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NEW DAY SUNDAY

Trump Freezes Tariff Increase On Chinese Goods; Remembering President George H.W. Bush's Life In Public Service; Interview With Arkansas Congressman French Hill; Top U.S. Naval Commander In Middle East Found Dead. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired December 2, 2018 - 06:00   ET

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


[06:00:00]

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Now comedian Dana Carvey who you saw there lampooning Mr. Bush as he did regularly on "Saturday Night Live" well he released a statement about the former president's saying this -- quote -- "It was an honor and privilege to know and spend time with George H.W. Bush for more than 25 years. When I think of those times what I remember most is how hard we would laugh. I will miss my friend."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush has died.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, George Herbert Walker Bush, do solemnly swear.

We are Americans peace and security, freedom and the rule of law.

I love being president. I'm working at trying to help people and do myself (ph) proud.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had no discussion. We had no discussion.

JAMES MATTIS, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Tried again to muck around in our elections this last month, and we are seeing a continued effort along those lines.

TRUMP: And battle sometimes make great friendships, so it's really terrific.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Sunday morning to you. President Trump is now back in the United States as he prepares to lead the nation in mourning of predecessor George H.W. Bush. A little more than an hour ago, the president landed at Andrews Air Force Base rather Joint Base Andrews as the news was that he was halting $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports for now.

PAUL: The possible truce and his trade war with China came after a meeting between the president and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Now meanwhile President Trump is expected to lead the nation in mourning former President George H.W. Bush. There is a week of memorial services planned for the 94-year-old former president.

BLACKWELL: We start this morning with the news from the White House. Truce for now and President Trump's trade war with China.

PAUL: The White House announced overnight that the president agreed to halt substantial increase there in tariffs on Chinese imports into the U.S. The decision was just one though of several agreements to come out of President Trump's dinner with the president of China.

CNN's Sarah Westwood joins us now live from the White House.

So, Sarah, what else are you learning this morning and good morning to you?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, good morning Christi. And after that two and a half meeting over dinner in Buenos Aires, both President Trump and President Xi Jinping immerge with the message of optimism about the future of those trade talks between the U.S. and China which over the past several months have been quite contentious and haven't really produced results.

The two agreed to what is effectively a delay in the escalation of the trade war with the president, agreeing to hold off on raising tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods he was scheduled to raise the tariffs on those goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on January 1st. That according to President Trump is no longer going to happen because China has agreed to increase significantly its purchase of agricultural products, energy products and some other goods to try to reduce that trade imbalance that Trump has been so fixated on over the past several months.

The president telling reporters aboard Air Force One, "If it happens it goes down as one of the largest deals ever made." He goes on to say, "Will have an incredibly positive impact on farming, meaning agricultural, industrial products, computers, every type of product. China will be buying massive amounts of products from us."

So that could give the U.S. and China some breathing room to try to negotiate some of those stickier issues that have held up trade talks over the past several months. Meanwhile, the president is also signaling that he may soon sit down with North Korean Kim Jong-un yet again for a second summit. The president telling reporter as they traveled back from the G20 summit, that he has discussions about meeting Kim Jong-un in January or February, that's of course coming up in just a couple of months.

He says his administration is considering three different sites which they could hold this meeting but no indication of where that second summit might take place. And he did say that he could consider inviting the North Korean leader to the United States at some point in the future. So, Victor and Christi, we may be looking at potential breakthroughs on two different fronts in terms of Trump's foreign policy with China and North Korea.

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

Well, tomorrow begins a week of ceremonies and services to honor the late President George H.W. Bush. He died Friday night at the age of 94 at his home in Houston. Now a series of public and private services are planned in the coming days, both in Houston, also in Washington.

PAUL: CNN's Kaylee Hartung is with us now.

Kaylee, what can you tell you about the days ahead and what we should be expecting here?

[06:05:05]

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi.

We shouldn't mourn the life of George H.W. Bush but rather we should celebrate a life well lived. That is the perspective of his son Neil Bush and the perspective that is guiding so much of what we will see in the coming week.

The official schedule has been released and tomorrow, the president's body will be flown from here in Houston to Washington, D.C. There an arrival ceremony will be held at the U.S. Capitol and then he will lie in state in the rotunda until Wednesday morning where the public will be able to pay their respects that an action that former presidents before him have been able to be honored by and, most recently, Senator John McCain.

