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Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders to Hold Rally in Brooklyn; Reporting Indicates President Trump Had Jared Kushner Granted Top Secret Security Clearance; Interview with Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI); Melania Trump to Embark on Three-State Tour Promoting Be Best Initiative; San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer's Altercation with Wife Caught on Video; Scientists Testing Genetic Modification to Immunize Mice from Lyme Disease. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired March 2, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:18] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Saturday, March 2nd. We are so glad to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Phil Mattingly. I broke out of D.C.
PAUL: Yes, we're glad you did.
MATTINGLY: I'm in for Victor Blackwell. You're in the CNN Newsroom.
PAUL: The 2020 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is about to hit the campaign trail in his hometown of Brooklyn, expected to deliver deeply personal remarks this time around. This is according to excerpts of his speech that are provided to CNN by a campaign source.
MATTINGLY: Sanders will touch on struggles of his working class families, the speech reading in part, quote, "Coming from a lower middle class family, I will never forget how money or really lack of money was always a point of stress in our home." I want to get right now to CNN Correspondent Ryan Nobles who is in Brooklyn. Ryan, I assume you're still rather cold, but I want to talk about what we're about to see today and later on in Chicago I think tomorrow. This is a different Bernie Sanders message. Why?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Phil. And the big reason why is because Bernie Sanders didn't win four years ago. And so his campaign realizes that even though he did ignite a political movement, he had millions of supporters, garnered millions of votes, and raised millions of dollars, it wasn't enough to win. It wasn't even enough to win the Democratic nomination, let alone the White House.
And while many viewed Bernie Sanders' run four years ago as perhaps just a signal, a way to send a message to the political establishment and to effectively move the Democratic Party to the left, this time around Bernie Sanders has a much different goal. It is all about winning. And that's why you're seeing him do things different in a lot of respects. And what we're going to see here over the next two days is a prime
example of that. Today in this speech, his first speech of the 2020 campaign, Bernie Sanders is going to get personal. He's going to talk about his experience growing up here in Brooklyn to a working class family, living in a rent controlled apartment, being the son of immigrants. And he is going to use that as a way to describe why he believes these progressive issues that he has been pushing really his entire life, but since he has gotten the national spotlight over the past four years or so, important. He is going to make the argument for economic equality. He's going to make an argument for health care for everyone, for raising the minimum wage. These are all things that were the cornerstone of that campaign.
But now he's going to try to bring in a personal touch to it to try to connect people on an even broader level. And there's no doubt that even though his campaign is off to a very good start, he's raised more than $10 million, they've had more than a million people sign up, that there is still some concern that he may not be the candidate to unite this Democratic Party, particularly a Democratic Party that has a significant amount of influence from the minority community and from women in particular, and let's be honest, Bernie Sanders is an older white man, which might not necessarily be what the Democratic Party is looking for today.
So Bernie Sanders is going to try to touch on all those points today in this big speech. And the one thing we're expecting is a big crowd. You can see here behind me it is definitely a snowy and cold day in Brooklyn. But already monster crowds of people lined up outside to see Bernie Sanders speak here today. This is Sanders sending his first message to the rest of the 2020 crowd that if you underestimated him in the past, you better not do that, because he's going to have a big say in who the next Democratic nominee is going to be. Phil and Christi?
PAUL: We'll look at what he has to say. Ryan Nobles, thank you very much.
MATTINGLY: Bernie Sanders can always draw a crowd, that's for sure.
And joining us now to discuss this, Catherine Rampell, CNN political commentator and "Washington Post" opinion columnist, and Chuck Rocha, senior adviser for the Bernie Sanders campaign and president of Solidarity Strategies. Good morning, guys. Chuck, I want to start with you, because Ryan hits on a key point here. I have covered Senator Sanders in the Senate for a long period of time, not a guy that likes to talk about personal stories much, because he wants to talk about policy. Why the shift that we expect today?
