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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Firefighters Battle Most Destructive Fire in California History; Decision on Florida Recount Expected in a Few Hours; Decision on Georgia Governor's Race Expected Next Week; Turkey Has Given Recordings Related to Khashoggi's Death to International Leaders; WSJ: Trump Had Central Role in Hush Money Payments to Porn Star and Playboy Model; House Democrats Target Trump's Tax Returns; Trump Tries to Downplay Whitaker Ties Amid Backlash; Michelle Obama Opens up About Motherhood, Marriage in her Memoir Becoming. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired November 10, 2018 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRYNN CHATFIELD, FIRE EVACUEE, TRUCKEE CALIFORNIA: Heavenly father, please help us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Camp Fire the most destructive fire in California history.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are very few people that, their homes are standing, mostly everybody has lost their homes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U. S. President Donald Trump wasted no time criticizing his host the French President Emmanuel Macron as he arrived in Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is not a very auspicious start for a weekend that is supposed to recognize the virtues of World Peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Wall Street Journal reports that Donald Trump not only knew about hush money payments made to two women but he was directly involved in the payment and process to get those stories killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My client is tired of being called a liar and with each passing month, we get closer and closer to judgment day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is a New Day Weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, HOST, NEW DAY WEEKEND, CNN: Good Saturday morning to you. So grateful to have you with us as always here. We want to begin in California. 9 people are dead now as these three major wildfires are still raging, they're still out of control in three different parts of the state.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHATFIELD: Heavenly father, please help us, please help us to be safe. I'm thankful for Jeremey and his willingness to be brave.

PAUL: In the north, the Camp Fire has burned nearly 90,000 acres. It is something, isn't it to listen to these people as they just try to get out, these people by the way, did you get out, we want to point out, this is in the town of Paradise.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, HOST, NEW DAY WEEKEND, CNN: In southern California, the Hill and Woolsey fires have forced nearly 100,000 people to leave their homes. CNN's Kaylee Hartung has been covering this fire from there in Oak Park, California where a local affiliate KCAL/KCBS is reporting that at least 150 of the homes there have been destroyed.

CHATFIELD: We are evacuating Paradise, County, California. We can't even see, we don't know where the fire is so please, please pray for us that we get out of here okay. Oh my god.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A desperate drive out of the flames for one family escaping from the town of Paradise. A town that's been almost wiped off the map by the large Camp fire in northern California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope mom's going to be all right. God, it's so hot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on baby, hold on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It'll be all right, we just - we'll be okay.

HARTUNG: The Camp fire is one of the three major wildfires roaring through California, this morning and it's being called the most destructive fire in state history with almost 7000 structures gone in two days. Homes, schools, businesses and more. The campfire is also one of the deadliest wildfires according to state officials, killing at least 9 people with dozens missing.

KEN PIMLOT, CHIEF, CALFIRE: We are a long way from being out of the firefight. Right now our focus is on life safety. There are active rescues continuing to going on, on all of these fires and in particular the Camp fire in Butte county.

HARTUNG: Two major fires in southern California are just miles from the bar where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. And evacuations were ordered for nearby Malibu, the beach side city popular with celebrities.

Singer Cher tweeted, "I'm worried about my house but there is nothing I can do. Friends' houses have burned. I can't bear the thought of there being no Malibu. I've had a house in Malibu since 1972."

Lady Gaga also tweeted, "I'm thinking so deeply for everyone who is suffering today from these abominable fires and grieving the loss of their homes or loved ones. I'm sitting here with many of you wondering if my home will burst into flames. All we can do is pray together and for each other. God bless you."

Meanwhile that same fire threatening Malibu, the Woolsey fire has burned down the Paramount movie set in the Santa Monica mountains where parts of the TV series Westworld were filmed. Oak Park, California Kaylee Hartung, CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: And we're also getting this word from Pepperdine University that the flames have reached the hill sides of the Malibu campus. Now, they say that the flames on the Malibu hill sides have left the students to shelter in place according to Pepperdine protocols.

They know that multiple LA county fire department, strike teams and fire department air operations are engaging the fire from campus but that is the scene right now in Malibu.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar joining us with the forecast. What does it mean? I mean as though Pepperdine and that area has not gone through enough, this week but I know that there are a lot of parents looking at that wondering, what's going to happen there.