There will then be a National Cathedral ceremony. That funeral service invitation only. We do know that President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will be in attendance at that service on Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C.

And then George H.W. Bush will return here to Houston. He will lie in repose in the church he and Barbara attended for so many years here together, St. Martin's Episcopal Church and then there will be another invitation only funeral service at that church here in Houston.

His body will then be taken to College Station. That will be his final resting place, the home of his presidential library also where Barbara Bush and their late daughter Robin have been laid to rest. He will join them on the library grounds.

You can expect outpouring of support for this family and that celebration of life to be something none of us will soon forgot. The nonprofit organization Points of Light that George H.W. Bush founded, that organization has asked for folks to donate a day of service in memory of our 41st president.

PAUL: Kaylee, thank you so much. Kaylee Hartung there for us. BLACKWELL: President Bush's long career in public service spanned more than four decades and touched many, many lives.

PAUL: Yes. Joining us now one of those people who knows that well, a friend of the former first couple, Arkansas Congressman French Hill, who worked in the Bush White House.

Congressman, thank you so much for being with us. And first of all we're sorry --

REP. FRENCH HILL (R), ARKANSAS: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

PAUL: We're sorry for your loss. I know that you have some very special memories and I wanted to get to one of them right off the bat. Because you had written that George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Bush were the ideal neighbors, members of the PTA and the answer to the question on that common form at school and work in case of emergency, please call. We loved him very much.

Did you really put them on your -- the emergency list? Help us understand what your relationship was and how you saw them.

HILL: Well, the Bush family and our family go back a long way. My in-laws were very dear friends of the Bush's starting back in the 1960s, and so we have a long family friendship with the Bushes and have great respect for them.

But George and Barbara Bush were that ideal mom and dad, that ideal couple that would be members of the PTA, that would volunteer at the food bank and they were great neighbors. And I have no doubt that they would be on the list of their immediate neighbors that if the alarm went off or the kid need picking up at school, that George and Barbara Bush would be there to help.

BLACKWELL: Yes. So much of their legacy is independent of the time they spent in the White House. Whether the Reagan administration or the president's own administration and raising more than $1 billion for charity after leaving the White House. Talk about that element and the Points of Light foundation and a lot of the work they did after leaving Washington.

HILL: Well, he was an amazing supporter of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and a major supporter of cancer research. You know his empathy for adult and kids with cancer. He did that a great deal after he left office.

I saw, firsthand, the work he did with President Clinton on Katrina relief. Our rotary club here in Little Rock partnered with the rotary club in Covington, Louisiana and we got Bush-Clinton Katrina funds from their private fundraising efforts and help get people back in their homes in Lacombe, Louisiana.

I saw his personal care there and the work for all the families dislocated after Katrina. It was just another example of the sense of partnership that he and President Clinton had, particularly on voluntarism. The Points of Light foundation. President Clinton went on to expand and form AmeriCorps which absolutely was a second chapter in the story of Points of Light.

PAUL: You know, one of the things he is known for is something that I think a lot of people would say we don't have enough of today and those are handwritten thank you notes. When it's so easy for people to just text and do their thing. Did you receive one? Do you still have it? What does it mean to you?

HILL: You bet I do. I have a stack of thank you notes from President Bush, some handwritten, some typed.

[06:10:05]

He was always one of the most thoughtful people I ever worked for and with. He always was thanking you for something you did for the administration or congratulating you on work that had been done in the administration or something personal in your family. George and Barbara Bush were perpetually thankful for their own lives and they express that by being very, very kind to others.

And that personal thank you note from George Bush was a treasured item by thousands of people around the world. Part of his personal diplomacy.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you a question about the president's legacy in the context of the G20, of what happened this weekend. Coincidentally the former president passed away on the same day that current president signed the U.S. MCA, this new trade deal that replaces NAFTA which although signed by Clinton was negotiated by George H.W. Bush.

How is the president's legacy holding up in the Trump era? How is that new world order that he talked about in the early '90s holding up today?

HILL: It's a great question, Victor. I was working on the White House staff in charge of international policy counsel there. We dealt with the NAFTA negotiations during 1992 and I think the NAFTA is one of the legacies of the Bush and Reagan administrations that began that process.

