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Iraq War Vet Accused Of Killing Five People; Accused Gunman Checked Weapon In Bag; Trump Claims "Gross Negligence" By DNC Allowed Hack; Russia: Obama, Not Moscow Threat To Democratic Process; Florida Governor Scott Holds News Conference; Winter Storm Coats South with Snow and Ice; Four Suspects Held Without Bail Charged with Hate Crime; Thousands Visit Vegas for Massive Tech Show. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired January 7, 2017 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Is that me?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I think the good ones know who they were and bad ones they know too.

PAUL: I bet they do. I just have an idea you're going to let that be known. All righty, there is a lot to talk to you about this morning.

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard, bam, bam, bam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people are running outside, says somebody's shooting, shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I felt something hit my back. The bullets have entered by my backpack, hit my laptop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the shooter in custody. At this point, it looks he (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The intelligence community's report on Russian hacking concluded that, quote, "Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not going to tolerate a country like Russia trying to interfere in our election process.

MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: We're going to take aggressive action to combat cyber-attacks and protect the security of the American people.


PAUL: Getting some new information we're going to share with you this morning. We so appreciate your company as always. I am Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. Let's get to the two developing stories we are following this morning. First, in just a few minutes, we know that Florida's Governor Rick Scott will hold a news conference to discuss the shooting at Fort Lauderdale's Airport, we will bring that to you live.

And also, we will talk about what may have led this Iraq war veteran to allegedly open fire inside that airport killing five, wounding several others.

PAUL: Also this morning ordered by Putin, a declassified intelligence report showing precisely how the Russian president directed and influenced the campaign during the 2016 election. The goal, intelligence officials say, hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. We have new reaction overnight from the president-elect on that report.

First, though, to some of the new details emerging on the deadly rampage inside a Florida airport. New images in to CNN. Authorities escorting a handcuffed Esteban Santiago to jail, that's on the left- hand side of the screen there.

The FBI saying Santiago, an Iraq war veteran unloaded a handgun inside a crowded terminal at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.

CNN correspondent, Rachel Crane, is with us live from Fort Lauderdale with other some new information this morning. Rachel, good morning to you. What are you hearing this hour?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. Well, things are starting to get back to normal here at the airport. Certainly a far cry from the scene that we saw last night, thousands of people stranded. We've seen airplanes both land and take off, also a steady stream of passengers come through the airport. However, Terminal 2 is still closed as the investigation continues.


PILOT: OK, they want us to hold for the tango line. Guess there's firing going on in the terminal.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: We're currently having a building evacuation at Terminal 2.

CRANE (voice-over): Chaos and confusion at Fort Lauderdale's airport after a gunman opened fire inside a baggage claim area, killing five people and seriously wounding eight more. Some people fleeing the scene ran away from danger onto the airport tarmac.

NYE WOODHOUSE, WITNESS: There was one real close one next to me and then there was four that I heard, bam, bam, bam. It was like boom. We didn't know what it was. Everybody looked. Then there is boom, boom, boom and then people taking off.

CRANE: The suspect identified as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago apparently had a weapon in his checked bag. One source said he went to the bathroom to get the gun out of his luggage and came out firing. He was taken into federal custody shortly after the attack. SHERIFF SCOTT ISRAEL, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: He's unharmed. No law enforcement fired any shots. The subject is being interviewed by a team of FBI agents and Broward Sheriff Office's Homicide detectives.

CRANE: This morning, new information about Santiago, who flew to Florida from Alaska Friday. He served in the Puerto Rico National Guard, the Army Reserve, and the Alaska Army National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq in 2010 where he received a combat-related honor.

Santiago was discharged from the Alaska Army National Guard in August. Law enforcement officials said Santiago visited an FBI office in Anchorage several months ago. He was accompanied by associates who were concerned because Santiago said he was hearing voices.

Santiago told the FBI that an intelligence agency was telling him to watch ISIS videos. The FBI asked local police to take him to the hospital for a mental evaluation. Santiago voluntarily checked himself in.

Authorities are now working to determine the motive and if it's terror-related. They say it's a complex investigation that stems several states.

[08:05:05]GEORGE L. PIRO, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: We are looking at all avenues. We have not ruled out terrorism and we will be pursuing every angle to try to determine the motive behind this attack, and any associates, any connections, communication.