[08:05:00] ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right, so the key component here is going to be what happens in the next 12 to 18 hours, we are going to get a slight week on shore flow, this will allow those firefighters that very narrow window to try to get those containment numbers up.

The problem is that windows is very narrow because in about 18 hours from now, you're going to start to notice that wind shift and the winds are going to increase so we go from an elevated and critical fire threat today to starting to notice that extreme category, that is the top level that you can have in terms of a fire threat.

And that increases tomorrow, especially in southern California so again the main concern here is going to be the next 12 to 18 hours and how much those firefighters can begin to contain not one but both fires. The Camp fire which is the one that's located in northern California, right now only 5% contained.

The Woolsey fire, that's the one just north west of Los Angeles, that is at 0% contained but Victor and Christi, the main concern here is those winds are going to increase, the humidity is incredibly low and even the temperatures are above average in a lot of these places so the conditions for those firefighters to be fighting in are the exact opposite of ideal.

PAUL: All right, Allison Chinchar, thank you so much for the heads up there. Now bring Sheffield and her husband were forced to evacuate, Thursday. As you can see why. The flames were just growing closer to their homes. Listen as she describes what's going on here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHATFIELD: Thankfully it was my husband, myself and a hitchhiker we had picked up. My kids had already been evacuated with their grandmother and I'm so thankful my kids didn't have to experience that because I know a lot of children had to experience that kind of evacuation, it was very scary.

I wasn't sure we were going to make it, the whole time. Obviously my prayer is very heartfelt and I kept thinking, am I really ready to die? But I know that there is power in prayer and that was what really comforted us and I was thankful for my husband, him being so brave and just still going and just ploughing through it.

PAUL: And just to let you know, how urgent the situation is, Kaylee Hartung who was there got moved, she was doing live shots for us and she has been moved so we're going to obviously keep our eyes on this and we will give you the updates as they come into us but everybody in California, do take care of yourself and each other, certainly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: In a few hours before the Secretary of state will decide if there will be recounts in the races for Senate and for Governor and that means it could take an entire month before the winners are declared in those races.

PAUL: And then there's Georgia. The candidates for Governor are going to have to wait at least until next week for any word on a recount there when all of the provisional votes are counted. Both states have been plagued though by accusations of voting irregularities, tampering and suppression.

BLACKWELL: Let's focus on Florida for the moment. Correspondent Jessica Dean is in Lauderhill. Jessica, walk us through what's going to happen today.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to both of you. Today we're looking at a noon deadline for all the counties here in Florida to submit their unofficial results to the Secretary of state. What they will then do is take a look at all of that and if any of these races fall within a 0.05% margin, that's going to trigger a recount, that is expected in the Senate race and the Governor's race.

So we're closely monitoring that to see what happens there, kind of if you then zero down from that, we're here in Broward county, this is one of the counties that the spotlight is on right now.

The supervisor of elections here has been sued by Rick Scott's campaign they want to know how many votes were actually submitted. They want to get their hands on that data. A judge yesterday required her to do that. She says that she has done that. The Scott campaigns says they don't have that exactly what they want. They are all scheduled to be here around 10:00, this morning.

We also saw other people going inside so a lot of movement here but again if you zoom out to big picture, we are waiting on this noon deadline, that's when we're going to know officially if we are headed for a recap here in Florida. Guys.

BLACKWELL: All right, just to be clear here. The margin there is 0.5 at which there will be a recount, correct?

PAUL: I don't think she can hear us.

BLACKWELL: All right, I don't know Jessica if you can hear us. Jessica, thank you so much.

PAUL: Jessica, thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's get to some breaking news right now in the death of murdered journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Turkish President says, he's now given recordings of Khashoggi's killing to Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Britain and the United States.

'The Washington Post' writer was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October. Turkish officials say, he was murdered by a Saudi hit team shortly after going in. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly changed its story about what happened claiming that Khashoggi died when a fist fight got out of hand.

[08:10:00] We'll talk more about the consequences of that now handover throughout the day.

PAUL: And let's talk about President Trump because he left the U.S. political turmoil at home so we thought.

Stirred up some global political problems it seems possibly. President Trump blasted the French President even before he left the confines of Airforce 1. We have a live report for you from Paris.

