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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Freed Taliban Hostage Says Captors Raped Wife; Rescuers Search Ashes, Ruins For Survivors; President Trump Unravels Obama's Legacy; World Leaders Slam Trump For Not Certifying Iran Deal; Kremlin: "Negative Consequences"; Trump Decertifies Iran Deal Tells Congress To Fix It; If U.S. Ditches Iran Nuke Deal; Wildfires Kill 36, Wipe Out More than 200,000 Acres; Interview with Jarrett Blanc; Harvey Weinstein Asking for Second Chance. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired October 14, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. So glad to have you with us here. We want to start with you this morning with some shocking new claims today by that family that was freed from militant captivity in Pakistan.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Joshua Boyle who is a Canadian along with his wife, Caitlan Coleman, who is American and their three children, all of whom are born in captivity, arrived safe in Canada last night. Boyle told reporters in Toronto, his kidnappers authorized the killing of one of his children and raped his wife.
CNN international correspondent, Paula Newton, just spoke with Boyle's father. You learned more about their terror. What did you learn?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, to be clear, sir, I spoke to him before his son actually made the statement. And in speaking to Patrick Boyle, he told me that it was quite clear his son had indicated that, look, they were treated much worse in captivity than they were alluded to in the proof of life videos.
And remember, Victor, that in the proof of life videos, they actually said and I'm quoting here that the children were forced to watch their mother being defiled. I can also tell you that sources close to the family say that in fact there was at least one forced abortion.
And that perhaps is what Joshua Boyle was referring to. But Victor, so much anger from this family and in terms of speaking to Patrick Boyle, his father, he made it clear that his son had a lot to say and would continue to have a lot to say.
He would continue to cooperate with authorities. And he knows there's a lot of questions what he and his wife, his wife was pregnant at the time, what they were doing in the area. He said in his statement he was trying to help people in poverty there.
There's still a lot more questions and I have to say, Victor, though, the family is just trying to take this all in. They consider it a miracle that they were released, that their family is indeed safe.
We expect that they are back at the family home and will be trying to finally come to terms with everything they've been through.
BLACKWELL: Paula, I want to get clarity on one of the many terrible details of this story. You said that you learned from his father, Boyle's father that there was potentially forced abortion. What we heard at this point that they authorized the killing. So, the father of Boyle said there actually was the death of a child through this forced abortion?
NEWTON: Yes, and that's what they had alluded to earlier in terms of even letters that they had received from their son, but it is unclear. And keep in mind, Victor, this is a family that before they saw them at the airport besides a few letters and proof of life videos, had only spoken to them twice on the phone.
He was seething with anger. What they believe he's referring to in terms of the death of an infant, the murder of an infant is at least one forced abortion. We're still waiting for more clarity.
What I have is the family, both Linda and Patrick Boyle, the parents waiting for answers. As you can imagine so many questions. Their first concern is the health of their family. One of the children had some kind of a medical emergency, we don't know what the status of that child as they arrive in Canada.
And Joshua Boyle himself was injured in the leg during what was a fire fight that ensued during this rescue. So much more to come out still.
BLACKWELL: Let's get more from this family now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSHUA BOYLE, HELD CAPTIVE BY TALIBAN AFFILIATED NETWORK: The stupidity and the evil of the Haqqani Networks, kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: As you said, Joshua Boyle has so much more to say and I'm sure we'll hear more of this tragedy that went on for so long as the days continue. Paula Newton there for us. Thank you so much.
PAUL: Want to tell you about the breaking news in Northern California. Wildfires are burning through wine country and we're getting our first look at this massive inferno firefighters are braving as they search for survivors now.
[08:05:09] BLACKWELL: The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office released body camera footage, really dramatic video here. This is what they call five minutes of hell. I want you to watch it. This is deputy frantically driving through the flames, really, looking for anyone who survived this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't hit me. Got to get out of here. In a bad spot, 49, 10-4, don't pass. Do not pass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: You can imagine it's difficult to even see where you're going, but then you're driving through flames looking for people. Their job is about to get far more difficult because this weekend's intense winds in that area is threatening any progress they've made in containing those flames. We are live in Santa Rosa, California. We'll take you there later.
