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NEW DAY SUNDAY

Russia Cloud Darkens as Trump Tries to Change the Conversation; FBI Lawyer Appears to Acknowledge That Mueller is Investigating Obstruction of Justice; Thousands Without Power as Snow, Ice Slam Southern U.S.; HBO Documentary Explores Life & Death of Sandra Bland; Army-Navy: Pageantry in the 119th Edition of America's Game. Aired 7- 8a ET

Aired December 9, 2018 - 07:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[07:00:20] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: There was no collusion whatsoever.

REPORTER: Sir, did you direct Michael Cohen to commit any violations of the law?

TRUMP: No, no. No.

JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: The House will have no choice the way this is going other than to start impeachment proceedings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A closed door interview with fired FBI Director James Comey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: James Comey fired back on this claim that he was best friends with Robert Mueller saying, quote, I have never hugged or kissed the man.

TRUMP: John Kelly will be leaving the end of the year, and I appreciate his service very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's how awful it is to work in the Trump White House, by the way. John Kelly spent 40 years in the Marines. He did three tours in Iraq. And he couldn't finish one tour with Donald Trump.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Victor Blackwell.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. I'm Jessica Dean, in for Christi Paul this morning.

Deny and distract, that's the president's playbook this weekend as he tries to shrug off the very real threat posed to his administration by the Russia investigation. BLACKWELL: Federal prosecutors accused the president of breaking

election finance law by instructing his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to pay hush money to two women he allegedly had affairs with. Well, the president vehemently denies he did that. Well, since that, the president has launched Twitter attacks against the ex-FBI director James Comey and the French president and the European Union and NATO and Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal.

DEAN: And despite reports that Trump's chief of staff John Kelly would announce his departure from the White House Monday, the president decided to do it yesterday. The two of them reportedly haven't spoken in days.

BLACKWELL: CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez joins us.

Boris, we knew there would be changes right after the midterms. But the timing of this weekend's rollout some people are questioning.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Victor and Jessica. Yes, absolutely, especially questionable when you consider John Kelly was set to announce his departure to his senior staff on Monday. As you noted, the president stepped all over that yesterday as he was being asked questions about the Russia investigation. He was asked point blank if he directed Michael Cohen to essentially commit campaign finance violations by paying two women who allegedly had affairs with the president during the 2016 campaign. He flatly said no.

Then I got the chance to ask the president if he was aware that Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, was having communications senior administration officials as recently as May while he's been under indictment. The president didn't answer that question, he moved on and start talking He ignored that question and started talking about his chief of staff John Kelly.

The president had what appeared to be sort of prepared remarks about the Russia investigation. Listen to some of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: With the Mueller situation, we're very happy with what we're reading because there was no collusion whatsoever, there never has been. The last thing I want is help from Russia on a campaign. Very one-sided situation but I think it's all turning around very nicely. But as far as the report that we see, according to everybody I've spoken to, I have not read it, there's absolutely no collusion which is very important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Two quick points there. You just heard the president say that he didn't read those sentencing documents that were filed against Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. The president hearing from others that it essentially clears him, though it does not, it implicates the president potentially in campaign finance violations and raises all sorts of questions about his involvement in Russian meddling during the 2016 election. The president there clearly hearing from aides who have a very sunny perspective of those sentencing documents.

The second point I want to make is sources at the White House indicate that the president is set to tap Nick Ayers, the vice president's chief of staff, to replace John Kelly. Ayres is an established Republican. He's worked with the Republican government's association as well as other prominent politicians, including Governor Sonny Perdue. So, the current state of things, according to the sources, is that Ayers has told the president he's thinking of returning to his home state of Georgia to spend more time with his family, so he may not want to spend the full two years as chief of staff that the president has asked him for -- Victor and Jessica.

BLACKWELL: All right. Boris Sanchez for us there at the White House -- Boris, thank you.

[07:05:03] DEAN: So, how far does the president willing to go in his efforts to distract from the Mueller probe?

Joining me now, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News, Errol Louis, and Brian Stelter, CNN's chief media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES".

Good morning, you guys.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.

DEAN: Thanks for being with us.

Brian, let's start with you. We just went through some of the Twitter tirades we've seen this weekend. Fired FBI Director James Comey a target, the French president, a U.S. senator, we could go on and on.

