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Trump Fires Two Senior Officials Who Testified Against Him; Buttigieg Again On Lack Of Political Experience; First U.S. Citizen To Die From Coronavirus Confirmed In China; Candidates Make Final Push Ahead Of New Hampshire Primary; Defense Begins Calling Witnesses In Sexual Assault Trial; Ten Killed In Thailand Shooting, Gunman Still At Large; At Least 26 People Rescued From Flood Waters In Oregon. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired February 8, 2020 - 07:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've just got the word that the first American has died of the Coronavirus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Off the coast of Japan and Hong Kong, two cruise ships with over 7,000 people aboard were quarantined after passengers were diagnosed with the virus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump has fired two of the most prominent witnesses that appeared in the impeachment inquiry against them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alexander Vindman and Gordon Sondland, his critics fear he might not stop there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here in New Hampshire, the stakes were high for all of these 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls at the tensions were even higher. From the very beginning, it was clear all of these candidates believe there was one person on that debate stage who was the center of attention and it was a Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a newcomer in the White House and look where it got us.


BLACKWELL: Top of the hour now, good to be with you this Saturday. I'm Victor Blackwell.

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

BLACKWELL: Well, the President appears to be emboldened now by his acquittal and he's forcing three people out of his administration out of his White House, people who spoke out against him during the impeachment inquiry. The President dismissed two prominent witnesses who testified during his impeachment process. Lieutenant Colonel Alex Vindman, the Top Ukraine Expert at the National Security Council; as well as Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. And we should remember, Vindman's brother as well, a third person pushed out.

WALKER: The President actually had Colonel Vindman escorted out of the White House. An advisor to the President told CNN that it was necessary and that the White House is "flushing out the pipes."

BLACKWELL: Let's start now with CNN's Sarah Westwood at the White House. Sarah, good morning to you. What else can you tell us about these dismissals?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Victor and Amara. Yes, President Trump yesterday and acting what can only be described as retribution against these two key witnesses Colonel Alex Vindman was, as you mentioned, escorted out of the National Security Council alongside his twin brother, both of them the Pentagon has confirmed, reassigned to the Department of the Army. Vindman's detail on the NSC was not set to end until the summer.

So, this is an early dismissal. And if you'll recall, Vindman was a crucial witness because he was a participant on that now infamous July 25th phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky. Vindman raise concerns internally about what he described as the President's efforts to pressures Zelensky to announce these politically motivated investigations into the Bidens and Burisma, and he testified to that and its effect on U.S-Ukraine relations before the house during the impeachment inquiry.

The President also recalling U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Sondland was deeply involved in the President's pursuit of those investigations into the Biden's; he testified about the President's personal involvement in those efforts. He also testified before the house that those efforts were widely known within the White House amongst staff. Take a listen.


GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret. Everyone was informed via e-mail on July 19th, days before the presidential call.


WESTWOOD: Now, Sondland ouster caps just a remarkable journey for Sondland's relationship with President Trump. He was once an ally, once a large donor to the President's inauguration, and he was close to the President. They spoke frequently but since he came out testified during this inquiry in the House, delivered testimony that house Democrats relied on extensively when they wrote up those Articles of Impeachment. Sources say that Sondland's relationship with the White House and what President Trump was afraid he was no longer able to be effective in that post. Now, sources also tell CNN that Vindman also was bracing for the

possibility that he could be removed early from his post on the NSC that this is not necessarily come out of nowhere for him, even though he wanted to stay in that position. Vindman's removal came just hours after President Trump told reporters at the White House, he was not pleased with Vindman. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, would you like to see Alexander Vindman out of your White House? Do you want Alexander?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I'm not happy with him. You think I supposed to be happy with him? I'm not.


WESTWOOD: Now, these removals come against the backdrop of President Trump striking a vindictive tone in the wake of his acquittal in the Senate trial this week. The President going after those who he believes played a role in bringing what he has long described as unfair charges against him.

