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NEW DAY SUNDAY

New Zealand Terror Attack; Biden Almost Announces Presidential Run; Klobuchar, "I Wasn't Born To Run, But I Am Running"; "The Washington Post," Stacey Abrams Weighs Presidential Run. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired March 17, 2019 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[06:00:13]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FARHAAN FARHEEZ, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I just can't stop thinking about it, getting those flashbacks. There were still speculations that we're thinking that maybe, you know, someone is watching us, someone will shoot all of us at the funeral just because we are Muslims.

ABDUL AZIZ WAHABZADAH, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: He dropped his gun and because I have this other gun on me as well and he just run.

JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: Gun (ph) rules (ph) in New Zealand. They need to change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No matter how many years you spend in law enforcement as a profession, the level of inhumanity and depravity that took place there it just -- it really is just soul shattering.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. We are so happy to have you with us here. Week-by-week, more and more Democratic candidates obviously joining the 2020 race for president and it's just happening more and more today as well.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it is.

PAUL: Joe Biden now questions about what he said overnight that might be a gaffe. Some people say he is kind of the gaffe machine but he might have just announced and doing so by accident let's say.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: We'll have to find out. He's going to follow-up and actually make that official. Also the current president just will not let this former senator rest. Seven months after the death of John McCain, President Trump takes a shot at John McCain on Twitter.

And in New Zealand as the death toll is now at 50 the prime minister vows to change the country's gun laws immediately.

Well, those victims' bodies are being returned to their families in New Zealand and another victim was found in one of the mosques attacked by the gunman. And now we know the number of people killed is at 50.

PAUL: Fifty wounded as well, 34 are still recovering in the hospital including a child. Twelve of those victims are in critical condition.

Now tomorrow, police are going to spread out across that country and offer protection to any mosque that requests it. New Zealand's prime minister is moving to change the country's gun laws at a cabinet meeting so they already are planning to address this as well tomorrow. The gun laws. We want to go live to Christchurch where CNN international correspondent Ivan Watson is with us. Ivan, what are you hearing this hour?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm coming to you from next to the botanical gardens. And as you can see, this has become an improvised memorial side for many of the victims of the attack that took place -- this terrorist attack that took place on Friday. And there are other sites like this in squares not only here in Christchurch but across this country, messages that say we love you. They are us. This is not New Zealand.

And kia kaha that's a Maori expression that means stay strong. I have to say that it is seeing the children's messages written in crayon saying we miss you. Those are the type of things that put a lump in my throat and have left many people here crying as they quietly file through.

It's after 11:00 so the crowds have thinned somewhat. Now the authorities continue with their investigation. They say that two other suspects that were arrested yesterday, they are not believed to be linked with the attacks that took place at the two mosque on Friday leaving one person, this 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant who was charged with murder in a court here in Christchurch on Saturday, authorities saying that some of the weapons that he was caught with, the firearms, were believed to have been modify, possibly to make them more deadly.

The work of trying to return the bodies of victims to their loved ones, that is painstaking and slow since there are just so many people who were killed by this suspected gunman. The authorities came out with a statement explaining the processes they are going through, saying that they are having to be very careful getting dental records, pulling out the personal possessions and documenting them of each victim to make sure that nobody has returned the remains of the wrong person and this is complicated further by the fact that many people come from other countries.

For example, Pakistan says it lost nine of its citizens, Egypt lost four of its citizens, and so certainly the authorities the chief coroner here saying that they don't want to send somebody back to their country of origin and it is the wrong person being sent back.

[06:05:03] But that doesn't make it any easier for anguished relatives desperate to get their loved ones back and to follow Muslim tradition which typically call for a burial to happen within 24 hours of death. As you mentioned the gun laws, the prime minister has said that they will be strengthened, they will be changed, but she has not indicated what exactly will take place yet.

There are some 1.2 million firearms in New Zealand, a country of some 5 million people, that is according to the New Zealand police, that is about one gun for every three people and the chief suspect had a legal permit, even though he wasn't a citizen of New Zealand, and he also acquired his guns legally.

Facebook has put out a statement saying they are trying to scrub the images that the suspect live streamed on to the internet. They say they have removed some 1.5 million videos globally in the first 24 hours after the attack. That is a virus of hatred and violence that has spread out digitally.

