Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY SATURDAY

Iran Captures Two Oil Tankers in Strait of Hormuz; Heat Wave Continues Across Much of U.S.; Trump and the Congresswomen; A Personal Look at the Opioid Crisis; Moon Landing Anniversary; NFL Not Suspending Tyreek Hill During Child Abuse Investigation. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired July 20, 2019 - 06:00   ET

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


[06:00:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some new aggressive moves by Iran. The country seized two oil tankers 30 minutes apart in the Strait of Hormuz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The British government is trying to avoid military action with Iran but in the same breath stressed that the U.K.'s response would be robust.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is completely unacceptable. Freedom of navigation must be maintained.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Much of the United States is sweltering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This year it's really hot. It's like burning hot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About 195 million people across the U.S. are under watches, warnings, or advisories due to the extreme heat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For some people this may not even peak until we get to Sunday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Engine stop, (inaudible) base here, the Eagle has landed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty years ago today, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the proverbial giant leap; humanity's first steps on the moon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

(END VIDEO)

ANNOUNCER: This is "New Day Weekend" with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Wishing you a good morning and letting you know how grateful we are to have your company here. We are hearing from the U.K. now as we begin with this dramatic escalation in the tension between Iran and the west. The British government warning there will be, quote, "serious consequences" if Iran does not release a British flight oil tanker that it captured in the Strait of Hormuz.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Iran claims the ship was involved in an accident with an Iranian fishing boat after reportedly ignoring the boat's distress call. Iran's news agency says the tanker is being held in port, and the ship's crew will remain on board while Iran investigates. Clarissa Ward joins us now. What are British officials saying?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, not very much to be honest, Victor. This stage what we've heard from the foreign secretary or foreign minister here in the U.K., Jeremy Hunt, is that they will be responding in a robust but considered manner, though he did go on to say that they were looking at diplomatic solutions and not military solutions.

There was an emergency meeting yesterday convened to discuss ways to respond to this. But at this stage, we don't really have a good sense of exactly how the Brits are planning to respond to this and it's important for our viewers to remember that this comes in the wake of an Iranian vessel that was seized by the British navy earlier this month off the coast of Gibraltar near Spain. That vessel according to the British navy was carrying oil that was going to be smuggled illegally to Syria.

So I think what you're seeing here, Victor, is an element of tit for tat, but more broadly speaking, what you're seeing is a continued escalation in tensions as we see the disintegration of the Iran deal really start to happen in a meaningful way. This, of course, happening after the U.S. pulled out of the Iran deal, after it re-imposed sanctions. Europe has been floundering to try to keep the deal intact. But what we are witnessing here, clearly, is a failure to do that and the real fear now, Victor, is does this somehow devolve into an all- out military conflict, and how can that be averted.

With one shipping publication, a prominent publication, saying this is the highest level security threat they have seen in the shipping arena since the late '80s. So a very significant escalation here, and a lot of people on all sides very concerned about where it might lead, Victor.

PAUL: All right Clarissa, we want to listen to the U.K. Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt here.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

JEREMY HUNT, U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY: This is completely unacceptable. Freedom of navigation must be maintained. We will respond in a way that is considered but robust and we are absolutely clear that if the situation is not resolved quickly, there will be serious consequences.

(END VIDEO)

PAUL: Clarissa, who is leading this in the U.K. because we know that the leadership there already is a bit in flux.

WARD: That's putting it mildly Christi. I mean, this is another part of the conundrum here in the U.K. is that really it's a political quagmire. Theresa May has stepped down. We will be finding out who the new British Prime Minister will be at some point this week. It may be a lot of people are speculating that it will be Boris Johnson and that will come with some difficulties in and of itself because he's had run-ins with Iran before.

And again, just to reassert this idea of the difficulty now, the limited options on the table for Great Britain as it tries to resolve this issue. I think a lot of people here and particularly in politics wanted to see a full-throated voice of support from President Trump yesterday. There's concern that that's not exactly what they heard in his comments on the lawn yesterday.

