Return to Transcripts main page


Five Employees Dead, Five Police Officers Wounded; Trump Facing Legal Challenges Over Emergency Declaration; Joe Biden Is Speaking at High-Profile Security Conference In Germany; Democratic Presidential Wannabes All Over The Map This Weekend; Prosecutors Say They Have Evidence Roger Stone Communicated Directly With WikiLeaks. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired February 16, 2019 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: 60 percent of our snow pack, right now, guys, we're over 130 percent. We have an excess of snow pack for the first time in a few years and it's a nice thing to have.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A terrifying situation here in Aurora, Illinois. Multiple people killed, multiple civilians injured, and five police officers injured by gunfire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robert Mueller asking a federal judge in Virginia to throw the book at Paul Manafort arguing that the former Trump campaign chairman deserves up to 24-1/2 years in prison.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the first time we learned that actually the special counsel's office on the record was investigating Roger Stone as part of this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sarah Sanders interviewed by the special council. The president's press secretary sat down with Bob Mueller's team late last year.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this but I'd rather do it much faster.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only national emergency is that our president is an idiot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republican lawmakers have warned the president for weeks not to declare a national emergency. He felt he was out of options to get funding for that border wall.


KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning, everyone. I'm Kaylee Hartung in for Christi Paul here on NEW DAY. BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

HARTUNG: Our top stories at this hour, police are now saying the shooter who killed five people at a manufacturing business in Illinois had just lost his job.

BLACKWELL: After announcing a national emergency that he admitted, he did not need to do, legal challenges are already stacking up against the president this morning.

HARTUNG: And meanwhile, Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

BLACKWELL: And for the first time, prosecutors say they have evidence of Roger Stone talking to WikiLeaks about how hacked information could help Donald Trump win the presidency.

We begin with this morning with that shooting in Aurora. At least five people are dead, five police officers wounded, after a man started shooting at a manufacturing business.

HARTUNG: And authorities say, the suspect, who was being let go by the company was killed in a gun battle with police.


HARTUNG: A city in mourning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is a sad day in the city of Aurora.

HARTUNG: The Chicago suburb tragically thrust into spotlight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For so many years, we have seen similar situations throughout our nation. To experience it first hand, it's even more painful.

HARTUNG: Shots rang out Friday after, inside this manufacturing warehouse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The shooter is identified as Gary Martin. He's a 45-year-old man, and we believe he was an employee of the company. At this time, we aren't sure of the motive.

HARTUNG: One man who ran from the building described seeing the gunman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I saw was the guy ran down the aisles and with a pistol with a laser on it.

HARTUNG: Police, firefighters and federal agents all rushing to the scene. The gunman shooting two of the first four officers to respond.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to take this opportunity to send positive energy to those officers who are being treated. Thank you for running towards the gunfire and putting your lives in danger to protect those inside the business. HARTUNG: The governor offering his support, pledging to work towards

ending the gun violence plaguing Illinois.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May their memory fuel our work to bring peace to this state that we call home.


BLACKWELL: CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and FBI Supervisor Special Agent James Gagliano joins us now. Good morning to you.

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Good morning, Victor, Kaylee, how are you?

BLACKWELL: So, let's start here. What stands out to you about this investigation? How this ended. It took 90 minutes. Do you suspect that's just because of the size of this facility?

GAGLIANO: 100 percent.


GAGLIANO: So, we know that most mass shootings like this usually go down within about three to five minutes. And the police in Chicago did a great job. They arrived on scene four minutes. We know there was a furious exchange of gun fires between the police and shooter, a 45-year-old man, disgruntled employee. But it did take longer to clear the location. And that is standard in these types of incidents.

HARTUNG: And in this case, the gunman used a handgun, Smith and Wesson handgun when he walked into his place of (INAUDIBLE). What could have been done to prevent this? We talk so often about assault weapons and the ban that people are interested in seeing there, but this was a handgun.

GAGLIANO: Absolutely. And obviously, we have second amendment protections that have been around since 1791. There's a whole host of things here, mental health issues. The fact that when police arrived on scene, they're doing it in a vacuum, right. They get a call out; there's a shooting, they respond. They don't know if it's a hate crime. They don't know if it's some type of religious zealotry, they don't know if it's a disgruntled employee, a domestic abuse; they're doing this in a vacuum.

