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Thousands of Fans and Loved Ones Attend Memorial for Kobe Bryant; Senate Democrats Call on Trump to Sanction Russia for 2020 Election Meddling; Weinstein Guilty of Criminal Sex Act And 3rd Degree Rape; Dow Drops as Coronavirus Cases Surge Outside Asia. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired February 24, 2020 - 15:30   ET



JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!": Well there you have it. Thank you, Vanessa. We love you. We love your kids. We will pray for you and for the Chester and Altobelli, Zobayan and Mauser families.

Please support the Mamba on Three Fund, please support the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. It's what Kobe, Gigi would have wanted. Thank you for coming. And don't forget, work hard and hug the people you love. Good afternoon, everyone.

Crowd: Kobe! Kobe! Kobe! Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: What does one say after that? That was an absolutely incredible celebration of life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi. I have been right here along with you watching every single moment as NBA icon Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were honored there for the last few hours at the Staples Center where he played for so many years there in Los Angeles.

They were laid to rest in a cemetery in Southern California back on February 7th, but today as you have seen what was really a chance for the world to pay respect to Kobe and his daughter and their family and mourn their loss. And you heard the emotional moving tributes from his widow, Vanessa, and Michael Jordan and Shaq. And heard just beautiful music played. Young women he knew and inspired so -- we're going to cover this for you a little bit longer. Let's begin with my colleague, Sara Sidner, who is outside the Staples Center.

And I mean, my goodness, Sara, like we could go back and forth between all of those various stories we heard. And for me, I don't know if it was the watching the great Michael Jordan just in a puddle of tears talking about his baby brother, Kobe, or whether it was you know Rob Pelinka, Kobe's best friend telling the story of being in Sunday church and getting that text on that tragic day.

And there Kobe was, his final act, right, was texting his buddy, Rob, saying can we help this young woman get an internship in baseball? What did you make of all that? SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, I think there are

going to be very, very, searingly emotional points that people will never forget, especially those who are inside of the stadium listening to Shaq, for example. And I think what got people the most is the candidness of everybody that stood up to speak.

When you heard Jimmy Kimmel even come on to stage, his tears were real. They were from his heart. He talked about how important Kobe was. But he also talked about being a father and the sense of that loss of a daughter, that loss of a child and what that would do to someone.

And he talked about Vanessa and what she must be going through. And then no one knew who was going to be coming onstage. This was in a town where paparazzi and leaks are the norm. This was all kept hush, hush. It is incredible that note alone and then Vanessa Bryant takes the stage.


She takes the stage with dignity and grace, but she takes the stage with a heart filled with sorrow, because she not only had to bury her beloved husband the man she talked about as her papi chulo. The man who she has been with since she was 17 years old, who she said was her best friend.

But also, she talked about her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. And she started with Gianna. She started with saying, I'm not going to be able to see you walk down the aisle to tell you how gorgeous you are on your wedding day. Some of the words that she chose to use about her daughter, anyone who has a daughter or a mother or a son, they feel this in a way that it's like family. And that's what you hear from people here in LA. They saw Kobe and his family like they saw their own family.

And so losing him is like losing a family member, that is the way people feel here in LA, no matter what you feel about celebrity culture, there is so much emotion, real emotion and love being shared here today.

Listening to Michael Jordan when he took the stage. He was funny, he talked Kobe annoying him, like any little brother would do, and everyone cracked up. And that what really got the crowd when Michael Jordan spoke, and Michael Jordan sort of my generation's Kobe Bryant, right, we all looked up to number 23, the Chicago Bulls great.

BALDWIN: Of course

SIDNER: -- right, but then, he said, you know, look, here I am, and he just starts crying. I mean, the tears, big and real, and says, oh, I didn't want to do this. I told my wife I wasn't going to do this because I didn't want to be a meme for the next four years. And I know you've seen that Michael Jordan crying meme that everyone uses all over social media where they've got a bunch more for today. That really touched peoples' hearts inside. And then you heard from Shaq. Shaq came out, I mean everyone knows the

deal between Kobe and Shaq. There was no love lost for a while, there was a lot of competition, and some strife. And he talked about that, came right out with candid and said, I know you guys know about what went on between me and Kobe. He goes, but it's all good. He talked about that strife but then when it was time to come together, he's like, we had that three-pete, we got on that court and we got it done.

