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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Trump Won't Approve Release Of Democratic Memo; Trump Praises Porter Despite Domestic Abuse Allegations; Kim Jong-un Invites South Korean President To Pyongyang. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired February 10, 2018 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We wish him well. He worked very hard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The victims here are the women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no tolerance in this White House and no place in America for domestic abuse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a second White House official who has resigned over domestic abuse allegations, David Sorenson who is a speech writer for the administration.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that this will continue to dog the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In an unprecedented move, South Korean President Moon Jae-in shook hands with Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is significant. Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader has extended a personal invitation to the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. This morning, the White House should be celebrating a new budget deal or the vice president's trip to South Korea for the Olympics, but instead there is a new round of resignations at the administration, and there could be one more major resignation.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: In just one day, a second White House official accused of domestic abuse is out, the third in line at the Justice Department out, the deputy chief of staff is out, and the chief of staff himself is willing apparently now to leave.
BLACKWELL: Plus, any of the bipartisan spirit that was on Capitol Hill after the passing of the budget deal is old news now as President Trump blocked the Democrat's memo on the Russia investigation last night and now top Democrats are accusing him of trying to hide something.
PAUL: CNN's Abby Phillip is live at the White House for us this morning. Abby, good morning to you. The president said yesterday that the release would come soon. Hours later, it was blocked all together. Is there any indication that this will ever go public?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning. It is not clear what will happen with this memo now. The president has officially sent it back to Congress asking them to redact information that is deemed on to be national security risk. He says he consulted with the FBI and others about some of the information in the memo and found that there were sensitive pieces in the memo that needed to be taken out.
And he is leaving to Congress do that. One of the reasons is because the White House was already preparing to be accused of redacting parts of the memo for political purposes, but despite the president's move, it hasn't stopped Democrats from accusing him of using this memo for rank partisan purposes.
The Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer released a statement saying that the president has used a double standard here when it applies to the Democratic memo especially compared to how he dealt with the Nunes memo. This is the Republican version of the document that alleged FBI surveillance abuses.
The president had apparently made up his mind having not even seen the memo and he released it despite the FBI's concerns that it was inaccurate. So, now that it is back in the House, it is unclear whether Democrats will choose to go ahead and redact it or if they will simply let the memo die.
PAUL: All righty. And talk to us too about this other developing story, a second White House staffer resigning over allegations of domestic abuse.
PHILLIP: Really terrible story unfolding at the White House here this whole week. First, it was Rob Porter, the staff secretary, who resigned earlier this week on domestic abuse allegations.
And now David Sorenson, a speechwriter, who is out at the White House because his ex-wife detailed to the "Washington Post" that he physically abused her during their relationship.
Now, Sorenson is vehemently denying this, and he says in a statement that in fact I was the victim of repeated physical violence during our marriage, not her. He says he is considering his legal options, including for defamation.
The White House however is trying to get on top of this story after admitting that they handled the Porter allegations poorly this week. Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah released a statement upon Sorenson's resignation last night.
And he said that, "Before they were even contacted by the media, they learned that there were these allegations. We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today."
This story line is really not going away and now it has shifted a little bit into questions of whether senior White House aides including John Kelly, the chief of staff, White House Counsel Don McGahn should have done more.
But in the case of David Sorenson, even though these allegations are still playing out, the White House is really trying to put the brakes on it. He is out as of now. And I think will be litigating the details of this with his ex-wife out in the public but not from the White House.
PAUL: All right. Abby Phillip, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: All right. Joining me now is our CNN national security analyst, Samantha Vinograd. She worked in both Bush 43 and Obama White Houses and was a senior adviser at the National Security Council. Samantha, good morning to you.
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good morning.
[08:05:07] BLACKWELL: So, let me just read one sentence which I think sums up the justification from the White House on why this was not released, this is from White House Counsel Don McGahn back to chairman of House Intel, Devin Nunes.
"The Department of Justice has identified portions of the February 5th memorandum the disclosure of which it believes would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests." What do you make of the denial and the justification for that denial?