Now, there are other impeachment witnesses who have left the administration in recent weeks on their own volition more or less that includes Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who departed the administration in recent days; also Jennifer Williams, who was a Former Aide to Vice President Pence, both of them delivering testimony in the impeachment inquiry, but there are another, a number of other witnesses Amara and Victor that remain in the administration and their fates at this moment are still unclear.


WALKER: Thank you, Sarah Westwood.

BLACKWELL: Joining us now to discuss: CNN National Security Analyst Samantha Vinograd, she's a Former Senior Advisor to the National Security Adviser under President Obama. Samantha, welcome back. Let's start here. Listen, you've got this new write on about what happened with Sondland and Vindman, and you're wrote that it is, it's dangerous that there's great danger in removing NSC members, like Vindman, who had these long-standing relationships. Talk about the danger and your initial reaction to this -- these two dismissals.


SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good morning, Victor. I mean, in the first instance, you know, I think back to my four years at the NSC, and in my day, people were fired when they didn't do their jobs. In this case, both Vindman brothers were fired because they dutifully did theirs. They spoke out through legally protected channels to report on and to testify about the President, the President's misdeeds and abuses of power.

The message that these firing send throughout the National Security Council and throughout the U.S. government more broadly are, that if you speak up, again through legally protected channels, there will be consequences. What that means is that people currently at the National Security Council have good reason to fear what will happen to them if they report on government abuse.

When I was at the NSC, if the President did something wrong, or any other NSC official did something wrong, if you did not go to the lawyers and point out concerns, you would be reprimanded. In this case, the opposite has happened. And my concern is that from a from an accountability perspective, this is going to have a chilling effect on NSC employees, State Department employees and others speaking out about presidential abuses.

And you really have to wonder as well from a recruitment and retention perspective, what kind of people are going to be attracted to working at the National Security Council going forward, knowing that the President is unlikely to listen to their policy advice, but also that they will suffer extreme risk, again if they speak out about any perceived wrongdoing.

WALKER: We should also mention, Samantha, a detail that's been, not been lost on many of us, and that is the fact that Vindman's twin brother has also been let go. He did not testify. He was the National Security Council Attorney. He didn't have much to do with the impeachment inquiry at all. Yet there's this message being sent, where you have family members now being punished as well.

VINOGRAD: Well, I think that certainly I -- Lieutenant Colonel lemons brother was involved in the impeachment issues, to the extent that Lieutenant Colonel Vindman reportedly according to his testimony, testimony, went to his brother to share his concern so his brother was involved.

But of course, this is the President trying to publicly humiliate a decorated war hero, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman by firing his brother as well, it is guilt by association. And let's also remember that President Trump didn't just order that Lieutenant Colonel Vindman be removed from his position early. He was due to cycle out the summer. He had Lieutenant Colonel Vindman escorted off of White House grounds by security.

Most NSC directors when they leave the White House, when they leave their positions turn in their devices, turn in their badges, do some kind of transition with their successor. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman was treated like a criminal; people that are escorted off of White House grounds by security represent a risk to the security of White House personnel and White House assets.

The message here was simple: President Trump was trying to humiliate Lieutenant Colonel Vindman to punish him and to deter anybody else from speaking up.


BLACKWELL: Thanks to Samantha Vinograd. Another key witness in the house impeachment investigation and Ambassador Bill Taylor, he spoke exclusively with CNN's Jake Tapper this week. Taylor is the Former Top U.S. Diplomat in Ukraine and he denounced the President's attacks on Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Do you believe in the credibility of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch? Is she somebody that you respect?


TAPPER: What do you think of the fact that Giuliani and other people have been attacking her, smearing her?

TAYLOR: Unconscionable. Unconscionable.

TAPPER: Secretary Pompeo said, when asked about his failure to stand up for State Department employees, asked by Mary Louise Kelly of NPR, he said: "I've defended every single person on this team. I've done what's right for every single person on this team." Is that true in your experience?

