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Mexico Beach, Florida, Ground Zero for Disaster; Nearly 900,000 Customers Still Without Power; Khashoggi's Watch May Have Recorded His Death; Melania On Immigration "I Believe In My Husband Policies"; Report: Khashoggi's Watch May Have Recorded His Death; Woman Explains What Life Was Like In Abusive Marriage. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 13, 2018 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Which means more than $650 million could be up for grabs for the next drawing which is Tuesday, makes it possibly the Mega Million's largest jackpot ever, ever. Good luck to all of you who are going to run out and get tickets.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have just now flown over Mexico Beach, and it's gone. It's gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Daylight exposing the force of Hurricane Michael.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the stores, all the restaurants, everything -- there's nothing left here anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turkish media reporting that missing Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, Jamal Khashoggi, may have recorded his own death on his Apple watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the recording, the source says that you can hear the assault, the struggle that took place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's disgusting, especially if the accusation of killing, dismembering his body --

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: I think sanctions should be applied under the Magnitsky Act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not the first first lady to have to deal with her husband's alleged infidelities. Has this put a strain on your marriage?

MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: It is not a concern and focus of mine. I'm a mother and first lady.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you love your husband?

TRUMP: Yes, we are fine. Yes.


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

PAUL: It's a tough morning for the communities from Florida Panhandle even to coastal Virginia. Because nearly 900,000 customers still, this morning, do not have power in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The focus this morning, the hard-hit towns along Florida's Panhandle, some of them, just blown away by the hurricane's 155 mile-per-hour winds. Another major story we're following this morning, reports out of Turkey. Missing Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, may have recorded his own death. Now, Turkish officials say they have audio and visual evidence that the Washington Post columnist was killed inside the Consulate.

But we're beginning with the new dramatic pictures of Hurricane Michael as it slammed into Mexico Beach on the Florida Panhandle. Watch.




PAUL: Can you imagine standing there watching that out your doorway? We know 17 people now this morning, have died because of that storm. Officials from Florida through the Carolinas and Virginia say that number is expected to rise because search crews are moving through towns and communities this morning that have been leveled. And there's a similar story in Panama City Beach where search crews returning today to some of those devastated neighborhoods, and they're just looking for any signs of life.

BLACKWELL: Erica Hill is in Mexico Beach this morning. Erica, what are you seeing, and when will people who live there, according to officials, be able to see what's left?

All right. We've got to get back to Erica in just a moment -- a bit of a technical issue there. But the Panhandle from Mexico Beach where Erica was just a moment ago, to the island of St. George. A few dozen people chose to remain on the island despite evacuation orders. Our CNN's Gary Tuchman spoke to some of them.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN REPORTER: With so many Florida Panhandle roads impassable, we charter a boat to get to St. George island -- a roughly 28-mile long and one-mile wide barrier island, where a few dozen people did not evacuate during Hurricane Michael. The devastation that we see immediately making it clear those people were in peril. Tiara Walker was one of the people who stayed behind. Did you think you were going to die?

TIARA WALKER, RESIDENT OF ST. GEORGE ISLAND: I was. A few points in times that I thought it could happen, that I could die.

TUCHMAN: Tiara stayed in an apartment at the top of Harry Yates, a now heavily damaged restaurant and bar; one of the very few businesses on the island.

WALKER: There was a point in time where I felt the roof was going to fly away, and so I flipped the couch over and just tried to prepare for the worst situation.

TUCHMAN: This incredible video comes from a security system as Hurricane Michael arrived on the island. Torrents of water from the Gulf of Mexico creating currents in the front yard of an evacuated home. This is the video camera that shot that Virginia. It still remains. And this is the exact vantage point: The water's gone, but the damage is so obvious. Residents now just returning to their houses. Krista Miller's family has lived on this island for over a century; she is a fishing charter captain.

KRISTA MILLER, RESIDENT OF ST. GEORGE ISLAND: Before the storm took that little jog to the west, we were pretty, pretty worried that this place would no longer be here. If that storm had not, you know, taken that little turn, this place would be leveled completely.

[07:05:10] TUCHMAN: But most homes on St. George island have been damaged. Many very extensively like the home of Christopher Crosier, who has lived here 38 years. One of the risks you take when you live near the water on an island is that you can be devastated by a hurricane.


TUCHMAN: Will this make you give up on living on this island?

