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Government Shutdown Continues; Trump Stays in Washington While Lawmakers Go Home for the Holidays; Jermaine Massey Asked to Leave Hotel, Claims Racially Based; California Police Officer Killed by Illegal Resident Causes Questions for Sanctuary City Laws; Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Charges Surface; Alabama and Clemson are Favored to Win Today's Bowl Games; Trump Offends Witches. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired December 29, 2018 - 06:00   ET


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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good Saturday morning to you. The partial government shutdown is entering its second week this morning with no sign that President Trump and democrats are preparing to compromise.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Overnight the Environmental Protection Agency joined the list of governments that are shutting down due to lack of funds so now more than 800,000 government employees are currently out of work or reporting to work with no promise of a paycheck. Despite a monopoly on power in Washington President Trump and the republican- controlled Congress failed to reach a deal this week meaning any agreement will likely come in the new year when the democrats take back control of the House. In the meantime, the president escalated the showdown threatening to close the border with Mexico if Congress does not cave to his demand of $5 billion for that border wall. President Trump has repeatedly tried to downplay the impact of the government shutdown saying federal employees welcome the shutdown or saying those employees out of work are all democrats.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Ryan Nobles looks at how the shutdown is impacting the employees who suddenly find themselves without pay.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With President Trump unable to secure funding for his border wall.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they'd like to call it. If they don't have it then we're just not opening.


NOBLES: The government shutdown will likely continue into the new year affecting an estimated 25 percent of the federal workforce; 380,000 employees are furloughed and another 420,000 are still working without pay including the TSA. The Smithsonian and National Zoo will be closing its doors January 2nd and even the panda live stream cameras going dark. (BEGIN VIDEO)

TRUMP: These federal workers want the wall.


NOBLES: The president said on Christmas that federal workers support the shutdown but the shutdown is causing families we spoke to, many who live paycheck to paycheck to worry about when they may see their next one and they're fed up.

LOREEN TARGOS, AFGE LOCAL 704 UNION MEMBER & STEWARD: I two mortgages to pay and so I haven't even looked at how my checking count is going to balance out. I don't even have children. For people who have kids in school, extracurricular activities, putting food on the plate for their kids, those are all things that make it even more disgusting what's happening with the federal government right now.

NOBLES: Loreen Targos is a local steward in a public sector union and a physical scientist with the EPA which shut down Friday at midnight. She like other EPA employees received this e-mail referring employees to the office of personal management for additional guidance.

The OPM Thursday Tweeting suggestions for workers to send to creditors, landlords and banks if they can't make their payment on time, like trading maintenance work like painting and carpentry for rent payments.

TARGOS: That's absolutely unrealistic. Federal workers are going to be penalized for not paying their bills on time when we just want to go back to the jobs we were hired to do.

NOBLES: Thursday the president Tweeting most workers are democrats but workers say their politics shouldn't matter.

TARGOS: We are civil servants. We're hired to do our work at the EPA. Our workers are hired to protect human health and the environment. If he wants to imagine that we are democrats instead of us being human beings and civil servants, that's his problem and I hope Congress is able to step up and be the adult in the room.

NOBLES: Ryan Nobles, CNN, New York.

BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Ryan for that report and I think it's important because as we have this conversation about who's responsible, the money for the wall, and if it's a wall or a fence and all of that, we have to remember this is about people who are not getting paid and we want to talk about one person right now. Lila Johnson, her bills are adding up quickly, she is one of thousands of federal workers who will not get a paycheck because of the government shutdown if it continues to go on.

PAUL: Right and she works for the Department of Agriculture. She's a janitor. Because she works on a contract basis, like fulltime federal employees who are furloughed, she likely will not get back pay when the shutdown is over. Now she's worried about how she's not going to provide not just for herself but for her family.


LILA JOHNSON, FEDERAL CONTRACT EMPLOYEE: My last paycheck from my job will be 16 hours coming up this Tuesday on the 31st. I won't be able to pay my bills, it's as simple as that. I won't be able to put food on the table for my two great grands.


PAUL: Now republicans are ending their lock on power in Washington having failed to deliver on President Trump's top campaign promise which is building this wall at the southern border. Members of Congress left the Capitol, President Trump stayed at the White House and then berated democrats for refusing to fund the wall. CNN's Boris Sanchez with a snap on the White House. So Boris, President Trump, he is not budging from his demands. Nobody else is in Washington. Is the fact that he's staying just for optics?


