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NZ Prime Minister Received Shooter's Manifesto Just Before Attack; NYT: Pilots Battled Automated System Before Ethiopia Crash; Trump Vetoes Attempt to Block Border National Emergency; Police Presence at Suspect's Home Unnerving For Neighbors. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired March 16, 2019 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 49 people lay dead as New Zealand's Prime Minister addressed the gunmen directly.

JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER, NEW ZEALAND: You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a very, very eerie and unfortunate word, he used the exact same word to talk about brown people.

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're on track for a million illegal aliens to rush our borders. People hate the word invasion but that's what it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see today white nationalism as a rising threat around the world?

TRUMP: I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been dog whistling to white supremacists since his campaign began.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Work here has begun to inspect the so called black boxes that would give investigators a far better insight into what happened with the pilots on board Ethiopian airlines flight 302 as well as of course what was happening with the plane itself.


ANNOUNCER: NEW DAY Weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST, NEW DAY WEEKEND: We are always grateful to have you here with us on Saturday mornings. Top stories for you this morning. 28-year old Brenton Harrison Tarrant has been charged with murder in the killing at least 49 people in two mosques in New Zealand.

We're now learning, the country's Prime Minister was emailed Tarrant's manifesto just minutes before he carried out allegedly that attack.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST, NEW DAY WEEKEND: And we're blurring this video at the request of the church there in Christchurch. Meanwhile the New York Times is reporting that investigators say new evidence gathered at the crash site now links the Ethiopian airlines disaster to another accident using the same model of the Boeing jet.

PAUL: President Trump has signed his first veto of his presidency blocking a congressional bid to stop his border wall from being built.

BLACKWELL: We're starting this morning in New Zealand, the prime minister's office says that it received the shooter's manifesto moments before he allegedly carried out that attack.

PAUL: Yes, I want to go straight to CNN's Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson who is in Christchurch. Good morning to you Ivan, I know it is evening there, what are you learning about what happened in court?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, it's just after 1:00 am here, Christi and I'm - just for your knowledge, I'm in front of Christchurch hospital so this is where so many of the victims of the attacks on these two mosques, not far from here were rushed to and as I speak, some people are fighting for their lives.

As of Saturday morning doctors said that there were 11 people in intensive care and many, many more with less critical moons being treated. Of course, this is being described as the deadliest terror attack in New Zealand's history. We've seen an outpouring of support from New Zealanders, flowers, candlelight vigils.

I've seen total strangers embracing themselves on the sidewalk here in front of the hospital. As far as the investigation goes yes, the New Zealand Prime Minister's office says, they received this hate filled manifesto from the suspect moments before the attack was carried out.

The suspect, his name is Brenton Tarrant, he's 28 years old, he's Australian. He had no criminal record in Australia or here in New Zealand. He had a legal gun permit and police say he resisted arrest. He was found with five firearms in his vehicle as well as two improvised explosive devices.

He appeared in a Christchurch court earlier on Saturday and was charged with murder. The authorities say there will be further charges brought against him. The New Zealand Prime Minister has also announced that the gun laws in this country will change as a result of this act of terror.

And when you talk to ordinary people here, I can't stress enough how much of a shock this incident has been. New Zealanders saying that these types of mass shootings happened oceans away in places like the U.S., not here in New Zealand. The schools were on lockdown on Friday for example and here's something that's truly chilling in addition to the incredible act of violence here, Victor and Christy.

Students who were under lock down in their classrooms with the curtains closed could watch the suspect's video live streamed as he was shooting people blocks from the classrooms where they were in hiding as people were being killed and maimed, truly chilling to imagine. Victor and Christy.

[08:05:00] PAUL: Ivan Watson, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Police are searching the gunman's home which is really more than 220 miles away from the scene of the massacre. Here's Jessica Cartwright from our affiliate TVNZ.


JESSICA CARTWRIGHT, REPORTER, TVNZ: Police and the bomb squad descending on a house in a Dunedin suburb of Andersons Bay. The sudden attention drawing out neighbors, shocked and surprised to learn that of the connection to the Christchurch attack.

ANGELA WHILES-HUMPHREYS, NEIGHBOR OF BRENTON TARRANT: Bizarre, honestly, who would have thought. It makes you think who are your neighbors. You don't know what's going on where. But I mean, this could have happened anywhere.

