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New Orleans Crash; "The New York Times'" Truth Commercial; The 2017 Academy Awards; Cosby Trial; NASCAR Season Begins Today; Oklahoma Quarterback Arrested; Auburn Student Won $5,000 In Tuition; Meatloaf Dinner In the Trump White House; Twenty Eight Injured After Truck Rams Mardi Gras Crowd; Perez Vows To Make Trump A One-Term President; Sanders: Trump "Brought The Entire Swamp" Into White House; Trump: I Won't Attend White House Correspondents Dinner; Investigators: VX Nerve Agent Used To Kill Kim. Aired 6-7a

Aired February 26, 2017 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw a dark truck run a white car off the road, serve, losing control and just run, and it's like 100 people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We suspect that the subject was highly intoxicated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump revealing via Twitter that he will not be at this year's Annual White House Correspondents Dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump truly feels as though the media has been out to get him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a time to be toasting some who calls you an enemy of the American people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where were you in 2017 when we had the worst president in the history of the United States?


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Sunday morning is upon us. We are so glad to have your company. I am Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I am Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. Right now, New Orleans police are investigating a terrifying incident, 28 people injured when a truck crashed into this crowd during a Mardi Gras parade.

PAUL: Yes, take a look at this. One man is in custody we know and as you heard that investigator there say they believe that he was highly intoxicated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was something like you would have seen in a movie. I never encountered anything like this before and I've seen people (inaudible) truck.

PAUL (voice-over): Eyewitnesses described the chaotic scene in New Orleans after a truck rammed into a crowd of bystanders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hit the ground because everybody says there was a gunshot, but I saw the car, and I was, like, what happened here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I heard the impact over here, I seen the truck hitting the people on the ground, coming through the crowd, and it ricocheted off of one car to another car, and that's when he had hit all the people over here, and everybody was just kind of trying to help one another.

PAUL: Police say a suspected drunk driver plowed into pedestrians watching one of the most popular Mardi Gras parade.

CHIEF MICHAEL HARRISON, NEW ORLEANS POLICE: We have one subject in custody, who was driving a pickup truck behind me, who apparently on the opposite side of the parade that was active and traveling in the opposite direction from the parade, and struck two vehicles and veered off to the other side and struck a dump struck and came (inaudible) on a neutral ground. In the process before that truck came to rest, struck a number of pedestrians.

PAUL: Seven victims declined to medical attention, but 21 others were taken to area hospitals. Five of them in serious condition. The youngest victim, just 3 years old. Bystanders helped triage many of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had multiple bystanders helping us initially to treat the patients here, with multiple medical providers here helping to triage and treat the patients.

PAUL: Fortunately, none of the injuries appear life-threatening, but the investigation is ongoing now.

HARRISON: We suspect that that subject was highly intoxicated. He is in custody. He is being investigated right now and he's at our DWI office.


PAUL: The FBI released this statement, "We are currently coordinating with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to determine whether a federal violation has occurred.

BLACKWELL: This week, President Trump's agenda includes a primetime speech and an immigration do over, but tomorrow, he will renew his focus on replacing the Affordable Care Act.

PAUL: Yes, the president is set to meet with a group of governors at the White House tomorrow where worries about the Obamacare replacement are expected to dominate that discussion.

BLACKWELL: Now on Tuesday, the president makes his first address to Congress. The administration says the speech will focus on safety, increasing border security as well as health reform and jobs.

PAUL: And then later this week, the White House will take another crack at imposing a temporary travel ban on citizens of countries they say pose a high risk of terrorism. Remember that first executive order was blocked by federal courts. The ACLU says more than 700 people were held nationwide during that initial rollout.

BLACKWELL: The new Democratic Party chief vows to deny President Trump a second term. Democrats elected former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and his first act as chairman, he selected his rival, Congressman Keith Ellison to be his deputy hoping to united progressives to take on the White House.


TOM PEREZ, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: We will all be able to say, whether you are sitting here or whether you are sitting outside or looking on across America, we will all be able to say the united Democratic Party led the resistance and insured that this president was a one-term president and elected Democrats across this country.


BLACKWELL: President Trump reacted to the news on Twitter with this, "Congratulations to Thomas Perez, who was just has been named the chairman of the DNC. I could not be happier for him or for the Republican Party."

Perez replied back saying, "Call me Tom, and don't get too happy. Keith Ellison and I and Democrats united across the country will be your worst nightmare."

