Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY SATURDAY

Trump Attacks Congresswomen Again Despite Denouncing Facist Chant; More Than 150 Million People Threatened By Deadly Heat; Iran Captures British-Operated Oil Tanker; Trump Accusers Feel Left Behind By The #MeToo Movement; Indecent Assault Charge Against Kevin Spacey Dropped; Trump: U.S. Talking To Sweden About ASAP Rocky Arrest. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired July 20, 2019 - 07:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some new oppressive 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 peak until we get to Sunday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Engine stop, tranquility base here. The eagle has landed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 50 years ago today, American astronauts: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the proverbial giant leap -- humanity's first steps to the moon.

NEIL ARMSTRONG, ASTRONAUT: One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday to you. There are now international calls for Iran to release a British flag tanker it seized in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran's state-run news agency says the tanker collided with an Iranian fishing boat and did not respond to calls from the smaller vessel. France and Germany have joined the U.S. in condemning Iran's action.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And one day after distancing himself from his supporters who chanted "send her back" at a campaign rally, President Trump speaking out this morning about that very thing.

BLACKWELL: Plus, millions of Americans preparing for a scorcher this Saturday. Allison?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. That's right. We're talking 30 states from New Mexico all the way to Maine. We'll talk about why this heat wave is different than most traditional ones.

BLACKWELL: And we begin this morning with President Trump on the attack again, just a day after denouncing racist rally chants.

PAUL: The president's doubling down on his original attack on four Democratic congresswomen. And he's refusing to apologize for his tweet that prompted all of it. Here's CNN's Abby Phillip.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you take that tweet back?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know what I'm unhappy with? I'm unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can hate our country.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just one day after distancing himself from his supporters' "send her back" chant, President Trump now refusing to take back the words he wrote that prompted it.

TRUMP: I'm unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti- Semitic things.

PHILLIP: The president's defiance capping a week of controversy that started on Sunday morning with his racist attack -- telling four congresswomen of color to go back to the places from which they came.

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): This is the agenda of white nationalists.

PHILLIP: The president was emboldened as outrage exploded on the left but Republican lawmakers were slow to comment. Two days after the tweets went out, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell eventually offering tepid criticism.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Well, I think I've just said, I think everybody ought to tone down their rhetoric.

PHILLIP: By Wednesday, Trump had turned the attacks into a scripted campaign strategy.

TRUMP: She looks down with contempt on the hard-working Americans saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country. And obviously and importantly, Omar has a history of launching vicious, anti-Semitic screams.

PHILLIP: His supporters responding with the chant formed from his own words.

TRUMP SUPPORTERS: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

PHILLIP: That scene apparently crossing a line for Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill who voiced their discomfort with the chants to Vice President Mike Pence. And sources say his daughter, Ivanka Trump, also expressed her concerns to the president. By Thursday, Trump disavowed the chants by falsely claiming he tried to stop it.

TRUMP: I did and I started speaking very quickly. But it started up rather, rather fast.

PHILLIP: 24 hours later, the president now attempting to move the debate to more comfortable territory -- crowd size.

TRUMP: Those people in North Carolina, that stadium was packed. It was a record crowd. And they could have filled it ten times, as you know. Those are incredible people; those are incredible patriots.

PHILLIP: After Congresswoman Omar did go back to her home state of Minnesota, Trump falsely her of staging the event. President Trump also seemed to deny that his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and the First Lady Melania Trump advised him on whether or not the chants at his rally this week were acceptable. He said they didn't advise him, but they did speak to him about it.

He was also asked whether or not it would be acceptable for Melania Trump to face chants of "send her back" given that Melania was not born in the United States. The president didn't answer the question but said the first lady, also, like he does, despises the comments by those four Democratic congresswomen that he's been trying to raise attention to all week. Abby Phillip, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[07:05:51] PAUL: All right, let's talk about this with Politico's Daniel Lippman right now. Daniel, good to see you.

DANIEL LIPPMAN, REPORTER, POLITICO: Glad to see you, too.

PAUL: So, I want to read to you what the president tweeted just a couple of minutes ago. He says, "As you can see, I did nothing to leads people on, nor was I particularly happy with their chant. Just a very big and patriotic crowd. They love the USA." It almost sounds as though he's stepping back again. Is this a two-step? He's forward, he's back, he's forward, he's back again. What do you make of this?

