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Trump Working At Mar-A-Lago Ahead Of Critical Week; Report: Pence Used Private Email As Governor Got Hacked; Sessions To Amend Testimony On Russian Contact; Pence: New Plan To Replace Obamacare "In Days"; White House: GOP At Odds Over Parts Of Health Care Bill; DHS Considers Separating Kids From Adults On Border; Thirty Airstrikes In 48 Hours Target Al Qaeda In Yemen; Twelve Civilians Possibly Hit With Chemical Weapons. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired March 4, 2017 - 06:00   ET




[06:00:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House is definitely seeking some separation between the president and his team when it comes to Russia during the campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very clear what Vladimir Putin's objectives are. In many cases they are unacceptable to us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I have a role in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence was doing the same thing he was criticizing Hillary for.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no comparison whatsoever between Hillary Clinton's practice having a private server.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You're going to run your own business and make a lot of money, right? But don't run for politics after you do.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: A little bit of humor here. I'm Christi Paul. We're so glad to have you. Look who decided to get up early.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. It is a pleasure to be with you and with all of you. Let's get started. President Trump may be in sunny Florida, but he has some new clouds that are hanging over his administration.

PAUL: Yes, the president vowing no rest at Mar-a-Lago this weekend. Could he be working on that new travel ban that he proposed last week or will he head back to court with it? Overnight, the White House getting more time, it seems, to decide whether to fight last month's lawsuit. SAVIDGE: Plus we have a stunning DHS headline. The new plan to break up parents and kids who illegally crossed the border they say it's to fight trafficking.

We're learning about embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Will he amend his testimony Monday? That's expected. All of this as the web between Trump's campaign aides and Russia just gets messier.

PAUL: We want to get right to it to CNN's Athena Jones. She's in Palm Beach, Florida with the president. Good morning, Athena.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Martin. The president wants the conversation to be about things like his visit yesterday to that parochial school in Orlando, a focus on school choice, an important education policy priority for him.

And on other promises, campaign promises he feels he is keeping instead the conversation and the headlines in Washington are all focused on this question of his aides and their contacts with Russian officials.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: Beautiful class.

JONES: President Trump discussing school choice and having a light- hearted moment with students in Orlando.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So you want your own business and you're going to make a lot of money, right? But don't run for politics after you do.

JONES: Before heading to his Mar-a-Lago resort for the weekend, leaving behind a firestorm brewing over his aides and their contacts with Russian officials during the presidential campaigns.

JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I should not be involved investigating a campaign I had a role in.

JONES: His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, admitting to meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and not disclosing it during his confirmation hearings. Trump is standing by him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you still have confidence in your attorney general?


JONES: The president releasing a statement saying Sessions could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional accusing Democrats of a total witch hunt. And tweeting photos of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in 2003.

Calling Schumer a total hypocrite, and of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi with the Russian ambassador in 2010, demanding an investigation. Schumer responding saying he would happily talk re: my contact with Mr. Putin and his associates took place '03 in full view of press and public. Under oath, would you and your team?

Many Democrats say Sessions' recusal isn't enough. Some are arguing he should reappear before the Judiciary Committee to testify under oath.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know from him why he falsely denied that he had that meeting.

JONES: Meanwhile, more Trump advisers are under scrutiny for meeting with the Russian ambassador. Senior aide, Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, and ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn sat down with Kislyak in December at Trump Tower for a ten- minute introductory meeting according to a senior administration official.

Several Trump campaign national security advisers met with Kislyak during the Republican National Convention in July. Carter Page telling MSNBC --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not going to deny that you talked with him in Cleveland?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not know that.

JONES: And J.D. Gordon telling CNN his discussion was only about building a better relationship between the U.S. and Russia, not about the campaign.

J.D. GORDON, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: I talked to Ambassador Kislyak there in Cleveland, but I talked to dozens of other ambassadors there in Cleveland as well.

JONES: Meanwhile, Vice President Pence is facing scrutiny for his use of a private e-mail account to conduct state business while governor of Indiana after regularly criticizing Hillary Clinton's private e- mail server on the campaign trail.

[06:05:02]PENCE: We recommend the FBI for reopening the case following the facts because here in America no one is above the law.

JONES: A comparison Pence dismissed during a visit to Wisconsin.

