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Jared Kushner Under FBI Investigation; U.K. Reduces Terror Threat Level; Uber CEO's Mother Dies In Boating Accident; Countdown To Indianapolis 500; Southern Rock Legend Gregg Allman Dead At 69; President Returns To Growing Kushner Controversy; White House Official: Kushner Not Going Anywhere; FBI Joins Portland Police In Stabbing Investigation; Accused Attacker Makes Nazi Salute In Facebook Videos; Forty Million People Could See Hail, Damaging Winds. Aired 6- 7a ET

Aired May 28, 2017 - 06:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kushner discussed a plan after Election Day to set up a secret communication channel for the White House to communicate with the Kremlin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president has answered little to no questions from reporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, did Jared try to set up a back channel to the Russians?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are establishing a war room inside the west wing that is going to be able to quickly respond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not going to comment on Jared. We're not just comment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have back channel communications with a number of countries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is off the map by no other experience like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not heard from Kushner at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hateful words directed at Muslim passengers on an afternoon commuter train.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the loss of two brave compassionate lives.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We always appreciate the fact that you are up and with us in the morning. Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul. VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Sunday to you.

This morning, President Trump is back in Washington after nine days of diplomacy on the world stage and is calling his first overseas trip as president a home run. But back here at home, mounting questions about Russia and the ongoing investigations, they are continuing.

PAUL: In fact, there is a reminder of what he is dealing with. That came just moments after the president and first lady returned to the White House.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, did Jared try to set up a back channel to the Russians?


PAUL: This morning we are also getting some new details on how the president's family is plotting the political strategy ahead. CNN's Ryan Nobles has all of that for us.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, the president is back in Washington after his lengthy trip abroad and even though his team feels confident the trip was successful he returns to plenty of controversy including a number of issues that involve his son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, who has yet to respond to reports that he attempted to set up a secret back channel line of communications with the Russian government during the transition.

Kushner's connections to the kremlin to a variety of means continue to be a specific line of inquiry by investigators looking to Russia's attempt to intervene in the U.S. elections. Now despite these issues, a White House official says that Kushner isn't going anywhere.

He does plan to keep his head down and keep focused on his wide portfolio of responsibilities in the west wing. In the meantime, the White House is shaking things up creating a war room designed to quickly rebut the attacks that pour as a result of this ongoing Russian investigation.

The president's children are getting involved as well. Donald Jr. and Eric Trump and his wife, Laura, spent the last few days in Washington meeting with Trump aligned groups in and outside of the White House including the teams at the RNC and at the PAC, American Priorities, which supports the Trump administration.

The goal of these meetings was to get all of these teams on the same page ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and the president's own reelection bid in 2020 -- Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: Brian, thanks so much. Let's bring in CNN political analyst and Princeton history professor, Julian Zelizer, and Kyle Feldscher from the "Washington Examiner." Good morning to you. Julian, first to you, I mean, the president is returning from this first foreign trip. The headlines are not about this nine-day visit. It's about Russia and his son-in-law and the secret communications. It seems that their strategy now, more than ever, is to say very little, maybe even nothing about it.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. The scandal is starting to consume the administration and they are trying to both contain President Trump, meaning keep him away from Twitter, and, at the same time, they are moving away from the media as much as possible. They don't want to speak about this.

But that won't stop the story. At this point, the investigations are being conducted on multiple fronts and we are getting daily bombshell reporting about something new. So behind the scenes, they are now creating this war room, possibly shaking up their staff and they understand this is the main issue they need to contend with in coming weeks.

BLACKWELL: And Kyle, Jared Kushner, obviously, at the center of this story this weekend. The White House saying that Kushner is going nowhere. Is that the typical posturing we should expect from the White House or is this something more? Is he different here?

KYLE FELDSCHER, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": No. It's something we should expect from this White House. Throughout every scandal they have had, their general policy has been to say no, we are not backing down, we are not considering any alternative option until the last moment. You saw it with Mike Flynn back earlier this year. He was supposed to be with the administration ongoing until suddenly he wasn't.

So Jared Kushner is an important part of this administration, one of the few people that President Trump seems to trust, but I don't think that this means -- it's not a different message coming from the White House at this point. They mean what they say until they don't.

BLACKWELL: So I don't think I've ever heard Jared Kushner's voice, Julian. Is there any chance we will hear from him about this?

