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NEW DAY SUNDAY

Trump Gets Mixed Reaction at Mixed Martial Arts Fight in New York; CNN Obtains 274 Pages of Documents on Russia Investigation; German City of Dresden Declares "Nazi Emergency"; Key States to Watch Where GOP is Gaining Momentum; Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) Is Interviewed About the Ongoing Trump's Impeachment Probe; Trump Receives Polarized Reception at UFC Fight in New York. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 3, 2019 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:00:50]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump left behind his political troubles in Washington to go attend a mixed martial arts event in New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: House impeachment inquiry is moving very fast and it is getting closer and closer to the president's inner circle.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This whole impeachment scam is exactly what it is, it's a scam. It's a hoax.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day, the standard goes down and down and down, and I think the conduct of the president has been reprehensible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And now, it is my pleasure to introduce a very special guest, the hero who took down the leader of ISIS, Conan, the K9 commando.

So, you have the floor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That blinkman (ph), he can't wait to lick it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. Top of the hour now.

The president is starting his day in New York City. This is after a late night fight at Madison Square Garden. And a bit of a distraction from the impeachment inquiry back in D.C.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS) CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: What you're seeing and hearing there is the welcome the president got. Fairly mixed reaction at the crowd at the mixed martial arts fight that he attended with his sons Eric and Don Jr.

BLACKWELL: A similar scene outside of the garden where he was met with protesters and also supporters holding signs, chanting as well.

PAUL: Yes, earlier in the day, the president was, seemed to be, some might say, in a fighting mood. On Twitter, he hit on the impeachment inquiry, calling up the credibility of the whistleblower who started it, and slamming top Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff for playing politics.

CNN correspondent Kristen Holmes was at that UFC match last night.

Take us to a little bit more about that reaction we just saw from the crowd, Kristen. And good morning.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Victor.

Well, you know, this was not like what we saw a week ago in Nats Park when he went to the World Series game which was almost a universal booing. You heard chants of "lock him up." This was truly a mixed reaction.

There was a crowd behind me with loud boos. They were saying "impeach Trump". They had signs that said remove Trump. But there was another crowd directly across from me cheering for him and actually, at one point during the fight when it got a little quiet they started chanting his name over and over and chanting "USA, USA".

And I think this really shows you how polarizing politics is right now. You know, you're either on one side or the other. And when you are, you're all in with this kind of visceral reactions. I think this is really paving the way for what 2020 is going to like and it's going to be pretty ugly.

PAUL: We've learned one of Mick Mulvaney's top aides is refusing to testify tomorrow with or without a subpoena. Is there any indication the distinction between the people who are saying yes, I'm going to testify and, no, I refuse?

HOLMES: Well, this is all coming from the White House. So, just to backtrack a little bit, you're talking about Robert Blair. He is not a household name. He is a national security adviser to the president and Mick Mulvaney and he also was most importantly on that July 25th call with the Ukrainian president.

He was asked to testify Monday in front of Congress. And last night late, we heard had from his attorney essentially saying, no, we will not imply and that is on direction from the White House who got their advice from the Department of Justice. What's notable here is that there are a lot of aides that are in the same position as Robert Blair who have been asked to testify in front of congress, not subpoenaed yet. And President Trump was asked this yesterday, what is the White House going to do? Is he going to stop these people from testifying on Capitol Hill? And here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't know. You have to speak to the lawyers. Nancy Pelosi has become unhinged, there's something wrong with her. If you look at what's happening, if you look at the poll numbers, if you look at the poll numbers in the swing states, they are saying don't do this, don't do it.

[07:05:04]

I'm fine with it. We did absolutely nothing wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: So, clearly, they're the placing blame on Nancy Pelosi.

But I do want to note one thing, three were other aides who were supposed to testify tomorrow on Capitol Hill. We still do not know if they'll actually show up.

BLACKWELL: Kristen Holmes for us there in New York after a late night -- Kristen, thank you.

PAUL: Well, CNN has obtained 274 pages of interview notes, emails from Robert Mueller's investigation.

