Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Attends Philippines ASEAN Summit Dinner; Trump Says He Trusts U.S. Intel on Russia Election Meddling; Trump Downplays Past Skepticism of Russian Election Meddling; Texas Church to Open As Memorial A Week After Shooting. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 12, 2017 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:01] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All righty. Live pictures for you. We're going to show you. And good morning to you. So glad to have you with us.

President Trump is preparing on his way to sit down with the man you see there on your right there, President Duterte in the Philippines.

BLACKWELL: You see here shaking hands with Narendra Modi, prime minister of India. The president is attending the ASEAN Summit in Manila as part of the last leg of his Asia trip. While there, he will meet with the controversial president there, Rodrigo Duterte.

PAUL: These meetings are likely going to be overshadowed by the president's latest comments as well. He not only attacked Kim Jong- un, also former U.S. intelligence officials, and refusing, it seems, to definitively say whether he believes Russia interferes to the 2016 election.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Jeff Zeleny is live in Vietnam with more on the president's comments. We're going to start, though, with Matt Rivers in the Philippines, with a look what's on the agenda today.

What can we expect from President Trump this morning?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, tonight, here in the Philippines is the easiest part. It's dinner that he is going to have and then he turns in for an early night. But the president, of course, a busy day tomorrow. He's got bilateral meetings scheduled with the prime minister of Australia, the prime minister of India. But, of course, the meeting that everyone is going to be looking at is, of course, the meeting with Rodrigo Duterte, the controversial leader of the Philippines.

And as we were talking about last hour, the big question in that meeting is, how forcefully will Donald Trump bring up the allegations of human rights violations that have been levied against the Duterte administration. Human rights groups around the world have been pointing the spotlight on this for well over a year now as Duterte administration has targeted not only drug dealers but drug users as well, with things like extrajudicial killings, overcrowding jails and it just has been a chorus of condemnation from across the world from human rights group.

The White House says that President Trump plans on bringing that up with President Duterte but the question, how forcefully does he do that? Does he make a public statement about that? And it's interesting all the more so because the White House also says that President Trump has a warm rapport with the president of the Philippines. And so, how does that complicate this issue moving forward? How willing will President Trump be to address these allegations?

We are expecting some protests during the day here in Manila tomorrow. There were small protests today, a hundred to 200 protesters that clashed slightly with police. We're expecting those numbers to grow here in Manila tomorrow and so, out on the street, there will be some protests inside. We'll have to wait and see with how forceful President Trump will bring up these ongoing allegations against the strong man that leads this country of the Philippines.

BLACKWELL: Or if he'll do that publicly, if he'll do it privately on a one-on-one with the president there of the Philippines. Matt Rivers for us in Manila, thank you so much.

PAUL: Now to the president's comments attacking North Korea overnight backtracking on whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election. CNN's Jeff Zeleny is live in Vietnam.

So, Jeff, as we look at -- I want to point to the right, live pictures of the ASEAN dinner and we'll waiting for President Trump's arrival.

So, Jeff, I just wanted to make it clear to our viewers as to what they're looking at. But the president has been on script all trip until the last few minutes.

Jeff, forgive me. I do want to take a full screen here and show our viewers President Trump has arrived, dressed in Philippine garb as all have been, and here he is as he shakes the hand of the first lady there and President Duterte, himself. They have met face-to-face just one in the last 48 hours here when they were at APEC.

Seemed to be comfortable meeting as they said. But what is to come is what is in question.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Just exchanging some pleasantries here with Duterte and the first lady. Just a quick photograph here.

The question, of course, is, will the president be forceful when it comes to the issue of human rights as Matt Rivers detailed there? Folks do not be fooled by the raw silk and smooth jazz. According to human rights associations, 6,000 to 10,000 people have been killed in that country under the man on the right you see his order in this war on drugs. Will that be something that the president brings up? Will he be forceful about that? We will see.

But the president has made plenty of news on Russia, on North Korea, in Vietnam, and during that news conference just a few hours ago.

PAUL: Which takes us back to Jeff Zeleny.

BLACKWELL: Absolutely.