TAYLOR: I will say that I think Secretary Pompeo is under, under pressure under his intention between two parts of what he's trying to do. I do believe that he wants to support every member of the State Department, every employee. I do believe he wants to do that. I also believe he's under some pressure from other parts of the government, not to support some of the people in the State Department.


TAPPER: President Trump?

TAYLOR: I'm prepared to believe that that Secretary Pompeo is under, under his intention.

TAPPER: Does it bother you when you -- seeing like how Rudy Giuliani was out there smearing Yovanovitch, and the dual loyalty smears against Lieutenant Colonel Vindman who you know, and I assume you, you respect?


TAPPER: It must bother you to see that.

TAYLOR: I -- of course, it bothers me anytime I see someone like Masha Yovanovitch or Alex Vindman unfairly attacked. Anyone unfairly attacked, bothers anyone on that thing. So, certainly it does.

TAPPER: Do you have concerns about any U.S. president in the future thinking that is it is OK to withhold security assistance to a country that needs it an ally in exchange for investigations being announced into a political rival?

TAYLOR: I have a concern about a precedent being set, having been set where we withhold security assistance to a country that is in a fight, is in a battle, is in a war, in particular with the Russians. One of our two big adversaries that we've identified. So, I very great concern about that, and I'd be concerned about that in the future. So, I am concerned about withholding of assistance for reasons that are not related to national security.

TAPPER: And political investigation into a political rival is not related to national security.

TAYLOR: It's not related to national security.


BLACKWELL: The death of an American in China is being blamed on the Coronavirus ahead the drastic measures being taken to stop the outbreak spread, as the number of confirmed cases and deaths keeps rising.

WALKER: Democratic candidates attack Iowa frontrunners Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders during a contentious debate. The notable moments of the night is ahead.



WALKER: Breaking overnight, an American has died in China after being diagnosed with the Coronavirus.

BLACKWELL: The U.S. embassy in Beijing says the 60-year-old died in the city of Wuhan, which by now you know is the epicenter of the outbreak. Around the world, more than 700 people have been killed by the virus, more than 34,000 confirmed cases around the world. CNN Steven Jiang is in Beijing. Tell us first what we know about the American who has died from the coronavirus.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, just in the last hour, we learned a bit more about this U.S. citizen from the Chinese Foreign Ministry. In a state, in a statement they said this was an Ethnic Chinese U.S. citizen who died at 7:00 p.m. last Thursday in Wuhan. And the government here said doing this patient's treatment, they were in touch with this person's family in China, and they are now offering continued assistance to the U.S. government and this person's family in dealing with the aftermath.

Now this death was probably not entirely surprising given Wuhan was not only where this virus originated, and the picture there continues to look grimmer by the day. The city has recorded more than 13,000 cases including 545 deaths. That's the overwhelming majority of the global death toll. That's probably why you see the authorities there in the city continues to take increasingly drastic or draconian measures even after placing the entire city under lockdown for more than two weeks.

Now, we're hearing the authorities requiring all citizens in the city, all nine million of them in the city to report their body temperature to authorities every day. If you do not do so voluntarily, officials and police will be knocking on your door. And elsewhere in China, we see other cities also take increasingly

drastic -- draconian measures as well, including in this one city in Eastern China with more than 10 million people now. The local officials have ordered all pharmacies to stop sending medicines treating fever and cough because that's their -- in their effort to basically forced people with such symptoms to go to the hospital and check if they have contracted the virus. Victor and Amara.

WALKER: That's incredible. I mean, we were just trying to wrap our heads around that nine million citizens obligated to report their body temperatures to the government. But to that point, I mean, you know, you do have to say it's quite impressive the way the quickness that China is able to react when it wants, especially when it came to these hospitals that it said it would build with; I think one hospital was built in, in 10 days. Yes, you are hearing that some medical centers are already running out of supplies, is that correct?

JIANG: That's right. You know, they are still facing a severe shortage of medical supplies and personnel in the epicenter not only in Wuhan but surrounding areas. That's actually very worrisome because now you have two other cities outside of Wuhan recording more than 2000 cases.