LIPPMAN: Yes, this is a deliberate strategy that he has used in the past. Remember he urged Russia to hack into those e-mails and then said that was a joke. And he is trying to elevate these four Democratic congresswomen to make them the face of the Democratic Party because he knows that would be a good strategy for him to run against these people in 2020 because more Americans might side with him than these four Democratic women.

But this is something he started himself with that tweet over the weekend -- last weekend -- where he said: maybe I'll pay -- you know, Nancy Pelosi will be happy to pay for plane travel back to those foreign countries where that one member is from. And so, he only has himself to blame for starting this, and he didn't seem like he tried very hard to stop those chants. It wasn't like a John McCain moment which he said during the campaign Obama is a good American, a family man, we justice happen to have policy disagreements.

PAUL: So, let's listen to the president here talking about -- and he starts off talking about what the first lady thinks about what's been said about Israel. Let's listen together here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The first lady thinks that it's horrible what they've said about Israel and horrible what they've said about our country, these congresswomen. They can't call our country and our people garbage. They can't be anti-Semitic. They can't talk about evil Jews which is what they say, evil Jews.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: OK. So, just to clarify, we need some facts here. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn't call Americans garbage. She said back in March that the country's gone so far in the wrong direction that people shouldn't be satisfied with moderate policies that are merely 10 percent better from garbage.

And Representative Omar tweeted in 2012, Israel had committed evil doings. She didn't verbalize it as evil Jews. Just for clarity purposes there. But how does President Trump claim that he is the president for all people when he's targeting these four women who are representative of so many people in this country.

LIPPMAN: It's a hard argument to make. And we should remember that President Trump has his own controversies in the past with anti- Semitic things from his campaign. Remember he, you know, re-tweeted that illustration of Jews and money basically, and then he had -- they had to step away from that.

And he talked about globalists in campaign ads which, you know, seemed to target people like George Soros which is a popular figure on the anti-Semitic, you know, for people who are anti-Semites. And so, he -- has hands are not totally clean on this regard. And so, that is something that should be kept in mind when he's talking about whether Democrats are anti-Semitic or not.

PAUL: All right. Daniel Lippman, thank you so much. To Politico's newest White House Reporter, I must add, giving you some kudos. Congratulations!

LIPPMAN: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. PAUL: Absolutely. Absolutely, Daniel. Thank you so much. So, I

know that this is something you are feeling right now.

BLACKWELL: Uh-huh.

PAUL: I mean, so much people are just baking under this heat that we're feeling. More than 230,000 people don't even have power across Michigan. Can you imagine what that's like for them this morning?

BLACKWELL: Unbelievable. And more broadly, 150 million people across 30 states from New Mexico to Maine are under heat alerts with temperatures feeling like above 110 in some cities including in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio canceled a cultural event, the OZY Fest, because of the heat. CNN's Allison Chinchar joins us live from the weather center. Where is it the worst, and when will this be over?

[07:10:20] CHINCHAR: Right. So, where is it the worst? Really, anywhere in the eastern half of the country. You can see that on the map here. All of the areas you see here in pink, that's over 75 percent of the lower 48 population is going to have a feels-like temperature of 90 degrees today. But your second question, Victor, it's going to last all the way through the weekend, so it's not just a one-day event. It's all because of this high-pressure system that's basically positioned itself over the eastern half of the country.

When you have high pressure, air gets pushed down to the surface. But you also know that in summer, its hot out naturally, heat begins to rise. But the problem is when the air is trying to rise and escape, it's getting pushed right back down by the high pressure, so it essentially gets trapped in what we like to call a heat dome -- where it cannot escape any of these areas. And not just during the day but even the overnight low temperatures also end up get trapped.

So, the body is not able to cool off because the overnight temperatures aren't even able to get below 80 degrees in some of these cities. In fact, over 90 places have the potential to have some of their hottest overnight low temperatures. Not only this morning but even as we go into tomorrow morning, as well. That's part of the reason why you have a lot of these excessive heat alerts out, not just for today but also for tomorrow and even as we go into Monday.

