Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Calls For Unity Then Stokes Division With Attack On Media; 4-Day Manhunt Over, Search For More Mail Bombs Continues; Fingerprint And Cell Phone Data Ensnared Suspect; Twitter Criticized For Inaction After Bomb Suspect Threats; NBC Cancels Kelly's Show After Anchor's Blackface Comments; Murdered Student Told Police She Was Being Blackmailed. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 27, 2018 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An alleged serial bomber is in custody in South Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, they have confirmed at least one of Sayoc's fingerprints from one of the envelopes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are also learning as well about the political agenda that he plastered all over the van he was actually living in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was covered in photos of President Trump, and Vice President Pence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a sad result of someone who is very sick, didn't get the help, became a loner, and then found a cause. He found a father in Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must unify as a nation. We have seen an effort by the media in recent hours to use the sinister actions of one individual to score political points against me.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Calling them enemies of the people, and then suddenly pretending that you're concerned about civility. Come on.


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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. After a four-day nationwide manhunt, federal agents say they have arrested the man who sent more than a dozen mail bombs to prominent Democratic figures and Trump critics.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: 56-year-old, Cesar Sayoc, told investigators that he didn't want to hurt anyone but the FBI Director, Chris Wray, says under the right conditions these packages could have gone off. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Today's arrest doesn't mean we're all out of the woods. There may be other packages in transit now.


BLACKWELL: Well, the two most recent packages were sent to Democratic Senator Kamala Harris and Democratic Donor Tom Stier and that brings the total number of mail bombs to 14 now, at least 14. For more, let's bring in CNN Senior Washington Correspondent Joe Johns, he's live from the Federal Detention Center in Downtown Miami. That is where Sayoc is being held. Joe, good morning to you.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. I can tell you a couple of things about this. Number one, authorities are very concerned about whether there are other packages in the system. We hear of it from Christopher Wray, the FBI Director himself, who said just yesterday, during a news conference in Washington, D.C., "we're not out of the woods yet." While authorities do have a suspect in custody, there are still questions about packages that went from CNN center in New York, for example, all the way to California, Delaware, Florida, Washington, D.C., could there be something else in the system? That is one of the big focuses of the investigation this morning, Victor.

PAUL: So, Joe, we know that he has a court appearance on Monday in Miami. What do we expect to come from that? And what do we know what happens from this point on?

JOHNS: In the federal court system, it's usually pretty simple. He has an attorney, and the attorney simply enters a plea. The question, of course, then is what happens next. Whether this individual wants to admit to his crimes, and move on, on that track, or whether there is a desire, if you will, to fight it out. So, we do know Sayoc is expected to appear in court here in Florida, to answer for these initial charges that have been filed by the federal government, and the investigation continues as authorities try to figure out: Number one, the motive, also whether anyone else was involved, and how in fact, a man of limited means, who apparently was living out of his van, was able to put the entire country ill at ease, if you will.

PAUL: All right. Joe Johns, thank you for the update. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump has acknowledged the mail bombing suspect was his supporter but that's it, he did not disavow his support.

PAUL: Yes, this rally in Charlotte, where he blasted the media's response, after the suspect was caught. CNN White House Reporter Sarah Westwood, live from the White House for us now, what exactly did he say, Sarah?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Christie, President Trump was renewing his calls for unity in the wake of the package bombing spree. But in the same breath, he was criticizing the media for its negative coverage and blaming news outlets for somehow spreading hostility and divisions in this country. Now, Trump has been complaining this week that all of the focus on the mystery behind who was sending these pipe bombs has blunted what he saw as GOP momentum heading into the final week of campaigning before the midterms.

Because, as you know, the president has wanted illegal immigration and the caravan of Central American migrants heading to the U.S. border to be his closing argument for the midterms, and that's what he wanted to turn the conversation towards. But so far, in terms of his response to the pipe bombs, he's been alternating between taking swipes at the media and encouraging Americans to come together. That's what we saw from him at Charlotte last night. Take a listen.