CROSIER: Hell no. There's no way. It's too beautiful. I discovered this place in the '70s. And worked every bit of my life just to be here in this county. I got a child who's a school teacher down here, that stay down here.

TUCHMAN: So, you're staying.

CROSIER: I'm here. I'm not going anywhere.


PAUL: Gosh, just glad he's OK.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Yes. And you were saying that --

PAUL: It's just a little stretch of beach.

BLACKWELL: A little slender island. We've got Erica Hill back. She is in Mexico Beach. Erica, good morning to you. What are you expecting there today? ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys, good to be with.

So, we are expecting to see more people come into town today. The mayor did say to me, though, he understands why people want to come and see what's left. He's a little worried about there being too much traffic, too many people coming into town, even people who don't live here and just want to see for themselves the extent of the damage.

We saw a marked difference in the first images that came out of Mexico Beach when CNN was able to get in here -- Brooke Baldwin and her team on that helicopter, versus yesterday. It was a hub of activity. So, they've cleared the roads. There were enormous flatbeds bringing in big equipment. They need bulldozers, they need to move the debris out of the roads, obviously, to get folks in.

Search and rescue teams were here going through a second (INAUDIBLE) -- they did a preliminary (INAUDIBLE) at first day. They believe they got most of everything. But keep in mind, a lot of the structures that were here are no longer here. So, it's tough to say 100 percent of the buildings have been searched. There were about 280 people who were on a list, as of 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, the mayor tells me, who said they were staying in town. He believes once the storm increased overnight into a Category 4, he believes a fair amount of them left. Could be as many as a couple dozen, maybe a few more, but they don't know exactly.

And because communications are so difficult, because homes are not where they were before the storm, some moved to other parts of this town, some simply gone, it's made it very difficult to go through and find every resident on that list, but they are trying. Some of the folks who made it in yesterday, a lot of people walking around town, a little bit stunned, a little dazed, and others really just starting to try to literally pick up the pieces. They told me to a person, the destruction was even worse than what they thought it would be. Take a listen.


REV. EDGAR LAFOUNTAIN, PASTOR: From what I've seen in pictures where bombs were dropped, that's kind of looking like what it looks like here. But we're going to -- you know, with God's help, we're going to rebuild and gain our strength again. It's just going to set us back a little bit, but we're resilient people, I think, in Mexico Beach.

AL CATHEY, MAYOR, FLORIDA MEXICO BEACH: There's -- 75 percent of our city's not here. There's not one local business, here, that's operational. Not one. We're mom and pop, this isn't Hampton Inn, and Pizza Hut and Walmart.


HILL: The city managers expects 12 to 18 months before the town is back. The mayor tells me, he was told, at least two before there is power restored. There's no water, no sewer system. We know FEMA Administrator Brock Long is supposed to visit some of the hardest hit areas today. We don't have that exact schedule. But one would imagine that it would have to include Mexico Beach, guys. PAUL: You would think so. We see the sun coming up there behind you.

It's going to be tough for these people to get in there and see what they've got to deal with now. Erica, thank you. And I know that we sit here and we watch. And much like you, and you think, I want to do something but I don't know how to help. We want to help you figure that out. Go to our Web site,, to find ways that you can help the people there in Florida, and elsewhere from the storm.

BLACKWELL: Now, to the other big story we're following today. That missing Saudi journalist and the possible recording of the last moments of his life. This morning, a pro-government Turkish paper is reporting that Jamal Khashoggi recorded his own death by turning on the recording function of his Apple Watch before entering the Saudi Consulate.

PAUL: Khashoggi, a Columnist for the Washington Post has been missing for more than a week. Saudi Arabia denies any involvement in his disappearance. CNN's Senior International Correspondent Arwa Damon is live outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. What is the newspaper -- the Turkish newspaper there saying, Arwa, about his disappearance and what they've learned?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are, as you were mentioning there, saying that he did turn that function on his Apple Watch before he entered inside. But technology experts are casting doubt as to whether or not whatever was recorded then on his Apple Watch could have, in fact, migrated off of it. And there is some speculation among analyst, and one also has to keep in mind that Turkey has been selectively leaking information throughout the course of this entire story, horrific story unfolding. But analysts are saying that perhaps this is some way for Turkey to avoid admitting that it did, in fact, have the Consulate itself bugged.