This is a pattern with President Trump. Did this surprise you at all in the wake of what came on Friday, to see what happened over the weekend?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the nicknames get nastier and nastier over time and the distractions get shinier and shinier. But I think when we see the president trying to shift attention from one topic to another, he's really changing the subject from one bad story about him to another bad story about him.

So, I'm not sure how effective it actually is. When he was answering a question about Kelly, that's not a good story for him, having to replace your chief of staff for the second time in two years, not a positive story for the president. Of course, he criticized then- President Barack Obama for going through three chiefs of staff in three years, well, now President Trump will be through two chiefs of staff in two years.

So, he may be trying to divert the Mueller probe, but it's another bad story for him. Talk about so many shake-ups in the White House. And, by the way, there is really fundamentally no way to move attention away from the Mueller probe. Most Americans want to get to the bottom of these crimes that were committed, and no amount of insults or nicknames or tweets is going to change that. DEAN: OK. So, to that point, I want to now listen to this interview

with John Dean. Take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: The House is going to have little choice the way this is going other than to start impeachment proceedings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: So, of course, that's the former Nixon lawyer John Dean. And, Errol, listen, how this all lays out in terms of criminal implications for the president we're going to see. But now we're going to have a new house coming in in January. Where do you think this goes as he's trying to distract, as Brian was explaining to us, the probe continues, and now Congress could get in on it.

LOUIS: That's right. Look, the underlying facts of the Russia probe and its impact are really going to overwhelm everything in Washington. So the president can win a new cycle here and there, and he can throw out some nasty remarks about Rex Tillerson or anybody else, but in the end, and very much against their will in some cases, I might add, the leadership of the 168th Congress, the Democratic leadership of the House in particular, they're going to be forced to do something about this because the public is not going to stand for them sitting on their hands or standing by.

A lot of these candidates campaigned on the notion that they were going to try and clean up ethical problems in Washington. This is going to be the mother of all ethics issues when that Mueller investigation ripens, when the report comes out, when more and more indictments, convictions, more revelations sort of take control and start to seep in to the general public. The Democrats in Washington will have no choice but to move forward.

And keep in mind, they don't necessarily want to do that. They'd rather govern. They'd rather work on their own election. They don't necessarily want to stir up a lot of angry Trump voters who will be incensed if there's a sense that the 2016 election results are being overturned. But I think we have no choice but to see this through.

DEAN: And so, Brian, what does the White House do now in terms of a messaging perspective? Obviously, President Trump is in charge of his own message, there's no question about that. But as this does start to change the landscape once we get to January, how do they begin to attack that?

STELTER: I think we're going to see probably more departures and more turnover in staffing in various departments. There have been reports about changes in the press shop and other parts of the White House. So John Kelly is sort of the tip of that iceberg. There is a lot going on underneath the surface and we'll see more changes there.

I think the message that was attempted on Friday night when these filings came out, Sarah Sanders tried to say, there is nothing new here, this is not a big deal, and the people involved are liars. That was the attempt at the message. But I do think most people see through that.

You know, if you are a big supporter of the president, you can choose not to pay attention to what's this these filings, but for the most part, I think the news coverage of this has been really clear about just how damaging it has been for the president in the past two days. So, the message saying it's old news, there's nothing there, that's contradicted by what's actually in the filings.

DEAN: All right. Brian, Errol, we're going to leave it there. Thanks so much for joining us.

LOUIS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: There are new details this morning about fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony.

[07:10:03] The government seems to confirm that Mueller is investigating a possible obstruction of justice. We'll have more on that.

DEAN: Plus, two women who worked at Trump's Bedminster golf resort saying the president is a hypocrite. Despite his public stance of no tolerance for illegal immigrants, his managers obviously hired them as undocumented immigrants. Their story in their own words.

BLACKWELL: And conditions, they are deteriorating. Look at this, across the Southeast. It's pretty, but wait until you have to go out into it. There is a major storm bearing down, flights are cancelled. Hundreds of thousands of people are without power. We'll tell you about who is getting all of this.

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BLACKWELL: We're learning new details about fired FBI Director James Comey's closed door interview Friday with House Republicans.

