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Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is Interviewed about Bolton Revelations; Endless Rain in Pacific Northwest; Deadly Coronavirus Spreads; Remembers the Altobelli Family. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 28, 2020 - 08:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That the president abused his power to investigate a political rival. They ignored it until the end of the day when Alan Dershowitz says, even if everything that John Bolton says is true, it's not an abuse of power.

What's your take on the president's defense team's argument?

SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): Well, obviously, that's an ahistorical analysis of what the founding fathers thought would be a violation. Clearly here was a man, Donald Trump, who was trying to use the influence of the United States, $391 million, to extract an investigation from a foreign leader into the president's principal political rival at that time. So that's exactly what the founding fathers were most concerned with. That is at the heart of why they would want there to be a process by which a president would be put on trial.

So I don't think there's any question that's the case. And if they're trying right now to truncate their defense just to two more hours, if that's accurate, it sounds like it could be a rush to judgment. How quickly can they move to the completion of this trial so that the public pressure to have John Bolton testify does not build to such a crescendo that four Republicans do stand up to demand that he give his testimony as to the firsthand knowledge he has of what the president's motivation was.

BERMAN: Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania, Republican, has suggested a witness trade, one for one, John Bolton for, say, Hunter Biden. You've called that a red herring. And I've heard you call it a red herring.

But my question to you is more direct, which is, does that mean you would definitively vote no on that? If it came to a vote, would you vote no?

MARKEY: Well, first of all, there is no relevant information which Hunter Biden has about this case. He doesn't know what John Bolton said to the president or vice versa. Same thing is true for Mick Mulvaney or for Pompeo or the Defense Department or OMB officials. He doesn't have any firsthand information.

And that's the key question. Relevancy is what a trial is all about in terms of what evidence is allowed to be put before the jury. That is, in this case, the Senate. So there would be no relevancy whatsoever.

Now, I would accept, if the chief justice was given the authority to make the relevancy determination, and that would be something that would be clearly within his province. But to just get into some kind of trading, political trading, discussion with the Republicans, that would just be an effort to politicize this whole process to, once again, distract the public's attention away from the central questions, which is that the president is on trial and only material, relevant evidence should, in fact, be put before the jury.

BERMAN: I want to ask you a question on a different subject now and it has to do with the State Department and secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and journalism and the free press.

We understand that the State Department has removed an NPR reporter from the upcoming trip that includes a visit to Ukraine. This is after the secretary of state berated NPR anchor Mary Louise Kelly for asking very pertinent questions, not just about Iran, but also about Ukraine.

What does this look like to you?

MARKEY: Well, this, to me, just looks like a continuation of what President Trump does at his rallies where he points out the journalists in the back of the room. He tries to elicit a negative reaction from the crowd so that he builds this us versus them narrative that he is up there standing up to this deep state, which is the press, as well as anyone who works for the government that is seeking to undermine him.

And this would just be a continuation of that where Pompeo is seeking to demonize NPR and its independent journalists for his political advancement. That's how I would interpret it. It's just all part of this us versus them America that he's creating, making America great again by making America hate again. It's his playbook. He's used it over and over again. He thinks it's a winning formula to take him to re-election and I just expect this to continue on unabated. And NPR is just another example of his efforts to take the media and to make them part of the plot to undermine his ability to be able to run this country.


And it's sad, but it's another reason why, ultimately from my perspective, he just cannot be given a second term. He -- we have to ensure that we make him a footnote in history.

President Roosevelt, in 1941, gave his for freedom speech, and that was freedom from fear, freedom from want, but also the freedom to be able to speak and to have a free press and the president has attacked all of those freedoms from the day he was sworn in.

BERMAN: Senator Ed Markey, we appreciate your time this morning. Thanks for being with us.

MARKEY: Thank you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The deadly coronavirus outbreak continues to grow. A new warning about how easily it can be spread, next.


BERMAN: Heavy snow expected in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma as the Pacific Northwest continues to get drenched.

Let's bring in meteorologist Allison Chinchar.


ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right. So we're taking a look at a system that's bringing very heavy rain to places like Dallas, Houston and Oklahoma City.


