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President on Virginia Governor to Resign Over Racist Yearbook Photo; Russia to Produce New Medium-Range Nuclear Missile; Trump Call Convinces Foxconn to Build Flat Screen in Wisconsin; Punxsutawney Phil Predicts An Early Spring; British Newspaper Apologizes, Agrees To Pay Damages Over "False Statements" Made About Melania Trump; 2019 Super Bowl Ads: Celebrities, Dogs And Messages Of Unity. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired February 2, 2019 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Virginia's Democratic Governor Ralph Northam is facing growing criticism and calls to step down after this racist photo emerged, Friday, from his 1984 medical school yearbook page.

GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D), PENNSYLVANIA: That photo and racist attitudes it represents, does not reflect that person I am today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know he is the one in Blackface, and we don't know if he was the one wearing the KKK garb.

NORTHAM: I accept responsibility for my past actions, and I'm ready to do the hard work of regaining your trust.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is planning on continuing his term and not resigning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You go after Donald Trump for his racism and his bigotry, there's no way you cannot call for Ralph Northam to resign.

UNIDENTIFIED: Does not necessarily deserve to remain in a position of trust and authority, which is what the governor's office is.


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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is facing pressure from all sides to resign, that's of course, after that racist yearbook photo surfaced. This is from his 1984 medical school yearbook showing men in Blackface and a Ku Klux Klan robe.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Now, the Democratic governor's apology for the picture did little to calm the controversy. The calls to step down this morning now, coming from key allies, state leaders, 2020 presidential hopefuls. Here's CNN National Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Virginia's Democratic Governor Ralph Northam is facing growing criticism and calls to step down after this racist photo emerged, Friday, from his 1984 medical school yearbook page. It shows a person in Blackface and another dressed in a Klansman robe and hood. Publicly confronted with the photo, Northam confirmed that he, in fact, was one of the people in the picture but declined to say which. He apologized and vowed to show Virginians he had changed and he would do so for the remainder of the term.

NORTHAM: 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 am deeply sorry. I cannot change the decisions I made. Nor can I undo the harm my behavior caused then and today.

MALVEAUX: The photo is from 1984 when Northam was 25-years-old at the time, from the Eastern Virginia Medical School. Under the photo, lists his alma mater, Virginia Military Institute. His interests, pediatrics and a quote saying, "There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I'll have another beer." Northam's yearbook from his time at the Virginia Military Institute in 1981 revealed that he had two nicknames, goose and coodman.

The reaction from many political corners has been fast and furious. The photo was first reported by Big League Politics, a conservative news outlet, followed by the Virginia GOP caucus calling for his resignation. Well, since then, some of Northam's most powerful allies are also calling for him to step down. The NAACP tweeting: Blackface in any manner is always racist and never OK. No matter the party affiliation, we cannot stand for that behavior."

The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, who had been vocal in her support of Virginia Democrats earlier in the week during the abortion controversy, now saying that he's got to go. Along with Planned Parenthood and the mayor of Richmond, Virginia. Several Democratic presidential primary candidates as well. This from Senator Kamala Harris saying: "Leaders are called to a higher standard and the state of racism should have no place in the halls of government."

This from the Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial: "He is by all accounts a decent and considerate man. And yet, his poor judgment has undermined his standing in ways we believe will permanently impair his ability to act as an effective governor. Holding off, however, Virginia's two powerful senators: Mark Warner and Tim Caine, calling for Northam to reflect on how to move forward giving him more time. The big question, of course, will Northam heed these calls if this chorus grows louder in the next 24 hours, will he survive? Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: You heard Kamala Harris there saying: "The state of racism who have no place in the halls of government." We have Julian Castro who was the first 2020 Democratic candidate who called for Northam's resignation. He spoke to our Don Lemon last night. Look at this.


JULIAN CASTRO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT UNDER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I believe no matter whether somebody is a Republican or Democrat, that kind of behavior was racist and inexcusable. And if we're going to ensure that these types of things don't continue to happen in our country, then we need to hold people accountable for their actions.


[07:05:10] PAUL: Other 2020 hopefuls also weighing in calling for him to resign. Senator Cory Booker tweeted this: "These images arouse centuries of anger, anguish and racist violence, and it eroded all confidence in Governor Northam's ability to lead." From Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: "There are two set of rules for our friends and our foes, right is right and wrong is wrong. American's deserve to be respected by their leaders and racism cannot be excused in our government or anywhere else."

