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Russian Lobbyist Confirms He Was At Trump Tower Meeting; CNN: At Least Eight People In Trump Jr.'s Russia Meeting; Trump Attends U.S. Women's Open At Golf Club; WH: Trump Making Calls On Health Care Bill This Weekend; Two Cousins Charged With Killing Burying Four Men. Aired 8-8:9a ET

Aired July 15, 2017 - 08:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: -- take a picture of herself at a Los Angeles art gallery, look at that, triggered this domino effect costing nearly $200,000 in damage.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: At least 11 sculptures were damaged when she accidentally toppled a row of those display columns and then the displays of sculpted crowns and other headpieces come crashing down. Victor says this is suspect.

BLACKWELL: Yes, could be a prank. Shenanigans, I call. We'll see if it actually happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The explosive revelation there was another Russian in that meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm more than happy to be transparent about it and I'm more than happy to cooperate with everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never even spoke to anybody about Russia. I never heard the word Russia, and we did not use Russian press.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This meeting is a very damaging revelation. I can see why they might want to cover it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes for a fascinating novel. It maybe a fascinating movie one day but none of it violates the law.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neighbors Sean Prats couldn't picture the sweet kid next door entangled and killing three young men at a Bucks County farm last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The train started to move. It dragged the vehicle and the injured couple about a hundred yards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was with expanding up to 10 feet per hour swallowing nearly everything in its path. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At 37, Venus Williams is back on top. She is poised to become the oldest woman's grand slam champion in the open era.


PAUL: We are so grateful to share Saturday with you as always. You know, first it was four, now it's eight. The story about Donald Trump Jr.'s secret meeting at Trump Tower during the campaign changing yet again this morning.

BLACKWELL: We're now learning even more people with ties to Russia were in the room just days after the president's son said that he'd revealed everything.


DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SONE: They're trying to drag out the story, in all fairness. They have, they want to drip a little bit today, drip a little bit then, so here it is. I'm more than happy to be transparent about it and I'm more than happy to cooperate with everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So as far as you know as far this incident's concerned this is all of it?

TRUMP JR.: This is everything. This is everything.


PAUL: Controversy follows President Trump this weekend to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where yesterday he was watching the U.S. Women's Open.

This also comes at a pivotal weekend for the Senate GOP's revised bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, we should point out. A vote could hinge on one single senator saying, nope, not doing it.

And next week's CBO score could be a tipping point as well. This morning though, a new push coming from the White House. Officials saying the president will be reaching out. He will be making calls throughout the weekend to try to get that done.

First, we now know at least eight people attended that June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with the president's son here. Take a look at the faces. That's several more than Donald Trump Jr. had initially disclosed.

One of the new attendees we're learning about, a Russian-American lobbyist who one senator has accused of being in Soviet counterintelligence. Here's Jim Sciutto. Good morning, Jim.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort included more people beyond the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

A source familiar with the circumstances tell CNN Russian-American lobbyist, Renit Akhmetshin, told several media outlets that he was also in the meeting. Akhmetshin told reporters for the "New York Times" and "Washington Post" that he's a veteran of the Soviet Army.

In a March letter to the Justice Department, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley described Akhmetshin as, quote, "someone with ties to Russian intelligence, someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns as part of a pro-Russia lobbying effort."

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Plainly this Russian attorney, this other third party, they were present. They were there to both deliver a message as well as to receive a message and plainly Moscow only understood too well that this is conduct that the Trump campaign would really appreciate.

SCIUTTO: Akhmetshin denied any intelligence links to the "Washington Post" saying, quote, "At no time have I worked for the Russian government or any of its agencies. I was not an intelligence officer, never."

He also told the "Post" he was born in Russia and became a U.S. citizen in 2009. Akhmetshin's lobbying effort which he did on behalf of the Russian lawyer, Veselnitskaya, was aimed at repealing the Magnitsky Act, which sanctions Russians accused of human rights abuses.