CRANE: As we mentioned, this investigation does span several states. We do know that yesterday the FBI spoke to Santiago's aunt who lives in Union City, New Jersey to get a sense of what he was like and we also know that the FBI has not ruled out terrorism.

Meanwhile here at the airport one of the biggest challenges for officials is what do they do with the 20,000 bags and personal items that were left behind during the evacuation -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All righty, Rachel Crane, thank you so much for the update.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's bring in Art Roderick, a CNN law enforcement analyst and former assistant director of the U.S. Marshal's Office. Art, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So part of the work that has to be done to determine a motive here is to determine if this was terror, we know there's a report that back in November Santiago went into the FBI office in Anchorage and said he had been hearing these voices to join ISIS, being told by intelligence officials to watch these videos. How do investigators determine if this was an attack that was I did I don't see logically in the name of ISIS or in the name of ISIS in the mind of a man with a mental disability? RODERICK: Well, I mean, in this particular case they're going to look at his social media. But to me, when you look back at his history in the military, I mean, he spent almost ten years in the military and was only a PFC when he got out, and he had a general discharge so I think he had a fairly lengthy history of some psychological issues going on.

Whether the ISIS connection as he mentioned at the FBI office in Anchorage is a peripheral issue or not, you know, being psychologically defective here as we are probably going to see this individual is, but also cloaking yourself with ISIS, they're not mutually exclusive.

I mean, you can do both. I think he may have glommed onto the ISIS issue. The FBI probably knows at this point whether this was inspired, directed or whether it is just a peripheral issue that he looked at ISIS because he knew mentioning ISIS would get him more attention in this particular case.

BLACKWELL: So the warning signs are obviously there after this meeting back in November reportedly but I wonder, this is a very sensitive issue when you start talking about limiting the rights specifically of people who have potentially mental challenges. Do you see that there was any lapse here in the medical treatment of this, in the law enforcement approach to this between November and what happened yesterday?

RODERICK: Yes, I mean, when you look at the current guidelines, there doesn't appear to be any lapse. The bar is set so high, and as you mention, there's a lot of civil rights involved here, there's a lot of HIPPA issues, medical record issues.

When you look at when somebody can purchase a firearm, there's actually a question on the form you fill out at the gun store that asked if you have ever been committed to a state institution.

Well, the language is very specific that the state has to have actually committed you. So you can answer yes or no on that question and there's really no way for law enforcement to check the answer to that particular question because when you fill that form out, it is just a criminal history check.

So I mean, there's loopholes and unfortunately, we almost talk about the same issue during every single mass casualty active shooter event, but it really is a gap that we as Americans have to sit down, and take a serious look at with the mental health issues and how they relate to purchasing and carrying of firearms.

BLACKWELL: Yes, you mentioned that there is a Venn diagram here where there's an overlap between ideological element of this and mental health element of this in every instance we discuss far too often, I should say. Art Roderick, CNN law enforcement analyst, thank you so much.

I want to remind you that we're probably 5 minutes or so away or so from a news conference from Florida with Florida Governor Rick Scott there at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, an update on the investigation there and where everything stands at the airport as relates to incoming and outbound flights there. So we will bring that to you live, if it is a minute or two off, we will have it for you nonetheless -Christi.

PAUL: But when it comes to checking guns on airplanes, officials say the Florida shooting suspect did everything by the book. So later, we're going to take a closer look at air travel with guns, whether there should be changes to rules in light of this attack. We will talk more about it.

[08:10:07]BLACKWELL: Also, a Russian led campaign to undermine the election and declassified intelligence report pointing specifically at Putin. Reaction from Moscow, putting the blame on the Obama administration.


BLACKWELL: New this morning, President-elect Donald Trump is claiming the Democratic National Committee bears some responsibility for last year's cyber-attack. Donald Trump tweeting overnight, "Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place. The Republican National Committee had strong defense."

PAUL: But the newly declassified intelligence report found Russians hacked both political parties and only released stolen information on the Democrats. That's the key reason the U.S. intelligence community found Russia's intent was to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Here's what President Obama said when asked about the conclusion of this new report.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: One of the things that I am concerned about is the degree to which we've seen a lot of commentary lately where there are Republicans or pundits or cable commentators who seemed to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats. That cannot be.


