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Supreme Court Hands Trump Victory in Border Wall Funding; U.S. Water Polo Players Hurt in Nightclub Collapse; Two Americans Arrested in Italian Cop's Stabbing Death; Warren Campaigns in New Hampshire Ahead of Debates; Interview with Rep. Tim Ryan (D) Ohio; Hong Kong Protests Stretch into 8th Weekend; Puerto Rico Governor Rossello Leaving Office Friday; "THE MOVIES: The 1970S". Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired July 27, 2019 - 11:00   ET



[11:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. It's 11:00 on the East Coast. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Welcome.

A big win -- that's how President Trump is celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to let him move forward and spend military funds to build a border wall. The Court cleared the way for the administration to begin using $2.5 billion in Pentagon money for construction along the southwestern border.

But the fight is not exactly over. Yesterday's decision lets the Trump administration tap into the money while a lower court decides if the President had the power to divert the funds when he declared a national emergency back in February.

CNN's Sarah Westwood joining us now from the White House. So Sarah -- the President it looks like he's already taking that victory lap?


And it certainly is a win for the administration, though it might be a temporary one because as you mentioned, this Supreme Court decision simply lets the administration to access this Pentagon money, this $2.5 billion that Congress already appropriated for military purposes while this case, this lawsuit makes its way through the lower court. Wo the final verdict is still yet to come.

But the Trump administration obviously framing this as a major victory. The construction of the border wall one of President Trump's major unfulfilled promises from the campaign. This allows him to sort of neutralize criticism that he hasn't delivered on that promise. He's certain to point to this as an inflection point in his efforts to build the wall.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi though responding by calling this decision from the Supreme Court deeply flawed. Democrats reacting negatively all across Washington to the Supreme Court's decision. This from President Trump's efforts to declare a national emergency earlier this year after that budget shutdown to try to access this money to build the border wall. So Fred -- obviously a good night for President Trump here at the White House yesterday.

WHITFIELD: And then as it pertains to the Supreme Court, what was the breakdown of the vote by the justices?

WESTWOOD: Well, Fred -- this is a very narrow decision, a 5-4 ruling with the five conservative justices ruling that the President could access this money.

And three of the liberal-leaning justices ruled that the administration should not be able to touch this Pentagon money at all while the case proceeds. That was Justice Elena Kagan, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and then the fourth Justice Stephen Breyer argued in his dissent -- separate dissent that the administration could use this money for preparatory purposes to finalize the contracts, for example, but shouldn't be able to actually start building the border wall because that would be hard to undo if the administration ends up losing this case.

But Fred -- in that conservative opinion, that brief opinion, the conservatives argued they did not believe that the challengers to the wall had a legal right to bring this case, which is an indication that potentially when this reaches the Supreme Court again, that could be where they fall on the ultimate decision.

WHITFIELD: All right. Sarah Westwood at the White House. Thank you so much.

All right. With me now David Swerdlick, assistant editor at the "Washington Post"; and Patrick Healy is the politics editor for the "New York Times". Good to see you both.

So Patrick -- you first.

You know, Trump, you know is claiming this a victory, maybe it's premature, maybe not, you know. But is this the fuel to revive his wall mantra as he hits that campaign trail again?

PATRICK HEALY, POLITICS EDITOR, "NEW YORK TIMES": Yes, this is a victory -- Fred. He very much ran in 2016 on I'm going to build a wall, and I'm going to have Mexico pay for it. He certainly hasn't gotten the second half of that, but it looks like he may get the first half.

You know, a lot of his campaign advisers said in 2016 and have said afterward that if he was not able to make real visible progress on the wall, he was going to have an extremely hard time in 2020 going back to some of those battleground states and convincing people that he was really able to get something done on, as they saw it, border security.

And now at least it seems like compared to the spring where there is really a lot of talk about intentions of building a wall and designs for a wall, they may actually build something on the southern border.

WHITFIELD: This just might be just in time for the President. So I want to switch gears now because the number of congressional Democrats calling for impeachment is growing. It's now at 101 and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler escalated the fight yesterday saying he's going to court for the secret grand jury material in the Mueller report and he will try to enforce a subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn, a key witness.

Nadler's arguing that he needs the information in order to decide, you know, whether to impeach the President. Take a listen.


REP. JERRY NADLER (D), NEW YORK: We are continuing the investigation of the President's malfeasances, and we will do what we feel -- and we will consider what we have to consider including whether we should recommend articles of impeachment to the House. That's the job of our committee.