They've got to get on scene, assess it. And post-Columbine which happened almost 20 years ago, we have learned, you have to go to the sound of the guns. You've to go to interdict this gunman, sort things out later. And sometimes, in these instances, the people are planning to die while it happens which makes it exponentially more difficult because other people get hurt in exchanges of gunfire.

BLACKWELL: You know, we've talked over the years, as these have happened so often about the hardening of targets: malls, movie theaters, grocery stores and I guess workplaces as well. Is there anything here, realistically -- I mean, people are not going to go through a metal detector from room to room, but realistically that people can do that's affordable, because that's a consideration of business that harken these targets?

[07:05:37] GAGLIANO: You're not going to let me do it. If you allow me to impose martial law, I can guarantee the safety of every American here. We live in America; we cherish our freedoms, our civil liberties, our right to privacy. That's never going to happen. Now, some of the softer targets that you just pointed out and I hate to use that term "soft", but places like schools -- Parkland was one year ago, one year ago. We've learned things from that. Single point entry, having school resources officers on scene who are armed to deal with somebody that comes in.

Is it a panacea? It's going to solve every possible shooting? No, there are 335 million Americans and there are somewhere around 335 million firearms here. You're always going to have the opportunity from someone, some type of mental health issues or a grievance that devolves into a sociopath becoming a psychopath doing something like this. And the answer is, no. We'll do a better job at it, but we can't make sure that it never ever happens in this country.

HARTUNG: And just quickly James, we know five Aurora police officers now suffering from nonlife-threatening injuries. But they were shot within the first five minutes of responding. What do you take away from that fact?

GAGLIANO: As I pointed out earlier, these things happen very quickly. Usually, within three to seven minutes an active shooting case is resolved one way or the other. Look, here's another sober statistic: we're a month and a half into the year in 2019, 16 police officers have been killed in the line of duty, seven by assailant gunfire. So, this is a very big reality in 2019 America.

BLACKWELL: James Gagliano, thanks so much.

GAGLIANO: Thanks for having me, guys.

BLACKWELL: All right.

HARTUNG: Chaos and panic in San Francisco as audience members fled a performance of the musical "Hamilton." Police say an audience member suffered a medical emergency during a scene of the show which included gun fire. Audience members connected the two events and rushed the doors in fear of an actual shooting. Police say, three people were injured and officials say, the show did not go on.

BLACKWELL: Special counsel prosecutor says that former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, acted out of greed -- his lifestyle, defrauding banks, the IRS. So, the federal authorities may put him in prison for the rest of his life. Manafort was convicted last year for bank and tax fraud, other financial crimes as well relating to work he did for Ukrainian politicians. CNN's Evan Perez has more.


EVAN PEREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A judge here in Washington voided Paul Manafort's plea deal with federal prosecutors. Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that there's enough evidence to show that Manafort, the former Trump Campaign Chairman, intentionally lied in three instances during the time that he was supposed to be cooperating with the investigators from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office. Manafort's attorneys have disputed that he intentionally made false statements saying he simply didn't remember certain details.

Prosecutors that accused Manafort of five specific lies. He pleaded guilty last year to financial crimes and agreed to cooperation with the Mueller investigation. The judge issued an order saying that Manafort lied in three of those topics. The lies were "material to the investigation." But two of those lies, the judge said, had to do with Manafort's former business associate, Konstantin Kilimnik. Prosecutors allege that Kilimnik is an operative with Russian intelligence, and they say that Manafort shared sensitive polling data with Kilimnik during a meeting last year at a cigar bar in New York.

Now, we don't know exactly what else happened at that meeting but prosecutors say that it was important enough that Manafort lied about it, and that those who attended even left by separate exits, perhaps to avoid detection. The judge has yet to decide how long Manafort will spend in prison and whether he gets any time for admitting to his crimes. Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.


