the family?

EPSHTEYN: Are you asking me or Bakari? BLACKWELL: I'm asking both of you.

EPSHTEYN: You just played a clip of Donald Trump reaching out to the family.

BLACKWELL: No. I mean like a phone call directly to the Aldridge family.

EPSHTEYN: That's up to Mr. Trump. We're here to talk about larger issues.

BLACKWELL: I'm asking, has it happened?

EPSHTEYN: We all expressed deep condolences and of course sympathies to the family of Ms. Aldridge and all of those shooting victims.

BLACKWELL: Do you know if he called? If you don't know, then I accept that as the answer but has called her or her family?

EPSHTEYN: You have to ask Mr. Trump.

BLACKWELL: OK, do you know if the Clinton campaign reached out?

SELLERS: I have not. You know, one of the things that the Clinton campaign stated yesterday with Tim Kaine is you don't want to make this a political football and I'm not sure if she has --

ESPHTEYN: That's exactly what you're doing. That's exactly what just did, Bakari.

BLACKWELL: We've got to wrap it here. I thought that question was valid if we're going to have this conversation about Nykea Aldridge, if either side has actually called her family to offer their condolences.

Boris Epshteyn, Bakari Sellers, thank you both.

SELLERS: Thank you.


PAUL: Donald Trump is no stranger to campaign merchandising to get his message out, hats, buttons, you name it. He's got a new line of apparel intended to court the LGBTQ community.

Also, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking flak for refusing to stand during the national anthem and it has sparked a heated debate over the right to protest.


BLACKWELL: More tragedy and chaos in Chicago. Now, according to the "Chicago Tribune", look at the headline, three people have been killed, at least 15 others have been wounded in the shootings there since yesterday afternoon. That number does not include Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade. The family and friends plan to hold a prayer vigil this afternoon in her memory.

Now, police say Aldridge was caught in the middle of a shootout between an Uber driver and two other men. She was shot in the head, in the arm, while pushing her newborn baby in a stroller there. She died a short time later at the hospital, leaving behind four children. The baby in that stroller was not hurt.

Now, Dwyane Wade, he took to Twitter pleading for an end to gun violence, tweeting this, "The city of Chicago is hurting.

[07:15:05] We need more help. More hands on deck. Not for me and my family, but for the future of our world, the youth."

He went onto say, "These young kids are screaming for help. #enoughisenough."

PAUL: All right. So, people saying, look, something has got to be done and you heard it right there in that tweet. The question is how and who.

Let's talk to CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander about this.

We just mentioned the headline in the "Chicago Tribune" today, three people dead, 15 wounded by guns in less than 24 hours at this point. I think there's a lot of people out there looking at this and wondering, how did -- for lack of a better term -- how did he city allow this to escalate to the point that it did or has as we've seen it? Does somebody need to take some responsibility and be accountable here?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, this is more than just holding a city responsible for what we're seeing in Chicago and many other cities across this country. Certainly, those cities and their leadership have a responsibility to provide public safety. But this is a real complex issue. This is not a new issue to Chicago and many other cities around the country.

PAUL: But it certainly escalated -- I mean, we've been talking about this. It has escalated over the last, what, couple of years.

ALEXANDER: It has escalated. But we're also seeing, if you go back and look to prior years, you will see some of these same numbers and you see some of these numbers even being worse. The issue her for us as we speak into here and now about these issue is how do we engage the violence in many of our cities across this country?

I'm going to tell you, it's going to take a variety of things. Economics we know play a part. We know we have a criminal justice system that sometimes is not fair and equal that creates and provide a continuance of these issues.

PAUL: Do you think that's a problem in Chicago specifically?

ALEXANDER: Well, it's a problem across every city in many major cities across this country where you see a level of poverty and that occurs in many of our American cities. But the question becomes and the answer has to be as well, too, what is it that we can do in the immediate right now at this very moment? Because we have to have long-term plans, but you have to have a short-term plan. And the short-term plan for law enforcement, I would say this being police administrator is that you have to have the technology, the personnel and the resources at this very moment for police officers to go out in the street and provide the type of public safety they need to provide at this very moment.