BLACKWELL: Let's assess with CNN Political Commentator Errol Louis, Political Anchor at Spectrum News. Errol, welcome back. So, the photos published on Friday, coincidentally first of Black History Month. Do you expect him to make it to next Friday?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, no, I'm not sure he's going to make it to next Monday, to be honest with you, Victor. To add to Suzanne's excellent report, the Virginia Black Caucus of their state legislature met with Governor Northam and then came out and released a statement saying we think he's got to go. The Democratic Conference of the Virginia House, the Democratic Conference of the Virginia Senate, he just doesn't seem to have any allies here.

There's nobody here standing up for him and these are the people who know him best. If there've been some outpouring of people from the legislative black caucus and others saying, we know him, he's useful. If they come up with any kind of an explanation, that would be one thing. But the reality is, the people who seem to know him best have all decided that the benefits they might get by helping him to survive are outweighed by the atrocious behavior that he displayed as a 25- year-old, not so long ago. PAUL: So, Errol, he hasn't specified which person he is in that

picture. Does it matter?

LOUIS: You know, it's absolutely fascinating, right? I mean if your choices are between: I was the guy in Blackface or I was the guy in the Klan hood, you know you're in really, really bad shape. I have to say -- I mean, I graduate from college in 1984, so we're around the same age. There's no explanation of, well, the times were different back then.

I mean, this is for, you know -- for our generation, it was very, very clear where things stood. You know, this is 20 years after the height of the civil rights movement, even in Virginia, things had really moved beyond this. And so, this kind of caricature, if he had any kind of explanation, he really needed to make it right up front. And the fact that we haven't heard it and he seem to be baffled and confused about this, it really impairs what happened in the life of public service.

This is somebody who served in the military, his father was a judge, he spent a lot of time -- he went to a desegregated high school. You know, it's not like he was often some isolated corner of the segregated south. You know, this is somebody who was supposed to have moved beyond this. He portrayed himself that way. He served as lieutenant governor. You know, he's really in a corner. I just don't see how he makes it through this.

BLACKWELL: So, speaking of what we haven't heard and from whom, several Democratic candidates as you said, as we read here this morning, have spoken out and called him to resign -- called on him to resign, but there are several who have not. Is this one of those things where a potential presidential candidate can sit on the side, see what happens over the next 24 to 48 hours? Or do you expect that they all have to come out and say something?

LOUIS: Yes. People will have to come out and say something. Because, look, black voters are part of the Democratic base. They are about a fifth of the vote in Virginia. They're even higher percentages, depending on the early states that you're looking at, a state like South Carolina. You cannot afford to alienate, or ignore or somehow look past, one of the core issues for one of your core constituents. So, if you're a Democrat seeking national office, that's why they all came out so quickly: Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Cory Booker.

They all came out very quickly because they have to be able to look voters in the face, and say: I'm going to stand up for you, I'm going to fight for you. There's no exception for -- well, you know, we had a guy, we sort of wanted to keep him in place. And so, we wanted to overlook something that was clearly offensive. It's just not going to work that way. So, in addition to everything else, Ralph Northam is the victim of really, really bad political timing.

PAUL: OK. So, a lot of people have said; I've heard a lot of analysts say, his apology just wasn't enough. Let's listen to part of what he had to say.


NORTHAM: 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 am deeply sorry. I cannot change the decisions I made. Nor can I undo the harm my behavior caused then and today.


[07:10:09] PAUL: He's brought American support since he was elected, Errol. Is it fair to accept that he's not the same person today? LOUIS: Well, I mean, look, none of are, right? I mean, we all change

our skin cells every seven years, right? You know, look, that's not the way apologies go, actually for -- not just political apologies, but apologies in real life.

PAUL: What did you need to hear? Let me ask you that. What did you need to hear?

LOUIS: Well, look, the way it's supposed to work is -- first of all, you don't talk about the photo, you talk about yourself, right. Nobody is complaining about the photo. They're talking about the guy in the photo, right? And he can't even make up his mind about that. So, that's the first problem. The second is that you're not supposed to simply say I'm sorry. The idea is to sort of really put -- show that you can put yourself in the shoes of those you have harmed.

