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Trump Again Denies Advance Knowledge Of 2016 Meeting; Two Killed, Thousand On The Run From Spreading Flames; Lawsuit Over Trump Of Violating Constitution To Proceed; Pope Francis Accepts Resignation Of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick; The New Yorker Publishes Women's Sexual Harassment Allegations Against CBS Chairman & CEO Les Moonves; Trump Threatens Sanctions On Turkey Over Detained Pastor. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired July 28, 2018 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom. This is my family. You know, I think it's just -- it's -- you always want to know where you came from.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Neither one of them speaks the other's language, but the love between a mother and her child, they say, knows no barriers. Rafael Romo, CNN, Santiago, Chile.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening.

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I expected something like this from Cohen. He's been lying all week, I mean, for two weeks -- he's been lying for years! The man is an honest, honorable lawyer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you tell your father anything about this?

DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: No. It was such a nothing. There was nothing to tell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's focus on what the president was aware of -- nothing. He was not aware of the meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The corrosive lying and the corrosive distorting and the corrosive lack of telling the truth, it does have an impact.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This meeting, if, in fact, he knew about it at the time, shows that all of those statements, every time he said no collusion, is a lie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This meeting was convened for the purposes of colluding.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you! And welcome to

Saturday. I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. President Trump has again denied knowing anything about his son's 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with campaign officials and several Russians.

PAUL: Yes, sources tell CNN his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, now says Trump not only knew about the meeting, an attempt to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, but that the president or candidate at the time approved it. Now, that is the opposite of what the president and his team have said very clearly all along.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did the president learn that that meeting had taken place?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I believe in the last couple of days, is my understanding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you tell your father anything about this?

TRUMP JR.: No. It was such a nothing, there was nothing to tell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's focus on what the president was aware of -- nothing. The president was not aware and did not attend this meeting.

He said he had no meetings, was aware of no meetings with Russians, was not aware of this one until really right before it all broke, and that's what the president has said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you know at the time that they had the meeting?

D. TRUMP: No, I didn't know anything about the meeting.


PAUL: After tweeting, Cohen was only changing his story to get out of his own legal trouble, the president moved on to the surging economy: Jobs, and so-called "incompetent Democrats," as he called them.

SAVIDGE: But the Cohen news continues as the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, weighed in. He's apparently changed his mind on Cohen after praising him this past May. Listen.


GIULIANI: The man is an honest, honorable lawyer. I expected something like this from Cohen. He's been lying all week, he's been lying for years!

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: Sarah Westwood is nearby in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, and

near the president this morning. Good morning to you, Sarah. What are you hearing from the president?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN REPORTER: Well, President Trump, he's settling in for another weekend here in Bedminster, New Jersey, amid these unanswered questions about that now-infamous 2016 meeting in Trump Tower involving his son, Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer.

Now, President Trump left the White House yesterday without taking questions about claims from his former attorney, Michael Cohen, that Trump knew in advance about that meeting, something Trump denied Friday morning in a tweet, as his legal team goes after Cohen's credibility. And sources told CNN this week that President Trump is fuming about the legal scrutiny now facing him and his inner circle.

Meanwhile, Trump has struggled to change the conversation away from this controversy, making remarks yesterday at the White House about the economy and firing off a series of tweets that attacked Democrats. And of course, this is all happening against the back drop of an otherwise successful week for the president, who made progress in trade talks with the European Union and was able to tout strong GDP growth from the second quarter of this year. Those numbers were released on Friday.

But of course, Russia and Cohen's cooperation with investigators has continued to distract from the president's economic message, and as if that wasn't distraction enough, Washington was set ablaze on Friday by perhaps the coincidence of the year -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Donald Trump Jr. were seen waiting at the same airport gate at Ronald Reagan National Airport in a photo obtained by Politico. But despite the social media frenzy over this picture, a spokesman for Mueller said the two men did not speak. Christi?

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, appreciate it. Thank you. Let's talk about poll numbers as well, they show declining public support for the Mueller investigation. Some people questioning, will the issue carry Democrats in the midterms or is the booming economy going to push Republicans across the line? Kelly Jane Torrance, Deputy Managing Editor at the Weekly Standard with us now.