HARTUNG: And meanwhile, the special counsel's office revealed in a new court filing, the prosecutors have evidence now of Roger Stone's communication with WikiLeaks relating to the release of those Democratic e-mails that were hacked. The information came from dozens of search warrants on various accounts used to make the transfer of the stolen documents. They also show the timing and promotion of their release. The full extent of Stone's communication is still yet to be revealed.

BLACKWELL: A man who once considered -- was considered a power broker in the Catholic church is now no longer a priest. The Vatican has dismissed disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after a church trial found him guilty of sexually abusing minors for decades. McCarrick who once led the archdiocese of Washington will not be able to appeal that decision.

HARTUNG: Let the legal challenges begin. President Trump's national emergency which he admits he didn't want to do, immediately facing legal challenges this morning.

[07:10:16] BLACKWELL: Plus, Democratic presidential candidates are busy on the campaign trail this weekend, while former Vice President Joe Biden who's also considering a potential presidential run is speaking at a high-profile security conference in Germany.


HARTUNG: Now, by signing an emergency declaration and a bipartisan funding bill, President Trump avoided triggering a second government shutdown this year. But he opened up his administration for challenges from after every growing list of opponents. BLACKWELL: Well, the declaration redirects several billion dollars of

taxpayer money from certain projects to pay for the border wall. The biggest chunk would come from the defense department's military construction fund. Meanwhile, Democrats in the House planned to try to approve a resolution to block the president's emergency declaration. If that resolution would pass the House, the Senate would be required by law to vote on the measure within 18 days.

[07:15:16] HARTUNG: And joining me now Constitutional Attorney Page Pate, and Tim Naftali, the former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library and a CNN Presidential Historian. Tim, I want to start with you, is there anything new for the president to use this power to declare a national emergency, this being the 32nd active national emergency we have right now. What is unique about the way President Trump has used his power in this case?

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, let's first of all put into context, why we have the National Emergencies Act of 1976. It's because President Nixon was using a 1950 Korean War emergency to prosecute the war in Vietnam. And during his time, his first term, he invoked national emergencies to deal with a postal strike and to lift tariffs without the participation of Congress.

So, after the Watergate-era, this is an era of the imperial presidency, Congress said we've got to stop this. We've got to put in place some formal mechanism so the presidents don't call for national emergencies without cause. Since that time, presidents have enacted this legislature that called for or declared over 60 national emergencies. But for the most part, they have involved freezing assets of foreigners or governments that pose a threat to our country. Or freezing transfers of money within our country, linked to Americans who happen to be helping foreign adversaries.

These emergencies have not been controversial since the passage of the law in 1976 until now. This is the first time that a president has sought to use this particular piece of legislation to strip money from Congress, because they didn't get it in a budgetary negotiation. This is an unprecedented use of an act that was set up to limit the imperial presidency. He has turned something that was noncontroversial and nonpartisan, into now a flash point for discussion about abuse of powers by the president of the United States.

HARTUNG: Unprecedented act by the president. And also, perhaps, Page, unprecedented action by Congress in reaction. What legal challenges do you see? Let's just start with Congress; we know that there are a lot of different ways that this could be attacked.

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right, Kaylee, the first thing that Congress can do, and this is specifically addressed by the law itself is Congress can pass a resolution saying, no, Mr. President, we're sorry, there is no national emergency. But the strange thing about that part of the statute is that the president can veto the resolution. So, even if you get the Republicans and the Democrats in Congress to agree this is a step too far under this law that there really is no national emergency, the president can veto that and still move forward with his plan.

The second thing that they can do, we're already seeing lawsuits being filed in courts across the country, is Congress can attempt to go to the courts to get an injunction to stop the president, not just from building the wall, but from taking the money from these other places, these other programs, that Congress has already authorized and appropriated. So, I think we're going to see a challenge in Congress. And then, I think we're going to see a challenge in the courts.

HARTUNG: President Trump yesterday made it clear, he's well aware that he could face legal challenges. Listen to this.


TRUMP: We will have a national emergency and then we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the Ninth Circuit even though it shouldn't be there. And we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we'll get another bad ruling, and then we'll end up in the Supreme Court. And hopefully, we'll get a fair shake and we'll win in the Supreme court. Just like the ban; they sued us in the Ninth Circuit. And we lost, and then we lost in the Appellate Division, and then we went to the Supreme Court and we won.


