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NEW DAY SATURDAY
CNN Exclusive: Giuliani Pushed Trump Administration To Grant A Visa To Ukrainian Official Promising Dirt On Democrats; Energy Department Won't Comply With House Subpoenas; Mulvaney Heads To Camp David To Meet With GOP Lawmakers; Trump Claims Mulvaney "Clarified" Quid Pro Quo Admission; Frustration At The White House As Investigation Grows; WAPO: Career Diplomat George Kent Testifies He Raised Concerns About Hunter Biden's Ukraine Work In 2015; McConnell Slams Trump For Syria Troop Withdrawal; Trump Touts Ceasefire With Turkey As "Tremendous Success"; Clashes Continue In Syria Despite U.S.-Brokered Ceasefire Deal; Clinton Suggests Russians "Grooming" Tulsi Gabbard; Stein: Clinton "Peddling Conspiracy Theories To Justify Her Failure"; Tropical Storm Nestor Soaks Florida's Gulf Coast; Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. Pleads Not Guilty To New Sex Abuse Charges; Temporary Restraining Order Delays Burial For Atatiana Jefferson. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired October 19, 2019 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giuliani wanted to get Shokin a visa. The State Department rejected that request. Then Giuliani went around the State Department and urged the White House to grant him the visa.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a terrible witch-hunt. This is so bad for our country.
JOHN KASICH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF OHIO: If you're asking me if I was sitting in the House of Representatives today and you were to ask me how, do I feel I think impeachment should move forward, my vote would be yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton and Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii congresswoman who is running for president, got into an unexpected and aggressive back-and-forth on Friday with the former Democratic nominee accusing Gabbard of being groomed by the Russians to be a third party candidate.
HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She's the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.
TULSI GABBARD, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Finally she has come out from behind the curtain and made very clear that this is about a race between Hillary Clinton and myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. I'm Victor Blackwell.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: We start this morning with new exclusive CNN reporting. Sources tell us that President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, asked the State Department and then the White House to grant a visa to a former Ukrainian official who promised dirt on Democrats. Viktor Shokin never did get that visa to enter the U.S., but Giuliani has previously said he wanted to interview Shokin in person because he said he had damaging information on the president's political rivals.
WALKER: The Energy Department won't play ball with House Democrats. In a letter, the department says it will not comply with the impeachment subpoenas because they deal with confidential information. We don't know yet if departing energy secretary Rick Perry will cooperate.
BLACKWELL: And John Kasich is joining the few Republicans who are criticizing President Trump. The former Ohio Governor says he now supports moving forward on impeachment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASICH: But if you're asking me if I was sitting in the House of Representatives today and you were to ask me how do I feel, do I think impeachment should move forward and should go for a full examination and a trial in the United States Senate, my vote would be yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: All right. Let's get back now to the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. CNN has learned that he appears to be even more involved in trying to dig up dirt on Democrats than previously was thought.
BLACKWELL: A career diplomat testified this week that Giuliani asked the White House to intervene after a Ukrainian official was denied a U.S. visa. CNN's Manu Raju has more.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. New details about how Rudy Giuliani used his influence to try to get dirt on Joe Biden, then later tried to push the federal government to reverse a decision that it had made. Now, according to testimony that George Kent, a career diplomat, gave to congressional investigators earlier in the week, we are told from four sources familiar with that testimony that Kent had actually objected to Giuliani's efforts to try to get a visa for Viktor Shokin who's a former Ukrainian prosecutor who Biden tried to get removed from that post.
Giuliani wanted to get Shokin a visa. The State Department rejected that request and Giuliani went around the State Department and urged the White House to grant him the visa. Now, the visa was never granted and Giuliani carried out subsequent interview which Shokin via Skype and those interviews form the basis of a number of records that had dirt on not just the Bidens, but also Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. A lot of these allegations unsubstantiated, but nevertheless Giuliani took those records to the State Department, asked the State Department to investigate. Later, those were turned over to the Inspector General of the State Department who turned it over to Capitol Hill to further investigate this matter.