VINOGRAD: Victor, I always support the president listening to the Department of Justice. Particularly when they have significant concerns about what the impact of releasing this information would have on our national security. That is why information is classified.
But I do think that we're seeing a disturbing pattern of the president listening to his team when it suits his political or personal interests. We've seen this on these memos. He went ahead and released the Nunes memo despite the grave concerns that the Department of Justice had about its release.
We've also seen this when it comes to Russian election meddling. The president has chosen not to listen to his intelligence community, who has agreed that Russia interfered in our election, because it in some way makes it looks like he didn't really win the election. And you can't pick and choose when you take your adviser's advice.
BLACKWELL: So, it's selective deference from your perspective.
VINOGRAD: Selective deference for political or personal reasons, yes.
BLACKWELL: Let me read the response from the ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee Adam Schiff. Congressman Schiff says that, "After promising to treat the Democratic response in precisely the same way, the White House now seeks to have the Democratic memo sent back to committee and revised by the same majority that produced the flawed Nunes document to begin with."
So, I'm going to ask you, just from a political perspective here, do you expect that that process will happen that the American people will at any time see this Democratic memo?
VINOGRAD: I don't think we know, but Victor, when I listen to all of this, what I really think is this couldn't have worked out better for Vladimir Putin. Keep in mind that this House Intel Committee is supposed to be working on an investigation into Russian election interference.
And it is just a fact that anytime the House Intel Committee spends on the Nunes memo, on this Democratic memo, they are not spending doing their other job again including investigating Russian election interference or looking at our cybersecurity.
There are so many other issues to work on and so I do expect that the committee is going to go through this memo, look at the advice from the White House and see what with happen. But that is time that they are not spending on all these other issues.
BLACKWELL: Yes, there is certainly work to do beyond bouncing between the Republican's memo and the Democrat's memo. Samantha Vinograd, thanks so much for being with us.
PAUL: So, CNN contributor, Adam Entous, is with us as well as Jan Christiansen, the executive director of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. And we want to bring this back and pivot to the Rob Porter situation.
Especially in light of the fact that we now have David Sorenson, the speech writer, as we've been saying, who has also now resigned himself, that happening overnight. First of all, your reaction to it seems like this swinging door policy of people coming and going OUT and they have this domestic violence background. It seems to be that the White House is ignoring it.
JAN CHRISTIANSEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GEORGIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Well, you know, I think there are several reactions that I have. One is I'm not surprised and not because it is the White House and this administration, but because we know that domestic violence cuts across all political bounds, all socioeconomic bounds.
PAUL: Nobody is immune.
CHRISTIANSEN: Nobody is immune. But it is disturbing that it seems that people knew, that Mr. Kelly knew, and that for a long time, and that there were problems with Mr. Porter's security clearance. And now there is another person being accused. So, it is really disturbing.
PAUL: Adam, what do you make of the very swift movement of David Sorenson immediately resigning and getting out of the way as opposed to what we know about Porter and the fact that the FBI had looked into this and they had mentioned to the White House -- the FBI even talked to their ex-wives and yet he was there for at least a year.
ADAM ENTOUS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I think obviously there is an effort on the part of the White House to try to address this more quickly after initially not moving quickly with regard to Porter. I think what is really interesting here, at least from my standpoint, is the FBI's role.
Obviously in the case of Porter, he had access to the most classified information possible and was doing so without having the permanent clearance because the FBI was still adjudicating his clearance and it was held up in part because of these issues.
So, what is really puzzling here is why is the FBI taking so long to address these cases and why isn't the White House moving more quickly to try to deal with these issues as they become more aware of them.
[08:10:12] PAUL: Well, it is interesting because Vice President Pence overnight in an interview said that he was appalled and did not know about the allegations. President Trump yesterday, of course, said that -- he spoke out on Porter and finally said remember that the man said he was innocent, that he was a good worker.
But listen to what President Trump said just a few months ago, November 2017 when he was talking about -- I think he was asked a question about Roy Moore and that situation. Listen to what he said about women then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, what is your message to women? This is a pivotal moment in our nation's history.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Women are very special. I think it is a very special time because a lot much things are coming out and I think that is good for our society. And I think that it is very, very good for women. And I'm very happy a lot of these things are coming out and I'm very happy it's being it exposed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: He was happy it was being exposed in that particular case. Not one word about women yesterday when asked about Porter. What do you as an advocate want to hear from the president?