[07:10:20] What we do know form a source who is familiar with the investigation who was briefed by western intelligence agencies is that the Turks do have audio and video recordings, and that they do appear to provide evidence and show a struggle, there's shouting on them. There are also indications, evidence of the final moments of Khashoggi's life. This is an incredibly politically charged situation. The nature that all of this has taken. Turkey for its part is looking into those 15 persons of interest. Saudi nationals who arrived to Istanbul on the day that Khashoggi himself did go missing.

Saudi Arabia has continued to maintain that it had absolutely nothing to do with his disappearance. They say that he left the Consulate the day that he arrived. And Turkey is still asking the Saudis to provide evidence then to that effect. There is this joint working group that has been established. A Saudi delegation did arrive to Turkey yesterday. But we're going to have to wait and see exactly what it is that they uncover and what progress that they are able to make. Because, all indications are at this stage that Turkey has very limited patience when it comes to all of this, and that they are expecting the Saudis to show at least a certain level of cooperation.

Remember earlier last week at stage, the Turks had asked for and received permission to be able to search the Consulate and the consul general's house. The Saudis that asked that be postponed. And then, of course, we had the emergence of this working group, but it still remains a very convoluted -- and as I was saying, highly politically charged situation.

BLACKWELL: All right. Arwa Damon for us there. Arwa, thank you so much.

PAUL: And as she talks about highly politically charged, you know, a lot of people are wondering how President Trump is going to respond. He's been cautious amid the outrage over the apparent murder of Khashoggi. Up next, what steps the president might take and what his options are at this point?

BLACKWELL: Plus, the return of Pastor Andrew Brunson released, Friday, after being held for two years in a Turkish prison on charges of helping to plot a coup against President Erdogan.

PAUL: And a new interview with First Lady Melania Trump. She herself an immigrant tells ABC News she was shocked at the administration's zero-tolerance policy.


M. TRUMP: I was blind-sided by it. I told him at home and send I said to him that I feel that it's unacceptable, and he felt the same.



[07:17:04] PAUL: Well, President Trump is under pressure this morning to take some sort of action against Saudi Arabia for the alleged killing of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. The president saying, he hasn't even spoken with King Salman yet.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but he says he plans to pretty soon. CNN's Sarah Westwood is live from the White House. Sarah, what else is the president saying?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, so far, not much. The Trump administration is not saying what they believed happened to Khashoggi, let alone laying out plans for holding the Saudis responsible if it turns out that, in fact, the Saudis did know about or order this journalist's alleged murder. Now, the president is under enormous pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill to take strong action against Saudi Arabia.

But so far, all he's really done is express reluctance to let these new tension scrap billions of dollars-worth of proposed arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Now, critics have said that the White House's strong backing of the crown prince Mohammed bin Salma, Saudi Arabia's young leader, has emboldened him to be more aggressive on the world stage and in his consolidation of power at home in Saudi Arabia. The president says, he hasn't spoken to bin Salman, but here's what he had to say last night about that upcoming conversation. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you spoken to the king of Saudi Arabia?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have not. I have not. I'll be speaking to him, yes, pretty soon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What will the conversation be like?

D. TRUMP: Well, I can't tell you but I will say that they are looking very hard and fast -- and not only us, a lot of people are looking to find out. Because it is potentially a really, really terrible situation. So, we'll see what happens.


WESTWOOD: Now, it's clear the Trump administration is trying to navigate the situation without disrupting economic ties with Saudi Arabia. But with international outrage building, Victor and Christi, Trump is under enormous pressure to come down hard against the Saudis.

BLACKWELL: All right. Sarah Westwood for us at the White House, thank you.

PAUL: Joining me now: Wesley Lowery, CNN Contributor and National Reporter for the Washington Post; and Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief with the Chicago Sun-Times. Thank you so much for being with us, both of you. Wesley, I want to start with you. President Trump, as she talked about, has vowed this expedited address to dealing with this, hasn't done anything just yet. And it's said part of that is because of the $110 billion arms deal. He has said that deal is intact. With all of that behind us or at, you know, the foundation of this, what -- how effective can President Trump be? What does he have to do to be effective in a case like this?

WESLEY LOWERY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR AND NATIONAL REPORTER FOR THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, certainly. I think that President Trump right now has the benefit of being in a wait-and-see mode while we certainly have seen a fair amount of reporting about what happened, or allegedly happened to my colleague Jamal Khashoggi. We're still waiting for whether the official government reports, U.S. Intelligence themselves comes up with this information, and so the president in some ways can punt this for a little bit.

