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Death Toll Rises To 76 In California's Deadly Fire; President Trump Visits Fire Ravaged California; Full Report On Jamal Khashoggi's Death Due Tuesday; Facebook Under Fire Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 18, 2018 - 06:00   ET




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a very big problem out there going -- and they're fighting and they're fighting like hell. We have never seen anything like this in California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost 1,300 people are unaccounted for.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been hearing so many horror stories but I'm sure it's going to get worse before it gets any better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know the CIA has assessed the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, not only was involved in the brutal murder of Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, but he, in fact, ordered that murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a barbaric act against an individual. It is also an attack on a free and independent press and we're not going to stand for it.

TRUMP: We will be having a very full report over the next two days.


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

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. So glad to have you with us here.

The remains of five more people have been found overnight in California. That means that at least 76 people have died in what authorities are calling the deadliest, most destructive wildfire in state history. Teams of rescue workers continue to search for the nearly 1,300 people missing in northern California's camp fire.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: All of this comes right after President Trump visited the area yesterday.


TRUMP: This is very sad to see. As far as the lives are concerned, nobody knows quite yet. Up to a certain number but a lot of people that are unaccounted for and this is the kind of destruction, in fact, they are telling me this is even not as bad as some areas. Some areas are even beyond this they are just charred. So one thing we have, we have the greatest people in the world looking and helping.


BLACKWELL: CNN's Kaylee Hartung is at a shelter there with the latest. And we have seen so many people pitching their tents up in parking lots. The shelter, how many spaces are there available there? Are there enough accommodations for people across this area?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor and Christi this shelter is one of the many in this area that is at capacity.

Yesterday, as you mentioned, we were in one of those tent cities and you would see notes popping up on a white message board they had. This number of openings at this shelter. This number of opens at that shelter.

The efforts are being made for people in more short-term solution situation like a tent city. Those accommodations being made to move them into these shelters when that opportunity arises. But those opportunities are few and far between at this time.

So I mentioned this shelter at full capacity and we are about 50 miles from what people here are calling ground zero of the devastation, that being Paradise, California. And now the challenge for authorities, they tell us is really to balance the competing interest of trying to begin the process of getting people back to where their homes are or where their homes were so those folks can assess the damage and begin the next steps of this process to move forward with their lives, if anything does remain.

But also the process of continuing that due diligence, to locate any human remains, of course is at the top of their priority list. And now this list, this list of names nearly 1,300. Authorities call it a dynamic list.

We have seen the number rise by the hundreds day-to-day but the sheriff in Butte County says 714 people who were previously unaccounted for whose names were on that list, they have been found. We have spoken to several people who have lived their lives in Paradise, who tell us that they have been afraid to look at that list because they are afraid that they will see names that they know on it but the sheriff says, please, it is very important for you to take a look at that list. If you see a name on it that shouldn't be there, if you see a name of someone who is safe, please let authorities know because at this time, they are going one-by-one trying to ensure that they account for everyone who, at this time, is still missing.

PAUL: All right. Kaylee Hartung, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: President Trump spent yesterday surveying the distraction across the state of California. He is placing blame on poor forest management and a lack of raking and cleaning.

PAUL: CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood has more on what we heard from the president. Sarah, what are you hearing this morning?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Christi. And yesterday, we saw the president make several stops in wildfire ravaged California. The president visited Paradise, California, saw some of the homes that have been destroyed by the blaze and the president spent a lot of time as you mentioned focusing on forest management. He has been very critical of the way the state has maintained its wooded areas, suggesting that that has created the underlying conditions that have allowed these two fires to spread so quickly across the state.


The president is also continuing to downplay the effect of climate change on causing these fires, even though he was traveling with the Democratic governor of California Jerry Brown, governor-elect Gavin Newsom, both of them have acknowledged that climate change likely played a role in this conflagrations getting so big but the president continuing to minimize the role of climate change and focus on forest management. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does seeing this devastating now changed your opinion at all on climate change, Mr. President?

TRUMP: No, no. I have a strong opinion. I want great climate. We are going to have that and we are going to have forests that are very safe because we can't go through this every year we go through this. We will have safe forests and that's happening as we speak.


WESTWOOD: The president also met with FEMA administrator Brock Long, mentioned that the FEMA administrator had described this disaster as one of the worst he had seen. The president, also while in California, met with people and law enforcement officers who had been affected by the shooting at the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks, California, just a couple of weeks ago. The president describing his visit to California, Victor and Christi, as a tough day.