HARTUNG: President Trump is seeing the courts block his policies before. There you heard it in a sing-song manner recounted in a way. Page, how long could this take? I mean, can you put into perspective, in some sense, how long all of this could be tied up in legal action?

PATE: Well, that's an interesting question. First of all, you don't sue anybody in the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit is a court of appeals. You have to first file the lawsuit in a district court, a lower court. You have one federal judge or perhaps several federal judges passing on the legality of this particular action by the president. And then, if that doesn't go the president's way, then, of course, the White House through its lawyers can appeal it through the Ninth Circuit or some other circuit court of appeal and eventually it can make its way to the Supreme Court.

Now, something the Trump administration has been doing recently is trying to get their cases directly to the Supreme Court. That's a very unusual maneuver, but I expect we may see that here regardless whether it starts in the district court and works its way through the normal process or bypasses some of that, we're still talking about many months, if not years, before this can finally be resolved in the courts.

[07:20:18] HARTUNG: Tim, you put that 1976 Act into context into how they sought to limit the power the president. Do you think it's time now, in light of this, to take another look at the power that that 1976 Act gives him?

NAFTALI: Oh, Kaylee, absolutely. The run of the key to the laws is they don't define national emergency. They leave it up to the president. And as Page mentioned, if Congress disagrees to the president, super majority can overrule the presidential veto. That was a mistake made in 1976. But by the way, nobody intended in 1976, it's clear; nobody expected a president of the United States to use this lawful if he lost a budget dispute with the divided Congress. Nobody imagined it then.

And, by the way, throughout all of the presidencies since, no president has even imagined doing this. So, what Donald Trump is doing is he's cheating. He may get away with it because of the ambiguity in this 1976 law. But make no mistake about it, this is cheating. This is not what the law was designed to do. This is not how Congress is supposed to act with the president. The president is not supposed to say to Congress, you don't give me the money I want, I'm going to call an emergency, a fake one, to get it from you anyway.

This is a cheat. And we'll see what happens. But the president has actually stepped over a fascinating and important line and has returned to the kind of imperial presidency that Congress tried to limit after Richard Nixon.

HARTUNG: There a lot of things going on in American politics today that I don't think lawmakers in 1976 could have foreseen. Page Pate and Tim Naftali, thank you to you both.

PATE: Thank you.

NAFTALI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Vice President Mike Pence is slamming Iran leadership at the Munich Security Conference and telling America's European allies to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.


[07:26:30] HARTUNG: Welcome back to NEW DAY. I'm Kaylee Hartung in for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

HARTUNG: Moments ago, Vice President Mike Pence took the world stage at the Munich Security Conference. He slammed Iran calling it the "leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world." And he urged, America's European allies to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The time has come for our European partners to stand with us and with the Iranian people. Our allies and friends in the region, the time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and join us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the Iranian people, the region, and the world, the peace, security and freedom they deserve.


HARTUNG: Pence isn't the only big name in Munich. Former Vice President Joe Biden also speaking at the security conference. And he's also expected to talk about America's role on the world stage.

BLACKWELL: Biden has been thinking about running for president in 2020. And if he decides to run, it looks like he'd have the support of Democratic voters. CNN poll here shows 62 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters say Biden should run. And half of Americans say they would likely support him. CNN Political Reporter Arlette Saenz is live from Munich. Arlette, tell us more about what we're expecting to hear from the former vice president.

ARLETTE SAENZ: Well, Victor and Kaylee, former Vice President Joe Biden is a regular attendee of this Munich Security Conference. And today, he'll be talking about the role he thinks the U.S. should play in the world, as well as some of the challenges that are coming up. He's also going to be speaking on a panel about election integrity. And while a lot of the 2020 Democrats are out back home in early states like South Carolina and New Hampshire this weekend, for Biden, it's a little bit different. He'll be here in Munich, showcasing his foreign policy credentials as he gets closer to deciding whether or not he'll run for president in 2020.


