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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Actress from Mocked Peloton Ad Gets New Role; Former Radioactive Site Collapses into the Detroit River; PG&E Agrees to Pay $13.5 Billion to California Wildfire Victims. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired December 7, 2019 - 06:00   ET

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


[06:00:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a dark day for a very great -- great place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More people are dead, including the shooter after an attack on the Pensacola naval base by a member of the Saudi military.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: FBI investigators are looking into whether the shooting was related to terrorism.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can tell you, it's a horrible thing that took place. We're getting to the bottom of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump's legal team will not participate in House impeachment proceedings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A new letter from White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, all but tells House Democrats to get lost.

TRUMP: It's done by frankly, losers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sources say, hearing out all corners in the caucus on whether to include elements of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report in the final articles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do expect to lose some and that's why I said it's a conscious vote.

(END VIDEO)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good Saturday morning to you. Top of the hour now. I'm Victor Blackwell.

AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: And I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's start this morning in Florida. That is the center of now a global investigation into the shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

WALKER: Three people were killed and several others injured when a man started shooting in a classroom. I want to get to CNN's Natasha Chen with the very latest. Natasha, what are we learning about the gunman and any details on a possible motive?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Amara, the FBI was specific about not wanting to talk about any possible motive, at this point. At a press conference they gave here last night, they talked about the fact this is a large crime scene and they have a team that has been working overnight to process the evidence there. They did say that it's possible they may release more information about the shooter today.

Four people are dead, including the shooter, after an attack on a Pensacola naval base by a member of the Saudi military. Authorities are now working to determine the motive.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): There's obviously going to be a lot of questions about this individual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi Air Force and then to be here training on our soil.

(END VIDEO)

CHEN: Two law enforcement sources tell CNN the shooter has been identified as Mohammed Alshamrani. President Trump who has stood by the Saudi government in the past relayed a message from King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

TRUMP: The king said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter and that this person in no way, shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people so much.

(END VIDEO)

CHEN: Officials say Alshamrani was part of an aviation training program on base and that weapons are not allowed.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't bring a weapon on base.

(END VIDEO)

CHEN: Eight others were injured in the attack that began just before 8:00 a.m. Eastern time in a classroom building on base. Among the wounded, two deputies from the Escambia County Sheriff's Office who exchanged gunfire with the shooter.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

CHIP SIMMONS, CHIEF DEPUTY WITH THE ESCAMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: The two deputies that initially engaged the suspect, one was shot in the arm and one in the knee.

(END VIDEO) CHEN: The FBI is leading the investigation and authorities caution it's still in the very early stages.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

DAVID MORGAN, SHERIFF, ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA: This doesn't happen in Escambia County; it doesn't happen in Pensacola. It doesn't happen to our friends and neighbors who are members of the United States Navy, but it did and it has. And so for now, we're here to pick up the pieces.

(END VIDEO)

CHEN: The Defense Department confirms with CNN that Alshamrani was part of a U.S. Air Force military sales training case funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He began that training here in August of 2017 so he had been here for more than 2 years and he would have finished that training of August of 2020. Amara and Victor, back to you.

BLACKWELL: Natasha, before we let you go, what is the status of the base now? We know that throughout the day on Friday it was closed. Is it still closed?

CHEN: Well, we're trying to confirm exactly what the situation is. I know that late yesterday through the naval air station Facebook page they were announcing in waves how people could come back on base if they lived there. So in the late afternoon period, I saw a post about allowing residents back from the west end main gates. It looks like most people are back at home, if they do live there. We're going to confirm what the official security situation is with the base today.

WALKER: All right. Natasha Chen with the very latest. Thank you so much Natasha.

BLACKWELL: Now let's get now to James Gagliano, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and retired FBI supervisory special agent on the phone with us. Good morning to you and I want to start with the investigation and just how this investigation will look a little different than what we're used to seeing because this person is a foreign national and this is a military installation. Give us an idea of how this will look different.

JAMES GAGLIANO, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Sure. First of all, good morning, guys. I got to tell you, this is not -- I think, for the American public many people are surprised to understand that we have foreign nationals that actually train jointly with our military.

