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Private Burial Today At Naval Academy For Senator McCain; Trump Golfs While Washington Mourns McCain; Ohr and Steele Try To Flip Russian Oligarch; Pope Francis Under Fire; Two U.S. Citizens Attacked In Amsterdam; CNN's "RBG" Premiers Monday Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 2, 2018 - 06:00   ET




MEGHAN MCCAIN, JOHN MCCAIN'S DAUGHTER: The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For John and me there was a personal journey but he also made me better. In the end I got to enjoy one of life's great gifts the friendship of John McCain.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What better way to get the last laugh than to make George and I say nice things about him to a national audience. When all was said and done we were on the same team.

JOE LIEBERMAN, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Not the tribal partisanship and personal attack politics that have recently characterized our life.

MCCAIN: My father was a great man, he was a great warrior, he was a great American.


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

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We're always so grateful to have you here. Thank you for being with us.

As today Senator John McCain is laid to rest at the Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis. This is going to be a private funeral, very private farewell for the man who lived so much his life in the public eye.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Now on Saturday, more than a thousand mourners crowded into Washington National Cathedral for a memorial service that the senator planned in great detail. The funeral seemingly built to show a unified political message but excluding the current leader of the country.

Here's CNN's Jeff Zeleny. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Washington paid tribute and bid farewell to John McCain, an American patriot and politician. At the Washington National Cathedral, a living tableau of history of who's who of leaders from all stripes assembling to say good-bye to a war hero and veteran Republican senator. McCain's daughter, Meghan, overcome with grief and emotion throughout the week spoke passionately about her father with a poignant and pointed message.

MCCAIN: We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege.

ZELENY: Inside the soaring cathedral it was the first of several references to President Trump and his own brand of politics her father reviled.

MCCAIN: The American of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.


ZELENY: The funeral unfolded as a parting lesson in civility from McCain himself. To eulogize him he invited two men who extinguished his own dreams for the White House, George W. Bush who won a bitter primary fight in 2000, and Barack Obama who prevailed in 2008. Amidst moments of humor --

BUSH: From troublemaking plebe to presidential candidate.

ZELENY: -- praise for McCain's core believes.

BUSH: In various points throughout his long career, John confronted policies and practices that he believed were unworthy of his country. To the face of those in authority, John McCain would insist, "We are better than this. America is better than this."

ZELENY: But the personal tributes came with a sharp critique of today's tribal politics.

OBAMA: Trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It's a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear.

John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that.

ZELENY: While President Trump's name was never spoken his absence was an unmistakable under current. McCain made it clear he didn't want him there. The two men's strained relationship goes back to the 2016 campaign when Trump insulted McCain's military service saying real American heroes aren't shot down. Yet several of the president's advisers were on hand including his daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner, chief of staff John Kelly and defense secretary James Mattis.


BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Jeff Zeleny for that. Now while you saw there a virtual who's who of Washington power players there at the funeral, the president well he spent the day at his golf course in Virginia and he was also tweeting.

PAUL: Yes. Sarah Westwood is with us now from Washington.

Some of what we saw these failed swipes during McCain's funeral, the president noticed them.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Christi, but the White House is so far not answering whether President Trump watched the funeral and whether last night when he tweeted the simple line "Make America Great Again" he was responding to that veiled criticism from many leaders that we saw at Senator John McCain's funeral.

There was a poignant moment during Meghan McCain's eulogy for her father that she spoke about how the America of John McCain doesn't need to be made great again because it's always been great.


So that tweet from President Trump has been widely interpreted as a direct response to one of the most publicized lines from Meghan McCain at that funeral.

This has been a difficult week for the White House given President Trump's past criticism of McCain. We've learned sources telling CNN that there was a statement drafted for Trump to release on the eve of McCain's death that Trump decided to opt for a brief and sort of perfunctory tweet on the night of McCain's death. There was a dustup and confusion over whether the flag should be flying at half-staff throughout the week. The White House brought it down when Trump failed to issue a proper proclamation and then raised it amidst criticism.

