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Trump Ditches Rally Script, Hypes Death Penalty, Rips Oprah; NYT: Trump Looking to Add Impeachment Lawyer to White House Team; Official: Trump Gave "About 5 Minutes" of Prepared Speech; Deadly Nerve Agent Traces Found At Bar and Restaurant. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired March 11, 2018 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kellyanne --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're growing up just to be like me. Maybe even better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, of course, there's hella crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't cry. I have nothing in me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is U.S. This is real.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Keep America great, exclamation point. Keep America great.

North Korea is tough. They are testing nuclear weapons. We may sit down and make the greatest deal for the world.

Open up the barriers and get ready for your tariffs and if you don't do, we are going to tax Mercedes-Benz. We're going to tax BMW.

I'd love Oprah to win. I'd love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness.

Women, we love you! We got 52 percent, right? Fifty-two.

REPORTER: Mr. President, do you have a relationship with a woman named Stormy Daniels?

TRUMP: Remember how I said it would be easy to be presidential? You would be so bored because I could stand up, right?

I'm very presidential. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here tonight.

That's much easier than doing what I have to do.



ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you.

President Trump back on the campaign trail, back in his comfort zone, speaking at a big crowd there in Pennsylvania.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. He was unplugged a little bit, let's say, as he took the stage in Pennsylvania last night. He was there to endorse GOP candidate Rick Saccone, and he stayed on script for, as we're told, just about five minutes.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the other 75 minutes, not so much. He talked about the death penalty for drug dealers, political attacks, and 20/20 talk about Oprah and his campaign theme. There were a lot of things he talked about, except Stormy Daniels. The president was asked about the adult film star before leaving for Pittsburgh.


REPORTER: Mr. President, did you have a relationship with a woman named Stormy Daniels?


PAUL: CNN's Jeremy Diamond is in Washington with more this morning.

What is the word for Washington after this big rally here, Jeremy?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, the president hitting the campaign trail last night, offering us all perhaps a little bit of a preview what to expect in 2018, frankly, the midterms are looking on lot like the 2016 presidential campaign. The president faced with the task of boosting a struggling Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, a district the president won by about 20 points in 2016.

Well, the president offered his characteristic stump speech, free wheeling in nature, of course, that included everything from his boasts, some falsehood, of course, as we can typically expect from this president, as well as his airing of grievances including against the news media.

But the president touted two of his major announcements in the last week. First of all, his imposition of steel tariffs/aluminum tariffs, which are very popular in that Pittsburgh district, which is, of course, at the heart of the Rust Belt and agreeing to an unprecedented meeting with North Korean's leader Kim Jong-un. The president also appearing to preview policy, some policy at least that he hopes to enact and one very controversial at that. That would be the death penalty for drug dealers.


TRUMP: The only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness. When I was in China and other places, by the way, I said, Mr. President, do you have a drug problem? No, no, no, we do not. I said, huh, big country, 1.4 billion people, right? Not much of a drug problem.

I said, what do you tribute that to? Well, the death penalty. I think it's a discussion we have to start thinking about, don't you think? I don't know if you're ready.


DIAMOND: The president was also focused on the 2020 campaign, that is his re-election campaign, of course, thinking about the potential opponents there. It's clear the president is focusing on Oprah Winfrey who, of course, has suggested in recent days she is not likely to run but the president is already prepared.


TRUMP: Oh, I'd love Oprah to win. I'd love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness. No, no, I know her weakness. I know her weakness.

Wouldn't we love to run against Oprah? I would love it. I would love it. That would be a painful experience for her.


DIAMOND: That's not all the president had to say about the 2020 campaign. He also previewed his slogan for his re-election bid he said is keep America great with an exclamation point at the end.

[07:05:08] BLACKWELL: You can't forget the exclamation point there. Jeremy Diamond, thanks so much.

Now, let's bring in Samantha Vinograd, CNN national security analyst, Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst, and Brian Stelter, CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES".

Good morning, everybody.

PAUL: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: So, Julian, let me start with you. Not every election since the president's inauguration got the president there. Now, this was, I could say maybe in tertiary level about Rick Saccone. Look at the crowd, look at the video up there, they are "Women Vote Trump" signs and "Make America Great Again" signs and Trump t-shirts.