But I can tell you this, Christi and Victor, we are seeing an analog challenge to that with these handwritten shows of support and love to the victims and the tiny Muslim community in this country -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: Ivan, you made such a good point. Sometimes the truth just speaks loudest in children and it's really interesting to hear your perspective on that. Thank you so much, Ivan Watson.

BLACKWELL: We are learning more about some of the victims of this attack. The Jordanian foreign ministry industry says at least three of its citizens were killed and four other wounded. A 5-year-old Jordanian girl was critically injured and has undergone surgery.

Another victim Haji Daoud Nabi was born in Afghanistan. He moved to Christchurch in 1977 as an asylum seeker. He was apparently running about 10 minutes late for the service. The attack was happening as he got there.

Now survivors say they are constantly reliving what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FARHEEZ: I just can't stop thinking about it, getting those flashbacks and it's one of those experiences which I wish no one ever encounters. It's just catastrophic and it's just --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you been to a funeral this morning?

FARHEEZ: Yes, I have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And whose funeral was that?

FARHEEZ: So just some close friends and family friends that passed away, deceased. And it was even difficult even to go for the funeral. There were still speculations that we're thinking that maybe, you know, someone is watching us, someone will shoot all of us at the funeral just because we are Muslims.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Now to find out how you can help the victims of the New Zealand terror attacks, go to CNN.com/Impact.

PAUL: And we are learning more about the countries that the suspect, the shooter visited before the attack. A long list.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Apparently, he took repeated trips to the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, then to Pakistan and North Korea. The question now why? And is there a connection?

Let's go live to CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon in Turkey. Arwa, what are you hearing about the reaction to now this release of the list of places that he visited?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, understandably intelligence agencies within these various different spread-out countries are trying to understand exactly why he may have visited their respective countries. Was he just undertaking normal touristic activities or was there perhaps something more sinister and ominous to all of this?

If we look to his travels just in the last two or three years he goes to as you're mentioning there Egypt. He goes to Greece. He made numerous trips to the Balkans to Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina.

He also made trips to Bulgaria where Bulgarian media is reporting that he seem to have quite a deep curiosity and understanding of that country's history. We also know that he made at least two trips to Turkey in 2016, one of them lasting up to 43 days. And he went to Pakistan in October of 2018.

And CNN spoke to the owner of the hotel there where he stayed who does remember him says that he was just a normal tourist, that he seemed to particularly enjoy the local fair. Now by his own admission within that hate-filled manifesto, he does say that throughout the course of his travels during a period in 2017, his perspective began to shift, especially following the Stockholm 2017 attack where a man drove a truck into a street crowded with shoppers.

And so what investigators are now really trying to put together is why did he go to all of these locations? Is there some sort of connection? Was he doing some sort of research? He does seem to have developed a deep curiosity about history in the area especially when it comes to the history of the Balkans and countries like Bulgaria and Turkey, the history of the Ottoman Empire.

[06:10:11]

And on his rifle and some of his weaponry there were inscribed far right symbols and figures but also the names of some of the individuals who were quite famous within history as having fought against the Ottoman Empire. But really at this stage, everyone looking into this just trying to build a figure of how this individual ended up being filled with so much hate and exactly how his travels tie into that.

PAUL: All right. Arwa Damon, we appreciate the insight. Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Well, as this attack happened, the shooter allegedly streamed the video on Facebook. It was then copied and shared, reshared thousands of times.

Facebook now says that they were able it block 1.2 million of those videos as they were uploaded but another 300,000 were removed after they were shared. Facebook New Zealand said out of respect for the victims, they also deleted versions of that video that had edited out the murders.

PAUL: So stay with us because there's a question this morning. Serious question. Did Joe Biden just accidentally reveal his plans to run for the White House? A bit of a verbal slip-up, perhaps?

A lot of people were cheering it on, though. We will show you what happened.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Senator Amy Klobuchar with her take on the Beto O'Rourke campaign line from that "Vanity Fair" cover. Why the Democrat never thought she would be in the position that she is in today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wasn't born to run, but I am running.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:15:49]

PAUL: All right. You might be asking did he just say what I think he said?

BLACKWELL: He said that. Yes.

PAUL: Yes. Joe Biden with an almost announcement last night.

BLACKWELL: So was the former vice president's slip just the biggest hint yet that he is actually going to run in 2020? You be the judge here. Here is Arlette Saenz.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Joe Biden really walked right up to the edge almost announcing a presidential bid here in his home state of Delaware. You heard those other Delaware Democrats who were urging him that he should enter the 2020 race. But take a listen to what he had to tell the crowd when he almost let it slip that he is going to jump in the 2020 race. JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm told I get criticized by the new left. I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the -- if anybody who would run.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BIDEN: Anybody who would run.