And the White House has continued to hold political events despite the fact that much of Washington was gathered in Senator McCain's memory. Yesterday, at the golf course, that was Trump's 192nd day at a Trump property and his 153rd day on the golf course of his just 589-day-old presidency. That means he spent about a quarter of his presidency so far on the golf course and he chose to golf on the day of McCain's funeral and we have yet to see if President Trump will respond to the rest of the criticism we heard at that funeral but as we know President Trump is not someone who usually takes criticism without hitting back -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: OK. So now let's pick up exactly where Sarah left off with CNN political analyst, Julian Zelizer. He's also a historian and professor at Princeton University. And Siraj Hashmi, commentary writer and editor at the "Washington Examiner."

Good morning to both of you. And, Siraj, let me start with you with the question that Sarah presented. Does the president let this go?

We know that the president does keep grudges. We saw how the president treated Senator McCain after the announcement that he would not continue with treatment, then after his death. We saw some tweeting on the day of his funeral.

Does the president continue this feud posthumously?

SIRAJ HASHMI, COMMENTARY WRITER AND EDITOR, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Victor, I really can't say with utmost certainty --


BLACKWELL: But would it benefit him or his supporters?

HASHMI: That's tough to say right now, because I don't know if this is the hill, so to speak, that he should really die on. And I think going after McCain posthumously won't do him any favors especially if you're looking at the midterm elections that's happening in almost two months.

And President Trump, who is known for his -- he just happens to have a way of going after people that -- you know, punching down in a way that he doesn't really need to go after. I mean, the guy is so unpredictable that I can't see him not let it go but, at the same time, I can't see him risk such a bold move of going after the McCains.

BLACKWELL: Let me come to you, Julian, here, with the question of his supporters and some of the things that we saw from them online yesterday.

Let's go to -- this is a CNN legal and political commentator, Ken Cuccinelli, tweeted this during the funeral about Meghan McCain's eulogizing of her father when he tweet -- she -- he tweeted here.

"It's too bad she can't participate in a funeral instead of lobbying political hand grenades."

How does this motivate the party or the part of the party that they want to get revved up?

JULIAN E. ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I don't think it motivates a lot of the party they need revved up. So if you're really looking at politics and you're looking at suburban voters who are thinking of who to vote for in November, having the president and his most ardent supporters tweet this during a memorial service, it's hard to believe this has any benefit.

This is not salutary to our democracy or to the party. Maybe his most loyal supporters see even a memorial service and a funeral as a fight but there is limits to the appeal of that.

BLACKWELL: Julian, let me stay with you and you wrote this new op-ed for And we'll put a portion up here on the screen.

"For younger Americans whose first real memory of the White House is President Donald Trump, the remarks of two former presidents offered an important moment that allows us to imagine the kind of decorum and ethos that is possible when the commander in chief understands the gravity of his role."

Talk about the juxtaposition if you would the tone we saw from former President Obama and Bush and what we're seeing from the current president. But also how does your characterization of what they said and how they said it correspond with these implicit attacks and commentaries on President Trump?

ZELIZER: Well, I think they both gave very moving speeches both about Senator McCain and the kind of politics that he represented, not conservative or liberal, but a respect for government institutions and a love of both the presidency and Congress. And it was fair for both of these former presidents to say something because that was how you commemorate what Senator McCain stood for.

So I think there was -- those were the appropriate comments and the way in which they package them represented what presidents can do in moments of grief.


It was about remembering him and about remembering what is valuable and great of our institutions.

BLACKWELL: Let's listen to a portion of the eulogy from President Obama.


OBAMA: So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse, can seem small and mean and petty; trafficking and bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It's a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear.


BLACKWELL: So what about 64 days out now from the midterms. And, Siraj, short of endorsing a group of Democratic candidates, we haven't really seen the playbook for President Obama. Would this or is there any evidence that based on what we know about the electorate heading into November that this appeal to our better angels would be an effective strategy for the former president?

HASHMI: You know, Victor, I think there is a way for President Obama to be influential in the 2018 midterm elections without actually showing his face. And I think by providing strategy behind the scenes a lot of these young candidates and a lot of these Democratic socialists who are kind of running under the Bernie Sanders' wing to kind of reinvigorate them to, you know, get in pole position to win a lot of these races. I know Andrew Gillum in Florida has a good chance of beating Ron DeSantis for the governorship and he is doing it surely by doing a lot of the things that Barack Obama did and that is reinvigorating a lot of those young people and reinvigorating -- and dropping in on communities, town halls no matter how big.