But on the northern side of that system, the snow that you just talked about, several inches of snow, in fact, has already fallen and even more is expected for areas of Kansas, as well as Oklahoma. So for that reason, we have some winter weather advisories and even winter storm warnings in effect.

Take a look at this. Some of these areas, two to five inches. Some could pick up as much as four to seven inches of snow before that system finally pushes east.

And it is expected to do that over the next 24 to 48 hours, bringing rain eventually to places like Louisiana, Mississippi and eventually over towards Georgia and the Carolinas as we get closer towards the end of the week.

It's a relatively fast-moving storm. So most of the rain likely to remain at most about one inch. It's that snow where some of those areas could get four to seven inches as you saw.

Another area we're talking about very heavy precipitation is going to be in the Pacific Northwest. Very heavy rain, Alisyn, for portions of Washington and Oregon. Just to note, the Seattle Tacoma Airport has reported at least a trace of rain every single day this month. And they're going to continue that trend for the rest of the month.

CAMEROTA: All of my friends in Seattle are very unhappy with this, Allison.


CAMEROTA: Thank you very much.


CAMEROTA: So the death toll from the coronavirus is now more than 100 people in China. And a new study suggests that the outbreak started earlier and was more widespread than previously reported.

So let's get to CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.

So what does this new study tell you?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean that's exactly right. I mean we were hearing sort of the end of last year, Alisyn, about this new virus that was starting to spread mid to late December. But it just came from a market, we were told. Animals to humans. That's how this was happening. No evidence of human-to-human they said at that time.

But now the study, you see some of the results there on the screen, they looked at these first 41 patients trying to glean as much information as they could. And what they found was very interesting.

First of all, the first patient was diagnosed back on December 1st. So a few weeks before we started to hear about it. That person seemed to have no contact with the animal market. So that was a bit curious. That may have been some evidence that either there was another exposure somewhere else or already there may have been some evidence of human-to-human transmission.

So, you know, this is important, Alisyn, because it really gives some context as to how China has responded. We've been saying, look, was this aggressive, creating this lockdown situation for tens of millions of people? Are they looking at data different than what we have? Perhaps this is the data that they were looking at.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, you know, there's been some U.S. government personnel that have basically been trapped in Wuhan, which sounds like a nightmare scenario as we can imagine. And as of today, they are going to leave on this chartered flight. But that also sounds troubling. What happens when they land?

GUPTA: Yes, I mean this is a very interesting situation. I mean they have to do screening at the point of departure. They're going to do screening at the point of refueling and then again when the plane lands in California.

Take a look at the list of things that they're going to be looking for. Obviously, for any symptoms, fever, lower respiratory illness, history of travel to Wuhan, close contact with people under investigation, close contact with confirmed patients.

Now if people don't have -- if people don't fit this criteria, then they may not be able to get on that plane. I just can't imagine what that situation is going to be like at that point, John.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay, thanks so much for staying on this. We will talk to you again soon, no doubt.

It is Super Bowl week in Miami, kicking off with the opening night media event. But what is usually a media frenzy was definitely more subdued following the death of Kobe Bryant. Players from the Chiefs and the 49ers, they spoke out about what Bryant meant to them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had an opportunity to meet Kobe. And he's just an unbelievable person. You can't say enough about who he was and his impact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He meant a lot to this world. And he made a positive impact, and there's nothing that I can say to really qualify his impact on myself and on others.


BERMAN: So after talking to the press, the teams will get back to the business of football, preparing for Super Bowl LIV, which is on Sunday.

CAMEROTA: So the crash that took Kobe Bryant's life and his daughter's life also killed seven other people who also left behind children and loved ones. We're going to remember a beloved baseball coach, his wife and his daughter, next.



CAMEROTA: Nine people died in Sunday's helicopter crash that killed NBA great Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Three of the victims were members of the Altobelli family. On the left here you can see Keri, that's the mom. To her right is her husband, John, who was the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College. The far right is their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa. And they leave behind a 16-year-old daughter and John's 29-year-old son.

Joining us now is Nate Johnson, he's the acting head coach now of the Orange Coast College baseball team, and Angelica Suarez, who is the president of Orange Coast College.

And we're so sorry to both of you for the loss.


President Suarez, I know what a big presence he was on the campus, and I can only imagine what your school community is feeling today. So can you tell us about Coach Altobelli?