PENCE: There's no comparison whatsoever between Hillary Clinton's practice of having a private server, mishandling classified information, and destroying e-mails when they were requested.


JONES: So the White House is calling this an apples and oranges comparison when it comes to the private e-mail account and private server.

Meanwhile, one thing we're still waiting for is the administration's new travel ban. It had been expected to be announced this week, but with this week now coming to a close, the White House says they don't have an announcement on the ban yet. A spokeswoman saying, quote, "We'll let you know when we're ready to roll that out" -- Martin, Christi.

SAVIDGE: Athena, thanks very much. We have a lot to talk about here, so we have just the people to talk about it with. Joining me now, CNN political reporter, Tom LoBianco, and Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor at Spectrum News. Welcome to both of you.

Errol, let me start with you. Jeff Sessions says that he will amend his testimony on Monday. That's expected. He will not be asked to testify again before the committee. That's despite loud cries from Democrats, to face questioning once again. The right move? Is it the right move? Why not face the committee again? Because otherwise you're just going to have this back and forth?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Jeff Sessions knows as a long-time member of the Senate that his Democratic colleagues would like nothing better than to get him under the hot seat and essentially torture him and take him back through his prior inconsistent testimony, ask him why he didn't tell the truth, why he wasn't more accurate and forthcoming the first time around, and so forth.

From the point of view of Jeff Sessions to clarify matters, it's simply better to do it in written testimony. The fact, Martin, that some Democrats have been calling for his resignations, others have been throwing the "p" word around, perjury, as if he deliberately misled them under oath, means he has to be very, very careful, every word will count.

And frankly, it's probably better for everybody that he simply make as clear as he can what happened and what the truth is in writing.

SAVIDGE: Yes, in other words, stick with the paper and not the messy possibility of testifying. Tom, Sessions actually went farther than --we're hearing the president wanted him to by recusing himself. President Trump calls this a witch hunt. This is from the same guy who just told the world he wanted to see President Obama's birth certificate. We remember all that. So, what's going on here?

TOM LOBIANCO, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, you know, I think Sessions really made the right move politically. I don't know whether Trump wanted him to do that behind the scenes or not. But Sessions really helped Trump out in this case. He took the air out of the balloon at the end of the day by announcing that he would recuse himself.

SAVIDGE: Yes, but what does that really mean? Recusing himself, he's still in the post. He would still be able to oversee. How distant is he really by this?

LOBIANCO: That's the question some Senate domes are raising right now. Look, technically, formally, it gets kicked down to the deputy attorney general over there, who would be handling this, and some Senate Democrats, as you hint at there, are skeptical he is formally removed. They still want an independent investigation into this special counsel, special prosecutor, something not even -- not even in the radius of sessions at all. SAVIDGE: Errol, Donald Trump said two weeks ago, quote, "I had nothing to do with Russia" and to the best of his knowledge no person he deals with, yet of course, we're seeing more and more disclosures of more and more names coming from his administration, who apparently sat down with the Russian ambassador here. Again, a president who criticizes this network, others, of fake news and yet it appears he doesn't have things straight at all either.

LOUIS: To say the least. It's been great reporting by CNN, "Washington Post" and other news outlets that even brought any of this to light. You know, you have to watch when the president is using these words, you know, if you parse it a little bit, yes, maybe he didn't have personal financial dealings with Russia, the country.

But he's had 30 years' worth of dealings with Russian oligarchs, many of whom are close to Russia and Putin's regime. All of that needs to come out. We need to know much, much more about that because he's been completely inconsistent about it.

You know, we have public records of him and his son saying that the business organization has minced ties with Russia and there's all this money coming in. We know that he takes rent payments from any number of different sort of powerful Russian interests.

That whole question about the emoluments clause and whether or not directly or indirectly is he gets profits from the Russian government or people close to the Russian government?

[06:10:05]All of these are huge questions that have never really been touched. Every time the president tweets about this and tries to sort of throw people off the trail or act as if everybody does it and the Democrats are doing the same thing, he's really inviting more trouble and more inquiries into what he and his family and his administration have been up to.

SAVIDGE: Tom, I've got to ask you this about the vice president. He says that there is, of course, no comparison between his private e- mail use and that of Hillary Clinton's. Do you think that's really true to say that there's no comparison?

LOBIANCO: Well, there's a clear comparison which is they were both using private e-mails for public work. Now, you know there are degrees of it. She was using it for State Department work and he's using it while governor of Indiana. This goes to the political peril when you do something like this.

