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9/11 Families Condemn Saudi-Backed LIV Golf Event At Trump Resort; San Francisco Declares Monekeypox Public Health Emergency As Cases Nearly Double; Will Smith Addresses Infamous Oscars Slap In New Video; Beyonce Drops Long-Awaited Seventh Solo Album Overnight After Leak. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired July 29, 2022 - 14:30   ET




DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're so closely associated with the city of New York. You, of all people, understand the passion surrounding 9/11. What do you say to those family members who protested earlier this week and will be doing so again on Friday?

TRUMP: Well, nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately. And they should have.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Those remarks, a sharp reversal to what many of those 9/11 families heard back in 2016 from then- Candidate Donald Trump. They say that, again, they were promised assistance in hoping to bring some of these documents to light.

And it wasn't until years later, in fact, just last year, that the FBI disclosed documents that seem to paint a picture of Saudi-linked groups that were potentially assisting the hijackers involved in the attacks.

As for the kingdom, they continue to deny any involvement, not just in the 9/11 attacks, but also in the kidnapping and killing of "Washington Post" journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

So that's really what's fueling the frustration here on the ground as that tournament, worth millions of dollars of paydays for those golfers involved, that will continue for the next couple of days.

Victor, Alisyn, back to you.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Polo Sandoval for us there in Bedminster, New Jersey. Thank you very much.

Terry Strada is the national chair for "9/11 Families United." She lost her husband, Tom, who was on the 100th floor of the North Tower.

Terry, your reaction to what you heard there from the former president. Nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11. TERRY STRADA, NATIONAL CHAIR, "9/11 FAMILIES UNITED" & WIDOW OF TOM

STRADA, KILLED IN 9/11 ATTACK: That is such a ridiculous statement for him to make.

We met with him just two years ago on the 19th anniversary in the White House, specifically asking him to release documents that have to do with the investigations into the kingdom's culpability with 9/11.

We had former FBI agents with us telling him how important it was to declassify these documents. And the very next day A.G. Barr stamped "State Secrets: across many of them.

So someone in the White House, very close to Mohammed bin Salman, blocked us from getting the truth when he was president.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: So what do you think has changed since 2016 when Donald Trump knew quite clearly -- well, he believed quite clearly that Saudi was connected to 9/11?

STRADA: He did. He came out and said it. And we thought, oh, this is great, we're going to have a president that will be on our side and help us.

We were shocked and really very upset by the way he treated us and the relationship he has with the kingdom.

Immediately, he went to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia on his very first trip. That was a very hurtful trip that he did there. And ever since then, he has done nothing to help us when he was president.

And now to come out and say something like this and to be part of this Saudi-backed golf entity, it just shows where his allegiance is, with the kingdom, not the 9/11 families and not the American people.

BLACKWELL: Foreign policy experts say what's happening here is sports washing. The Saudis are using sports as a P.R. strategy to clean up their image.

Here's what President Trump said to the "Wall Street Journal" about what it's worth to the Saudis. He said:

"I do think the publicity they've gotten, more than anything, has been a great thing for them. I think the publicity they've gotten is worth billions of dollars. It's one of the hottest things to have happen in sports and sports is a big part of life."

It seems he knows what is happening here. Your reaction?

STRADA: Yes, he is proving our point, that it is sports washing and it's nothing more than a publicity stunt. And they are trying to buy favor with the American people by using a time-honored sport like golf.

It's outrageous. It's unbelievable that he's actually on their side and touting what we're saying like it's a good thing. This is a horrible thing to try to reset the relationship with lies and using golf players and all this obscene amount of money.

None of it makes sense to us. And we're just going to keep voicing how horrible it all is.

CAMEROTA: Why is it so offensive for it to be happening at Bedminster?

STRADA: Because it's in New Jersey and right in the back yard of where families lost so many loved ones.

I'm from Chatham originally. But I was living in Basking Ridge most recently, which is a stone's throw from the golf course. One of my sons actually caddied there.

It's so offensive, it's a slap in the face to be right in our back yard. And then to be so close in the shadows of the Twin Towers where our loved ones were brutally murdered that day.

Everything about 9/11 was horrific. And there's a repository there where remains are for all of the unidentified people, like my husband. We never got to bury him. My children have never had a place to go, other than a museum where their father's remains are.

So it's really, I say, the worst place on the planet they could have picked. And so close to another anniversary? That's what the Saudis are like. They're just heartless.

BLACKWELL: You said you were going to continue to voice how horrible this is. Our reporting is that the former president will be a future candidate in 2024.

Will this campaign to inform people of how you feel about this go into the campaign as well?

STRADA: It possibly could. I think people should be very alarmed with the type of relationship he has with the kingdom. It's way too cozy. They are a strategic partner. They are not an ally. They are not friends of ours.

Unless we get to the bottom of everything that happened on 9/11, all of their agents they had over here that set up a network to meet and greet the hijackers, the extremism that the kingdom unleashed on the world that resulted in September 11th.


And now we have a sitting president, President Biden, that we are asking to help reset the relationship the right way based on the truth, not on these fabricated lies that the kingdom has been denying.

