Return to Transcripts main page
Russia To Produce A Medium Range Nuclear Missile; Lawsuit: Family's Push Of Opioid Sales Contributed To Epidemic; More Than 50 Agencies Working To Secure Super Bowl; Virginia Governor Doesn't Believe He's in a Racist Yearbook Photo; Trump Signals Wall or Nothing Approach to Shutdown Talks. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired February 2, 2019 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, thank you again for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
We're following breaking news. Virginia's Democratic governor Ralph Northam has no plans to resign and now says he believes it was not him in a racist photo from his medical school yearbook, according to a Democratic source. That's a big flip from his apology he issued, where he confirmed it was him in the photo. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D), VIRGINIA: That photo and the racist and offensive attitudes it represents does not reflect that person I am today or the way that I have conducted myself as a soldier, a doctor and a public servant. I'm deeply sorry. I cannot change the decisions I made nor can I undo the harm my behavior caused then and today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: At any moment now, the state's NAACP chapter will hold a news conference. We're also expecting to hear from the governor, Governor Northam, in just a few hours.
Let's begin with CNN's Dan Merica, where you've been outside of the governor's mansion. A big change in what the governor said last night, essentially taking ownership of the image but then explaining that he can't, you know, explain, you know, what he was thinking at the time and he's a different person, et cetera.
What is going on?
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's fair to be blunt and call it a complete contradiction of what he said last night and what he is now, according to reporting from Ryan Nobles, telling Virginia Democrats he now believes it's not him in the photo and he doesn't plan on resigning.
He will have a press conference at 2:30. We'll be there to see what he says. Now it's kind of an open question.
Is he going to resign or stand by what we're now reporting, it's not him in the photo?
I want to read exactly what he said in that statement because it directly contradicts what he is now telling people.
He said earlier today, "A website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive. I'm deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo."
That statement really doesn't leave any wiggle room. He is saying he is apologizing for appearing in the photo. He's now saying something significantly different to Virginia Democrats.
This comes after a whirlwind 24 hours here in the Richmond, where the governor was on shaky ground for a lot of the day but there were some thoughts initially he'd be able to survive this. That went away after a series of Democratic groups here in Richmond, including both sides of the Democratic caucus and the legislature in the Senate here as well as Ralph Northam's predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, called for him to resign.
Northam was calling people last night, calling allies, including McAuliffe and talking to them about this controversy and about what he was to do next. I'm told that McAuliffe told Northam he was going to call for his resignation and later did that.
There's also been a cascade of calls from 2020 Democrats, from national figures who have said Northam needs to go. That includes Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, the whole stable of Democrats running for 2020 has also called for him to leave.
There were protests and it was clear to these protesters that it was time for Northam to leave the governor's mansion behind me. They were well aware of the history, the fact that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Not only that but that the Charlottesville riots in 2017 happened miles across the state in Charlottesville, Virginia. That was all front of mind for these protesters and certainly front of mind for Democrats who are waiting to see what Northam is going to do -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: OK, Dan Merica, thank you so much. We'll check back with you.
Dan mentioned a number of people have spoken on the telephone. Among them, a member of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. He's with me right now, LaMont Bagby.
So you spoke to the governor. Good to see you. What was that conversation like?
LAMONT BAGBY (D), VIRGINIA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS: Thank you. Well, we had a short conversation over the phone but a member -- a few members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and myself being the chair went over to see him yesterday.
BAGBY: I wanted us to have that conversation with him directly. One of the things that other individuals are able to do that I don't think we have the luxury of doing is making those calls via social media.
I think as -- the relationship we have, the things we have been able to do together with Medicaid expansion and, you know, providing additional resources for teachers, all of these we've been able to do to help the most vulnerable of our citizens. I think we owed it to him. We owed it to them. And he owed it to us.
For my members to look in the eye and tell him how painful these things are. Just yesterday on the house floor, prior to this revelation, I made a speech, in which I probably got a little too emotional. And that's before we learned of this.
What I said to the members on the house floor is the members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus have no permanent enemies, no permanent friends, only permanent interests. So we were challenged on that yesterday.