So, Kelly, let's look at some these numbers. I just told you about the Mueller probe, and it seems like that's losing some steam in terms of support from the public. But if you look at some recent report here in terms of the job approval ratings, particularly in the Midwest, look at what we've got. In Michigan, where president actually won in the general election, 54 percent disapproval; only 30 percent-plus approval ratings here in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin. With that said, if the economy is good, if it's solid, is President Trump good? Is he solid as well?

[07:05:35] KELLY JANE TORRANCE, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I mean, I hesitate to say anything definite right now because who knows what might happen between now and the November midterms. But yes, the economy is very important. And you know, when people are thinking about, you know, answering these questions about approval rating, often it's affected by what the latest news is and what they've heard. And so, you know, when people see Donald Trump on stage with Vladimir Putin, and, you know, really making a disastrous performance, they're going to be rolling their eyes and thinking this president is awful.

But you know, months later, they're going to have forgotten about that, and what will they will remember is how they've been doing and how their paycheck looks. And I do think, you know, the one major legislative accomplishment of the Republicans is the tax cut bill, and people are seeing more money in their paychecks. And you know, with the news of the economy doing very well, we'll see if that carries through the next few months. But yes, I do think that that is going to have a very big effect on the election. And the Democrats really do need to have some positive policy proposals to answer that.

PAUL: So, the Democrats, you don't think, can carry through on this anti-Mueller probe?

TORRANCE: Yes, you know, it's -- the Democrats have been sort of counting on anti-Trump sentiment, and that's one reason, you know, the tax cut bill, the Republican tax cut bill didn't get a single Democratic vote. Their view is Donald Trump is toxic, we don't want to be associated with anything that's seen as a win for him. And it looked like that was a very good strategy, and I've said that was a very good strategy. The problem is that you can only do that for so long. People want to know, well, OK, you know, you don't like Trump. Maybe I'm not sure about him, but what do you have to offer me?

And you know, people are getting a bit tired of the Mueller investigation because we do talk about it a lot. The question is, though, we have no idea what, when it's going to end and what he's going to have. And you know, this is the leakiest Washington I've ever seen, but his office has actually been very good at keeping things quiet. And so, he may have something, he may not. We don't know, and we won't know until his investigation's concluded.

PAUL: All right. Kelly Jane Torrance, always appreciate it. Thank you.

TORRANCE: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Well, the president is again denying knowledge of his son's 2016 Trump tower meeting, but sources tell CNN the president's former fixer, that's Michael Cohen, now says that Trump is lying. So, the real question here is whose story could hold up in court? Joining us to discuss that is Michael Moore, former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Good morning.


SAVIDGE: So, on the surface, you know, this information that CNN was able to uncover, it does sound very damning.

MOORE: Sure. SAVIDGE: But you've got the legal mind, and you're the person, if you

were putting yourself in the prosecutor's seat, how damning is it legally?

MOORE: You know, it's a bombshell if they can corroborate it, if they can back it up. And my guess is that Bob Mueller's been working to do that. I mean, especially if you've got Michael Cohen now saying that Trump knew about the meeting ahead of time. That's sort of in preparation to collude with Russia. So, how do we corroborate it? They could do it through phone records, they can do it through e- mails, they can do it through memos that perhaps Cohen wrote to a file or that somebody wrote to a file that will show at a contemporaneous moment that this knowledge was documented.

But there's a little bit of a twist that I think with Hope Hicks. You know, she's testified and this is about Trump covering up (INAUDIBLE) with a statement about what the meeting was. Well, it always defied, (INAUDIBLE) to say that he didn't know what it was, but he was still able to come up with the explanation of what it wasn't. Well, what if she didn't tell him? If she didn't tell him what it was when he was aboard Air Force One and he came up with this reason or this false story about the meeting, that meant that he knew what it was ahead of time. That he was already in anticipation of it.