This system is a little bit different, though. Normally when you have high-pressure systems, it's very dry heat. So, yes, the temperatures are hopping. You don't have the humidity to go with it. That's not the case. That's what makes this heat wave a little bit more unique than others. Look at the temperatures, 96 today in Chicago. 100 in Washington, D.C. But when you factor in that humidity, the feels-like temperature in Chicago jumps to 105.

he feels-like temperature in D.C., jumps to 109. So, it's the impact on the body that has us most concerned. The good news is once we get to next week, we will start to see some relief. Look at Chicago, for example, 96 today, but a high of only 74 by the time we get to Monday. New York, Victor and Christi, going from 96 today down to 82, at least tolerable by the time we get to next week. PAUL: That's a little sigh of relief, isn't it?

BLACKWELL: Something for you.

PAUL: Just get me through the day. Allison Chinchar, thank you.

CHINCHAR: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: Well, tensions are ramping up in the Middle East after Iran captured this British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. What Iran hopes to win with its latest gamble?

PAUL: And are they forgotten women of the #MeToo Movement? Hear from three women who say they're still waiting for their moment after accusing President Trump of sexual misconduct.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:15:52] PAUL: Protesters you're looking at there in Puerto Rico calling for police to join their cause as pressure is growing for the governor to resign. Governor Ricardo Rossello is refusing to step down despite several days of large protests on the islands. An impeachment research committee, created by the president of Puerto Rico's House of Representatives is evaluating whether the governor committed a crime.

BLACKWELL: At the center of all this, nearly 900 pages of leaked chats between the governor and the top aides. The messages first published by the Center for Investigative Journalism include homophobic and misogynist images aimed at politicians, media, and celebrities.

PAUL: Other news this morning: France, Britain, Germany, all calling on Iran to release that British flagged tanker that it captured in the Strait of Hormuz.

BLACKWELL: 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 Wards joins us now from London. What are the British officials saying about this, Clarissa?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, part of the issue here, Victor, is that essentially the United Kingdom does not have a prime minister at the moment. The prime minister will be likely chosen next week. So, there's already something a political quagmire going on here which really exacerbates this given situation.

The government held an emergency meeting yesterday, we have heard from the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who is also putting in his bid to become the United Kingdom's next prime minister. He's called for a response that will be robust but considered. Though, he did say that the U.K. favors diplomatic over military response. Let's take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEREMY HUNT, U.K. SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: 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 CLIP)

WARD: Now, part of issue here is that the British Navy seized an Iranian vessel earlier this month off the coast of Gibraltar, saying that it had oil that was going to be illegally smuggled to Syria. Iran at that time promised that it would retaliate this week and presume is that retaliation. But I think more broadly speaking, Victor and Christi, what we are seeing here are the natural consequences of the disintegration of the Iran deal now that the U.S. has pulled out.

Now that the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions and the Europeans find themselves in a very uncomfortable position whereby in terms of rhetoric, they continue to say that they support the Iran deal, that they would like to see it continue to be implemented. But in terms of actually being able to positively enforce that and to go against the economic might of the United States, they are simply unable to do that. And the logical conclusion of that is you have heightened tensions that we're seeing which many fear could devolve into a military conflict. Victor and Christi.

PAUL: No doubt. Clarissa Ward, thank you so much for the update.

BLACKWELL: All right, joining us now: Mark Hertling, former Commanding General for the U.S. Army in Europe and CNN Military Analyst. General Hertling, welcome back.

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST (via Skype): Thank you, Victor. It's great to be with you both this morning.

BLACKWELL: So, let's start here -- we heard from the foreign secretary and from Clarissa's reporting that the British prefer a diplomatic resolution over a military one. But CNN's reporting is that President Trump in private is more hawkish on Iran, is placing less emphasis on diplomacy. What's your degree of confidence that this tanker will be returned without -- and those -- that response from the British will not include military response and military options?

HERTLING: I think there's a high probability to that, Victor, but it's also part of the strategy that I think Iran is placing in this particular situation. You know, this combined release by the British, the French, and the Germans, I guess it was about an hour ago, Central European Time, is very telling. It's something that three NATO partners did without including the United States. Iran is trying to separate the European alliance from the U.S., and our maximum pressure strategy.

[07:20:15] They want -- the Europeans continue to want to see the flow, and they have diplomatic actions within the gulf region. The U.S. has emphasized more the military action which is somewhat dangerous, and we don't have the diplomatic capability right now with the lack of conversations between our government and the government of Iran. So that puts a little bit of spin on all of this. Where if you consider the strategy that's taking place, it's very dangerous. It's a separation of U.S. from our European allies.