BLACKWELL: Yes, a Tough day, understandably. Sarah Westwood, thanks so much.

PAUL: Well, CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer is with us now. Julian, thank you so much.

I want to dig a little deeper here into what the president said just so we're all clear regarding what to blame when it comes to these forest fires. Let's listen to what he said Thursday and then what he reiterated just yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I was watching the firemen the other day and they were raking areas. They were raking areas where the fire was right over there and they are raking trees, little trees like this that are -- not (ph) trees, little bushes that you could see are totally dry. Weeds.

And they are raking them. They are on fire. That should have been all raked out.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX HOST: What about the argument --

TRUMP: Wouldn't have the fire.

WALLACE: What about --

TRUMP: You look at other countries where they do it differently and it's a whole different story. I was with the president of Finland and he said, we have a much different -- we are a forest station. He called it a forest nation and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem.


PAUL: So the Pasadena fire association reacted to this when they heard it earlier this week and here's what they said, they tweeted out, "Mr. President, with all due respect, you are wrong. The fires in Southern California are urban interface fire and have nothing to do with forest management. Come to Southern California and learn the facts and help the victims."

Now the president has gone to California. He has done that. Urban interface, by the way, just for clarity, that is essentially a transition zone between wild lands and human building, essentially.

And I thought, well, the president is a businessman. He builds things. Wouldn't he be able to put his expertise to this in some way?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we would hope so. We are hearing now from many different experts criticizing the way the president is describing what happened, criticizing the focus on forest management, saying that we have fires in the area for other reasons, that he has to pay more attention to climate.

So he has come under a lot of criticism this week. Both in terms of how he has handled this with his tweets and the kind of blame the victim attacks many people see, but also with the actual policy prescription.

And, yes, we would hope a builder would pay more attention to what he is hearing from different experts, but this is not a visit where President Trump is being presidential so much as cleaning up what has been a real political mess over the last week.

PAUL: So you just heard the president there react to the question about whether what he saw yesterday has changed his position on climate change. He said, no, it hasn't at all. If he is not going to or anyone in this administration when they talk about this isn't going to acknowledge some sort of -- that it's some sort of factor in this, where do you go with fighting these kinds of fires?

ZELIZER: Yes. It's the same problem we have seen in many instances where climate change is having damaging effects on how we live and the risks we face. And if we don't deal with the big issues, we keep repeating these small crises.

And so at some level, the political system has to readjust and that is where presidential leadership is needed, but right now, we are hearing in the middle of this visit that this is not really on the agenda.


And so a climate change experts have been warning about this kind of path we are going down and we are not diverting and so we're going to recreate the same problem over and over again.

PAUL: Julian Zelizer, always appreciate your perspective, sir. Thank you.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Amongst a lot of the destruction we are seeing, we are actually hearing some stories about how people are escaping the flames and surviving and including the mother of a newborn now. She is telling a story how she escaped the hospital that was surrounded by flames from the camp wildfire.

PAUL: Yes. Quick and decisive action from the hospital staff and from emergency responders is what saved the life of that mom and her newborn and all of the patients in that hospital. Joe Khalil from CNN affiliate KTXL has their story.


JOE KHALIL, KTXL REPORTER: Six-day-old Halle is the last baby born at Feather River Hospital. Just moments after she arrived, the camp fire began to surround the building.

HEATHER ROEBUCK, MOTHER OF NEW BORN BABY: It came over the speaker, evacuate the hospital, all patients need to be move.

TAMARA FERGUSON: FEATHER RIVER NURSE: I went to my patients' rooms and I said, just grab your baby, we got to go. Just grab your baby, there's no time.

KHALIL: In the scramble to evacuate, Halle's mother Heather had been separated from her child, put into an ambulance and driven away. Her ambulance made it about half a mile before it began to literally melt in the flames. Her c-section surgery left her lower half of her body numb. She couldn't move and made what she thought would be her last phone call. ROEBUCK: I said good-bye to my husband and just told him to tell our kids that I love them and I was sorry. I was sorry I wouldn't be there. It was very, very hard.

FERGUSON: I heard the ambulance in front of us is on fire.

KHALIL: Nurse Tamara Ferguson was in an ambulance behind Heather's making the same last phone call to her family.