And you've got somebody who's a control freak, a micro manager, and it's pretty clear that he does things on his own and thinks he's the smartest man in the room. It defies logic to think that he would've let something like this happen or that his children, know what his personality, would have not gone to him and told him, hey, we've got a meeting with Russians, we're fixing to break the story on Hillary Clinton. And his public speech that he gave saying I'm going to lay all this stuff out about Hillary Clinton in the coming days, that sort of speaks to the fact that he may have had some knowledge. So, all those things work together to corroborate perhaps --

SAVIDGE: But that's not proof.

MOORE: Not proof, but they can corroborate circumstantially. You don't have to have Trump on a recording saying, hey, I did know about it. But you've got Michael Cohen saying he knew about it because his son told him. And then you can look at other things to back that up.

[07:10:04] SAVIDGE: Michael Cohen, what's going on with him? I mean, as you look at this, does this seem like a person who's either trying to get a pardon or trying to get a deal? Which is it?

MOORE: You know, I think he probably feels betrayed at this point by Trump. I think he probably expected a little more backup from his longtime friend or mentor, and he didn't get it. And I think he's probably realized what a lot of federal defendants realize, and that is, you're looking at going to the penitentiary and you'd better do something to protect yourself and your family.

And so, he's clearly willing to come out and sort of send some flares that he's got information. He still hasn't gotten the response he's wanting from the Trump team, but it seems clear to me that he's now at least willing and open to talking to Mueller or the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York about these cases.

SAVIDGE: Yes. Well, there's a lot more I'd love to ask you about, but time just doesn't allow it.

MOORE: We'll do it again. Good seeing you.

SAVIDGE: Yes, we will do it again. Thank you.

PAUL: Well, President Trump is facing a lawsuit over his hotel, just a few blocks from the White House. And a judge is allowing now that case to proceed. We're going to ask our experts what this could mean for the president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, on the surface --


PAUL: Plus, a Houston heart doctor is shot and killed while out on a bike ride. Why police think now that, yes, he may have been targeted.

And two small children and their great grandmother are missing after wildfires ripped through their neighborhood. They destroyed their home. Dozens of California communities are being threatened right now by this rapidly growing fire.

We didn't think the fire was going to come here, so we didn't really take things out, like everybody else, they were scrambling at the last minute to get out when we saw the fire on the ridge.


[07:15:52] PAUL: 15 minutes past the hour right now, and there are two small children and their great grandmother who are missing this morning in North California after their home was destroyed by the raging wildfire there. The Carr Fire we're talking about. It's in Shasta County. It's devoured nearly 50,000 acres already, and there's nothing left of hundreds of homes and businesses.

SAVIDGE: CNN's Paul Vercammen is joining us this morning, and just to look at the background there, Paul, gives you a sobering feel of what those fires can do so quickly. Good morning.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER: It does, Martin and Christi. And if you look just behind me, as you pointed out, it came roaring through here. This is in West Redding, California. We're a little over 100 miles from the Oregon border. And let's give you a sense of what it looked like when the Carr Fire reared its ugly head in this neighborhood.


VERCAMMEN: Flames swirling in high winds and hot temperatures wreaking havoc on the Northern California landscape. The amply named Carr Fire, which officials say was first sparked by a vehicle, has ravaged the region since Monday, doubling in size over the course of the week, and it's still growing. Deadly and out of control, it has charred some 45,000 acres and dozens of structures as firefighters try to contain it. Neighborhoods scorched as smoke and fire climbed through hills fueled by the dried landscape.

DOMINIC GALVIN, WILDFIRE VICTIM: No idea what we're going to do tomorrow. Hell, we don't know what we're going to do tonight.

VERCAMMEN: Dominic Galvin and his wife, Sylvia, never imagined they'd see their house like this.

GALVIN: We didn't think the fire was going to come here, so we didn't really take things out. Like everybody else that was scrambling at the last minute to get out when we saw the fire on the ridge.

VERCAMMEN: Officials say more extreme temperatures are in the forecast and will only continue to make this fire all the more worrisome. It is one of several major blazes burning across the state and one of some 89 across the country.

JONATHAN COX, CAL FIRE: This is that new normal, that unpredictability, the large, explosive-growth fires.