Now, Shokin has accused Marie Yovanovitch for being too close to Joe Biden, which is one reason why that he was seeking her removed from the post. President Trump removed her from that post as well after Giuliani had targeted her and that has caused much controversy in the previous weeks and months, causing the resignation of at least one high-level advisor who was concerned that she was being unfairly targeted for political reasons.
But all of this, Giuliani's efforts form the basis of what the whistleblower complaint that the president used his office to try to benefit himself politically and try to urge a foreign government to investigate and dig up dirt on a political rival and of course that forms the basis of the Democrats impeachment inquiry and this is just another detail that shows the depth of Giuliani's efforts to drive U.S. policy towards Ukraine. Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.
BLACKWELL: The Department of Energy says it will not comply with subpoenas from three House committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry.
[06:05:03] Rick Perry, who resigned as Energy Secretary, he will leave by the end of the year, will not say if he's going to testify. He said yesterday that his resignation had nothing to do with Ukraine.
WALKER: And we've also learned that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is going to Camp David this weekend to meet with GOP lawmakers. The president, meanwhile, is staying in Washington and that is where we find our Kristen Holmes. Yes, Kristen, what's with the Camp David getaway this weekend? Is the White House trying to come up with a game plan and -- I don't know -- get everyone on the same page?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORESPONDENT: Good morning, Amara and Victor. Well, we don't know yet the official reason. We're waiting for some kind of description from the White House, but I can tell you this. This trip comes after another stunning week here in Washington, including an admission from that acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who said to reporters in front of cameras on the record that, in fact, asking Ukraine to get dirt to investigate Democrats was a factor in holding up millions of dollars in aids to that country.
Now, when he was told you are describing a quid pro quo, this is what Mick Mulvaney said to that. He said, "We do that all the time with foreign policy. Get over it." This of course contradicts what the president has been saying about that phone call, about his relationship with Ukraine for weeks. Shortly after the news briefing, we did get a statement from Mulvaney. It was a little bit of a clean- up on aisle five saying that of course there was absolutely no quid pro quo, but again, he was talking about the comments that he had made on camera on the record to reporters there. And the statement came as we were hearing that President Trump was not happy with that news briefing and the coverage it was receiving, but when we asked President Trump what he thought about those comments, here's what he had to say about it.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you want to clarify what Mick Mulvaney said yesterday? Was the aid claimed (ph) ...
TRUMP: I think he -- I think he clarified it. This is the witch hunt. You know, their Crooked Schiff (ph) is coming after the Republican Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Yes. So he clarified it, but that explanation was not good enough for Democrats on the hill, as well as many Republicans who said this was a huge cause for concern. So again, while we are waiting for the official word on what this trip to Camp David is going to be about, we can be pretty sure that this is likely to come up.
WALKER: Yes. Yes. And of course the fall-out will continue from Mulvaney's stunning admission. Kristen Holmes, appreciate you. Thanks.
BLACKWELL: Let's bring in Emily Larsen now, political reporter for the "Washington Examiner." Emily, good morning to you.
EMILY LARSEN, POLITICAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So let's start here with Rudy Giuliani, his attempt to secure this visa for Viktor Shokin, this former Ukrainian prosecutor. It was rejected, but it does expose another detail of how much both the State Department and the White House knew about his effort to get some foreign help on this election. How problematic is it for Giuliani and for those around the president?
LARSEN: Well, certainly it is problematic for Giuliani. He has sort of been at the center of this whole impeachment inquiry and I think one thing that is interesting about it is that it exposes just how deep he was and how early he was, this was in January of this year, working on this effort to try and get and dig up some dirt about Joe Biden and some political rivals.
And so that's one other thing, but another thing is that a big thing about Rudy Giuliani is the Republicans have been saying that maybe, you know, Giuliani has kind of just gone off the rails, he is trying to do all of these independent investigations, but we've got some new details this week not only with this new revelation about the visa, but also with some testimony this week noting that President Trump actually had asked Giuliani or had directed the E.U. ambassador to talk to Giuliani ...