BLACKWELL: Plus 'the Wall Street Journal' says then candidate Donald Trump was involved in nearly every step of paying hush money, they found, to women with whom he allegedly had affairs. Coming up, we've got new details of the report.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: All right, a few moments ago, you see here President Trump and the First Lady leaving the Elysee Palace there with French President Macron and Brigitte Macron there. Mr. Trump is in Paris with other world leaders, this is to commemorate the 100 years since the end of the first World War.

[08:15:00] CNN's White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins is traveling with the President.

Caitlyn, good morning to you.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. That's right. You see the President there leaving here, he was actually scheduled to go to a cemetery where Americans are buried this afternoon but they've canceled that trip because of the weather here in Paris.

There was a short about 90 minutes to two hour's drive outside of here as but the President was supposed to take a helicopter there. Because of the weather the White House has announced that he will no longer be able to go so it leaves him with about a seven hour break until the next thing on his schedule which is a dinner with the French President and his wife, later tonight including First Lady Melania Trump.

Now the White House hasn't said how President Trump will fill that time but of course this comes, this trip as President Trump is facing several problems back at home due to a banner week that he's had where he not only fire the Attorney General but now has an intense amount of scrutiny on who he is tapped to run the Justice Department in the meanwhile while he find a permanent replacement for Jeff Sessions.

But also the President banning a reporter from the White House and implying that election officials in Arizona and Florida have rigged the elections after those midterms on Tuesday and the votes are still being counted in some of the very crucial Senate races.

And President Trump is implying that those are being slated to benefit the Democrats and hurt Republicans. So the President has all those issues going on, he just met with the French President who of course, as you noted last night fired off that tweet, being critical of the French President Emmanuel Macron for some comments he made during a radio interview.

Certainly, a lot going on for President Trump while he's supposed to be here commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. But it seems like most of the events commemorating that will be held off until tomorrow as far as the President's trip here goes for the rest of the day.

PAUL: All righty, Kaitlan Collins, we appreciate it so much, thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's put that tweet back up and then we're going to talk about this. President Trump but just as he was leaving Air Force 1 and going into Paris, he tweeted, "President Macron of France has just suggested Europe built its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO which the U.S. subsidizes greatly."

All right, let's talk about it now. Retired Major General James potter Marxian, CNN Military Analyst and Head of Geopolitical Strategy at Academy Securities is with us. General, good morning to you.

MAJOR GENERAL JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RETD), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Victor, good morning. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So let's take that in two parts here. First, what the President was responding to. This is an interview with President Macron, now this was Europe One radio as reported by Assons (ph) France Press. First, he said that, "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States. When I see President Trump announcing that he's quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim?

Europe and its security, we will not protect Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army."

How do you receive those statements from the French President and the reaction from President Trump?

MARKS: Yes, first, statements by President Macron are of tremendous concern. I would say, my first reaction is ouch, we've got a very strong ally especially today, especially you know the centennial celebration of the ending of the great war, the war to end all wars which is just phenomenal in our history that the inhumanity of man trying to solve a problem with the amount of technology that was developed then, the lack of inhibition, there were no laws that governed how we're going to imply that technology.

And then the fact that our tactics on the ground could not get ahead of or really employ that technology so you ended up with this a mid- stalemate and the killing fields were just horrendous.

So it is - and an opportunity for all of us to come together and to embrace what we did together and then look forward and say look, we can't allow this to happen again. You know, Victor, the first duty of every soldier is to remember so we must remember the sacrifices that took place and then be able to look forward and now we've got the President of United States, we got the President of France saying, look, you guys need to step up in France suggesting that they have to protect itself from the United States.

But that's the inevitable outcome of a conversation, when there's a lack of predictability in these very uncertain and ambiguous times so the calming (ph) voice needs to be look, we're with you. NATO is inviolate, it is the strongest alliance that has ever been in place and we can make this work and everybody step up.

So we do that with a smile on our face and you start to build trust, you start to rebuild that trust that NATO - is the foundation of NATO and has been in place for so many years so very disappointing.

[08:20:00] BLACKWELL: When you talk about stepping up, the President reiterating his call for France and a myriad of countries to as he puts it here, "pay its fair share of NATO." The President's been in office now for 658 days if my count is right.

Are you certain, are you convinced that the President truly based on his rhetoric, understands the 2% obligation in NATO spending because he said on several occasions that people aren't paying NATO enough as if it's a Bill.