[11:05:01] We may decide to recommend articles of impeachment at some point. We may not. That remains to be seen.


WHITFIELD: So David -- why still so on the fence? Why is this all predicated on testimonies from the former White House counsel Don McGahn or even the former deputy AG, you know, Rod Rosenstein.


Yes. Chairman Nadler is sort of in the middle between rank and file members who want to push forward with impeachment and Speaker Pelosi who is really slow-playing this.

And so he's part of leadership, but he's also closer to his members and trying to strike that balance. That's why I think you heard him say there in that clip you played that they may move forward with articles of impeachment, but they will definitely go to court to get the underlying grand jury materials that were underlying the Mueller report.

But that he was not going so far as to say we're in a full impeachment inquiry. In the last day or two you've heard some of the members of the judiciary committee use the words impeachment investigation saying we're looking into it, but no one has said yet we're going forward with articles of impeachment because Democrats have a little over 100 members of the House who want to go forward, but that's not even a majority of the majority, and I think one of the reasons that the Speaker is holding off is because she knows that you need the whole majority and you need 218 votes to vote out articles of impeachment over to the Senate because you're not going to get Republican votes in support of anything like that.

WHITFIELD: In fact, you know, Patrick, you know, the House Speaker Pelosi is really saying two things. She's saying let's wait, you know. And then she's also saying House members, you know, do your thing. So she made it, you know, however very clear when the question was asked if she was running out the clock, and this is what she had to say.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: No, I'm not trying to run out the clock. Let's get sophisticated about this, ok? Ok?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long will these (INAUDIBLE) will take?

PELOSI: We will proceed when we have what we need to proceed, not one day sooner.

Their advocacy for impeachment when it gives me leverage, I have no complaint with what they're doing. I'm willing to take whatever heat there is there to say when a decision will be made in a timely fashion. This isn't endless.


So Patrick, you know, going through the courts, it will take time. However, does she make a convincing argument?

HEALY: Well, this is classic Nancy Pelosi. Her saying let's get sophisticated here is a version of Donald Trump saying fake news, you know. This is a very much how she thinks. She's wearing two hats in the party right now, Fred. She is both without a standard bear presidential nominee on the Democratic side, she's the party strategist.

She's also the Party's leader in the House. You were hearing more of the party strategist hat right there.

What she's trying to do and a really important point David made was about going to court. There's still the Democrats very much Nancy Pelosi wants to methodically build as much of a case as possible that they exhausted all of their options in court, that they exhausted their attempts to get members of the Trump administration to testify and who went against the law and defied subpoenas so that if and when they hold those hearings and they go to the American people and say, you know, there's a credible case, credible reasons for why we need to go the impeachment route, they're going to be able to make a very strong case.

I just would add, Fred, in terms of at least voters right now, you know, so far at least what we're hearing on the campaign trail is still not a lot of Democratic voters, not activists, not members but voters were saying, you know, impeachment is how I want the House Democrats to spend their summer.


WHITFIELD: It's on the 20 percent kind of range.

HEALY: Yes. It's a fraction. SWERDLICK: Right.

WHITFIELD: So then David, that you don't have the majority of the Democratic majority in favor of impeachment, at least publicly, is this, you know, showing any kind of disruption or divide in the caucus?

SWERDLICK: Well, there's a divide, but I think it goes back to what Patrick was just saying a moment ago. Everybody's got a different role. You've got about a hundred, maybe a little more, maybe a little less members many of them in safe Democratic seats who are sort of looking at their leadership saying we didn't come here, we weren't elected to roll over.

But the job of the leadership, especially all the way up to the speaker's chair is to protect the whole caucus. And I think Speaker Pelosi knows that it's one thing to proceed with hearings and investigations. It's one thing to let members, as she said, do their thing.

It's another thing to take votes that's going to put all of her members on record, and even though this is inching closer and closer to impeachment and even though Chairman Nadler is sort of straddling this middle there, the Speaker I think does not want members who don't want to have to vote to take a vote because as we mentioned, those poll numbers don't yet suggest that in every district in every part of the country people are ready for an impeachment process.

[11:10:04] WHITFIELD: And Patrick, perhaps it does underscore that if anybody had any doubt, it does appear as though the House Speaker has good leadership control of her caucus?