LARSEN: ... about some of these investigations. And so it's all getting connected here and I don't think that anybody can say that Giuliani was doing this alone.
BLACKWELL: Now, speaking of this testimony, the Energy Department has now informed Congress that Secretary Perry would not comply with the subpoena to supply documents and communications. They pulled the line from the president's letter earlier this month claiming that the inquiry lacks legitimate constitutional foundation, pretense of fairness, due process. Is that claim as potent after now I guess a half dozen current administration officials either have or will soon cooperate?
LARSEN: Well, I think the whole White House and administration plan to sort of stonewall these investigations could backfire on them depending on how the impeachment inquiry goes. I mean, for the whole Russian investigation, the stonewalling and not revealing documents and everything turned out to be an effective strategy because it dragged on so long that people lost interest and it ended up being something about the past.
[06:10:08] But if we're looking toward the future here and what this investigation will mean about the future, I think that it could be detrimental for them, especially as so many other officials ...
LARSEN: ... are cooperating and being more willing so (ph) because of the weight of this impeachment inquiry.
BLACKWELL: I want you to listen here to Republican Congressman Francis Rooney. This is in reaction to what we heard from Mick Mulvaney earlier this week.
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FRANCIS ROONEY, (R) FLORIDA: Whatever might have been gray and unclear before is certainly quite clear right now. But I'm very mindful of the fact that back during Watergate, everybody said, oh, it's a witch hunt to get Nixon. Turns out it wasn't a witch hunt. It was absolutely correct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Rooney isn't committed to this being an impeachable offense, but without the no quid pro quo mantra, what are Republicans who want to defend the president left with?
LARSEN: Well, I think that's a -- the no quid pro pro thing, I think that there are some Republicans certainly still clinging to that, especially some who are kind of higher up in leadership, but for the rank-and-file, some of these other House Republicans and even Senate Republicans, it's going to be interesting to think I see -- see what the Senate Republicans like those in states that are trying to hold on to their seats next year are going to do ...
BLACKWELL: Yes. So those vulnerable Republicans.
LARSEN: The vulnerable Republicans. I think that those are going to be more interesting than what we're seeing from a couple of maybe stragglers in the GOP who might support an impeachment inquiry, but the Senate Republicans, the Senate is preparing for this to go to a Senate trial and they're going to be key to this.
BLACKWELL: Yes. More than -- maybe longer than some initially expected that Mitch McConnell would allow this to go. Emily Larsen, good to have you.
LARSEN: Thank you.
WALKER: "The Washington Post" is reporting that career diplomat George Kent raised concerns about Vice President Joe Biden's son back in early 2015. "The Post" says Kent told congressional investigators that he was concerned about Hunter Biden's work with the Ukrainian energy company, saying that Biden's work could complicate American efforts to convey to the Ukraine the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest.
"The Post" reports that the vice president's office responded to Kent's concerns and they said Biden did not have the bandwidth to address the situation while his other son was battling brain cancer.
BLACKWELL: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggests that the Russians are grooming a Democratic presidential candidate, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. We'll tell you how she's responding to those allegations.
WALKER: Plus, Tropical Storm Nestor is hitting Florida's Gulf Coast this morning with heavy rain and wind. We will take you there live.
BLACKWELL: And a blistering op-ed from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on why he thinks it is a grave mistake for the U.S. to pull out of northern Syria. Plus, a live update from the Turkey-Syria border next.
BLACKWELL: There is some sharp criticism coming from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. this is over the situation at the Turkey-Syria border. After speaking with Vice President Mike Pence, McConnell called the administration's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria a grave strategic mistake.
WALKER: In "The Washington Post" op-ed McConnell wrote this, "As neo- isolationism rears its head on both the left and the right, we can expect to hear more talk of endless wars, but rhetoric cannot change the fact that wars do not just end. Wars are won or lost."
BLACKWELL: He went on to say that the decision will leave the American people less safe, embolden our enemies and weaken important alliances.