CARTWRIGHT: Police arrived last night. The property revealed to be the home of Brenton Tarrant, the man accused of committing the terrorist attack in Christchurch that's claimed 49 lives.

ARDERN: They were not a resident of Christchurch. In fact, they were currently based in Dunedin at the time of this event.

CARTWRIGHT: Today the armed defender squad standing guard as detectives combed through the property Tarrant lived in.

WHILES-HUMPHREYS: I'm moving actually seeing the - because they were quite big guns.

CARTWRIGHT: The house Tarrant lived in is on a quiet street in a seaside suburb of the city and neighbors here say, they never saw anything unusual. A makeshift memorial of flowers and messages left at the city's mosque today. Those attending are too upset to speak but the police presence a stark reminder of the continued concern for the city's Muslim population.

Dunedin's Mayor, Dave Cull met with leaders from the city's Muslim community today.

DAVE CULL, MAYOR, DUNEDIN: The police made it very clear that public safety is absolutely paramount so they're thinking about and empathizing with a young Muslim woman for instance, who are quite conspicuous and feeling vulnerable.

They're thinking about the kids that are going to - some Muslim kids that are going to school on Monday, I'm wondering whether they'll be treated differently or pointed at, that that kind of thing so there's a really - I think reassuring perceptiveness about some of the responses that we're getting from the police and ministry of education and people like that.

CARTWRIGHT: That reassurance, some small comfort to those trying to come to terms with this terror attack.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: Well, President Trump offered his condolences to the people in

New Zealand. When asked about the terror attacks during an event at the Oval Office in fact the President said this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see today white nationalism as a rising threat around the world.

TRUMP: I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. I guess, if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case. I don't know enough about it yet, they're just learning about the person and the people involved.

But it's certainly a terrible thing, terrible things.


PAUL: Well, Frank Meeink is with this us now. He's a former hate group member, the author of autobiography of a recovering skin head. His life was part of the inspiration behind the 1998 movie, American History X. Frank, thank you so much for being with us again, we appreciate it.

I wanted to ask you first and foremost about this 17 minute video that was live streamed as it was happening, did you watch any of that video?

FRANK MEEINK, FORMER HATE GROUP MEMBER: I watched, maybe about six seconds of it, before there was going to be the - taking another person's life so I stopped watching. I mean, I could play video games and see that stuff so.

PAUL: Okay, do you from your own experience understand their motivation?

MEEINK: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. The man was full of fear and you know, he was probably thought incompetent in every other way in life and this is his grand ending you know, to show that he was such a man, he's such a warrior you know. What a warrior! He shot a bunch of unarmed people in a place of worship.

PAUL: I remember you saying last time that fear is really at the core of all of this violence. Is there anything that you've been able to glean that would tell you, you can change somebody's mind? Who is in that direction.

MEEINK: Yes absolutely. Yes, absolutely, you can change somebody's mind. Anyone can change their mind. I mean we were given that grace from God that you know, it's just like having humanity. Most of us grow with it but when you join a hate group or a group where you're falsely told, you'll be proud of your heritage.

You are now joining something that is so fear based that it is venturing on a turn to anger, there's no place for this fear to go so to change somebody's life is you have to get rid of that fear and you also have to get to know, what did I think about when that shot was going and it was going to kill someone.

PAUL: Yes.

MEEINK: Is I thought about you know, Jamaal. I thought about my Muslim friends that I have, who are great members of our society and people and that's why I stopped watching because I have empathy for them, I have empathy for people because I know different people of different religions and that's kind of the point is with maybe this is the point for us now as humanity is to step up to say, all right, I'm going to start knowing all the Muslims in my community or I'm going to stop by and say hi and watch how your life changes with their life.

[08:10:00] PAUL: So you know, a lot of people rationalize that a normal, sane person couldn't just go up and shoot somebody, couldn't do it at point blank, couldn't do it 49 times, the way that this was done, without being mentally unstable but mental illness or instability does not negate terrorism at the end of the day.

MEEINK: That's right.

PAUL: When you've got mental illness and versus terrorism, can one even exist without the other?

MEEINK: I'm sure, they could, absolutely, I think we're going - a lot of people try to want to blame the guards at the concentration camps where they just guards, were they lose their humanity like you know, so that happens in people all the time and I don't believe that men were all bad men that were at the concentration - the guards you know.