PAUL: Nine months now after taking office, President Trump is seemingly working to erase key parts of his predecessor's legacy despite the advice of his cabinet and U.S. allies. The president says Iran is no longer in compliance with the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration and the fate of that agreement is unclear. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, you have said you were going to rip the Iran deal off you call it the worst ever.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, I may do that. I may do that. The deal is terrible, so what we've done is through the certification process, we'll have Congress take a look at it. And I may very well do that, but I like a two-step process much better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump is also tearing apart President Obama's signature health care law and touting his new executive order on health care in a statement released on Twitter this morning.
CNN's Boris Sanchez is live from the White House. Boris, the president we know is fond of tweeting on a Saturday morning or really any morning. What is he tweeting this morning?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Victor and Christi. Yes, after two failed attempts by Republicans in the Senate to pass a repeal and replacement of Obamacare, the president taking matters into his own hands, signing an executive order on Thursday and he's tweeting about it.
He writes, quote, "Very proud of my executive order which will allow greatly expanded access and afford lower costs for health care. Millions of people will benefit." Now part of that executive order allows people to band together in associations to try to get cheaper healthcare, but it also eliminates subsidies that helped lower income Americans pay for health care. And by doing that, it puts a lot of pressure on the marketplace because then health insurance companies have to charge more if they have newer customers. They may even back out of certain markets altogether.
So, this really exacerbates one of the key problems within Obamacare and it not only puts pressure on the marketplace but also put pressure on Congress to do something and to act again, after Republicans from the Senate failed to get a simple majority to pass this.
You'd think the president would perhaps sway Democrats who will need to pass a repeal and replace to fix Obamacare. But yesterday the leadership in Congress, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi said that this was a spiteful executive order, saying that the failure of the ACA will rest in the president's hands.
Speaking of kicking things over to Congress and undoing key parts of his predecessor's legacy, the president also essentially put the Iran nuclear deal in limbo yesterday, kicking it over to Congress, giving lawmakers 60 days to decide what to do about sanctions.
They have three choices essentially. They can re-establish sanctions that were in place before the Iran deal took hold. They could perhaps modify them to include triggers that would kick into place if Iran perhaps tests another ballistic missile or they could do nothing, in which case the president has vowed that he will step away from the deal himself.
So, the president now putting additional things on the agenda for Congress, which hoping to accomplish things like tax reform right now -- Victor and Christi.
BLACKWELL: And there are far few working days left than some might expect because they've got lots of breaks figured in there. Boris Sanchez for us from the White House, thanks so much.
PAUL: Want to go to CNN senior international correspondent, Fred Pleitgen. He's in Tehran. Fred, we've been talking about what's happening with the Iran deal, President Trump. What is the reaction from the government there?
[08:10:07] FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's been a very angry and forceful reaction coming from the Iranian government. It came shortly after President Trump gave his speech yesterday afternoon. The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani came out with a speech of his, which was very fiery and certainly ripped into President Trump and some of things that he said.
First of all, Hassan Rouhani said that the U.S. can't unilaterally leave the nuclear agreement because it's a U.N. agreement and obviously not one between the United States and Iran but one between the United States, Iran, and several other countries.
On that point, he said that's simply something that can't happen that easily. He also accused the U.S. of some of its policies here in the Middle East. And he said one of the reasons why the Iranians still have that ballistic program is because some of the things the U.S. is doing here in the Middle East.
Earlier today, there was a statement that came out by the Iranian government. Quote, "The transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of arms into the region, that have turned the region into a tinderbox require the Islamic Republic of Iran not to be complacent about the country's defense needs," pertaining to that ballistic missile program.
And then it goes on and says, quote, "The president will have to bear full responsibility for all consequences of his role behavior. So, certainly some choice words there for the U.S. president.
And you can really see both the moderates and the hard liners in this country banding together at this point rather than being divided by some of the things that President Trump said in his speech -- Victor and Christi.
PAUL: Very interesting. Fred Pleitgen, we appreciate the update. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Let's take you to Russia now and the kremlin is warning very negative consequences if the U.S. ditches the Iran agreement.
CNN senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh is following the reaction from Moscow. Nick, are they saying what those very negative consequences could be?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They're hinting at it, and Russia has long maintained, really, this is the best shot of keeping curbs on the Iran's nuclear program and Russia is frankly the signatory to that deal that is closest to Tehran and also disagree around the Middle East, but certainly, they have a lot of influence on Iran.
Now we've been hearing from the Foreign Ministry late last night putting out a statement really condemning what they refer to as the aggressive and threatening rhetoric of international relations of President Trump.