A complaint filed against him with the Department of Justice claims that effort was on behalf of the kremlin. He has also been accused according to court papers filed in New York in 2015 of hacking on behalf of one company into the computer systems of a rival company to steal confidential information in a business dispute.

[08:05:09]The company, IMR, withdrew the accusation soon after without providing a reason. In an earlier related case he denied a similar accusation saying in an affidavit, quote, "I am not a computer specialist and I am not capable of hacking."


SCIUTTO: In addition to his lobbying work, Akhmetshin was well known in Washington for being connected to very powerful people in Russia, both in the business world there and in government.

And one more note, though he was born in Russia then the Soviet Union, he immigrated to the U.S. and is now a U.S. citizen and as a U.S. citizen, he can be subpoenaed to testify before the investigating committees on the Hill. Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.

PAUL: All righty. Thank you, Jim. Bureau chief for the "Chicago Sun Times," Lynn Sweet with us now, and CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Laura Coates, as well. Ladies, thank you for being here.

Laura, I want to start with you real quickly. Because one of the things coming out of this is the fact that, yes, people find it suspect, but from a legal standpoint do you see anything that is criminal? And correct me if I'm wrong, as far as I can tell I have heard of nothing, no legal analyst saying, yes, this is criminal.

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it swings the pendulum. Everyone will talk about these kind of deliberate terms of saying that you cannot actually convict or prosecute on one piece of evidence alone like this, but what it does do is show you an air of criminal intent.

You have a mental state that now wants to solicit and receive information that potentially could violate the campaign finance laws and now you have more and more information coming out that may suggest that they were trying to exchange kind of a quid pro quo.

I'm here to lobby on behalf of the repeal of the Magnitsky Act and in return hopefully you will grant me the opportunity -- I will give you information related to Hillary Clinton, your opponent, and if you should win the election, we will talk more and more about what this information -- how we can value it.

So you do have that. But remember, there is a counterintelligence espionage probe going on right now with Special Counsel Mueller. You also have the Congressional probe going on. Both of those probes are trying to figure out what involvement any American may have had.

And Donald Trump Jr.'s e-mails and his continuous refusal to be entirely transparent and forthright about what he knows about the meeting and who is there would suggest that he is trying to perhaps hide some details, which of course alerts a criminal investigator all the more.

PAUL: Now, the president is adamant that he did not know about this until this week. Let's listen to Jay Sekulow, one of his attorneys this week, earlier.


JAY SEKULOW, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The president was not aware and did not attend this meeting and was only made aware of the e-mail and this chain of e-mails which he only saw yesterday as it was released. He was made aware of it just in the last really very, very recently by his lawyers, legal team, met with the president to discuss it just literally days ago.


PAUL: OK, so, again, that's Jay Sekulow, but let's listen to President Trump on June 7th, 2016, two days before this meeting took place.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week, and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.


PAUL: Lynn, what is the reaction to what seems to be a very different story in both of those? What president said in June of last year seems suspect, at least on the surface.

LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "CHICAGO SUN TIMES": Well, at the least it's confusing and it shows why these investigations in Congress and by Special Counsel Mueller need to proceed because you want to at least get a timeline straight and the facts straight.

And to answer the question of when did the president know about this, it is one thing for his attorney to go on these TV interviews and say his legal team told him whenever, whenevers don't count in an orderly investigation.

It will be -- people have names. You learn something because somebody tells you something at a date and an hour. Like right now, it's 8:09:17, so it's not these nebulous things. So the political problem is that when you have new information unfolding, some of it may be significant and some of it frankly may not in the longer run.

But just look how hard it is just to figure out who was in one room on one day for this June meeting. That is just symbolic of the difficulty in putting this investigation together, which now every time you introduce another potentially serious actor you then have to run down every angle, you know, go where the river flows as investigators say.

PAUL: All righty. Lynn Sweet and Laura Coates, so appreciate the two of you being here and your input as always. Thank you.

[08:10:06]BLACKWELL: President Trump is spending the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. He flew there straight from Paris yesterday so he could catch a round of the U.S. Women's Open Tournament being held at his course.