And sort of say, if I were a Black Virginian, I would be mortified; if I were a Black Virginian, I would feel denigrated and disrespected. If I were a Black Virginian, I'd wonder if my governor was actually not as opposed to racism as he is supposed to be. Is he really in favor of changing confederate monuments? Is he really in favor of civil rights law? In other words, just show that you actually get it as opposed to telling us what you can't do. In his statement he says, well, I can't undo the harm, but I really am sorry. And that's not really the way reconciliation works.

BLACKWELL: It will be interesting, Errol, to see and hear from Justin Fairfax, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia who recent with sent out a tribute to Robert E. Lee. And after that decision, what he will have to say and what he will do after seeing this photograph of the governor of Virginia, whether he's the guy in the hood or the guy in Blackface, maybe he'll tell us one day. Errol Louis, thank you both.

LOUIS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, not both, but thank you. Now, a breaking news: Moscow, firing back after the U.S. said it will withdraw from the INF nuclear missile treaty. Vladimir Putin says, Russia is suspending the treaty and will start constructing a new medium-range supersonic nuclear missile.

PAUL: Yes, this treaty you remember was signed with the USSR during the cold war with an intention of preventing an arms race. The U.S. says, Russia has been violating that agreement since 2014. CNN's Oren Liebermann, live from Moscow. Oren, what else is the Kremlin saying this morning and are you surprised at how quickly they said, all right, let's get back into the missile business?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Based on what the Kremlin has said and based what Russia has said over previous weeks and months, it's clear that Russia expected some sort of U.S. suspension or withdrawal from the INF Treaty. And Russia, it looks like, had their response lined up in what President Vladimir Putin called a tit-for-tat with the U.S. He said, look, if the U.S. suspending their participation, so are we. And it was Russia firing back that accusation that, in fact, it was the U.S. that has been in violation of this treaty for decades. That came out of a meeting this morning between Putin, his defense minister and his foreign minister. So, Russia has made their intentions clear. If the U.S. isn't going to be in this treaty, Russia sees no reason to be in this treaty.

Putin also said there should not and there will not be an arms race between the U.S. and Russia. That here is the major fear from analyst. And yet, just after saying that, Russia announced the development of a new missile called the Caliber Missile. In its current format, it is a sea-based medium ranged hyper sonic missile that does not violate the INF Treaty. But Russia said, they would be grounding the missile -- in other words, they will be developing the missile to make it a ground-based missile and that would be a clear violation of the treaty. But that treaty, as we see, doesn't hold any water for either the U.S. or the Russians at this point. Putin also saying that just as the U.S. is contributing to research and technological developments, so will the Russians at this point.

Putin, has said in the past and Russia has said in the past that perhaps a multilateral agreement is possible but Putin also saying, the Russians will not be the ones initiating the conversation on a multilateral agreement if that's what other countries want to pursue. So, Russia has said, look, we're suspending our participation in this treaty. The ball is essentially in somebody else's court and firing off that accusation once again that Russia has seen no evidence and the U.S. hasn't shown Russia any evidence that it's in violation where Russia is saying, in fact, it's the U.S. that has been violating the treaty for years now.

PAUL: All right. Oren Liebermann, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: And let's take a look at the -- this is the cover of the New York Daily News out today. You'll see here -- I guess to be a nuclear explosion here, this cloud of fire, and the faces of President Putin and President Trump there, "Playing with Fire." This was tweeted out by the New York Daily News with the question: weapons of mass destruction? So, this is how the daily news is treating this decision to withdraw.

All right. One call and that was all. Manufacturing giant Foxconn reversing course after President Trump phones the chairman. We'll talk about that, next.

[07:15:13] PAUL: And it's professional football's biggest day. Will the scandals and controversies that have been plaguing the NFL threatened to overshadow the big game?


BLACKWELL: Another reversal from manufacturing company Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics company will produce flat screen panels at a new plant in Wisconsin. Now, that announcement comes shortly after President Trump spoke to Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou. Well, the company caused -- let's call it a stir, earlier this week after considering removing manufacturing jobs from the Wisconsin facility. That's because President Trump touted the new plant as proof of manufacturing jobs moving back to the United States. Joining me now to talk about this is New York City Councilman and Republican Commentator Joseph Borelli, and Economics Correspondent for the Washington Post Heather Long. Good morning to both of you.