MARKS: Well truly you know when you sign up for NATO, there's a litmus test, there's a pressure test to insure that those that want to be a part of NATO can step up, meet the obligations as prescribed so you know what you're signing up for but my view of the world is that everything is not a simple transaction and I'm not suggesting this President is saying, this is a transaction but let's not be naive, he is a businessman and a very savvy businessman so there's a transactional aspect to this.

But there aren't in kind, kind of contributions that need to be a part of a ledger. What we have is different nations with different strengths and different vulnerabilities and all nations as a part of this NATO team need to acknowledge those and in concert address those vulnerabilities and together you know, come up with solutions that can work.

So the 2%, it's something, it's a floor, it's what they sign up for but I got it, you know it should be aspirational, it is and nations are moving along the path to get there. So I think it's a good thing but at the same time those are the discussions you have behind closed doors.

BLACKWELL: All right, General Marks, good to have you, have a good weekend.

MARKS: Victor, thank you very much.

PAUL: There is new reporting this morning on the alleged hush money involving then candidate, Donald Trump.

'The Wall Street Journal' saying the President played a key part in buying the silence of women with whom he allegedly had affairs.

[08:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: More now on the breaking news on the west coast where firefighters are battling California's most destructive wildfire ever. CNN's Kaylee Hartung has been forced to move now from earlier location. She's just come back up to tell what's happening there.

Kaylee, where are you now and what are you seeing?

HARTUNG: Yeah, well, Victor, we've tried to get a better handle on the scope of this historic event and as we approach the Santa Monica mountains, we were stopped where we are right now in Calabasas by a police line. You can see these flames are coming over this hill side behind me, there is a community of homes back there.

As close as we could get to it, we could see firefighters and fire trucks on the scene prepared for the moment when that fire closes in on the neighborhood behind me but we were about 9 miles inland from the coast. If you follow this road behind me where a police line is set up, you would eventually pass that Pepperdine campus where students are sheltering in place and eventually get to the heart of Malibu.

Now, you can smell the smoke long before you can see the flames or the damage that it is left behind. Often times with this terrain, you see that orange glow in the distance knowing that flames are just on the other side of the hill side that you can see, part of what makes these conditions so dangerous for anyone fighting it or anyone trying to protect their homes and for anyone who's trying to gauge when it's time for them to leave.

The area that we're in under mandatory evacuation it's quiet now in these early morning hours here save for any of the traffic you see from fire trucks and responders and also above our heads that aerial fight continuing through the night to assist those on the ground as well.

BLACKWELL: Kaylee Hartung, for us there. Kaylee, thank you so much.

PAUL: New reports suggest then candidate Donald Trump was personally involved in the payment of hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the 2016 campaign.

According to the Wall Street journal here, federal prosecutors spell out the now President's involvement in the draft of an indictment against Michael Cohen, the President's former fixer. Such payments if not reported would be a violation of campaign finance laws.

Amy Parnes, Senior Political correspondent for 'The Hill' and CNN Legal Analyst Page Pate, both with us here. So as I understand it Michael Cohen, in his guilty plea in August said that the then candidate Trump coordinated these payments saying that he was involved in or briefed on nearly every step of payments. What specifically needs to be present here Page for this to be a violation of campaign finance laws?

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Christi to prove a violation of federal election campaign finance laws like this, you have to have basically two things, one the payment has to be for the campaign to facilitate the election of the candidates. I think that's clear here given the timing and the circumstances of this payment.

The second thing prosecutors would have to show is that it was coordinated in some way by the candidate and if the reporting done by 'The Wall Street Journal' here is accurate, I think they can prove that as well.

It is significant here that federal prosecutors took the time to draft this indictment and it is clear not just Michael Cohen could have been charged but they foreseeably could have added Donald Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator.

[08:30:00] I think, this is a very significant development. I think it is clear that there is a legitimate argument that the President violated federal election campaign laws. The question is going to be what's going to be done about it if anything.

PAUL: And that's my question, what is the consequence, Page?

PATE: Well, that's where you get into a lot of debate about whether a sitting President can be indicted? Is there any interest or desire to try to criminally prosecute a President? Now a lot of people will point to the John Edwards case, he was prosecuted after the campaign for this exact type of violation and people say well, hey, he wasn't convicted.