PAUL: We know that Chicago police force has been under a lot of scrutiny because of offer involved shootings. Do you believe they have enough resources to manage what's happening?

ALEXANDER: No. You know, I would imagine if you were to ask the superintendent there in Chicago or any police administrator across this country, they would tell you that they need more resources and more personnel. Now, that become --

PAUL: So, they need more police officers and they need more what? When you said resources, other than manpower?

ALEXANDER: We need technology. The technology that is out there to help with us with intelligence gathering and building the resources that are out there to give us greater opportunity to expand our community and police relationships, because that is a huge piece of it, is that we have to have relationships with the people who live in our communities that plays a huge part in developing intelligence and it plays a huge part in also building that trust that's needed so when police do go into these neighborhoods, they're joined with their police department.

But the violence, we all will admit, is really kind of over-board in many American cities. But we cannot negate the fact that their long- term plans that we hear many of our politicians talking about, but what we need immediately as police officers out there on that street is more police officers on these streets, more resources and more opportunities to better respond. Because as the calls for service go up, what you're finding is that police personnel is going down.

PAUL: Let's listen to something that Donald Trump said yesterday when he was talking about the violence in Chicago.


TRUMP (via telephone): So unfair to have a mother walking down a street with a young daughter or a young boy and somebody gets shot, whether it's the mother or the child. It's happening all the time. You look at what's happening in the communities. You look at the tremendous violence.

And we can stop that immediately. We can over a longer period of time fix the education.


PAUL: OK, he's mentioning education. But one thing that stood out immediately was what he said, we can fix this immediately. If they were true, it would have been done by now.

ALEXANDER: Absolutely it would have been done. Here's where you cannot politicize this issue. The American people don't want to hear that. People who live in these communities, people who've been living those communities for years want to be safe.

So, for any politician to say we're going to fix this, I'm going to fix this as if one individual is going to fix it, is not true.

[07:20:04] PAUL: That's not going -- you're saying one person cannot be responsible. One person can't fix it.

ALEXANDER: Absolutely, no one person could be -- is able to fix this.

PAUL: So, let me ask you this --

ALEXANDER: This is a community effort along with city hall, along with police officers out on the street. You have to have a holistic approach. There's no one person who can come in and say, well, I'm going to fix this. How are you going to fix it? What's your plan?

PAUL: Real quickly, I only have about ten seconds left. Should federal forces get involved at this point?

ALEXANDER: I think that becomes an issue and question for whatever city that is plagued with this issue and this problem. And your --

PAUL: But your assessment of Chicago and what we're seeing?

ALEXANDER: I wouldn't go as far as to say that about Chicago. I know that they're working hard, the leadership there is working very hard to try to curtail and intervene as best they can to reduce the crime in Chicago. But it's going to take continued effort on the part of that community and the police department as well, too.

But they're working hard at this and we have to give them credit for doing this. It is an ongoing struggle.

PAUL: No doubt.

Cedric Alexander, we always appreciate your insight. Thank you for being here.

ALEXANDER: Thank you for having me.

PAUL: Sure.


BLACKWELL: Let's turn now to the NFL quarterback taking a stand by sitting. Colin Kaepernick is in the middle of this heated debate. We'll talk about the potential fallout from his decision to sit during the national anthem.

Also, panic and fear on board a Southwest flight. Imagine this, major engine trouble forces this to make an emergency landing. You're seeing some of the pictures here. We'll talk about it in a moment.


BLACKWELL: A star NFL quarterback taking a political stance by sitting on the bench during the national anthem.

[07:25:02] PAUL: And Rashan Ali is here with what's become quite a debate, let's say.

ALI: Yes, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made his preseason debut on Friday. People aren't talking about what he did during the game, but what he did not do before the game.

Kaepernick was on the field during the national anthem but refused to stand. After the game, he told's Steve Wise, quote, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way." Excuse me.

"There are bodies on the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

His decision led to both harsh criticism and praise from fellow players. The NFL says Kaepernick will not face any discipline for his actions. In a statement, the league said players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem. Kaepernick did not say whether he would continue with his protest when the regular season starts on September 12. So, we will see how it plays out.

PAUL: All righty, we will. Rashan, thank you so much.

