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Airline Employee Steals, Crashes Empty Passenger Plane; Fighter Jets Pursued, Then Escorted Stolen Plane Before Crash; Multiple Events Planned One Year After Charlottesville; Trump Team Sees Mueller Investigation Wrapping Soon; Mueller Subpoenas Roger Stone Associate; Rural Pennsylvania Town Racially Divided. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired August 11, 2018 - 07:00   ET



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

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: So glad to have you here. Breaking news overnight, a regional airline employee steals an empty plane, takes off and starts doing these aerial maneuvers.

BLACKWELL: This happened just after 8:00 Seattle time. And within minutes, military jets were right behind him. He flew the plane for an hour and then crash into a wooded area about 40 miles from the airport.

PAUL: And we want to make it very clear, authorities saying this is not terrorism, this is not a terroristic incident. We're learning more about the man, though, who apparently stole that plane. The Pierce County sheriff's office didn't identify him but they say he's a 29-year-old male who they said was suicidal.

BLACKWELL: His job was as a ground service agent. Now, they can be in charge of everything from directing the plane on the ground to handling bags, flying the plane is not part of the job description. Here's a closer look now at what happened.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a ground stop. No one is departing right now. They're working out an issue close to our air space.

BLACKWELL: With those words to airline pilots, all traffic was stopped in Washington State, Seattle-Tacoma Airport known as Sea-Tac after what's being called an unauthorized takeoff of Q400 turbo prop plane from Horizon Air owned by the Alaska air group. The company's COO said in a video statement that the aircraft was taken by a single Horizon Air employee and no passengers were onboard. The Pierce County sheriff said the man was a 29-year-old ground service agent. What happened next was a bizarre display in the skies above South Puget sound. The agent was in touch with air traffic controllers and apparently performed stunts in the 76-seater plane. They tried to talk him down to a safe landing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, you did that. Now, let's try to land that airplane safely and not hurt anybody on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I don't know, man. I don't know. I don't want to. I was kind of hoping that was going to be it, you know.

BLACKWELL: International guard jets was scrambled and Washington's governor instantly tweeted that fighter pilots flew alongside the aircraft and were ready to do whatever was needed to protect citizens. But, in the end, the man flying the stolen plane crashed. Pictures from CNN-affiliate KOMO showed flaming debris on nearby island -- the site of the crash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The plane literally, at that moment, was flying right over our decks, and right behind it was the team. We'd never seen a plane that low over our deck before and shortly thereafter, we saw a giant plume of black smoke out in the distance.


BLACKWELL: Joining us now to talk about how this could happen, Colonel Cedric Leighton, CNN Military Analyst; and on the phone, David Soucie, CNN Safety Analyst. Gentlemen, good morning. And David, let me start with you. This is something I've been wondering since we learned more about this theft and then crash. Once airport authorities know that someone who is not authorized to be in the cockpit is in the cockpit, the plane is on the move and they know that this person has nefarious intentions. What's the protocol to stop this plane from getting off the ground, if any?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, there is protocol for that. A couple things that can happen is there is actually ground movement, vehicles that can be placed in front of the aircraft. Now, it's not really effective and kind of suicidal for whoever is driving that vehicle. But, if they know it is happening, they can shut down the aircraft physically with -- Sea-Tac doesn't have snow plows but they could put the fire trucks in front and that is the method for try to stop someone from taking off. But it's not something that's practiced very often, but it is something that is a protocol at the airports.

PAUL: So, Colonel Leighton, I wanted to ask you, we just heard there some of the sound that was going back and forth between the man who was piloting that plane and Sea-Tac Airport, and you might have caught the moment where they said when he did the spin and they said, congratulations, now let's try to get this thing on the ground. How do you -- you could see, well, they're trying to make him feel good, OK, you did this, let's get back on the ground. Is there anything else you think, based on what we've heard so far this morning, that they could have done differently?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Not really, Christi. I mean, when you hear the way in which the air traffic controllers handled this, it was extremely professional. Very calm and, like you said, they're, in essence trying to talk the guy down. There is really nothing that they can do except guide an individual like this to a safer landing zone. In this case, you know, the water was a possibility. Certainly, you wanted to keep him away from residential areas things like schools and other areas where the public might congregate.