SAENZ: So you heard Joe Biden catch himself a little bit there saying he was talking about anybody who would run. But the former vice president really offered a bit of a preview of a message he could bring to a presidential campaign, saying that the nation has currently engaged in mean and petty politics and that Americans need to rise above that and remember who they are as a country. He was saying that this is a battle for the soul of America. We will see if this is test driving that but see if any further message in an announcement in a few weeks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: All right. Joining me now is CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer and commentator writer and editor for "The Washington Examiner," Siraj Hashmi. Welcome back to both of you.

And, Siraj, let me start with you. So we got this slip. I can see my air quote in a box, slipped.

SIRAJ HASHMI, COMMENTARY WRITER AND EDITOR, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": I can see it.

BLACKWELL: OK. In front of a friendly crowd there in Delaware. Last week, you had I may need your energy to a firefighters union that was very friendly.

He is in, right? I mean, essentially these slips aren't really slips. He is just kind of taking a slow walk to the announcement?

HASHMI: Yes. I mean, it's not a matter of if. It has always been a matter of when he was going to jump into the race. And Joe Biden who has been leading in the polls in Iowa and he is very competitive in New Hampshire, you know, this is his time to run.

You know? Everybody thinks 2016 was his time to run. It probably could have been. I mean, there is definitely a giant hole that the Democrats need to fill, especially in that moderate independent lane for Joe Biden to run for president.

While he says he is the most progressive, you know, truth be told, I mean, he still is probably -- he is kind of all over the map in terms of where he stands in the Democratic field. And he caters to a lot of people -- he caters to a lot of people in Middle America and particularly the rust belt states that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.

BLACKWELL: All right. Julian, let me come to you because it has been exactly one month since CNN published the op-ed that you wrote, why Joe Biden shouldn't run for president. I want this to marinate a little while before we discuss it. So a month seems long enough.

You wrote this. "Most problematic is the fact that Biden has run for the presidency several times, and each time he has struggled under the intense spotlight. When it comes time to hit the campaign trail, Biden has never been able to generate the level of support that is necessary to win."

So a month now of consistently topping the polls and new candidates coming in, you still think he is wrong for Democrats in 2020?

JULIAN E. ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think there are risks with it. I think he has run before and when he has run, he's had a lot of problems generating the kind of support that he needs and he is not there yet. And now he faces a very different Democratic Party that is eager for new voices and new faces, and so this will be another problem that he faces.

BLACKWELL: So, I don't want to -- I mean, we are focusing on the back half of the sentence where he says running for the United States -- for president. The first half, he says he is the most progressive candidate -- has the most progressive record of anybody running.

[06:20:03]

Julian, how does that -- I mean, just square up to his actual record? Because analysis shows he is quite moderate.

ZELIZER: Yes. He doesn't. There is many issues where he is going to face a lot of criticism from the left. His record on crime legislation, his record on race relations, his record with Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. He is progressive on certain economic issues but looking at the field, he is not Elizabeth Warren, for example.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, Siraj, let's stretch this out. Senator Amy Klobuchar in Iowa on Saturday -- yesterday, she said this. Let's play it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KLOBUCHAR: I am someone that believes that we can bridge this rural and urban divide.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Bridging the rural and urban divide. Now that is her appeal likely as a candidate to some Democrats, but what are the indicators that Democrats, considering the issues that are energizing a lot of the base, a lot of the party, the indicators that they will be able to do that?

HASHMI: Yes. I mean, they do need a candidate who has won a statewide election and got a lot of these rural counties that Amy Klobuchar did and she actually did really well in counties that President Trump won in 2016 and her 2018 midterm election for Senate. So Klobuchar is a great candidate on paper but when you put that obviously in the practice she has come under scrutiny with how she treats her staff has kind of tried to spin it in a way so that she, you know, says that she is tough, especially if she has to deal with somebody like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But, yes, this urban or rural divide is something that Democrats are strongly lacking right now and it's obviously a glaring hole that happened in 2016 and that has been the point of recovery. If you saw in the rust belt states like in Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin, the GOP got slaughtered there in 2018. So there is, you know, there's definitely potential there if they are able to get the right candidate who can bridge that divide.