[06:05:06]ZELIZER: No. That's not his style. He is one of these behind the scenes political characters. He does like to talk to the media but not directly. So, look, at some point, he might have to speak and at some point the questions might be too much to remain silent.

But if we expect what he has done before, we won't hear much from him. Many people have not heard his voice which is kind of remarkable since he is one of the more influential members of this White House.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's talk about in this discussion of speaking with reporters, Kyle, "The New York Times" is reporting that one of the variables under consideration as the president returns in their discussions of kind of revamping the White House and making major changes is ending the daily on-camera briefings and Press Secretary Sean Spicer would limit his interaction with the reporters and put the president out on more rallies, the Iowa rally skilled for this week has been cancelled and Facebook Live videos. I mean, technological advancements aside, have we seen this type of approach before?

FELDSCHER: It is been certainly a long time. The White House daily press briefing has been a staple of the media landscape here in D.C. So it would be a real shift away from convention. Obviously, this is an unconventional White House. But it does speak to a little bit of the possible lack of confidence that President Trump has in Sean Spicer, if he is willing to maybe take him off camera every day.

BLACKWELL: Julian, you're the history professor. Have we seen this before? Is this approach that we should be familiar with where we will not see Sean Spicer every day on camera?

ZELIZER: No. The press briefings have become an absolutely staple of presidential politics since Dwight Eisenhower. It's really been the norm. So this would be a break and to do this in the middle of the scandal, I think, would only cause more suspicion and more tension with the press and let's remember, at the same time, the one thing no one is talking about is legislation and Republicans on Capitol Hill are taking notice that for the talk of ending Sean Spicer, what they really want is legislation and there are just cricket right now and that is making them nervous.

BLACKWELL: Let me stay with you, Julian, getting back to legislation, getting back to what people elected this president to do, they are weighing the development of a war room and let's put up a couple of faces of the potential members of this war room. How would that change the approach from the White House to this Russia probe if these men lead the war room, and they kind isolate potentially this story line?

ZELIZER: Well, if you have people like Corey Lewandowski coming back, they were very effective in the campaign. Their strategy is much more aggressive. It's to go after the accusers and it's to go after the institutions whether it's Congress or the media that are attacking the president and it's not so sit still.

So I think we would see a return to the campaign style that was so characteristic of Donald Trump back in October and November to go after all your of your enemies constantly and to make them the problem rather than the president.

BLACKWELL: Kyle, here's what I don't get, though, I thought the point of a war room, at least the Clinton style war room from the '90s, was that you would isolate the story line and put the mainstream leaders of your administration back on track to get some of the work of legislating done. But if you put your chief of staff in the war room and you put your chief strategist in the war room then you take those top people and put them only on this story line. Is that is the way this is supposed to work?

FELDSCHER: You would think not, but this is a president who is obsessed with communication strategy and getting the message out there. For years, President Trump has been a fixture in the tabloid media in New York because he has loved communicating with people.

So putting top aides on this kind of war room single track field really kind of speaks to what his real priorities are which is getting his message out there and shift story lines and not necessarily getting legislation done.

BLACKWELL: All right, Kyle Feldscher, Julian Zelizer, stay with us. We will see you at the bottom of the hour. Thank you both.

PAUL: Now we know the FBI has joined Portland police in investigating that stabbing on a commuter train. All of this as we are learning more about the man accused of killing two men and wounding another. Next, what that suspect was seen doing in a Facebook video that could influence the case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that, see the shark? See the fin?



BLACKWELL: Yes. The video now surfacing showing a kayaker surviving a shark attack. We have got more of this video, these terrifying moments ahead.

PAUL: Also, race day in Indy, 33 drivers on a quest to win at the brick yard. Only one will taste victory and, of course, the milk.



BLACKWELL: The FBI is looking into the background now of the man who police say stabbed three people on a Portland commuter train killing two of them.

PAUL: They are trying to determine if Jeremy Christian could be charged with federal hate crimes. He is already being held on a number of charges including murder and attempted murder. There is his picture.

In the meantime the city of Portland is remembering the two people who died. They call them heroes. They stepped forward to stop what police said was hate speech directed at two women who were on that commuter train.

Now one of those killed was reportedly a city employee, an Army veteran, and father of four children. The other was a man killed who was a recent graduate of Reed College and a third stabbing victim survived. His mother says he is still just reeling from what has happened.


MARGIE FLETCHER, MOTHER OF STABBING VICTIM: They missed the jugular by a millimeter.

