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Remains Of Six People Found In Hawaii Tour Helicopter Wreckage; At Least Two Killed, Six Injured In Shooting During Music Video Filming; Trump's Frustration Grows Over Delay Of Senate Trial; Five U.S. Airports Warn Of Potential Measles Exposure; WAPO: President Trump Has Made 15,413 False Or Misleading Claims; Idaho Police Looking To Question Mother Of Missing Siblings; Greta Thunberg Becomes The Face Of Climate Activism; Dramatic Video Shows Truck Losing Control In Texas. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired December 28, 2019 - 07:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The wreckage of a missing tour helicopter in Hawaii has finally been located.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had air and ground operations dispatched.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time, we have no actionable information on the status of the passengers. Our ground and air crews continue to search for survivors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behind the scenes at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump is increasingly frustrated with the standstill in the impeachment process.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a perfect case. They had no case.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We say to President Trump, if you are so confident you did nothing wrong, why won't you let your men testify?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't remember if I was recording at the time or how the camera was framed. I just -- I saw that trailer coming, and I knew I had to run away from it.


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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. We are starting with that developing story out of Hawaii. The remains of six people have been recovered after a tour helicopter crashed on the island of Kauai, that was Thursday. One person is still unaccounted for.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: The police say the debris was found in a remote area of a state park north of the city of (INAUDIBLE). The FAA and NTSB are investigating, of course, and CNN's Josh Campbell has more for us from Hawaii now.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The search for the location where tourism helicopter went down here in Hawaii with seven people on board is now over. Officials announcing that a search team has identified the location of the wreckage. The crash site, in a remote area inside a state park in the northwest section of the island of Kauai.

Now, this tourism helicopter was one of many that you typically see here in Hawaii. A popular attraction that allows tourists the ability to look inside volcanoes and waterfalls to get a sense of this state's landscape and wildlife -- a routine tourist excursion ending in tragedy. Now, this all began on Thursday afternoon. The coast guard, the U.S. Navy, as well as Kauai Fire and Rescue were alerted after the tourism helicopter failed to return to base at its allotted time.

Now, that missing aircraft report launched a massive search and rescue effort involving multiple agencies throughout the night; working some 16 hours by sea, air, and land. Now, as far as the cause of this incident, that remains under investigation. We're told that officials from the National Transportation Safety Board, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, are currently on their way here to Hawaii to launch that investigation, to get to that root cause.

We're told that early reports possibly point to inclement weather, especially high winds. Now, as far as those who were on board, sad developments, we are learning today from officials, we're told that in addition to the pilot, there were two families aboard including four adults, two children. Officials announcing that remains from six of those people have been recovered, a search for the seventh continues. Josh Campbell, CNN Honolulu.


PAUL: We also have some other breaking news overnight. At least two people have been killed and six others were injured in Texas after a gunman began firing at a group of people who were filming a music video. This happened north of Houston.

BLACKWELL: Police say, the group was ambushed, the suspects may have been firing from a car and they were out on the street there. Investigators are still trying to identify the suspects and the motive. We'll make sure you get more as we get more.

So, President Trump is on vacation, but you wouldn't know if you checked his Twitter feed. Over the holiday, he's been launching attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the whistle-blower.

PAUL: The president's clearly frustrated by the uncertainty that's surrounding his Senate trial. And he's asking for advice about who should be on his defense team, and what his strategy should be. CNN White House Reporter, Sarah Westwood joining us now from South Florida. Sarah, good morning to you. Impeachment clearly on the president's mind.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christi. Good morning. And you're right, President Trump is growing increasingly agitated spending time here in Mar-a-Lago with this extended state of limbo surrounding the Senate trial. The president wants to have his symbolic day in court. He wants to have the peace of mind of knowing that a trial date is coming. But Democrats are showing no signs of backing down or that the trial date is in the near future. Take a listen to what one top house Democrat said about the timeline here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we have to wait until we have some assurance that the trial is not going to be some sort of sham or a joke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, I'm talking extremes here like into February?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I mean, that's certainly possible. But I'm not going to get ahead of the speaker.



WESTWOOD: Now, in the meantime, here at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump has been quizzing allies and aides about who should present his defense to the Senate. There are a lot of unanswered questions about the White House's strategy for that Senate trial. The only certainty at this point, is that Pat Cipollone, the White House Counsel, is likely to present the bulk of the president's defense during the trial. There could be some other White House officials involved in that.