CHRISTIANSEN: I want to hear that it will not be tolerated in his administration, that when he hears about domestic violence, domestic abuse, that there will be swift action and that it will not be tolerated in his administration.
PAUL: So, Adam, I wanted to ask you too about Vice President Biden. I want to listen to what he said after hearing President Trump's message yesterday about Porter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just read that before I walked on stage, a statement from the president saying he wishes him luck. He has so much talent. That is like saying that ax murder out there, he is a great painter. No, translate this into everyday terms. Is there any other crime, and it is a crime, where there would be an explanation that the reason why we shouldn't pay attention to the transgression is because they are good at something?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Two questions, one, do you think that the president is going to change tone here at all, and, two, in light of David Sorenson leaving, that immediate resignation and all the resignations and the people that have been leaving in the last few weeks, do you believe that the approval process to fill these positions will get more stringent?
ENTOUS: Well, I think that part of the reason Kelly was brought in as chief staff was to try to bring a greater structure and order to the White House. And clearly, what we've seen with these revelations in recent weeks and frankly the chaos hasn't really stopped within the White House.
The reason why the FBI does these background checks and the reason why Porter's clearance was held up is because they are concerned that if they find something like this in somebody's background, it could be used as leverage against that person by a foreign on intelligence service to try to blackmail them in order to try to get access to information.
That is why the FBI gets involved in looking at these sorts of allegations when they do these background checks. How the process goes forward obviously the White House will have to be very sensitive to this and to move more quickly, which we're seeing more of now.
PAUL: Jan, one of the things that I think people have a hard time reconciling is they see one person publicly and they don't see them privately when these stories come out. Jennifer Willoughby's story is about what she went through with Rob Porter were heartbreaking and people were saying this is not the man I know.
But we do know the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality exist. How do we shift the perception to -- yes, there may not be proof right away that there was domestic abuse, but we have to recognize that there is not proof either?
CHRISTIANSEN: Right, right. So, what we know about domestic violence is that it goes on behind doored where no one else can see. Most batterers are not out battering their neighbors or bosses, or co- workers. We know that it is insidious inside the home. So, there are many pillars of the community who are batterers and you would never know. Just as Mr. Porter apparently a great worker, but --
PAUL: Even his wife said he is great at his job.
CHRISTIANSEN: Right. And so, there is that you never know. You never know. You know, you could be sitting next to somebody on the train who is a batterer.
PAUL: But do you think that that's changing? That we're giving more credence to what women say, are we entering a new era here?
[08:15:06] CHRISTIANSEN: I believe we are, and I certainly hope we are and I hope it continues. You know, we need to tell women that we believe them, that we believe them on every level that when they are telling stories of abuse, that we are there and we're going to listen, and we believe them.
PAUL: Because we have to remember it is not easy to talk about that. Not an easy thing to admit. Thank you so much.
CHRISTIANSEN: Thank you so much.
PAUL: Jan Christiansen, we appreciate it. Adam Entous, appreciate you as well. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Rachel Brand, third ranking official at the Justice Department is leaving to take a job at Walmart. Walmart says that she will be their executive vice president for global governance.
Now as an associate attorney general, she was third from the top at the DOJ behind Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein. Now, if you heard her name before, it is probably in the context of any potential firing of Rod Rosenstein, you see he oversees now the Russia investigation, which is led by Bob Mueller.
And if he were to be fired, that position would go Rachel Brand to oversee the investigation. Now it is unclear who would take his place, Rosenstein's place, if he is fired.
PAUL: An olive branch of sorts from North Korea. Kim Jong-un's sister inviting the South Korean president to visit North Korea, Pyongyang, on behalf of the Korean leader. What is her role in this secretive hierarchy and how does the North/South Korea affect the U.S.?