PAUL: Jeff, weigh in here on what the -- what is lingering, I guess there after the president has left Vietnam where you are and is now moving on?

[07:05:01] But what is lingering from this trip thus far? What's still resonating?


The president did leave Hanoi, Vietnam, here to fly to Manila. And you are seeing those pictures there. He is making now the final stop of his Asia swing here. He'll be in Manila for the next two days before heading back to Washington.

But it is still the cloud of the Russian investigation certainly heightened by the brief meeting with Vladimir Putin on Saturday and again heightened earlier today in Vietnam during a news conference when the president seemed to change his tune a touch over his comments from yesterday when he said that Vladimir Putin believes that he did not meddle in the election in 2016.

And President Trump essentially said he took him at his word. And he went on to have some very tough words for the leaders of the U.S. intelligence agencies, the president did. Well, he walked that back and sided with them a little bit earlier today. Let's take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. I believe in our intel agencies, our intelligence agencies. I've worked with them very strongly.

There weren't 17 as was previously reported. There were actually four. But they were saying there was 17. There were actually four. But as currently led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.


ZELENY: So the president, again, qualifying his belief of what the U.S. intelligence community has said about Russian meddling in the election. But this comes up. He was doing a bit of cleanup there after he was flying here earlier on Saturday evening. He was pretty sharply critical of the leaders of the intelligence agencies in the Obama administration.

He used the word hacks to describe them and not let the CIA to issue a pretty extraordinary statement in saying they support the findings of that intelligence assessment. The president, again, qualifying saying only four agencies, not the full 17, endorse that.

We should point out that the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the DNI, that's the Department of National Intelligence, they all agree that Russia meddled in the election. The issue here that's under investigation is whether there was any collusion or coordination between the Trump campaign or Trump campaign officials and Russia. That is what is still to be determined here.

But all of this provoked strong condemnation from Senator John McCain who essentially accused the president of being naive in his dealings with Vladimir Putin. Let's take a look a bit of John McCain's statement if we have that here. He said Vladimir Putin does not have America's interest at heart. To believe otherwise is not naive but it places our national security at risk.

So, of course, John McCain there making some pretty pointed words toward the president all happening here in Vietnam as the president, of course, has left a few hours ago and is now on the ground in Manila --

PAUL: Jeff Zeleny, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Joining us to discuss, deputy managing editor of "The Weekly Standard", Kelly Jane Torrance, and political reporter at "The Washington Post", Eugene Scott.

Good morning to both of you.



BLACKWELL: All right. So, I want to talk about Russia and North Korea in a moment. But, first, let's talk about what is happening now and that is the Manila. You see President Trump there standing with a few of the world leaders. They are soon going to take this class photo here in this mushroom bisque colored raw linen shirt they are all wearing today. So, that's the photo we're going to get out of this. We saw the cobalt blue when they were at the APEC summit.

PAUL: Who knew, you're such a fashionista, Victor!

BLACKWELL: I'm on the colors this morning! I'm on them.


TORRANCE: (INAUDIBLE) having to see this!

BLACKWELL: All right, Kelly Jane. Thank you.

Let's start, though, with the question what will President Trump say, if anything, about the human rights abuses in this world, this war on drugs? There were 20 bipartisan members of the House who sent a letter to the president urging him to call out Vietnam for its what they called dismal human rights record. He did not. He's now on to the Philippines.

Kelly Jane, first to you. What really goes into, for this administration, the decision on what to prioritize when potentially confronting these world leaders as he goes from, you know, country-to- country? This is a serious concern for some.

TORRANCE: You kind of feel bad for the career diplomats who have been studying these issues and understand them. And this is the number one time they can bring attention to a lot of these human rights abuses. You've got the whole world watching as President Trump and other world leaders gather.

But the problem is the decision is made by the president, himself. And President Trump just doesn't seem to have no interest in human rights issues. He went to China and he is cuddling up basically to the President Xi there who is one of the worst human rights abusers on the planet.

[07:10:05] And, of course, when Turkey's Erdogan visited D.C., his bodyguards beat up some protesters outside the embassy and Donald Trump didn't say anything and talked about how much he respects Erdogan.