But he wasn't acquitted either, what happened is the jury couldn't reach a decision and the judge allowed the charge to go to the jury and the facts in Edwards case, I think were not nearly as clear as the facts in this case, if 'The Wall Street Journal' article is true. So it's going to take somebody with the I guess, courage to move

forward on this and I don't know how that's going to happen in the Department of Justice which now seems to be controlled by somebody very close to the President.

PAUL: Amy, have you heard of anybody who may have the as Page said, courage to move forward on this?

AMY PARNES, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE HILL: I think Democrats are very upset obviously on this and they are you know, just as they are with Matthew Whitaker. There are concerns that this is another step, another drip in the larger bucket of water on against Trump and I think this is problematic for him because I think before, it could have been just Michael Cohen, it could have stopped with Michael Cohen.

I think now the journal points to evidence all along from the very beginning from 2015 where Donald Trump is meeting with David Pecker or has a conversation with him and says, how can you help my campaign. And that's the problem, when you're talking about campaign finance charges, I think when he's asking for help and how someone can help his campaign, that can very easily be linked.

PAUL: So but Cohen does have his own credibility issues. Right?

PATE: Oh, absolutely. Cohen does have a problem. I mean he's made inconsistent statements before. Obviously this is part of a plea deal to try to get him out of more prison time but I don't think Cohen has to be the only witness because of the Trump organization came back and tried to reimburse calling or try to structure these payments in some way, there're going to be tax records, there're going to be other people involved in those transactions who may not have the same credibility problems that Michael Cohen does.

PAUL: Amy, bringing up the tax records again, that's just not going to go away, is it?

PARNES: No, it's so funny because everyone has been focused on the Mueller investigation, people have forgotten that there's this other investigation going on the tax. Tax issues are another issue.

I mean, it's a really big problem for him, all around.

PAUL: All righty, well, we appreciate you both being here. Page Pate, Amy Parnes, thank you.

PATE: Thank you.

PARNES: Thanks Christi.

BLACKWELL: Now, President Trump is really the only modern President who has not released his tax returns as they just discussed couple seconds ago. Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins will explain why that may change. He's a Member of the house, Ways and Means Committee, he's with us next.

[08:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Well, as an opportunity the Democrats have been looking for to now that they have control of the House of Representatives that they could cause big political headache for the President, three of the top House committees, Ways and Means, Financial Services and Oversight have a target in sight and that's the President's tax returns.

Mr. Trump is the only modern President to refuse to release the information on his returns. Just a few days ago, he told everyone why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: But when you're under audit and I'm under very continues sort of because there's so many companies and it is a very big company, far bigger than you would even understand.

But it's a great company but it's big and it's complex and it's probably feet high.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: All right, let's I discussed this with my next guest, New York Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins. He's a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Congressman, good morning to you.

BRIAN HIGGINS, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE (D), NEW YORK: Good morning, good to be with you.

BLACKWELL: All right, so the chairman, the incoming chairman of this committee, Congressman Richard Neil says expect a legal fight to get the tax returns from the President, from the Secretary of Treasury actually and the committee will do what it has to do to get them. Where does this rank in the priorities for you personally?

HIGGINS: Well, the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee explicitly has the authority through the Internal Revenue Code to request anybody's tax returns including that of the President through the Department of Treasury and that's what are incoming Chair Richie Neil is prepared to do.

Bill Pascrell from New Jersey has been a leader on this issue as has been Lloyd Doggett and look, the President doesn't have to worry about the complexity of this. These folks are perfectly capable of working through the complexity of that. I think he just needs to hand it over. So that will be one of the many priorities but I think we also have a legislative agenda that's very, very important as it relates to infrastructure, as it relates to health care.

So you're going to see a lot of things changing, come January 1.

BLACKWELL: And how can both of those happen, that's what the President was asked at this news conference on Wednesday after the midterm election. Here's what he said about the possibility of both working in a bipartisan fashion, while some of the democratic House Committee Chairs are the leading up those investigations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they start investigating you, that you can play that game investigate them.

TRUMP: Better than them. And I think I know more than they know.

[08:40:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you compartmentalize that and still continue to work with them for the benefit of the rest of the country?

TRUMP: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or you are all bets off?

TRUMP: No, if they do that then it's just, all it is, is a war like posture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: War like posture. How do you get anything done?