BLACKWELL: And this, this seizure kind of exacerbates that, right? Because those European countries have not been on the same page with the U.S. since the president decided to withdraw from the JCPOA. How does this, beyond the immediate mission of getting the tanker back, complicated their argument of trying to get Iran back to the table, back to a deal?

HERTLING: Well, it has to do with the application of the elements of national power. As we're focusing on a military solution, and there's been a lot of talk about that in our press, from our president, from our government, with less of an emphasis on diplomatic solutions, the governments in the rest of the world are saying, hey, we've got to solve this problem and go to the leaders of Iran to help solve this.

The other problem in this area, Victor, is the resources involved in escorting of ships. It is very resource intensive. The United States already has two flat tops, one carrier, the Lincoln, and an amphibious ship, the Boxer, which shot down -- or brought down that Iranian drone other day. So, there's a lot of military resources from the U.S. in the gulf right now.

The European allies don't seem to be joining as willfully as they used to the kind of things that the Navy, the central command used to put together when we're talking about protected ships in the gulf. And it's primarily because, again, the Europeans don't want to be seen as supporting the U.S.'s maximum pressure campaign. So, this really affects not just the diplomatic action, but the military, the informational, and the economic perspectives of military power as the United States attempts to apply those against Iran.

BLACKWELL: Yes, very complicated, multi-faceted -- and the Iranians are saying that they're denying that the U.S. shot down one of their drones, suggesting that maybe the U.S. shot down one of its own drones.

HERTLING: Yes, that's silliness too. That's a little bit crazy because we do have films, I'm suggesting we will produce films that bring down. It wasn't technically a shoot-down.

BLACKWELL: All right. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, thanks so much.

HERTLING: Always, Victor, thank you.

PAUL: Well, the seizure of a British oil tanker is just the latest in a long list of maritime confrontations involving Iran. On May 2nd, Iran claimed Saudi Arabia took an Iranian tanker and its crew hostage. May 12th, four commercial vessels south of the Strait of Hormuz were damaged by explosive devices attached to their hulls. And then last month, June 13th, Norwegian and Japanese tankers were

attacked in the Gulf of Oman. On July 4th, British officials seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar. And six days later, on July 10th, the United Kingdom says an Iranian vessel tried to seize a B.P. tanker. That brings us to yesterday, of course, when Iran seized the British tanker.

BLACKWELL: Is the president of the United States immune from the #MeToo Movement? Three women who say President Trump assaulted them are now talking about the backlash and even death threats they have faced since coming forward with their stories.

PAUL: And four Chicago police officers have been fired for helping cover up the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. We're talking about that with Joey Jackson in the legal brief. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:27:49] PAUL: 27 minutes past the hour. We are so glad to have you with us here. We want to talk about three women who accuse President Trump of sexual misconduct. They now say that they feel left behind in the #MeToo Movement.

BLACKWELL: Now, they're sharing the struggles they face since coming forward and calling for President Trump to face what they say is justice. CNN's M.J. Lee spoke with them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH JEAN CARROLL, TRUMP ACCUSER: He managed to penetrate me against my will, completely.

JESSICA LEE, TRUMP ACCUSER: And then all of a sudden, I realized that he was putting his hands up my skirt.

MINDY MCGILLIVRAY, TRUMP ACCUSER: Donald just grabbed my ass.

M.J. LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These three women say they were sexually assaulted years ago by Donald Trump.

So, this would have been at Mar-a-Lago --

MCGILLIVRAY: Right.

M. LEE: OK. Mindy McGillivray says it was at a concert at the Mar-a- Lago Club in 2003 when she was a photo assistant.

MCGILLIVRAY: A hard grab on my right side. So, I jump up, I'm startled.

M. LEE: Jessica Lee says it was on an airplane when she was traveling for work in the early 1980s.

J. LEE: We're struggling. I'm trying to push him off of me --

M. LEE: Author, E. Jean Carroll says it happened inside of a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s.

CARROLL: The minute I was in that room, boom, the door closed and he shoved me up against the wall, and I banged my head.

M. LEE: Two of them say they decided to go public with their allegations after this exclusive Access Hollywood tape leaked.

TRUMP: Grab them by the (BLEEP). I can do anything.