BLACKWELL: Joseph, let me start here with you. I mean, good news for the president. 304,000 jobs in the month of January. Got this statement from Foxconn, good Friday.

[07:20:12] BORELLI: Yes. I mean, this jobs' report exceeded anyone's expectations, and it's certainly a sign that we're in for a good 2019 ahead. I want to point out that if it just took one phone call from President Trump -- I think it was a bit more than that. But if it took a phone call from President Trump, to keep manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin, I certain applaud that. I want to bring you attention that this company, Foxconn, was used by the Washington Post in 2017 as an excuse, as an example of why we should be skeptical of President Trump's promises manufacturing. They actually promised to build a plant in 2013 in Pennsylvania, under President Obama and didn't deliver on that promise.

BLACKWELL: Well, a great day to have a Washington Post economics reporter on the show. Heather, let me come to you, because this statement from Foxconn simply says the campus will serve as both an advanced manufacturing facility, as well as a hub of high-tech knowledge innovation. Still, no clarity on the percentage of each, and as Joseph points out and I'm sure you will as well, there was a promise a few years ago that never came to fruition. Still reason to be skeptical?

LONG: There's a lot of reason to be skeptical. I agree with Joe, I hope President Trump can make this happen for the workers of Wisconsin. But the reality is, Foxconn has had a terrible track record of delivering on its promises to build factories and create jobs around the world. They promised in Brazil, they promised in India, they promised in Indonesia, and they have not delivered those jobs. And as Joe pointed out, in my hometown of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, there was a big promise to deliver hundreds of jobs there. None of those have ever materialized. So, it's not surprising to see Foxconn trying to back out again here.

And while the president has tweeted that the deal is back on, or that things seem to be moving forward, and I'm encouraged by that, I would note, the company has not made any promises about when it will break ground, when it will start hiring. And it's still unclear, what, if anything, workers, particularly, blue-collar workers, would do at the facility in Wisconsin. They initially were supposed to be building flat screens that could be used on televisions. The company still seems hesitant to commit to that particular industry.

BLACKWELL: So, Joseph, let's explore this then. If you're bringing up the skepticism and the inability or refusal for Foxconn to make good on the 2013 deal, then why are you so confident that the 2019 statement, because that -- that's as much as we got is that, yes, they will be both there now, will bring any more blue-collar jobs after the phone call or more as you suggest from the president?

BORELLI: Look, I think manufacturing jobs is something the president is quite comfortable talking about. And it's something that presents one of the clearest and most stark differences between his administration and those in the past. I think it's something like 400-450,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in the last two years under President Trump --

BLACKWELL: And that's not my question, though, Joe. The question is: if this is a reason to celebrate the accomplishments on the president's behalf or from his supporters, what gives you that confidence if you brought up the 2013 commitment to bring manufacturing jobs and Foxconn didn't make good? Why are you convinced that this will be any better?

BORELLI: Like I'm saying, so there's been 450,000 manufacturing jobs created because of the change in environment. You know, as Heather reported back in 2016, there was a chorus line of people predicting, as President Obama did that these manufacturing jobs would never come back. We've renegotiated the TPP, we've pulled out of -- the TPP, we've renegotiated the USMCA, we've deregulated the tax cut and jobs act. I think the environment; rather economic situation is far different today in 2019 than it was in 2013 because of President Trump.

BLACKWELL: Well, we hear the narrative. We'll see if it works in the specifics. Let's talk about the 2019, the January 2019 jobs numbers: 304,000 created. Heather, we're hearing a lot of economist or analysts, at least say that the shutdown did not impact jobs numbers. But you've got a piece out explaining how in fact it did. Explain.

LONG: It is a complicated one, but I'll try to break it down.

BLACKWELL: Give us a few points at least.

