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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Trump's Environmental Moves Anger Activists; Scientists, Supporters Rally On Earth Day; Sources: Russia Tried To Use Trump Advisers To Infiltrate Campaign; Trump Looks For Big Wins As Milestone Approaches; Trump: "Big Announcement" On Tax Reform Next Week; Family Attorney Plans To Sue State For Negligence; Former NFL Star's Brain To Be Donated To Science; "Spikeball" Mania Nets Million-Dollar Success; Bourdain's New Film Puts Acclaimed Chef In Spotlight. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired April 22, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: So, she wrote her wish and her address on the balloon and hoped for the best. Mattingly granted that wish and hopes to meet Vanessa one day and give the balloon back with her books so that she can really see her dreams come true.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good for her. It's an interesting way to ask, let's put it that way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators now believe Russia tried to use Trump advisors to infiltrate the campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not only through e-mail hacks and propaganda but also by trying to infiltrate the Trump orbit.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just think about what we can accomplish in the first 100 days of a Trump administration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of his success has been through executive orders. Real success is working with Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A witness spotted Cummings with his former student, Elizabeth Tonis (ph) deep in the woods of Northern California.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are gathering as much evidence as possible. This is a very, very small cabin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scientists and supporters are planning a huge march for science.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One hundred fifty thousand people expected to gather here on the mall and then march to the capitol.
(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: Sometimes Saturday morning just can't come quick enough, can it? We're so grateful to have your company as always. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. We are just one week away from day 100 of the Trump administration. It's long been a traditional presidential milestone. The White House is setting up a jam packed week as it looks to notch a few big wins, at least one more before they get to that threshold.
PAUL: There's been new push to repeal Obamacare, fund the border wall, even tax reform could be on the table. We're hearing that there could be some sort of plan announced next week. As we approach day 100, there's been plenty of promises kept by President Trump, many of them sparking marches around the globe today.
BLACKWELL: Thousands are hitting the streets to Earth Day in what's being called the "March for Science." Here's a look at the marches in Sydney, London, Geneva, Munich, and in a few hours, we're expecting more rallies in cities across the U.S.
PAUL: From the Keystone pipeline to carbon emissions to proposed cuts at the EPA, these protests were fueled by opposition to the president's environmental policies. The message they hope to send to the Trump administration is, quote, "We are not going to be silent."
President Trump's executive order to roll back Obama-era environmental policies, by the way, is not going down well with some voters. A Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month shows 61 percent of the voters across the country disapproved of the way he's handled the environment specifically while only 29 percent approve of that. Here's CNN Polo Sandoval.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The latest wave of climate change demonstrations were set off by a stroke of the president's pen on several executive orders seeking to end Obama-era climate regulations.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion, and to cancel job-killing regulations.
SANDOVAL: The commander-in-chief reversed a three-year moratorium for coal mining on federal lands. He also quashed his predecessor's executive orders meant to curve carbon emissions. Then he approved the Keystone XL pipeline, previously blocked by the Obama administration.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: French Canada will finally be allowed to complete this long overdue project.
SANDOVAL: The White House approved that controversial oil project following years of intense debate. It also reversed its position on the Dakota access pipeline. Delivering a blow to the protesting Standing Rock Indian tribe.
This week the Environmental Protection Agency announced its plan to reduce its workforce through the use of buyouts and early retirements. This comes as the agency maintains a hiring freeze. The White House claims the best way to protect the environment is to strengthen the economy.
MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: The question to climate change, I think the president was fairly straight forward, said, we are spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money.
SANDOVAL: At stake today is the U.S.'s role in the Paris climate agreement. The president continues to threaten to pull the U.S. out of that accord. He's also opened to drilling for oil in national parks, something not sitting well with environmentalists taking their message to the streets this weekend. Polo Sandoval, CNN, Atlanta.
BLACKWELL: Let's broaden this conversation now. We have with us May Boeve, who is the executive director of the environmental activist group, 350.org. Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," an engineer who also leads the Planetary Society.
PAUL: And William Happer, physicist and a climate change skeptic, who met with President Trump. William, I want to begin with you. First of all, you met with the president. What was that conversation like? What did he tell you?
WILLIAM HAPPER, PHYSICIST: Well, he was very supportive of science. His uncle, John Trump, was a physicist at MIT. We talked a little about him. I knew about his work. So I don't think science has anything to fear from Mr. Trump.