VERCAMMEN: Leaving firefighters working to control the flames and limit the damage, as residents race against the clock to evacuate their homes.


VERCAMMEN: And we should note that the couple who lived here almost 30 years was able to escape with their lives. Martin, Christi?

SAVIDGE: It's going to be another very difficult day for firefighters. Paul Vercammen, thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you, Paul. I want to bring in Meteorologist Allison Chinchar, wondering how the conditions are for firefighters this morning, because I remember reading earlier this week it was 113 degrees in Redding.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and the thing is, that heat is not going to go away any time soon. So not only do the residents feel it, but you're right, those firefighters that are trying to battle the blazes. And it's not just California, you have 13 states with a combined 89 large, active fires that they're trying to contain right now.

The ones in California are dealing with incredibly low containment numbers. The Carr Fire that we just talked about only five percent contained at this time. Ferguson Fire not even 30 percent contained, and the Cranston Fire is only about 16 percent containment. So again, you'd like to be able to get those numbers up higher and allow those firefighters to make more sufficient progress.

This is an incredible image. Again, here you can see the smoke just taking off and the pyro clouds, those ones that get formed from the heat from those fires -- and here's what's interesting about this particular fire here, is that that one, the fire is actually so intense, it's creating its own wind to spread itself. So, the fire is basically creating more fire. And unfortunately, in turn, we are seeing that begin to spread pretty rapidly.

Now, the fire conditions for Carr fire, the temperatures are still expected to remain in triple digits. Winds are going to be locally very gusty, which would spread more of that fire. They are still in a moderate drought, and there is absolutely zero rain in the short-term forecast for this area. We have the red flag warning, as we talked about, that critical fire threat because of those very hot and dry conditions that are there.

And speaking of that heat, again, look at all of these locations. You're talking from Washington State stretching all the way back to Arizona, where you have some of those excessive heat watches and warnings and heat advisories. Because for a lot of these locations, that heat, guys, is going to stay in place for at least the next three to five days.

[07:20:15] PAUL: What a mess. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much. And we'll keep you posted as the sun comes up and what's happening in California throughout the day, of course.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, CBS Chief Les Moonves is the latest high-profile boss to be accused of sexual misconduct. Details about the allegations, they're just ahead.


[07:25:19] PAUL: 25 minutes past the hour. So glad to have you with us here. We want to talk about this legal battle over President Trump's hotel, the one near the White House. A judge says there is a lawsuit that can go forward, despite the president's attempts to block it.

Now, this lawsuit accuses President Trump of violating the emoluments clause. That prohibits elected officials, basically, from benefiting from foreign governments, and it zeros in specifically on his profits from the Trump international hotel, where foreign officials often stay.

Walter Shaub, CNN Contributor and former Director of the Government Ethics Office with us now, as well as Michael Moore, former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Thank you, gentlemen, both, for being with us. First and foremost, what, to you, I'm sorry, Walter -- what kind of red flags does this lawsuit throw up for the president?

WALTER SHAUB, CNN CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE GOVERNMENT ETHICS OFFICE: Well, this decision has got to be very concerning to him, because now that the case is going to go forward, it opens the door to the discovery process, which can include depositions, request for production of documents, written interrogatories. That means they can get into a whole lot of stuff about him. And in fact, the litigants, their attorneys, the two attorney generals from Maryland and D.C. and (INAUDIBLE) from Crew Citizens Responsibility and Ethics in Washington wrote an op-ed this week in the New York Times where they say they're coming for those documents.

PAUL: So, Michael, with that said, is there any chance, supposedly, that, say, this lawsuit could force the president to have to choose between whether he would fully divest from his business interests?

MOORE: It may not really become a choice for him. And here's why, I think Walter's right, the danger for him coming forward is the fact that now his tax records are fair game in another matter. I've said for a long time, and I think that Bob Mueller has the tax records and is looking at them as far as the Russia case goes.

We now know that the Southern District of New York is looking at one of the Trump longtime employees there, the CFO, maybe, of the Trump organization, even back to the time that Trump's father was running it. And this is going to become an instance of following the money in that case. And now, we're talking about having the documents here.