We should point out that there are some fans who are so unhappy with this protest that they're setting the quarterback's jerseys on fire while listening to the national anthem.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it's similar to what some fans do when their favorite player is leaving a team, leaving a city. You'll remember Cleveland and LeBron James years ago but, of course, he came back and made up for that.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: All right.

Donald Trump's website is now selling "LGBTQ for Trump" buttons and t- shirts. We'll talk with his senior campaign advisor about the reason for selling these and reaching out to the gay community.

PAUL: Also, more funerals in Italy as the bodies of more earthquake victims are reportedly found. People are now facing some really tough decisions about the future, do you rebuild, do you move on? We'll let you know.


[07:30:16] PAUL: Welcome back. It's good to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.

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

Coming up this hour --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was an attack or that the plane was going to down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It felt like half of the plane almost like capsized on the other side.


PAUL: Yes, that's an explosion they're talking about, with smoke and parts of the plane flapping in the wind. What happened on this Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans to Orlando that caused an emergency landing and an awful lot of shaken nerves?

Well, Mike Pence is making a play for the swing states. Over the past week, the GOP vice presidential nominee has campaigned in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia. This week, he's spending time in Georgia.

This is a traditionally red state we're talking about here, but polls show Trump and Clinton neck and neck.

The host of "STATE OF THE UNION", Jake Tapper, is, of course, following all of this.

And Mike Pence is joining you later this morning for the full hour.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, "STATE OF THE UNION": That's right. We're going to have an extensive interview with Mike Pence as well as our round table. We'll be talking to him specifically about a lot of issues that have come up in the last week, having to do with Donald Trump's signature issue, the issue that helped him win the Republican primary so handily, illegal immigration, what should be done about it. There has been, as you know, Christi, some back and forth about whether or not Mr. Trump is still committed to the idea of a deportation force to remove all 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants from this country. So, we'll be talking about that as well as many other issues with Governor Pence.

PAUL: All righty. And I'm sure that -- we heard Jack Kingston earlier this morning, senior advisor to Donald Trump, when he was talking about the alleged flip-flop in the immigration scandal or immigration policy, talking about what's happened in Chicago and the tweet about Dwyane Wade's cousin that Donald Trump first put out. People were calling it political rather than empathetic or sympathetic in any way.

But Jack Kingston said Donald Trump isn't a politician. That was his excuse. I'm sure we're going to hear from Mike Pence in that regard as well? TAPPER: Well, we'll talk to him about a number of issues, certainly

that's an issue that's come up on the trail, also, I know that Governor Pence has a lot of accusations he's making about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. We'll talk about that.

We'll talk about some of the other controversies going on, and also some of this rough back and forth going on with Tim Kaine, the senator from Virginia, Hillary Clinton's running mate, talking about how America doesn't stand for Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values, and conversely, Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton a bigot.

A lot of stuff going on and we'll get into all of that.

PAUL: Yes, it feels very personal to a lot of people right now, no doubt about it.

Jake Tapper, thank you so much, looking forward to the show.

Again, don't miss Jake's exclusive interview with vice presidential candidate Mike Pence on "STATE OF THE UNION", talking about the state of the race and what's next in this fierce battle for the White House. "STATE OF THE UNION", today, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, only here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, after reaching out to African-Americans and to Hispanic voters, Donald Trump and his campaign now are appearing to reach out to the LGBT community. His campaign is selling t-shirts and buttons on the website with the words "LGBTQ for Trump".

Let's talk about it. Let's bring in Boris Epshteyn, senior advisor for the Trump campaign.

Good of you to stay with us.

And JoDee Winterhof, Human Rights Campaign senior vice president for policy and political affairs, also a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Good morning again to you, Boris, and good morning to you, Jody.


BLACKWELL: So, Boris, let me start with you. Is this an outreach to the LGBT community? Does the campaign see this as a way to reach out to the community or to bring in or offer something to those supporters who are already with Mr. Trump?

BORIS EPSHTEYN, TRUMP CAMAPIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: This campaign is reaching out to all communities, Victor. And, of course, we're reaching out to the LGBT community because Hillary Clinton has such a terrible record on LGBTQ issues.