BLACKWELL: Clarissa Ward for us in London. Thank you. And let's turn now to the president and the U.S. response.

[06:05:00]

Sarah Westwood who has reaction from the White House, but she is in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey where the president is nearby at Bedminster. What are we hearing from the president? Sarah?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning Victor. And President Trump is signaling his interest in starting talks with the Iranians while downplaying the significance of any outreach to Iranian officials. A day after he denied that Senator Rand Paul was conducting outreach to Iranian foreign minister, he then acknowledged that he had authorized those talks for Senator Rand Paul and there still are some divisions within the administration about how to approach this problem of Iran. Administration officials tell CNN that President Trump behind closed doors has become more hawkish in recent days when discussing Iran.

Those same officials tell CNN that in those private conversations, Trump has placed less emphasis on a diplomatic solution. Recall a few weeks ago he called off a planned military strike against Iran but reserved the right in the future, if tensions in the region escalate, to conduct a military response in the future. Take a listen to what President Trump had to say yesterday about Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This only goes to show what I'm saying about Iran; trouble, nothing but trouble. I was right about Iran, and let's see what happens.

(END VIDEO)

WESTWOOD: Now Trump sending a bit of mixed signals as he was leaving for his resort here in Bedminster, New Jersey. He first said, you know, we just heard that he's touting the fact that he thinks he's been right on Iran, that he's described Iran as a major regional menace for a long time, and the recent escalation in tenses in the Strait of Hormuz and beyond is just proving him right but also saying he expects that the situation with Iran will work out nicely. Even saying that he thinks it would be quite easy to fix those tensions. Trump also saying he plans to work with the British on the response to that seized U.K. vessel from Iran and touting U.S. Military presence in the region, noting that there are American warships in that water space, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right, Sarah Westwood, appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So let's talk more about the Strait of Hormuz and why it is so important. It's the most crucial waterway in the global oil supply. Look at this, this is a real time look at all of the traffic moving through it. The channel is only about 21 miles wide at the narrowest point; 22.5 million barrels of oil pass through the strait every day. That's nearly a quarter of the daily global oil production. If the strait were to closed because of the threat of ongoing attacks, it would be a massive blow to the world's economy.

PAUL: Now just this week, Iran's foreign minister said his country does not want an armed conflict with the U.S. And retired general James "Spider" Marks says the U.S. doesn't want such a conflict either.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, RETIRED MAJOR GENERAL AND CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I'm confident that from the U.S. side and from the coalition side that there is very little likelihood that we would escalate and try to be more aggressive than we presently are, as Barbara described in terms of the deterrent effect of our presence and our increased presence in the region. Look, in the Strait of Hormuz, there's nothing that ever serendipitously happens. It's always been a focus globally. And so these events are all orchestrated by the Iranians. We can expect more going forward.

(END VIDEO)

PAUL: Coming up in the next hour, we're speaking with General Mark Hertling, the former commanding general for the Seventh Army, getting his opinions on this as well.

BLACKWELL: This morning, millions of people across the country are sweltering. Really. A heat wave is stretching across the U.S. We'll tell you how they are coping.

PAUL: And President Trump says he doesn't care if his attacks on four sitting U.S. Congresswomen are good or not for politics. Why he's doubling down on his original attack.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:10:00]

BLACKWELL: Summer in the city. Right now, communities across the country are baking under this deadly heat wave. More than 230,000 people are without power right now in Michigan. PAUL: Yes, 150 million people across 30 states from New Mexico to

Maine are under heat alerts, and temperatures will feel like they're 110 degrees in some cities. Cities who are not used to this, including New York where CNN's Polo Sandoval is. Good morning Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christi and Victor. The scene behind me just really does show you how people in the New York area are willing to do anything it takes right now just to stay cool. But the threat of these high temperatures, it extends far beyond the New York area with millions of people threatened and the most vulnerable seem to be the elderly and children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's incredible, hot, yes.

