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CNN NEWSROOM

Rudy Giuliani Walks Back Comments on President Trump's Influence on AT&T-Time Warner Merger; White House Does Not Acknowledge Controversial Comments Made by Staffer about John McCain; Police Called on Black Airbnb Users; Interview with Congressman Gregory Meeks; Former NFL Player Tyrone Poole Returns to College to Obtain Degree. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 12, 2018 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:10]

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: It is Saturday, May 12th. I'm Victor Blackwell.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. So glad to have you here. Top stories this hour --

BLACKWELL: The White House cleaning up this morning after the president's new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, contradicts his boss.

PAUL: Also ahead this hours, officials warning an explosive eruption is coming soon as the Big Island in Hawaii, of course, deals with earthquakes, lava flows, and threats of acid rain.

BLACKWELL: Plus the outrage after police are called on three black people leaving their Airbnb rental. A neighbor claims she was scared because they didn't wave at her. Now the guests and their attorney want accountability. You will hear their story in the CNN Newsroom.

This morning, a stark reminder that nobody speaks for President Trump but President Trump himself. That point frequently made by the president and reflected in the series of controversies overshadowing the Trump agenda right now.

PAUL: In fact just moments ago the president's new lawyer tried to clean up his latest contradictory comments. Rudy Giuliani suggesting yesterday that President Trump personally attempted to block an $85 billion merger, a claim the president previously denied. Now Giuliani walking back some of those claims. The administration also refusing to comment or apologize after a staffer joked about Senator John McCain's death while the veteran and former POW fights brain cancer.

BLACKWELL: Plus new documents allege EPA administrator Scott Pruitt dined with a Vatican official who is accused of sexual abuse despite his claims that the trip was focused on a summit with world leaders.

Also there's the secretary of homeland security allegedly threatening to quit after an explosive argument with President Trump over immigration. PAUL: And Chief of Staff John Kelly trying to clarify his own

comments about the president, but is having a distracted commander in chief really better than an embarrassed one some people are wondering today. All of this leading some people to wonder who is controlling the messaging at the White House. CNN's Abby Phillip is live in Washington for United States Abby, what are you learning?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi.

The president's lawyer is supposed to help him get out of legal hot water, but Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly, it seems, put the president in a tough spot by making statements that he then has to walk back. He told the "Huffington Post" yesterday that the president denied the AT&T/Time Warner merger. That's a contradiction from what the White House's position has been all along on this situation.

And this morning we asked the White House about that contradiction. Sarah Huckabee Sanders told me pretty clearly the Department of Justice was the one who made that decision and that their original statement that President Trump had no involvement still stands. And so now Rudy Giuliani is speaking to CNN's Dana Bash this morning, has fully walked back his original statement. He said to Dana he told me directly he didn't interfere. He said he has now spoken to President Trump about this situation, and despite what he said to the "Huffington Post" last night, in an effort to make the point that the president wasn't influenced by his personal lawyers lobbying on behalf of AT&T, Giuliani now says the president did not interfere in that merger.

So it's unclear why Giuliani decided to go out there and say that, but clearly he is walking it back now. The White House wants to clean this up as quickly as possible, Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: Abby Phillip there at the White House, thank you.

PAUL: So joining us now, CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, and author of "Rudy Giuliani, Emperor of the City" Andrew Kirtzman. Gentlemen, thank you so much, both of you, for being with us. Let's look at that full screen again of what Rudy Giuliani said yesterday, what he is saying today. Again, he had said the president denied the merger. That's what he told the "Huffington Post." He told me directly he did not interfere. Brian, your take?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Let me take 10 or 15 steps backwards, because this deal was announced 18 months ago. AT&T, giant wireless company believes it needs to get bigger, so it needs to buy this channel, CNN, and a lot of other channel owned by Time Warner. So that deal gets struck when the president is on the campaign trail trying to get elected. The president comes out right away and says he's against the deal. AT&T and Time Warner all year long last year thought the deal with would get approved because most deals like this in the past have been approved by the federal government.