CHUCK ROCHA, SENIOR ADVISER, BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN: I think we should talk about that for a moment. I've worked in campaigns for almost 29 years, and every politician I've ever worked for, guess what they like to do? They love to talk about themselves. Bernie Sanders is not like that. In the last campaign, and I was part of the last campaign, Bernie said it is not about me, it is about the people. Let's talk about the issues that affect them every single day and let's make a connection and empower the grassroots. We're going to do the same thing this time, except Bernie now is going to weave in some of his stories.
We need to draw a contrast between a billionaire in the White House whose father gave him hundreds of millions to start a business, to a man that grew up in Brooklyn in a rent controlled building really understand what's it's like to have to struggle to put food on the table.
PAUL: So Catherine, I want to ask you about something that is on the front page of "The Washington Post" today about how centrist Democrats are concerned about some of their more progressive counterparts and a split in the Democratic Party. Are you seeing that?
CATHERINE RAMPELL, "WASHINGTON POST" OPINION COLUMNIST: Absolutely. I think this is a major issue that's going to affect the primary campaign going forward but also of course governance within the House as well as potentially within the Senate.
[10:05:03] What you're seeing is you're seeing the leftwing of the Democratic Party pushing for more and more, of course, leftwing policies, some of which are supported by evidence, some of which are more ideologically driven as is always the case with any faction of any political party. And that's creating a lot of tension within the party about who is really going to control the reins here. And you see a lot of concern from more moderate Democrats, not only about feasibility of the ideas themselves but about how they might be played against the Democratic Party.
For example, how are you going to pay for some of the very expensive policies that are quite popular on the far left? And will that be used against Democrats, more moderate Democrats in states that are crucial for not only retaining control of the House the next time around but of course winning the White House, that if you alienate more moderate Democrats or if you don't motivate people who are potentially swing voters to come and vote against Donald Trump, if they're scared of socialism, for example, if that motivates people to vote for Donald Trump or at least to stay home, how will the party regain control?
MATTINGLY: So Chuck, I think that's an interesting point, because you have the majority makers in the House who are moderate and how Catherine is talking about right now who are concerned about this. But you have the presidential candidates who in large part up to this point have almost mirrored where Senator Sanders was in 2016, almost to a surprising degree. So if Senator Sanders wins the nomination, do you feel the need that he is at some point going to need to bridge the gap, or is the current message the message he is sticking with because he stuck with it for last 30-plus years?
ROCHA: I would disagree a little with the narrative. We talk about left issues, when Medicare for all is 70 percent popular. We talk about giving people a minimum wage and a livable at $15 an hour, those aren't leftwing issues, those aren't populist issues. Those are issues that most Americans like. That's issues Donald Trump even ran on when he talked about trade and he talked about infrastructure. Whether he did that or whether he is not going to do that is another thing, but when you talk about these issues, there's a lot people spread all across America, and millions of our supporters, who feel like they're not getting heard, that Washington is run by fat cats, by billionaires and millionaires, and they want to see somebody regular in office who reflects their values, who they can trust. And that's a big part of this.
PAUL: But there is a split in the party because we were just sitting here last weekend watching Senator Feinstein talking to a group of kids who were trying to get her to support the new deal, new green deal, and she couldn't do it, Catherine. So is there anybody that you can see that has the capability or the ability to bring them to one place?
RAMPELL: I think the fundamental issue here is what is actually meant by some of these ideas that are quite popular, including Medicare for all. Medicare for all means very different things to very different people, and it's really popular when you just ask people do you support Medicare for all. But if you ask do you support Medicare for all if it means getting rid of all private insurance? Actually, support drops by a huge amount. Do you support Medicare for all if it means higher taxes, again, it drops by a huge amount. So one do those policies actually mean, that's something that's going to have to be hashed out over the year ahead. And I think you're going to see a lot of divisions within the party once you have to actually choose what your details are.