BLACKWELL: Now, the documents reveal discussions within the Trump campaign as it pursued damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz has more for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: The newly obtained FBI interview reports show how President Donald Trump and other top 2016 Trump officials repeatedly discuss how to get access to the stolen WikiLeaks emails. The interview with former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates details the discussions within the Trump campaign as it pursued damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Now some of what these discussions show that Rick Gates had with FBI agents, he called a time on the campaign aircraft when Trump said, get the emails. The interviews also show that Michael Flynn claimed he could somehow use his intelligence sources to obtain some of these emails and then Rick Gates describes essentially in these interviews with investigators how several closely advisers to Donald Trump and Trump's family members and Trump, himself, considered how to get the stolen documents and even pushed for this effort. Donald Trump Jr., we are told, in family meetings, according to these documents, would have discussions about this.

Michael Flynn was present for it, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort and others attached to the campaign like Corey Lewandowski and the former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who was part of the campaign at the time all expressed interest in obtaining the emails as well.

So, these 300 pages of documents that we obtained is just the start of more to come. CNN has sued for more of this and we are told that every month we are expected to get more, as the Justice Department has been ordered to release these documents on a monthly basis. The documents also show how the Trump campaign, the chairman Paul Manafort at the time, erroneously raises the possibility that the Ukrainians, not the Russians, might have been the ones responsible for hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

This is what Mueller was told by Rick Gates when he was interviewed. These documents are just the beginning of yet more is going to come within the next few months. We do expect more documents like this to be released by the Department of Justice.

Shimon Prokupecz, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: Shimon, thank you so much.

Anita Kumar, White House correspondent and associate editor at "Politico", and CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin, who is Robert Mueller's special assistant at the Department of Justice, both with us.

Thank you both for being here.

Anita, I want to start with you and look ahead what is happening tomorrow with John Eisenberg who is on deck to testify. He is the top lawyer on the White House National Security Council. Alex Vindman, just to remind people who he is, Alex Vindman testified that Eisenberg is the one that told him not to say anything about the July 25th call and Eisenberg is also the one who moved the transcript of that call to a highly secure server.

How critical is his testimony at the end of the day tomorrow, if he shows up?

ANITA KUMAR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT AND ASSOCIATE EDITOR, "POLITICO": Yes, if he shows up is exactly right. We don't know if he is going to come. He and his deputy, so another attorney for the NSC are supposed to testify tomorrow. Both of them are very key. They were two people that a lot of these other witnesses went to to voice concerns. They are the ones who made the decision to put, as you said, put this sort of -- put this phone call in the vault or to put it away.

And so, they are both very important. I know House investigators very much want to talk to them but we don't know if they are going to show up. We have been seeing that other people are not coming as the White House has told them not to, so we are just not sure what they are going to do. But I think that really as these weeks have gone on, more attention is

paid to both the attorney and his deputy. So, both of those attorneys at the National Security Council.

PAUL: Michael, I want to get your reaction to these papers that we have gotten, all of these documents now from the Mueller investigation. Why does it still matter?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it matters because the findings of the Mueller investigation can still be part of the impeachment inquiry. We have been focusing on Ukraine and the allegation that the president abused the powers of his office corruptly for personal gain.

[07:10:08]

But there is nothing that prevents the House Judiciary Committee from looking backward to the Mueller report to determine whether or not the president did anything that amounts to an impeachable offense even if Mueller, himself, found no criminal law violations.

So it's still relevant from the impeachment inquiry standpoint and relevant to understand what was fully going on during this time period.

PAUL: Anita, President Trump was tweeting last night about the whistleblower, saying the whistleblower has disappeared, where is the whistleblower? The thing is they're government documents. President Trump himself, the White House transcript have all corroborated many of the things the whistleblower has already said.

Why -- is there any indication why the president seems to be distracted by the whistleblower again?

KUMAR: You know, I think that the president and other Republicans feel this is a good strategy for them. It's not going to convince anyone in Congress whether the whistleblower was right or wrong, but I think they are trying to look at sort of the public opinion here. So they are trying to persuade the American public that this is just a partisan attack.

That is what the president has been doing on other attacks on him for the last two and a half years. He feels that he can convince people out there that this is just another political thing. This is just Washington and the way it works.

And so, you're exactly right, that a lot of what the whistleblower has said has been corroborated by other people. In fact, it's gone further than that. Now, you know, House Democrats know more than what the initial whistleblower told them. The facts don't add up there but the president and Republicans have found this a good strategy for them and they have been increasingly looking at this over these last few weeks, calling this person, you know, sort of a never Trumper, a partisan.