M. LEE: Their tipping point, this moment at a presidential debate in October 2016.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago, that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?

TRUMP: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.

COOPER: Have you ever done those doings --

TRUMP: And the women have respect for me. And I will tell you, no, I have not.

MCGILLIVRAY: I jumped out of my seat and pointed to the T.V. and I'm like, "you, son of a bitch, you're a liar!"

M. LEE: For the past few years, a reckoning his roiled the nation as women have spoken out under the banner of #MeToo. Powerful men in media, entertainment, business, and government have been forced to reckon with allegations of misconduct and violence. The woman who spoke out against Trump has been cheering on the movement. But they have also watched their alleged attacker get elected president of the United States.

[07:30:06] TRUMP: She would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.

LEE: And deny all of their allegations.

JESSICA LEEDS, ACCUSED TRUMP OF ASSAULTING HER ON PLANE: Trump really is Teflon it just slides right off him things that he has done. He doesn't seem to pay the price for it.

MCGILLIVRAY: How can he serve the United States of America as the president when he has hurt countless women. Countless.

CARROLL: Nobody's holding him accountable yet, not one person.

LEE: More than a dozen women have come forward with a wide range of accusations against Trump.

RACHEL CROOKS, ACCUSED TRUMP OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: I was forcibly kissed by Mr. Trump --

LEE: From unwelcome advances to sexual harassment and assault. LEEDS: He was all over me, hands everywhere.

LEE: Trump's most recent accuser, detailed her alleged assaults in a new book. Since coming out, these women say they have received support, but also furious backlash. One even described death threats.

CARROLL: I'd seen what happened to Jessica Leeds and Mindy. I had seen it, vehement denials, and how dare they come forward?

LEE: The question these women are grappling with, what does justice or accountability look like when the accused is the most powerful man in the world?

TRUMP: It's a totally false accusation. I have absolutely no idea --

CARROLL: Oh, total jail time, total jail time for the rest of his life. Absolutely.

LEEDS: For him to lose the election in 2020.

MCGILLIVRAY: I would like to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry for making you uncomfortable. I'm sorry for disrespecting you or hurting you in any way.

LEE: Some worry that they will be entirely left behind by the #MeToo movement.

MCGILLIVRAY: We are the forgotten ones. I feel like we have been brushed aside and forgotten about.

LEE: But Trump's latest accuser says she is more hopeful.

CARROLL: There is a way. I know there's a way because women are angry.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: Well, President Trump is teaming up with Kanye and Kim Kardashian-West again. This time to free rapper ASAP Rocky from a jail in Sweden. So, why is the president getting involved now?

BLACKWELL: And can he really do anything to help?

Coming up, it's been a half-century since the U.S. won the race to the moon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:35:51] PAUL: 35 minutes past the hour right now, and police in Canada say the deaths of a young American woman and her Australian boyfriend appear suspicious. 24-year-old Chynna Noelle Deese and 23- year-old Lucas Fowler had set out to explore British Columbia. And earlier this week, their bodies were found on a remote highway in Canada. This as mother told CNN affiliate WSOC, they were traveling in a van which was found at the scene. She was told the van broke down and that's where the murders happen. But police are trying to confirm whether the couple was driving the vehicle at the time and who may have seen something?

I want to get some of the legal stories here this hour, beginning with the four Chicago police officers who were fired for helping cover up the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2014.

Police had claimed, McDonald lunged toward the officers with a knife prompting Officer Jason Van Dyke to shoot him 16 times. The grainy dashboard police camera footage though, shows McDonald walking away from officers, not charging at all.

At the Chicago Police Board, now says those four officers helped in the cover-up. CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson, the one-and-only with us now. So, Joey, I think a lot of people read this and they think, what took so long for these officers to be reprimanded and fired?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, you know, so true. Christi, good morning to you. Sometimes justice moves slow, but it does move and in this case, I think it did. Certainly, all the officers are entitled to due process, there was a trial here. But, certainly, Laquan McDonald was not entitled or -- you know, to what happened to him, and that's a shame.

And not that they're not -- they're not charged with, of course, shooting him, that's Van Dyke. We know he's serving a prison sentence in my view far too short in 6-1/2 years. But this was an administrative proceeding to hold them accountable for misrepresenting, for exaggerating, and for essentially not telling the truth.