DEAN: Transcripts released Saturday seem to give us confirmation the special counsel is investigating an obstruction of justice case.

[07:15:06] When answering a question during that hearing, the lawyer for the FBI lawyer said in part, quote, to the extent that question again goes to the special counsel's investigation into obstruction.

CNN justice correspondent Laura Jarrett has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: In over six hours of testimony, the former FBI director went over familiar territory about the beginnings of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying he bet his life the special counsel Robert Mueller is handling it the right way and suggesting you would have to almost fire everyone in the FBI and the Justice Department to derail the relevant investigations at this point.

But Comey also fact-checked the president on this claim that he somehow is best friends with Robert Mueller saying, quote, I have never hugged or kissed the man, and quote, I admire the heck out of the man but I don't know his phone number, I've never been to his house, I don't know his children's names.

While Comey's testimony did not shed new light on his views about whether the president obstructed justice in his firing last year, the testimony from another senior official at the FBI, former counsel James Baker, described how those at the highest level of the FBI were seriously concerned about Comey's firing.

And, finally, Comey was also asked to weigh in on Bill Barr, President Trump's pick for the next attorney general, and he said he thinks very highly of him, joking that, quote, I probably just damned him by saying he's a friend of mine. But I respect him and I think he's certainly fit to be attorney general.

Laura Jarrett, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: President Trump's signature stance since the first moment of his campaign has been a zero tolerance policy against undocumented immigrants.

DEAN: But a story reported by the "New York Times" is now raising questions of hypocrisy. As originally reported by "The Times", managers at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, knowingly hired illegal immigrants. The paper tracked down two women, one was the housekeeper who says she interacted with the president and his family.

CNN's Polo Sandoval spoke with the women.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sandra Diaz and Victorina Morales are the first to speak out publicly about their experience working at the Donald Trump golf resort as undocumented women. As first reported by "The New York Times" Thursday, both were hired as housekeepers at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Morales says she hired in 2013, Diaz says she worked there from 2010 to 2013 and has since become a legal permanent resident of the U.S. Both by managers of the Trump organization knowingly hired them as undocumented workers.

Diaz tells me her decision to go public was made in part by what she calls a high level of hypocrisy.

The president launches such hard line immigration rhetoric, says Diaz, yet his organization is doing the complete opposite. Diaz's former colleague says she has additional reasons for speaking out. The undocumented Guatemalan says she was subject to demeaning verbal assaults by his superior.

After Trump became president, the housekeeping manager became more aggressive towards the employees recalls Morales. She describes being threatened of deportation repeatedly. There are also allegations of illegal hiring practices. Diaz claims management at the property went so far as to arrange for fraudulent documents to keep them employed.

Morales tells me she was taken to an off-site location after being hired away from the club. She says it was there that she was provided with a bogus social security card and identification. The woman's attorney says they are prepared to provide proof to authorities if an investigation into the Trump Organization's hiring practices is launched.

ANIBEL ROMERO, LAWYER FOR DIAZ AND MORALES: Absolutely. We have documentary evidence, we have the testimony of workers, we have the fraudulent documents. All of this could be provided to federal authorities and/or state authorities. Both of my clients are willing to cooperate with federal and state authorities.

SANDOVAL: In response to the claims, Trump Organization spokeswoman Amanda Miller said in the statement, we have tens of thousands of employees across our properties and have very strict hiring practices. If any employee sent in false documentation in an attempt to circumvent the law, they will be terminated immediately.

No public, criminal or civil actions have been filed against the Trump Organization regarding the allegations from Morales, Diaz and two other women mentioned by the "New York Times." Morales and Diaz said they do not believe Donald Trump was actually aware of the alleged illegal hiring practices. They even have fond memories of their early years working at the Trump property.

[07:20:03] I was very proud to say that I worked there, says Diaz.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DEAN: Still ahead, "Saturday Night Live" brings back Robert de Niro as Robert Mueller appearing at Eric Trump's bedside.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT DE NIRO AS ROBERT MUELLER: It's just me, Robert Mueller, your dad's friend from work. It was pretty clear early on that you don't know anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

DE NIRO: I wish I could say the same for some of your dad's friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like Mr. Pillowfort?