[07:05:28] TRUMP: Everyone will benefit if we can end the politics of personal destruction. We must unify as a nation in peace, love, and in harmony. The media has a major role to play, whether they want to or not. And they do indeed have a major role to play, as far as tone, and as far as everything.


TRUMP: And we all say this, in all sincerity, but the media's constant unfair coverage, deep hostility, and negative attacks, you know that, only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate.


WESTWOOD: Now, relatively speaking, for the president, we have seen a more moderating tone from him at that rally in Charlotte, at a rally he did in Wisconsin, earlier this week. Last night, he's trying to pivot back to political terrain that's more comfortable for him, he did tease repeatedly an immigration announcement he'll have next week. But despite calling on Americans to come together, Victor and Christi, the president is showing no signs of letting up on the intensity of his rhetoric heading into the last week before election day.

BLACKWELL: Yes, when the president was asked if he should tone down, he said that he actually could tone up. We'll see if he does that over the next ten days. Sarah Westwood for us at the White House, thanks so much.

PAUL: So, we want to talk about the investigation into these packages and what comes next as well. CNN White House Reporter Stephen Collinson with us now, as well as CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Josh Campbell, and CNN Political Analyst Margaret Talev, Senior White House Correspondent for Bloomberg. Thank you all for being here. We certainly appreciate it. Absolutely.

Josh, we know the DNA fingerprints, we know that pings from the cell phone tower led authorities to this auto parts store parking lot in South Florida. What do we know about what investigators are doing today with that, that van, because if that is where he was living, we would think that they would be able to make some real decisive, I guess, consequences or --

BLACKWELL: Some progress.

PAUL: Yes, some progress in terms of what they are going to be able to determine about this man and his motive.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, absolutely. Law enforcement officers will continue to work through the weekend including today going through the van, as you mentioned which is a potential gold mine for evidence. They'll be looking for, you know, indicia of explosives inside, perhaps, you know, evidence of packaging, something that may indicate that this was possibly the scene where he was actually putting these devices together or at least transporting them.

Again, you know, we've talked a lot about the outside, we see the video there, we remember yesterday of the authorities putting the tarp over the van covering up all of the paraphernalia from political indications, so that will be of interest. Obviously, to investigators, to go through that to catalog and to photograph it, and to see what this all does means. Because again, they're trying to get to the motive why this person did what he did.

And then, also going on, about far away from Florida and Washington, D.C. on the outskirts in Quantico, Virginia. The FBI bomb laboratory continues to process these devices. Just yesterday, another device to the hedge fund, you know, billionaire, Tom Stier -- we were talking to our law enforcement contacts last night who indicated that today, likely that would be packaged up and shipped back to the lab. Yet another piece of evidence that they'll be going through. So, law enforcement officers have a herculean task ahead of them throughout the weekend.

BLACKWELL: Margaret, let's talk about the rhetoric, political rhetoric here and let's first listen to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and then talk about it on the other side.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: We have to get to a point where you can have political debate without political violence. This is at a torrid level that is just unpalatable. And we're learning that, when you keep stirring that pot, and you have leaders, the president of the United States, people learn to him -- he's no longer on a talk show, he is the president of the United States. And this is whipping up people, and you will see people respond.


BLACKWELL: Prominent Democrat there, making that point, other Democrats making it, a few Republicans, Ohio Governor John Kasich as well. But where is the rest of the lion's share of the president's party on this point? I mean, we are 10 days out from the midterms, would it be naive to expect that they would take a stand on them going into the midterms? Why haven't we heard from more of them?

[07:10:14] MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Victor, I mean, I think you're right to say that there are a lot of Republicans who also feel this way. But strategically, politically, it makes sense for Democrats to be talking about it. I suppose it's a little bit riskier for Republicans to be talking about it not only because of the midterms impact but because of the impact of how the president will respond to them.

