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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Judge Rules House Investigators Can See Mueller Grand Jury Docs; Trump Likens Probe To Unfair Treatment Of African America; Ambassador Philip Reeker Set To Testify Today In Impeachment Probe; Millions Facing Critical Fire Threat In California; Astros Bounce Back To Take World Series; New Bribery Charges Filed In College Admissions Scandal; Colorado Woman Charged In "Make-A-Wish" Daughter's Death; Pastor's Mission To Teach Democrats How To Court Evangelicals. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired October 26, 2019 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five more witnesses coming up; another witness on Saturday.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I take that (INAUDIBLE) impeachment, this is the only way they're going to win. They've got nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to put a time limit on but I think we're close.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to dot the Is and cross the Ts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please stay home unless you're being evacuated. Stay off the highways so that emergency vehicles can get around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This World Series, these are two really, really talented teams, really good teams, really driven teams. It takes four wins, and no one's got it yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Seven o'clock on the dot. You're up early for a Saturday but we're glad for it. I'm Christi Paul.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell.
PAIL: So good to have you here. So, our top stories today. Pretty unique Saturday, today, because there could be a deposition on Capitol Hill.
SAVIDGE: Ambassador Philip Reeker is set to appear before three House committees today at 11:00 EST, top State Department official who oversees U.S. policy in Europe and Eurasia. If he testifies, Reeker would be the latest career diplomat who has complied with a House subpoena to appear specifically going against the expressed wishes of the White House. PAUL: And on the West Coast, PG&E may shut off power to nearly two
million customers in California. That's to prevent a "catastrophic wildfire." This planned power outrage could last for several days, we're hearing.
SAVIDGE: D.C. was buzzing last night as Washington fans watched their beloved Nationals in the World Series. It didn't quite go as planned, Andy?
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Martin. First World Series game here in Washington, D.C., in 86 years, but the Astros ruining all the fun. We'll show you how game three unfolded coming up.
PAUL: All right. Back to the political arena we go here. Federal judge has ruled the impeachment inquiry being held right now in Congress is legitimate. Now, this is seen by many as a major victory for the Democrats and significantly under cuts the Republican argument that the process itself is just invalid.
SAVIDGE: The same judge also ordered the Justice Department give Congress grand jury information that had been redacted from the Mueller report. She ruled that that information is in the public interest and should be released.
PAUL: Our Kristen Holmes is at the White House right now. So, the president, I know, Kristen, is pushing this message that he's being treated unfairly. Is there any indication that's resonating?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Martin. Well, it really depends on who you ask. You know, earlier in the week, I was in Pittsburgh at an event of his with some of his most ardent supporters and they did agree with him. They said he was being treated unfairly, that this was a sham. They attacked Democrats.
But if you look a larger picture particularly as we head into 2020, those in independents, those more moderate Republicans that aren't necessarily part of the base, those that are on defense, as you say, this ruling really undermines the idea that he's being treated unfairly and that the process is a sham. But does that mean that President Trump will stop painting himself as a victim? Likely not.
You know, he's been doing this since before he took office back in 2015. That's something he does to really connect himself with the base with people who feel left behind. And he says he's part of this system that's being attacked. And in fact, yesterday, he was at an event touting his criminal justice reform and he seemingly linked himself an impeachment to these past injustices in the legal system. Take a listen.
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TRUMP: In America, you're innocent until proven guilty -- and we don't have investigations in search of that crime. It's a terrible thing. It hurts people very badly and it divides the country. Innocent people are those surrounding innocent people were being destroyed and humiliated. We have so many people that have been hurt, destroyed, and humiliated in ways that we've never seen before in the history of our country.
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HOLMES: So, it is a little unclear here. He seems to be conflating these two things: his impeachment inquiry, as well as these past injustice in the legal system. But one thing is very clear, he is going to stay on that path of saying that he's completely innocent.
SAVIDGE: Kristen, I was talking to Republicans earlier in the week in North Carolina and they're concerned that they believe that the White House is kind of losing the messaging war here. Is that feeling reflecting in the White House itself?