It comes at a time when they say the international nuclear agreement, the JCPOA, is beginning to quote, "get on its feet and bring concrete results." Interestingly, though, this statement does go on to say that they're not entirely sure that the bid to decertify and pass to Congress for the next move by Donald Trump will actually yield any results.
They seem to think it's more of a domestic issue, hoping that potentially it won't actually impact the implementation of the agreement. That's certainly their analysis of where the internal fight on Capitol Hill will eventually lead.
But Russia deeply concerned (inaudible) saying how hard liners and moderates frankly in Iran be united by this while Russia finding itself very similarly on the same page as many E.U. countries too.
Saying this is the best shot they have, it took years to put together. It's beginning to work, why at this point would you tear it up. And the kremlin saying if you start to walk away from this agreement, the United States, you'll probably find that Iran does, too, and that could potentially (inaudible) for consequences in already a very volatile region (inaudible).
BLACKWELL: Nick Paton Walsh for us there in Moscow. Nick, thank you.
PAUL: We've got more of that really dramatic video coming out of California this morning. A police officer's body camera capturing frantic moments as he tried to evacuate people caught in the wildfires.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where you at?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's disabled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, let me get her feet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: It's 17 minutes after the hour now. Key U.S. allies are now criticizing President Trump's refusal to recertify the Iran nuclear agreement and this morning Iran is slamming President Trump's decision as a mistake in pledging A, as they call it, strong reactions if the U.S. goes against the nuclear deal.
But of course, the president has plenty of supporters including Republican Congressman Tom Reed who joins us now. Congressman, good morning to you.
REPRESENTATIVE TOM REED (R), NEW YORK (via telephone): Good morning. Thanks for having me on.
BLACKWELL: Let's start with your tweet. You tweeted this, "I support the president's decision to enter not into President Obama's flawed deal with Iran. We, in Congress, must work with the administration to impose sanctions."
Now, of course, I take issue with not to enter the president certified it several times during his administration, but what's your evidence that sanctions will work here?
REED: Well, you know, when we see the activity of Iran when it comes to ballistic missile testing, movement of troops to commercial carriers to hostile areas in the region, to me that's an additional threat that Iran needs to be taken care of very seriously.
And the sanctions to me are the biggest tool we have in the toolbox (inaudible) military efforts in order to address what we know is a threat to us here in America and to our partners across the world. BLACKWELL: Well, of course, sanctions, this would not the first time that sanctions would be imposed on Iran and they have not discourage them in the past and if you need an example of how ineffective sanctions can be in discouraging a nation from abandoning its nuclear weapons program, you only have to look at North Korea where sanctions have been levied time after time.
And Kim Jong-un has continued to progress to getting an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead. So, again I ask where is the evidence that even if sanctions are imposed by Congress that that will be effective, more effective than the deals struck in 2015?
REED: Because the sanctions I'm talking about when you bring up North Korea, when you bring up China having these final institutions follow through on the sanction activity that we imposed on North Korea, that's a whole another level of sanctions that never been imposed before.
[08:20:02] I'm talking about aggressive, significant sanctions that makes sure that when these folks engage in this behavior, there's penalties not only from them themselves but to their partners and other people that they are doing business with that get caught up into this trap.
And what we got to do is fundamentally ask the question are you going to stand with America or Iran or North Korea? That is what the level of sanctions I'm talking about being imposed is all about.
BLACKWELL: OK. So, let's move to another aspect of this. What is the impact do you believe of the U.S. potentially withdrawing or decertifying as the term we're now using, this deal considering that both Secretaries Mattis and Tillerson and many of the president's advisers and the other signatories here believe that Iran is following and complying with this deal?
REED: I just don't see that. The evidence I've been briefed on that I've seen, shows me an Iran that continues to be aggressive, that continues to develop technology that can be easily redeployed into the nuclear space.
That is an existential threat to us as an American society as well as our key partners in the area like Israel and our friends in the Middle East that we need to make sure that we stand with them.
We send a message to Iran we're not going to put up with this development of technology that's going to make you closer to have a nuclear weapon or the delivery thereof.
BLACKWELL: The president is not even saying they're not even following the letter of the deal. He's saying they're not following the spirit of the deal. But you say you have evidence, and correct me if I'm wrong, you're saying you have evidence that Iran is not complying with the letter, with the technical elements of this deal?