BLACKWELL: Plus, we are getting some new insight into the mind of a murderer, a mass murderer. What an autopsy report reveals about the man behind the Las Vegas massacre that left dozens dead and hundreds injured.
PAUL: And Toronto police are looking for answers after six bodies were found at a home once landscaped by a suspected serial killer. The community investigators say the man targeted, that is coming up.
PAUL: So, the Winter Olympic games are on in South Korea, just won its first gold medal in the men's speed skating finals. Right now, the unified North and South Korean ice hockey team is playing its first match. BLACKWELL: And there is, of course, a lot more happening today. It is early, biathlon, ski jumping. We'll keep you updated on the medal count throughout the day.
PAUL: And history is being made at this year's Winter Olympics not just on the ice but off. North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un has invited the South Korean president to visit Pyongyang. He extended this historic invitation through his sister, Kim Yo-jong.
BLACKWELL: All right. She is visiting South Korea obviously for the games and had lunch with the South Korean president earlier. Let's go now to CNN's Will Ripley live from PyeongChang. And Will, you broke this story about this historic invitation. Tell us more and starting with if it was accepted.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, we got the indication when North Korea was hosting that military parade that was originally planned according to sources to be quite large but was scaled down that Kim Jong-un was changing his tone when he gave a speech, he didn't use the word nuclear when he talked about North Korea.
He referred to his country as a military power. And sources told me at that time that they believed he was sending his sister, Kim Yo-Jong here to South Korea on a diplomatic mission and that mission to try to warm up the South Koreans and drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States.
You had Vice President Pence arrive on the ground here. He met with North Korean defectors. He blasted Kim Jong-un and his regime. He brought along with him, Fred Warmbier, whose son died just six days after being released from North Korean custody.
And yet, Moon Jae-in was busy shaking hands with members of the North Korean delegation not only Him Yo-Jong, the younger sister of Kim Jong-un, but also Kim Yang-nam, the ceremonial head of state.
He hosted a dinner for those two high-level North Korean officials. Vice President Pence skipped that dinner because he had a previously scheduled commitment. He had a dinner with the U.S. Olympians.
And then of course at the opening ceremonies, they all sat together. President Moon shook hands once again with the high-ranking North Korean delegation and then it was today when they had a lunch together with the North Koreans that the offer was made by Kim Jong-un's sister for President Moon of South Korea to travel to North Korea to visit the country.
And this is something that he has said he has wanted to do. He thinks that engaging with North Koreans is the right idea even as the Trump administration says that South Korea should disengage, that they shouldn't fall for this so-called charm offensive because from the United States view point, North Korea is still developing nuclear weapons, still potentially going to test weapons, to launch missiles.
And they think that North Korea needs to be isolated, needs to be cut off and they want President Moon to do that, but the decision that he has made is pretty of the exact opposite. He will further engage with the North. He is willing to visit North Korea. We don't know when that will happen.
But we don't know what the North Koreans want out of this, do they want better economic conditions, lifting of sanctions, further delay of joint military exercises? All of this development puts the United States in a tough spot because it makes it hard for the Trump administration to say that they have a strong alliance with South Korea to crackdown and be tough on the North when in fact South Korea is engaging and possibly going to be visiting with Kim Jong-un.
BLACKWELL: Yes. I think the first test of that potentially will be to see if those military exercises are resumed between the U.S. and South Koreans, something that the North Koreans have hated for many years. Will Ripley for us there in PyeongChang, thanks so much.
PAUL: And still ahead, the future of democracy in the Trump era, there is a new book that calls the president's actions authoritarian and says he is leading the country down a dangerous path. We'll talk to the author about it.
BLACKWELL: Plus, an autopsy reveals new details about the gunman who opened fire on the Las Vegas strip and what was in his system at the time of that attack.
PAUL: So glad to have with us here. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Saturday to you.
PAUL: So, President Trump denies the release of a Democratic memo on the Russia probe saying that it was just too much sensitive information. This, of course, even though the Republicans were able to have their memo released just last week and that was against the wishes of the FBI.