HOLMES: Certainly. It's at the White House and it's on Capitol Hill among Republicans. We've got to keep this in minds, these Republicans who are on the Hill, who support President Trump, a lot of them have been in office for a very long time and they've seen situations like this. And generally, there is a rapid response team, a war room.
President Trump has really not wanted that. He believes that he himself is his own war room. You can see that last night when he went on another Twitter rant. This is how he talks to his base. He basically said my lawyers should sue the Democrats. The entire impeachment scam was based on my perfect Ukrainian call, the Democrats must end this scam now, witch hunt.
But Republicans all across the board here really saying that this is not enough, that they want some sort of strategic messaging here. We know they're looking outside of the White House now to try to find someone who can help with this process.
SAVIDGE: All right, Kristen Holmes at the White House for us this morning, thanks very much.
PAUL: We turn to CNN Political Analyst Toluse Olorunnipa, White House Reporter for the Washington Post. Good to see you, Toluse. Thank you so much for being here.
So, let's talk about this federal judge, first of all that says the impeachment probe is valid. There are documents from the Mueller report that have to be released now. Connect those two things for us because there are people who argue, listen, the Mueller report does not connect to impetus for the impeachment inquiry because that's about the Ukraine call.
TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. This was a case that started several months ago, even before the president's Ukraine call came to light, but it is very much connected to the Democrat's ongoing impeachment inquiry. The White House has said that this impeachment process is illegitimate, that it's not valid. The Republicans have said, you know, Democrats have not held a vote. So, for that reason, the impeachment process is not valid. A judge struck down all of those talking points in this ruling saying, the House does not have to hold a vote in order for an impeachment process to be valid. He said that the Justice Department is wrong in try to block the House from getting information that was part of the Mueller report. So, the judge basically stood up for this impeachment process as the Republicans have called illegitimate and have made all these process arguments against.
It seems like the judge is giving the Democrats a major victory by saying that this impeachment process can go forward and the various information that was in the Mueller report -- some of it actually does relate to Ukraine, so it's possible that some of that redacted information could end up in the final impeachment process, articles that come out of this process. So, they are link and the Democrats took a win out of this ruling and we'll have to see what they do with it going forward.
PAUL: Sure. I want to read from the Washington Post right now that says: "President Trump and his closest advisers now recognize that the snow balling probe poses a serious threat to the president and that they have little power to block it. That's according to multiple aides and advisers." Kristen talked a little about it but what do you know about what's happening behind closed the White House doors right now?
OLORUNNIPA: My colleagues reported that the White House is trying to get up to speed, trying to catch up to this long run progress says. They see how rapidly the Democrats have been able to build a case against the president. They tried to shut this whole thing down a couple of weeks ago with the strongly worded letter from the White House counsel saying that they would not cooperate, but that hasn't worked.
We've seen several career diplomats, several members of the Trump administration go up to Capitol Hill, testify under a threat of subpoena and provide information that is damaging to the president. So, now, they're trying to put together some kind of a messaging apparatus as well as bring on additional lawyers that can help fight back on this issue. Because so far, it's been the president's Twitter account that's been running the messaging and right now it hasn't been very coherent, it hasn't been very consistent, and it hasn't given the Republicans on Capitol Hill a set of talking points that they can use.
So, now the White House is trying to catch up. We'll have to wait and see if they're able to but so far, Democrats have been, sort of, ahead of the game in terms of being able to put together a message that shows that they believe the president abused his power, and the White House has not been able to respond with anything consistent yet.
PAUL: The president has been consistent with the argument that this is a witch hunt. I want you to listen with you here to something that he said yesterday in South Carolina.
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TRUMP: We'll never let up on our efforts to ensure that our justice system is fair for every single American, and I have my own experience, you know that. You see what's going on with the witch hunt. It's an investigation in search of a crime. It's been going on for longer than I'm in office. It's true. And we're working to put an end for everybody to horrible injustice and a horrible practice that we've seen. It's not only here, it's in other places. It's in some pretty high places.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Some people were saying, it seemed he was comparing a witch hunt to African-American experiences, what do you make of that?
OLORUNNIPA: That seems exactly what the president was doing. He does seem to put himself in the middle of any policy discussion or any type of statement that he's making. He relates himself to it. And in this case, he's trying to relate himself to the criminal justice situation that faces a lot of low-income people and a lot of people who are caught up in the system.