And you know, any -- most any president you can imagine, from the last half century, Republican or Democrat, if something like this were happening, it would almost entirely be setting aside politics, calling the affected parties or having his chief of staff talk with them, really talking about unity. But for President Trump, part of this may be a calculation that because midterms have always been base elections, messaging to the base, still is the right course of action.

And part of it, maybe him bristling at the suggestion, you know, that he has responsibility for his rhetoric. And so, I think we're seeing politics, absolutely, you know, overshadowing kind of the governing part of the equation that we might typically see with another administration.

PAUL: So, I want to listen here to GOP Congressman, Representative Mark Walker, of North Carolina, talking about what he thinks Trump means when he says unity. Let's listen here.


REP. MARK WALKER (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I do believe him. I believe in his heart he wants to see things unified. I believe we're all certainly, as your host talked about, there's some responsibility that goes around, but I think it is really the bottom of his heart, I do believe that he wants to have a more peaceful union.


PAUL: Steven, look, people are not stupid. They see the two different President Trumps here -- you know, one who is calling for unity and the other who is calling people names, and who is very divisive. What is the White House doing, the administration, as we are now so close to midterms trying to do -- are they doing anything to try to reconcile that for people who are getting ready to go to the polls?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I think you see, Christi, the tension between the president's official ceremonial role, and fulfilling the expectations we have of how a president should behave in a time of national peril, and President Trump's political inclinations. So, he comes out several times this week and gives a scripted statement, calling for unity, condemning political violence. Yet with his tweets, and his comments at rallies, he appears to undermine that. So, there is this constant tug between the president living up to the expectations of Washington, and what we believe and how we believe a president should behave in this kind of moment, and his political sort of rationale if you like. He doesn't seem to be able to sort of unite those two conflicting requirements.

And you know, here's the problem: The president calls for unity, but everybody knows that his political project, if you like, is based on looking for errors of political, social, even racial division in the United States, and tweaking them, and that is how he gets his base enthusiastic. And he became president because he took aim at those conventions. And if he behaves in the way that we expect the president to behave, he's not completely being true to himself, and that's why you have this constant conflict in the way the president behaves. It's in his interest to get Republican base voters enthusiastic and angry, in the last nine days before the midterm elections, and calls to unity probably don't do that. So, you know, this is very --

BLACKWELL: And Margaret pointed out --

COLLINSON: -- interesting to see how he goes, you know, forward from this point.

BLACKWELL: Margaret pointed out that this, you know, midterms are base elections. Josh, let me comeback to you. I mean, we saw the van. We've seen Cesar Sayoc at the rally, so he is clearly a Trump supporter. But when you look at the five charges he's facing, how central to making the case is his political ideology?

CAMPBELL: So, at this point, what all law enforcement officers had to do was come up with enough charges, even one charge to put him behind bars, initially, to bring him into custody. They've done that. We've seen, you know, the initial charges as far as threatening the officials, very technical charges here, interstate violations, moving things across state line, and using communication device, that kind of thing. But again, we're still early in the investigation.

And they haven't had the opportunity to interview him when this complaint was actually filed. So, it will be interesting to see if what they glean from that initial interview with him, our law enforcement contacts are telling us that he eventually lawyered up, he stopped talking to investigators, the question will come, did he provide anything of value before that took place? And then, then last thing very quickly, is that there's this entire trove of social media activity out there from this person that is now coming to light for all of the world to see.

We're looking at it. Investigators are also looking at. They'll be going through again, trying to get into the mindset of the person -- the motive. And if they can get to that t-word, terrorism, domestic terrorism, then that's a charge that they'll no doubt try to pursue, at least to the extent that they can, again, very initial stages right now and the investigation is going to be a long process, and they can always add additional charges later on.

[07:15:41] PAUL: Yes. All right. Stephen Collinson, Josh Campbell, and Margaret Talev, thank you for sharing with us this morning.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, the mail bombing suspect's former employee tells CNN he was a model employee. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBRA GUREGHIAN, CESAR SAYOC'S FORMER MANAGER: I think everybody has some kind of "ism," some kind of political view that they, you know, are afraid to come out and say, maybe this keep it hidden, deep down secret. He was one of the people that just told it like it was, and I never would have thought this was him.