[08:05:10]BLACKWELL: You also say, Professor Happer, that the world is getting greener and people should stop hyperventilating. Flush that out for me, please.
HAPPER: Well, you know, there's this myth that's developed around carbon dioxide that it's a pollutant, but you and I both exhale carbon dioxide with every breath. Each of us emits about two pounds of carbon dioxide a day, so are we polluting the planet?
Carbon dioxide is a perfectly natural gas. It's just like water vapor. It's something that plants love. They grow better with more carbon dioxide, and you can see the greening of the earth already from the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
PAUL: Bill, tell us what your reaction is to what he's saying there, and what's the most prolific misconception about climate change, in your opinion?
BILL NYE, "THE SCIENCE GUY": What he claims to not understand is the rate. It's the speed at which we're adding carbon dioxide. And I will say, much as I love the CNN, you're doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change.
What you got to get is the speed at which things are changing. But that aside, the science march today is about the economy as well as the environment, although it's Earth Day and I was here for the very first Earth Day in 1970.
If you suppress science, if you pretend that climate change isn't a real problem, you will fall behind other countries that do invest in science, that do invest in basic research.
It's interesting to note, I think, that Article One, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution refers to the progress of science and the useful arts, useful arts in 18th Century usage would be what we call engineering or city planning or architecture.
So this is a very serious problem. When Earth Day started in 1970 everybody was concerned about pollution. What happened a few years ago the Environmental Protection Agency which was started by Richard Nixon, who was a conservative president and he started the Environmental Protection Agency for the greater good, not for political reasons.
And so everybody understand that if we suppress science, the United States will not fare as well on the international marketplace and we will lose business.
BLACKWELL: Let me take this to say and I hate to interrupt here but I don't want to go past this point. The president says that many of the rollbacks that he is signing through executive order are for the purposes of increasing jobs, growing the economy. May, to that you say what?
MAY BOEVE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP, 350.ORG: I say that that doesn't make any sense based on what we know about the clean energy economy. If Trump and his ilk were serious about this problem, they would actually invest in the technologies of the future, in the sun, the wind, and retooling our energy economy and create millions of jobs in the process.
A lot has changed since 1970 and one of the scariest things is how we're seeing climate change as a problem affecting real people right now, from storms to droughts to flooding. This is a problem for this moment in time. That's why we're seeing so many people rising up.
Today, we'll see the March for Science. I'm readying right there after this show, and then next Saturday the People's Climate March will take place April 29th.
So we invite everyone watching to join and mobilize as much as they can because this issue, if we're going to do something about it, we have to change everything, and to change everything, we need everyone.
PAUL: So William, you heard Bill there talking about your argument regarding carbon dioxide. Science is supposed to be definitive for many people. What is not definitive to you about the science of climate change that you are a skeptic? HAPPER: Well, let me point out that science is not like passing a law. You don't have a vote to say how many are for the law of gravity and how many are against. It's based on observations, and if you observe what's happening to, for example, the temperature, the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmist computer models predicted. It's much, much less, factors of two or three less. So the whole basis for the alarmism is not true. It's based on flawed computer modelling.
NYE: That's completely wrong.
HAPPER: And you don't vote on that.
NYE: Say what you will, but you have it absolutely wrong. So what happened to that heat? He's cherry picking a certain model, the heat ended up in the ocean.
[08:10:10]This is not controversial in mainstream science, everybody. So let's -- really I encourage everyone to look at the facts. We've got an extraordinary situation here in the United States where climate change deniers have managed to introduce the idea that some uncertainty, say 2 percent, plus or minus 2 percent, that the temperature of the ocean is somehow equivalent to plus or minus 100 percent.
Everybody, science is political. We use politics to decide where to invest our intellect and pressure treasure, but when it comes to climate change that is not controversial in the scientific community any more than you made reference to the law of universal gravitation.
So sir, with some respect, I encourage you to cut this out so that we can all move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology. What we want are advanced wind turbines, advanced (inaudible), advance concentrated energy plants.
And everybody, if we were to do that, we would have at least 3 million new jobs in the United States that could not be outsourced. We would not need to have a military on the other side of the world defending what people call our oil.