The president has said that this actually goes up to the highest levels. He sort of peddling in this conspiracy that he was the victim of this long running plot by the Justice Department to take him down even before he got elected. And since he was elected, even people that he has appointed have tried to plot against his administration.
It is definitely a conspiracy that now he has the Justice Department chasing down with this Barr investigation, but it's hard to draw a link between that and the criminal justice issue that faced people on an everyday basis who get caught up in the system. But the president was trying to make that link there. I'm not sure how well it landed.
It was clear from that room he had a lot of supporters in the room. It was at a historically black college but now we're now hearing that only a handful of actual students from that college were in attendance, instead it was a room packed with the president's own hand-picked supporters. So, that's part of the reason he felt comfortable making that comparison there.
PAUL: OK. Toluse Olorunnipa, always good to have you here. Thank you.
OLORUNNIPA: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: Breaking overnight, a convicted Russian operative just returned home to her country. It was really just a short time ago. Maria Butina arrived in Moscow. The Russian national pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government. She tried to infiltrate conservative political groups and promote Russian interest. After serving more than 15 months behind bars, she was released from a federal Florida prison yesterday and then lo and behold, she appears in Moscow this morning.
PAUL: Well, this weekend firefighters in California are going up against weather conditions that could make their jobs so much tougher, leading to new evacuations as fires threatening homes across the state.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if anybody's up there. I don't know. I don't know if they're helping or putting out the fire. I don't know.
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SAVIDGE: Plus, actress, Felicity Huffman, she's out of jail. She was sentenced to 14 days for her part in the college admissions scandal. Coming up, how she was able to cut three days of her jail time.
PAUL: And the crowd inside Washington (INAUDIBLE) for game three of the World Series. Crazy over some baby sharks.
SAVIDGE: It is shaping up to be another very busy week on Capitol Hill. So, let's sort of explain it all this morning. Lawmakers are expected to hear from Ambassador Philip Reeker. Then on Monday, former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman is scheduled to testify. He's considered a key witness because he listened to the July phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president. But Kupperman has asked (INAUDIBLE) to decide if he must testify in the impeachment probe.
Alexander Vindman, the Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council, he's expected to appear on Tuesday. The following day, lawmakers are expecting to hear from Kathryn Wheelbarger, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. And if subpoenaed, Tim Morrisson, a National Security Council official who has been identified as a key witness in this probe is expected to testify on Thursday.
PAUL: CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is on Capitol Hill with the very latest. So, Suzanne, good to see you this morning, what can you tell us about we are expecting today?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. Hopefully, this is not going to be a regular event, this Saturday morning here -- the hearings -- but it may be, because they are really trying to move this as quickly as possible. And we're going to hear later this morning about 11:00, Ambassador Philip Reeker, behind closed doors to the impeachment inquiry.
He's a top deputy to Secretary Pompeo. He's described as creative, independent, a problem solver, somebody who worked closely with Pompeo but not necessarily in his inner circle. So, we're told that not necessarily to expect some bombshells, perhaps, he will go over some of the material before about U.S. and Ukrainian connections and those kinds of discussions that we've heard off before.
But the Democrats have two areas they want to probe. First, we know through a subordinate and through State Department documents that he was aware that the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, had been the target of a smear campaign if you will. He did defend her; try to shield her from that, who was behind that, what does he know in terms of details.
And the other thing that we do know is that he did tell his subordinate, George Kent, he told him to let go, don't push his concerns about the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Why did he do that? What was behind that? Who was urging him? What kind of signals was he getting behind that? So, those are the two areas, I think, that they're going to explore. And all of this comes, of course, at a time when the Democrats are emboldened.
Good news for them yesterday. A federal judge ruling that this is, in fact, a legal exercise. They do not necessarily have to vote before the full house for an impeachment inquiry for this to be a legitimate exercise. Republicans, as well as the president calling it a sham, a witch hunt, and also the judge said that they would order the Justice Department to release the redacted parts of some of the testimony that the secret grand jury testimony in the Mueller investigation, and that is something that the House Judiciary Committee, has really wanted to get their hands on. Christi?
