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Don Lemon Tonight

Russia Continues To Attack Ukraine; Putin's Next Move In Ukraine; Jan. 6 To Hold Eight Hearings In June; Wells Fargo Accused Of Racial Discrimination; "Nomad" Premieres Sunday At 10P ET/PT; CNN Heroes: Inside The School Offering Adults With Special Needs The College Experience They Were Missing. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 28, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Message from Russia: Nobody is safe. Ukraine saying Russian missiles landed in Kyiv just after President Zelenskyy's meeting with the U.N. secretary general who was still in the city.

Also ahead, let's check. The January 6th Committee wants to speak to more members of Congress, including the House GOP leader, Kevin McCarthy. But will they cooperate?

And Wells Fargo Bank accused of discriminating against Black mortgage customers.


SHAIA BECKWITH SIMMONS, HOMEOWNER: I was completely blown away to have a process server come to our house last month and again the next morning to serve us with notice that Wells Fargo intended to foreclose on our home.


LEMON: Straight ahead, we are going to look at the complaints Black customers have against Wells Fargo. Stay tune for that.

We are going to start with the war, though, and straight to CNN's Isa Soares in Lviv for us tonight. Hello, Isa, once again to you. What are you learning about these missile strikes in Kyiv?

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A very good morning to you, Don. Well, we know from our teams on the ground in the capitol, Kyiv, that they heard two large explosions last night. Now, according to Ukraine's foreign minister, they were from Russian cruise missiles.

Now, Russia doesn't have troops in the area, mostly focused now on that offensive in the Donbas, but like we saw in the beginning of the war, those kinds of missiles can be launched from a distance, sometimes from just across the border in Belarus. And you are looking right there at the impact of that missiles had. It hit an apartment building in Kyiv and it caused extensive damage, you can see there, started a fire. You saw there, there was smoke billowing from the windows. And you can see from that video you're looking at that one side of the building has been completely ripped off. Just imagine the sheer terror for those inside.

Now, Ukrainian officials are telling us, Don, that at least 10 people were injured in that strike. And this happened, I think context is really important here, that this happened as the U.N. secretary general, Antonio Guterres, was visiting Kyiv and after he visited Putin and call for anti-hostilities and for these humanitarian corridors for civilians.

So, really important this happening, of course, on the same day of that visit and a clear sign that really no one is safe yet, Don.

LEMON: And Isa, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying tonight that Ukraine has identified suspects in the war crimes in Bucha. What can you tell us about that?

SOARES: That's right, President Zelenskyy says they have identified 10 Russian servicemen who they say are suspects in the gruesome crimes committed in Bucha. And I must warn our viewers, what you're about to see is graphic.

And for context again here, if you remember in early April -- and to be honest, how can anyone forget -- these images -- we saw these images and horrific accounts emerging from Bucha just outside of Kyiv of bodies lying along the streets as Russian forces, of course, retreated from the area.

Now, according to President Zelenskyy, an investigation is underway and the first 10 Russian servicemen have been identified. And he added, they know the surnames. Have a listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): We know all the details about them and their actions, and we will find everyone just as we will find all the other Russian thugs who killed and tortured Ukrainians, who tormented our people, who destroyed houses and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.


SOARES: And the prosecutor general provided more details here, telling CNN that these suspected soldiers were of various ranks, Don. We know over four privates, four corporals, and two sergeants, all from the same brigade.


The very brigade, by the way, that was awarded an honorary title by Russian President Vladimir Putin and then praised for their heroism and courage, Don. LEMON: Isa, thank you very much. We appreciate that.

Ukraine's military saying Russian forces are exerting intense fire across the eastern region. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has our report on how quickly the battle is shifting between the Ukrainian resistance and Russian control.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): If Moscow had any surprises left in this war, it is along here. The other side of the river has been Russia's for weeks. But here, the western side is caught in the fast-changing landscape of this week's push.

(On camera): That's the prize (ph) over there, the Dnipro River, up past which on the left side bank here the Russians are trying to push, wanting control of both sides of the vital part of Ukraine.

(Voice-over): Here in (INAUDIBLE), we are told there are a handful of Russian tanks just over a kilometer away on its outskirts. Pushing, probing, but ultimately kept at bay by Ukrainian forces that still hold the town.

Resilience here embodied under the threat of rocket fire, planting onions.