SAENZ: As the Democratic field in 2020 takes shape back home, Joe Biden returns to a familiar place on the world stage.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've done more foreign policy that I think anybody who is actively around in politics.

SAENZ: If he runs for president, Biden would enter the race as a foreign policy heavyweight, with the resume spanning decades. In the Senate, he chaired the Foreign Relations Committee.

BIDEN: I believe the president's strategy is not a solution. Secretary Rice, I believe it's a tragic mistake.

SAENZ: During eight years as vice president, Biden travelled to nearly 60 countries from Morocco to Vatican City, Guatemala, to Mongolia. Biden's White House portfolio included Iraq where he traveled eight times, more than any other country as vice president. He also was the administration's point person on Ukraine where he visited six times. His final trip coming days before leaving office.

BIDEN: The international community must continue to stand against Russian aggression and coercion.

SAENZ: On the campaign trail last fall, Biden boasted of his close ties to world leaders.

BIDEN: I've spent as much time with Xi Jinping as anybody has.

SAENZ: And slammed President Trump's approach to European allies.

BIDEN: Mark my words, if we don't turn things around, there will be no NATO in five years.

SAENZ: And to Russia.

BIDEN: Acting more like one of Putin's poodles in the leader of the free world.

[07:30:08] SAENZ: Biden's decades of national security work would set him apart in a field thin on foreign policy credentials. But that experience also comes with a long record where critics can take aim.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A joint resolution is pass.

SAENZ: In 2002, Biden voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq. A decision he later said, "Was a mistake." If he runs, Biden would also face questions on Obama administration policies, like its handling of Syria. Democrats already in the race are a jockey to put their own stamp on foreign policy.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: We need to stand strong and consistently with our allies.

SAENZ: The current field includes two veterans who served overseas. And senators who've worked on the intelligence foreign relations and armed services committees.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Americans must demonstrate to this president and to the world that we are not sliding toward autocracy, not without a fight.

SAENZ: As he inches closer to a decision, Biden says one thing is clear.

BIDEN: Not a single aspiring candidate that I can think of for the nomination, and I am not one at this point does not have a better understanding and formulation of American foreign policy than President Trump.


SAENZ: Now, former Vice President Joe Biden is not the only possible 2020 Democrat here in Munich today. Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who's also considering a run, he is here at the conference. He'll be talking about the transatlantic alliance.

And a short while ago, the conference heard from Vice President Mike Pence. I'm told that Joe Biden was not in the room for that speech as it was going on. But Biden is expected to present a little bit more of a contrast to the policy of the Trump administration. Victor and Kaylee?

BLACKWELL: Arlette Saenz for us there in Munich. Arlette, thank you so much. And in the race for 2020, Democrats are -- when they're everywhere, this weekend making campaign stuffs in some important states. Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg, in New Hampshire.

Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, South Carolina. Warren then heads to Georgia. Amy Klobuchar is in Iowa. I'm telling you, they're everywhere.

HARTUNG: All over the map, literally. Now, the Democratic National Committee's winter meetings are wrapping up this afternoon in Washington. And with a historically large number of Democrats planning to run for president, the DNC has already announced its format for the first two primary debates. There will be no kids table in these debates.

BLACKWELL: There will be no kids table. A random selection here. Amy Klobuchar is no stranger to speaking up and sparring with the president. Now, she's taking him on as the latest Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race. Monday night, she joins New Hampshire voters to take the questions and discuss what's next for the country.

Don Lemon moderate to CNN presidential town hall that's Monday night at 10:00, right here on CNN.

HARTUNG: And major developments in the Russia investigation late yesterday. Robert Mueller's team is recommending a stiff sentence for Paul Manafort while revealing new evidence against Roger Stone. Joseph Borelli, New York City councilman, and Republican commentator joins us next.


[07:37:33] HARTUNG: Well, federal prosecutors, say Paul Manafort deserves a severe penalty up to 24-1/2 years in prison for his financial crimes. That's essentially life in prison for the man.