[06:10:05]They cut one of the carotid arteries and he will have some paralysation.


PAUL: Certainly sending his mother and him the best of everything today as we hope he recovers. We are now learning more too about the background of this man accused of stabbing. CNN digital correspondent, Dan Lieberman is with us live from New York. What are you learning, Dan?

DAN LIEBERMAN, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, guys. We are starting to get a picture through social media of who the suspect is. This 35- year-old Jeremy Christian. He can be seen recently in on a Facebook video here giving a Nazi salute. Other postings show him shouting racial slurs across social media.

Just last month, he was at a free speech rally in Portland shouting at people carrying a baseball bat which police confiscated. On Facebook, you can hear him. He can be seen expressing anti-Muslim and anti- Semitic and white supremacist views.

Authorities say they are going to be looking into all of this, in his extremist ideology as part of the investigation. The suspect, we do know, has an extensive criminal record going back to 2002 on kidnapping and robbery and weapons charges.

And we have seen an outpouring of support on social media for the victims and criticism of this brutal attack. Portland's district attorney praising the actions of the two victims. He had this to say.


ROD UNDERHILL, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, MULTNOMAH COUNTY: Frankly, we need to help more than ever individuals that are stranded (inaudible) that we don't necessarily know. Now is the time to stand up and not stand down.


LIEBERMAN: Hillary Clinton on Twitter also responding saying, quote, "It's heart breaking. No one should have to endure this racist abuse and no one should have to give their life to stop it." In this case, he is being held on murder charges and police say he could face additional charges once he faces the grand jury. He'll be in court on Tuesday, guys.

PAUL: Have we heard anything from his family, Dan?

LIEBERMAN: Not as of yet, we have not heard from his family, I do not believe. But we are starting to get a sense on Tuesday, he will get a court appointed attorney and hopefully we will be learning more next week.

PAUL: OK, Dan Lieberman, thanks for the update.

LIEBERMAN: You got it. BLACKWELL: Vice President Joe Biden partially putting this at the doorstep of the White House and saying that President Trump's rhetoric is partially to blame for divisions in the country and the rise in racially charged attacks like the one in Portland.

PAUL: He didn't name president directly. His comments were clearly directed though at the White House. Listen for yourself here.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I thought we had passed the days where it was acceptable for political leaders at local and national levels to bestow legitimacy on hate speech and fringe ideologies. But the world is changing so rapidly, there are a lot of folk out there who are both afraid and susceptible to this kind of negative appeal.

We saw the forces of populism, not only here but around the world, called to close our nation's gates against the challenges of a rapidly changing world. The immigrant, the minority, the transgender, anyone not like me, became a scapegoat. Just build a wall! Keep Muslims from coming to the United States.

They are the reason I can't compete. That is why I don't have a job. That's why I worry about my safety. And imagine, I imagine, like me, many you seen this unfold was incredibly disorienting and disheartening.

Your reaction, you graduates in particular, is understandable, but I assure you that this is a temporary state of affairs. The American people will not sustain this attitude for long, I promise you!


BLACKWELL: The former vice president addressed Cornell students at the graduation there yesterday, just one day after Hillary Clinton went after the president's policies in a graduation speech at her alma mater, Wellesley College.

PAUL: All right, listen, 40 million of you could face a severe weather threat today. There's this line of storms moving through the southeast now and it's not pretty, damaging winds and two-inch hail stones we are hearing.

BLACKWELL: Yes, this is major. Here is what happened in Missouri. Look at this. Hurricane force wind damaged buildings, took down tree limbs there yesterday. Let's go to Allison Chinchar with a look where these storms are heading today. We are seeing some flashes of lightning in Atlanta.

[06:20:06]ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I was going to say I was mesmerized by the downtown camera shot with the lightning flashes. If people are sleeping in Atlanta they won't be sleeping for very long because I imagine that lightning and thunder will wake them up. You see it right there.

That is where the storms are headed. This is the same line of storms that we had from yesterday and they were big producers especially in term of damaging wind and hail. Almost 200 hail reports.

And I want you to keep in mind many of those were baseball sized and larger. That is not the kind that is just going to put a couple of dents or two in your car. That is going to total your car.

The good news IS we don't expect the hail to be as widespread as yesterday and certainly not as large. But even two, three-inch hail will do some damage to vehicle not on to mentions yourselves, houses and things like that. Hail reports were big yesterday and so were wind reports.