HEALY: It's so true, Fred. One very quick thing as David was pointing out, you know, Republican congressman in Texas announced yesterday he is going to be retiring. That is a very competitive seat.


HEALY: And as Nancy Pelosi knows, that's not a seat that a Democrat is going to be able to flip from Republican control with a really sort of strong partisan year of impeachment fighting, you know. That's not necessarily the winning strategy to pick up that seat.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there. Patrick Healy, David Swerdlick -- thanks to both of you. Good to see you.

SWERDLICK: Thanks -- Fred.

HEALY: Thanks -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. A celebration and in deadly chaos -- Members of the U.S. water polo team are among several people hurt when part of a nightclub collapses. That was in South Korea.

Plus, two American teens are now being held in an Italian prison, accused of murdering a police officer there. What led up to that shocking alleged attack?


[11:14:46] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

A championship celebration quickly turned to chaos for the U.S. Water polo team. Last night four players from the men's and women's national teams were injured when a balcony at a nightclub in South Korea collapsed. Two South Koreans died.

Here is CNN sports correspondent Vince Cellini.

VINCE CELLINI, CNN SORTS CORRESPONDENT: Fred, the teams were actually celebrating in the city of Guangzhou (ph). The women's team had just won the gold medal in the FINA world championships involving various water sports.

It happened around 2:30 a.m. local time. The balcony floor at the back of the Coyote Ugly Club collapsed crashing down on others. One witness saying it fell some 15 feet or more.

Around 370 people were in the club, two people died, both of whom were from South Korea. U.S. women's water polo team player Kiley Neushul on the left suffered a laceration to her leg. She needed surgery.

Her teammate Paige Hauschild along with men's water polo players Johnny Hooper and Ben Hallock were also hurt. USA water polo put out a statement this morning saying all athletes are accounted for and offering well wishes to everyone involved.

Back to you -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Vince Cellini.

All right. Two American teenagers at the center of a bizarre murder in Italy, how police are linking a stolen backpack to these two young men who are now accused of murdering a police officer.


[11:19:53] WHITFIELD: Two 19-year-old Americans are under arrest in Rome accused of killing a police officer. Italian police say they stabbed the officer eight times in a scuffle as the officer was trying to retrieve a stolen backpack.

The police commander spoke about his fallen officer.


COMMANDER SANDRO OTTAVIANI, FARNESE SQUARE CARABINIERI POLICE: He was a person that was always, always, always available. everyone could count on him. Everyone in the neighborhood knew that they could count on him. He'd never tried to cut corners. He was very altruistic.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: CNN contributor Barbie Nadeau is in Rome. So police are saying that this pair has actually confessed to the killing. But what do we know about the evidence? What do we know about the whole confrontation, all of this?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's really a complicated affair, and it's really been driven bit the narrative given by the police who have lost one of their own. And the police say that these two 19-year-old boys had bought cocaine from a pusher who there are some rumors that he could have been a police informant.

This pusher apparently gave the boys aspirin and not cocaine. They were upset about that. They stole his bag. They went back to their hotel. Then they contacted this pusher, tried to make a deal to give the bag back in exchange for some of the money they paid and some more cocaine.

At that time that's when this police officer working undercover approached the boys to make the exchange for the bag, and that's when the scuffle broke out, and that's when the police say that they were killed. Now, the boys -- or the men, the young men, 19 years old -- went back to their hotel room, and police tell us that they were able to find a bloody knife and the kids' bloody clothes up in a ceiling panel in their hotel room, which is evidence, and they say there was evidence that these guys had made plans to go back to the United States. That's what the police say.

WHITFIELD: So we're also hearing from a lawyer, you know, for one of the suspects, and is it being made clear whether these suspects even knew that they were dealing with an officer? You said he was under cover?

NADEAU: Well, that's exactly right. That's where the confusion -- once the suspects have lawyers of course, everything changes, including the strategy. Once the police tell us they got a confession. Now the lawyer just moments ago spoke to journalists and said that his client is his right to remain silent. He's not cooperating at this moment.

And I think we're going to see right now unfolding the real dynamic. The police have said one thing. Now we're going to hear what the defense has to say.

Nonetheless, these kids -- these 19-year-old American kids from San Francisco are in jail in Rome right now facing homicide charges that are very, very serious.

And that officer was a hero among the police force, just got back from his honeymoon, 35 years old. We've got a lot of emotion at play here on the side of the police as well -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Very sad.

Barbie Nadeau -- thank you so much in Rome.

