Return to Transcripts main page


High Ranking Dems to Commemorate Selma Bridge Crossing; Trump Takes Hard Swings At Mueller, Democrats, Media in 2+ Hour Speech; Interview with Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI); No Charges for Police Officers Who Fatally Shot Stephon Clark; Trump: Remaining Territory of ISIS Caliphate Will Be Taken Back Imminently; Venezuelans Cross into Colombia to Bring Food Back Home. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired March 3, 2019 - 07:00   ET




[07:00:20] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump said that he was going off script and he certainly did that.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All of a sudden, they are trying to take you out with (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


TRUMP: The attorney general says I'm going to recuse myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is a performer and he knows he needs to perform like everything is fine.

TRUMP: We are going to go into his finances. We are going to check his deals. We are going to check -- these people are sick!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here today to tell you that Mr. Trump is a racist.

Wow. I thought that would be a bigger reaction.



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Live from Washington, I'm Victor Blackwell.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Dianne Gallagher in this Sunday morning for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: We begin this hour in Selma, Alabama, where thousands are expected to together for the final day of the Selma jubilee. Live pictures here of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. We'll explain more about Bloody Sunday from 1965 in a moment.

GALLAGHER: Yes, now, if you're unfamiliar with it, it was the brutal assault on civil rights marchers back in 1965. We are expecting key political figures like Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Cory Booker to attend the jubilee today.

CNN political reporter Rebecca Buck is covering the events in Selma for us.

Good morning, Buck.


Well, as you can see, the sun is just rising here in Selma on the anniversary of this historic day. But we are expecting a new page of history to be written with these presidential candidates coming here to Selma today.

As you mentioned, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will be those, among those here, former rivals. Both of whom will speak this morning at a unity breakfast here in down and later today, Senator Cory Booker will give keynote remarks at the historic Brown Chapel here in Selma where the civil rights activists assembled before their historic march over the bridge behind me, the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Now, a few interesting story lines here today that I'd like to quickly highlight. First of all, Senator Bernie Sanders is fresh off of his official campaign announcement yesterday in Brooklyn, New York, sending a very strong message by coming straight to Selma, Alabama, that he will be fighting hard for African-American voters in this Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, Senator Cory Booker has a very personal connection to what happened here in Selma, Alabama. Not only is he a direct descendent of slaves but he cites the events of that days as setting off a series of other events that changed the course of his life. He mentions on the stamp often that a white lawyer in New Jersey was watching the events in Selma unfold and decided that he was going to help black families in his own community. He ended up helping Cory Booker's parents to purchase a home in a community where realtors wouldn't sell to black families and that enabled Cory Booker to grow up in a very good public school district.

So, some very interesting stories here today. Of course, this is the place in 2007 where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama marched together during that very bitter Democratic primary meeting on the bridge behind me. But a new generation today of political rivals will meet today and mark a new day in history -- Dianne.

GALLAGHER: Rebecca Buck, thank you. We look forward to your reporting throughout the day.

All right. President Trump doing what he loves to do the most -- feeding off the energy of his base, trying to regain traction after, look, an awful week of headlines for the White House.

BLACKWELL: President Trump delivered the longest speech of his presidency, speaking to supporters and conservative activists at the Annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Virtually, no topic off the table here, taking shots at nearly everyone. Listen.


TRUMP: Unfortunately, you put the wrong people in a couple of positions and they leave people for a long time that shouldn't be there, and, all of a sudden, they are trying to take you out with (EXPLETIVE DELETED), OK? (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

Robert Mueller never received a vote and neither did the person that appointed him. And as you know, the attorney general says, I'm going to recuse myself. I said, why the hell didn't he tell me that before I put him in?

[07:05:03] If you tell a joke, if you're sarcastic, if you're having fun with the audience, if you're in live television with millions of people and 25,000 in an arena, and if you say something like, Russia, please! If you can, get us Hillary Clinton's emails! Please, Russia, please!

Please! Get us the emails! Please!


BLACKWELL: Joining us now to talk about this, Gabby Orr, White House reporter for "Politico", and Karoun Demirjian, CNN political analyst and congressional reporter for "The Washington Post."

Ladies, good morning to you.

We were talking about when that happened. There weren't 25,000 people in the room where he asked for Russian to find the emails, it was a news conference.