Same thing with Green New Deal. Green New Deal is again very popular as a brand, but what does that actually mean? Does it mean a jobs guarantee? Does it mean lots of other things that are also part of the resolution? Then you see support start to drop off. So the question is, who is going to be able to both appeal to these sort of visions, these brands, cite those things, that happen to have a lot of support, that poll very well, and still manage to put forth policies that are able to get a majority of lawmakers on their side and actually get them over the finish line. And those are to some extent different skill sets. Figuring out how to campaign with the idea and how to actually govern in prose, so to speak.
MATTINGLY: Chuck, I want to ask you, when you look at the field, and obviously it at this point it feels like there's going to be about 300 candidates, but in 2016 Senator Sanders had one opponent in the Democratic primary, now he got already 10 others. More we expect to enter. How does the campaign look at who his top opposition is, or who the person that they need to address most to draw distinctions for at this point?
ROCHA: Let's take a step back and think about the last election. We won 23 states. You have half the base who already like Bernie Sanders and have of them voted for Bernie Sanders. So at first, it is just a mathematical equation. If you have Bernie Sanders supporters and you have all the Hillary or other supporters that are split amongst 12 ways, the it's a simple mathematic problem.
But I think the way he leads on issues and the way he is motivating people, and I think the fundraising is a good reflection of that, having a million sign up online, we take that too lightly. That don't happen every day in American politics. [10:10:04] I've been doing this work for a long time, and that's
really what makes Bernie Sanders different. If you want to think about how Donald Trump won, he put his policies on the front of a red hat, and said he was going to make America great again, and people believed him. Guess what, now they're seeing that they kind of got the wool pulled over their eyes, they want somebody they can really believe in, and that's Bernie Sanders.
MATTINGLY: Catherine Rampell, Chuck Rocha, Chuck, your point, I've never seen money raised like that at the start of a campaign. Thank you, guys. Long way to go.
PAUL: Thank you.
MATTINGLY: Coming up, Congress wants to know how Jared Kushner got a security clearance over the objections of top officials in the White House. Next, the ultimatum delivered by Congress to the president.
PAUL: I don't know if you have seen this yet this morning, but Major League Baseball is looking into a heated altercation, one that became physical, between San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer and his wife, Pam. Pam Baer has responded to CNN and to this video. We're going to show it to you.
MATTINGLY: Plus, first lady Melania Trump is getting ready for a three-state tour to push her be best initiative. Her Communications Director Stephanie Grisham talks about her message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE GRISHAM, PRESS SECRETARY AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR MELANIA TRUMP: She wants to help all children of all ages. Her Be Best initiative is pretty comprehensive with three pillars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And we have a reminder for you. We're revealing the first CNN Hero of 2019. We want to give you an update from Anderson Cooper on last year's hero of the year, who was recognized for his work helping sick children and their families. Here is what he is doing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the 2018 CNN Hero of the Year is Dr. Ricardo Pun-Chong.
An incredible night. And when he returned to Peru, crowds gathered to greet Ricardo at the airport. He has been hailed a national hero. Ricardo plans to use his CNN prize money and viewer donations to build a new shelter.
RICARDO PYN-CHONG, CNN HERO: The kids inspire me every day. Really, they are heroes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Important life-changing work there. Nominate someone you think should be a CNN hero. You can do so right now at CNNHeroes.com.
[10:16:57] MATTINGLY: The president's son-in-law Jared Kushner passed through a lot of hurdles to get a security clearance. "New York Times" says the president ordered it. Trump denied he interfered. Now the oversight committee wants to see the evidence. Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings says he wants the White House to send any documents on the decision by Monday. The White House argues the committee doesn't have oversight authority to review the documents they've requested. The next step, that's when it gets serious. It could be a Congressional subpoena.