But I just want to say one thing about this McCain funeral because I think there is a way for Trump to spin this in a way that works out in his favor --


HASHMI: -- and that is really with respect to the Washington elite. Because we looked at who the power players that were at the funeral, Trump was not there. There was a way for him to basically -- I think there's a way for him to not go after the McCains but at the same time make a subtle swipe that by saying that since he is not part of the Washington establishment, you know, this is a way to reinvigorate his base by saying, look, they still don't accept us as being a part of this -- part of this society, a part of this, you know, Washington culture.

And I think there is way that he can, you know, get his base onboard, at the same time make it about himself. And I do want to just say one more thing.


HASHMI: I know John McCain is a defined human being. I respect his honor and decency, but, you know, I would have like to see the president there and have everyone say that to his face.

BLACKWELL: All right. Siraj Hashmi, Julian Zelizer, thank you.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

HASHMI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER" today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern will be joined by Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman. Both good friends of the late senator John McCain.

PAUL: We'll learning more about attempts to turn a Russian oligarch into an informant. According to "The New York Times" between 2014 and 2016 the FBI and the Justice Department worked to recruit Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska. Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and former British spy Christopher Steele were involved in that effort.

And "The Times" report investigators were hoping for information from Deripaska on Russian organized crime and collusion with the Trump campaign but Deripaska told the investigators their theories were -- quote -- "preposterous."

BLACKWELL: The former Vatican official accusing the pope of mishandling abuse allegations now says Pope Francis may not be telling the whole truth about his meeting with the controversial clerk who refused to sign same sex marriage certificates.

PAUL: And authorities say the U.S. citizens attacked in Amsterdam were victims of a suspect with a -- quote -- "terrorist motive." We're going to tell you what we've learned this morning.

BLACKWELL: And later this hour we talk about the ground breaking role played by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (INAUDIBLE) CNN's new original film "RBG" debuts tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.


BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm proud to nominate this path-breaking attorney, advocate, and judge to be the 107th Justice to the United States Supreme Court.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: They may be in trying times, but think how it was in those days. The judges didn't think sex discrimination existed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ruth knew what she was doing in laying the foundation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She put women on the same plane as men.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The goal was equality and civil rights.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ruth Bader Ginsburg quite literally changed the way the world is for American women.

GINSBURG: What has become me could happen only in America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has become such a rock star.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is really the closest thing to a superhero.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is known to fans the world over as the notorious RBG.

GINSBURG: All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.



BLACKWELL: The suspect in a knife attack on two U.S. citizens at an Amsterdam train station is expected to appear in court Tuesday. Authorities in the Netherlands say the 19-year-old Afghan man had a terrorist motive but it doesn't appear that the victims were deliberately targeted.

They were seriously injured but are not in critical condition. Now police say the 19-year-old man, that they shot him after the attack. He is still in a hospital. PAUL: Well, a catholic archbishop who accuses Pope Francis of helping cover up sexual misconduct allegations is saying his former Vatican colleagues were not honest about a meeting Pope Francis had with a controversial court clerk.

Joining me now is CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen.


John, I think what is of interest to people is the court clerk they are referring to is Kim Davis. This meeting back in 2015 she had with the pope. She is the Kentucky clerk who refused to sign same-sex marriage certificates. Walk us through what this means.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, Christi, first of all happy Sunday to you.

You're right. This Italian archbishop, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was the pope's ambassador in the United States from 2011 to 2016, one week ago, accused the pope of ignoring warnings about sexual misconduct against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Now he is saying that the pope and his aides lied essentially about what happened in September 2015 when Pope Francis was in the United States and held a private meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk. That meeting was not made public until after Francis was back in Rome and once it was that came from Davis and her lawyer. There was a scramble on in the American press to figure out how that happened.

Basically, the pope's aides suggested this was all Vigano's doing and that they really didn't have anything to do with it. The pope didn't even know who this was.

Vigano is now claiming that he presented the pope with a one page memo explaining who Davis was and why he should meet with her. He gave the same briefing to two of the pope's top aides. And so his point is that they were fully informed.