LONG: All right. So, the shutdown had no impact on the 304,000 jobs created. Most of those jobs were created in the private sector. And even though those workers were on furlough from the federal government, they were still counted as employed because they were going to be paid on -- they would ultimately receive pay. So, the Labor Department said, OK, they were technically employed on January 12th, even though they were on furlough. Where the shutdown did impact the jobs numbers is we saw that unemployment rate creep up to four percent. That's still a very low number, but that's where we did see the shutdown and the furloughed workers having an impact. The unemployment rate is calculated by literally going house to house. And for an American asking people, are you employed or are you unemployed? And of course, many furloughed workers said, hey, we're temporarily unemployed right now.

[07:25:13] BLACKWELL: Joseph, in the last couple seconds we have here. The president says this congressional conference committee on border security is a waste of time, suggesting that he will then declare a national emergency. Emergency suggest there is no time to waste. So, why is he waiting two weeks to declare it? Doesn't that undermine his point of it being an emergency?

BORELLI: Look, I think when you're talking about federal contracts a few months is not going to make a difference in a multiyear project to build a border wall. I think it is right to portray the border problem as a national emergency. There are more people dying from heroin and fentanyl overdoses now than car crashes and AIDS and all of the things that we faced as a country as a problem in the past. So, I wouldn't be surprised if the deal does collapse because of Democrats' refusal to budge back to the position they were in during prior administrations.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but you understand the point that the wall is not going to stop the amount of drugs that's coming through the ports of entry. I mean, we've done this for weeks now. And the facts from CBP of where the drugs are coming in. The question is: if it's a national emergency, emergency means there has to be a reaction now. And day after day, when the president comes on and says they're wasting our time, we'll wait until the 15th, it seems like he's contradicting his point of the first sentence with the second one.

BORELLI: Look, Victor, if we're concerned about wasting our time on building a border wall, I'm happy to get Democrats' support in that, and that's a criticism that Trump would love to face. And if Democrats want to come on board and expedite the border wall construction, they can sit down and actually come to the table in this conference committee and negotiate.

BLACKWELL: Because he says it's a national emergency, again, emergency suggests there's no time to waste. But he says this is a waste of time. Joseph Borelli, Heather Long, thank you both.

BORELLI: Thank you.

LONG: Thank you.

PAUL: Well, distractions and controversies threatening to overshadow this year's super bowl. How the NFL's battle with Colin Kaepernick is being addressed on and off the field now.

BLACKWELL: And a flight headed to Hawaii ends with frustration for the passengers, after their plane was forced to turn around three times, and then it was cancelled.



[07:31:25] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, is it early spring or more winter forecast? Stop the music, here is my forecast. Faithful followers, there is no shadow of me. A beautiful spring it shall be!


PAUL: Spoken with some enthusiasm there for all of those people in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Listen, they have been out there for hours. People listening to music. And poor Punxsutawney Phil, he always looked frightened. I always feel bad for him.

BLACKWELL: I've -- yes, they drag him out of a hole every year and scream in his face. And just, "Put me back." It's what, 7:30 on the East Coast.

PAUL: And I want somebody tweet me if you know the answer of this. They said that in over 130 years, he's never been wrong. Is that true?

BLACKWELL: I doubt it. But, you have to you have a reason to come back for the 134th, (INAUDIBLE).

PAUL: That's true. Absolutely. Happy Groundhog Day, everybody. And happy early spring we hope after this past week, week and a half that we've seen, that would be good news.

BLACKWELL: Put Phil making us hold. And moved the mic, he's not going to saying anything. I mean, he move the mic after a (INAUDIBLE).

PAUL: Does he runs? I don't know, what if they do?

BLACKWELL: Who wants to listen?

PAUL: Oh, I don't know. So, tomorrow's big Super Bowl. There is a degree of scrutiny.


PAUL: There are some distractions that are kind of following it to Atlanta.

BLACKWELL: Yes, you've got the calls for the halftime performers to take a knee and support a former quarterback and activists Colin Kaepernick to the controversy surrounding the call that helped the Rams get into the game. A certain degree of distraction remains. CNN's Nick Valencia, explains.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's been so much chatter about this year's Super Bowl halftime show. It's almost eclipsed chatter about the game itself. Critics say entertainers should have passed to show solidarity for quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Rihanna, the NFL's first choice reportedly declined the performance to show her support for the quarterback. So, should Maroon 5 had accepted the gig? In his only interview ahead of Sunday's game, the group's frontman, Adam Levine, told Entertainment Tonight, he considered the controversy when he made the decision.