PAUL: CNN National Security Analyst Samantha Vinograd is with us now. She is the former senior adviser to the national security adviser under President Obama. Samantha, so good to see you, as always. I talked to Walter Shaub earlier, and he seems to think this entire scenario with Kushner is a national security threat. Is it in your opinion as well, or no?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It's a national security threat on several levels. On the first instance, we have an individual, Jared Kushner, who the CIA did not trust to responsibly handle classified information, reviewing top secret information on a daily basis. What that means is the intelligence community did not believe that Jared Kushner, for a variety of reasons, could be trusted with that information.
So we have a risk that Jared Kushner could make unauthorized disclosures that could pose an extraordinary threat to U.S. national security with that information because of inexperience, a conflict of interest, or some kind of other malign intent.
We also have a scenario, Christi, and I really want to flag this, this threat is live, Jared Kushner is representing supposedly the interests of the United States abroad when, again, seasoned experts thought he might have conflicts of interest. There was reporting indicating there were questions about his business ties in various countries, his relationships with people like Mohammed bin Salman and others, that indicate that he may have other things on his mind than U.S. national security. So when he is sitting in the room across from White House staff or he's sitting in a meeting with officials around the world, I think there are very real questions about whether he solely is focused on promoting U.S. national security interests.
PAUL: You know the ins and outs of this. The president has said he had nothing to do with him getting that clearance, that he let other people handle that. What is the protocol? Could this happen without the president greenlighting it?
VINOGRAD: It really couldn't if these concerns had been raised by the investigators and there had been a recommendation to not move forward with Jared Kushner's security clearance process. But Christi, as we found out during the Rob Porter scandal and the General Kelly process that was kicked off after that, Jared Kushner's clearance was treated differently from the get go. He was granted an interim top secret clearance for an unprecedented amount of time because there was pressure from the top, as we are finding out, not to make a negative adjudication on his security clearance access.
Now we're finding out that President Trump stepped in and directed that clearance to go forward despite the fact that the very people that are supposed to make that recommendation recommended against it.
[10:20:03] PAUL: I want to get your take on the announcement that the U.S. and South Korea are scaling back on their exercises. There will actually be possibly some virtual exercises. What's your take on what that does between not just the U.S. and South Korea but North Korea and security?
VINOGRAD: Christi, Sarah Sanders spent a whole plane ride coming home from Vietnam coming up with a statement that Trump walked away from Kim Jong-un in Hanoi because he didn't want to make a bad deal. We've already made a bad deal. Freezing joint military exercises with South Korea in exchange for North Korea not doing nuclear missile tests is allowing North Korea to take two steps forward while we take about three steps back. These joint military exercises are being conducted or were being conducted because they're needed. They serve two functions, to deter North Korean aggression, and to make sure that our forces are ready to counter and defend against a North Korean military strike.
North Korea is freezing its nuclear missile tests because they don't need them anymore. We are freezing joint military exercises at a time when they are specifically needed. So while North Korea gets stronger in conventional and unconventional capabilities, we're getting weaker, and our forces are not as ready to counter a military threat from North Korea.
PAUL: Samantha Vinograd, always appreciate you being here. Thank you.
VINOGRAD: Thanks, Christi.
MATTINGLY: Joining me now, Democratic Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence. She serves on the House Oversight Committee. I was told there were a few things that occurred on the House Oversight Committee this week. Congresswoman, thank you very much for your time. I want to start with the latest news first. Obviously, the security clearance issue, I think it is important to point out, the House Oversight Committee Democrats have actually been looking at this issue now for months. This isn't something they're new to. But I'm intrigued, given the latest developments, what's your sense on where your work stands related to this?
REP. BRENDA LAWRENCE, (D) MICHIGAN: So related to the security clearances, I have grave concerns. Let me tell you why. First of all, when you talk about the level of security clearance that has been given to the children of president Trump, they have access to information where they can freely go back and forth, make deals because they are still involved in the family's business, and make deals and have conversations that appear to be off the grid, but they are on the grid.