PAUL: CNN's Sunlen Serfaty has the latest from Trump Tower in New York. Sunlen, good morning to you. I understand that Donald Trump is tweeting this morning about this.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christi. We have seen a series of tweets from the President-elect Donald Trump yesterday and again this morning and although he did come out after that meeting and say he believes high level intelligence meeting was constructive.

It was notable that he didn't give condemnation of Russia and is still refusing to acknowledge the intel saying that Russia was not only behind these hacks, but they did so with the intention to influence the U.S. election.

What we have seen in his response on Twitter and in paper statements is really for him to go back to the politics of this, to point a finger at the Democratic National Committee saying that they are to blame for not protecting themselves.

[08:15:06]Trump just tweeted a few minutes ago, quote, "Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed, went on again to say, quote, "Intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results. Voting machines not touched."

It is notable here that the declassified report from the intelligence community did not claim that the voting machines were effected. Rather, the report does conclude there were a variety of tactics used by Russia to influence the outcome of the U.S. election.

We're seeing response from Capitol Hill really pour in, especially on this point that Donald Trump is trying to make about voting machines. We saw from Congressman Adam Schiff say the fact there was no evidence of tampering machines does not mean they didn't influence the outcome of the election in the end.

So I expect there will be a lot of response still coming from Donald Trump and potentially from members of Capitol Hill, especially Christi and Victor, this will likely dominate for the short term the first month of his presidency.

PAUL: All righty, Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much for the update. Appreciate all the new information.

BLACKWELL: All right, we will have more on the president-elect still reluctant to say that Russians were responsible for the cyber-attacks during the elections. We will talk about it with our political panel. Ron Brownstein and April Ryan, that's after the break.


BLACKWELL: Donald Trump -- we will get to this shot in a moment. Donald Trump reluctant to blame Russian authorities for the cyber- attacks, tweeting there was no evidence that the hacks affected the election results.

Here to discuss that and more, Ron Brownstein, CNN senior political analyst and senior editor of "The Atlantic," and April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks.

I do want to say just before we start, we'll take the shot now. Good morning to you. That we are waiting for Florida Governor Rick Scott to come out and talk about the shooting in Florida, if I have to jump in, forgive me. We want to get the comments on live.

I want to start with you, April, and this statement from Donald Trump both on Twitter and from the transition that there was no evidence that the hacking potentially affected the outcome, this from Adam Schiff, the ranking member of House Intelligence.

[08:20:07]He tweeted this, "Trump's statement that Russian hacking had absolutely no effect on outcome of the election is not supported by briefing report or common sense. But still, this seems to be the foremost point for Donald Trump, in no way trying to suggest that this undermined the election.

APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: The bottom line is President-elect Donald Trump is saying things against the national intelligence community. That is not good, particularly as he is getting ready to go into the White House, and he will be needing this intelligence community briefings, et cetera, whenever he decides to get them.

It is undermining the intelligence community. Yes, everything is not always as accurate as you would like, but I've seen the report, it is detailed. It talks about issues not about the polls necessarily, but it talks about the media, Russian TV, the propaganda, talks about how they went through social media, and knowing intelligence folks within this administration and outside of the administration.

What happens is there are attempts, thousands, tens of thousands of attempts from foreign entities every day on systems within the U.S. government and so what happened to the DNC is not necessarily surprising, and he has to understand this, this is a serious problem.

BLACKWELL: And Ron, the former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said something similar about the impact on Donald Trump's rhetoric as relates to communication and relationship between the White House and the intelligence community. Let's watch.


LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: It's impacted on the credibility and impacted on the morale of the men and the women who serve in our intelligence community. When that quality of that intelligence is questioned, it begins to undermine the relationship between the president and the intelligence communities.

BLACKWELL: And Ron, more than undermine that relationship he said that it weakened national security, what we saw from Donald Trump potentially.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Of course, Leon Panetta is former CIA director. Look, I think the -- as the tweets today show, right from the beginning, Donald Trump has viewed the entire question of Russian hacking through the lens of what does it mean, for me, that seems to be the primary kind of focus.

And part of that is the retrospective which is that he views any kind of acknowledgment of their role in this unprecedented series of cyber- attacks as effectively casting shadows over the validity of his victory. But there is a perspective element of this as well. Donald Trump is looking toward dramatically reassessing by all indications American relations with Russia. There are indications that he wants to pursue a much more cooperative relationship with Vladimir Putin, supplementing concerns about his behavior toward alliance on other issues, potentially, for example, dealing with ISIS, and he views this as well as an obstacle toward that.