It's 25 years. It certainly had things that needed to change in it in regard to labor and environmental standards which was something that we thought could have been better back in 1992. And also recognize the digital world that we have and the change in the international trading system.

So the fact that NAFTA has been modified now and moved forward to a new generation is a tribute to President Reagan and President Bush's leadership in the North America free trade arena during the '80s and early '90s. And I would say the new world order is established by President Bush and President Gorbachev when Germany was reunified and become as a unified country, remained a member of NATO, that was a key component of that new world order.

And NATO is strong and healthy now and has grown. And President Trump has set I think higher standards for NATO by virtue of contributions from the member states, and engagement there. So both the new world order and the legacy of Latin American free trade have progressed over the last quarter century, all thanks to George Bush's leadership.

BLACKWELL: All right. Congressman French Hill, good to have you.

HILL: Thanks for having me.

PAUL: Thank you, sir.

The former president Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell and his secretary of state James Baker are both joining "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper this morning. It's at 9:00 a.m. and noon right here.

Well, a top naval commander has been found dead in the Middle East. So far, no one -- they are saying knows why. We'll tell you what we do know.

BLACKWELL: Plus, people in Alaska see the damage to their homes for the first time since that massive earthquake hit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:17:16]

PAUL: Seventeen minutes past the hour right now. And the top admiral overseeing U.S. naval forces in the Middle East was found dead yesterday. Investigators say there's no evidence of foul play thus far.

BLACKWELL: CNN national security reporter Ryan Browne has more for us.

RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, the most senior naval officer in the Middle East was found dead Saturday in his residence in Bahrain, U.S. Navy officials are telling.

Now Stearney's death is being investigated by both NCIS and Bahraini officials but the Navy is saying for now foul play has been ruled out. Now Stearney was commanding fifth fleet which is a critical command overseeing naval operations throughout the Middle East in places like the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea where both Iran and Houthi rebels firing missiles are a concern to U.S. security officials.

Now the Navy is so concerned about this command that they are sending the deputy chief of naval operations Admiral Jim Malloy to fly out to Bahrain to assume command on an interim basis while replacement is found.

Now Stearney was a very senior naval officer who had been on an F-18 fighter pilot and head of command at a carrier strike group before taking command of fifth fleet. His death coming as a major shock to the naval community today.

Ryan Browne, CNN, the Pentagon.

BLACKWELL: Thank you. Tonight at 9:00 CNN's Fareed Zakaria investigates impeachment and what could happen when the U.S. really needs to use it. CNN's special report "President's Under Fire" the history of impeachment.

PAUL: President George H.W. Bush will be given a state funeral. It's customary for former U.S. heads of state. We're going to discuss with our presidential historians how Bush 41 became a guiding influence in the Republican Party specifically.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I am guided by certain traditions. One there is it there's a God and he is good and his love, while free, has a self-imposed cost. We must be good to one another.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:24:12]

BLACKWELL: You can see here the towers in Kuwait City. The lights there, but also if you look closely you can see a portrait of the 41st president. The late George H.W. Bush.

PAUL: As president in 1990 he ordered operation desert storm sending U.S. forces to liberate the country after Iraq invaded. It's just one of the tributes to Bush 41 around the world this weekend.

He is going to be honored with a state funeral, by the way. He died Friday, 94 years old. The former president will be flown from Houston to Washington tomorrow to lie in the state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda following a short service.

BLACKWELL: On Wednesday he will return to Texas where he will lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church followed by a funeral service after which he will make final journey to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum where he will be buried.

[06:25:03]

December 5th has been declared a national day of mourning. And political figures from both major parties have begun paying their respects to express condolences to the Bush family.

PAUL: We want to bring in Doug Wead, presidential historian, author, "George Bush: Man of Integrity" and "The Raising of a President." Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst and historian and professor at University Princeton -- at Princeton University, excuse me, also with us. Thank you, gentlemen. We are glad to have both of you here.

Doug, I did want to start with you. And I want to bring up, if we could, please, an Instagram post from Jenna Bush who says -- she talked to her grandfather about dying.