PAUL: It is. Suzanne Malveaux, appreciate the update this morning. Good to see you. Thanks.
MALVEAUX: You too.
SAVIDGE: California is facing an extreme fire threat this morning. Evacuations were under way and power outages are possible for more than two million people. Now, the weather is making the situation even more serious.
Plus, the Astros spoil a historic night of the nation's capital. How Houston fought back to make this a World Series.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) has gone defend. He's added to the league.
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SAVIDGE: Today, weather conditions could make a tough job even harder for firefighters battling major wildfires in California. Fears are that strong winds and dry conditions could fuel the flames and that's leading to new evacuations in Northern California, and more than two million people could have their power shut off as a precaution.
PAUL: Near Los Angeles, firefighters are keeping an eye on hotspots there that could spark again. Here's CNN's Nick Watt.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Red flag warnings were in place. We knew it was coming, just not where. Ignition point for this one, Tick Canyon Road and the so-called Tick Fire exploded to hit 200 acres in just 20 minutes or so. Homes were lost here in Canyon Country, just north of Los Angeles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't know if anybody's up there. I don't know if they're helping putting out the fire, I don't know. I can see the whole structure's on fire.
WATT: Dry brush, high temperatures and those whipping Santa Ana winds gusting at over 50 miles per hour, pushing the fire forward. Those flames, jumping a major freeway overnight. 10,000 structures endangered, 40,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders.
CAPT. ROBERT LEWIS, SANTA CLARITA VALLEY SHERIFF STATION: We ask that people pay attention to the evacuations. It is mandatory.
WATT: Many, not knowing what they might return to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What they usually suggest they recommend that you do is -- like horses, and livestock is that you just open gates and let them out. And I never got to get up there. Two fire trucks are going up the road.
KATHRYN BARGER, COUNTY SUPERVISOR: It's hard to sit and watch your community burn, but at the same time, we need to listen to our first responders and allow them to do their jobs.
WATT: This just one of nine wildfires right now burning across the Golden State. Up north in Sonoma County, 49 structures destroyed by the Kincade Fire. Nearly 22,000 acres and still burning. Still no cause, but the local utility PG&E has now reported an outage with a high voltage transmission line just seven minutes before this fire broke out and near the point of origin.
BILL JOHNSON, CEO, PG&E: We, still at this point, do not know exactly what happened.
WATT: Hundreds of thousands of Californians had their power shut off in high risk areas in the hopes of preventing breakouts. Right now, across California, thousands of firefighters still fighting flames, still waiting for the next conflagration.
SAVIDGE: Our thanks to Nick Watt for that update on the situation there.
PAUL: Yes, CNN Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera is looking at it as well. What are you seeing in terms of, say, between and Monday because as I understand it, that's how long this is event -- this wind event could last?
IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it's going to be a long 48 hours, no question. The inferno, every year, is ongoing in California. As a matter of fact, I'm surprised they're even at five percent containment just from the pictures we seen from conditions I know are on the ground -- five percent.
By tomorrow this time, probably at 5 percent. You can't contain a fire when you're talking 50 to 70-mile-an-hour winds, and that's going to be in the forecast there -- 23,700 acres. And the Tick Fire, this is going to be an issue, I think, as we head into tomorrow because what's happening is we have a front that's going to be moving through.
As it moves to Northern California today, the winds will begin to pick up. So, we have a fire warning across Northern California. As the front sags to the south, those strong northeasterly winds will come down all the day in the Southern California, so that's for Sunday and that's where we have a watch.
So, it is going to be, again, a long weekend as I mentioned. Take a look at some of the gust here. It's going to be incredible. Of course, the highest gust is going to be at higher terrain, but nevertheless, when it comes down the mountainside, they tend to pick up speed as well so we could be looking at 50, to 60, to even 70-mile- an-hour winds where you see the yellow there.
Again, this is the progression. Watch the front as it comes in. You'll clearly, on the computer model forecast, be able to see. Look at that plume. That is the wind that's going to be coming in as a result of the front moving north to south over the next 24 to 48 hours and this is going to continue for Southern California, by the way, as we head into the early part of next week.