And so all of these things got the crowd to their feet. There was several times where people stood up and just you could feel the chills coming down from your head to your toes. It was such a poignant, beautiful, touching, loving, kind, candid speech that you heard from each and every person that stood up. I'm going to remember this for the rest of my life and certainly fans of the Lakers will never forget this one.

BALDWIN: We felt it all the way across the country, and I'm sure for folks who are tuning in all the way around the world. When I was there with you just a couple weeks ago, you know, talking to all those fans who wanted to pay their respects there at LA Live.

I'll never forget this young man coming up to and saying, you know, my family were from LA, could never afford tickets to actually go see the Lakers in person, but Kobe brought our family together. We would sit, we would watch the games in our homes with our families together. And it was just that's what he did for so many people.

Sara, thank you for such a beautiful recap. And in case you've been tuning in and out, let me just leave you with some Vanessa Bryant and remembering her husband and her daughter.


VANESSA BRYANT, KOBE BRYANT'S WIDOW, GIANNA BRYANT'S MOTHER: God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, BB and Coco, we're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo-Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you forever and always, mommy.




BALDWIN: Just into CNN, top Senate Democrats are sending a letter to the Trump administration today calling for sanctions against Russia for ongoing election interference. This letter cites recent reporting about the Russian Federation actively attempting to interfere in the 2020 race. So let's go straight to our CNN senior Congressional correspondent Manu Raju on The Hill. And Manu, tell me more.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, and Sherrod Brown who's a top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee sent a letter just moments ago to the top officials in the Trump administration, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State and Steven Mnuchin of the Treasury Department asking them to impose sanctions under the existing authorities that were approved by Congress back in 2017.

And saying that they should move forward with their existing authorities to impose sanctions on Russia in the aftermath of concerns reported by the Intelligence Committee that Russia is already actively interfering in the 2020 elections.

Now we have learned that there was a briefing that occurred before a week long President's Day recess on Capitol Hill which the House Intelligence Committee members heard from senior officials, and one official said that the Russians had developed a preference for President Trump as -- to be re-elected.


Also the same official said that there were concerns that the Russians wanted Bernie Sanders also to win as well. Now we have not seen any formal conclusion or assessment by the entire intelligence community that this is actually what the intelligence community has concluded.

But nevertheless there is an ongoing concern within various agencies about the Russian interference efforts that took place in 2016, also being replicated again in 2020. So you are seeing this letter now from these top Democrats who are urging the administration to move forward, and saying not moving forward with sanctions would be an abdication of their responsibilities.

So we'll see if any Republicans join ranks and how the Trump administration responds.

BALDWIN: Let us know. We know you will, Manu, thank you very much. Manu Raju on The Hill.

We have more breaking news today. Harvey Weinstein behind bars, found guilty of third-degree rape. We will take you to the courthouse in downtown Manhattan.

Also, a quick check of the Dow, right now falling over fears of new coronavirus outbreaks. You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We will be right back.




SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, KOBE'S LAKERS TEAMMATE/NBA HALL OF FAMER: BALDWIN: In truth, Kobe and I always maintained a deep respect and a love for one another. The day Kobe gained my respect was the guys were complaining, say Shaq, Kobe's not passing the ball. I said I'll talk to him. I said, Kobe, there is no I in team, and Kobe said, I know, but there is a m-e in that (BLEEP). (END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Little bit of the laughter out of that celebration of life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi. With me now just outside the Staples Center is retired NBA legend Gary Payton who was a friend and teammate of Kobe Bryant's. And he is with me. And Gary, I am so sorry, I see that purple tie and that yellow pocket square. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, but can you just tell me how you are holding up, and what it was like to be in that room today?

GARY PAYTON, KOBE BRYANT'S TEAMMATE AND FRIEND: Well, you know, it's been really, really hard for me in that last few weeks ever since I heard about it when I got off of the plane in Atlanta, and heard that my little brother had passed away with the families and his daughter.

