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First U.S. Citizen To Die From Coronavirus Confirmed In China; Donald Trump Fires Two Senior Officials Who Testified Against Him; Democratic Candidates Make Final Push Ahead Of New Hampshire Primary; Ten Killed In Thailand Shooting, Gunman Still At Large; Academy Awards Criticized For Lack Of Diversity. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired February 8, 2020 - 08:00   ET



ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that also contributed to the flooding.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.



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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Off the coast of Japan in 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 him.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here in the New Hampshire the stakes were high for all of these 2020 Democratic Presidential hopefuls. And the tensions were even higher from the very beginning of this year. All of the people believe there was one person on that debate stage who was the center of attention and it was Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a newcomer in the White House, and look where it got us.


BLACKWELL: Always good to have you on a Saturday morning. I'm Victor Blackwell.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Amara Walker. Christi is off today. BLACKWELL: Breaking overnight, an American has died in China after

being diagnosed with the Coronavirus. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing says the 60-year-old died in the city of Wuhan that is the epicenter of the outbreak.

WALKER: Now, around the world, more than 700 people have been killed and there are more than 34,000 confirmed cases around the world.

BLACKWELL: Sixty-four cases were confirmed on a cruise ship now anchored off of Yokohama, Japan. CNN's Will Ripley is Yokohama. Will, we will get to that in a moment but first what do you know about the death of the American in Wuhan?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So this American's death was announced at the same time as the Chinese government announced the death of a Japanese citizen. These two individuals both in their 60s, of course, which of course hits the demographic of the highest risk group when it comes to the Coronavirus because the vast majority of deaths have been people over the age of 60.

We know that the American citizen, ethically Chinese living in Wuhan, which has been ground zero for this outbreak. It is a city of 11 million people about 9 million still remain in the city. A city that has been under quarantine for two weeks and a city that has seen hundreds of deaths and some 13,000 cases out of them more than 30,000 that have been reported so far.

Chinese government sending its condolences to the United States for the first reported death of a U.S. citizen in this Coronavirus outbreak but it just underscores, really the risk from this virus which continues to baffle scientists as they scramble to look for possible vaccines and other ways to treat the onus which is affecting a lot of people including many right here in Japan on that cruise ship that you mentioned earlier.

WALKER: Yes, tell us more about that situation. Because there are several cruise ships that have been quarantined in Asia. There are many Americans on one of those ships and obviously this must be a very distressing situation for passengers on board.

RIPLEY: It really is. The cruise ship was docked here in Yokohama and is currently now out at sea. It's expected to return back here tomorrow morning local time. The reason why they went out to sea is because they needed to get medications on board for the remaining 3,700 people a lot of senior citizens. A lot of retirees on that ship who are running out of medications for pre-existing conditions not related to Coronavirus and like diabetes and what not.

But the reason why they want to do it at sea is to kind of prevent any possible transmission of the virus here in Japan. So the Japanese military is actually bringing medications on board. They're also taking off of the ship, additional Coronavirus tests because passengers much like in the mainland.

Passengers on the cruise ship "Diamond Princess" have all been given thermometers and they're told to check their temperatures everyday and report any fever to medical personnel because if there is fever that is the first warning sign of a possible Coronavirus case.

The number of infections on the ship at this point is 64. It jumped from 61 to 64 overnight. Obviously that is much better news than the tripling of the number of cases that we saw just one day ago. But it still does show that there is a risk and that there is a likelihood of more possible infections on board that ship.

Japanese government is taking all of the Coronavirus patients off the cruise liner. And if there are additional people who test positive, they will be taken by ambulance off the ship in the morning and taken to dozens of hospitals around Japan where they're being held in quarantined and being treated for the virus right now.

WALKER: All right, Will Ripley with the latest. Thank you so much, Will.

BLACKWELL: So fears about the Coronavirus leading to a global shortage of masks. The World Health Organization is warning of a chronic shortage and is now sending out more protective equipment around the world. Here in the U.S., though, the National Community Pharmacist Association says 96 percent of local pharmacies are running out of masks.

WALKER: Well, and despite the frenzy to buy masks, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says there are better ways to keep yourself safe.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of discussion about these masks and other types of personal protective equipment. The demand for these types of masks has gone up 100 times. The price has gone up 20 times.


