Return to Transcripts main page


President Trump Intervenes in Military War Crimes Cases; Prince Andrew Opens Up About His Relationship with Epstein; NFL to Hold Workout for Colin Kaepernick Today. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 16, 2019 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Testimony continuing with a closed-door deposition by an American embassy official who overheard the president talking with the U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. about investigations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I then heard President Trump ask, so, he's going to do the investigation. Ambassador Sondland replied that he's going to do it adding that President Zelensky will do quote, anything you ask him to. Ambassador Sondland stated the president only cares about the, quote, big stuff, like the Biden investigation.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Ambassador Yovanovitch, as we sit here testifying, the president is attacking you on Twitter. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses' willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe your words can be intimidating?



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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good Saturday to you. We start the day with new details in the impeachment investigation. For the first time a witness says he personally heard President Trump demand Ukraine investigate the Bidens.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: What's more, the State Department official says he was told the president didn't really care about Ukraine, only the quote big stuff that related to him.

BLACKWELL: The Democrats of accusing President Trump of witness intimidation after he insulted the former Ambassador to Ukraine on twitter as she was testifying yesterday. He slammed her and her job performance and then said he had a right to defend himself.

PAUL: In the meantime, we could learn more about the Congress- approved military aid to Ukraine, specific when it was put on hold and when it was released. A senior budget official has been subpoenaed to shed light on that.

BLACKWELL: Let's get back to that closed door testimony. Our senior Congressional correspondent Manu Raju on Capitol Hill has the latest for us.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A state department official testified last night about what he overheard the President Trump talking with the Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, about the president's desire for Ukraine to move forward on the investigation into the president's political rival, Joe Biden. According to the sworn testimony, the president was dead set on this investigation and that's what he was mostly interested in.

According to this testimony, this official David Holmes, says that he was told that the president didn't give an "s" about Ukraine but only cared about this investigation. He says, according to the testimony, the president talked to Gordon Sondland in July after that phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine and says to him that the President Zelensky, quote, loves your ass. That's what Gordon Sondland told President Trump and then he says that President Trump asked Sondland, so he's going to do the investigation, and Sondland replies, he's going to do it.

This comes in the aftermath of the Republicans saying that all the witnesses that have come forward so far, none of them had firsthand knowledge of what the president wanted. This individual does have firsthand knowledge because he heard exactly what the president wanted, which was an investigation into the Bidens.

This also comes the same day of the testimony of the ousted Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch who raised concerns about the efforts by Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, to pursue and investigation into the Bidens and also mount what she testified was a smear campaign to push her out from the post. She said she did not get support from the State Department. President Trump ultimately recalled her from the position despite offering no reason why that she was removed. Democrats believe because she was an obstacle to pursuing what Giuliani and the president wanted which was this investigation into the Bidens.

Now on top of that, expect today also more information about why that roughly $400 million in military aid was withheld. One official, Mark Sandy a rep who serves in the White House Office of Management and Budget is expected to testify about the reason why that was withheld. It's doubtful he knows all the answers what was in the president's mind, but he's expected to explain the process why the money was withheld.

Unusual reasons, Democrats believe it was all tied to the push to investigate the Bidens but a sign that this investigation that could lead to the president's impeachment is only ramping up. Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.

BLACKWELL: Manu thanks. Let's bring in CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood now. Sarah, so much happened yesterday. What's the response from the White House?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi. President Trump yesterday defending his decision to tweet about the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. During the hearing he tweeted that everywhere Yovanovitch had gone, had gone bad. Now Chairman Schiff was conducting the hearing at that time, allowed Yovanovitch to respond in real time to the president's attacks.


And as we just heard, Yovanovitch said that the president's words were intimidating. Now the Republicans on Capitol Hill were defending the president against accusations of witness intimidation with some chalking up his words to his frustration with the impeachment proceedings, although, not all the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee were defensive about the president.

Elise Stefanik actually said that she did not agree with what the president said. So did Liz Cheney, a top Republican in leadership. Democrats, though, were accusing the president of witness intimidation and suggesting that could actually become part of ultimate impeachment articles if there's more evidence of that. But President Trump yesterday at the White House defending himself against those charges suggested that he just needed to have freedom of speech. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you trying to intimidate Ambassador Yovanovitch?