(On camera): I'm here until victory, she said. Children have gone. It's just her and her mother. Her 80-year-old mother and her are staying here. Her mother says she's not going anywhere and she's not going to leave her alone. All her windows are blown out, she says.

(Voice-over): Ukrainian forces who don't want their positions filmed are dotted around the town, as too are the signs of innocent lives lost here. Rock peeking out from under the water. This boat in which 14 civilians tried to flee Russian occupation on April the 7th, four of them died when Moscow's troops opened fire when it was 70 meters out.

Yet still, the desperate keep fleeing. This morning, these women left behind their men to defend their homes near Novoiavorivsk (ph).

We ran, ran early in the morning, said Luda. They didn't let us out. We're shields for them. They didn't let us out. By foot and by bicycle, we go. In the fields, we ran.

Our soldiers were two kilometers away, Nadezha adds, and we ran to them. The Russian tanks, she said, take cars. They draw "Z" (ph) on everything. As their new unwanted guests demanded milk and food at gunpoint, they had a glimpse of their warped mindset. They say they've come to liberate us, Luda said, these aggressors. That's what they told us. They say America is fighting here but using the hands of Ukrainians to do it. That's what they say.

Another claimed to be fueled by the violence of the long war, the separatists in the east. In general, the Donetsk militants say, she said, you have been bombing us for eight years, now we bomb you. Across the fields, loading and artillery swallow whole once-happy worlds. Now, Kherson down to the south of where I'm standing, installed officials there put in by the Russian military occupation have said that's how we'll be using the ruble, the Russian currency, in a matter of days, phasing out the Ukrainian currency over the coming months.

They've also said how now that town cannot -- quote -- "go back to its Nazi past," a reference to the ludicrous suggestion by Russia that this operation here, unprovoked invasion, was designed to de-nazify the country.

And they've also now clarified that there won't be a referendum indeed in Kherson. There was one planned for yesterday but that doesn't appear to be the case and instead focused on economic development, a bizarre statement frankly given the economic damage they've done by invading the town itself, Don.

LEMON: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much for that.

I want to bring in now CNN military analyst and retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. Colonel, good evening once again to you. Appreciate you joining us.

Ukrainians say that their towns are being bombarded across the east and south. And as we mentioned, President Zelenskyy says five missiles hit Kyiv during the U.N. secretary general's visit. What is the mission right now for each side in this fight?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST, RETIRED AIR FORCE COLONEL: Don, that's an excellent question because what you're seeing here is the movements this way by the Russians, this way from the east, and also up to the north as much as they can. This is the area that Nick Paton Walsh was in. Of course, in Kyiv, we have those missile strikes you mentioned.


So, what everybody is doing here is they're trying to grab as much territory as they possibly can.

So, let's focus a little bit on the south right here. This area is critically important. Of course, we have Mariupol where we have that massive siege of the Azovstal steel works. That is tying up a lot of Russian troops here. But when they have this territory, they will then have this land bridge that they are talking about. So, it's a matter of getting this.

And it's not just the volume of territory, but it's the type of territory. So, if it connects one side to the other, that's a plus for the Russians. If the Ukrainians can do things like this where they're gaining territory at the expense of the Russians even if it's a little bit like right here, that's still is a plus for them.

So, the big effort is to gain as much territory as quickly as possible just in case, at some point, there is some kind of a negotiation that takes place and there's a stopping point for the fighting.

LEMON: Let's talk about what U.S. officials are saying about Russia making some improvements in both coordinating air and ground operations and resupplying forces. How can Ukraine gain the upper hand if that is indeed happening?

LEIGHTON: So, if the Russians are making improvements -- let's take a look at the Donbas area, for example. So, what the Russians are doing is they're moving slowly into certain areas right here, like around Sloviansk, heading from Sloviansk to Kramatorsk. These areas right here, they are perfect for the Russians to move forward in.

And as the Russians do this, they're very deliberate about this. They have learned a little bit about their supply chain shortfalls. Their ability to move fuel forward has improved. Their ability to keep their troops in line has improved somewhat. By that, I mean that they're moving forward. Not necessarily what they're doing once they capture territory. That's a different issue.

But what the Russians are trying to do is gain as much territory as possible right in here. And as they do this, they will appear to be a bit more efficient than what they were before. But that is how they're doing it. The Ukrainians still, though, have an edge in terms of morale and their ability to take care of the territories that they control. And frankly, also have the upper hand in terms of morale.

