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Serena's Spat with Umpire Overshadows Tennis Final; Obama Calls on Voters to "Flip the House"; Interview with Congressman John Delaney of Maryland; Tropical Storm Florence to Become a Major Hurricane; North Korea Holds Military Parade Without Ballistic Missiles; Trump Seeks to Move Past Stormy Daniels Lawsuit. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired September 9, 2018 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:01] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: This will be the first Miss America pageant since Gretchen Carlson became chairwoman. She says she wants the pageant to represent a new generation of female leaders.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely chaos breaking out in the U.S. Open women's final.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to go down as one of the most controversial matches in tennis history.

SERENA WILLIAMS, PRO-TENNIS PLAYER: It made me feel like a sexist remark. They never took a game from a man because they said "thief".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A potential strike from a cat-4 is in the cards for U.S. next week. That has not happened in decades across the east coast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are preparing for the worst and, of course, hoping for the best.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have the chance to flip the House of Representatives and make sure there are real checks and balances in Washington!


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

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you. So grateful to have you with us.

BLACKWELL: Yes. A 20-year-old upsets a tennis legend to win her first grand slam title, but that may be the last thing somebody remembers about this U.S. Open match.

PAUL: Likely about Serena Williams, this controversial clashing with this chair umpire she demanded an apology and got docked a game, instead. Take a look at this.


WILLIAMS: You need to make an announcement that I didn't get coaching. I don't cheat. I didn't get coaching. How can you say that?

You need to -- you need -- you owe me an apology! You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life! I have a daughter and I stand what is right for her and I have never cheated and you owe me an apology!


BLACKWELL: Millions of viewers at home joined this crowd and at times, cheered and booed. There at Arthur Ashe stadium to watch this historic match. Williams was aiming for his 24th grand slam open era. It would tie this era's major lead wins.

To talk about what happened, instead, we are joined by Sean Gregory, senior writer at "TIME" magazine, and CNN sports anchor Andy Scholes.

Andy, let's start with you. Walk us through it. What happened?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: I tell you what, guys, it was quite the scene. Even the commentators were saying it was a match that unfolding they had never seen before. It's going to go down as one of the most controversial tennis matches of all time. That's for sure.

Now, Serena, she'd had already dropped a set to Naomi Osaka. And it was a frustrating set for her, that first one. In the second set, chair umpire Carlos Ramos, he issued her a warning for receiving coaching from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou from the stands, and that's when Serena got upset and approached Ramos the first time.


WILLIAMS: We don't have any code, and I know you don't know that, and I understand why you may have thought that was coaching, but I'm tell you it's not, I don't cheat to win. I'd rather lose. I'll just let you know.


SCHOLES: So, the match continued the second set. And after Osaka broke Serena, she was very upset, smashed her racket into the ground. She was then hit with a point penalty for abuse of equipment which pretty guaranteed to happen if you do that. Then during the next change over, Serena went at Ramos again.

So, Ramos then penalized Serena again, this time for verbal abuse for calling him a thief and since this was her third offense, she was penalized a game when Serena realized the penalty, she asked for the referee and supervisor to come out saying, in tears, that the men do far worse and are not penalized for it.


WILLIAMS: That's not right! That is not right!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calling me a thief? OK.

WILLIAMS: That's not right. This is not fair.


SCHOLES: Yes, Serena would go on to lose the match 6-2, 6-4 to Osaka. The fans at Arthur Ashe stadium were booing throughout these changes. After the match, Serena said she was proud the way she handled things.


WILLIAMS: I'm here fighting for women's right and women's equality and for all kinds of stuff and for me to say, "thief," and for him to take a game? It made me feel like it was a sexist remark. I mean, like how, he has never took a game from a man because they said thief. For me, it blows my mind. But I'm going to continue to fight for women and to fight for us to have equal. A girl should be able to take her shirt off without getting a fine. This is outrageous. You know?

I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that want to express themselves and they want to be a strong woman and they are going to be allowed to that because of today. Maybe it won't work out for me but it's going to work out for the next person!


SCHOLES: Now, it's worth noting, after the match, Serena's coach was interviewed and he admitted to trying to coach Serena.

[07:05:04] He says everyone does it. He does it all the time and this is the first time he has ever been penalized for it.

And, guys, Serena had a different take on that. She said she was not being coached. She doesn't do that. So, there's a bit of a disconnect between what Serena said and her coach after the match.