PAUL: And odds are, if you're up this morning, you missed the end of the world series game. It kept going, and going. Later this hour, the historic game that stretched into the morning hours.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Megyn Kelly's time on the "Today Show" is over. And sources tell CNN, her exit from the network -- it's a conclusion, a foregone conclusion. Coming up, what's at stake in her negotiations with NBC.


[07:20:38] PAUL: 20 minutes past the hour right now, and we're learning some new details about the man arrested for allegedly mailing bombs to prominent Democrats. The man you see there, 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, from Florida has a criminal history and ties to New York.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but his boss, back when he worked at a pizza restaurant says he was a great employee. CNN's Drew Griffin spoke with his former manager.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN REPORTER: He was a reliable employee.

GUREGHIAN: Fabulous employee.

GRIFFIN: Fabulous.

GUREGHIAN: Yes, always on time. Never forgot anything. Always appreciative. Always respectful. I had never had any problems with him.

GRIFFIN: Except he had crazy political views.

GUREGHIAN: He had a lot of crazy political views.

GRIFFIN: Like what?

GUREGHIAN: Anti-gay. Anti-black. Anti-Hispanic. Anti-Jewish. You know, he told me more than once: Debra, I like you as a manager, but I hate you for being a lesbian. And if I had complete autonomy, you and all of these other people would be eradicated. Plain and simple. And I was deformed. And God made me -- and I'd be that deformity.

GRIFFIN: Was he threatening at all to you? GUREGHIAN: No, he really wasn't. I mean, I've dealt with it all my

life. I think people that, you know, strong views of being gay or being lesbian, or trans-gender, so that was just another one, I just thought. I mean, I dealt with him on he just did his job, and there were never any problems with any of the customers. I call them -- the customers absolutely liked him. He was respectful. He was always -- that was just it. It was a flip side of the coin: You had the divisive personality that he was, and the political views, and then you had the responsible and reliable and showing up for work and is due diligence, and I mean it was two different people.

GRIFFIN: And he worked here for a year?

GUREGHIAN: He worked here for a year.

GRIFFIN: He delivered pizzas.

GUREGHIAN: He delivered pizzas.

GRIFFIN: He worked the night shift. He had to work the night shift.

GUREGHIAN: Because of his van.

GRIFFIN: You didn't want customers to see that van.

GUREGHIAN: No, his van was messy. It was dirty. It was Ku Klux Klan. We had hang some nooses on there. We had animals that --

GRIFFIN: Did you ever say, hey, what's with the van?

GUREGHIAN: Yes, and he was very proud of some of the pictures he got. Very proud of some of the pictures he got. For him to have these political views, I don't know. I think everybody has some kind of "ism," some kind of political view that they, you know, are afraid to come out and say, maybe they keep it hidden, they deep down secret. He was one of the people that just told it like it was, and I never would have thought this was him.

GRIFFIN: Some stories have been like this, you never would have thought it was him, and you find out it is him. People are suddenly feeling oh, my gosh, we were so vulnerable. Do you feel like we have ever hurt you?

GUREGHIAN: I don't know, there was a time that it was raining and he drove me home -- in that van. And I said, whoa, he really hates me as a lesbian but he likes me as a general manager. So, is there any way I can get out of this van? I mean, I did flash to that. Just because, sometimes, you didn't know the amount of hatred that he spews. So, I kind of wanted to look around just to make sure that there was an exit point that I could get out.


PAUL: We'll have more for you coming up here. And also, DNA, fingerprints, and pings from a cell phone tower -- that's what led authorities to this man, suspected to being the mail bomber. Our next guest is a former FBI profiler and he has a lot to say about this, that's next.


[07:28:41] BLACKWELL: Coming up on the bottom of the hour now, Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man arrested in connection with the attempted mail bombings routinely criticized Democrats on social media.