So, I'm sort of expecting the same thing to happen in the Philippines. It's sort of disappointing but it's actually the despots and dictators that Donald Trump seems to like the most around the world.

BLACKWELL: You see here the president at the center here, right next to the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

Eugene, to you. There was that call back in April where the president, the transcript was leaked to "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" in which he said, quote, I want to congratulate you because I'm hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. The White House tried to walk that back.

This president prioritizing personal relationships with world leaders as he often says about President Xi, Angela Merkel, and many of the other people who he's been critical of when out of their presence, or not in their presence, I should say.

SCOTT: Yes, absolutely. And voters I've spoken with have taken note of this. One the things that President Trump has been criticized for in his response to America's opioid epidemic is not providing clear details regarding how he plans to combat it and certainly he has been criticized for not providing adequate funding.

So, when he appears to praise Duterte for his handling of his country's drug epidemic, that sends alarms and red flags to many Americans because Duterte's approach has been considered broadly a violation of human rights. I mean, he has bragged about killing people himself, and he's been accused of handling people not just those guilty of selling drugs but those who are addicted which most public health experts now understand to be a mental health and substance abuse issue. He has responded by suggesting that killing them is the best solution. And so, let me make it clear that the Trump administration has never

said anything to suggest they affirm that, but they certainly have said -- praised him for his handling of the situation and I think that's caused alarm for many Americans.

BLACKWELL: All right. Eugene, Kelly Jane, stay with us. Quick break. You saw the wrap up there at the class photo there of the ASEAN.

We've got the president here. We'll see some of the people he is speaking with. We know that he has meetings scheduled with the prime minister of Australia and the prime minister of India. You just saw him, Narendra Modi, pass by there by the camera.

We'll see if there are any other sideline conversations. And we'll hear from the president himself.

Kelly Jane, Eugene, thanks so much. Quick break. We'll be back.


[07:17:02] PAUL: That's some nice music to wake up to, isn't it, or to sit down to dinner.

BLACKWELL: It is indeed there in Manila. It's 8:17 in the evening.

President Trump has just arrived. We've brought that to you live a few moments ago, and now, he and many other world leaders. There is Justin Trudeau of Canada, are sitting down for a dinner. They just to took their class photo. This, of course, is for ASEAN Summit there in Manila. This is the final leg of the president's 12-day trip through Asia. And we'll be talking about the headlines that he's made, many overnight.

Let's go to Matt Rivers who is also in Manila.

Detail for us, Matt, what is on, pardon the pun, on the table for the ASEAN Summit? What are they going to be discussing?

RIVERS: Yes, the president has a couple of big meetings during the day tomorrow. Tonight is just a class photo. They are sitting and have dinner and turn in relatively early.

Tomorrow, he's got bilateral meetings with the prime ministers of India and Australia, of course, as the headline a bit earlier, with Rodrigo Duterte. The Duterte meeting is by and away the most interesting meeting that we're going to be looking for. And as we mentioned, whether he publicly condemns what has been a relatively popular campaign here in the Philippines.

It's worth mentioning, President Duterte's approval ratings had been at 80 percent at some points. They're now down around 60 percent. But the fact is, the majority of the public here does support his war. So, it will be interesting to see how President Trump responds to that. It's not just about the war on drugs. You have to consider trade.

What's happened since Donald Trump and his administration came into office, one of the first things they did is pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership and that included countries here in Southeast Asia.

And so, how that effects -- what Donald Trump will try and do when he is here is make sure American economic influence remains a force to be reckoned with here in this part of the world, especially as China seemingly has stepped up and fill that vacuum, trying to negotiate other multilateral trade agreements that do not include the United States.

And so, really, those are the two things we're going to be looking for. How does President Trump handle his meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo :Duterte and also how successful will he be in making sure that American economic influence remains as high in this part of the world as it has in years past.

BLACKWELL: Yes, you mentioned the Trans Pacific Partnership and just this weekend, that partnership without the U.S. has continued to move forward. You have on your screen Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, arriving with the first lady, shaking hands with the president of the United States.