So, we'll continue to monitor that but I'm afraid for firefighting efforts here. Conditions are just going to be horrible. Terrain, we have low humidity -- in fact, I think, we're going to be looking at single-digit humidity over the next few days. It can't possibly get worse. I mean, these are the worst fire conditions you can possibly have. Dry fuels, high winds, low humidity -- the trifecta's going to be there through the weekend guys.
SAVIDGE: Ivan Cabrera, thanks very much for the update. Well, how about some brighter news. The Houston Astros, they are back in the World Series. They picked up a huge win in game three.
PAUL: Now, that's not brighter news for everybody.
SAVIDGE: Well, right.
PAUL: But you know --
SAVIDGE: Good for the city.
PAUL: It keeps the series going, yes, exactly. Andy Scholes is in Washington. I'm sure that he'd like to see the series keep going.
SCHOLES: Yes. Guys, most people don't know that I'm the only Astros fans right now in Washington, D.C. I'm trying to keep that under wraps. I'll tell you what, this city is so excited about the Nationals being in this World Series. It's the first time the nation's capital has hosted World Series game in 86 years. This is the first time the franchise of the Nationals have hosted a World Series game.
Anywhere you walk around the city, all you see is go Nats. And the fans last night in the stadium, they were so ready to just explode and go crazy. But every time the Nationals had a chance to do something special and big in this game, they just came up a little bit short.
The team going 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. They left 12 runners on base. Now, the crowd did have a chance to have some fun and get hyped up in the bottom for the six. But Gerardo Parra pinched-hit and he came up to his walk-up song "Baby Shark," which basically become the anthem for the team. But again, in that inning, the National just couldn't knock in any run. The Astros able to get a big winning game three, 4-1, to get back in the series.
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DAVE MARTINEZ, WASHINGTON NATIONALS MANAGER: The fans were awesome. It was electric. The boys in the dugout, you know, they were fired up, they were. I'll relay a message to the fans. Bring it again tomorrow. I mean, it was great. I loved it.
A.J. HINCH, HOUSTON ASTROS MANAGER: We're not afraid of playing in any venue. This is a great atmosphere. The fans here were incredible and just alive, like you would expect in the World Series -- and our players thrive on that too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: And the Nationals' fans, they're hoping to see their first World Series victory at home tonight in game four. A first pitch just after 8:00 Eastern. Now, with the Astros' win, that guarantees a game five Sunday night and President Trump plans on attending. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he spoke with President Trump and in order not to disrupt the fans getting in and out of the stadium, President Trump says, he will arrive after first pitch and leave before the game is over. Again, that is for game five. And game four tonight guys, it's another very expensive ticket. Standing room only just to get inside the stadium tonight. Going for over $900.
SAVIDGE: Andy, I am sure you will be standing there cheering for your team -- we won't mention. All right, good to see you.
PAUL: In his head he'll be cheering, anyway. Maybe not publicly. Have fun, Andy.
So, Felicity Huffman is out of jail. This is happening as prosecutors, of course, file more charges in the college admissions scandal. We have our legal brief with Joey Jackson next. What these new charges could mean, though, for the parents who have not reached plea agreements such as Lori Loughlin.
SAVIDGE: Plus, Republicans, they may have a stronghold on the Evangelical vote. But one pastor says he has a plan to make the religious left more visible and viable at the ballot box. We'll talk to him live.
PAUL: Well, actress Felicity Huffman is out of prison after serving 11 days of a 14-day sentence for her role in the college admission scandal.
SAVIDGE: She admitted the fraud charges for paying $15,000 in a scheme to cheat to improve her daughter's SAT scores. CNN correspondent Alexandra Field reports.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Martin, Christi, good morning. Actress Felicity Huffman is now a free woman, no longer a federal inmate. She was released from a federal prison in Northern California on Friday after she was sentenced to two weeks behind bars. In the end, she served just 11 days.
The Bureau of Prisons explains she got one day off as a credit for the day that she was processed and they say she was scheduled to be released on Sunday. However, it's typical to release inmates on the Friday before a scheduled weekend release date.
Huffman is the first of the parents charged in relation to the college admissions scandal to begin serving time behind bars. Of the 52 people charged as defendants in that case, 29 of them have now pleaded guilty.