PAUL: And now, questions about Twitter, as critics say, that they missed obvious warning signs -- meaning Twitter missed it, in Sayoc's tweets. The social media company has repeatedly said that it's working on combatting harassment on its platform but people who use Twitter say, it's just not doing enough. CNN's Athena Jones takes a look at Sayoc's social media ramblings.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In addition to repeatedly slamming CNN, Sayoc was a frequent online critic of the very people, federal prosecutors say, he targeted. 14 pipe bombs sent through the U.S. Postal System in the last few days.

The 56-year-old registered Republican has been active across social media, where he has posted multiple images of himself attending Trump rallies, or wearing a Make America Great Again hat. Even wishing Trump a happy birthday back in June.

He has also tweeted pro-Republican messages like: "It's time to take our country back. Vote Republican," and "the swamp to be drained." A post that included pictures of prominent Democrats, and the logos of all major television news networks, except Fox News.

[07:29:57] Sayoc's online persona and activities echoing conspiracy theories and themes popular on right wing Web sites. Posting on Facebook, this photo of Hillary Clinton in May 2016 with the caption: "I presided over $6 billion lost at the State Department, sold uranium to the Russians through my faux charity, illegally deleted public records, and murdered an ambassador."

And on Twitter, this string of posts about President Obama. Including this message about his "real father". And posting just weeks before the presidential election, "Clinton is the worst on terrorism. Her and Obama have made America weak and open to world terrorist attacks."

A Facebook spokesman telling CNN, the company previously removed multiple posts from Sayoc's account for violations of its community standards. At times following complaints by other users. The company would not say how many posts were removed. But said, the violations were not severe enough to prompt him to shut down Sayoc's account until after he was named the suspect.

Sayoc maintained, at least, two Twitter accounts. Just this week, tweeting about President Obama and two billionaire democratic activists, Tom Steyer, and George Soros. After authorities found the pipe bomb he allegedly sent to one of Soros's homes. The first such device to be detected. He tweeted about former Vice President Joe Biden in late September. Two days earlier, posting this message about New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker.

Sayoc who was had multiple run-ins with the law, and a string of arrests dating back to the early 90s, tweeted about another target, California Representative Maxine Waters, back in April.

Sayoc has also posted a series of threats to CNN, its anchors, correspondents, and contributors. Tweeting, "Go screw CNN, you're next. You over enemy of America CNN, you're next. So, the corrupt con job media like make threats. April and Don Lemon, next."

Among the many ramblings of a prolific social media user who was clearly pro-Trump, saying on the president's birthday, "Thank you for all you do against everyone, and not be stopped ever. Straight ahead, get it done, awesome, build wall. Athena Jones, CNN, New York.

[07:32:09] BLACKWELL: But Twitter has since apologized from mishandling a threat Sayoc made on its platform against a former Democratic operative. Let's bring in former FBI Special Agent and profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole. Mary Ellen, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So, Sayoc's former attorney now the attorney for his family, said that he struggled for years with "A lack of comprehension of reality." Law enforcement said he lived for some time in his van, passionate about politics, bouncing from identity to identity reportedly. How does this profile that is now coming to light correspond with what we know about people who typically commit this crime or is there a typical profile

O'TOOLE: No, there's a typical profile, but what's important is to look at how he was able to carry out the manufacturing of these -- of these devices, and putting them in the mail. Developing his list of people that he wanted to send them to.

So, this was a very well put together plan and actually, it was pretty successful because he was able to get these packages out to people. Even though in most cases it didn't actually end up in the hands of the intended recipient, he still was able to make sure that they were out there, and that his plan got a lot of attention. He got a lot of notoriety.

So, from one perspective, again, this was a well put together plan. So, to now suggest that this is -- these are indicators of mental illness just don't make any sense.

BLACKWELL: So, when you say that he got a lot of attention, a lot of notoriety, is that typically what the goal is?