I suspect when and if the Vatican ever comments about this what they are likely to saying, Christi, is that it may be true that Vigano passed on a brief memo to the pope but they were relying on him to provide the context for how this was going to be seen in the United States and probably they will suggest that he dropped the ball on that a bit.

PAUL: All right. And real quickly. Vigano -- any chance he wants retribution here with this? Because there is some back and forth between he and the Vatican.

ALLEN: Yes. I mean, listen. There are a lot of people here who are suggesting that Vigano is basically acting out of sour grapes. Apparently, there was some suggestion that he wanted to become a cardinal after his service in the United States and that never happened. Also, that he's maybe settling scores with old rivals within the Vatican. Now, of course, Christi, what that does not do is subtle the factual question at the heart of his original assertion, which was that Pope Francis was aware of the concerns about McCarrick in 2013 and ignored them.

The American bishops in just a matter of days will be here in Rome to present a plan for getting to the bottom of who knew what, when, about McCarrick and I'm sure that that question is still going to figure in that probe.

PAUL: OK. John Allen, always appreciate having you here. Happy Sunday to you as well, sir. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, she became the second female Supreme Court justice but in a new CNN film, you'll see why Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first to champion gender equality and how that has inspired other women.


GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM'S RIGHTS ATTORNEY: I wish we had nine justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg who is such a hero to all of us.




PAUL: "RGB (ph)", the film about the life and the work of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It premieres tomorrow night on CNN.

She has earned countless titles and accolades during this ground breaking legal career. And I spoke to victim's rights attorney Gloria Allred about Ginsburg's impact on the fight for gender equality. Listen to what she said here.


ALLRED: I think she is the most important justice on the Supreme Court that we have ever. Of course, she is only the second woman ever to be a justice of the United States Supreme Court. But she is so important because she has been a consistent voice for gender equality, for saying that laws passed by states that discriminate against women solely on account of their sex, solely on account of our gender, violate the equal protection clause of the United States constitution.

So she says she is not asking for special favors for women. What she is asking for is simply equal protection, equal treatment and fairness for women under the law.

PAUL: Do you feel at all that strangulation that she referred to when she said, "Take your feet off our necks"?

ALLRED: Absolutely. And what she is saying is to the other justices -- and she is also suggested to Congress and to the people that laws which restrict women, for example, in the abortion case, she decided from Texas, laws which restrict abortion services to women, unduly burden a woman's right to choose abortion, and, yes, that is something that is meaning the government is putting its foot on our neck, on our shoulders, holding us down, subordinating us, denying us fairness and equal rights under the law. So I don't think anyone could have said it better than she did.


PAUL: I know that you've got as many, many, many people do, this concern regarding potential overturning of Roe versus Wade.


PAUL: Help us understand why that is so personal for you.

ALLRED: It is very personal for me and I am concerned about the upcoming hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee where they are going to seek to confirm Judge Kavanaugh as the next justice of the United States Supreme Court.

I, myself, am a person who, prior to the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which struck down state laws that criminalized abortion, I had to have an abortion when it was illegal for a doctor to provide it, although it was not illegal for a woman to have it. And what that meant was I, like millions of women, had to go to someone who did a back alley abortion, who was not a licensed health care provider, and that meant that I had to have an abortion.

I was left hemorrhaging in a bathtub. I had 106-degree fever. I had to go to the hospital in an ambulance and I had to be packed in ice and I almost died.

And this is why it's so important that we have legal and safe affordable available abortions and not illegal unsafe abortions, because those who would say we are against the right to choose abortion are not going to be able to ban abortion. They are just going to force young women, poor women, rural women to go to back alley abortionists and risk their lives and perhaps be maimed or die like millions of women did before Roe v. Wade in 1973.

The notorious RBG that is portrayed in this documentary film, she deserves her reputation for being a voice for women, for being strong, for being consistent, for being this advocate. The take no prisoner, she's going to say exactly what she thinks and she is going to stand up for women. After all, we are the majority of the American people.

Our daughters deserve equal pay, deserve equal rights, and deserve not to be denied our rights under the United States constitution and Ruth is a hero to us because Justice Ginsburg will always be consistent and stand up for us.


PAUL: Watch "RBG" a CNN film. That's tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Well, just a couple of days now before Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearings are scheduled to start. The White House says it is holding back more than 100,000 pages of documents related to his time as a lawyer in the George W. Bush administration.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called the decision a "Friday night document massacre" in a tweet. Democrats claim Republicans are trying to force through Kavanaugh's nomination without proper scrutiny.