FERGUSON: They kept telling me like, no, you're going to be fine. And I kept trying to convince them, no, you don't understand. I'm not going to be fine. There is no way I'm going to survive this. There's fire blowing at me.

KHALIL: As the fire was consuming homes all around them, a stranger helped Heather get out of her ambulance and wheeled her up this driveway on Chloe Court. Nurse Tamara followed. Eventually they ran into David Hawks, Paradise's fire chief.

DAVID HAWKS, PARADISE FIRE CHIEF: There is a dog here that one of the paramedics made access to it. We unlocked the garage, moved patients into this home and sheltered them in place. And I said, hey, if you -- if you follow directions, which is to clear this home of pine needles that we would be safe here.

KHALIL: What happened next was nothing short of amazing. EMTs and nurses became stand-in firefighters, some getting on the roof of this home clearing gutters of brush, hosing down the outer edge of the property, saving this home all while their patients were kept safe inside.

FERGUSON: And he said, you do this, you do this, you do this, and all of us shifted our minds to what do we need to do for survival mode here.

HAWKS: They followed directions. They did exactly what I asked them to do.

KHALIL: Amid a neighborhood devastated by the camp fire, this Chloe Court home survived. So did all of the patients and medical staff inside.

DESIREE BORDEN, PARADISE HOMEOWNER: I am so happy that my home was spared so that their lives could be spared. That was that home's purpose was to save those people.

KHALIL: Desiree Borden owns this home with her husband. Not long before it was used to save lives of people she had never met, she was fleeing from it with her 17-month-old daughter in the car.

BORDEN: I was singing nursery rhymes to her, trying to keep her calm, although she was very calm. I don't know if I was singing the nursery rhymes for her or for me.

I just knew that our story couldn't end that way. We couldn't burn alive in a car. BORDEN: It wasn't until one of the nurses sent Desiree a Facebook message that she learned her home was still standing. She had assumed, like her neighbor's homes, it was gone. Now these people, all strangers a few days ago, forever bonded through one common story of survival.

FERGUSON: We are all here. We are able to talk about this and it's absolutely extraordinary.

BORDEN: It's humbling to know that your life was spared when so many aren't and so many are unaccounted for.


BLACKWELL: Important point they ended with there.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: All right. Still to come, despite growing evidence that the Saudi crown prince was responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi President Trump is still skeptical. Take a look at how the relationship, the economic relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is impacting the issue.



PAUL: Well, 18 minutes past the hour now.

And a state department this morning now, says there is no final conclusion as to who is responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi that is despite the CIA's assessment that the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the killing last month.

BLACKWELL: A senior intelligence official tells CNN that the CIA's analyst is still not considered one of high confidence. The president is still skeptical and says the CIA will have a full report on Tuesday.

CNN business emerging marketing -- let's try this again, CNN business emerging markets editor John Defterios --

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: -- joins us from Abu Dhabi. A long title there. Is --

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, I was going to say it is a mouthful, Victor.


BLACKWELL: Yes, it is. It is. But let me get to the question here. Is any of this really going to put a strain on the relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia? Because every time this comes up President Trump immediately goes to arm sales, the multibillion dollar deal that he wants to protect.

DEFTERIOS: Well, he actually goes out of his way, Victor, to protect these ties with Saudi Arabia, particularly the business ties. I think he has two priorities, though. There's a geo political or regional priority and that is that Iran is spreading its wings in this region whether it's in Syria, Lebanon, particularly Yemen and Iraq, of course, Iraq where the U.S. fought a war.


And, number two, maintaining the close business relations. There's some $200 billion of commercial contracts but as you alluded to $110 billion of military sales, I think the challenge for the president here is if he rejects outright the CIA assessment, the initial assessment even though as you suggested sources don't think there's a smoking gun that they can see yet. But every single time, Victor, he goes back to $110 billion of military sales and jobs related to Saudi Arabia.

Let's take a quick listen to that.


TRUMP: You know, we also have a great ally in Saudi Arabia. They give us a lot of jobs. They give us a lot of business, a lot of economic development.

They are -- they have been a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development and I also take that -- you know, I'm president. I have to take a lot of a lot of things into consideration.


DEFTERIOS: So one of those things he has to take into consideration perhaps he wasn't thinking about when he said that is the new U.S. Senate bill emerging, bipartisan bill applying wider sanctions against Saudi Arabia and even a ban on arm sales. So you can see the U.S. Senate now is getting more bold, if you will, going out there and suggesting, look, we have to hold the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable, despite what the U.S. Senate had released overnight (INAUDIBLE).