GUPTA: Outside of health care settings, outside of that province in China, there's probably not a real role for these masks. I mean if you look at it, you probably wouldn't be surprised to know that viral particles can maybe even go through the mask. They can certainly go through the edges.

So for the most part, they're really not going to provide much benefit and maybe a reminder to avoid people who are sick or to not touch their own nose or mouth. But the best advice is to do the same things you would do to avoid the flu, stay away from sick people. Wash your hands as much as possible. Don't touch your face as much as you can as well.

WALKER: All right, Sanjay Gupta thank you for that. So what so much about it we still don't know there's a lot of fear around the world surrounding the Coronavirus?

BLACKWELL: Our next guest is how we react reflects our society with misinformation spreading just as fast as the virus. Ed Yong wrote about this in the new article for "The Atlantic". The new Coronavirus is a truly modern epidemic. Ed joins us now. Let's start there. You called this a truly modern epidemic explain why? ED YONG, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: So, a lot of that, whenever a new virus appears, Sars, Zeka, any kind of flu, the world recreates in a very similar way. People trying to find out more about it to control it but every epidemic is also different because they hits societies and different geopolitical situations and the way the epidemic plays out, reflects the world that it affects and we're seeing that now.

We're seeing signs about the virus progressing at a hugely rapid rate but also misinformation cascading at the same fast rates. We're seeing evidence of the connectedness of the world in terms of air travel and other transport but also the rise of isolationism and xenophobia that has become so prominent of late.

WALKER: Yes, it's a reminder that we live in this globalized world. And we're constantly interacting with people from all places. Let me ask, first off, let me put this in context because if you look at the number of deaths from the Coronavirus thus far which started in December it's over 700.

You compare that to the CDC estimating that there have been 12,000 deaths, this flu season, which began in September. That puts things in context. But again, you talk about misinformation and fear spreading like wildfire. Do you think we're seeing an overreaction?

YONG: I think that the world is right to take this seriously. It's a new threat. It deserves to be taken seriously. And people should be trying to contain it. But there is a lot of panic and fear about it. And that carries risks as well. It risks shortages of important medical supplies like the masks that we already talked about. And it risks people turning against each other.

We see in every one of these new epidemics, a rise in xenophobia, a rise in discrimination and stigma. We saw that against gay men in HIV. We saw that against people of African descent to the Ebola outbreak. We're seeing that now and as with the previous Sars epidemic against people of Asian backgrounds.

It's often said that natural disasters can bring people together but epidemics will tear them apart. And that is a consistent theme in these outbreaks and something that I think people need to word against. And something that fear and panic does nothing to help.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let me quickly ask you about social media. We know that it's been used by some health officials to get the information to the general public. Also though to spread information - misinformation, I should say. Net positive or negative in this spread of Coronavirus?

YONG: It's really hard to say. I think I see networks of scientists using social media to share information and to discuss the virus more quickly than ever has been done before and that is - certainly, a benefit. But you can also see misinformation, conspiracy theories, hoaxes, spreading just as quickly.

And that helps to stoke the kind of fear and panic that we've already discussed as being unhelpful. It's hard to say where the balance is. It's the same channels that are being used for both good and ill.

WALKER: And just quickly, China's response to this outbreak, I mean, how would you rate it overall? You have President Trump who said he's not concerned about China being forthcoming about the disease.

The WHO has praised China for its quick response. But I mean if you look at reality, it did take some time before China actually started being transparent about what was happening I mean the first few weeks we were in the dark about this virus. What are your thoughts?

YONG: Absolutely the release of certain types of information like the Gnomes of the virus have been very quick and China has been praised for that. That is a massive boon to the scientific community to help to understand this new threat.


YONG: Whether other issues of transparency have been more problematic, that will become more evident as history of the virus writes itself. But I think that the - what really is important now is for the international health community to rally together, and to work together to try and control this new threat.

So like epidemics spread so quickly in this modern age of interconnectedness that it really takes a concerted global effort an ethic of cooperation to really contain them.

BLACKWELL: Ed Yong thanks for helping us to understand this and how social media and this new environment technologically is playing out with Coronavirus.