Now, this is one of several Trump properties the president has traveled to since taking office. It's become a regular jaunt here. Let's go now to CNN's Dan Merica following this for us from Washington -- Dan.

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: The president is at one of his clubs that bears his name. He's made this kind of a frequent occurrence, 21 weekends of 26 he's been president this is the 39th day he's spent as president as one of these clubs.

That obviously doesn't include Mar-a-Lago, his resort in Florida, which is a private resort but doesn't have a golf club. It's kind of more of a vacation home for him. As you mentioned he'll be going to the U.S. Women's Open today.

There are expected to be some protests outside the Women's Open that those follow Trump pretty much wherever he goes and this comes after a whirlwind tour of France. He spent about 30 hours on his third foreign trip in France, flew directly to New Jersey for this event.

He tweeted about it actually when he touched down in New Jersey after his French trip, tweeted that he was going to go to this tournament, and that raised some questions from ethics watchdogs.

Is the president giving this tournament hosting at his club some free advertising, some free presidential advertising? Those have obviously been questions that have followed the president ever since he took office and really before he took office, there were questions about would this happen as president.

BLACKWELL: All right, so obviously this is going to be a very critical week and weekend for the Republican-backed health care plan. What is the president doing to push it over the line to get it passed?

MERICA: So we've been told even in France the president was calling senators who are on the fence about the health care bill. We were told this morning that he plans to make calls today, actually, Saturday, from his club in New Jersey.

But the reality is that Senate aides and even some top senators have made it clear to the White House they would rather have President Trump be kind of a background player, that's not a role that he's familiar with playing, but a background player in this fight.

And that has been the way this has played out. Vice President Mike Pence has taken a much more public role in pushing health care reform. He traveled to Kentucky this week. He has a speech tonight at a Republican Political Action Committee about health care.

So what we've seen is Vice President Pence has been really the public face, but President Trump has been making calls, and you saw before the July 4th recess, before his second foreign trip he actually hosted senators.

And there's some expectation that if health care really gets close to, you know, being pushed over the line this week, the president would have those kind of meetings at the White House to really give it that last push.

BLACKWELL: All right. Waiting for that CBO report coming out next week. Dan Merica, thank you.

MERICA: Thank you.

PAUL: Well, two cousins have been charged with killing four men in Pennsylvania. Why at least one of them confessed to police and what he told them happened.

BLACKWELL: Plus, new video released of firefighters driving into flames to save children at a summer camp.

PAUL: And a car collides with a train. This is dramatic police body cam video. We're going to share more of it with you that shows when the train starts moving, but the car is stuck underneath, and the victims are still trapped inside of it. (VIDEO CLIP)



PAUL: Two cousins have been charged in the murders of four men in Pennsylvania. Cosmo Dinardo and Sean Kratz are both 20 years old facing robbery, murder and several other charges.

Live from Bucks County, Pennsylvania now, CNN national correspondent, Brynn Gingrass. I know that they are being held. We know that one of them confessed. I thought I heard reports that they're starting to turn on each other.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they've turned on each other, Christi, when it came to one of the murders. Right now, we know Cosmo Dinardo is charged with four of the murders of the men who went missing last week, but Sean Kratz, his cousin, is only charged with three.

Let me tell you why it breaks down like that. According to the court documents after these charges were filed, Cosmo Dinardo admitted in a confession that he lured one of these men to his family's property, which isn't far from where we are right now with the intent to sell him drugs.

Then instead he shot and killed this man and then buried his body on his family's property. Two days after that, that's when he brought his cousin along with him, Sean Kratz, they lured again, three of these other men to the family's property and again shot and killed those three men, burying them in a separate grave on the property but first actually tried to conceal all of this by burning their bodies.

So in one of those murders that's where they sort of turned on each other. There's a differing in stories of who killed one of these men. So really the fact is though they've been charged with a number of charges in addition to the murders as you've mentioned.

And we've actually learned from the district attorney that even though Cosmo Dinardo has given a full confession in exchange for the death penalty being taken off of the books there, that's not the case for Sean Kratz. It's very possible according to the D.A. that he might face the death penalty in this case.

