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Holiday Weather Outlook; Klobuchar Building Momentum in Iowa; Eddie Murphy Returns to SNL; Eagles Soar in Playoff Race; North Korea to Abandon Negotiations. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired December 23, 2019 - 06:30   ET



JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: Has your forecast.


JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, conditions will continue to improve, but we're still looking at a rainy mess across much of the southeast for today. So if you are traveling, it is going to be a slow go, especially in these regions, anywhere from say south Florida all the way up through the Carolinas.

This rain will be pushing offshore, though, as we go throughout the day today. Comes with, though, a lot of flood warnings and flood watches for portions of Georgia and South Carolina.

But going forward in time, you can see by this afternoon, starts to wrap up across Georgia and then eventually by tomorrow around noon things look much, much better across the southeast.

Here's the rain accumulation through tomorrow morning. And you can see, we're looking at an additional possible four inches across portions of South Carolina. That's where the bulk of the rain will be. That's why those flood watches are in effect. But milder air is settling in across much of the country especially the South, just in time for Christmas Day. Look at these temperatures. Atlanta by Wednesday, 63 degrees, a good 10 degrees above normal. St. Louis, on Christmas, 67 degrees. D.C. will be at 48 and New York City right around where we should be, high temperatures around 43 degrees. The nation looks pretty pleasant for Wednesday.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: But not a white Christmas, which could be disappointing in parts (ph).

GRAY: No, unfortunately.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, Jennifer.

GRAY: Right.

CAMEROTA: So, Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar trying to build momentum by blanketing Iowa. She is currently in the midst of a four-day, 27-county swing. Her goal is to visit all of Iowa's 99 counties before caucus day. She sat down with CNN's Kyung Lah, who joins us live from Council Bluffs. She's trying to achieve the full Grassley.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She is trying to hit these counties one after the other after the other after the other, Alisyn. And the reason why is she wants to try to seize on that debate momentum. That is the goal here.

She's currently polling in the single digits. But here's the rub or the benefit for her. Those same polls show she could end up surprising everyone.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Midwest is not flyover country to me. I live here.

I hope you saw the debate, some of you.

LAH (voice over): Senator Amy Klobuchar believes now is her upswing. The Minnesota moderate crisscrossing 27 counties in Iowa.

KLOBUCHAR: Hurry up. Get on the bus.

LAH: From rural to suburban venues.

KLOBUCHAR: We have 40-some days left. We have this incredibly important impeachment hearing. I don't know when I can come back.

LAH: As a Senate trial looms and the clock ticks.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, everybody.

This will be our 79th county.


LAH: Inside the Klobuchar campaign, their come-from-behind strategy is to meet Iowans face-to-face.

KLOBUCHAR: It's one of the counties that --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's one of the Trump counties -- Trump Obama counties --

KLOBUCHAR: Obama won and then Trump won.

LAH: And chip away at the more moderate candidates polling higher.

LAH (on camera): When people in those rooms say, why should I when I have a new person like Pete Buttigieg or someone who's, you know, tested like Joe Biden, why -- why should I consider someone like you?

KLOBUCHAR: I think I'm the right package. I like to joke that 59 is the new 37 to Mayor Pete, that I'm someone that's in between the ages. I am a new generation of leader.

LAH (voice over): An argument of her Midwest experience, sharpened from the debates to the stump.

KLOBUCHAR: All right, got a little taller.

LAH: She's won in Trump districts, urban, suburban, and rural. So when they heckle --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you going to pay for it?

LAH: She'll tangle to convince them.

KLOBUCHAR: A question was raised there from the peanut gallery about how we pay for things. I have actually outlined how I'm going to pay for every single thing that I have proposed.

I don't think that Donald Trump has some kind of monopoly on votes in rural America or in suburban America. Not for a second. And you saw a lot of suburban and rural voters that voted for women, they voted for Democrats, including independents and moderate Republicans. So the evidence is there that people want a check on this guy.

LAH: The hard part, getting Iowans to decide.