YONG: Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: Thank you Ed.

WALKER: President Trump is taking revenge against some people who spoke out against him firing two key figures who testified against him during the impeachment inquiry more on that next.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Democratic candidates are going after the front- runners from Iowa. Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders during this debate pretty contentious last night. We'll take a look.



BLACKWELL: Almost 48 hours after being acquitted, President Trump is cleaning out a few offices in the White House and getting rid of people who spoke out against him. The President dismissed two prominent witnesses who testified during his impeachment inquiry. Lieutenant Colonel Alex Vindman the top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council and Gordon Sondland the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union.

WALKER: The President actually had Colonel Vindman escorted out of the White House. An adviser to the President told CNN that it was necessary and that the White House is "Flushing out the pipes". CNN's Sarah Westwood is following the latest and Sarah, as we were saying, Colonel Vindman was escorted out of the White House. There's been swift and strong condemnation against the President.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, of course Democrats criticizing strongly this move by President Trump which can only be seen as retribution against two of the most prominent witnesses to testify against him during the impeachment inquiry.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was dismissed along with his twin brother. Both of them escorted off the premises. His brother did not testify in any way at the impeachment inquiry in the House. Alexander Vindman did, though. He was a participant on the July 25th phone call between President and Ukrainian President Zelensky that made up the bulk of the whistleblower complaint that sparked all of the impeachment drama.

Vindman raised internal concerns about the President's apparent pressure on the Ukrainian President to announce these investigations into the Bidens and Burisma the President also calling in U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland. Sondland was also deeply involved in the President's pursuit of these investigations.

He testified before the house, but behind closed doors and in public just about how widely known within the White House the President's efforts were and how personally involved Trump was. 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 email on July 19th. Days before the Presidential call.


WESTWOOD: The sources tell CNN that the relationship between Sondland and the White House had frayed since Sondland delivered what was ultimately very damaging testimony to President Trump. Democrats relied on it heavily when they drew up the articles of impeachment.

That's a remarkable journey for Sondland's relationship with President Trump. He was once a strong ally of Trump. They spoke frequently that sources say they hadn't since that testimony.

Now Vindman on the other hand sources told CNN that he was bracing from the possibility that he could be removed from his post. He's been reassigned with the Department of the Army. So he's still working in the administration. But his removal came just hours after President Trump told reporters that he was not pleased with Vindman's continued participation in the administration.

WALKER: And this is a surprise as you say. Sarah Westwood, thank you.

BLACKWELL: With us now to discuss, Seung Min Kim White House Reporter for "The Washington Post" and CNN Political Analyst. Good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: Let's start here with this tweet from Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Let's put this up on the screen. He tweets Colonel Vindman wasn't fired. He's still an army officer. He was assigned to NSC to serve the President who has a right to have people he trusts on his staff.

Sondland was a political appointee. No point in having a political appointee who no longer has the President's confidence. So there isn't unanimous condemnation. Give us a broader outlook of the reaction in Washington?

KIM: So I think what we are hearing from a lot of Democratic lawmakers that it's clear that coming from the President's rhetoric, what he said about Colonel Vindman earlier that day the hints from Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham earlier this week that perhaps maybe some people should pay for the impeachment probe.

For a lot of Democrats, it's clear this is an act of retribution against Colonel Vindman, against Ambassador Sondland. Republican lawmakers do have a point, that these are the - this is the President's administration. These people do serve at the pleasure of the President. But we know that this vengeance is pretty clear in the President's mind and it has been pretty evident, a very publicly evident since his acquittal by the Senate on Wednesday.

And I think it's - it would be curious, if you do have Senator Marco Rubio out there defending him. You do have a lot of House Republican lawmakers encouraging the President for these actions. But you do wonder what is going through the minds of a lot of other Republican Senators who wanted President Trump to turn the page from this acquittal.

Take the victory. Move on. You have a lot of Senators that I talked to this week including Senator Susan Collins, Senator Rob Portman and others saying they hope that the President has learned a lesson in the impeachment.

BLACKWELL: Let me jump in here, because I want to hear from Senator Susan Collins. This is her reaction after those dismissals. We'll talk more, watch.



SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I obviously am not in favor of any kind of retribution against anyone who came forward with that.


BLACKWELL: So she opposes it. And you say that and everyone remembers, she said that she thinks the President has learned his lesson. What does anyone, if anyone, plans to do about these dismissals?

KIM: Well, there's not a lot that actually Republican lawmakers can do beyond speaking out which has been the consistent theme of this administration. Like we just discussed earlier, these are people who serve at the President's pleasure. He does have - he does have the right to dismiss them.

But you really do have to examine the motive by which the President is dismissing these officials. And our reporting at "The Washington Post" shows that it may not be over. The President and his advisers have discussed removing perhaps, Michael Atkinson who is the Inspector General at the Intelligence Community that played a key role in transmitting that whistleblower complaint to Congress.

There are signs that perhaps National Security Council could shrink much more dramatically. This is something that the administration even National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien has talked about publicly. So you wonder what the reaction is going to be from the Republican Senators who, first of all, have been uncomfortable during the impeachment inquiry when witnesses themselves were personally attacked.


KIM: I mean I talked to Senators even moderate Senators Conservative Senators were concerned when Colonel Vindman was attacked during his testimony. So you do wonder what Senators are going to say, but you know the reality is that there are a lot of ways to keep this President in check. Again, these are people who serve at the pleasure of the administration.

BLACKWELL: That's true, and that's the point that Marco Rubio was making. The President was tweeting again about impeachment yesterday about West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, again, about Romney. Is this the next nine, ten months - I mean he is at 49 percent in Gallup and job approval at the highest ever administration the week of the vote, is this what we're expecting to see until the election?

KIM: I feel like this is what we're going to be seeing for some time. A lot of the Republican Senators - most of the Republican Senators in almost every way up for re-election this year did stick by the President. But the two people, the two allies that the White House thought that could have been on their side perhaps Senator Mitt Romney who we saw defect dramatically on that first al article of article impeachment.

And Senator Joe Manchin who is probably the closest Senate Democrat to the White House and has frequently collaborated with the White House on policy issues and has talked to the President does regularly talk to the President. You saw how that relationship can so quickly turn on a dime with this President, with the tweets that you saw aimed at Senator Manchin.

And now for Senator Mitt Romney, we talked to a lot of his Senate Republican colleagues immediately after the speech. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there's no doghouse here. He's not going to be in the doghouse. But there's going to be a lot of outside pressure and a lot of outside blowback on Senator Mitt Romney for some time.

BLACKWELL: We'll how that manifests? Seung Min Kim, good to have you.

WALKER: All right, for the time just three days away from the New Hampshire primary and candidates are taking jabs at Iowa front-runners Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. Who came out on top in last night's debate?



BLACKWELL: Three days now until the New Hampshire Primary. Most of the candidates are making their final pitches there.

WALKER: Yes, back in Iowa, the Democratic Party is getting campaigns until 1:00 this afternoon to submit evidences of inconsistencies that could result in a re-canvass or recount of the caucuses.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the debate. The candidates were a little more aggressive last night. Swinging at the front-runners from Iowa, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders it went pretty late into the evening.

WALKER: It did and but it was Former Vice President Joe Biden's comments where he seemed to have lowered his expectations in New Hampshire that has his senior campaign adviser playing clean up this morning.


SYMONE SANDERS, BIDEN CAMPAIGN ADVISER: The reality is we took a lump in Iowa, right? The reality is here in New Hampshire with basically two home state Senators competing for the nomination, it is remarkable, frankly, that throughout this entire nominating contest of this campaign, Vice President Biden has consistent pulled a top in a lock and step with those Senators. Whatever happens here in New Hampshire we're going on to Nevada, we're not giving up New Hampshire by any means.


WALKER: CNN Correspondent Ryan Nobles joining us now from Manchester, New Hampshire. So it sounds like we did mention some of the winners and loser of last night's debate?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I do think that Vice President Joe Biden had a pretty good standing, at least in the first half of the debate, but really kind of the starring role in this debate last night was the battle between Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. And that's not a surprise, considering their close finish in Iowa even though we don't know the complete results in Iowa.