REED: When I interpret the deal and I look at the language, when I look at the spirit of the deal, when I see ballistic missile testing and movement of troops into areas of hostility that could pose a threat to our allies, that to me is part of this deal that cannot be ignored because technology it's not in that paragraph or that section. We're looking at this deal in totality, not just the documents, but the threat Iran represents to us.
BLACKWELL: Congressman, let me also remind you that, as you say, there are troops moving into areas that you would say threaten some U.S. allies, but that is not part of the deal. And I would also say this, Ehoud Barak (ph), the former Israeli prime minister and defense secretary under Netanyahu says that the U.S. should stay within this deal.
He thinks it's a bad deal, but it's a terrible precedent for the U.S. to withdraw from this deal while Iran is still complying with it. But let me move to another element here, and I want to talk about --
REED: I'd appreciate that.
BLACKWELL: -- with healthcare, something that's important to you, I know, and the president tweeted this morning that he is proud of his executive order. Let's put it up on the screen and I'll read it for our viewers.
"Very proud of my executive order, which will allow greatly expanded access and far lower cost for health care. Millions of people benefited." Now part of this executive order this week aimed at extending short-term insurance policies, allowing more people to buy them.
This is something people typically got between jobs and not subject to the regulations of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration limited them to 90 days. He would not require these policies or these companies to insure people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes.
I know you're co-chair of the diabetes caucus. Do you support the extension and expansion of health insurance programs that would not require companies to cover people like people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes?
RRED: What you're referring to is using the Affordable Care Act, the legislation of the Affordable Care Act and have the executive branch allow for that situation where people are losing care and insurance coverage to access insurance policies that get them through that short-term life event that we are talking about.
Obviously, I support the pre-existing condition reforms and making sure that policies have those minimum benefits and the policies as they go forward. But we're trying to back fill the hole and what we're talking about here is a very unique product that's going to open up the door to additional resources to people that blow it out if they don't have access to these types of program.
BLACKWELL: All right. Congressman Tom Reed of New York, thank you for working through these technical challenges this morning. We appreciate the conversation. REED: Got a great town hall here in Western New York. Invite everybody up anytime.
BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you.
PAUL: We've got some riveting video for you from Northern California this morning. Look at what the firefighters are dealing with here, a deputy driving through that blaze and ash that's raining down on him as he looks for survives. We're going to play more of this for you. Stay close.
PAUL: It's 28 minutes past the hour. Good to have you with us this morning. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Saturday to you. These deadly wildfires in California, you've seen the video, they will only get worse today because the winds are increasing. The fires have wiped out huge parts of the wine country. More than 220,000 acres burnt.
PAUL: And look at this dramatic video from Northern California we've gotten in this morning as rescuers are trying to get to people. They're driving through what they can as embers are plying through the air. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office releasing this. It's body camera footage actually, and they call it five minutes of hell, a deputy rushing through these flames to search for survivors. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you at?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Screw your shoe. Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's disabled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me get her feet. Let me get her feet. Her husband is right behind you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're doing a carryout.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold up. We have a house on fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to get her up. You got to get her up. OK. Hold on. There we go. OK. Watch your leg. Watch your leg. Watch your leg. Watch your leg. Watch your leg. Sir, you got to go!
(END VIDEO CLIP) VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Seconds in this situation matter. The deadliest wildfire this is now in state's history -- the state's history. So far 36 people in four counties have been killed since the wildfire began about a week ago. And any progress in containing the flames, that is now jeopardized because of the winds that are going to intensify this weekend.
Let's start with CNN's Ryan Young who's in Santa Rosa, California.
Let's start with the hundreds of people who are missing where you are and the efforts to try to find if these people have survived, if they're just out of reach. Talk about that if you would.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is the case right here, Victor. We do know that at one point more than 70 cellphone towers were destroyed in this fire. They've gotten 67, 68 or even more at this point back up. So communications has vastly improved in this area. And what they believe is people were missing because they couldn't get in contact with their loved ones.
Remember people left with only seconds to spare, so a lot of times they had no way of communicating with their loved ones. We now know several people have been found but that number is high and one of the things they're talking about this will be a recovery effort that will be going into areas just like this one with cadaver dogs to see if they can find any sort of human remains.