But why was the president there, how important was this rally to the -- how important is this race, I should say, to the president?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the seat, itself, night mot matter because of the redistricting. But the perception matters a lot. If Republicans lose or they barely win in a district that was so heavily in favor of the president in 2016 and now how has all of these Republicans coming to help, including the president, it will look like a wave election is possible and build enthusiasm among Democrats, it will deflate a lot of Republicans.

So, I think that is why this special election has become so important. And as we saw yesterday, this is now a launching pad for the president's 2020 campaign and he is going to use the midterms that way and, in many ways, more important for him than the actual outcome.

PAUL: Samantha, he did mention North Korea and said that they are going to have this meeting. He doesn't know what is going to happen from it, but this we have to be very nice. Then he went on to -- as I understand, spent the first ten minutes on North Korea and he did mention former Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton saying they did nothing. They didn't go, they didn't talk.

What if North Korea talks don't go anywhere is his win in, I tried?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I don't know what the president's point with all of that was last night. Look. The president cannot stay on script during a friendly campaign rally in the United States, I think there are valid concerns about how he is going to do in a high stakes negotiation with Kim Jong-un who we know is going to be trying to throw him off of his talking points.

And this is where John Kelly comes in, I think. As chief of staff, there are two scenarios here. Either John Kelly agrees with the policies that the president ad-libbed last night and his greatest themes of praising dictators including Kim Jong-un and crushing our friends, or John Kelly has completely lost control of the president in the policy process.

And this is when we need the real John Kelly to stand up. He has to walk into work this morning and explain to his staff, for example, why all of their work on North Korea over the past several months and particularly the past several days was contradicted in the speech last night and he has to try to clean up the mess. And this is coming at a time when there's already incredibly low morale in the White House, and I think it's going to be a very difficult conversation with his team and it's going to take more than a pep talk to get them reengaged on this North Korea process after the president really went back and forth in North Korea last night.

He said talks will happen, they won't happen. He praised Kim Jong-un. If we can't keep track of where the president's head is on North Korea, I think that sends a really poor message to the policy team.

BLACKWELL: You add to that what we learned from a spokesman from South Korea this morning the president wanted to have the talks in April before the summit, as soon as possible. Kind of gives you an idea of the degree of preparation the president expects that he'll need in going into these talks.

Brian, let me come to you. One of the old favorites the president hit at this rally was bashing the media, going after some specific reporters and anchors.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and saying NBC Chuck Todd is a sleepy-eyed son of a bitch. It was absolutely offensive and inappropriate language. I know that we've talked about this before, we'll talk about it again and again in the future. But the press bashing is something the president enjoys doing. It just goes to show how low he gets sometimes rather than going high and going very low.

But I do think the rally, it was a real reminder, as Jeremy Diamond said, the midterms like 2016, the president blames others and wants credit for himself. I thought the defining line of the rally actually was when he said to the crowd, is there anything more fun than a Trump rally? Because in his mind, this is where he is at his best performing for his audience and his fans.

There were some really interesting falsehoods, though, you know, when he talked about women voters. You played clip of it in the tease earlier, about women voters and said 52 percent of women in the U.S. voted for me. He was only talking about white women. He left out the fact that all other groups of women in the U.S. voted against him in significant numbers.

I'll leave it to the president where he was thinking why he made that number up and got that wrong.

[07:10:03] But there's some really interesting errors I thought in the speech and that comment about Oprah, right? He talked about Oprah and about Elizabeth Warren, again, using the Pocahontas slur. But he was almost kind of warning Oprah Winfrey not to run. You know, she's been saying she's not going to. But her aides are not ruling it out. It's certainly a possibility this time next year.

And it was really curious to see him going after Oprah that way. You know, she is on "Van Jones Show" tonight and one of her messages without talking about Trump directly is we have to transcend negativity. So, that's a very clear contrast to President Trump.


PAUL: Julian, he mentioned something when Brian was talking about what the president said and I almost wonder at the gaff was the Trump rally, because he wasn't there for Trump. He was supposed to be there for Rick Saccone and Rick Saccone at the end he apparently got up on the stage and said if President Trump is in your corner, how can you lose? To which you think, well, I don't know, ask Roy Moore --

BLACKWELL: Or Luther Strange.