This is disturbing because these cities are smaller, poorer, so with less medical or public health infrastructure to deal with this kind of outbreak compared to Wuhan, and the authorities in that province say now, despite the rest of the country, sending in more than 10,000 medical workers to reinforce overworked local doctors and nurses, they're still short of 2000 medical personnel, Victor and Amara.

BLACKWELL: Steven Jiang for us there in Beijing. Major effort there to try to control this growing threat; 34,000 cases around the world. Steven, thank you. Federal investigators say that engine failure did not play a part in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant.


WALKER: Bryant, his daughter Giana, and seven others died when their helicopter crashed into a hillside near Calabasas, California last month. An aviation expert says it appears investigators are focusing on the pilot's actions and weather as possible factors in the crash. A memorial for Bryant is scheduled for February 24th at the Staples Center.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, the 2020 Democratic race is getting a little more aggressive; candidates are targeting Iowa frontrunners: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Bernie Sanders. They've got three days now until the New Hampshire primary will bring you some of the major moments and the implications from last night.



BLACKWELL: Three days now until the New Hampshire primary, most of the candidates are making those final pitches there. Today, some candidates will participate in the "Our Rights, Our Courts" forum, that's in Manchester. It's the first form of the election season to address reforming the federal court system.

WALKER: Back in Iowa, the Democratic Party there is giving campaigns until 1:00 this afternoon to submit evidence of inconsistencies that could result in a recanvas or recount of the caucuses.

BLACKWELL: Joining me now to discuss: Political Correspondent for The Guardian, Lauren Gambino, and CNN Correspondent Ryan Nobles is back with us from New Hampshire.

Good morning to both of you. Ryan, let me start with you. You have been following the Sanders Campaign. We know back in 2016, there was a 23-point gap, he won by a major percentage of the vote there. Much slimmer now. Back then, he had one competitor, now he's got 10. But what's the campaigns view of their standing in this race as it narrows after Iowa?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Victor, they feel really good about where they stand for a bunch of reasons. The first being, as you mentioned before, they've always viewed it, New Hampshire, as being a stronghold for Bernie Sanders. It is right next door to his home state of Vermont. He has a long history here in this part of New England.

And the other big aspect about the Bernie Sanders Campaign that is much different than all these other campaigns is the financial backing that he has, the strength he has in his -- and his financial resources. His campaign raised $25 million, just in the month of January, they just unveiled a $5.5 million ad by over 10 different states. They really do feel like New Hampshire is a state they can win.

They almost expect to win here, but they also feel like their campaign is built for the long haul that even if they don't come in first here, they feel like they've got a strong opportunity in Nevada and then also the big prize of California on Super Tuesday. So, they, they could win here. They -- if they win here it could do a big part to help this campaign but it's not necessarily a must win for them.

BLACKWELL: Lauren, the Former Mayor of South Bend, Mayor Buttigieg, took some hits last night, both on how he raises his money but also experience. This is (INAUDIBLE), three of the four candidates last night who have never held office. Actually, they never held statewide office; two of them never held any elected office. This is the, the hit on experience in preparation for the job. Let's watch.


KLOBUCHAR: You said it was exhausting to watch and that you wanted to turn the channel and watch cartoons. It is easy to go after Washington because that's a popular thing to do. It's popular to say and makes you look like a cool newcomer. I just -- I don't think that's what people want right now. We have a newcomer in the White House and look where it got us.


BLACKWELL: People don't want a newcomer. What's the potency of that argument?

LAUREN GAMBINO, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE GUARDIAN: I think the cool newcomer line is definitely going to stick it and that's going to hurt, especially as Amy Klobuchar is really challenging him for, for you know, she wants to be the, the moderate candidate, the moderate standard bearer, the alternative to Bernie Sanders. And Pete Buttigieg has really come out of Iowa with that momentum, he is leading Biden which is not insignificant.