ADAM LEVINE, LEAD SINGER, MAROON FIVE: We expected it. We'd like to move on from it. And like I said earlier speak through the music. VALENCIA: Kaepernick, the star athlete turned activists has been a free agent since 2016. Essentially, radioactive, jobless, despite the belief of many that he can help someone's team. Many see his unemployment as retribution for kneeling during the national anthem. His right to protest and the treatment of him as a player has led some fans to boycott the NFL. NPR's hip-hop correspondent Rodney Carmichael says, "With the game in Atlanta, the NFL missed a chance to highlight diversity from local acts." RODNEY CARMICHAEL, HIP-HOP STAFF WRITER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO:

Because of where they stand politically on this Kaepernick issue and refusing to see his protest over racial injustice as just that, they're missing out on the opportunity to score a lot of goodwill and a lot of great ratings by having this be the kind of hip-hop homecoming halftime show that it should have been.

VALENCIA: The two other acts who signed on to perform, Atlanta native big boy, and chart-topper Travis Scott, and even Gladys Knight who will sing the national anthem also felt the heat. But Carmichael says fans shouldn't put more blame on the performers than the NFL.

At a press conference this week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, sidestep any responsibility for Kaepernick not being in the league.

[07:34:58] ROGER GOODELL, COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: I think if a team decides, the Colin Kaepernick, or any other player can help their team win, that's what they'll do. They want to win, they make those decisions individually in the best interests of their club.

VALENCIA: A decision to cancel Thursday's news conference traditionally meant for the Super Bowl halftime performer only added to the criticism. Maroon 5 singer, Levine, said it was the NFL's decision to do so. He says he hopes the group's performance will show critics where he stands.

LEVINE: We're going to keep doing what we're doing. Hopefully, without becoming politicians to make people understand we got you.


VALENCIA: There are several petitions. One with over a hundred thousand signatures calling from Maroon 5 to take a knee during their halftime performance. There's also a petition with more than a hundred thousand signatures asking for Maroon 5 to step out of their performance altogether.

Without giving too much away, frontman Adam Levine says, "By the end of Sunday, the world will see that Maroon 5's performance was a reflection for all people even the critics. Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All right, Nick. Thank you so much. Still, to come, First Lady Melania Trump holding media outlets accountable for printing misinformation about her. Is she setting a precedent now for future first ladies' this has never been done before? We're going to talk about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:40:35] PAUL: So, 40 minutes past the hour right now. We have seen First Lady Melania Trump fight back against her critics with -- you know, critics who have some pretty harsh public statements. Recently, a British newspaper apologized to the first lady, agreeing to pay substantial damages after publishing a story alleging that she was struggling in her modeling career prior to meeting President Trump.

We have columnist of the Reliable Source at the Washington Post, Emily Heil with us. Emily, thank you so much for being with us. I know that this is something really no other first lady has done. I want to read you what Melania Trump's spokeswoman had said.

She said, "Her reasoning is pretty simple, she won't stand for people printing lies about her. It's irresponsible and reckless, and media outlets should be held accountable when they choose profit over the truth."

Because this is really unprecedented of any first lady, do you get the sense that in terms of her legacy, in terms of what is lasting for Melania Trump, is she setting a precedent here for future first ladies?

EMILY HEIL, COLUMNIST, RELIABLE SORCE, WASHINGTON POST: It's hard to know because she's not like any other first ladies. So, maybe we're entering into a new era of first lady dumb or first -- you know, spouse tum depending on how things go in the future. But, it may be just an aberration. We just don't know she just is so different from other first ladies in so many different ways.

And this litigiousness is completely unprecedented. No other first lady has sued media organizations, has gone after the media like Melania Trump has. It's very much a part and parcel of her husband's administration. It's very Trumpian to go after the media for sure. But typically, this just wasn't something that first ladies did.

PAUL: Any indication that it's working. That perhaps, there are less stories out there about her.

HEIL: Well, it's interesting. She's had success, yes, mostly in these three law -- or three settlements that she's gotten. Two of them have been with papers in the U.K. Now, libel law and defamation law, they're makes it much easier for public figures to win these kind of settlements.