SANDOVAL: Much of the United States is sweltering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This year it's really hot; it's like burning hot.

SANDOVAL: About 195 million people under heat watches and warnings, part of a potentially record-breaking heat wave set to scorch the country through Sunday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've got one, two, three, four of our teachers over there because they can't handle it. It's just me over here.

SANDOVAL: Major cities have opened cooling centers for those without air conditioning and officials from New Mexico to New Hampshire are warning people to stay indoors, stay hydrated, and check on their neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look out for the elderly. Look out for young people. They are the most vulnerable.

SANDOVAL: In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio declared a heat emergency, cautioning residents to reduce electricity use and ordering high-rise office buildings to raise their thermostats to avoid power outages.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: We keep emphasizing set it at 78 degrees unless you have a specific condition where you need it to be cooler, 78 degrees will keep you safe, will keep you cool enough, will keep you healthy. And again, we want to always be careful not to use more electricity than we need to.

(END VIDEO)

SANDOVAL: Major events also being canceled from the Ozzy Music Festival in New York to horse races in Saratoga and in Illinois, zoo workers are doing their best to help the animals beat the heat.

And it's likely only going to get hotter. In fact, last month was the hottest June ever recorded on the planet. That's according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And according to experts it seems that we are likely going to continue to see more and more of these heat waves happen more frequently.

[06:15:00]

Experts saying it's part of this ongoing climate crisis. Victor, Christi, back to you.

BLACKWELL: Polo, thank you. CNN's Allison Chinchar joins us live from the weather center with more. Allison, how high are these temperatures going to go, and how long is this going to last?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, so let's start with the second question. The good news is for some after this weekend we'll finally start to get a little bit of a break. But it's in that time, it is, it's going to get impressively hot in some areas. Take a look at this map. Again, what we're showing you is over three quarters of the population is going to have a feels-like temperature of over 90 degrees today. Normally when we have these, it's for a small region, say the mid-Atlantic, maybe even, say, the Great Lakes region.

The question is, why is it so big today? Why are we seeing such a large area? We've got this dome of high pressure that's basically sitting over the eastern half of the country. Typically what that means, you get heat rising throughout the day. But high pressure system pushes the air back down. Every time the hot air rises and tries to escape, that hot air ends up being trapped inside of that dome from the high pressure, effectively just allowing it to sit over some of the same places over and over again. And that's what we've been seeing because it already started several days ago.

One of the other concerns is the overnight temperature. OK? You've got two environments here. We've got a city environment and rural areas. Both of them heat up during the day. That's not the question. But overnight, rural areas, that grass allows some of the heat to escape. In the city, however, it doesn't and that's going to be one of the concerns that we see. It can be up to 22 degrees warmer. That's one of the main concerns we have going forward is actually about all those overnight temperatures. Over 90 cities have the potential to break record temperatures overnight, meaning the overnight low temperature is not going to get any cooler than, say, about 80 degrees. That's not cool enough for your body to be able to cool off.

That's why things like heat exhaustion, heatstroke, can end up taking hold because you don't realize how warm your body actually is. Warning signs, cool, pale skin, for heat exhaustion. But once it stretches into heatstroke, you'll actually start to notice your body stop sweating. You've almost basically run out of sweat at that point because your body has gotten too hot. Again here's a look at all t hose watches, warnings, and advisories we have out there. And here, Victor, to answer your question, take a look at this -- Chicago is going to feel like 105 today; Boston, 103; Washington, D.C., as high as almost 110 for that afternoon feels-like temperature.