PAUL: But how effective might what Congress is trying to do, this bill they're trying to push through, how effective is that to actually changing the president's mind to do something tangible here?

DEFTERIOS: Well, Christi, two points I would make here. The cosponsors one is Lindsey Graham the Republican and the other is Bob Menendez who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as well in opposition. They see this eye to eye. They think that's the sanctions put up by the U.S. so far don't have any teeth or targeting the 17 people charged by Saudi Arabia itself.

So these are 17 people who are not going to travel to the United States or have assets in America going forward. They want this to be wider, perhaps implicating the crown prince also banning arm sales and suggesting we should try to bring the war in Yemen, which is considered as a human rights catastrophe, wind it down going forward using this opportunity in which to do so and apply pressure to President Trump who only talks about jobs and military contracts.

BLACKWELL: All right. John Defterios, CNN business emerging markets editor -- see there we go.

DEFTERIOS: Thank you, sir.

PAUL: Yes, sir.

BLACKWELL: There you go. Good to have you this morning.


PAUL: Thanks, John.

DEFTERIOS: Nice to see you.

BLACKWELL: Likewise.

PAUL: You too.

So, Facebook is under fire again. This time over its response to Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. New damaging allegations about Facebook's efforts to discredit its critics now.



BLACKWELL: Facebook's reputation is taking public heat over hiring a Republican linked opposition research firm to go after its critics. According to "The New York Times," that firm worked to discredit critics who say the social media site did not do enough to curve Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Well, the firm linked those groups to a liberal billionaire and philanthropist George Soros who has been the target of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Our next guest represents one of the groups allegedly targeted by that opposition research company, Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change joins us this morning. Welcome back.


BLACKWELL: So let's start here the Color of Change has really criticized Facebook for sometime over what you call discriminatory practices, urging to keep hate speech off of its platform. Were you surprised when you heard that it hired this firm, the Definers, and it was trafficking in what you've also called anti-Semitic propaganda on behalf of Facebook?

ROBINSON: We were absolutely surprised. We have been sitting across the table with Facebook in good faith, having conversations, talking about a path forward, working with them on the civil rights audit that they were in the middle of or in the middle of really looking at all of their policies and practices. But while all of this was happening, we were also getting calls for the last several months from journalists every time there would be a story about us or journalists would talk to us they say I have to ask, are you funded by George Soros?

And, you know, while all this is happening we're seeing the same things about George Soros coming up on white nationalist -- sorry white supremacist sites, conversations about George Soros involved with all these other sort of things that are happening. And George Soros is one of our donors. He's a philanthropist that has funded civil rights for years. He's also not our largest funder.

We have other major funders that give us more money than George Soros does. So we would sometimes say, like, what is the deal with George Soros? Little did we know that Facebook had been spending a lot of money to discredit our work while sitting across the table with us. That, for us, was incredibly challenging.

It puts us -- it puts us in danger. It puts us in the cross-hairs while we are trying to work to advance civil rights. But it also doesn't address the actual challenges that Facebook should be dealing with.

BLACKWELL: The hiccups happen to all of us, Rashad.



PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: It happens to all of us. It happens to everybody.



BLACKWELL: There's nothing you can do about it.

ROBINSON: All of a sudden the minute the cameras come on. Now I'm like the hiccups might --



ROBINSON: I'm 5'3" and I used to here the old wives tale that it means you're growing but it never worked for me.


BLACKWELL: All right. Let's stay on topic. I just want to acknowledge that because I know people are at home saying what is going? It's the hiccups. It happens to everybody.

So Mark Zuckerberg -- let's put this up on the screen -- reportedly said in a call with reporters this week, "I understand that a lot of D.C. type firms might do this kind of work. When I learned about it I decided that we don't want to be doing it."

Do you accept it's as simple as that, that Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, the other senior leadership at Facebook, just didn't know anything about it and as soon as they did, they got rid of it?

ROBINSON: Well, you know, I want to accept that and I want to be able to sort of move forward and actually address these concerns. And time will tell how willing they are to actually address the concerns.