BLACKWELL: That's Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team laid out their suggestions for sentencing time in court documents yesterday. President Trump's former campaign chair was convicted last year on tax and banks -- bank fraud charges. Prosecutors, say the 69-year-old acted as it -- as if he was above the law and does not deserve leniency.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have revealed for the first time that they have evidence that Roger Stone communicated directly with WikiLeaks. Prosecutors did not say what was in those communications between Stone and WikiLeaks.

We're joined now by Joseph Borelli, New York City councilman and Republican commentator. Joseph, welcome back to the show.

JOSEPH BORELLI, COUNCILMAN, NEW YORK CITY: Good morning, Victor. Good morning.

BLACKWELL: Let's start here with this emergency declaration for building the wall. The president said among many things during that news conference in the Rose Garden, "I didn't need to do this." Does that not undermine the argument that this is a national emergency?

BORELLI: No, I don't think so at all. I mean, I think he meant he didn't need to do this if Congress would have appropriated the money as they voted in the past to fund the border wall what he promised to his voters. BLACKWELL: But they did, $1.375 billion, and he signed it into law the same day that he now says it's an emergency.

BORELLI: Right, and -- sure, and we've played the debates over and over again where $1.1 billion or one a change isn't going to build enough to really do any significant damage.

I mean, again the $8.8 billion, I think, he's getting from the national emergency would be able to build a 50 or 60 or 70 more miles.

BLACKWELL: But, OK. So, let's talk here -- the president, the end of the sentence about, "I didn't need to do this. I just wanted to do it faster." I'm paraphrasing that portion. The president hasn't spent the $1.571 billion that was allocated in the 2018 omnibus bill. Money from previous years for barriers and replacements has not been spent.

The 55 miles that the Congress appropriated money for could not be built in a year anyway. So, why would you need the extra $5 billion for additional mileage when they've not built a single additional new barrier in this year at all or last year?

BORELLI: Look, you know, we can write a book on the problems with federal procurement and contract procurement and design an environmental permitting needed for all types of construction projects.

I think the point though is that all that stuff has to start with the funding appropriation to sort of authorize more work to be done. I mean, that -- and that's sort of where we are now. I mean that's not unique to the federal government. That's essentially how every state and municipality operates in the United States.

[07:49:15] BLACKWELL: Yes, but the point is they've not built with the money they had already for that -- I could say 14 additional miles for this levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley that's supposed to start sometime this month but has not.

He's not -- they're not going to be able to spend the 1.37 bill -- $1.375 billion this year, why do they need extra money, Joseph? That's what I'm saying. Is he looking for just a big number to impress his base?

BORELLI: No. I mean, when you're doing municipal or state or federal contracting, you start with a budget allocation, and then you shape a project around that. You have to design it, you have to contract it, you have to go out and build it.

I mean, but again, the initial point is always from the -- from the initial allocation of the funds which is where we are today. And again, I mean, he's pulling this money from other -- you know counterdrug programs. He's pulling it from -- you know, Treasury funds that have been forfeited from drug dealers.

So, I don't think there is any reason to be suspect of where he's pulling it from. And I'm -- frankly, I'm kind of glad he's doing it. BLACKWELL: Yes, one place he's pulling it from that, you left out considering the national emergency was from Department of Defense construction projects and their budget. Are you concerned about potential military readiness problems considering that he's pulling money from -- obviously, priorities that the military thought needed to be executed?

BORELLI: No, I mean I thought you were going to ask me about some of the housing infrastructure that I had actually heard about. I mean, I imagine Congress will have to go back and re-appropriate some money towards those projects, or potentially find a new source of revenue to give the president in future years.

BLACKWELL: A Military Times reporting that the potential -- and guys, put this up if we have it. Potential projects that could either be delayed or I guess put to the back of the burner here. New vehicle maintenance shop in Kuwait. Dry dock repairs at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. F-35 hangar improvements at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Ongoing hospital construction at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. All of these projects that could be delayed.

Let me come here to another thing the president said yesterday and has been saying for a while now that there's a lot of wall that's being built that the president has already seeing additional miles of this new wall being built. That is not true. Why is the president saying it?