And I want to make a statement, because someone pushed me and said families are off limits. Families are off limits, but this president has incorporated his family as federal employees. He has given them access and roles in our government. If this was a normal setting where families were not involved in the government, absolutely, families are off, you cannot touch them. However, the president and his children have made a decision to step into the public accountability. They are on a salary, they are given a title, and they have access to top secret information. That is why this is important that we talk to them and we find out what's going on with our government, which is the role of government oversight.
MATTINGLY: So Congresswoman, I'm really glad you brought that up. One of your colleagues, Gerry Connolly, yesterday in an interview on CNN was asked this question, was about President Trump's children, and he said this. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GERRY CONNOLLY, (D) VIRGINIA: I would just say to my fellow Democrats, we should be very cautious about pursuing family members when there are so many other targets available to us right now that I think are of equal or even greater interest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: So your sense is you disagree with Congressman Connolly's view on that as it relates to the president's children and son-in-law?
LAWRENCE: I don't disagree with him, but I will say that we have asked for documents. Now, understand, before we even took over the majority, there were letters sent to this administration and to the White House asking for information and documents pertaining to these security clearances. The White House has refused, refused to provide documents, to respond to their questions. My hope would be that the White House would agree and comply that they will give the information that's needed for us to move forward with the investigations.
Now, I have not gotten any response to satisfy the need to answer questions about what is the level of access that the family of Donald Trump has been given?
[10:25:00] The president's wife has not been given top secret clearance, so she is not one that would be brought forth to be investigated. But you have two of the children of Donald Trump that he has blatantly or made a decision for whatever reason to include as part of the administration, which we all know that once you take that oath of office, once you take the paycheck of the taxpayers, once you become part of our government, then you are then subject to oversight. So we are not picking on the children of Donald Trump. We are doing our job with oversight.
MATTINGLY: So do you believe because they're subject to that oversight that at some point given the concerns you're raise about the security clearances, Jared Kushner and perhaps Ivanka Trump, should be brought up to Capitol Hill to testify in front of your committee?
LAWRENCE: It depends on what information leads to them. If they would respond, the White House and the administration, to our questions and our concerns, those questions that we need answered might be satisfied in an actual response. However, this administration, even to the Republicans, when the Republicans sent letters to the White House and this administration, and in the majority, there was nothing, no response, no follow-up, totally ignored by this administration. Mr. Cummings has been on the record that we will not sit here and be representative of the people of this country and ask legitimate questions about our government and there is no response, because we do have subpoena power. So I'm hoping that the administration and the White House will clearly respond to the questions that we have asked.
MATTINGLY: That's a great point. There's something different about pre January 3rd and post January 3rd, and that is subpoena power. Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence of the Oversight Committee of Michigan, thank you very much for your time this morning.
LAWRENCE: Thank you so much. Have a great day.
MATTINGLY: Still to come, First Lady Melania Trump is embarking on a three-state tour next week to promote her Be Best initiative. Her press secretary, communications director, Stephanie Grisham discusses that with us up next.
PAUL: And a reminder for you, we hope you will be with us tomorrow for a new CNN Special Report. Fareed Zakaria shares the story of "Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Secrets." That's tomorrow at 8:00 eastern only here on CNN.
[10:32:00] PAUL: I hope the weekend is feeling good to you. I'm Christi Paul.
MATTINGLY: It's 10:30, you're fully into your Saturday. This is what's up. It's exciting. I'm Phil Mattingly in for Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: Glad to have you here.
So First Lady Melania Trump is set to go on a three-state tour to promote her Be Best campaign next week. She's going to travel to Oklahoma, Washington, and Nevada to address the well-being of children, social media safety, opioid abuse. I sat down with her press secretary and communications director Stephanie Grisham, talked to her about how she balances her platform with the people who criticize her husband for violating the very principles she promotes. And she stressed her husband's presidency isn't her initiative. Let's listen.
