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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Latest on Whistleblower Complaint Controversy; Reporting on a Bus Crash at Brice Canyon National Park in Utah; New England Patriots Cut Ties with Antonio Brown, Accused of Sexual Assault; Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Britain's Prince Andrew; More U.S. Troops to Saudi Arabia Following Attacks on Oil Facilities; Alien Enthusiasts Gather Near Nevada's Area 51; Highlighting Tennessee-Florida Football Rivalry. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired September 21, 2019 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is "Good Day Weekend" with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Good morning to you. So grateful to have you with us today. Former Vice President Joe Biden accusing the president of abuse of power after he reportedly pressured Ukraine president multiple times to investigate his son, Hunter Biden, in an attempt to undermine his main democratic rival.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: In a statement the former vice president said, if these reports are true, then there is truly no bottom to President Trump's willingness to abuse his power and debase our country. We're covering this from all angles. Sarah Westwood is in Washington this morning. CNN international correspondent Matthew Chance is in Kiev, Ukraine. Let's start in Washington. Sarah, what are you hearing from the president?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Victor and Christi good morning. CNN was reporting that President Trump has been growing increasingly angry about Ukraine, about the suspected ties in his mind between the Biden family and Ukranian businesses and as he's become more and more fixated, that is when troubles arose in this arena. President Trump, according to CNN sources, did ask the Ukrainian president to look into this situation with former Vice President Joe Biden's son while he spoke to the Ukrainian president.
That is where this controversial whistleblower complaint first arose. Now, we still don't know much about the person who filed the complaint. We know it's a member of the intelligence community, but the intelligence chief -- Acting Intelligence Chief Joseph Maguire is refusing to turn over details of the complainant and what the person was complaining about. With President Trump speaking yesterday in the Oval Office, claims this person was partisan even though he does not know the identity. Take the listen.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a partisan whistleblower. They shouldn't even have information. I've always had conversations with many leaders, always appropriate. I think Scott (ph) can tell you that; always appropriate - at the highest level always appropriate and anything I do I fight for this country. I fight so strongly for this country. It's just another political hack job. That's all it is.
WESTWOOD: Now democrats in congress are looking for details not just about the complaint itself but also how it's been handled by the nation's top intelligence agency and whether the White House was involved in suppressing it. Keep in mind this complaint was filed on August 12th but details about it are only just now trickling into the public sphere. In fact just this week the intelligence community's watchdog testified behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee but did not release any of this information to the lawmakers there. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said though that the House democrats will continue to pursue the information in this complaint. Here's what he said yesterday.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: The inspector general found these allegations credible, but he had only had 14 days to investigate them so they deserve a thorough investigation. That's what we're intent on doing it, and come hell or high water, that's what we're going to do.
WESTWOOD: This week, Victor and Christi, the acting intelligence director will be testifying before Capitol Hill so lawmakers will press him there for more answers about this situation.
PAUL: All right, Sarah Westwood, appreciate all the updates. Thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Let's go now to CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance joining us from Kiev. Matthew, what's the response if any from Ukrainian officials to the claims? Have they confirmed any details about the phone call between President Trump and the Ukraine's president?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you Victor and Christi. Look. Ukrainians are absolutely mortified that they've been dragged into this toxic American political debate. It's the last thing they want. I've been speaking to various Ukrainian government officials on the telephone this morning. They've not been able to give me any face-to-face meetings so far. But when you ask them about this issue you can almost hear them squirm on the other end of the line. Their official position is we've got no comment on this, we're not going to discuss it.
But as I say, they're absolutely mortified. They're in a situation they want to keep good relations with President Trump as the current U.S. president but at the same time they're very conscious of the fact that if they were to embark on any kind of conversation like this about investigating Joe Biden, it could jeopardize their relationship in the future with the United States and they just don't want to be involved in it. And so at the moment the position is no comment, but as that position evolves over the course of this day, we might be able to bring something more concrete to you.
PAUL: So let me ask you this. The president is expected to meet you've got Ukrainian's president next Wednesday in New York. Is there any information regarding the status of that meeting? Is it still taking place?