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Potentially. We heard from officials yesterday that he would not be joining Melania as she headed south to Mar-A-Lago for the New Year's Eve holiday. The president apparently deciding to stay in Washington through the holiday as long as the government is shutdown.

With the government here at the White House -- rather with the president here at the White House alone, he is digging in, pointing fingers and making new threats. Yesterday suggesting that the United States should shutdown the entire southern border with Mexico, something that would have enormous ramifications for the American economy, not to mention already volatile stock markets so it's unclear just how serious the president is about closing down the southern border if he doesn't get his wall.

The president also suggested that the United States should return to pre-NAFTA days, that trade agreement that he's constantly railing against. Unclear there if the president meant he should also undo the new NAFTA, the USMCA that he signed in recent months and has bragged quite a bit about. To give you an idea of where things stand right now, yesterday the incoming Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters here on the North lawn that talks had simply broken down. There is a belief between Mulvaney, the president and others that democrats are not willing to make a deal until Nancy Pelosi is sworn in as House Speaker.

Mulvaney believes that Pelosi is likely not eager to deal because she doesn't have the votes to become House Speaker. Our reporting indicates that she had the votes long before the government shutdown began. We should point out though, Mulvaney did confirm that Republicans had gone down from that $5 billion demand for border wall funding in their talks with democrats, he said when they presented a deal to democrats, they essentially didn't present a counter offer. They said we're leaving and talks stalled there. We should point out Pelosi and other democrats have promised that after January 3rd, the first order of business is to vote on one of three potential measures to reopen the government. None of them contain any funding for the president's border wall so it's unclear they would get anywhere in the Senate. Still a lot of ground to make up between these two sides. Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right, good to point out. Boris Sanchez, we appreciate the update this morning. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right let's get some analysis now and bring in CNN political commentator and Political Anchor for "Spectrum News," Errol Louis. Errol, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: First let's start here with what we're hearing about the framework of this argument. We're hearing from the incoming Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, from the president, from others, that it's not really Senator Schumer who doesn't want to deal, it's Nancy Pelosi. What do you make of that framework and the effectiveness of it?

LOUIS: Well look, the politics are certainly different in that the republicans have a majority in the Senate. They also have dealing with slightly different politics, political concerns. But it doesn't really matter. The reality is they're going to have to make a deal with somebody, so whether it's Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer, the basics don't change, you have to get it through both Houses. You've got to get it through the Senate with 60 votes meaning you've got to pull over at least six or seven or eight democrats to your side and I don't see any prospect of that happening. Whoever they can get a deal with, they have no interest in dragging this out. So presumably they're going to make that deal soon or not at all.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about this threat that the president made that if he doesn't get the money for his border wall or the wall he wants along the southern border that he's going to shut down the entire southern border with Mexico. What's the potency of a threat like that? And let me get this in, Mick Mulvaney said this is the only way that they can get the democrats' attention. Does a threat like this get the attention from the democrats?

LOUIS: Not necessarily because there are a lot of lawyers who work for the democrats and they'd be the first to say what I have to say which is that U.S. citizens have a Constitutional right to enter the country so shutting down the border entirely is just not something you can do. People have a right to go back and forth. Their movements can't just be restricted willy-nilly in that way. That's going to be the first problem.

The second is there'd be tremendous economic damage that the country just frankly wouldn't stand for. And I guess thirdly, how do you do it? On what basis? There are in fact these treaty obligations that have the force of law that say only in a national emergency can the border be sealed off, shut down in that way. I've seen no such emergency or even the prospect of one.

So if the president really wants to try to do this, he'll end up in court, there'll be an injunction and the entire thing will be thrown out on day one or day two. If they want to go through the process, I suspect they don't really want to, but I guess they probably could if they really wanted to.

BLACKWELL: Yes. There is this talk about a potential larger deal, including DACA recipients and the border wall. I want you to listen to this exchange between Jim Acosta and outgoing GOP Senator Jeff Flake in which he talks about the potential for a deal for that.



JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It sounds like you'd like to see a Dreamer for border wall or border structure compromise. We've people you've had some people advance that here in Washington, you'd like to see that?

SEN. JEFF FLAKE, (R) ARIZONA: Yes, I think that is a deal that could be done.