PAUL: Or Luther Strange. Karen Handel did win with the president's support, we have to be very fair there.

But what do you make of how potent President Trump might be for Saccone and what if Saccone doesn't win?

ZELIZER: Well, we know he is potent and that's why the president is there. We have to remember this is a district that went for President Trump with very high numbers and now it's a close race. And so, Republicans are scrambling to see if they can fix that or to minimize the damage.

Despite his performance and despite how fun it might have been for the crowd, the reality is the Trump political brand isn't working as well as Republicans hope right now and that is why this is a contested special election. And so, the one thing that is true is this election probably will, in the end, make a mandate for or against president Trump and so a lot of this won't really be about Saccone, it will be about President Trump and whether he can create enthusiasm for what he is doing.

But, let's remember, right now, it's not working unless those polls are totally off.

BLACKWELL: Samantha, the president stayed away from what he calls a witch hunt, what he calls ruse, the Russia investigation. That's the first of these types of rallies that we've seen.

VINOGRAD: It was. And, look, maybe -- let's hope maybe it all continues but, you know, I think one of the other things he didn't do was talk about the elephant in the room and that's Russia's ongoing talk on our country. He has more open talking about Russia's cyber attacks our country. He did a press conference with the Swedish prime minister earlier this week where he acknowledged ongoing Russia interference resolution, but he refuses to talk about Russia's information warfare campaign and Russia's influence campaign.

He likes to talk about fake news but he doesn't, for example, mention the fact that Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Megyn Kelly on Friday night criticizing the intelligence community up and down. He just lets that go? And, unfortunately, that leaves an open door for the Russians to keep going.

PAUL: All righty. Samantha Vinograd, Julian Zelizer, Brian Stelter, we appreciate you all being here. Thank you.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

PAUL: Absolutely.

And today on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper, we have Senators Ron Johnson, Elizabeth Warren, they're both on show. That is with Jake, "STATE OF THE UNION" today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, just a little bit here, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: And still to come, "The New York Times" says the president is looking to add an impeachment lawyer to his White House team. What does that mean for the special counsel's Russia investigation? What does that mean for the investigations happening in Congress?

PAUL: Also, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's message to a far right nationalist party. Let them call you racist. Be proud of that.

BLACKWELL: One of the victims of the California veterans home shooting was pregnant when she was killed and we have got new details on the gunman.


[07:19:10] PAUL: All righty. We have some new details regarding the Russia investigation. Today, "The New York Times" saying President Trump looking into adding an impeachment lawyer to the White House team.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The president purportedly met with Emmet Flood last week. Flood handled President Clinton's impeachment process.

PAUL: Joining us to discuss, CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer.

Julian, thank you so much for being here sticking around with us.


PAUL: So, I want to talk about what do you think or what do we know prompted this decision to bring Attorney Flood in? Do we have any idea whether it was Sam Nunberg's comments last week regarding the Russia situation? Could it have anything to do with the Stormy Daniels situation?

ZELIZER: Well, I think it's a situation based on cumulative events. The Mueller investigation has expanded. It's gotten closer to the president's inner circle.

[07:20:02] I'm not sure it's the Stormy Daniels story that did this, so much as the combination of those inquiries, combined with the fact we're getting closer to November.

The administration is aware, if the House goes to the Democrats, this is on the table, the possibility of further investigation and impeachment, depending on what Mueller's report says. So, I think this is a "getting ready" move to shore up his defenses.

BLACKWELL: All right. Listen to another matter. This is the president's former chief strategist Steve Bannon, talking about claims of some on the far right and this party here in France being xenophobes, being racist. Here is what he said.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear as a badge of honor.


BLACKWELL: What's your reaction to that and what the relevancy? How relevant now is Steve Bannon now he is out of Breitbart and out of White House and out of the president's inner circle?

ZELIZER: The reaction is unbelievable to hear that in 2018 and it really exposes some of the thinking behind a lot of what had been President Trump's campaign and the first year of the administration. They understand some of the forces that they are playing to. They understand some of the anger that exists about statements they have made on immigration and policies they have enacted on immigration, on race. But they are not backing down.