BLACKWELL: Wow. All right. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

PAUL: So President Trump is unrepentant in his attacks on four democratic Congresswomen now saying he doesn't care if it's good or bad politically. We'll talk about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:20:00]

PAUL: Twenty-one minutes past the hour. Welcome to Saturday. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

PAUL: So President Trump is walking back the walk-back, kind of doubling down on his original racist attack on four democratic Congresswomen.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

TRUMP: I don't know if it's good or bad politically. I don't care. But when people are speaking so badly, when they call our country garbage, think of that -- that's worse than deplorable. When they call our country garbage, I don't care about politics. I don't care if it's good or bad about politics.

(END VIDEO)

BLACKWELL: Well just one day after distancing himself from a chant at his North Carolina rally, the president is now calling his audience incredible patriots, refusing to apologize for his tweet which prompted all of this.

PAUL: You know we've all seen this before. It somewhat of a pattern. The president will say something, he'll walk it back a day or so later, and shortly after he'll flip back to be what got him there in the first place.

BLACKWELL: Joining us, Errol Louis, CNN political commentator, political anchor for "Spectrum News." Errol, good morning to you.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: So the president says that he does not care if this is politically good for him or not. Do you buy that?

LOUIS: No, no, not at all. I mean look, all politicians do this. It's similar to the pool shark who comes into a pool hall and says, "Hey, is there some kind of game going on here?" Of course we know what the president is doing. It is what political figures do which is if you've got a political problem in front of you and you've got an opponent that maybe you don't necessarily want engaged as yet, you create a different opponent. You create what's called a straw man; in this case straw women.

You attribute all kind of things to them that they never said. Nobody called the country garbage. There's no attribution for that. But the president sort of posts it up there and then gets very mad about it and says he's going to take it on. Not on my watch, that sort of a thing. That's much easier, Victor, than taking on some of the 20 democratic opponents who collectively have tens of millions of dollars and are giving him a pounding in the press every single day.

BLACKWELL: You know, the president is trying to reframe this after his original tweet last weekend around his disgust over these congresswomen's criticisms of him or his policy. Let's remind people what this president has said about this country and of its people, of Americans. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

TRUMP: They never have anything good to say. That's why I say, "Hey, if they don't like it, let them leave."

How stupid is our country?

We are so far behind the time, and by the way, the world is laughing at us because they can't believe these policies.

If you're complaining all the time, very simply, you can leave.

How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country?

I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down, they never have anything good to say. That's why I say, hey, if they don't like it, let them leave. Let them leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putin's a killer.

TRUMP: A lot of killers. We've got a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?

They should love our country. They shouldn't hate our country.

General George Patton, General Douglas MacArthur are spinning in their grave at the stupidity of what we're doing in the Middle East.

If you're not happy here, you can leave.

The biggest problem I have with the stupidity of our foreign policy...

If you're complaining all the time, very simply, you can leave.

(END VIDEO)

BLACKWELL: So his criticism of the country qualifies him to lead it, their criticism of the country qualifies them to leave it. Is that his rule?

LOUIS: Yes, that - that seems to be what he's getting at. If you're looking for consistency, however consistency is sadly lacking here. The whole idea that if you complain about anything this administration does, you must hate the country is, you know, once again a sort of a familiar political strategy to try and sort of make one's self above politics and say, "Oh, no, I'm just doing what's in the best interest of the country." Well there's 300 million plus of us, and we're going to decide together what's good and what's bad for the country. So obviously criticism of this or any other administration if it's done in good faith and it's done to try and improve the country is one of the most patriotic things you can do. It was patriotic, frankly, when candidate Trump did it. If you don't like trade policy, you don't like the foreign policy, you don't like the economic or domestic policy, you get up and you complain about it. Yet that's what patriots do and that, in fact, is that members of Congress are doing, it's what advocates are doing and Donald Trump finds himself on the other side of a machine that has, you know, ridden into the White House and there are others who are going to do the same now.