We expected these two candidates to go after each other and draw some pretty sharp distinctions. And that's exactly what we got last night. You know, Bernie Sanders leading up to the debate, kind of review reviewed the direction that he was going to go, specifically talking about the donors to the Pete Buttigieg campaign. And that's exactly what he did on the debate stage last night.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike some of the folks up here, I don't have 40 billionaires, Pete, contributing to my campaign coming from the pharmaceutical industry coming from Wall Street and all of the big money interests.


SANDERS: What we do is we have now over 6 million contributions from 1.5 million people, averaging $18.50 a contribution.


NOBLES: And this was really the first time, where we had a debate where Buttigieg in particular found himself in the crossfire of many of these candidates because of that strong showing in Iowa and because of his increased performance here in New Hampshire. He's running neck and neck with Sanders in many of the polls.

Buttigieg really had to really explain himself and explain his position and explain how he would do in a matchup in a race against Donald Trump is differently than he would then someone like Joe Biden or particularly Bernie Sanders? Listen to how he explained that.


FORMER MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're facing a fundamentally new problem with President Donald Trump. So the biggest risk we could take at a time like this would be to go up against that fundamentally new challenged by trying to fall back on the familiar. Or trying to unite this country at a moment when we need that kind of unification, when our nominees are dividing people with the politics that says if you don't vote all the way to the edge, it doesn't count. A politics that says it's my way or the highway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you talking about Senator Sanders?



NOBLES: So, you can see what Buttigieg is attempting to do here. Thread the needle a little bit. He wants to inspire a group of Democrats that feel run down through the Trump Presidency and feel there's a need for change but he doesn't want to go as far as the Democratic socialism that Bernie Sanders is selling to the voters right now.

That's the argument that he's going to make. It is a very close race here in New Hampshire. So, we're going to have to see how the voters respond to this last debate before they go to the polls on Tuesday. We should also point out the vote here in New Hampshire has become increasingly important because of the ambiguity in the Iowa results.

Normally, you know we expect some of these candidates to drop out because of the Iowa but because there is so much uncertainty there, basically the entire field has made its way here to New Hampshire and so that vote on Tuesday night becomes that much more important Victor and Amara.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we'll see if this vote clears the field. Ryan Nobles for us there, thank you so much. Senator Amy Klobuchar's campaign is pretty proud of her performance at last night's debate. She attacked Mayor Pete Buttigieg for his lack of experience in national politics. And Klobuchar tweeted that a campaign raised more than $1 million before midnight.

WALKER: Senior National Correspondent Kyung Lah joining us now from New Hampshire. And as we were saying Kyung I mean, Klobuchar must be feeling quite good about her performance last night what is she hoping to achieve in New Hampshire?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a candidate, remember, she came out of the Iowa caucuses in fifth place. It is a close fifth place to Vice President Joe Biden but still in fifth place. This is a candidate who needs to have a strong showing here in New Hampshire.

And you certainly saw it and she took it out on the debate stage, she went after Pete Buttigieg. And part of the reason for that is that he's on top of the moderate lane. That he's currently the moderate leader. She needs to eat away at his advantage. What she chose to do is talk about something that she's talked about on the campaign trail something that's bothered her for quite some time. Something Buttigieg has said about the Senate impeachment trial and the Senators who have been the jurors in that trial. Listen to what she said.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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 don't think that's what people want right now. We have a newcomer in the White House, and look where it got us.


LAH: And she was aggressive not just there but also when asked on the debate stage if there was a candidate who had a problem with someone who is a Democratic socialist leading the ticket, AKA Bernie Sanders. She raised her hand. And then in the spin room afterwards talking to CNN, she explained why she chose to answer that way.


KLOBUCHAR: I don't know. I think people don't want to piss other people off on the debate stage. I think I have a job. And that is to make a case to our Democratic Party and to Independents that vote with us and are increasingly voting with us that I have different views than Senator Sanders, even though we get along. I have different views.


LAH: So, is all of this going to make a difference? Well, if you look at the money that they raised, it is certainly one metric. More than $1 million raised the campaign says they're now aiming for $2 million. That's what they're hoping to raise. Her campaign manager, Victor and Amara, tweeting as far as the performance on the debate, "Nailed it".