What we do know though, Christi, is that authorities have recovered all the bodies from this property. That's something the D.A. wanted to do to bring these four boys home to their family -- Christi.

PAUL: No doubt. All right, Brynn Gingras, so grateful to see you this morning with the update. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: At least three people were killed when a large fire engulfed a high-rise in Honolulu. Twelve people were hurt, five of those victims with serious injuries. [08:20:00]The fire started Friday on the 26th floor of the Marco Polo Apartments, 538 units in the building. About 100 firefighters worked to put out the flames and get people out.


RON CHLARITINIO, RESIDENT: I looked down, I could see the billowing smoke coming up, and this is really sad. I heard three women's voices screaming, pleading, moaning, please help me, please, continuous screaming for five or ten minutes and then I didn't hear anymore.


BLACKWELL: Well, investigators don't know yet what started the fire, but authorities say the building did not have sprinklers.

PAUL: Take a look at this video. Look at that. A giant sinkhole in Florida just swallowing two homes. At a news conference last night, officials said the sinkhole does appear to have stopped expanding at this point. We know nine other homes in the area were evacuated.

Power's been cut to nearly 100 people in that neighborhood, but this hole is estimated to be about 50 feet deep and it's full of water. It is not draining, they say, due to the debris there. Recovery and repair operations are set to begin soon though.

BLACKWELL: A massive wildfire is forcing people to leave their homes in Santa Barbara, California. The fire is the Whittier fire. We've talked about it since it started July 8th. It's burned about 13,000 acres. Firefighters have been able to contain just 52 percent of it, but they still have a long way to go as the high temperatures and the rugged terrain make it so difficult.

We're getting the first glimpse here of just how intense and dangerous the flames are. The U.S. Forest Service released this dash cam video showing first responders driving into the fire. This is an effort to rescue children from a summer camp. The camp counselors, the staff, the children, they're fine, they've been returned to their families.

PAUL: Well, yet another make or break weekend here for health care reform. The president and vice president, they're really pushing for support this weekend. And Senate Majority Leader McConnell cannot afford to lose a single GOP vote.

BLACKWELL: Plus, newly released police body cam video shows the moment a train begins to move down the tracks with an SUV wedged underneath, two people inside. We'll tell you what happened.



PAUL: It's 26 minutes past the hour. Hope you're getting a bit of a lazy Saturday morning there. I'm Christi Paul. BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Saturday to you. The president is spending the day at the Women's Open in New Jersey, which is being held at his golf club at Bedminster.

But as the president attends the tournament, the White House is trying to navigate a public relations crisis at least centering around his son's meeting with Russians at the Trump Tower.

PAUL: The administration's story about Donald Trump Jr.'s secret meeting at Trump Tower during the campaign has changed yet again. We know now at least eight people were in that meeting including a Russian lawyer and Russian-American lobbyist.

BLACKWELL: I want to bring in now Democratic Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island. He's a member of the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees. Congressman, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So let me start with that additional person, the Russian lawyer and Russian-American lobbyist specifically. Do you think that the House Intel Committee should call Rinat Akhmetshin to testify?

CICILLINE: Of course. I think the House Intelligence Committee should bring all of the individuals that participated in that meeting before the committee. It's very important that these investigations continue and we get to the facts wherever they lead.

I mean, this is a meeting now that Donald Trump Jr. has described in three or four different ways in terms of the subject matter. He's described the people who attended the meeting, just three people, and then each day we learn there's another person there.

We shouldn't forget this is now concrete evidence that a woman who has identified as a Russian government lawyer who had derogatory information about Hillary Clinton produced as part of a campaign by the Russian government to help Donald Trump.

That was all an e-mail and with that knowledge Donald Trump -- the president's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a group of others assembled. This is very, very alarming information.

It should be of concern to everyone whether you're Republican or Democrat. This is about safeguarding the integrity of our democratic institutions, our intelligence committees need to continue their work. Special Counsel Robert Mueller needs to continue his work, but this should be alarming to everyone.