And President Trump, also is seriously considering creating roles for some folks outside the White House, and that would be for some of his fiercest defenders in the House; conservative members like Congressman Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows may be presenting a minority response to what House Democrats present. Of course, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not presented who those house managers will be because she continues to withhold the articles indefinitely until, in her eyes, the Senate sets fair parameters, Christi and Victor.

PAUL: All righty. Sarah, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Sarah Westwood there for us in West Palm Beach. Sarah, thank you so much.

PAUL: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: All right. I'm joined now by Julia Manchester, Political Reporter for The Hill. Julia, good morning to you.

JULIA MANCHESTER, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE HILL: Good morning. Thank you for having me. BLACKWELL: All right. So, let's start here with some of the -- let's

call them moderate and vulnerable senators as we look ahead to the next chapter here. And let's start with the Republicans -- the Senator Murkowski of Alaska got a lot of attention this week after saying that she found the leader, Leader McConnell's coordination with the White House and claiming that they'll be in total coordination, disturbing. What, potentially, could her role be as we move forward here? Is -- is the optimism that some Democrats are expressing justified?

MANCHESTER: I think it's absolutely justified. And you just have to go back to Lisa Murkowski's previous history in terms of other major votes in the Senate. She was one of those major no votes when Republicans were trying to repeal and replace Obamacare, and that really proved that she was a bit of a maverick in the Senate. She also opposed the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Unlike Susan Collins, who is seen as one of those other potential swing senators in the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.

So, yes, it's absolutely plausible, I would say, to consider Lisa Murkowski, major, you know, kind of up-in-the-air senator at this point on the Republican side. Other moderates include Susan Collins, Mitt Romney. They have been very critical of the president in the past.

However, unlike Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins is different in that she is facing a very uphill re-election bid in Maine this year. And she's actually sided with the White House on a number of other issues, such as Brett Kavanaugh's nomination -- she ultimately came out and supported it after there was a lot of speculation whether she would.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and even if there is these three, as you highlighted, are not votes to remove from office, they may be helpful in those procedural votes as the trial continues. Let's switch now to Democrats, though, because there is also some optimism being expressed by Republicans about Joe Manchin, Senator of west -- from West Virginia; Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, you've got also, Doug Jones out of Alabama as well. Indications that Republican optimism that they could be reliable votes in this process, indications that that's justified?

MANCHESTER: Absolutely. I would say for Doug Jones in particular, it's justified because he is facing an uphill re-election bid in Alabama, which is considerably a very red state. So, Doug Jones is definitely someone to watch. I would say Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema as well. Kyrsten Cinema is a freshman senator, so this is a major vote for her, and it will be interesting because she is from Arizona, which has become very much a bit of a swing state. However, she is not facing re-election yet. So, she might have a bit more leeway.

Joe Manchin has always been seen as a vote that could go either way because he is also from the red state of West Virginia. So, he is definitely someone to watch, as well. However, I think right now, ahead of these -- this potential trial, I will definitely be looking at Doug Jones because he is from such a red state, and he faces such a tough re-election battle.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and you covered the campaign primarily. So, let's talk about the overlap here, the overlap of the impeachment trial that's coming and the 2020 candidacy of Joe Biden. Former vice president tells Des Moines Register that he will not comply with the subpoena if called to testify. I just wonder what's the justification? We -- that the former president of the Senate and his role as vice president, a long-term member of that body, would then flout a subpoena from the Senate.


MANCHESTER: Right, so Biden's argument in all of this is saying that Trump wants to create a distraction during this trial, and he's saying he wants to create a distraction from an opponent or from one of his most formidable opponents ahead of the 2020 elections and that's the argument you're going to be hearing from the Biden camp. However, I think underlying this and obviously the Biden camp may not come out and blatantly say this, is the fact that impeachment is going to present a hurdle to Joe Biden.

You hear a lot about how the senators on the trail, who are going to be called back to Washington, how it's going to impact them. However, I think it could impact Joe Biden, potentially, in a very negative way.

Remember, Joe Biden has already been getting questions about impeachment and his family's role in the impeachment saga. And he doesn't necessarily want to be talking about impeachment on the campaign trail. He'd much rather be talking about healthcare, the economy, prescription drug reform, kitchen table issues that impact the American people every day.