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much, colonel. We appreciate that.

Next, what lessons did Vladimir Putin learn in Syria and what does that tell us about what he will do next in Ukraine?


JOHN SULLIVAN, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: This war started with a decision by President Putin. This war will end with a decision by President Putin. This is a war of choice by one man, by one government.





LEMON: Russia lashing out as it faces consequences for Putin's invasion of Ukraine. But how long will the U.S. and its allies be able to keep up the flow of aid for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, quite frankly, and what can the past tell us about what Putin is planning in the coming weeks and months of this invasion?

Joining me now to discuss is Charles Lister, senior fellow and director of the Countering Terrorism and Extremism Program at the Middle East Institute and author of a piece in "Politico" this week titled "What's Putin's Next Move? Look to Syria." Thanks for joining us. I appreciate it.


LEMON: Good evening to you. In your article, you start by saying this, that the war is far from over and that Russia has learned how to adapt in the past. What did Vladimir Putin learn from the war in Syria that he is putting into practice now?

LISTER: Well, first off -- first, thanks for having me on the show. And from the outset, let's recognize that there are different lenses to view this current war in Ukraine from. From our perspective, this is a new war. The invasion was two months ago. From Russia's perspective, this is just the latest chapter in a war that began at least in 2008 when they invaded Crimea.

So, we view this through a very different lens than the Russians do, and I think that is how we ought to be assessing, you know, what happens next, what Putin's next calculations are going to be. This is a long war for him, a long struggle, and this is just the latest chapter.

Now, from Syria, when the Russians first intervened in Syria in 2015, they faced a lot of difficulties. It was a lighting massive air campaign. They sought to provide the kind of capabilities to the Syrian regime on the ground to take advantage, and they frankly failed in almost every single respect.

And at the time, the Obama administration immediately said this was going to be a Russian quagmire. We kind of eased up a little bit in terms of our concerns about the significance of what Russia was doing, but ultimately Russia adapted. They're a dictatorship, they don't have to worry about elections, they can sustain a costly war, but they adapted in ways that we didn't expect.

Instead of working with the Syrian regime, they formed a partnership with Hezbollah, a terrorist organization. An extremely effective partnership that they kept quiet, but that brought them the results that they needed on the ground.

And, of course, they did what we're seeing in Ukraine. They resorted to brutal, mostly medieval-style siege, indiscriminate bombing tactics that can be sustained over a much longer period of time and not less of a cost in terms of Russian troops. And that's what we're seeing play out in Ukraine already two months in.

LEMON: Charles, Russia's military in Ukraine is now headed by a general who became known as the butcher of Syria, right? More than the brutal tactics against civilians, what does he bring to this conflict? What does he add?

LISTER: So, yeah, General Aleksandr Dvornikov is a well-known figure when it comes to Syria. He led the intervention in 2015. He stayed in post for about 18 months. He is member of the old guard of the Russian military.


So, he comes at military operations like this from quite a sort of regimented, much more organized fashion than I think what we saw in the initial phases of this invasion.

So, I think what we are going to expect is what we have started to see now which is the centralization of the invasion to a much more concentrated area of geography and a much more concentrated use of bombardment in that specific area.

That is exactly what we started to see in Syria. When it became clear that the Russians couldn't conduct a nationwide offensive all across Syria, they centralized their resources into specific areas that they saw as being most important.

The consequence of that was towns and cities became completely surrounded, they were besieged, people were eating grass for one, two years amidst these sieges whilst the Russians and the Syrians shelled them to rubble.

And in that sense, it took two or three years for some of that to play out in full in Syria. You know, I got to emphasize here, we're only two months into this war. The Russians have taken enormous losses, way more losses than they ever expected to, but they can sustain this for some period of time.

And also, as much as our government for obvious reasons doesn't want to be talking about this, the Ukrainians have taken very heavy losses, too. You know, if we're asking a question about sustainability, we equally need to be talking about sustainability of our ally, our partner, Ukraine, as much as Russia.

And frankly speaking, if Russia is orienting itself towards this kind of siege warfare strategy, that is something they can sustain much longer term than something that the Ukrainians can sustain, and that's -- that ought to be a very big concern on our mind.