BLACKWELL: You say alarming to everyone, but I want you to listen to your Republican House colleague there, Scott Taylor, and listen to what he says about what the American people think of this. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT TAYLOR (R), VIRGINIA: It gets frustrating when you have this because I do think that some of this is really overplayed, and I think ultimately folks on the streets, American people, don't care. They're a little over it.


BLACKWELL: It's overplayed and people in the streets don't care. They think about jobs primarily. Your thoughts.

CICILLINE: Look, there's no question the real tragedy of all of this scandal and all of the conflicts of interests of this White House are that there's nothing being done to focus on the issues that are important to my constituents and to people all across this country.

We haven't seen a jobs bill. We haven't seen an infrastructure bill. We've seen nothing to help make college more affordable. We should be focused on creating good paying jobs, extending the life of Social Security, Medicare, making college more affordable, developing good energy policy.

There's no question about that, rebuilding the infrastructure of our country. But the reality is this is an important issue and I think when they say nobody cares about it, I think Americans care deeply about protecting the integrity of our elections from foreign government interference, particularly of foreign adversary, and --

BLACKWELL: All right. We have a video problem there unfortunately with Congressman Cicilline. Hopefully, we can get that back up. If we can't, I thank the Congressman for being with us this morning.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST, NEW DAY: Yes. Hopefully, he can hear us, even if we can't hear him right now.

Listen, it's a crucial weekend, though, as the GOP Senate works to get votes, line up support for its revised healthcare bill.

Two Republican senators have already said not voting for this, which means out of the remaining undecided senators that you see there, the party just cannot afford to lose one more vote.

Tara Palmeri, CNN legal analyst and White House correspondent for Politico with us now. Tara, thank you for being here. I want to read you something that is just coming out this morning.

The CEOs of America's health insurance plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association wrote this. "The Cruz amendment is simply unworkable, it says, in any form and would undermine protections for those with preexisting medical conditions, increased premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people current enrolled in the individual market."

What does a statement like that mean at this time and have you gotten any Republican reaction from that, even though I know it's just kind of happening now. TARA PALMERI, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO, AND CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. I'm a little skeptical about a statement like that, especially coming from an insurance company. You know that, obviously, their stake in the game is to not lose profits from this bill.

He's offering $182 billion to lower premiums and they're saying that's not enough. Obviously, a lot of the amendments and part of his plan is to make insurance offerings more competitive. And why would insurance companies want that?

Obviously, it's very troubling for Mitch McConnell when he is hanging on to one vote essentially at this moment and then a bunch of undecideds to - he's pretty sure he can bring over across the line and he doesn't need any more hiccups right now.

But, yes, it's troubling to hear big business fighting back, but is that something that we should be too concerned about? I'm not sure.

PAUL: Yes. The CBO score that's coming out next week, is that expected to be a hiccup, as you said?

PALMERI: That is really more of a deciding factor than the insurance companies fighting back. Mitch McConnell has put a lot of weight into it as well. And he's placing the value of his new plan on how the CBO report comes out.

I know, obviously, savings and reducing the debt is a big deal, but if it continues to show that almost 30 million people will be uninsured, that's going to be a real hard sell.

Meanwhile, he's been passing out amendments to senators to get them across the line, like Lisa Murkowski from Alaska suddenly has more of a Medicaid spending ability than other states.

Rubio has no more cap on Zika, which is obviously a Medicaid issues, specifically in Florida.

And Rob Portman from Ohio is now getting more money for opioid abuse spending. So, he's giving out little provisions here and there to get people across the line, but I think the CBO score could make it politically toxic even further than those handouts.

PAUL: Alrighty. We know Vice President Pence is speaking to governors about it. President Trump apparently is really pushing for it this week as well. We'll see what happens. Tara Palmeri, always glad to have you here. Thank you.

PALMERI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Controversy over the education department's policy on investigating rape on college campuses after the head of the department's office for civil rights says that 90 percent of sexual assault accusations could be explained as we were both drunk.