JEFF BUTLER, IOWAN DEMOCRATIC VOTER: I like Pete and I -- and I like Amy. They've always been my top two.

LAH (on camera): What is going to push you to decide?

BUTLER: I get to meet Amy tonight.

LAH (voice over): After he's listened to her?

BUTLER: I probably went from 50/50, now I'm 78 percent for Amy.

LAH: We did find a number of voters pledging to caucus for Klobuchar, including Judith Anderson, won over just this week.

JUDITH ANDERSON, IOWAN DEMOCRATIC VOTER: Her sense of humor and relating to people directly was a wonderful experience.

LAH (on camera): And did the debate have anything to do with it?

ANDERSON: Oh, Lord, yes.

LAH (voice over): But, overwhelmingly, many were like Jan Norris.

JAN NORRIS, IOWAN DEMOCRATIC VOTER: How many have I seen? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight --

LAH: There are just too many to choose from, she says.

NORRIS: Seventeen.

LAH (on camera): Seventeen candidates. You've heard 17 candidates? [06:35:00]

NORRIS: That I've personally heard speak, yes.

Amy is definitely in the running.

LAH: Do you feel you're running out of time as far as making a decision?

NORRIS: Oh, no, February 2nd, maybe February 3rd.

LAH: That's when you'll make a decision?


KLOBUCHAR: Thanks, you guys.

LAH (voice over): So for the candidate working on an upset, the slow grind continues.


LAH: In addition to all of this, there's an upcoming challenge ahead. You heard the senator refer to it, the impeachment trial. She's going to be a juror there. That means she's got a day job in Washington. It is something that Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden don't have. So she's going to have to be juggling, John, to try to keep up.


AVLON: That is some retail politics. Seventy-eight percent leaning towards Amy Klobuchar. Fascinating.

CAMEROTA: That was awfully specific. That -- he's -- that man is interesting to me.

LAH: Yes.

AVLON: That's Iowa.


AVLON: Ninety-nine counties.

All right, thank you so much.

Meanwhile, Eddie Murphy making a triumphant return to "Saturday Night Live" for the first time in 35 years. We've got more from that.


EDDIE MURPHY, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": How the hell are people not going to know who I am? I'm Gumby, damn it!



CAMEROTA: Eddie Murphy getting rave reviews for hosting "Saturday Night Live" for the first time in 35 years. Murphy revived some of his most famous characters from decades ago.

Here's a clip.


EDDIE MURPHY, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": The white people came and changed everything, but I am still your neighbor.

So much has changed since we last spent some time together. My neighborhood has gone through so much. It's gone through something called gentrification.


Can you say gentrification, boys and girls? It's like a magic trick. White people pay a lot of money and then, poof, all the black people are gone. But where do they go, boys and girls? Back to where they come from, of course, Atlanta.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We ordered a new 72 inch Samsung TV. And they say it was delivered but it's not in the lobby. And we were wondering if you knew anything about that?

MURPHY: Don't worry, boys and girls, Mr. Robinson knows just what to say in situations like this.

Oh, you think I stole your TV because I'm black!

Can you believe the nerve of them, boys and girls? There's a special word for that. Racist.


CAMEROTA: Joining us now, CNN media analyst Bill Carter. He's the former "New York Times" media reporter, and cultural commentator Christopher John Farley. He's the author of "Around Harvard Square."

Great to have both of you here.

People were so looking forward to this weekend. And let me just start, Bill, what took him so long? Why was he gone for 35 years? What's the back story?

BILL CARTER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Well, you -- kind of a lot of, you know, incidents there. I mean he was not with Lorne Michaels. Lorne Michaels had a brief period of time when he didn't run "Saturday Night Live" that Eddie did not take part in that. So he wasn't part of the Lorne Michaels universe.

CAMEROTA: So, in other words, he wasn't Loren Michaels --

AVLON: Right. CAMEROTA: Right.