But when the DOJ, the Justice Department, sued to block the deal, there were lots of questions about political interference. Did Trump somehow engineer this to block the deal, did he whisper to the Justice Department to stop the deal? What happened here? All along the White House and the DOJ denied that Trump was involved. They denied that his disdain for CNN was a factor in the decision. This is, of course, important, because the Justice Department is traditionally independent, free of political inference like that.

[10:05:01] This even came up in the pretrial briefs, this case actually went to trial a few months ago. AT&T was going to try to argue that maybe Trump was involved, that he was interfering. But the judge wouldn't accept that -- wouldn't allow that part of the argument to go forward.

So here we are now. It's May. A month from now a judge in D.C. is going to decide if AT&T can buy this channel, can buy the rest of Time Warner. And all of a sudden Rudy Giuliani is out here contradicting everything that we've been told about how this was a normal process, this was a decision by career officials, this was a traditional process. It is really remarkable, once again, Rudy Giuliani is contradicting Trump's own White House.

PAUL: Andrew, he has contradicted many things. He's contradicted Stormy Daniels information, Iran, the North Korea detainees, now this AT&T/Time Warner thing. What is the scope of his job? The president has to be green lighting when he does these interviews. You've written about Rudy Giuliani. What do you make of this?

ANDREW KIRTZMAN, AUTHOR, "RUDY GIULIANI, EMPEROR OF THE CITY": I can't remember Trump ever having to clean up so many messes for an aide. This morning he tweeted about it. This can't go on much longer. It's obvious that Trump has a huge about of affection for Rudy Giuliani but this is a pattern now, almost a cycle where Giuliani goes out there, says something he shouldn't, the White House has to walk it back, and Trump looks embarrassed. As much as Trump values Giuliani's advice and values his worth as kind of an attack dog on television, which I'm sure Trump does, this is untenable for a president.

PAUL: Andrew, let me ask you this. Daniel Libbon (ph) earlier today said watching Rudy Giuliani right now, it's almost as if he's trying to act as secretary of state. And we know that at one point he wanted that job. Do you have those same feelings?

KIRTZMAN: Well, if he is, this is not a very good audition. Giuliani --when this all began, Giuliani said, well, I'm just going to be here for a short time. I'm just going to try to resolve the Mueller interview situation. But it was clear to me right away that that was never going to happen. Once Giuliani is in, he's in. He's now out there making comments about far more than just Mueller.

PAUL: Hey, Brian, you know, we have heard so much about Rudy Giuliani and why he's coming out here and saying all of this. I want to ask you the same thing. The president green lights these interviews. How is it going off the rails at this point? And how long -- is there any indication how long the president is going to essentially put up with this? STELTER: Rudy has already lasted two or three Mooch cycles, that 10

or 11 day period that Anthony Scaramucci was coms director. Right now the president doesn't have a communications director and he's essentially acting as his own communications director. We're on the one year anniversary of Comey's firing and Mueller's appointment. The president really doesn't give interviews to non FOX outlets. He is in the form of a bunker, and he views Rudy as his colleague right in that bunker with him, helping him through these various crises and controversies and scandals.

I'm not sure that Trump dislikes it when Rudy is out there making these comments. In this case about AT&T, Rudy either accidentally told the truth, which is possible, or he stepped in it big time and contradicted the White House and the DOJ. Either way it's bad, either way it's ugly. But what Giuliani was trying to do was he was trying to say Michael Cohen was not successful in influencing the administration. So we heard all about these Cohen payments. AT&T paid Cohen $600,000. What Rudy Giuliani was trying to say was that was a waste of money. if you were trying to pay to get your deal approved it didn't work because the president denied the merger. That's what Rudy was trying to say.

But by saying that, again, he contradicted everything we've been told. There's even a sworn affidavit from the DOJ anti-trust chief swearing that Trump had nothing to do with this deal being blocked. So this may end up in court again. We've seen time and time again the president's words used against him in court, and maybe we're going to start to see Giuliani words used against him in court.