WALKER: Meanwhile, the U.S. and Turkey announced a five-day ceasefire in fighting in northern Syria. President Trump touted the agreement as a tremendous success despite reports of possible violation.
BLACKWELL: And this week he said both the Turkish president and Kurdish forces were happy with the arrangement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is an amazing outcome. This was something that they've been trying to get for 10 years. You would have lost millions and millions of lives. They couldn't get it without a little rough love, as I called it. The Kurds are very happy, Turkey is very happy, the United States is very happy and you know what? Civilization is very happy. It's a great thing for civilization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Now let's go now to CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon. She's near the Turkey-Syria border. Arwa, Turkey and Syria are each accusing the other of violating this so-called ceasefire. What are you seeing there?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, we're getting various reports of some violations taking place, the accusations coming, as you were mentioning there, from both sides, but at this stage, none of these violations, it would seem, severe enough to cause this ceasefire, as the Americans call it, or pause, as the Turks refer to it, to entirely collapse at this stage.
What we are hearing, though, is increasing concern being voiced by various humanitarian organizations over the lack of access to areas where pitched battles were taking place and a growing concern potentially for the civilian populations that remain in these areas as well as the inability to reach the wounded.
There are a couple of issues that are worth bringing up, though, at this stage. First of all, that statement you heard from President Trump, the Kurds are not happy with what took place. The Kurds inside northern Syria have, in fact, lost severely because, as you'll remember, after the Americans withdrew and once they realized that the Americans would not be coming in to save them, they turned to Damascus and now you have a dynamic where the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are taking up their positions as well along the border and are taking control of some key towns.
The Kurds used to enjoy, up until this point with the start of the Syrian Revolution turned civil war back in 2011, a relative degree of autonomy. They had a fairly strong bargaining hand when the inevitable deal would be struck with Damascus. Now their hand is severely weakened. The territory they directly control is severely weakened.
Turkey can live with this scenario. Turkey, in fact, President Erdogan himself has said that he is OK if it is the regime forces who end up eventually, after presumably negotiations will be undertaken through Moscow between Damascus and Ankara.
But Turkish President Recep Erdogan saying that they are OK with regime forces being along the border.
Here's the other issue and this is why Americans and international viewers should be concerned. The Kurds used to protect the ISIS camps as well as the ISIS prisons and they were still fighting going after ISIS sleeper cells. They had the backing of America. Now they are going to be presumably continuing to undertake this perhaps with their regime and the Russians and that can be used as leverage.
WALKER: Just incredible. So many winners in terms of the bad actors who are winning in this hasty withdrawal by the U.S. and of course, U.S. losing big along with the Kurds. Arwa Damon, appreciate you joining us there near the Turkish-Syrian border. Thanks so much.
BLACKWEL: Bit of a change in legal strategy for one of the parents tied to the College Admission scandal. Why he's now deciding to plead guilty, we'll talk about that and this week's other big legal stories coming up.
WALKER: Welcome back, everyone. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims the Russians are grooming Tulsi Gabbard for a third party run.
BLACKWELL: The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee says the Russians want the Democrat to run as a third party candidate in order to push their agenda. CNN's Dan Merica has more.
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Hillary Clinton and Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii congresswoman who is running for president, got into an unexpected and aggressive back-and-forth on Friday with the former Democratic nominee accusing Gabbard of being groomed by the Russians to be a third party candidate in the 2020 election, an effort that she says is aimed at taking down the Democratic nominee in the 2020 election.
Now, this is a charge that Gabbard has denied before and she did it again on Friday. Take a listen to what Hillary Clinton, though, had to say on a podcast interview that was released on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third party candidate. She's the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MERICA: Now, you'll note that Clinton did not say Gabbard's name during that interview, but it's not hard to figure out that that is exactly who she was talking about. The congresswoman has fought back charges like this before. There are experts that note Russian propaganda and news outlets talk about her more and the fact that some moments in her campaign are trumpeted by bots and trolls on Twitter that have ties to Russian efforts.