BLACKWELL: Let's listen together to -- this is Richard Spencer, a white nationalist, who suggested the president here isn't going far enough and listen to how he describes these tweets. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

RICHARD SPENCER, WHITE NATIONALIST: Many white nationalists will eat up this red meat that Donald Trump is throwing out there. I am not one of them. I recognize the con game that is going on. He gives us nothing outside of racist tweets. And by racist tweets, I mean tweets that are meaningless and cheap and express the kind of sentiments you might hear from your drunk uncle while he's watching "Hannity."

(END VIDEO)

BLACKWELL: So the white nationalists acknowledges that the tweets are racist but says they don't go far enough. What does this portend potentially for his ability or willingness to ratchet it up over the next year plus?

LOUIS: Well look, it's a very - it's a very telling clip that you just played, Victor. Because if those who don't think that the extreme right, the Nazis, those who sort of traffic in that level of hate are not watching and taking cues from and hoping to influence this president, while Richard Spencer is your proof. They are very much there. They are very much part of this political conversation right now. And you know, look, the president has sort of been playing footsie with these folks all along.

Make no mistake about it, he's going to continue to do that and you can go state by state, district by district and you can see where that red meat that he throws out to try and sort of tickle the fancy of the Richard Spencers of the world, the bottom feeders of the political system, it is part of how he plans to try and mount his campaign in 2020. There's just no getting around it.

BLACKWELL: All right. He's walked back the walk-back. We'll see if he hops on twitter and says anything else this morning. Errol Louis, thank you so much. Christi.

LOUIS: Thank you.

PAUL: You know for the first time in decades, the number of people dying of drug overdoses is falling. But how do we end the stigma that is surrounding addiction still? I had a conversation with a former TV anchor who is on his own road to recovery. His story is riveting, but so is his mission. You're going to hear it next. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:30:00]

PAUL: Listen, there's a significant "Washington Post" report showing just how easy it was for doctors to prescribe copious amounts of opioid prescriptions and how easy it was for people to get their hands on those highly addictive pills for years.

BLACKWELL: Seventy-six billion, that's how many of the opioid pain pills, oxycodone and hydrocodone flooded the market from 2006 to 2012. This information comes from a database maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the largest civil action case against big pharma companies in the country's history.

PAUL: Now new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows overdose deaths are on the decline. It sounds like great news. Jacqueline Howard, writer for CNN "Health and Wellness" with us now. So when we talk about the opioid crisis, this sounds positive but break down these numbers for us so we really have a good handle it.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN WRITER FOR "HEALTH AND WELLNESS": Well the numbers are promising. So the numbers show that last year there was a 5.1 percent decline in drug overdose deaths total. So that is a good thing, but the total number of deaths is still high up there. In 2018, there were still more than 68,000 deaths overall and when it comes to those involving opioids specifically, there were about 47,500. So this is provisional data; the numbers will be finalized next year. But the decline was good but the death toll is still up there.

BLACKWELL: So what does this mean for the turnaround of the opioid epidemic? Is this a major turn?

HOWARD: What this means is there's a light at the end of the tunnel but we have to see if the decline continues in the years to come to really celebrate here because we're still seeing about more than 130 people die every day due to overdosing on opioids. So because the death toll is still up there, we can't celebrate quite yet.

PAUL: What explains the decline, though, in the deaths?

HOWARD: Well a lot of things have happened in recent years to really help drive this decline. We're seeing heightened awareness on the local state and federal level. We're seeing task forces being formed to address this issue. We're seeing better monitoring of prescribing opioids. But one key player in all of this that I think is important not to overlook is a medication called Naloxone, or it goes by the brand name Narcan. Naloxone has the power to reverse an opioid overdose. So access to Naloxone has been improved in recent years to address this issue. We're seeing libraries have made an effort to stock up on Naloxone. Even Delat Airlines this week said that their flight attendants are going to start carrying Naloxone. So that's one key player that we can't overlook.

PAUL: All right, Jacqueline Howard, thank you so much.

HOWARD: Thank you.