GABBY ORR, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: It was a news conference and there were probably about 20 journalists in the room when he made those comments. This is just another instance of the president bending the facts in order to sort of fit a narrative, to say, here, in this instance in particular, that oh no, I was riffing in front of a crowd at of my normal rallies. But no, this is a plea for Russia to release emails that they had related to the Clinton campaign in front of an intimate group of reporters during the height of his 2016 campaign.

KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, this is him riffing in front of a crowd basically at this point right now. We are seeing the classic Trump move of he's got an audience that's feeding off of him. He keeps talking and when he keeps talking he tends to talk himself into circles into reinstatements and reinterpretations of what actually happened because he gets a good reaction. And this is not a crowd that's going to criticize him real time for, wait a second, check that, Mr. President.


DEMIRJIAN: It's not quite how that happened. Not at CPAC. GALLAGHER: But this is a crowd that traditionally has had some issues, especially with some of the things that the president is trying to put forth. We are talking about tariffs, at least traditionally Republicans -- some of these tariffs, and including the declaration of a national emergency.

I want us to listen real quick to what the president said about some of the pushback he has received from fellow Republicans.


TRUMP: A lot of people talk about precedent, precedent, that if we do this, the Democrats will use national emergency powers for something that we don't want. They are going to do that any way, folks. The best way to stop that is to make sure that I win the election. That's the best way to stop that.


GALLAGHER: So it seems the president recognizing that, you know, there is a lot of talk of president here. Nancy Pelosi talked about maybe if you do this, we can potentially declare a national emergency on gun violence or climate change, and Republicans have seemingly heeded that warning. The president saying couldn't worry about it.

DEMIRJIAN: Yes, the president is basically thinking that is not my problem because I'm not going to be in the White House at that point, right? What do I care? Because this is now.

I think that basically there has been this push and pull to the president and other Republicans on investigator issues when it comes down to policy that they don't really fully agree with him or tactics they don't agree with him on. And his thing is basically just look, I'm a package deal. So, you know, deal with the parts that you don't like because you're getting me as president and that is the better thing.

For him thus far, that has worked. You have seen slight changes in maybe foreign policy, maybe tariffs, right, but you haven't seen a full on challenge to the president coming from the real heart of the party, that the other leaders in the GOP, and that tells you that, you know, that this sales pitch is making to kind of over the heads of those Republicans to his base. It's still propelling to keep him, keeping him afloat at the top of his party with real authority because he does control the message well and that does control this very important part of the GOP, especially heading to potential primary season with a point (ph). And this has been the way he has done this. So, love it or hate it, you know, point-to-point, issue-to-issue, this is how he sells himself and it's worked so far.

BLACKWELL: Gabby, let's examine the president's message yesterday instead of over the heads of the party into his base, over the heads of his base to the rest of party, yesterday saying that these people are sick, they can't find collusion, so they'll start looking at my deals, and looking at my finances. That, obviously, worked for the room and it worked for the base. But is there anything we saw this week, especially with Cohen and what

we expect next week, and then when Felix Sater testifies and the continuation of oversight from the Democrats make that will make that a harder sell beyond the president's base within the larger Republican Party?

ORR: Look, I think that the way that the White House and RNC which sort of acted as a rapid response team during the Cohen hearing earlier this week, the way that they reacted to this was, I think was a misstep of sorts, because, look, there was no positive message. There is no message -- the president could never have done this, the president is a man of character, the president, you know, it was all focused on Cohen --

[07:10:01] BLACKWELL: Cohen is a bad guy.

ORR: Right. Cohen is bad guy and should not be trusted. But that at the same time, as soon as Cohen says, you know, I was never in the Czech Republic, oh, we should believe him.

And, you know, I think there was a significant signal there that this is the tactic that the president is going to use throughout the 2020 campaign. He still thinks that the way he got elected and perhaps there is some truth to this, is because Republicans and even some independent voters just liked the fact he fought back against the Washington establishment. Right now, he is fighting back against a Democratic-controlled House that is going to continue to investigate all of his business dealings, all of his -- many of his campaign tactics and things that happened and leading up and during the campaign. I think he feels as though if he can continue to do that through the 2020 cycle, that he'll still continue to court and bring in new voters into that base and grow it.

I don't know if the polling bears that out, but it's something we will have to look for in the coming months.