TRUMP: I just want to have a total -- I want freedom of speech. That's a political process. The Republicans have been treated very badly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, do you believe your tweets and words can be intimidating, sir?

TRUMP: Quiet, quiet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, do you believe your...

TRUMP: Please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...tweets and words can be intimidating?

TRUMP: I don't think so at all.


WESTWOOD: Now campaign sources said it was a mistake for the president to tweet what he did during the Yovanovitch hearing with one source telling CNN that it was idioic even of Trump to give Democrats the upper hand and the emotional narrative surrounding the hearing yesterday Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right, Sarah Westwood for us there. Sarah, thank you.

PAUL: Former Federal Prosecutor and CNN Legal Analyst Shan Wu with us now. Shan, good morning to you.


PAUL: So the Republican's argument up to this point has been that none of these witnesses spoke to President Trump. What may be the game-changer here possibly is David Holmes. He didn't speak to President Trump directly, but he heard his voice, he talked directly to Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Do you think he is the one who could turn the tide here?

WU: I think he is the one who can turn the tide because he takes away one of their last remaining defenses, as you said, Christi, that no one directly heard the president make reference to the investigation. Obviously he did heard that. One more defense has gone here. It's leading them down the road to what I think is their only viable defense, which is lean into it and say hey, this is all foreign policy, let the president conduct foreign policy.

PAUL: Is it necessary to have somebody who did talk to the president? Are we going to hear -- we know we're going to hear from Sondland, but Sondland would be one of them -- Mulvaney, Giuliani?

WU: That would be very helpful. It's not necessary at this point. Even if this were a criminal trial or civil trial, you wouldn't have to have that direct evidence because there's more than enough circumstantial evidence to infer the president's intent.

PAUL: I want to listen to what was really a moment in that hearing yesterday when Chairman Schiff read President Trump's tweet to Ambassador Yovanovitch as he was tweeting during the hearing, and watch her reaction.


SCHIFF: And now the president in real time is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses' willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing?

YOVANOVITCH: Well, it's very intimidating.

SCHIFF: It's designed to intimidate, is it not?

YOVANOVITCH: I mean I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating.

SCHIFF: Well, I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.


PAUL: So this became a real point of conversation yesterday, Shan. Is this, what we saw yesterday, is that tweet witness intimidation and is it impeachment-worthy?

WU: I think yes to both. Certainly where this a criminal trial or civil trial, it would be witness intimidation obviously. Sort of the fuzzy room that the president's trying to go to is because it's a political issue, perhaps the normal notion of witness intimidation doesn't apply and people are allowed to speak. A little bit of a loose ball for the Dems and Republicans to grab at. The Dems have the better argument because the commonsense idea is obviously he's trying to intimidate her; he's obviously attacking her. And for Schiff, it's really a dream moment. I mean you have the victim right there on stand. The offense to the victim is happening right in real time for everybody, and she gives her reaction. So I think the Dems have a very nice ball to grab on that one.

PAUL: I've got you. I want to ask you quickly, too, before you go about Steve Castro, the Republican counsel. He used about his 45 minutes of questioning, granted it to Nunes, the Ranking Member of course.


It was hard to understand exactly what his intention is, where he was going in that moment. He asked a lot of what seemed to be unrelated questions such as do you know who Chuck Grassley is and what point do you think he was trying to make?

WU: It's hard to know right now but a lot of times an experienced lawyer will be laying some groundwork. Grassley is known for being sympathetic to whistleblowers. He could have been laying the foundation for a later argument that she could have gone to Grassley with these complaints. Lots of times lawyers will do that so they can later marshal the evidence that they put into the record at a time where nobody can really contradict them so that might be what he's setting the stage for.

PAUL: All right. Shan Wu, always appreciate your insight. Thank you for being here, sir.

WU: You're welcome. Good to see you.