So, you know, impeachment is seen as a very Washington-centric issue, and it's something Joe Biden simply does not want to be involved in right now necessarily. So, I think this is a way for him to try to skirt that issue. And essentially say, look, I want to focus on those issues impacting the -- the American people every day.

And remember, this comes right before the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. So, it's really a make-or-break moment for Biden, as well as the other candidates. So, it'll be interesting to see how a potential trial in January, if it happens in January, impacts the senators as well as Biden on the trail.

BLACKWELL: It's also going to be interesting if he is, indeed, subpoenaed. How Congressional Democrats are going to defend that while all of us, all media outlets, will just replay what they said over the last quarter, that these subpoenas are not optional, that those who are subpoenaed must appear while the former vice president decides that he will not appear, if it comes to that. Julia Manchester, always good to have you.

MANCHESTER: Thank you, Victor.

PAUL: So, when President Trump rounded out his first calendar year in office, the fact-checkers at The Washington Post counted 1,950 false or misleading claims. As we now, all together, go into the final year of his first term here, can you guess what the number maybe now? Victor's going to break it down for you.

BLACKWELL: Plus, health officials are seeing an active -- very active flu season with millions of cases so far this year. We'll tell you why they say children are especially being affected by this flu season.


PAUL: Investigators have found the black boxes belonging to the airplane crash in Kazakhstan.


BLACKWELL: The passenger plane crashed just 19 seconds after takeoff. This was Friday. At least 12 people were killed. Dozens of others were injured. The black boxes will be sent to Moscow for investigation to provide vital clues on what led to the crash. The plane with 93 passengers, five crew members, lost altitude and broke through a concrete fence according to airport authorities.

The number of flu cases across the U.S. is steadily rising.

PAUL: Yes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 4.5 million cases of the flu this season. Now, that includes the more than 2,100 people who have died from it. It's not too late, by the way, to get the flu vaccine. Officials say Influenza B, which is what tends to hit children harder than adults, is making an unusual showing early this year. 22 kids have died from the flu so far this season. But you can still get your shot so please keep that in mind.

There's a measles scare adding to some already hectic holiday travel as well.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Athena Jones reports multiple U.S. airports are warning travelers they may have been exposed.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This holiday week could come with an unwanted and dangerous surprise -- measles. Authorities say, people infected with the highly-contagious virus traveled through at least five airports in recent days, and may have exposed other to the disease, just the latest in a string of similar incidents this year. Now happening at the busiest time to travel. An unidentified person visited the airport and several other locations around Austin, Texas, between December 14th and 17th, including a restaurant, grocery store, and a Target.

DR. MARK ESCOTT, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH: That individual became ill on December the 14th, and developed a rash on December the 17th. On that same day, December 17th, he boarded a flight from Austin to Chicago, United Flight 790, with a connecting flight to Virginia. JONES: Health officials are working to inform people who may have

been exposed.

ESCOTT: It's important to remember that measles can be a deadly disease.

JONES: In Chicago, health officials are investigating possible measles exposures around the same time at O'Hare Airport and two restaurants. The state of Virginia is investigating possible exposures at the Richmond Airport and a doctor's office. On December 11th, three unvaccinated children with measles visiting from New Zealand, likely exposed travelers at Denver and Los Angeles international airports. The CDC is contacting passengers who flew on the same planes.

The measles virus spreads through coughing and sneezing, and can live in the air for up to two hours. Symptoms can include a high fever, cough, runny nose, pink eye, and of course a red, splotchy rash. On average, it takes about two weeks for the rash to develop, and a person is contagious for four days before and after the rash appears. The best way to stay safe? Make sure you receive the recommended two doses of the vaccine.

Measles was declared eliminated in the United States nearly 20 years ago. But there has been an upsurge in cases as vaccination rates have declined. The CDC has reported more than 1200 measles cases in 31 states in 2019. The highest number in nearly three decades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I consider it really an irony that you have one of the most contagious viruses known to man juxtaposed against one of the most effective vaccines that we have. And yet, we don't do and have not done what could be done, namely: completely eliminate and eradicate this virus.

JONES: Now, the CDC says the overall risk of getting a contagious disease on an airplane is low. But like any enclosed or crowded space, planes can create opportunities for transmission. Bottom line here, get vaccinated. If you've been vaccinated, you have a 97 percent chance of being protected against the measles. Athena Jones, CNN New York.


BLACKWELL: Thank you, Athena. It's now illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy tobacco products across the country. The change is part of this massive $1.4 trillion spending bill, the president signed on December 20th. It covers all tobacco products, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars as well.