On the campaign trail, his attacks on her were a central piece of that. You have to think that's the Trump strategy at that time, but it opens him up to questions like this. He used that AOL e-mail account throughout his entire term in office in Indiana. There's a lot more e-mails that we need to see from there.

SAVIDGE: Do we believe it or is there anything to suggest that there's an illegality here?

LOBIANCO: It's not against the law in Indiana to do that. Actually, the previous governor, Mitch Daniels, did that as well. It's not illegal in Indiana. It's more a question of ethics and transparency in this case.

SAVIDGE: Yes, a question whether this is some kind of political hypocrisy, which also could play out badly in the court of public opinion. Tom Lobianco and Errol Louis, thanks. We'll see you later.

PAUL: The Department of Homeland Security is eyeing a really controversial new immigration plan. Taking children from their parents at the Mexican border. Why a senior DHS official says the plan keeps children from being exploited.

SAVIDGE: Plus, we could be just a few days away from some of the first votes on the future of Obamacare. But if they can't get their party on board, how are Republicans going to repeal and replace?

PAUL: And an American medics group volunteered to travel to Mosul, Iraq, to treat fighters injured in the bloody battle to regain control of that city.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, that's a critical patient. First thing he said was, I don't want to die. I want to be able to go fight again.




PENCE: Let me make you a promise. The Obamacare nightmare is about to end.


SAVIDGE: Vice President Mike Pence is on a mission to reassure the public that a new health care plan is coming and coming soon. But members of his own party are questioning if the GOP even really has a plan ready to go.

PAUL: Senator Rand Paul in fact marched through the capitol this week demanding to see a draft that he says is being kept in hiding. House Speaker Paul Ryan addressed that concern last night.


REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: This bill's not being written in my office like Harry Reid's office in 2009. This bill is being written by the committees that are in charge of health care, which is the regular order of process. This bill will go through the committee process, the budget committee, and then the floor of Congress, under what we call regular order. That is precisely the most transparent and normal way of doing business, which is the opposite of what the Democrats did when they crammed Obamacare through. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: So, just how will Republicans find a way to get everybody on board? CNN congressional correspondent, Phil Mattingly, has more from Capitol Hill.


PENCE: So, it's about health care right out of the gate.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Trump administration and Speaker Paul Ryan jointly launching the opening salvo to sell the repeal of Obamacare.

PENCE: We have an incredible team working literally every single day around the clock to get that done and putting finishing touches on our plan even as this weekend rolls out.

MATTINGLY: Their appearance in Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, coming amid outcry from conservatives. Debate over the repeal and replace of Obamacare already unruly took a new somewhat bizarre turn this week as Senator Rand Paul, ardently opposed to Ryan's House proposal --

SENATOR RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We're also being told by many people in Washington, take it or leave it. The House is going to send something over and you either take it or leave it. But I can tell you right now conservatives are inclined to leave it.

MATTINGLY: Led reporters and staff through the capitol building in a very public search for a House committee's draft bill.

PAUL: This is being presented as if this were a national secret.

MATTINGLY: That's an attack that was quickly echoed by frustrated Democrats.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: Republicans are hiding their draft of ACA repeal bill in a basement room.

MATTINGLY: They were quick to note the irony, the charges that mirror those levied against their party when the Affordable Care Act was considered in 2009.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Look at how this bill was written? Can you say it was done openly? With transparency and accountability? Without back room deals and struck behind closed doors, hidden from the people? Hell no you can't!

MATTINGLY: Paul stunt designed to undercut the cautious behind the scenes effort by the GOP to get their own members in line. It drew an immediate backlash from House GOP aides. One called the effort ridiculous, absurd and an absolute circus, but Paul isn't alone in his policy concerns about the bill.

[06:20:07]From proposed tax credits to ease the cost of plans to Medicaid reforms, no shortage of thorny and potentially lethal issues remain imbedded in the process. The window to get something done, that's only closing. House leader, sources say, telling their members in a closed door meeting this week they want to vote on their plan by the end of this month.

PENCE: We expect in a matter of days you're going to begin to see a very brisk pace of legislative activity. We're going to repeal and replace Obamacare. We're going to do it at the same time.