So, she did have one settlement with a Maryland blogger. She hasn't successfully gone after any other U.S.-based media organizations, and it's unclear if she'll be able to be successful if she tries. Now, there she might be successful in other ways though. It's sort of -- these lawsuits have the effect of being able to -- you know point to the media, writ large, and try to discredit it.

They also might have a chilling effect on other reporters, it's unclear if they have. Particularly here in the U.S. where our laws favor the media much more strongly. But, it does kind of muddy the waters for her, and allows her to just -- you know, just say like her husband does, that there's a lot of fake news about her.

PAUL: And the first lady did tweet yesterday about Black History Month. With a message of unity and celebration of diversity, the president tweeted about National African-American History Month, as well. What role do you anticipate she's going to have in 2020 in terms of trying to court some of those African-American voters?

HEIL: That's interesting. She played -- you know, almost no role in the midterms. She really stayed away from the campaign trail there. Now, of course, it will be different in 2020, this is her husband's campaign. Its interests -- I'm going to be very curious to see how she's deployed in the -- on the campaign trail, as she in some ways, is said to represent a softer side of her husband. But she's proven not to really be that softer voice. She actually is quite aggressive on her own.

She is more popular than her husband is. So, that'll certainly help him on the trail. But it will be interesting to see how they deploy her and how success -- how successful she could be connecting with parts of his constituency. And parts of -- you know, voters who are -- who are not in his base, can she reach out to them? It's unclear.

PAUL: All righty. Emily Heil, always great to have you here. Thank you.

HEIL: Thanks so much, sure.

BLACKWELL: Up next, your guide to the best Super Bowl commercials ahead of the big game including this ad from Pepsi.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll take a coke.


STEVE CARELL, AMERICAN ACTOR, COMEDIAN: Is Pepsi OK? Is Pepsi OK? How? Are puppies, OK? He's a shooting star, OK? Is the laughter of a small child, OK?



[07:48:50] PAUL: You hear that music and you know what's going on. And we want to be really honest. Not everybody's so much into the game but they're in of the ads.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that certainly. And this year's commercials, they're great. I mean, of course, always. The big companies, they carefully craft these ads to make you laugh or get you emotional. While others like this ad from Pepsi, I mean they bring out all the celebrities.



CARELL: Is Pepsi OK? Is Pepsi OK? How? Our puppies, OK. Is a shooting star, OK? Is the laughter of a small child, OK? Pepsi is more than OK. It's --



CARELL: There you go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got to come up with my own catchphrase.



PAUL: Alright, he's there joining us now to preview what you're going to be seeing during the game. Jamie Turner CEO of He's a leading authority on marketing, social media, branding, and you knew Pepsi had to do something because they're in Coca-Cola land.


PAUL: Coca-Cola territory here in Atlanta.

TURNER: Absolutely. They've done a great job. They've gone in and they've done an interesting commercial that's created a lot of buzz online. I had a company called Talkwalker, do a social media analysis, listening to the buzz that's happening online. 2.6 million shares over the last 30 days versus 1.5 million for Coca-Cola.

[07:50:16] PAUL: Wow.

TURNER: Prior to that, they were neck-and-neck. And the bottom line is there is this ripple effect that happens. It's not just about the 30 seconds spot or the 60 seconds spot.


TURNER: It's about the ripple effect that happens all around the commercials and their doing a great job.

BLACKWELL: And it helps to put Cardi B in there if you want to get some social media buzz.

PAUL: Yes.


BLACKWELL: She helps bring some social media buzz. All right, so let's talk about avocados for Mexico. Let's watch the ad. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pageantry, poise, welcome to the dog show where humans compete for the ultimate prize, avocados from Mexico. That's a good sit, a shake, and a stay.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sure he is making someone very proud right now.


BLACKWELL: So, I get it. They're now flipping the tables on their owners. But, what's that got to do with avocados from Mexico?

TURNER: Yes, it's -- you know, every year, they go in and they do something really weird. There's three things you want to accomplish with a spot. Clarity, impact, and memorability.


TURNER: They are high on impact in the sense that they go out and they do something that captures your attention, and high on memorability. So, we're talking about it. On Monday, people around the water cooler will be talking about it. Mostly because it's a little quirky, a little weird, and that's not a bad thing. You want to stand out and do something different. That's what they have done here.

PAUL: And what people always it seems to talk about Anheuser-Busch. Let's take a look here.