PAUL: Good point. Andrew Kirtzman, Brian Stelter, appreciate both of you being here. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Joining me now for partisan analysis, Brian Robinson, a Republican strategist and part of the communications team for Georgia governor Nathan Deal, and Tharon Johnson, former south regional director of Obama 2012. Gentlemen, welcome back. Brian, let me start with you. How is Rudy Giuliani helping?

BRIAN ROBINSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think Rudy has really missed being on television. He said in the "New York Times" it had been a year and a half and frankly I really missed it. That was his quote. I think he is fine to play the role that should be played by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has really grown into that job and does a great job being nimble and not going too far, knowing that the president is going to come in with his own opinion that may be contradictory. She's figured out the scheme.

[10:10:04] BLACKWELL: Or by communications director who they don't have right now maybe.

ROBINSON: Do they need one? No one has lasted very long in that job. What that suggests is that it's just not something that fits within the current structure of the current White House. They always say President Trump is his own best spokesman. I think it's safer to avoid contradictions, to avoid mixed messages, just let the president speak for himself as much as possible. You've seen Sarah Huckabee Sanders take that tactic. You've seen her change her strategy from what it was when Sean Spicer was the press secretary. She's much more cautious about she gets up there saying. You didn't see her yesterday, for example, when they asked about the McCain comments, she wouldn't condemn them, she wouldn't comment. She just said --

BLACKWELL: Or even acknowledge them. We'll talk about that later on in the show. What do you think?

THARON JOHNSON, FORMER SOUTH REGIONAL DIRECTOR, OBAMA 2012: I think it's chaotic. I've never seen a lawyer -- let's not forget he is a lawyer hired to handle legal matters for this president. But to Brian's point, I think he just really wants to continue to deceive the American public but I think he goes out and he says these things and then President Trump comes back and says I didn't really say it that way, or Rudy basically don't have all his facts. And now he's getting into legal matters and he's totally misrepresenting this president.

I think it's sort of an organized way to deceive the American public, to really say, hey, smoke is on this side when there's really more going on.

BLACKWELL: So you think he's doing the job he was sent in to do, which was to muddy the waters?

JOHNSON: I think exactly what Brian kind of alluded to is that I think he's been hired to basically come on non FOX outlets and basically have us talking about this on and on and on when there are more important issues going on. And then when he says these outlandish things it puts the press secretary in a very, very tough position because then she has to figure out which side am I going to be on. I do think the president needs a communications director. I do think that this government and this White House needs a working relationship with the media to make sure that the truth is being given to the American people about a lot of issues.

BLACKWELL: Sarah Sanders says there's no coordination between what Giuliani says in his interviews and the White House.

Let me come to this element, because when he was added to the team back in late April, Giuliani told Dana Bash that his role, and he used this work, ironically now, limited to interfacing with the Mueller team. That doesn't even really require him to be on television, right?

ROBINSON: No. And I think for the most part where he really erred here was going into government policy and administration policy. And it has nothing to do with the case and the team that he's on. He's not a government lawyer in this particular situation. He should not be speaking on behalf of the government.

Look, how long is he going to last? There's no lifespan that's too long on this legal team. There's been a lot of cycle already. And when the president starts saying Rudy will get this back straight one day, and he starts tweeting about you, those are surefire signs that your time may be nigh. We've seen this pattern over and over again. When we starts talking about you, it's not good. One thing we know for sure, President Trump does not like rockets that

burn too hot around him. He is the sun around which everyone else orbits. You try to be your own sun he gets rid of you really, really quickly.

JOHNSON: But guess what we're not talking about, and this is why I think this is an organized chaotic move on the Trump administration, is that we're not talking about Michael Cohen anymore, really. We're not talking about Stormy Daniels anymore. We're not even really talking about this ongoing Russia investigation. And at a time when the president is supposed to have all of his allies and his staff talking about this new economy, this new tax deal as he prepares to go meet with North Korea, we're talking about a lawyer who is -- now another lawyer who is basically misleading the American people and saying things that the administration has not authorized him to say. I think that Rudy is going to last longer than we think, because I think the president had an hunkered down in his little group of people that are going to take directives from him, and I think he is going to continue to cause this chaos.