The question is though, what kind of culture did the people who were working for Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, what kind of culture was created where people felt that that was OK? That the way in which to attack your opponents is not because you disagree with some of our opinions, not because you want to push back against some of the demands that we are pushing, but that you actually want to sort of move this narrative that we are somehow controlled by some rich white Jewish billionaire.

This is also like a very dangerous trope (ph) that we've all the way back to sort of really challenging worldwide problems around the holocaust and others. But it's also deeply anti-black because to speak to the idea that a black civil rights organization founded in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that has worked on a whole lot of issues, doesn't have its own ideas for social justice, doesn't have its own vision for pushing issues forward that somehow we need to be -- we are puppets of some sort of larger conspiracy.

Those are the types of things that actually the protesters and the folks, the white nationalist who were carrying tiki torches in Charlottesville who were saying things like the Jews will not replace us, that was the undercurrent of what they were talking about. So this is deeply, deeply problematic and so Facebook does have to address this, but other corporations who don't want to sort of deal with the issues at hand and want to use these conspiracy theories, we can't allow white supremacist, white nationalist framework to be accepted as part of the mainstream.

Disagree with us on the policies. Disagree with us on the issues. But don't try to drum up these narratives that have become so -- part of the mainstream space, don't drum these things up simply because you don't want to actually deal with the problem.

BLACKWELL: We will see if this new reporting from "The New York Times" changes anything in the culture there. Reading this really extensive report, we saw that even as there were -- these investigations that were public over time, the first instance was the first instinct I should say, was PR, some personal priorities as well, protecting Facebook, not so much those who use the network. We will see if there are changes at Facebook. Rashad Robinson, looks like all you need wad a good laugh.

ROBINSON: Yes, I appreciate that.

PAUL: Yes.


ROBINSON: Sometimes a good laugh in the middle of everything that were going on right now absolutely helps. Thank you for covering this story and I hope that folks who use Facebook, folks who are out in the world looking at these issues --


ROBINSON: -- really think about how do we hold big platforms accountable. The platforms that we use every day to move information and content. Facebook can do better and all of us have a role in pushing them.

BLACKWELL: Yes. All right. Thanks so much, Rashad.

ROBINSON: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Christi --

PAUL: Republican Senator Jeff Flake is joining Jake Tapper later this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION" only on CNN. That's at 9:00 a.m. and noon.

BLACKWELL: Up next, Chris Watts is set to be sentenced for killing his wife and daughters tomorrow. A criminal legal expert Joey Jackson is here to talk about it.



PAUL: Well, the Colorado man who killed his pregnant wife and two daughters is being sentenced tomorrow. And his parents are going to be allowed to speak at the sentencing.

Chris Watts pleaded guilty to the murder in exchange for avoiding the death penalty and he is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Now he claims he killed his wife, Shanann Watts, in a bit of rage when he saw her strangling one of the girls. That's what he said. But the investigation revealed Watts was having an affair and that girlfriend Nichol Kessinger helped investigators and is now telling her side of the story.

She told "The Denver Post" that when they were dating Watts told her he was getting divorced and that he -- quote -- "lied about everything."

CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson is with us now. So, Joey, I have to go to that since we're leading into it with you, how much of her story is going to have anything to do with what happens tomorrow?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning, Christi. Well, the actual direct answer is nothing. It's important, of course, to know his state of mind. I think she speaks to the state of mind by demonstrating and otherwise giving the indication that he was a pathological liar, that he was telling her that he was getting separated, that he was talking to her about helping me find an apartment so that I could not only live there myself but with my daughters.

So it's certainly to inquiring minds answers as to his state of mind, his mindset, his veracity, his character which we already know to be bad. In terms of the actual sentencing itself I would suspect no matter who says what in that court room tomorrow and it will be very emotional, and I'm sure we'll get to the parents, but the reality is that he'll be sentenced to multiple life sentences period. So while the girlfriend is helpful to give us insight and a window into what he was thinking at the end of the day notwithstanding what is said based upon the heinous nature of his crimes, Christi, he will not see the light of day again.


PAUL: OK. So just to clarify I understand that Watts' mother has said he should take his guilty plea back. One, he can't do that, can he? And, two, if his parents speak, can they mitigate at all for him?

JACKSON: Great questions, Christi. First as to the plea. Before you take a plea, you allocute before the judge. In English what that means is you have to acknowledge what you've done. And in acknowledging what you've done and he did acknowledge as to the killing of his wife, as to the killing of his 4-year-old and 3-year- old daughter, remember, his wife was pregnant for 15 weeks. And he said he did it all.