HIGGINS: Well, look you know Congress is a co-equal branch of the federal government, it has explicit constitutional powers to make laws, to make a budget, to set spending rates and to provide oversight so Congress just has to get back to doing what it was originally supposed to be doing.

And this Congress under the leadership of Paul Ryan has been marginalized by the White House. They're afraid of this President, they're afraid of this White House. The new incoming Democratic majority is not going to be afraid to exercise its constitutional powers.

We call this you know, getting back to regular order, that's congressional speak for basically allowing Congress to do what it traditionally has been authorized to do by the constitution of the United States.

BLACKWELL: Understood but you got a White House that says we're not going to do both.

HIGGINS: Well, look, there are no straight lines and we will play this out, we will fight where we have to. We will work together where we can. The President promised us an infrastructure Bill. We should do $1 trillion infrastructure Bill to create over 11 million jobs over 5 year period. 2.3 million jobs each year, 190 jobs a month.

And just call him out and what he has promised the American people, he would do.

BLACKWELL: All right, let me ask you about the two big headlines this weekend. First, the appointment as the acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, they have already been Democrats who said that they will investigate once Democrats get the gavel and the majority of the request the firing of the resignation of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former now. Do you think that's a good idea also do you think the Democrats should move forward on investigating the President's involvement with the paying of hush money to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal and the potential violation of campaign finance laws?

HIGGINS: I don't know. I don't know. Here's what I do know. There is an investigation on going. Robert Muller is a Republican, he is a former FBI director of 12 years appointed by George W. Bush, a Republican. His reputation is rock solid for integrity. Let's allow this investigation to conclude which is actually supposed -

BLACKWELL: But Congressman, you're now giving me two conflicting answers because your previous answer was about the House taking and Congress taking its rightful role as an oversight on the executive branch. Now I ask you if these two investigation should go forward and you give me an I don't know, we should turn to Robert Mueller which is -

HIGGINS: No, no, there's an investigation on going, that should be concluded and should be used as a basis from which Congress takes up additional investigations based on the information that is there. You don't want to trample all over several investigations, they lose their impactfulness, they lose their credibility so let's allow the Mueller investigation to be completed and use what is concluded from that as a basis from which to commence with new congressional investigation where Congress can do its constitutional oversight, there's no complexion there.

BLACKWELL: One more thing I want to get to here, you have gone on the record about the current minority leader who could be the next Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. I first want you to listen to what she said about her thoughts on being the Speaker, once the 116th Congress commences and then I want to play a bit of your interview just this week back in your home town.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your level of confidence that you'll be the Speaker of the House?

NANCY PELOSI, MINORITY LEADER (D): Total.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 100%?

PELOSI: 100%, yeah.

HIGGINS: I think that her time is passed. I think you need a leader that will reassert the constitutional authority of the United States House of Representatives, it hasn't happened under her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Two things here and quickly if you can. That she hasn't asserted the constitutional authority of the House of Representatives, flush that out a bit and your thoughts on her 100% that she'll get the gavel. HIGGINS: Well, look I think that's in dispute whether or not she will

be the Speaker, there's a lot of dissension within the House, both members who have expressed that and others who are talking about a privately and we'll see what happens this week and the next couple of weeks.

Listen, I just think that there's more to just resisting the Trump agenda. I think you have to persist in offering something affirmative, something positive to the American people. For example, this issue of pre-existing conditions. Republicans fell into that trap but we have an obligation to offer protection.

[08:45:00] Allow people 50 years old to buy Medicare and Medicare always covers pre-existing conditions.

BLACKWELL: I know, I know that will certainly be -

HIGGINS: We should put that Bill on the floor of the House of Representatives within 30 days.

BLACKWELL: - a priority of the New Democratic majority. Congressman Brian Higgins, thank you so much.

HIGGINS: Thank you.

PAUL: Well, Former First Lady Michelle Obama is getting very personal in her new memoir.

That bulging details that have never been discussed publicly before, there's one woman, one writer and activist who said, Michelle Obama is giving a lot of women permission, permission for what. She'll tell us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:50:00] PAUL: Well, former First Lady Michelle Obama's highly anticipated memoir, it's out Tuesday and already some controversy around it.

She opens up about things that the Obamas never discussed publicly before. Motherhood and marriage trials and her troubles with self- image, all of it contributing to her initiatives when she was in the White House.