Bannon is not -- we don't know how influential he will be but he is still very much reflect the heart and the soul of a lot of the Trump presidency. So, if there are all of these questions that circulate about where do all of these ideas fit in the Trump orbit, I think Bannon was very honest that they are not embarrassed or ashamed about some of the most controversial things that have happened.

PAUL: When you say that he reflects the heart and soul of the Trump's presidency, remember that -- as we understand, there were names called when he left, the president calling him names and we don't know what kind of connection or relationship they might have at this point. But when people look at Steve Bannon, do they immediately equate him to President Trump and they believe that they share those thoughts, they share that mindset?

ZELIZER: We have to remember, even if the relationship ended with tension, he was very important during the campaign and during the early presidency. So, it's not so much about their own relationship as much as it was about Bannon's role in shaping the architecture of Trump's presidency.

You know, I don't know at this point what people think about whether he represents what President Trump is about, but we shouldn't dismiss him or discount him. I still think he represents a key part of what president Trump plans to support in the coming year. They are still very close in their thinking about politics, even if they are not close personally.

BLACKWELL: So, what do you make of where this happened? We know that Marie Le Pen spoke at CPAC a couple of weeks ago. Bannon is now speaking in France. Is this the next move after, you know, the trouble he's had after his comments from the Michael Wolff book here in the U.S., exporting to go to France, to go to potentially the U.K. after -- you know, of being on the same side as Nigel Farage? Is this the next move for Bannon?

ZELIZER: Yes, I think Bannon always saw this as a bigger part of revolution in politics. It wasn't just about the United States. And I think he wants to promote this kind of nationalist politics, an anti-globalist politics as he might call it, and he doesn't want to limit it to our own borders. And there's many people who think what we are seeing in France, what we have seen in many other countries at this point, starting with Brexit represent something much bigger, a transatlantic move away from the global community, and I think Bannon envisions himself being at the center of this and helping President Trump was really only step one in this agenda.

BLACKWELL: Correction. It was relatively there of Marine Le Pen who is at CPAC, not Le Pen herself.

Julian, thank you so much.

PAUL: Thank you.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: We have new details this morning on a shooting at a veterans home in Yountville, California. One of the victims, Jennifer Gonzales, was pregnant when she was killed. Police say the gunman Albert Wong had PTSD and was treated at that home.

PAUL: Sources telling CNN, though, he was removed from the program after he threatened one of the victims. All three of those women worked at the veterans' home.

[07:25:00] BLCKWELL: Wong had served in Afghanistan, received several awards and medals and was honorably discharged from the Army. Plus, police say he had at least seven firearms registered in his name.

Well, next, more from President Trump at the rally there in Pennsylvania, what he said about China, being presidential, and how the crowd reacted when he brought up potential talks with the leader of North Korea.

Also, this morning, British police scouring through more than 200 pieces of evidence we've learned, hoping to find an answer to a mysterious poison attack. A live report for you, next.


[07:30:23] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, 7:30 on this Sunday. I'm Christi Paul.

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

PAUL: Glad to have you here.

So, the plan was for the president to come to Pennsylvania to boost a local Republican in a special election. The president seemed to have another bit of an agenda on his mind, perhaps.

BLACKWELL: He did. The White House official familiar with the speech drafted for the president says that he delivered about five minutes of that and then went off script. He said a lot.

Here's what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I'll tell you, we did a great job on the Olympics. President Moon of South Korea said without Donald Trump, the Olympics would have been a total failure. It's true. It's a little hard to sell tickets when you think you're going to be nuked.

South Korea came to my office after having gone to North Korea, and seeing Kim Jong-un. No, it's very positive. No. After the meeting, he may do that but now we have to be very nice because let's see what happens.

The only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness. When I was in China and other places, by the way, I said, Mr. President, do you have a drug problem? No, no, no, we do not. I said, what do you attribute that to? The death penalty.

I think it's a discussion we have to start thinking about, don't you? I don't know if you're ready.

Wouldn't we love to run against Oprah? I would love it. That would be a painful experience for her.