DE NIRO: Manafort. Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:25:15] BLACKWELL: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell.

DEAN: I'm Jessica Dean, in for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: After Robert Mueller's team says President Trump directed his personal attorney to break campaign finance law. President Trump is now spinning it, saying that this filing, or all the filings, clear him and calls the investigation a waste of money.

DEAN: He is also taking aim at a number of seemingly random targets, the unrest in Paris, NATO and Senator Richard Blumenthal. All of this as Mueller and his team move forward with their investigation.

Meantime, Robert de Niro returned as special counsel Robert Mueller on "Saturday Night Live," playing the boogeyman at Eric Trump's bedside in Trump Tower.

(BEGIN VIDO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's something in my closet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's just the cheap steel dad uses to build his towers. They're just blowing in the wind. Look, buddy, nothing in the closet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Mueller, people say you're the worst thing to ever happen to my dad.

DE NIRO: No, Eric, getting elected president was the worst thing that ever happened to your dad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: All right, let's talk. Joining us now, Michael Moore, former U.S. attorney for the middle district of Georgia, and Ryan Reilly, justice reporter for "HuffPost".

Welcome back to both of you.

Michael, let me start with you and I want you to listen to John Dean, Nixon White House counsel and his, I guess, foreshadowing, or suggestion to the Democratic House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: The House is going to have little choice the way this is going other than to start impeachment proceedings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: What's your take on that, little choice?

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: It's a big day any time there is a federal prosecutor that says the president is involved in a federal crime. You're hearing the death rattle of this presidency of this administration. I don't know that it's -- we need to call the undertaker yet, I think it's certainly time to pick out the cemetery.

And I really think we're at a point where we're starting to see panic in the White House. We're seeing some moves, too. Let me tell you why I say that. I'm particularly interested in the whole Nick Ayers transition. He's Mike Pence's chief of staff, President Trump bringing him in, there's something else afoot there.

I think you cannot read the reports, you can't read about the congressional testimony, problems with the testimony, and not expect that we will see little Donald Trump indicted for also giving false testimony, and I think the president and his team knows that's coming down the road.

BLACKWELL: So you think there is something more to replacing John Kelly than just the end of, I guess, the line for these two because they're not on speaking terms.

MOORE: Yes, I think Kelly probably knows that the end is near. We can start to see that the noose is tightening around this administration, and Kelly knows that. There's no other reason for him to want to leave, and who would not want to leave the madness that goes on in the administration?

I think you just take all these things in particular, you take the very idea that there seems to be more information coming down both about the business transactions that Donald Trump -- little Don Trump was involved in, the congressional testimony stuff, and we think the president has been getting some inside information from cooperators' lawyers during the investigation. You piece all that stuff together and I think you start to see clear panic with no real end game for the administration.

BLACKWELL: Ryan, let's talk about impeachment here, and I want you to listen to California Democrat John Garamendi and what he told Wolf Blitzer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Where is this going to go? It's going to go, it seems to me, with the president being indicted or at least up to that point, and it's going to go to Congress taking on a very serious and is very, very appropriate investigation, and you might call it the opening days of an impeachment. We're getting to that point now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: How many of his Democratic house colleagues believe that they're getting to that point? Is this a prevalent perspective?

RYAN REILLY, JUSTICE REPORTER, HUFFPOST: I think it's sort of a process that's unveiling because I think they don't want to make it seem like it's this preordained outcome, that they were going to impeach him from the start. So, process is going to be important here because voters may turn on him if voters start thinking, oh, they're jumping to conclusions here, so they're going to want to fully some sort of process.

Of course, the problem is the Justice Department, the overwhelming belief there is that the president can't be indicted. So there will be a tricky situation where they're going to have to figure out what steps they'll have to take and make sure they lay out clearly to the American people why the president should be indicted before they actually go back taking that step.

[07:30:01]

BLACKWELL: Michael, the president tweeted out again that -- he called it the witch hunt, but the Mueller probe should end. Do you believe this investigation is in any more jeopardy today than it was before the release of the Cohen and Manafort filings?

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: I don't know that we're in more jeopardy with the investigation. I think you can tell that the investigation is going on because of some of the redactions in the pleadings that were filed. That tells us that Mueller is not ready to reveal everything, to tell us who all the defendants might be or who all the cooperators have been.