BLACKWELL: So Kyung the campaign knows that you reported this that they need a strong showing on Tuesday. Have they defined strong? Is that a fourth place finish?


BLACKWELL: Anything ahead of Biden to make her a prime alternative to Buttigieg in the moderate lane?

LAH: Well, you know, Victor, how many jockeying happens after these results come out but certainly being fifth again just like in Iowa, that's not really moving the needle at all? Especially as you look into heading into bigger states, Nevada, South Carolina, these are much more diverse states and then Super Tuesday.

If she wants to move up, she's got to do better. She's got to close that gap with the Vice President, in the campaign certainly feeling very good that they have at least made some headway into doing that.

WALKER: Kyung Lah, appreciate you. Thanks so much. Back in Iowa, the Democratic Party there is giving campaigns until 1:00 in the afternoon today to submit evidence of inconsistencies that could result in a re- canvass or recount of the caucuses.

BLACKWELL: With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Mayor Pete Buttigieg holds a very slim lead over Senator Bernie Sanders. CNN's National Correspondent Dianne Gallagher is in Des Moines. What is it we're expecting today? Are we expecting that there will be submissions by this 1:00 deadline?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Victor, we're not entirely sure. Some of the campaigns including Senator Sanders' Campaign have said that they would like the Iowa Democratic Party to take a look at some inconsistencies that they found in certain precincts.

But Senator Sanders himself told our Ryan Nobles that he's not interested in a full re-canvassing at this time. That appears to be really the thought process for most of these campaigns right now, Victor, and Amara. They're ready to leave Iowa behind.

Now the deadline today at noon essentially says that any campaign that has discovered some kind of inconsistency, discovered results that maybe don't match up with what was posted needs to present them to the Iowa Democratic Party by soon central time today. They then have until 1:00 pm eastern on Monday to go ahead and request a re-canvass if they need them.

Now look, there has been pressure from the National Democratic Party. Specifically DNC Chairman Tom Perez, they would like to see a full re- canvassing. Again, those parties don't seem interested. The Chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party Troy Price said that he goes by the rules and the rules say that if the campaigns requested they'll do a re- canvassing.

And that's really about it that he doesn't expect to go by what the national party says at this point. And so the point is, we're likely not going to have official results in this Iowa Caucus until a week after Iowans came and joined in. And voted for the candidate they wanted. And it's possible if a candidate requests a re-canvassing, that we may have results in New Hampshire before we actually have the official results here in Iowa.

BLACKWELL: Diane Gallagher, in a cold, cold, Des Moines. Dianne thanks so much for spending some time with us.

It's been five years since the #oscarssowhites called out the academy awards. This year, just one black actress was nominated for an Oscar.

WALKER: Why is it so hard for the film industry to diversify? We will discuss when we come back.



BLACKWELL: Breaking news in from Thailand. At least ten people are dead. This is after a shooting in the northeastern part of the country.

WALKER: According to the police there, the gunman is a soldier from the second army regional command. The unit's commander tells CNN that they believe the suspect is inside a shopping mall. And he says they cannot confirm that hostages have been taken.

BLAKWELL: Now we've just received this video, this sound from an eyewitness of when the shooting started. Watch.




BLACKWELL: You hear the repeated shots there one every couple of seconds. We still do not know a motive why this is happening?

WALKER: Yes. A lot of things we don't know at this time but obviously, a frightening situation. And, again, we don't know if any hostages have been taken. Police are not confirming that. We will stay on this. And we will get back to you with any more updates on it.

When we come back new information about the helicopter crash that killed NBA Legend Kobe Bryant coming up, why investigators say it is unlikely that engine trouble caused the helicopter to go down.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fear is your enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, easy now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to die.


BLACKWELL: That's Cynthia Erivo as - in the film "Harriet." She is the only black person to be nominated for acting this year's academy awards.

WALKER: Five years ago the #oscarsowhite dominated social media in response to criticism, the academy vowed to become more diverse. While it's made some strides by adding more women and people of color to its membership, well, many argue the academy has not done enough.