So, these documents, as the tax records come out, as more details of money moving in and out of the Trump organization come out, this may be sort of the straw that broke the camel's back. We've had a lot of straws, but this may be like the bale of hay that you're dropping on the camel's back that, in fact, brings this thing to a head. So, he may not have the choice about making that decision. That decision might be made either through the report that's made by Mueller to Congress, because of documents that are now coming out in parallel cases.

PAUL: But Michael, that doesn't necessarily mean the documents would be made public, so we don't know what the political implications could be.

MOORE: We don't know. And this is what's happening: We've seen it both with Giuliani in statements that he's made even about Cohen. We've seen it in statements that other Trump administration people have made in public.

They're trying to balance the tight rope between the court of public opinion and what they can say and what happens and the evidence that comes out in a court of law. Those things are not always compatible. And so, documents that may come out in one side may not be important in another, and vice versa. So, it doesn't always mean the documents come out, but it may mean they're available for other people to use in other matters.

PAUL: All righty. So, historically, Walter, that when you look at this, what are political implications for the president?

SHAUB: Yes, well, obviously, he's concerned because he hasn't released his tax returns. So, I think that alone has been him signaling to us that there's information he doesn't want the American public to know. And now, a particular group -- three, really -- are going to be able to get access to these things. And as Michael pointed out, we don't know how far they'll be able to disseminate them, but at least they'll be looking at them. Another concern for him is that the judge signaled in there that the

definition of emolument that he gave, which is any profit gained or advantage, could open questions about his continued lease of the old post office pavilion where the hotel is. There's a question as to whether or not perhaps even that's an emolument, because the domestic emoluments clause, in addition to the foreign emoluments clause, covers things that come from state governments or the United States government, other than your salary. So, he's got a lot on the line here with this decision.

PAUL: So, Michael, and I saw you shaking your head there, it's more than possibly the Trump International Hotel in D.C. that's at stake here.

[07:29:56] MOORE: It could be. I mean, there are discussions about a lease that a Chinese bank has in one of Trump's buildings. There are other things that are out there, not to mention the fact that, you know, we've had this charade about who was going to control the Trump organization, the Trump business. It matters internationally. But that seems to maybe have been smokes screen, and now this is going to filter some of that out.

We're going to find out, in fact, how far the -- where the money goes. I guess as it flows into the Trump administration. And that is really -- you know, that's the fly in the ointment for Donald Trump.

That the money is going to now -- that the trail of the money and follow the money is going to be a little bit easier because this case is moving forward.

PAUL: So, Walter, you know, the thing about the Trump presidency that is so unique is that he came into this job of the presidency with a gigantic -- you know, business empire.

Much more so than we have seen really from any recent president by any means. I mean, his name is plastered on buildings and on companies. So, with that said is there the possibility of setting some sort of precedent in this case for future presidents?

SHAUB: Well, I think, unfortunately, everything that happens is going to set a precedent. And sadly, the president that has been set already is that this president chose not to follow the tradition of divesting his conflicting financial interests.

And so, we're in uncharted territory as a result of that bad decision that he made early on, and anything that happens after that sets a new Precedent. Frankly, I'm open to any kind of new precedent other than the one that he did set which is that of presidents keeping their conflicting financial interests.

PAUL: All right, Walter Shaub and Michael Moore, we still appreciate you both being here. Thank you, gentlemen.

MOORE: Good to be with you.

SHAUB: Thanks. SAVIDGE: We have "BREAKING NEWS" this morning from the Vatican, regarding the resignation of a Cardinal. Senior Vatican analyst John Allen joins us now on the telephone with the details. John, what do we know about this?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST (via telephone): Well, what we know is that in a recent weeks, there had been mounting accusations against a retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. He was formerly the Archbishop both of Newark, New Jersey and also Washington, D.C.

In Washington, he became probably the premier broker between the Catholic Bishops in America and the nation's political establishment. He played an incredibly important role during the John -- the late years of the John Paul II papacy, Benedict XVI.

And also, reportedly, was instrumental in helping get Pope Francis elected in March of 2013. The accusations now hold that Cardinal McCarrick is guilty of a variety of acts of sexual misconduct and abuse including in at least one case with a minor.