All right. For many of the 2020 Democrats in this country, next week's debates could be their last best chance to stand out from the crowd. After months of campaigning, how can you raise the bar and get the support needed to remain competitive?

I'll talk to Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan next.


WHITFIELD: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is hitting the trail hard in New Hampshire today ahead of next week's CNN debates, hoping to build momentum off a major milestone, one million donations. This afternoon Senator Warren is hosting two events including a town hall.

CNN political reporter Rebecca Buck is in New Hampshire with more.

REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL R4EPORTER: Good morning -- Fred. We're here in New Hampshire where Elizabeth Warren is going to be on the campaign trail this afternoon in the granite state ahead of her big debate appearance this coming Tuesday with Bernie Sanders as well as Mayor Peter Buttigieg and Beto O'Rourke joining her on that stage.

Warren just passed a major campaign milestone this week. She has now one million donations to her campaign and as a reminder, she hasn't been taking any of these big, high-dollar donations. She hasn't been holding these fundraisers.

This has been all grass roots support for elizabeth warren, so another sign of the momentum her campaign has been building. And that is just one of the reasons that ahead of this debate her team isn't necessarily feeling pressure to have a big breakout moment to start a fight with another candidate, to draw contrasts. They are feeling comfortable and positive about where Elizabeth Warren is in this race at this moment.

I want you to contrast that, though, with the former vice president Joe Biden, a very different situation for him heading into Wednesday night's debate next week where he's going to be on stage with Senator Kamala Harris and also Senator Cory Booker.

Of course you'll remember last debate, Kamala Harris was the one who held Joe Biden's feet to the fire giving her that major moment on stage and launching her campaign into the top tier.

Senator Cory Booker might be looking for a similar moment this week with Joe Biden. It's the first time they'll be sharing the stage together, and Booker has been intensely critical and increasingly so in recent days of Joe Biden's record on criminal justice reform, and specifically his role in crafting the 1994 crime bill that Booker says made him an architect of mass incarceration.

Joe Biden punched back this week calling into question Booker's record as mayor of Newark and his oversight of the Newark Police Department. This is all part of Biden's strategy as he said this week, to be less polite on the debate stage, to not take these attacks from other candidates. We'll see how that plays for him. But again, we're here on the trail today with Elizabeth Warren, she'll be up against Bernie Sanders. Who although they are competitors, they're both representing this liberal progressive wing of the party. Elizabeth warren has described Sanders as a friend. Sanders has said they agree on many policy issues.

So we'll be watching to see if they try to draw some subtle contrasts or if for now they play it nice -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Rebecca buck -- thank you so much.

So we are just three days away now from the next Democratic presidential debate right here on CNN. And for some candidates it might be their last best chance to boost support and stay in the race.

Joining me right now is one of the candidates set to take the debate stage on Tuesday night, Ohio congressman Tim Ryan. Good to see you -- congressman.

REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi -- thanks for having me.

[11:29:59] WHITFIELD: All right. So I want to play a moment for you and for everybody of the last round of debates in which you scolded your own party for being out of touch. Listen.


RYAN: We could talk about climate. We could talk about guns. We could talk about all of these issues that we all care about. We have a perception problem with the Democratic Party.

We are not connecting to the working class people in the very states that I represent in Ohio, in the industrial Midwest. We've lost all connection. We have got to change the center of gravity of the Democratic Party from being coastal and elitist and Ivy League, which is the perception, to somebody from the forgotten communities that have been left behind for the last 30 years.


WHITFIELD: So Congressman -- how are you proposing to then better connect with working class people?

RYAN: Well, keep the issues focused on what's on their mind, and that's wages. That's worrying at night about whether or not you're going to pay your bills. It's staying focused on things like prescription drugs where I was just at my mom's house a few weeks ago where she's paying a thousand bucks a month for her prescription drugs.

But we've got to get wages up. We've got to get jobs -- good paying jobs into the communities that have been left behind, the old steel communities, old textile communities like down here in South Carolina that people were making 30 or 40 or 50 bucks an hour are now making 15. And I'm speaking directly to that anxiety, that stress that they have. And I have a plan with creating a chief manufacturing officer so that we could actually start making things here in the United States and dominating the industries of the future.

There's going to be 10 million electric vehicles made in the next ten years. I want half of those made in the United States by -- built by American workers -- the batteries, the charging stations.