And to the extent that they did not tell the truth, they tried to cover up, and I think besmirched, other officers, by the fact that -- you know, you have officers who were out there doing their work telling truthful things. To the extent that they lied, to the extent that they cover-up, they should have been fired. And I think it's the right call, they're off of the force and any bad apple must go. We can't have instances like this in policing at all.

PAUL: OK, so, I want to talk to you about a criminal charge against actor Kevin Spacey right now, as well. That's been dropped we know. Prosecutors in Massachusetts made this decision after the accuser pleaded the fifth.

Spacey face to charge of indecent assault and battery for allegedly groping a man at a bar in 2016. He had pleaded not guilty at the time. Is this the right call, Joey, based on everything we know?

JACKSON: You know, I really think it is. What happens is, is that anytime someone's accused of a crime, particularly, one that could put you in jail for years -- five years here, you have to turn over all the evidence and information.

And so, Kevin Spacey was entitled to that phone, to entitle to evaluate. What other text messages or other information on the phone may, in fact, exonerate him. That is this demonstrate that he didn't do this.

And so, when phone disappears, when testimony is given about well I didn't delete or I'll plead the fifth in terms of the leading because it's tampering with evidence, you better plead the fifth if you're the victim or anyone else who played with the phone.

I think that absent the phone, absent that information, absent reliable evidence that you could use against the defendant, the case must go. His legal troubles are not over yet, investigated in Los Angeles, investigate -- being investigated in London, but for purposes of now, I think this is a big win for his defense team to be clear and to be sure.

PAUL: Yes, I was going to say, it's not as though, there aren't other charges out there, another cases when it comes to Spacey.

OK. President Trump. Let's talk about this one. Says he's working to free rapper ASAP Rocky from a jail in Sweden after First Lady Melania alerted him to the case.

Now, in his tweet, the president said, "Just spoke to Kanye West about his friend, ASAP Rocky's incarceration. I'll be calling the very talented prime minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping ASAP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved."

Now, the president says the case is important to the African American community. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And many, many members of the African-American community have called me, friends of mine and said, could you help? So, I personally don't know ASAP Rocky, but I can tell you that he has tremendous support from the African American community in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[07:40:04] PAUL: All right, Joey, why is he in trouble, first of all, in Sweden? For people who might not know. And what kind of leverage does the president really have in this case?

JACKSON: You know, I think in terms of leverage, of course, the president of the United States, no matter who is sitting in that chair has significant leverage, right?

PAUL: Right.

JACKSON: With the most tremendous country in the world. And so, that's important. I think the intervention of the State Department will be helpful. In terms of why he's in trouble? It involves a drug case, apparently, possessing drugs. It involves an assault. The issue is though if you look at the videotape that he is assaulted first, and it's a deemed to be a miscarriage of justice.

Particularly, when a white rapper under very similar circumstances was charged and then released two days later with a slap on the wrist for things that were much more egregious than ASAP Rocky. And so, I think, the intervention is proper, I think it will carry great weight, and it's not only important to the black community, it's important to justice and it should be important to us all.

So, hopefully, he gets released and the State Department does the right thing, and certainly, Sweden does the right thing in meting out justice evenly amongst all people, black, white or otherwise.

PAUL: Amen. Joey Jackson, always good to have your perspective. Thank you for taking time for us, sir.

JACKSON: Always, thank you, Christi.

PAUL: Absolutely. Victor?

BLACKWELL: 50 years ago, Christi, right now, the U.S. people across the country -- across the world waiting to see if astronauts could successfully land on the moon. Four days after this launch of the Saturn V rocket.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four, three, two --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Plus our new original series, "THE MOVIES" continues this weekend. The latest installment covers films from the 2000s. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Moulin Rouge. Here is a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Harry Potter came out, it was right after 9/11. And people needed to go escape to a world of wizardry and magic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, look, look, this are (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to Hogwarts.

ALAN HORN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF WARNER BROTHERS: There was tremendous anticipation for this film. And, of course, we met with you rolling and we were very careful to run everything by her and to be sure that we had her blessing. Because she wasn't sure that she wanted to have a movies made at all.

I took Warner Brothers' word for it that I will be very true to the book and they helping, so, I'm very happy.

JAMES KENDRICK, PROFESSOR OF FILM, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY: Harry Potter is this idea of this young boy who doesn't think that not only is there nothing special about him, but he is mistreated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no such thing as magic.