ANGELICA SUAREZ, PRESIDENT, ORANGE COAST COLLEGE: Absolutely. You know, yesterday was the first day of the spring semester. Normally a day filled with enthusiasm, excitement for a new beginning, and definitely it was a somber mood yesterday.

Coach Altobelli was a legend. He was a giant on campus. He loved his students, his colleagues and he loved this college. And this loss has broken our hearts. It is a tremendous loss. One that will be felt for years to come.

CAMEROTA: And, Nate, of course, you were his right hand, as we understand, as his assistant coach. You're now the acting coach.


CAMEROTA: Can you tell us how you got the news that your dear friend was on that flight?

JOHNSON: Well, he was always excited to ride with Kobe on the helicopter. This wasn't the first time that he or Lys or Keri went on this flight. And so he was telling us on Saturday that he was going up to Thousand Oaks and he was going to get to ride the helicopter with Kobe.

And Sunday morning I was just kind of sitting around in my apartment with my wife and one of my friends texted me and said, hey, did you hear about Kobe? And I was like, no, what? And he goes, well, his helicopter went down. And my heart sank because I knew Alto was on that. And I tried calling him. Don't know how many times. Tried calling his wife. And I finally got a hold of his son JJ. And he said they're all gone.

CAMEROTA: That is so heartbreaking, Nate. We appreciate all the grief that you're going through. And I know that you had said that he loved going on those rides with Kobe, but mostly he loved going to his daughter's games. And it was particularly special when Kobe was coaching them. So what did he share with you?

JOHNSON: He shared everything. I knew -- I knew every game. I knew every practice that Alyssa was a part of. And he was so proud of Alyssa and so proud of what she was doing. You know, she found a love for basketball and Kobe brought that love out for her, just like he did for a lot of people.

And Alto was -- he was so happy that she was able to get coached by someone that was elite. Alto is an elite person as well. And I think that's why Kobe latched onto the Altobelli family. They were elite. And Kobe obviously being elite, he found that family to be someone that he could invite into their inner circle and Alto and Keri and Alyssa, those three, they were special.

CAMEROTA: President Suarez, it's -- this is all so gut-wrenching and it is particularly devastating to think about the children and the family members left behind and the Altobellis left behind a 16-year- old daughter named Alexis. Do you know what is going to happen to her now?

SUAREZ: So one of the things that, you know, we have done here at the college, because Coach Altobelli, he would bring his children to the campus, to watch the games. They are part of our family as well. So our Orange Coast College Foundation has established The Altobelli Memorial Family Fund to help Alyssa and the family -- to help the family during this difficult time Alexi and JJ. So we have had an outpouring of support in terms of people wanting to know how they can help and this is how we are working with the family to help them during this difficult time through establishing a memorial fund for the family, which information is on our website.

CAMEROTA: And we've just put it up on our screen as well. I mean, obviously, there's the financial help that she'll need going forward, but 16 is, of course, a tender age to be orphaned.

SUAREZ: Yes. CAMEROTA: And so who will take care of her?

SUAREZ: At this point, I know that Coach Altobelli has a large family. And I believe the family members are speaking about what would be in the best interest of the children at this time.

JOHNSON: And she's got a huge family here at this baseball team. That was the text I sent out to her and JJ. The Altobelli family made me feel like part of their family, and they always preach pirate family.


And I saw -- I mean all three of those kids grew up at the field. Alto, this was going to be the start of his 28th year and JJ being 29, all of them, they grew up at this field. And our motto and the key to kind of our success as a team is preaching pirate family. And we're all part of a family. And I texted JJ and Lexi and I said, you know what, your family included me, and brought me in and made me part of this pirate family, and we're your pirate family now. And you got -- we've got an abundant -- we've got, I think, nine coaches. We've got 35 players. And all of us, we're your family now. And we'll do anything we can to help you.

CAMEROTA: That is really beautiful. And we can tell that she's going to be in really loving hands.

Coach Johnson, President Suarez, thank you very much for sharing this moment of your grief with us. Everybody is feeling it, obviously, around the country, but not to the degree that they are.

Thank you.

BERMAN: So sad. And our heart go out to them. It really does.

CAMEROTA: So, this morning, we remember all nine of the victims of that tragedy.