CARTER: And then he really got upset with a bit that David Spade did about him and really slammed him at one point when one of his movies wasn't doing well and said, here's a picture of a falling star. And he hated that. So he, you know, he really had an estrangement. There's no doubt about it.

CAMEROTA: For sure.


AVLON: I mean amazing though. I mean talk about a massive comeback. I understand this was one of the highest rated shows of the year.

CARTER: It was. So of -- take out sports, no show had a bigger 18 to 49 rating than this show already. And this doesn't count the taped viewers like you, Alisyn. So it was an enormous -- 10 million viewers on a Saturday night.

CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, CULTURAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's also important to remember how well it's doing online as well.


FARLEY: You see some of the clip, like the clip we just saw, already has 4 million views of that clip on YouTube. So people are actually watching this over and over again, sharing the clips. It will have a life beyond just watching it first run on TV.

AVLON: That's right, Chris, it's really about the reach. And the reach is endless. This is an instant classic.

CAMEROTA: But just explain the significance of Eddie Murphy then and now.

FARLEY: Yes, there's a difference that I find interesting is the fact that he made this show not just a celebration of his own history walking through some of his old characters, but also of the impact he's had on black comedy. You saw Dave Chapelle there. You saw --

CAMEROTA: Chris Rock.


FARLEY: The Chris Rock there. So you saw people that he influenced and helped bring into the business and helped get to the top there to help celebrate his influence.

So Eddie Murphy, of course, had a huge career himself, but he also helped launch other people into huge careers as well because he broke down the doors.

AVLON: That's right. And so many iconic characters that we saw reprised last night, as well as new sketches.

One of them was, we're going to give you a look back at one of the original Mr. Robinson's neighborhood. Let's take a look.


MURPHY: You know, another reason why Mr. Robinson likes Christmas so much, boys and girls, is because it has so much in common with Santa Claus. We both like to sneak into your house late at night. Only Mr. Santa Claus likes to leave things. Mr. Robinson prefers to take a few things every now and then.


AVLON: And now he's -- he's -- it's a sketch about gentrification and the impact on the neighborhood. And you had Gumby and you had -- you had Velvet Jones. I mean really so many iconic characters.

FARLEY: Yes, the thing about Eddie Murphy, he wasn't the first comic actor (ph) to sort of deal with race. I mean Dick Gregory --


FARLEY: Moms Mabley, a lot of other people did the same kind of thing. But he was really kind of the first comic rock star. This guy's playing stadiums. He's dangerous. He's edgy. He -- yet he's still mainstream. And comedy really hasn't seen someone like him before.

CARTER: And you really saw, again, the energy this guy has. He brought so much energy. Like, even the schedule he did at the end when he played this elf, he was so over the top energized that it really -- you know, it was special. It was very special.

AVLON: I've got to speak -- special. I've got to play one of my favorites from last night, which is the return of Gumby to weekend update.

CARTER: Gumby.


MURPHY: How the hell are people not going to know who I am? I'm Gumby, damn it. I -- let me tell you something, I saved this damn show from the gutter. And it's thanks to me. This is the thanks that I get for saving this show? Shame on you, Lorne Michaels. Shame on you, NBC. Shame on you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, Gumby, Gumby, just calm down. Calm down.

MURPHY: Don't tell me to calm down, trailer boy. I passed kidney stones with more personality than the two of you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a little rude.

MURPHY: Face it, kid, the both of you together couldn't Velcro my sneakers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, you're not exactly a Christmas character I'm saying. MURPHY: What the hell do you mean I'm not a Christmas character? Look

at me. I'm green! I'm green and all the children love me. The kids love me and I'm a Christmas character, you jerk.



And, Gumby, I just want to point out, you're not allowed --

MURPHY: Hey, give me a match, I want to smoke this cigar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you're not allowed to smoke in here, Gumby.

MURPHY: Hey, don't tell me not to smoke, head shot, I do what I want to do. I am Gumby, damn it! I am Gumby.


CAMEROTA: That's really good because there's a moment of -- there's a truism in there where he says, I saved this show.

CARTER: He did. That's right.