She gets political too, uses the book to empower women. Well, Michaela Angela Davis, a writer and activist said Michelle Obama gave a lot of women permission to-

MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CULTURAL CRITIC/WRITER: - to be who they are.

PAUL: To be who they are, let's listen.

DAVIS: Michelle Obama gave a lot of women permission to be who they say they are and if today you are a woman that wears a cardigan and tomorrow you're a woman that wears a sheath stress, you're allowed. The First Lady said so. PAUL: And Makayla is with us now. So good to have you here.

DAVIS: It's a pleasure to be here and talk about this.

PAUL: Have you seen a First Lady open up like this.

DAVIS: No, I've never seen a First Lady like this who is both relatable and inspiring at the same time and now not having to be beholden to all the boundaries that the White House would give you, we get to see more of her and more per complexity.

And I think she's a very modern First Lady, she's a very modern woman and with that comes again, this complexity and we've been able to see her be you know, a display of dignity and to me that is right now, the greatest offering of this book.

To be reminded that we can both have humanity and dignity and that we can be humorous and be a mother and be educated and be complex but not debase.

PAUL: And honest about some real issues that real people go through.

DAVIS: Yes.

PAUL: Yet that we don't always talk about. Let's listen here as she talks about her marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY, UNITED STATES: For those young people out there who think of that marriage is supposed to be easy and marriage counseling for us was one of those ways where we learnt how to talk out our differences.

I know too many young couples who struggle and think that somehow, there's there something wrong with them and I want them to know that Michelle and Barack Obama who have a phenomenal marriage and who love each other, we work on our marriage and we get help with our marriage when we need it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: She is speaking to a lot of people there.

DAVIS: It's just so healthy, it's just so healthy to hear when you have problems with your marriage, you get help. It's - and for someone that you admire to say, it's okay, that you all are doing the best you can and you still can't figure this out. Get help, we did it.

And what we knew of this couple in the White House is they were in love that this was a marriage, it was not an arrangement, they weren't a power couple, you really felt that Michelle and Barack Obama were married. This is their family, these are their children.

And it's the President and the First Lady but you never felt that there was a performance of marriage. This, you felt was a real marriage, from the way that they talked to each other and they laughed with each other and they went on dates and the way that they touched each other. It was very clear that they were in this.

PAUL: And she talks about you know, it's self-image and the insecurities that come with that, the insecurities that we all feel. Not just women but men too but to have somebody like Michelle Obama to talk about that and very candidly.

DAVIS: And in particular, she's a black woman of size, she walks in the room and you see her and she is - she has agency but she's also mother, like the shape shifting and all the things that she had to embody as First Lady was very complex.

And it was very - it was a thin line to not be too soft and not be too aggressive because particularly around how black women are perceived she was having to negotiate that at all times and so now with a little of that unleashed, we get to just see a woman be powerful and have vulnerability like when she was talking about her pregnancies.

PAUL: Yes.

DAVIS: And her marriage and her mother.

PAUL: And embracing her imperfections so that we can all then do the same thing with us, it is freeing, no doubt about it, Michaela Angela Davis, I'm sorry about our time, thank you for being here.

DAVIS: What a pleasure, thank you.

PAUL: Absolutely, we'll be right back.

[08:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: In the final episode of Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain take a personal journey through this formally Bohemian New York neighborhood.

BLACKWELL: He meets with music, film and art trailblazers whose culture impacted 1970s and 1980s, has lasted through the decade. Here's a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, PARTS UNKNOWN, CNN: You actually grew up here, what was that like growing up here, being a little kid here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My main problem growing up down here was that I lived on a gang block.

BOURDAIN: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gang on my block was called the Hit Men. And you know, they were no joke, right? And I remember they'd be hanging out on the stoop, on the church across street, smoke and dust, all of them with their golf clubs and 007 knives and everybody'd be listening to, of all things craftwork, trance euro express.

BOURDAIN: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They'd be out there screaming, we're going to kill the next f**** when that comes out of that building and I'm lying there thinking, oh, I got to go to school tomorrow.

I was never a violent person. Christ, I was raised by hippies. I was thrown into a crazy environment where I had no choice but to fight my way through it. I always had a cue ball and a stock in my pocket. I'd split your head open quicker than you could say what but -

PAUL: Part Unknown, the final episode Sunday night at 9 only on CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: All right, we've got more news straight ahead.

PAUL: Smerconish is next.

END