And those reductions are more telling simply because their black lines even more than the underlying facts that are marked out.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you this, do you think Mueller is in any more jeopardy, then?

MOORE: You know, I don't think so at this point. I think he's done a masterful job at telling his story in public court filings. He's let information come out. Even if they try to can the report, if they try to conceal it from the American people and, hopefully Trump's counsel would not do that.

But if that were to happened or if they tried to fire Mueller, I think he's told us enough of the story to give Democrats enough to do something with. What I hope though is they keep their powder dry, let Mueller do his work, let him continue the investigation, and he's going to get this thing wrapped up, it looks like, in relatively short order. He's made great progress as you can see from the indictments already.

BLACKWELL: Ryan, there is story out in "The Washington Post" this morning, Robert Costa and Philip Rucker, to that piece, detailing the tumult in the White House and across the administration, and there is a person who he speaks with that is a friend of the president and they ask about gearing up a war room, potentially.

And this person says to the reporter, a war room? You serious? They've never had one, will never have one, they don't know how to do one.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone starts on Monday. How much work is still to be done to staff up this White House for all the investigations that are happening and coming with this Democratic Congress? RYAN REILLY, JUSTICE REPORTER, HUFFPOST: Right. I think that there

is not really a concrete plan. The president's attorney Rudy Giuliani told my colleague earlier this week that they were sort of preparing this report that the president mentioned to sort of combat this expected Mueller report. But, I mean, it's essentially what he told him, it's going to be a lot of things they've heard about on Fox News.

It's not really a solid strategy to actually seriously combating the charges that are being laid out, because it seems like Mueller has his ducks lined up, he's got everything sort of really well organized, and he's sort of leaving these bread crumbs around to tell us what's going on, and I think that reporting is likely going to be damning against the president and sort of cobbling together a lot of, you know, these conspiracy theories that you hear about on Fox News isn't necessarily going to be the best way to respond to the serious allegations.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ryan Reilly and Michael Moore, thank you both.

MOORE: Glad to be with you.

REILLY: Thanks.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Still to come, a major winter system that's being called a once in a generation storm is bringing heavy snow, sleet and a lot of ice to parts of the Southeast. We're going to track it. That's next.

Plus, a new HBO documentary reveals brand new details about the life and death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland. Three years ago, she was pulled over and then found dead in a Texas jail cell days later. Her family with many unanswered questions. One of her sisters joins us next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is going to focus directly on my white people. What I want you to understand is that being a black person in America is very, very hard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:37:54] DEAN: Wow, look at those live pictures coming in. That's Durham, North Carolina. Unbelievable.

Right now more than 200,000 people are without power in parts of the southeast due to a massive winter storm that's packing that heavy snow, also sleet and ice. And, you know, these places just don't get storms like this.

BLACKWELL: No, they often, they rarely, I should say, get as much snow in such a short period of time.

DEAN: Right.

BLACKWELL: CNN's meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN weather center tracking this storm said to be once in a generation.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, really. Again, it's like you said, it's the fact they got it in such a short period of time. Take Lubbock, Texas, for example, they got a year's worth of snow in about 18 hours yesterday. Incredible, picking up over ten and a half inches. They were definitely an overachiever in terms of how much snow they ended up getting.

But most of the snow is focused off to the east, places like Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and even places like extreme northeast Georgia.

Here's a look at the radar. You can see it's mostly rain down to the south, cities like Atlanta and Columbia dealing with heavy rain at times, and downtown Nashville looking at heavy rain. But just to the north of that, it's sleet and freezing rain. So, those roads are likely impassable because of how slick they're going to be. Further off to the east, cities like Raleigh and Greensboro, you're now getting straight snow and at times it's coming down very heavy.

Now, when we're talking about Charlotte, this is where it depends on where you live. Charlotte is in Mecklenburg County. If you're in the southern part of that county, you're likely getting snow. If you're in the northern part, you're likely getting sleet and rain. And that's about it.

Now, all of those cities we mentioned are likely going to see a change over of various types of precipitation, as we go to the day, because your temperature are going to change. One of the biggest concerns, however, is ice. Because many of those same locations are going to start to see the ice accumulate, whether it's in the form of sleet or freezing rain.