So I mean, anyone can change. I mean humanity is going to win out if you practice empathy with humility, you have humanity and we need to do that as human beings on this planet. We share this little rock with you know.

PAUL: You're right. I want to read a newly released report from the anti-defamation league when it comes to how prevalent this is becoming. They say that white supremacist increased their propaganda efforts by 182% in 2018. What do you believe is fueling this?

MEEINK: Oh, I mean, I could get on Trump all day long about his ignorance at most common things that we should stand for but it's not - it's not - it's - again, we were talking about it for fear.

What does Fox news talk about all day? Fear, fear, here they come, they're coming for our stuff, it's all fear based and so when you have that fear again, it turns into anger and when guys want to be masculine in these groups, this is the ignorant stuff that they're going to come up with.

I mean, it's the - there's no other solution except for to annihilate and to eliminate people of a different race because you're so much better because it'll skin you were born in, like we talked about this before, it's a very lazy thing.

You know, you didn't do anything, you were just born white or whatever color you are to be supremist about so. PAUL: Well, yes, and we have to point out that there were you know,

several you know white supremacist attacks prior to the President taking office so yes, I mean, people say his language does not help but to blame him is displaced.

What happened to you that prompted you to think differently?

MEEINK: It was it was getting to know other human beings of different races and starting to get a wall down once in a while and realizing that at the ends sort of - so six or seven years, I was very active in that movement, how many friends I missed out on meeting because once I started to get my wall down, I met some of the greatest men in my life.

The men in my life who were mentors to me, they're not all white. I mean, a lot of my mentors are guys I can call and teach me how to be a father because so I didn't really know how to be a good dad and they happened to be black men, happened to be rabbi.

I mean, I call these people on a regular basis, sometimes just to give me guidance in life and it makes me have more empathy for anyone because I start to know them as human beings.

PAUL: How do we get through to these hate groups though, Frank?

MEEINK: You know, we can't do any sound bite you know, it's going to take - it's going to take some work and some time and again, it's not going to take people throwing bottles at them at a rally because again, I was in the rallies and people throw bottles but I never once ducked a bottle and said, I better rethink my beliefs here you know.

I am now with my army, and with my boys and there's my enemy so that approach hate and hate doesn't work, it is pretty eminent but you know, again showing - you make me a member or a guy who might be in a hate group and be kind to them and I don't mean open your house and let your guard down completely but at least have lunch, call.

PAUL: Showing them, there can be a different way.

MEEINK: And in America, we just had a shooting, we had this shooting up in Wisconsin where another neo-Nazi goes into a place of worship and shoots a bunch of Sikhs, he didn't even know they were Sikhs, he thought they were Muslims.

I mean just ignorance, just complete, absolute ignorance to know that they weren't even Muslim, which is unacceptable anyway but they were Sikhs and you know, that's another great religion and--

PAUL: Frank.

MEEINK: He had no idea.

PAUL: Thank you for helping us try to understand what's going on here, we appreciate your time.

MEEINK: Thank you, thank you so much. PAUL: Take good care.

BLACKWELL: And with 49 day, we're just now starting to get to know some of the victims of this massacre. One of them is Khalid Mustafa. He was a refugee from Syria, he arrived in New Zealand with his wife and three children last year and New Zealand was meant to be their safe haven after fleeing the violence in Syria.

One of Khalid's two sons is undergone six-hour operation that happened last night in Christchurch Hospital.

[08:14:00] PAUL: In other news, there's new evidence that the pilots in two plane crashes may have been battling an automated system. Next, Boeing's plans to fix that and we're going to talk to Alex Davies, an editor at Wired magazine who knows all about this system and Boeing's plan to fix it.

BLACKWELL: Plus President Trump still going for the money for the border wall, he vetoed Congress' rejection of his national emergency declaration. What will Congress do next? We have an answer.

PAUL: Also Vanity Fair's latest cover, take a look at it. Beto O'Rourke. Why he says, he doesn't believe in labels and why he's publicly apologizing to his wife.


BLACKWELL: Live pictures here from Paris, Champs-Elysees, you could see the flames there in the center of your screen. Now the eighteenth week of the 'yellow vest protests.' Now initially you know, this was over a pending fuel tax which was eventually suspended by the government but it's now branched off into greater concerns of French financial challenges there.