And he said, yes, I think about it. I used to be afraid. I used to be scared of dying. But now in some ways I look forward to it. When I die I'm going to be reunited with these people that I've lost. I hope to see Robin and I hope to see my mom. I haven't yet figured it out if it will be Robin as a three year old that she was, this kind of chubby, vivacious child or if she'll come as a middle-aged woman." Then he said, "I hope she is the three-year-old."

How much did that affect who he was, losing his daughter? And did he ever talk about Robin about you -- talk about Robin to you?

DOUG WEAD, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes, he did. And it was profound impact on him and provoked great curiosity about life after death, the possibility of it.

When I first met him and first started writing for him was 1985 and '86, '87, he was not yet a candidate for president. He was in that stage of why do you want to run for president, so you had all of these theological questions and it started out with me writing pages of memorandum explaining the different languages that Catholics speak, Pentecostal speak to help him build a relationship for political purposes, but it soon became apparent that he was on a personal spiritual journey.

I'd get back hundreds of these little personal notes where he would say, how does a Nazarene know if they are sanctified or not? He got into the minutiae of doctrine.

And it was very secret. It was -- these memorandums were never addressed to him. They were generic and they would be passed to his secretary. She would walk them in but he would send back these personal handwritten notes so I know he's reading every line. Thousands of pages.

PAUL: Julian, I'm going to get to you in a minute but I want to ask you on that subject, I know that you say the experience that World War II had on him was spiritual. How so?

Doug, that is you.

WEAD: Oh, OK. Yes. Yes. He said that in many meetings where he would say that.

They would ask him about spiritual experiences. Particularly they would ask the born again question if they were evangelical. He would say, I had many such spiritual moments. He always refer to that moment of being rescued, at being shot down.

I had the privilege of actually interviewing him for the first time on that when they pulled out the historical records. Pete Teeley was his press secretary back then and he wanted to get a story on record. And the vice president then, George H.W. Bush, remembered it incorrectly and it became a controversy.

But eventually he was able to get all the facts together and get it right. But it was interesting to me how he remembered it and he remembered it as much more of a profound, almost miraculous experience. PAUL: Julian, you know, I've heard several analysts say he was truly hurt by his loss in '92, in the '92 election and that settled into him almost in some capacity. I always like to say when you lose, don't lose the lesson.

What did he learn from that do you think that shaped who he continued to become?

JULIAN E. ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we always have to remember that George H.W. Bush was a politician too and he took his campaigns very seriously and he could be very aggressive as he was in '88. So '92 losing to Clinton not being able to be re-elected was pretty devastating. It instantly certainly tapped into these religion feelings that he had his whole life and would direct him in his post- presidency to even work with President Clinton down the line on relief efforts, which became part of how he used his post-presidential time to bring relief to people and to try to continue with this mission of public service which guided him his whole life.

And I also think the '92 loss caused a little bit of soul searching in terms of what did it resonate about who he was and the kind of politics that he represented with where some of the electorate was.

[06:30:06]

ZELIZER: So he was a thoughtful politician who didn't just lose and moved on but actually lost and tried to use the loss to shape the rest of his career and his life.

PAUL: So, Julian, you bring me to another question I wanted to ask you. The '88 campaign. There were some pretty nasty elements of that and those seem to counter who we are hearing who he was.

Do you get the sense that, was he comfortable with tactics like that or was that just -- I'm in D.C. and I got to play the game? Julian, to you first.

ZELIZER: Yes. I think he wasn't fully comfortable with the way the campaign unfolded, but it was his campaign. Lee Atwater ran the campaign. It is considered, by many historians, really a key campaign in the path to where we went, really undercut a lot of Michael Dukakis' character.

He has expressed regrets as Lee Atwater did about the tactics they used but the record is there. And I think as historians we need to talk about all parts of President Bush, his commitment to governance, his many policy accomplishments but the 1988 campaign which was ruthless was part of his record as well.

PAUL: Doug, I want to give you the last word on that. And do you have any sense of what his thoughts were in later years about where politics have gone in that regard?

WEAD: Yes. Very interesting to me.

There was this duality in him. He was very ruthless. He was personally very kind and gentle, but he always had a strong man.