[06:05:08]Senator Bernie Sanders who backed Ellison blasted the president saying progressives are ready to take on his administration.


SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: This turnout speaks to the reality that more and more Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about what's happening in Washington today, and are prepared to stand up and fight back. Instead of draining the swamp, he has brought the entire swamp right into his administration.


PAUL: Now DNC Chair Tom Perez's primary task is to help Democrats win elections across the country. It could be an uphill battle. I want to show you the numbers here and how they breakdown. Look at these red -- the amount of red there in the country, there are 33 Republican U.S. governors compared to only 16 Democrats. And since President Obama's 2009 election, Republicans have gained more than a thousand state legislative seats across the country effectively controlling the majority of the legislature.

Now in Congress, the electoral map, it's unfavorable for Democrats in 2018. Democrats are defending 25 seats in the Senate, including ten in states that President Trump won in 2016.

BLACKWELL: All right, a lot to talk about here. Let's bring in my panel of experts, Scott Bolden, former chairman of the Washington, D.C. Democratic Party, and Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News. Good morning to you.

So let me start with you, Scott. We see now that Tom Perez won out over Keith Ellison. What is new about this approach? How do you expect that he will win back all of the red or at least some of the red, I should say, which would be more realistic from that map we just saw from Christi?

A. SCOTT BOLDEN, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE WASHINGTON, D.C. DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well, he's got to get organized. He's got to energize the base. Under the Obama administration, Obama was kind of the rock star, and many people feel that the DNC kind of did not do the ground work it need to do in those states.

But their biggest challenge is internally. The Sanders supporters, the progressives in the Democratic Party have (inaudible) and unrest. They really don't want to share power, but they have not figured out how to win internally.

And so this power sharing agreement between the deputy chair and the new chair of the Democratic Party is a standoff, if you will, or something that they will try to work through. But remember, a lot of the Sanders' folks, they were in the back, and many walked out and they have to figured how to get them to play well in the sandbox.

BLACKWELL: Errol, there were some chants of disapproval after we got the results of the vote that Tom Perez won that position. What do you think the naming of Keith Ellison as the deputy chairman did beyond the room? Clearly it calmed some of the chants and the protests, but beyond that room and the implications moving to 2018 and 2020?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it certainly shows that the leadership wants to be united, and look, a lot of this was the kind of huffing and puffing that you hear during this kind of a political fight.

Let's be clear, Tom Perez, people say he's a member of the establishment and so forth, he's a civil rights attorney. He was the head of the Obama's Civil Rights Division.

This was under Attorney General Holder. This is the division that went after police departments from coast-to-coast, and challenged on fair redistricting areas that fought for the right of disability -- of disabled Americans. So this is not somebody who is a cream puff or a corporate stooge or any of the other things that he was being called. So there's a possibility of them getting together, and if I could just real briefly just add one more number to the ones that you put forth.

Twenty four is the number of seats they need to win in the House, the Democrats next year, 2018, in order to take control of the House, there are 23 congressional seats that have Republicans in them, and those districts went for Hillary Clinton.

So it's by no means -- it is an uphill battle but it's by no mean a hopeless one for Democrats to really make an important mark in trying to get back in the game in the next couple of years.

BOLDEN: And Victor, here's one other thing if I may, the Trump support is very thin in this country, and you see it in the community meetings with the Republican representatives, and Trump likes to say that this is a movement. Trump is really holding the movement hostage and Republican political representatives hostage.

He's not leading a movement. Watch for the unrest to continue, and watch for those voters who believe the economy has left them behind to begin to not only raise questions, but to take another look at the Democrats. The Democrats have to have a message on the ground to respond to when those voters come back, or even consider coming back.

BLACKWELL: All right, Errol, let me come to you with part of the statement we received from Senator Bernie Sanders he released after Perez' win. He said, "It is imperative that Tom understands that the same old same old is not working and that we must open the doors of the party to working people and young people in a way that has never been done before."

[06:10:05]Is there something that's fundamentally -- you kind of talked about his biography there, but is there something fundamentally new about his approach?

LOUIS: Well, it will have to be. From what I heard from talking with Sanders' supporters, not Sanders himself, that Perez was reaching out to them all along, and in some ways more than Keith Ellison. That he's got sort of a deeper set of connections in part because of his civil rights biography I mentioned to you of going straight to activists.