What's missing on both fronts is acknowledgment that this is a serious threat to an institution, not only in the U.S. but elsewhere. We have critical elections coming this year in France and Germany. It's hard to imagine if Vladimir Putin looking at the results in the U.S. does not think this is a play book that's worth repeating there.

Because they have a lot of return on their investment so I think what's missing in all this is any acknowledgment of the broader threat not only in the U.S. but to the western alliance.

BLACKWELL: You know, April, we know that the former Secretary Leon Panetta said also that it is quite dangerous to have president of the United States tweet his emotions, tweet his thoughts and often without consult of his advisers.

I want to go back to the campaign when Donald Trump talked about tweeting as president of the United States and this is what he said back in Warwick, Rhode Island in April this year. Let's watch.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: You know, I tweeted today @realdonaldtrump. Don't worry, I'll give it up after I'm president, we won't tweet any more, I don't think, not presidential.


BLACKWELL: He'll give it up because it is not presidential. Doesn't look like that's going to happen.

RYAN: I don't know what's going to happen, but I tell you what, he's right. It is not presidential. But as a reporter, as a journalist, the first thing I do is wake up and look to see what President-elect Donald Trump said on Twitter, instead of going through Sean Spicer or somebody else to see. That's the thing.

But this is bigger than that, though, I think it is deeper. I am not a psychologist or anything, but when you are president of the United States or going to be president of the United States, you're bigger than Twitter. It's all about you --

BLACKWELL: April, we have to jump in here. I hate to cut you off. We have Rick Scott, the governor of Florida outside the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport with an update on that shooting yesterday. Let's listen.

[08:25:07]GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT, FLORIDA: -- people trying to live their lives, enjoy the weekend were senselessly murdered. It was an absolutely horrific day. The person responsible for this act will be brought to justice to the fullest extent of the law. When you hurt one of us, you hurt all of us.

I arrived in Fort Lauderdale yesterday afternoon, less than two hours after the shooting happened. I spent the rest of the day being briefed by law enforcement, state, local and federal levels. They're all working together to get answers.

I saw the same thing after the Pulse attack where state, federal and local worked very well together, law enforcement worked very well together. I know we all want answers and I know law enforcement is working hard to understand exactly what happened.

We do know these individuals have been killed, some are fighting for their lives right here at hospitals in Broward County. Last time, I went to Broward Health Medical Center to visit some of the victims and their families.

Some of the victims were still in surgery fighting for their life. You know, it's just such senseless acts. One couple I talked to just came down here to go on a cruise and the wife was shot and they're not even going on the cruise, they're going to take their time and go home.

Another one her husband was shot and just bleeding profusely in the arm, she was so worried about him, he was in surgery at the time. I remained in constant contact, communication with Mark Gail at the Fort Lauderdale Airport and Broward Sheriff Israel.

The state is going to continue to offer whatever resources are needed, whether the county, airport, anyone that needs any services. I think about this as I'm a dad and granddad, I can't imagine this happening to my family or any family, but the state stands ready to assist anyone that needs anything.

Last night I stayed in contact with the airlines and rental car companies to ensure they were able to help displaced travelers, to see if they had any unmet needs. Many people throughout the night were sent over to port terminal. I think they're down to just a few people over there now.

But we're going to do everything we can to help passengers get as comfortable as they can. It has to be really hard on them. We have a lot of cruise ships who are coming in today. I know the airlines are working to make sure as passengers come in, they work with them to the extent flights aren't coming out of Fort Lauderdale, that they redirect them to another airport.

Visit Florida partnered with Expedia to constantly update their website, tell you where there are available rooms. Airport activated urgent accommodations. We have a lot of tourists coming through our airports and to our state every day, we will have over 102 million tourists this year in our state. Going to do everything we can to accommodate them.

We love our tourists. We want them to continue to come here. The state is ready to help them. National Guard continues to be prepared to respond to local law enforcement, provide support at the airports. State of emergency operations center was open all last night, will remain open to ensure we're able to respond to any unmet needs, county, airport, anybody has unmet needs.