BLACKWELL: So, Errol, it sounds great but there was a larger deal with billions more on the table earlier that the president shutdown. And the president did this about face in signing this continuing resolution to get the government through February after he was criticized by people on the right, including Ann Coulter who called Dreamers DACA amnesty, and has said she'd rather deport Dreamers for MS-13, so what would be the incentive for the president to take the deal now?

LOUIS: Yes. Well his political incentives have not changed in fact what you're pointing to is really the tough politics of the situation. The reality is president was willing to deal, the reality is anyone who sizes up the situation can see that. The democrats are willing to deal, but you've got to sort of give a little here and you'll get a little there.

You want a little bit more wall, you're going to have to give on this question of what to do for example with young people who were born in this country, have citizenship rights but their parents are not legal citizens or residents.

So, you know, if they don't want to make that deal, fine. You end up right where we are right now. The - the - the deal has always been obvious, but the politics are tough, Victor, because if you look at the polls, they show a really, really wide gap; one of the widest I've seen in a long time on an issue where republicans overwhelming favor the wall. Democrats and independents overwhelming do not favor the wall.

Democrats are something like 71 percent. Something like 61 percent of independents. So if the president wants to play to his base and not be accused of quote/unquote "amnesty" and be in good favor with the right wing talking heads on the radio and on "Fox News," he's doing exactly what he needs to to keep them at least happy.

On the other side of the ledger is a humanitarian crisis that's developing both for the people trying to enter the country and increasingly for federal workers, which is really tragic.

BLACKWELL: All right Errol Louis. We'll continue to talk about the consequences of the shutdown throughout the morning. Thank you.

LOUIS: Thanks.

PAUL: Well the new government finding on coal power plants could lead to more toxins in your air. The environmental protection agency proposing new rules on regulating hazardous air pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency as well says the new rules would change the way the EPA determines the benefits of limiting different kinds of emissions, that could make it more difficult for the agency to create new regulations. Essentially the EPA now says the current formula used by the Obama Administration is just too costly to justify. Environmental activists say the dramatic change -- first reported by the way in the "New York Times," could do irreparable harm to public safety.

BLACKWELL: This morning a man in his own words. He recalls the moment he was kicked out of the hotel for talking to someone on the phone. An incident his attorney describes as calling his mother while black.



PAUL: Sixteen minutes past the hour right now. Portland's mayor is condemning an incident where a black man was kicked out of a hotel lobby for talking on the phone with his mother. Ted Wheeler Tweeted "No one should be treated this way and I hope this serves as a catalyst for necessary changes that address the systemic nature of discrimination of all forms."

BLACKWELL: CNN Correspondent Paul Vercammen has the latest on what happened and the fallout from this incident.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, Victor, Jermaine Massey says he returned from a concert, went back to his Double Tree hotel, found a quiet place in the lobby to call a family member concerning an emergency and then he said the security guard starting harassing him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want this P. R. issue, Earl(ph)? Do you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Portland police will be here in a minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Call them. I'm waiting. They're coming why? Why are they coming?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Escorting you off the property.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because why and I'm staying here?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh OK, I'm staying here. I have a hotel. I didn't do anything to you. I'm sitting over here taking a phone call.


VERCAMMEN: And Massey said he had the evidence he was a guest, he showed them the card key envelope with the date on it and his room number. It didn't work. They still called Portland police, police escorted Massey up to his room and he was kicked out. Now Massey's lawyers say the next step will be a strategy that involves both a political possibility and a litigation possibility. They say their client is overwhelmed and one thing he does not want this to happen to anybody else.

Interesting in all this, the lawyers also say that Massey has Justice Department experience in both human resources with a specialization in discrimination. He also works for Amazon right now in human resources. As for the hotel, it issued a statement, essentially an apology, saying it was sorry and it wanted to sit down and talk to Massey about all this. Here at CNN we also reached out to the two employees who were responsible for kicking Massey out and they have not returned our phone calls. Back to you now, Christi, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Paul, thank you so much.

Don Lemon interviewed Jermaine Massey, this was on CNN Tonight. Here is how he described what happened.


JERMAINE MASSEY, DOUBLETREE GUEST THROWN OUT WHILE MAKING A CALL: I was approached by the security guard that you see in the video, and he asked me was I a guest at the hotel and I affirmed and told him yes. Shortly thereafter he stood there and he said, you know, what room number are you staying in? I told him, I don't know the room number. And then at some point I showed him my room key, and he continued to harass me and ask me questions on what my room number was. And from there, I told my mom I would call her back and I started recording the incident.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So you ended up eventually leaving the hotel, right?