STEPHANIE GRISHAM, PRESS SECRETARY AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR MELANIA TRUMP: She'll be visiting three classrooms, pre-k, fifth grade, and second grade classrooms. And she's going to be talking to them -- this is an award-winning school for their character education. And so she's going to be talking to them about the curriculum that they have and making good choices. And this comes along with the well-being portion of Be Best. That's the first pillar of Be Best.
PAUL: OK, and those are different grades, though.
GRISHAM: Very different grades.
PAUL: So I'm assuming the conversations will be a little bit different in each classroom.
GRISHAM: Yes, I would imagine so. So she wants to help all children of all ages. Her Be Best initiative is pretty comprehensive with the three pillars, and so we don't want to stick to any one age group. She knows that kids have potential for all age groups. So we're really trying to make sure that with each stop she's touching as many children of as many ages as she can.
PAUL: We know that social media can be really brutal on kids. When people don't have to talk to somebody face to face, there seems to be an area where they think they can say whatever they want. How is she going to talk about that once she gets to Seattle?
GRISHAM: So when we get to Seattle, she's going to go to a tech company that has some really innovative apps and other kiosks that we're going to visit that are going to talk about online safety, because it is not just about online bullying. It's about being safe, and understanding not to give your information out to just anybody. They also have some programs that will help disabled children be able to play video games with their friends and their peers, so we're going to see demonstrations of that. And then she's going to talk to some of the executives about some of the challenges they're seeing in this modern age, and then she's going to talk to them about some of the ways we can partner and promote some of their programs to help teach kids how to behave safely online.
PAUL: I know you've all done a lot of research on all of this. Are you finding that parents need an education as well?
GRISHAM: Yes. She's a parent and we've been learning along the way that there are so many programs and applications out there that parents are not aware of and don't know about. And so that's something that we're going to in the coming weeks and months make sure we're getting the word out to parents of what kind of options are out there to keep their kids safe.
PAUL: I know that when you get to Las Vegas, as I understand it, it's a town hall where you'll be talking about the opioid addiction. Will she be taking questions at the town hall?
[10:35:04] GRISHAM: Yes. So she's going to give remarks at the town hall and talking to -- this is going to be an audience of all ages. So she's going to make some remarks and then she's going to take questions from Eric Bolling who is hosting the town hall. And then we're also going to be taking questions from people on social media. So I think that will be really fun and exciting.
PAUL: You can see where all these issues that you're talking about at the core, at the center, seems like it is all about family. As a parent, what is most concerning to her, outside being the first lady, outside of that, as a parent?
GRISHAM: Of course. So being a parent is her first priority. She has always, always said that. And her son is at an age right now where these kinds of issues especially with social media are becoming prevalent an important to her. So it's important to her that she, too, is educating herself so she can do the very, very best for her son. But also she knows as first lady she has got a responsibility, And she wants to do everything she can to help all the children in our country. So I think that through this three state, three pillar tour, we're going to definitely get her message out.
PAUL: So I can't let you go without asking you about something that a lot of people look at and can't seem to get away from. Her message is so important, it's so applicable to every family today, and yet there are people who think her husband is one of the biggest violators of some of the things she's talking about in terms of respecting each other and not calling each other names and not bullying and what not. How does she balance her platform against some of the things the president does?
GRISHAM: I think that, honestly, one thing really doesn't have anything to do with the other. And she is focused on helping children. She has said many times that her husband is an adult, he is president of the United States, and he knows what he's doing. And she's focused on Be Best, she's focused on helping children. Children are the ones who are impressionable right now, and so she's going to go out and do the best she can to help them succeed.
PAUL: We've heard all kinds of people talking about how hard it is, how hard it might be for her to try to really hone on this message and make some progress with it with the way that the president acts sometimes. But what she was basically saying is, listen, she's her own person, she does her own thing, she has her own initiatives, and she just can't be tied to the president because they're two different people.
MATTINGLY: And it's a fascinating split screen.
PAUL: It is.