PAUL: The new restrictions come as public health advocates and lawmakers are debating how to handle the youth vaping epidemic we've been talking so much about. 19 states already have their own laws restricting tobacco sales to people 21 and older, by the way.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, a little quick math here. I know it's early. I get it. All right. So, I'm going to ask. I can see what's happening right now. Control room, don't show that video because that's part of the surprise. All right. He showed it anyway.


So, we've started in 2017. Four jars of gum balls. 1,950 false or misleading claims by the president. How many jars, how many gumballs now as we round out the third calendar year? We'll tell you next.


BLACKWELL: Have you ever played this party game: guessing the number of gum balls in a jar? It's played at office parties, kids birthdays. You guess the correct number; you win a prize. Usually, the gumballs. Now, if you watch our show regularly, then you know where this is going. If not, let me catch you up. So, almost two years ago, I started highlighting The Washington Post's count of President Trump's false and misleading claims made while in office.

As he rounded out his first calendar year, 2017, the fact checkers at the Post counted 1,950 false or misleading claims in his first 347 days as president. 1,950. Now, that was a striking number, but that could be hard to grasp and we wanted to make sure it resonated. So, I searched for a way to make something conceptual, like a false statement, visual. And I remembered the jar of gumballs. Except this time, there's no guessing game involved.


BLACKWELL: In these four, 1,950. I know because I put them there. I just wanted you to know what that looks like.


BLACKWELL: Again, that was near the end the president's first year. So, what does the count of his bunk claims look like now? Well, according to The Washington Post fact checker, President Trump has now made 15,413 false or misleading claims, and that's in fewer than 1,100 days in office. 15,413.

We're now up to 28 jars. In the first year, the president was averaging about five false claims per day. Now, his average is up to almost 15 per day. If he keeps this pace, he'll blow past 20,000 before election day. And we've already purchased that second rack.

And joining me now to discuss all of the president's false and misleading statements and one lie as it's called by Politifact, CNN Reporter Daniel Dale, and Katie Sanders, Deputy Editor of Politifact. Good morning to both of you.



BLACKWELL: So, let's start here with you, Daniel. 2019, the president, according to the Post, has made more false or misleading claims in 2019 than in 2017 and 2018 combined. The pace at which these false statements, this quickening pace, it's really remarkable. [07:25:05]

DALE: It is remarkable. It's gotten way worse. It got worse in 2018 over 2017. And it's gotten much worse this year than over 2018. The worsening in the number of false and misleading statements has come as he has generally let loose. I did a piece a few months ago about how he was just talking more, his rallies are way longer, he's engaging with the media much more. So, this is sort of an unleashed version of Donald Trump, and we know that when he lets himself be himself, that means he's probably going to be highly dishonest.

BLACKWELL: Katie, to you, Politifact calls the president's claim and the repeating of the claim that the whistle-blower got the Ukraine call almost completely wrong. The 2019 lie of the year. Now, CNN, other news outlets, have confirmed. And -- and witnesses have corroborated claims made by the whistle-blower on Capitol Hill, why is this the lie of the year?

SANDERS: I think it's exactly what you just said. Trump's claim is actually backwards. The whistle-blower got Trump's call almost completely right, not wrong. We know this not only from those firsthand accounts of people who testified before Congress, but from Trump's own readout of the call that the White House released. These documents are pretty easily corroborated for any American to compare. But Trump has repeated this claim that it's total fiction, wrong, so wrong, or almost completely wrong, more than 80 times we found.

BLACKWELL: Also, in the right declaring this the lie of the year. You guys point out that the lie of the year, and it's the only time that Politifact uses the word "lie," explain why.

SANDERS: Well, every day, we call out statements that are wrong. We have ratings like mostly false, false, or pants on fire for the worst claims. But we reserve the claim -- or the title "lie of the year" for something that is just so significant that the claim deserves to be elevated to that status. At Politifact, we think the word "lie" should be used pretty rarely because ultimately, it speaks to people's intentions and what's going on inside their mind, and whether they actually believe that what they are saying is a lie. So, we don't think we can do that on an everyday basis, which is part of why we reserve it just one time each year.

BLACKWELL: Daniel, any evidence that these false statements, these bunk claims, lies, are resonating beyond the -- you know, if he were to shoot someone on 5th avenue, he'd still keep support, that base. Is it resonating beyond those folks?