MASSEY: Yeah, I left the hotel.

LEMON: You said you could have gone to jail if you responded differently, right?

MASSEY: Yes. Absolutely. They gave me two options when the police arrived; I asked them what were my opportunities here? They told me I could either stay and ignore their requests and be arrested. Or I could comply and go pack up my room and leave the hotel. And ignore their requests and be arrested. Or I could comply and go pack up my room and leave the hotel.


LEMON: So Greg, what have you heard from the hotel about this incident?

GREG KAFOURY, ATTORNEY FOR JERMAINE MASSEY: I've heard corporate public relations and corporate gobbledygook. We've asked them please explain in writing publically why this man was approached, why was he interrogated? Why was he trespassed? Why did you call him in your initial response a security threat? And we've not had a straight answer from them. I anticipate we're going to get a straight answer when we put some people under oath.

LEMON: But the employee, the people you claimed harassed him or racially harassed him, they have been put on leave, correct?

KAFOURY: Yeah, it doesn't mean much. What we're looking at is policy. Why is a security guard deciding to exclude anybody from a public place in an open hotel in the lobby? Why is he targeting this guy? Why, when he says I'm a guest here does he have to answer that question? Why when he shows a key is he still being harassed? There's something going on here that has to do with policy.


BLACKWELL: Again, two hotel employees have been placed on leave. DoubleTree Portland released a statement on Twitter, "We will take the appropriate measures to ensure this doesn't happen again. We have a zero-tolerance policy stance on discrimination of any kind."

PAUL: Several people have been arrested in the death of a California police officer now and more arrests could be coming. Police say the state's sanctuary law is part of what's to blame here.



PAUL: So glad to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. The man hunt for an alleged cop killer in California is over. Overnight two more arrests were made. Corporal Ronil Singh was killed the day after Christmas. This was during a traffic stop in Newman, California. Well police arrested the suspect Friday about 200 miles from the crime scene. They say he came to the U.S. Illegally and might have been trying to leave to go to Mexico. Seven others have also been arrested including the suspect's girlfriend and two of his brothers. CNN's Sara Sidner has more.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, the man hunt is over for the suspect in a police officer's killing. Now we're hearing from his devastated family. Less than 48 hours after losing his brother, his hero, his friend, Reggie Singh stepped to the mics. He learned his brother's killer had been caught.


REGGIE SINGH, BROTHER OF RONIL SINGH: He's not coming back. But there's a lot of people out there that misses him. And a lot of law enforcement people that I don't know worked days and nights to make this happen.


SIDNER; Ronil Singh came to this country as an immigrant from Fiji. He was living his version of the American dream. He wanted to become a police officer and he did just that. He dreamt of a family. Five months ago he and his wife welcomed their son into the world. But at 1:00 in the morning, the day after Christmas, Singh's dream abruptly ended.


RANDY RICHARDSON, CHIEF OF NEWMAN, CALIFORNIA POLICE: I did not know Christmas morning at 4:00 in the morning when I said good-bye to him and sent him off to his family that it would be the last time that I saw him.


SIDNER: Police say Singh was killed by Gustavo Perez Arriaga, who unlike Singh, had come into the country illegally. Deputies caught up with Arriaga at a home near Bakersfield, California, after a massive man hunt.


ADAM CHRISTIANSON, SHERIFF OF STANISLAUS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: This criminal, Mr. Arriaga, crossed our border illegally into Arizona some time ago. He is a criminal. He has two prior arrests for DUI.


SIDNER: Several people were arrested including Arriaga's brother and a coworker who were accused of lying to authorities and impeding their ability to find him faster. While Singh's family wept around him, the Stanislaus County Sheriff could not contain his outrage over California's so-called sanctuary city law.


CHRISTIANSON: And under SB-54 in California, based on two arrests for Dui and some other active warrants that this criminal has out there, law enforcement would have been prevented, prohibited from sharing any information with I.C.E. about this criminal gang member.