WHITFIELD: And how do you do that? And how do you do that because that does take capital and you have released this very comprehensive plan. And you know, my apologies for having to truncate it down to now kind of bite-sized morsels but how do you propose -- and it does take a lot of capital and investment and it's going to take an incredible team in which to do this.

RYAN: Yes, well, that's why I'm going to have a chief manufacturing officer that will report directly to me as president. And we're going to sit down and organize the government like China does, like Germany does, where the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, work with the business community, work with venture capital, work with investors to build out and say, look, how do we dominate the electric vehicle market?

China dominates it now. They control about 50 to 60% of the electric vehicle market. And we're going to build 10 million cars in the next ten years.

So how does the United States dominate that market? It needs to be helped and organized and engineered from the government side, but you also have to work with the private sector.

Here's what I'm saying Fredricka -- you can be hostile to greed. You can be hostile to income inequality. You can be hostile to a concentration of wealth. You can be for raising taxes on the wealthiest people in the country, which I am.

But if we're going to get out of this mess, we've got to have public/private partnerships. We've got to get away from this, are we going further to the left or are we going further to the right. We need new and better. There are new ideas out there that I'm championing that we can lift the American middle class back up.

WHITFIELD: So these seem like long-term aspirations, but what about for immediate relief? So for those Americans who are hearing you who are saying, ok, that does sound good to me, you know, way down the line, but what about right now? If my community is more like a ghost like community now because manufacturing jobs dried up long ago and we have very little industry happening now.

What's the relief and what's the promise that you offer to them?

RYAN: Well, you know, I represent a lot of these communities, and fortunately I'm on the appropriations committee, and I've been able to bring hundreds of millions of dollars back to my communities in northeast Ohio. But the government needs to start making investments, too. It's not just private. It's also got to be public.

I think we've got to have a complete urban marshal plan where we are helping resuscitate urban communities, where we are cleaning up houses that are dilapidated and reducing value for the homeowners that live in the neighborhoods where we invest into the communities, river walks, bike trails, renovate theaters, downtown redevelopment, swimming pools for our kids. Like -- let's reinvest back.

And I don't think it's going to take that long to get the manufacturing base up and running again. If the President of the United States is driving this agenda and saying this is going to be a priority -- wind, solar, artificial intelligence, 5g, machine learning, additive manufacturing, 3d printing.

These industries are growing by 30 percent a year, and we're missing the boat because the President's so distracted. And if people think that this makes sense, go to We have a complete agenda on how we're going to rebuild the United States and lift the middle class back up.

[11:34:59] WHITFIELD: Ok. And speaking of the President, you're one of you know, more than 100, like 101 Democrats in the house calling for impeachment against the President, and now following the Mueller testimony this week, you know, there's greater debate within the party between the House Judiciary chair and the House Speaker on when to begin those proceedings.

How much information and promise to get out of the court route -- what's your feeling on waiting on immediacy or on waiting for any kind of court action that will release testimonies from some key players?

RYAN: Look, I think there is enough evidence in the Mueller report and Mueller's testimony to say we need to do it. We need to do it as soon as we get back in September. I think this has to happen. He clearly obstructed justice.

The President doesn't think the rules apply to him. His behavior is so shameful it's -- I believe it's criminal in that regard, but it's also shameful the way he has so much power. This is the most powerful person in the world. And he has planes and homes and belongs to the country clubs and owns country clubs, and he gets off on shaming communities around the United States.

His behavior across the board is shameful. I think he needs to be impeached not necessarily for that shameful behavior but for the criminal behavior. And look, this country needs rebuilt.

We are falling behind to China. Our economy is falling behind. Middle class people are falling behind. And he's over here screwing around just getting on the news, which seems to be his only goal.

WHITFIELD: So when moral or immoral behavior isn't going to be enough for impeachment proceedings, but you believe -- you're convinced enough based on Mueller's testimony, the Mueller Report that there is substantial or substantiated criminal behavior on the part of the President --

RYAN: Without any question.

WHITFIELD: -- that should propel congress to impeach?

RYAN: I think without any question. I mean all you have to do is read the report. There's five or six occasions where he obstructed justice.

His own team said don't talk to Jeff Sessions. Whatever you do, don't talk to Jeff Sessions because it's going to be obstruction --

WHITFIELD: You do not believe that he should be subpoenaed?

RYAN: Who's that?

WHITFIELD: Jeff Sessions?