Remember I used to say how easy it is to be presidential? But you all would be out of here right now, you'd be so bored. I'm very presidential. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here tonight. Rick Saccone will be a great, great congressman.

See, that is easy. That is much easier than doing what I have to do. Hey, didn't we surprise them with women during the election? Remember? Women won't like Donald Trump! I said, have I really had that kind of a problem? I don't think so.

But women won't like Donald Trump. It will be a rough night for Donald Trump because the women won't come out. We got 52 percent, right? Fifty-two.

Our new slogan, when we start running in -- can you believe it? Two years from now? Is going to be keep America great exclamation point. Keep America great.


BLACKWELL: All right. Can't forget the exclamation point.

Joining us to talk about this is, CNN political commentators Maria Cardona and Jack Kingston.

Good morning to both of you.



PAUL: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: So, Jack, the crowd there had a great time last night with the president. But this was about the president. They had on their Trump t-shirts and their women for Trump signs and the make America strong again signs, and you've got Rick Saccone standing there like a guy who doesn't have a seat because nobody is talking about him. How does this help the candidate?

KINGSTON: Well, number one, he is a pop star. The president does that, and he has that easy rapport with an enthusiastic from the crowd. He goes to the litany of greatest hits, if you will, on which he has been successful. The crowd loves it and he says, if we're going to continue this agenda, we have to have Rick Saccone in there. We have to keep the Republicans as a majority party in the Congress. So, I think he was getting the message across that way. I do believe he put a lot of political capital out there saying, we've got to have Rick.

PAUL: So, Maria, look. When you look at who the president has supported and we should point out Saccone came out on stage and said if President Trump is in your corner, how can you lose? So which we look at Roy Moore and Luther Strange. But he did possibly help Karen Handel, she did win here in Georgia.

But at the end of the day, how important is this race in Pennsylvania? Two Republicans and two Democrats?

CARDONA: For Republicans, it is incredibly important. I mean, the fact we are even talking about this race, Christi, I think sends shivers down the backs of Republicans.

This was a district that Trump won by 20 points in 2016. This should not even be on the table. This should be a shoo-in for the Republicans. And the fact that Republican outside groups have had to spend $10 million to make sure that they don't get embarrassed, to make sure that Trump is not embarrassed now he is out there on a limb supporting the Republican Saccone, I think speaks volumes about what's going on across the country.

I was just at the DNC meeting here in D.C. and we talked about how we have turned 39 ruby red districts to blue just in the last six months.

[07:35:12] And so looking at what happened in Alabama, in New Jersey, in Virginia, Republicans should be incredibly nervous and if Lamb wins on Tuesday, it will be a seismic shift and indication of the tidal blue wave that is coming in November.

BLACKWELL: Jack, let's talk about the president's coattails, because as we discussed this morning, the president in 2016 won this district by 20 points. However, the latest Monmouth poll has president's approval rating in the 18th at 51 percent, disapproval at 47 percent. So, he is above water here.

What happened to the president in this ruby red district?

KINGSTON: Well, let me say this. Number one, I think Maria is correct that this is a very important seat, particularly for Republicans. I think the burden is on us to win.

But I also want to say that Connor Lamb as a Democrat is not adopting the D.C. Democratic agenda. This is a guy pro-gun and pro-tariff, actually reflects Donald Trump's agenda far more than he does Nancy Pelosi.

So, if the Democrats are going to be competitive, based on Connor Lamb, they have to have this anti-Democrat establishment platform, and I think that's going to be make it very difficult for a blue wave to take place because they can't all run against Nancy Pelosi as he is.

BLACKWELL: OK. But now answer my question --


BLACKWELL: -- about how the president went from 20 points over Hillary Clinton to just four points above water.

KINGSTON: There have been missteps. We all know that. I think that, though, as people look at the jobs, 313,000 new jobs in February, 245,000 new manufacturing jobs since he has been president, 300,000 construction jobs going head-to-head on North Korea and addressing that and talking about immigration control, all but repeal of Obamacare with the end the mandate, I think --

BLACKWELL: And with all of that, he's still at 51 percent. You haven't answered that question.