(END VIDEO) SIDNER: Some law enforcement officials completely disagree saying the

law actually encourages people to come forward who would otherwise avoid helping law enforcement because of their citizenship status. But the sheriff's sentiment has been embraced by others, including the man with the largest megaphone. President Trump tweeted about the case using it in his pitched battle to bill a border wall to keep illegal immigrants out. No matter who wins the political battle, there is little that can ease the pain of the Singh family. Their one small solace, Singh's K-9 partner, Sam will simply become the family pet. The police department is retiring the dog because as the Chief put it, "The Singh family shouldn't have to lose another family member."

Police have arrested about six people in connection with this case, and they say there may be more arrests to come. Victor, Christi.

PAUL: Thank you, Sarah.

So Kevin Spacey is hoping he will not have to do a perp walk essentially when he's arraigned next month on sexual assault charges. His lawyers filed the request yesterday but Nantucket prosecutors say absolutely not. Spacey is accused of getting the 18-year-old drunk and then groping him at a bar back in 2016. Our Miguel Marquez has more on the investigation and on Spacey's response. And please, I want to forewarn you and it's early in the morning but this story does contain sexually explicit language.


KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: You trusted me even though you knew you shouldn't.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The video titled, "Let Me Be Frank," posted to Kevin Spacey's verified Twitter account shortly after indecent assault and battery charges brought by a then 18-year- old accuser whose mother spoke out on his behalf last year.


HEATHER UNRUH, MOTHER OF ALLEGED VICTIM: In July 2016, actor Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted my son.


MARQUEZ: Spacey in his video doesn't address the charges. He performs the video in a kitchen, Santa Clause apron on and in Frank Underwood character from the Netflix show "House of Cards" that Spacey starred in for five seasons until he was fired after several allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.


SPACEY: You wouldn't believe the worst without evidence, would you? You wouldn't rush to judgments without facts, would you? Did you?


MARQUEZ: Netflix had no comment about the video, whose timing, tone and substance were jarring given the charges the actor knew were coming. There was a hearing in the case four days before Spacey posted the video.


SPACEY: Conclusions can be so deceiving.


MARQUEZ: One piece of evidence Spacey's accuser has against the 59- year-old actor says the complaint is video of the assault itself. The accuser's girlfriend when interviewed by the police said she received a Snapchat video from her boyfriend showing Spacey touching the front of the accuser's pants by his crotch.


UNRUH: Kevin spacey bought him drink after drink after drink, and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move.


MARQUEZ: Her son, the accuser, admitted to police he told Spacey that night he was 23 not his real age of 18, according to the complaint. He said the assault happened late night after his shift as a busboy at Nantucket's Club Car restaurant.


UNRUH: The victim, my son, was a star-struck straight 18-year-old young man.


MARQUEZ: The accuser claims after several drinks Spacey asked sexual questions, exchanged phone numbers, then tried to get him to his house. Then in a packed bar the accuser claims Spacey used his left hand and started rubbing his thigh, and eventually sexually assaulting him for about three minutes.


UNRUH: Nothing could have prepared my son for how that sexual assault would make him feel as a man. It harmed him and it cannot be undone.


PAUL: CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson has a lot to say about that one. So Joey, thank you for getting up early with us. I want to ask you, first and foremost as we've said that his lawyers filed the request yesterday that he not be arraigned next month. Do you anticipate that he's going to be able to skip that arraignment? JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEAGAL ANALYST: Good morning to you Christi. I do

not. I mean an arraignment is part of the process. Obviously for those unaware, an arraignment is the initial step where you are officially as the defendant apprised of the charges you're facing, you're offered an opportunity to enter a plea which is generally not guilty, and bail conditions are set in terms of your release, whether there will be bail, what the amount will be, what your release conditions will be, whether you'll be confided to a particular jurisdiction. And so the attorneys previously have tried to get the case dismissed by saying there was no probable cause, they had a hearing, they were cross-examining the officer who was investigating and making the arrest. If they did not have success with that, I would suspect he'd be arraigned as any other defendant who's accused in a case would be.

PAUL: Joey you just brought up a good point. CNN has obtained audio of that hearing you spoke of, where Spacey's lawyer is arguing here that the victim didn't fight back. That's part of their strategy. Let's listen to some of it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Instead of walking away or moving away or moving back or grabbing the wrist or slapping the hand, he indicated to you, during that three minutes time period that he was texting and Snapchating.

SPACEY: That's correct.


PAUL: Is there a defense here, Joey?