BLACKWELL: All right. Senator Klobuchar sat down with NBC News. Part of that interview will air this morning and she played off a bit of the "Vanity Fair" cover story on Congressman O'Rourke in which he says that he was born to be in it. I want you to watch this exchange and then we'll talk about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You made a reference to born. Do you feel born to do this?

KLOBUCHAR: Oh, that is the Beto line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the Beto line but you brought it up. I'm just curious.

KLOBUCHAR: OK. Well, no, I will say that, you know, I have a lot of respect for Beto and it's great to have some Texas in this race. But, no, I wasn't born to run for office just because growing up in the '70s in the middle of the country, I don't think many people thought a girl could be president. I wasn't born to run, but I am running.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Julian, how problematic was that line? You got Democrats now considering the most diverse field ever for the candidacy of either party for president and answering questions or considering questions of privilege and opportunity. For him to say I was born to be in it, how problematic could that be for him?

ZELIZER: Yes. It was a terrible line and I thought Klobuchar was very effective there getting to this question of hubris. It's problematic for any candidate just to start by saying I was born to do this. But given the field for a white male to say that in a moment the party is asking questions about diversifying really fell flat and that combined with questions of his substance, I think, undercut some of the excitement of the rollout of one of the more promising candidates or so it looked a few months ago.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, Siraj, O'Rourke has jumped in. I don't know if we can say that Vice President Biden has put a foot in or a toe in, but he is walking toward the candidacy. There is a piece out this weekend in "The Post" by Dan Balz about Stacey Abrams and potentially her now coming into this field.

Would she be someone that could change the field, change the dynamics dramatically if she were to come in?

HASHMI: Not entirely. You know? Stacey Abrams brings something to the table when she talks about voter suppression and obviously that's a very pressing issue but many candidates don't use that as a rallying cry to get -- to basically get elected to public office. I mean co- work in Georgia where she lost by a point and a half to the governor, the sitting governor right now. But what's important here is that she needs to win a statewide election before she can actually be considered a viable candidate for the presidency.

So if she runs against David Perdue who's more or less aligned himself with President Trump in recent years through trying to push legislation like the RAISE Act which is a very tough immigration proposal, you know, there's a good window for her to actually capture that seat in 2020 given how she's already risen to national prominence.

[06:25:04]

BLACKWELL: Well, let me ask you this. Why does Stacey Abrams have to win a statewide race to be considered a candidate for the president and Beto O'Rourke does not?

HASHMI: Oh, no. I make the same criticism of Beto O'Rourke too. I don't think he is a viable candidate for the presidency given the fact that he has not won -- he didn't win Texas in 2018, so that criticism of Stacey Abrams also applies to Beto O'Rourke --

BLACKWELL: Yes.

HASHMI: -- and I don't think he is a viable candidate as well.

BLACKWELL: Well, then we've got Tulsi Gabbard and Mayor Pete Buttigieg and the other members of Congress who are still on that same list -- Julian Gonzales -- I'm sorry. That was a wrong name.

PAUL: No, Julian Castro.

HASHMI: Julian Castro.

BLACKWELL: Julian Castro. Sorry.

PAUL: That's okay. There's a lot of names on there.

BLACKWELL: A lot of names. Julian Zelizer, Siraj Hashmi, thanks so much.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

HASHMI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Question. What does the rise of hate around the world mean here at home? 2020 presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar joins Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" to talk about it. That's today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern only on CNN.

And my apologies to Secretary Castro.

PAUL: So, President Trump currently not done criticizing John McCain. He went after the senator again months after his death, obviously. McCain's daughter was quick to slam the president right back. We have details for you as to what happened.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Congressman O'Rourke had an awkward moment on the campaign trail yesterday. A voter asked him about whether his V.P. pick would be a woman. Here is part of his response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETO O'ROURKE (D), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: It's hard for me to think of a reason that I would not do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:30:51]

BLACKWELL: President Trump took a shot at John McCain now seven months after the senator passed away.

PAUL: Yes, well, McCain's daughter Meghan was quick to fire back. CNN's Sarah Westwood live from the White House for us right now. All right. Sarah, some people are probably wondering how did we get here again? Help us understand that.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Good morning, Christi and Victor. Yes. President Trump reprising his attacks on the late Senator John McCain yesterday going after him for, among other things, his role in passing the unverified Steele dossier to the FBI during the presidential race and for voting against the GOP health care package in 2017.