KINGSTON: Well, Victor, the Democrats as Maria pointed out, they are very organized, they are very motivated and we know this. So, it's to be a tough political year. His election, he won handily in the Electoral College and not the popular vote. And so, it's always been a very, very competitive political climate these days.

CARDONA: Well --

PAUL: And so, Maria, go ahead. Go ahead.

CARDONA: No, the reason it's incredibly competitive in a district where Trump won 20 points is because Trump has dismal approval rating across the board historically after the first year in office and it's because a lot of people who voted for him are having buyer's remorse. You know? Take off the table that Hillary Clinton won nearly 3 million more votes in the popular vote than Trump did, the majority of Americans did not vote for him for president of the United States and more Americans today don't believe he is fit to be the president of the United States.

The last poll that came out has him at 33 percent approval rating among women and 42 percent among white women, which is what he was touting during his speech last night.

So, he is incredibly dangerous right now for Republicans and, frankly, if I was a Republican, I would not want him to come into my district. I would not want him to touch my district with a ten-foot pole.

PAUL: So, Jack, he did give us a little glimpse of what is to come when we look at 2020. His new campaign slogan: keep America great! We saw a lot of it -- the Trump that we've come to expect, he took on Maxine Waters saying she had a low I.Q., you heard in there with Oprah, saying that he knows her weakness.

What does this get him when we know the numbers that Maria just touted and the closeness of this race in a district that he should have? What does this tactic that he's, you know, illustrating, what does it do for him at this point?

KINGSTON: I think one thing that Trump's critics miss is this pop culture rapport that he has with people. He is a different type politician. As one reporter said, he actually appoints or, you know, waves the political finger at the Washington establishment because he will say things like this and makes his rallies different. It makes them exciting. You do go there with the expectation that he is going to say something --

PAUL: But do you go there as somebody who's going to and -- people who are at home watching it, do you go there or do you watch it as somebody who says, that's who I'm going to vote for?

BLACKWELL: Yes, exciting but are they effective?

KINGSTON: Well, yes, I think you do, because you think about that jobs report. Think about consumer competence. Think about the deregulations.

The number of new jobs, the number of new opportunities that are out there for women, minority voters, lowest Hispanic voting -- unemployment record in history since it's been kept, those are all good stats that people know.

[07:40:02] If he is successful in North Korea as Erin Burnett said, he should get a Nobel Prize. He would go down as one of the greatest -- and I think she said he would be one of the greatest presidents in history.

People know that his agenda, despite the turmoil, despite the side shows, that a lot is getting done and I think people are --

BLACKWELL: That would be a great narrative but the president didn't stick to it. He talked about Chuck Todd and Oprah Winfrey and saving the Olympics and keep America great with an exclamation point.

CARDONA: But there's the thing --


PAUL: We've run out of time, I'm sorry.

CARDONA: I was going to say that a circus is interesting and that's what this White House is.

KINGSTON: Especially a successful one.

PAUL: There you go. All right. Thank you both.

CARDONA: Not according to the numbers.

PAUL: Maria, Jack, always appreciate you being here.

CARDONA: Thank you so much.

PAUL: Thank you.

KINGSTON: Take care.

PAUL: Listen, we have some breaking news we want to get to you right now. This hour in the spy poisoning investigation, we have learned that everyone who dined at a pub, in a restaurant there in Salisbury are being told they have been exposed to a dangerous nerve agent. We are taking you to Salisbury, next. Stay close.


[07:45:36] BLACKWELL: All right. Breaking news in a spy poisoning investigation in the U.K. Authorities say they have found traces of a dangerous nerve agent at a busy pub and restaurant in Salisbury.

We've got Erin McLaughlin who was there in Salisbury.

What are you learning?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, it's worth pointing out it's been seven days since this incident took place and only now are authorities letting people here in Salisbury know that they have been exposed to a deadly nerve agent last Sunday. They found traces of the nerve agent here at this Zizzi's pizza restaurant now closed off, as well as the local pub.

And they are advising anyone who was inside the pub or at the restaurant after 1:30 last Sunday, out of an abundance of caution to wash their clothes as well as many other items they may have had at the restaurant or the pub. They do not believe, at this point, according to health authorities, that anyone else has been harmed.