LEMON: Okay. Well, that said, Biden is asking for billions more dollars. The allies are still committed to putting more sanctions on Putin's allies. But your second main point is that Russia has learned that the west can lose focus over months and years and Russia is banking on that happening again.

So, what do you think about that? I mean, we're saying, meaning the west, we're going to give you billions more dollars, billions more dollars, but still, maybe people will lose interest?

LISTER: Right. So, again, first off, we ought to say, what we have done collectively with the NATO in response to this invasion has been extraordinary, and it clearly had very clear effect on the battlefield. So, all of that should be praised. I mean, coming just several months after the Afghanistan debacle, the Biden administration's response to the invasion of Ukraine has been immense, really impressive.

But the question is sustainability from a logistical perspective. You know, you look at stinger, shoulder-launched antiaircraft missiles, we've already depleted 35% of our entire nationwide stock by giving them for free to Ukraine. Rightfully, with effect, but that has a domestic consequence. The javelin antitank missile, we've lost nearly a third of our entire stock.

And the manufacturers of those weapon systems have said, they're not even going to be able to start manufacturing replacement systems for that until late 2023 or early 2024. Now, in an era of great power competition, that puts the United States in a very tricky situation in which other adversaries can easily take advantage: China and Taiwan or anywhere else.

So, from a logistical perspective, it's problematic. But a political one, yeah, it's just a simple statement of fact. United States and Europe, we have many things going on, we have democracies, we are answerable to our electorate.

So, domestically, we cannot sustain a concentrated bandwidth on a war on the other side of the world forever, and we won't. And that is when Russia will seek to pounce and adapt and be much more flexible than we are and take advantage of our relative lack of bandwidth.

LEMON: Charles Lister, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us.

LISTER: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: The January 6th Committee announcing today that they will be holding eight hearings in June. Who will be called as witnesses?




LEMON: The House Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection will hold public hearings in June. The head of the committee saying eight hearings will be held throughout the month, and they will tell the story of what happened on that fateful day.

Let's discuss now. CNN legal analyst Elie Honig is here. Elie, hello to you. We have been waiting for word about these public hearings. Now, we finally got it. The committee hasn't announced who will testify. But who do you think they're going to call as witnesses?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Don, it is such an important question for the committee. I'd be looking for two things in identifying my witnesses. First, you want people who had access, people who were inside the room, the White House or somewhere close to action. But you also want people who don't have this sort of blind loyalty to Donald Trump who are willing to tell the truth.

So, I sort of see a few categories of people who could emerge here. First, Mike Pence's aids, people like Marc Short, Keith Kellogg. They've shown that they're willing to come forward and tell the truth. They don't seem to be totally Trump loyal.

Second of all, people inside DOI, Jeffrey Rosen, the people who stood up to this attempt to run a coup inside DOJ. And then third, you have people who were staffers in the White House who are not Trump loyalists. For example, this Cassidy Hutchinson who came forward recently and testified to the committee that Mark Meadows had been warned about the potential for violence.

So, I think that's the kind of people that we should be looking for testimony.

LEMON: There is a long history of Trump people defying request to testify, even defying subpoenas.


What happens if they say no, which is probably likely?

HONIG: Yeah, it's a tricky situation for the committee. Really, all the committee can do is hold them in contempt and then send them over to the Justice Department for potential prosecution. But that takes a while, probably will take beyond June. So, it's really more of a punishment than a way to force them to testify.

Also, we don't know what the Justice Department is going to do. DOJ has elected to prosecute Steve Bannon, but they're still sitting on the Mark Meadows decision four and a half months later.

So, it's a highly imperfect remedy, but it's really all the committee has.

LEMON: But there's been so much damning evidence that has come out. I mean, just within the last few weeks, we have seen new texts between Trump allies and Mark Meadows and the audio of Kevin McCarthy, right, where he considered asking Trump to resign.

How hard will it be for the committee to convince the public that laws were broken surrounding the events of January 6th?

HONIG: Let's be clear, Don. Big picture, the committee has done a remarkable job of uncovering evidence. We've seen some of it. I'm sure we'll see more. They can use witness testimony. But those documents, those texts really, to me, tell the tale better than any eyewitness could. You can't change a text. A text is what it is.

So, it will be up to the committee to make the case. It is going to be tough. It is not easy. And ultimately, I think the committee will be speaking to all of us, but also at least in part up the street to the Justice Department making the case to DOJ, hey, you need to take a look at this for potential criminality.