Of course, at that point in time, there was probably very little, you know, in the way of activity in some of the schools, but that's one of the big things that they would want to do. And you really want to make sure that in some ways, you give that person enough instruction so that they can land the plane as safely as possible, but in most cases like this, you don't find them really capable of receiving that kind of instruction. So, it's a real challenge for air traffic controllers.

[07:05:23] BLACKWELL: So, these were certainly some aerobatics that this John Waldron, who recorded this video got captured. David, this does not appear to you -- correct me if I'm wrong -- as someone who has never flown or has had no training.

SOUCIE: No, it doesn't. It looks like someone who has had some training. He does know what he's doing. He's a ground agent that could also be a mechanic. Someone who could be very familiar with that and may even be a pilot himself, but we'll find that out later. But he clearly wasn't of right mind and his flying and where he was going, but he did have command of the aircraft.

BLACKWELL: Clarify that. Because early on, the sheriff referred to this man as a mechanic and then we got the clarification that it was a ground service agent. So, you're saying that he could be both a ground service agent and a mechanic. Is that what you're saying?

SOUCIE: Yes. The term ground service agent is an airport term that identifies anyone that has access to particular areas. So, whether his job was to carry baggage, whether his job was to be a mechanic, he's saying anything to do with ground service is that category who has access to the aircraft. He has access to the tarmac, he has access to the baggage area and this is one of our most vulnerable areas, as with all airports across the country right now is these ground service agent passes.


PAUL: So, Colonel Leighton, do we know what kind of mental health checks are done on, I mean, we know that pilots are certainly heavily scrutinized. We know you're in the military, the flights that followed him, the F-15, they obviously go through rigorous testing. What about these ground agents? And are there protocols to change that to make it more rigorous for everybody working at the airport? I'm trying to understand the vulnerability at that airport, there has to be people there who are saying: How on Earth can a man like this, in this position, get access to that and do what he did?

LEIGHTON: Absolutely, Christi. Well, the problem is that there is no protocol for people like ground service agents or most mechanics to have real thorough background checks. So, they're not going to have the same kind of background checks that pilots go through and, you know, you mentioned the military. Of course, military pilots have very strong, very rigorous background checks.

In this case, you also have, you know, civilian pilots go through very similar procedures. So, their backgrounds are looked at. It's not a fail-safe method, but it's at least one way in which we can assess or the professional community can assess whether somebody is qualified to fly an aircraft from a mental health perspective. There is no protocol in place to handle these kinds of situations because you don't expect these kinds of employees to have that kind of access and to take things into their own hands, such as actual aircraft.

Something that absolutely needs to change. There have been measures that have been before Congress that have passed the House, but not the Senate, that would actually indicate that they're moving toward much more thorough background check investigation process. But that process is not fail-safe and it is also a process that really needs a lot of work in the sense that it needs to be a continuous process, not just a one-time process when a person applies for a job.

PAUL: All right. Again, that suspect believed to be the only person on the plane, which crashed in that wooded area on Ketron Island. We understand that authorities are there on the scene and investigations will begin. Colonel Cedric Leighton and David Soucie, we appreciate you both so much. Thank you for being here. They're going to stick with us here as we have more to discuss, of course.

We also have more to listen to with you here. The audio from inside the cockpit of that plane where this man talked about what he was trying to do.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going try to do a barrel roll and if that goes good, I'm going to nose down and call it a night.


BLACKWELL: The man I mentioned a moment ago, John Waldron, he was taking a walk when he looked up and saw the planes. He recorded that video. We spoke with him last hour and he said he knew something was wrong.