DEMIRJIAN: You can see the president's insecurities, too, when he starts to do this thing. You let him get off script and he starts to go through a laundry list of everything that is scaring him and he is talking with a little bit of swagger and had to pretend like he's not afraid. But the fact is that it's coming out of his mouth and this points means that this really what he's worrying about as well.

GALLAGHER: And essentially in 2019, he is still relitigating 2016 over and over again.

BLACKWELL: Talk about crowd size.

DEMIRJIAN: Yes, I mean, that was the funny part, right? I mean, in the middle of talking about something serious he has to drop that. In the way there is no incentive for him to talk about a new Democrat, a new campaign season until the Democrats have actually chosen somebody.

Anybody he focuses on, he know he likes to talk about Elizabeth Warren in disparaging terms and see who is next he chooses to give a nickname to, but it draws the spotlight on to that person. And that draws a retorts of, wait a second, you can't quite make that stick to that person and he doesn't need to elevate anybody in the field.

GALLAGHER: Is this the president then, because he is singles out Elizabeth Warren, the president seeing her as a threat or he has a nickname and something he can stick on to there?

DEMIRJIAN: I mean, it's a little bit of both, right? He said he would love to run against her because he thinks he can beat her more than he can beat some of the other people that have put their names out there, but also, she pulls a part of the more liberal way of the Democratic Party that is, in a way, not that dissimilar that Trump has control over the GOP so something he recognizes as a ground swell and has to make him nervous if it's functional.

BLACKWELL: Yes, there was another big speech yesterday, the first major campaign speech from Bernie Sanders, and he didn't take it to one of the early primary states. He went back to Brooklyn. Let's watch a piece of his speech.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am not going to tell you that I grew up in a home of desperate poverty. That would not be true. But what I will tell you is that coming from a lower middle class family, I will never forget about how money or really lack of money was always a point of stress in our family.


BLACKWELL: The senator there personalizing his economic message, including his own biography into the conversation. Something we didn't see a lot from Senator Sanders last cycle.

ORR: Right. He's sort of peeling back the curtain this time around, letting us know some of his personal story. One of the criticisms that he received in 2016 was not being personable enough, not sort of divulging details about his past, just sticking to the policies that he wanted to push.

And, you know, I remember on the trail in New Hampshire and going to a rally of Bernie and sort of trying to just observe all the excitement around him and listen to him deliver a ten-minute speech rambled through here is what I want to do, and there was no sort of endearing qualities about him but everybody in the crowd loved him.

So I think to some extent, he is taking lessons from 2016, he is learning from them and he's applying them to this cycle. But, at the same time, there is not much to suggest that he really needs to do that. I mean, he does need to court African-American voters in certain states he wants to be a formidable candidate, but to the extent that Bernie Sanders succeeded in 2016 and almost defeating the anointed Democratic nominee, I don't think he needs to change much this time around.

BLACKWELL: Yes. All right. Good to see you both in person.

DEMIRJIAN: Thanks. Good to see you. BLACKWELL: Gabby Orr, Karoun Demirjian, thanks so much.

And today on "STATE OF THE UNION," as President Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen takes aim with the shocking criminal accusations, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, joins Jake Tapper to discuss the Democrats' next move. That's on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, only on CNN.

[07:15:02] GALLAGHER: All right. Still to come, congressional Democrats have had their sights on President Trump's tax returns for the last two-plus years. House Ways and Means Committee could hold the key.

BLACKWELL: A member of that committee, Congressman Dan Kildee, joins us next.

Also ahead, a fierce battle is playing out in eastern Syria right now, as U.S.-backed forces try to finally end the tyranny of ISIS. We'll show you what it's looking like in the front lines.


BLACKWELL: Nineteen minutes after the hour now.

Democrats have been working on a plan for sometime now to get a hold of President Trump's tax returns. This comes after the president former attorney Michael Cohen gave a pretty revealing testimony about the president's finances in front of Congress last week.

Joining me now to discuss is Democratic congressman from Michigan, Dan Kildee. He sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has the authority to directly request the president's tax returns.

[07:20:04] Congressman, good to have you this morning.


BLACKWELL: So, how far along in this process is the committee of trying to get the president's returns?

KILDEE: Well, the committee is taking a very deliberate approach and I know some have been critical of that. But this is unchartered territory for us. We haven't use this authority to get access to a president's tax returns, the authority that the committee clearly has, but it has not been used in this fashion because candidates and presidents have always released their returns.