LEMON: Speaking of the DOJ, the Department of Justice so far has only gone after rioters who participated in the insurrection. Do you think the potential consequences for high-level people in Trump's inner circle who motivated the attack hinge on these public hearings?

HONIG: Well, that's the million-dollar question, Don. So far, DOJ has done a very good job of charging the people who physically stormed the Capitol, over 700 prosecutions, but they really not risen much above that in the power hierarchy.

I think one of the goals of these hearings is going to be to light a fire under the Justice Department to make the case so clearly and in such a compelling way that it really sorts of forces DOJ's hand but also gives DOJ the evidence. It may well be that the committee is uncovering evidence the DOJ has and DOJ will be fully able to use any evidence that comes out in these hearings.

LEMON: All right. Elie, stick ahead because still ahead, there is another story that I want to ask you about after this break.

CNN's Jason Carroll has looked into a class action lawsuit alleging Wells Fargo Bank discriminates against Black mortgage customers. We're going to hear his report and then discuss. That's next.




LEMON: Wells Fargo is the subject of a class action lawsuit, which alleges the bank discriminates against Black customers in its mortgage and lending policies. The bank vehemently denies the accusations, but it does have a history when it comes to allegations of racism, including past lawsuits.

More tonight from CNN's Jason Carroll.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I can tell you really love the neighborhood.

BECKWITH SIMMONS: I love the neighborhood.

CARROLL (voice-over): Shaia Beckwith Simmons cherishes these walks now more than ever.

BECKWITH SIMMONS: We maintain our roots here because this is forever home, and our forever home should not be threatened by them.

CARROLL (voice-over): She has lived in this house on a cozy street in Midway, Florida, a suburb of Tallahassee, for more than a decade. It is where she and her husband raised their six children.

(On camera): A lot of good memories?

BECKWITH SIMMONS: Absolutely. Absolutely.

CARROLL (voice-over): Very soon, it could just be memories of the home that the family is left with.

BECKWITH SIMMONS: I was completely blown away to have a process server come to our house last month and again the next morning to serve us with notice that Wells Fargo intended to foreclose on our home.

CARROLL (voice-over): Simmons says she believes Wells Fargo treated her unfairly because she is Black, a charge the bank denies. Simmons says the bank began foreclosure proceedings after claiming she defaulted on her mortgage, but that was news to Simmons who says she had received a 12- month deferment during the pandemic under the Federal Cares Act.

Simmons worked in public relations. Her husband, Willie, is head coach of Florida A&M's football team.

SIMMONS: When my husband took income loss and I did as well in the pandemic, all while we were financing our son's law school education, it was that or reduce our retirement, or some other things. And so, we thought that it was in our best interest to do that.

CARROLL (voice-over): Once the 12-month deferment concluded, Wells Fargo sent a later, which stated in part, if you don't contact us for more help, your loan will turn to normal servicing. Simmons said at that point, they no longer needed more help, so they started making their payments again.

But Well Fargo then said she didn't make arrangements to repay the payments deferred during the pandemic, and therefore, the loan was in default. Soon after, the bank told Simmons she had a choice, renegotiate at a higher rate or proceed with foreclosure.

SIMMONS: I think that's more than just a mistake.

CARROLL (voice-over): The bank said what happened had nothing to do with race. We called Ms. Simmons more than 100 times and sent numerous written communications over the past year to put in place a plan to address the missed payments. We have been and remain willing at any time to meet with her.


(on camera): Why do you feel that this is racially-motivated and not just some sort of clerical error or some sort of a mistake in paper work?

SIMMONS: I don't believe based on the calls that I've gotten and the evidence from the attorneys that this is not -- I'm not saying it's not happening to every American. What I'm saying is it's happening to Black Americans more.

CARROLL (voice-over): Simmons is part of a class action lawsuit, alleging Wells Fargo's practices intentionally and disproportionately discriminate against Black customers. The suit saying the bank denied applications of more than half of Black Americans seeking to refinance in 2020.


CARROLL (voice-over): Christopher Williams joined a class action suit led by civil rights attorney, Benjamin Crump, after he alleges in 2019 Wells Fargo tried to charge him a higher interest rate, citing what they called -- quote -- "a unique scoring model."

WILLIAMS: My credit score was just under 800 before I applied. When they told me my credit score when I applied, they told me it was 100 points less.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY: They are discriminating against Black people and it's systematic.