Last night I directed the Florida department of health to dispatch grief counselors to the family assistance center to provide support, that's here by the airport. Broward County also activated a call center to help travelers that have been displaced.

We also have at the state level, you can go to for information to help any displaced travelers. We are a blessed state. We are in a 45 year low in our crime rate, going to use every resource to keep every visitor and citizen safe.

The number one priority in our state is safety. We love the fact that people feel safe living in our state and visiting our state. We're a strong, resilient state. We're not going to let attacks like this tear us apart.

We're going to pray for the victims and mourn for all their families. We're going to hope and pray that everybody that's injured fully recovers. I know we don't have an answer, I don't know if we'll ever have an answer to an evil attack like this.

My case, I rely on my faith, and I'll pray for answers. We're going to continue to provide updates as this goes along, but I can tell you at the state level, we're going to continue to do everything we can to provide information and help anybody we can.

[08:30:11] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Governor, this is not a failure of imagination. We knew a lot about this guy. So many red flags. Why was this guy not on the no fly list?

SCOTT: You know, this is -- we're right in the middle of trying to understand exactly what happened. There's going to be more information that will come out. We'll know exactly what happens. They will be able to figure out what to do. You know, if this was -- if it's tied to mental -- I have a brother that suffers with mental illness, it is very hard to deal with some of these issues and I know every family that has a family member that deals with mental illness really struggles with this. And I think, as a society, you know, after we understand what happened, we'll have the opportunity to have a conversation.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) in trying to deal with the situation? Is there (INAUDIBLE) required --

SCOTT: You know, we'll get more information. You know, I know what we've done at the state level is we're trying to -- the dollars that we spend with regard to mental illness, we are trying to allocate those dollars and move those dollars around. We have a pilot project going on right now in Broward County. And we've got a few counties. So we're trying to figure these things out. But I just tell you, we're going to learn more. And I can tell you from dealing with a brother that deals with mental illness, it is a very difficult issue to deal with.



SCOTT: Well, the -- law enforcement, as they get more information, they'll put that sort of information out. That will come from law enforcement.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Governor Scott, (INAUDIBLE). Do you know any more about the condition of the victims that are in the hospital?

SCOTT: I mean, I talked to some of the victims last night. The one lady that was shot in the arm, she's planning to -- she thinks she's going to be discharged today. The others I talked to, they don't have a -- they don't know yet. I know some are severely injured. And so I'm going to pray for them. But you know, we're blessed, we have very good health care here. I can tell you everybody that I talked to at Broward Health last night they were appreciative of the nurses and the doctors and everybody that was taking care of them.


SCOTT: My understanding is that we are leaving -- the upstairs were just reopened, so for the downstairs is not. It's still -- remember, they're going through an active investigation. But my understanding is they're just right now opening the top level of two.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) they said they want (INAUDIBLE) yet were able to go back (INAUDIBLE) that day. Why would (INAUDIBLE)?

SCOTT: Well, the airport director and law enforcement have to answer that. But I can just tell you, one thing you -- the first thing you do is keep everybody safe, the most important priority, think about it. Think about your own family. The first thing you do is you want everybody to be safe. Take precautions.

Look, my heart goes out to everybody that was displaced yesterday. And so many people are coming down here to enjoy vacation, to go on a cruise, enjoy our weather, and it's tragic that they were displaced. But the goal is always to keep everybody safe. That's the primary goal.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: After what's happened, are you more or less likely to support extended open carry laws that might allow somebody to carry (INAUDIBLE) --

SCOTT: Right now we're dealing with -- we're going to find out exactly what happened here. Law enforcement is going to give us answers as we go through this. We're going to have time to have an opportunity to have a conversation about how do we improve our society. Because look, all of us want to live in safe society. I've got kids, I've got grandkids, and I want them to live in a safe society. We all do. So as we go through this process, we learn what happened, and then we can always a conversation about is there something we should change.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Governor, an unsecure areas as an airports have come under attack before. (INAUDIBLE)

SCOTT: The -- again, we're going to have -- look, one thing's great about our society is when something happens, the right thing to do is find out really what happened and then let's see how can we make it better. And I think that's what always happens with these things.



SCOTT: I can tell you we are blessed. You know, look, I don't want ever anything to happen. I -- after Pulse, I was down in Orlando for quite awhile. I talked to the families, I cried with them as they lost their loved ones, I heard their stories about their loved ones. You just can't imagine, you don't want this to happen to your family.