[08:20:00] PAUL: But take a look at what's going on, we are hearing that, that fire you see has been set. There are windows shattered along restaurants and shops, along Champs-Elysees and there is a looting going on there as well. This is the eighteenth week as we said that the 'yellow vest protest' is enforced.

And they had seemed we understand to dwindle a little bit there, you might hear, we're assuming that maybe some tear gas because the police are responding with tear gas. But this morning, it's really been amplified yet again. You can see all of the people standing, and we are going to keep our eye on this for you and we'll let you know, how it continues throughout the morning.

BLACKWELL: All right, investigators at the Ethiopian airlines crash site have found new evidence that they believe links the crash to an earlier crash with the same model of the jet. The New York Times sites two sources with knowledge of the recovery operations and they said a piece of the record shows the pilots may have been battling an automated system to keep the plane from diving, months ago.

The FAA sent out a warning about the system that one former pilot told us last hour that should have been enough. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT MILLER, PROFESSOR OF AERONAUTICS, SACRAMENTO CITY COLLEGE: Having adequate knowledge of the systems and knowing how the airplane works should be enough to be able to keep the aircraft flight path where you needed it, should something unfortunate happen.


PAUL: So after the Lion air crash last year, early reports show that it may have been a mix of a faulty sensor and pilots reacting incorrectly to what that sensor caused the mains - the plane's automated system to do. So Boeing was planning a fix while a software upgrade for their jets to download and fix that problem was delayed by the shutdown, it was planned for next month and then came the Ethiopia crash which grounded the planes around the world.

Alex Davies, Senior Associate Editor and Transportation Editor for Wired magazine with us now. Alex, thank you for being here. I know that in your piece about the Lion air crash, last year, you described the plane system as getting bad data and then making adjustments.

I want to read for our viewers what you wrote. "If the pilot had known that the MCAS was at fault, they could have shut down the plane's ability to automatically adjust its trim which determines its position in the air so they could manually do so themselves. But they ended up behind the airplane, confused and trying to figure out what the computer was up to."

So as we understand it, the pilots after this Lion air crash went through considerable training to try to fix that problem. What do you think happened in this case then?

ALEX DAVIES, SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR, WIRED: So with this case, with the Ethiopian air crash, it's really hard to understand what happened and I think everyone should be careful about hazarding guesses until we have more information from the investigators who are now looking through the black box data.

But I've been talking to pilots about this and so far it seems hard - hard to understand exactly why they wouldn't have had the option to turn off the system but maybe the best bet is that you know, there's a lot to understand about how a plane works and this wasn't necessarily a system that was designed to be easily understood.

When Boeing first built this into its planes, it didn't explain to pilots that in certain situations, the pilot would have to deal with an airplane that actually wanted to push its nose back down, thinking it was stalling so it's really hard to guess what was going on in the cockpit.

PAUL: So how confident are these pilots in the software fix that's coming?

DAVIES: You know, that's really hard to know. I would guess, probably not all that confident given that I think a lot of pilots especially the pilots unions weren't happy that Boeing built an airplane and then didn't fully explain in the manual how it really works.

PAUL: How much of this do you think is the fault of Boeing?

DAVIES: You know, I want to be careful in assigning blame--

PAUL: Absolutely.

DAVIES: --but it does seem that if you're going to design a software system that the first flaw was that, it seems that this system which is the way to think about is less like cruise control in a car and more like traction control, it's something that's there to kick in and help you win the car or in this case, a plane who thinks you're in trouble of stalling which can be really dangerous during take-off.

And that's there for the purpose of just keeping you safe but you know, if it's not properly explained then and if it can react badly to just one sensor which seems to be what happened here, at least on the Lion air crash, you had one air speed sensor that was very off from the other and the plane thought it was doing something that it wasn't actually doing and the pilots didn't understand what the plane was thinking and that seems to be the gap here.

That's what I talk about when pilots use the term behind the airplane, it's when they're not understanding what the automated system set, they have to work in concert with our thinking.

[08:25:00] PAUL: So how expensive are the concerns regarding the balance of automation verses manual operation of these planes?

DAVIES: That's a really tricky question because over recent decades, we've seen more and more auto pilot and for the most part, that's a good thing. I mean flying has never been safer and a lot of the reason is that these really complicated systems are being largely controlled by computers with very trained pilots who are in charge of working with them.

PAUL: Right.