Of course, Pope Francis has pledged himself to a strong zero-tolerance policy in sexual abuse. Today, the Vatican announced that the Pope has accepted Cardinal McCarrick resignation from the Cardinal of College -- College of Cardinals. So, as of today, he is no longer a cardinal.

And that the Pope has also suspended McCarrick (INAUDIBLE). Which means that he is not able to act as a priest. He cannot celebrate mass, he cannot do confirmations, and so on. While a church investigation against him is unfolding.

So, what we have is fairly dramatic and rapid papal action against the highest rung of the Catholic power structure. This kind of thing is really unprecedented since the early 20th century.

SAVIDGE: Alright, well, we'll continue to follow it through you. John Allen, thank you very much for insights on the "BREAKING NEWS" coming out of the Vatican this morning. Christi?

PAUL: A doctor for former President George H. W. Bush was shot in the middle of his bike ride. Listen to what -- you're going to listen to what investigators are finding out now as they try to piece together exactly what happened. Really interesting here. Stay close.


[07:38:30] SAVIDGE: The New Yorker magazine is reporting that sexual misconduct allegations against one of the most powerful men in media. We're talking about CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves. CNN has not independently confirmed these allegations.

The article cites incidents of unwanted advances, intimidation, and retaliation involving six women. The author Ronan Farrow discussed his story earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RONAN FARROW, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: They all continue to fear retaliation. You know, Janet Jones, the writer you just mentioned describes him calling her afterwards, and threatening her, and saying these sort of things that appear to be cliches to us.

But obviously, coming after a work meeting and after an alleged assault like this are very, very, serious and frightening like you're never going to work again. And she, and these other women were still frightened to come forward but said they were doing so because they wanted to expose what they feared was a culture of impunity that could protect other women if it's reversed.



PAUL: Now, Moonves has responded. Here is what he says, "I recognized that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes and I regret them immensely, but I always understood and respected and abided by the principle that no means no, and I've never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone's career."

CBS's independent board of director says it will review the claims and then, take appropriate action.

SAVIDGE: A doctor for former President George H.W. Bush was shot killed while he was out on the bike ride a week ago. And now, police say they nor believe that he may have been targeted.

[07:40:00] PAUL: Our affiliate KPRC spoke with a former FBI investigator as he tries to piece together what's really become a bizarre case. Take a look.


KPRC: One week later, to stand where Dr. Hausknecht fell after being shot.

DENNIS FRANKS, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Trained investigator, and you know, you conduct investigations without emotion. But there's some emotion in just being here.

KPRC: It's tough, even for a seasoned investigator who spent 22 years with the FBI.

So we know the doctor cross the street on his bike.

I walk with Dennis Franks, following the path Dr. Hausknecht took. The shooting happened near a construction site on Main Street, near West Holcomb. A worker who spoke to us off-camera mentioned, they had been using a type of nail gun to fire nails into iron supports. Something someone with sinister plans may have used to their advantage.

FRANKS: Use gunpowder and a shell to fire the nails into steel. So, that sound itself would sound like a gun firing. Is it coincidental? I don't know.

KPRC: Then there's the precision of the shooting, Dr. Hausknecht was shot while riding his bike.

FRANKS: When the target is moving also, that takes skill.

KPRC: it suggests to Franks that the shooter was someone who had training.

FRANKS: And there were three shots.

KPRC: Three shots is what the medical examiner's saying.

FRANKS: So, I find a very interesting -- he could be that just the shooter has a certain amount of training but that's typically a tactical training, that's tactical either law enforcement or military training. Two shots to the chest, one to the head. That's usually the training when you come out boom, boom to the chest. Boom, one to the head in that order.


PAUL: All righty, and we'll keep you posted on what happens to -- from that. Listen, still to come, 100 days.


PAUL: Yes, 100 days until the midterm elections. Democrats are gearing up to flip keys seats blue. But what's their winning strategy?

SAVIDGE: Democratic Congressional candidate for Georgia, 6th District, Lucy McBath, joins us next.