JACKSON: I think there's a very viable defense. Remember in a courtroom there's always two narratives and it's up to the jury to make the determination as to what happened and whether Spacey is guilty or not guilty and that's where it will be heading. Remember from the prosecution's position they're saying that this was an assault, that this was something that was done without consent. The gravamen of this case lies in the area of consent and that's what that cross examination was all about to try to get the case dismissed.

The defense will point this out as men who were flirting at a bar. Look at the context, this is not on set, this is not at a Starbucks, this is not at a cafe, this is in a bar where they are drinking together, they're speaking with each other. The number -- apparently Spacey's number is given to this person or vice versa, and the state of mind of Spacey, in terms of the text thereafter, he said I thought I lost you when he left. Then of course the defense will say when he had his hands on your thigh, there was an opportunity then for it not to escalate, to get into your groin area was any lack of consent given at that point?

You know look Christi, everyone acts differently, and neither myself or anyone else could purport to say how we would act under similar circumstance [06:35:00]

but a reasonable person might not for three minutes allow somebody's hands in their pants doing something that they object to and that's what the defense is really going to be there.

PAUL: So lastly Joey, I have to ask you about the video we saw of Kevin Spacey as he took on the persona of Frank Underwood. Do you believe that that's going to come into play here somehow? Does it matter?

JACKSON: You know, I do not think it will be. He has a right to get onto Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, TV whatever he wants to do to say what he wants to say. I think what will happen is the evidence will be limited to what occurred that night at the bar, was it consensual, was it not consensual and he has the right to fight back, Spacey does, in the court of public opinion. At the end of the day these are people who are empanelled who will have to decide.

And the final think I'll say Christi is I think a lot of this case for the prosecution will depend upon them trying to admit what we call prior bad act evidence. They're going to have to admit -- they're going to have to try to admit into evidence points that Spacey is not a good guy, he's done this before. So rulings that are pretrial are going to have a lot to do with it, because if the jury hears about other instances, they may be prone to believe hey you did it then, you did it now and you may be guilty but it's a very defensible case at this point. He stands accused; innocent until proven guilty. Let's see what a jury does if it gets that far.

PAUL: All righty. Joey Jackson, always appreciate your insight sir, thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you Christi.

BLACKWELL: Well there were mass shootings, sex assault allegations. There were several crime and misconduct stories in 2018 that made the top headlines. A look at the top eight stories of the year.


BLACKWELL: There have been some really big political stories this year. Environmental stories, sports stories. But a lot of the big stories this year have been about violence and criminal conduct. Multiple massacres, sexual abuse allegations and those politically- hinged pipe bombs.

PAUL: CNN's Jean Casarez reveals the top eight crime and misconduct stories of the year.

JEAN CASAREX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Decades-old murders, Hollywood crimes, sexual abuse and gun violence, all are part of the top eight crime and misconduct stories of 2018. Number eight, a decades-old suspected serial murder finally caught. Captured, finally authorities early today arrested a California man they believe is the notorious Golden State killer. Investigators say James Joseph DeAngelo, a former police officer killed 13 people and raped more than 50 women between the years 1975 and 1986, all across the state of California. Police finally caught up with him in April after they matched DNA evidence through a public genealogy data base. DeAngelo, now 73 years old, is in jail awaiting his trial.

Number seven, a pregnant mother murdered at the hands of her husband. After pleading for his missing family to come back.


CHRISTOPHER WATTS, MURDERER: If somebody has her, just please bring her back.


CASAREX: Thirty-three-year-old Christopher Watts pleaded guilty in the killing of his pregnant wife, Shanann, and his two young daughters, Bella four years of age and Celeste just three.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The victim's family agreed to a plea bargain, trading the death penalty for multiple life sentences without parole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to live with this vision every day of your life and I hope you see it that every time you close your eyes at night.


CASAREZ: Number six, pipe bombs cause chaos just weeks before the midterm elections.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The packages have been described as, quote, "potential explosive devices."

CASAREZ: While anchors Poppy Harlow and Jim Scuito were discussing pipe bombs...

JIM SCUITO, CNN ANCHOR: And to have projectiles, I mean that's a...


CASAREZ: ... that were sent to the homes of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others around the country.


HARLOW: We're going to jump in, there's a fire alarm here.

SCUITO: You might have heard it in the background. We're going to find out what the latest is here.