Now, Gabbard has ruled out a third party bid. She did so here on CNN earlier this year and she did not take this charge from Clinton lying down. Here's what she had to say while in Iowa in response to what Clinton said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABBARD: Finally she has come out from behind the curtain and made very clear that this is about a race between Hillary Clinton and myself. She is doing this because it's very clear to her that she knows she can't control me, that if I'm elected president, then she will not be able to come in and try to influence or manipulate me or the policies that I will lead forward for our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MERICA: Now, Gabbard, despite being a Democrat, has railed against the party in the past so it stands to reason that this back and forth with Hillary Clinton, the former standard bearer of the party, will play into that messaging. for Hillary Clinton, this is what she has thought for a long time about Russian interests and the 2016 election. she believes that Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate from the 2016 election, hurt her in key states and that is why she is speaking out now.
It is certainly different than the type of rhetoric we heard during the 2016 campaign, but she is not running for anything and she is largely thrown caution to the wind on this book tour that she's on right now. Dan Merica, CNN.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Dan. And CNN Political Commentator, Van Jones, he weighed in on Clinton's comments. He criticized the former Secretary of State for spreading disinformation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If you're concerned about disinformation, if you're concerned what the Russians do is they spread disinformation, they get us divided against each other, that is what just happened. Just throw out some information, disinformation, smear somebody. She's a former nominee of our party and she just came out against a sitting U.S. Congresswoman, a decorated war veteran and somebody who's running for the nomination of our party with just a complete smear and no facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Well, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in both the 2012 and 2016 elections, was also accused by Clinton of being a Russian asset. She responded to Clinton's latest comments on Gabbard saying, "It is a shame HRC," Hillary Rodham Clinton, "is peddling conspiracy theories to justify her failure instead of reflecting on real reasons Dems lost in 2016. You can slander progressives as Russian assets, but you can't hide the
fact that the DNC sabotaged Sanders and elevated Trump to set the stage for HRC."
BLACKWELL: And Jill Stein will be on "SMERCONISH" in about two and a half hours from now to talk about all of this. We'll hear her response to Secretary Clinton's allegations in person. "SMERCONISH" starts at 9:00 A.M. Eastern right here on CNN.
WALKER: All right. Coming up, heavy winds and dangerous storm surges are slamming Florida's Gulf Coast right now. Our own Nick Valencia is there.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORESPONDENT: Hey there, Amara. Tropical Storm Nestor is moving fast and is expected to make landfall any minute now. I'm Nick Valencia in Panama City Beach. Coming up after the break, we'll tell you how residents in the Panhandle are preparing and what they should expect in the coming hours. You're watching CNN's NEW DAY on Saturday.
WALKER: A tropical storm is soaking Florida this morning and could bring some dangerous storm surges in the next few hours. At last check, Tropical Storm Nestor had winds of about 50 miles per hour as it approaches Florida's Gulf Coast. And now, there's also concern for tornadoes later today.
BLACKWELL: All right, let's go now to CNN correspondent Nick Valencia along Panama City Beach. I can see from this monitor that you're not getting soaked. Give me an idea of how things are there and when you're expecting to see some of this rain?
VALENCIA: Well, right now, it's just a light drizzle. Tropical Storm Nestor is expected to make landfall in this area, in the panhandle. But right now, as it stands, Victor and Amara, it seems as though central Florida is getting the worst of it right now from those outer bands that are coming in.
We have to underscore the anxiety among residents here in this area because if only about a year ago, Hurricane Michael devastated parts of the panhandle. You remember how devastated Mexico City Beach was as a result of that hurricane. We should mention Tropical Storm Nestor not expected to intensify into a hurricane before it makes landfall.
In fact, the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Weather Center has it downgraded and losing some of its tropical storm characteristics. You mentioned those 50-mile per hour gusts of wind, yesterday it was packing 60-mile per hours. And I just want you to look behind me here. This storm surge is what officials are really concerned about, up to 5 feet of storm surge, and also parts of the southeast will experience heavy bands of rain. I mentioned central Florida getting it right now, the Tampa area, the
Orlando area, forecasters predicting up to 2 to 5 inches of rain in the southeast and parts of -- places like the Carolinas could expect 8 inches of rain.