MATTINGLY: Because there's no way she can't be tied to the president. She's the first lady of the United States. But I think one thing has become clear over the course of the last two-plus years now. The East Wing is very different than the West Wing. The East Wing does not ask permission for what they want to do from West Wing. The first lady is going to pursue her initiatives whether the president is on board with them, and he is on board with them, or takes a different tact than she is. And I think that's the key point. I think that's what Stephanie is trying to get clear, is that the first lady is trying to carve her own path. And she's aware, she's keenly aware of what everybody sees. And --
PAUL: She's very aware of it.
PAUL: She's very aware of it.
MATTINGLY: This is what she wants to focus on.
PAUL: I think that's why she focuses on it so much more, because she wants to make sure that this is her intention, and this is what she wants to do.
And with that said, we want to give one little last tidbit here, because I did ask since Stephanie is so close to her, knows her so personally, is there anything about the first lady that we don't know that we would like to know. Here is what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE GRISHAM, PRESS SECRETARY AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR MELANIA TRUMP: She's got an amazing sense of humor. Her sense of humor is really great, and she laughs at herself a lot. And we have a really good time.
PAUL: So she doesn't take herself too seriously at the end of the day?
GRISHAM: No, not at all. Her sense of humor is great. It's one of my favorite things about her.
PAUL: And lastly, I know I asked about what concerns her as a mother. Is there anything in particular, any intention she has when she's talking to parents to try to connect with them?
GRISHAM: I think she just does connect with them because she's a parent. She shares the same concerns that they do, she has some of the same challenges that they do. So whenever we are around parents, she asks them questions, how are they doing, encourages them with any of the problems that they're having. So she's definitely able to speak with parents because she is one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And of course, we'll be watching Melania Trump, the first lady's visit on Monday and Tuesday in those states and see how it goes with Be Best. And we thank Stephanie for talking with us.
MATTINGLY: Certainly, everybody is going to be watching. No question about it.
Up next, San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer and his wife are putting it on the record after a very public altercation in a San Francisco park. We have the video that police are investigating right after the break.
[10:44:45] MATTINGLY: This morning, San Francisco police looking into a video that shows San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer and his wife having an altercation in a public park.
PAUL: And we need to point out, this altercation is something that became quite physical. CNN's Kaylee Hartung is with us now.
[10:45:00] This video is hard to watch. When you first hear about it, you think, well, what, and then you see it and you realize, wow.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to watch, and it's hard to listen to, when you hear Pam Baer scream. Larry Baer is the guy who is the public face of the Giants management, a guy with a squeaky clean image who is known to address public relations challenges when the team faces them. But is an apology enough to stop police from investigating this video? Not for now. Take a look for yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARTUNG: "Oh my God, help!" Pam Baer screams as her husband, San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer, tries to grab what appears to be a cell phone out of her hand. Caught in a struggle, she falls to the ground in the chair she's sitting in. This video captured by a bystander and first released by TMZ shows just a few seconds of the scuffle. After a cut in video, you can see Larry Baer, cell phone, cup of coffee in hand, saying stop, Pam, stop, and walking away. Bystanders are heard yelling for her to stay away from him.
The couple married for nearly 30 years says they're embarrassed by the heated argument over a family matter. In a joint statement they say they resolved the issue. But this video is now an issue for authorities. The San Francisco Police Department is investigating the incident, and so is Major League Baseball. A statement from the league says just like any other situation like this, they will immediately begin to gather the facts. Major League Baseball strict domestic violence policy applies to executives as well as players.
Baer is part owner of the Giants, and is seen as a major part of the success enjoyed by the organization which won the World Series three times in the last 10 years.
HARTUNG: And despite what you see and hear in that video, Pam Baer is defending her husband. She wrote in a brief, rather casual statement to CNN over e-mail "Ha, an unfortunate public marital argument. I grabbed his phone and I fell back. I love Larry more than anything." She also issued a separate statement via her attorney in which she says that she lost her balance, and again, reflects on that love she and her husband have for one another. But I've had conversations with players in the league that say if this was video of a player taking similar action, there would be discussions immediately about cutting that player.