So we wanted to make sure we talked to our friend, Ralph Northam, and let them know how disgusted we were with that behavior. Also to let him know we can't focus on this foolishness when we have all the work to do to make sure we're taking care of the most vulnerable individuals in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
WHITFIELD: I'm hearing a few things from you now, Chairman Bagby, because you're talking about, you know, you're calling him a friend. You're talking about your common advocacy, you know, of policy. You were moving in the same direction.
Now to be blindsided, you know, from this photograph, when he was a 25-year-old, you know, med student, he commented on it last night, taking ownership, you know, of the image.
But then distancing himself to a degree about, you know, the purpose, where his heart was at the time, you know, where it has been along the way, really just saying, you know, that photo does not reflect the person that I am today.
So am I hearing from you that, you know, because of the commonalties that you have shared on policy that your conversation didn't go as far as saying it's time for you to resign?
Just saying this is very painful, hurtful?
BAGBY: We had two conversations. One conversation was us having the frank conversation directly to him, telling him how we felt. We then went back to the capital. Had a conversation amongst the full caucus and decided it was in the best interest of the commonwealth to ask for his resignation.
Then we walked back over, a smaller group, we had a conversation with him and at that point I think he understood and I think he understood because we all agree that it's not about us. It's about the individuals we are serving, the individuals we come to help.
And I think the governor agreed that, if you're ever in a position where you're hurting those individuals, it's time to step aside and allow the commonwealth as a whole to begin to heal. I don't think we're going to be able to heal until the governor resigns.
WHITFIELD: After his response or statement last night -- there were some critics who say it was really short of an apology or ownership of -- that picture and, you know, the spirit from which it comes -- and then today reportedly a source is saying the governor, you know, says he wasn't in that picture at all. And now we know that there's a scheduled 2:30 statement coming from the governor.
What is your gut instinct?
And based on the relationship, the friendship you've had with the governor say that he will say today at 2:30?
Do you think he'll be resigning?
Do you think he'll be asking for forgiveness and want to continue on as governor?
What do you think?
BAGBY: Well, my gut is turning right now so I'm not listening to it right now. We're all shaken up by this. But I hope the governor will make the right decision and do what's in the best interest of the commonwealth and we can turn the corner and start the healing process.
WHITFIELD: What do you think the right decision?
BAGBY: To resign.
WHITFIELD: And --
BAGBY: And -- go ahead.
WHITFIELD: I was going to say, what do you think the lieutenant governor is thinking?
What do you think patients --
WHITFIELD: -- patients of color, black patients and their children, are thinking today, after either having a friendship or being treated by him as a pediatrician, as a doctor, and now seeing this image on this page from his medical school years?
BAGBY: Well, I think everyone is reconciling this, from his friends back home, his friends in the general assembly. I know the lieutenant governor considers him a friend. They campaigned together. They crossed all parts of the commonwealth.
They just went on a campaign tour across the commonwealth, I mean, across the country, trying to help other lieutenant governors and governors get elected in the country.
You spend that much time with somebody, you have an opportunity to see who they are and you focus, laser focus, on some of the work we do that is so -- it takes so much out of you. And you learn so much about an individual.
And then you find out that they have been engaged in something that I think qualifies you from holding the highest office in the commonwealth. It is heartwrenching.
WHITFIELD: You said it so succinctly, in so many ways. It is so hurtful for you personally and so many Virginians.
BAGBY: As I said before, the floor speech that I gave yesterday, I had no idea that this was going to come about two hours later. But the floor speech I delivered yesterday spoke directly to instances of this nature. And, you know, I ended that floor speech talking about a piece of legislation that I put in just this year.
And that legislation says that -- that we will establish an African American advisory board, that will advance the governor on issues important to the black community, focus on the most vulnerable. And it just illustrates it's such a need for us to make time to talk, take time to listen and really be laser focused on serving those individuals that we come to represent and to serve.
WHITFIELD: It's hurtful and painful not just to Virginians but really to Americans as a whole. Chairman LaMont Bagby, chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, thank you so much for your time.
BAGBY: Happy to be on with you.
WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, President Trump tripling down on his border wall proposal and trading barbs with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with another possible shutdown now less than two weeks away.
Will both sides be able to strike a deal?
(MUSIC PLAYING) WHITFIELD: Welcome back.