BLACKWELL: And a lot happened on this same day, more departures, third in line at the Justice Department gone, a second White House official in three days accused of domestic abuse is also gone. Deputy chief of staff is out of that position, and Chief of Staff John Kelly says he would be willing to leave as well if the president wants him to.
PAUL: So, Donald Trump's presidency, it has some critics raising the question is our democracy in danger, specifically Harvard professors, who studied democracies for decades because they say the answer is yes.
BLACKWELL: So, they argue that President Trump shows signs of a politician with authoritarian tendencies because he rejects democratic rules, denies the legitimacy of opponents and tolerates violence and restricts civil liberties. Harvard professor and co-author of "How Democracies Die," Daniel Ziblatt, joins us along with CNN political commentator and former senior adviser to the Trump campaign, Jack Kingston.
Good morning to both of you.
JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So we just listed off --
DANIEL ZIBLATT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: Daniel, those four criteria. And you believe that President Trump meets those. Is the -- I'm going to ask the headline question here. Is the president from your perspective a threat to our democracy?
ZIBLATT: Well, we wrote this book "How Democracies Die" really inspired in part by the campaign and that checklist that you just gave us during the campaign season. During 2015-2016 campaign season, he went after the media, he condoned violence at election rallies, he said he wouldn't necessarily accept the results of the election.
So this was all talk and many people have said, well, you know, take it easy, this is only talk. But we having looked around the world, this set off alarm bells for us because we've seen when democracies die around the world often political leaders come to power displaying these same tendencies.
Now certainly once in office it's a different question, but this at least should make citizens and potential allies of the president nervous.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: So, Jack, when you listen to the president, because let's face it, words matter at the end of the day. He's the president, even his tweets are considered to be official statements from the president. Do you see him edging toward demeaning democracy in some way or disintegrating it?
KINGSTON: No, I don't. I have to say to the professor, my dad actually went to -- got a PhD from Cornell so maybe I can talk a little bit about Ivy League politics. But notoriously Ivy tower, isolated liberalism that's not tested.
If you want to look at violence, why aren't we looking at antifa? Why aren't we looking at the violence of the resistance who are denying the election results? How come the conversations of eastern liberalism always conveniently leaves that out and then finds things about Donald Trump?
He is moving on. He has got a great Cabinet. He has a great agenda. And --
(CROSSTALK) BLACKWELL: Jack, wait a minute. Jack, Jack, I was going to let you -- I was going to let run there, but to characterize the president as moving on when he -- I don't -- I've got to check this. He tweets about Hillary Clinton at least every month of his presidency and he's almost 13 months in. Moving on is not objectively the way to describe President Trump's --
KINGSTON: She won't go away and neither will Joe Biden. Joe Biden is out there now. I mean, Hillary Clinton shows up at the Grammys reading a book. I mean, come on, she's not exactly taking --
PAUL: -- but nothing to do with politics.
ZIBLATT: -- for a second?
BLACKWELL: Go ahead -- go ahead, Daniel.
ZIBLATT: Can I get in here for a second? I mean, one of the things that, you know, the president recently did accusing his Democratic members of Congress of treason for not standing at the State of the Union --
KINGSTON: And you really think --
ZIBLATT: Again it's only words but it's dangerous words.
PAUL: Jack, hold on. Hold on.
BLACKWELL: One at a time. One at a time. We'll let you respond. Go ahead first, Daniel.
KINGSTON: Professor, Maxine Waters and all the other Democrats have never used violent terms that a Bernie Sanders guy was so inspired that he comes down and he shoots members of Congress.
BLACKWELL: But you can't blame that on Bernie Sanders. Come on, Jack. That's a step too far.
KINGSTON: But all the liberals were always saying, oh, that is because of the Trump rhetoric that has happened. The only rhetoric that I know -- well, excuse me, it's not the only one, but the most striking example of rhetoric that caused violence was this Bernie Sanders nut. And I would not blame that on Bernie Sanders. I think that some of this is just --
BLACKWELL: OK. Objectively again, Jack, that's just inaccurate. There is a difference between -- and we'll get back to democracies -- how democracies die. But when you point out that a person who supported Bernie Sanders shot a member of Congress, Bernie Sanders never said, go out and shoot a member of Congress. President Trump as a candidate did say, I'd like to punch them in the face, and if you hit one of these guys who wants to throw a tomato, I'll pay your legal fees. So there is a difference there. But let's get back to the list of --
ZIBLATT: Can I --
BLACKWELL: Go ahead, Daniel.