The other side of it is we -- I know our law enforcement is working hard, we are at a 45-year low in our crime rate.

[08:35:08] 367,000 people moved to our state last year. We'll have over 102 million tourists. People come to our state because they know we're safe. When something like this happens, but you know is our law enforcement community is going to do a good job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll take one more.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Governor, does it make sense --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Should be able to --


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) to check an unloaded weapon in one bag and check ammunition together on the same flight? Is that necessary (INAUDIBLE)?

SCOTT: I think the right thing to do let's find out exactly what happened here. And then let's -- there's going to be time -- our legislative session starts in Florida in March. There'll be a time to have a conversation about if there's things that we can do to improve our society because all this thing about -- when we ask questions about that or think about it, how do we make sure. What about my family. What about your family. Right? I want my family to be safe.

In my case as governor, I want every family in the state safe, I want every tourist and his family safe, I want to continue to have a state that people say I want to live here because we are not at a 45-year low in the crime rate, we are 46, 47, 48-year low in the crime rate. Thank you for being here.

PAUL: All right, Governor --

BLACKWELL: All right. Florida Governor Rick Scott there outside the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. But roughly 18 hours after the shooting rampage there that left five people dead, eight people wounded. The governor there having visited some of the victims and their families at hospitals saying that some of them are severely injured but the governor not answering any questions about the investigation saying, let's wait to find out what happened, likely leaving that for law enforcement.

PAUL: And we will hear from law enforcement in about an hour and a half. At 10:00 a.m. law enforcement is scheduled to be in front of those cameras, in front of those mikes, and hopefully will tell us more about the incident itself. But the governor speaking out not just as a governor but as a dad and a granddad, he said, talking about how safety is a first priority for the folks in Florida, how they're redirecting flights, rental cars are helping all the people who are displaced there right now because they don't have all the flights up and running.

So we heard that from him. But we will bring you live at 10:00 a.m. that other news conference that's coming from law enforcement there in Florida. Hopefully hear more about the incident at hand. Do stay close. We're back in just a moment.


[08:40:14] BLACKWELL: As many as 77 million people waking up to winter weather warnings and watches and advisories this morning. This winter storm is ripping through the mid-Atlantic, the northeast. They've got snow. They've got sleet. They've got ice and rain warnings in Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. Those governors have declared states of emergency.

PAUL: In fact National Guard troops are on standby, and there are thousands of people across the southeast who do not have electricity right now. Even the happiest place on earth is feeling it. Disneyworld half marathon in Orlando cancelled due to bad weather, the race was sold out for their 20th anniversary, no less. And reports of black ice are making dangerous road conditions throughout the southeast as well.

North Carolina, we understand, parts there bearing the brunt of the storm as they prepare for nearly a foot of snow today, reportedly more than 14,000 electrical outages there. Already many of them in that Charlotte area.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is in Raleigh with the latest.

Polo, how have you seen things progress at all in the last few hours because that's certainly how long you've been standing there.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi, we certainly have seen that rain turn to sleet and now a little bit of snow and things are relatively quiet. But let's stay on that issue or that topic of cancellations, you know, that highly anticipated -- that anticipated formal or official swearing in of Governor Roy Cooper here in North Carolina, that had to be moved indoors yesterday. Today that inaugural parade was scheduled. That is not happening anymore because of this.

As you can see there is a thin layer of ice and some of this smushy mess, winter mess, that is coating some of the roads and some of the highways in North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper in office for only seven days, and already dealing with this large-scale what's considered really an emergency management operation.

Look at some of the numbers right now, in what we have seen in preparations leading up to this winter storm here. You're looking at close to 1500 state employees that were using close to 500 trucks to spread nearly three million gallons of the so-called brine, which is this saltwater combination that's been spread on some of the roads to try to keep the ice to a minimum. But nonetheless, we have seen some of that ice form.

Expect many people to stay home today. It is a -- it's not a commuting day, it is not a weekday. So that's one of the reasons why officials expect to keep these roads relatively quiet and relatively clear -- guys.

PAUL: All right. We wish you safety and hope that everything is good with you and the crew there. Stay safe, Polo. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: A brutal beating is streamed live on Facebook and it was motivated by the victim's race, some folks say in the law enforcement community. And now some parents may find themselves struggling to talk about it with their kids. Next, we hear lessons from mothers to their children.