O'TOOLE: Yes, oftentimes it is and the motivation can evolve over time to the point where it's more important to get the attention as much as it is to create fear and to scare people. BLACKWELL: So, FBI director Christopher Wray, said that these were not hoaxed devices, right? But then, we know from a law enforcement official that Sayoc said that he didn't want to harm anyone and if these would not harm anyone. Does that seem just like a typical hollow defense, or is this more of that of connection with reality? How do you see that, that defense from Sayoc?

O'TOOLE: Well, the defense that he was given to investigators wouldn't -- would not be the litmus test for the capability of these devices. Excuse me, it would be what the lab said.

BLACKWELL: A lot of it we saw from Athena's package there that there are signs on social media that Sayoc was unstable. When is it a good time to comment to authorities? I mean, there's nothing wrong -- obviously, it's not illegal to have strong political views, it's not illegal to put them on the side of your van. But at what point is it appropriate to make a call to police?

[07:35:09] O'TOOLE: It's appropriate when people feel as though a threat was made to damage --

BLACKWELL: Technology failed us this morning. We got a lot out of that though, before it went down. Mary Ellen O'Toole, FBI -- former FBI profiler, and special agent. Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

PAUL: Well, there are negotiations going on right now between Megyn Kelly and her bosses at NBC. The network confirming, her morning talk show has been canceled. What's at stake as she negotiates her exit now from the network? And where does she go from here?


PAUL: Mortgage rates inch up this week. Here's your look.


[07:40:16] BLACKWELL: 20 minutes to the top of the hour now, and sources tell CNN, Megyn Kelly's exit from NBC, it's going to happen. Right now, her lawyer is saying that Kelley remains an NBC employee. But yesterday, the network canceled her hour of the "Today" show. It was after nationwide blowback from the anchors racially insensitive comments about blackface.

PAUL: So, the big questions this morning, how much longer will she be an employee at NBC, and how much of Kelly's massive contract will the network have to pay out? CNN business senior media writer Oliver Darcy with us now. Where, where might she land here when all this is said and done?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Well, this is really been a stunning fall for one of T.V.'s brightest stars. Now, two years ago, I think we need to look back. Two years ago, every network wanted to bring her in, right? They wanted to bring Megyn Kelly, they were offering her shows, large sums of money, and it was something that -- it was like a bidding war, basically. Now, it looks like she's out of a job at NBC News, and it's really unclear where she'll go from now. You know, if you talk to cable news executives, I think she's seen as toxic among a lot of people. They don't want her at their network. So, I don't know where she's going to go, that's very unclear.

PAUL: Did she have to go anywhere, is the question when we talk about the money.

DARCY: No. Well, she -- yes, she's going to be walking away from NBC with a lot of money. We don't know exactly how much because that's being negotiated at this moment. But it seems like it's probably going to be north of $50 million. So, a lottery ticket for anyone else.

PAUL: Yes.

DARCY: But, if she probably does want to work again, and I think it's one of the interesting to see where she does fall. There has been some talk could that she might go maybe to Fox. Maybe I could see some sort of window possibly there. But a Fox News spokesperson said this week that they're very happy with their lineup. So, maybe that's not in her immediate future.

BLACKWELL: So, NBC has not had great success with her shows. The "Sunday Night" show, they initially launched the hour of the "Today" show that she hosted. So, was this just the reason to get rid of her, someone that they wanted to off the books anyway?

DARCY: I think this is something that a lot of people are not understanding maybe, is that she was not popular NBC before all this went down. Before the blackface comments, she was very unpopular internally at NBC. And --

PAUL: Why?

DARCY: Well, a lot of reasons. Clashes with management and I think the big thing is her ratings were just not good. You know, she -- if you have high ratings as a star, you can get away with a lot more than if you're not bringing in the numbers.

BLACKWELL: And to justify that paycheck.

DARCY: Exactly. So I think, a lot of people looked at her paycheck particular like you said. And said, "Hey, she's not even bringing in the numbers." And then, you have these comments this week and some other comment before that really rubbed people the wrong way. And so, she just hasn't been popular and that's not worked in her advantage.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And we saw that unpopularity with her colleagues, and the comments that they've made on air about what she said.