We have a lot of power outages through the overnight and hopefully those folks can get that power restored pretty quickly. Also flooding, especially into portions of Southern Missouri around Branson. People know about the tourist destination there and picking up nearly 6 inches of rain.

In some cases, in less than 12 hours. Obviously, causing some problem there. We still have flood warnings in effect for portions of Southern Missouri for that reason because the rain is really just now starting to exit portions of Missouri and push further south.

Here is a look at Atlanta. You can see the storms moving in there just to the east of Dallas now starting to push through portions of Little Rock and also into Memphis but talking a lot of lightning, especially around Atlanta.

If you are within that perimeter area, it's just lightning left, right, top, bottom, no matter where you look, you are looking at a lot of lightning right now and in addition to heavy rainfall and stay that way as we go through the day today.

You heard Christi mention, 40 million people under the severe threat for today and it extends basically from Detroit to Charleston, South Carolina, all the way back to Houston and off in Texas.

The main threats are the same that we had yesterday in terms of the overall spread. We are talking hail, damaging winds, and the potential for tornado. But, again, as we look at the forecast going forward, we still expect a lot of storms, Victor and Christi, to continue through the day, so make sure you're on your guard.

If you have some outdoor barbecue plans for the holiday weekend, you may have to watch the radar a little closely today.

BLACKWELL: All right --

PAUL: Heads-up helps.

BLACKWELL: We had the double box up there. I want people to know that wasn't a recording of the best of the last hour. These are live pictures of what is happening in Atlanta right now as the flashes of lightning go across the sky line there. All morning, we have seen them. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.

PAUL: Thanks, Allison. So while President Trump has been away overseas meeting with world leaders, sources says his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric have been holding meetings of their own with the Republican Party. We will talk about what we know about those conversations.

BLACKWELL: Plus the music he made and the bands he inspired. We will take a look back at the life and career of Gregg Allman, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.



PAUL: Well, welcome to Sunday morning. Always glad to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

PAUL: So this morning, of course, President Trump is waking up in the White House and back after a nine-day trip abroad. It's a White House overshadowed by gathering storm clouds. We are getting details on new questions about possible contacts between his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Moscow.

BLACKWELL: A White House official who says that Kushner is not going anywhere and will cooperate with all inquiries. We also know the White House is preparing to establish a war room to contain the Russia investigation. Listen to former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden's take on the new Kushner controversy.


MICHAEL HAYDEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: What manner of ignorance, chaos, hubris, suspicion, contempt, would you have to have to think of doing this with the Russian ambassador was a good or an appropriate idea? So, again, naivety out doesn't make me feel very good about many things. This is off the map, Michael. I know no other experience like this in our history, certainly within my life experience.


PAUL: In the meantime, President Trump's sons, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump and his wife, Laura, met with the Republican National Committee to discuss the midterm elections and the 2020 reelection outlook.

So we want to bring back Julian Zelizer and Kyle Feldscher. Thank you, Gentlemen, for sticking for us. Julian, we'd like to start with you. Is right now the right time to be making this a priority with a White House that is facing so much?

ZELIZER: Meeting with the Republican Party about 2018 and 2020 might make some sense, that's what the Republicans on the Hill are thinking about. The focus has to be on the scandal and response to the scandal on handling these multiple investigations. But they realize their major firewall is the fact that Republicans control Congress and I think the administration is counting on that to protect them. So what do members of Congress care about? Re- election. So that is why I think they are doing this simultaneously.

PAUL: So, Kyle, when we look at who is involved here, the president's sons, the RNC chair, you wonder what the dynamic is amongst them. You got these family members with political players.

[06:30:00] Help us understand what might be going on behind closed doors.

KYLE FELDSCHER, REPORTER, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Sure. Well, it's not usual for the president's close advisers, outside the White House for the president have close advisors outside of the White House and have them meet with outside groups. However it's a little unusual for those close advisers to be your sons who are also in charge of your business.

So the dynamic here is a little strange because it's just -- you have to wonder, you know, Eric and Donald Jr. are both in charge of President Trump's business. So are they not only, you know, acting in the best interest of their father but acting in the best interest of the Trump organization? That is something that has to be thought about here as well. So it's definitely an unusual situation all around.

PAUL: Julian, talk a little bit more about that, will you? There have to be some questions about is this ethical to have the people who are running your business be so politically involved?