PAUL: Sure. KUMAR: You know, all of that sort of thing, so it's really to

influence the American public as opposed to Congress.

PAUL: Michael, I only have a couple of seconds, but I wanted to ask you. With all of the witnesses that are refusing to testify as we know is going to happen at least one tomorrow, once this goes to the Senate, what opportunity is there, if any, to refuse to testify?

ZELDIN: Well, there really shouldn't be a refusal matter at all. The notion that these witnesses don't have to show up I think is not supported in law and if it is resolved in the courts, then it will be resolved before the House and before the Senate. I just think that these people owe an obligation to the American people to come forward and testify and then let them decide whether this is impeachable or not impeachable, acceptable, or not acceptable.

PAUL: Michael Zeldin, Anita Kumar, we appreciate both of you being here. Thank you.

ZELDIN: Thanks, Christi.

BLACKWELL: When we come back, extremely alarming news out of the German city of Dresden. Authorities there have to declare a Nazi emergency. We'll tell you why.

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[07:16:32]

PAUL: Sixteen minutes past the pour on this Sunday morning.

And I have some good news for your regarding of those wildfires in California. Twelve of the 13 fires still considered active in that state are either well under control or almost out. And most evacuation orders have been lifted in northern and southern California.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let's talk about this Maria Fire. It's in Ventura County, it's still a concern. More than 1,000 firefighters are fighting that this weekend and it's burned more than 9,000 acres so far. But evacuation orders in several locations have been lifted. So, it's good news even for that one.

A major city in Germany has declared a Nazi emergency. Counselors in the eastern city of Dresden passed a resolution this week. This is a warning of a growing far right movement.

PAUL: Dresden is the place where this movement is known as, Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West. It first emerged in 2013. Regular rallies are still held there. A far right party known for stoking anti-immigrant sentiment also has a strong showing in this year's state election. Counselors say the move is symbolic with no legal consequences.

An elementary school principal and teacher in Utah are on paid leave right now after a student was spotted wearing a Nazi costume for Halloween.

BLACKWELL: So, there's a picture here showing the boy wearing a swastika on his sleeve. It's a long dark brown shirt. The student participated in the school Halloween parade and now parents are demanding to know why the boy was allowed to wear this to school.

Members of the Jewish community there are also calling for more than that, they want action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JAY JACOBSON, UNITED JEWISH FEDERATION OF UTAH: I'm sad that it could happen. This is something that offended a number of people, frightened people, traumatized people to see it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: In a statement, the Davis school district says the district is taking the matter very seriously and is investigating every aspect of the situation. The principal and teacher have been placed on paid administrative leave.

BLACKWELL: Actor Brian Tarantina, most recently known for his role as Jackie in Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", he's died.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought you're carpenter?

BRIAN TARANTINA, ACTOR: Who told you that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isn't that what you did when you worked here?

TARANTINA: No. Oh, wait, yes, I did, I am a carpenter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Police in New York say he was found unconscious at his apartment and medics pronounced him dead at the scene. His manager says Tarantina had been sick recently and he was recovering at home. Brian Tarantina was 60 years old.

BLACKWELL: Loud boos, some loud cheers as well. This is now the president, the president received that greeting at the UFC event in Madison Square Garden last night.

Up next, Brian Stelter joins us with his thoughts on the crowd's reaction and the president's decision to attend.

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[07:23:10]

PAUL: Good morning to you.

There's a new ABC News/"The Washington Post" poll finding that nationally, former Vice President Joe Biden is leading the Democratic presidential field. He has 27 percent of the voter support followed by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who are the top three.

BLACKWELL: According to the poll on electability and strong leadership, Biden is on top. But bringing needed change to Washington, Senator Elizabeth Warren is ahead.

Another part of the poll is voter concern about Senator Sanders' health. Democrats are divided on whether the 78-year-old senator is in good enough health to serve as president.

This week, we are watching elections in several key states.

PAUL: CNN's Ryan Nobles has a preview of Tuesday's races.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Three states in particular have races that could give us a sense where things stand in terms of momentum heading in next year.

First, in Virginia, that's a state that's trending blue but where Republicans have been able to hold on to control of both houses of their general assembly but by slim two-seat majorities. Democrats feel bullish about their chances, tying Republicans to President Trump. It's a recipe that worked well two years ago as they cruised to victory in statewide races.