KINGSTON: Victor, let me just --
BLACKWELL: Wait, wait, wait. We can't -- one at a time. Daniel, go ahead. And then we'll have --
ZIBLATT: Excuse me. So, you know, the point that we make in our book is that when powerful politicians use this kind of rhetoric, it's dangerous on its own, but it also provokes a counter reaction. We look around the world when authoritarian leaders make -- use this kind of rhetoric that Democratic opposition radicalizes and you get a kind of spiraling politics exactly the kind of thing Mr. Kingston is worried about.
And so the president has this particular responsibility to behave a responsible way to not provoke that kind of cycle. We look at inter- war Europe, we look at Latin America in the 1960s and '70s.
[08:35:05] This kind of polarized rhetoric that Mr. Kingston frankly is using right now is exactly a kind of predictable response to this kind of politics. And the president has a particular moral responsibility to stand up and not engage in that kind of rhetoric.
KINGSTON: Let me ask you this. Did you use that -- did you cite an example when President Obama has said they're going to get their knives and we're going to get our guns, or was that because it was Barack Obama, we can't use that? Did you use that? Was that in your book? Did you use that, sir?
ZIBLATT: Yes, so in our book we go --
KINGSTON: Did you use that quote?
ZIBLATT: We go through violations of --
KINGSTON: Did you use that quote?
ZIBLATT: Should I answer the question?
KINGSTON: It's a yes or no. Did you use that quote or not? Because I've got to tell you --
ZIBLATT: Yes -- no, and I'm telling you what we say.
PAUL: Jack, let him answer.
ZIBLATT: In the book we point to instances of violations of democratic norms including the use of executive orders under President Obama. So, you know, we're not -- this is not for social scientists. There's a way to try to be neutral.
KINGSTON: But not that quote.
ZIBLATT: And that's what we're trying to --
KINGSTON: But that quote -- that quote, which I got to say --
ZIBLATT: Why we can't have just an open discussion about this without engaging in this kind of rhetoric is part of the problem. This is exactly --
KINGSTON: That quote, though -- that quote, though, was conveniently left out of your discussion. I mean, I've got to tell you, as a conservative frankly, it bothered me. It bothered me that the president would use rhetoric like that. But it didn't bother you, though, because he is somebody who you happen to agree with most of the time.
PAUL: No, I think, Jack, what it shows is that every president -- somebody has a problem with whatever any president says depending on what side of the aisle they're sitting on. I mean, there's no doubt about that. But when we look at President Trump in this particular case, we wanted to get a question to you about what has happened overnight, the speechwriter that has left the presidency, the administration now, because he has been accused of domestic abuse and in his defense we have to say he said he was actually the victim of domestic abuse. It was not him against his ex-wife. But he immediately resigned.
That is very different than what we have seen from the president when it came to Rob Porter, a man who the FBI had said, look, there could be some problems here, both of his ex-wives say that he was a domestic abuser. They had a criminal complaint from the second ex-wife that she had filed and yet this man was given security clear to some degree, not full clearance, but some security clearance.
And he was right next to the president that whole year. That they knew about it. What do you say about when you just said -- we started and you said he's got a great administration. That administration is losing people left and right it seems just in the last week. How can the president remedy this in your opinion, Jack?
KINGSTON: Well, let me say one thing that they should do is audit everybody's background from the very beginning and why that wasn't done is beyond me. And I think frankly it is unexcusable. I would say that probably in the case of -- this was somebody who was hired by Reince Priebus and Kelly somewhat inherited him, he apparently a great demeanor in the White House which is typical, by the way, of wife abusers, that there is a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde side to them, where they're charming, they're smart, they know how to cover it up.