PAUL: Yes. All righty. Hey, Andy, thank you.

Sean, I want to go to you now, because Shonda Rhimes was tweeted Serena is right, I was there and worse he was baiting her. Did you see anything like that going on?

SEAN GREGORY, SENIOR WRITER, TIME: It was tough to tell whether there was baiting going on. I mean, the big thing, the big question here is "thief" is that enough of an insult to require -- the game penalty which really was at a crucial moment. It made the second set 5-3 Osaka.

So, yes, I mean, it looked like Serena was upset. She was -- you know, you could argue she knew she had two violations. She had two violations and you have to be careful with the third. And she kind of went at him a little bit during that change over, when she was down 4- 3. But, you know, you kind of go to say basketball, for example, at the end of close games, the refs kind of swallow their whistles and don't call technical fouls when superstars especially get angry and give them a little more leeway.

So, the question whether "thief" rises to the level of insult that requires such a harsh penalty.

BLACKWELL: So, Andy, I heard you at the top in our open call this one of the most controversial tennis matches in the history of the sport. Does this change anything? Are we seeing with this outcry, we have seen Billie Jean King, we have seen -- we have some of those tweets and put up that people can read. What will this mean moving forward and is there any post-match recourse for Williams?

SCHOLES: Well, there is not. I mean, the result is the result. You know, people were basically saying this was a double standard like we see Billie Jean Ling says when a woman is emotional she is characterized as hysterical and penalized for and when a man does this he is outspoken and no repercussions.

And, you know, Victor, that might be the biggest takeaway in the end. You know, other chair umpires will see what unfolded here and, you know, if this were to come about again in another situation, I think one would think have second thoughts about issuing a game penalty, especially in a grand slam final.


SCHOLES: That was the thing a lot of people were highlighting because, you know, maybe a first round match you could see something like this happen for a player but in a grand slam final to Serena Williams? I mean, it really made it seem like the chair umpire was just trying to, you know, make his authority felt out there on the match which is something the chair umpire is not supposed to do. You know, we are never supposed to be talking about a chair umpire, especially in a grand slam final so that might be the big takeaway in future situations the chair umpire might think twice before doing something like this.

PAUL: Yes. Sean, Andy Roderick had said there need to do some continuity in the future. Pointing out that this did fall into that category. So, to Victor's point as well, how do you see things possibly changing after this?

GREGORY: Yes, I think in the future, chair umpires will have second thoughts about issuing such penalties. And James Blake, another American player, wrote on Twitter that he said much worse to umpires and has not been penalized, giving credence to Serena's argument that if a man had called the chair umpire a liar/thief he would not he gotten such a harsh penalty.

BLACKWELL: Sean, let me say with you. And you were at "TIME" cover story on Serena. She's going to be 37 at the end of the month. Of course, she's chasing this record of 25 grand slams singles titles. The earliest she can get that is June in Paris 2019.

Aside from what this means for the game, what does this mean for her in chasing now in her late 30s, that record?

GREGORY: Yes, I think she wants it. I think she is going to keep going. She was a little -- after the match, she kind of said, you know, I hope to be here next year, ha ha, giving a little indication like, oh, do I need this? I mean, do I need this stress, all this crazy match yesterday?

But I think she has gotten to two straight grand slam finals and gnaws at her to lose them both. She lost Wimbledon, she lost the U.S. Open. She is playing well. Osaka was fantastic and outplayed Serena yesterday, deserved to win. But Serena has said she doesn't feel physically she is where she could be on this come back.

So, she could be getting better and even though she is 37 and playing a long time, I think she thinks she has a lot in the tank. So, she's going to try to get those 25 grand slams.

PAUL: All righty. And Andy said earlier. He talked to a lot of people leaving who felt bad for Osaka because this should be her moment.

BLACKWELL: Yes, first grand slam.

PAUL: And it became about something else.

[07:10:01] Yes. Andy Scholes, Sean Gregory, we appreciate you both big here. Thank you.

GREGORY: Thank you.

PAUL: Tropical storm Florence is something else we are watching today. It's expected to become a major hurricane and where it's headed and how some states are preparing now shows you how significant they believe this is going to be and it's slowing down which makes it even worse.

BLACKWELL: And we are going to take you to North Korea where they held this military parade to mark its 70th anniversary. But there was a major thing missing there. We'll tell you what it is.

PAUL: President Obama back in campaign mode here. His message to Democrats and why critics say this could backfire.