Candice Jackson told "The New York Times", not even an accusation that these accused students overrode the will of a young woman - rather the accusations, 90 percent of them fall into the category of we were both drunk, we broke up, and six months later I find myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right.

Well, Jackson has since apologized for being flippant, she says, and said all sexual assault should be taken seriously, but the education department is considering whether more strict Obama era policies unfairly punish college students, often male, who say they have been falsely accused of rape or sexual assault.

On Thursday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos met with student advocates on both sides, both alleged victims and people who've been accused.


BETSY DEVOS, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: No student should be the victim of sexual assault. No student should feel unsafe. No student should feel like there isn't a way to seek justice. And no student should feel the scales are tipped against him or her.

We need to get this right. We need to protect all students. And we need to do it quickly. It's obvious the toll this places on everyone involved.


[08:35:00] BLACKWELL: Secretary DeVos says that her meetings with the students were about listening and she had no policy changes to announce this week.

PAUL: Think about this, police officers being poisoned while on patrol. We'll tell you what we're learning about the cause of many officers in many states who become sick while patrolling the streets.

BLACKWELL: Plus, a train dragging an SUV down the tracks. Dramatic police bodycam video of the rescue. We have that for you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Tell him to stop. Stop the train.


PAUL: A dramatic rescue in Texas. Police bodycam actually caught this. After an SUV with two people inside crashed into a stopped train, but then the train began to move.

BLACKWELL: Kevin Quinn from CNN affiliate KTRK has the story.


KEVIN QUINN, REPORTER, KTRK (voice-over): Just after 02:30 -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got at least one inside crashed.

[08:40:00] QUINN (voice-over): A La Marque police officer arrived at the scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you hear them loud (ph)?

QUINN (voice-over): This SUV was westbound on Main near Highway 3 when it hit a stopped freight train.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know, I know, buddy. Hold on. We've got medics coming.

QUINN: And suddenly, as the officers tried to get out the two people inside -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Tell him to stop. Stop the train.

35, call the railroad company, tell them to stop moving. They're dragging the car, with people inside.

QUINN: The train started to move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go to the front of the train, tell them to stop moving. They are dragging this car.

QUINN: It dragged the vehicle and the injured couple about 100 yards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shine the spotlight in their eye. Do something to get it up at the front.

QUINN: The officer did what he could, trying to coordinate efforts further down the track to get the attention of the engineer, while getting dispatch to frantically call Union Pacific.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop. Hold tight. We're getting them to stop. We're getting them to stop.

QUINN: Finally, they got the train to stop. Only then could they tend to the injured.


PAUL: And police say that engineer just had no idea the SUV was stuck under his train. The driver of the SUV is listed in serious condition. The passengers' injury aren't considered life threatening fortunately. Wow!

BLACKWELL: Consider this. Police officers being poisoned in their own patrol vehicles. It's happening in several cities across the country. And now, law enforcement officials believe they know what's causing it.

PAUL: CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval in in New York to explain more. So, Polo, what is it?


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This police dash-cam captured this seconds before a Newport Beach, California officer lost consciousness behind the wheel. He drifts into another lane, over a grassy median, and crashes into a tree line.

Look again. The SUV narrowly missed an oncoming vehicle.


SANDOVAL: The officer behind the wheel is currently suing Ford, the maker of its patrol vehicle, blaming his blackout on carbon monoxide poisoning.

A similar case is making its way through a Texas court. Documents show Austin police sergeant, Zachary LaHood, was on patrol in March when he became nauseous, light headed, and began experiencing cognitive difficulties.

ZACHARY LAHOOD, OFFICER, AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT: I have a headache. I feel like I'm going to throw up.

SANDOVAL: Before pulling into this parking lot, LaHood nearly collided with an oncoming bus. His medical diagnosis, according to the lawsuit, carbon monoxide poisoning.

The National Transportation Safety Administration has investigated more than 150 complaints from Ford Explorer owners about the smell of exhaust fumes in their SUVs. Ford has settled a class-action lawsuit related to those complaints.