And so, you know, I think, Amy Klobuchar, she has a lot of experience. That is what she's running on. And so, I think that is, you know, that is, is going to be important. I think it draws a sharp contrast, obviously, with Donald Trump who entered the White House without any political experience. And I think, you know, the more contrast you can draw with Donald Trump as a Democrat, probably the better. It is how they're seeing this.

BLACKWELL: So, Ryan, there was this question from George Stephanopoulos asking if candidates had a problem with a Democratic Socialist at the top of the ticket. Senator Klobuchar, she raised her hand. And then, former Vice President Joe Biden, he added this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: With regard to Senator Sanders, the president wants very much to stick a label on every candidate, we're going to not only have to win this time, we have to bring along the United States Senate. And Bernie's label himself, not me, a Democratic Socialist. I think that's the label that the President's going to lay on everyone running with Bernie if he's the nominee.


BLACKWELL: And Senator Sanders obviously doesn't see that as a demerit. But as he's been criticized, for, what some saw as slow to consolidate in 2016, what's the, the effort from the campaign or their response as it relates to growing that coalition and consolidating behind him if he gets the nomination, this time around?

NOBLES: You know, Victor, there's no doubt that Bernie Sanders is going to run away from the Socialist tag. He knows that he's a Socialist, he embraces the fact that he's a Socialist. He also believes firmly that the fact that he's a Socialist is part of what has gotten him to this level that it's taken 40 years, but this is now something that Democratic voters in particular have responded to.


And Sanders would argue just the opposite. That the energy and the enthusiasm of the Democratic Party right now is not with the moderate wing. The energy and the enthusiasm in the Democratic Party is with the more progressive side of the ledger, and certainly not every Democrat's going to identify as a socialist, but they might identify with these concepts of Medicare-for-all, with eliminating college debt, with -- you know, aggressively fighting climate change, which are all the things that he talks about within the scope of socialism. And furthermore, to that point, you know, I specifically asked Senator Sanders about this exact point that this is something that Donald Trump's going to attempt to tag him with a couple of days ago.

And Sanders' answer is, he's going to attack any Democrat, he's going to put a tag on whatever Democrat comes forward. And Sanders argues that everyone knows he's a socialist already. He embraces it, he can explain it, and he has no problem taking on Donald Trump when it comes to that battle.

So, you know, there's certainly a lot of moderate voters that are uncomfortable with the idea of their standard-bearer describing himself as a socialist, but it's something Bernie Sanders embraces.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk as we wrap up here about former vice president here, last night saying that he's expecting to take a hit. This is after the disappointing fourth-place finish in Iowa.

POLITICO is reporting that the pro-Deval Patrick, super PAC is spending big on ads in South Carolina, potentially seeing that vulnerability. And then, there is this ad from the Bloomberg campaign. There's a narrative here, theme. Let's see if we could pick it out. Watch.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's been a leader throughout the country for the past 12 years. Mr. Michael Bloomberg is here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leadership in action. Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama work together in the fight for gun safety laws.


BLACKWELL: Saddling close up to President Obama. Where is this reported Biden reset sending the campaign of Bloomberg is trying to come in and take that territory?

GAMBINO: Well that certainly -- you know, Biden has been saying for a long time. He's been pointing to his work, you know closely with Barack Obama is sort of a chief to underpin his electability, argument, and you know, now, you see Bloomberg sweeping in with this ad, you see Deval Patrick going after black voters, which is sort of the backbone of Biden's campaign.

He knew -- Bidens and pointing for a long time to this leader, more diverse states saying that's, that's where my -- can, those -- that's where my supporters are. And, you know, he's got to sort of -- it shows some signs of strength before we get there.

And those, you know, those are weeks away. We're looking at New Hampshire, and he's already said he's not expecting a strong finish in New Hampshire.

So, I think at some point, if your whole campaign is based around this idea of electability, you do need to show, you know, if you can't win of these states, you do need to show signs of strength.


GAMBINO: And that is what those ads are getting out there that they're seeing vulnerability.