[06:05:00]

It happens all the time. I went to West Point and there were Saudi cadets there on an exchange program. I served in the United States Army, the same thing. We had Saudi national officers that were going through our training and doing maneuvers with us. This is a common thing. We do it with our partners in Central America. We do it with partners in Eastern Europe. We do it with partners around the globe. In this instance, you had a Saudi officer who is going through basic

naval aviation training. And now he's going to have access to all the training. He's going to be working with his U.S. sponsors. This particular individual had been in the country for two years, Victor, so had had time to kind of get roots in the community and understand the nuances of the base and, you know, this is a base with 17,000 uniformed personnel and 6,000 civilians. So absolute tragedy that this happened. I was struck last night in listening to Rachel Rojas who is the special agent in charge of the Jacksonville office. She was very careful and measured. She - they didn't want to release his name last night. They have still not made a declarative statement linking this to any type of terror act. They're going to cross the I's and dot the T's. I'm assuming today Victor that we'll probably hear something else by way of another updated press conference.

WALKER: Yes and James, I want to pick up on what you're just mentioning how this is a man who had been in country for two years, was very familiar with the base, the nuances of the base as you said. What really struck out to me was the fact that weapons are not allowed on the base and somehow the suspect was able to bring a gun on to the base. Can you talk a little bit about the security regarding that and also, I mean, does it say this must have been a planned operation?

GAGLIANO: Sure. Well, there's a little difference in naval air station then there is with say an army post where I was assigned over the course of my military career. So obviously if you have an infantry post, you've got, you know, rifles and arms rooms and things like that. This being a naval air station, there probably would have been limited weapons use. They have them; they're secured in essentially an arms room. The only people allowed on post with weapons obviously are armed law enforcement personnel like yesterday those brave Escambia County sheriff's deputies, and then usually military police and sometimes the naval criminal investigative service folk.

So you're not allowed to carry a personally-owned weapon on post. If you're stationed on post, you have to have yours secured up in an arms room or in an armory. So really, this is - for this to have happened, this individual as we now know has secreted a handgun with additional magazines on to post. Now, how did he do that? You know, you go through security. Well if you have base I.D., I mean if you have military identification card, you don't get your trunk searched; you don't get your bag searched so he was probably able to just show his I.D. and come on post with a weapon that was not supposed to be there.

BLACKWELL: All right, James Gagliano, thanks so much for helping us understand this from both a military and law enforcement perspective. Good to have you this morning.

WALKER: I appreciate it James. Thank you.

GAGLIANO: Thank you, guys.

WALKER: Well we're learning that three members of the Minnesota National Guard died Thursday after their Blackhawk helicopter crashed during a routine maintenance test fight. According to our CNN affiliate, WCCO, a may day call was put out an hour and a half after it was missing. They say it was found tangled in trees on a family farm. The U.S. Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker is sending investigators to determine the cause of the crash.

BLACKWELL: No participation. The White House says it will not send anyone to the Hill to defend President Trump in the impeachment hearings. Why they say the entire thing is a waste of time.

WALKER: Plus, a temporary win for the president from an unlikely source, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

BLACKWELL: And Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera has the latest on a storm that's bringing a triple threat to the west.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:10:00]

BLACKWELL: So the White House is not going to participate in the impeachment hearing process that's happening right now in the House. They rejected an offer from Democrats to present any type of defense for President Trump during the House process.

WALKER: Yes, in a strongly-worded letter the White House counsel called the proceedings baseless, reckless, and a charade. Joining us now is CNN National Correspondent Kristin Holmes. Kristin, no one expected the White House to participate, so no big surprise here.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Amara. We have to keep two things in mind. While President Trump and Republicans have been saying this process is unfair because the president doesn't have representation, at the same time, we have seen the White House stone wall these investigations over and over again.

They will not turn over certain documents; they will not allow some of their aids to testify. So, again, you're absolutely right. It's not a surprise that they aren't going to participate in this process. I want to read you part of this letter here from the White House counsel. You mentioned it is strongly worded and this says adopting articles of impeachment would be a reckless abuse of power by House Democrats and would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan, and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our nation's history.

Now right after that, this letter quoted the president saying we want you to hurry up in the House and move this over to the Senate. That was something President Trump had tweeted. The reason being that they believe that this process is going to be much more friendly in the Senate -- Republicans that is -- because the Senate is run by Republicans. One thing I want to note here, while all of this is going on, Democrats are having some of their own issues in drafting some of these articles of impeachment.