What I think becomes exponentially more difficult is once there is a full broad international consensus about what did or did not happen inside of that Consulate, and if -- what the reporting you've seen thus far is validated, you know, that my colleague was, was ambushed, murdered, potentially. I mean, the reports we've seen tortured, perhaps, you know, tortured. If that is validated, it's going to put an additional amount of pressure on President Trump to do something of substance, right?

Because what would be tragic and horrifying would be for an American resident, someone writing for the Washington Post to be essentially assassinated by the Saudi government for his criticism of that government, and for the United States to stand by and essentially do nothing, right? And so, the question here is, once it becomes unquestionably clear whether or not the reports we're seeing thus far are true and are accurate, what is the president really going to do? He's not at that moment, but he'll be at that moment pretty soon.

[07:21:00] PAUL: Wesley, you are a colleague of this man. I mean, what are you feeling this morning as you hear these reports about, you know, a possible Apple Watch and a recording of his killing?

LOWERY: Well, certainly, when we initially read these reports about the potential being video and audio recording of this death and of this assassination potentially, it was just harrowing, you know, the details, you know, that someone would show up -- that the journalist would show up at a Consulate to finalize the paperwork for their wedding and then never reappear out the front door. It is a horrifying story for anyone, much less that this might be a government action, a government-ordered murder and assassination in order to silence a critic.

You know, as journalists, whether we work together or not, that's the type of thing that, I think, we all kind of universally condemn -- wherever it takes place, right? I think that the idea that, you know, one of the things that unites all of us is this thought and this concept that we all have the right to our dissent and the right to our voices. And the way that governments and societies change is through people speaking up and advocating that change. And to see one of the chief critics of the Saudi government potentially be killed by his own government has a real potential chilling effect across, not just that nation, but across, you know dissidents and critics of potentially authoritarian regimes across the world.

PAUL: And when we look at a potential remedy to this, somehow getting some answers in some way, Lynn, what might be complicating it is the fact that there's still, at this point, no U.S. Ambassador to Turkey or to Saudi Arabia. How does that make things a little more difficult?

LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Well, it makes it difficult because you don't have as many eyes and -- eyes on the ground, eyes and ears on the ground as you would want. And it -- this kind of incident shows the impact when you have your State Department vacancies, the most important ones, unfilled in these sensitive areas. But it does not mean, however, that the U.S. Intelligence and its allied intelligence agencies still cannot be at work.

I wouldn't over emphasize the importance of an ambassador, but it's not the only tool. What the United States has, of course, hanging over the Saudis and what the Senate -- the senators a few days ago understood is that there is the power of economic sanctions of stripping the Saudis off their place in the international finance community under the Magnitsky Act to punish them, if indeed they are players in this murder.

PAUL: Lynn, we're close to the midterms. Is there a political stake in this? SWEET: Well, there are so many things on the table right now. And as

a journalist, as I want to also, you know, send my concerns and underscore everything that Wesley said about the seriousness of a journalist walking into a Consulate and not walking out. And that, you know, everybody stands in solidarity on this one. I don't know, however, if this one issue, if whether or not Trump speaks forcefully enough will be determinative. But what we are watching, as well as the substance is the symbolic moves that the Trump administration makes such as whether or not Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin heads to Saudi for a financial conference that's scheduled to happen very soon.

PAUL: At the end of the month. Wesley Lowery and Lynn Sweet, thank both so much. We appreciate you both.

SWEET: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Tonight, Van Jones is back. Don't miss his special guest, Dave Chappelle, only on "THE VAN JONES SHOW." That's tonight at 7:00 p.m.

[07:24:42] PAUL: And do stay with us. We have a look inside the U.S. Detention Center that is still housing more than 1,500 immigrant children.


BLACKWELL: Melania Trump sat down for a rare interview as first lady while she was away on her trip overseas. She spoke on a myriad of issues including the state of her marriage, the #metoo movement, the administration's immigration policy, regarding her husband's family's separation, the zero-tolerance policy, she said she was blind-sided by it.


M. TRUMP: I was blindsided by it. I told him at home, and I said to him that I feel that's unacceptable, and he, he felt the same.


PAUL: She did support enforcing a strict immigration policy.


[07:30:09] M. TRUMP: I believe in the policies that my husband put together, because I believe that we need to be very vigilant who is coming to the country.