FIELD: Huffman expressed remorse to the judge that sentenced her and to the public, saying, she apologized to her family, to her children, to all the hard-working students and parents out there after she says she paid some $15,000 to have her child's SAT scores inflated.
Now, as for the other parents allegedly involved in the scam who are still fighting charges, well, just this week, prosecutors added additional charges. Christi, Martin?
PAUL: Thank you so much, Alex. Now, Huffman is serving a year of supervised release that includes 250 hours of community service as we said. So far, the judge has sentenced 11 parents this week. Prosecutors filed new bribery charges against parents, coaches, and testing officials, as Alex had talked about there.
We have CNN legal analyst and defense attorney Joey Jackson with us now. So, Joey, the judge, and the prosecutors -- they seem to be getting tougher if you're -- if you're a holdout. If you were defending any of these parents who had not yet made a deal, how would you advise them?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Christi, good morning to you.
PAUL: Good morning.
JACKSON: I would advise if you don't have the goods, and you believe yourself to be guilty, then take the plea. Look, when you accept responsibility, it is rewarded. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial and everyone is entitled to go to court and to have a jury, make a determination.
However, if you hold the government to their proof and you determined -- and you are determined to be guilty, there's a steep price to pay. I think Felicity Huffman owned it. She accepted that responsibility, she did 85 percent of her time which is standard in any federal case.
I know the Bureau of Prison said, well, we let her out because it was a Saturday and she was going to be released on a Sunday or a legal holiday. But that's how it generally goes.
So, my advice would be, if you don't have the goods, if we believe we're going to have a problem at trial, you better plead now because boy, will there be a price to pay if a jury says, guilty.
PAUL: So, Lori Loughlin's husband Mossimo Giannulli, there are reports that he told his accountant he had to quote work the system to get his daughter into USC. This was allegedly in an April 2017 e- mail.
You're shaking your head like -- yes, I've seen that Christi. What is your take on that?
JACKSON: My take is that it demonstrates a consciousness of guilt, right? If your argument is going to be, I had no idea, I was simply donating to a charity, I didn't know that there was a scandal, I was asked to donate, I think that's what everyone does. But then, there's a little something that we found. That is a statement from you, saying, good news, my daughter got into USC. Bad news, I had to work the system. Ladies and gentlemen, the jury what could that mean?
You know what it means? It means he knew, and if he knew and he participated, he is guilty. And so, therefore, its damning evidence, I don't think it will sit too well with people who already believe that this scandal is really about those who are rich, famous and entitled, and those who are not.
And so, therefore, that's goes to the first question you asked me. If you evaluate the evidence and you believe yourself to be guilty, take a plea now.
PAUL: All right. I wanted to talk to you about this Colorado woman who's accused of killing her 7-year-old daughter and cheating the Make-A-Wish Foundation on a more than a half a million dollars. Olivia Gant -- there she is. She died two years ago. Her mother, Kelly Turner had signed a do-not-resuscitate order. And at the time it was thought Olivia died of intestinal failure, questions became apparent last year though, regarding how she really died after Turner told doctors, Olivia's sister is sick, and they determined she's not. She's not sick, that is untrue.
The mother is denying making up her children's medical problems. But Joey, how much trouble could she be in? What proof does she have to have?
JACKSON: Oh, listen, she's in a lot of trouble. Remember, she's being charged with murder in addition to a number of other things, defrauding Medicaid, defrauding Make-A-Wish Foundation, lying, you know, certainly, other types of charges that relate to her making false other statements on documents right, which is fraud.
And so, she is in a world of trouble facing life in jail. Let's remember that they exhumed her daughter's body who was dead, they did testing on that. And there was a demonstration at -- you know, what the cause of illness or the cause of death? While it couldn't be determined, she did not have all these ailments that the mother was suggesting.
And, of course, the prosecution's theory, Christi, is this is predicated upon someone who wanted social acceptance, someone who was enjoying fame, someone who was enjoying at the right -- the daughter's detriment, some type of societal benefit.
And so, therefore, last piece is that her older daughter, she tried to do the same thing. But when she took her daughter to the doctor, they said, wait, she doesn't have these ailments.