JOHN WALDRON, EYEWITNESS: Out of nowhere, the guy that was flying this Q400 just pulled the stick back and put this thing into a complete loop and I honestly thought he was going to stall and hit the water. He headed down toward where he eventually crashed at. He actually pulled the nose back up, again, and I thought he was going to stall, again. And he made his way down towards (INAUDIBLE), I looked, again, he was in a nose dive and he went into the ground, straight into the ground. I saw a brief flash of flame and a big plume of smoke and then then the sound of explosion. I just had a bad feeling.


[07:10:18] PAUL: We'll continue to follow this for you this afternoon and this morning. Listen, it's been a year since white nationalists and counter protesters fought on the streets of Charlottesville. Some people say, listen, this country hasn't had a moment of healing when it comes to race and hatred. Where we are a year later and where we're going.

BLACKWELL: Look at this. Entire neighborhoods destroyed in California. The state is in the middle of a record-breaking fire season. We'll have more details on how these monstrous fires are racing through these communities and they don't seem to be letting up just yet.


RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: You do not want to run into the November elections. So, back up from that, this should be over with by September 1st.


BLACKWELL: That's President Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, co- hosting a radio show with Jay Sekulow, another attorney for the president, saying the Mueller investigation should be wrapped up within the next few weeks. We'll have more of their comments as the first major test of the special investigation continues.


[07:15:26] BLACKWELL: There are several events planned in Charlottesville, Virginia today to mark one year since the United the Right rally where white nationalist launched violent protests on the University of Virginia lawn there at the school and at downtown Charlottesville. And the riots resulted in the death of 32-year-old, Heather Heyer.

PAUL: Two Virginia state troopers were in a helicopter watching the protest and they were killed as well in a crash. Well, this morning, the University of Virginia is hosting a morning of reflection and renewal with a breakfast and performances. And this afternoon, Charlottesville clergy members are leading a faith service for remembrance; then this evening, there's going to be a student rally on UVA's campus. CNN Correspondent Kaylee Hartung in Charlottesville right now. And Kaylee, you were there last year. Have you talked to anybody about the differences from last year to this year? Do they feel like anything has changed?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi and Victor, what has changed here, a lot of the city's personnel, if you will. There's a new police chief in town and new mayor, a new city attorney -- officials who made decisions that led to the results of last year's events are no longer in those positions that they were elected to.

I was just speaking with a few members of the Charlottesville community who say over the past year they've had more conversations with their neighbors, with their colleagues than they have in years' past about the state of race relations, not just in the city of Charlottesville, but in this country. The city this weekend is really focused on healing, looking forward, not looking back at what happened a year ago. But these barricades, you see behind me, concrete barriers barring any vehicles from entering the downtown area. Those barriers such a sharp reminder of what was witnessed a year ago. This intersection, I'm standing at right outside of what was known as

emancipation park, that statue of Robert E. Lee that was the genesis of the alt-right coming here to Charlottesville. This was the intersection where you saw so much violence and the brutality a year ago. These streets closed. The police chief saying violence will not be tolerated in the city this weekend.

PAUL: All right, Kaylee, thank you so much. We appreciate it. So, in the meantime, I want to let you know that I talked with Susan Bro, she is the mother of Heather Heyer, who is speaking out on losing her daughter in last year's violent protests. Heather Heyer was the one who died in that crash. I spoke when that car crashed. I spoke with her mother about the state of race relations in the country and what her message specifically is for unity.


SUSAN BRO, MOTHER OF HEATHER HEYER: Sometimes if someone is so adamantly opposed to what you have to say, you simply make your point by linking arms with that person of color who is with you. Or, you know, it could be a visual statement, as much as a verbal statement. Sometimes people aren't ready to hear what you have to say, but they can't help but see what you're doing.

PAUL: What do you want to say?

BRO: I want to say, snap out of it. White privilege is a very real thing. You know, I struggled a lot in my life. I was a single mom with two kids. My parents provided for me. I have, you know, I was not struggling as a child. My grandparents were co-miners and farmers and I live in a single wide trailer. I get that demographic, I get the mindset. But, it's not mandatory that you think a certain way just because you live a certain way. You have the ability to still think for yourself. I often say, don't drink the Kool-Aid. Be aware of the fact that you don't have to believe the way you were brought up to believe.