President Biden released the information. So we have so much FBI reports now that 12 Saudi agents were here in this country preparing for the attacks. And they had diplomatic credentials. They were talking to al Qaeda operatives at the same time. It's all there in black and white.

We need President Biden to, you know, meet with us. We've asked for meetings. He's the only president that hasn't yet.

And we're hoping that another administration doesn't fail us, as miserably as the Trump administration did.

CAMEROTA: Terry Strada, thank you very much. I know this is a hard time. Thanks for coming in.

STRADA: Yes, thank you.


San Francisco has declared monkeypox a public health emergency after cases in the city almost double. We'll tell you what that means next.



CAMEROTA: San Francisco becoming the first major U.S. city to declare a public health emergency over monkeypox.

BLACKWELL: City leaders are urgently calling for more vaccines to curb community transmission. The mayor says monkeypox cases there have nearly doubled.

CNN national correspondent, Camila Bernal, is in San Francisco.

What are they hoping this declaration will do, especially with no federal public health emergency declaration?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Alisyn and Victor. So I think a lot of it is pushing the federal government to act, sounding the alarm and saying, hey, we need resources.

They say they need resources for outreach, testing, vaccination and for treatment. And ideally, what this order does is make things quicker and without some of those roadblocks that could be in place.

But Mayor London Breed really saying they just don't have enough vaccines. She says that San Francisco needs about 70,000 doses. She says at least they need 35,000. But so far they've only gotten about 12,000.

So what they're doing is that they're deferring the second appointment. They're only giving people the first vaccine until they get more vaccines.

Here is how the mayor described the situation.


MAYOR LONDON BREED (D-SAN FRANCISCO): We want to make it known that San Francisco has one of the highest case rates already of monkeypox of any other major city in the country.

We don't want to be ignored by the federal government in our need. So many leaders of the LGBT community have also, weeks ago, asked for additional help and support and assistance.


BERNAL: Now, city leaders are also saying that it's really important to remember that people are hurting. There's people in pain both physically and emotionally.

They say a lot of people here in San Francisco who have monkeypox can't speak, can't go to the bathroom. And then they say there's an emotional as expect to all of this, the stigma, the hate.

So they say that San Francisco is going to stand with the LGBT community to affirm their commitment to them.

And then they're also saying, look, it feels like deja vu because San Francisco has a long history when it comes to public health crisis. And they said specifically that they remember not being helped by the federal government during the aids crisis.

And so they're really hoping that the administration this time around steps up, trying or doing everything they can to help and get vaccines here because they say that's the most important thing at the moment -- Victor, Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Camila Bernal, thank you.

Let's bring in Dr. Peter Hotez. He's a professor and dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He's also the co-director of vaccine development at Texas Children's' Hospital.

Dr. Hotez, great to see you.

Help us put this in perspective. On a scale of one to 10, 10 being "hair on fire" concern, where are you with the monkeypox outbreak?

DR. PETER HOTEZ, PROFESSOR AND DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE & CO-DIRECTOR OF VACCINE DEVELOPMENT, TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: My thinking keeps evolving, Alisyn, as the number of cases really starts to rise. Now we're up to 5,000 cases in the United States. We account for about a quarter of the world's cases, 20,000 cases.

And of course, that's always going to be an underestimate by some factor, maybe two or three. And so the numbers are really getting up there.

The big question is, at what point things reach critical mass where it spills over to the general population, maybe gets into the rodent populations in the United States.

So I'm extremely concerned right now that we're just not accelerating enough vaccine doses out there.

Also, can we do some things to reduce the barriers for treatment? Right now, it's approved for smallpox. But for monkeypox, that medicine, the antiviral drug, TPOXX, requires informed consent, requires an expanded use, investigational new drug application. There's a lot of paperwork.

We have to figure out how to streamline that. Maybe some of those things could be surmounted by having a national declaration of emergency, just as we've done globally, through the World Health Organization, what San Francisco has done.

But I don't want to create undue alarm and say "hair on fire" but it's getting extremely worrisome, especially in some of our big urban areas.

BLACKWELL: Dr. Hotez, with the COVID vaccine, it doesn't prevent transmission. It doesn't stop you from getting it. But it prevents severe symptoms, hospitalization.


Is that the same with the monkeypox vaccine, that you can still get it but not the worst of it, or does it stop transmission?

HOTEZ: Well, remember, Victor, this drug was approved on the basis of immunological bridging, meaning that it wasn't actually -- my understanding is it was approved in 2019 for both smallpox and monkeypox, the vaccine, on the basis of immune parameters, levels of neutralizing antibody, T-cell responses.

So I don't think we fully understand all of the performance features of the vaccine at this point. Those studies are still under way and there's going to be a need to continue those studies.

But we do expect it to be highly effective. And the advantage of this new vaccine is it's a non-replicating virus, which is non-replicating, And that's why it's safer than the other vaccine that we have stockpiled.

The old-generation smallpox vaccine, we have 100 million doses already in our stockpile for that but we're reluctant to use it because it causes such severe side reactions.