They got suspicious, started investigating, took the older daughter away after the mother claims she's got all these ailments. And guess what, Christi? The older daughter was fine.
So, even that is damning evidence. And in terms of your initial question, the type of trouble? Life in jail without parole that's what she's looking at.
PAUL: Wow! All right. And lastly, Joey, I have to ask you about this one as well.
PAUL: The sheriff in a Georgia community, he's planning to post no trick-or-treat signs on the lawns of registered sex offenders this Halloween. Even though a federal lawsuit about last year's signs is still pending.
Now, there's a group of registered sex offenders who are suing, claiming the sheriff's office employees trespassed, they had no legal authority to post those signs, which the suit says cause the offender's anxiety and humiliation.
In a Facebook post, Sheriff Gary Long, says, "Regardless of the judge's ruling on Thursday, I will do everything within the letter of the law to protect the children of this community."
So, Joey, these sex offenders are already on the list, the plaintiff's lawyer says there are other legal ways that the sheriffs could have done -- that the sheriff could have done this, rather than putting signs out and humiliating them.
JACKSON: Yes, so you know --
PAUL: I think, but, they are sex offenders, and they're on the list. So, it's not a secret, is it?
JACKSON: It's not that it's a secret, Christi. So, there's two ways briefly to answer. Is the first is from a public relations perspective, people are yelling at the T.V., are you kidding they're sex offenders, post a sign, paint a sign, do whatever -- kids shouldn't be anywhere near them, it's outrageous, they're already online, you can look, you could see who they are. Yes, the public sentiment certainly is against sex offenders, but there's always something that we call the law that gets in the way.
And here we're talking about a sign that is mandated that they have on their property. The issue is, there's no statute that allows that as that is a law -- that the Legislature passed that allows that.
In some states, you have no trick-or-treating in sex offender, it's not here. But the other issue is a constitutional one. You're compelling speech, how? Because you're forcing me, and I have a sign on my property to actually have something there that I don't want.
And so, you're compelling me to have something that otherwise, I believe to be offensive. And the Constitution says, no. So, much so that the law even says if a state prints a license plate with a motto or logo and you don't like it, then you have an opportunity actually to have that removed, and you don't have to do it.
So, the Constitution is pretty clear as it relates to compelling speech. I do think they have an argument. Times of the essence though, Christi, because if the judge rules on Thursday, Happy Halloween, right? By the time you kill, it's a moot point. So, we'll see what happens.
PAUL: There you go.
JACKSON: Yes, we need to protect the children, but at the end of the day, we have to obey the law.
PAUL: All right. Joey Jackson, always appreciate your perspective, my friend. Thank you.
JACKSON: Pleasure is mine. Good to see you, Christi. PAUL: You too. Happy weekend.
SAVIDGE: 2020 on the race for the White House. Who does a better job according to the evangelical vote? Coming up, we'll talk to a pastor who says that Evangelicals are willing to vote for Democrats if the candidates are willing to do one simple thing.
PAUL: 46 minutes past the hour right now. Good morning to you. So, some 2020 Democratic candidates seem to like to keep religion separate from politics. But Evangelicals represent a pretty large segment of the electorate.
Our next guest tells The New Yorker that many moderate Evangelicals will be happy to vote for Democrats but they feel the party overlooks them during campaigns.
SAVIDGE: Joining us is Pastor Doug Pagitt of Solomon's Porch Church in Minneapolis. He created an organization to make the religious left more visible and help Democrats learn how to court Evangelical voters. Pagitt also worked on behalf of the Obama campaign in 2008.
Good morning to you, sir. Thank you for joining us.
DOUG PAGITT, HEAD PASTOR, SOLOMON'S PORCH CHURCH, SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS: Hey, good morning to you.
SAVIDGE: So, how have Republicans done a better job at courting Evangelical voters?
PAGITT: Yes, it's a great question. You know, over the last 25 years, Republicans have made a deliberate effort to talk to religious voters and to speak to them in ways that motivated them and to give them attention.
And we really believe that many Evangelical voters in the United States who are really bothered by the Trump administration and by the Republican support of the Trump tactics and style really do want to find a new option.
And if Democrats would reach out to, speak with, and spend time talking with Evangelical voters, we're confident that a significant percentage of them would think about voting for Democrats in this next election.