And look, we've all covered like hurricanes and tornadoes, and usually when people come back home to a devastation like this, there's something for them to pick through. But when you look at house after house after house like this one, there is nothing here besides soot and metal. And in fact we've been in neighborhoods of 8.000 people and all the homes are gone. We talked to a lady just yesterday who was telling us that her insurance company believes it'll be two years before they're able to rebuild and they're going to have to rent a home from now until then. And they were just happy to make it out. They were able to get their dog and just get a few things before they had to run into their car.
Just on the other side of this ridge over there, we've actually been able to see the flames in the distance. We can't show it to you on the camera, but we've been able to see the flames in the distance and what we know is 8,000 firefighters are actively fighting the fire.
We'll show you the video from yesterday as we are with them. They were setting back fires and knocked out some of the brush that was in the area that was causing some issues there. And that was one of the things that's been going on that firefighters are trying to cut a path to make sure as this -- the fire tries to spread, it doesn't get more fuel.
And I can tell you they've been working quite hard, four, five days in a row. It's unbelievable to see how the first responders have responded to this. It's going to be a long few days, though.
BLACKWELL: Yes, understandably it will be. Ryan Young in Santa Rosa for us. Thank you so much.
It has been a tragic few months with the people in California losing their homes now to fire, those who lost their homes to wind and water on the other coast and the Caribbean.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It's been tough.
BLACKWELL: It has been. It has been.
PAUL: And we're not even there.
PAUL: I mean, tough for them. It's hard to watch, but certainly thoughts and prayers still going out to all of these people today as they deal with this.
BLACKWELL: All right. Coming up, a couple freed from militant captivity after being held for five years is now talking about what happened while they were there. Our next guest is an expert in foreign hostage negotiations. His reaction and what this all means for the future of U.S.-Pakistan relations.
PAUL: And there's an emergency meeting going on today to discuss the fate of movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Is he going to be kicked out of the film academy?
[08:38:11] BLACKWELL: Coming up on 38 minutes after the hour now, President Trump threatened to kill the Iran nuclear deal if Congress does not act soon. His comments came after he refused to certify the deal yesterday. Congress now has 60 days to decide whether to re- impose sanctions, a move that would put the U.S. in violation of the agreement. Meanwhile the president's move has ignited a barrage of criticism from world leaders.
Joining me now to discuss, former deputy lead coordinator of the Iran Nuclear Implementation, Jarrett Blanc.
Mr. Blanc, good morning to you.
JARRETT BLANC, FORMER DEPUTY LEAD COORDINATOR OF THE IRAN NUCLEAR IMPLEMENTATION: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: So let's start here, we have a lot to get through. The president said during the campaign that he wanted to dismantle the agreement. What he announced yesterday was not that. It could be in 60 days, but it isn't that. But considering what we know now about the process, what are the implications simply of tossing it over to Congress to have a conversation about sanctions?
BLANC: Well, I think the implications are all negative. The United States is diminished in the world and our ability to negotiate better outcomes for national security concerns either with Iran or with other partners is reduced. There is no prospect of using Congress to increase our leverage to deal with either nuclear issues with Iran or other issues with Iran. That's a fantasy.
BLACKWELL: The secretary of state suggested that there could be potential for a secondary deal. Do you see any potential for that?
BLANC: Well, I think a lot of arms control agreements in some ways the JCPOA is an arms control agreement have follow-ons. At some point some years down the road it might be possible to have that kind of discussion with Iran and the other participants in the JCPOA. That's not a discussion that I think anybody could have right now, and it's certainly not one that's set up by the sort of soap opera drama that's coming out of the White House.
BLACKWELL: I want to read for you and everyone watching a statement that came from the leaders of Great Britain, France and Germany. And here it is.
[08:40:07] "We encourage the U.S. administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPOA. Such as re- imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement."
And you combine this decision from the president with pulling out of the Paris Accord, scolding NATO, his concerns about the U.N., is there some combined impact on the relationships with some of the U.S.'s oldest allies?
BLANC: Absolutely. And I think that our allies and partners in Europe have been admirably clear in expressing their view of the danger associated with going down this road with the Iran nuclear deal. The fact that this would not just be a problem with Iran, not just a problem in the region but really a transatlantic crisis and I think you hear some voices in Washington that suggest that there are Europeans who are willing or even eager to reopen or renegotiate this deal. I think that that statement that you've just read should put to rest any of those false claims.
BLACKWELL: How does this impact the U.S.'s efforts with deterring North Korea from developing its nuclear weapon?