The problem is for the areas that get, say, a quarter of an inch or maybe as much as half an inch, that's when you begin to see power lines and trees begin to come down. Not to mention the travel concerns, not just the roadways but runways as well.

[07:40:02] We've already started to see massive amounts of delays and cancellations at several airports here. But also the snow. Again, when you look at some of these amounts, this is additional snow, guys, on top of what's already fallen, and in some cases that's going to be an additional 12, if not even 16 or 18 inches of new snow.

DEAN: Wow. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.

CHINCHAR: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: A new HBO documentary explores the life and death of 28- year-old Sandra Bland. Three years ago, she was pulled over and arrested and later found dead in a Texas jail cell. Her family still has so many questions about her death.

We'll speak with one of her sisters.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: Say her name. "The Life and Death of Sandra Bland", it's a new HBO documentary examining what happened when 28-year-old Sandra Bland was arrested three years ago.

[07:45:04] This was in a small Texas town with a traffic signal failing to show her change lanes.

And three days later, dash cam video, you may remember seeing it, shows her arrest and it went viral, starting protests and demanding accountability.

The film also follows the family in their search for answers. And one of Sandra Bland's sisters joins us now, Sharon Cooper.

Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

Let me start here with expressing my condolences, our condolences. I know it's been three years, but I understand from watching this documentary, I watched it actually this morning, overnight into the morning, that you still feel that loss. So let me start with that.

And now, let's watch a bit of the trailer from the documentary.

(BEGIN VDEO CLIP)

SANDRA BLAND: Sandy speaks is going to focus directly on my white people. What I want you to understand is that being a black person in America is very, very hard.

POLICE OFFICER: Get out! Now!

SHANTE NEEDHAM, SANDRA'S SISTER: Sandy called me, let me know that she had been arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you go from failure to signal a lane change to dead in jail by alleged suicide?

GENEVA REED-VEAL, SANDRA'S MOTHER: I believe she said, I'll see you guys in court and I believe they challenged her.

R. GLENN SMITH, SHERIFF: Do I think does jail have anything to do with her death? No. But moral responsibility-wise, absolutely.

CROWD: Sandra Bland! Say her name! Sandra Bland! Say her name! Sandra Bland! Say her name! Say her name! Say her name!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we want change, we can truly make it happen.

BLAND: Sandy speaks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Now, Sharon, what I found so striking was how much access and how soon after your sister's death that this film crew was working with you. How did this start? How did you link up with this team?

SHARON COOPER, SANDRA BLAND'S SISTER : Good morning, Victor. Thanks for having us this morning.

We actually partnered with Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, the filmmakers from HBO, shortly thereafter, because what our experience has been was that -- what tends to happen with people who become irreversible hashtags as a result of police brutality, you really don't know what happens to them and their families and also the victims tend to be criticized and have character assassinations lodged against them, so it was really important for us to be able to share with the world our story in terms of our experience with what happened with our loved one, but also an effort to humanize the victim.

So many times you just focus on how they died and we don't focus on how they lived. So, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, along with HBO, gave us the opportunity to do that.

BLACKWELL: You know, speaking about how she lived, we showed at the top of the trailer "Sandy speaks," which was her video blog, and some of those postings were germane to criminal justice, social justice, interaction with law enforcement, quite prescient. What did you feel -- what did you think as you started to look through some of those postings preparing to hand them over to the filmmakers?

COOPER: You know, honestly, just thinking about how eerily ironic it was that the things she really stood for and was demanding to be noticed for and hurt about is something that impacted and led to her demise in terms of how she ended up dying. So I think that it's also prophetic in a way. Like you said, you've watched the documentary and you've seen much of Sandy's voice is woven throughout the film and we have this unprecedented access to her to learn about her on her own terms, even. So I think that is what is so gripping about the documentary.

BLACKWELL: What would she think about her place now in the social justice movement?

COOPER: I think that she would be right out there demanding to be seen and to be heard. I think last year's historic Women's March, I think she would have been right on the front lines. And I think that she would have been amongst those who are continuing to ask that we hold our law enforcement officials to the same level of accountability that we do everyday citizens. So I think that she would be intrinsically involved, and it's a very really burgeoning area we have in our country right now.