PAUL: You too. And be sure to join Chris Cuomo for a CNN special "The White House in Crisis: The Impeachment Inquiry" and it's tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: The sixteen year old who shot and killed two students and hurt three other students at a high school in Santa Clarita, California, has died. Police say the teenager used his last bullet to shoot himself in the head just 16 seconds after the shooting started. His motive is still a mystery. Police yesterday also identified 14- year-old Dominic Blackwell and 15-year-old Gracie Ann Muehlberger as the two students killed in Thursday's shooting. Now police say it does not look like there is a connection between the shooter and the victims other than they were students at the same school. Last night the community in Santa Clarita dedicated a high school football game to the victims of that high school shooting.

We're also following the latest from a shooting at a high school football game in New Jersey. That left two people seriously injured. The fear and chaos of the terrifying moment was captured on camera, watch.


BLACKWELL (voice over): This is a high school football game. Several players described the scene to CNN affiliate. They said gunshots were fired toward the end of the game. Some initially thought that they were just fireworks. Once they realized what they were, this happened. They started running. You see someone there on the ground. According to police two people were taken to a hospital. That incident still being investigated.


PAUL: Well, the impeachment inquiry of President Trump started with U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Coming up, details on why Ukraine really is so important to the U.S.

BLACKWELL: Plus, former President Barak Obama issues a warning to the 2020 Democratic candidates. We'll tell you what it is.

PAUL: And Coy Wire is in Talahassee this morning and you know what, it's been (INAUDIBLE) Colin Kaepernick, right Coy?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right Christi. The former QB has wanted another chance to get back into the NFL and today he'll get it here. Who will be catching passes from Kaepernick later on here on NEW DAY.



PAUL: Sixteen minutes past the hour right now. Good to have you here this morning. Former President Barak Obama has a warning for the 2020 Democratic candidates. In a room of liberal donors he cautioned candidates about the dangers of lurching too far to the left.


BARAK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision, we also have to be rooted in reality and the fact that voters, including Democratic voters and certainly persuadable independents or even moderate Republicans are not driven by the same views that are reflected on certain, you know, left-leaning twitter feeds or the activist wing of our party.

This is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement. They like seeing things improved, but the average American doesn't think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it, and I think it's important for us not to lose sight of that.


BLACKWELL: All right, without naming anyone, he also raised issues with some of the candidates' robust ideas on healthcare and immigration. He said that some policy proposals have gone further than public opinion.

Well, some 2020 candidates are heading to Nevada this weekend. The Nevada Democratic Party hosts its First in the West dinner. It's an opportunity for the candidates to pitch themselves to voters in the Silver State. Now, two newcomers we know have shaken up the race. Former Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, billionaire businessman and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are in. Joining me to discuss, Julia Manchester, National Politics Reporter for "TheHill." Julia, welcome back.

JULIA MANCHESTER, REPORTER, "THE HILL" Thank you for having me, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Let's start here with former President Obama. We mentioned that Bloomberg and Patrick are in. Just yesterday we saw Senator Elizabeth Warren release on media, she published this plan to get to Medicare for All in three years by the end of her third term. Reconcile what we're hearing from the president with what we're seeing in the race.

MANCHESTER: Well Victor, I have to tell you, I think the happiest person to hear those words from former President Obama was Joe Biden. He is someone who is continuously tied himself to his former boss and has continuously touted Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act and touted that kind of health care plan. However, this gets complicated because the number of progressives in the party led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have called to completely overhaul that plan in favor of Medicare for All.

Now, Elizabeth Warren has taken quite a bit of heat from others in the field, namely Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden for that plan and how she would essentially transition the U.S. from an Affordable Care Act system to her Medicare for All system and she released her transition plan yesterday and we saw that Buttigieg and Biden kind of went after her for that and criticized that transition plan and we know that Buttigieg is offering a Medicare for All who want it plan so Americans would be able to keep their private plans if they wanted it while Biden is looking to stick to the Affordable Care Act and expand upon it or improve it.