BLACKWELL: We're not even really talking about the first half of the sentence where he says the efforts were not successful with the AT&T merger. The back half of the sentence is because the president denied the deal. We'll talk again a little later this hour. Brian, Tharon, thank you both.

ROBINSON: Thank you.

PAUL: There's an imminent threat to the island of Hawaii right now. Scientists are warning another volcanic eruption could blast ballistic rocks they're calling them the size of your lawnmower into the air.

BLACKWELL: Plus, trolling Trump, Iran's supreme leader throws a little shade at the White House with this picture of him reading Michael Wolf's tell-all "Fire and Fury."

PAUL: And social media and cell phones capturing the racial plight some African-Americans face on a daily basis. Now the nation is tuning in. We spoke with Airbnb renters who say they faced the same situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[10:15:00] DONISHA PRENDERGAST, AIRBNB GUEST DETAINED BY RIALTO, CALIFORNIA, POLICE: Out of nowhere, police cars swooped down on us both in front of us and behind us. It was kind of surreal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: President Trump has declared a major disaster in the state of Hawaii because these reports of another volcanic eruption threatening the island. Geologists are warning that the Kilauea volcano could blast, get this, ballistic rocks the size of a golf cart into the sky in the coming days. PAUL: We spoke with an official from Hawaii's policy department

earlier about what things look like on the ground right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALAN RICHMOND, HAWAII POLICE SPOKESMAN: I'm about a mile from the crater of Kilauea right now. And we just had another 3.0 earthquake, and we've had lots of those during the day. The 15 fissures that have opened up down in the Puna area of Hawaii on the Hilo side of the island have stopped with the lava flow, but there's still a lot of gas and steam out of those fissures.

[10:20:02] Up here at the summit, the question is when will that explosion occur, if it occurs? And so we're on pins and needles, waiting to see what happens with that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Authorities told residents they can return to their homes to collect their belongings but they warned they may have to leave again at a moment's notice.

New this morning, an Iranian commander is saying the U.S. decision to pull out from the nuclear deal with Iran is threatening Israel's security and could, quote, speed up annihilation of Israel. In the meantime, it looks as though Iran's supreme leader, some people think he's trolling President Trump. The ayatollah was spotted at a book fair. Look at this. That's a Farsi edition of Michael Wolf's book "Fire and Fury, Inside the Trump White House." Not just that, he shared the picture himself on Instagram.

In the meantime, streets in Iran have been filled with protesters angry with President Trump. Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks with us here. He's also a member of the House foreign affairs committee. Congressman, thank you so much for being with us, we appreciate it.

REP. GREGORY MEEKS, (D) NEW YORK: Good being with you this morning.

PAUL: Thank you. You tweeted out recently, "Israel is our strongest ally and I support its right to defend itself. Still we have to deescalate the tensions in the Middle East lest we ca careen toward another conflict." Hearing what we're hearing today from this commander of the Iranian army that they will speed up the annihilation of Israel, what's your reaction to this, and what can the U.S. do?

MEEKS: Well, I'm really concerned about what's taking place now in the Middle East. And clearly Israel has the right to defend itself. They are our closest ally and significant and most important ally in the region. So that is unequivocal.

However, we don't need to do things that's going to cause further turbulence in the area. And by pulling out of the JCPOA, I think we've done just that. Everybody, all of our allies, everyone that was a partner to the agreement agrees that Iran had not violated anything in the JCPOA. So that should -- and its sole focus and purpose was to prevent them from having a nuclear weapon. What we should have been doing and should have done then to now to come up with another agreement to confront Iran on some of its other aggressions not dealing with the JCPOA. But by just pulling out, leaving our allies on their own causing the kind of unrest that we're seeing starting to take place now in the Middle East, I'm hopeful that we can get back to the table.