BORELLI: We've had this debate, we've had the gumballs out that you like so much. You know, there is -- there is --


BLACKWELL: I like the truth. The reason they are gumballs because the president has said, more than 8,000 things that are either false or misleading. We would happen to be just told the truth.

BORELLI: And there -- and there is -- and there is wall that that's existing that's being repaired. There is a small patches of new wall that's being formed. I mean, I think -- I think, this (INAUDIBLE) just been had again.


BORELLI: I have a map.

BLACKWELL: Where is there an inch of new wall that the president has gotten through, through this Congress? Where is the inch of new wall?

BORELLI: That -- that's a good question to me. I don't know the specifics. But I mean he's been pretty clear that there is wall under construction. And --


BLACKWELL: Yes, he's been very clear on a lie. There is not an inch of new wall that has been built. There's been replacement of fencing, there has not been any new wall. Why, why, do you support this lie that continuing from the president?

BORELLI: I don't know. I've seen videos of wall being built. So, so, I would -- I would not -- you know, give in to that, that speculation.

BLACKWELL: You've seen video of walls being built?

BORELLI: Yes, I mean, I watch networks like CNN and other networks that have shown of videos of walls being built. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong.

BLACKWELL: You're wrong.


BLACKWELL: What you're seeing is replacement of fencing. Here is the picture. This is the video of the president's prototypes that he went out and toured. And there was a big event where he showed these are the prototypes, the tens of millions of dollars that Congress appropriated to get to see that the prototypes here. Not an inch of any of these are being built.

Let me move on to another thing that we learned here from the special prosecutor in this latest filing on Roger Stone. Saying that they now have evidence of communications between Roger Stone and Guccifer 2.0, which is essentially the Russian government and WikiLeaks.

And let me read to you from the special counsel's mandate to investigate, "Any links and or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. Does this not meet that threshold? Is this not what the special prosecutor was looking for?

BORELLI: No, I mean I'm glad the special prosecutor has this evidence. CNN reported on these conversations between Roger Stone and WikiLeaks back in November. The Atlantic originally reported them back in February when they received leaked transcript copies of Rogers Stone's closed-door house testimony.

And by the way, the House committee, the House intelligence committee that was receiving that testimony found that there was no evidence of collusion. So, I mean, I'm -- if the Special Counsel is just getting around to this now, then they're a bit far behind the House investigation.

[07:45:08] BLACKWELL: Joseph, do you think that Paul Manafort deserves a pardon?

BORELLI: No. Actually, I don't. I mean, if you -- if you look at the crimes he was convicted of, I think it was eight bank fraud, tax fraud, hiding offshore accounts in Cyprus. This is someone who doesn't necessarily deserve leniency. Someone who has committed crimes that by any under -- any other stand or any other person would receive the same sense. So, I don't think he should be singled out. I don't think he should be singled out for prosecution because of his ties with President Trump. But I also don't think he should be singled out for some sort of -- you know, pardon or some sort of being let off easy, essentially.

BLACKWELL: All right, Joseph Borelli, always good to have you.

BORELLI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, Kaylee.

HARTUNG: Victor, eight nurses from Canada have launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for an evacuation out of Haiti as the situation there worsen. So, they're trapped at a Christian charity compound because of these violent anti-government protests.

More than 120 Canadian missionaries and tourist are also stranded in Haiti, and they're evacuations are in the works though. Protesters are demanding the president of Haiti step down amid skyrocketing inflation and allegations of corruption, he's refusing to resign.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, Payless is closing all of its stores in the U.S. It's the latest retailer to join a growing list of dying brick and mortars. When the closest one near you is having a liquidation sale. We'll tell you about this.


[07:50:40] HARTUNG: Well, discount shoe store Payless is closing up shop. The company said it's closing all 2,100 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

BLACKWELL: They also plan to shut down the store online. CNN business correspondent Alison Kosik is following all of it for us. Alison, good morning to you. Another big blow to brick-and-mortar retailers.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, that's exactly what this is. Good morning to both of you. You know, after being in business for more than 60 years, this really is an end of an era. I took a look on Twitter, a lot of people kind of stunned by this, saying, "Where am I going to go buy those discounted shoes for my kids who grow out of their shoes every six months?"