So healthcare has been really the main focal point of this divide but I think those comments from Obama were definitely good news I think for Buttigieg and Biden because Obama still remains the most popular Democrat.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about first, one of the new candidates in the race. There's a Reuters/Ipsos poll out that has former Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 4 percent, still low single digits but he's ahead of half of the candidates who will be on the debate stage on Wednesday. I mean what's the significance here? Nearly half of the Democratic respondents in this poll say they're familiar with him. Is this just name recognition, what do you think?

MANCHESTER: I think it's definitely just name recognition at this point. Remember, while we know that Michael Bloomberg has championed a number of causes in and out of the mayor's office in New York such as climate change, we know don't know a lot of the exact platforms on a number of issues that are going to be very important in this Democratic primary. So voters are too - are still unfamiliar with his stances which could impact their view of him. So right now I would say this is definitely name recognition and who they're recognizing in that poll. Remember Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard or businessman Andrew Yang. While they've been - especially for Gabbard, while she's been known on the national stage for a couple of years...


MANCHESTER: ... she's still not a household name. I would say Bloomberg is probably more of a household name. Remember his name is on a number of entities and businesses in the United States such as Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Media. So he already has that going for him but once he starts rolling out particular policy platforms...


MANCHESTER: ... that could change.

BLACKWELL: So let's talk about Governor Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts. He will not be on the debate stage this week. Just filed in New Hampshire to get his name onto the ballot. The threshold for the December debate is 4 percent -- I've got it here - 4 percent in four national early state polls or 6 percent in two early states. The candidates will likely have to compete with the impeachment hearings that we're seeing next week and throughout the next couple of weeks. What's the path for Governor Patrick with this mid-November entry here?

MANCHESTER: Well remember Governor Patrick is the former Governor of Massachusetts, so he has high name recognition in New England. That automatically leads me to believe that he's definitely aiming to make an impact in the New Hampshire primary. So he obviously filed for that primary right on the deadline last Friday. So it will be interesting to see whether he helps Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in that state or he hurts Joe Biden.

Remember, he is now the third New England candidate to be competing in the 2020 race so that could make things difficult for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders both from Vermont and Massachusetts. However, this could also hurt Biden in New Hampshire due to the fact Deval Patrick is very much aligning himself with a number of Obama Administration's policies and e's kind of viewing himself -- presenting himself as more as a centrist candidate, something that Biden is also trying to do.

I have talked to a number of people around the governor, who have spoken with the governor over the last couple of years. Initially there's chatter, is he aiming for a vice presidential slot potentially since he's gotten into this too late. However, I've spoken to a number of people who say that he's in it to win it at this point; he's in it for the long term.

BLACKWELL: All right, Julia Manchester, always good to have you.

MANCHESTER: Thank you.

PAUL: Well U.S. military aid to Ukraine is at the center of the impeachment inquiry but why is Ukraine so important to the U.S.? We're going to clear some things up next.

BLACKWELL: Also ahead, the president ignores the advice from his most senior military commanders and intervenes in two hugely controversial war crimes cases. We'll have more on that when we come back.




SCHIFF: If the people had any doubt about it, they should do what the president asked, read the transcript. And what they'll see in the transcript is the president praises the corrupt. He praises the corrupt, Lutsenko. He condemns the just, you. And then he asks for an investigation of the Bidens. There is no camouflaging that corrupt intent. We're adjourned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker - (INAUDIBLE). Mr. Chairman, you've

SCHIFF: Please allow the witness to leave.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, you disparaged - you disparaged on this side of the aisle. We should have a chance to respond to your disparaging remarks. Mr. Chairman, I demand receipt - Mr. Chairman - Mr. Chairman - Mr. Chairman.



BLACKWELL: There's a standing ovation for the witness at the second day of the public impeachment hearings. Former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, she recounted how she felt threatened by the president and his associates. She told lawmakers she was shocked and devastated to hear the president had those comments about her service in Ukraine.

PAUL: And this morning we have new details from a witness who said he personally heard President Trump demand an investigation into the Bidens. He says that the president was told that the Ukrainian President Zelensky would do quote, anything you asked him to and told lawmakers that the U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. confirmed the Ukrainians were to quote, do the investigation. So as the impeachment inquiry of President Trump proceeds here, it's important to remember how we got here.