[08:45:49] PAUL: Well, you know, people flock to the Colorado rocky mountains to ski, to snowboard. But as you're about to find out, there's a whole lot more to it than that.


ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ana Cabrera with CNN and a Colorado native. Welcome to Breckenridge. This is your quintessential mountain town, complete with charming shops, epic powder and plenty of adventure.

Stay on course. Mountain biking isn't just a summer sport around here. Ever heard of fat biking? Big, soft tires floating on the snow. This takes me back to my childhood. This is the Alpine Coaster, part rollercoaster, part bobsled, 10,000 feet high. The ultimate adrenaline rush.

So micro-brewing is super popular here in Colorado. Broken Compass is the only microbrewery in Breckenridge, brewing up eight different batches of beer every month. Their specialty?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The coconut border. CABRERA: Heading down the mountain, back toward Denver, it's well

worth a stop at the Indian Hot Springs. It's natural mineral water of 95 to 100 degrees here in the big pool, it's like one giant hot tub. And there are geothermal cases too where the water is hotter and clothing is optional, just in case you're feeling extra adventurous on a trip to the Colorado Rockies.


BLACKWELL: New details on the torture of a disabled man in Chicago that was live streamed on Facebook. Four suspects are being held without bail. They're charged with aggravated kidnapping because they allegedly asked the victim's mother for $300 ransom.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The defendant communicates with the victim's mother, and demands $300 ransom in exchange for getting her son back.


BLACKWELL: Well, police are investigating to determine if the attack was racially motivated. Well, this is as we know another case that can trigger careful conversations between parents and their children. Our next guest may have a blueprint for those talks. April Ryan with us, she's the author of "At Mama's Knee," it talks about how mothers teach their children or discuss with their children matters of race in America.

April, good to have you back.


BLACKWELL: Also, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks. April, I want to get to -- we've seen so many of these instances where these high profile cases, this one streamed live on Facebook prompt these very difficult conversations. Is there -- was there some common denominator you found with these diverse groups of mothers?

RYAN: And also people who are mothers or from what their mothers told them. You know, the common denominator is it is a hard issue. And we have to as mothers talk to our children about matters that are so sensitive and at a time like this, we need to explain the dynamics in a way they can understand but also offer hope for a brighter day. And that's what I found.

BLACKWELL: Yes. You know, one of the writers for the "New York Daily News" Shawn King who has a huge following not just for his writing but also on social media, he wrote this about specifically these four people who are being held for this crime that was streamed live. "This country does not need me to speak out on crimes committed by black folk because nobody in this country is held more responsible for the crimes they commit, and even the crimes they don't commit than black folk in America."

What did you learn about the conversation as it relates to justice specifically?

RYAN: When it relates to justice, I talked to, in this book, people like Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner. I talked Sabrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, and they look for justice, but at the same time they know that the issue of race is a -- issue of race and justice is a long track history that we're still trying to grapple with. And again, it goes back to the heart of the matter. And Victor, you and I both came from the Baltimore area and actually we didn't live too far from each other.

[08:50:06] But the bottom line is being here at a time after the Freddie Gray death-murder, what have you, whatever you want to call it, but the Freddie Gray death here in Baltimore, I had to tell my two little girls, 14 and 9, and when you talk to your children, it's like sugar and spice and everything nice typically, but I had to bring the realities of the day to them and try to explain what was going on. And I even had to go to my 9-year-old who had a Nerf cannon gun and she was out in our backyard player and my aunt said, come in the house because a little kid was killed by police, shot to death because they thought he had a real gun, not a toy gun.


RYAN: So these stories are creeping into our home. There's no excuse for any violence, any hate crimes. But we have to talk to our children, our next generation of leaders to really send a message that things have got to change. Things have got to change. And people in this book, to include President Obama, talking about how his mother influenced him on race.

BLACKWELL: Yes, you know -- let me jump in here because you bring up President Barack Obama and he said after watching this video that he still thinks the overall trajectory of race relations in this country is actually very positive.

RYAN: If you look at the arch of history, you know, we moved -- we've moved the ball, the pendulum, but we still have a long way to go. And I want to bring something even in closer to home. Just two days ago I was with Harry Belafonte, and he said to me, you know, in the midst of this time, he said it's a great time because basically he remembered back to what "W. E. B." Du Bois said to him about the fact that when you have problems and horrific problems in the nation, this is the time when there's activism and when there is a time that's right for change.