Kobe was like an uncle to my sons. He had talked to them a lot. He was the type of guy who texted and did that type of thing, and he wanted to show, share experiences. He wanted to share everything. He wanted to pick your brain. He did it with my sons. And it was really crazy.

My kids called me, and they were both crying, both of my boys. And I didn't know what to say. I didn't even know what to do. And it has been really hard, and when I went to work at Turner, it was a day I could not stop crying. Today, was kind of hard, too. You know, because everything that was in that Staples Center today with everybody who got love, everybody was there gave love back to him.

This is how the people don't understand and when they were always talking about Kobe how selfish he was, and he wasn't about team and the teammate and he got on his team's. They didn't know Kobe Bryant. I got to know him. I got to know him when I played with the Lakers, and we had the four Hall of Famers on one team, and he was going through a lot of stuff.

And I got to be that one to mentor him. And the mentoring made me understand that I know this kid. This is a kid that is misunderstood. And don't nobody know him. I got to know him everyday. Everyday. He started to open up to me. Open up to me, and that's where my friendship became with him. And then I knew Kobe Bryant and who he really was.

After he got through playing basketball and he started being the coach of Gigi's team and starting the Mamba Academy, I really, really got to know him then, because I knew that he was a loving parent and he wanted the best for his kids, the best for his family and everybody. And it's just so, so hurtful for me that a guy like this at the age of 41 and his life is gone.

BALDWIN: Yes. No, I've talked to a number of people and I think obviously it's the tragic way in which he lost his life along with so many other families and their children. It's you know the fact that had -- people were so excited to see what his next act would be, right? What would be next for Kobe Bryant. What he could do for his little girls and maybe being in the WNBA.

I mean, I was watching a clip where he was saying that a lot of times, you know, people would stop him and they'd say, Kobe, you know, aren't you and Vanessa going to have a boy? Don't you need somebody to follow in your footsteps, and Gigi would be next to him and Gigi would say, I've got this.


Can you talk about the relationship with him and his daughter?

PAYTON: Well, everybody would say that. But I think god brought him Gigi, that was his boy. That was his love, that was his daughter that was going to carry his legacy on. She had a passion that she wanted to go to Connecticut. That is where she was going to go. I think that she would have gotten into the NBA and turned the NBA around just like any other basketball player that would try to do. And I think that she would have had a father that would have pushed her to do that.

We're not going to be able to see that, but this is going to maybe bring a legacy around to have other kids and other girls go out to be just like Gigi. And I think is going to start something that will make everybody's father understand and be different about their daughter.

I have one daughter. And she is about to get married in three months and I am going to love her to death. I'm going to love her until the end and I'm going to be with her all of the time. I just got off of the phone with her just a minute ago, I texted her and told her I love her.

And this is what you're going to get I think is going to happen to everybody now in this world now, because you don't know what's going to happen, and how long we're going to be here. And you're going to have to cherish all of these moments with your kids. And I am about to cherish this moment with my daughter every day.

BALDWIN: Bless you,

PAYTON: I'm going to call her everyday.


PAYTON: I'm going to text her every day. And I'm going to do everything I have to do.

BALDWIN: Yes, you danced hard at that wedding, Gary Payton, and you give her a good squeeze. Life is precious. Gary, thank you so very much. I appreciate you. And we'll be right back.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD, I'm Jake Tapper. We're going to start with breaking news. Stocks plummeting as the coronavirus spreads amid serious concerns that experts worldwide might not be able to contain it along with fears of a global financial slowdown becoming more real.

Take a look at the Dow Jones right now, finishing down more than 1,000 points at the closing bell. Well, it's about to close and it is around 1,000 points. Parts of Italy, the world's eighth largest economy now on lockdown with the largest concentration of coronavirus outside of Asia. Also and hit hard, South Korea the world's 12th largest economy also seeing a surge in the coronavirus cases.

Let's go to CNN's Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange where the bells are about to ring. And, Allison, this is the first time we've seen investors react so dramatically to the impact of the virus.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, investors certainly have woken up today, haven't they, Jake. You know, the surprise spike in the number of coronavirus cases, and those cases popping up in countries outside of China, that's what sparked this dramatic sell-off today.