BLACKWELL: Yes, near the center of this is U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Some people ask, why is Ukraine so important to the U.S.? Well CNN's Nina Dos Santos has the answer.



NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Ukrainian President may not want to be involved...


... but his country is at the center ...


...of the impeachment inquiry.

SCHIFF: Please rise and raise your hand. I will begin by swearing you in.

DOS SANTOS: So how did we get here?

LESLIE VINJAMURI, CHATHAM HOUSE: Well you think about Ukraine's geography, it's right there, right next to Russia. It's sort of leaning west, not fully embraced by the west.

DOS SANTOS: Until the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, firmly within Moscow's sphere of influence. That came to an end in 1001 and Ukraine faced a crosswords.


VANJAMURI: There was so much scope for imagination, for how to re- imagine Europe, and I think Ukraine was especially problematic for two reasons. One is that, it wasn't just on the periphery, it was core to Soviet Union's understanding of who it was, and so core to Russia. And secondly, because it had all of these nuclear weapons.

DOS SANTOS: The Soviets left behind nearly 2,000 nukes in Ukraine. It was an unexpected crisis solved with a 1994 agreement in which Kiev gave up those weapons, and Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. pledged to respect the country's independence, its sovereignty and its existing borders. But in 2014, Ukraine found itself once again at the center of tensions between Russia and the west.

In February, mass protests forced the pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych into exile. A month later, Russia sent special operations troops into Crimea and annexed it. To this day, Ukraine is still fighting to reclaim its lost land.

VINJAMURI: The ability of Ukraine to root out corruption, to professionalize its military, to really maintain that independence is really completely conditioned on the ongoing assistance from the United States. So, it gives the United States and the president in this instance tremendous leverage.

DOS SANTOS (on camera): This is a country that's effectively a buffer state, isn't it?

VINJAMURI: Yes, at the moment what we have really is the need to preserve what has become a buffer state, but also not to deny the people in Ukraine who would like to see more integration with the west, certainly economically and possibly politically.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Ukraine may be thousands of miles from the United States, but the countries precarious past and its uncertain future means that whatever happens in Kiev has become key on Capitol Hill. Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.


BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump ignored the advice from his Pentagon officials and pardoned two service members Friday. The president also restored the rank of a third member. All three faced allegations of war crimes. Now Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other senior military leaders warned President Trump against the move. They said that pardons could potentially damage the integrity of the military judicial system.

PAUL: The president was warned that the military could lose confidence of U.S. allies and partners who host U.S. troops. So, CNN has learned the Pentagon officials are expected to simply refer questions to the White House rather than try to explain a decision that they can't endorse.

BLACKWELL: Still ahead, Prince Andrew, he's opening up for the first time about his friendship with the accused sex offender -- could say convicted Jeffrey Epstein and about the woman who claims she was forced to have sex with the royal. Now, the prince explains it all. You'll hear from him, next.



BLACKWELL: For the first time, Britain's Prince Andrew is talking about his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He tells the "BBC" that he let the royal family down. Epstein died by suicide while awaiting trial for accusations of sexually abusing underage girls.

PAUL: The Duke of York found himself facing serious allegations from one of Epstein's accusers. She said Epstein forced her to have sex with the prince while she was under age. Now, the prince denies all the claims, but this is the first time he's speaking publicly about them. CNN reporter Hadas Gold is in London and she joins us now. So, specifically, what stands out about what Prince Andrew is saying?

HADAS GOLD, CNN REPORTER: Well, first of all, the interview itself stands out. It was clearly done with the queen's blessing because it actually took place in Buckingham Palace. It was filmed on Thursday evening. "BBC" says that it was a no holds barred interview and no question was vetted. The entire interview is actually going to air this evening on the "BBC".

But in the two clips we got from the "BBC", in one, Prince Andrew says that he has no recollection of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre who as you noted says that Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew. Now, the Buckingham Palace has strenuously denied these claims.

But in this interview, Prince Andrew says he just does not recall meeting her, despite the fact that there does appear to be a photo of the two together. In another clip, he addresses why he even continued seeing Jeffrey Epstein including even staying at his home in New York even after Epstein had been convicted of sex crimes.