PAUL: We're (inaudible). Now former T.V. news anchor Brandon Lee, he left his job in legal news and his mission was to find himself and share his own story of abuse, of addiction. He was basically living two lives, one of which nobody in the public knew about.

[06:35:00]

He's hoping that by talking about it and releasing all the ugly details they're going to help somebody else. He's just written "Mascara Boy: Bullied, Assaulted, and Near Death, Surviving Trauma and Abuse." He also produced a documentary on the opioid crisis and resulting heroin epidemic. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

BRANDON LEE, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: I was shocked because the people I saw showing up to this needle exchange program shattered every stereotype that I thought a heroin user was.

"RYAN", HERION ADDICT: It's a hard fight and I've had 13 friends lose their lives because of this and people I've grown up with, people I've known all my life and they're gone. It's just -- I don't know how else to describe it, it's just a battle.

"MEGHAN" HERION ADDICT: It is really hard and every time there was a bottom, you know, your rock bottom, it got deeper. Every time.

(END VIDEO)

PAUL: I talked to Brandon earlier. Here's what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

LEE: I walked into my manager's office, and I said, listen, we've got a heroin crisis and an opioid crisis that's happening right here in Arizona. We need to do a documentary on it. I did that to try and break the stereotype of what the public perception of a drug addict is. And when I went home and that documentary aired Christi, and I started to read all of the comments on Facebook and on social media, their viewers were calling the people in our story, "trash," "homeless," people to be discarded and that broke me. And I actually broke down and started crying in my living room and I picked up the phone and I called my sponsor in the 12-step recovery group that I'm a member of and I said, "I have eight years sober, and it's time for me to break my anonymity. I need to let the viewers know that the people they were ripping in my documentary, that I used to be that junkie about a decade ago and do they think of me that way? Do they think of me as a piece of trash and scum? Because Christi, the most important message that we can get out there is that addiction does not discriminate. It absolutely does not discriminate and that includes the news anchor who's bringing you the nightly news at night used to be that guy.

PAUL: And - and I want to read something. The disruption in your book says about you and about your time, it says "He would attend raves and circuit parties to get high. His drug addiction fueled his sex addiction. Brandon eventually created a double life; one as a professional news anchor, the other as a strung out druggie in the slums of Los Angeles."

I think about you reading that line, "a druggie in the slums of Los Angeles." That had to be moment for you to characterize yourself like that because clearly it's not something any of us would like to write about ourselves.

LEE: No. It's the hardest truth, but it was the reality of the double life that I had lived for so long. When I was a reporter here in Los Angeles, Christi, I was living that double life. Right? I wanted the public perception to see me as this Emmy award-winning news reporter out there on the streets doing a professional job. What people didn't realize was when the 10:00 news was over with, that's when I went to the slums of L.A. and I started using hard-core drugs.

And I am so grateful at least that the person I was using drugs with in the streets of L.A. one night and I overdosed, at least had the decency to pick up the phone and call 911 before he left the scene. And I ended up getting rushed to an L.A. Presbyterian hospital. I was in a coma, on life support twice in one week. And I was inside of the E.R. and I broke down crying. And I'll never forget this -- this little nurse walked into my E.R. room and she held my hand. She looked at me and said, "Brandon, we all make mistakes. Do you believe in God?"

I looked at her and said, "No, I don't." And Christi, she looked at me and said, "Brandon, that's OK because God still believes in you. Do me this favor -- they have one of these A.A. meetings at my church every Thursday night. I've got $10 in my pocket. Take this $10 and use that as a cab ride to my church tonight when they discharge you." I went to that meeting; I made her that promise and I have been sober ever since that day on February 22, 2010.

PAUL: Wow and congratulations. I love to be able to tell people that you are nearly a decade sober. That is huge.

LEE: Thank you.

PAUL: What are people going to learn in your book about the ability to take that turn?