This has been something we've been watching very carefully. Here is what it boils down to, again, articles of impeachment. Those are the charges brought against the president. There is a group of moderate Democrats who were voted in in swing districts who want to be very careful, want this to be a narrow scope, so what they're concerned about is whether or not Democrats are going to try and include any elements from the Mueller report into this. So take a listen to what two of the moderates had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

REP. MAX ROSE (D-NY): I was against going through with impeachment previous to this Ukraine (inaudible). So with the understanding that I'm not going to entertain any hypotheticals, I was very serious when I came out and said that. Very serious.

[06:15:00]

REP. GIL CISNEROS (D-CA): I think we need to stay focused on Ukraine and that's what it's about and that's when me and my colleagues wrote the op-ed. It was about Ukraine and the president put our national security at risk and that's what I'm ready to vote on.

(END VIDEO)

HOLMES: Now we heard that some of these moderates are frustrated with the process because they haven't been able to get a read from the speaker on what exactly those articles are going to include but it will be fascinating to watch. One person I spoke to actually said there could be a situation where Democrats split the vote. They would vote yes on some of these articles but not on all of them and that's not something the speaker would want. They want to show a sign of unity, at this time.

WALKER: And Kristin, I have to ask you because we're expecting to get the articles of impeachment as early as next week. Do we know what the Republican strategy is going to be?

HOLMES: Well, it depends on which part of the strategy you want to talk about. So, there's the strategy on the ground, this is the behind-the-scenes strategy. Now I talked to several Republicans who are aids on the Hill who essentially told me they're not going to change their strategy among members. They're going to keep unifying them. They're going to keep having weekly meetings. They're going to keep trying to attack the White House here.

Now the other part of the strategy is what they're going to do in the hearing. We have heard from Representative Doug Collins, who is a big advocate of President Trump. Of course he is a Republican. He's the Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee. He sent a letter saying they wanted about eight witnesses. On the list included the unknown whistleblower. It included Adam Schiff. It included Hunter Biden. What do we know about that? We know that Democrats have said that they will not call those people as witnesses. So we'll have to see how this plays out.

WALKER: All right, Kiersten Holmes, I appreciate your reporting. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in Christal Hayes, Washington correspondent for "U.S.A. Today." Good morning to you Christal.

CHRISTAL HAYES, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "USA TODAY": Good morning.

BLACKWELL: So these moderates who are concerned about potentially broadening the scope of these articles of impeachment, how persuasive are they? Take us inside this disagreement within the Democratic office.

HAYES: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows the perils for these moderates. They are the folks who flipped districts and gave her the speakership. So she's been keeping in close contact with those folks and the whole caucus. She is the one who really knows where the caucus is on this. She's going to be very careful, I think, as this moves forward.

You know, it's not even just moderates. A number of more progressive- leaning folks have also said the same thing that they want to keep this sort of close with the focusing on Ukraine because it is their - what Democrats say their best case forward but that's going to be such a huge discussion as things continue, especially over the next week because we could see a draft of articles of impeachment as early as this week.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that's the expectation. So Kristin read a little bit of the letter that came from the White House, but we got this letter that was released from House Republicans. They sent their own letter to Chairman Nadler asking him to call, among others, House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff, the anonymous whistleblower, Hunter Biden as witnesses for this next hearing to testify. Highly unlikely the Democrats will do that, understandably. What are the signals, though, coming from the Senate that potentially would they be on a witness list? Can they get a majority of Republicans to want to call the Bidens or others on this list?

HAYES: So far the Senate has even some of the president's closest allies in the Senate have kind of signaled no, which is really interesting. And, you know, you will probably see this shift a little bit because already we've seen a lot of pressure on quite a few members of the Senate, including Lindsey Graham, which is the South Carolina Senator in a close ally of the president. Even last night, the president's son was tweeting about him wanting to

get Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Chairman's phone records. We're going to see a lot of pressure on the Senators.

Usually the Senate is kind of this simmering down from the House. The House is kind of known as a boiling tea kettle and the Senate is where things seem to cool down with the partisanship and this impeachment inquiry, it's pretty clear the president is not going to want to see that. He wants to see partisanship. He wants to see, you know, things more geared toward a republican trial, seeing more about Biden, more about the whistleblower but right now Senators don't seem too keen on bringing in a few of those folks at least right now.