Take a listen to what Prince Andrew told the "BBC".


ANDREW ALBERT CHRISTIAN EDWARD, DUKE OF YORK: The problem was the fact that once he had been convicted --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You stayed with him --

EDWARD: I stayed with him. And that's the bit that as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of a royal family. And we try and uphold the highest standards and practices, and I let the side down, simple as that.


GOLD: And, in fact, Prince Andrew is getting some support from important places including his ex-wife, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson who tweeted, "it is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure, real truth. That remains steadfast and strong to their beliefs.

Andrew is a true and real gentleman and stoically steadfast in not only his duty, but also his kindness and goodness." But if the prince thought that this interview would help quell the controversy surrounding him and his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and these allegations, it's not likely to do that because there still remains certain questions including the attorneys for some of Epstein's accusers are asking why is he willing -- why is Prince Andrew willing to sit down and do this extensive interview with the "BBC", and has so far not yet been willing to meet with investigators in the United States?

[06:40:00] BLACKWELL: Important question, Hadas, thank you. Now, the woman accusing Prince Andrew of sexual assault spoke with CNN's Vicky Ward just last month, here's what she says about coming forward with those allegations.


VIRGINIA ROBERTS GIUFFRE, ACCUSED PRINCE ANDREW OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: And Epstein had always told me, he'll never go to jail for this, he owns the Palm Beach Police Department, he's you know, blackmailed tons of his very wealthy friends. And in terms of Prince Andrew, he hides under mommy's skirt. So, will I ever have -- you know, will there ever be a day that he's held accountable? Probably not, but it doesn't stop me from saying the truth.


PAUL: For almost two decades, Vicky Ward has been reporting on Jeffrey Epstein go behind the headlines to hear a one-of-a-kind account of him. An individual who some say is more myth than man. "THE JEFFREY EPSTEIN I KNEW" is a new podcast from CNN, new episodes start November 26th.

All right, Coy Wire is next with sports. Some big fallout from that Browns-Steelers melee. Coy, we were wondering what was going to happen with this?

WIRE: Yes, my goodness, Christi, Myles Garrett paying a huge price for hitting the Steelers quarterback over the head with a helmet. Coming up, we'll tell you how long the Browns star will be out of the game next on NEW DAY.


PAUL: Later today, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is taking a practice field, hoping to show teams that he's ready to get back into the league.


Coy Wire has that and more in this "BLEACHER REPORT", he is live from our Tums Tailgate in Tallahassee, Florida. You're alone right now, but that won't last long, Coy, I know.

WIRE: No, we're going to have this place filled up, we're going to be having barbecue for breakfast, Christi, good to see you. Hey, look, Kaepernick says he has been working out every day for three years, waiting for another shot at the NFL, and today, he will get that chance. A league statement Thursday said that 11-team reps will be at the session, and it's reported that more have confirmed since then.

Kaepernick will be put through a series of drills, and an interview at the Atlanta Falcons indoor facility. The session is closed to the media, but everything is going to be recorded and made available to any team that wants it. Former Browns head coach Hue Jackson and former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, they'll be the ones running the session.

The league source tells me that NFL free agent wide receiver is looking to crack a team will be there to catch Kaepernick's passes. Kaepernick filed a grievance against the league back in 2017, saying owners conspired to keep him off the field because of his refusal to stand during the national anthem. That case was settled out of court last February. Kaepernick says he is in shape and ready to make an impression on the league's general managers and coaches.

And this swift punishment handed out by the NFL for the massive brawl between the Browns and Steelers, just 12 hours after Myles Garrett ripped the helmet off Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and hit him on the head with it. He was suspended indefinitely without pay. Now, he won't be able to apply for reinstatement until after this season.

That means a minimum of six games he'll be out, that's the longest suspension in league history for a single on-field incident. Prosecutors say there aren't plans right now for -- to file criminal charges against Garrett. Two other players were suspended in this as well.

Both teams fined a quarter of a million dollars. Remember, these two teams play each other again in two weeks. They're a huge rival, so, it will be interesting to see how much bad blood will carry over to that game.