There's no plan b that this administration has put out in regards to what replaces the JCPOA, and how do we make sure we have a scenario that doesn't spiral out of control.

PAUL: Congressman, I want you to take a look at a German magazine "Der Spiegel," at the cover that they have right now there. And what we know about what's happening with Iran, with Israel. What is your -- what do you think this says about the opinion of the U.S. around the world, and what is your main concern at this point?

MEEKS: My main concern is that we are isolated ourselves, whether you talk to friend or foe. We talk -- look at the appeal that our allies, we had the French and U.K., the United Kingdom, they all came to the president saying it's a bad move to pull out. When you look at not only the JCPOA, you look at climate control, you look at talk with reference to multilateral institutions, you look at TPP. So all of it is that what the rest of the world is looking at us saying that we've got to look at other alternatives to the United States. So what the president's policies of America first or America only, whatever that is, is also a policy that would isolate us from the rest of the world and we will lose our leadership that we should have as far as leading the world in an ever smaller global economy, et cetera.

PAUL: On Monday, they will be opening the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. we know. There is a plaque on the new embassy that says Jerusalem, Israel. Can the administration, you think, still claim that the policies are unchanged in that region with that on the front of the embassy?

MEEKS: Yes. Look, it's -- I think -- I don't think that we need to put a poke at someone or anything of that nature. I think that we still are not talking about a two-state solution which everyone had agreed upon before. So what is coming into question now is whether or not this administration agrees with a two-state solution to ultimately have some real peace in the Middle East. The objectives should be for both the -- definitely for the Israelis and the Palestinians that we have some real peace in the Middle East and not have a scenario where we are continuing in spiraling into violence, et cetera.

[10:25:13] So now you have you this scenario. You have the Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russians who are also in Syria. It's just a combustion that if we just looked at almost hopefully not bringing uproot that's ready to burst like a volcano. So I'm hopeful that there should be some reason and dialogue and conversations that can deescalate. I'm waiting to hear this president talk about another plan, a plan b to the JCPOA. I haven't heard that yet. And what will happen with our allies, sanctions on them also? I don't know. The president has sort of left this big void.

PAUL: Real quickly, you heard Rudy Giuliani speak several times, contradicting the president in the last week here, making news again this morning. Do you believe Rudy Giuliani is really misspeaking or is there something else going on here?

MEEKS: Well, I think that Rudy Giuliani is in private meetings. He hears what's going on. He knows what the facts are. Then he goes out and he articulates them. And then he is pulled back. It's a diversion to a degree. But I also think Giuliani has always liked the limelight for himself also. He did that as the mayor of the city of New York. I think that he might have been fired already but for the fact that the president is losing lawyers left and right and can't get anyone else to come in. I would like to know who is paying him, whether it's the government or whether the president is paying him personally.

PAUL: Congressman, real quickly, though, do you believe that he's hearing correctly what he says and then comes back and backtracks, or do you think Rudy Giuliani, who is adroit in front of the camera, is really making these kind of mistakes?

MEEKS: I think he's saying what the administration is saying behind the scenes, but when he gets in front of the cameras he doesn't realize he shouldn't say. But the truth is the president stopped the AT&T agreement. The president likes those kinds of things. That doesn't surprise me. But they don't want that to be acknowledged publicly.

PAUL: Congressman Meeks, I'm sorry, we ran out of time. I so appreciate you being here. Thank you for taking the time for us today.

MEEKS: Thank you for having me.

PAUL: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: No apology. The White House refuses to condemn an aide's sick joke about Senator John McCain dying.

PAUL: Also, a stay at an Airbnb ends with a neighbor's 911 call, a confrontation with police. We spoke with three of the guests and their attorney who wants action from the police department now. We have more on that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: It's half past the hours right now. So glad to have you with us. And this morning the Trump administration trying to clean up the latest mess created by his new White House lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani walking back claims made yesterday that President Trump personally tried to block an $85 billion AT&T merger.