KENDRICK: And then to find out that you're actually the heir of this amazing wizarding family and that you are unique and special, and you have this whole destiny in front of you, that's every child's fantasy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Curious, very curious.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: "THE MOVIES", airs tomorrow night at 9:00 right here on CNN. We're back at a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:47:14] PAUL: As computer warnings were flashing. I mean, put yourself in this position. Neil Armstrong brought the Eagle Lander down on the moon surface with just 30 seconds of fuel left in the tank.

BLACKWELL: Well, it's now been 50 years since the Apollo 11 landing. And back in 1969, more than a half-billion people around the world watched on television as Armstrong stepped down that lander and delivered this line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARMSTRONG: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: We have witnessed this morning, Jim Green, chief scientist at NASA. Jim, good morning to you.

JIM GREEN, CHIEF SCIENTIST, NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION: Good morning, Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: So, there's a certain feeling watching it as Americans.

GREEN: Yes.

BLACKWELL: What did feel like to watch that as part of the legacy of NASA now as chief scientist?

GREEN: Well, you know, I was 18 years old, and I did watch it. It was Sunday afternoon, 50 years ago, these two men risked their lives and they stepped out on the moon. This was riveting. I was already well interested in science, and, in fact, what Neil said before you walk down that ladder and said the famous words is he really looked around and to see how the limb was sitting on the moon, and how deep the (INAUDIBLE) it was. He was already doing science. This was unbelievable.

PAUL: So, we know that the Trump administration says they're going to be going back by 2024. As you see it and based with all the developments in space at this point and in the travels there, what is the biggest challenge to making that happen, to returning to the moon?

GREEN: Well, indeed by 2024, we are planning to put the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in the South Pole. And this will be an enormous achievement. I don't think, you know the current generation is really ready yet to see this. Like we did, or rather, I did in -- and many others, of course, 50 years ago.

We have a number of challenges, but we've been working on this steadily for many years. And I think we're going to be able to do it.

BLACKWELL: That -- I don't want to call it deadline, but that goal has been shifting over the last several years more than a decade. What's your confidence that it will happen by 2024?

GREEN: Well, the goal shifts primarily because the budget and schedule, you know. But now it's moved in. And so, we're working with the administration and Congress for additional funding to be able to make it a reality. And we can do this.

PAUL: So, what are you most excited about when you look at the promise of space travel, space exploration in itself. I mean, there are a lot of people who might look at this especially in today's climate and say we might want to spend money in other places. To that, you say what?

[07:50:13] GREEN: Well, it's a balance, you know. We need to understand our environment and that is including our space environment. Space has enabled us to make a huge progress. I mean, you can't even go from point A to point B anymore without your GPS. That's a space-based system.

You look at the weather, that is all a space-based capability and the models to project to see, you know, that's going to be hot today out on the mall as we celebrate, you know. We already know that. So, the concept of, you know, only investing in one area and not a balanced program is not -- is not really a viable solution.

PAUL: All righty.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jim Green, good to have you this morning.

GREEN: Oh, I'm delighted. Thank you so much for having me.

PAUL: You enjoy the celebration today, Jim. Thank you.

GREEN: That's the plan.

PAUL: All righty, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:55:01] PAUL: So, apparently, Shaquille O'Neal knows how to party.

BLACKWELL: Yes, yes.

PAUL: And you might spot him kind of easily too. Take a look.

BLACKWELL: Yes, take no time to spot him in that crowd.

PAUL: Really taller than everybody else.

BLACKWELL: 7'1". This is at the Tomorrowland Music Festival in Belgium. And he stayed in the front row.

PAUL: Until --

BLACKWELL: Yes, until he goes into the mosh pit. And you know, front row, OK, he's got a great view. But like three people behind him, can't see it all. Have a good time though.

PAUL: Maybe, maybe that's why they pulled him back. Give us some minute, Shaq, give us this minute.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: But we're glad you had a good time. Oh, you're funny. We have so much news to tell you about this morning.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of your NEW DAY starts next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[08:00:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some new aggressive moves by Iran, the country sees two oil tankers, 30 minutes apart in the Strait of Hormuz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: British government is trying to avoid military action with Iran. But I the same breath, stressed that the U.K.'s response will be robust.

END