PAUL: Was that surprising to you? I mean, that surprised me that they actually had a panel on the "Today" show to talk about something their colleagues said.

BLACKWELL: Oh, yes. Absolutely.

DARCY: Well, I was surprised of the nightly news the night before, even, that a whole package, and segment on it. Where they hadn't even noted this wasn't the first time she's had problems discussing race. And then, when I saw the "Today" show, I was like a little struck. And it looked like NBC management had maybe OK'd for her colleagues to just kind of go after her.

And I think that's probably something they've been wanting to do for some time. But it was -- it was really striking to see because it really showed that NBC management, the tide had shifted with them. And they were no longer protecting Megyn Kelly. They were letting the talent go after her. And that was a really an incredible moment.

BLACKWELL: Any clarity on what they're going to do with that hour or who's going to come in there, yet?

DARCY: That's -- you know, in long term that's not clear. But we know in the short term, they're going to have fill-in host next week. I mean, obviously, if she didn't come on air this week and they had a replays. But next week, they're going to have some fill-in host. Whether they -- who they're going to replace her what we don't know. It's very unclear.

PAUL: Or if that show will stay in a structure that it is, as well. All righty.

BLACKWELL: Yes. That was (INAUDIBLE) hours a day.

PAUL: Hey, Oliver Darcy, good to see you in person.

DARCY: Good to see you as well.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Yes. All right, coming up, a rising track star found dead in a car. University officials say she was being blackmailed by her alleged killer and even warned police.


[07:48:22] 48 minutes past the hour right now. And we have some new information for you about the murder of a University of Utah track star. University officials say Lauren McCluskey alerted police her eventual killer, who became her killer, had extorted her for $1,000 in exchange for keeping compromising pictures off the Internet.

Now, the school's football team wore a special sticker on their helmets to honor her last night. This morning, though, there are a lot of people questioning why the University police did not do more.


PAUL: A moving tribute in Salt Lake City for University of Utah senior and track star Lauren McCluskey. ELIZA HANSEN, FORMER TEAMMATE OF LAUREN MCCLUSKEY: There are no words to describe the pain and loss we're feeling as a team right now. Lauren was always a driven athlete and gave 110 percent in everything she did.

PAUL: The 21-year-old was killed Monday night on the University campus. Authorities say the suspect, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland took his own life as police closed in.

On Thursday, the University Communications Office described the timeline of events leading up to Lauren's death, and it shows McCluskey told campus police earlier this month that she'd received messages from Rowland or possibly from his friends demanding money or they'd post compromising photos of her and Rowland online.

DALE BROPHY, POLICE CHIEF, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Lauren stated, she sent a thousand dollars to an account as demanded in hopes of keeping these photos off the internet and protecting her reputation.

PAUL: McCluskey had been in contact with university police about Rowland, at least six times in the 12 days before her murder. Her body was found in a car on campus, two hours after she vanished while on a call with her mother.

[07:50:00] BROPHY: They were on the phone with her at this time that she says, "No, no, no." The phone goes dead.

PAUL: McCluskey met Rowland on September 2nd at a local bar where he was working as a bouncer, and they struck up a relationship that's according to the timeline. Five weeks later, on October 9th, she decided to end the relationship after learning that Rowland was a registered sex offender and not his reported age. This is according to police.

University police chief Brophy said McCluskey never said she felt her physical safety was in danger. Detectives waited days to investigate the case and only started formally looking at the extortion claim, a week after McCluskey's first report. Amid of questions over how campus police handled the case? University officials have launched an investigation into their procedures.

RUTH WATKINS, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH: We have not uncovered mistakes. We do want together, both of us are committed to an independent review to learn what we can.


PAUL: And you heard there, the university president is promising an independent review of both the campus safety task force and the police department. But still not clear who will lead those reviews or when they'll begin. We'll be right back.