BLACKWELL: When it comes to one of their own inside the White House, one of their own aides mocking a dying veteran, so far no apology or backtracking from the White House. Of course we hope that Senator McCain continues to recover. Communications staffer Kelly Sadler still has her job today after White House officials says Sadler joked during a staff meeting that McCain's opinion doesn't matter because of his cancer diagnosis. Not only has the White House refused to disown the comments, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders suggested questions about the internal meeting comments were meant to sew discord among the president's aides.

Let's bring back now Brian Robinson and Tharon Johnson. So let me start here with you, Tharon. Kelly Sadler has called the McCain family, spoken with Meghan McCain and she's apologized to the family. Is that enough?

THARON JOHNSON, FORMER SOUTH REGIONAL DIRECTOR, OBAMA 2012: No. And what she said about Senator McCain was disgusting. Senator McCain is a war hero. He's revered in our country and has served this country honorably. And more importantly is the reason that she should apologize and the president should apologize is because our kids are watching. This president has basically shown us how not to govern. He goes out and he basically, at a time when his first lady, his wife, Melania Trump, introduced her be best initiative, which is the anti- bullying initiative, and she can't even get her own husband to, the president to the United States, to adhere to that new initiative that she's launching.

And I think that more importantly, the staff, creating discord -- there's already a discord amongst the White House staff. We've read many, many reports that Trump has gone into cabinet meetings, people have not been able to talk because he just lashes out at them. So I think that this is just disgusting. I think they should go above and beyond to apologize to Senator McCain because the American people are watching and this is not the type of behavior that we should be getting.

BLACKWELL: So why haven't they done this, acknowledge it, apologize, move on?

BRIAN ROBINSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Because it's a leak. And this has been an ongoing problem in there, and the White House is exactly right to not acknowledge leaks and to not comment on them because that's just going to feed the beast even more. This was a private comment and a private apology. This was not administration policy. This was not the president's viewpoint. It's not something he said. This is something a low-level staffer said in a meeting. In any high pressure, high-stress job like at the White House, and there's nothing like it in the world, from all we know, there's going to be some element of gallows humor. You're going to take on your enemies and say things that you wouldn't say in the light of day, that you wouldn't say publicly. It's just part of what goes along with it. I can ensure you that there has been inappropriate, meanspirited things in every administration in the history of this country.

[10:35:09] BLACKWELL: But this has now come to light. It is now public. And the administration won't acknowledge it, much less take any action. So is this reinforcing that, as you call it, gallows humor? Is that reinforcing the sentiment she is spreading by saying he's going to die anyway, we don't really need to care about his vote.

ROBINSON: No one is doubling down saying we stand by that. That was totally appropriate. BLACKWELL: Isn't this de facto standing by it if they're not taking any action?

ROBINSON: There's no recording of this. This is no public statement that was made. This was something said in a private meeting, and as far as the Trump administration goes, even the news reports have said many people in the meeting reacted negatively to that joke. I don't think anybody thinks it was appropriate. But the White House has got bigger things to do, whether it's North Korea, whether it's dealing with volcano.

BLACKWELL: And this seems like an easy one. This seems like an easy one. This isn't heavy lifting.

ROBINSON: People want to distract them from the things that really matter with this penny ante crap. It just doesn't and should not distract the president from the stuff that's really important.

JOHNSON: But they're taking on the behavior of the president. We know in leadership people who work for any leader, whether it's the president of the United States, whether it's the president of a nonprofit organization, the staff takes on the temperament and posture of the president. These staff feel that it's appropriate to say we're not going even consider advocating for his vote, even considering his opinion because he is dying and that is just disgusting.