BLACKWELL: Former President Barack Obama is urging Democrats to get out and vote. Of course, coming up on the midterm elections in November.

PAUL: Yes. Yesterday, he campaigned for seven California Democrats running in House districts currently held by Republicans.

[07:15:05] This is the second of four campaign events he is going to hold before the election.

BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, President Trump went to Twitter to set a positive spin to his chances of re-election in 2020 and predicting Republican wins in the Senate races this year.

CNN's Sarah Westwood is joining us now from Washington.

So, how is -- good morning to you, first. How is the White House now reacting and responding to the former president on the campaign trail?


President Trump, we know he doesn't like sharing the spotlight and he certainly is no fan of former President Obama. He responded indirectly on Twitter yesterday, touting his Electoral College victory in 2016 and claiming that Democrats are going, quote, crazy to beat him. He is not on the ballot in 2018 but he's certainly he is the focus of Democrats and Republicans running for congressional offices. Now, Trump also tweeted about the high hopes Republicans have for the Senate where the GOP hopes to keep and even expand its majority.

But Trump made no mention for the battle of the House where the Republicans are most vulnerable and where former President Obama seems to be focusing his attention. In California, he made the argument that Democratic voters are the ones who should get out and flip the House and he warned about the consequences of staying home on election day. Take a listen.


OBAMA: Where is there a vacuum in our democracy, when we are not participating, we are not paying attention, when we are not stepping up, other voices fill the void. But the good news is in two months, we have a chance to restore some sanity in our politics. We have the chance to flip the House of Representatives and make sure the real checks and balances are in Washington.


WESTWOOD: Now, there's been a mixed reaction to former President Obama's return to the campaign trail. Democrats are hoping that their popular former president can help motivate Democratic voters in districts that Hillary Clinton won, but that are held by Republicans. And the GOP, Republicans, they are hoping the left's reliance on a former leader could help them highlight the lack of new voices and ideas that Democrats have heading into the midterms and perhaps, more importantly, heading into 2020.

Now, Trump tends to perform better when he has a foil. Sometimes, the media, sometimes still Hillary Clinton. If Obama stays out on the campaign trail, it could become him -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All righty. Sarah Westwood, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: All right. If we are talking 2018 ballot and 2020 ballot, there's only one man to talk to. That's Congressman John Delaney. He is, of course, up for re-election this November and he declared his candidacy for the party's 2020 presidential nomination for Democrats.

Congressman Delaney, welcome back. REP. JOHN DELANEY (D), MARYLAND: Nice to be here, Victor. Thanks for

having me.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, let's first start with President Obama who's back out on the campaign trail and I want to ask you a version what I asked our analysts in the last hour. Pick one constituency, one group if you think President Obama could deliver to them that he should hyperfocus on, would it be young people, would it be the minorities, would it be Democrats who supported him in 2012 but supported President Trump in 2016?

Pick one and why.

DELANEY: Well, my -- this isn't the question you asked me. But my answer is all of the above.


BLACKWELL: But that doesn't work, though. You've got to focus.

DELANEY: So, President Obama is particularly popular I believe with young people in this country right now. I think they think about his positive vision for the country and kind of set of values he embodies. So I think President Obama is very effective talking to young people about how we have to take responsibility for our future, really meaning their future.

So, you know, I like President Obama talking to young people because I think it's a very, very sharp contrast with the current president who is working hard to turn the clock backwards and President Obama has always been a very forward looking leader, thinking about the future, thinking about how the world is changing and working hard to build a more just inclusive and more prosperous future for all Americans. And I think it's a message that really should resonate with young voters right now.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, let's talk about a few other things to hit here. Let's start with the Kavanaugh hearings this week who could be one of your opponents for the 2020 nomination for Democrats, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

I want you to watch this change and then I got a question on the other side.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: I'm going to release the email about racial profiling and I understand that that -- the penalty comes with potential ousting from the is in the.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: Running for president is no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate or of the confidentiality of the documents that we are privy to.


BLACKWELL: Now, Republicans say the documents that he released were cleared the hours before in the middle of the night.

[07:20:03] Was he grandstanding there? That's been the criticism from some.

DELANEY: You know, the problem with this hearing, it was rushed and there was not full transparency.

And I think that, in general, turned this hearing into a bit of a circus, right? This hearing should not have happened this past week. There should have been more transparency around the documentation requested by the Senate Democrats including Senator Booker. They should have had more time to review the documents that were dumped on them the day before the hearing.