[07:55:28] ANNOUNCER: "STAYING WELL", brought to you by Bayer Aspirin. Learn more at

BLACKWELL: So, if you're feeling overwhelmed these days, something for you this week in this week's "STAYING WELL". How listening to birds and nature can improve your health.


BRIE STOTLER, CLINICAL PATHOLOGY AND TRANSFUSION MEDICINE SPECIALIST: Waking up and hearing birdsong is one of my favorite things. When I go birding, I find that it takes me out of my head. It's almost as if you enter this whole new world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Birding makes me feel a lot more relaxed. I actually have a lot of difficulty like calming down in the city. It's a nice time to expend an hour to in silence almost.

NOOSHIN RAZANI, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR NATURE AND HEALTH: Nature is absolutely essential to human health. Cognitive benefits are seen, the blood pressure improves, and so does pulse. And then over the course of an hour to an hour and a half, if you're walking through a natural setting, symptoms of depression or anxiety improve.

HEATHER WOLF, BIRD TRIP GUIDE, NYC AUDUBON: Downy woodpecker, everyone see that?

WOLF: It's magical. You start to understand the viewpoint -- you know, of nature and what these -- the animals go through.

There is a Phoebe perched a little bit to the left there.

ERIC HASELTINE, MANAGER OF SOFTWARE PROGRAM: Focus on finding beauty in nature versus worrying about whatever terrible things are going on.

AMANDA WARCO, DIRECTOR, DATA AND ASSESSMENT, CONEY ISLAND PREP: Using your mind in a different way, getting away from the computer, just knowing this next hour and a half, I'm just going to stand here and look at these beautiful birds.


WOLF: You're always meeting new people. A lot of times when you're birding, you'll notice someone else with binoculars. People think they have to go on this trip to a place it has a lot of birds, you really don't need to.

HASELTINE: It makes you aware that like even though we're living in the city, what you think of is such a man-made structure. In fact, there is tons of life around.


PAUL: All right, seven hours and 20 minutes. Game 3 of the World Series, the longest in history.

BLACKWELL: And Coy, this -- did not end until, well, into the morning here on the East Coast. COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. Good morning, Victor and Christi. 18 innings, it ended at 3:30 in the morning here in the East.

Let's go to the moment there in the 13th inning. Game tied at one the Sox have a runner at second Eduardo Nunez hits a dribbler resulting in trouble. Aaron throw to first allowing the Sox to take the lead.

That would mean L.A. was going to have to match or better in the bottom of the13th. Their backs against the wall, but they rise up. Yasiel Puig smacks one up the middle, this time, the Sox with the errant throw to first that allows Max Muncy to score, tying it up again.

You can see Boston's Ian Kinsler, he tripped up just before the throw. The Dodgers now have new life deeper into extra innings we go. All the way to the 18, 7 hours, 20 minutes after the game started in Max Muncy, again.

After all those hours, deep fly to left. And watch the moment when the home crowd, that home team realized that this home were met, the game was finally over.

What a moment for Muncy. He spent all of last year in the minors. The Dodgers went 3-2 to cutting the Sox series lead to 2-1. The next two games back in L.A. starting tonight at 8:00 Eastern. So, not a lot of rest, it's going to be which team can be more like, Victor and Christi, going out there and dominating on little to no rest.

BLACKWELL: That's a story this morning. That is our story.

PAUL: Yes, and we're sticking to it. Coy Wire.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire, thanks so much.

WIRE: You're welcome.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alleged serial bomber is in custody in South Florida.

BLACKWELL: 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, they have confirmed, at least, one of Sayoc's fingerprints from one of the envelopes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are also learning as well about the political agenda that he plastered all over the van he was actually living in.

BLACKWELL: It was covered in photos of President Trump and Vice President Pence.

RON LOWY, ATTORNEY FOR SAYOC'S FAMILY: This is a sad result of someone who's very sick, didn't get the help, became a loner, and then found a cause. He found a father in Trump.

TRUMP: We must unify as a nation. We have seen an effort by the media in recent hours to use the sinister actions of one individual to score political points against me.