BLACKWELL: Let me talk about policy before we go. And the president this week, withdrawing the U.S. from another of the Obama administration's major accomplishments. We have a list of some of the reversals from the Trump administration versus the Obama years. DACA, the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal this week, the Transpacific Partnership very early on, the individual mandate as part of a tax cut, transgender people in the military policy, environmental regulations, all that's happening at the EPA. in fact, let me put up here what a former NSC spokesman under Obama said to "The Guardian." He said "The whole thing that animates and unites his policy views is antipathy towards Obama. It's f'ing pathetic. He knows probably better than anyone how to find all the Republican erogenous zones because he spent years whipping people into a frenzy and telling lies about Obama." Brian, how much of that do you think the reversal of the Obama policies is really the engine that drives the president's priorities?

ROBINSON: What I'm seeing is a president keeping his promises to the America people that he made on the campaign trail. You did not see anything that he did not promise before November of 2016 that he was going to do.

BLACKWELL: Fair. People knew when he got into office he was going to do all these things, and he kept his promises.

JOHNSON: Yes. It's a race to the right because the president knows that these people elected him and he has a lot of Republican senators and members of Congress that have got to go into their districts and explain why they have voted for these things and what the president is doing. But I think that to try to derail and sort of cast Obama legacy as a bad one is not true. Those list of things that you all just listed was a great legacy for this president, for former President Obama. It was just the American democracy that we were living in at that moment.

BLACKWELL: Tharon, Brian, thank you both. Christi?

PAUL: A family in the Netherlands got a little too close to nature. What happened to between them and several cheetahs, because they got out of their car to take pictures at a safari park.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:43:17] PAUL: It's 43 minutes past the hours right now. So whether you are napping in a Yale University dorm room, or your shopping at a Nordstrom's, or sitting inside a Starbucks, smartphones, social media, they've given the nation insight to the racial profiling that some African-Americans are faced with on a daily basis.

BLACKWELL: The most recent incident happened in Rialto, California, when a group of friends were detained by police while they were checking out of their Airbnb rental. This was reported by a white neighbor of the homeowner who said that she was scared because the guests did not wave at her. We spoke with those Airbnb guests and they lawyer earlier and explained why they did not feel protected.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY FYFFE-MARSHALL, FILMMAKER: We felt like we were going to be able to go but the sergeant came. And so once the sergeant came, the mood and the energy changed completely. He didn't believe anything we were saying. He didn't believe the Airbnb app that we had shown. He didn't believe the landlord we had called and the picture we were showing. They called the landlord and got a picture and they showed it to us and we all agreed yes, that's her. And the sergeant said of course they would say that. So at that point it just felt like everything was against us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: They're calling on the Rialto police to hold that caller accountable.

After more than a decade in the NFL and two Super Bowl rings, Tyrone Poole is most thankful for one accomplishment off the field. Find out what makes him a difference maker when the newsroom continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:49:27] BLACKWELL: Two-time Super Bowl champion Tyrone Poole is a leader in his community.

PAUL: He stresses the importance of education, and he's backing that up now by earning his college degree more than 25 years after first enrolling. Coy Wire shows us why he's a difference maker.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: This Difference Makers is brought to you by Ford, going further so you can.

Tyrone Poole is now 46 years old. He wasn't given much early in life but what he was given he made the most of it. He overcame poverty, he overcame everyone who told him he would never make it at only five- foot-eight, attending the tiny Fort Valley State University. He went on to become a two-time Super Bowl champ with the New England Patriots.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[10:50:11] TYRONE POOLE: A lot of us, we are worried about what people think about us. And that's where we mess up, comparison. Once you start in that negativity, what you see around you, start defining who you are, you're not going to make it.

WIRE: You're too small, too inexperienced, five-foot nothing, 100 and nothing, Tyrone. Why were you able to prove all the people wrong who thought you never become anything?

POOLE: There are things inside of you that you have to know first about yourself. But I believe we're all spiders. Spiders have everything they need to exist in this world already inside of them. They don't need to go pour from nowhere else. They want to be able to go way up, it comes from inside. You want to nurse the young, it comes from the inside. We, as humans, we're like spiders. Everything we need starts with the inside. And that's what I try to tell people. You already have it. You just have to bring it out.