DALE: I think the evidence has shown that -- that this has been consistent throughout. Trump's lies tend to work with people who are already inclined to believe him. We know that many of his people in his base, people who support him, tell pollsters that they think he is also honest and trustworthy. But if you look at those polls, it's consistently well over half, often about two-thirds, of the overall public that says he is not honest and trustworthy.

So, I think we can overstate his effectiveness as this master, dishonest manipulator. People can despair too much. Oh, his lies are -- you know, everyone's believing him. That's not the case. There is a majority that knows that this president is being consistently dishonest. So, I think while it's important to understand the views of his base, it's also important to understand that there's a whole other America out there as well.

BLACKWELL: Katie, to you, the lie of the year is not something that is partisan. I know that you have given that, I guess I would call it honor, dishonor to -- to others who are outside of the Republican Party. Tell me about the history.

SANDERS: Sure. We've given it every year since 2009. So, this is our 11th year. In the earlier years, the claims would go to both parties. Republicans and Democrats for claims about healthcare, primarily. Sometimes we've given the award to a group of claims. So, we gave the award a few years ago to claims about Ebola that were so overhyped.

And actually, last year, we gave it to conspiracy theories and other attacks on survivors of the Parkland School shooting. So, it's not always one person who receives the award. It's certainly not always a Republican who receives the award. It's a bipartisan dishonor, as you said.

BLACKWELL: So, Daniel, let's wrap up with this silly controversy that is making the rounds, the president is fueling it. That he was edited out of "Home Alone 2" in the CBC up in Canada, their rebroadcast of the I'll go on the side of a Christmas classic. You know, tweet me. What's the truth here?

DALE: So, what happened was CBC acquired the rights to this movie in 2014. And at that point, it's a 120-minute movie. They have to cut some of it out for commercials. They say they cut about eight minutes, that included the cameo by the future president and a whole bunch of other stuff.

And since 2014, people have been complaining on Twitter like: hey, CBC, you got rid of Kevin going swimming, you got rid of the turtle dove exchange. And since 2015, I've found tweets that people have been complaining about them getting rid of Trump. But this year, it's blown up into a big thing. The President's son tweeted about it, the President tweeted about it.


There was no basis for the suggestion that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had anything to do with this or that it was an anti- Trump Canadian conspiracy. All evidence suggests this was a long-ago thing for time purposes, not for political purposes.

BLACKWELL: Yes, all right. Daniel Dale, Katie Sanders, thank you both.

DALE: Thank you.

SANDERS: Thank you. PAUL: Well, for -- authorities' fear that time may be running out for two missing children in Idaho. Coming up on "THE LEGAL BRIEF", the search for Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan.


PAUL: Thirty-three minutes past the hour time for this morning's "LEGAL BRIEF". And we begin the search -- with the search in Idaho for two children who've been missing since September. Police in Rexburg, Idaho want to question Chad Daybell -- there on the left and Lori Vallow on the right, after her children were reported missing and his previous wife was found dead.

And we know the couple abruptly -- as it's been characterized, left their home shortly before police arrived to serve a search warrant last month. Family members say they haven't spoken with 7-year-old Joshua Vallow or 17-year-old Tylee. Ryan, four months.

Their pictures are on the screen. If you know anything, please, please call police, because they are desperately looking for these kids.

I want to get some legal analysis on this. Criminal defense and constitutional attorney Page Pate is with us now. Page, thank you so much for being with us.

So, when we talk about the fact that these kids have been missing since September, but it was just recently reported now. Does that raise a red flag of suspicion for you?

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely, Christi. And I think even more concerning is apparently the parents lied about the location of their younger child or the son when police asked him where he was.

So, I mean, that false statement certainly indicates that the parents are aware, at least, of where these children may be, and perhaps, that, that something to do with their disappearance.

PAUL: So, authorities have -- haven't said that these two cases are related, but they're also obviously looking at the death of Chad Daybell's former wife. Initially, they thought she died on natural causes. Her body is been exhume now, her death deemed suspicious. What do you make of that?


PATE: Well Christi, they're going to need to wait until the autopsy is performed to determine the cause of death. Here, I think initially, it just appeared natural causes. But she was only 49 years old.

And then, her husband remarried in such a short period of time to again, I think, make law enforcement very suspicious of the circumstances of that death. So, they're going to go back, do an autopsy, see if they can find any evidence that the death was not natural, but was some sort of a homicide. And then, of course, that's just going to lead them to further investigation of the parents or, at least, the husband in this case, and the location of these children.