PAUL: Susan, by the way, is expected to visit the cemetery where her daughter is buried tomorrow and also to lay some flowers where she died.

[07:19:46] BLACKWELL: We're getting more of the breaking news out of Washington State where an airline employee stole a plane and crashed it. Coming up, the conversation he had with air traffic controller's midflight.


BLACKWELL: We have some new developments in the breaking news we've been covering overnight in Seattle. An airline employee is dead after crashing a plane he stole from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

PAUL: Authorities say, the 29-year-old ground service agent stole the plane about 8:00 last night, Seattle time. Two fighter jets scrambled escorting the plane for nearly an hour and during that entire flight, air traffic controllers were in contact with that man, attempting to convince him to turn around and land that plane.

BLACKWELL: Well, after a 25-mile flight, the plane crashed on Ketron Island. The Piece County sheriff's deputies say the 29-year-old man was suicidal. Several times during the flight, he apologized. Listen.


[07:25:20] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a lot of people that care about me and it's going to disappoint them that I did this, I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just that broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it until now.


BLACKWELL: We'll be listening to more of that, but, first, let me read. This is the White House statement just released. And I'm going to read it for you here: "The president has been briefed on the incident involving a stolen plane from Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle and is monitoring the situation as information becomes available. Federal authorities are assisting with the ongoing investigation, which is being led by local authorities. We commend the inter-agency response effort for their swift action and protection of public safety." That from Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

PAUL: CNN Military Analyst, Retired Air Force Colonel, Cedric Leighton, with us now, as well as David Sucie, CNN Safety Analyst. Your reaction there, colonel, to what you heard from the White House and what happens next in this investigation.

LEIGHTON: Well, Christi, I think the White House made the right statement in this particular case there, and talking, you know, about the inter-agency cooperation that really made this possible. And in essence, what we have here is a test of the system that we have for air defense in this country. And the fact that the F-15s from the 142nd fighter wing at Portland, Oregon International Guard Unit came so quickly shows that at least that part of the system is working. And, of course, we'll have to find out exactly what the motivations were. You know, was this just solely a mental health issue?

And as far as the future of the investigation is concerned, I would say that the hope of the pilot, the person who stole the plane in this case, is something that is of paramount concern. You always want to look at, you know, just to make sure that there are no connections to anything else. There are, after all, five different military installations, major military installations in the Seattle-Tacoma Washington area. And that very fact alone makes any activity of this type, you know, part of a broader look and the investigations have to include a look at motivations, a look at connections, a look at the kinds of things that may have spurred this kind of activity. But, you know, so far, I agree with the local sheriff who said that there is no terrorist activity indicated at the present time.

BLACKWELL: David, to you on the phone, let's talk more about this investigation. We know that the colonel has just outlined the questions that these investigators want answered. Tell us practically what that looks like at the airport there in the hangar and who are they speaking with? What are the questions they're asking? What evidence could they potentially get their hands on right now after their plane has crashed and burned that could give them some of those answers?

SUCIE: Well, the first thing they're going to be looking at is the fact that there is a protocol to not allow anyone to singularly to get on board in aircraft. That's one stop one and it's something that's practiced, it's something that -- it's like when you have a security badge and you go through the door, you're supposed to close the door behind you and make sure no one comes behind you until they use their badge to come through. And that is very similar to this process in which if you are going to access the aircraft, you make sure that you check with someone else and that someone else is confirmed, that you have your badge with you, that you have the right authority to get on that aircraft. So, that's step one, is to figure out why in the world that happened and why someone wasn't paying attention to allow someone to go singularly onto that aircraft? So, that's step number one. Number two is, perhaps those mechanism that they have in place are not sufficient, may have to changed. So, step number two is how do they revise those processes -- and every airport in the country is going to be looking at after this incident.