A lot of these street activists, who are sort of steering and energizing and demanding stronger action from the Democratic leadership, these are people that Perez is very familiar with. I think he's probably more familiar with them than he is with some of the corporate donors that Bernie Sanders is concerned about.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let me wrap up here. Scott to you, I read the exchange of tweets between the president and the new DNC chair. The Democrats seemed to enjoy that back and forth between then Candidate Trump and Senator Elizabeth Warren on Twitter. Is this something you think is -- and this may be just a one of for Tom Perez, we don't know yet. It's only the first one on the first day, but is there any real value here, something you want to see the DNC do more with the president?

BOLDEN: Well, I think it's more political banter than political effectiveness, but I think it sends a message to the Republicans and a message to Donald Trump that Perez is going to be fully engaged, and he is going to be not only a leader, but a cheerleader, and he's going to challenge Donald Trump at every juncture, whether it's social media, on the ground, at the White House, or whether it's in Congress.

And so look for a spirited debate and a spirited aggressive DNC, because they are not that far off. Remember Donald Trump only won three states by about 10,000 to 20,000 votes to get the White House.

And so they are not that far off. A lot of work to do, but they are close and so we look forward to seeing a very aggressive Democratic Party going forward under this new chair.

BLACKWELL: Scott Bolden, Errol Louis, thank you both.

PAUL: Skipping out amid his ongoing feud with the media. President Trump says he's not going to this year's White House Correspondents Dinner. So what will they do to fill that void?

BLACKWELL: Also Malaysian authorities say the dose of nerve agent put on his face was so strong that the half-brother of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, died within 20 minutes.




JEFF MASON, PRESIDENT, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS ASSOCIATION: It's not a surprise to say that the president has said many negative things about the media, and comparing the media or suggesting that the media is the enemy of the American people that, of course, is something that the correspondents association and journalists reject. The media is an incredibly important part of a vibrant republic, and we celebrate that at that dinner.


BLACKWELL: That was Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents Association reacting to the news that President Trump will skip its annual dinner and event that dates all the way back to 1920.

PAUL: Last night on Twitter the president said, quote, "I will not be attending the White House Correspondents Association dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening." Errol Louis, your reaction first of all?

LOUIS: Well, it's unfortunate. This is something that is reflective on one particular night and I have been able to go in the past and have done broadcasting around it on other nights. It's supposed to reject and often does, when it succeeds, an effort to sort of put all of the divisions that really sort of split the country apart, put it outside the beltway and have everybody get together and kind of have a few laughs and give out some important scholarships -- the need to have a robust press.

PAUL: So Errol, do you think that the divisions are too large. They are too expansive right now to get beyond it?

LOUIS: Well, you know, I have to say, this is less about political divisions, meaning Democrats versus Republicans --

PAUL: Right.

LOUIS: -- and more about this president and this White House, and we heard them say this, and they said it at the convention, Christi, that a fundamental part of their political strategy was to get people to distrust the media.

And at every single rally that he held, Donald Trump would make up things and accuse the press of not reporting it. You know, he would call the media scum, and he would point to the members of the media and urge people to vilify and attack them.

Because many of the things that he wants to accomplish or have the press not report on, these things are going to make him look very, very bad. I'm talking about his financial interests and ties to Russia and so forth. He can't afford to have that front and center and that's what the media is going to put front and center.

PAUL: He has been to correspondents dinners before, in 2011 with President Barack Obama, listen to this.


FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: All kidding aside, obviously we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience, and -- for example, no, seriously, in an episode of "Celebrity Apprentice," at the Steak House, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks, and there was a lot of blame to go around.

But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership and so ultimately you did not blame Little John or Meat Loaf, you fired Gary, and these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night.


PAUL: So the thing is, if we would go, he would be in that position to stand at that podium and take some shots if he so chose. Why make a decision now? It's not until the end of April that this event would take place.

LOUIS: For one thing, in the immediate instant, there were a number of important news organizations that were already announcing that they would not throw some of the parties that are associated with the White House Correspondents Dinner, or they were not going to attend including CNN, which had not made a decision about whether or not to be a part of it.

So it was sort of starting to become an issue and sort of starting to fall apart already. By announcing that he's not going to be part of it, he sort of spares himself the indignity of having one news organization after another say this is not our kind of a guy or evening and we are not going to pretend that things are OK with this particular president.

And then also look he was going to get mercilessly roasted that night. This was not going to be an easy night for him under any circumstances, and so I think you add those two things together and the president decided I don't need to do this.