WIRE: Education is a big pillar of your Tyrone Poole 38 foundation. You hadn't graduated, but I respect the fact that you decided to go back and get your degree. What made you want to do that?

POOLE: Certain things you can't buy. When they say money can't buy love. Money can't buy a degree either. So there are certain things you need. So I had to go back and get that. I wanted to go to the ultimate level of success in my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Tyrone Poole has continued to make the most of all he has been given. He is now an author, a powerful speaker, an inventor. Two different pieces of fitness equipment have their name on his trademark. But most impressively he went back to school, earning his degree so he could walk the walk when he talks to our youth about the importance of education.

PAUL: Excellent story. Thank you.

Whatever you're doing, do me a favor and look at your screen right now. Can we drop the banner, please? A family at a safari park in the Netherlands apparently didn't get the memo when they were told don't get out of your car when you're at the cheetah park.

BLACKWELL: OK, so other visitors captured this from the inside of their car. Cheetahs approached the family. According to the "Huffington Post," they had gotten out of their vehicle to take pictures when the cheetahs started moving in. Look at this.

PAUL: Here's the thing, I don't know if you can see it here. Here is the mother, I believe, carrying a toddler. They let -- not only did the parents get out but the kids got out of the car as well. And you can see here, they said, there was somebody yesterday who said when the mom kind of swiped at that cheetah, that's most likely why she and her son are alive or child are alive.

PAUL: Sometimes people can't just go to the zoo. They have to go to the safari park. And you can't just drive through the safari park. You have to get out of the car. And you can't just get out of the car. You have to approach the cheetah. Stay in your car.

PAUL: We're glad you're all OK. Please don't get out of your car.

BLACKWELL: We were only able to go in like this because nobody was hurt.

PAUL: That's right, absolutely.

OK, still ahead, President Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, backtracking this morning about another comment related to the president. We're live from the White House. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:57:34] BLACKWELL: When this week's CNN Hero saw children begging in the streets of Vietnam, he decided to do something.

PAUL: Leaving his home in New York, he now works year-round in Vietnam to give the young kids the skills to rise out of poverty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEAL BERMAS, CNN HERO: The young people in our program come from the whole country with all kinds of very, very difficult pasts. We have kids with HIV background, kids from leprosy villages. Some have already been trafficked, sometimes more than once. Within a couple of years, no matter how difficult and how painful, how tortured their life may have been, with 100 percent assurance I know that that young person is going to be starting a career with all kinds of possibilities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: To learn more about this program and how it's changing lives and also to nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero, go to CNNheroes.com.

PAUL: I want to tell you about Erin Marin (ph). She was sexually abused as a child, and the place she felt most safe telling her story was in her diary. Today, though, she is fighting for kids to be able to speak their voice and not be silent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was told from six to eight, I know where you live. I'll come get you. No one will believe you. And I was repeatedly told that and I believed it. I feared that he was going to break in my house at night, was waiting in my closets or under my bed. A lot of parents believe that if their children are being abused that they're going to tell them. They don't realize the power and fear they put in kids to keep them silent.

PAUL: She says the only reason she courage to tell her parents was because her little sister confided their cousin was sexually abusing her as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom was in tears, instant tears and hugging me. And my dad came home from work, and I'll never forget the first thing he said to me as I was sitting there in the kitchen. Why didn't you tell me he was doing this to you? And I looked to my dad and said because he told me you wouldn't believe me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: And that's what she's trying to get through. Erin's law has been passed in 35 states now, one just this week. It's a school program where kids sit through and they understand what their voice is and what's correct touch and what's not. We're going to be telling more about her story tomorrow only here on NEW DAY. Join us at 6:00 a.m. eastern for that. We hope that you watch and check that out.

And we are so grateful to spend our mornings with you, really.

BLACKWELL: Always. There's much more ahead in the next hours of CNN Newsroom. We turn it over to colleague Fredricka Whitfield. Fred, good morning.