In the family, it was George W. Bush who was assertive and strong. And I remember at one point Jennifer Fitzgerald was almost hated within the campaign. She was running the vice president's office and then Craig Fuller, a very strong aggressive personality, Lee Atwater, which was mentioned, very ruthless and then when he went into the White House, John Sununu is one of the strongest chiefs of staff in American history.

So there was no accident that he always would have this stalking horse get out there and be the bad guy. He knew that you had to have that to win in politics and he understood that we were in a new negative era, that was very clear to him. So interesting duality there.

PAUL: Definitely. Doug Wead and Julian Zelizer, thank you both so much for taking time for us this morning.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

WEAD: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Everyone has their complexities. And one part of his personality, his ability to laugh at himself and his sense of humor. On "Saturday Night Live," they paid tribute to Mr. Bush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL CHE, COMEDIAN: Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends.

COLIN JOST, COMEDIAN: That's right. President Bush was famously a very warm and gracious man who always understood the power in being able to laugh at yourself.

DANA CARVEY AS GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Thousands of Points of Lights still operating coming in from all of those areas.

(LAUGHTER)

CARVEY: Not going to do it. Not going do it.

BUSH: George Bush here. I'm watching you do your impression of me and I got to say it's nothing like me. Bears no resemblance. It's bad, it's bad.

CARVEY: I'm sorry, Mr. President. I think it's a fair impression.

BUSH: Don't see it.

CARVEY: You don't?

BUSH: It's totally exaggerated. Not me. Those crazy hand gestures. The pointing thing. I don't do them. And also na, ga, dah, never said it. In all of my years of government service I never once said, na, ga, dah.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:38:11]

BLACKWELL: Twenty-two minutes until the top of the hour now.

President Trump is back home in Washington after a three day trip to Buenos Aires for a G20 summit. Last night the president briefly met with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The two spoke about Russia's ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

Now Putin told reporters that he has his positions, speaking of the president, and I have mine. It's one week since Russia captured three Ukrainian ship and two dozen sailors near Crimea. The Trump administration citing that incident as the reason why it did not sit down with Putin. Putin says he hopes a meeting with Trump will take place when the U.S. is ready.

Joining me now to discuss is CNN global affairs analyst Aaron David Miller. Welcome back. Let's start here, because Putin says that he answered President Trump's questions about that seizure of the ships and the sailors. However that is the exact reason the president said he wasn't going to speak with Putin.

The White House has denied Putin's characterization of the conversation. What do you make of this actually happening on the sidelines of the G20?

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, I think there had to be an engagement, in large part -- well, I think the president was looking for a balance on one hand not to appear to embrace Vladimir Putin in light of recent revelations that Mueller has made, on one hand. And a desire not to run away from Putin on the other.

So the notion that they would actually get together, I think, as the president, himself, indicated a day or so ago, was more or less inevitable. Look. The U.S. and Russia relationship, Victor, is a fraught one. There are so many issues that divide the two.

And if you add to the mix, what appears to be the still mysterious willingness on the part of President Trump to accord Vladimir Putin the kind of preternatural safe space that he doesn't really give to anyone else, raises serious questions about what the president's motives are and whether, in fact, there's another back story here that may or may not be revealed in coming weeks or months.

[06:40:19]

BLACKWELL: All right. So let's talk about another willingness in behalf of the administration that is to continue to support the Saudi- led efforts in Yemen as the humanitarian crisis there continues to grow. Listen to a bit of Wolf Blitzer's exclusive interview with secretary of state Mike Pompeo. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Secretary Mattis and I and the president have made very clear we are working to end the hostilities in Yemen. The humanitarian crisis there is of epic proportions, millions of people at or near starvation.

The administration has put almost a billion dollars into stopping that humanitarian crisis. The Saudis have put even more money in of theirs. The Iranians, Wolf, have put zero dollars in to stopping that humanitarian crisis.

And we are determined to fix the problem of the humanitarian crisis while ensuring that we don't end up with a Hezbollah organization on the southern edge of the Saudi Arabia.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: So U.S. military support for the Saudis in Yemen will continue?

POMPEO: The program that we are involved in today, we intend to continue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Just on Wednesday, more than a dozen Republican senators voted for resolution to end the U.S. support for this effort. Senator Jeff Flake says that they could reach a veto proof majority if the president really wants to dig in here.