We could move forward and we could export this technology. We could be world leaders in this instead of wringing our hands and cherry picking data and pretending that this problem that's obvious to the scientific community is somehow not obvious to you.
So everybody, let's get to work. My parents were in World War II. They solved the global problem in five years. Let's go.
BLACKWELL: William, let me ask you this question that the president will have to decide how to move forward on the Paris climate agreement, something that was a pact that was joined by 200 nations with President Obama a little more than a year ago.
The president during the campaign said that he would, quote/unquote, "cancel" that, has not done it yet. How would you advise the president if you had his ear on how to move forward on the Paris climate agreement?
HAPPER: Well, you have to consider many things, I think, on the face of it. It should be cancelled. I could imagine that you might want to consider ties with allies and things like that that perhaps would make that not advisable. But I think it doesn't make any scientific sense. It's just a silly thing. I think to me it's very similar to the Munich agreements that Mr. Chamberlain signed.
NYE: Wow. OK, everybody, bear in mind, this may backfire. If you pull out of an international agreement, other countries may establish what are effectively tariffs on U.S.-produced goods and especially services.
BOEVE: The other thing --
BLACKWELL: Hold on for a second. Mr. Happer, I want to make sure that you are comparing the Paris climate policy to the appeasement policy?
HAPPER: It's definitely appeasement. Let me add also, you know, that --
BLACKWELL: How so? How is this comparable to Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler? How is that an appropriate comparison?
HAPPER: It is an appropriate comparison because it was a treaty that was not going to do any good. This treaty also will not do any good. Anyone who looks at the results of doing what the treaty says can see that the effect on the earth's climate is -- even if you take the alarmist computer models, trivial. It will not make any difference and yet it will cause enormous harm to many people.
BLACKWELL: I hear your point there, but I don't know that that the references there ever serve us well.
PAUL: I want to give May the last word here. Wrap up for us your feelings based on what you've heard thus far this morning.
BOEVE: Well, I think it speaks for itself. We've got a movement that's trying to move the world forward to the clean energy economy to protect our communities from climate change and we've got a conversation that's stuck in the past.
Look, if you want to be part of this movement, we welcome you, and the only people who are trying to keep us in this outdated conversation is the fossil fuel industry who are protecting their profits.
This climate denial only helps Exxon, it doesn't help the rest of us. But thankfully we can do a lot better and that's why we're marching this weekend and we will march again next weekend.
BLACKWELL: All right, the March to Science this weekend. Next week is the People's Climate March, which is hosted by your group, 350.org. May Boeve, Bill Nye, William Happer, thank you all.
PAUL: Appreciate being here. All righty, next, new allegations regarding Russia's meddling in the U.S. election. Details of how a Russian operative could allegedly have tried recruiting former Trump adviser, Carter Page.
PAUL: This morning, we have new information on how Russia tried to influence the 2016 election, according to officials. They say the FBI believes Russian operatives tried to recruit Trump advisers, including Carter Page, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.
BLACKWELL: CNN justice correspondent, Pamela Brown has details for us this morning.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We've learned the FBI gathered intelligence last summer that suggests Russian operatives tried to use Trump advisors including Carter Page to infiltrate the Trump campaign according to multiple U.S. officials.
Now Carter Page's critical speech of U.S. policy against Russia in July of 2016 at a prominent Moscow university is one factor. It's part of what raised concerns in the bureau that he may have been compromised by Russian intelligence.
[08:20:03]But the new information adds to this emerging picture of how the Russians tried to influence the 2016 U.S. election not only through e-mail hacks and propaganda, sometimes referred to as fake news but also by trying to infiltrate the Trump orbit.
The intelligence that was gathered led to that broader FBI investigation into the coordination of Trump's campaign associates and the Russians as FBI Director James Comey has referred to.
But the officials we've spoken with made clear they don't know whether Page was aware the Russians may have been using him because of the way Russian spy services operate. Page could have unknowingly talked with Russian agents.
Now he disputes the idea he has ever collected intelligence for the Russians saying that at times he actually helped the U.S. intelligence community.
He told CNN, quote, "My assumption throughout the last 26 years I've been going there is that any Russian person might share information with the Russian government as I have similarly done with the CIA, FBI and other government agencies in the past."