CAMEROTA: And you believe that Eddie Murphy, at the time, did save the show.

CARTER: There's no doubt. There's no doubt. The show was teetering on the brink of being canceled. It was almost canceled, really, and he came out of nowhere. He was a featured player and he just emerged with these characters.

By the time he was on his second year, he was basically carrying the show on his back.


FARLEY: What's actually about his characters is that they're so timeless. I watched the show with my 14-year-old daughter. She didn't know Gumby. She didn't know Eddie Murphy's version of Gumby. She still thought that was hilarious.


FARLEY: So the fact that they can sort of carry over through time, through generations is really an amazing tribute to how funny it is at its core.

AVLON: One person who didn't think it was funny last night was Bill Cosby.


AVLON: With pretty good reason.

CAMEROTA: But he's wrong, it was funny. AVLON: Objectively, he's wrong.


AVLON: But Eddie Murphy took a shot at Cosby saying, you know, who thought, you know, Cosby would be in jail and I'd be America's dad.

CAMEROTA: But, let's play it. Do we have it?

CARTER: Right.

AVLON: I think we do have that clip and we've got a statement from Cosby.


MURPHY: If you had told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring, stay-at-home, you know, house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I would have took that bet. I'll tell you, who is America's dad now?


CAMEROTA: It's so good.

CARTER: Oh, yes.

FARLEY: That's a long-running beef --

AVLON: That's right.

FARLEY: That goes back several decades.


FARLEY: You know, Cosby, you know, has been calling up Eddie Murphy to complain about his act. But right --

CARTER: His language particularly.

FARLEY: Right. And then Eddie Murphy's been taking shots at him. Like, when he accepted the Mark Twain prize, he took a shot at him. This has been going on for some time. Cosby actually likes calling up black people to tell them they're doing something wrong. He called me up once. He likes to --

CAMEROTA: What did he say?

AVLON: What?


FARLEY: He didn't like something I wrote in "Time" magazine. So it's been going on for a long time. I guess now the calls will be coming in from a correctional facility in Pennsylvania.


FARLEY: And so now people are sort of firing back at him.

AVLON: Except a statement that the Cosby team put out, which was really pretty -- pretty brutal, calling Eddie Murphy essentially a Hollywood slave. One would think that Mr. Murphy was given the freedom to leave the plantation so that he could make his own decisions, but he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood slave. Stepin Fetchit plus cooning equals the destruction of black men in Hollywood. Remember, Mr. Murphy, that Bill Cosby became legendary because he used comedy to humanize all races, religions, and genders. But you're attacking Mr. Cosby helps you embark on just becoming click bait.

That's a tough statement with a lot of history behind it.

FARLEY: Well, the important thing to remember about that statement is it was posted on Instagram where Cosby's account has like 48,000 followers, which is not very many.


FARLEY: And he also spelled Dave Chapelle wrong. So, I mean, it's not exactly the most kind of current, with it kind of statement.

CARTER: And it's not really -- Cosby does not really have a lot of people who are going to support what he does right now. It's very hard for him to come out with a statement like that. Stepin Fetchit, calling Eddie --

AVLON: I mean, yes.

CARTER: Eddie Murphy something that outrageous --


CARTER: I mean it's -- it's not going to endear him particular to people (INAUDIBLE).

AVLON: An escalation, but a huge triumph for -- for Eddie Murphy last night by any measure.

CARTER: Big time.


CARTER: Big time.

CAMEROTA: Well, thank you guys for giving us all that context. Really interesting.

FARLEY: Well, thank you.

AVLON: Love it.

CAMEROTA: Great to have you here.

OK, North Korea, the dictator there, Kim Jong-un, issuing a cryptic Christmas message. Details about what could be in store, next.



AVLON: It's looking like a blue Christmas for the Cowboys as their playoff hopes dwindle with a loss to the Eagles.

Andy Scholes here with more in the "Bleacher Report."