DAVIES: The question kicks in when those systems aren't perfect and they are prone to failure, just because all systems are prone to failures and so if you have pilots who don't understand fully what the systems are doing or pilots who get complacent with what the systems are doing which is just a human trait, humans or not well built to oversee automated systems where it's just not how our brains are wired.

PAUL: Right.

DAVIES: Then that's where you can easily get into trouble and the answer is that I think you see are better training for one, but that's never going to be a completely perfect solution. I think you also need more thoughtful design in how those systems work and how they communicate with the computer is doing to the human in the cockpit.

PAUL: Very good point. Alex Davies, thank you for taking the time to be with us, this morning. DAVIES: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: President Trump, determined to get money for his border wall. He vetoed Congress's rejection of his national emergency declaration to get the money. Also saying this.


TRUMP: I have the duty to veto it and I'm very proud to veto it.



[08:31:00] BLACKWELL: President Trump promised his supporters that he would build a wall. He also promised that Mexico would pay for it but let's put that aside for the moment. He is doing everything in his power to keep that promise, he signed his first veto, tossing out Congress's rejection of his national emergency declaration to get funds for the wall.

PAUL: Congress, that's not going to let the matter go that easily either I should point out. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the house will vote to overturn the President's veto on March 26. CNN's Sarah Westwood, live from the White House. The problem is Sarah, they don't have the votes to do so.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITEHOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Christy. It's very unlikely that the House will be able to override the President's veto because remember that just 13 House Republicans broke with President Trump and voted in favor of blocking his national emergency declaration.

But Speaker Pelosi is calling for the House to try to override that veto anyway. She said in a statement yesterday, she called the President's veto, a defiance of the will of Congress and of the constitution. Now President Trump framed the low this week as a vote primarily on border security.

He tried to frame it as a referendum on his immigration agenda but Democrats and some Republicans ended up viewing it as a vote that concerned the constitutionality of the President's attempt to get around Congress to try to access some funds to build his border wall.

Now in the Oval Office yesterday, President Trump continued to argue that there is indeed an emergency on the southern border and he thinks the Republicans saying, he was proud of them, the ones who held firm, take a listen.


TRUMP: There haven't been too many that are bigger emergency than we have right at our own border. Consistent with the law and the legislative process designed by our founders today, I am vetoing this resolution. Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it and I'm very proud to veto it and I'm very proud as I said of a lot of Republican Senators that were with me.


WESTWOOD: Now the White House had pressured House and Senate Republicans not to vote for the resolution of disapproval that would, was aimed at trying to block his emergency declaration. White House officials expected that it would ultimately pass Congress but they wanted to keep that margin of victory as low as possible to avoid an embarrassment and it does look like the President's veto, Victor and Christy will have enough support to withstand this override attempt from Congress.

PAUL: All righty, Sarah Westwood, appreciate the update, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, Beto O'Rourke is on the campaign trail. Our next guest interviewed him for that Vanity Fair cover story while the congressman was making the decision to run. We'll discuss what he learned about O'Rourke's unique approach to policy and politics, that's next.


[08:38:00] BLACKWELL: 38 minutes past the hour. Democratic presidential candidate, Beto O'Rourke apologized for making jokes about his wife. He said, he was wrong to say his wife in raising their children sometimes with his help.


BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's constructive criticism, it is already made me a better candidate not only will I not say that again but I'll be much more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage and also the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege.


BLACKWELL: O'Rourke also apologized for a piece of fiction he wrote when he was a teenager, those writings included fiction written from a killer's point of view. Now O'Rourke is featured in Vanity Fair's April issue. He spoke with the magazine about his family, his life growing up in Texas and how we entered politics.

He also talked a bit about the policy positions, just a bit though, he didn't go into much depth. And the writer of the piece wrote, "For some O'Rourke can still seem politically indistinct, even slippery but that may be part of his strategy. When he was asked if he's a progressive, O'Rourke said, "I leave that to other people, I'm not into the labels. My sense in traveling in Texas for the past two years, my sense is that people really aren't into them either."

Joining me now the writer of that story Joe Hagan, Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair. Joe, thanks so much for being with us this morning.


BLACKWELL: So let's first start with this - these teenage writings and this psychedelic war lord stuff from online. Now first some of this I guess, is just you know, we're getting to a point where Gen Xes are running for President so we may see more of this. They had the internet in their teens and twenties but did you get the understanding from the Congressman that there is a lot more of this that could be out there?