CARROLL (voice-over): A Welsh Fargo spokesman responded, saying, we are deeply disturbed by the allegations of discrimination that we believe do not stand up to scrutiny. Our underwriting practices are consistently applied regardless of a customer's race or ethnicity.

Wells Fargo has a history when it comes to allegations of racism. In 2013, the bank paid $175 million to settle a federal lawsuit alleging it charged higher rates and fees on mortgages to African American and Latino borrowers. In 2019, $10 million paid to settle similar claims brought by the city of Philadelphia.

Wells Fargo defends its track record, saying in 2020, it was the largest bank lender of purchase and re-finances to Black families, and this is consistent with our performance over the last decade.

SIMMONS: Do you want a treat?

CARROLL (voice-over): Back in Midway, Florida, Wells Fargo says it has always had solutions to help Simmons keep her home, saying, we simply need her to contact us so we can finish the process. But the fight is now a legal one. Ultimately, Simmons just wants to hold on to the American dream, the dream of owning a home.

SIMMONS: I won't lose faith in the American dream. I just hope that the American dream is as attainable for every American despite their skin tone, despite their color, despite their culture, and despite the bank that they choose to interest their money to.

CARROLL (voice-over): Jason Carroll, CNN, Midway, Florida.


LEMON: All right. Our thanks to Jason Carroll.

Back now with us, CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig. Okay, Elie, so, Jason just laid it out for us. The plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit alleged one thing. The bank claims something else. What is it going to come down to?

HONIG: Well, Don, the data is really going to tell the story here. If you look at the publicly reported data, it shows that Wells Fargo approved loans to white borders about 72% of the time and to Black borrowers about 47% of the time. Now, that's 25% disparity. That has actually almost doubled the disparity in all other banks across the country. Again, according to the public reported data. So, is Wells Fargo going to be able to explain that in some sort of race neutral way?

Also, what both parties are going to need to do is find comparable. Find families that are similarly situated financially, one Black, one white, and see how they were treated. Were they treated similarly or differently? That ultimately will tell the tale in court.

LEMON: New York City Mayor Eric Adams says his city will not open any new accounts with Wells Fargo due to alleged discriminatory practices. I mean, it sounds like there's going to be big ramifications no matter how this lawsuit plays out.

HONIG: Yeah, there absolutely could be ramifications in the private sector. It's interesting what Mayor Adams has done. He said, we the city, meaning New York City itself, will not be doing business with Wells Fargo.

We can't eject them from the city for doing private business, but the city won't be doing business, pending more facts coming out. That is within Mayor Adams's purview. I think there will be consequences to this potentially beyond whatever happens in the courtroom.

LEMON: All right. Elie Honig, thank you very much. Appreciate that.

HONIG: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: We will be right back.




LEMON: Carlton McCoy is a classically-trained chef, master sommelier, and expert traveler who has found himself at home everywhere from his grandmother's kitchen to the top restaurants in the world and variety of places in between.

Now, in the all-new "CNN Original Series," it is called "Nomad with Carlton McCoy," Carlton takes us on a global exploration of food, music, art, and culture to discover the universal threads (ph) that connect us all. Here is a preview of Carlton's trip to the suburbs of Paris.


UNKNOWN: My wife is second generation Black American in France, and then her father is French-French. But that makes for --

CARLTON MCCOY, CNN HOST: French-French. That's an interesting thing, huh? (INAUDIBLE), you know.

UNKNOWN: You know, yeah, right now, our whole dialogue is getting really complicated --

MCCOY: Yeah.

UNKNOWN: -- because there are certain conservatives that want, you know, people of color to just say that they're French.

MCCOY: (INAUDIBLE). I think in America, we used to the (INAUDIBLE) thing, like, everybody I know from Germany is Italian American.


MCCOY: You know, my family is (INAUDIBLE). We are African American.


UNKNOWN: The thing about France is since the revolution, when we said all men are created equal, they said (INAUDIBLE). They took it verbatim, up to a point.

MCCOY: Yeah.

UNKNOWN: But at least on paper --

MCCOY: Yeah.

UNKNOWN: -- that meant it was illegal to discriminate. It was like, you know, rules against taking census on account of race.


LEMON: Well, guess who's here? The host of "Nomad," Carlton McCoy. How are you?

MCCOY: Fantastic, fantastic.