(END VIDEO) CASAREZ: They were evacuated from CNN's New York Headquarters after security discovered a pipe bomb in the building. Sixteen pipe bombs in all allegedly sent by this man, Cesar Sayoc, a Trump supporter. Sayoc was arrested in south Florida living in his white van which was covered with images of Donald Trump and targets on prominent liberals. Sayoc who has pleaded not guilty faces up to 48 years in prison.

Number five, disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein charged. He was considered Hollywood royalty but in the wake of the Me Too movement, dozens of women came forward accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's so much power and money and prestige in Hollywood in handcuffs right there.


CASAREZ: Weinstein was charged with six counts of criminal sexual acts, including two counts of rape.


BEN BRAFMAN, HARVEY WEINSTEIN CRIMINAL LAWYER: He has denied any of the allegations.


CASAREZ: In October one charge was dropped because of consistencies with an accuser's story; five charges remain.

Number four, predator priests back in the spotlight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have breaking news in our national lead, an explosive report of alleging a cover up of Catholic priest sex abuses dating back decades...


CASAREZ: The report issued by a grand jury in Pennsylvania found evidence that more than 300 predator priests have been accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 child victims. Here's just one example, a priest sexually assaulted a little girl as he was visiting her in the hospital after she had her tonsils out.

Days later Pope Francis responded saying we showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.

Number three, more sexual abuse of our youth. This time at the trusted hands of an athletic doctor for some of the nation's greatest gymnasts, Dr. Larry Nassar.

(BEGIN VIDEO) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Larry Nassar is a monster. I will never forgive you what you've done to me.


CASAREZ: More than 150 victims spoke out at a sentencing hearing after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time are now a force and you are nothing.


CASAREZ: His sentence 40 to 175 years in prison. He will serve that after he completes a 60-year sentence on federal child pornography charges.

Number two, America's dad convicted.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALES: Guilty, guilty, guilty.


CASAREZ: After a lifetime creating laughter, Bill Cosby's downfall shocked the nation. The actor and comedian found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault after prosecutors successfully argued that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004.


CASAREZ: Accusers of Bill Cosby, those who say they are victims of Bill Cosby, they were in the courtroom and let out audible cries at that moment.


CASAREZ: His previous trial ended in a hung jury in 2017 but his second trial came after the Me Too Movement took off. Armed with a new defense team, Cosby this time faced testimony from five women.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can say that although justice was delayed, it was not denied.


CASAREZ: Cosby's P.R. team called the guilty verdict racist. He is appealing the conviction from prison. And the number one crime story of 2018, mass shootings. Four of the

deadliest single-day mass shootings in the past 70 years took place in 2018. From a high school in Santa Fe, Texas.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten people are dead after a gunman opens fire.


CASAREZ: To a popular college bar in Thousand Oaks, California.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twelve dead in yet another mass shooting.

CASAREZ: To a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eleven people were killed and six were wounded.


CASAREZ: And to a high school in Parkland, Florida.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventeen people are now confirmed dead.


CASAREZ: The deadliest shooting of the year rests at the hands of a former student. Nicholas Cruz walked into his school on Valentine's Day and killed his classmates. Gun deaths in the U.S. have reached their highest level in 40 years.




CASAREZ: But amid those statistics, a spark has ignited, turning young people into gun control activists, will the numbers rise or will the most recent activism bring about change in 2019?

PAUL: All right, let's lighten it up a bit because I know so many of you are waiting for the college football semifinals, which are here.

BLACKWELL, Yes, Coy, Alabama is the favorite but you know something we don't.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the Tide are heavy favorites over Oklahoma. But coming up you'll hear why history shows there's an 80 percent chance 'Bama loses today, say what? This guy might have something to do with it. Happy "New Day," everybody.



BLACKWELL: College football playoff semifinals are tonight, Alabama is the overwhelming favorite against Oklahoma.

PAUL: But Cory Wire says don't speak too soon, people in "The Bleacher Report."

COY WIRE: This is so fascinating. Alabama has been one of the most dominant forces in sports since Nick Saban, their coach took over in 2007; five titles, they've earned a spot in every playoff. He's been like the superman of coaches, but superman has a kryptonite. He's just one in four against Heisman trophy winners in his coaching career. His Alabama teams, 0-2. Well today they face this year's Heisman Winner, Oklahoma quarterback, Kyler Murray. He's led one of the most prolific offenses in college football history. He's so athletic that he already signed a pro baseball contract so this may be his last football game. He tells CNN that he'll be going all out today and 'Bama tells us even though they're favored by two touchdowns they're not lacking motivation either.