TOM LLAMAS, CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: But you think people should be able to bring in their mother and their father?

TRUMP: Yes, of course. But we need to vet them. We need to know who they are.

LLAMAS: Have you told your husband this?

TRUMP: Yes, of course.

LLAMAS: And what does he say?

TRUMP: He agrees.


PAUL: And meanwhile, there's a new report from The Washington Post that says the White House is considering a policy that could again separate parents and their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

This new plan would give parents a choice to either stay in family detention with their child as the immigration cases proceed or allow their children to be taken into a government shelter. So, other family or guardians can seek custody.

BLACKWELL: Well, there still are 1,500 children separated from their parents at the Tornillo detention center. This is on the Texas-Mexico border.

PAUL: There's a backlog with processing the fingerprints which is likely a major reason that these kids are stuck there for so long. Here's CNN's Leyla Santiago who went inside.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Arriving at a migrant shelter, a bus filled with Central American families released from ICE custody. A bus showing shadows of children whose little hands we would eventually see gripping their parents. We agreed not to show their faces as they explained why they came to the United States.

This 27-year-old mother, tells us gangs forced her to leave Honduras, a country plagued with violence.

"So, she says that the gangs wanted to recruit her son. And when she said no, they told her she had 15 days to leave the country or they would kill her boy."

RUBEN GARCIA, DIRECTOR, ANNUNCIATION HOUSE: We received them so that they don't get released to the street.

SANTIAGO: Ruben Garcia runs annunciation house. A migrant shelter about half an hour from Tornillo. An area where the Department of Health and Human Services houses about 1,500 teens who cross the border without a parent.

The facility has had to extend its deadline for closing and has had to expand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're out of space, unfortunately, given all of the increase in numbers.

SANTIAGO: So, the immigrant advocates that we're talking about are telling us they're seeing more children, more families coming in crossing the border. And the facilities aren't able to handle them. They don't have enough beds or places to care for them.

So, we're in Tornillo at this sort of temporary tent shelter. We're going to go in and ask more questions. Find out how many children are in custody and how is the administration now handling this.

Our cameras were not allowed inside. The government provided this video. So, we spent two hours behind the gates into what is really like an entire city back there. They have their own firefighters, they have a place to worship, have a place to eat, and we actually even went into one of the tents where they live, I could see Bibles placed on their beds -- teddy bears there.

Every indication that these are children living here. And when I went to the barber shop, I met a young man from El Salvador. He said he's been here a month and 11 days. When I asked him why he is here? Why he crossed that border alone? He said he's looking for a better life.

Another young man said he wanted to get to Houston, another to Colorado. All eager to be reunited with family.

MARK WEBER, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: I would say -- you know there are multiple factors in terms of why we have so many kids at this point in time. And yes, we have added additional protections to ensure the homes, that these children are going to safely, and that is adding time.

SANTIAGO: The average time for a child to stay in HHS custody, 59 days. The reason they say, more Central American children are crossing the border. A 30 percent increase in just the last two months.

The Trump administration zero-tolerance policy, it's separated about 2,600 kids from their parents, though most have been reunited. And a new requirement to fingerprint sponsors agreeing to care for the children waiting for a day in court.

The commander at Tornillo, says sponsors for more than half of the children here have had fingerprints taken. But it's taking too long to get any sort of report from the FBI. For now, he says the facility is expected to keep taking care of these teens through December 31st.

GARCIA: They are risking their lives. And so, you have to ask yourself. What would it take for you to risk your life and that of one of your children are separated? What would it take? And I think that's, that's what gets lost in all this discussion.

SANTIAGO: In the meantime, children continue to wait, to one day be released, to one day be reunited with family and try to find a better life. Leyla Santiago, CNN, Tornillo, Texas.


[07:35:06] BLACKWELL: An American pastor should be back in the U.S. later today. More on the pastor Andrew Brunson freed from Turkey, Friday.


PAUL: For mortgage rates inched up this week, here's your look.


BLACKWELL: We had new developments in the story surrounding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. According to sources close to his family, Saudi officials are targeting his son. Invalidated now his passport and stopping him from leaving the country.

A President Trump promises to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance with Saudi Arabia's King, King Salman. The president is now under increasing pressure to challenge the Saudi government over his whereabouts.