Plus, the U.S. is threatening to sanction Turkey if they refuse to free the American pastor who is under house arrest in that country. And that story is next as well.


[07:46:26] SAVIDGE: There are just over 100 days to the midterm elections, and Democrats are looking for a congressional upset. Republicans are defending 42 vacant seats, and 13 of those are in districts that President Trump didn't win by a landslide, and that's giving potentially, Democrats an edge.

One of those key battlegrounds is Georgia's 6th District. Republican Karen Handel, defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in the special election last year. But Democrats now have a second chance to flip it, as they say. And joining me now, Democratic candidate for Georgia's 6th District, Lucy McBath.

Important to note, also here that CNN has reached out to McBath's Republican opponent, that's Karen Handel. As yet, we have not received a response. She is always welcome to come and speak on this program or any other on CNN. Lucy, thank you very much for joining us this morning.


SAVIDGE: I want to say, first of all, I'm sorry about the loss of your son. I know this because I covered the trial of the man, and that weighs into this because he was shot and killed. And gun control has to be, of course, important to you, both personally and also as a candidate.

But you're running in a district that's pretty conservative, here. I'm wondering, how do you do that?

MCBATH: Well, first and foremost, I always have to say -- you know, the narrative is, is that I am a supporter of the Second Amendment. You know, I'm not against taking guns away from law-abiding gun owners, and hunters, and gun enthusiasts.

My father was a hunter, my oldest nephew is a sharpshooter in the Marines. So, it's not about being against guns, but what it truly is, is making sure that we are putting some balance in our existing gun laws to make sure that we don't have the kinds of tragedies continue to happen over and over again, such as what happened to my son.

But giving the ability of law-abiding gun owners to have their guns. So, making sure that narrative is directed to people that necessarily wouldn't agree with me, trying to get them to understand that I'm fighting and trying to preserve their lives, as well. And they're -- also their ability to be able to have their guns.

SAVIDGE: You, unlike a number of other Democratic candidates need Republican votes essentially in the math to win.


SAVIDGE: And I presume that -- you know, you're looking for those disenfranchised or those who feel that the president has not done it for them. And many of them may be women, women in suburban areas. Am I wrong at that?

MCBATH: Well, I've heard from -- I call them my neighbors. Since I've been all over the district now, the 6th Congressional district. And I'm talking to people that some are Republicans, but what I'm hearing is that, you know, we're concerned, we're afraid for our future.

We're afraid of what's coming out of Washington, and we're just looking for someone that will speak credibility to the things that we're concerned about. I actually have people in my district who are Republicans. Who said, "I'm a Republican that doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to switch to be along life -- a lifelong Democrat.

But I believe in what you're saying to us. I believe in your -- the reality of the issues that you have dealt with, you live among us. And I'm going to vote for you because I think that you speak credibility to what's important, to what I need and my family's needs."

SAVIDGE: Just as we -- you know, we mentioned how close these midterm elections are. And yet, it also seems that the Democratic Party is kind of split here. You've got young up-and-coming progressives that have won some surprising elections.

You've got Nancy Pelosi and others in Washington who had been there a long time, who are the face of the Democratic Party, and who make the money. Is it time to pass the torch? And how do you deal with the issue of yes, you need the finance but we also need a fresh approach?

[07:50:03] MCBATH: Well, you know, I was talking with Senator Tim Kaine just the other day. And you know, we were talking about the fact that is that what does a new credible politician look like? You know, we talked about what historically a politician or a legislator looks like.

But now, we're dealing with people that have decided that -- you know they're smart enough, they know enough, they have enough wisdom, and they have life experience that gives them credibility to be able to speak to the things that the people that they live among are concerned about.

So, it's a balance of being able to take the older established political regime, so to speak. And building the new ideas of younger people that actually really have a fire in their belly to do what they believe we need to do to win seats for the Democratic Party.

SAVIDGE: Well, we appreciate you coming, and we're definitely going to follow your campaign very closely.

MCBATH: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: It's one of those that are key, as many are across the nation as we go into this election.

MCBATH: Thank you very much.