President Trump is firing off new attacks at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying she's, quoting now, "very bad for our country," end quote. In a new interview with CBS, Trump blames Pelosi for the impasse over border wall funding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, I think that she was very rigid, which I would expect. But I think she's very bad for our country. She knows that you need a barrier. She knows that we need border security. She wanted to win a political point. I happen to think it is very bad politics because basically she wants open borders.
She doesn't mind human trafficking or she wouldn't do this because --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She offered you over a billion dollars for border security.
TRUMP: Excuse me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She offered over a billion dollars for border security.
TRUMP: She --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She doesn't want the wall.
TRUMP: She's costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars because what is happening is, when you have a porous border and when you have drugs pouring in and when you have people dying all over the country because of people like Nancy Pelosi, who don't want to give proper border security for political reasons, she's doing a terrible disservice to our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The president has threatened to declare a national emergency if Congress does not give him the $5.7 billion to build a border wall. And he's teasing the possibility of making a decision during his State of the Union speech next week, Tuesday.
CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood is in West Palm Beach not far from where the president is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-lago resort.
What is the reaction thus far to the president's latest interview?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Democrats are pushing back on this suggestion from President Trump that they don't support any kind of border security and they're slamming Trump for leaving the door open to a second government shutdown later this month when the temporary spending bill runs dry.
Now Pelosi's team is hitting back, accusing Trump of twisting what Democrats' actual positions on border security are after Trump accused Pelosi of playing political games by opposing the wall.
Those two leaders, they've been trading insults this week but they haven't met face-to-face since that contentious meeting on January 9 in the Situation Room, during which Trump stood up, he left the room when talks weren't going his way.
That's all set to change on Tuesday when Trump goes to Capitol Hill to deliver his State of the Union address.
But Pelosi responding quickly through a spokesman yesterday to Trump's comments.
Said in a statement, "President Trump's recklessness did not make us safer. It undermined our security with 35 days of Border Patrol agents, DEA agents, FBI agents and Homeland Security personnel missing paychecks.
"Democrats have put forward strong, smart and effective border security solutions in the bipartisan conference committee while the president still refuses to take a second shutdown off the table."
Pelosi's spokesman goes on to say, "The president's wild and predictable misrepresentations about Democrats' commitment to border security do nothing to make our country safer."
Trump of course has called those budget negotiations -- conference committee a waste of time. He's setting expectations very low that we'll see any kind of breakthrough out of those talks.
WESTWOOD: Democrats this week did put forward their opening offer for a border security package that was worth billions. They did fund some border security items, like new technology, like beefing up security at points of entry.
But they did not include one penny for the wall, not even for repairs to existing fencing, basically nothing that Trump could spin as a victory for his White House.
So, Fred, with just two weeks left in this negotiating period, Trump is returning to his threats to declare a national emergency.
WHITFIELD: And, Sarah, "The Washington Post" today reporting that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell cautioned Trump about declaring a national emergency. This was a face-to-face conversation.
WESTWOOD: That's right. "The Washington Post" is reporting that, earlier this week, McConnell warned Trump there could be a backlash within the GOP to that national emergency declaration. It could essentially divide congressional Republicans, some who would, some who would not, support that kind of move.
There's been a lot of disagreement within the GOP about the use of a national emergency declaration. There's concerns it would immediately be met with a legal challenge. There's concerns, particularly from conservatives, that this would set a precedent for any future liberal president to be able to invoke an emergency to fulfill his or her campaign promises.
So McConnell making that warning to Trump, who initially during the shutdown was reluctant about declaring a national emergency. He said it wasn't his first choice, that he preferred to do this legislatively. But increasingly, as we see the stalemate persist, suggesting he now fully expects to declare a national emergency by February 15th when funding runs out.
WHITFIELD: Sarah Westwood, thank you, in West Palm Beach.
With me now is Robby Mook, former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton; Jack Kingston, a former senior adviser for the Trump campaign.
Good to see both of you.
JACK KINGSTON, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Thanks.
ROBBY MOOK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to be here.
WHITFIELD: Robby, your reaction to the president lashing out at Speaker Pelosi, third in line to the presidency, the House Speaker.
MOOK: Yes, the problem here is we are treating what Donald Trump wants to do as if it's a serious policy. And it's not. It's a racist fantasy that there are people streaming across our border.
And the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA director that the president himself appointed, said in a Senate hearing there is no crisis on the border. There's a crisis of opioids streaming in through ports of entry. That's why Democrats have offered to put over $20 billion into border security.