But when you do that, when you allocute you say, yes, I acknowledge that I did this. The judge asks you do you know pleading guilty is the same as being found guilty after trial? Yes.

Have you confirmed with your lawyer about that? Yes.

Are you under any drugs or intoxicants or anything that would impair your ability to understand what I'm asking you? No.

Is there any reason you -- right -- why you would not want to enter this plea? Have you been coerced, have you been forced? So the judge goes through all of those questions to know that the plea is voluntary and knowing. Period.

So to have him take that plea back notwithstanding what his parents say is problematic. Now to the issue of his parents, themselves, you know that there has been a lot of denial. They have talked to the issue of his plea was coerced, that we believe the parents say that he killed his wife but he would never kill his children, that we have been denied access to speaking with him, that he should withdraw the plea.

So that the development that they will be testifying tomorrow, Christi, is a major one. Because they are victims. They are grandparents here but, generally, victim impact statements sort of say how has the void affecting your life?

PAUL: Yes.

JACKSON: What has it done to you? What does justice mean to you? But in this case is that added component of we don't believe he is guilty.

So I would watch for quite the dynamic in that courtroom particularly as Shanann's family has been grieving and they've issued quite a statement about this themselves but they have just shown character and grace throughout horrific circumstances --

PAUL: Yes.

JACKSON: -- and so to have his family pretty much besmirched that is a problem.

PAUL: Well, and let's remember as we look at those pictures. And I think that's what's so hard for everybody to reconcile is you see these pictures of this beautiful family and he seems like this loving dad that he led them to the bodies of his children and his wife. So to say that they don't believe he did it is a little strange, but I think the biggest thing, Joey, is people just want answers and I think they are hoping they're going to get them tomorrow as to why this really happened.

I don't know if that will clear anything up really. But, Joey Jackson, always appreciate you being here. Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: Our nation's military academy has helped forge our future leaders and Coy Wire is here with the story of one.

Good morning, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. Kenneth Brinson's dream is to be a doctor one day but until then he is a football player for army who will graduate with a degree in chemical engineer and he has been nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in all of college football. What a story coming up on NEW DAY.



PAUL: Well, the Army/Navy game is perhaps the most storied rivalry in college football.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is here with more about one player from army who excels on and off the field.

WIRE: Yes. Kenneth Brinson somehow finds way to manage playing football, track and field, high level academics, and then of these responsibilities to come with being a cadet in the United States Military Academy.

Now Brinson is a finalist for the Campbell Award given by the National Football Foundation to the top scholar athlete in the country is considered by many as the academic Heisman.


KENNETH BRINSON, ARMY CADET, OUTSIDE LINEBACKER AND CAMPBELL AWARD FINALIST: 7:30 we (ph) start (ph) with (ph) heat and mass transfer, the same classroom, chemical engineer, thermodynamics with Dr. (INAUDIBLE). From there we go over to (INAUDIBLE) for dynamic modeling and controls which is a fun class. Then I have, like, a lab hour, chemical engineering lab and that goes until four.

My end goal is to be a doctor. I'm Kenneth Brinson and I play outside linebacker for Army West Point.

It's a place that is incredibly storied, has such a great tradition. It allowed me to pursue academics with rigor and as well as athletics.

JEFF MONKEN, ARMY HEAD COACH: I think everybody would like to have a guy like Kenny in their program. He is incredibly intelligent. What an outstanding student.

Tremendous football player. When somebody plays football at this level, it really is a part-time job. The professional expectations for a cadet, this takes up most of the time that our guys have and it's really demanding.

KENNETH BRINSON: This place is hard academically and can beat you down but I think the competitive part of my nature also loves the challenge that the West Point presents. To win the Campbell Award would be an unbelievable honor, I think, that goes without saying.

MONKEN: He's got a great family. Just tremendously supportive. They would be more proud of him winning that award than they would the Heisman trophy.

KAMRYN BRINSON, KENNETH'S SISTER: It just shows the world what me and my family know. He is an amazing student athlete and an amazing person.

KENNETH BRINSON: I see something like that as like a sign of gratitude that I can give back to all of the people who got me to this point. What you put into me has produced this. Thank you so much for everything you've given me.


WIRE: Kenneth Brinson, humble, hard working and a great smile. The winner of the Campbell Award is going to be announced December 4th. The Army/Navy game that's December 8th and we will be there live all weekend long to bring more inspiring stories just like Kenneth's.