And perhaps even said listen, this was 15 years ago, I've rehabbed, I'm a different guy now. We don't really know when Kelly knew or what he knew. There was an unidentified senior Washington person who said, well, Kelly and McGahn knew. We really don't know who that person is or what they knew. But I'm not going to give them a pass on that. It's their business to know the background of everybody particularly who are handling classified information. So I think there was obviously a mistake.
BLACKWELL: Well, Don McGahn knew early in 2017. They came -- the FBI came back to the White House. General Kelly knew several times throughout 2017 and did make -- did not make the decision to fire him. That's not just a "Washington Post" reporting. That is CNN's reporting that General Kelly knew months ago and other outlets have as well.
Jack Kingston, Daniel Ziblatt, the book is "How Democracies Die." Thank you so much both for being with us.
PAUL: Thank you, gentlemen.
KINGSTON: Thank you.
ZIBLATT: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right.
PAUL: All right. Listen, Toronto police are digging for answers after the remains of six men police say targeted from the gay community were found in a gruesome crime scene. What police know about the suspected serial killer. That's coming up.
[08:43:56] PAUL: Well, the Las Vegas gunman who carried out the deadliest shooting in modern history had anti-anxiety drugs in his system.
BLACKWELL: Stephen Paddock's autopsy also shows he died of a self- inflicted gunshot wound to the head. This was after he started shooting on thousands of people during a country music concert last year. 58 people were killed, roughly 500 people were injured.
Now police found Paddock dead inside his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Authorities have not released a motive for the massacre but Paddock was known as a gambler who visited Las Vegas casinos frequently.
PAUL: And listen to this, as the snow melts in Toronto, police have discovered the remains of six men buried in various homeowner's yards, but all linked to a suspected serial killer. Police believe Bruce McArthur, a landscaper, buried his victim's remains in multiple clients' yards and potted plants across the city.
Here is CNN's Polo Sandoval.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This weekend, Toronto Police are digging for answers at a home once landscaped by a suspected serial killer. It was here that investigators say Bruce McArthur used large planters to store his murdered victims, all of them, men.
[08:45:07] Among them, Andrew Kinsman missing since June. Investigators confirmed Kinsman was among six sets of remains found in planters this week. The rest are still unidentified. Though police won't elaborate, they say homicide detectives had sufficient evidence to charge McArthur with the murders of Kinsman and four other missing men.
SGT. HANK IDSINGA, TORONTO POLICE: There is an extensive digital investigation going on. We're going through computers. We're going to through cell phones. We're going through online applications.
SANDOVAL: There could be more victims yet to be discovered. Additional potential crime scenes have been identified, and the soil at the primary location is slowly thawing, allowing forensic teams a chance to dig. As one retired Toronto homicide detective puts it, the work is just getting started for investigators.
DAVID PERRY, FORMER HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: Once they've got evidence that, you know, clearly he was responsible for at least a number of the murders, that's the beginning of the investigation and now you have a case that involves at least 30 potential crime scenes that involves missing persons' cases that could go back decade.
SANDOVAL: It's an unprecedented case for Toronto, says David Perry, one that's left a community and a city shaken to its core.
PERRY: There's a community that's been harmed significantly by what's happened, and it happens to be the gay community in particular. We all need to throw our support behind that entire community, behind the entire city who this has impacted.
PAUL: And we'll keep you posted on that. Meanwhile want to tell you about a Tennessee sheriff who was caught on tape ordering deputies to, quote, "take out" a suspect they were chasing -- they were chasing him over a suspended license. And when deputies tried to ram Michael Dial truck off the road with their patrol cars, the sheriff ordered for the suspect to be taken out by any means necessary.
Dial was shot in the head, killed by a deputy and when the sheriff arrived on the scene, his conversation was picked up by a body camera. Listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told him, I said, take him out. I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not long after that, I heard shots fired, shots fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said, don't ram him, shoot him. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) tear my cars up, but I got two cars tore up again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: The suspect, Michael Dial, was not armed at the time of his death. His wife is suing the sheriff's department now after the release of that audiotape.
BLACKWELL: This year's deadly flu season is raging across the U.S. and the CDC says there is no end in sight. What you need to know about vaccine shortages. That's next.