PAUL: You know, it was so sad to listen to what we just listened to Colonel Leighton. The man piloting that plane saying, you know, maybe I have a screw loose and feeling so much defeat in his voice. Help us understand how you would normally try to negotiate or talk to somebody like that when they're in that state.

[07:29:45] LEIGHTON: That's a very difficult situation and it varies by each individual case and, you know, the parameters of the situation that you're in at the time, Christi. But in this way, you know, in a situation like this, what you end up doing is you end up trying to reason with the person, which can be a very difficult thing to do because they're, obviously, looking at life from a very depressed point of view. They're not looking at things in a very positive way at all. And sometimes what you try to do is you try to give people the idea that there is something to live for, there is something that they can actually seek in, in their -- in their way of doing things that will make their lives better.

But that's -- you know, at this point, an act like this is an act of desperation and in some ways, it's almost impossible to talk someone down successfully from something like this. What we're lucky within this particular case is the fact that he appears not to have hit any populated areas that there is nothing that he did that in danger anybody else.

But it could have been very, very different. And he turned the plane toward Seattle, we'd be talking a very different story today.

[07:30:57] PAUL: No doubt about it. Colonel Cedric Leighton, David Soucie, appreciate both of you being with us so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you both.

LEIGHTON: You bet.

BLACKWELL: The president's legal team sees the Mueller investigation wrapping up soon. This is as the first major test of its findings underway in the Manafort trial.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dean Martin seemed like he was a straight man, and Jerry Lewis had called himself a monkey, but it was way more complex than that. Unlike hope and Crosby which were funny guys, Jerry Lewis was 20 years old. So, he had a certain appeal and then, Dean Martin had this very easygoing style that women love, men loved, and they were a post-war phenomenon.

SEAN HAYES, ACTOR PRODUCER: Martin Lewis were bigger than the Beatles would eventually become. They were massive, there were tens of thousands of people in the streets lining up to see them and they created this mass hysteria of comedy.

Martin and Lewis transcended their material in a huge way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not now, not, you'll be a good boy. Be a nice boy. After the show, I'll take an apartment or print them, stock on statue. Come on.

The route of what makes chemistry work for people, like they just it seems like they love each other -- you know. Martin and Lewis had that, they did love each other at one point in the beginning. But then, they hated each other towards the end.



PAUL: For mortgage rates, dropped just a bit this week. Here's your look.


[07:37:05] BLACKWELL: We're headed into week three of the Paul Manafort trial. Government prosecutors trying to prove that the former Trump campaign chairman mastered fraudulent schemes to maintain a lifestyle of luxury in excess.

At Friday, we learned that others may have tried to use Manafort's connections to get ahead a bank employee testified that his boss was willing to set aside the bank's usual practices for loan approval and hopes that Manafort might be able to help him land a job in the administration.

Let's talked about this, we're joined now by senior political correspondent for The Hill, Amie Parnes. And CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Shan Wu. Shan previously represented Rick Gates, Manafort's former deputy who testified for the prosecution. Good morning to both of you.



BLACKWELL: Shan, let me start with you, and -- you know, as we now transition the prosecutors have a little more to wrap up. But which were transitioning from the prosecutors to the defense. How do you assess the defense team's efforts through thus far in cross- examination? And also, what does the defense need to look like to break down and discredit some of this information in this testimony?

WU: I think the defense team has done what they needed to do and what they plan to do, which is they launched a big frontal assault on Rick Gates. And I think they scored some points. Of course, the critical point there is the jury doesn't necessarily have to like the cooperating witness, but they do have to believe them.

So, I think that's going to be the big question. They certainly attacked them, dirtied him up a little bit, questioned his motivations, remains to be seen how the jury with their take away from that is.

I think they've also done a good job with some of the other cross- examination picking away at some of the details, for example, on the Friday, the bank loan, executives. So, they definitely made some points on cross.

I think overall what they're going to need to do is what they said in the beginning in their opening is they really need to pry apart Gates from Manafort in order to successfully do their strategy of pin all the blame on Rick Gates. And not clear if they have been able to do that or not.