MATTINGLY: This is an interesting moment if you pay attention to the last six, seven years, how many times have people campaigned on the repeal and replace issue. The action happens now. This is everything they've been pledging to do, but the problems also very real between conservatives, moderates, inside the party.

It's not just Republicans and Democrats here and that's I think it's important to note, legislative action is starting, the process is happening, but it needs to happen quickly. There's a finite amount of time Republicans have to start actually moving this through.

It's a packed legislative calendar. President Trump has a number of enormous initiatives that he wants to move. This is health care's time, health care's window. That's why you see Republicans working both publicly and privately behind the scenes to try and set up the conditions to make this work.

That said, there's no secret there are very real splits inside the Republican Party right now about the direction forward. That's why what we saw, the public display by both the speaker and the executive branch, Vice President Pence, Secretary Price, all the more important.

Those are the individuals that are going to have to help push this across the finish line, help get everybody inline as we go through the process in the House and Senate and onto the president's desk if everything goes as planned. Phil Mattingly, CNN, Capitol Hill.

PAUL: Phil, thank you so much. The latest crackdown for you on immigration. It could separate kids from parents at the border. Why a senior DHS official says this is a plan that would protect children.



PAUL: Early on a Saturday morning, 6:26. You are up. We're glad to see that. I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell.

President Trump waking up in Florida this morning at his estate in Palm Beach as immigration controversies plagued his administration. The president still has yet to provide a new travel ban or decide if he's going to head back to court over the ban. Yesterday a federal judge granted the White House more time to decide if they will fight last month's class-action lawsuit.

PAUL: In the meantime, there's outrage over a new proposal to the Department of Homeland Security that would potentially separate children from parents illegally crossing the U.S./Mexico border. A final decision has been made, but a senior DHS official tells CNN, quote, "We're trying to find the ways to deter the use of children in illegal immigration. We're seeing kids essentially kidnapped and used to get here and stay."

Let's bring in Tom LoBianco, CNN politics reporter, and Errol Louis, both of them back, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News. Thank you both so much for being here.

Tom, I want to start with you. The first thing that comes to mind is how would border patrol agents be able to determine whether a child is with a parent or with a smuggler?

LOBIANCO: Well, this is interesting. You know, what they're going to do theoretically here, if they do follow through with this, is actually maybe look for some family in the country already. Check what records they have available.

You know, kind of the bigger question is, what do you do with the kids if you do separate them? And, you know, that's very interesting. Does seem, you know, they would either try to put them in Child Protective Services or try to find family here already if they do decide to separate them at the border.

PAUL: Errol, I know President Trump recently said that he wants to keep families together. Let's listen here to something he said a short while ago.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: We're going to show great heart. DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me it's one of the most difficult subjects I have. You have these incredible kids in many cases, not in all cases. In some cases they're having DACA and they're gang members and drug dealers, too.


PAUL: OK, but he had said he wanted to keep some of these families together, which would contradict this very proposal. Do we know if president supports this element?

LOUIS: Well, I think we've got a couple things going on here, Christi. One thing that I think is important to keep in mind is that wanting to separate parents from children at the border is not simply a matter of wanting to stop trafficking. It's also a matter of trying to get around a Ninth Circuit ruling from a few months ago that said children cannot be detained indefinitely at the border.

And to the extent that you want to have tough border enforcement, which is the overriding goal of this administration, if you have to let the kids go, then you generally would have to let the parents go with them and you go back to what critics of this policy call catch and release.

Meaning you will pretty much be allowed to leave detention and go somewhere in the United States, after which some people vanish into the country and you have a porous border. That's really what the Trump administration is trying to get around.

They know that the optics are awful of separating parents from kids, but they're sort of stuck with a very tough decision they have to make.

PAUL: Tom, do we know how prevalent it is when they talk about, quote, "We're seeing kids essentially kidnapped and used to get here and stay here," do we know how prevalent that scenario is or parents paying smugglers to get their kids into the country?

[06:30:00] LOBIANCO: Well, you know, again, I mean, this is -- you know, based on our reporting into what the DHS officials have told us is that it is a problem and that this does happen, and this is one of the reasons they're looking at it. To what Errol brought up is that you can't avoid that.

The other part of this is that the courts -- the courts have laid out what the parameters are here and the executive has to operate within that, at least until maybe the Supreme Court says otherwise. So, I'm sure both things are in play here. DHS does tell us that this is an issue and this does happen.