SAVIDGE: Thank you very much for joining us, and again, we did reach out to Karen Handel, she is invited. Hopefully, she'll respond. Thank you, again.

MCBATH: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Christi?

PAUL: Thank you, Martin. So, the U.S. is threatening large sanctions of -- on Turkey, since it's refusing to release American pastor Andrew Brunson. This is happening amid reports that President Trump asked Israel to release a Turkish woman in custody as part of a deal to free Brunson. A deal that turkey denies, by the way. Here's CNN's Jomana Karadsheh.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Finally, American pastor Andrew Brunson, walked out of jail on Wednesday but not yet free. After almost two years behind bars, a Turkish court transfer him into house arrest, barring Brunson from leaving the country. The decision unleashing threats from U.S. officials against their NATO ally.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To President Erdogan and the Turkish government, I have a message on behalf of the President of the United States of America. Release Pastor Andrew Brunson now or be prepared to face the consequences.

KARADSHEH: Brunson was detained in 2016 following the failed coup attempt charged with ties to Kurdish militants and the Gulen movement, the group accused of being behind the attempted coup.

President Trump weighing in on Twitter, threatening Turkey with "large sanctions" calling the North Carolina evangelical a great Christian and a wonderful human being. Turkey's foreign minister firing back in a tweet, "No one dictates to Turkey," he said, we will never tolerate threats from anybody. Rule of law is for everyone, no exception.

Brunson and his family have repeatedly denied the charges, saying he's being persecuted because of his faith.

JACQUELINE FURNARI, DAUGHTER OF ANDREW BRUNSON: Having grown up in Turkey, it has been hard for me to understand the situation. My family loves and respects the Turkish people, and my father has been dedicated to serving them for over two decades. I know the allegations against him are absurd, he is not an armed terrorist trying to overthrow any government.


KARADSHEH: U.S. officials have accused Turkey of using Brunson as a political hostage. Last year, President Erdogan, hinting at a swap. The pastor for the U.S. based Muslim cleric who Turkey says was behind the failed coup, a claimed the cleric denies.

Brunson's imprisonment just one of the issues that have strained ties between the two allies. But in recent weeks, it seemed like disagreements were being resolved.

The threat of sanctions threatens to undo any progress that's been made recently. Especially, with two unpredictable leaders not known to back down easily. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.

PAUL: And still ahead, we're going to take you to Russia where President Vladimir Putin is hosting some military games this week. Also, a small mistake led to one big mess for a man in Colorado. What he left in his car that may have attracted a bear?



[07:58:03] CONAN O'BRIEN, FORMER WRITER, THE SIMPSONS: If you think of it and it's funny, you can make it happen.

JERRY BECK, ANIMATION HISTORIAN: Animation and comedy goes right back to the extreme beginning of film.

KLIPH NESTEROFF, AUTHOR, THE COMEDIANS: At the end of the 20s, start of the 30s, comedy shorts were very popular in cinema. So, the big stars were people like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton. Cartoons were also film shorts shown in theaters.

BECK: Some of the early cartoons are loaded with starring characters like Koko the Clown, and Felix the Cat. But then, Mickey Mouse comes along and is considered the first sound cartoon character.

Not only did Walt Disney had sound with the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, but they were funny sounds.

MATT GROENING, PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR, THE SIMPSONS: At the time, there's no animation to look at, because no one was doing animation. So, they looked at Chaplin, or they looked at Buster Keaton, and they looked at Laurel and Hardy. Because it was all about physical performance in the silence, that was a good way for them to hone up their animation skills.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chaplin, said, "Oh my gosh, Mickey Mouse is going to put me out of work because the mouse could do magically, almost anything."


SAVIDGE: Don't miss the history of comedy that's tomorrow night, 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, only on CNN.

PAUL: Well, you would not want to open your door to find a car like this. A Colorado man has a lot to clean up after a curious bear got trapped in his truck. The man called police after he discovered the bear.

Look at the video here, you see the deputy who was called in to help. He was able to free the bear from a distance, safe distance. And while the bear walked free, that's what the guys left with substantial damage in his truck's cab which is just destroyed.