[06:20:03]PAUL: Well, it certainly leaves everyone wondering how do you fill that gap, then, how do you fill that void of the president not being there. (Inaudible) tweeted out last night, "Alec Baldwin, time to suit up," and that started a chain of people saying, yes, let's get Alec Baldwin in there.

Even April Ryan said, "My suggestion let Alec Baldwin play POTUS at the dinner. Now that could work." And even Brian Stelter said, "E- mail from a viewer, please, please have Alec Baldwin invited at the White House Correspondents Dinner since Trump is not going." What is the chance, do you think, that that would happen?

LOUIS: I don't know if there is that much chance of that. That would be a little bit sort of bizarre. It's not guaranteed to be funny. It's more funny when the person is actually there. They should keep in mind, that evening from 2011, we knew what followed hours later was the operation that killed Bin Laden.

So folks should keep in mind, while they are making fun of the president he has the ability to take serious action in the world that really kind of turns the table, so I would not be too gleeful about whether he attends or not.

PAUL: OK, he has a point. Errol Louis, thank you so much for chiming in. We appreciate your voice as always.

LOUIS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Investigators say the half-brother of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un died within 20 minutes of being in contact with that VX nerve agent. Next, what one of the suspected killer says she thought was part of that combination, what that chemical was.



PAUL: Listen to this. The nerve agent dose was so deadly that the estranged half-brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, died within 20 minutes of being touched by it.

BLACKWELL: And we're now hearing more about the autopsy of Kim from the Malaysian health minister. Joining us live now from Kuala Lumpur with the latest on the investigation, CNN correspondent, Alexandra Field. What are you hearing about this autopsy, Alexandra?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Victor and Christie. Look, they have not released the full autopsy, what they have said is that it appears that VX was the cause of death, that certainly should not come as any surprise to anyone, though, because officials had already released the facts they had found traces of VX on Kim Jong- Nam's face and in his eyes.

We'll remind our viewers that this is a highly potent, very lethal nerve agent, and a chemical weapon, classified as a weapon of mass destruction. So it sent a lot of people on edge and it raised a lot of alarm bells for people when they learned that this weapon of mass distraction had been carried through Kuala Lumpur's airport.

You've, of course, seen that CCTV video that shows two women at the moment of the attack. Kim Jong-Nam dies some 15 to 20 minutes later according to the health minister.

And now nearly two weeks after the attack, units have gone into the airport wearing protective suits to do a sweep for any other dangerous substances.

Overnight, you had fire, police forensics unit, and the Atomic Energy Unit, all inside that airport, in those protective suits. They say it's turned up all clear. They have not found any trances of dangerous substances.

But remember you've had the flying public in and out of that terminal for nearly two weeks. So people are relieved by the news that no more dangerous substances were found in that airport, but certainly it was an alarming development.

More developments over the weekend. We are now hearing that both, the Vietnamese and Indonesian suspects were seen in the CCTV video have told authorities from their respective countries said that they both believed they were part of a prank.

The Indonesian woman tells the deputy ambassador that she met with a group of people who she identifies as having been either Korean or Japanese. She says that they paid her about $90 and gave her a liquid that she thought was maybe similar to a baby oil.

Both women again saying they thought that they were part of a prank. Both women are still in custody. Police are now searching for some seven North Korean citizens who they say were related to the plot.

And now they've now confirmed that they actually searched an apartment right here in Kuala Lumpur that was rented by four North Korean suspects who are believed to have left the country immediately after the attack -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Alexandra Field for us there in Kuala Lumpur. Thanks so much.

PAUL: Well, a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, certainly not what you thought it would be. It was absolutely terrifying for the people. Look at the aftermath here, a pickup truck slams into a whole group of people there. We'll have details on what happened.

BLACKWELL: Plus airing tonight during the Oscars broadcast, a commercial for truth from a company that has not advertised on television in seven years.



PAUL: Well, welcome back. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWEL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

New details this morning on a terrifying crash in New Orleans. 21 people sent to hospitals, seven others injured after a truck rammed into them after a Mardi Gras parade. Fortunately officials say none of the injuries here are life threatening.

PAUL: But witnesses say the pick up came speeding down one of the street, lost control and struck several cars before hitting people who are in that crowd watching the parade. We know that one man is in custody and investigators say they do suspect he was highly intoxicated.