Ryan: Yes, it's not like people are going to, you know, deal with the subpoena the way they're supposed to. There's so much obstruction even with the subpoenas.

so we need to move forward. but look, this is something that needs to be dealt with, but the vast majority of people in the United States are worried about their job. They've got two or three of them, and still can't make ends meet. They're worried about their health care. They're worried about the fact that we have a mental health crisis in the United States.

And so I'm trying to make proposals like put a mental health counselor in every school so that our kids are ok, so we're dealing with the trauma that our kids are on, that our kids have.

How do we fix the food system that's broken and making us all sick? Fix the health care system that is a disease care system, doesn't do anything to keep us healthy. These problems are so huge.

And I'll just say this. The American people want ideas on how we're going to solve them, and I'm giving them those ideas on how to solve them at We've got a plan around health care, and a plan around food and new ways of doing agriculture.

We can't be paralyzed with this left-right divide, or I hate Trump divide. We've got to deal with him but then move forward with new ideas.


WHITFIELD: This week you will be challenged with having to or trying to present many of those ideas in a very restricted format. but a format, you know, with ten on one night and ten on another in the CNN debates.

Congressman Tim Ryan, all the best to you. Thank you so much.

RYAN: Super excited to be with you on Tuesday -- thank you. WHITFIELD: We're looking forward to it.

The CNN Democratic presidential debates just a few days away, two big nights. Ten candidates each night Tuesday and Wednesday live from Detroit and only on CNN.

Still ahead, police in full riot gear using tear gas to stop protesters in Hong Kong for the eighth straight weekend.


WHITFIELD: We're following this breaking news in Hong Kong where anti-government protests are turning increasingly violent.

Police in riot gear launching tear gas at protesters who were marching against last weekend's violence that left 45 people injured. Police say protesters threw bricks and other objects as they moved on the demonstrators about two hours after the protests began. And then later protesters emptied fire extinguishers toward the officers.

Anna Coren is in Hong Kong for us. Anna -- you got caught up in a situation as well, describe what happened.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fredricka, we did. We were attacked along with the protesters. We had come inside Yun Long (ph) police station, which is where all the other protesters were seeking refuge.

And tactical police suddenly ran up the escalators and just started wielding batons and firing pepper spray. It was absolute utter pandemonium. I mean, now the scene is empty. Protesters are going home. There were just a few riot police over there. They're kind of blocking the entrances because they want everybody to get on the train.

But it was absolute chaos. I want to show you over here the blood on the floor of the train station. It -- these officers were just violently attacking the protesters.

Our security guy, he was even hit. As I say, it was absolute pandemonium, something we haven't witnessed in the eight consecutive weeks that the protests have been going on here in Hong Kong.

[11:44:55] We should mention this is an unlawful assembly. This is a protest that police denied. They didn't give protesters a permit, but still tens of thousands of people took to the streets as of 3:00 this afternoon.

We are now approaching midnight, and up until the attack inside the train station, police have been handling the situation very well. They were moving the crowds on. They were firing tear gas. The protesters were retreating.

But once they got inside this confined space, inside the very train station where that brutal attack took place last Sunday when those mobs of men dressed in white started hurling iron bars and wooden bats at the protesters who were returning on the MTR, it was just, as I say, it was absolute chaos.

And people fell over, paramedics were called in. And as you see, there is now blood on the floor of the very train station where those violent attacks took place last Sunday -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Wow, incredible situation. Anna Coren -- thank you so much from Hong Kong. We'll check back with you throughout the day. Thank you.

Citizens of Puerto Rico are days away from having a new leader, but what else needs to change when Ricardo Rossello steps down? I'll ask the former governor of Puerto Rico.


WHITFIELD: Puerto Rico's governor Ricardo Rossello, has less that a week left in office after bowing to pressure from protesters to resign. His resignation was met with huge celebrations on the streets of San Juan.

[11:49:58] Rossello came under fire after hundreds of texts messages between him and his inner circle were released. The texts were insulting, they were sexist, they were homophobic content.

Replacing Rossello now, Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez-Garced.

Former Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuno is joining me right now.

Governor -- good to see you, joining us from D.C.

So Secretary Vazquez's ascension to the governor's seat as a result of, you know, the ordinary line of succession not working out because of the resignation by the secretary of state and there were many others.

So many Puerto Ricans reportedly aren't necessarily trusting of her. How much confidence do you have in this transition?

LUIS FORTUNO, FORMER GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO: Of course I wish the best for the island. All my family live down there and I visit regularly so we all feel the same.