JULIAN E. ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. Look. This ethics question has been front and center since the presidency began. The solution for President Trump was to hand off the business to Eric and Donald. And we thought or heard they wouldn't be involved in politics and White House discussions. And, yet, according to what we are hearing, here they are and people in the room are aware of this.

And this is one of the major problems facing this administration. The line between the Trump business and the Trump White House is very blurry and this is an example of where other people in the room are not 100 percent sure what the major motivation is of the Trump family facing them. So I think it is a big and legitimate problem.

PAUL: But when you talk about family members versus political experts, let's say, or the political leaders in this case, can they be equally effective, Kyle?

FELDSCHER: I'm not entire sure. You see here with Jared Kushner, maybe as Michael Hayden said, maybe showing a little naivete and the dealings with the Russians. You're not -- these are political neophytes. They are not experienced advisers but they are trusted advisers of President Trump. He seems to distrust people who have lots of experience in Washington.

So it's a little strange and a little tough to gauge how well the Trump sons might do in this role given the fact that most of their political experience has been on the campaign trail, being a surrogate for their father.

PAUL: We know in this meeting RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel was there, members of the pro-Trump political group America First Policies which is run by Katie Walsh. Who is in charge?

ZELIZER: I don't think we know exactly who is in charge at this point.

The Trump camp administration has been very pro active in setting up its 2020 campaign. We do know that, but I'm not sure Republicans on the Hill, even Republicans on the RNC or even Republicans in the White House have a sense of who is in charge. It should be the president at some level but it's not right now.

And I think there is a little bit of chaos disorganization and competing centers of power in trying to decide how will the Republicans actually be on the same page in the next two election cycles.

PAUL: His sons are, obviously, two people that the president trusts and believes, obviously, in very much.

What about the RNC, Kyle? Do we understand the relationship between them and how are those conversations going -- how much of what is swirling around the White House with the controversies a part of the conversations they're (ph) having (ph)?

FELDSCHER: Sure. It seems like -- you know, historically during the campaign and a little early why on there was a little bit of distrust between the Trump camp and the RNC. Since the election and since the inauguration when Reince Priebus became chief of staff Ronna Romney McDaniel has really been below the radar and doing more fund-raising and not really making the same kind of headlines or being in the news that you saw during the campaign for the RNC and just the nature of the news cycle.

But it's kind of tough to judge exactly how the new chairwoman of the GOP and President Trump get along. You haven't seen them in public together very much or, you know, heard too much about their conversations.

PAUL: All right. Julian Zelizer and Kyle Feldscher, we appreciate you sticking around for us. Thank you.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

FELDSCHER: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: This morning, we are learning more about the man behind the bombing in Manchester and also a warning from U.K. officials that members of his terror cell may still be at large.

PAUL: Also, terrifying moments for a kayaker. A shark knocked him into the water. The whole thing caught on camera by people who were on shore. We will tell you what we know happened here. Stay close.



BLACKWELL: Six days now after the deadly terror attack in Manchester, U.K. official are now warning there is still a serious threat for more attacks.

PAUL: Yes. In fact just this morning one official said it's possible members of the concert bombers terror network are still at large.

CNN international correspondent Muhammad Lila live in Manchester for us right now in front of the finish line for the Manchester half- marathon, we should point out, as the city shows its resilience following this attack.

But what have you learned about the investigation and the possible threat there now?

MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, let me get you the investigation in just a second. But I just want to point out you hear a lot of people cheering behind me right now. How refreshing is it to see people in the city celebrating something and cheering after the hardships that they have been through this week. This is one of the events that people thought might not happen, actually, because in the immediately aftermath of the attack obviously there were security concerns and people thought that this event wouldn't happen. But the general public here in Manchester stood up and said, no, we want this event to happen. We want to show the U.K. and the rest of the world that Manchester is making it through this difficult period.

And I should point out however that there is a heavy security presence here. You might even see this as we are live right now. There are officers with heavy arms, heavy firearms -- semiautomatic rifles that are patrolling this area so that is perhaps designed to alleviate some of the fears that people have.


But it's something unusual because here in the U.K., as you guys know, officers don't always carry firearms so it's a bit odd to see heavily armed officers patrolling these streets.

BLACKWELL: And how about that investigation, the information coming from U.K. officials that the threat still looms?

LILA: Well, that's right. Just a short time ago, the U.K.'s home minister Amber Rudd was asked directly if she believed that there were more suspects from this terror cell still on the loose. Interestingly, she didn't dismiss that possibility. She simply said potentially there could be other people out there but they won't know until the investigation is finished. And the size of the investigation has really grown.