But they have done a very solid job on the cross and it's been a long way as you would expect.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Now, Gates, of course, was -- Amie, an important witness here for the prosecutors. But a lot of this case is on paper and in photos, some of the purchases made by Manafort. And it's really remarkable, I just want to put the punctuation on this.

The financial difficulties, the dire straits in which Manafort, found himself in the lead up to joining the campaign. And as he worked for the Trump campaign, all the things were going on behind the scenes. It really is remarkable.

PARNES: Oh, I mean, it really is. I think that one of the biggest things here is that he has to-- you know go -- I'm sorry I'm hearing mix minus in my ear.

[07:39:59] BLACKWELL: All right, if you can fix that, we'll get back to that question. And let me -- let me come back to you, Shan, while we get the audio situation fixed for Amie, there.

Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, there's some lessons maybe we can take from one to the other as we transition here. Paul Manafort was charged last year. And there were analysts and people who knew him who said this man will flip on President Trump. This is not the type of man who will risk going to federal prison for any amount of time. He's been there for a few weeks now before this trial actually started.

I want you now to listen to what we're hearing from Roger Stone, who has not been charged. But this is what he is saying about potentially offering information about the president.


ROGER STONE, FORMER INFORMAL ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: I've made it abundantly clear that there's no circumstances under which I would testify against the president. I would not rule out cooperating if they think I could be helpful in some area. But beyond that, I have not spoken to them.


BLACKWELL: So, again, he has not been charged, this is not a trial situation. But if he is subpoenaed to come and offer information that he believes would be as he puts it against President Trump, you expect he'll stick to that line?

WU: He could try to stick to it and it sounds like he will. You know, I recently watched that film about him, and he certainly seems to be quite a loyalist in terms of his ideology. He's not really going to have a legal basis for it other than invoking the First Amendment, though.


PARNES: I'm hearing it. I'm just like --

BLACKWELL: OK. We got Amie's audio issue fix.




BLACKWELL: All right, look -- OK. So, let's move on to a different part of the conversation now and talk specifically about Randy Credico, who is now facing a subpoena. And we moved on to Roger Stone now as his communications with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Roger Stone has identified, Credico, as his liaison if you will between the two.

And then another gentleman who says, he will not speak to, he will not respond to the subpoena. The impact here and what it indicates about the direction of the Mueller investigation now?

PARNES: I mean, the thing that I think is really clear here is that they're really trying to make the case here. They're trying to find out what exactly Trump knew? I think that's key here. If he -- if he did anything, if he knew, if he did anything illegal, if Stone did anything illegal, and I think that he is the key here. That -- and it's really interesting why he hasn't been subpoenaed yet, Stone.

I think, you know, the fact that they're trying to chip away at this and try to find out exactly what he knew. What he was trying to communicate with Guccifer 2.0. What he knew about WikiLeaks? So, I think they think that this is a key witness here, and that's what they're trying to chip away here at.

BLACKWELL: All right, Amie, thank you so much. Sorry for the audio issue.

PARNES: So, sorry.

BLACKWELL: We got it fix just there at the end. And Shan Wu, thank you, as well.

WU: Good to be here.

PAUL: Well, still to come. A rural Pennsylvania town racially divided with many residents proudly supporting Nazi flags, swastikas. Others say racists are being fueled by President Trump's words. We have more on that ahead.


[07:47:26] PAUL: So, one year after that deadly rally in Charlottesville, there's this Pennsylvania town that is so divided today. Ulysses, it's a small town about 650 residents. It's faced with a racial rift though, that echoes nationally.

BLACKWELL: The south side is quaint with tree-lined blocks and friendly neighbors. But the north side is overrun with Nazi flags and wooden swastikas. CNN correspondent Sara Sidner focus on people on each side.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the calm of this rural northern Pennsylvania town, a sign that hate lives here.

Are you a neo-Nazi?