If you look at her record, just in 2007, when fielding a question for HRC, she said she was opposed to gay marriage. That's something she has flip-flopped on, one of a billion issues that she's flip-flopped on. So, this campaign is about reaching out to all communities, including

the LGBTQ community.

Now, I do find it interesting though that it's now 35 minutes in. We haven't once mention, any of the issues pertaining to Hillary Clinton such as the BleachBit, such as the foundation, such as her e-mails. But, you know, I leave it to you to talk about whatever you want.

BLACKWELL: OK, you just joined us in the 7:00 hour. The show goes two hours.

But let me start with what you talked about record here and Donald Trump has never held office, never run for office.

[07:35:01] So, let's examine the record of his running mate Mike Pence, who last year signed the RFRA, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which many called anti-LGBT. He opposed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" back in 2010, opposed the Employment Nondiscrimination Act back in -- several years before that, also rejected the Federal Guidance on Transgender Restroom Access earlier this ar.

Is this the candidate, is this the team that you think most effectively can make that case to LGBT voters?

EPSHTEYN: Donald Trump is the top of the ticket and it's his believes and views that are holding this ticket. So, Donald Trump --

BLACKWELL: He also chose Mike Pence, though.

EPSHTEYN: Victor, let me answer your question.

BLACKWELL: Go ahead.

EPSHTEYN: Donald Trump has spoken to the LGBT community throughout his lifetime and throughout his candidacy. When the horrible shooting in Orlando happened, he said that ISIS specifically is targeting the gay LGBT community. So, this is a candidate who's open to all communities including this one, and we should be celebrating this, but it is revolutionary almost for a Republican to be doing this kind of outreach.

So, if I were sitting in anyone else's position, I'll be happy about this outreach.

BLACKWELL: Jody, let me come to you. Boris brings up a point there, he says that the Clinton campaign or Hillary Clinton has a terrible record as it relates to LGBT issues. And we'll remember going into the 2008 campaign, neither Senator Clinton at that time or Senator Obama at that time supported same-sex marriage. They both say they evolved. But you hear the case from Boris.

WINTERHOF: Certainly, I hear the case and I think he's brought up some interesting point this morning. The community has so much at stake this year in these elections. And we have made so much progress and there's so much at risk with a Trump and Pence ticket. You highlighted some of the things that Mike Pence brings to this

table in terms of discrimination against the LGBTQ community. However the other piece of this is some of the statements that Donald Trump has made. He has spoken and talked about putting justices on the court that would roll back marriage equality. He has talked about and supported efforts in North Carolina around the horrendous discriminatory bill, HB-2, and his support for Governor McCrory.

He also, as Boris pointed out, Orlando is an amazing thing to bring up, because when he was in Orlando, he did meet with families and loved one of those who were killed at that Pulse nightclub from the LGBTQ community, from the Latino and Latina community. He didn't meet with those folks.

You know what he did in Orlando? He actually went to an event with folks who support discrimination against our community here in this country and around the globe. And so, we can talk about the record. I think it's a great thing to talk about.

What I would also say just is I think --

EPSHTEYN: You did not answer anything about Hillary Clinton's record there, JoDee, to be fair.

WINTERHOF: I'm actually -- I'm actually going to talk about her record.


WINTERHOF: She has a longer record of positive work on our issues than Donald Trump has even thought about. And what I would say in terms of her record is, you know, she has spoken out and worked on issues globally and in this country. And she has come out in support of full marriage equality.

She has a tremendously detailed plan about how she would work for our full legal equality, supporting the Equality Act, working to eliminate and prevent HIV and affordable drugs for the treatment of HIV.


BLACKWELL: Boris, hold on.

WINTERHOF: How she's going to protect children. And frankly, the other piece that's missing in this debate is we have an epidemic against transgender community in this country. And Hillary Clinton has spoken out to support and be concerned about that issue as well.

EPSHTEYN: Hillary Clinton (INAUDIBLE) on this issue as the political winds are blowing, and we all know it.

BLACKWELL: Boris, let me -- what does -- and we've got about 70 days left, what does the rest of this outreach to the LGBT community from the Trump campaign look like as we get closer to November?