But Republicans do have a chip of their own to play, attacking Democratic candidates by connecting them to the trio of scandals involving the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. If Democrats win big, particularly in the swing districts in play in northern Virginia and outside Richmond, it could be a sign of how president has a growing problem with suburban voters.

Two red states, Mississippi and Kentucky, will elect governors on Tuesday. Kentucky might be the most intriguing. The incumbent Republican Matt Bevin has an approval rating that is under water. His opponent, Andy Beshear, is the son of a popular former governor.

This race could come down to what voters care more about, local issues or the national issues dominating Washington.

[07:25:08]

Now, Bevin, of course, has stuck close to President Trump. In fact, the president will headline a rally for him Monday night. If Bevin pulls it out, it could be a sign of just how much strength that Trump still has with Republican voters.

And, finally, Republicans and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves are in the driver's seat in Mississippi, but Democrats are hopeful that the conservative Democrat Jim Hood, the attorney general, could surprise everyone. It will be tough, though, because in addition to winning the popular vote, gubernatorial candidates must also win a majority of the statehouse districts and that will be an advantage for the GOP. Three states, a lot on the line and at a very least a glimpse in what

the voters are thinking about heading into 2020.

Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: President Trump is accusing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff working with the whistleblower in the Ukraine saga and is, again, pushing to unveil that person's identity.

I'll ask a Republican member of Congress if he thinks that's appropriate. Congressman Tom Reed of New York is with us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Just about 7:30 now. And President Trump is slamming top Democrats and again questioning the credibility of the whistleblower, suggesting now that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff may have worked with the whistleblower.

BLACKWELL: But attorneys quickly back their client quickly saying neither whistleblower nor legal team had any contact with Congressman Schiff, nor did the congressman or any congressional person play any role in crafting or submitting the complaint. All of this is happening as Republicans are backing the president's push to reveal the identity of the whistleblower whose identity is protected by federal law.

Joining me now, Republican Congressman Tom Reed of New York. He serves on the Ways and Means Committee and is a Republican leader of the Social Security Subcommittee.

Congressman Reed, also at this event now, No Labels group, a movement dedicated to breaking the gridlock in D.C.

[07:30:01]

We'll talk about the need for bipartisanship with the budget in a moment.

First, let me say, good morning to you, Congressman.

REP. TOM REED (R-NY): It's great to be with you here from New Hampshire at the No Labels organization.

BLACKWELL: So, let's start here with the whistleblower. The president tweeted about the whistleblower. We have members of Congress who are calling for the name to be released publicly. One senator also tweeting out an article that guesses at the name of the whistleblower.

Do you think that's appropriate that these calls are becoming more aggressive to name the whistleblower?

REED: Not necessarily naming the whistleblower. But I do appreciate the fact that we are moving into the public phase of this process and the more information because this is really going to be up to the American people to decide where this impeachment process goes. And more information out there, the better.

But as to the whistleblower, we will go through the legal channels to make sure that that's protected so that we recognize the importance of whistleblowers in our nation's history.

BLACKWELL: So, you would then call on your colleagues and the president to back off calling for the public release of the name, the identity of this whistleblower?

REED: I would push for more public information about the actual substance of what we are dealing with here. But at the end of the day, you know, we are talking impeachment and so the more information -- this is a historic action. It really flies in the face of the American people that elected the president to the office in regards to having a group of members of Congress decide they know better and that they want to remove that president from office. So, more public information, that brings in some credibility issues.

BLACKWELL: Two separate things here, Congressman. I'd first like an answer to the question about protecting the identity of the whistleblower. You have voted in the past for stronger whistleblower protections. You have now said that you would not call for the name or the identity of this whistleblower to be released or made public.

Why won't you go a step further and encourage your colleagues to stop their aggressive push to release the identity of this whistleblower, which is protected, as I said, by federal law?

REED: So, I respect my colleagues protecting their own information how to handle it. But for my personal perspective, follow the law of the whistleblower statutes, and at the end of the day, more information comes out and if the identity of the whistleblower goes through the process and comes out, I think public openness of an impeachment, historic action like this is better for the country long term rather than playing this zigzag that we're trying to fight here in New Hampshire with the No Labels group. We are trying to break the gridlock so people's problems get solved, as opposed to engaging in this 24/7 political cycles.