PAUL: And sitting down to dinner as we know as he said, they're going to be meeting tomorrow and the big question is, will they bring up human rights? The war on drugs, that so many humans rights groups, U.S. Congress, the E.U., the United Nations have all condemned Duterte's war on drugs.

You are looking at a man there who is accused of killing between 6,000 and 10,000 people or having them killed because they were either drug dealers, he says or because they were on drugs.

[07:20:08] And this 10,000 figure just since he was elected last year.

I believe he is going to speak here. Let's listen in.

PRES. RODRIGO DUTERTE, PHILIPPINES: Hello, leaders of ASEAN member states and dialogue partners, President Trump, Prime Minister Medvedev, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Fidel Ramos, sir, good evening.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and the other members of the senate president, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh, prestigious members of the diplomatic order, Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and others members of the cabinet present, distinguished guests, members of the house of representatives, other distinguished guests -- ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to Manila for the 31st ASEAN Summit and related summits. I am deeply honored to host this rare occasion when a number of the world leaders gathered here in celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. Last week, you all witnessed and joined us in paying tribute the golden anniversary of the founding of the association.

Tonight, likewise, president, we commemorate -- the committed (ph) gains that the ASEAN has achieved over the years under your leadership. Former presidents here and particularly their efforts toward the realization of the rules based people oriented community.

To our chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017, the Philippines has been guided by the theme "partnering for change, engaging the world", which captures ASEAN resolve to affect positive change in the lives of our people and assert our position in the global economy.

Beyond our regional borders, we, ASEAN citizens, are steadfast in building an ASEAN community what is united by shared history, values and aspirations. We continue to harmonize the three pillars of ASEAN community by strengthening economic integration and building a common identity, while embracing our uniqueness and diversity. ASEAN countries continue to engage the world from expounding, while establish the meaningful and constructive engagements with external partners anchored on ASEAN centrality.

As one as the founding members of ASEAN, the Philippines has witnessed and contributed to the development of ASEAN in the dynamic organization that is now.

I look forward to having constructive and substantive discussions with you, your majesty and your excellences.

PAUL: You are listening with us here, but you are listening there to the president of the Philippines. If you're just joining us, President Duterte, as he greets everyone to the ASEAN dinner that you're seeing there.

Interesting. He said the theme is partnering for change. Change is certainly something that many people are looking for from this president, this man you see standing there.

Matt Rivers, what is the hope for President Trump and not just for him but for other leaders who are there as to what they can accomplish at this meeting overall as they all give a toast here.

RIVERS: You know -- sure.

I mean, generally speaking, this is like a lot of other summits that we see around the world and that the criticism of it, it doesn't really accomplish a lot of tangible things, just like the criticism of the G-7, of the G-20. All these leaders get together. They take photo op, they make for a couple of bilateral meetings and then they all go home. That's the criticism of this.

But there is something to be said about the fact that there are personal relationships that are created between these leaders that can come in handy during times of crisis. But, you know, specifically looking at Rodrigo Duterte there and part of the reason why it's so interesting to hear him speak is because he stayed on script. And similar to President Trump in a sense that he is very well known for going off script and in a way, President Duterte makes Donald Trump look like an amateur in terms of going off-script.

[07:25:03] Some of the things we have heard out of Philippine president make what President Trump says look rather tame. I mean, it was just a couple of days ago that the president of the Philippines claimed that he murdered someone by stabbing them when he was 16 years old.

Last year around this time, he referred to President Obama using a curse word that was in a public forum. He does that all the time speaking about a wide range of things. He criticizes anyone who dares criticize him for the drug war that he has undertaken in this country.

And so, to see him stay on script there and stay on message is very interesting. How he goes into that meeting with President Trump tomorrow, certainly the most interesting part of tomorrow's festivities.

PAUL: Yes, as we see them conversing now, one of the other things he said that really caught people off-guard last year, in September 2016. He said Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now, there's million drug addicts in the Philippines and I'd be happy to slaughter them.


PAUL: So, speaking off the cuff, certainly, you never know what you're going to get from Duterte.

BLACKWELL: Matt Rivers there in Manila, thank you so much. And as that went down intentionally, we'll tell you, as they continue to have dinner here. No coincidence that President Trump was sat directly next to President Duterte. Same set up for the class photo a few moments ago.