So, we are taking our time. We had a hearing to establish the legal authority under which we can request these returns and that was pretty clear that we absolutely do have the authority to get them. Now, we have to develop and are developing the case, the fact basis why we should have access to these.

The fact that the president probably benefited greatly from the tax policy he just pushed through and signed in 2017 is one reason. But what Mr. Cohen and others have revealed about the president's financial entanglements, about potential deception in the way he describes his assets for his own personal benefit, those are potentially criminal activities, I'm not making that conclusion, but it clearly makes the case we should have a look at these tax returns.

BLACKWELL: So, we're going to talk about the potential criminal activity in just a moment. But last year, the now chairman of the committee, Congressman Neal, suggested that potentially the committee would wait until the end of the Mueller probe to try to get the president's tax returns. Is that a consideration now or no longer?

KILDEE: Well, we don't know when the end of the Mueller probe will be and so, you know, at this point in time it may have been expected it would be more eminent. I think at this stage -- I can't speak for the chairman, I think he is doing it the right way -- we are simply putting one foot in front of the other. We have established the legal authority to do this. We are now making the case.

I don't know that it will hinge on the Mueller probe specifically, but we are two months into this Congress. I think we are on the right track and it shouldn't be a long time before we actually get our hands on these returns. Now, the president is going to fight this and it's one of the reasons that it's important that we lay the groundwork very careful is that we don't expect that the president will simply sign the returns over or the Treasury Department the way this works will send these returns over in a box. They're going to fight this. And so, we are prepared for that.

BLACKWELL: And including with a subpoena?

KILDEE: Well, if we have to. But the law is actually fairly clear that we can simply, that the chairman committee can simply request them and the secretary of the treasury oversees the IRS is legally bound to deliver them. We expect that they'll fight that.

BLACKWELL: So, let me turn now to your mention of potential criminal activity. We heard after the Cohen hearing this week, the chairman of House Oversight, Elijah Cummings, say that it appears based on the documents and the testimony from Cohen, that the president committed crimes while in office. Now, we know Democratic leadership said they are going down the path of impeachment, but as we continue to hear from figures like Cohen and Felix Sater next week, are Democrats creating the pressure that they are trying to fend off to pursue impeachment?

KILDEE: Well, I think the pressure is coming from the facts being revealed and there is some pressure, because let's face it. We shouldn't make a calculation as to whether we exercise or constitutional responsibility based on political expediency. We shouldn't move to impeach the president based on political expediency. But more importantly, nor should we ignore our obligation under the Constitution.

If we find facts that clearly impugn integrity of the president and potentially reveal crimes, we just don't have a choice. The Constitution is clear: Congress has to do its duty. I have not come to a conclusion on that but, you know, the testimony of Mr. Cohen, some might want to say everything he said is untrue, he puts some information into public circulation that's pretty damming to the president.

BLACKWELL: Now, you think the Democrats don't have a choice but to pursue impeachment if you find the facts supported regardless of Republican buy-in in the Senate?

KILDEE: Well, I mean, I don't think we can predicate whether we do our jobs on the basis of whether Mitch McConnell is willing to do his. This is where this job gets tough, because -- I'm not suggesting this is the case but let's just supposed that information presents itself, it indicates the president committed a crime.

I don't think Congress can just look the other way. I think we have an obligation at that point in time.

BLACKWELL: All right. Quickly to China, you also said on the trade subcommittee, you one who had a nuance view of the tariffs when the president announced them. The president, a year ago this weekend, said that it is -- that trade wars are good and easy to win.

[07:25:01] They are approaching potentially a deal with China, who knows how close they are.

Has the president won this one?

KILDEE: No. They are not good and they are not easy to win. I do think the president was correct to take on China in terms of the way it produces cheap steel and dump that steel into the market. That has story the market plays and it's had a negative impact on lots of countries, ours included.

But I would have much preferred that the president take a multilateral approach. Instead of doing, that he actually didn't engage our allies, he punished our allies for China's misdeeds, deeming Canada a national security threat, for example, or one of our largest trading partners, a country with whom we have a trade surplus.

So, the president has gotten this wrong. I worry about now that he will dress up some sort of short-term deal where China agrees to buy some goods and not deal with the structural problems in the Chinese economic system which is really fundamentally the problem -- state ownership, the way they control intellectual properties. Those issues are the issues that need to be taken on.