Let's bring in CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson now. Joey, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So also in that tweet from the Senate minority leader, he says that this is unprecedented and he says that this is, you know, trying to potentially hide something.

So from your perspective, is this unprecedented? And does the White House, does the Justice Department have a legitimate claim for privilege over these documents?

JACKSON: Well, in answer to that question, Victor, there is really two ways to answer it. One is politically and the other is legally. OK?

From a political perspective, let's start there first. We, right? Deserve transparency. Who is we? The America people.

The fact is that if someone is sitting or is looking to be seated on the Supreme Court, that makes so many decisions, the last interview, you know, regarding abortion, that is a huge issue. So many other issues concerning immigrations, concerning voting rights. You name it. That is Supreme Court that decides it.

And so the political -- from a political imperative should not the American people through the questioning of the Senate know everything that there is to know about the nominee who could potentially be seated on that court? And when you're hiding, right? You could make argument a hundred thousand pages what are you hiding?

In my business in law when information is not produced you're allowed to get an adverse imprint (ph). What does that mean? It means you are not producing it because there is something to hide and if there is something to hide there's something amiss. And if there's something amiss it's problematic so that is the political response.

Now to the legal response. There are privileges that do protect documents. I think the issue here is not only with the legal question of whether these documents are privileged but with the process, right?

There clearly is an executive privilege. Remember we're talking about his time, that is the nominee's time, Kavanaugh, in the White House, right? His time as the White House counsel.


And certainly there's attorney-client privileges. There's the presidential privileges where executive immunity and that type -- you know, that (ph) type issue (ph) or executive privilege rather. There is deliberation and deliver of process. We could talk about privileges all day and all night.


JACKSON: The reason, Victor, that you have these privileges is to protect the sensitivity of the information but also the candidness of the advice that the attorney provides to you. And so in essence and in summary, these privileges are legitimate privileges.

The issue is whether they are applicable to the 100,000 pages. And when you have the White House making that decision in consultation with the Justice Department it controls, it smacks of something being hidden from the American people and that is the problem with the process.

BLACKWELL: And, of course, that -- it says the Democrats (INAUDIBLE) this is following along party lines because even the most moderate Republicans are saying we heard from Susan Collins that she says there is no need to see all of those documents if the Democrats have any recourse. We don't have time to answer that now.

But, Joey, I want you to stay with us because we want to reserve some time for other legal questions of the day so stay with us.

JACKSON: Absolutely.

PAUL: And also, college football. It's back.

We saw plenty of drama on the first big Saturday, Andy Scholes.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: We certainly did, Christi. It was a great first Saturday of college football.

Coming up, we'll show you some of the best moments, including Maryland paying tribute to their fallen teammate.



PAUL: College football is back, people. You know what this is? It's fall.


PAUL: I don't care if it doesn't happen for another 20 some days. It is fall.

BLACKWELL: I'm so excited about fall. Not so much about college football.


BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes is though.

SCHOLES: September 1st, my wife starts decorating for Halloween. So you know --

PAUL: September what?

SCHOLES: First. She already in.

PAUL: I'm there.

SCHOLES: She is like you.



SCHOLES: I'd tell you what, guys, right now college football --

PAUL: (INAUDIBLE). The Fourth of July.

SCHOLES: Great to have college football back, guys. You know what? Maryland's football team definitely been through a lot the last few months.

The team under investigation after offensive lineman Jordan McNair died after a practice during the summer. McNair's teammates doing what they could to honor him during their opener against Texas. They carried a flag with his number on it, his jersey out on the field before the game.

Then for the first play of the game, watch this, the offense went out with only 10 men. They left a spot where McNair would have been. They got a delay of game penalty which Texas then declined.

The Terps playing emotional all day long. They were two touchdown underdogs in this and were able to pull off the upset a big upset beating Texas 34-29. Afterwards, the interim coach Matt Canada dedicated that win to McNair.

We almost saw a massive upset yesterday. Eleven years ago, Appalachian State beat Michigan in arguably the biggest upset in college football history. Well, yesterday they had Penn State on the road. They had that field goal there at the end of the regulation that would have won it but it was no good. An overtime then Penn State gets the lead on this touchdown.