But Trump is fixated on this quote-unquote "wall," which no experts say is possible. His own chief of staff on his last day of service said they'd taken it off the table because all the experts told them it wasn't possible and it wasn't a smart idea.
So I think we need to relevel set this entire conversation and stop giving credence to a fake policy and a fake quote-unquote "crisis" and focus on the real problem, which is the points of entry, where, by the way, Donald Trump took away the salaries of the people who staff those ports of entry during the shutdown.
So I think this whole conversation has been warped by a bunch of fantasies in Trump's head.
WHITFIELD: Jack, it seems the president is having his hands to his ears. He just doesn't want to hear what experts are saying about, you know, the inefficiency of any kind of wall.
But he is bent on the wall. He keeps threatening this declaration of a national emergency. But McConnell reportedly has told him, he's cautioned him, you don't want to do this, it's going to divide the GOP.
Is it Mitch McConnell who can actually get President Trump to listen?
KINGSTON: Well, let me say this. I think number one, I have to disagree with my friend that there is an actual crisis. Border patrol arrested over 17,000 criminal aliens trying to get into the United States. ICE arrested 158,000 who had already been here.
WHITFIELD: The majority of people coming in are come thug porting through entry --
WHITFIELD: But back to Mitch McConnell cautioning him against doing that, will the president be more receptive to hearing that from McConnell?
KINGSTON: On the other hand, people like Lindsey Graham said it's OK to do this. I can say this, I was on Capitol Hill this week, talked to many members of the Appropriations Committee and they're all saying we don't want another shutdown. We think the president declaring a national emergency is where we're going to go.
It will end up in court. Let's face it, Robby and I both agree --
WHITFIELD: But that's money spent, too.
Doesn't that mean that the president actually achieves the goal of getting a wall built?
Will there be appropriations of funds, which is what he'll have to get if he declares a national emergency?
KINGSTON: If the Democrats would just vote as they did last February 2018, there was a $25 billion package, which included physical barriers, so if they get off their politics and say, hey, you know what, we realize that part of being --
WHITFIELD: But he had an opportunity to --
WHITFIELD: -- and he said no.
KINGSTON: He offered it to them --
WHITFIELD: It was less money but --
KINGSTON: -- shut down the government, last February, so -- but, you know, Fred, part of this is always going to be compromise. You don't get what you want in a legislative body. This is not a dictatorship. Whether you're the Speaker, whether you're the president, you have to compromise.
WHITFIELD: All right, so, Robby, you know, but the president, you know, touts that he is a great negotiator.
You can't negotiate after you've name-called, can you?
He has every -- every criticism he can think of, you know, lack of respect, for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She is very much able to corral her caucus.
So at what kind of disadvantage is the president put himself in to try to get a package he would sign?
MOOK: Yes, there's the name-calling and all that. I think the president's biggest problem, as you were just discussing, there was a deal on the table last year when he could have gotten some wall funding.
Again, I disagree with that because this wall is a fantasy as a policy. But he got the wall funding and then he walked away from the deal. He's not reliable as a negotiating partner.
That's the point. This idea that somehow there needs to be a compromise, it's too late for that. He had a compromise. And when there was an agreement, he walked away.
Furthermore, this declaration of an emergency will be a disaster, not just for Donald Trump but for our republic. I mean, consider it, there were people, you know, in California, who died in those fires. People in Puerto Rico who were killed in a hurricane. We have children getting gunned down in schools --
KINGSTON: -- the Democrats said over and over again reopen the government and then we will compromise. Reopen the government and then we will negotiate. The president did what they asked. He reopened the government. And now they're saying nothing for the wall.
That is a radical position. None of these, quote, "experts," which Democrats identify are saying let's tear down the wall --
MOOK: Fredricka, I wanted to finish my point but it looks like jack's going to finish this out so --
WHITFIELD: Go ahead, finish, Robby.
MOOK: Children are being gunned down in our schools and our president did not have the guts to say that that was an emergency. But he wants to declare an emergency about a fake situation that he made up. And it's disgusting.
And I hope that the Republican Party will come to their senses and stop him. Let's talk about real problems and real solutions. WHITFIELD: OK, and so, in this CBS interview, we're going to hear the president talk further about his wall idea. He also weighs in on Democrats who have already thrown their hats in the ring for 2020. Cory Booker made his announcement yesterday. It's a very crowded field.