BLACKWELL: So you brought up Senator Grassley - Senator Graham, but he and two others - Senator Grassley and Senator Johnson, all three of them are Republican chairmen. They requested documents from the national archives, also the State Department to try to get to the bottom they say of the potential Ukrainian influence or interference in 2016. Let's put up the full screen. This is from their joint statement.

It says that Senator's inquiries are unrelated to an uncorroborated theory that Ukraine was also behind the hack of DNC servers. U.S. Intelligence officials and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation found that Russia was responsible for the DNC hack but also says certain reports of collusion and interference involving Ukrainian officials have not been sufficiently examined, and the few answers that have been given are inadequate. Is this what the defense will be, kind of shift the light toward Ukraine?

[06:20:00]

HAYES: Yes, it's definitely a forecast what we can see happening in the Senate trial along with Biden. I mean I think there's going to be a huge focus on him and, also, this as things move forward which is exactly what Trump wants. How far they're going to go down that path because in the Senate, you know, Mitch McConnell is going to be weary of a number of moderates including Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney of going down that path. Mitt Romney, in particular, has been, you know, kind of the leading force against the president in some regard on this whole Ukrainian scandal. And, you know, even with this theory about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election, he's been one of the opponents pointing out that intelligence does not tell us that this happened.

BLACKWELL: Yes. We know that Democrats, Republicans, as well, will be working through the weekend. We'll see if any fruit comes of that. Christal Hayes, always good to have you.

HAYES: Thank you.

WALKER: Turning now to a storm hitting the west coast today is bringing new threats to a region still recovering from recent wild fires. There's concern heavy rain in northern California could cause mudslides. Meantime, heavy snow is moving into the mountains.

BLACKWELL: Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera is tracking this. A lot of areas dealing with some rough weather, Ivan.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, for the next couple of days, Victor and Amara good morning. Good to see you both.

We have an area of low pressure just to the west of California. It's basically acting as a moisture conveyer belt, if you will. On the southern flank of this, all sorts of moisture is getting pulled in and that's going to result in heavy rain along the coasts, valleys, and then we're talking about higher elevation snowfall. There you see it continues and this is going to be an event that really throughout the day the rain will continue to be quite heavy at times, as waves of moisture begin to come in.

Of course the Sierra is going to get clocked here with significant snow; we're talking feet in just the next 24 to 48 hours. But Amara made a good point here. We do have lots of burn areas as you know in California so this area is particularly vulnerable to any significant rain and we're going have 1, perhaps 3 inches, that's going to be the range and that's going to be enough to provide us with that danger.

Wind gusts, not terrible but certainly 30 to 58 miles per hour, nothing to sneeze at and there's the lowest. We put the forecast in motion to be able to see it continues in coming on shore all the while bringing all that heavy rain and all the heavy snow as well for the Sierra. When it's all said done this is what we're expecting, again we're talking feet of snow in the Sierra and as I mentioned, anywhere from 1 to 3 inches across portions of California. We'll keep you posted on that. So far, no reports of any significant flooding as of yet; hopefully it will stay that way. Guys?

WALKER: I'm sure you'll keep a close watch. Ivan Cabrera, thank you very much.

CABRERA: You bet.

BLACKWELL: All right, breaking news in morning, an American prisoner in Iran is on his way home but the president's statement announcing his return leaves out something really important. We'll tell you what that is.

WALKER: Also he is an admitted criminal. Now a Congressman and felon says he won't exit office until after the holidays.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:25:00]

BLACKWELL: All right, the breaking news, an American held in Iran since 2016 is headed home! The president announced in an early morning statement that Xiyue Wang, a Princeton graduate student, was freed from Iranian custody.

WALKER: But the president's statement made no mention of this, that Iran's foreign minister says Wang's return was part of a swap and the United States agreed to send back an Iranian scientist arrested for violating trade sanctions. Let's go now to Kristin Holmes for details on this story. What do we know Kristin?

HOLMES: OK, first I want to start with who exactly this American is. This is is a Princeton student who was studying in Iran. He was a history Ph.D. student and he was essentially detained. They said he was a spy. Now we see this prisoner swap and I want to be clear. I have reached out to the White House. I haven't heard back on this. The only confirmation we have from this is from the Iranian foreign minister but we did just get a statement in from his wife.