BLACKWELL: Well, we will have to see whether the reset sends the Biden campaign. Lauren Gambino, Ryan Nobles, thank you both.

GAMBINO: Thank you.

NOBLES: Thank you.

WALKER: Harvey Weinstein's legal team has started calling witnesses in his sexual assault case. But his lead attorney is making news for something she said outside the courtroom.

Coming up, her controversial comments on sex assaults.



WALKER: Attorneys for Harvey Weinstein are building their case by casting doubt on the memories of his accusers.

BLACKWELL: Well, six women have testified that Weinstein attacked them, but at least, 100 women had publicly accused Weinstein of predatory behavior.

And yesterday, the defense called a memory expert who testified about the unreliability of memories. Here is CNN's Jean Casarez with that development.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This week the prosecution rested their case with 28 witnesses and six accusers all alleging that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted them. Now, the charges that will go to the jury, including rape in the first degree, are only for two of the accusers but all of them alleged to a pattern.

They wanted to be in show business, they met Harvey Weinstein, he took them to meetings, dinners, Hollywood premieres, he befriended them, he wanted to help them, and then, ultimately all in a hotel room or an apartment where they say they were sexually assaulted.

The Defense brought out the complexity of the relationship with the two main accusers there were consensual relationships involved, consensual activity before, and after the alleged assault.

Now, we are in the middle of the defense case, preceding this next week. They've already put a memory witness on the stand and also a friend -- a longtime friend of Harvey Weinstein, who testified he never believed and does not believe that Harvey could have done any of this.

But on cross-examination, sort of excited autoruns, he did say, it was my understanding that for a long time, Harvey was a sex addict.

WALKER: Well, that was Jean Casarez reporting.

Let's bring in now, criminal defense attorney and CNN Legal Analyst, Joey Jackson. Good morning to you. Thanks for joining us.


WALKER: So, Joey, I do want to point out something that I found quite unusual in it and everything from what I read has said the same. The two main witnesses against Harvey Weinstein, they apparently agreed to have sex with him and maintained some kind of relationship with him after the alleged attacks.

My question is why would the Manhattan District Attorney's Office decide to put these two women at the center of the case? Is there a credibility issue that they're really going to have to fight?


JACKSON: Yes. So, the two answers to your questions: One, in terms of credibility. Remember, Amara that during any trial, credibility is always at issue. And it's the central issue in the case because it centers around consent, right? When you're talking about issues of rape now, I think certainly there's an understanding and recognition by the defense that it occurred, right? But the issue is whether or not it was occur -- it occurred in a way that everyone understood, and then, all parties were OK with. And so, yes, you have that credibility gap.

In terms of the question as to why these two, that's all they had. Remember that their statute of limitations that address, who and when charges can be brought forward. And so, to the extent that these were the only two within the applicable statute of limitations, that's all they could do.

And that, of course, they included the four witnesses is prior bad act witnesses to suggest that this was his pattern, they could not charge Amara as to the other four. Six in total, but four testified not because there were charges emanating from what their stories were, but because they really, you know, clarified the narrative that this is who Harvey Weinstein was, this is who his modus operandi.

WALKER: I mean, do you think it's going to be quite challenging to get a conviction because the prosecution does not have a lot of physical evidence?

JACKSON: You know, I think there are real concerns. Now, obviously, the issue of forensic evidence, forensic analysis, that's always relevant. It's always important. But even if they were to have that type of evidence, Amara, remember that still, even if you had other types of things, which would suggest that the events occurred in question, it still doesn't take away from the narrative of consent.

And so, if they did have forensic evidence, the defense would be, so what? It was consensual and they would go back to that is the defense -- the mantra that they were engaging in these relations before, they engage in it after, and if this was, of course, a rape, whether it be oral or otherwise, they would not be the continuation of the relationship.

And so, that defense is hammering home that point where it was consent. It was consent. You continue to engage with him, you continue to go out to dinner with him, you continue to have relations with him after the fact even before the fact. And so, is your story really reliable, credible, and should Harvey wants to be convicted predicated upon?