[08:40:00] HAGAN: You know, I couldn't say but this - there's been always a fascination with his youth, you know, he - his youth being a Gen Xer is a novel to presidential politics so you know, you're learning about that he was involved in these you know, early computer bulletin boards, he was into punk rock.

You know, in the past we've had baby boomers running for President and they were never involved in the same kinds of activities so it's all - it's all kind of new. I think the computer things a little bit overblown. You know, I mean a lot of a young you know, kids in the late eighties watching Matthew Broderick's Wargames for instance were fascinated with computers and some of this was you know, typical.

But - but this is presidential politics, this is the big leagues, he's - in the last 48 hours, he's had a rough ride already.


HAGAN: Because he's set the bar so high with his you know, the expectations for him are high because he's got such big name recognition already.

BLACKWELL: So let's talk about his campaigning because he talked about - specifically what jumped out to me in this this article, which is fascinating, his preparation for a rally in Houston. I think it was his third in this campaign against Ted Cruz at the time and this is what you wrote, that he said about his preparation or lack thereof, he said, I don't ever prepare a speech. I don't write out what I'm going to say. I remember driving to that, I was like what do I say? Maybe, I'll just introduce myself.

I'll take questions. I got in there, I don't know if it's a speech or not but it felt amazing because every word was pulled out of me like by some greater force which was the people there. Everything I said, I was like watching myself being like how am I saying this stuff?

Where is this coming from? Should we not expect a stump speech from Beto O'Rourke, I mean, is he trying to change the way that candidates apply for the job, campaign for the nomination?

HAGAN: Right. Well, that was just third stop on his Senate campaign, that - that he was talking about there and you know, over time he developed a stump speech and you know, even his comment couple of days ago about his not - you know, intermittently helping raise his kids was an old line, right?

But there is something of a kind of high wire act element to Beto is why people pay attention to him. This is why he got you know, became a national figure to begin with is he was able to just aim a camera at himself you know, in one point for 24 hours during a Senate campaign and be himself, right?

And in a way, as I write in the story you know, Donald Trump and the way he can manipulate social media and bends the media to him, has sort of set the table for what Beto's doing. Beto, if he's successful and in the same way he was running in Texas, although he was not successfully, he didn't win the election but he was successful in raising money and getting a national profile.

If he's successful, he has to make the media, he has to take control of the media. Right now, it's taking control of him.

BLACKWELL: Hmm. All right, Joe Hagan, thanks so much for being with us this morning.

HAGAN: Sure, thanks for having me.


PAUL: You know, several of the democratic hopefuls are out on the campaign trail today. Want to show you some live pictures of an event Kirsten Gillibrand is taking part in this morning. This is Manchester, New Hampshire. She's wrapping up a two day swing through the crucial battleground state and is expected to officially announce her candidacy tomorrow.

And there's Amy Klobuchar, she's making a trio of stops in Iowa, today. Stopping first in Waterloo, that happens in about an hour and 15 minutes around 11:00. Well, Poppy Harlow sat down with her to talk about her campaign and how she had handled facing off with President Trump.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN REPORTER: I'm really interested in how you Senator, would run against President Trump if you are the Democratic nominee. So far, he's only called you Snow woman.


HARLOW: Oh, you do?

KLOBUCHAR: I like being called Snow woman although he didn't do it in a nice way. He was attacking climate change and as I noted, you know, I'd like to see how his hair would fare in a blizzard. But I--

HARLOW: How would you run against him?

KLOBUCHAR: You have to run against him head on of course but you also have to don't go down every single rabbit hole with him because if you lose track of your own optimistic, economic agenda, then the voters who want to know what you're for and not just what you're against, they don't get a fair shake.

And one of the things he tries to do is to side track people into what he's talking about that day. I've been able to win every congressional district in Minnesota, including Michele Bachmann's congressional district.

HARLOW: That's true.

[08:45:00] KLOBUCHAR: And I've done it by sticking to what I believe people need to know about me and what they want to do, moving forward and how we move our country forward. He wants to go into chaos. I want to go into governing from opportunity and number one, that is the biggest thing we need to do.

The second thing is to not go down the rabbit holes and to not let him see side track everyone, every day. What does that mean? Sometimes you respond to him, especially when he is kicking at core values and saying divisive things that divide people in this country but sometimes you don't respond to him at all, let him go off and you know rant and rave about whatever he wants to.