PAUL: It does, Errol, bring up the question about who is targeted by this crackdown and this is what I mean by this, earlier this week, there was a pair of Salvadorian immigrants who were arrested in Houston. They're charged with murder and kidnapping. They are part of an MS-13 gang and they're illegal immigrants.

At the same time, you look at that -- we have video of them in court, laughing and smiling once they were detained. They are still being held on $300,000 bond. You couple that in contrast with the father in Pasadena, California, who was arrested as he was dropping off his daughter in school. We can listen here quickly to part of that.


PAUL: You can hear that young girl crying as she watches her father be arrested. I believe I said that they -- they've arrested him because he had a dui from seven years earlier. When you look at these two cases, though, Errol, what does it say to you about who they are targeting and are they spending time in the right places?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, it's interesting. The country -- the administration is caught in a bit of a dilemma here. Most of the removals, and I think this is going to be a continuation of the Obama policy, are going to be really bad people, who are clearly violent criminals and so forth, have valid removal orders already in place, and so forth.

But the media is going to focus on -- you know, it's not CNN and it's not MSNBC, it's going to be all these local stations all over the country, who are going to focus understandably on the exception to the rule, the heartbreaking case.

That the instance where somebody who appears to be relatively harmless is now seeing their family split apart. It's going to generate an enormous amount of ill will for a policy that, frankly, is not going to be all that different from what the Obama administration was carrying out.

PAUL: Tom LoBianco and Errol Louis, I'm sorry we've ran out of time, but we will talk to you again I know coming up. Thanks so much.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Thirty air strikes in 48 hours. Al Qaeda, Yemen, is getting hit hard by the U.S. We'll have a live report on how these strikes fit into a larger plan to fight that terrorist group.

PAUL: Also a dozen civilians may have suffered a chemical weapons attack in Mosul. The latest from the hospital where they're being treated right now.



SAVIDGE: The second round of air strikes targeting al Qaeda in Yemen bringing the total to more than 30 strikes in just the past 48 hours against that terrorist group this week. These strikes were aimed at targeting militants, infrastructure, heavy weapons systems and the likes. And there was at least one what they call high value target, potential terrorist leader.

For more on these strikes, we're joined now by CNN international correspondent, Ian Lee. Ian, what's with all the focus on Yemen now by the U.S.?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martin, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP, as they're know, is the most capable branch of terrorist organization. One of their specialties is creating bombs without metallic components so they're essentially invisible to metal detectors and they try to get these on airplanes.

That's what makes this branch of al Qaeda so dangerous. So, you do have these more than 30 air strikes take place. They're targeting militants, targeting their equipment, weapons as well as safe houses to try, as one Pentagon official says, keep the pressure on the organization.

These air strikes took place in the southern central part of the country. This is an area where al Qaeda has been able to flourish, taking advantage of the security vacuum that has been created during the war. Right now it's uncertain exactly what affect these air strikes will have on al Qaeda.

But to give you a bit of comparison in 2016, according to monitoring groups, the United States carried out 38 such strikes. Well, we're only a few months into 2017 and it looks like they're about at that number -- Martin. SAVIDGE: Ian Lee, I'm sorry for the pause there joining us now from Cairo. Thanks very much -- Christi.

PAUL: Well, a dozen civilians may have been hit by a chemical weapons attack in Mosul, Iraq, this week. This is believed to be the first time they've been used in the city since the start of the Mosul offensive. Iraqi forces are still fighting ISIS, of course, for control of that city.

But CNN senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, has just returned from the hospital where so many of these victims are being treated. He joins us now live from Erbil, Iraq. Ben, help us understand how these people are suffering. I mean, what did you see?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we saw was some of the victims of this attack, which we understand occurred on this past Wednesday in Eastern Mosul. Eastern Mosul, of course, has been liberated by Iraqi forces.

[06:40:08]But we did hear earlier in the week about a mortar that landed in the eastern part of the city in Zuhur (ph) neighborhood. Eyewitnesses and people at the hospital tell us that when -- it was a rocket that landed, actually, in that neighborhood and they smelled something very strange.

Now there were 12 people who were admitted to the hospital here in Erbil from this incident over a several days, in fact. Seven of them have been documented to have been exposed to a blistering chemical agent.