Here is what Trump said. He wrote. "Spreading the face and totally discredited Dossier 'is unfortunately a very dark stain against John McCain.'" There he was quoting Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who investigated Bill Clinton. Trump goes on to say, "He had far worse 'stains' than this, including thumbs down on repeal and replace after years of campaigning to repeal and replace."

Obviously Senator John McCain decisive vote against Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare was something that President Trump never forgot after that vote in the summer of his first year in office.

Meghan McCain who is also been highly critical of President Trump like her father was quick to clap back on Twitter. She wrote, "No one will ever love you the way they loved my father. I wish I had been given more Saturdays with him. Maybe spend yours with your family instead of obsessing over mine?"

Now of course there is longstanding antipathy between the late Senator McCain and President Trump stretching back to the 2016 race when President Trump infamously said that McCain who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War was not a hero. He said, he liked people who weren't captured. Obviously that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way so this is a longstanding feud President Trump reprising it yesterday -- Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. Sarah Westwood for us at the White House, thank you.

PAUL: Well, today Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is in Wisconsin. His second visit there in the last several months because it's crucial swing state. Well, yesterday he was in Iowa where at a campaign stop, a voter asked if he would consider a woman as his running mate. Here is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The chance to earn vote right now. You're nominated the Democratic position (INAUDIBLE) for president of the United States. Will you put a woman as your vice president?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need a job.

O'ROURKE: It's hard for me to think of a reason but I would not do that. I think talking about who I would pick as vice president just feels really premature.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know it feels premature.

O'ROURKE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But your half of the ticket --

O'ROURKE: That's right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- when you're becoming president. You represent the other half of this country too.

O'ROURKE: That's right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They need to see a woman in a position of power in this country.

O'ROURKE: Yes. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We haven't had a woman vice president. I would like the youngest person that I'm going to vote for to drive this country forward and put a woman on his ticket.

O'ROURKE: Yes. I hear you. Again, that would be my preference. I feel like it would be very presumptuous for me to talk about who I would select as vice president right now but your point is taken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I just want you to think about it.

O'ROURKE: Thank you. I really appreciate you asking me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Did you hear that woman said, "I need a job."

BLACKWELL: "I need a job."

PAUL: Somebody is offering. This is O'Rourke's first weekend campaign after he announced that he was running in the 2020 presidential race.

BLACKWELL: All right. Still to come police have arrested a man for the shooting death of a mob boss. The charges he faces and what is next in this investigation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:38:49]

PAUL: Welcome back. Thirty minutes past the hour. The Connecticut Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the gun industry last week, ruling that the families of Sandy Hook victims can continue their lawsuit against gun manufacturers.

BLACKWELL: Now this decision could have wider ramifications for victims, relatives and survivors of other mass shootings. CNN correspondent Jean Casarez has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): : December 14th, 2012, at approximately 9:30 a.m.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six-seven Sandy Hook school. Caller is indicating she thinks someone is shooting in the building.

CASAREZ: Twenty kindergarteners and first grades and six adults are shot to death within minutes at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The shooter, an unknown 20-year-old, his weapon of choice a Bushmaster semi automatic rapid fire AR-15 rifle legally purchased by his mother.

GOV. DANNEL MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: What has happened, what has transpired at that school building will leave a mark on this community and every family impacted.

CASAREZ: Two years later, in 2014, the families of nine children killed that day filed a wrongful death suit against the retail store and dealer who sold the firearm, and also against the gun manufacturer Bushmaster and its parent company Remington who argued that they were protected from civil responsibility through federal law.

[06:40:15]

(on camera): Plaintiffs lost against those gun manufacturers at the trial level, so they appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, which just ruled that families can go forward against the gun manufacturers but on only one theory, that marketing of the AR-15 caused or contributed to the deaths of so many.

(voice-over): Remington tells CNN it is their policy to not comment on pending litigation. After the decision, plaintiffs did speak out.

JOSH KOSKOFF, PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: They have said today that the gun industry may bear certain responsibilities to provide a solution to this epidemic that we have, and it could start with responsible marketing.

CASAREZ: Plaintiffs argue the AR-15 was designed as a military weapon and has always excelled on the battlefield. They cite Bushmaster's 2012 product catalog that shows military holding the weapon with the narrative, "When you need to perform under pressure Bushmaster delivers."