BLACKWELL: What's the political zigzag here? You said that you are happy that this is moving to a more public phase. However, you voted against the resolution last week that would move it to this phase. Why?

REED: Because I've said for weeks now, I don't see a smoking evidence piece of item out here that calls for impeachment and removal of the president. That's what we're going to be dealing with for the next three to six months.

At the end of the day, the American people, people coming up to me all the time, how does this impact for my better -- for my life on a day- to-day basis, for the better of my life? And they don't see it. And I just -- to use up this space, to use up this time in D.C.

focusing on political wins, I think this is more about political positioning and posturing rather than listening to the American people and get the problem solved for them that impacts their day -- daily life.

BLACKWELL: So, you I think it's OK for in my opinion president to pressure a foreign leader to get information that would benefit him politically in exchange for military aid that your body voted for?

REED: So when we talk about impeachment, it's high crimes, treason, subject to the penalty of death. Now, oversight that is something Congress should be doing. We have been encouraging Congress to take back its role and responsibility. We need leadership in Congress to do what Congress should do, what the Founding Fathers envision us doing, the vigorous leaders rather than playing politics.

BLACKWELL: I'm asking a separate question. Do you think it's OK what the president did? Do you think it's OK for any president to pressure a foreign leader for political dirt in exchange for military aid that was approved by Congress?

REED: That's not what I see in the evidence. What I see is the president of the United States asking about corruption of a sitting Vice President Joe Biden and making sure that taxpayer dollars are not going to corrupt a nation. That is how I see the evidence. And that is where I don't think this is an impeachable offense.

BLACKWELL: Well, it's also not what the acting chief of staff said back in October. We heard from Mick Mulvaney who told us that this was a quid pro quo.

It was October 17th, Mulvaney said, quote, did he also mention to me and pass the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely no question about that. But that is it and why we held up the money. Quid pro quo.

Jonathan Karl then asked, to be clear, what you described is a quid pro quo, it is funding will not flow unless the investigation of Democratic server happens as well. And he says we do that all the time.

REED: And Joe Biden -- And Joe Biden said the exact -- and Joe Biden said the exact same thing when they were investigating his son. So, corruption is corruption and should be investigated and if taxpayer are going to a foreign country --

[07:35:07]

BLACKWELL: Congressman, this is different. You know this. You were in Congress at the time.

REED: I understand your interpretation.

BLACKWELL: This is not an invited interpretation. Congressman, you were in Congress at the time. REED: I understand your interpretation of the evidence. I disagree

with it.

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: -- in 2016, the -- most of the western world wanted Viktor Shulkin to be removed because he did not investigate corruption enough. What you're trying to equate with, what the U.S., what European allies with the IMF, with many in Ukraine wanted was him removed because he was not investigating corruption. With the president saying there would be this quid pro quo, we will not hand over the funding until you give the deliverable, as Ambassador Taylor said it, of an announcing an investigation into the Bidens. That is separate, is it not?

REED: Victor, I understand your interpretation of the evidence but I disagree with that interpretation. What I see here is a role for Congress and oversight but impeachment flies in the face of the American people.

And that is why I'm in New Hampshire today. Because these undeclared voters, 1,500 of us here today that we're standing in front of today are sick and tired of this poltical polarization tearing the country apart. What we need voices what I believe the 1,500 people represent in New Hampshire. Leadership to solve America's problems.

BLACKWELL: What rises to the level of an impeachable offense? What would you have to see in this saga we are seeing in the relationship between the president of Ukraine that would get you on board what is happening in the House?

REED: Just simply equate it to high crimes such as treason. The crime must be significant. The crime must be something that like treason is subject to the penalties of death.

We are talking about serious high-level offenses. That is what impeachment is about. That's why we don't use impeachment politically willy-nilly. We use it in very historic situations.

And I understand people want this president removed. We got an election coming up here in a year. Trust the American people. Let D.C. get out of the way and let people lead this country again.

I want to be a voice for those 1,500 people we have here in New Hampshire because it's time people in D.C. -- let the people of America lead this country.

BLACKWELL: Congressman Tom Reed, thank you so much for being with us.

REED: It's great to be with you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:41:31] PAUL: Well, a bit of mixed reaction from President Trump from the crowd at a mixed martial arts fight last night in New York. Take a look here.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

PAUL: So, that's what he heard as he entered Madison Square Garden. He was with his sons Eric and Don Jr. last night.