And that is a sort of welcome news because those areas have gone through drought. It is now time to let your guard down though. As I mentioned, Nestor is expected to make landfall soon. Right now though, Panama City Beach just getting that light drizzle, guys.
WALKER: All right, so far, so good for you, Nick. Thanks so much for that. Let's get to CNN's meteorologist Allison Chinchar in the CNN Weather Center. Allison, what can we expect from this storm? We just heard from Nick, that the storm surge seems to be the bigger concern here.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, METEOROLOGIST: Especially where he's located, yes, but farther east, rain is going to be the biggest concern. Take, for example, a city like Tampa, which has just being dumped on with tremendously heavy rain right now. Same thing for a city like Orlando and Fort Myers because this is where the bulk of the showers and thunderstorm activity is.
Winds right now still sustained at 50 miles per hour, forward movement to the northeast at 17 miles per hour. But here's the thing. We are at high tide right now, especially for places like Apalachicola and along this big bend area of Florida where we could expect 3 to 5 feet of storm surge, 2 to 4 feet in the Orange area and about 1 to 3 feet the closer you get towards Tampa.
But the growing concern at this hour is the threat for tornadoes. This is a tornado watch that's in effect until noon Eastern Time today. This does include places like Tampa, Orlando, Daytona Beach, and even Fort Myers. I want to point out that we have had damage reports in Polk County, that's according to the National Weather service there consistent with a tornado.
We've had several tornado warnings already this morning, that is likely going to continue today. This is a look at the severe threat for today. This yellow area indicating that slight risks, that includes places like Tampa, Orlando, but notice how it also goes up the East Coast too. You're talking cities like Savannah, Charleston, Hilton Head, even up around Wilmington, North Carolina where that threat for damaging winds and tornados does exist.
The track, because it's such a fast-moving storm, has it already out to sea by Sunday afternoon. So, this is a very rapid storm. With that said, it still has time to dump a tremendous amount of rain, not just in Florida, but also Georgia as well as the Carolinas. Widespread announced, likely about 2 to 4 inches, but there will be some spots to pick up in excess of 6 inches.
I want to point out too, see down here by Tampa and Orlando, it may not look like that much, Victor and Amara, but that's because 2.5 inches of rain has already fallen at Tampa's airport. So, now, you're just adding additional rain on top of what has already fallen.
BLACKWELL: Yes, quick-moving storms far better than those storms that kind of sit there and dump over those --
CHINCHAR: Yes --
BLACKWELL: Low-lying areas of Florida. Allison, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Cuba Gooding Jr. is facing serious legal trouble. Now, he's denying new sex abuse charges, and more women may be allowed to testify against him. We'll talk about this case and the week's other big legal stories coming up.
WALKER: Also the funeral for the woman shot and killed in her home by a Fort Worth police officer is put on hold. Why Atatiana Jefferson's father asked for a restraining order to stop it from going forward today.
BLACKWELL: A family disagreement is putting a pause on the funeral service and burial of the Fort Worth, Texas, woman who was shot and killed by a police officer while she was in her home. The father of Atatiana Jefferson was granted a temporary restraining order to delay the funeral and burial.
It was originally scheduled for today. And Marquis Jefferson says that he was blocked by the family from having a role and planning the services and made the move over concerns money was being raised inappropriately in the family's name. A private wake was held last night, but without Jefferson's body because of the order. There will be a hearing on Monday to decide whether the restraining order should continue.
WALKER: Three parents tied to the college admissions scandal are changing their pleas to guilty. Among them is Douglas Hodge; the former CEO of an investment management company is accused of paying the scheme's mastermind more than $500,000 to help his son and daughter get into the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits.
Let's discuss with Janet Johnson, she's a Criminal Defense Attorney. Janet, welcome, so tell us more about what's behind this change in legal strategy. I mean, is this in hopes of getting a lesser sentence by pleading guilty?