Because that one is a live, replicating virus that replicates very well in damaged skin from people who have eczema or psoriasis or an underlying skin condition as well as immunocompromise.

And the safety spectrum is much tighter, much less for that older- generation vaccine.

CAMEROTA: We only have a few seconds left. Who should be getting the vaccine today?

HOTEZ: Right now, I think of it as a form of post-exposure prophylaxis and pre-exposure prophylaxis. So certainly, anyone who is engaged in the high-risk communities urgently need that. We need to accelerate as many doses as possible.

But don't be surprised if numbers continue to climb and that this will become more generalized in the U.S. population and we'll have to expand the numbers of those who need the vaccine yet again. BLACKWELL: Dr. Peter Hotez, thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: So after years of waiting, Beyonce's beehive can celebrate the release of her newest album.


CAMEROTA: Yes. A leaker tried to steal her thunder, Victor, but her fans were not having it.

BLACKWELL: Not accepting that.



CAMEROTA: So Will Smith posted a video on Instagram and addressed the notorious slap from the Oscars.





CAMEROTA: The actor begins by explaining why he did not apologize for the slap in his acceptance speech later that evening.


WILL SMITH, ACTOR: It's all fuzzy. I've reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk.


BLACKWELL: CNN entertainment reporter, Chloe Melas is with us now.

That was just the beginning of a lengthy video. What else did he say?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: He apologizes to Chris Rock's mother, to his brother, who he was friends with for a long time. They had actually done a television show together many years ago, even with Jada Pinkett Smith.

Chris, and Will and Jada, they have known each other a long time. Don't forget that Jada and Chris voiced animals in "Madagascar" for the incredibly successful franchise. These are people that go way back.

I want you to hear a little bit more of what Will Smith had to say.


SMITH: I want to apologize to Chris's mother. I saw an interview that Chris's mother did. And, you know, that was one of the things about that moment I just didn't realize -- you know, I wasn't thinking but how many people got hurt in that moment.


MELAS: Look, I also think that the fact that Will Smith released this video today caught everybody by surprise. I would have thought that he might have sat down with a big primetime interview.

Also, many people thought, and his fans thought he was going to do something with Jada Pinkett Smith on her Red Table Talk. So he's doing this on his own terms, answering questions from fans.

But it's going to be interesting to see what Chris Rock does or doesn't say tonight had he hits the stage in Atlanta at FOX Theater as part of his standup tour.

He has subtly addressed this along the way. But that we hear Will Smith coming out and saying, look, I've reached out, I extended an olive branch, and I've heard crickets, he's not ready to speak to me. It puts the ball in Chris's court. What is he going to say now?

BLACKWELL: The first thing he extended was his arm with a slap across the face. So say, now I've extended an olive branch is a bit short.

CAMEROTA: Yes. But I do think it's interesting that he talked about the ripple effect of violence. I think that that is -- his mom, and he's apologizing to other members of the family. It isn't just the one person.

In fact all of us -- his Victor and I were just talking about how we're still a little like traumatized --


CAMEROTA: -- when we see that -- that moment.


CAMEROTA: It affected so many people.

OK, now to better news. Let's talk about Beyonce. Her latest album was released overnight. You have listened to it. What's it like?

MELAS: Oh, yes. I mean, look, it's a dance album. And it is a renaissance. It is a rebirth.

Let's take a listen.




BLACKWELL: You both almost started doing the Cabbage Patch. (LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: I don't think that's the dance for this song.

BLACKWELL: Maybe it is.

MELAS: Don't tell me how to express myself.


MELAS: I'm a mom of two --


MELAS: -- and I'm tired.


CAMEROTA: If she wants to Cabbage Patch --


MELAS: I haven't been in the club since she debuted her last solo album, which --

BLACKWELL: That's been a while.

MELAS: -- was like six or seven years ago.

People are ready for this. And the thing is, though, that there are going to be two more albums that are coming out. We don't know when.

But this was a more traditional rollout. You know, this wasn't like some big surprise where she dropped it.


But then again, maybe that could have been because it leaked a few days early, and fans were not happy about that, as you guys saw a few days ago.

She came out and said, I don't know who leaked my album early, but I'm not happy about it. I know they were trying to get to the club a little earlier.

But she also dedicates this album to her Uncle Johnny, who was gay, and how this is for the LGBTQ community. And I think that is really, really special, too, and all the collaborations.

Notably absent is Jay-Z. I was hoping that we were going to hear a track from him, but no. Maybe in ""Renaissance 2 or 3."

BLACKWELL: I haven't listened to it yet. I'm waiting for the week to end and go home for a cocktail.

CAMEROTA: Oh, yes. On the weekend. MELAS: We can all go hit the club tonight and go listen to the songs this weekend together.

BLACKWELL: Not if you all do the Cabbage Patch.


BLACKWELL: Can't go with me.

CAMEROTA: He has standards!


BLACKWELL: Chloe Melas, thank you.

All right, Speaker Pelosi is about to leave for her trip to Asia but is keeping everyone guessing on whether she will stop in Taiwan, which would greatly anger China. More on that just ahead.