And it is important to note that within the Trump campaign Carter Page was viewed as someone who had little or no influence, but he was one of several Trump advisors whom U.S. and European intelligence detected in contact with Russian officials. The FBI investigation is still ongoing. Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BLACKWELL: We spoke with former KGB spy, Jack Barsky, and former CIA counterterrorism official, Phil Mudd earlier and asked why Carter Page could have allegedly been the target. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK BARSKY, FORMER KGB SPY: You take what you can get, and obviously there were relationships there. There was an angle. You know, when I was operating in this country, they asked me to get in touch with all kinds of high level individuals. That wasn't possible, so Carter Page was most likely a very inviting target.
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: If you look at someone like Carter Page, I'm not suggesting he did anything wrong, the FBI will figure that out, that would be an individual in the intel business called an access agent. Not somebody who has a senior title, somebody who can tell you who is the player in the campaign, when are issues going to be discussed, what are those issues, where is the party and the presidential candidate going on those issues.
Even down to very tactical questions, where can we meet people, where do they congregate, when are you going to make an announcement so if we want to orchestrate the release, for example, of stolen e-mails, we know when to release them.
So somebody like that without a senior position still has knowledge that can help an outsider, a Russian agent for example, understand the American electoral process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right, well, Carter Page, provided CNN this statement earlier this month on his interactions with the Russian operative. He said this, "I shared basic immaterial information and publicly available research documents with Victor Podobny. I provided him with nothing more than a few samples from the far more detailed lectures I was preparing."
Now former Trump adviser, Carter Page, will be live with Smerconish today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
PAUL: It has gone from repeal and replace to reject and now revive. It's a break through, or is it, on health care in the works among the Republicans on the Hill.
PAUL: It's 27 minutes past the hour on this Saturday morning. I'm Christi Paul. Good to have you here.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning. One week until day 100 for the Trump administration. Next week, Congress is not only returning to a renewed push from the White House to repeal and replace Obamacare, they'll also have five days to keep the government from running out of money on April 28th just ahead of day 100.
PAUL: CNN's Jeremy Diamond live at the White House. Jeremy, good morning to you. What are you hearing there this morning?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, good morning. Well, you know, we're just a week away now from that 100-day marker and what is President Donald Trump trying to do? Well, he's trying to downplay the importance of that 100-day milestone.
In a tweet yesterday he wrote, "No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days and it has been a lot including S.C.," that's Supreme Court, "media will kill."
But of course, as we all know, it was President Trump who set this standard of 100 days for himself during the campaign repeatedly promising to his supporters that during the first 100 days he would accomplish a slew of activity to really fundamentally reform the government and boost the economy.
Of course, we know that one of those major promises, repealing and replacing Obamacare so far has not happened and that's why President Trump during this week coming is planning a series of actions, jam packed schedule of activity on Capitol Hill where, you know, members of Congress are already planning to try and stop the government from shutting down, passing a major funding bill.
President Trump adding several things to their plate. The White House is pushing for health care reform to potentially happen next week. They are also -- now President Trump announcing yesterday that he wants to outline his plans for tax reform.
That's likely going to happen on Wednesday. So that's why, as we look at this 100-day marker, President Trump is clearly mindful that he has not accomplished many of these promises that he made to his supporters during the campaign.
And so as we come closer to that marker, he's doing executive orders and he's going to Congress to try and push some activity, clearly at least trying to show some initiative.
PAUL: All righty, Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much for the update.
BLACKWELL: All right, let's bring in our CNN political analysts, national political reporter for "Real Clear Politics," Rebecca Berg, and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan. Ladies, good morning to you.
Rebecca, let me start with you. The plate is already full. There's a deadline of midnight on April 28th to keep the government funded and to keep it open. The administration set the deadline of getting something done on health care. Why is now the right time, even with the hunt for a victory in the first 100 days, the right time to make an announcement on tax reform? [08:30:17] REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's probably not the right time, to be quite frank, Victor. It's a very busy week coming up on Capitol Hill, but the reason the administration is rolling out all of these things sort of simultaneously in spite of the fact that they're probably not going to seal any deal or get anything done this week in terms of really any of these things on Capitol Hill, it's because they're feeling pressure from this 100-day mark and feeling a lot of pressure from supporters, from lawmakers to get some win on the board, whatever that is. And that is kind of why we're seeing this disarray here, because they're not feeling any particular pressure to pursue a certain policy or prescription. They're not feeling any pressure from congressional leaders, saying you know, we have the votes for the bill, let's get this done. It's really just this political pressure, and so they're trying to make something happen to pull something out of thin air, but they don't really have the pieces in place to do so at this stage.