For the first time, we're actually hearing the president talk about the contenders. This is what he told CBS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to ask you about 2020, quickly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Cory Booker announced today that he's also running, there are a lot of Democrats on the field.
TRUMP: He's got no chance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No chance, why?
TRUMP: Because I know him. I don't think he has a chance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who has a chance?
TRUMP: So far I don't see anybody, I'm not impressed with their group.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, so, Jack, the president is very confident, why?
KINGSTON: I think he's confident because the Democrats are racing to the Left. While that's very popular, it's not representative of mainstream America. America is a center left, center right nation. I happen to think it's center right. Robby might disagree.
The truth of the matter is none of these candidates are talking about issues that appeal to middle America. To them, it's all one confusing flyover country and they just go from L.A. to New York and talk to people who agree with them. That's what the Democrat contenders are doing right now. It's not connecting with America.
WHITFIELD: Robby, the president's approval rating is in the 30s. That would be historic of an incumbent with approval rating so low were to win.
What is he up against with this field of Democrats thus far?
MOOK: I think he's up against what Republicans were up against in the midterms, which is Democrats are talking about making sure every American has access to quality, affordable health care; that every child has an education that can get them ahead in the world today; that, you know, frankly people pay their fair share of taxes. The Republicans passed a massive tax break for millionaires and
billionaires this year that the middle class is going to have to pay for at some point in time, given the debt it's creating. So Democrats are focused on kitchen table issues and Donald Trump is focused on fantasies.
KINGSTON: -- jobs were just reported, new jobs this year. The unemployment rate is at a low level. We're at peace abroad. People like that. Middle America likes to work. And every group is benefiting from the president's economic policies. I think that's going to be very hard for the Democrats to overcome.
WHITFIELD: All right. Go ahead, Robby.
MOOK: I was going to say Republicans created a sugar high for Wall Street with their tax cuts, we'll see how regular people --
[12:30:00] MOOK: -- Middle class families.
KINGSTON: You're making an experience.
MOOK: I wish. I wish that had been what it was.
KINGSTON: Come on, Robby, you know that.
MOOK: No, sorry.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And we'll leave it there. All right, Jack Kingston, Robby Mook, thanks so much.
WHITFIELD: All right, up next, Cold War compromises falling flat. Russia suspends its participation in a decades old nuclear missile treaty a day after the U.S announced it would do the same.
Does this signal another (INAUDIBLE)?
WHITFIELD: All right welcome back. Russia says it is pulling out of a key Cold War era nuclear treaty and will begin developing a new intermediate missile.
[12:35:00] Russian President Vladimir Putin characterized the announcement as a tit-for-tat against the U.S. for saying it was also done with the agreement. The announcements are sparking fears of a renewed arms race and a showdown between the two countries.
CNN's Oren Liebermann is in Moscow for us. So Oren, what more do we know about the missile that Moscow is threatening to build? OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's worth pointing out that before Russian President Vladimir Putin talked about this missile, he said there should be no arms race and there will be no arms race. Describing his decision, Russia's decision to withdraw from the INF, the arms control treaty, as a tit-for-tat as you pointed out with the U.S since the Russians were expecting the U.S. either suspend or outrun withdraw from the treaty.
And this was their response doing saying the same thing, essentially saying look, if the U.S isn't going to abide by the terms of the treaty, then there's no reason for us to do so either. Shortly after saying there won't be an arms race, Putin then talked about the missile that Russia would further develop.
Russia currently has a missile called the caliber. It is a sea-base medium range hypersonic missile. That missile falls within the limits of the INF treaty. But, Putin said they would be developing a ground- based version of the same missile which would be a blatant violation of that treaty.
Russia here it seems is signaling that if this treaty's not going to be held up anymore on the U.S end, we're not going to hold it up as well and we'll continue to developing weapons. Russia also saying that if the U.S is going to do research in technological development when it comes to missiles, Russia will do the same.
So, as he says there won't be an arms race, there certainly seems to be an investment in arms on the Russian side. Fredricka, it's also worth pointing out that after this, if this falls apart and is not saved within the next six months in some sort of fashion over the course of the next 180 days which is the U. S. deadline, that really leaves only one more major arms control treaty as the new start treaty and the deadline on that is coming up in three years.