Now in terms of what this tells us about the investigation, which is ongoing, authorities have been very tight-lipped, it tells us that Sergei Skripal, as well as his daughter, may have been exposed or poisoned by the nerve agent prior to reaching the park bench where they were later found unconscious. The latest twist in a fast-paced investigation involving multiple sites here which includes people's homes, as well as the local cemetery -- Christi and Victor.

PAUL: All right. Erin McLaughlin, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So, you know the name but how much do you really know about America's most famous family?

PAUL: A new CNN original series takes a rare look inside the Kennedys.


[07:51:34] PAUL: While, North Korea, a porn star, a meltdown by a former Trump aide dominated the headlines this week, President Trump's cabinet secretaries were dealing with some other things.

BLACKWELL: Let's go through those. The Interior Department confirmed that Secretary Ryan Zinke is getting new office doors. How much are those office doors? $139,000 for doors.

A spokeswoman says Zinke was unaware of the cost which was so high because of regulations requiring historic preservation.

PAUL: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made a brief visit to the site of last month's school shooting in Parkland, Florida. She visited with small groups of teachers and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The trip was closed to the press except for some student journalists and after her visit, she defended a controversial proposal to arm some teachers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BETSY DEVOS, EDUCATION SECRETARY: Let's be clear, I think it's just arming teachers is a oversimplification and a mischaracterization, really. I think the concept is to -- for those schools and those communities that opt to do this, to have people who are expert in being able to defend and have lots and lots of training.


BLACKWELL: "The Washington Post" reports the Department of Housing of Urban Development led by Dr. Ben Carson is reportedly considering removing antidiscrimination language from its mission statement.

PAUL: Right now, HUD's mission includes building, quote, inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination. A memo obtained by "The Huffington Post" and verified to "The Washington Post" says the new statement would say, quote, HUD's mission is to ensure Americans have access to fair, affordable housing and opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency, thereby strengthening our communities and nation.

HUD acknowledges it's looking to make modest changes. But that quote that HUD has been, is now, and always will be committed to insuring inclusive housing, free from discrimination for all Americans.

BLACKWELL: All right. Well, there is no name in American politics as legendary as Kennedy, but while you know the name, you may not know that family's whole story.

PAUL: Yes. So, tonight, CNN's new original series, "AMERICAN DYNASTIES: THE KENNEDYS" sheds some new lighting on the iconic family here.

CNN's Dana Bash recently sat down with Kick Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy's granddaughter.


KICK KENNEDY, BOBBY KENNEDY'S GRANDDAUGHTER: Thank you, Dana, for coming in today. I'm really excited to talk to you.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: My pleasure, it's so nice to meet you.

KENNEDY: So I heard a pretty incredible story which is that my great- grandfather played a role in helping your grandmother immigrate to the U.S. during World War II. How did that happen?

BASH: Not just that, Kick, your great-grandfather saved my grandmother's life. He personally did it. This is the lore of my family and we went back and looked at some of my grandmother's notes.

She was Austrian. It was the throes of World War II. She was Jewish. Her parents sent her to England to basically be a nanny, to work as a domestic, just to get her out.

And while she was there, her parents somehow got to the United States. She was still in England desperately trying to get a visa to the U.S. My grandmother went to the embassy where your great-grandfather was ambassador. She was relentless and the story is that she finally got in to see your great-grandfather and he approved it. He personally approved the visa.


[07:55:00] BASH: The story she used to tell was that your great- grandfather said, all right, little lady, you got moxie, I'll let you go.

KENNEDY: So, fast-forward a few decades and Frances, your grandmother's granddaughter, Dana, is covering Joe's son Ted. You've said you learned a lot from that experience. What are some lasting lessons?

BASH: I learned so much just by observing your Uncle Ted, Ted Kennedy, because he was the master legislator and what was so remarkable about him, was that he was the most partisan of Democrats but he also was somebody who understood that you can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.


PAUL: So, watch "AMERICAN DYNASTIES: THE KENNEDYS". It's tonight at 9:00 p.m., only here on CNN.

You know, we are always so grateful to spend the morning with you. Thank you for being with us. We hope you make good memories today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts after a short break.