WALKER: And we're hearing from the defense now because as we said, the prosecution rested its case on Thursday. What will be the main crux of the defense? I mean, we just said that the defense called the memory expert who talked about the unreliability of memories. But also, they're trying to paint Weinstein as the victim.

JACKSON: Yes, you know, so that's pretty, you know, painting Weinstein as a victim is a -- is a pretty difficult thing to do. I mean, we're in an era of MeToo, Times Up, it's really a reckoning.

WALKER: Right.

JACKSON: But if you look at the hallmark of the defense, of course, we already addressed it, you did in terms of credibility, right? Are these two witnesses telling the truth? Are the other four witnesses in total -- or the six telling the truth? So, you look at credibility.

The other issue, of course, very important is consent. Right? Can't say it enough, whether or not this was something that may have been transactional, they didn't want to do, but it helped and assisted their career, the defense is saying, listen, that's still consensual, it's not a crime.

And then, of course, the other issue, which is memory. So, I think those are the three issues if the defense had to hang their hat on, credibility, consent, and could your memory really be trusted, given the length of the allegations, 2013, 2006. And then, of course, we have other witnesses dating back 27 years.

And so, I think those are the focal points, that they will hang their hat on moving forward, and hope that, that leads to one thing, Amara, reasonable doubt.

WALKER: I just got to ask you one quick thing --just your opinion on this. I think a lot of people not just women were outraged when they heard the comments during a podcast that the lead defense lawyer who was a female for Harvey Weinstein, said -- I think it was a New York Times' podcast, and she said that she never put herself in the position to be sexually assaulted.

Again, this is a case that came from the MeToo Movement or ignited the MeToo Movement. And now you have a female defense lawyer saying, basically, victim-blaming.

JACKSON: Yes. So that's a problem, obviously. And it's a problem because you don't have a sequestered jury. Of course, the jury is always admonished, and the jury is always told, listen, you know what? You're to judge what occurs in this case, guilt or lack thereof based upon what happens in this courtroom.

Don't want you relying on any news reports, don't want you speaking to anyone, don't want you listening to anything shut it off, but it still could filter in. And so, you worry about whether the jury has heard that, how they process it. And, of course, the dynamic of it. We are in a generation and of course, even without the generation, right? You don't put yourself in the position because the fact is, is that no means no, no matter what position you're in.


JACKSON: So, what are you talking about when you say, I don't put myself in that position, and it's viewed as something that, of course, is the meaning. It's something that would be suggestive of the fact that these women really brought it upon themselves, which I think is a narrative you don't want to create out there in any environment.

WALKER: Right. I appreciate you joining us, Joe Jackson. As always, thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Amara.

BLACKWELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar is working to stand out as a moderate with experience in Washington. Is her message gaining traction with voters? We're live in New Hampshire next.


BLACKWELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar's solid performance, most say at last night's debate could move her into top tier of the Democratic presidential candidates. On stage, she attacked newcomer Pete Buttigieg for her -- what she says is a lack of experience, and ended up raising more than a million dollars before midnight.


WALKER: Senior national correspondent Kyung Lah, joining us now from Manchester, New Hampshire. Good morning to you, Kyung. Do you get the feeling that Klobuchar's campaign is on the upswing?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Amara and Victor, certainly that money alone -- that $1 million just talked about. It is one metric. Her campaign is clearly pleased with how she did at the debate. Her campaign manager tweeting "nailed it."

Her campaign is hoping that all of this good news will bounce her just days before this New Hampshire primary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's make this happen. Let's get her this wins in New Hampshire.

LAH: The final push in New Hampshire. The last chance to convince the undecided.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we want to beat Donald Trump, we have nominate, Amy.

LAH: Senator Amy Klobuchar, her campaign is still trying to prove it's a contender.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to see if this is the right house.

LAH: As the hours wane before this primary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to tell you that I love Pete Buttigieg.