Not a Merry Christmas for Cowboys fans. You know, Dallas could have won the NFC East yesterday, but they just had another classic Cowboys meltdown. Just really didn't show up for this huge game in Philadelphia. The shorthanded Eagles, meanwhile, seizing the day, jumped on Dallas early, scoring the game's first 10 point. The Cowboys failing to score a touchdown. In this one, Ezekiel Elliott carried the ball just 13 times as the Eagles would win 17- 9. Philly can now win the NFC East with a win over the Giants on Sunday. The Cowboys now need the Eagles to lose that game and then beat the Redskins if they hope to get into the playoffs.

All right, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, meanwhile, putting a beat down on the Bears on Sunday night football. Mahomes throwing two touchdowns in the 26-3 win. And after this TD to Travis Kelce, Mahomes kind of trolling Bears fans, counting how many players on his fingers were taken over him in the 2017 draft. Bears fans, of course, never going to forget. They took quarterback Mitch Trubisky second. Mahomes then went 10 with Deshaun Watson being picked 12th.

All right, finally, Christmas coming early for one lucky Bucks fan last night. Check out Giannis Antetokounmpo giving away his shoes after the game to a young fan. Her face, just priceless. She starts crying, she was so happy. Giannis then picked her up and then took a picture with her. Tell you what, guys, good luck to Santa Claus trying to top Santa Giannis this year because that present right there, pretty, pretty cool.


AVLON: Yes, if you get that reaction under the tree, you've done well.

CAMEROTA: Andy, thank you.

SCHOLES: Absolutely. Yes.

AVLON: Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

CAMEROTA: OK, now, developing overnight, new details about the Christmas gift that North Korea is warning the U.S. about. CNN has learned that North Korea is planning to abandon negotiations

with Washington. Instead, adopting a hard line policy and taking denuclearization off the table.

Joining us now is Gordon Chang, a columnist for "The Daily Beast."

Gordon, what's the -- what's the -- well, let me just read the -- let me read the statement about the Christmas gift. Here's what they said. It is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get. That's from the vice minister of the North Korean foreign ministry.

What does that mean?

GORDON G. CHANG, COLUMNIST, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, my record of predictions is less than 50 percent. I tend to think -- with that warning, I tend to think the North Koreans aren't going to do anything really serious, at least for another couple months. And the reason is, they need some time to digest all the information they got from those two rocket engine tests this month. So it's going to take them time to actually launch an intercontinental ballistic missile or do something else.

But, you know, they're great at misdirection, they fool us all the time and I'm betting about 10 percent on predictions.

CAMEROTA: Glad we booked you. No, I'm just kidding, you are -- you are always a great voice to have on here because the messages out of the administration are confusing. And so John Bolton, former national security adviser, has just given overnight an interview to "Axios," and he sees real warning signs ahead. Here are some of the things that John Bolton is saying. He says, OK, Bolton does not think the administration really means it when President Trump and top officials vow to stop North Korea from having deliverable nuclear weapons or it would be pursuing a different course.

So, Bolton doesn't think that President Trump is serious about stopping the nuclear weapons.

CHANG: That's a really interesting comment about bluffing the North Koreans. In a sense he's right. I wouldn't have used that term. You know, President Trump, out of the Ottawa (ph) G-7 in June of last year told us what he's going to do. He said he was going to give Kim a, quote/unquote one-time shot to do the right thing. Now, Kim has had more than a one-time shot. And so Trump's policy is failing now.

Now, Trump can turn it around if he start supplying pressure, but the president has shown no indication he's doing that. And that's the reason why Bolton has gone after him.


CAMEROTA: John Bolton, to your point, said this in this "Axios" interview yesterday. The idea that we are somehow exerting maximum pressure on North Korea is just unfortunately not true. He went on to say, we are now nearly three years into the Trump administration with no visible progress towards getting North Korea to make the strategic decision to stop pursuing deliverable nuclear weapons.

Was President Trump duped by Kim Jong-un into thinking that they were friends?