CHANCE: Well, I mean as far as the Ukrainians are concerned it is. I mean remember, you know, the President Zelensky of Ukraine is a political novice. He's been lobbying very hard since his inauguration in May to have that meeting with President Trump face-to- face as the United States is an important strategic ally - the most important strategic ally of Ukraine. They're dependent for economic aid on the U.S. and for military assistance as well in their conformation with Russia in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine so they want that meeting. They've been pushing for it hard but of course now, that meeting which is scheduled to take place next Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly is going to be overshadowed by this controversy about whether or not President Trump put pressure on
President Zelensky to investigation Joe Biden.
BLACKWELL: Matthew Chance for us there in Kiev. Matthew, thank you.
PAUL: CNN Political Analyst Errol Louis joining us now from New York. Errol, President Trump, he's calling this just another political hack job. Some people might say, "Well does he have a point?" We had Rudy Giuliani saying that he's supposed to be asking about these kinds of things from other foreign leaders?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No, not those kinds of things, Christi. Frankly, it looks like a textbook case of abuse of power if the president, with or without a threat behind it, requested a foreign leader to conduct an investigation of one of his political opponents, you've got a problem right there. There also appears to be a violation of the whistleblower statute, a federal statute that says when a whistleblower within a federal agency as in this case says that something improper happened, that information is supposed to be, and the work that they use is "shall" meaning it's mandatory, that information is supposed to be conveyed to Congress. Up until now, the Trump Administration has seen to it that information has not been conveyed, so there are some real serious problems here.
PAUL: Errol, I want to ask you something else today, this new report regarding another investigation into the president, this time in New York. This is a case regarding a 2015 fight between his security guards and protesters who were in front of Trump Tower. The president is supposed to sit for a videotaped testimony. Is there an exhibit that will really happen? LOUIS: I would be a little bit surprised in part because I remember
when the incident happened. It's at a fairly low level. It's not something that then candidate Donald Trump could have anticipated or ordered. It was a scuffle on the street, as I recall, in which some protesters who were using their First Amendment rights on a public sidewalk got into a scuffle with some of his private security who didn't want to see the signs or didn't want to see the protest happen.
The reality, though, it's a pretty open and shut. You can, in fact, protest in public. A little-known fact that your viewers should know is that there are parts - the atrium inside of Trump Tower is actually public space. Anybody can walk there. I think it's supposed to be open 24 hour as day as a matter of fact and you can kind of go and look around. There's plenty of security to keep an eye on you, but you're allowed to go in there. You are allowed to chant or wave a sign if you want to. I don't see where the candidate at the time, Donald Trump, had anything to do with that particular incident.
PAUL: What's interesting is they're arguing -- the protesters assert they were assaulted by the security guards first of all and they're arguing that his campaign trail rhetoric gave the impression that violence was condoned. How plausible is it that the president's language during these rallies could come into play here?
LOUIS: It's a very tenuous threat. I mean really. Look. There was a lot of violent rhetoric on the trail. There were acts of violence that broke out at the rallies, but this was not even that situation. You know, you might have a case if you could show that security lashed out at people and there was sort of a fervor that was being whipped up at one of those campaign rallies. As I recall, and there's video of this incident, people were protesting out on the sidewalk and I think it was Schiller or some of the other security guards just went and tried to take the signs away from them and sort of shoe them away and it got a little handsy, it got a little bit - it turned into a scuffle.
PAUL: All right, Errol Louis, always appreciate your updates. Thank you.
LOUIS: Thank you Christi.
BLACKWELL: Eleven days. That's all it took for the New England Patriots to get rid of Antonio Brown. The newest allegations that proved to be too much to keep the troubled NFL star around.
PAUL: And a man in Illinois is accused of driving his car through a crowded mall. What the police are saying this morning about it.
BLACKWELL: And crowds are invading a highly classified U.S. Air Force facility, or at least trying to, in Nevada for the Storm Area 51 event.
PAUL: Thirteen minutes past the hour right now and authorities say at least four people were killed in a tour bus crash near Brice Canyon National Park in Utah.
BLACKWELL: At least 30 people, many of them tourists from China, were on board the bus yesterday afternoon when it crashed into a guardrail. Lauren Steinbrecher from CNN affiliate KSTU has the story.
ROBERT DREDONKS, GOOD SAMARATIN: It sounded like an explosion. I thought, oh, no.
LAUREN STEINBRECHER, KSTU REPORTER: Robert could see something happening from his deck. He rushed down the highway from his business and came upon this. People and belongings scattered across the highway.