The police say there are 1,000 security personnel that are assigned to just this one investigation alone. Late last night, police put out security camera images of the man they believe is the suspect Salman Abedi. They say the images were taken as he was on his way to Manchester Arena to carry out the attack.

And most importantly, they now believe that they have found the apartment that Abedi was using and they say that that apartment may have been the place where the final explosive was assembled. And that's key because forensic teams will now be combing that apartment looking for things like explosives revenue or any leftover equipment that might be there to -- that might provide any further leads on how sophisticated this terror network was and how many people were involved -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: And, Muhammad, lastly the terror threat level had been taken down a notch from critical to severe. Is it still at severe today?

LILA: Well, yes, it's still at severe and it's actually an important distinction because critical was the highest level and that is in fact the highest level it's been in the U.K. in about 10 years. It was lowered to severe. They are both high alert situations. They both require increased vigilance from the ordinary public but critical meant that security officials believe that another attack might have been imminent. So by lowering it to severe, sure, it still requires people to exercise caution but it suggests that they no longer believe another terror attack is around the corner.

PAUL: All right. Muhammad Lila, live in Manchester for us there, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: The mother of Uber's CEO was killed in a boating accident on Friday. Bonnie Kalinick died after the boat she and her husband Donald were riding in hit a rock in Fresno, California. Now, in a statement the company called the incident an unspeakable tragedy and said that the founder's father, the CEO's father, remains in serious condition. Travis shared these photos on Mother's Day saying I appreciate my mom, her infinite love and huge heart more and more.

PAUL: Condolences to them, certainly.

Dramatic video for you here that shows a kayaker surviving a shark attack. Let's show it so you can get a good look at it. There's a shark that grabbed the kayak. Let's listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see a shark attack. I'm filming it. He got knocked off by a shark. The shark went on his kayak right now. You see it?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Look at the -- look at the kayak, see the shark?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See the fin? It's swimming towards the guy now. Call somebody, Karen (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a big ass shark. The shark was wider than the kayak. He's waving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. The sailboat's going over there now.



PAUL: All right. So, Brian Correiar says he was paddling off the coast of California in March. He heard a bang and just went flying into the water. See that nearby sailboat. It did come to rescue him minutes later. He was not seriously hurt. But I would think it would be really eerie for him to watch this video and see...


PAUL: ... because it looked as though that shark was getting pretty darn close to him at one point. No word on why it would have turned away.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Well, good thing it did.

PAUL: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: All right. So the world's biggest single day sporting event is almost here. The Indianapolis 500. Coy Wire is set for race day in Indy. How about it, Coy?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi. There is a real sense of history and it is picking up. Since before the sun was up, they were lined up a mile away from the track, waiting in line to get into this place.

Yes, I went inside the mind of last year's champion to see what these on drivers feel on perhaps the biggest day of their lives. That is coming up.



PAUL: All right. The countdown you've got five hours to go before the green flag is set to drop on the greatest spectacle in racing, Indy 500.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is there excited, smiling there at track side with this -- engines already running ready for the race. (LAUGHTER)

WIRE: Hey, guys. Good morning to you.

So last year, something interesting happened. A 66-1 long shot. A youngster from Sacramento, Alexander Rossi became the first American born rookie since 1928 to win the biggest auto race in the world and how he did it was just as impressive using one fewer pit stop than the other drivers. He actually ran out of fuel after taking the checkered flag and his car had to be towed to victory celebration in victory lane! So I asked the reigning champ though what these drivers feel the night before the Indy 500.


ALEXANDER ROSSI, 2016 INDIANAPOLIS 500 CHAMPION: It's a little bit of like a conundrum. Because you're trying to, like, rest and prepare for, like, an event, right? But, at the same time, it's like the day before Christmas and you're five years old, so you're like trying to balance those two things. So I actually took like Advil PM last year...

WIRE: Did you?

ROSSI: ... just to go to bed.

WIRE: Well, do it against because you did well.

ROSSI: Yes. Right. It really worked, right?



WIRE: Now, once these guys get rolling they're going about 225 miles an hour. And I got to ride with a living legend, Mario Andretti. The only driver ever to win the Indy 500, Daytona 500 and the Formula One world championship. Little did I know I'd be more scared than I ever had been my entire life. I had no idea what I was in for.