LEE: Here's the thing I want people to know -- the one question, Christi, I get asked all the time is you grew up in beautiful Orange County, California. You're a professional news anchor and a journalist. How did you turn to drugs and sex at age 15? And, Christi, the most important thing that I can get the message out to people is this -- I sought intensive therapy, and it was during intensive therapy that I realized that being repeatedly sexually abused by my piano teacher every Friday night when I was just a small boy and repeatedly sexually abused by my youth soccer coach that eventually that trauma untreated came out sideways and I needed to realize what was the root cause of my addiction? What was causing me to choose sex and drugs as a way to cope and a way to numb myself? And it was a lot of early childhood trauma that I needed to address so therapy is what really helped me address that but I want people to know is this, no matter how far down the scale you have fallen, no matter how hopeless you feel, there is hope out there.

PAUL: And it's a really brave story to tell, isn't it? Brandon Lee, thank you so much. His book, "Mascara Boy," is out now and you can watch his report on the heroin crisis in Arizona. Go to his YouTube page for that.

BLACKWELL: All right, next it's been a half century since the U.S. first put a man on the moon when Neil Armstrong landed the Eagle on the moon as a computer warning flashed.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Contact light. OK, engine stopped. (inaudible) at the deep end. On (ph) control both auto and deep(ph) engine command override off.

(END VIDEO)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Contact light? OK, engine stop. ETA at a deep(ph) end. (inaudible) control both auto deep(ph) and engine command override off. Engine arm off. 4.13 is in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We copy you down, eagle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rocket tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot.

(END VIDEO)

PAUL: Because Neil Armstrong landed the Eagle with what NASA said later was just 30 seconds of fuel left in the tank.

BLACKWELL: Wow. It's been 50 years since Apollo landed -- Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and to celebrate, there's a projection -- this was so cool. The "Saturn 5" rocket on the Washington monument there in D.C. back in 1969, more than a half billion people watched on TV as Armstrong stepped down that ladder and said the line we all know. Listen -

(BEGIN VIDEO)

NEIL ARMSTRONG, AMERICAN ASTRONAUT: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. (END VIDEO)

BLACKWELL: Joining us now, a man who knows what it's like to go into space. Retired NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao. Leroy, good morning to you.

LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: Hey, good morning.

BLACKWELL: We've spent the last 50 years celebrating the successful landing. It's really hard to imagine that the mission could have failed but that was a real possibility, right?

CHIAO: Oh, absolutely. I think the landing was the one, the event that was the most tense. That's where we were going to either make it or not. It was a lot harder than walking. I remember as an 8-year-old kid watching this event live. I knew that and once I heard those words that you just played, when they were -- had made it to Tranquility Base, I knew they had made it. It was so exciting because at that point you know that they're going to go out and walk.

PAUL: So I want to ask you, the first satellite launch, the first man in space, those were Russian achievements. Where does the U.S. stand in the space race now?

CHIAO: Right. The Russians did strike first. They had a number of firsts. The feeling back in the late 50s and 60s that we were behind. Now we've come back and pretty much acknowledged as the leaders in spaceflight, in space exploration for the last several decades. I'm not sure the Russians would agree with that but I think we've shown the world that we have the technology and the capability and resources to do a lot of things in space, more than any other nation.

You look at some of the probes that we've had including the Curiosity Rover that's operating right now on Mars. You see we're the lead partner in the international space station. We had a very successful 30-year program with the space shuttle, the most fantastic flying machine and capable flying machine ever developed. I think we are pretty much the acknowledged leaders in spaceflight, especially human spaceflight.

BLACKWELL: You know it's also important to point out I mean as we're seeing a resurgence of that now after the end of the Shuttle program a few years ago. At that point back in the late 60s not everyone was in favor of this, budget hawks especially. Civil rights leaders as well argued that the money could have been better spent on the ground here in the U.S. despite the unifying moment that everyone watched there with the moon landing.