EPSHTEYN: It's out reach to all communities. It's outreach talking about the economy, talking about national security, making sure all Americans feel safe in this country. You know, 70 percent of Americans feel less safe than they did eight years ago.

BLACKWELL: But, Boris, let me ask you here.


BLACKWELL: Hold on. I need to be specific about the question because you're saying it's reaching out to all communities. This isn't a t- shirt, this isn't a button that says all communities for Trump. This is "LGBTQ for Trump". So, it is the campaign here that is isolating a specific demographic that's trying to attract. So, what I --

EPSHTEYN: Well, actually, what you're doing here is you're saying the LGBT community doesn't share the same thoughts, considerations or concerns as other communities do and we are saying


BLACKWELL: No. Boris, I see your attempt here. But what's happening here is that the campaign has put this t-shirt and button on the website.



BLACKWELL: My question is --

EPSHTEYN: -- have the same concerns --


BLACKWELL: Let me get the question out. I hear your answer, but if you're reaching out to a community specifically through this community for Trump, what will you do to reach that community?

[07:40:04] The t-shirt isn't all communities for Trump. What does it look like if you're going after that specific demographic?

EPSHTEYN: Again, we are talking about issues that are facing all Americans, including very specifically the LGBT community. You look at national security, look what happened in Orlando.

WINTERHOF: He has no answer.

BLACKWELL: Hold on here, JoDee.


EPSHTEYN: I'm answering your question. ISIS and other radical Islamic jihadists are specifically targeting the gay community and Donald Trump is the only one that can protect this country. Hillary Clinton wants to increase the influx of Syrian refugees by 550 percent.

WINTERHOF: He has no answer for our community.


EPSHTEYN: Want to cover this specific community.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, now, JoDee, to that point, this is a point that we heard from Donald Trump after the Orlando shooting in June. We heard this from his supporters, that there is a connection here specifically to national security that makes Donald Trump the better candidate for the LGBTQ community.

WINTERHOF: I think part of what is missing in what Boris is saying and what Donald Trump has been promoting is not only -- like, you know if I were to get married on a Saturday in many states in this country and I put the picture from my wedding in my cube on a Monday morning, in many states in this country I would be fired with minimal recourse.

So, part of what he's trying to talk about is absolutely a distraction. Certainly our safety around this country and around the globe is absolutely important to all of us as Americans. But in terms of what will impact my day to day life and those in the LGBTQ community, there is no answer from the Trump campaign. There is no plan from the Trump campaign.

EPSHTEYN: Absolutely there's an answer.

WINTERHOF: We are at a time in our country where we need leadership in the White House. We don't need to be pandered to.

EPSHTEYN: Well, Hillary Clinton has provided no leadership in over 30 years in public office.


WINTERHOF: -- teleprompter at a national convention are important, LGBTQ. We need him reading from a teleprompter. We don't need him putting out a t-shirt or a bottom. We need him to lead. And so far he is not leading on any of our issues for our community and we need a leader and champion in the White House.


EPSHTEYN: Hillary Clinton has lied to your community and you're choosing to believe her now.

BLACKWELL: Thank you both for being with us this morning.


WINTERHOF: Thank you very much.

PAUL: All righty. Scary moments for passengers aboard a Southwest flight. This plane was forced to land after major engine issues. That's next.


[07:45:54] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was an attack or that the plane was going to go down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It felt like half of the plane almost capsized on the other side.


BLACKWELL: Wow. Some terrifying moments on a Southwest Airline plane. It made an emergency landing after its number one engine failed mid-flight. The plane was on its way from New Orleans to Orlando. Good thing here, none to have 99 passengers or five crew members was hurt.

But, man, can you imagine?

PAUL: Uh-uh. Shook people up, no doubt.

Listen, I have some video that we're going to play for you. I just want to give you a head up. This story is a tough one to take. It's showing again, here we go, the scale of the horror unfolding in Syria on a daily basis. This is what Aleppo looks like right now after two barrel bombs killed 24 people, including 11 children. And here's the thing, it happened at a wake being held for children who were killed in another bombing on Thursday.