BLACKWELL: Well, they have not run the ad on T.V. in seven years but during tonight's Oscars broadcast "The New York Times" will run a commercial for truth. Here's a look at it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The truth is our nation is more divided than ever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The truth is alternative facts are just plain delusional.

TEXT: The truth is alternative facts are lies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The media needs to be held accountable.

TEXT: The truth is the media is dishonest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth is locker room talk is harmless.

TEXT: The truth is a woman should dress like a woman.

TEXT: The truth is woman's rights are human rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth is, we need to put the safety of the American people.

TEXT: The truth is we have to protect our borders.

TEXT: The truth is his refugee policy is a backdoor Muslim ban.

TEXT: The truth is we need a full investigation of Russian ties. TEXT: The truth is leaking classified information is the real scandal.

TEXT: The truth is climate change is a hoax.

TEXT: The truth is the Supreme Court seat was stolen.

TEXT: The truth is this country was built by immigrants.

TEXT: The truth is 600,000 immigrants will be let in.

TEXT: The truth is the emails are dangerous.

TEXT: The truth is we don't know who is responsible.

TEXT: The truth is black lives matter is a simple statement of fact.

TEXT: The truth is all lives matter.

TEXT: The truth is we need new restrictions on gun control.

TEXT: The truth is our gun problem is bigger than mass shootings.

TEXT: The truth is he's not interested in uniting this country.

TEXT: The truth is we have a crime epidemic in our cities today.

TEXT: The truth is there is no evidence of voter fraud.

TEXT: The truth is we need to police the police.

TEXT: The truth is pro-life women weren't invited to the march.

TEXT: The truth is this administration has stumbled.

TEXT: The truth is executive orders have gone too far.

TEXT: The truth is we must hold free speech sacred.

TEXT: The truth is hard to find. The truth is hard to know. The truth is more important now than ever.

"The New York Times."


BLACKWELL: All right. There it is. Let's talk about it now. The goal of this ad, what it's expected to accomplish tonight? CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter in Atlanta with us.

Good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: Why the decision to run this ad? STELTER: You know, Oscars ads can cost up to $2.5 million for those very seconds. It's the second biggest night of the year on T.V. after the Super Bowl. So "The New York Times" going very big here its first T.V. ad in seven years. The reason being this paper like other big news outlets under fire from President Trump trying to defend itself and gain subscribers as a result. You know, this ad is designed to get you to go online, sign up for "The New York Times" and defend truth, as the ad claims.

BLACKWELL: Yes. It's not actually defense of their reporting. It seems to be just the defense of reporting.

STELTER: Of reporting in general.


STELTER: It reminds me of Meryl Streep in the Golden Globes. You know, she created a lot of controversy about a month and a half ago, getting up there criticizing Trump from the stage, and then encouraged the people to support journalism. I think, we'll probably hear something similar tonight at the Oscars...

BLACKWELL: Probably.

STELTER: ... (INAUDIBLE) we're going to hear some political speeches. So the "Times" just trying to put its ad right in the middle of that.

BLACKWELL: And we know on Friday the producers confirmed that Meryl Streep will be one of the presenters tonight. So maybe --

STELTER: She will. Yes. If she wants to have a follow-up or some subtle jabs, she could.

BLACKWELL: Yes. So, you know, the style of the ad it's just the black text on the white background, but the speed of the flash of the sentences and the cacophony of the voices it really is a lot to take in.

STELTER: It actually feels like the news cycle nowadays.


STELTER: And you need a big news outlet like "The New York Times" and the CNN's of the world to sort through it all. So it makes sense they're doing this now but this is their first ad campaign in many years, and it's a reminder also, that, you know, as much as (INAUDIBLE) Super Bowl for big ads the Oscars are also a big stage for advertisers, so when you are "The New York Times" you make a big bet on this night.

BLACKWELL: You used the word campaign, is the one off or will this be the beginning of the campaign for the truth?

STELTER: It's the beginning of this ad campaign for "The Times."

BLACKWELL: Yes. [06:35:00]

STELTER: But we've seen other big news outlets trying to do some similar thing. Trying to gain subscribers in this Trump age by saying, we are going to hold firm and figure out the facts in all this cacophony of information.

BLACKWELL: All right. Brian Stelter, thanks so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: And by the way, seven out of the 20 actors up for Academy Awards tonight, the people of color remember a year now after the Oscar's was dominated by the lack of diversity in the nominations. Here's our Stephanie Elam.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORERSPONDENT (voice-over): Musical romance...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I was standing with you.