DANIEL BURNSIDE, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SOCIALIST MOVEMENT: Do I embrace it? I don't try to push it away.

SIDNER: Well, you're wearing a swastika on your shirt.

BURNSIDE: Exactly.

SIDNER: And you've got swastika flags. Why the flags, why the shirt, why these hateful symbols in this town?

BURNSIDE: I don't think they're hateful. I think it's an ideology that has been completely misinterpreted since the Third Reich. SIDNER: OK. Now, I've got a stop you.


BURNSIDE: I got -- I'm -- am I got tonight?

SIDNER: Misinterpreted, misinterpreted, 6 million Jews were killed.

BURNSIDE: No, no, you'll never sell me on that.

SIDNER: There's -- I'm not trying to sell you, it is reality, its history it cannot be denied.


SIDNER: Daniel Burnside is a lightning rod of discord in Ulysses, Pennsylvania. Population, 690. With the help of the Internet, his message has spread far and wide giving his town attention it does not want.

BURNSIDE: And rural America spoke up when they elected Trump, Rural America.

SIDNER: And by rural America, he means White America.

BURNSIDE: We're staring down the barrel of a gun here in White America. They're still 193 million white Americans, yes, the vast majority of them are in their 60s and 70s, will be in the ground in the next 20 years.

And therefore, we have the possibility of becoming a minority in our own country, a possibility.

SIDNER: Its sounds to me like you're afraid of being me.


BURNSIDE: I'll be coming to minority in our own country.

SIDNER: And being me is great.


BURNSIDE: This is my country.

SIDNER: This is also my country.

BURNSIDE: You guys didn't win the culture war.

SIDNER: He invited us on his property to talk. But when he doesn't like our conversation, he explodes.

BURNSIDE: Get the -- out of here now.

SIDNER: We do. Just down the street, were met by a dozen residents who say Burnside does not speak for this town. There are families in this county that blame politics for people like him sort of being able to come out, and be very loud. Is that fair?

IVAN LEHMAN, RESIDENT, ULYSSES, PENNSYLVANIA: The president we've got right now has hasn't helped a situation a whole lot. You know, he's done a lot of the same beliefs. You know, at least, he won't speak against him. OK, this guy feeds off that stuff.

SIDNER: Among the crowd, many with grandfathers or fathers who fought the Nazis in World War II.

[07:50:01] CARM BARKER, RESIDENT, ULYSSES, PENNSYLVANIA: We're good people, and he's stepping on us. He's stepping on all of us. You know we are all one -- we're all one tribe. You know, and who does he think he is?

SIDNER: Teacher Debby Hamilton, says she just returned from touring concentration camps in Poland.

DEBBIE HAMILTON, TEACHER OF SOCIAL STUDIES, ULYSSES, PENNSYLVANIA: One of the things that they spent a lot of time talking about was passive resistance versus active resistance.

SIDNER: So far, they've chosen passive resistance with Burnside. On the other side of Potter County, Joe and Sheshema Leschner are convinced passive resistance is the wrong choice.

JOE LESCHNER, FORMER RESIDENT OF POTTER COUNTY: I'm not saying you should go to their houses with pitchforks and guns, you know. I'm saying hold a peaceful protest against them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Neighborhood Watch.

SIDNER: After seeing KKK Flyers, appearing in their neighborhood, and Burnside's decorations in their County Joe did protest only to receive a threat by one of the supremacists he stood against.

J. LESCHNER: They would look at me and give me the finger and even make little gestures -- you know like they were going to shoot me.

SIDNER: Joe says, the racial hatred intensified in his Jamaican bride arrived.

SHESHEMA LESCHNER, FORMER RESIDENT OF POTTER COUNTY: In Walmart, you know, and got a lot of that. They --

SIDNER: In their mind, if more people stood up against hate, the racist will be forced to leave and let love stand. Sara Sidner, CNN, Ulysses, Pennsylvania.


BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Sara Sidner. Three of the more than a dozen wildfires burning right now in California have scored thousands of acres destroyed everything in their paths, will tell you more about them. And the people, and the buildings where they are impacted.