After Sergeant LaHood's incident, Austin P.D. pulled 37 of their police interceptors out of service. The police association president there now calling on the city to find a long- term solution.

KIM CASADAY, PRESIDENT, AUSTIN POLICE ASSOCIATION: Our big fear now is that we have officers in the city driving around every day being poisoned and they don't even know about it.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Ford Motor Company responding to allegations that their Explorers are flawed saying, "We have investigated and not found any carbon monoxide issue resulting from the design of our police interceptor utility vehicles.

We know police modify these vehicles, which can contribute to exhaust- related issues. We have provided instructions to help seal these modifications and are ready to inspect any vehicles with this concern."

Those instructions were sent to Austin P.D. They identify openings on some 2013 police interceptors that could allow external air into the SUV. The maintenance bulletins date back to 2012, says Brian Chase, attorney for three officers suing Ford.

BRIAN CHASE, ATTORNEY: Most of the police fleets and people I've talked to now are putting carbon monoxide detectors in the vehicles, so they can catch it ahead of time. It would have been nice if they had a warning about this sooner.

SANDOVAL: That's something Chase is hoping will change.


PAUL: So, Polo Sandoval with us now. How expansive is this problem, Polo?

SANDOVAL: That's one of the key questions right now, Christi. Should civilians be worried out there? We did hear from Brian Chase, the attorney, that you just heard from a few months ago.

In the piece, he tells us that he is representing about six civilian families that have complained about carbon monoxide in their vehicles. We are reaching out to Ford Motor Company to see if they have received similar complaints from those who are not police officers.

But really it all boils down to one main recommendation that we are hearing, Christi, right now, is if you do drive one of these Ford Explorers, especially the 2011 to 2015, perhaps install a carbon monoxide detector. It is a small expense that could make a major difference.

PAUL: No doubt about it. Polo Sandoval, appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: A sheriff's deputy confronts a Louisiana couple. And when it's over, one man is dead, his girlfriend faces charges. Next, the troubling facts that complicate this case.


PAUL: Well, first, going to a Louisiana mother today who has to bury her son. He was shot by a sheriff's deputy last week.

BLACKWELL: The deputy is now on paid administrative leave and state police are investigating the death.

Let's turn now to CNN's Kaylee Hartung. A lot of questions from many angles on this one.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There really are. I was down in Louisiana this week. The texture of this story is complex.

And as the Guillory family mourns their son, a lot of questions remain unanswered. Here's what we do know.

So, in the early morning hours of last week, DeQuince Brown and DeJuan Guillory were riding an ATV down a gravel road that was 3 miles from the nearest stoplight in Mamou, Louisiana. They were hunting for frogs.

[08:50:04] And sheriff's deputy Holden LaFleur was in the area on a burglary call for an ATV. He saw the couple on one and he stopped them. A struggle broke out and the deputy then shot Guillory dead.

Now, the accounts that led to that fatal moment are wildly different. The officer says that Guillory threw the first punch and that Brown then grabbed - tried to grab his gun and he attempted to arrest Guillory.

Brown's attorney says authorities from misrepresenting Brown's version of events of that night and that the officer was the one to start the fight.

The big key here, though, is that police say they are reviewing dashcam video from the officer's patrol car that day. You would like to think that if video does exist, a lot of these questions could be answered for us.

PAUL: No doubt about it. What's the backstory here?

HARTUNG: Talk about a complex back story here. Both of these men with a troubled past. Let's start with DeJuan Guillory.

Now, police in the area are familiar with him, stemming from a 2015 incident when he allegedly stole an ATM with a stolen backhoe and then fired upon officers when they responded. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder, but ended up pleading out to much lesser charges.

And then for officer LaFleur, he was actually supposed to appear in a trial last week that has been postponed indefinitely because of security concerns with this incident. But he and three other officers are defendants in a civil trial for a wrongful death in an arrest gone wrong.

PAUL: Good heavens. All right. Kaylee Hartung, we appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Listen, less than ten minutes now till Venus Williams is going to take Center Court at Wimbledon, trying to become the oldest women's Grand Slam champion in the modern era.