PAUL: Yes, no doubt about it. All right, I want to move on to what authorities in New York was saying. They've questioned and released a 14-year-old boy in connection with the death of that college student Tessa Majors. An official says the team could still face charges.

But remember, major was stabbed to death while she was walking in a park, December 11th. We know a 13-year-old boy was the rest of the next day and charged with second-degree murder. But this 14-year-old, according to some reports, is who they believe actually stabbed her, Page.

And they -- the police actually went so far with a really unusual move to circulate photos of that 14-year-old to ask the public to help find him, which clearly they did. They have them come in, they released him.

If you believe that he is the one who stabbed her. I mean, what kind of evidence is missing that they wouldn't hold him?

PATE: Well, that's a great question, Christi. But I think it's clear in this case, its DNA evidence. They believe that they're going to be able to find DNA evidence to link the 14-year-old to this crime.

One of the things they did when they had him in for questioning is they took a sample of his DNA. They think there was some struggle at the time of the crime. And if there was, there's almost certainly some DNA evidence.

So, instead of charging him just based on the confession of the 13- year-old who is already in custody, they want to strengthen their case before they bring formal charges. Everyone in New York, especially law enforcement is concerned that this does not end up like the Central Park Five.

So, they're going to make sure that all of their T's are crossed, their eyes are dotted, and they have a solid case before they arrest a kid this young.

PAUL: All righty, and I want to also talk about New York City police investigating the string of what may be anti-Semitic attacks. There's an incident in Brooklyn, a specific one, a man says a group ran up behind him, someone punched him in the head, and someone else yelled and obscenity.

This is one of six attacks just this week, Page. Obviously, it would fall under a hate crime umbrella if it will come to be prosecuted. But do you believe that perhaps the hate crime, the hate crimes themselves that people don't understand the severity of them?

PATE: Well, they should. New York does have a hate crimes law like federal jurisdiction like many states across the country which makes the penalty for what would otherwise be a simple assault, much more severe.

So, what I think we're concerned about here is not just the isolated incidents, but the potential for a pattern. This type of crime apparently has been going on for some time. But to see this many assaults that appear to be motivated by anti-Semitic motivations, feelings, hatred, to see all of this in such a short period of time is certainly concerning to law enforcement because they've been very much out there in the public.

And I think they have seen statistically more this year than they did last year. And so, it's a very concerning trend.

PAUL: Yes, just to point out, NYPD says there have been 166 anti- Semitic incidents in New York between January and September. Page Pate, always appreciate your insight, sir. Thank you for being with us.

PATE: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: From the most talked-about new user on Instagram to the teenager who became the face of a worldwide movement. We'll look at the biggest trending stories of 2019.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN, the most trusted name in news.

PAUL: So, that time of year, of course, when we like to take a look at some of the more interesting stories that we've covered for you.

BLACKWELL: I think all of them are interesting though. And that the goal --


PAUL: They are. But that's why we said the more interesting.

BLACKWELL: OK, all right, the cream of the crop.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Brooke Baldwin has a look at the top nine stories that captured attention on social media in 2019.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: From the U.S. women's soccer team demanding equal pay to the passionate teenager fighting to save the planet, social media remained the powerful weapon for advocacy in 2019.

And then, of course, there were the memes. So, here are our top nine trending stories of the year.

Number Nine. A friends who nearly broke the Internet. Jennifer Aniston joined Instagram and the internet just couldn't handle it. Her first post actually managed to crash her page, her first photo, and epic Friends reunion selfie, and the caption, "And now we're Instagram friends too."

It became one of Instagram's most popular photos of the year with more than 15 million likes.

Number eight. And now to even more Instagram royalty. The young son of the duke and duchess of Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten- Windsor, whose birth, gender, and name were all announced on the social media platform.

The family regularly post pictures of their son to their Instagram page before they're seeing anywhere else. Just another way, these modern royals are shaken up the monarchy.

Number seven. Winter came and fans were not happy. It was one of those eagerly anticipated final seasons ever and the most tweeted about show of all of 2019, and all viewers were split on the ending of Game of Thrones. It was some unintended product placement that brought divided fans together. A coffee cup left on set.

The Internet erupted at memes. The official Game of Thrones account tweeted this response out, "News from Winterfell. The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea."