CHANG: Yes, well, probably. I mean that statement from Bolton is 100 percent correct because the U.S., since May of last year, has not been applying quote/unquote maximum pressure. In May we did not go after almost 36 Russian, Chinese and other front (ph) companies that the North Koreans are using. And because the North Koreans change their front companies all the time, it means we're not really enforcing sanctions. We've allowed the Chinese to run over and violate all of those rules. So, yes, Bolton's right about that.

But what Trump is doing is probably trying to give Kim an opportunity to sort of create this generous atmosphere. But Trump has been much too patient.

CAMEROTA: But when you say maximum pressure, you mean economic sanctions. Is that what happens --

CHANG: Economic sanctions.

CAMEROTA: Pressure from the U.S. would look like?

CHANG: Yes. I mean basically we have -- up until May of last year, we cut off 50 percent of the international revenue to the Kims. Now the Kims are getting all that they need. Not all that they want, but all that they need. And China is openly violating those sanctions. And we're not doing anything about it.

So Bolton is absolutely right, we are not enforcing sanctions. And -- and I think the American people need to have more candor out of the administration because they say, oh, yes, we're enforcing sanctions.

Well, no, they're not.

CAMEROTA: As you will remember, what President Trump has said is that he and Kim Jong-un, quote, fell in love over their beautiful -- quote, beautiful letters.

I mean what's the point of having a great pen pal if they continue to test and build their nuclear arsenal?

CHANG: Right. You know, the fault of the Trump administration is thinking that the United States could entice the North Koreans into good behavior. Nobody has ever been able to do that. Not the Chinese, not the Russians, not the South Koreans. We're not going to be the first.

And so I think that the decision, what Trump is doing, is really strategically wrong. But, Alisyn, it mirrors what the United States did with China. In 2017, Trump's first year of the president, he gave free passes to the Chinese and Xi Jinping. March 2018, he starts to bring the hammer down on Beijing. Trump probably will do the same thing with Kim Jong-un, but, you know, right now there's no sign that the president is going to pivot to a more successful policy. CAMEROTA: But, I mean, isn't that the only thing that makes sense is

to reinstate the economic sanctions?

CHANG: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: Otherwise, what has the U.S. gotten out of these meetings of President Trump going there and having this, you know, this alleged like charm offensive?

CHANG: Yes, we've gotten absolutely nothing because in this interim, since May of last year, the North Koreans have been making progress on both intercontinental ballistic missiles and on their nukes. They are rehabilitating their facilities, they're increasing their number of warheads, they're testing and we're doing nothing.

CAMEROTA: Gordon Chang, always great to have you here. Thanks so much for all the insight.

CHANG: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, so the battle over the Senate impeachment trial is heating up.

NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White House budget official Michael Duffey ordered the Pentagon to hold the aid and signaled the decision could be politically explosive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nothing new in these e-mails about the timing truly.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): If there was ever an argument that we need Mr. Duffey to come testify, this is that information.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This impeachment has been a long, dark shadow on our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they're doing is injecting danger into the system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: TSA reduced the sensitivity on all walk-through metal detectors at airports across America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My biggest fear is having something happen that costs American lives. It's not a question of if, it's a question of when.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. John Berman is off. John Avalon is here.

Great to have you on this holiday week.

AVLON: Good morning.

CAMEROTA: Up first, Democrats are renewing their calls to have key Trump administration officials testify in the Senate impeachment trial. This comes after newly released e-mails show the White House Budget Office ordered that freeze on Ukraine military aid about 90 minutes after President Trump's July 25th phone call where he pressured Ukraine's new leader to investigate his own political rivals.

One e-mail from the -- President Trump's budget office's appointee, Mike Duffey, asked the Pentagon to, quote, keep it quiet about the suspension of the aid because of the, quote, sensitive nature of the request.

Duffey has defied the House subpoena, but Senate Democrats say this is further evidence that he should testify.

AVLON: Meantime, lawmakers are away for the holidays.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): If there was ever an argument that we need Mr. Duffey to come testify, this is that information.


This e-mail is explosive.


AVLON: Meantime