PAUL: Yes. MATTINGLY: Yes, that's the thing that strikes me most. You made this
point earlier and I thought it was a great point. If a player was on the video, the reaction would be snap.
HARTUNG: Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy is very strict. They have suspended players for much less.
PAUL: We'll see what happens.
MATTINGLY: Jarring video indeed. Kaylee Hartung, thank you very much.
PAUL: Thank you.
So we're talking about this new era of space exploration. SpaceX launching a new rocket into orbit. How could this change the future of American space travel really?
[10:52:36] MATTINGLY: This week's mission ahead looks at how genetically modified mice are being used to stop the spread of Lyme disease.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nantucket island has a tick problem. Ticks are the main transmitters of Lyme disease. Up to 40 percent of residents have been diagnosed according to a local health official. With no FDA approved vaccine on the market, scientists think they found an alternative but controversial solution -- using the power of genetic editing, specifically in a little mouse.
The chain of transmission starts when a tick bites a white footed mouse carrying Lyme disease. The tick gets infected, and then usually moves onto bite a deer where it continues to feed and reproduce, increasing the spread of ticks and the odds that you're bitten by one.
KEVIN ESVELT, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, MIT MEDIA LAB: Some mice in nature are immune. So the idea is if we can immunize all of the mice, then we can disrupt the chain of transmission.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Esvelt and his collaborators at Brigham and Women's Hospital propose hacking into the white footed mouse's genetic code. Any offspring of these modified mice would inherit Lyme disease immunity.
ESVELT: That will lead to less ticks infected which will lead to less humans infected.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But nobody has ever released genetically modified mammals into the wild.
DANICA CONNORS, NANTUCKET RESIDENT: We do not know how this is going to affect the environment, five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To address concerns like these, Esvelt and his
collaborators are working on adding an expiration date to any genetic modification. If the experiment works, scientists see the possibility of using it as a tool to stop spread of other harmful viruses and diseases around the world.
ESVELT: The future of our civilization will be primarily determined by the technologies we choose to invent and wisdom with which we deploy them.
PAUL: So we're going to go from that to this.
MATTINGLY: Get ready.
PAUL: I can't even look at the screen.
PAUL: A newly released video, it looks like a horror movie to some people that's gone viral, but please know, I don't want to see this. But that is a mammoth sized tarantula eating a possum. There was this team doing a survey in the Amazon rainforest. They heard a scratching noise in the leaves. They found this, as they described it, dinner plate sized spider dragging a possum along the ground.
MATTINGLY: Look, if I'm doing a research project in the Amazon or in a forest, or anywhere in humanity and I see that, I'm done with said project.
MATTINGLY: Look, reportedly the spider attacked the prey in the neck. There was a five-minute struggle, the rodent desperately tried to escape the spider's grip, but the tarantula ultimately won. Scientists say this is likely the first time a tarantula of this kind was ever recorded preying on a possum, because why is a spider preying on a possum?
PAUL: I just can't even watch it. Sorry to do that to you, but it is out there, and people love it.
MATTINGLY: So also, a new beginning for American space exploration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three, two, one, zero. Ignition, liftoff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, just before dawn this morning.
MATTINGLY: That's the company's first spacecraft designed to carry astronauts into orbit and could finally end America's decade long reliance on Russia for human space flight. If all goes well, the Crew Dragon capsule could be ready to fly two NASA astronauts to the space station this July.
PAUL: And we will see how that goes.
MATTINGLY: You going to be one of those astronauts?
PAUL: That will not be me. But you let me know how that goes.
MATTINGLY: Yes. Yes.
PAUL: Thank you so much for coming from D.C.
MATTINGLY: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.
PAUL: Phil Mattingly, folks, we always love to have him here. Thank you.
And thank you. Next hour of CNN's Newsroom starts next with Fredricka Whitfield. We hope that you have great memories today.