We will continue with our coverage in just a moment. Stay with us here on NEW DAY.


[07:30:42] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We have been waiting for you here. It's Sunday, it's 7:30. Good morning. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

Take a look at, excuse me, some of the pictures that have come in. President Trump and President Duterte in the Philippines at the ASEAN dinner there. Just a short while ago clinking their glasses, holding a toast and sitting down to dinner. They're seated next to each other.

They will have a meeting later tomorrow after the president also has bilateral meetings there at the ASEAN summit with leaders of India, Australia, talking trade investment and innovation, cyber crime and human rights. That is what people are waiting to see, whether President Trump will bring it up regarding Duterte's war on drugs, a campaign that has been condemned by many, many groups, including many U.S. congressmen and the United Nations and the E.U.

BLACKWELL: Yes. So, what happens in the Philippines could really be overshadowed what happened in Vietnam, the president's latest comments especially. He not only attacked Kim Jong-un, but also former U.S. intelligence officials and refused to say definitively just straight to the camera that he thinks Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Joining me now is Rollie Flynn, former senior CIA executive and CEO of cybersecurity and Singa Consulting.

Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

ROLLIE FLYNN, FORMER SENIOR CIA EXECUTIVE: Very pleased to be here. Good morning.

BLACKWELL: All right. First, let's start with the president's comments on Russia and Putin, and the involvement in the 2016 election. The president at the -- during a gaggle said that the president was -- President Putin was really vehement about his denial and then kind of walked it back. Senator McCain released this statement saying, there's nothing America first about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community. Vladimir Putin does not have America's interest at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.

What's your assessment of what the president said and how does that resonate really with the career people in the intelligence community?

FLYNN: Well, I think the president clearly was doing sort of a shoot from the hip when he said -- made those comments and he quickly corrected them within hours. In terms of those comments, I think it's way more important to see what the president does. We have a serious situation in this country where it appears there was Russian meddling, Russian meddling in our election process and that's a serious problem that has to be corrected.

The president needs to take, and I hope he understands this, his leadership on this issue and ensure that our election systems are secure, that the meddling, the social media meddling influence operations really which experts do acknowledge existed. There need to be new procedures to figure out how to deal with those issues.

BLACKWELL: And you make a good point. Beyond morale, beyond disappointment potentially in the intelligence community it matters what the president does. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was just in front of the Senate a couple of weeks ago and in his reply to a question from Senator Ben Sasse when asked if the intelligence community was prepared for what could come in 2018 or 2020, Attorney General Sessions said probably not, in fact, no, the U.S. is not prepared.

So, how does the president's refusal or inability in some ways to just say Russia was involved, how does it affect the U.S. ability to get ready for 2018 and 2020? FLYNN: Well, there seems to be a disconnect between what the

president is saying in terms of the intelligence community's assessment of the meddling by Russia in the U.S. election process and the government itself appears to be trying to address this problem.

I think part of the problem is the government is big. The government is cumbersome, and there really need to be more of a public/private partnership to deal with what is, in effect, a multidimensional problem. It's not just protecting our election -- our election systems which luckily are a bit inefficient in that we don't have one national system and that it's each election system is controlled by each state, which in terms of if there were actual interference in the election results would help mitigate the damage, it wouldn't be quite as widespread.

[07:35:19] But the other issue in terms of influence operations, the intelligence community mostly focuses on actual collection of information and that's what they did in this case.


FLYNN: They were collecting and assessing what was going on.

BLACKWELL: Beyond election politics and Russia, let's broaden this conversation. Kirstjen Nielsen who is President Trump's nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security.

FLYNN: Right.

BLACKWELL: Just a few days ago during her confirmation said this and then we'll talk on the other side.


KIRSTJEN NEILSEN, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY NOMINEE: I believe one of the most significant for our nation's future is cyber security and the overall security and resilience of our critical infrastructure. The scope and pace of cyber attacks against our federal networks and the control systems that run our critical infrastructure are continually increasing with task growing ever more complex. Cyber criminals and nation states are constantly looking for ways to exploit our hyper connectivity and our reliance on I.T. systems.