PAUL: So, let me ask you this because you recently held a training session as I understand it for Democratic members of Congress. And you started with this tip. You said, "Trying to memorize John 3:16 in the car on your way to the event and then quote that is probably not the best way to connect with faith-based voters." And I think I read you said that because you saw it happen and it didn't go well for somebody. How comfortable are Democrats talking about faith?
PAGITT: You know many Democrats are not religiously oriented themselves, at least, candidates. Or that's not how they primarily think about themselves. And we like to remind them that voters don't need you to be like them in order to vote for you. But voters do want you to like them.
And so, our advice is like the voters that you want to ask to vote for you. And one of the ways that you can do that with religious people is to honor them and to respect them and to listen to their opinions. And we're watching Democrats all over the country do this in really great ways. Both at the presidential level and also people who are running for Congress and for Senate.
It's an exciting time to watch Democrats can talk to and court and think about religious voters with authenticity and with honesty and with curiosity.
SAVIDGE: Who would you say on the Democrat side is doing well in this regard as far as messaging, and what are they saying?
PAGITT: You know, I'm actually excited about many of the presidential candidates and what they're doing because it's not just an individual line here or there, it's not just saying a policy with a different tone, it's actually considering the deep issues that matter to religious people, and this is what you see with the frustration with the Trump administration is people want our country to be decent. They want us to -- even in our politics to be kind. They want us to approach an attitude of grace and of love with one another.
And I'm watching many of the candidates, even if they differ in opinions. Democratic candidates talk to voters in ways that honor and respect them. And that difference, that categorical difference between the way Donald Trump would speak about anyone who doesn't support his ideas and the way that the Democratic candidates are thinking about the big issues that matter to voters in this country and honoring and respecting different voters is really an exciting thing to watch across the entire spectrum of the Democratic candidates.
PAUL: Pastor Doug Pagitt, it's been such an interesting conversation with you. Thank you for being with us.
PAGITT: Oh, and thank you.
SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, the late Congressman Elijah E. Cummings was laid to rest. Here the rousing tribute. One former president delivered in honor of the civil rights legend.
ANNOUNCER: "STAYING WELL", brought to you by Aleve p.m. Aleve p.m. for a better a.m.
PAUL: Did you know that virtual reality is now a viable tool in treating people facing anxiety and phobias and PTSD? Well, we go virtual for our mental health in this week's "STAYING WELL".
ANDREW SHERRILL, PSYCHOLOGIST, EMORY HEALTHCARE VETERANS PROGRAM: And tell me how are you feeling right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Apprehensive.
BARBARA ROTHBAUM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EMORY HEALTHCARE VETERANS PROGRAM: VRE is Virtual Reality Exposure. We are helping people confront what they're scared of. And with veterans with PTSD, we will recreate what they describe as their traumatic event.
Studies have shown now for decades that VRE is effective at helping people with their anxieties and phobias.
ZACK SCHNEIDER, PROGRAMMER, VIRTUALLY BETTER: As equipment becomes more available, this type of treatment is becoming much, much more widespread. And we've created a software to help address several different phobias.
So, we have fear of public speaking, fear of storms, fear spiders, and fear of heights. And the good thing about V.R. exposure is if all of this becomes too much, your anxiety level gets too high, the patient can just take the headset off, and then, they can address the issue.
SHERRILL: You're going to feel the plane shake and you also might hear some other passengers being upset. OK? And we're going to do this a few times. Every single simulation in this program is a potential trigger for our patient's anxiety. And will gradually and systematically expose into that, until they learn that it is, in a fact, safe.
SAVIDGE: Thousands of people turned out in Baltimore yesterday to bid farewell to their hometown hero, the Honorable Congressman Elijah Cummings. Cummings, passed away last week.
PAUL: Several U.S. dignitaries and 2020 candidates were there Cummings' pastor, says the congressman wrote his own funeral program right down to who would eulogizing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It now falls on us to continue his work, so that other young boys and girls in Baltimore, across Maryland, across the United States, and around the world, might too have a chance to grow and to flourish.
That's how we will honor him. That's how we will remember him. That's what he would hope for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)