CHIAO: That's true. It's always been a question of where is the right balance. And it is a question of balance. You know, there are a lot of things that we need to spend money on and there are things like space exploration which I think are also important to spend money on. If you look at the budget, historically NASA over the last several decades, basically have been floating around 0.5 percent to 1 percent of the federal budget. Whereas back in the days of Apollo, it was a lot , a lot higher. At its peak I believe it was somewhere a little over 5 percent, so a factor of -- factor of ten higher. And so, you know, where is that right balance? I mean, I think it's

important to try to take care of things here on the earth. But at the same time, humans, we need to push outward. We need to explore, and events like the Apollo moon landing the fact that we were able to achieve so much with the shuttle and the station programs, there's a balance in there somewhere. And not to be discounted is the effect that these things have, these programs have, on the young people.

For example, I was inspired as an 8-year-old watching this Apollo 11 landing to become an astronaut myself. And you know, over the years I've received notes from young people, from kids, telling me that when they were younger, that they were inspired by the space program, by the shuttle and space program. So that part should not be discounted either as value of our spaceflight programs.

[06:50:00]

BLACKWELL: All right, Leroy Chiao, always good to have you.

CHIAO: Great to be with you. Thank you and happy moon landing day.

BLACKWELL: All right, you too.

PAUL: You too. You too, thanks Leroy.

CHIAO: All right, thank you.

PAUL: The British open championship is wide open entering this weekend. A couple of Americans are right in the thick of it, too.

BLACKWELL: And be sure to watch tomorrow night for our new CNN original series "The Movies," from the "Dark Knight" to "Gladiator," "Monsters, Inc.," you'll hear from the actors, directors and people who brought you your favorite scenes in the 2000s. "The Movies," tomorrow night at 9:00, only on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: The NFL has decided it will not suspend Kansas City Chiefs player Tyreek Hill amid a child abuse investigation.

PAUL: Vince Cellini has the latest with the league's reasoning here. What are they saying?

VINCE CELLINI, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well it's going to be business as usual for the player despite this investigation. Tyreek Hill remains on schedule to return to the Kansas City Chiefs as the NFL could not determine if he violated the league's policy on conduct in an investigation of alleged child abuse.

Hill was named in a league security probe in March to determine if he violated the league's policy on to determine if he violated the league's policy on conduct in an investigation of alleged child abuse. Hill was named in a league security probe in March involving alleged abuse of his then-3-year-old son. The NFL says in the four months since, it has not been able to gather evidence and the court documents necessary because they are confidential.

In a statement the NFL said its primary concern is the well being of the child. Our understanding is the child is safe. Hill has denied the allegations and released his own statement in which he directly speaks to his children. "I love you all dearly, and I promise you all I will continue to strive to be the best father, the best friend, and the best role model and the best mentor that I can be."

Hill had been suspended from the team during this process, but he will now be allowed to rejoin the squad for training camp which begins next week.

To the 148th British open, we won't see Tiger, Phil, or Rory McIlroy this weekend, but we will see another American on top. J.B. Holmes is tied with Shane Lowery of Ireland to top the leader board at eight under par entering the weekend at Royal Portrush; the final major of the year. The 37-year-old big hitter from Kentucky played steady golf in the first two rounds finds himself in unlikely territory. Now he's not an a-lister but he does have a win this year at Riveira, two top five finishes in majors but maybe best known for bringing his dog, Ace, with him an unlikely territory. He's got two top fives in majors. Best known for bringing his doing, ace, with him to tournaments.

J.B. HOLMES, GOLFER: It's a little pain getting him through the airport sometimes, but it's -- it's worth it having, you know, a piece of home, being able to travel with a piece of home with you. He's like a family member. You ask my 18-month-old son who is his best buddy and he says, "Ace."

CELLINI: All right, so best of luck to J.B. and Ace as we hit the weekend in Northern Ireland.

PAUL: No doubt. Vince, thank you so much.

CELLLINI: You're welcome.

PAUL: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:00:00]