So, that really spoiled an opportunity to have the kind of constructive hearing we should be having as important as a Supreme Court nominee.

BLACKWELL: Did he make it worse?

DELANEY: I don't know if he made it worse. I mean, I think who made it worse was the fact that senator McConnell rushed this hearing and Senator Grassley didn't allow there to be the kind of transparency we should have on an incredibly consequential discussion which is the next potential member of the Supreme Court. So, I don't think any of them made it worse. I think they were responding to a very difficult situation that they were presented with, quite frankly.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk about you now. You launched your 2020 bid. What was that? July of last year?


BLACKWELL: So, here is one of the ads that you have run in Iowa at the beginning of 2018. Let's watch.


AD ANNOUNCER: He's is a firm believer in -- well.

DELANEY: Bipartisanship.



AD ANNOUNCER: It might be a dirty word in Washington but seems to be awfully refreshing right here in Iowa.

DELANEY: I'm John Delaney and I approve this message.


BLACKWELL: Approving the message of bipartisanship in an area where candidates, outsiders, newcomers to politics are winning with a more aggressive, more confrontational message going after the president if not the entire GOP is that in step, this message of bipartisanship, with where the Democratic Party is right now?

DELANEY: I think it is, because I think what the Democratic Party should stand for is getting real things done for the American people. We have watched for decades as the world has changed and we haven't done the basic things we should have done to update the basic institutions in our societies for our citizens, whether it'd be health care, education. I think the next president really needs to take this on, needs to be the leader that can create this notion of one America, reminding us that we have so much in common, this notion of common purpose and unity that has always been the cornerstone of the American experience.

The kind of things President Obama spoke this week, the kind of things that John McCain was remembered for. I refuse to believe that he's the last of his breed. This is the type of leadership I believe we need in 2020, someone who can bring our country together, not just so we feel better about ourselves and our democracy, but also so we can start getting real things done, real things done to help the American people because that's what we have to do.

And that's the problem we have right now in our country. We have a president who is dividing us and he is not doing the kind things that the American people broadly agree with each other on. We need a different type of leadership. We need someone to unify us and we need someone to begin a conversation in this country about the long list of things we agree with each other on and we have to get done so that the future is brighter for the next generation of Americans.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about party demographics in the context of this week. Ayanna Pressley beating 10-term Congressman Mike Capuano of Massachusetts despite admitting that she should likely cast the same votes that he would. Listen to one of her supporters and I've got one more and then the question.


SABRINA MANSUR, MASSACHUSETTS VOTER: I'm leaning towards Pressley.


MANSUR: I really like her story. Capuano is great but I don't know. Just -- I like -- I think I resonate with her story.


BLACKWELL: And then another told WBUR, let's put it up. Capuano and Pressley are both progressives but I think Ayanna understands our neighborhood better. She's a female. She's younger. She will relate better to those things that definitely affect us.

Now with high profile outsiders, minorities, women winning, let me flip the question that senator -- then Senator Obama was asked in 2008. Is the Democratic Party ready to nominate a white man for president?

DELANEY: Yes. But I think what the Democratic Party is really focused on is actually what was in the question that you asked there, which is I think people are tired of talking points. I think people are tired of kind of elected officials saying all of the right things but none of it getting done. I think what the American people are really looking for, particularly young people.

I mean, young people grew up in an era where technology enabled them to go around things they don't like and they're looking what's happening in politics right now where they see these political parties have failed the country and they actually just want us to get real things done, whether it's in climate change, whether it's in gun safety, whether it's in health care, whether it's in education. They want progress, right? They don't want talking points, they don't want speeches, they want progress.

And I think that's where the Democratic Party, the next generation of Democratic Party leaders are going.

[07:25:05] An inclusive party, kind of one America party, a party that recognizes everyone no matter your race, your ethnicity, your sexual orientation, but a party that's actually committed to getting real things done for the American people. And again, leading the conversation in all things we agree with each other. Things like climate change, universal health care, universal background checks, huge numbers of the American people agree with these things, and the Democratic Party needs to become the party that is actually going to get these things done. We have real solutions.

BLACKWELL: What we saw in the race there with Pressley and Capuano, is that they said they would vote the same way.


BLACKWELL: But they chose Pressley because they found her more relatable there.

DELANEY: All politics are local as we know, right?


DELANEY: And I think she reflects that district very, very well. She seems terrific. I haven't had the privilege of meeting her, but she also ran on a platform of it's not just what we say, it's whether we can get it done.