I hope he doesn't try to put a bow on a deal that is not a great deal and kick the can down the road.

BLACKWELL: The president said this will be a signing summit. We don't know how soon that will be.

Congressman Dan Kildee, thanks so much.

KILDEE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Dianne? GALLAGHER: All right. There's anger and dismay this morning from the family of a Sacramento man who was shot and killed by police.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the officers murdered him, murdered him because had he a cell phone in his hand. And now, he will never come back to us.


GALLAGHER: Coming up, why Sacramento's district attorney says she will not be filing charges against those officers.


[07:30:56] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We are heartbreaking and frustrating comments now from the family of an unarmed man killed by Sacramento police. In March of last year, two police officers shot and killed Stephon Clark, and this was in his grandmother's backyard.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN ANCHOR: And now, the state's district attorney has laid out why no criminal charges are going to be filed in that shooting.

Dan Simon has more.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Dianne, we are here in Sacramento watching to see how the community reacts to the district attorney's decision. You can see some protesters have gathered here at the Sacramento police department. For the most part, things have been peaceful. At one time, we did some protesters burn some police flags.

But, obviously, this is a shooting that reeled the Sacramento community here. You have this 22-year-old African-American male Stephon Clark who police believed was breaking into cars and followed him into his grandmother's backyard. And as you see in the police body camera video, police believed that he was only holding a gun, but there was no gun. In the end, it was just a cell phone.

Now, the question for the D.A. was, did the officers' actions amount to a crime. And this is what she had to say.


ANNE MARIE SCHUBERT, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SACRAMENTO COUNTY: So, when we look at all of these facts and circumstances, we look at all of it, everything. We ask our question that we started out with again and that question is, was a crime committed? There is no question that a human being died. But when we look at the facts and the law and we follow our ethical responsibilities, the answer to that question is no. And, as a result, we will not charge these officers with any criminal liability related to the shooting death and the use of force on Stephon Clark.


SIMON: While the D.A.'s decision seemingly puts an end to the formal investigation, we should note that the Clark family has filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Sacramento, so this will continue in the legal arena at least for sometime. In the meantime, we're going to continue to watch what happens in the hours and days ahead.

Obviously, when this first happened a year ago, you had a whole wave of protests. At one point, you actually had protesters shut down the Sacramento Kings basketball arena. Will we see a repeat of something like that in the days ahead? Victor and Diane?


BLACKWELL: Dan, thank you.

And shortly after the district attorney's announcements, Stephon Clark's fiancee spoke about the D.A.'s decision.

GALLAGHER: And it was really gut wrenching. At times, she was wiping away tears. She said that her heart is broken for a second time now.


SALENA MANNI, STEPHON CLARK'S FIANCEE: On March 18th, 2018, Stephon Clark, my fiance and father of my two sons, Aiden and Ciaro, was shot to death by police officers -- by two Sacramento police officers. And my family's world was turned upside down. Today, the D.A. announced that the officers who shot my unarmed fiance won't face any charges.


Continuing the shameful legacy of officers killing black men without consequences and breaking my family's hearts again. It's about the officers who murdered him, murdered him because he had a cell phone in his hand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right. That is right.

MANNI: And now, he'll never come back to us!


GALLAGHER: The California attorney general's office has said it is also conducting an independent investigation.

BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump says the end is near for the Islamic State. And in Eastern Syria, U.S.-backed forces are battling ISIS militants in their final stronghold.

[07:35:09] We'll take you there with new details, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: Massive explosions have been light up the sky in eastern Syria as the U.S.-backed Syrian forces close in on the last enclave of ISIS.

GALLAGHER: Now, President Trump said on Saturday, quote, today or tomorrow, we will have 100 percent of the caliphate defeated.

Well, CNN international correspondent Ben Wedeman is near the front lines there in Syria.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are just 500 meters from the last encampment occupied by ISIS.

[07:40:05] What is going on behind us, we believe some sort of ammunition dump has been hit, despite the size of the explosions that are going on there.

Throughout the morning, what we've seen is a fairly steady bombardment with mortars and with air strikes. Now, we have spoken with some of the soldiers here overnight who told us that overnight, there was an attempt by ISIS to counterattack this position itself --


GALLAGHER: All right. Venezuela's self-proclaimed president, Juan Guaido, is calling for more protests this week as the crisis there continues.