These people indicated they refer Mayor Pete. But things change.

LAH: Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are the front runners out of Iowa. Klobuchar is running fifth but on the heels of Joe Biden. And she hit double-digit better than what polls show before the caucuses. And that's enough, say supporters to keep her fighting for Democratic votes.

SUE CORBY, SUPPORTER OF AMY KLOBUCHAR: I would love it if we could send one candidate out of here with a groundswell with a lot of support behind them, but we're not going to.

KLOBUCHAR: We owe it to the people of New Hampshire.

LAH: And Friday night's debate, Minnesota senior senator to took on Buttigieg directly.

KLOBUCHAR: They think this going after every single thing that people do because it's popular to say and makes you look like a cool newcomer. I just -- I don't think that's what people want right now. We have a newcomer in the White House, and look where it got us. I think having some experience is a good thing.

LAH: This after a muddled Iowa caucuses makes New Hampshire voter Rod Tenney, nervous.

ROD TENNEY, VOTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Senator Klobuchar would be my first choice for vice president.

LAH: She is running for president.

TENNEY: I understand that, but only one person can be the nominee. I think there's a little anxiety building and some concern. Not enough for people to make decisions yet, but it's coming.

LAH: What happens if this keeps going on, and on, and on?

TENNEY: I think it weakens the possibility of defeating Donald Trump if they continue to sort of argue amongst themselves. LAH: And whether she might be the potential spoiler in this race.


LAH: What do you want to say to that voter?

KLOBUCHAR: I don't think that at all. I think that you know, we have five candidates. I think this race is going to go on for quite a while.

LAH: Is debate among these five candidates -- these top five candidates healthy for the party?

KLOBUCHAR: I think it is, actually. Because we have to continuing making the case, at least, to Iowa, that you want a president that is going to have plans and not pipe dreams that can actually get things done.

And if you don't --


LAH: Now, Klobuchar does have a full weekend, both days are packed with events here in New Hampshire. Her campaign feels that she has a very good opportunity here in New Hampshire because of the number of moderates, as well as Independents.

And Victor and Amara, what she is planning here is to try to talk directly to those Independents and say, she is going to reach out to people from the center. One of the thing that's going to help her is that Joe Biden didn't exactly have a stellar night last night that only helps her campaign here.

BLACKWELL: All right, we'll see what the final decision is on Tuesday. Kyung Lah, thanks so much. We'll be right back.

LAH: You bet.



BLACKWELL: Some "BREAKING NEWS" now. This coming from Thailand, at least 10 people are dead out of the shooting in the northeastern part of the country.

WALKER: Now, according to police, the gunman is a soldier from the second army regional command, he was still on the loose. Police and members of the military are actively searching for the suspects.

BLACKWELL: Now, right now they don't know why this is happening, motive unclear, we'll stay on top of this and get you more as we get it.

WALKER: Roads and highways are closed or washed out after major flooding in eastern Oregon. Heavy snowfall followed by warmer weather sparked flash flooding, as you see there.

BLACKWELL: At least 26 people had to be rescued from flooded homes and fields. A state of emergency is in place for three counties in the -- in the state of Oregon. Also, the National Guard is helping local authorities with rescues there.

WALKER: CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar,.joining us now with more. Allison.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right. You take a look behind me at that water. Just look at how swift that water is moving. And again, it's the amount of rain that they got, but also as you mentioned, the temperatures.

Now, here's a look at how much rain fell. This area that we just showed the video in eastern Oregon, you've got widespread two to four. But some areas picked up over six inches of rain. And it wasn't just Oregon, even areas of Washington picking up two to four inches of rain in a very short period of time.

Here's a look now, that system is expected to push off to the east, taking with it rain and snow to areas of the Intermountain West and eventually in towards the Midwest. The other thing too with a lot of this, see all of that snow there, Amara and Victor. That snow melted because those temperatures there were in the 50s, and that also contributed to the flooding.

BLACKWELL: Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.