DREDONKS: I just went to the people who was worst, and then, of course, the people that was still lying the side of the bus, I think the bus rolled on them.
STEINBRECHER: Tshe first three people he checked on were dead. All women Robert says, he found one of the husbands who didn't speak English. They couldn't talk to each other, so they just sat there and hugged.
DREDONKS: He kept holding his wife's head and hugging her. He was just looking for his glasses. I was just trying to hold him and he was doing a prayer, and I tried to hold him.
STEINBRECHER: Robert says he pulled someone off the bus and looked around at who else needed help.
DREDONKS: I said, "Are you OK?" And he said, "Yes, that's my father." And his father was next to him and he was hurt pretty bad.
STEINBRECHER: He says everyone began to go into shock. Some stayed silent; others let out cries. It stunned everyone; it stunned Robert.
DREDONKS: I was scared and emotional, so I just kind of pray for the ones that are alive and their families.
STEINBRECHER: No matter the language, the prayer is the same.
DREDONKS: I don't care what country you're from, you're all human beings. I don't think nobody in life should go through something like that.
PAUL: God bless him. Thank you to our affiliate, KTSU for the report there as well.
BLACKWELL: Well listen, if you haven't seen this video, there's a good chance you've heard about it. Police in Chicago, in a suburb there have arrested a man who drove his SUV through a mall. PAUL: Can you imagine just being a shopper one day...
BLACKWELL: No, not at all.
PAUL: ... and this happening. Investigators say the suspect just plowed through a Sears store into the main area of the Woodfield Mall, this is in Schaumburg. The video here, you can see the driver's black SUV crashing into kiosks. Police say witnesses called 911, mistaking shattering glass for gunfire. Fortunately no one was injured. Bystanders were able to hold the man until police arrested him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop, (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not happening right now. What the (bleep). What the (bleep). Oh my God. What the (bleep).
PAUL: So listen to this. Investigators haven't revealed a motive, but they say it does not appear to be an act of terror, that it wasn't premeditated. They're looking at the possibility this was a medical issue that caused it.
BLACKWELL: Okay. So we'll look for more on that.
Well this weekend there are heavy rain and flood warnings remaining for parts of the gulf coast of Texas. Look at this. I mean the floodwaters in the southeast have caused gridlock in parts of the Houston metro area. You see here the roads are blocked. Lots of homes damaged too.
PAUL: And there's more flash flooding expected through it the Midwest as well. CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar in the CNN Weather Center with today's forecast. How bad is it expected to be, Allison?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: All right, well these are all related. This all pretty much stems from Imelda. You look at the numbers that were dumped in terms of rainfall stretching from basically Houston all the way over to Lake Charles, Louisiana. That area in between was the hardest hit right there along I-10. You have numerous places that picked up over two feet of rain. Some of them even picking up over 30 inches total. That's why you still have flood warnings in effect and some of these even lingering until Monday so you still have several more days to go before that flood water will finally recede.
Not to mention while it's low end, we do still have about 30 percent chance of rain in this area not only today but also tomorrow. But the big concern is the bulk of that moisture from Imelda is actually being pulled into a cold front further north. That's why you also have areas in the Midwest that are now under flood watches as well because of the amount of moisture that's going to be fed into this particular system. Here's a look at the forecast. Again, you see a lot of those showers
stretching through portions of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, even into portions of Michigan. The concern is the amount of rain in a short period of time. You're talking widespread amounts of about 2 to 4 inches but some of these places could end up getting anywhere from 6 to even as high as 10 inches of rain in just a short period of time. And Victor and Christie, if that wasn't bad enough, you also have severe weather to factor in all up and down this cold front as well. The potential for damaging winds, hail the size of golf balls, and, yes, even the potential for some tornados mixed in as well.
BLACKWELL: Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.
PAUL: We have some new disturbing details to share with you from a woman who said she was sexually abused by Britain's Prince Andrew and saying that this happened while she was a teenager. How Virginia Giuffre was introduced to the British royal by convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.
BLACKWELL: Plus Wal-Mart makes a big announcement about the future of its e-cigarette sales.
PAUL: So have you heard about the New England Patriots? They've cut ties you've got Antonio Brown already after just 11 days with the team because there have been these allegations of sexual assault by his former trainer, but also accusations of intimidation by a different woman.
BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is in Gainesville, Florida, this morning. Coy, the Patriots - 11 days, they just had enough I guess?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Right, yes, Victor and Christi and good morning to you. The Patriots, they're known around the league by players and other organizations as a no nonsense kind of organization. Do your job. Do not create distractions. Antonio Brown's brief 11 days stint with the team was full of them. The decision to release Brown coming late yesterday after a full week of practice and meetings with the team and after Patriots coach Bill Belichick briefly addressed the star receiver's availability for their game tomorrow.
BILL BELICHICK, PATRIOTS COACH: I'm not going to have any comment on any off-the-field situations or questions on that, so -- i'm not going to get into that. I think I've already addressed this, so we're going to get ready for the Jets here, happy to answer any football questions, but the rest of it, I'm done with the rest of it.
WIRE: Hours later the team putting out a statement saying it was, quote, "best to move in a different direction at this time." Now Brown, who played just one game for New England sent out a series of tweets following his release, seemingly a stream of consciousness thanking them Patriots, telling them to "go win it" and then quote, "Just got fired on Friday," unquote. Brown finds himself the center of scandals on and off the field. Earlier this week, an unidentified woman came forward to "Sports Illustrated" claiming Brown harassed her in 2017 while under his employment. Following the story, the woman's attorneys tell CNN Brown sent her threatening text messages after which they contacted the NFL, the attorneys say, in turn, the league ordered Brown and his associates to no longer contact the woman.
These allegations are separate from the ones made by Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor, who is suing Brown for sexual assault. Brown and his representation have denied all the allegations against him and he's not charged with any crimes. The NFL had already opened an investigation into Brown's conduct before his release yesterday telling CNN there were still ongoing and then Brown, quote, "may be subjected to discipline if the investigation finds that he violated the law or league policies." Now, this may not be the last we hear from brown. His agent said he's already looking forward to his next opportunity to play and he hopes to play soon. Victor, Christi, we'll see how this seemingly never-ending saga unfolds.
PAUL: It's been going on for a while. Coy, thank you so much.
So this morning one of Jeffrey Epstein's many accusers has revealed some new details about her alleged sexual abuse by Britain's Prince Andrew.
BLACKWELL: So her name is Virginia Giuffre and she said she was forced to have sex with the prince when she was 17 years old. Court documents show that Guiffre accused Epstein of keeping her as a teenage sex slave. Epstein died by suicide in jail in August awaiting trial on charges that he abused under-aged girls. Last night Guiffre repeated her claims about Prince Andrew.
VIRGINIA GIUFFRE, SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM: He was an abuser. He was a participant. The first time I was in London, I was so young. Ghislaine woke me up in the morning and said, "You're going to meet a prince today." I didn't know at that point that I was going to be trafficked to that prince. And then that night Prince Andrew came to her house in London and we went out to Club Tramp (ph). Prince Andrew got me alcohol. It was in the VIP section. It was -- I'm pretty sure it was vodka. Prince Andrew was like, "Let's dance together," and I was like, "OK." And we leave Club Tramp (ph) and I hop in the car with Ghislaine and Jeffrey, and Ghislaine said, "He's coming back to the house and I want you to do for him what you do for Epstein."
I couldn't believe it. He wasn't rude or anything about it. He said, "Thank you," and some kind of soft sentiments like that, and left. I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that even royalty were involved. He denies that it ever happened, and he's going to keep denying it ever happened, but he knows the truth and I know the truth.
(END VIDEO) BLACKWELL: Well, Buckingham Palace previously released a statement on accusations against the prince. It reads, "It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts, potentially another accuser, any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.
PAUL: Still to come, the U.S. says it is deploying more troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This is in response to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The implications of this. We're going to talk about that.
BLACKWELL: Plus the U.S. Navy has confirmed, videos reports show UFOs are real. So why did they keep it secret for so long? We'll talk about it with a former NASA astronaut.
BLACKWELL: The U.S. says it will deploy more troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in response to that attack on Saudi oil facilities. Defense Secretary Mark Esper called the attack a dramatic escalation of Iranian aggression but made it clear the U.S. does not want conflict with Iran.
PAUL: Secretary Esper says the military presence is to help Saudis improve their defense infrastructure.
MARK ESPER, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: What we would be deploying to the theater would be what would be necessary to help support and contribute to the kingdom's defenses, and at the same time, we're calling on many other countries who would also have these capabilities to do two things. First of all, stand up and condemn these attacks and secondly, look to also contribute defensive capabilities so we can defend those things that I outlined in my remarks whether it's the infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and then the broader issues with regard to freedom of the seas, navigation in the Strait and then the international rules and norms that Iran is clearly violating.
PAUL: Now President Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran's Central Bank and it's sovereign wealth fund. Iran continues to deny responsibility for that attack.
BLACKWELL: For more on this, let's bring in CNN MilitaryAnalyst and former Army Commanding General for Europe and the 7th Army, Lieutenant Mark Hertling. General, good morning to you.
MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Good morning Victor.
BLACKWELL: Secretary Esper says the deployment will be modest; not thousands. Is this a conflict that you think U.S. troops should be injected into - additional troops? HERTLING: Victor, this is a difficult call because we have had alliances and partnerships with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but we have also sold them a significant amount of defensive weapons systems and some offensive weapons systems to include the kind of air defense systems that I would suggest they're probably deploying. So it's - it's a tough call to make, but when an ally asks for help, you always give it. One of the things that concerns me about this is this is likely air defense systems both ground - probably the Patriot system -- but also sea-borne systems like Aegis Cruisers. It will be a limited number, but Saudi Arabia already has these kinds of systems; we've sold them to them.
So this is an interesting deployment. When I was commanding in Europe, we deployed these kinds of forces to various countries because of missile threats in those countries. It's not an unusual deployment, but it's somewhat head-scratching in terms of why we would be doing this.
PAUL: So General Hertling let me ask you this, the U.S. doesn't want to be a solo supporter here. How important is it to have a coalition's support and what if that coalition support doesn't show up?
HERTLING: Well, that's a great question, Christi, because you know, whenever you try and build coalitions there is active energy placed into it by members of our government, literally petitioning other countries to bring in forces and equipment.
In this case for Secretary Esper to just say, "Hey, gee, we sure hope everybody else joins us in defending Saudi Arabia against threats from Iran and continues to help us in this action," that's not quite enough. There's got to be a whole lot more going on behind the scenes. Now, there certainly could be, but one of the critical issues that our administration should be talking about is additional proof of where these systems - where the enemy systems, the so-called Iranian systems came from and what kind of things are we looking to defend against.
Again, cruise missiles are tough to defend against. It takes a lot of systems and a lot of people to cover all critical infrastructure in any country. So this is a dynamic that I think has to have a whole lot more proof. There's got to be indicators of exactly what happened; we haven't seen those yet.
BLACKWELL: So, but we also heard from the Secretary of Defense that this increased deployment is focused on preventing further escalation, his words. But we heard from Secretary Mnuchin as it relates to the new sanctions that the U.S. now has cut off all sources of funds to Iran, the Central Bank was Iran's last source of funds. Considering how, in many respects, sanctions have been ineffective in deterring Iran up to this point, if this is the end of the line for sanctions and we see how they have worked, how do you receive those comments from the Secretary of the Treasury that this is all we've got for sanctions? Are you expecting that the only thing left is military or is there some middle ground between the sanctions and military action? Are you concerned this is all there's left, or is there some middle ground between the sanctions and military action?
HERTLING: That's also a great question, Victor. Whenever you have any kind of engagements between foes -- and this is the case between the United States and Iran and Saudi Arabia and Iran, you usually use four elements of power. One is diplomatic. We haven't exhausted all of those. We've attempted to talks with Saudi Arabia but as you know, that's been a back-and-forth.
Another has been economic, which Secretary Mnuchin answered yesterday. Unfortunately what you're talking about in that category is we continue to push Iran into a corner, and whenever you push a nation into a corner without any ability to exit, you might have problems so they could strike back, continuing to show that they can close the Straits of Hormuz or attack countries within the region.
The third one is information. As I said before, we haven't provided the kinds of information of exactly what we want to do and what we want Iran to do; that's unknown right now. I'm truthfully looking for what is the end stage on this? What is the administration attempting to accomplish? Get Iran back to the table they were already at and impose more requirements on them?
HERTLING: If that's the case, it's a difficult diplomatic dance. And then finally the military action. We're seeing some defensive measures on that. To take on Iran in this kind of situation is extremely challenging. It's a tough country to fight against.
BLACKWELL: And yes, they said there would be all out war if the U.S. takes certain steps. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, thank you so much.
PAUL: Thank you, General.
HERTLING: Thanks, Victor, always a pleasure.
PAUL: Still ahead, there's another investigation involving President Trump now. A judge reportedly wanted to talk to the president under oath about a fight between his security guards and a group of protesters during the 2016 campaign.
BLACKWELL: Plus, 2 million alien enthusiasts said that they would storm Nevada's Area 51 with hopes of seeing an alien but how many of them actually showed up? Here's a hint. It's 39 minutes past the hour and we're getting to this story so you know 2 million people didn't show up and they didn't go into that Area 51, but we'll tell you what did happen.
PAUL: Find out the true stories of the agencies protecting us from terrorists, drug cartels, Russian spies. That's when the CNN original series, "Declassified" returns to CNN tomorrow night, 9 eastern and Pacific only here on CNN.
PAUL: All right, just to clarify this morning, there are no reports, according to CNN of any alien sightings...
BLACKWELL: Thank you for clearing that up.
PAUL: Near Area 51.
BLACKWELL: Thank you for making that clear.
PAUL: Despite - despite -- there was a decent turnout for yesterday's much anticipated event. My kids were watching this. They wanted to see what was going to happen. We're talking about 2,000 people who flooded into Nevada after a call on Facebook to storm Area 51. But 200 of them have made it to the main gate; that obviously much smaller than the nearly 2 million who had pledged to raid the U.S. Air Force facility in Nevada.
BLACKWELL: You just can't trust folks the stay on their word. They can't come through. Two million said they'd be there; 200 made it to the gate. All right, so the local sheriff says two people were arrested for minor issues, including one alcohol-related arrest and another for indecent exposure. The sheriff said there was also a rollover accident with injuries.
PAUL: But these are the pictures we're getting from the area - the latest pictures. So this is what's interesting when you talk about the timing of this because look at this picture. The U.S. Navy has confirmed videos purported to show that UFOs are indeed real. Now a Navy spokesman doesn't refer to them that as such. They call them unidentified aerial phenomena, not unidentified flying objects for whatever reason.
BLACKWELL: All right with now to discuss Leroy Chiao, retired NASA astronaut. Leroy, you know you're the person we turn to for all of this. Good morning to you.
LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: Good morning.
PAUL: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: All right, so let's start here with the Area 51 storming of 200 people at the gates. First, I want to know what the police reports are for the indecent exposure and the alcohol pertaining to this issue but I'll find that on my own.
PAUL: Right, right. That might not be morning material.
BLACKWELL: No, I don't think it is. But what do you make of this hysteria. There have been questions about Area 51 obviously for some time but it seems that this group didn't - what started as a joke didn't really come through and that promise or expectation.
CHIAO: Right, this shows you of course some of the perils of social media rights and I - my understanding is even the organizer of that page actually was begging people, please don't actually go do this and even my 12-year-old daughter asked me about it and said their thing is they can't stop all of us.
And I said (inaudible) military actually they can and they will. So glad it turned out more or less peacefully and Area 51, of course, the best known secret military base in the world probably reported to have all kinds of things there but I believe without any knowledge myself, but I would of course it's just a secret base that has all kinds of classified programs there.
PAUL: All right. We want to tap into your knowledge though. When it comes to these videos from the U.S. Navy, they're not calling them UFOs. They're acknowledging that they can't identify them. What's your guess? You've been to space.
CHIAO: Right. Right. Well, and so, you know, I believe these pilots actually saw and filmed things that were flying that they couldn't explain, and even the Navy probably doesn't really know what they are, but I would bet, my guess, they're classified aircraft programs. And if you look at the history of these kinds of things, there have been weird sightings since way back when, and later on, we might discover when something is unclassified, it was indeed a classified Air Force military program.
And a good example, I was flying one day when I was back at NASA years ago and I was flying with a senior astronaut, and he said, oh, look at that. We looked at something odd flying around. He said, you know, back in the 1960s, I saw a contrail way above me that was pulsing and it was going so fast, it had to be going at a really high mach number. Later on it turns out we were doing research on high-altitude pulse jets flying at very fast speeds and so that's a good example of looking at something or seeing something that you can't explain at that moment but then later on it turned out something that we were doing research on.
PAUL: Leroy Chiao, we always appreciate you waking up early to talk with us about stuff we don't understand. Thank you. Have a great day.
BLACKWELL: Thank you Leroy.
CHIAO: Thank you.
PAUL: Sure. I know that you've probably been talking about the escalating vaping crisis, because it's spreading across the country. A lot of young people involved. America's largest retailer Wal-Mart is going to stop selling e-cigarettes now.
BLACKWELL: So the decision also applies to Sam's Club outlets, but Wal-Mart said it will continue to sell out its current store inventory. No more after that. The number of people contracting lung- related illnesses linked to vaping continues to increase. The CDC reports more than 500 cases of lung disease in 38 states. At least eight people have died, and health officials say they expect that number to climb. A recent figure shows the number of teens using e- cigarettes doubled - it doubled in just the last two years. So in our 8:00 hour we'll talk to "Time Magazine" health writer about how teen vaping morphed into a public health crisis. PAUL: So, listen, when it comes to sports there's nothing quite like
two schools who just flat out do not like each other, and now we're going to go to Coy Wire who is one of the most positive people I know who wants to be there in Gainesville for this.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: What time is it? What time does the game start? This is the sound of the Gator nation, the number-nine ranked Florida Gators marching band. They're up early for their team and for you. More coming up after the break.
PAUL: I think the temperature is finally getting into football weather.
BLACKWELL: Yes it is.
PAUL: Just for a minute, which means we've got to go to one of the biggest football rivalries ever.
BLACKWELL: Yes, Tennessee and Florida. Coy Wire is there in Gainesville. And you'd expect at this hour that everybody would be asleep, kind of easing into it. They're not.
WIRE: Good morning, my bald brother, Victor. Good morning, Christi. The Gators, number nine ranked team in the nation. Listen, they lost their starting quarterback, Feleipe Franks for the season last week after an ankle injury when 90,000 screaming Gators will filling the swamp cheering on a backup Kyle Trask. He's a grad student. He hasn't started a game since his freshman year of high school but he pulled his team back from an 11 point deficit to Kentucky last week keeping Florida undefeated. I caught up with a legendary Florida Gator, Heisman winner and national championship coach Steve Spurrier to ask how this team is going to get 'er done.
STEVE SPURRIER, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER AND COACH: I think our Gators have got enough players to go right now. You don't want to have a whole mass of injuries but when the younger guys see the older guys play well, they know what the Gator standard is as Coach Mullen likes to call it. Play up to the Gator standard. We have talented guys; they haven't played a lot yet but if they will play up to that standard, we should be OK.
WIRE: Now, one positive storyline for the Volunteers comes from a fan, a fourth grader who didn't have Vols shirt to wear to school on team colors day so he made one. He was bullied. The school learned about it and made his design an official tee shirt.
Here it is. It sold out but they're back in print now. Proceeds going to a Stomp Out Bullying campaign. How sweet is that? You hear the support even from bitter rivals. Now Victor, Christi, you want to meet some of these young incredibly talented individuals here. What do you think about Gator Nation this morning?
This is Drum Major Shawn. He's a political science major and what is your favorite thing about game day. Take us there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Favorite gameday moment is definitely the atmosphere. You got 90,000 fans, especially after a big play. Last year the pic six at LSU to close out the game or two years Tennessee, Hail Mary to end it, the whole stadium erupts.
WIRE: Well get the band going. You guys ready to rock? It's game day. All right, my goodness, the energy is crazy over here; back to you.
BLACKWELL: Coy knows how to get them excited ...
PAUL: Yes he does.
BLACKWELL: ... this early in the morning. Thank you, Coy.
PAUL: OK, I just want to point something out here. My script says, "Holy Cape Crusaders." I'm telling you this man is not going to say that.
BLACKWELL: I don't because Christi just said I was going to say it. Batman fans all over the world is celebrating today. It's the 80th anniversary of D.C. Comics iconic masked superhero.
PAUL: And of course to mark the occasion, the infamous bat signal is going to beam up night skies around the globe just before 8:00. We're talking about cities like Tokyo and Los Angeles and of course Gotham City headquarters, New York City so be on the lookout for it. Of course, both part of the Warner Media family, we should point out.
BLACKWELL: Next hour starts after a quick break.