Appalachian State would have a chance to tie it but they would end up throwing an interception, so Penn State escapes that game with a win 45-38.

All right. U.S. open action yesterday. This is being called the finest shot of Roger Federer's career. Check it out. Playing Nick Kyrgios said (INAUDIBLE) -- somehow gets to this ball and wraps it around the post. Watch Kyrgios face after that. It is just priceless.

He couldn't believe that Federer got to that ball. And did you know? The ball doesn't have to go over the net for it to count.


SCHOLES: Yes. You can wrap it around the post. It rarely happens.

Federer said after the win it was one of the most unique shots of his career. Just incredible art.

Finally, Iowa continuing to become one of the most awesome traditions in all of college football. After the first quarter, everyone in the stands, players, even the referee they all turned and they waved to the kids watching from the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital which overlooks the stadium.

The hospital opened last year. It has got a special section on the top floor where all of the patients that are staying there can go and watch the game with their families and it's always just so touching, guys, how everyone takes time after the first quarter and acknowledges those kids that are up there watching.

PAUL: That's pretty darn incredible.

BLACKWELL: That is fantastic.

PAUL: Pretty darn incredible.


PAUL: Thank you for wrapping that up. It was awesome. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right.


BLACKWELL: All right. So we talked about college football. There is a new NFL season that begins this week.

Next, as owners threaten to face off against players over the national anthem protest, a look at how Colin Kaepernick's case against the league could play out as this season continues.



BLACKWELL: Forty-seven minutes after the hour now. As the NFL regular season starts this week, former quarterback Colin Kaepernick will not be on the field but he is not going away either. His legal battle against the NFL continues along with the kneeling protest that he sparked. And now he is getting praise from tennis champ Serena Williams. She greeted him at the U.S. Open this week and here is what she said after she met with Kaepernick and fellow former player Eric Reid.


SERENA WILLIAMS, 23-TIME GRAND SLAM SINGLES CHAMPION: I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African-American should be completely grateful for and honored how Colin and Eric are doing so much for the greater good, so to say.


BLACKWELL: All right. Joining me now from Washington CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson. It looks like you're in New York. That is Columbus Circle behind you, right?


JACKSON: It is. It is.

BLACKWELL: OK. So you're there in New York. All right

So let's talk about the big headline from the Kaepernick story this weekend, what that means for us moving forward, right? So there was this decision not to dismiss the case as the NFL wanted. Does that simply mean that there is enough here to say that the allegation is not frivolous or is there more in this decision to move it on toward this hearing?

JACKSON: It's an excellent question, Victor. And, you know, it's a very compelling point.

I think, first, we should say that it's a huge win for Kaepernick. Why? Because what the NFL tried to do is to dismiss the claim and to your point, you know, use an indication of, hey, this is frivolous, it has no merit at all, there's no genuine issue to be discussed, and so just get it out the way, dismiss it.

And the arbitrator said, no, there is in fact a genuine issued of material fact to get litigated, that issue is was there collusion between the NFL or any NFL teams to exclude him from the league. And so that in and of itself moves the matter to trial and I guess we will get at the heart of the matter to answer that question as to whether there is merit to that or not. And so to be clear, the arbitrator did not answer the question of collusion just --


JACKSON: -- and just answered the underlying fact that there could be and there is enough evidence at this point to have a trial to make that determination.

BLACKWELL: What is the hurdle to prove collusion?

[06:50:00] JACKSON: I think what happens is is what you need to do is you have to establish that either the NFL, right, as an entity and at least one team or not the NFL but the teams absent the NFL decided that, hey, let's keep him out. He is bad for revenue. The president has weighed in on whether or not this is un-American.

The NFL players are saying, are you kidding me? What is more American than expressing your freedoms which is what people fought and die for?

And so if you can establish, right, that just the NFL or one team or absent the NFL one or more teams or two teams did this, then I think you have at least the colorable claim to say, you know what? He is out not based on his athletic ability but based on the fact that he is protesting and really going against the grain in terms of saying you know what? Stop shooting and killing African-Americans. This is about, you know, the fact that there is too much discrimination and too many things happening to people of color.