So, there is apparently a loyal following for Payless, but not enough to support the store, to keep the store open. So, it is expected to go ahead and begin liquidating all of its stores here in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico beginning tomorrow. The store is expected to file for bankruptcy at the end of this month.

If it does it would be the second time in about two years that it's filed for bankruptcy. And during that first bankruptcy, it had reorganized, it cut hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. But it doesn't seem to be enough to have saved the company.

So, this is just one more indicator of what's really happening in the retail industry, it's being disrupted in a big way. For a couple of reasons, a lot of competition there, are lots of places to go and buy discounted shoes. Whether it's H&M or Zara, or just going online.

I haven't even mentioned Amazon. We've also changed the way that we shop. So, that's why you're seeing a lot of these brick-and-mortar retailers either go bankrupt or close their doors.

Last year, we saw thousands and thousands almost 4,000 store closings last year. This year is expected to be just as bad if not worse when it comes to those store closings. I think what you're seeing, Kaylee, is that you're seeing these stores really try to keep up with consumer trends, consumer tastes, and it's really tough if you're one of these brick-and-mortar stores to do that. Back to you.

HARTUNG: Yes, this age of Amazon changing away all of us shop.


HARTUNG: Alison Kosik, thank you so much.

KOSIK: You got it.

BLACKWELL: Colin Kaepernick's collusion case is closed, but what answers did we get? What we know and what we don't about the deal former NFL quarterback Kaepernick made with the NFL?


[07:57:02] Colin Kaepernick has settled his lawsuit alleging collusion that had kept him out of the NFL.

HARTUNG: Andy Scholes is in Charlotte for the NBA All-Star Game. Andy, we're going to have to wait a second to talk about the NBA All- Star Game. First, what do we know about this settlement between Kaepernick and the NFL?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning guys. What -- if there was a smoking gun in Colin Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL, we may never know because as a -- as a part of the settlement, there is a confidentiality clause.

Now, Kaepernick, of course, was the first to start the movement of kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice. His former teammate Eric Reid soon joined him. Then, Kaepernick and Reid had filed a grievance alleging NFL owners then colluded to keep them out of the league because of their protests.

And Kaepernick and Reid's attorney along with the NFL putting out a joint statement yesterday. It read, "For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.

Now, the financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed and what does this mean now for Kaepernick? Well, he has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season, and it's still up to the individual teams if they want to sign him. Reid, meanwhile, yes, he joined the Panthers this past season. And he actually just signed a new three-year deal in the offseason.

Meanwhile, here in a rainy Charlotte NBA All-Star Weekend swinging into full gear tonight with the skills competition. Three-point contest and then the dunk contest always one of the most fun nights in the NBA. And this year's three-point contest, it's a family affair.

Charlotte native and former champ Steph Curry is going to go up against his little brother Seth. Steph, proposing a little bet to his brother saying the loser has to buy all the tickets for their family for the rest of their careers.

And we caught up with Charles Barkley earlier this week. And he said the curry rivalry is going to be one -- fun one to watch tonight.


CHARLES BARKLEY, ANALYST ON INSIDE THE NBA: You know it's nothing like playing against your brother. That's the greatest thing about -- I'm one splits about an amazing competition. But when you get to play against number one, your brother or your friends, it makes it even more personal. So, I'm pretty sure Steph really wants to win.


SCHOLES: And Steph having some fun last night, his old stomping grounds, Davidson catching their game. And after the win, check out Curry dancing with some of the students in their section, also taking some selfies.

A one thing is for sure, Steph Curry is having some fun back at home during All-Star Weekend and "ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT" gets going on our sister station, TNT at 8:00 Eastern.

Now, as a part of NBA all-star weekend that NBA always hold a tech summit. And check out what at NBA Commissioner Adam Silver unveiled yesterday. This is the future of jerseys. He changed the name and the number on this Jersey with his phone.

Just incredible guys to think that in the future, we'll have something like this. You can buy one Jersey, and then put whatever name and number you want on it.

BLACKWELL: But how much is that one Jersey? All right, Andy.