Essentially it says this. Our family is complete once again. Our son, Shofan(ph) and I have waited three long years for this day and it's hard to express in words how excited we are to be reunited. We are thankful to everyone who helped make this happen.

So clearly a joyous day and I do want to note, there had been some skepticism we would be able to get Americans out of Iran. We have seen roughly a dozen, at least, of prisoners who have been released under President Trump. He has made this a key part of his administration over and over again saying he wants to get these Americans back on American soil. Those came from countries like Egypt, like North Korea, Turkey. This was very different. There was a lot of skepticism they would be able to make a deal with Iran. So right now still gathering the details on what exactly happened, how this played out but we know this American is coming home.

BLACKWELL: All right, Kristin Holmes there for us Washington. Thank you so much for getting on that breaking news.

Congressman Duncan Hunter, he's leaving Congress but he says he'll do it after the holidays.

WALKER: Yes, the California Republican changed his formal plea this week to guilty admitting to fraudulently spending more than $200,000 in campaign funds. Some of the luxuries he and his wife splurged on include a $14,000 Italian vacation. Hunter also spent the money on everyday items like groceries.

BLACKWELL: Until this week, he denied any wrong doing. That went on for more than a year. A House Ethics Committee told Hunter on Thursday to stop voting on legislation.

WALKER: From a holiday commercial about bikes to one about boos. How the actress featured in an ad getting mocked online is making the most out of some expected attention.

BLACKWELL: I feel it's the facial expression that really sells the whole ad.

WALKER: I agree.

[06:30:00]

BLACKWELL: And a tick commonly found in the south is making its way north and spreading illness, even being blamed for one woman developing an allergy to red meat. We'll tell you how climate change is contributing to the spread of this blood-sucking bug.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALKER: Welcome back. Authorities are monitoring Detroit's drinking water after a contaminated site along shore collapsed into the Detroit River.

BLACKWELL: So this facility which produced radioactive material during World War II caved in last month. Yesterday investigators from the EPA were on site. They were doing some testing. According to the EPA and Michigan's Department of Environment, previous inspections found no abnormal radio activity at the site. Now, it is unclear what caused the facility to collapse. Of course, they're trying to get an answer to that.

WALKER: All right, well Pacific Gas and Electric has reached a multi- billion dollar settlement with victims of wildfires in northern California.

[06:35:00]

The utility giant announced it would pay $13.5 billion to settle claims from several fires between 2015 to 2018. The wild fires killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. Last November's Campfire alone killed 85 people. The company's equipment has been blamed for starting some of those fires. The agreement still has to be approved by a bankruptcy court.

BLACKWELL: In cities around the world within, protesters blocked streets with their bodies, banners, all calling for immediate action on climate change. Portland, Oregon, New York, Madrid. A lot of protests were led by students. From extreme weather to rising sea levels, experts have warned about the wide spread effects of climate change.

WALKER: But researchers say global warming has exposed millions to a much smaller threat, as well -- ticks and the illnesses they carry. CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us now. So Jacqueline, do explain that connection to climate change and how is the world's climate driving a rise in these diseases and where we're seeing them spread.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Well, we can't ignore that climate change is one of the factors playing a role hear. In the United States since 2004, we've seen tick-borne disease cases double. That's something to keep in mind.

What is happening as we see the climate shift, and as we see longer and hotter summers that allows ticks to move into regions where they haven't necessarily been prevalent before and that allows for more tick activity. One example of this is the Lone Star tick. We know that the Lone Star tick is typically found in the south, but in recent years, we've seen this type of tick in the upper Midwest, in the upper northeast, and even into eastern Canada. And that's different from, as you can see on the map here, where it's typically found, which is more in the south. As we see more tick activity, that raises the risk of tick-borne disease.

WALKER: What are some of these and how dangerous is this?

HOWARD: Well, we know about Lyme disease, of course. Even after treated with antibiotics you can have lingering effects like pain and aches. We also know about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Rabbit Fever. Those are just some examples. Also Alpha-gal syndrome which is a red meat allergy may be linked to tick bites. That's something to keep in mind as well. What scientists are really looking into though as we see more tick activity, that raises the risk of new and emerging diseases coming on the scene and that's something that scientists are really kind of keeping an eye on here.