BLACKWELL: Congressman John Delaney, always good to have you.

DELANEY: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Don't miss Senators Ben Sasse and Mark Warner this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

PAUL: Still to come, tropical storm Florence is not only intensifying as it gets near the East Coast, but it's slowing down.

And CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar says that is dangerous -- Allison.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Because oftentimes, that leads to even more rainfall that may already be expected. We'll talk about just how much rainfall is expected and where exactly the storm is headed to, coming up.


[07:31:20] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Tropical storm Florence is expected to become a major hurricane as soon as tomorrow.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It is eyeing South Carolina, it seems. South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia already declaring states of emergency.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the weather center tracking this storm for us.

And one of the other things you said besides its intensification is the slow moving nature of this one.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And not that you want a strong storm, but honestly personally to me, it's the slowing down that has me a bit more concerned because traditionally speaking when that happens, you get so much additional rainfall over the same spots because the storm just simply isn't moving. Right now, Florence's winds is about 70 miles per hour, but we do expect rapid intensification the next 24 hours. In fact, we expect it to go from a tropical storm now to a category 3 by the end of Monday.

Again, you're talking about a span of just 24 hours making that quick jump. Part of the reason is these warm ocean temperatures as it continues its trek off to the west. Then the ultimate question is where does it go from there? All three of those states have issued states of emergency are in the potential cone, Virginia, North Carolina, as well as South Carolina.

The models are starting to come into better agreement. And this far out, that's a pretty good big deal to know they are within about three states. In fact, the majority of them really mostly holding on to North Carolina at this point.

The timing, however, varies. Now, when we've got the two main models here, this red one being the American model and blue being the European model. That one wants to take more along the north and South Carolina border making landfall late in the day on Thursday. But the American model has it a little bit further north closer to, say, to the outer banks around Cape Hatteras but landfall not until Friday.

It's that slowing down and time frame that causes concern because that, in turn would give that same area a tremendous amount of rainfall. What exactly does that mean? Well, on the minimum end of that scale you'd be talking about eight to 10 inches, but this purple area, you could see 12, if not as much as 15 to 17 inches of rain in a short period of time. And if it ends up staying there, Victor and Christi, it could produce

even more rain on top of that, simply because it's just not moving away.

BLACKWELL: Wow. Thanks for watching it. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar there for us.

We will, of course, stay pretty close to you over the next couple of days.

PAUL: We're going to see a lot of our brilliant weather folks in the next few days.

BLACKWELL: Yes, yes.

PAUL: So, synchronized soldiers and colorful flags are all part of North Korea's 70th anniversary celebration. There was something missing this time around, though, that was not on display, those intercontinental ballistic meetings.

BLACKWELL: Yes, instead, there was this message of economic growth from North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un's right hand man. Now, despite the stall in talks with the United States, Kim has sent a letter to President Trump.

Joining us now, CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd.

Samantha, good morning to you.

No ICBMs there. We know that does not mean. It does not mean that the ICBMs aren't in North Korea, that they do not have them, that they do not have these nuclear weapons. What does it mean that the ICBMs were not part of the parade?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It means Kim Jong- un is playing this particularly well. Victor, I'm remembering that line from "Field of Dreams." If you build it, they will come.

And Kim Jong-un has built it. He's building it. He's building his nuclear arsenal and guess who showed up at this military parade? The number three ranking official from the Chinese community party, that we're shown holding hands, and we are talking about North Korea's economic development, instead of the fact that their ICBM arsenal, even if they weren't displayed in this parade, is still growing.

[07:35:03] So, Kim has figured out how not to antagonize President Trump, how to send him these "Dear Donald" letters so that negotiations don't completely go off track, while he continues to proliferate.

PAUL: What about that letter, though? We don't know what's in it yet. We don't know for sure if it's been delivered as of yet. But the fact that he made that move, that he offered that gesture. The president has already said it's an elegant letter.

BLACKWELL: Yes. PAUL: It's elegant then, and he accepts it but doesn't that depend on what it says?

VINOGRAD: It should be. And Kim Jong-un has really played this whole notion of being pen pals with President Trump quite well. More that the president is corresponding with Kim Jong-un arguably, the less likely he is to examine another options like a military option, for example, or figuring out covert programs to get Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons. So, the longer the President Trump and Kim Jong- un keep corresponding, the better from North Korea's perspective.