So we have to see what happens with what's going on now, but yes, there is going to be a change. People are going to rise up, there is a new wave of activism coming to change the dynamics.


RYAN: That are happening.

BLACKWELL: You know, you mentioned your conversation with your 9- year-old. And Rosa Flores here at CNN has an interesting series about the disappearing front porch in Chicago, the children aren't allowed to sit outside because of the violence there.

April Ryan, the book is "At Mama's Knee: The Conversations and Lessons for Mothers About Race." Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

RYAN: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Christi?

PAUL: All right. Such good thoughts there.

Listen to this one. Voice activated cars, emotionally intelligent robots. Does that exist? Well, we're going to show you the technology of tomorrow as thousands of tech companies flood Las Vegas for CES or the Consumer Electronics Show.


[08:55:39] PAUL: So what do you think about this? Cars with futuristic glass dashboards. A robot that can copy your movements or do chores. I like the chores part, I will say.


PAUL: TVs so realistic they look like a doorway that you can step right through. It's all on display at CES, short for Consumer Electronics Show. This is in Las Vegas. We are going to talk with somebody who is going to talk about the top five trends to expect this year.

Tim Bajarin, he is president of Creative Strategies and columnist for "TIME" magazine.

Tim, good to see you. I know you've been -- you've been to 60 of these shows. You've been going since 1976. What this year has grabbed your attention?

TIM BAJARIN, PRESIDENT, CREATIVE STRATEGIES: Well, the auto industry has invaded CES, it's fascinating because, you know, they're all moving toward smart cars and especially self-driving cars eventually. And almost every major dealer -- car dealer is there, showing something futuristic. But one thing that struck me was the folks from Corning Glass, who do the gorilla glass, had a car where all the surfaces in front actually was glass and it was the smart glass, and had information behind it, whether it was the navigational stuff or video screens or ways that you could put the information.

And even the steering wheel had a glass screen in it. And the concept there is try to make every part of the car smart, and that really stuck out as well as what we saw from folks like BMW, Hyundai, Nissan, Ford, et cetera.

PAUL: Does it give you pause, though, at all? Do you think they're trying to automate too many things?

BAJARIN: Well, at this point in a sense yes, except that for us to move towards cars that are actually safer, which would happen with self-automated cars.

PAUL: Yes.

BAJARIN: It really has to be smart. It has to have all kind of information that is fed to the user or to the car itself as well as the environment. So in one sense yes, but theoretically a smart car that's self-driving is going to be safer.

PAUL: OK. I want to ask you about Alexa. The voice assistant that's being used as I understand it in thousands of devices. It's been grabbing a lot of headlines lately because this little girl ordered a doll house or maybe it was a doll and something else, after just saying Alexa, this is what I'd like and Alexa had it sent to her. What's happening with Alexa, how is she evolving so to speak?

BAJARIN: Well, Amazon of course has created this what we call a home hub. And it is voice activated and it uses artificial intelligence. So the idea there is you can just say Alexa, what's the weather? Alexa, play music. And given the fact it is Amazon, you know Alexa, I want to buy something. That particular concept was very high at the show.

What happened was we saw Alexa being added to cars, to refrigerators, to all kinds of things. And to be fair, Google has one as well. And, you know, Apple has Siri. The whole movement towards voice as a part of the activation system is what -- or user interface is a big deal. And Amazon was everywhere.

PAUL: All right. Talk to me about the wearables, will you? Because I know those are always popular.

BAJARIN: Yes. Wearables were everywhere. And they actually had an entire section just on wearables. But in the wearables, one segment that's really hot is health. And one product stuck out to me is Omron was showing off their new watch -- it's actually a watch that's actually a blood pressure cuff. And you wear it on your arm and you just hit a button, and you can take your blood pressure.

PAUL: Wow --

BAJARIN: That's a great deal.

PAUL: Tim Bajarin, you just have a great job these days. Thank you so much.

BAJARIN: Thank you.

PAUL: Appreciate having you here.

BLACKWELL: All right. That's it for us. We'll see you back here at 10:00.

PAUL: "SMERCONISH" is with you right now.