BLANC: Well, I think on almost any issue this undermines the United States' ability to use diplomacy. Why would North Korea try to strike a difficult deal with us, when we proved that we can't take yes for an answer? And even more importantly than that, you know, the Russians and the Chinese were extremely cooperative, flexible, creative partners in both negotiating and implementing the JCPOA. We need them on North Korea. Why would they invest the same political or intellectual capital if we're not trustworthy partners?
BLACKWELL: Let's turn to another element here. You negotiated the release of Bowe Bergdahl, the return of Bowe Bergdahl. We understand that he will enter a plea in his case, charged with dissertion. That plea is coming up on Monday. Now during the campaign then candidate Trump said that Bergdahl should have been shot, his words, from abandoning his post. The U.S. traded five Guantanamo detainees to get Bergdahl back.
Considering what we know now about the case, do you have any regrets about that exchange and that deal to get Bowe Bergdahl back?
BLANC: Oh, absolutely not. One thing I think that we're learning also now in the common cases that the conditions under which these hostages are held are always worse than we can imagine. That was certainly the case with Sergeant Bergdahl, it appears to have been the case with the Coleman family.
We owed it to the Sergeant Bergdahl to do everything that we could to get him back. I'm very pleased that we did. I am distressed that this prosecution has taken place under what I think can only be described as command interference from the president and from members of the Senate because their political intentions regarding Sergeant Bergdahl were all too clear to the military leadership.
BLACKWELL: The attorneys for Sergeant Bergdahl argue that the charges should be dropped because of the rhetoric from the now president. Do you agree with that?
BLACKWELL: Let's move on now. You mentioned Coleman, Caitlan Coleman, an American mother and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, their three children, they were freed, they were held by terrorists with the Haqqani network in Pakistan. Pakistan cooperated to release them, to free them, return them here to Canada and the U.S. The president said that this is evidence that Pakistan respects the U.S. again. How do you see it?
BLANC: Well, I think the president makes a great deal out of small changes in policy. I don't think that there's been any real shift between the United States and Pakistan. President Obama and his team also used strong rhetoric towards Pakistan. I don't think any of us yet know the details of how this operation unfolded. So for right now rather than try to draw broad political lessons I think we can be pleased that this family has been delivered from what was no doubt a terrible situation.
BLACKWELL: All right, Jarrett Blanc, thank you so much for being with us this morning.
BLANC: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Christi.
PAUL: Up next, canceled projects, board resignations. Now police investigations. More fallout after more than two dozen women accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and a assault. Even though he's now asking for a second chance.
[08:48:59] PAUL: Well, Harvey Weinstein's fate in Hollywood could be determined in just a few hours at this point. The board of the film academy, the group behind the Oscars, is holding an emergency meeting today and they could vote to strip Weinstein's membership after dozens of women came forward with accusations of sexual harassment and assault against the producer. Now one of those women a former employee for Weinstein's company talked to CNN about her accusations against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANA LOWELL, WORKED WITH HARVEY WEINSTEIN; ALLEGES HE HARASSED HER: I was willing to forgive him until I heard all the allegations and there were so many. And then the rape word was mentioned. And at that point, my heart just, oh my God, I just wish I'd said something before. I could have perhaps stopped this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Now a represent for Weinstein says the disgraced mogul is headed for rehab. Before he headed out of town, though, he had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY WEINSTEIN, ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Guys, I'm not doing OK.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You're not?
WEINSTEIN: I'm trying. I got to get help, guys. You know what, we all make mistakes, second chance, I hope, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: No problem.
[08:50:03] WEINSTEIN: Thanks, guys. And you know what, I've always been loyal to you guys, not like those (EXPLETIVE DELETED) guys that treat you like (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I've been the good guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I've been a good guy, he says.
CNN media reporter Hadas Gold with us now.
Hadas, so good to see you. We hear him there asking for a second chance, or talking about one, and we can't help but wonder these eight settlements that he had with women in the past, weren't those eight chances up to that point?
HADAS GOLD, CNN MEDIA REPORTER: I mean, you would think that those settlements would at least prompt him to try to change or even more importantly prompt the board of the Weinstein Company or those people around him to say, hey, something needs to change. But it's clear that this is something that was just sort of accepted by all of his staff.