PAUL: First, though, Patty Hearst, the victim of one of America's most bizarre kidnapping, remember? Well, tomorrow CNN's new original series, "The Radical Story of Patty Hearst," reveals her transformation from heiress to terrorist and back again.
Here's a preview.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER (voice over): Before the O.J. Simpson trial captivated a nation, there was Patty Hearst. As the granddaughter of publishing giant William Randolph Hearst, her kidnapping in 1974 considered the crime of the century.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was so extraordinary.
JARRETT: Born into wealth and power, Hearst grew up in Hillsborough, a quiet, affluent suburb of San Francisco. For college, she headed to Berkeley, where she walked the streets that bore her name. She lived off campus with her boyfriend, Steven Weed, a former teacher at her high school.
(On camera): It was the couple's engagement announcement in her family's newspaper, "The San Francisco Examiner," which first drew the attention of a small radical terrorist group that called itself the Symbionese Liberation Army or SLA.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They pushed me back, shouting, get your face on the floor.
JARRETT (voice over): Hearst was kidnapped from her apartment by the SLA on February 4th, 1974.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patricia Hearst was a symbolic target. She was an heiress. JARRETT: Locked in a closet for nearly two months, Hearst says she
was blindfolded, beaten and raped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But what did it do to a 19-year-old mind?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it just completely -- it was gone.
JARRETT: Hearst reappeared in April of 1974 on surveillance footage holding a rifle. She and the SLA robbing a bank in San Francisco.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was still a kid. Patty Hearst was a survivor.
JARRETT: The heiress turned terrorist was no longer seen as a victim, but a fugitive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patty Hearst emerged from the closet as Tonia.
JARRETT: Nineteen months after she was kidnapped, Hearst was arrested, along with the few remaining members of the SLA. Six others had died months earlier in a blazing shootout with the Los Angeles Police, broadcast live on TV, very new for television.
Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her role in robbing Hibernia Bank. The public remains divided as to whether Hearst was a victim of brainwashing or a willing participant.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, AUTHOR, "AMERICAN HEIRESS": She was on the run for a year and a half with many opportunities to leave and escape. And she didn't.
[08:50:09] JARRETT: Yet she would serve just under two years in prison before President Carter commuted her sentence in 1979.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any doubt that none of this would have happened if she hadn't been kidnapped?
JARRETT: After Hearst was released, she married the man tasked with protecting her during her trial. President Clinton issued her a full pardon in 2001.
BLACKWELL: The CDC says instead of peaking, this year's deadly flu season is only getting worse.
PAUL: Can you believe it? The flu is blamed for 63 children's deaths thus far. One doctor says it is spreading like wildfire with more than 151,000 cases in 48 states and Puerto Rico. Well, this year's flu numbers are on track to break hospitalization records for people who are aged 55 to 64 and the CDC says there is still a shortage of antiviral vaccines and there are likely many more weeks of misery ahead. Just so you know. And did you know that doctors have drawn a link between heart attacks
and the flu? In today's heartbeat, Elizabeth Cohen talks about how the flu vaccine could have benefits beyond preventing the flu.
DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The flu vaccine isn't just a weapon against sniffles and the fever, it could also lower the chance of having a heart attack for people of high risk.
[08:55:08] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When somebody comes into the hospital with a heart attack, it's not uncommon that this individual has had some type of a viral illness or process in the recent past.
COHEN: In one study of people 35 and older, heart attack risks jumped six times within a week of coming down with the flu. In patients with cardiovascular disease, the vaccine may be as effective against heart attacks in the short term as quitting smoking or taking medications for high blood pressure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every single one of our patients who has heart disease, part of our process is to discuss a flu vaccine. Not just to prevent the flu, but as a means of preventing a heart problem.
COHEN: And another benefit? If you don't get the flu, you won't give it to anyone else.
Elizabeth Cohen, CNN reporting.
BLACKWELL: All right. That is it for us. We'll see you back here at 10:00 for CNN NEWSROOM.
PAUL: No doubt. "SMERCONISH" is with you after just a quick break. Stay close.