Defendants know that as a result of selling AR-15s to civilian market, individuals unfit to operate these weapons gain access to them. Plaintiffs, however, do not include the fact that in that marketing, Bushmaster also focuses on the civilian recreational market, long- range shooting events.

A trade association for the firearms industry says, "The AR-15 platform rifle is widely owned by Americans who use them for target shooting, competitive shooting, hunting, and self-defense." The families of children lost that day say, however, manufacturers have a responsibility.

KOSKOFF: You carry with you a time honored burden that to protect the public.

CASAREZ: That, they say, was not done. Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: All right. Our thanks to Jean.

Twenty-four year old New Jersey man is in police custody. It's happening this morning. This is for the shooting death of Francesco "Frank" Cali, reputed boss of New York's Gambino crime family.

Anthony Comello faces murder charges and could end up spending the rest of his life in prison. Police say Comello has crossed paths in some limited circumstances with the NYPD. Officials are still searching for a motive for the crime and say the investigation is far from over.

Frank Cali was shot multiple times outside his home in Staten Island last Wednesday.

PAUL: And listen. There is a manhunt going on right now in North Carolina. Police are looking for 57-year-old Rexford Lynn Keel Jr. Please take a good look at that picture.

He is the husband of a woman found dead earlier this week. Keel's wife Diana disappeared March 9th. She was found dead three days later about 30 miles from her home. Her husband was the last person to see her alive.

Now police questioned and released him on Tuesday. At that time he was not charged but now he has disappeared. Police are also now investigating the death of his first wife who died in 2006 of the same home he lives in today.

BLACKWELL: The Midwest is facing historic flooding, not caused exclusively by rain, but from melting ice as well. CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar will explain what is happening here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:47:55]

BLACKWELL: Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, they are having historic flooding right now after a massive bomb cyclone. We covered that. It hit the area and now there's the secondary problem.

PAUL: Yes. Because there is melting snow and something called ice jams that are making things worse. CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar with us now. All right. Help us understand ice jams, Allison.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. It's not an easy concept to understand. So let's start with the basics here.

OK. You got a river, a creek, a stream, something like that that normally flows down as it should. You also have bridges so that people can cross them. Well, in the spring when those temperatures start to melt, portions of ice and snow that have developed along the blanks will begin to freely flow down that river. The problem when they get to that bridge they kind of get jammed up especially if they're large pieces of ice or chunks of snow.

The problem is the water behind it still needs to move but it can't move under the bridge so where does it go? Well, it starts to spill out a little bit and in doing so it will then go into places like farms, roadways and even into homes.

Now, again, this may be kind of very hard to visualize so here is a video to show you a perfect example of this. This is in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Here you can see the bridge and then notice off to the left, that is all of the ice chunks, the snow and even debris that has kind of trapped itself up against the bridge. And in the background, unfortunately, that water begins to flow into the community which is the last thing you want to have.

The problem is it's not just in that particular area. Much of the Midwest has had an abnormally high amount of snow this winter. Take, for example, Lincoln, Nebraska, 33 inches above average for the year. Omaha nearly 30. Even Minneapolis we're talking about 20 inches above average for the season.

Well, all of that snow has to go somewhere. Now the unfortunate part is we do still have a little bit of snow and a little bit of rain in the forecast for places today like Iowa, Illinois, stretching over into Indiana and Ohio. It may not be much. At best, maybe a quarter of an inch of rain, maybe an extra inch of snow. That is it.

The problem is it's on top of all the stuff that has already fallen. You have nearly 300 rivers that are above flood stage right now so it doesn't take much to exacerbate and make those worse.

[06:50:06]

The problem is even though the main focus is in the Midwest for right now, all of that water has to go somewhere. It's eventually going flow down into the Missouri and eventually into the Mississippi river. So place further south like Memphis and New Orleans will eventually also see some pretty tremendous flooding.

It just takes about two to three weeks to really get down there. And unfortunately, Victor and Christi, you have a lot of warmth in these places expected over the next few days so you're going to get rapid melting which often triggers flash flooding very quickly.

BLACKWELL: Wow. Big problems ahead. We will be thinking about them. Thank you, Allison. Shout-out to Haley (ph). Her graphics game this morning is strong with that ice jam.

CHINCHAR: She knows you set the bar high.

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: The bar is raised every time you are on. Thank you both.

PAUL: Can't wait to see what they come up with.

So, what we love about March madness are the Cinderella stories, right?

BLACKWELL: Mm-hmm.