Meanwhile, nearly a dozen companies have pulled out of an upcoming investment conference in Saudi Arabia in response to this situation.

Joining me now, someone who knew Khashoggi, and has been critical of the response to his disappearance. CNN global affairs analyst Aaron David Miller. Aaron, good morning to you. First, this new reporting. Your thoughts on, on the reporting that the Saudi government is now pressuring Khashoggi's son.

[07:40:44] AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, I think, its business as usual. I think there was a travel ban on his son, and I think it's unfortunate. I mean, every effort should be made out of respect for his missing father to allow him to leave. Perhaps, go to Istanbul or come to the United States.

Its part and parcel, I think, Victor, of a pattern of behavior which is highly controlling, highly centralized, and frankly highly repressive. It's important to understand that what happened to Jamal is not the first indication of the extent of Mohammed bin Salman's repressiveness.

It follows a long pattern and arc of arrests and scores of Saudi activists, journalists, clerics, and even women who were instrumental in the crown prince's own reform of allowing women to drive. So, this is the tail end of some highly repressive policies.

BLACKWELL: You've got a new piece in the Atlantic that I want to examine here. The president, the administration they've talked to -- in some detail about the cost of action potentially against Saudi Arabia jeopardizing these $110 billion arms sales deal, other deals with Saudi Arabia.

From your perspective, what is the cost of inaction? What would this mean the message it would send to Mohammed bin Salman?

MILLER: I mean, look, for the last 600 days, and previous administrations for whom I've worked, also enabled and placated the Saudis. But rarely, have I seen working for both Republican and Democratic administrations a degree of latitude and freedom accord -- accorded to ally of the United States. And rarely has that ally begun to pursue policies. A boycott against Qatar, a disastrous war in Yemen. The virtual kidnapping of the Lebanese Prime Minister. With a hostage video to boot last year.

We cannot have an ally of the United States sending hit teams around the world to either render. And maybe it was a rendition that went bad. Maybe the plan was to kidnap Jamal and not to kill him. Or worse, a premeditated murder.

So, we need to make it unmistakably clear to the Saudis that yes, they are very important security part -- partners that we should encourage Mohammed bin Salman to continue his reform track. But no blank checks.

And that means that when the incontrovertible evidence appears. Whatever the Saudis did to Jamal, the president is going to have to consider as I think as Senator Corker said, exacting a pretty heavy price.

BLACKWELL: All right. Aaron David Miller, advisor to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state. Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

MILLER: A pleasure, Victor.

PAUL: Well, right now, an American pastor who is imprisoned in Turkey is on his way home. Pastor Andrew Brunson, held for two years charged with being involved in a failed coup attempt was released yesterday. Flown to Germany alongside his wife for a medical check.

And when he landed there, the U.S. ambassador handed him an American flag which he immediately kissed. He's expected to land in Washington, D.C. sometime this afternoon and meet President Trump in the Oval Office.

Well, domestic violence changes who you are. Those are the words from one woman who lived with abuse from her husband for more than 20 years. And get this, he was the pastor of a church. You're going to hear her story next.



[07:48:34] RHONDA, SURVIVOR OF ABUSE: For 23 years, I was married to an abusive man that I didn't know. I didn't know what abuse really was.


PAUL: That's Rhonda. She's a woman who escaped an abusive marriage. She is in a much better place now, I'm happy to tell you. But we're talking a lot about abuse lately, aren't we? And if you think that you have an idea of what it is, listen to this. We -- she talked there about how he held a gun to her head, and he

actually had it cocked. And it's just a snippet of an interview that was conducted as a partnership between Suze Orman, Avon Foundation for women in Avon, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline because it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

And I spoke with Katie Ray Jones, CEO of the hotline, asking her are there a lot of women and men living behind closed doors with this?


KATIE RAY JONES, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: Unfortunately, domestic violence is incredibly pervasive in our country. One in four women in their lifetime will experience physical violence by an intimate partner.

And so, we know that it's so prevalent that we all know someone who's currently experiencing abuse in their home, most likely behind closed doors, and most likely they're not sharing it with anyone that they know.

PAUL: Yes, and that's part of what we wanted to talk about because a lot of people wonder why on earth would somebody not tell someone. It's interesting what finally jolted Rhonda to tell somebody.

Here's what she says happened. And she says this happened around Thanksgiving.