BLACKWELL: And Venezuelans, as you know by now, are facing hardships as aid has been blocked from getting into the country.

CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh has been following the crisis for weeks. He filed this report overnight.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): a life line crossing barricaded, formally closed. But here at the Colombia/Venezuela border is still bustling.

In the distance, people seen to be getting across. How?

(on camera): Clashes exactly a week ago closed that border. It's now almost fortified, but people desperate to get food back to their loved ones inside Venezuela -- well, they found another way.

(voice-over): Down, we follow the tide as Colombia police stand calmly by. These are steps of necessity of desperation by people in need of everything.

Endless in number, down to the river bank. But these don't seem to be steps of salvation. Help, as they are, first.

Across the water, past the tree line, we are told, sometimes Venezuelan soldiers but mostly gangs who charge for each crossing -- 50 cents per person and $2 equivalent if you're carrying goods.

Cars and trucks wait for me over there, he says, it's mostly just guys, not soldiers.

It's pesos they ask for. Another adds, it's not soldiers. I don't know who gets the money.

The dead go back to be buried in their homeland. The livings feel the slow collapse of their homeland bury them. Traffic both ways but with one shared Venezuela burden.

(on camera): If you leave, it's more or less empty-handed. Yet, those who go back, well, they do so with pretty much everything they can carry.

Up on the bridge where thousands once cross daily, the pellets fired last week, they kept opposition protesters back who, below still carry on with their skirmishes and defenses and whose world are measured in investigator degrees of nothing and whose suffering here finds only further exploitation.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Golgotha, Colombia.


BLACKWELL: Well, still to come, America's most powerful political dynasty, the Bushes. CNN's original series "THE BUSH YEARS" premieres tonight. Presidential historian Jeffry Engel gives us a preview.


[07:47:22] GALLAGHER: Three generations, two presidents, one very powerful family. Part one of CNN's original series "THE BUSH YEARS: FAMILY, DUTY, POWER", well, that premieres tonight.

And here with me to discuss is presidential historian Jeffrey Engel. He also appears in the series and is the co-authored of the "China Diary of George H.W. Bush".

So, Jeffrey, thank you for being with us.

This is a family that spent decades, maybe more than that really, in the public eye. So, what is something new we will see in this series about the Bushes?

JEFFREY ENGEL, CO-AUTHOR WITH GEORGE H.W. BUSH, "CHINA DIARY OF GEORGE H.W. BUSH": You know, I think the interrelation between the three generations that most people always think about, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush. But, really, that this is a family that goes in politics back to Prescott Bush, who was a key senator in the 1950s, actually, one of the Dwight Eisenhower's closest associates, really closest golfing buddies.

GALLAGHER: So, talk to me about your role in this film. How did you help out in this series? ENGEL: You know, I've been working with and for -- with and on

President Bush Sr. for over a decade now. And at some point, you just accumulate enough insight to sort of put the pieces together. So, it really was wonderful to have the chance to be able to talk across generations, across decades about how this family came to influence American politics because we now have the records to go behind the scenes and find out what actually was going on for real, not what we just thought was going on when President Bush was in the White House.

GALLAGHER: And do we get to look at -- you know, we are talking about these three generations, but this familial dynamic of, look, running for president. Obviously, father and son. You have another son who ran for president.

What role politics played in that interpersonal dynamic?

ENGEL: Most definitely, although I think one of the things that is fascinating this is a family that's able to, in many ways not only driven by politics but, in many ways, separate politics from their family relations, the key question that people are always asking is, what was the presidential advice that the senior Bush gave to George W. Bush and the truth is that is a father/son conversation. There are some bounds that really are not covered by any kind of outside discussion. They really kept those things secret to themselves.

GALLAGHER: Jeffrey Engel, thank you so much. I appreciate your time.


ENGEL: Good to talk to you.

GALLAGHER: And "THE BUSH YEARS" are going to be airing on CNN tonight. It's narrated by Ed Harris, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: So, Dwyane Wade is a champion. He's an Olympian, fearless on the basketball court.

[07:50:00] Coy, is there anything this man won't do?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes. There's one thing, Victor. Some levity along with some sports headlines. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one -- what's in the box?

DWAYNE WADE, MIAMI HEAT: No, I can't do it.