WHITFIELD: Oren Lieberman, thank you so much in Moscow.
All right, still ahead, playing both sides a new lawsuit alleges a powerful pharmaceutical giant both contributed to the opioid epidemic all while profiting off treatments to those who became addicted. Details about the case is coming up.
[12:41:15] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. A new court document alleges a powerful family made billions of dollars on the highly addictive Opioid OxyContin and pushed doctors to prescribe the painkiller even though they knew how deadly the drug could be.
Here's CNN's Miguel Marquez.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Twenty-three-year-old Cory Merrill started on the Opioid OxyContin after surgery. He eventually turned to heroin and overdose killed him eight years ago. His mother says he'd still be alive except for Purdue Pharma the company that makes OxyContin.
CHERYL JUAIRE, MOTHER OF COREY MERILL: They are ruthless people who are just out for money at the expense of our children.
MARQUEZ: Merrill was one of thousands in Massachusetts alone who's lives were destroyed by opioid abuse. His mother, Cheryl Juaire, and now the State of Massachusetts lays much of the blame at the feet of Purdue Pharma for practices they say not only deceptively marketed the drug but pursued a strategy of selling OxyContin and the treatment for addiction to it.
According to a lawsuit, Purdue call the plan project tango.
JUAIRE: It's an outrage, but they're going to come down. The whole empire is going to fall. It's just a matter of time.
MARQUEZ: The empire is that of the Sacklers, one of the country's wealthiest families known for its global philanthropy funding museums and institutions worldwide. Among others, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Arts and the Louvre in Paris.
The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma and their main drug OxyContin has made them tens of billions of dollars since it was introduced in the 1990s. The lawsuit contends that from 2008 to 2016 alone, members of the Sackler family paid themselves more than $ 4 billion in opioid profits.
MAURA HEALEY, MASSACHUSSETTES ATTORNEY GENENERAL: For Purdue, it was all about the money and it was profits over people.
MARQUEZ: Among other things, the newly unredacted complaint points to a strategy allegedly employed by the company to blame the addict. In a confidential 2001 e-mail, Richard Sackler, then Purdue chairman and president wrote, "We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible. They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals".
HEALEY: There were lies about the efficacy, about the safety, about the supposed non-addictive nature of their product.
MARQUEZ: In a statement, Purdue Pharma said the Massachusetts Attorney General's decision to release the full complaint is, "Part of a continuing effort to blame it for the entire opioid crisis and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system. Massachusetts seeks to publicly vilify Purdue, its executives, employees and directors while unfairly undermining the important work we have taken to address the opioid addiction crisis".
Massachusetts wants the company to pay possibly billions of dollars to the communities, the states and families devastated by addiction. The complaints initially filed last summer had large sections redacted. The full lawsuit shows why Purdue may have fought to keep the redactions. Page after page of information showing the Sacklers, the company, executives and the massive amounts of money they made, stricken from public view, until now.
MARQUEZ: Eight members of the Sackler family are named in the lawsuit, as well as former and current executives of the company. And the woman we spoke to today, Cheryly Juaire says she hopes that this latest lawsuit in Massachusetts is the beginning of the end for the Sackler name on institutions worldwide. Back to you.
WHITFIELD: Thank you, Miguel.
All right, gearing up for the big game, Super Bowl on Sunday, it's tomorrow. And security measures are well under way as thousands head to Atlanta and look at some of the challenges of keeping people safe during the biggest sporting event of the year, next.
WHITFIELD: All right, dozens of local state and federal agencies are joining forces in Atlanta this weekend to provide security for Super Bowl 53. With more than 1 million people flocking to the city for festivities in and around the stadium, law enforcement is ramping up its presence on the ground and in the skies.
Let's bring in someone familiar with protecting events like this of this caliber, Jonathan Wackrow, a former secret service agent for President Obama.
Jonathan, good to see you.
JONATHAN WACKROW, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT UNDER OBAMA: Nice to see you.
[12:50:14] WHITFIELD: So, describe, you know, how security -- I mean, so many layers of security, really try to side up something so gigantic lake a Super Bowl.