BLACKWELL: With us now, chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, and Lorenzo Reyes, sports reporter with "USA Today".

Welcome to both of you.

Lorenzo, I want to start with you. You were there last night. Start with the reaction. What was your impression of how the crowd reacted?

LORENZO REYES, USA TODAY: Yes, it was definitely mixed. That's the best way I can put it. You had people who were definitely cheering, people who are pulling out their phones, waving, clapping and they want to take photos but also, there are people booing.

The thing that I thought was interesting was that the P.A. system was blasting AC/CD's music, back-to-back was playing so it was a lot of noise. But I can put it was mixed. It was sort of almost down the middle.

BLACKWELL: That blasted music really is reminiscent of what happened during the campaign. They would blast music out when the president was either coming in or leaving.

PAUL: At the rallies?

BLACKWELL: At the rallies as well.

PAUL: Yes. And, of course, this is coming off of what happened at the World Series game in D.C. The president was not very welcome there according to what remembered from the crowd. There were many more boos there than we understand there were last night and last night he said was a little more mixed.

Brian, what do you make of the fact that the president is going to all of these events?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is another first, by the way, for a United States president to be going to a UFC fight, you know, one of these very violent battles, cage match, you know, there in Madison Square Garden. And I do think it's actually a good thing to see the president out in public like this twice in one week. I think the public should be out at public more often where he is not just surrounded by his most loyal supporters, but surrounded by a variety of Americans.

So, good thing for our political leaders to get all the feedback, the good, bad, ugly, all of it, that's a good thing. And, clearly, this was a setting for the president where he was invited by friends, he was invited by Dana White, who is the head of UFC, this fighting league. He's also buddies with Ari Emanuel, who runs the talent agency Endeavor, that owns UFC. So, this may have been a situation where the president was helping out his friends, giving a boost to the UFC or vice versa. Perhaps UFC giving a boost to the president, one of those examples how the president sometimes uses his power and certainly hangs out with his well-connected friends.

He was also there, by the way, with some GOP political leaders. I do think the more interesting fight right now is still back in D.C., where he seems to be losing, but he is certainly been able to be in these social settings with GOP leaders, the men that he's going to need as this impeachment battle goes forward.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And, Lorenzo, he chose to be in the social setting of sitting on the floor and not up in the suite as you wrote circumstances. What was the expectation there that he would find a friendlier crowd or he just didn't want to sit up in the suite? What did you learn?

REYES: So, it was interesting. Dana White in his press conference after the event actually said that the Secret Service wanted Trump to watch it from a suite and the quote that Dana White said was that he doesn't listen to them anyway. So, that was interesting to point out.

But I think he -- this was definitely a calculated decision in the sense that this is a leak that, in my experience covering sports, tends to lean conservative in their fan base.

[07:45:02]

This may sound obvious but I still think it's important to point out of course fans from different socio backgrounds, different political backgrounds, but still I think that this -- the fact that he chose this event, I think was maybe a direct response to what happened to him and that is, in part, just because these are people that really, when the league was struggling, when UFC was struggling in the 2000s, Trump actually hosted an event at the former Trump Taj Mahal, and that was -- and that was seen as something that helped boost the franchise when it was struggling.

PAUL: That's right, yes.

BLACKWELL: As Brian said, it could be the other way around.

PAUL: Right. So, Brian, what is the significance of him being in New York, do you think, after he officially made his permanent residence in Florida this week?

STELTER: Yes, just a few days after we all learned that he is making his official remembrance in Florida. I suppose it shows he can't stay away from the Big Apple too long.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: All right. Brian Stelter --

PAUL: Can't stay away from you, Stelter!

STELTER: There you go.

BLACKWELL: -- and Lorenzo Reyes, thank you both.

STELTER: Thanks.

REYES: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you, gentlemen.

So, health care is a top-tier issue in the political arena, we know that. It's frightening thought for someone who can't afford health insurance. You're going to meet a medical student who is making an extraordinary step to bring dignity and healing to people who are uninsured.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: So, there is a pretty popular form of exercise that's really elevating yoga.

In today's "Staying Well", we look at the rise of AcroYoga.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: AcroYoga makes me feel confident, strong and fierce.

AcroYoga is all beneficial, mentally, spiritually and physically. And the physical benefits are massive. It's release of tension and lactic acid that are built up in the muscles.