Number six.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Another death on Mount Everest bringing the total to 11, thus, far this climbing season.

BALDWIN: These amazing pictures went viral, showing how record numbers of climbers packs the summit. Some mountaineers think this traffic jam actually contributed to this year's death toll.

Climbers endured weights of two to four hours while in the death zone, that's near the top of the mountain, where there's only one-third of the oxygen down at sea level.

Number five. A scientific event of intergalactic magnitude.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A huge breakthrough for humanity.

BALDWIN: The first photo of a black hole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black holes are the most mysterious objects in the universe. They're cloaked by an event horizon, where their gravity prevents even light from escaping.


BALDWIN: Located 55 million light-years away in a galaxy called, M87. In this galaxy, another black hole photo went viral. The moment researcher Katie Bouman process the first image, showing the massive phenomenon. To see it, scientists in multiple countries around the world linked local telescopes to create this virtual observatory. Predictably, Twitter couldn't escape the donut memes.

Number four. In Paris, a catastrophic fire shocked the world.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire.

BALDWIN: Millions watched in disbelief as flames engulf Notre Dame, the city's iconic 856-year-old cathedral.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had the tower full, people screamed. It's so sad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What went to my mind was the heart of Paris are burning.

BALDWIN: People poured onto the streets to pray.

And on social media, so many paid tribute by posting photos of their visits to the holy site. #Notre Dame became the most tweeted news related hashtag of 2019.

The lost inspire generosity near and far, establishing a $700 million reconstruction fund, restorations are now underway.

Number three. In 2019, Democrats took back the House. Nancy Pelosi regained the speakership and had some of the year's most viral moments from the infamous State of the Union clap back. The rebuke that launched thousands of #Don't mess with me, memes.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): As a Catholic, I resent you're using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone, so don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

BALDWIN: And staring down Trump from across that Cabinet Room table. The image meant to be an insult. The President's caption, "Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown!" instead went viral. Showing Washington's most powerful woman standing up to the president.

Number two. The U.S. women's soccer team proved once again, they are the best in the world. Congratulations poured in from all over social media. Ellen DeGeneres said her World Cup run is over. While former President Barack Obama thanked the women for being a strong inspiration to women and girls and everybody all across the country.

The player's game poses became instant memes.

AMERICAN CROWD: Equal pay! Equal pay!

BALDWIN: And many of the players took their pleas for pay equity right to their fans via their social media pages.

And number one, she is the teenager on strike for the planet.


BALDWIN: Times' Person of the Year.

THUNBERG: Change is coming whether you like it or not.

BALDWIN: Greta Thunberg is leading a generation of climate kids.

THUNBERG: People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing, we are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is the money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.

BALDWIN: Her impassioned speech at the U.N. Climate Action Summit catapulted her meteoric social media rise, making her the face of climate activism online. Thunberg used her new platform to lead a global climate strike with more than 4,600 events in nearly 150 countries. # Climate Strike was the eighth most popular hashtag of the year. So, for this 16-year-old and her army of climate kids, it's only the beginning.


BLACKWELL: Terrifying video. You've got to see this. Emergency crews running to get out of the way when this 18 wheeler runs off the road and slams on to that pickup truck. There was someone inside that vehicle. We'll tell you what happened here and how that person's do.



Listen, you have got to see this video. I mean, it is amazing. It shows you this winter storm that's within across country this week and the travel nightmare that it has created for so many people. But this is amazing, anybody's alive.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and the fog is the big problem in this video. Now, let's show it because this terrible scene on the side of the highway in Texas. We get the story from Amanda Ruiz of CNN affiliate KCBD.


CALEB HOLDER, PHOTOGRAPHER, KCBD NEWS: I couldn't remember if I was recording at the time, or how the camera was framed. I just -- I saw that trailer coming. I mean, I knew I had to run away from it.

AMANDA RUIZ, REPORTER, KCBD: Caleb Holder has been a photographer for KCBD News Channel 11 for nine years.

HOLDER: Part of my job as a news photographer is to go out to breaking news and shoot video of whatever it is. That includes car crashes, sometimes.

RUIZ: So, he went to a crash on Highway 84 and County Road 3600.

HOLDER: I was looking that direction that's why I was focused. RUIZ: Little did he know, another crash was about to happen right in front of him and he was going to capture it all on camera.

HOLDER: Then that's when we -- you could hear more tires screeching. And then, just barely see headlights coming in through the fog.