JANET JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, good morning, Amara, exactly. You know, in federal court, prosecutors have a 93 percent conviction rate. So, most of the parents are going to fall in line and end up pleading guilty. The interesting thing about Hodge is, he's part of this group of 20 or so parents that initially pled not guilty and found themselves charged with additional counts. And for him and Lori Loughlin, who everyone has heard of, it's
conspiracy to commit money laundering. So, other lawyers and other defenders are going to be very interested in what he gets, to see if he gets more than the four months, which is the most that's been handed out so far, and if everyone else is going to end up pleading or if there's going to be any trials in this case.
WALKER: We know Felicity Huffman got 14 days behind bars, and I think the understanding is that Lori Loughlin, prosecutors will be seeking a much higher prison sentence for her. Do you expect her to try to change her plea, is it too late for her?
JOHNSON: Well, I think her lawyer is probably sitting down with her and her husband and saying, look, everyone is falling in line, you don't want to be the lone person hanging out there. And this judge has been very methodical in giving people sort of a proportionate sentence so that people who got 14 days, the next group got four months.
It's going to go up as the defendants plead because they're charged with more serious things. Lori Loughlin, if she goes to trial, she won't get credit if she's convicted for having cooperated, for having taking responsibility. I think her lawyers are going to have a serious, you know, sort of heart-to-heart with her, saying, you want to do what these other parents are doing.
WALKER: Yes, I'd imagine so. Well, we do want to warn -- remind you, I should say, to join CNN's Fareed Zakaria, and I want to remind you to join him as he investigates big money and college admissions, a CNN special report "SCHEME & SCANDAL: INSIDE THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CRISIS", that airs tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.
All right, Janet, let's move now to the legal troubles for Cuba Gooding Jr. and the Oscar-winning actor is not -- is pleading not guilty to new sex abuse charges. And prosecutors want 12 other women who accuse Gooding Jr. of sexual misconduct to be allowed to testify in his trial.
So, Janet, Gooding Jr.'s lawyer blames the Me Too movement for what's happening to his client. Let's take a listen to that first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are so surprised that this case is going forward, and it is only indicative of the hysteria and unusual environment and climate that exists today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Women coming out and being bold is hysteria and unusual environment. Yes, what do you make of what his lawyer had to say in the case that's being made against Cuba Gooding Jr.?
JOHNSON: I hope he doesn't have any women on his jury when he goes to trial. I think hysteria and you know, those are not words that most women want to hear when they come forward and claim or, you know, have substantiated claims that they were sexually assaulted or discriminated against.
It's a heavy-handed tactic by the prosecutors, I will give him that. These are two misdemeanor counts, they're four counts, but they're misdemeanors that he's charged with to bring 12 women from all over the country who basically say that he groped them in a bar in a similar situation.
That may be a little bit over the top, but you know, if you think back to the Bill Cosby trial, that's exactly how he was convicted. They had other women come forward who said he did the exact same thing to me, this is his modus operandi. He wasn't, you know, accidentally touching these women in these clubs, is what the prosecution would argue.
So, you should consider what happened to them as evidence that he did it in this case. I mean, it might work, but it is a little bit over-kill for misdemeanor charges. I think that might have been the better way to say it.
WALKER: Oh, all right, and finally, Janet, a former Nazi guard is going on trial in Germany on charges of being an accessory to murder of more than 5,000 people. The 93-year-old is being tried in a youth court, a youth court, because he was just 17 when he joined the SS as a concentration camp guard.
And this is one of a handful of cases where Germany is trying former Nazis or Nazi officials. What are the chances that this guard will face justice so many years later, and what would justice look like for someone who is old as 93 years old?
JOHNSON: Yes, I mean, they must struggle with that. He's facing ten years, which obviously ten years in prison for 93-year-old is a life sentence. You know, he's not expected to live -- he's already probably exceeded his life expectancy. The last change in Germany so that they could try people for murder or for accessory without them being directly responsible for the deaths.