KYLER MURRAY, OKLAHOMA QUARTERBACK AND 2018 HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER: I don't need any extra motivation. I'm not worried about what the odds are or anything like that. When the game comes, time to play, we'll be ready to play.

JONAH WILLIAMS, ALABAMA OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: We approach every game as underdogs. I think that's kind of ironic considering being the number one seed but I think the approach to every game is we feel like we're being doubted, like we have something to prove.


WIRE: Good news for 'Bama fans, their quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa is expected to play today even after undergoing ankle surgery just four weeks ago.

Now in the other semifinal, Clemson is favored by double digits as well. They've earned spots in two of the last three championship games. They won one of them but in the Cotton Bowl today they'll face Notre Dame without one of their best players, defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence was suspended after a test showed traces of a banned substance. This game is a chance for the undefeated Notre Dame Irish to shake down the echoes and prove that history can be made now, something every Notre Dame players know when they choose put on that golden helmet.


JULIAN LOVE, NOTRE DAME CORNERBACK: There's definitely those uncles, those dads always talking about all the way back when we used to win championships and I think everyone that goes to Notre Dame wants a piece of that. It's been a long grind for us for sure; especially this team and we're ready. We're ready to win one and it's going to take a lot for us.


WIRE: One of our favorite thing about the bowl games today is that these seniors, it's their last chance to play, they're not going pro mostly so you get an all out effort, they're good games.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: All righty, hey Coy, thank you.

WIRE: You're welcome.

PAUL: He's going to have a good day.

So listen, you may feel - may be witched by, I don't know President Trump's charm or...

BLACKWELL: That's a verb we don't hear often.

PAUL: Maybe you're bothered by his tenuous relationship with the truth. Maybe you're bewildered by his command over his adoring base.

BLACKWELL: yes, but one group they're not falling under his spell. Aah, the writing today is excellent. Witches. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They don't fly on broomsticks. They tend not to be bewitched by Donald Trump.


TRUMP: You know I call it a witch hunt. And it is a witch hunt.


MOOS: Modern day witches are hard to categorize.


SCENE FROM "THE WIZARD OF OZ": Are you a good witch or a bad witch?


MOOS: Are you a witch?

AMANDA YATES GARCIA, THE ORACLE OF LOS ANGELES: I'm a practicing witch, that's how I make my living, yes.

MOOS: And which kind of witch are you?

DAVID SALISBURY, AUTHOR, "WITCHCRAFT ACTIVISM": I'm initiated into Wicca which is the religious side of things. MOOS: Witches tend to side with liberals. You know what they wish President Trump would stop saying about the Mueller investigation?


TRUMP: It's a witch hunt. That's all it is. The witch hunt as I call it...

Russian witch hunt.

This is a witch hunt like nobody has ever seen before.


MOOS: The author of "Witchcraft Activism" calls the president's use of the term...


SALISBURY: Its really disgraceful. I mean thousands of people were executed in Europe on suspicion of witchcraft.


MOOS: Closer to home there were the Salem Witch Trials.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw Bridget Bishop(ph) with the devil.


MOOS: Nineteen supposed witches were hanged.

GARCIA: There's a lot to be offended by by Donald Trump and I think his use of the term "witch hunt" is very low on that list of priorities for most witches but nevertheless it does demonstrate his ignorance as usual.


TRUMP: The entire thing has been a witch hunt.


MOOS: But if the president stops saying, "witch hunt," he'd have to hunt for a new term. Tweeted someone, I guess he would have to start referring to it as a wild goose chase but then that might offend geese. The last time witches got mixed up in politics, a losing Tea Party candidate for the Senate had to proclaim.




MOOS: After saying she dabbled in witchcraft in high school. If there's one demographic President Trump hasn't put a spell on it's witches. They'd rather put a spell on him.


UNKNOWN FEMALE CHARACTER FROM "THE WIZARD OF OZ": I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too.


MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.


TRUMP: And it is a witch hunt.


MOOS: New York.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CHARACTER FROM "THE WIZARD OF OZ:" You cursed brad. Look what you've done. I'm melting.