LEMON: Good to see you. So, listen, you are a very fancy person because you're a master sommelier.

MCCOY: Correct.

LEMON: Did you bring any wine for us?

MCCOY: I didn't. I did just have a (INAUDIBLE) at a bar across the street --


MCCOY: -- to warm up for the show. But no wine.

LEMON: You are only the second Black person to hold that title. I mean, really? How is that possible?

MCCOY: How is it possible? That's a very long story about socioeconomic issues in the U.S. and so forth, so we won't go there. I'll tell you it was an incredible journey of exploring a lot of cultures (INAUDIBLE), which is its own culture within a culture, and obviously opened up a lot of doors for me to travel the world, be introduced to different ways in which people live.

LEMON: I think it's interesting, especially since you're doing this big show now on CNN. Did it help you prepare in any way for doing a show like this or something like this?

MCCOY: Yeah. I think, you know, I was a chef before, I was a sommelier, and part of that is traveling around the world and connecting with people, food and beverage. I think I've used that as a door to get into people's cultures and to connect with them and to meet with the families and so forth. And through that, you start to learn a lot more about them, how they live in the world. It is just how they live their everyday lives. That to me became even more important than the food and beverage itself.

LEMON: Are you ready for this?

MCCOY: What is this?

LEMON: This, like doing this thing for CNN? You know, it is going to -- this is interesting. Traveling around the world, interviewing people. This is an interesting experience. I think --

MCCOY: It was a very personal experience for me.

LEMON: Yeah.

MCCOY: I mean, you know, to me, I think people are the greatest asset in the world. I've spent a lot of my life -- my grandmother taught me to value people first.

LEMON: Right.

MCCOY: And to try to understand how they see the world, to connect with them. It's been something that's very personal for me. It's something I pride myself in. Sort of like a life's work. It was a little odd having camera there while doing it.

LEMON: I think the most interesting things happen over food.

MCCOY: Yeah.

LEMON: I grew up in Louisiana, right? This episode is -- your first episode, to me, I think it resonates because I grew up in Louisiana, right?

MCCOY: Yeah.

LEMON: This is sort of French connection. You visit the Paris suburbs where the evolution of French identity is underway and the idea of French culture is being redefined. What did you find there?

MCCOY: Well, just like a lot of places in the world, people are moving around the world at a rate that is unprecedented in human history. That's really stirring up a lot of sorts of nationalist -- people are afraid of the idea of national identity just going out the window. But that's what's happening. We sort of have to cope with that.

France is (INAUDIBLE) where there is an idea what a French person is. When you look around Paris, Paris is dark. Paris doesn't look like Paris in the 40s and 50s with the Eiffel Tower, the baguette in the beret (ph). Paris is, you know, an immigrant from Togo or Vietnam or from another colonized nation. And, you know, that is truly and authentically Parisian now. We have to sort of be able to not only accept that but celebrate that as the new identity of that place.

LEMON: Congratulations. I can't wait.

MCCOY: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Thanks for coming in. Be sure to tune in to the all-new CNN series "Nomad with Carlton McCoy," premieres Sunday at 10 p.m., only here on CNN.

And this week's CNN hero is DeAnna Pursai. She grew up doing everything that her sister -- with her sister, Angel. Born only a year apart, they call themselves "twins." But there was one big difference between them. Angel has Down Syndrome.

And when DeAnna went off to college, she saw how different their lives would be and how few opportunities Angel had to keep learning and growing. So, DeAnna cofounded a college for students just like her sister. Watch this.


UNKNOWN: Hi, everybody.

DEANNA PURSAI, CNN HERO: College of Adaptive Arts is a lifelong, equitable, collegiate experience for adults with special needs of all different abilities who historically haven't had access to college education.

UNKNOWN: You hit that right there.

PURSAI: We have 10 schools of instruction and they get the same access to the array of classes that any college student can select.

UNKNOWN: Out reaching for the sunshine.

PURSAI: I want for every student that walks through our doors to be treated like the thinking and intellectual that they are.

I love you.


UNKNOWN: I love you, too.

PURSAI: My experience with my sister, Angel, has helped me be a better, more authentic, transparent person. I am so humbled each and every by their depth and ideas and ways to make the world a better place.


LEMON: So, to see the full story about DeAnna's unique program, go to And while you are there, you can nominate a hero in your life.

Thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.