And that's why you see -- there's some other people at this age that are also on trial. I'm sure in Germany, they struggled with that. In America, we also have laws where an older person can be charged as a juvenile if the crime was committed when he was a juvenile. You know, I think just having this reckoning, he's only going to be able to sit for two hours at a time because of his age and his health.
But their families and their survivors, just having a day in court. I think Germany and the officials have said that's symbolic, that's important. Whether he ever sets foot in a prison, probably not. But having a conviction and having a trial, I think survivors need that and it's an important part of our history especially this moment in history in the world.
WALKER: Yes, having a trial this many years later may add to closure for some of the victims -- JOHNSON: Yes --
WALKER: Of the horrible holocaust, I appreciate you joining us, Janet Johnson, thank you very much --
JOHNSON: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right, it's game day out on the planes of Oklahoma, and Coy Wire is in Norman, Oklahoma. Coy, good morning.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Shake your pom-pom, shake your pom- pom, shake your pom-pom, Victor, happy college football Saturday. We're in the land of Heisman Trophy winners to hear talks on touchdowns, Tailgates and more coming up on NEW DAY.
WALKER: The Yankees keep their World Series dreams alive by getting to a future hall of fame early.
BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is in Norman, Oklahoma for some football, but we're going to start with baseball. Coy?
WIRE: Good morning, Victor and Amara. This was a must-win game five for the Yankees in New York, and they pulled it off. The crowd anxious though after the Astros scored one run in the first, and then for the first time in Yankees post-season history, the Bronx Bombers hit two home runs in the first inning. DJ LeMahieu's solo shot followed by this.
WIRE: Aaron Hicks who had surgery on his elbow spent two months at home, but then perseveres for this moment, a three-run shot off Justin Verlander, giving the Yankees the 4-1 lead, they maintained for the rest of the game. Near 50,000 fans erupting over Hicks' first home run since July. He said after the game that he never would have dreamed this could happen.
Yankees players saying they feel like they have the momentum now. New York's hopes still alive as the Astros series lead is cut to 3-2 with the action moving back to Houston for game six, that is tonight. Now, we are in Norman, Oklahoma, as Victor said, home of the Heisman Trophy winners, and home to one of the top Heisman contenders this season.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts could keep this machine rolling but he had some stiff competition including number four Ohio state's Justin Fields; the Buckeye's sophomore quarterback torched a northwestern squad on the road last night, throwing for four touchdowns against the Wildcats before the backups came in. Ohio state wins 52-3, they're 7- 0 on the season. Fields has thrown for 18 touchdowns and scored for eight more on the ground, solidifying himself as a strong Heisman contender.
Speaking of Heisman winners, we are having a great privilege this morning of having to be joined by Billy Sims, one of the seven Heisman Trophy winners that have come from the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Sims, thank you for being here. What was it like at that moment when you won your Heisman?
BILLY SIMS, RETIRED AMERICAN FOOTBALL PLAYER: Well, I was actually in class back in 1978, and my roommate came and told me that I had won the Heisman. And I was hour late in getting there because my professor didn't care who won the Heisman.
I tell you what --
WIRE: I need to hear the rest of this story --
SIMS: Oh, yes --
WIRE: We've got to come back for more on this and for more of your barbecue from the gridiron to the grilled this morning, we're going to be having fun all morning for our Tums ultimate Tailgate. Victor, Amara.
BLACKWELL: I love that, "I was in class." Listen, I had stuff to do other than. All right, Coy, thank you so much.
WALKER: Thank you. More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world's oceans every year.
BLACKWELL: So, this week's CNN hero is trying to solve really a global problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole beach was like a carpet of plastic. For the first time in my life, I didn't want to be near the water because the garbage was like 5.5 feet. This problem of pollution is created by us. And with this in my mind, I started to clean the beach. And I told myself it will be difficult for a single man to do it.
So, I said, why not take this personal journey to others. If this huge ocean is in a problem, we'll have to rise up in huge numbers. When you have complicated problems, sometimes solutions are simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: To see the full story, go to cnnheroes.com.
WALKER: And the next hour of your new day is coming up after a short break.