At this stage regardless of who that person may be, I believe clear transparency and accountability will be demanded from anyone who supplants the governor next Friday.

Whether the (INAUDIBLE) leadership of the governor can agree on a new secretary of state and that person can be confirmed or not or whether it is the current secretary of justice -- either way that commitment to transparency and accountability will be I believe the key determinant in whether this is accepted or not.

WHITFIELD: And, you know, already there are, you know, "we are here Wanda" and "Not Wanda" graffiti messages, according to the Washington Post reporting there. What does that say to you about the demeanor of the citizens there? what they're anticipating? And what they're hoping for?

FORTUNO: Well, there is clear concern, regardless again, of who steps in. Because the people, and that includes myself, feel that we were lied to. All the mockery, all the comments and so insulting and demeaning really shattered any level of credibility that the government had left.

And actually this is going to affect anyone who supplants the governor, whether it is the secretary of justice or somebody else.

WHITFIELD: And this comes as, you know, Puerto Rico approaches the two-year mark, you know, from that devastating Hurricane Maria. There remains instability there. Does this leadership only promote more problems in your view or do you see it creating real solutions?

FORTUNO: Well, Puerto Rico is at a juncture where it really needs not only just a council but clearly defined leadership to work together with Washington to complete the reconstruction effort. That has been going slowly and actually there are already calls for a reconstruction czar that actually responds to the White House because people don't trust the local government.

And when that happens, you have a problem and there's a lot of money that was appropriated by Congress but it has to be invested wisely and correctly.

WHITFIELD: And so what does this, in your view, changing of the guard, you know, the governor, mean for Puerto Rico's aspirations and appeal for statehood?

FORTUNO: I believe at this moment any talk of any change in status will be premature. The dust needs to settle. Things have to work well. The population must accept eventually, you know, that this is working well and that if that credibility is gained again, then we can talk about any changes in status.

WHITFIELD: All right. Former Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno -- thank you so much. Appreciate it.

FORTUNO: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.


WHITFIELD: Tomorrow, an all-new episode of the "CNN ORIGINAL SERIES: THE MOVIES" explores American cinema of the 1970s.

Tom Foreman has a look at how the rise of a new generation of young directors and actors during that decade ushered in a new era of gritty and gripping filmmaking in Hollywood.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A powerful mob, a struggle for survival and succession, "The Godfather" hit Hollywood with indescribable force.

STEVEN SPIELBERG, DIRECTOR: I saw that film four times in five days. And up until that point I had always thought that "Lawrence of Arabia" was the greatest film ever made.

NEAL GABLER, FILM HISTORIAN: This is the product of Francis Ford Coppola. And this is the great revolution of the 1970s.

FOREMAN: It is a revolution of young directors -- Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, Lucas and more -- pairing up with an equally talented class of rising actors, producing some of the most memorable characters --

ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: You talking to me?

FOREMAN: -- and moments ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love to celebrate come of the morning.

RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR: It signaled to me that movies were getting made in different ways and told in different styles. It was really anti- Hollywood.

ROBERT REDFORD, ACTOR: Did you confirm it?


FOREMAN: Taking pages from the news and documentaries, films sought a gritty realism glossed over in many earlier movies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, it's me. Serpico.

FOREMAN: and audiences ate it up.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: The first time you get a sense of how big the shark is, you're immediately worried about those guys on the boat. They're going to die.

WOODY ALLEN, ACTOR: You're driving a tad rapidly.

FOREMAN: It wasn't just dramas -- comedy, too, was taking a turn. From the introspective hilarity of "Annie Hall" to the crude send-ups (ph) of "Animal House" to the brilliance of "Blazing Saddles".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love "Blazing Saddles" because it is such a revolutionary film. It deals with race, with a sense of humor and candor.

FOREMAN: So many landmark films emerged in those ten years.


RYAN O'NEAL, ACTOR: The future.

FOREMAN: It is hard to assess just how deeply they tapped into our hopes, our fears and our dreams. TODD BOYD, PROFESSOR OF CINEMA AND MEDIA STUDIES: You can just sit

down for the rest of your life and watch movies from the 70s. They're amazing.

[11:54:57] FOREMAN: And they have informed our sense of what movies and we can be ever since.


WHITFIELD: All-new episode of the "CNN ORIGINAL SERIES: THE MOVIES" airing tomorrow night 9:00 p.m. only on CNN.