MARIO ANDRETTI, RACING LEGEND: It's going to be a bad hair day as you have to put your helmet on and all that. But -- yes, you'll feel some G-forces in the corners, you know, we'll go pretty fast. From there on, just enjoy the ride and keep your smile.

WIRE: Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!


WIRE: Guys, the forces are insane. I had to tell myself to stop screaming because I was getting light-headed. I needed breathe. My head hurt and I was nauseous. But then I realized these guys do this for 500 miles, three hours, no bathroom breaks. Victor, Christi, these racers can lose four to seven pounds during the Indy 500 race. Intense competitors and highly skilled athletes to whom I cannot hold a candle.


PAUL: If I was a better driver, I'd do it just to lose weight.


BLACKWELL: I know. Right. (INAUDIBLE) seven pounds, that works.

PAUL: Coy, thank you so much.

WIRE: You're welcome.

PAUL: We appreciate it. All right. We'll check back with him in a little bit.

But we do want to take a moment to look at the life and career of a titan in Southern rock. Gregg Allman, he died at the age of 69 but wait until you hear what he was doing the night before.


PAUL: (INAUDIBLE) I know we're all looking for a little balance but in this week's "Staying Well" thousands of people are finding it by taking to the water on paddle boards. Here's your look.


NED JOHNSON, OWNER, PADDLE BOARD ORLANDO: Stand-up paddle boarding is standing on a giant piece of fiberglass with an extra long paddle and paddling along across the surface of the water. I tell people if they can walk and chew gum then they can stand up and paddleboard.

AYANA BERNARD, LOCAL NEWS EMPLOYEE: I like the kind of workout that doesn't feel like a workout. At first I had endurance issues and that was this paddle and I would get tired and I'll have to go on my knees. The more I did it the longer I could stand up and continue and I noticed that my body got stronger, my legs stronger, my core got stronger.

ROBERT MARTIN, BUSINESS OWNER: I'm a commercial plumber. It kind of takes the stress out of running your own company. This helps you to relax and just get away from it all.

Just to listen to the water, to listen to the sounds, the birds. I feel better than when I go to the gym. This kind of works everything all at once.


Balance is the key issue and you fall in. You get out. You get back up. Go again.

BERNARD: It's kind of like your own private boat. You just float and you glide with the water. It's very peaceful.



BLACKWELL: Gregg Allman, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, has died. He passed away at his home in Savannah, Georgia. He struggled with liver cancer and died from those complications. He was 69 years old.

PAUL: He was the man in the center of a fusion between jazz, blues, country, and rock and his sound inspired, look, countless jam bands and Southern rock stars.

Here is Polo Sandoval.


GREGG ALLMAN, MUSIC LEGEND (singing): I've got to run to keep from hiding.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was a warm, kind hearted southern gentleman to his manager but to the world Gregg Allman was an icon, a pioneer, the sounds of Southern rock.

ALLMAN (singing): But I'm not gonna let them catch me, no. Not gonna let them catch the Midnight Rider.

SANDOVAL: In 1969 while man was landing on the moon a young Gregg Allman was teaming up with older brother Duane to form The Allman Brothers Band. The new mix of rock, blues, country and jazz catapulted the group's success becoming one of the most influential acts of the '70s as a group's chief song writer Gregg panned the lyrics to signature songs like "Midnight Rider," sweet "Melissa" and the blues epic "Whipping Post."

ALLMAN (singing): I feel like I'm dying.

SANDOVAL: The band was eventually admitted into the rock 'n' roll hall of fame in 1995 but the road to success was anything smooth for Gregg. His older brother died after the release of their first album, Gregg also struggled with drug abuse and rocky romantic history that included a marriage to Cher, one of his many marriages. Most recently returned to Georgia where he opened up to CNN about his battle with Hepatitis C.

ALLMAN: I just started real tired, you know? Energy just ain't there.

SANDOVAL: It's also where he spent his final days working on a soon to be released album "Southern Blood."

MICHAEL LEHMAN, GREGG ALLMAN'S MANAGER (on the phone): He fortunately got to hear some of the final mixes of his record and shared with me how happy he was.

SANDOVAL: Manager Michael Lehman tells CNN Gregg was at peace with his family by his side when he died of liver cancer complications Saturday. News of the musician's death flooded social media with condolences from fans and fellow icon Cher and Ringo Starr.

"I have led some kind of life," Gregg wrote in his 2012 memoir alive now immortalized in lyrics.


Polo Sandoval CNN Atlanta.