BLACKWELL: So, there's a scene where you and your sister are there in the snow, in the ice, wiping the snow off her headstone, and you're reading to her, reading a letter to her, still speaking to her.

COOPER: Uh-huh.

BLACKWELL: Now in 2018, do you still talk to her and what do you say?

COOPER: Oh, we talk to her all the time.

07:50:00] You know, we very much feel that Sandy is with us no matter where we are. Yes, her physical place of rest is in the state of Illinois in a cemetery, but her spirit lives on not just through us but through this documentary, in so many young people in this country who are demanding to be seen and heard and we talk to her about the very real change and impact that she has brought to the world despite the fact that she's no longer physically present.

BLACKWELL: The documentary is "Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland." Sharon Cooper, thank you so much for spending a few minutes with us this morning.

COOPER: Thank you.

DEAN: New revelations in the special counsel's investigation have President Trump lashing out. "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper as Congressman Jerry Nadler and Senator Marco Rubio talk to everything, from Mueller's uncovering about former Trump aides and what it all means. "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper today at 9:00, only on CNN.

Army/Navy, the pageantry was there. Coy Wire is in Philadelphia.

Coy?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Jessica. I'm not going to lie. I got a little verklempt yesterday. I'm one with my emotions. I can claim it.

The Army/Navy game was quite the spectacle of all the sights and sounds, reactions from the field after the game, what a game it was, coming up on NEW DAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:56:42] DEAN: Army/Navy, the 100th edition of America's game had pageantry, camaraderie and President Donald Trump.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is live from Philadelphia, and, Coy, it also gave America something it had never seen before.

WIRE: Yes, it seems like every year, something like this happens. The case this year was Navy struggling all year. Army, incredibly, they're ranked in the top 25. In this game throw all the odds out the window. Anything can happen.

This one came down to the final minutes, the tradition on full display. I could feel the rumble in my chest with flight-over, chills with the singing of the national anthem. Coin toss by President Donald Trump, the tenth sitting president to attend the game. Cheers from his midshipman and cadets as he saluted them.

It didn't take long for the Black Knights to remind everybody that Army football is back. Running back Kell Walker, 51 yards in the fourth play in the game. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins, he shined in this one. Field goal would be all that they need. Navy did keep it close all game but with about three minutes to go, sacked the quarterback, fumbles it, leading to the second Black Knights touchdown of the game. Army football with a three-peat, beating Navy three years in a row,

and winning that commander in chief trophy back-to-back outright in the first of their history, 17-10 victory. It was sweet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELVIN HOPKINS, 125 TOTAL YARDS, 2 TDS: We never want to quit. That's a great team over there. They played a great team and we're excited.

JEFF MONKEN, ARMY HAS WON THREE CONSECUTIVE GAMES AGAINST NAVY: That one is for them always, wearing these uniforms representing the men and women who serve. That's who we're out there -- every time we play, that's who we represent, we're really proud to do it. Keep doing that work.

KENNETH BRINSON, 3 TACKLES, 1 FORCED FUMBLE/FUMBLE RECOVERY: It's my last one. It all kind of hit me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Look at Kyler Murray, Oklahoma's quarterback, who gets to take home the Heisman Trophy, he's best player in college football. Murray hugs mom and dad on his way up to accept the award. Murray beat out fellow QBs, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Dwayne Haskins, Jr. of Ohio State.

He's the second straight Sooner quarterback to win the Heisman. Remember, Baker Mayfield won it just last year.

Another record set at Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta, 73,000-plus. It's the largest crowd for a stand-alone single game for any type in MLS story at Atlanta United, the 2018 MLS Cup champs. Atlanta's first pro sports title since the Braves took World Series in '95. Josef Martinez, MLS cup MVP.

Jessica, Victor, the parade is Monday. Do you have any plans? It's going to be awesome.

DEAN: It sounds amazing. I have to go back to Washington, D.C.

BLACKWELL: You're not staying for the parade?

DEAN: No.

WIRE: Unacceptable. Unacceptable. We're going to show you how we party when we win the title there in that city.

DEAN: Sounds like fun.

BLACKWELL: Coy, thank you very much.

DEAN: All right. And thank you for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" starts right now.