All right, it is going to be a huge Saturday of college football, fourth ranked Georgia and 12th-ranked Auburn meeting for the 124th time, Christi. This is the longest running rivalry in the south. Huge SEC Championship implications. And how about that great big 12 showdown too as Baylor hosts Oklahoma, and we have got a huge match-up here in Tallahassee.

This is our first trip ever to a historically black college. Florida A&M, they're hosting Howard University, they are 8-1 in the season. For the first time, Christi, in a decade, they are ranked in the FCS polls, there are so much great energy, and as you saw yesterday, from the Marching 100, the iconic band who has played for Beyonce at Coachella, for Kanye at the Grammys.

March in two inaugurations for Presidents Obama and Clinton. There's so much energy and enthusiasm here, we're excited to be here and share it with you all morning long.

PAUL: I hope we could see that band again because that is some serious talent there, very big entertainment, no doubt. Coy Wire, we appreciate it so much, thank you, sir. Listen, I have to tell you about a strong and significant storm riding along the East Coast, this is from Georgia all the way to Virginia. Allison Chinchar is monitoring from the CNN Weather Center.

And listen, there are some of you -- I am told, who could see potentially wind gusts at hurricane strength again.



PAUL: I don't know if you know this, but more than 8 million tons of plastic end up in the world's oceans every year. That's the equivalent of a garbage truck dumped every minute. Well, a lawyer in Mumbai is working to tackle this global problem, and he is one of this year's top ten CNN heroes.


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 would 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 a complicated problem, sometimes the solutions are simple.


PAUL: To vote for your favorite top 10 Hero, go to, and thank you for doing so.


BLACKWELL: A strong and significant storm is expected to hit the East Coast from Georgia to Virginia, expects strong winds, heavy rain, coastal flooding as well.

PAUL: Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN Weather Center. So, we understand some of these wind gusts could reach hurricane strength?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, METEOROLOGIST: Yes, especially long states like the outer banks, however, still areas of North Carolina, that's where the strongest winds really are going to be with this particular storm. Here's where the storm is, it's located offshore right now, but you're seeing some of those rain showers moving inland, places like the Carolinas and Georgia also getting some rain from that system.

But the winds, yes, this is certainly going to be a pretty big impact. You've got the high wind advisories, you've also got high wind warnings, mainly, again, focused along the outer banks. The coastal regions of North Carolina were, yes, wind gusts could be up around 65 to even 75 miles per hour. Here's the thing, though, those winds are also going to ride up the East Coast.

So, it's not just for portions of the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic. It will even slide up into portions of the northeast as well. So, other areas likely going to get some pretty strong gusts especially say around the coastal regions of Massachusetts and even New York as well. In addition to that, you also have the flood threat, too, because

let's face it, it is going to be pushing a pretty good amount of moisture into these coastal regions. So, you have coastal flooding, but you also have the rain that's going to come down as well.


So, it's a two-fold really there. Here's a look at those heavy rain bands as they're expected to push into areas of South and North Carolina, and eventually in towards areas of Virginia and Maryland as we go throughout the rest of the day.

The system will skirt along the coast, so most of the heavy rain will be right there along the coast where you could end up picking an additional 2 to 4 inches. Keep in mind, it was also raining in these places yesterday, so it's going to be on top of the rain that they've already picked up.

Flooding also a concern for Italy. The other side of the world we're talking about here. Take a look at this image. Again, you can see the streets flooded right through here. We are going to be experiencing another round of flooding. Here's why this is important. Just this week on Tuesday, the high tide reached just about 6 feet, 187 centimeters here.

That's the second highest in their history. The problem is, guys, we are expecting to see those numbers creep back up around the 160 centimeter mark, which is just over five feet for those of us here. Again, that puts them in the exceptional tide level, guys. That's going to be the highest level that you can possible get.

So, if you have some travel plans there, please do check with your carriers and some of your travel plans before you head out.

BLACKWELL: All right, Allison --

PAUL: Right --

BLACKWELL: Chinchar, thanks so much.

PAUL: Thanks, we'll be right back.