Which side? I'm talking between congressional Republicans and the White House is going to blink here and is the president willing to go up against his own party, continue to continue to support the Saudi efforts in Yemen?

MILLER: You know, look. I worked for half a dozen of secretary of states and with all due respect to this one, our Yemen policy is a disaster. We have acquiesced and enabled a reckless and impulsive Saudi leader, Mohammad Bin Salman, and it's very much his war to create the basis of a humanitarian disaster and, at the same time, to enable and expand the opportunities for Iran, the country the administration claims they want to contain, to expand its influence in the region.

We have leverage over the Saudis, Victor, right now particularly in the wake of their responsibility for the horrific murder of Jamal Khashoggi. And for some reason the administration either doesn't recognize it or doesn't want to -- doesn't want to lose it. The reality is Congress has sent a strong signal.

I think that signal needs to be sustained. And there is simply no rational basis or national interest to continue supporting military operation in Yemen that has turned into another forever war at the expense of millions of Yemenis.

BLACKWELL: All right. Aaron David Miller, thank you so much.

MILLER: Thank you.

PAUL: You know, Coy Wire is here. He's talking about games but this is no ordinary game, Coy Wire.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Good morning to you, Christi.

We are going to talk about a rivalry like none other. Even one that turns two best friends against one another. Even if just for a day.

It's a remarkable story about some of our service academy members. They're coming up right after this on NEW DAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:47:41]

PAUL: Listen. There are college football rivalry games and then there is the Army/Navy game next Saturday.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Coy Wire is here with more about two players in that game with a special back story.

WIRE: Yes. Jack King and Tyler Pistorio. They grew up in Matthews, North Carolina. They became best friends and they have dreams of someday playing college football, maybe even together but they never thought that they would end playing at rival service academies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYLER PISTORIO, LINEBACKER, U.S. NAVY: Football, of course, I would say is our first big bonding experience.

JACK KING, DEFENSIVE BACK, U.S. ARMY: We kind of kicked it off right away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember jack and Tyler when they were in sixth grade.

PISTORIO: Jack was honestly one of the best competitive little kids that I ever knew and so that was great because I always was the most competitive kid I knew.

JACK KING: Kind of like a natural bond there. We were friends ever since then.

PISTORIO: Once we got to high school it kind of started to excelled. We had the same weightlifting class and we are boys on the field obviously but in the weight room is where we started to bond and start to push each other.

JACK KING: It grew to be like the friendship we have now which is really strong.

Pretty much my entire life, I always wanted to play at the next level. It's always been a dream. I really had no idea about West Point really. I had no clue I wanted to play at the academy or even go to the academy.

PISTORIO: He started to bring the idea to me about the service academy. He said, hey, man, I can -- this is something I think I can really see myself doing.

SUSAN KING, JACK KING'S MOTHER: You know, at first, we were like service academy? Are you sure?

JACK KING: With all of the opportunities and serving afterwards and being an officer in the army, I mean, there is no utter profession that would allow me to be the best person myself.

PISTORIO: I (INAUDIBLE) Army briefly. I mean, him kind of talking about how cool it would be to play together, except not. I took my visit to the naval academy and I found love when I made my visit there.

Jack, he was pretty pissed.

JACK KING: There is definitely a little bit tension the week coming up to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They hung out together probably three times over thanksgiving together.

PISTORIO: We are both super busy and obviously I'm in Maryland and he's in New York. So we don't get to see each other that much.

JACK KING: Playing against each other in such an honorable game it really is crazy.

SUSAN KING: These are the only players who would not only die for their country, they would die for each other.

PISTORIO: It's such a bond you feel too. You two are enemies on the field but at the end of it you're brothers. It's special. It's like fighting your best friend. And so in our case we really are fighting each other's best friend.

[06:50:03]

SUSAN KING: Go Army. Beat Navy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go Navy. Beat Army.

JACK KING: Go Army. Beat Navy.

PISTORIO: Go Navy. Beat Army.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Jack, Tyler and their families will be eagerly awaiting kickoff this Saturday. I'll be there for CNN's live coverage all weekend long.

Finally, we have number one Alabama last night pulling off a 14-point comeback win over number four Georgia. An emotional return to Atlanta for backup quarterback Jalen Hurts. Benched in the Tide's national title win over Georgia last season. He went from starter to the back seat but when first stringer Tua Tagovailoa was injured in the fourth quarter, Jalen rose up accounting for two touchdowns, sparking the comeback win.