WACKROW: Absolutely. So, when you look at an event like this, you know, it starts a long time ago. Coordination for these events started over two years ago when Atlanta was actually picked as the site location. But what when comes down to for law enforcement is coordination and understanding roles and responsibilities and how each one of the 50 entities that are involved in the overall security plan for the Super Bowl are going to react in three major buckets.
The way that law enforcement looks at this is they have to plan for the worst. So in that instance, they're looking at what are they going to do in a tactical situation, what are they going to do in a medical situation and what are they going to do in an evacuation situation. So, all these entries have to come together and develop a coordinated security response plan to each of those buckets.
But also there's a whole other part of this. The ordinary crime that occurs throughout Atlanta or any other city, you know, that's hosting a large event also has to be, you know, maintained. So there's a dual side to the security preparations, but it really does come down to coordination, understanding what the threat environment looks like and how to mitigate vulnerabilities and address threats that pose themselves very dynamically mind you for these types of events.
WHITFIELD: Right, and so that kind of coordination is really key because it's security inside the event and then there are other events taking place across the city and then there's, you know, security outside.
I was here in 1996 for the Olympic Games in Atlanta and while, you know, all these precautions were taken inside and outside of events, look, all it took was one bad actor, right, at the Centennial Olympic Park and that is exactly what security has to be mindful of potentially even when you have something on this scale too, right?
WACKROW: That's right Fred, you know, the bad guy has to be right once, law enforcement has to be right all of the time. So, mindful of that, the way that they set up the security plan is not only just centered around the game itself but it's concentric rings of protections around Atlanta. And it's 360 degrees of coverage and protection, both on the ground and in the air.
I mean, as we've seen, you know, from the Olympics that were there last time to today, the security footprint is drastically different. Again, because they're learning off of the changing threat environment.
They're addressing, you know, new threats like right now, you know, we've had reporting earlier today about, you know, airspace security. How important that is, but that's a dual mission. That's not only about aircraft but it's also about this emerging technology of drones. The threat of drone, you know, being able to come up over the horizon and, you know, having a measured effect on the game and security measures.
So, listen, there's a lot of moving parts here, 50 agencies trying to coordinate for one event one day. It's, you know, a difficult task to say the least.
WHITFIELD: And unique here is U.S. customs and border patrol is also part of the equation.
WACKROW: Absolutely. Listen, this is designated as a SEAR level one event by the Department of Homeland Security. So there's no one agency that could pull off a security plan like this by themselves.
Atlanta PD can't do it, they're great agency but they just can't do it. So the Department of Homeland Security assists with these types of events. They're led by the local and state authorities, but they're coordinated across utilizing the backstop of the Federal Government. All of the resources that are available like we saw earlier today, the air assets, but it's also air monitoring services. Its x-ray machines, its additional manpower.
They utilize and bring everybody together as a force multiplier to bring forth the most comprehensive security plans so the event goes off without incident.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jonathan Wackrow thank you. IT was good to see you.
WACKROW: Thanks a lot Fred.
WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.
[12:58:18] WHITFIELD: OK, so third time was not the charm for passengers on board a flight from Los Angeles to Maui. Hawaiian airlines flight 33 left and returned to Los Angeles International Airport three times yesterday before finally being canceled. This is what passengers on that flight saw when they looked out of the window. Fuel they say, that's fuel coming out of the plane. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was really anxious just because I was really nervous. It was making a lot of weird sounds and the captain, they weren't really giving us a lot of information. One lady got kicked off because she was upset. She was throwing a fit and they kicked her off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So the airline says the delays were caused by separate and unrelated faults with different systems.
And there's some good news for parts of the U.S. enduring record cold temperatures. Today, the prognosticator of prognosticators, Punxsutawney Phil, did not see his shadow, and that means he is predicting an early spring. Today marks the 133rd annual prediction ceremony for the famous Pennsylvania groundhog.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Faithful followers, there is no shadow of me. A beautiful spring it shall be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And I'm glad it's a very wishful thinking. The festivities have their origin and folklore that said it's a groundhog, cast the shadow on February 2nd and winter continues for another six weeks. So, Punxsutawney is telling us it's going to be an early spring.
All right, triplets separated at birth discovering the most amazing incredible remarkable true story ever told. CNN films Three Identical Strangers airs tonight at 9:00 Eastern right there on CNN. And we've got so much more straight ahead in the Newsroom and it all starts right now.