RUIZ: A semi-truck coming straight at him.

HOLDER: That's when the semi overturned and then slid on its side onto the shoulder, and on top of that pickup.

RUIZ: But Caleb wasn't the only one there. Take a look at the video again. Watch as this trooper runs for his life away from the truck and ends up tripping.

HOLDER: For as I was running away, I remember looking back and seeing the trooper also running, and then he -- I could see that he had fallen down and that the trailer was coming really close to him.

RUIZ: The trooper was hit by the semi.

SGT. JOHNNY BURES, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, TEXAS: Trooper that was struck is going to be OK. He does have some serious injuries, but nothing life-threatening.

RUIZ: Also in the video, you can see a man jumped into his car right before he was pinned underneath the trailer for a few hours. He was eventually saved by officials who had to use the Jaws of Life to free him from the wreckage.

HOLDER: It was -- I've never seen anything like that in person.


PAUL: Well, authorities say the dense fog in that area actually brought visibility to less than a quarter of a mile which explains why the semi driver probably didn't see what was in front of him until it was too late.

But again, nobody was killed in that crash. Thank goodness.

BLACKWELL: Wow! Well, on the 10 -- at least, 10 million people are under a dense fog advisory in nine states, including parts of Texas. Overall, nearly 20 million Americans are under winter weather alerts from Minneapolis to New Mexico,

PAUL: CNN Meteorologist, Allison Chinchar, has been a little busy the last few weeks.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: This is a smorgasbord of weather out there.

PAUL: Yes.

CHINCHAR: Especially when you look at the map. There's literally just about everything. You've got fog, you've got sleet, you've got freezing rain, you've got snow, and you've got regular rain.

Again, even though the main focus is the central portion of the U.S. Look at how widespread and how far out this stuff spreads. You've got snow all the way back towards Nevada and Idaho. You've got rain extending all the way over towards the Atlantic coast.


CHINCHAR: So again, the main focus, however, is certainly going to be in the central U.S., because this is where we expect some of the heaviest snow and also some very heavy rains stretching for cities like Chicago, down through St. Louis. Even eventually down to world cities like Houston and New Orleans.

But this system will eventually push off to the east tomorrow and into Sunday. So, even cities that won't necessarily be impacted today, like New York, Washington, D.C. or Boston, you're likely going to have your big travel delays tomorrow.

If you were in the Midwest, it's going to be today and tomorrow because that snow is likely going to linger for several states including Michigan as well as Minnesota and even the Dakotas.

Overall, the heaviest rain is going to be in the southeast. Widespread amounts around two inches but you could see as much as four. Snowfall that's going to be the heaviest in portions of the Midwest.

Widespread amounts likely about four to six inches, but look at how much pink is on the map, that pink indicates a foot of snow. And the dark pink, you're talking 18 to 24 inches of snow. That's a lot of snow. And it would be even more if some of these temperatures here say in Chicago, St. Louis work 20 to 25 degrees above average. If they were closer to normal, they would also likely be looking at several inches of snow.

But we also have ice to contend with in the form of freezing rain, and also sleet. Some of the heaviest is actually going to be across portions of the Northeast. Take a look at these places like Burlington. Even cities like Boston likely could end up having, at least, a quarter of an inch of ice.

Now, there's a reason why you have so many different types of precipitation because it all means -- it's all matters where that freezing line is. If you have warm air from top to bottom, you're going to have all rain. If you have cold air from top to bottom, you're going to have all snow.

It's the ones in the middle where that freezing line takes place somewhere in the middle of the atmosphere. If it takes place in the middle of the atmosphere, you're go likely going to look at sleet where it starts off a snow, mixes a little bit, changes into rain, then goes back into a little bit of that hard ice that almost looks like hail.

Freezing rain is where it remains rain all the way down until right before it hits the surface. And Victor and Christi, that likely causes some of the biggest travel problems because it looks like rain until you drive on it and then you slip and slide and can end up crashing.

PAUL: Very true. All righty, Allison Chinchar, thanks to the explainer.

BLACKWELL: I learned so much. I learned so much. Thank you, Allison.


PAUL: Put to you learn to drive.


PAUL: It's the question. Listen, we have a reminder for all of you watching right now. Let's bring in the New Year together here, the new decade with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.

You know, it's going to be good. "NEW YEAR'S EVE LIVE" beginning at 8:00 p.m., New Year's Eve, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of your NEW DAY kicks off after a quick break.