So, you know, we will see moving forward whether or not his hearing actually he prevails.

BLACKWELL: Joey, give me 15 seconds if you can on if it behooves either side to settle this before it get to the hearing?

JACKSON: You always get to the heart of the matter. I think that that certainly could happen and I think it could happen because remember what happened to the hearing, a lot of stuff would come out and that is, you know, people testifying and when they testify, issues leak and a number of other things leak and it could very well be bad for the NFL. So they want to get this thing resolved.

BLACKWELL: Joey Jackson, always good to have your insight.

JACKSON: Thank you very much, Victor.


PAUL: Angel More is just 15 years old and she just swam more than 20 miles across Lake Tahoe. Fifteen hours and she is not finished.

There's a deliberate intention here. We're going to talk her about it. Stay close.



PAUL: Listen, I want to introduce you to this woman right here. Fifteen-year-old Angel More she swam all the way across Lake Tahoe more than 20 miles, finished after midnight after 15 hours of swimming. It may have been surprising for those who know her well.

This is someone who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. She was 10 when she did that. And she is with us now because she is taking on yet another challenge. The youngest person by the way, to clench what is called the California Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming, 21 miles Lake Tahoe, 12 miles across Santa Barbara Channel, 20 miles across Catalina Channel.

Thank you for being with us. This is fantastic.


PAUL: And she's just what -- you're just an hour and a half away from jumping in the water again?

MORE: Yes. I'm going to go to Aquatic Park in front of Ghirardelli Square and swim to Angel Island, around Angel Island and back.

PAUL: OK. So seeing some of these pictures of you what is interesting and intriguing is you do these swims primarily at night many times and that you're swimming through some shark infested waters. What is the motivation for these night swims?

MORE: Well, my swims generally get a lot of attention and so I want to move the attention to something more important, which was children in poverty. So Children International is the perfect platform for giving children around the world the chance to escape poverty.

And so because of that, I always get motivated to go and go swim because I know that I'm helping a cause bigger than myself.

PAUL: Right. So she is talking about Children International. And this is personal for you because your family supports some of these kids as well, right?

MORE: Yes. So we currently sponsor six children across the world and we actually met two of them from Guatemala. And when I met them, it was just such an emotional experience because I see how much Children International gives them to -- so that they can do what they dream to do.

PAUL: I think some people are wondering, as we look at some of these pictures, you know, the night pictures. What are you putting on your skin that we see the white on your skin?

MORE: Right. That is Desitin. It's baby diaper rash cream and the reason I put it it's super thick and it stays on really well in the water and so it protects me from the sun and also protects me from the water itself, if the water is not good so that way my skin can stay normal.

PAUL: Lake Tahoe is freezing, is it not? I mean, what was that like for 15 hours?

MORE: Well, yes. So Lake Tahoe is actually a lot warmer than San Francisco Bay. And because of that, I didn't get cold throughout the whole swim, which is very nice because typically I do get cold at some points but Lake Tahoe was a great experience and I had a great time.

PAUL: Now the swim you're making this morning, as I understand it, you have to cross shipping channels. You have to go against currents and I read that there are times that you're swimming for hours in a current just trying to get out of it. Help us understand your mindset. How do you push through that?

MORE: Yes. So that is definitely really hard.

For example, in Catalina, I was against the current for two hours and I could see the shore. So it's really hard because you know you're not getting anywhere even though you're putting so much effort, but what I do, I just think to myself that I know that I can do it and I know that after a few hours, that I will be past the current and just remembering that I've trained for this swim and I know -- knowing that I can do it, I'm able to push through it.

PAUL: What is the difference, say, between, you know, of course the difference in hours, but when you're talking about a 15-hour swim to a 20-plus hour swim?

MORE: Well, I've never swam over 20 hours but I know that once you get past eight hours, I never really remember the time past eight hours. It's kind of just a mix for me. But I know that the difference between five hours and 15 hour swim is that by the 15th hour, I'm -- I feel like I'm a fish and that when I get out of the water, a lot of my family says I look like a seal.


So I think once I'm at the 15 hour, I just become a water animal.

PAUL: Well, Angel, congratulations. We are pulling for you again this morning. You're doing some pretty incredible things again for Children International.

Thank you for taking time for us today.

MORE: Thank you.