We're joined now by filmmaker Simon Frederick. He directed the documentary "They've got to have us" that's now out on Netflix and CNN's Senior Entertainment Writer Lisa Respers France. Welcome to you both thanks for joining us.

Lisa, let's start with you, with Cynthia Erivo who was nominated as we said for her role as Harriet Tubman in the movie "Harriet." Do you see a pattern here by the academy and we just mentioned Lupita Nyong'o won an Oscar in 2014 for her role in 12 years a slave?


LISA RESPERS FRANCE, CNN DIGITAL SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT WRITER: Well, people are disappointed and actually talking more about who wasn't nominated as opposed to who was.

So Cynthia Erivo was the only African-American to be nominated. And there were some debate because when Antonio Banderas was nominated some people refer to him as a person of color when he's actually from Spain which of course is a European country.

So this pattern seems to be will have sometimes these years where it feels like there is a lot of diversity. And then another year you will come up and you don't see as much diversity. When we talk about diversity we're not just talking about race, we're talking about gender, we talking about sexuality.

So the academy really has a lot of work to do in many people's opinions to reflect not only the membership but also the audience, the country the people who are going to see the films.

BLACKWELL: Let me come to you about this Simon, BAFTA's British film awards also didn't nominate an actor of color and Joaquin Phoenix called on the film industry in his expectance speech. I want your reaction to it. Let's watch.


JOAUQUIN PHOENIX, ACTOR: I have to say that I also feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that deserve don't have that same privilege. I think that we send a very clear message to people of color, that you're not welcome here.


BLACKWELL: What's your reaction to his stake of that that moment to make that point?

SIMON FREDERICK, FILMMAKER, PHOTOGRAPHER: I think it was a really timely intersection by Joaquin Phoenix. I think that back in the day, in the '60s when you had Harry Belafonte and Sidney Portier, the two first black stars of Hollywood when they were advocating change, you found to the left of them and to the right of them there were white actors of prominence who they're supporting them. But today, I don't see that support from our white brothers and sisters who are standing up and championing the case for diversity as well.

WALKER: And Lisa, back to you. If we could talk quickly about the movie "Parasite" it's a South Korean film. And the film was nominated for six awards including best picture but none of the Asian actors got a nod. If you look back at history, in Hollywood, I mean, it seems like the academy is willing to honor Asian films, but not Asian actors so much. Why do you think that is?

FRANCE: Well, the academy and its membership, and they have been, as you said, trying to make strides to diversify the membership. People have a tendency to nominate those who they relate to and who they see themselves as. So even though they've been working hard to get more diversity within their membership ranks it's easier to look at the film as a totality and say this is an incredible film.

But not look at the individual actors. These actors made up the totality of these films. They offered such strong performances so to have them be overlooked and the film itself celebrated felt like a slap in the face to many people.

BLACKWELL: Simon, let me ask you about broader than just the academy. The question of diversity and investment in films that will get the attention of the academy, how much of a problem is it across the industry?

FREDERICK: It's a huge problem. I think for many years, if you're not white and male, then it seems the people who green light films believe that your film is not of value. Or your film just won't sell. Or there is no market for your film. And that's not the case at all. That was, you know, proven, case in point with moonlights when in 2017, a film that was made for a very small budget went on to make a significant amount of money in the box office. And be nominated and win at the academy awards that year best picture.

BLACKWELL: Simon Frederick and Lisa Respers France, thank you both.

FRANCE: Thank you.

FREDERICK: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Before we go, federal investigators say engine failure did not play a part in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant.

WALKER: Bryant, his daughter Gianna and several others died when their helicopter crashed into a hillside California last month. Aviation experts tell CNN that it appears investigators are focusing on the pilot's actions. And weather as possible causes. A memorial for Bryant is scheduled for February 24th at the Staples Center.

BLACKWELL: Thanks for starting your morning with us; we're back at 10:00 am eastern for "CNN Newsroom."

WALKER: "SMERCONISH" is up next.



MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: How Trump wins again. I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. That head line might sound ill-timed, given that it was published at the end of a week that brought finality to a process whereby Donald Trump regardless of the Senate vote, joined just two predecessors who will ever be tarnished with having being impeached but that was David Brooks analysis in "The New York Times" yesterday.