[07:55:50] ANNOUNCER: "STAYING WELL" is brought to you by non-drowsy, 24-hour Claritin. Leave Claritin clear.

PAUL: Alright, listen. You know that is your age there's sometimes gets a little hard to walking up stairs, lifting groceries out of the trunk. Well this week's "STAYING WELL" looks at functional fitness exercises that train our muscles to help us in our everyday activities.


JULIE MIGNEREY, MANAGER, SONNENALP RESORT OF VAIL: As age has crept up on me, I notice little things -- going up the stairs, I'm a little out of breath. Go hiking with my family, and I'm the last one in line. I'm much more calling after the kids, can you bring this downstairs? Or if I'm sitting down, can you grab that glass of water for me.

I'm not looking to go be a bodybuilder. So, I just wanted everyday function ability.

KOLLEEN LOSCH, SPECIALIST OF CORRECTIVE EXERCISE: Functional Fitness is where you're training for everyday movements. We don't think about how a squat will translate into an everyday world. But we squat every time we sit down. Getting into a car, getting off the couch, when we're traveling in the airports or putting things into the overhead compartments that's a shoulder press.

MIGNEREY: I can totally feel this in my stomach. They had me do certain exercises and ask, how does that feel? Where are you feeling that?

LOSCH: Exercise should not be about getting injured. so if we find that a client has an injury we will refer them out to a physical therapist or an occupational therapist.

MIGNEREY: After about two months, I noticed the aches and pains going away. I have lost some weight. I feel healthier. I feel like my muscles are stronger, and they support me better.

Now, I want to be out there with the kids, having the fun versus sitting in the chair and watching everybody else have those moments.



BLACKWELL: Right now, there are 19 fires burning across California. Three of them are massive. Look at this, cars, homes, entire neighborhoods destroyed by these flames. CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera is live from the Severe Weather Center.

Ivan, first, good morning to you. Second, is are the people there expecting another rough weekend or is there some relief coming?

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, depends on where you are, Victor. Good to see you. Yes, and we had one gentleman hosing down his house. Police telling him -- yelling at him to get out. He is yelling for the fire department. They're out there in thousands, of course, but they can't be in every little spot.

And tell you what, the fires have been winning in some cases because of the weather conditions. 19 fires are tracking right now. We're going to focus on other ones that are really impacting a chunk of area here. It is 90 percent containment, that's much improved from where we were. But unfortunately, it's taken out 48 thousand plus acres.

And then, the ranch fire which is part of the Mendocino Complex fire, that one's 263,000 acres that ones have contained.

This is the big deal here now that we've been focusing in on. Southern California, this is impacting with Orange County, Riverside as well 19,000 acres now only10 percent containment. But it's in this area that I think we're going to get improvement. Notice the red flag warnings, what that means as fire conditions are going to be terrible here.

High winds, low relative humidity, and high temperatures. But as we move further down to the south, we actually don't have red flag warnings here. And there's a good reason for that.

The marine layer that is pretty typical for Southern California along the coast anyway is actually going to penetrate further to the east. So that Holy Fire is going to benefit from higher humidity. I'm not talking about rainfall, but if you can get a little bit of help that is going to go a long way.

This what you see here, that's monsoonal moisture and that may eventually try to work its way to the west, but I'm thinking more of mountain thunderstorms. In fact, we don't want storms in or around the fire. That's when you get erratic winds and that's when the prevailing winds, the predictable winds go away and firefighters all of a sudden have a big wind to shift.

So, we don't want thunderstorms. I don't think we'll get them, but we're not are going to get rain either here. Temperatures over the next few days in the 90s, sunny and windy. But again, that one improvement in the relative humidity I think that's going to go up the next few days.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ivan Cabrera, thanks so much.


PAUL: So, glad to have you accompany here. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. The White House is now responding to the breaking news from overnight after a regional airline employee steals an empty plane takes off and then crashes. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, says the president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation.