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Source: Trump Pressed Ukrainian President To Investigate Biden's Son; Seventeen Presidential Candidates Will Appear At Iowa Steak Fry; Jimmy Carter Proposes An Age Limit For Presidential Candidates; Patriots Cut Brown Amid Sexual Misconduct Accusations; Tennessee VOLS Clash With #9 Florida Gators; Price Andrew Accuser Says She Was Forced To Perform Sex Acts; Students Around The World Protest Climate Change Inaction. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired September 21, 2019 - 08:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump asking a foreign leader for dirt on Joe Biden.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You can say that it was a totally appropriate conversation. It was actually a beautiful conversation. It's just another political hack job.

SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: He pressured a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent. This is a grotesque civil liberties violation. It's a breach of his oath of office.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Antonio Brown is gone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Star wide Antonio Brown dropped by the New England Patriots amid accusations of sexual assault and misconduct.

BILL BELICHICK, GENERAL MANAGER OF THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: --happy to answer any football questions. But the rest of it, I'm done with the rest of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not happening right now. What the (bleep).

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You've got to see this. A car crashes into a mall near Chicago, and then keeps driving right through it.


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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning Saturday morning to you. We begin with former Vice President Joe Biden, accusing President Trump of abuse of power, reportedly asking Ukraine's President several times to investigate his son Hunter in an attempt to undermine his chief political rival. CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: In a statement the former Vice President said this quote "If these reports are true, then there is truly no bottom to President Trump's willingness to abuse his power and abase our country". Now we're covering this from all angles.

Sarah Westwood is outside of White House this morning; CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance is in Kiev, Ukraine. We do want to start in Washington with you Sarah. President Trump saying, his conversations with foreign leaders are quote "Always appropriate." What else is he saying about these phone calls this morning?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Christi and Victor. And it's cleared this morning that this controversy is not going away for President Trump despite his dismissals yesterday of questions about this story.

And sources tell CNN that in a July phone call with the Ukrainian President, President Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate Hunter Biden, the son a former Vice President Joe Biden. Now, there's no evidence that Trump asked for anything in return.

But that phone call is now the subject of this controversial whistleblower complaint that an unknown person filed to the intelligence community's watchdog in mid-August. And House Democrats are trying to get their hands on that complaint, despite facing roadblocks put up by the administration. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said, though, Democrats are not giving up. Take a listen.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Inspector General found these allegations credible, but he had only 14 days to investigate them. So they deserve a thorough investigation, that's what we're intent on doing and come hell or high water, that's what we're going to do.


WESTWOOD: --from yesterday described this story as ridiculous, speaking next to the Australian Prime Minister who was visiting. He also described the whistleblower as a partisan person, despite also admitting that he does not know the identity of the person who filed the complaint.


TRUMP: I don't know the identity of the whistleblower. I just hear it's a partisan person, meaning it comes out from another party. But I don't have any idea. But I can say that it was a totally appropriate conversation. It was actually a beautiful conversation.


WESTWOOD: Now CNN has reported the White House counsel's office, the Justice Department have both been involved in keeping this complaint under wraps. The Acting Intelligence Director Joseph McGuire will be on Capitol Hill this week, testifying before lawmakers, so we can expect some more answers about this call and perhaps others that could be part of the complaint later this week, Victor and Christi.

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

WESTWOOD: CNN Senior International Correspondent, Matthew Chance joins us now from Kiev.

PAUL: So Matthew earlier you said the Ukrainians are mortified that they've been dragged into this American political debate. Have they mentioned what they - if they have any intention of doing anything about it?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I mean they're in this building right behind me, which is the Presidential administration in the center of the Ukrainian Capital Kiev. President Zelensky, we're told, is in there now with his closest aides, trying to work out what their strategy is going to be.

Because they're very uncomfortable, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place, because they don't want to anger at the current U.S. President, President Trump, because he's important for them. The relationship within the United States and Ukraine is the most important strategic alliance that Ukraine has.

But they're also mindful that they don't want to anger who might be the next U.S. President as well. There's an election in 2020. It could be the Democratic candidate. It could be Joe Biden, who is the next U.S. President.


And so they are trying to walk that tightrope and at the moment their strategy is to keep their lips well and truly sealed.

That might change as their thinking on this evolves. But at the moment, it's no comment. I add to that the fact that they have got this meeting in New York next week face-to-face. They've been pushing for it since the inauguration of the Ukrainian President in May with President Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

They want not to be about military aid, economic assistance, diplomatic support in their battle with Russia, but at the moment it is going to be overshadowed by this controversy. So I think it's inevitable. They're going to have to sort of break their silence at some point, Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. I'll take it from you Matthew. Matthew Chance for us there in Kiev, thank you.

PAUL: I want to bring in a former federal prosecutor Shan Wu; and author and CNN Contributor Garrett Graff to talk about this now. Because Shan, you point out a direct conflict between the branches of government with the President refusing to give Congress this information about the whistleblower. What are Congress's options here?

SHAN WU, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Congress has to probably go to the courts. There is one sort of alternative path within the statute where the whistleblower could directly ask to deliver their complaint to Congress. But the way that's set up is they have to get some guidance from the agency, which obviously is not forthcoming, because McGuire doesn't want him to testify.

So this kind of illustrates a problem where no law is capable of reading into the facts ahead of time. Someone's refusal to actually abide by it or to enforce it in this case, and that's where the problem is.

The executive is claiming confidentiality in terms of classified issues. They're also going to be planning executive privilege. So it sets up a direct conflict between the executive refusing to let the legislature do its job.

PAUL: Garrett, there might be some people looking at this thinking, gosh, we just got out of this whole scenario with the Mueller report now we have this again. Are there people - do you get the sense there are people looking at this going, I think, I have confidence in the 2020 election?

GARRETT GRAFF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. And I think that one of the things that seems very clear is we begin to line up the timelines on this is, is that this controversy almost began the moment that the Mueller testimony wrapped up. That Muller testified on July 24th.

The first of the telephone calls that may be part of this complaint started on July 25th. And so it's almost as if Donald Trump precisely understood the road map and what he could do that sort of fell within the lines of what Mueller had already decided was not a crime, and wanted to sort of charge ahead.

Shan and I were just saying, this is almost like a bank robber going out, being acquitted of one bank robbery and then immediately going out and robbing another bank, because now he knows exactly how to do so.

PAUL: Yes, Shan, I mean there was no real consequence for him, there were no charges in the Mueller report that came out of that. But the President has a lot - he does have - many analysts say he has a lot of latitude in conversations that he has with foreign governments. Is anything you see to this point? Is it criminal, does it fall under abuse of power? Is there anything beyond that it could be here?

WU: Well, in terms of the potential criminal charges, and obviously, we don't know that much about the facts yet, but they're sort of like a buffet of potential charges. There's theft of lot of services, there's bribery, there's all sorts of things - campaign finance violations and abuse of power is written all over this, of course.

And I think the DOJ and the White House are obviously trying to suppress this. They're going to try to make it very murky and muddy. I think we should just remember two things. First, the statute, the law, is not discretionary. It says "Shall" deliver report to Congress, and they're not doing that.

And second of all, whatever the President may say about his conversation, he from the reports, is asking that his private - personal attorney be involved in this. Giuliani, his private personal attorney, has no formal government role. So it's obviously of a personal nature form him.

PAUL: So I want to ask you Garrett, when we look ahead to 2020 what is the potency of President Trump's assertions against - or allegations against Ukraine and Vice President Biden, I'm wondering what the risk versus the reward is here for him with his base as we head into 2020?

GRAFF: Well, the risk versus reward for his base is simply to continue to muddy Democratic opponents sort of regardless of whether the facts support this.

And that, I think, the challenge for the country going forward and Shan was sort of touching on this a little bit in his answer just now, is that, most of our systems, most of our laws are not written to deal with a national security threat, if the national security threat is the President of the United States.


And that we sort of see these systems and processes sort of struggling to respond to a President who is willing to prioritize his own politics, his own election sort of above the national interests of the country. And that he sees those as completely inseparable.

And that that becomes a really big challenge, particularly on the foreign policy realm, where the President of the United States receives an enormous amount of discretion from the courts and from the legislative branch in terms of national security decisions.

PAUL: All right. Shan Wu, Garrett Graff, so grateful to have your perspectives with us today. Thank you, gentlemen.

WU: Good to see you.

BLACKWELL: The New England Patriots, they've had enough. After 11 days, the team has decided to show Antonio Brown the door. The newest allegations against the troubled NFL star had led to his release.

PAUL: And it's a vacation nightmare in Utah. A tour bus crashed near Bryce Canyon National Park, four people have died, dozens are injured. We'll tell you what we know this morning.

BLACKWELL: And several 2020 Democratic candidates speaking today in Iowa, at the Polk County Steak Fry. CNN is there, covering it live.



PAUL: Well, thank goodness for the people of Texas. Heavy rain is moving out of the Southeast part of the state. The flooding, though, is still a major problem for them. Look at the gridlock.

[08:15:00] In Houston metro areas on - this is on freeway I-10, look at those cars, hundreds of them submerged in water. They're just abandoned on the roads there.

BLACKWELL: 43 inches of rain fell in within three days in the areas between Winnie and Beaumont. Some people who saw their homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey two years ago, are now seeing rain seep into their houses again.

CNN's Ryan Young is live in Houston for us this morning. Ryan, I know that a lot of the water levels - they've receded, but still so many problems.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. You know the water has receded in so many places, but you know, this really has left a lasting effect. So many people have been battered by Hurricane Harvey. This was sort of like one of those things that they didn't need to happen again.

We talked to several neighbors who say they've lost everything, and they can't imagine that it's only been two years since Hurricane Harvey.


YOUNG (voice over): Tonight, Southern Texas is recovering from heavy rains. As the rain slowed, the receding flood waters revealing a glimpse at the damage. Houston's Fire Department responding to over 2,000 emergency calls with sheriff's officers rescuing more than 400 people trapped in the water.

Friday morning people were still being rescued. This family living north of Houston spent the night in their attic waiting for help. In Kingwood, Texas most of John Igoe's house is in rubble on his front lawn. His family is drying out after escaping water that rose surprisingly fast.

JOHN IGOE, KINGWOOD, TEXAS RESIDENT: It came halfway to the driveway, then my wife and my child, my son and the dog got had to swim out.

YOUNG (voice over): The National Weather Service reporting dramatic differences in rain totals from the remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda, Paris County getting about 15 inches, while parts neighboring Jefferson County got 43 inches. At least two people are dead, including one man who reportedly drowned after he drove his car into this flooded intersection.

ED GONZALEZ, HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF: We always tell folks turn around, don't drown. In this case it seems like he didn't heed that warning.

YOUNG (voice over): Chaos on the major highways as hundreds of vehicles are abandoned, swallowed by the water. Police say they've towed more than 1,600 cars and are working to reunite them with their owners. Interstate-10 shut down over the San Jacinto River. A loose barge crashed into the bridge, causing severe damage, smashing the support beams. Under passes on this feeder roads like this, also cracking to the pressure. Some Texans, who lived through Hurricane Harvey's devastation just two years ago, starting over again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's heartbreaking, you know, to lose everything twice.


YOUNG: Yes, this pain is hard to understand. When you talk to several homeowners who've said their house had never flooded before, even during Harvey, but this time it was different. The water just came too fast.

One man telling us that he had to have his neighbor's help put his children on their shoulders to walk them out of the flood water before rescuers could arrive, because they couldn't just wait any longer. They were worried about how fast the water was moving.

BLACKWELL: Wow, all right Ryan Young for us there. Ryan, thank you.

PAUL: So authorities say at least four people were killed in a tour bus crash near Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.


PAUL: And the video illustrates - I mean, look at this bus.

BLACKWELL: So you understand that at least 30 people, many of them tourists in China, who were on board, a lot of them injured. This happened yesterday afternoon. It ran off the road, rolled into a guardrail.

A team of investigators from the NTSB, they're expected to arrive today to help find out what caused this. Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Washington says it has sent officials to help the victims too.


BLACKWELL: Still to come some Democrats are focusing on former Vice President Joe Biden's gaffes as a sign of maybe questions about his age. Is age a legitimate concern that voters should consider going into 2020?

PAUL: Also the stars are getting ready to walk the red carpet at Sunday's Emmy Awards. There's one big change coming to the stage, though.



BLACKWELL: Lot of people are excited for the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry in Iowa. Now - OK the steaks can be great, but that's not the only reason people are excited, because the event is expected to attract a huge crowd of, including a 17 Democratic Presidential candidates.

PAUL: So why is Iowa so important, I know, a lot of people might be wondering that? This is seen as the starting line essentially in Presidential politics. The Iowa caucus results can indicate how candidate will perform throughout the election season.

Most of all, though, Iowa gets attention from candidates, because the caucus system is so hands-on it attracts a lot of people through community events like this steak fry. So CNN Political Reporter Arlette Saenz is in Des Moines with the very latest. Good morning to you what are you seeing?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning, Christi and Victor. Well, basically, the entire Democratic Presidential field is descending here on Iowa this weekend for the Polk County Steak Fry. This is an event that used to be hosted by former Senator Tom Harkin, but has been taken on by the Polk County Democratic Party.

And really this is an opportunity for these campaigns to have a show of force to emphasize their presence here in the state. It's an ability - a chance for them to show off their organizing strength, as well as try to connect in courts and bring over voters to their side.

Now the Polk County Steak Fry isn't starting for a few more hours. But this morning each of the events are going to try to put their own little mark on this event. Joe Biden will be hosting something they're calling "Biden Fest".

Kamala Harris will be meeting with McDonald's workers who are striking for a $15 minimum wage.

Elizabeth Warren's going to be using this as an organizing opportunity, to train volunteers and then go into the steak fry and talk with voters.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is launching a four-day bus tour, trying to replicate that famous "Straight Talk Express" that Senator John McCain had when he was running for President. And so all of the candidates will be holding kind of their own little events ahead of the steak fry this morning, and then they are marching over.

So it's going to be a really big opportunity for these campaigns to show their strength, show their support here in this early caucus - first in the nation caucus state. Now later today, CNN and the Des Moines Register will be releasing a new Iowa poll which is going to give us a snapshot of the current state of the race here in Iowa, less than five months before the caucuses.


Joe Biden has led in most of the polls here since he entered the 2020 race back in April. But he's closely trailed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. So we'll see if there is any movement when it comes to the feelings here of Iowa caucus-goers just less than five months before the caucuses take place, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: You're going to have a busy day Arlette. Arlette Saenz for us, thank you.

BLACKWELL: This week former President Jimmy Carter, the longest-living President in U.S. history, said there should be an age limit for Presidential candidates. The three leading Democratic candidates are in their 70s. Former Vice President Joe Biden is 76; Bernie Sanders, 77; Senator Elizabeth Warren is 70. We should also say the President Trump is 73.

Should voters focus on age and health rather than issues of policy and temperament? Here with me to discuss CNN Political Analyst Julian Zelizer. Julian, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So this is a very sensitive topic talking about age of candidates. But you'll remember, in 2008, there were a lot to think pieces about "is America ready for a black President?" In 2016, "Is America ready for a female President?" Why is it so sensitive to ask if America is ready for an 80-year-old President? Biden and Sanders would both turn 80 if they're elected while in office.

ZELIZER: Well it shouldn't be. People are worried about ages, I mean, just being biased against people who are old, just because they are old. But there are ways to ask the question that doesn't fall into that trap.

It's fair to ask if someone has the physical and mental prowess that's necessary both for campaigning in an election and for governing and then there's just generational questions about the vision that someone has because of their age. And I think it's fair to have this as part of the conversation.

BLACKWELL: You know, you point out that it's fair to have it as part of the conversation. But when we've seen it on debate stages that's come off as either clumsy or mean-spirited. It's also come off - come from 1 percenters or 2 percenters in the polls. How important is the - not just "the how", but "the who". Who was bringing up the age of competitors of candidates.

ZELIZER: Well the how does matter. Obviously, in the last democratic debate Castro came under a lot of heat for the way that he attacked Biden directly, suggesting he couldn't remember what he had just said, and that's not the way to do it.

"The who", doesn't necessarily need to be the other candidates. It could be the commenters and it could be the voters who, again, have this as part of the mix as they're evaluating what we need in the next four years and can that person handle what is one of the most arduous jobs in the world.

BLACKWELL: President Carter's comments are the jumping-off point for your new piece on and you point out that observers aren't questioning the mental stamina of the other septuagenarians in the Democratic race, speaking about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Look at these, we've just grabbed these from some mainstream outlets - the headlines, questioning if Joe Biden is too old to be President? He's not even the oldest man in the race, is this because he's the front-runner or is this something else?

ZELIZER: No, I think part of it are the missteps that we've seen on the campaign trail or some of the debates where he does have trouble with his words or keeping up with the questions. Those have raised this issue.

Part of it is the generational issue. That he has said things about working with southern senators in the 1970s and his views on busing or his views on politics in general, about the possibility of bipartisanship are just seem out of step with where things are today. And that's why it's come up with Biden and not with everyone who's over 70.

BLACKWELL: So we can put up the ages of the candidates currently. But the average age for the U.S. President, it has been 55 years old. Donald Trump was the oldest first term President. Hillary Clinton, had she won, would have been second oldest. If Sanders had been - had won in 2016, he would have been oldest.

Mitt Romney would have qualified for the Top 5. John McCain would have been the oldest. Of course, President Obama won in 2008 and 2012, fifth youngest. But why are we now choosing older leaders - at least older nominees, considering older candidates for President, it's not like the life expectancy has jumped so much in the last decade.

ZELIZER: No, I mean, part of it is fitness. That older people, I think, are in better shape in this day and age, and so they're able to perform a lot of the campaign tests. Part of it is familiarity.


Older people usually have more name, recognition and I think in this day and age that really matters for fundraising, for media attention and so it plays into a cycle.

But it's not necessarily the best way to pick a leader. Maybe we should think about what generation we want in the Oval Office as much as we do about some of these other aspects of the presidency.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and as we point out the commonality between Biden, Sanders and Warren, they're not only the three candidates in their 70s on the Democratic side, they're also all three at the top of most polls. Julian Zelizer, good to have you.

ZELIZER: Thanks for having me.

PAUL: All righty, it's fall and it's game day in Gainesville. Yes, some people get to have all the fun, enter Coy Wire.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, put is in the game. Christi, Victor, what a great morning. We're here in Gainesville, in the practice field for the Gators marching band. The #9 ranked Florida Gators, they have a big matchup against their rival. I'm going to go find the grill. We'll be right back.


PAUL: Well, The New England Patriots have ties with Antonio Brown after just 11 days with the team. Of course, there are new accusations of intimidation against him as well.


BLACKWELL: So this weekend identified woman came forward to Sports Illustrated, claiming that Brown harassed her in 2017 while she was working for him. Following the story, the woman accused Brown of sending her threatening text messages after which her attorney contacted the NFL.

Now the latest allegations are separate from the ones made by his former trainer Britney Taylor who is suing him for sexual assault. Brown and his representation have denied all the allegations against him and he is not charged with any crimes.

PAUL: Get some good sports news in. The weather is cooling down for some people.

BLACKWELL: Yes, some of us.

PAUL: Not so much here. But college football is heating up and of course the one and only Coy Wire.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is in Gainesville, Florida having more fun than this job will allow. What you got us this year.

WIRE: Hey, speaking of heating up I'm over here. I'm going to take you over to meet Chef Amadeus (ph). He was a former cook in our U.S. Navy. He's now cooking it up for Tailgates here in Gainesville. Oh, my goodness, look at these ribs. They are hot and heated up.

Also hot are these #9 ranked Florida Gators. Now they lost their starting quarterback last weekend, Feleipe Franks for this season to an ankle injury. 90,000 screaming Gators in the Swamp we'll be cheering up their backup Kyle Trask.

He's a grad student. He hasn't started the game since his freshman year in high school. But he pulled his team back to a come from behind win last week against Kentucky to keep the Gators undefeated. I caught up with the legendary Florida Gator Heisman winning national championship coach Steve Spurrier, asked him how's this team going to persevere.


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 Gators standard is, as coach Mullen likes to call it, play up to the Gator standard. So we have talented guys and haven't played a lot yet. But if they play up to their standard we should be OK.


WIRE: Now when it comes to the Volunteers, listen this Victor and Christi, they have a really cool storyline. There was a fourth grader who was bully. He is a VOLS fan. And team colors at the school - he didn't have a shirt so he made one.

Well, the VOLS, they came and made his design official after his bullying. Now those proceeds are going to a "STOMP Out Bullying" campaign. So that is a really cool storyline. In this day's storyline, we have the Florida Gators here, the #9 ranked team in the nation. They are taking on their Tennessee Volunteers, one of their biggest rivals. Anything can happen.

This is Abby (ph). What is it like on game day?

ABBY, GATORS BAND GIRL: Oh my gosh, it's absolutely incredible. And having the opportunity to be in the band and be a part of making that tradition through music is one of the best experiences I could ever have.

WIRE: There you go, music education major. Game day is going to be fantastic. Enjoy your Saturday everyone. Victor, Christi back to you.

PAUL: You too.

BLACKWELL: Didn't take much to get them excited.

PAUL: Well, Coy, I mean, he's got enough energy for the band.

BLACKWELL: Yes, he does. Yes, he does.

PAUL: Coy, thank you. Have fun.

BLACKWELL: All right. So imagine stepping out for a little bit of retail therapy and a car flies by you from just out of nowhere. It happened in a crowded mall in Illinois. We've got more on this next.

PAUL: Also find out the true stories of the agencies protecting us from terrorism, from drug cartels, Russian spies and more, when the CNN original series "Declassified" returns to CNN, its tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern Pacific only here on CNN.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop, stop driving.

BLACKWELL: Police in a Chicago suburb have arrested a man who drove his SUV through a mall. PAUL: Investigators say the suspect drove through a Sears Store into the main area of what you're seeing there, the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. I mean, can you imagine being a shopper at that moment. You can see the driver's black SUV crashing into kiosks.

Police say witnesses did call 911, mistaking some of the shattering glass for gunfire. Fortunately, no one was injured. Bystanders who were able to hold that man until police arrested him.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop, stop driving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, this is not happening right now. What the (bleep). What the (bleep). Oh my God. What the (bleep).

PAUL: Investigators haven't revealed a motive here. But they say it does not appear to be an act of terror. That it was not premeditated. In fact, they're looking at the possibility that a medical issue may be part of the cause here.


BLACKWELL: Well that's fancy.

PAUL: I thought we were going to the Love Boat for a moment.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it did sound like hoping to Love Boat. OK. TV's biggest night, Sunday, 71st Annual Emmy Awards. Big question here everybody's asking, can anybody dethrone "Game of Thrones"?

PAUL: The HBO drama is up for a record number of nominations for its final season. And then other note that's interesting here. Emmy is going host-less. CNN Stephanie Elam has a preview.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Emmy question this year, can anyone take the throne from "Game of Thrones". Last year's winner is once again the drama frontrunner with a record number of nominations for its final season.

MATTHEW BELLONI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Even though some of the reactions to "Game of Thrones" were negative this season, the show is such a juggernaut and changed television in so many ways. Voters are going to go for it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just want to be President.

ELAM (voice over): Also in its final season HBO shows "Veep", a favorite for Best Comedy and actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

BELLONI: It had to take a year off because Julia Louis-Dreyfus was undergoing cancer treatment. So there is a lot of goodwill associated with the show. But the nice new shiny thing on the block is "Fleabag".


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god, definitely no, there's nothing for you. What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, these my clothes, Boo. I've been wearing these all day.

ELAM (voice over): "Fleabag", a British comedy is Amazon Prime's new entry following last year's winner, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," a nominee again this year. But "Fleabag" has momentum led by star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, also a writer and producer for drama contender, "Killing Eve".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think I'm a bad person, Mr. Cousineau?

ELAM (voice over): Bill Hader's "Barry" is another comedy favorite. Overlooked in the category last year, voters could be looking to make amends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, Chernobyl is on fire.

ELAM (voice over): "Chernobyl" leads a spate of real life stories making up the best limited series category, including tough competition from Ava DuVernay's "When They See Us" about the Central Park 5.

BELLONI: It is just - it's nothing like it on television.

ELAM (voice over): This Emmys will be host-less this year, emboldened by the success of the Academy Awards without a host.

BELLONI: I personally like having a host. I think it sets a bar and give you something to look forward to when you tune in. But the Oscars had no host, the ratings were up and the reviews of the show were generally positive.

ELAM (voice over): Without a host, the star power of the Emmy's will be left to the winners. Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.


BLACKWELL: All right, I'll be watching.

Still ahead, a global strike on climate change, Europe, Asia, Africa, here in the U.S., see how young activists are taking action to make sure they have a future.



PAUL: Well this morning, one of Jeffrey Epstein's many accusers is revealing new details about her alleged sexual abuse by Britain's Prince Andrew. BLACKWELL: Virginia Roberts Giuffre, says that she was forced to have sex with the Prince when she was 17 years old. The court documents show that you Giuffre accused Epstein of keeping her as a teenage sex slave. Epstein died in - by suicide in jail in August, awaiting trial on charges that he abused underage girls.

Last night Giuffre shared her claims about Prince Andrew. Watch.


VIRGINIA ROBERTS GIUFFRE, JEFFREY EPSTEIN ACCUSER: He was an abuser. He was a participant. The first time in London I was so young, Ghislaine woke me up in the morning and said "you are 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.

Prince Andrew got me alcohol. It was in the VIP section. It was - I'm pretty sure it was vodka. Prince Andrew is like "let's dance together" and I was like, "OKAY". And we leave Club Tramp and I'd 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 that it ever happened, but he knows the truth and I know the truth.


BLACKWELL: Buckingham Palace previously released a statement on the 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 Giuffre. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."


PAUL: So I want to show you some of these large crowds of students who walked out of their schools to demand action on climate change. This was happening, as you can see, in all the different windows there on your screen, places not just around our country but around the world.

There were huge turnouts from New York to Berlin and organizers saying this was the biggest climate change demonstration they've had so far.

BLACKWELL: Yes. What the students really want - most of them at least is a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. CNN's Bill Weir was there with the protesters.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): With crowds big enough to choke world capitals-- GRETA THUNBERG, CLIMATE ACTIVIST: We need to do this now.

WEIR (voice over): --and more intimate protests in countless places in between. Millions rallied from Mother Nature.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you want?

CROWD: Climate action.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When do we want it?


WEIR (voice over): --and against the human nature that's making her sick. It will go down as the biggest one-day environmental protest in history and leading the way the smallest among them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm so amazed about how many youth came out. It's so empowering.

THUNBERG: This is the biggest climate strike ever in history


THUNBERG: And we will not just stand aside and watch. We are united behind the science and we will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse.


WEIR (voice over): It was about a year ago when Swedish teen Greta Thunberg turned her depression over the climate crisis into action. Striking from school and shaming every grown-up who would listen.

THUNBERG: And I thank you many of you here today that belong to that group of people--

WEIR (voice over): It was lonely at first, but not anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seeing her had really empowered me and made me know what I had to do to fight the climate crisis.

THUNBERG: I am from Sweden.

WEIR (voice over): The teen activist was on Capitol Hill this week, at times arguing with Republican Congressman.

JAMIE MARGOLIN, CLIMATE ACTIVIST AND ZERO HOUR CO-FOUNDER: That is shameful and that is cowardly and there is no excuse to not take action--

WEIR: And it only fired you up more. It feels like it fueled more of this?

MARGOLIN: It did. It did fuel up more of this. And I saw, like, after the testimony I got so much amazing responses on social media and like more people turned out to the strike because of it. They were telling me like you know I saw your testimony and now I'm going to come to strike. So it's really amazing to be able to turn - to be able to turn a situation of a frustration into one of hope and action.


WEIR (voice over): But the day drew more than just children. William K. Reilly, was the Head of the EPA under the first President Bush, worked for Nixon when public support for the environment was bipartisan. But he worries those days are gone.

WILLIAM REILLY, FORMER ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: That the prospect that it's already too late to avoid a two to three percent centigrade increase is undeniable. I think that's going to happen.

WEIR (voice over): There's no debating it was big, but when it comes to changing laws and human habits, was it big enough? The young organizers would say it is way too early to tell.

THUNBERG: We are not just some young people skipping school or some adults who are not going to work. We are a wave of change.


WEIR (voice over): They bow, but this is just the beginning. Bill Weir, CNN, New York.



PAUL: 80th Anniversary of D.C. Comic's iconic masked superhero today.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and cities across the globe are beaming up the infamous bat signal. This is Tokyo just a few minutes ago. Fans dressed up as their favorite batman characters. Cities across Europe, Los Angeles and of course, the Gotham headquarters in New York City, they celebrated too. D.C. comics and CNN are both part of the Warner Media family.


BLACKWELL: Thanks for joining us, we'll be back at 10:00.

PAUL: SMERKONISH is up next.