BLACKWELL: So, in the context of cybersecurity is the U.S. prepared, or how much work does it have to do?

FLYNN: It has to do a great deal of work. It's really a cat and mouse game. It's very expensive to protect your systems and really cheap for those who want to attack them to penetrate them to undermine our security. And it does require, as I say, a multidimensional approach. Again, public/private partnerships and requires some creativity and the government as we know is not place where you want to look for technological creativity necessarily. BLACKWELL: Unfortunately. Rollie Flynn, former senior CIA executive,

thanks so much for your perspective this morning.

FLYNN: Thank you. Glad to be here.

PAUL: It is 7:37 on a Sunday morning. Just one week at this time after a gunman killed dozens of people in a Texas church there Sunday morning. Members are gathering there for their first church service since that attack. We are going to talk to a pastor on the other side of the break. Stay close.


[07:41:52] BLACKWELL: Well, later today, the Texas church where 25 people and an unborn child were killed will open to the public as a memorial. The congregation will hold its first church service since the tragedy in a nearby community center.

This is coming as the shooter's ex-wife says that he had demons or hatred inside of him. Here is how she described one terrifying encounter during their relationship.


TESSA BRENNAMAN, EX-WIFE OF TEXAS CHURCH GUNMAN: He had a gun in his holster right here and he took that gun out and he put it to my template and he told me, do you want to die? Do you want to die?


BLACKWELL: Well, the First Baptist Church of Southern Springs will be opened to the public at 5:00 p.m. today.

PAUL: I want to bring in Reverend Eric Manning. He is pastor of Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston. Remember, that's where nine people were gunned down two years ago. Reverend, thank you so much for being bus. We appreciate your insight here today.

Do you have any idea what it must be like for these people to walk into this church one week later, what they are dealing with today and if you were at the pulpit in front of them, what would you say to them?

REV. ERIC MANNING, PASTOR, MOTHER EMMANUEL AME CHURCH: Well, let me just continue to say that we continue to keep the church, First Baptist Church in prayer during this time. While I was not serving Mother Emmanuel at the time of the tragedy in June 17th, 2015, several members of the congregation that I have spoken, of course, throughout this past week. And I can only imagine the challenge they are facing at this particular point. But one thing that we will continue to encourage and remind them is that hatred will never win, that the level of God will continue to carry them through this time, as it has carried us as well.

PAUL: How do you make that point to people in their real everyday lives, as they stand in that place where perhaps they lost somebody that they love?

MANNING: Words cannot adequately express or explain how people will be feeling who are going through a particular trauma. And it would be challenging, of course, as always. And even though it is challenging' even though it is hard, we must continue to cling to our faith and cling to our hope and cling to our trust.

But, most importantly as well, continue to cling to the love of God that continues to inspire us and encourage us to do the very things that God has called us all to do. Suffering is mentally challenging.

PAUL: No doubt about it. The pastor there, Frank Pomeroy, his 14- year-old daughter was killed in the massacre. And he has said previously, he thinks one of the best ways to move forward would be to demolish that church and to build a memorial there.

[07:45:02] Do you agree that perhaps that -- that is a way to move forward, a way to heal?

MANNING: That is, of course, up to the particular pastor. I can only imagine what he is feeling or what he is going through, of course, with his daughter being one who was also brutally murdered. So, at this point I would basically, of course, just say the pastor would have to make that right decision. I would support him in whatever decision he would make.

PAUL: As one pastor from another, if you could sit down just with Pastor Pomeroy, what would you say to him today?

MANNING: I would first start by reaching across, grabbing him by the hand and praying with him. And as we would pray, I would just ask that the spirit of God continue to strengthen him and to equip him. I would never, of course, say that I understand exactly what he is going through but I will -- I would encourage him to remember that God is still very much in the midst and that the love of god will continue to carry him as he has carried us through this challenging season and his pastorate and his family.

PAUL: And as I have heard many people say, God will give us strength that we did not know we had in moments like these, in our weakness. Thank you so much, Pastor Manning, for being with us.