BLACKWELL: Talk about these pieces in place, April, you're in the White House nearly every day. The President told the Associated Press that the tax cuts will be, quote, "bigger I believe than any tax cut ever." Whether or not that's true, is the plan fully formulated? How long or far along in the process are they?
APRIL RYAN AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Well, the plan is formulated, Victor. And here -- you -- here's the piece. On the face of it, you know, of course people want to save money, but when you dig into the details, the devil is there. Because what happens is you have these individual and business tax rate cuts, OK. But in the long term, there is a big cost. And then the President is looking at how the economy grows as to how it will pay for these tax rate cuts. So the devil is in the details. On the face of it, you know, people want money and want their money back but when you go down the road, that's when the problem happens.
BLACKWELL: Yes. One of the details, this border adjustment that we know that Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House supports, we don't know if it will be part of the President's plan. We'll see if they're not on the same page how that will -- how that will move forward in the next couple of weeks. Rebecca, back to you and let's talk about the border wall and potentially being included in the funding legislation that's coming up in the next couple of days. Let's look at what the President told the Associated Press and put it up on the screen here. When asked about if he'll sign legislation without funding for the wall he says, "I don't know. People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall. My base really wants it. You've been to many of the rallies, OK? The thing they want more than anything is the wall." The President here speaking about 35 percent of Americans who are his base -- and this is just a bare naked political argument, not so much a national security one anymore.
BERG: No, it's not Victor. And the and the problem that the White House faces with this proposal trying to get money for the border wall for border security as part of this must-pass spending measure is that they really don't have the leverage in this negotiation and that's something that Donald Trump who fancies himself a deft negotiator would understand. The White House and Republicans wants to avoid a government shutdown. Let's be frank, they don't have a lot of political capital. At this point, they're trying to sort of reset their administration, they're trying to get a win on the board. A government shutdown would be the opposite of that. And so it's really unclear what their strategy here is to try to get democrats to agree to come along with this border security spending. Obviously we've seen OMB Director Mick Mulvaney come out and say, we'll give you health care money in exchange but that isn't really winning democrats over so far.
BLACKWELL: So April, is there a deal that can be made here to prevent this shutdown and who blinks first? Does -- do the democrats sign on to a bill with funding for the wall or does the President sign one without funding for it.
RYAN: Well, democrats are saying no way on the wall because of the cost and also the President's own party. I believe they're going to be the ones who blink first, many of the fiscal conservatives. There is a major concern with the price of the wall. It's not just democrats, it's the fiscal conservatives that are very concerned with this exploding budget that this country is viewing with some of these proposals this new president has. And this will just -- this wall issue will just stick it up and the White House is saying that -- you know, there will not be a government shutdown, but I believe that President's own partym some of the republicans will blink first before democrats blink.
BLACKWELL: And we'll remember that the President promised that Mexico would pay for the wall. Still no developments on that part.
RYAN: He sure did.
BLACKWELL: April Ryan, Rebecca Berg --
RYAN: And they're not -- they said no.
BLACKWELL: They said they won't and the former President said it with colorful language. We'll spare you that this morning. Thank you both.
BERG: Thanks Victor.
RYAN: Thank you.
[02:35:00] PAUL: Well, coming up. Scientists are taking a page from the Women's March playbook. Remember that? Millions of men and women who came out worldwide just after that inauguration. Well, this Earth Day, scientists are hoping to see the same sized crowds. There are some live pictures for you or some pictures of what's happening globally right now, but many of them tell us there is a lot more to this than just the science. Stay close.
PAUL: Well, the March for Science this morning, going global.
AMERICAN CROWD: Science not silence. Science not silence. PAUL: Demonstrations in major cities around the world right now,
scientists and their supporters, side by side to push for what they call evidence-based policy. There's much more behind their reasoning to rally today though. We are moments away right now, in fact, from the march -- main event in Washington D.C., you see some live pictures there. And our Miguel Marquez is standing by live as well. Miguel, what do you seeing already this morning? And good morning to you.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the gathering has just begun, Christi. Look, this is going to be part sort of science conference, part rock concert, part protest and part huge march for science. They're making a very big deal in fact that this stage, this massive stage that's in the shadow of the Washington monument is in the back yard basically of the President's house, the White House right over there. And they will be making a lot of noise here from 10:00 a.m. Eastern to about 2:00 p.m. and at that point they will then march to the Capitol. I'm going to show you some of the signs here. The signs are fantastic. It says, earth, science against
earth. What is it for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Earth day.