BLACKWELL: Excellent.

PAUL: Love it. Thank you, Coy.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Coy.

WIRE: You're welcome.

PAUL: So the season finale of "THIS IS LIFE" explores a unique community. Animal super friends. They are called furries.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And each fan has an animal alter ego called a persona (ph). Learn something new every day. Here's a look.




LISA LING, CNN HOST (voice-over): The moment Lindsay puts on that suit the shaking stops. And Lalia (ph) comes alive.

LINDSAY: When I first imagined this character I imagined her just like me. So kind of shy and withdrawn. But it was very quickly that I realized that the costume had a life of its own. The shyness was just gone.


LING: Twice a month, Josh and Lindsay hop in the car and head to one of her charity events.


LINDSAY: I just get super excited every time I put it on. I'm going to go out there and perform and make people happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They (ph) were (ph) like (ph) what is going on? There's giant dog driving around.


PAUL: "THIS IS LIFE" airs tonight at 10:00 p.m.

Up next, CNN founder Ted Turner turning 80. He had a long career. But the maverick man says there is still one more thing he wants to do.



BLACKWELL: An E.R. doctor in New York, CNN hero Rob Gore, was frustrated by how many young men of color were being hurt and killed in street violence. Well, today his nonprofit, the Kings Against Violence, assist victims of violence, mentors and supports more than 250 at-risk students.


DR. ROB GORE, CNN HERO: I don't like pronouncing people dead. It's probably the worst thing that I've ever had to do. I want to preserve life.

When I see patient that are coming in with violent injuries, when somebody looks like you from your neighborhood, a lot of the stuff really hits home. You realize, I don't want this to happen anymore. What do we do about it?

What is going on? You've been all right?

It's important that we start training young people, helping them learn how to become change agents working with them on middle school level.


BLACKWELL: Go to right now to vote for Dr. Gore or any of your favorite top 10 heroes. That is at


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: They called him "Captain Outrageous" and the "Mouth of the South."

LARRY KING, TALK SHOW HOST: There's no cutoff between the brain and the mouth with Ted.

DALE MURPHY, FORMER ATLANTA BRAVE: Ted was a little unorthodox and a little unpredictable.

BLITZER: He built a media empire. He won the America's Cup.

TED TURNER, FOUNDER OF CNN: We got to go as fast as we can here.

BLITZER: The World Series.

PHIL NIEKRO, FORMER ATLANTA BRAVE: He put the Atlanta Braves organization on the map.

BLITZER: And the heart of Jane Fonda.

JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: I will never love anyone like I love him.


PAUL: CNN founder Ted Turner he is turning 80. And despite all he has achieved you saw there the maverick man says there is still one more thing he wants to do. Here is what he told me.


PAUL: Ted turner will be 80 years old. He told me in two days but only a man of his stature could have a reception like this, so many people here with incredible memories of Ted Turner. But I wanted to ask Ted, himself, what is your most proud professional accomplishment and he told me it was founding CNN.

And I said, what was your most memorable memory from CNN? Listen to what he told me.

TURNER: The first gulf war when we had the war live on all of the other channels had talking heads and we had footage of the war.

PAUL: Where were you?

TURNER: I was in Jane Fonda's apartment in California and it was in the morning, it was in the middle of the night on the air, the east coast. And I turned on the TV when I came into the room and I turned to NBC, and they had Tom Brokaw talking.

Then I put it on ABC and they had talk and I turned it on CBS and they had talk and I turned it on to CNN, and they had the war. Bombs were blowing off.

BERNARD SHAW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated. We are seeing bright flashes going off all over the sky.

LAURA TURNER SEYDEL, TED TURNER'S DAUGHTER: My dad is super famous for the reciting very eloquently "Horatius at the Bridge."

TURNER: "Then stepped forward Horatius, the captain of the gate. He said to every man of woman born, death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and a temple of his gods.

Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed ye may, I, with but two beside me, will hold the foe in play. On yon narrow span a thousand might well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, and guard the bridge with me?"

SEYDEL: And I think that is my dad. He has been the modern day Horatius standing on a bridge but the good news is he has built a bigger bridge.

PAUL: What is still ahead of you?

TURNER: Get rid of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.


I don't want to see us destroy ourselves. I think we are pretty neat. I like people.