PAUL: All righty. Samantha Vinograd, always appreciate your insight. Thank you for being here.


BLACKWELL: Coming up, how President Trump is looking to put the Stormy Daniels lawsuit behind him.


[07:40:32] PAUL: Well, adult film star Stormy Daniels says she is willing to return the money she received to stay quiet about an alleged affair with then presidential candidate Trump.

Now, Daniels in a nondisclosure agreement she signed with the president's former fixer, Michael Cohen, may have an annoyance for the president for months but he is now looking to move past that scandal. He wants to focus on the upcoming midterm elections.

CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News, Errol Louis, is with us, and Shan Wu, a CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor.

Gentlemen, thank you so much both for being here.

Errol, I want to ask you about what this means for the Stormy Daniels case and let me be very clear here. Daniels sued President Trump, of course, asserting that this agreement wasn't finding because he never signed it. In what is seen by many as a big shift, he's agreeing with that, but he is agreeing with that, most believe, primarily, to try to get out of a deposition.

Avenatti, in fact, her attorney, said, he tweeted this. I've been practicing law for nearly 20 years, never before have I seen a defendant so frightened to be deposed as Donald Trump, especially for a guy that talks so tough. He's desperate and doing all he can to avoid having to answer my questions. He is all hat and no cattle.

What is at stake for the president if he is deposed?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, obviously, a problem, because the stance and the original purpose of the whole scheme, so to speak, was that you had a desire by Donald Trump to keep Stormy Daniels quiet. Now they tried to have it both ways. They tried to effectively enforce the terms of the nondisclosure agreement while, at the same time, denying that anything happened. A deposition was clearly going to reveal that both of those things could not be true.

And it was clear that the game was up when we had Michael Cohen plead guilty to certain offenses and also say in the course of that plea that he was doing it with the guidance and the coordination of Donald Trump and he was doing it in order to influence the election. So, the whole game was really up at that point and there was nothing to be gained substantively and, quite a lot to lose by being deposed. By being deposed, he would have exposed himself to a lot of different problems and, of course, his team very much remembers the Paula Jones case, which is why and how we have perjury from a prior president that led to his impeachment.

PAUL: So, Shan, with that said, what would the president be asked specifically if he is deposed?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, he could be asked a lot of things and I agree with Errol, it's a very dangerous situation. He could be asked, you know, did the affair occur? Did he direct Cohen to do this? And Cohen has already pleaded guilty to illegal move on his part to affect the campaign. So, those exposures are enormous and he absolutely had to avoid that.

I mean, moreover to Errol's point, there's no purpose anymore enforcing the NDA. I mean, it's already gone completely public. They can't really put the genie back in the bottle at this point. And it's kind of interesting, too, because this whole world of NDAs, we re seeing such a favored legal tool of the president, that's very effective in the business and corporate world because people are afraid of that sort of intimidation that, you know, each breach could cost you a $1 millions, people are scared of that.

When it's in the public arena, it's a different story. People aren't afraid to speak up and I think that the president and his legal team is finding that that technique is just unraveling for them, it's not just working.

PAUL: Errol, I want to look at some midterms because Victor talked to Congressman John Delaney just a little bit ago and he was saying, you know, he has got this 2020 bid himself now. He was saying that Democrats are about bipartisanship. What will Democrats have to run on besides, however, Donald Trump is bad?

LOUIS: Well, yes. Look, running on Donald Trump is bad is only going to get you so far. In fact, for most of the Democrats who are now finishing up the round of primaries that will proceed the general election campaign, it's required. You have to take notice of it, you have to let the -- energize and in some cases enraged Democratic base know that you are with them in spirit.

But the polling reveals that there are some very, very familiar bread and butter issues that are top of mind for Democrats as they head for the midterm elections. They care about health care. They want to have health care. They care about student debt, especially if they are on the younger end of the voting age, and also have a lot of debts that they have to deal with. [07:45:05] There are still some lingering concerns about the economy.

There are a lot of indicators that are going in the right direction but not all of that has trickled down to people's households yet. Remember, that tax cut has not really taken effect just yet.

So, there are a lot of bread and butter issues that Democrats, if they are smart, are going to run on locally and, frankly, the leadership has acknowledged this. They've told their candidates run on whatever works in your particular district.