And then the third way is to do it sometimes with humor, which is what I did the day that I announced.


PAUL: Now Klobuchar also joined the chorus of 2020 Democrats in condemning hate and white supremacy, following the New Zealand mosque attacks.

BLACKWELL: And breaking news in Paris, the eighteenth weekend of the 'yellow vest protests,' there's been looting, tear gas used by police. We know the some of the protesters have thrown rocks, you saw some there, rocks being thrown at those offices, it's happening right now along the Champs-Elysees. We'll be right back with more live pictures.


[08:50:00] PAUL: So we want to show you what's happening in Paris right now. Some violent protests there right between anti-government demonstrators who are also known as 'yellow vests' and police but look at this, this is a mess.

This is the eighteenth consecutive weekend of protest in Paris and other major French cities, we should point out but the 'yellow vests' that are protesting President Emmanuel Macron's policies.

BLACKWELL: CNN correspondent Oren Liebermann is there in Paris and he is on the phone with us, Oren, tell us what's happening here.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've seen the development this morning when it was just a few yellow vests protestors gathering at Champs-Elysees, what we're looking at now, it is quite stunning the images we're seeing right now and it is quite stunning the images , we are one of the most famous places in Paris and probably the world in terms of yellow vest protesters and what's going on.

We've seen smashed windows, we've seen torched cars along the Champs- Elysees as well as smashed storefronts right along such a famous alley here. In response we've seen police firing probably water cannons but also tear gas to try to get these protesters to disperse.

I'll point out one of the most famous storefront or restaurant that was smashed here and that is Phuket, that is where in 2007, President Nicolas Sarkozy held his election night victory and that is a function of what these yellow vest protesters are so angry about.

To them this restaurant, Phuket and to them President Sarkozy symbolize the wealth and inequality that they've been protesting about since mid-November and that perhaps is one of the reasons why that specific restaurant was targeted in what has become these violent protests along the Champs-Elysees.

One of the key questions here is, why now? Why such - why such a violent protest on this day because these protest have been going on since November and although they started large, they had been tapered down quite a bit quite a bit, they were quite a bit smaller than they had been right at the beginning.

And that answer maybe, what was called that President Emmanuel Macron's great debate. After these started, President Macron visited all of the regional - and tried to engage the protesters and average citizens on what they were upset about and the economic inequalities that had angered them.

But the great debate as it was called, ended yesterday but part of the frustration on the side of the yellow vest protesters was that, there were no cross decisions put forward from the great debate, there was no idea on how to close economic inequality and that may have led to what we're seeing as the anger and the outpouring of the anger on the Champs-Elysees as we're watching right now.

Of course, mixed into these 'yellow vest protesters' maybe extremists and anarchists that are fueling the violence that was seen on the street as well as the police response to that. So far we've learned from police that at least 44 have been detained but as the protest continues as it has been this morning, that number may well rise.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we're seeing more of the water cannons, rocks being thrown, the fires there, Oren Liebermann reporting for Paris for us. Oren, thanks so much.

PAUL: And I want to say this as well, a middle school parking lot with nearly 70 teenagers fighting with school officials and with police, you can hear the screams there, we're going to tell you what happened and show you more.


[08:55:00] PAUL: Look at this. Police in Washington state had to be called because a brawl broke out at a middle school. Listen to that, the screaming, this was after a basketball game, yesterday.

BLACKWELL: School officials say and when they tried to break up the fight, the students became hostile and then when after them. So we're told that between 60 and 70 teenagers were involved, and nine of those teenagers were then arrested for various charges including assault and resisting arrest.

Now consider this, Middle school, they're what? 11 to--

PAUL: 12 to 14 years.

BLACKWELL: Yes, these are young children. No, we don't know if all the teenagers who were arrested were that age.

PAUL: Well, but they allegedly also went after the police officer and there were supposedly close to three dozen police officers there to respond to this.

BLACKWELL: After a basketball game.

PAUL: Wow.

BLACKWELL: All right, coming up next on Smerconish, former Governor, Bill Will. He is on the show. Find out why he thinks he has the chance to beat President Trump and earn the GOP nomination for President.

PAUL: We're going to see you back here in one hour for CNN Newsroom but off to Smerconish you go. Thanks for being here.