We're hearing from a lot of former employees of his who say that they knew this was happening. There were -- some of these women, these accusers say that it was actually his own female assistants who sometimes helped set up these meetings. And it's clear that they all knew this was happening and it took really this kind of avalanche of accusations and avalanche of accusations from high profile women to come forward.
What's really going to I think be the blow is today the Academy meeting as you mentioned, we have people like Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Stephen Spielberg, these are people who sit on the Board of the Academy who are going to be voting on Harvey Weinstein's fate. That could be anything from just stripping him of his membership to even stripping him of his Oscar that he won for "Shakespeare In Love." It's probably not going to happen that he's going to lose his Oscar but we are clearly going to see some news coming out of the Academy today and we'll be watching that very closely.
PAUL: I think what's interesting to note is Bill Cosby is still a member of the Academy. Roman Polanski is still a member of the Academy. What is the likelihood Harvey Weinstein will not be?
GOLD: If I was a betting person I would bet towards that he would be losing his membership. And maybe this would actually cause for a review of all of these other people that you mentioned as well.
I mean, just an example, businesses are clearly starting to pay attention to what these producers and movie starts are doing behind the scenes and how that's affecting the company's presence because Amazon today announced they're not going to have a red carpet for a Woody Allen movie that they are premiering.
Now there's obviously Woody Allen has his own history and you'd have to assume that there's a connection between what's been happening with Harvey Weinstein and why Amazon doesn't want to have a big red carpet premier for Woody Allen.
PAUL: Yes. I want to read something from Jeff Katzenberg. He said -- there's an open letter he had on "Hollywood Reporter" this week. He said, "You've done terrible things to a number of women over a period of years. I'm sickened by it, angry with you and incredibly disappointed in you. If possible address those that you've wronged and just possibly find a path to heal and redeem yourself. I doubt this is what you want to hear from me. Most likely you aren't interested in my advice, but this is the way I see it. I remain available. JK."
How many people do you think remain available to Harvey Weinstein today? And can somebody like Jeff Katzenberg help turn things around for him?
GOLD: I mean, not many people seem to remain available for him. His own wife has left him, his own brother who owns the company with him has made statements that are really sort of against Harvey Weinstein. And I think a lot of this is because of how Harvey Weinstein has handled himself after all of these allegations came out.
The statements have been ranging from admitting that he has done some wrong to saying that everything was consensual to saying that he's going to go get rehab and he was going to leave the country but he was clearly still in the country. And he kept going back and forth on a lot of these. And it's clear Jeffrey Katzenberg, he has known Harvey Weinstein for three decades. He was in charge of Disney when Disney bought Harvey Weinstein's company Miramax. And so there's a very long relationship there.
And everybody just seems to want to distance themselves from Harvey Weinstein right now from actors to producers to full companies. We've already seen movie projects that are being -- TV projects that have been dropped that were supposed to be planned with Harvey Weinstein's company.
PAUL: All right. We'll be watching what happens today.
Hadas Gold, thank you so much.
GOLD: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Start small, think big. Let's do it. And this week we're looking at the bee keeping business in Minneapolis that's making some pretty sweet business from honey products and delivery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It really started with putting this helmet on and riding a bike that is painted like a bee.
My name is Christy Allen. I am founder and head beekeeper at the Bees Knees. We sell raw honey, meaning it's never been heated. When you heat honey really hot, you lose a lot of the flavor from the flowers. The Bees Knees is a small bee keeping business that does honey production, honey delivery by a bicycle. We also sell T-shirts, bandannas, candles. (INAUDIBLE) it serves hobby bee keepers. And we rent out these cuddle powered honey extractors that we designed and built.
The Bees Knees is a success financially because we continue to diversify and grow.
[08:55:08] We have partnerships where you put the bees. We label it by the zip code and the organization. So they're getting the benefit of the marketing tool. We get the benefit of reaching their communities with our message.
Reviving the hive for healthy bees, healthy lives.
So all I did here was drill a little hole in between the wood, big enough for a be to get through. The education program at Camp Bees Knees, it's a really good way to build a community of bee keepers and strengthen it. As long as the bees are still around, the business will thrive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: But do you have to wear the bouncy ears?
BLACKWELL: That's the question.
PAUL: It's part of the -- so people know who you are.
BLACKWELL: I didn't say -- we'll see you back here at 10:00 Eastern for CNN NEWSROOM.
PAUL: Yes, don't go anywhere. "SMERCONISH" is coming up for you after a short break.