PAUL: I want to get to, real quickly, one other interesting note and this time from Republicans. Mick Mulvaney in the White House said this, according to "The New York Times". He said this in private. There is a very real possibility we will win a race for Senate in Florida and lose a race in Texas for Senate. I don't think it's likely but it's a possibility. How likeable is the candidate? That still counts.

How much, Errol, does that still count?

LOUIS: I think he may have hurt Ted Cruz's feelings. It always counts, it always counts, and Mick Mulvaney, a former member of Congress, knows that.

PAUL: But there are a lot of people that didn't like Donald Trump necessarily but they still voted for him.

LOUIS: Well, there are a fair number of people who actually do like him and like his style. I mean, the reality is, it's politics 101. You have to be a likeable candidate or you've got no business in the voting booth.

I think Mick Mulvaney, frankly, is whistling past the graveyard or past the voting booth as the case may be because the generic poll shows the Democrats with, you now, in recent weeks, a double digit lead. That's not a good sign and, frankly, it's not just about personality when it comes down to that.

PAUL: OK. We were reading in the "Texas Tribune", Ted Cruz without talking about O'Rourke, of course. He said something interesting here. His comments about the opposition, the Dems, they say, took a quirkier turn, as he said, Democrats want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicone and dyed hair.

Shan, what do you make of where this is going?

WU: Well, I like tofu food but I don't like (INAUDIBLE).


PAUL: I'm sitting here thinking, I think a lot of people from California have moved to Texas that might not fall in the likability category is what I'm saying.

WU: Exactly. I don't think that does much to broaden their overall appeal to larger voters is what I think. PAUL: All righty.

LOUIS: It really -- it really -- it really speaks to the fact they want to fight a culture war because they can't necessarily win on the issues. They have a great economic record that they wanted, but for some reason, they don't want to run on that. They want to go to a culture war and that suggests it's going to be a very nasty campaign.

PAUL: All righty. Errol Louis and Shan Wu, always appreciate the two of you being with us. Thank you, gentlemen.

LOUIS: Thank you.

WU: You too.

BLACKWELL: All right. Some good news here, New York subway line number one has reopened an important station, the World Trade Center Cortlandt Street Station, reopened for the first time since September 11th, 2001. The old station was destroyed during the terror attacks there when the World Trade Center collapsed above it.

And the new station, you see the ribbon cutting here, pays tribute to its history with words of freedom and inspiration, along the walls. And the opening comes just days before the 17th anniversary of the attack. That's on Tuesday.

PAUL: Well, that search is ongoing for the name of the person who wrote that scathing anonymous op-ed from inside the White House. Top of hour for you, more on that investigation being demanded by the president.


[07:52:59] PAUL: Today's staying well, listen, she's 71 years old. She's lost 100 pounds and dropped her blood pressure just by swimming.


VIVIAN STANCIL, RETIRED TEACHER: I didn't start swimming until I was 50. I was 319 pounds. A doctor told me I was going to say. So, I start swimming. I had some very good coaches willing to work with me, even though I'm visually impaired.

They had no idea that I was going to swim with the senior games. I've won at the local and state level.

DR. DAVID REUBEN, CHIEF OF GERIATRICS, UCLA: Swimming is a great exercise for the entire life span. Swimming tends to lower blood pressure and it tends to prevent hardening of the arteries that you see with high cholesterol. It doesn't have much stress on the joints, particularly weight bearing joints. The rest of injuries with swimming is much less than in other sports.

STANCIL: It's so peaceful. Nobody bothers me. I can sort out things. I lost over 100 pounds today in my blood pressure, 114/76. Before I had started to swim, I had depression. I had no motivation. I feel energized. I've been trying to find somebody to compete with me.


BLACKWELL: Well, good for you.

And let's turn to this now. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you know, she's earned a long list of titles during her ground breaking career. Well, CNN's new original film "RBG" takes an intimate look at all of them.


SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: Even though they had differing points of view, they were dear friends. I'm sure they were taking at each other the whole time that they kind of enjoyed it.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: Justice Scalia would whisper something to me. All I could do to avoid laughing out loud, I would sometimes pinch myself.

[07:55:03] People sometimes ask me, well, what was your favorite Scalia joke? And I said, I know what it is, but I can't tell you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They enjoyed going to the operas together. They enjoyed discussing particular operas, and of course they appeared together in an opera.


BLACKWELL: "RBG" airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

PAUL: All righty. Sunday morning, I know there's a lot going on. But we are so grateful to you, you know, spend some time with us in the morning. We hope you make great memories today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" starts after a short break.