ELAM: ... family drama, and extraterrestrial life all competing for Oscar.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It's strange that we keep running into each other.

ELAM: "La La Land" is the film to watch with 14 nominations, tying "All About Eve" and "Titanic" for the most nods in Oscar history.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It's very, very exciting.

ELAM: The musical is up for best picture, along with "Arrival," "Fences," "Hacksaw Ridge," "Hell or Highwater," "Hidden Figures," "Lion," "Manchester by the Sea," and "Moonlight."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people think that maybe "Hidden Figures" could eke out in the end but I think that in the end, "La La Land" will prevail.

ELAM: Emma Stone is up for best actress, as is Isabelle Huppert for "Elle," Ruth Negga in "Loving." And return winners, Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins and Natalie Portman as Jackie. But Stone is the frontrunner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Emma Stone has potentially won every single award you can win.

ELAM: The race for best actor, however, is tight. Andrew Garfield in "Hacksaw Ridge," Ryan Gosling in "La La Land" and Viga Mortensen in "Captain Fantastic" are all up for the honor. But the momentum is with Denzel Washington for "Fences" and Casey Affleck in "Manchester by the Sea."

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Everyone is going to be on the edge of their seat for that competition.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: Do you know who is hosting the Oscars this year? I'll give you a hint. He's touching your face.

ELAM: Jimmy Kimmel is taking on Hollywood's most notoriously challenging role. The late-night host will emcee the Oscars for the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He really is going to rely on his relationship with the actors in the room to try to make them comfortable and relax.

ELAM: Although a few will probably be excited and emotional after striking Oscar gold.


PAUL: And thank you to Stephanie Elam there.

BLACKWELL: New developments in the Bill Cosby trial. Tomorrow he may ask a judge for a change in venue there. We'll tell you why. That's coming up next.



BLACKWELL: Tomorrow Bill Cosby's attorneys are expected to ask Pennsylvania court for a change in venue for his trial because those lawyers say, the media there have (ph) biased the jury pool.

PAUL: A dramatic change of affairs the courts will allow only one additional accuser to testify in the upcoming trial not the 13 as prosecutors had hoped. Cosby's charged with sexual assault of former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand.

I want to bring in CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson. Several things to unpack here. First of all, Joey, a change of venue. Do you think that would be granted? I mean, everybody knows about this, I think.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: They really do. Good morning, Christi.

Listen, the fact is that change of venue motions are predicated upon fairness. Do you think Bill Cosby can get a fair trial in that jurisdiction? Interestingly enough though, I think change of venue motions have become less significant in a day and age where you have 24-hour cable cycles. You've got, you know, Twitter accounts to look at. You've got Facebook burgeoning but the issue becomes, you know what? People who view that stuff are further removed than those who are local to that jurisdiction, who may have more embedded feelings about it. And so you never know what a judge will do or will do but in an exercise of caution, the judge may very well do that because at the end of the day, in the event -- in the event that Cosby is convicted, the trial is coming up in June, it would provide a sort of an appellant avenue for his attorneys to pursue in the event that venue was not changed.


JACKSON: And so the safer cost of action may very well be to grant that motion in light of all of the publicity surrounding the case nationally but very focused locally in that particular area.

PAUL: Got you. OK. I wanted to ask you about the second prong to this. What was the judge's reasoning for dismissing the other 12 alleged victims here, and what specifically was it about only allowing victim six?

JACKSON: Wonderful question. The judge does not provide an answer, I will attempt to provide.


JACKSON: The judge of course made a one-page decision, not even one page it's actually saying that it's a balancing test. Remember what we're talking about prior bad acts, and often times what a prosecutor will do is attempt to introduce all types of other evidence. In this case saying, judge, there are 13 other accusers out there, 13 and they all alleged Cosby did something.

And so this goes to tactical (INAUDIBLE) goes to a common plan, a scheme, it's his imprint, judges his footprint allow it in. The judge has to say, wait a second. I have to do a balancing test. Trials need to be about what they're about. In this instance it's about what, if anything, he did with Andrea Constand in 2004. It's not about what he did the day before that, the week before that, the year before that, 10 years before that. And so the judge had to identify through the hearings in December all of the 13 and come up with, you know what? What's appropriate? The law allows me, if I'm a judge, to admit evidence that speaks to the common plan of scheme.

PAUL: So are you saying that there was something with victim six that was close enough of what make it happened with...