KAYNA CASSARD, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST: It's a practice of two or more people coming together and doing physical exercises where one person is supporting the other person.

These can be static movements other movements where they are kind of doing like a dance on each other's bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Acro is blend of yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage. I think the biggest challenges is getting people over fear. You really have to get people flying in the base and if there is a spotter them trusting I can hold space and I can keep these two people safe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beautiful.

CASSARD: There is not only the physical aspect, but the emotional connection when we pay attention to what is happening inside and asking for what we need. We build these muscles to be able to have healthier communication skills.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: High five.

(END VIDEOTAPE) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:52:02]

PAUL: All right. This woman is extraordinary.

Caroline Hensley is her name. She's a university of Cincinnati medical student with a lofty goal. She's helped open a free clinic for people who don't have health insurance.

Here's what she told me about the people she cares for.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: We were so intrigued by your story and it's so relevant today. I'm just wondering, what did you see or hear about that helped you recognize this was such an important need that needed to be filled?

CAROLINE HENSLEY, MEDICAL STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI: Yes, so before I started medical school I was working in a federally qualified health center and I was working with a lot of patients who were coming from pretty far away because they didn't have other options where they could be seen because they didn't have insurance. And I saw that there was a lot of care that they were seeking in the emergency room or other places where they weren't getting the best care that they could because their needs were more of a primary care need or something where we could help by thinking about preventive measures.

And so, I really saw that disparity in what services these patients needed and what was available to them in their communities where they lived.

PAUL: So tell me about the clinic and tell me about the people who come there. You know, what are their most urgent needs?

HENSLEY: Yes, so the clinic, we have this amazing relationship with the healing center, which is an organization in Cincinnati, in Springdale, specifically, that really aims to treat people holistically, taking care of food and security, housing and security, and we've partnered with them. And we have a wonderful relationship with them. And we have people from all different walks of life coming in, and some people looking for really support and kind of social support, how their social barriers are affecting their health. And other people who are coming in more with kind of upper respiratory symptoms who really don't know what to do, that they're kind of in a crisis.

And we're able to help connect them with either the medications that they need, the support they need, or if their status is critical, sending them to the emergency room or wherever might be the most appropriate place for their care.

PAUL: Can you even envision what it's become already at this point when you started this?

HENSLEY: I think there were a lot of moments where we saw a lot of hurdles, where we saw a lot of barriers, a lot of resources that we needed that we weren't sure how we were going to obtain. So, no, there were definitely moments where our team said oh, my goodness, I don't know if we can keep pushing through. But it's been so worth it, and certainly become something bigger than we thought it would be.

PAUL: And I bet you all of those people that you're helping, too. Caroline, thank you so much. Good luck with everything.

HENSLEY: Thank you for having me.

PAUL: Absolutely.

HENSLEY: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: That clinic, by the way, is open 9:00 to noon on Saturdays. There are medical students that see patients and there's always someone supported by a physician who is with them there at the clinic.

[07:55:01]

BLACKWELL: Good work they do there.

PAUL: Good for her, isn't it?

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: There's some human kindness there. Thank you so much for starting your morning with us. We hope that you make good memories today.

"INSIDE POLITICS", by the way, of course, is up next.

BLACKWELL: We're going to leave you with a look at "Saturday Night Live," returned this week with a political sketch featuring White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and Conan, the hero dog.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, I'm here to celebrate because we have killed the leader of ISIS, which according to the Constitution means that the impeachment can no longer legally move forward. Now it's my pleasure to introduce a very special guest t hero who took down the leader of ISIS, Conan the K9 commando.

Yes, and he's joined by special forces K9 interpreter Dana Brown (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you can translate everything the dog is saying?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's correct, I have a master's degree in linguistics from Dr. Doolittle University.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Conan, thank you so much for coming today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, he's saying the pleasure is all mine, Kellyanne.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So you have the floor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That blink meant he can't wait to lick it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we're going to take a few questions and then Conan is going to meet with President Trump to explain the situation in Syria.

You, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Conan. Thank you for your service.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is my honor. I do this job for two reasons. One, I love my country, and two, belly rubs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were involved in a terrorist raid. Was that scary for you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little, but it could have been worse. The terrorists have guns and explosives, but at least they don't have vacuum cleaners.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)