WALKER: Yes, it's a bit concerning. Is there anything people can do to protect themselves?

HOWARD: You know, of course, when you're in wooded areas keep your exposed skin covered. Check yourself for ticks. One thing you might not think about, if you have pets, like cats and dogs, they can bring ticks into the home and they can even expose young children and even babies to ticks. That's something to be aware of. At the end of the day, just raising awareness around this. Being aware of this increased risk is important and that's really the first step to prevention.

WALKER: Well then, thanks for making us aware, Jacqueline. Jacqueline Howard, thank you.

HOWARD: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's go to North Carolina now and a town cancelled a Christmas parade that features a Confederate group. We'll tell you why officials were concerned this could have turned violent this year.

WALKER: Plus, it's championship weekend in college football! Our Coy Wire is live from Atlanta for the biggest conference clash for all of them. The SEC title game, Coy?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning. It's LSU and Georgia right here in Atlanta! I don't know if you can see smoke billowing over here Amara and Victor but we're already tailgating this morning. We'll have a talk about these championship games coming up after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:40:00]

WALKER: All right. With one weekend to go in the college football season, it's a question of who is in and who is out. That question is a little bit easier to answer this morning.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is hunkered down at the SEC championship game in Atlanta. Coy, good morning to you!

WIRE: Yes, good morning to you. Hey, last night Utah, the number five team in the nation, they were ready to fly right in there to the final spot of the college football playoff. If there's any sort of shake up in the top four today but it is not meant to be.

Number 13 Oregon playing spoilers in the PAC-12 championship last night in Santa Clara, California. Sophomore C.J. Verdell from SoCal had a huge night. Check out this run; 70 yards to the end zone. He clocked in at 21 miles per hour this summer. He ran for over 200 yards and three touchdowns in this game. The Ducks demolishing the third- ranked scoring defense in the nation with a 37-15 to win. They're heading to the Rose Bowl and heartbreak for Utah. They're knocked out of the playoff contention.

More conference title games today. Keep your eye on the winner of that Big 12 championship. Baylor or Oklahoma could find themselves in the final playoff spot if Georgia loses today. That's here at the SEC title game in Atlanta, just a stone's throw away from CNN Center and Victor and Amara, huge implications here. Number 2 LSU taking on Number 4 Georgia. The bulldogs have a very impressive track record this season. Coach Kirby Smart and his Bulldogs, they have knocked off three teams this season in the top 15, but they have not yet run into a team like LSU and that high-powered offense.

[06:45:00]

They are scoring the second most points in the nation, averaging over 48 points per game -- look at that. They are led by Heisman frontrunner quarterback Joe Burrow. He's a grad student who graduated -- undergrad in three years by the way. He's turned himself into a top NFL pick, his coach, Ed Orgeron says his leadership is next level.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED ORGERON, HEAD COACH, LSU: Joe is a solid leader. Joe won't scream, Joe won't hala, but he does things by example. When things are not right, he'll step up and challenge guys. He's a fierce competitor, he is very focused. He's mature ahead of his years. He brings a lot to our football team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: These games mean so much to these players today, Victor and Amara because a lot of these guys are seniors, they're not going to go play in the NFL, so it will be the last game they ever play in their collegiate career. These games mean a lot to me today, too because we're tailgating, not everyone of Tums ultimate tailgate. And this is a sneak peak at the size of the po' boy that I'm going to try it in our next hit when I visit you later, we have chef Julian from the corner grill here in College Park.

So, if I don't make my next hit, you'll know that I'm probably in a food coma somewhere --

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: What do you know about a po' boy, Coy? What do you know about a po' boy?

WIRE: I'm about to find out if we're lucky, I'll walk on over and bring you the shrapnel, I'll bring you back over tit-bits.

BLACKWELL: All right --

WALKER: Keep being in food coma, I have a good feeling about that. Try not to finish the whole thing. Thanks, Coy!

BLACKWELL: All right, so the actress -- you probably heard about this, now dubbed the Peloton woman, well, she's now back in a new ad.