PAUL: ... this allege victim?



JACKSON: We could extrapolate from that, Christi. That according to victim six in 1996, 20 somewhat years ago what occurred according to her, it has not been vetted in any other criminal proceeding or otherwise that there was a drug-induced encounter which involved wine. Ha! Strangely familiar to what we're dealing with here (ph). And so I think the judge said that this is close enough at the same time, it allows me to balance what I have to do, which is his right to a fair trial, we'll exclude the other 12 allegations, these are similar enough. We will split the baby and therefore prosecution, you have your other victim, defense, you have your issues considered, too. PAUL: All right. So, Joey, I want to read you what the D.A., Kevin Steele, said after this he said the jury will now be allowed to assess evidence that is relevant to establishing a common plan and scheme and design of sexual abuse, and an absence of mistake by the defendant.

So speaking to what you were just talking about right there a lot of people saw this though as a victory for Cosby, so to speak, but how much does it dull the prosecution's case by dismissing those other 12?


JACKSON: I think it's a significant win for the defense, and as much as, you know, often times a jury could very well conclude, you know what? If he did this before, he would then do it now.

And so the trial becomes not about what if anything he did to Andrea Constand. It becomes about, what about, if anything, he did to several other women. And so the judge limited that. I still think it's very damaging to have any particular person come in and say he did the exact same thing.

PAUL: He even have the one coming in, sure.

JACKSON: Exactly. But certainly it limits it.

PAUL: Joey, I want to get you to one more thing real quickly.


PAUL: Katherine McKee filed a defamation lawsuit against him claiming that he had raped her as well.

Let's listen to this.


KATHERINE MCKEE, COSBY ACCUSER: He opens the door, I step in, he slams the door, and that's when I knew something was different. And just raped me right there, just within 60 seconds.

I was shocked. I was terrified. This was extremely bizarre. He didn't say a word to me. I didn't come forward because I knew that they were going to crush me.


PAUL: Cosby denied that claim, we need to point out. McKee has filed defamation lawsuit which was dismissed. Why was that defamation lawsuit dismissed? Does he have to be convicted for any -- for any of those to stand?

JACKSON: Not at all. What happened and it should be noted that this was an allegation apparently from 1974 that apparently came out in, you know, 2014, so 40 years later. But what Bill Cosby did when it came out in the "Daily News" is he wrote a letter to them denying it. And the federal judge said, look, a blanket deniable in which you don't otherwise take the victim to test is something that is permissible under the first amendment. Defamation involves of course claims that assault or assails someone's character and of course an absolute defense to defamation would be truth. And so she's saying, it's true. He is saying it is not, it hasn't otherwise been vetted or determined otherwise but a blanket denial according to the federal judge who dismissed the case is not sufficient to hold someone accountable for defamation under first amendment precepts of our constitution, Christi.

PAUL: All right. OK. Joey Jackson, thank you for walking us through all of that. We appreciate it.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. Changing gears. It's NASCAR's biggest weekend. Did you see that, how I did that the changing gears (INAUDIBLE)? Andy Scholes is following it all for us.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: It has never been done before, Victor. That was a T.V. news first right there.


SCHOLES: All right. And one of the fan favorites making his return today to Daytona 500, another driver looking to make some history. We're going to hear from him coming up in this morning's "bleacher report."



BLACKWELL: All right. The Daytona 500 is just hours away now, and one driver to keep an eye on is this year's Mexican-born, Daniel Suarez.

PAUL: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's bleacher report. Victor did not read the part where it said, start your engines.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I was skipping that.


SCHOLES: Change gears but you wouldn't (ph) want to read it. All right.

BLACKWELL: I can't -- I can't give you too much this morning. Change gears not start your engines.

PAUL: What are you doing, Andy?

SCHOLES: I am not going to have any of those in my scripts today. We'll see. Maybe tomorrow.

All right. Twenty-five year old Daniel Suarez -- yes, he's a rising star in NASCAR. He is actually the first Mexican-born driver ever to compete in the Daytona 500. And as you can imagine being the only Latin-American driver Suarez gets asked many questions about politics these days but he said he doesn't like to talk about it.

Suarez does though make sure to always mention that Latin America is full of hard-working people like himself and he is proud to represent all of them on NASCAR's highest level.


DANIEL SUAREZ, NASCAR DRIVER: To be part of the -- of the new generations of the drivers, and to be Latin-American and from Mexico, it's really a huge deal for me to be the face of Latin America in this great sport that is NASCAR. It's a big deal. I'm just sure excited to be here.