Tua and Jalen selfless teammates hugging it out after Alabama wins the SEC championship 35-28. Looking forward to the Army/Navy game though this Saturday. There's no other game like it on the planet.

PAUL: Obviously. Coy Wire, thank you.

WIRE: You're welcome. Welcome.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Coy.

PAUL: As the daughter of immigrants who come to America, not speaking English, Florence Phillips knows firsthand that there are obstacles newcomers face.

BLACKWELL: As one of this year's top 10 CNN heroes she created a vital tool to help overcome those language barriers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FLORENCE PHILLIPS, CNN HERO: It's the immigrants that made the United States. It was the immigrants that came here to have freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of doing whatever they wanted to do and they are the ones that made this country. We are giving them the key --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on in.

PHILLIPS: -- to unlock all doors and I see the pride when they say, "I am an American."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: You can go to CNNheroes.com right now to vote for Florence or any of your favorite top 10 heroes and thank you for doing so.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Just because you're an old guy you don't have to sit around drooling in the corner. Get out and do something. Get out and enjoy life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: That was former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Back in 2009 he just made a parachute jump to celebrate his 85th birthday.

BLACKWELL: Over the years he invited others to join in on these birthday jumps. And you see here, you recognize her, HLN anchor Robin Meade took him up on one of those offers and she joins us next hour.

But first people in Alaska. Remember this they now have come home to a new normal after the massive earthquake hit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:56:56]

BLACKWELL: Let's show you this really terrifying, actually, and rare sight for December. This is in Illinois. All too familiar sound, though.

Yes, one of nearly two dozen tornadoes that hit central and western Illinois yesterday.

PAUL: The small town of Taylorville, look what is there now. This is said to be one of the hardest hit areas. More than 100 homes are damaged.

BLACKWELL: Meanwhile in Alaska, there have been more than 650 aftershocks -- 650 since that 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit on Friday.

PAUL: So some people are just now being allowed to go home and look at the damage, to assess what's there. CNN's Stephanie Elam has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Road after road --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very major damage right at that area.

ELAM: -- torn apart. Alaska battered by a 7.0 earthquake. The shaking the worst here since 1964.

Nick Kuhlmann is checking on his vacationing neighbor's place. For the first time since the quake hit, what he finds is a home wrecked by Mother Nature. Upstairs, cabinets knocked to the floor. Heavy dressers piled in the bedroom. A bathroom full of glass.

NICK KUHLMANN, ANCHORAGE RESIDENT: It's pretty devastating, especially it seems like the higher up you go in the building.

ELAM: From Anchorage to Wasilla and the home of Sarah Palin. Residents reeling from loss but thankful that does not include lives.

Shocking they say because of scenes like this. Road crews, right now, working 40 sites similar to this.

(on camera): This is the most traveled artery in Alaska and take a look at what has happened to the roadway because of the earthquake. It looks like some massive machine has clawed the road away. So because that, crews are working around the clock to get this roadway open. They are saying within days.

But there is a threat. Take a look at this. See this crack right here?

We have to stay on this side of it and that is because everything on the other side of it is liable to give way with all of the aftershocks that continue to hit the Anchorage area.

(voice-over): According to the Alaska Earthquake Center, more than 650 aftershocks so far, around 20 of those at magnitude four or higher.

DIANE KUHLMANN, ANCHORAGE RESIDENT: I didn't want to go to sleep last night and afraid it would happen again.

ELAM: Diane and Bill Kuhlmann, like so many here, still on edge, after riding out the quake in their Eagle River home of 47 year.

BILL KUHLMANN, ANCHORAGE RESIDENT: It was just a tremendous loud sound.

ELAM: Even with their possessions crashing down around them, they never heard a sound over the roar of the quake.

BILL KUHLMANN: Nacho (ph), what are you doing? Hey, Nacho (ph).

ELAM: Now like so many, they repair what they can and search for memories that survived.

BILL KUHLMANN: We had to put some lights up to make it a little brighter and cheerier in there.

[07:00:03]

It makes it easier to work. Otherwise, you cry.