WIRE: See what terrifies this future Hall of Famer so much he can barely stay in the room, coming up on NEW DAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: So, social isolation and loneliness can be an issue for older adults. In this week's "Staying Well," researchers at the University of California have found that joining a choir can really help a person's well-being.


ISABEL HEREDI, COMMUNITY OF VOICES CHOIR: When we sing, we feel the same emotion of happiness, enjoyment.

[7:55:07] JULENE JOHNSON, COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENTIST, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO: Feelings of loneliness are a significant issue for older adults. The arts are particularly innovative for helping improve health inequities in these communities.

If somebody is lonely, they're at higher risk for mortality and developing disability. We started 12 different choirs at senior centers throughout San Francisco with the aim of better understanding if singing in a community choir could improve the health and well- being of diverse older adults. We enrolled almost 400 older adults.

The main benefits of the choir that we discovered, older adults had a reduction in their feelings of loneliness and also an increase in their interest in life. Well, if we think about a choir, it's a group activity. So, individuals are coming to the senior center every week to participate in a group activity that has cultural meaningfulness to them.

HEREDI: Having a schedule, having to go out, enjoy what you're doing, it is very important. And singing has an emotional component. So I am so glad to be in this choir.


GALLAGHER: So, Bryce Harper, one of baseball's biggest stars, isn't just changing cities. He's also changing numbers.

BLACKWELL: Yet, Coy, it's a tribute to another great for the Phillies. How about it?

WIRE: Yes, good morning to you. Coming off signing an historic 13- year, $330 million deal, it's awesome to see Bryce Harper's head and heart in the right place.

The Phillies introduced their new star yesterday. And he announced that he'll now wear the number 3. He wore 34 there in D.C. But in Philly, that number was last worn by the late, great hall of famer Roy Halladay who died in a plane crash in 2017. Harper saying that number belongs to Halladay.

Now, the press conference went incredibly well until this moment went viral. Harper accidentally saying he's going to play hard for his former team in D.C.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRYCE HARPER, SIGNED A 13-YEAR, $330M DEAL WITH PHILADELPHIA: That's what it's all about. That's what I want to do. We want to bring a title back to D.C. I want to be on Broad Street on a boat or whatever, a thing, bus, whatever it is. And, you know, have a trophy over my head.


WIRE: Harper saying he wants to bring a title back to D.C. Hopefully, those tough Philly fans will forgive him.

Now, job interview of a lifetime. Full of emotion for football players at the NFL combine which started this weekend. A chance for players like Ole Miss receiver D.K. Metcalf to prove they belong and make their families proud. Metcalf bursting into tears on the phone with his family after running a blistering 4.33 40-yard dash.

And listen to the reaction of proud Notre Dame teammates who watched Myles Boykin wow the scouts as well.

That's what it's all about. Taking your opportunity and making the most of it.

Now, Miami's Dwyane Wade is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, fearless on the court. Apparently, he is afraid of the unknown. Specifically what might be inside a box.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one -- what's in the box?

DWAYNE WADE, MIAMI HEAT: No, I can't do it.


All the way in.

WADE: Hell no. Uh-uh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If my hand is in there --


WIRE: D. Wade, it's just a little tea cup pig.

Our friends at "Bleacher Report" playing a game called what's in the box and, Dianne, you know there's one person in all of CNN who I would love to see play this game. He's sitting right next to you, Victor Blackwell, one of the toughest anchors we have, but I have a feeling he'd be squealing like a pig.

BLACKWELL: What is in the box?

WIRE: Next weekend.

BLACKWELL: I'm game. I'm game for it. WIRE: It's on next weekend.

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you, Coy.

GALLAGHER: All right. We want to thank all of you for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" is coming up next. But we leave you with a few highlights from "Saturday Night Live." Ben Stiller returned to reprise his role as President Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any other president, this hearing would be the most damning and humiliating moment of their lives. But for Trump, it's just Wednesday. So, please welcome my witness, Mr. Michael Cohen.


BEN STILLER AS MICHAEL COHEN: Of course, the first time I testified was also under oath, but this time, I, like, really mean it. I'm also including a copy of the threatening letter I sent to Mr. Trump's high school warning them not to release his SAT scores.

Maybe I'm a liar. Maybe I'm a fool. Maybe I have ruined hundreds of people's lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry. Is -- is there a but coming?

STILLER: No, there isn't. Thank you.