Now, we did speak to the director of the hospital, who told us that he had been informed by American military medics just outside of Mosul that it was mustard gas. Now, the victims, one of them is a young boy 11 years old. He does not -- he apparently is in critical condition. His condition complicated by the fact that he received a concussion as a result of this missile attack.

Now, as Iraqi authorities and the U.S. military are trying to get more information on this incident, the battle for West Mosul continues. As we found earlier this week, Americans are very close to the front lines providing critical medical support.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got 100 Tramadol and 75 (inaudible) --

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Scorched by the flames from a suicide car bomb, an Iraqi soldier lies in shock and pain. Medics at this frontline clinic struggle to stabilize him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, we're going to get him on that same helicopter? But, listen, it might not -- he's going to call me back. He might not be able to get out of here for 30 minutes.

WEDEMAN: This volunteer group, New York City Medics, is working a ten-minute drive in the battle for Western Mosul. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go ahead. Grab it.

WEDEMAN: Most have never been in a war zone. They treated only one civilian while we were there. A little girl with a tooth ache. Her family fled Mosul earlier that morning. The rest were soldiers, many with multiple wounds. Jeff Evans normally works in Boulder, Colorado.

JEFF EVANS, NYC MEDICS VOLUNTEER: So that guy had a gunshot wound right under his arm, like right below his armpit and I think he actually escaped from it penetrating his lung. So, I think it bounced down into his gut. That's a critical patient. First thing he said was, I don't want to die. I just want -- I want to be able to fight again.

WEDEMAN: Some of the injured here are coming straight from the battlefield.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is shrapnel.

WEDEMAN: Here they check their wounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm green here, too.

WEDEMAN: Change their bandages and send them onto the nearest hospital. The team comes from all over the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's all right. Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put a little water on it.

WEDEMAN: The head doctor from Germany. Jeff left behind his wife and 11-year-old son to come here.

EVANS: I think as a father and as a husband, that the onus is on me to live through example and to do things that show my son how important it is to live in a way, a selfless life.

WEDEMAN: A selfless life, saving lives, a very long way from home.


WEDEMAN: As the battle for West Mosul rages, groups like that will have to deal with ever greater numbers of wounded. Of course, regarding that gas attack in Mosul, the worry is, of course, it was ISIS and there may be more of that to come -- Christi.

PAUL: No doubt about it. Certainly new concerns there then if it's believed ISIS has been able to produce some sort of chemical weapons attack. Want to ask you quickly, too, Ben, before you go, what are you seeing in terms of, as we're understanding, these -- this mass exodus out of that area?

WEDEMAN: So far since the offensive began, we see almost 50,000 people have fled the city. Of course, they're fleeing under the most difficult of conditions. We were out there very close to where they were fleeing from. What we saw was that many of them were traumatized because they had come under fire from ISIS mortars, from snipers.

Some people were telling us that they have eaten no more than bread and water the last month, so they're arriving exhausted, traumatized, hungry, and just desperate for reaching some sort of safe ground -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Ben Wedeman, such strong stories out of there this morning. We so appreciate you bringing them to us. Thank you so much. We'll be back in a moment.



SAVIDGE: Strong is the new pretty. That's the message behind a new book that showcases girls just as they are. Whether they're getting down in the dirt or dancing with great, elegant grace.

PAUL: Photographer, Kate Parker's new book called "Strong Is The New Pretty" and it really shines a light on the strength inside each girl. I had a great opportunity to sit down with her and listen to what she says about some of these girls.


KATE PARKER, PHOTOGRAPHER: I wanted to show a reminder of how awesome girls think they are at 10 and 11 and maybe it will spark, you know, in us, as women, we lose it. Something spark in us to remember, you know, how tough and confident we used to be.

PAUL: The picture of Alice, you didn't put the quote on there, but I posted it on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages almost a year ago. So, when you saw that you say had stolen that picture and put it on there.

[06:50:12]PARKER: They had taken a picture off my website and put this quote on there. When I was like, let me see if I can ask them to give me credit and I went to check and it was shared 30,000 times. It's gone too far. I thought, go inspire, Alice.

PAUL: I know this book happened organically. You were taking pictures of your daughters. What happened to make you say, this is what I want to do?

PARKER: I was actually getting ready for a gallery show. I had to pull together the 20 best images to show in the gallery. I noticed that the images that met the most and resonated most with me were the ones where the girls were allowed to be themselves.