[07:50:04] RHONDA: This particular evening, I -- he was drinking, he came in and he beat me up. I remember falling in the hallway from where heat me with his fists and I had a black eye. And we were supposed to be going to a big Thanksgiving dinner at my mother's.

And I -- you know that happened, and then he said, you know, not only am I going to take care of you but I'm going over to your parent's house, and I'm going to shoot and kill your mom, and your dad, and your sister.

OK, he left with a gun in his truck going out in the driveway. And I'm thinking, I have to tell them. And I have to warn them, so I called them that's the first time I'd said anything.

PAUL: I cannot even begin to imagine why is it? When you listen to that, why is it that we wait until someone else is in danger before we make that call? And why don't we take care of ourselves?

JONES: Yes, I think honestly as women, were often cultured to be caretakers and take care of others first and foremost. And I think that, that becomes expounded when we think about domestic violence and how abusive partners really make the victim feel like the abuse that have -- is happening in the home is really their fault.

And there's a lot of shame and embarrassment associated with that which prevents many women from telling anyone that they know what's happening behind closed doors. So, I think, Rhonda is exactly in that situation. She felt a lot of blame and internalized that what was happening in her house was really her fault. And until she was in a place where she needed to protect someone else, that's when she began to reach out. PAUL: And you know, Rhonda said she stayed because she had a daughter. A daughter who loved her father. And Rhonda, you know, she wanted to keep her family together which is not unusual what we know. She said that she and her husband, they went through counseling.

He stopped drinking, he stopped hitting her. But there was one thing really too that kept her there, as well. Listen to this, this is surprising.

RHONDA: And we as Christians, read that scripture -- you know that you're supposed to forgive and forgive, and you do -- you know. When the person that's supposed to love you the most abuses you on a regular basis, it changes who you are.

PAUL: It changes who you are and one of the things that is so surprising in this is that Rhonda's husband was a pastor. So, when she said that changes who you are, help us understand what this does to people.

JONES: You know, it's so interesting and sometimes when we're working at the National Domestic Violence hotline speaking with thousands of women every day, we often hear exactly what Rhonda said that it changed her. And that they lose themselves in the relationship.

We have to remember when Rhonda first met her husband when many women first meet partners who will be abusive, they don't present themselves as abusive people. Two individuals fall in love. And through that relationship when the abusive partner begins to chip away at the person's self-esteem, it's very subtle at first, and then, begins to escalate, and that person really sees that this is somehow their fault and loses themselves in this relationship through the power and control dynamics.

And Rhonda speaks about that in her video. About how she, you know, gets this point where she just doesn't recognize the woman in the mirror anymore. And that her abusive partner just chipped away at her self-worth, her self-esteem, and everything that she thought she was, and even the relationship that she thought that they had.


PAUL: Now, if you need help, or you know someone who does, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The number is down your screen. 1-800-799-SAFE. And there's so much more, that Rhonda says in this interview with Suze. You can see that online at -- THEHOTLINE.ORG. Stay close.


[07:58:29] BLACKWELL: So, if you're looking for a new fun way to stay fit, I mean, it makes sense once we think about it, but I never really considered it. Well, I haven't considered it.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii have a suggestion. Hula dancer.

PAUL: Fiasco picturing you're doing it.

BLACKWELL: That's the only way you're ever going to see it. Just in your mind eyes.

PAUL: What I take a bit my head, yes. "STAYING WELL" today looks at how the Hawaiian dance can actually help our heart.


SCHADIA, INSTRUCTOR OF HULA DANCE: Hula is the dance of the Hawaiian people. It's an oral history put to music that tells the story of Hawaii, of the different islands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women hula class, I'm just having fun. I don't even feel like I'm working out, I just love to dance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have so many people like, "I didn't know I was going to sweat like this. I didn't know it was going to be so much movement.

JYOTI SHARMA, CARDIOLOGIST: Low-intensity hula dancing is equivalent to moderate activity and high-intensity hula dancing was equivalent to vigorous activity which would be something like playing basketball or riding your bike at a rapid pace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't need that.

SHARMA: This particular study from the University of Hawaii showed that patients who participated in hula dancing had lower blood pressure readings. Also, patients who are less likely to complain of body aches and pain than having an improved sense of social well- being.

SCHADIA: It is obtainable. So, if you think to see if you're maybe a little older, you know, maybe you can't break it down in a hardcore hip-hop class. But, Hula, you can do it your whole lives, and so, it really is for everyone.