Also, more funerals are scheduled today for victims of Italy's devastating earthquake. This morning, Pope Francis is offering prayers for those victims saying the church shares their sufferings and their worries. At least 292 are dead. According to "Reuters", rescuers believe they found more bodies in the rubble this morning.

CNN senior international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen is live in Amatrice where those bodies were reportedly found.

Fred, what are you learning about what they're finding this morning?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, unfortunately, Christi, the operations that have been going on here, the search and rescue operations are more and more becoming recovery operations now here in Amatrice. I want to show you the scene here. You can see the devastation here in the town of Amatrice. That's an area that you see back here.

That's been off-limits to the media for the most of the time that we've been here. What's going on right now is that the operations are at a stage where the workers here are actually tearing down some of those buildings that you see there simply to make it safer for the workers to operate here, to make sure that if there are aftershocks, that the rescue crews or the search crews aren't in danger of getting buried underneath rubble themselves.

So, they're trying to make things safer. They're also trying to clear the to use some of that heavy equipment that they've moved in. But you're absolutely right, at this point in time, yes, they are still searching for survivors. But they haven't found any in a very long time and it's becoming more and more of a recovery operation rather than a search and rescue operation.

You can imagine, the folks who survived this, the folks who have relatives here, absolutely traumatized by the situation, and at the same time as still having to deal with those aftershocks. We have one, let's say, about two hours ago here in the town of Amatrice.

And it's really something that frightens the people a lot on top of the fact they're obviously having to deal with the fact they're mourning their loved ones as well. As you've noted, some funerals happening yesterday, some more funerals happening again today as Italy tries to deal with this very big disaster, Christi.

PAUL: This is so sad.

Fred Pleitgen, we appreciate the update. Thank you.

And I know we watch these things and we want to do something but we have no idea how we could possibly help, being what feels like a world away. Well, you can help them. Go to our website, There are ways that can help you walk through it.

BLACKWELL: Well, Hillary Clinton dismissing questions about her health. CNN debunks some of the wildest conspiracy theories, including the bogus anti-seizure pins and claims she is possessed.


[07:53:17] PAUL: You know, I always have to laugh just a little bit, chuckle.


PAUL: At some of the tweets we get during political season.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I have stopped reading the notifications. Stopped reading tweets. A couple months back.

PAUL: We understand your passions and we appreciate them, but there are just so many rumors and side-stories.

BLACKWELL: Conspiracy theories that come in.

PAUL: Which leads us into this, the claims about Hillary Clinton's, you know, health. Apparently, they hit a funny bone are her.

BLACKWELL: Yes. She is laughing them off literally sometimes.

Here is Jeanne Moos with the story.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know who is making fun of Hillary Clinton's supposed health issues? Hillary. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Take my pulse while I'm

talking to you.


CLINTON: So -- make sure I'm alive.

MOOS: Jimmy Kimmel even put Hillary to the test.

KIMMEL: Can you open this jar of pickles? This has not been tampered with.


MOOS: Pickle jar aside, some jokes are more jarring.

CONAN O'BRIEN, COMEDIAN/TV HOST: Donald Trump has been saying that Hillary Clinton looks unwell. Trump then admitted he thinks any woman over 35 looks like she's dying.

MOOS: But some of the funniest comments about Hillary's health aren't jokes. They're actual theories.

For instance --


MOOS: The time Hillary acted startled by reporters' questions.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: It almost see seizure-sque to me.

MOOS: What was seizure-sque was how critics seized on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have seizures, psychotic facial ticks.

MOOS: Putting it to music.

Even if the reporter, some described some described as looking scared said she wasn't and Hillary wasn't having a seizure.

[07:55:01] Doctors weren't buying in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't say that's a seizure.

MOOS: Then, there was pillow-gate, photos with arrows pointing at pillows propping up Hillary. There was also the anti-seizure injector pen and the Secret Service agent is clutching something. Is it an emergency seizure syringe?

Actually, it seems to be a flashlight. Watch the agent point it at the floor as Hillary moves to a darker area.

Next thing you know, they'll be saying she's growing a tail. Wait! A few have already said this is evidence she's possessed by the devil.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: Hope that got a smile out of you this morning. Thank you so much. We always appreciate you being here.

BLACKWELL: So good with you on this weekend.