MARQUEZ: Which is today of course, earth day. Chesapeake bay. We have -- this is pretty -- we have the best ones. He actually brought a white board. I love that. And then we have science -- Neil Tyson Degrasse of course is going to be here in very big numbers, I'm sure. Science -- silence is a big thing that we've seen here as well today. They are expecting tens of thousands of people here from New York to Nepal from Washington to Hanoi, 604 events around the world for science. Victor? Christi?
PAUL: All righty. Thank you so much, Miguel Marquez. We appreciate it. That was clever with the White Board --
PAUL: -- because then you can change your message as you go.
BLACKWELL: Your message changes. Yes.
PAUL: Very clever.
BLACKWELL: IF you think of something a little more clever you can get to it.
PAUL: That's true.
BLACKWELL: Hey, an attorney for the family of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez says he plans to sue state officials in Massachusetts. Why he says he has a case.
[08:45:00] PAUL: 45 minutes past the hour. And an attorney for the family of Aaron Hernandez says, he plans to sue State Officials for negligence. BLACKWELL: Now the former NFL star apparently hanged himself with a
bed sheet in his Massachusetts prison cell this week. His body was found near three suicide notes and a bible. For more on those notes and what happens next in this case, we're joined by CNN Correspondent Sara Ganim. So Sara, what are we learning about the contents of these notes and what happens now?
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Victor, a judge ruling to preserve all of the evidence from Aaron Hernandez's jail cell including video of his cell door in the hours before he was found, as well as those three suicide notes. Two of them, CNN has learned, to Hernandez's fiancee and his daughter. It's unclear at this point who the third note was written for. In addition, law enforcement sources telling CNN, a bible verse John 3:16 was written in red markings on Hernandez's forehead and cell wall. We also know from the prison that there were apparently steps taken to block that cell door from the inside. Hernandez's attorney making if request to preserve all of this evidence on behalf of the family, saying that the family is upset with how they leaned of the details of the suicide notes, and the bible verses, and overall the handling of what happened.
The family attorney saying he expects to sue the prison for negligence in parts because he alleges there was no check on Hernandez's cell between 8 p.m. the night before and 3 a.m. the morning he was found. He was being housed alone in a general population cell. The family through attorneys saying there was nothing to indicate anything like this was possible. In fact, the day before, his attorney expressed confidence in the appeal of his murder conviction in the case of Odin Lloyd. With Hernandez's death now, it's possible that murder conviction will be tossed out given that it was under appeal with no result. Hernandez's family has announced they've donated his brain to science to be studied as part of a program looking at brain damage in football players that can cause behavioral problems. Victor.
BLACKWELL. All right. Sara Ganim, thank you so much.
PAUL: Well, still to come for you this morning, Anthony Bourdain's new documentary film highlights the glamour and perils of critically acclaimed Chef Jeremiah Tower. The same Chef joins us next.
PAUL: Well, this week, start small thing big, looks at the revival of a game that was popular during the '80s. Spikeball.
Hi, I'm Chris Ruder, I am CEO of Spikeball Incorporated. Spikeball got started back when I was a kid. One of my friends bought it and we fell in love with it. The rules of Spikeball are almost identical to two on two volleyball. Fast forward to 2003, me and those same friends went on a trip to Hawaii and they brought one of the beat up old set. A lot of people would stop and ask us the same three questions, what's that game, how do you play and where can I get it. And that's sort of where the light bulb went off. From what we'd understood, the original company that made it either
went out of business or just stopped making it or we didn't know. But we just knew you couldn't buy it anymore. So, me and those same friends chipped in some money and in 2008, we re-launched Spikeball. I ran it on my own, sort of for about five years as like a side job until September of 2013. We hit $1 million in annual revenue with zero full-time employees. And at that time, my wife and I agreed that it was safe for me to quit the day job and go full time. Bigger picture for Spikeball is to become the next great American sport.