BLACKWELL: And a woman trying to take the perfect self does this. Down they go like dominos. Los Angeles art gallery, we'll tell you what happened.


[08:55:57] PAUL: So, 37-year-old Venus Williams is about to try to win her sixth Wimbledon singles title.

BLACKWELL: She's been on a roll lately and her wins are coming as she faces challenges on and off the court.

Here's CNN correspondent Christina Macfarlane.


CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: At 37, Venus Williams is back on top, striding into Center Court Saturday, hoping for her sixth Wimbledon singles title. She is poised to become the oldest women's Grand Slam champion in the open era, ready to silence the skeptics who mused that she would be too old to win again.

VENUS WILLIAMS, TENNIS PLAYER: I feel quite capable, to be honest, and powerful.

I have an opportunity to bank on experience and having dealt with those sort of pressures before.

MACFARLANE: Perhaps it's that experience that has allowed Williams to stay focused on her game, despite considerable emotional turmoil heading into the tournament.

In June, Williams was involved in a tragic car accident in Florida that led to the death of 78-year-old Jerome Barson. His family filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the tennis champion.

The initial police report found Williams at fault for the accident, but surveillance video caused police to revise their findings, ruling instead that Williams acted lawfully.

Williams shared her sadness about the crash on her official Facebook page.

"I'm devastated and heartbroken by this accident. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers."

When asked about the incident following her first-round Wimbledon win, she broke down.

Williams regained her composure, channeling her energy on to the court, beating much younger opponents, three of whom were born the year she debuted at Wimbledon.

It's not the first time Williams has had to transcend pain to compete. After years of battling debilitating fatigue that affected her ability to play at the elite level, Williams was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome in 2011.

Many thought it meant the end of her tennis career, but Williams vowed to do whatever it took to return to the game.

WILLIAMS: When you don't feel well and things are taken away from you, it's hard to stay positive. But for me, it's not an option to get negative or feel sorry for myself.

MACFARLANE: Defying the odds, Williams reached the finals in two Grand Slam tournaments this year for the first time since 2003, losing to sister Serena in the Australian Open in January.

SERENA WILLIAMS, SISTER OF SERENA WILLIAMS: On the court, we're mortal enemies. But the second we shake hands, we are best friends again.

MACFARLANE: Serena's bombshell announcement that she won the match while expecting meant there wouldn't be a chance for a rematch between the sisters at Wimbledon. WILLIAMS: "I just wish she was here. And I was like, I wish she could do this for me, but I was like, no, this time you have to do it for yourself."

MACFARLANE: Serena - due to give birth in late August, early September - will have to cheer her big sister on from afar, joining millions who tune in to see whether 37-year-old Venus Williams will become a champion once again.


BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk about this because I don't believe it. A selfie here gone wrong allegedly.

So, a woman trying to take a picture of herself at a Los Angeles art gallery triggers this disastrous domino effect here.

PAUL: Look at her. There it goes.

BLACKWELL: Caused nearly $200,000 in damage, 11 sculptures damaged when this woman accidentally toppled a row of the display columns, tumbled into each other, toppling displays of sculpted crowns and other head pieces.

PAUL: And Victor does not buy it because -

BLACKWELL: Several reasons. One -

PAUL: Look at that. I don't under the display. It looks very - it looks - if it's that -

BLACKWELL: But why is there no -

PAUL: If it's that expensive, why would it be so delicate?

BLACKWELL: Why is there no barrier to keep people from walking into something that could cause a domino effect. OK? So, that's the first thing.

Second, I just remember Jimmy Kimmel back in 2013 and this viral video of a girl dancing, she hits a candle, shirt catches fire and then days later, he says, oh, it was a prank.

PAUL: You know those late-night hosts, they always get us.

BLACKWELL: Something -

PAUL: They've always got us.

BLACKWELL: Something is a bit peculiar about this.

PAUL: All right. We'll remember it.

Don't go anywhere. Smerconish is starting now.