SCHOLES: So Suarez will be starting 19th today. In the front row will be Dale Earnhardt Jr., and his fans extra excited to see him today because this will be the first race for Junior since last July. Junior was forced to miss the second half of last season. He dealt with the side effects from concussions. It was a period of time where Junior said he didn't know if he'd ever race again. So definitely good to see him back out there. This is also his 16th anniversary of when Junior's dad, Dale Earnhardt, died after a crash during the Daytona 500.

All right. Bad news for Oklahoma Sooner fans quarterback Baker Mayfield was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing early Saturday morning. Now this happened in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Police say, Mayfield claimed he was trying to break up a fight but when an officer tried to speak with him he ran away. The officer then chased him down and tackled him.

According to the police report, Mayfield had trouble walking and was intoxicated. Oklahoma University said they are aware of the matter and have no other information at this time.

All right. Finally Auburn junior Ben Bode had the chance to win $5,000 towards his tuition, all he had to do is hit a layup, a free throw, and then a three-pointer. And then of course you have to top it off with the half-court shot. Look at him go, three for three. And this is the best part he gets to half-court, and he doesn't just shoot it, he goes granny style, guys.

PAUL: Come on.

SCHOLES: Look at this. Nothing but net!

PAUL: Love it!

BLACKWELL: Wow! SCHOLES: We've all seen this before. How many times has he had perfect form everywhere, and then goes granny style for half-court?

PAUL: Why is that called granny style? I think a lot of grannies out there going, what does that mean?

SCHOLES: Well, it worked for him. That is incredible. It's the shorts or the sweat shirt too. It's awesome.

PAUL: That's impressive. Congratulations to him. That's awesome.

SCHOLES: Well done.


BLACKWELL: ... we caught that.



BLACKWELL: Thanks, for that...

PAUL: Thanks, Andy.

BLACKWELL: ... Andy Scholes.

All right. No matter how you slice the President Trump's favorite food, meat loaf, and he just has proven it once again. Here is CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: No matter how you mash it, no matter how you shape it, it seems President Trump has yet to meet a meatloaf he doesn't love. His meatloaf arm-twisting has reoccurred.

TOM BARRACK, DONALD TRUMP'S FRIEND: His favorite dish was meatloaf.

MOOS: This time the president invited his friend, real estate investor Tom Barrack to dine at the White House.

BARRACK: The lunch was terrific.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: He made you eat the meatloaf?

BARRACK: The meatloaf is unbelievable.

MOOS: Previously, the designated meatloaf eater was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: He says, there's the menu. You guys order whatever you want. And then he says, "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf."


CHRISTIE: No, it's not.

MOOS: But Christie got dumped on.

SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN/T.V. HOST: The meatloaf was actually a second course for Christie after Trump made him swallow his pride.

MOOS: The last time Trump dictated the governor's diet, it was to boycott Nabisco.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Neither is Chris. You're not eating Oreos anymore.

MOOS: Oreos, no. Meatloaf, yes.

JENNY JONES, HOST, "JENNY CAN COOK": I touch a meatloaf like I judge most men. If they look good, smell good, and they're easy. I'm in.

MOOS: Meatloaf may not be for foodies, but it is the meat of the people.

And the president loves populist food. KFC chicken, McDonald's, taco bowls. No wonder he has a soft spot for meatloaf.

TRUMP: Everybody is saying I should run for president. Let me ask you a question. Meatloaf, should I run for president?

MEATLOAF: Absolutely.

MOOS: Trump once tweeted, "Mar-a-Lago has the best meatloaf in America. Tasty." Based on his mother's recipe. He and Melania even made meatloaf sandwiches with Martha Stewart.

Famous germaphobe that he is, the Donald actually let Martha touch his meatloaf.


TRUMP: What am I going to catch?

STEWART: Nothing.

MOOS: We can just imagine President Trump some night at the White House pulling a Will Ferrell.

WILL FERRELL, ACTOR: You hungry? Can we get some meatloaf?

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN...


MOOS: ... New York.


BLACKWELL: The woman there said if -- I judge my meatloaf like I judge my men. If they look good, they smell good, they're easy --


PAUL: And that's what stood out to Victor in that piece.

BLACKWELL: Thank you so much for starting your morning with us. I think if we take a step further we'll go too far.

PAUL: That's good. We'll be right back.