BONNIE AND VIVIAN: And we're the makers of Bon and Viv spiked Seltzer.

VIVIAN: It's sparkling water.

BONNIE: And alcohol.

VIVIAN: It comes in fruit botanicals like pear elderflower.

BONNIE: With zero grams of sugar.

VIVIAN: Yes, seems too good to be true. But let us tell you --

BONNIE AND VIVIAN: The myth is real.

VIVIAN: What do you think, sharks?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want in. too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will double their offer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, this is my expertise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, don't go with them. Go with me.


PAUL: Your take?

TURNER: Another good chuckle, another funny spot. Something a little quirky, a little different. Something that people sitting around at the Super Bowl party are going to be going, wait, wait, wait, what's going on here with this?

So, a lot of impact, a lot of memorability. And pretty good on the clarity side of the equation as well.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: You know, the Washington Post has an ad that we can't show right now because they haven't released it. Which is unusual as of late because everybody wants that pre-game buzz.


BLACKWELL: There is obviously standing up for journalism. What do you know about it and the reason that they're not releasing it?

TURNER: Yes, Victor, that's a great point. A lot of times there's this ripple effect that happens where people releasing's before him. In order to get the buzz going, Washington Post didn't do that in this case.

I don't know if it's because they were late to the game in terms of being able to buy the air time or if they're actually trying to create buzz around the fact that they're not doing it. The most important thing, though is the message, what the message is about.

Journalism and journalists and supporting them and saying they're an important component of the American culture and what America is about. Let's support them, and I think all of us here -- sitting here right now would agree with that.

BLACKWELL: Yes, absolutely.

PAUL: Yes, all righty. Jamie, thank you.

TURNER: Great to see you guys.

BLACKWELL: All good to have.

PAUL: So good to have you here. TURNER: As always, yes.

HAPPY: Happy Super Bowl watching.

TURNER: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: We'll do it again, next year.


BLACKWELL: Still ahead, a flight to paradise ended with frustration for passengers. They abort this Hawaiian Airline's flight. Find out why their plane was forced to turn around three times and then, after that, they just said, "We're not going to go." [07:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: So, this week "STAYING WELL", features an urban sport called parkour. Adults are using this to build agility and prevent falls. Take a look at this.


AUSTIN GALL, INSTRUCTOR OF PARKOUR: Parkour is moving quickly and clearly through space when there's obstacles in your way. It's kind of not only challenge your body but also your brain.

Put it on top, and then, step through the middle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really an obstacle course that can improve muscle strength, balance, flexibility, gait.

GALL: A lot of people come into it being exposed to the more extravagant side of it. That's only half of it. We first start working on is being able to balance along a rail or along some beams without falling off. And then, working on just simple things like footwork and jumping.

I think I'm most important thing is that role being able to drop down into a roll to break your fall, shuffle, roll.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Physical activity is one of the prime ways that we can prevent falls, the stronger we are, and the greater our reaction time, the better apt we are to fall in a more appropriate way.

CHRIS JAMES, STUDENT OF PARKOUR: I can do a lot of things that I wouldn't think I'd be able to do at 35. How to absorb the fall, how to roll into it so you don't place too much jarring pressure on your joints.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm excited to see how parkour is going to evolve over the next few years as its adapted for older adults because I think there are components of it that are really important for reducing falls risk.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BLACKWELL: More than 200 passengers on board, a Hawaiian Airlines flight were left looking for new flights and hotel rooms after the plane was forced to return to LAX, three times. Look at this. These are the images of the flight pattern.

PAUL: Oh my goodness.

BLACKWELL: Just back and forth.

PAUL: I just want to get to Hawaii people.

BLACKWELL: And you could say, "Please, I just want to go to Hawaii." You can see the flight took off and turned around. Not once, not twice, three times. And, of course, the passengers were furious.


CHARLOTTE STRADLEY, PASSENGER, HAWAIIAN AIRLINES: 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 like throwing a fin, they kicked her off.


BLACKWELL: And she's probably the only one that actually made it to Hawaii at the end of that. At one point during the flight, fuel was seen flowing from the plane's wing. Now, the airline says, the problems were caused by three separate and unrelated faults with different systems. Good thing, everybody's fine.