Yes, Baseball, Basketball and Football, the big ones, they got a -- they should works. We're getting a lot of their players. During their down times, they're all playing Spikeball, so we're coming after you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Anthony Bourdain's new documentary is putting the culinary industry in the spotlight again. His new film showcases the ups and downs of Jeremiah Tower, a critically acclaimed Chef he thinks has been overlooked.
PAUL: Bourdain wants to highlight why Tower's influence at America's cuisine should not go unnoticed. The subject of the new film, Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent is with us now. Chef, thank you so much for being with us.
JEREMIAH TOWER, AMERICAN CHEF: Well, thank you. Good morning.
PAUL: I want to play a clip here. Good to have you here. Thank you. Let's play a clip from the trailer together. Let's watch here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOWER: When there's something wonderful to be done, if you're not right there with me, then get out of the way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people would not know who Jeremiah Tower is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was on the front of magazines.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was (INAUDIBLE) all over Europe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hadn't seen hisy kind before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a natural.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A superstar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this was a Chef?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He certainly is considered the father of the American cuisine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should know who changed the world. We should know their names. (END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: All right. The film we know premiered in select theaters last night. How did you team up with Anthony Bourdain?
TOWER: Well, he read the book which was originally California Dish and is now Start The Fire. And he read it and said he got a little bit pissed off at Alice Waters and decided he would make the film about me. I mean, I'm glad he did. It's a great, great movie.
BLACKWELL: So, you're credited with pioneering California cuisine in the 70s at Berkeley's Chez Panisse restaurant, but there's a lot of controversy surrounding who actually created it. Does the film clear that up?
TOWER: Well, yes. I mean, Tony makes a very, very strong point about my contribution but actually, you know, like all great things, it was team work. I mean it was Alice and me and everybody at Chez Panisse and -- but there was a moment in 1976 when we switched from a little California French -- South of France Bistro and I wrote the menu called the California regional dinner. When I switched all the food from France to using local California ingredients, putting the menu in English, using California wines, and that caught the attention of the national press and then you know, all hell broke loose.
PAUL: I know that you were the Executive Chef at New York City's Tavern on the Green. Why did you leave?
TOWER: Well, you know, I have a fatal attraction for the slim chance so -- and tavern was a very slim chance. I left because the owners decided after the New York Times review was not very good that they would take over the food, as they said, quote unquote, "to make it perfect." But they're the same ones who asked me whether lamb had both white and dark meat, so I knew I was in trouble.
BLACKWELL: Is there a lesson from this film that goes beyond the kitchen, goes beyond great food that you think people who watch it can take away?
TOWER: Well, I think, yes. I mean, as Anthony Bourdain pointed out, the -- it's also a story of -- you know, the life of somebody who -- it's difficult to talk about myself in these terms. But you know, all the things that it takes to be -- to achieve great success, the ups and downs, I mean, the falls, the strengths and the faults and Lydia certainly who is the director, Lydia Tenaglia certainly, you know, no holds barred, she just played it like it is, as she saw it.
PAUL: You know, cooking is a craft. Owning a restaurant is a business. What was the hardest thing to balance for you?
TOWER: I think the hardest thing was the constant fatigue. I mean, this -- to achieve that kind of success in that size of a restaurant, you have to be obsessive, so I was working 80 hours a week. So, I think the biggest challenge is to keep a smile on your face every day because we had an open kitchen, so you know, there was no possibility of a fight or screaming or anything in the kitchen which was great. But -- so the challenge is to make every day as if it's the first one.
PAUL: That's hard to do when you're exhausted.
BLACKWELL: Yes, it is. Yes, it is.
TOWER: Well, it's like you guys. You know what that means, right?
BLACKWELL: We're sitting here at the end of the show at 9:00 a.m., yes, we know.
TOWER: Right, right. Smiling, smiling.
BLACKWELL: Jeremiah Tower, thanks so much for being with us.
TOWER: Thank you. Thank you very much.
PAUL: We appreciate you being here.
BLACKWELL: And before we let you go this morning, our live picture is here on this Earth Day, we've got pictures here courtesy of NASA and the International Space Station. A beautiful picture of Earth.
PAUL: So, do stay close. We'll going to see you back here at 10:00. But don't go anywhere. "SMERCONISH" starts now.