WALKER: She is, but this time she's trading in her exercise bike for something much different. You'll see next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:50:00] BLACKWELL: You know, for a lot of people, this time of year is about giving back. But the 13th annual CNN Heroes all-star tribute salutes ten people who put others first all year long. The star-studded gala airs live this Sunday. Take a look!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a saying in Ethiopia. People are medicine for people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we do here is to provide food, clothing and shelter and a whole lot of love.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To give children a place to mourn their loss and tell their story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're the best the world has to offer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to start a program and we're going to help people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm feeling the love!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're heroes today and every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we must talk less and do action more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Video games are an incredible source of relief during difficult times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We purchase RVs and give it to a family who lost their home in a fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many of our kids come to us traumatized. I just want to see them happy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It impacts lives that don't feel they have a voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa live as they name the 2019 CNN Hero of the year.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: Heroes are incredible people.

KELLY RIPA, CNN: Their work and their stories will inspire you tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN Heroes, an all-star tribute, December 8th at 8:00 p.m. on CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER: Don't mess with Nancy Pelosi. Video of the speaker went viral this week when she snapped at a reporter who asked her if she hated President Trump.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Jeanne Moos has more on this finger-pointing encounter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a seven-word question that stopped Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her tracks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I don't hate anybody.

MOOS: Speaker Pelosi did so much angry pointing that it made her previous fame point directed at President Trump seemed like a minor wag. She then marched back to the microphone.

PELOSI: And as a Catholic, I resent you using the word, "hate" in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone.

MOOS: Buckle your seatbelt reporter James Rosen from the pro-Trump- Sinclair broadcast group.

PELOSI: So, don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

MOOS: She turned and stalked out.

DANA BASH, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Wow, but wow.

MOOS: It was the tirade that launched a thousand hashtag don't mess with me -- oh, snap, Pelosi's own daughter tweeted, "don't mess with mama."

(on camera): But not all Catholics took the high road or even a high and mighty road.

(voice-over): Speaker Pelosi is a better Catholic than I am, I hate Trump with every bead of my rosary. Fans said of Pelosi, she is magnificent. Critics said "this woman is a loon!" President Trump tweeted "Nancy Pelosi just had a nervous fit."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I think that's going to be a historic Pelosi quote for decades.

MOOS: Her latest quote resurrected quotes about her.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): And if you think a woman can't beat Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi does it every single day.

(APPLAUSE)

MOOS: It brought forth the speaker's most famous gifts, donning her power sunglasses, wielding her giant gavel, clapping back at President Trump, earning her the SNL nickname --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy Madam "clap-back" Pelosi.

MOOS: Conservative Laura Ingraham tweeted "imagine if a male GOP House Speaker told a female reporter, "don't mess with me". Responded someone like, I don't know, Trump --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What a stupid question that is. But I watch you a lot, you ask a lot of stupid questions.

MOOS: And speaking of hate, wouldn't you hate to be him?

PELOSI: So, don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: Anything you want to say about that.

WALKER: I'm good.

BLACKWELL: All right, so the actress featured in the holiday commercial going viral for the wrong reason, really, is making the most out of some unexpected attention.

WALKER: Yes, in case, you haven't seen the ad, here is the clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Boston 55 --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's so -- a year ago, I didn't realize how much this would change me. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This holiday, give the gift of Peloton.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[06:55:00]

WALKER: Anything wrong with that ad? Well, the ad is for the indoor exercise bike Peloton. And it shows a woman watching a compilation of her year-long experience riding the bike as she thanks her husband for gifting it to her. The ad has been getting roasted online with some calling it sexist. But now the actress dubbed "the Peloton woman" or "The Peloton wife" is trading in the bike for a cocktail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're safe here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To new beginnings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To new beginnings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you go. It's going to be a fun night!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: And so the new ad was posted by actor Ryan Reynolds for his gin brand. And the caption "exercise bike not included." WALKER: Right, you don't like that?

BLACKWELL: I don't know what one has to do with the other.

WALKER: Basically she could enjoy her life and not have to be gifted a Peloton bike. I mean --

BLACKWELL: I feel like a commercial actress took two jobs. And we're trying to put this together.

WALKER: Look, our social media loved it, and they're saying Ryan Reynolds was a hero for saving her on this, but --

BLACKWELL: All right, well, social media often knows more than I do.

WALKER: I would agree so.

BLACKWELL: Stay with us, the next hour of NEW DAY starts after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a dark day for a very great place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four people are dead including the shooter after an attack on a Pensacola Naval base by a member of the Saudi military.