PAUL: Coy says there's a coach already living his. What?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi, Victor. Good morning to you.

Every college coach's dreams of leading his team to the big dance they're usually overcome with joy but coming up we're going to tell you why this coach was brought to tears in this moment. That is next on NEW DAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:55:25]

BLACKWELL: This Sunday, the all-new CNN original series "TRICKY DICK" looks at the unprecedented political rise and fall of Richard Nixon.

PAUL: And now some of Nixon's controversial campaign strategies, battles with media, headline grabbing scandals and investigations seem, to some, to be repeating themselves in the Trump administration. Here is CNN's Tom Foreman with a look at the parallels and the connections between Richard Nixon and Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This time we're going to win!

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Listen to the long-ago roar for Nixon and you may hear a coming wave.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to win. We're going to win fast!

FOREMAN: Many political analysts have noted similarities between President Nixon and President Trump in their populous calls to white voters, their pledges to the working class, and how they spoke about military might.

NIXON: I want you to bomb those bastards (ph) all over the place.

TRUMP: I would bomb the (BLEEP) out of them.

FOREMAN: But it goes much farther. The two men knew and admired each other. Nixon sending a letter after Trump was on T.V. in 1987 predicting whenever you decide to run for office, you will be a winner. Trump taking pages from Nixon's playbook on crime.

NIXON: It is time for us to restore, respect for law, and then we'll have real progress.

FOREMAN: Nixon inflamed racial fears and pledged to crack down. Trump brought similar themes to the immigration debate.

TRUMP: They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists.

FOREMAN: On investigations, as Watergate erupted, Nixon furiously denied doing anything wrong.

NIXON: Well, I'm not a crook.

FOREMAN: Trump's response to the Russia probe?

TRUMP: It's a total witch hunt.

FOREMAN: On the media, Nixon bristled at reporters.

NIXON: The press is the enemy. The press is the enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President!

FOREMAN: Trump --

TRUMP: They call the fake news the enemy of the people and they are. They are the enemy of the people. FOREMAN: And on hush money, Nixon was recorded talking about payoffs to keep Watergate conspirators quiet.

NIXON: You could get a million dollars and you could get it in cash.

FOREMAN: And Trump too has been caught on tape allegedly discussing a payment to a former Playboy model who claimed a sexual affair which he denies.

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: Well, I have to pay them something.

FOREMAN (on camera): There are big differences, too. Nixon grew up poor, Trump wealthy. Nixon served in the Navy, Trump got a medical deferral. Nixon was a career politician, Trump not. And of course, Nixon was undeniably wrapped up in the Watergate affair and he resigned. Trump, so far, there has been no indisputable proof that he has broken any law, nor that he will walk away from the White House.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: All right. Be sure to watch "TRICKY DICK" premieres tonight at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

OK. If you want to pencil in a winner in your bracket, I'm told you should pick Duke.

PAUL: Yes. Don't go by what we say. Go by what he says.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: Coy is here.

PAUL: We are never quite right.

WIRE: Yes. And they have the best player in all of college basketball, Zion Williamson. He has been a megastar since high school. He had a million Instagram followers last year as a high school. It's nearly 3 million now.

He's only 18 but you can argue that his name is as well known as 95 percent or more well known than the 95 percent of players in the NBA already. Still all of that and this kid is humble.

Zion led Duke to a 73-63 win over Florida State in the ACC championship last night. And just three games back after injuring his knee, he was unstoppable averaging 27 points, 10 rebounds and tournament MVP. A lot of folks thought he should sit out the rest of the season to turn pro but that is not in Zion Williamson's DNA.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZION WILLIAMSON, ACC TOURNAMENT MVP: You see your brothers going to war, you know, battling and there is nothing you can do but sit on the sideline and cheer. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm not that type of person. I want to be out there with them.

And, I mean, I made a commitment to them and I'll be a bad person if I went back on my commitment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Duke pretty much a lock for the number one seed in the NCAA tournament. Now Old Dominion just won the conference USA title led to the big dance by head coach Jeff Jones who has battled prostate cancer all season. This is his second bout with the disease.

Jones broking down as that clock hit zero and the confetti fell on him and his team. This is a moment he wants to remember forever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF JONES, OLD DOMINION HEAD COACH: It's been a great year. It's been a long year. But we are just really, really happy to be going dancing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[07:00:06]

WIRE: Water bottle shower afterwards. Incredible moment for the Monarchs.