For my girls that meant dirty and full of it and sassy and emotional and yelling. I wanted my girls to know that who they were was important and worthy of taking a picture of, which for me meant celebrated.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PAUL: Now for a more in-depth look inside "Strong Is The New Pretty," you can go to the CNN NEW DAY Facebook page later this morning. We'll have a link with more information there. The full story.

What some of these girls say, it's just a beautiful picture book with quotes of what they say. And I feel even as a woman, much older than they are, we still learn an awful lot about getting back to -- remembering who we were as kids when we knew we could do whatever we wanted to do before people told us we couldn't.

SAVIDGE: The photographs look fearless. They look wonderful.

PAUL: It's awesome.

SAVIDGE: Coming up at the top of the hour, the Department of Homeland Security and a proposal that could tear families apart. We'll have the details next.

PAUL: Also Colin Kaepernick has made a big decision apparently ahead of next season. Andy Scholes, do tell.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Christi, KKaepernick will be on a new team next season and he will have a new pregame routine. We'll have the details coming up in this morning's "Bleacher Report."



SAVIDGE: Here's something we know for sure. Colin Kaepernick will be standing for the national anthem next season, we just don't know what uniform he'll be wearing.

PAUL: Andy Scholes has more on this morning's "The Bleacher Report." You expect this?

SCHOLES: Well, he was supposedly always going to opt out of his contract he had with the 49ers. He officially did that yesterday. That means Kaepernick available to join a new team when the signing period begins on Thursday. Now Kaepernick made headlines last season by not standing for the national anthem to protest racial inequality. His stance started a movement across the NFL and really the entire sports world over the last year.

According to multiple reports, Kaepernick has decided to stand for the national anthem next season because according to ESPN he no longer wants his method of protest to detract from the positive message he believed has been created.

Kaepernick has had many supporters over the past year, including Cavs superstar, Lebron James. Yesterday, I asked Lebron about Kaepernick's decision to end his protest.


LEBRON JAMES, CAVALIERS FORWARD: At the end of the day, I would just like the conversation to be had about change and about social responsibility and I think he was very educated about what he did. You commence someone like as far as us, you just try to be a positive role model and hopefully the best will come out of it.


SCHOLES: Lebron and Cavs in Atlanta last night taking on the Hawks. They were on fire from three-point land. Check out Lebron running off the court in the corner with a one-footed three. He had six threes in the game on his way to 38 points. Cavs setting a new NBA record in this one, making 25 threes as a team. Cleveland beats the Hawk, 135- 130.

Pelicans guard Drew Holiday doing his part to help New Orleans recover from last month's devastating tornados. Holiday pledging to donate $1,000 for every point and assist he had last night in the game against the Spurs. He finished with 26 points and 5 assists which means he's donating $31,000 to tornado relief fund. His team lost to Hawks in overtime.

Finally, there's a family feud brewing over who will run the Los Angeles Lakers. Jim and Johnny Buss allegedly attempted a coup to oust their sister, Jeanie Buss as the controlling owner of the Lakers. That's according to "Los Angeles Times."

But yesterday, Jeanie's attorney filed a restraining order in Los Angeles County Superior Court to instruct her brothers to comply with the directors of the family trust. In the trust, their father left controlling power to his daughter, Jeannie.

The brothers attempted to oust her by calling a meetings to replace her on the team's board of directors. After the restraining order was filed, the brothers ended up withdrawing the request for a meeting.

PAUL: You think?

SCHOLES: This is high drama in Los Angeles. I'm sure we haven't heard the end of this. The older brother is not happy that Jim was basically fired from his job as VP of basketball operations and Magic Johnson was put in that position to run the team. Family feud written all over it right now.

PAUL: You don't get that in the family in Cleveland, do you, Martin?

SAVIDGE: No, nobody try to not file restraining orders against one another.

PAUL: We laugh because we're from Cleveland so we're watching Lebron going, yes, Lebron. That's extraordinary.

SCHOLES: It's interesting times.

PAUL: You're right. I'm sure we'll hear more.


SAVIDGE: I'll bring my attorney to Thanksgiving dinner.


PAUL: Thank you, Andy. We got more news to tell you about this morning.

SAVIDGE: The next hour of your NEW DAY begins right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House is definitely seeking some separation between the president and his team when it comes to Russia during the campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very clear what Vladimir Putin's objectives are --