MANNING: You're very welcome.

PAUL: Absolutely. We'll be right back.

MANNING: Thank you for having us.


[07:51:11] PAUL: So, in this week's "Staying Well," I have to tell you, every morning I tell my kids, be a good friend and stay out of the drama. However, there is a mental health treatment called drama therapy, and it's being used to help children and adults work through problems, and they do this by role play. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: My name is Caelynn (ph). I'm 10 years old.

CASSANDRA HOLLIDAY, DAUGHTER HAS AUTISM: She is a very, very artistic kid. If I let her, she will draw all day. She didn't like to talk to a lot of people when she was younger. It's hard for her sometimes to identify other people's emotions.

Caelynn (ph) has been diagnosed with mild autism. The frustration levels would get to a point where she would just scream. I knew if I could find her a therapy that would meet her where she was, it would have a better chance of being successful for her.

AZIZI MARSHALL, THERAPIST: Drama therapy is the combination of psychology and theater and using them in a session. So when you're able to step into the role and play it out with your therapist, they're better able to play it out in their everyday life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really nervous. What if I don't make any friends?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I'm going make tons of friends.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tons of friends? What if they don't like me?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: That's OK. You just go with the flow.

RENEE EMUNAH, DRAMA THERAPY PIONEER: For some people, words are not sufficient. And language is difficult. Where else do we get a laboratory for real life without consequence?

HOLLIDAY: Drama therapy has been very successful for Caelynn.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: This year, I have a few friends, Trinity, Mea Bella and Aaliyah (ph).

HOLLIDAY: It's just amazing to watch.


BLACKWELL: All right.

Another cold day -- it's cold in here.

PAUL: I know.

BLACKWELL: Is somebody trying --

PAUL: I've been waiting for this.

BLACKWELL: Are there steaks we're trying to make sure stay fresh? I mean, it's 44 degrees.

PAUL: It is not 44 degrees.

BLACKWELL: Feels like it. PAUL: CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar, you tell us what's going on up there and then come tell us how cold it is in the studio.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, I was going to say, I'm in the same boat with you guys. I mean, I literally leave from here and run to my space heater. And I imagine many people in the northeast are doing the exact same thing.

Take, for example, New York City. They broke a record level on Friday, on Saturday and could do it again today. Now, when they broke it yesterday, that's the first time they've had two consecutive days of record lows in over 20 years. And, again, to think that they could do it yet again today, along with other 20 cities across the Northeast.

But it's not just there. You look at the Midwest. You look at the Southeast, we're also seeing the cold temperatures there, about 10 to 15 degrees below average.

Again, for example, around Atlanta, where the high may not make it to 50 degrees today. But I will say, there is going to be some warmth. It does gradually start to come back. It's going to take its time, though. It starts in areas of Texas, Oklahoma, and will push back towards the east.

Here's the thing, though. Even though we're going to get some of those milder conditions moving back into the forecast, it's actually just going to take a lot of places back to normal, per se. Not necessarily to warm temperatures. Again, here's Atlanta, for example. High today, barely making it to 50 degrees. Once we get to the end of the week, we'll get awfully close to around that 70-degree mark.

So, Victor, Christie, just kind of channel that near 70-degree temperature as you're sitting in the incredibly cold studio like I am.

PAUL: I'm fine with 50.


PAUL: It's fall. Supposed to be.

BLACKWELL: I'll take it.

PAUL: Allison, thank you so much.


PAUL: And thank you for joining us this morning. We hope you make good memories.

"INSIDE POLITICS" is up next.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but before we go, "SNL" had certainly something to say about the big stories we've been covering this weekend. Here's a look. We'll see you next week.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've been doing some controversial stuff! Wave a gun around on stage. Tell folks Muslims shouldn't be allowed in Congress. And that 9/11 was god's punishment for sodomy. I love it!

You check a lot of boxes for me, Roy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But this is really bad. I'm usually the creepiest one in the room, but I look at you, and I'm like, oh, my God. They say you even admitted to being with a couple of 16-year- olds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, come on, Jeff. You know I was just kidding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, well, that's a relief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, kidding is the term I use for dating young ladies.