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Sources Indicate Lawyer For Former President Trump Signed Letter Asserting No More Classified Information Being Stored At Mar-A- Lago Resort In Florida; Senate And House Democrats Pass Climate And Spending Bill; ATF Director Discusses Threats To Law Enforcement Agents And Increased Gun Violence In America; Vanessa Bryant Files Lawsuit Against L.A. County For Showing Photos Of Bodies Of Husband Kobe Bryant And Daughter Gianna Bryant; California Governor Newsom Proposes Plans To Conserve More Water For State; NBA Announces It Will Permanently Retire Bill Russell's Jersey Throughout League; This Year Marks 75th Anniversary Of Jackie Robinson Breaking Major League Baseball's Color Barrier. Aired 2-3p ET.

Aired August 13, 2022 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

This just in to CNN. Sources now confirm that a lawyer for former President Trump signed a letter in June asserting there was no more classified information stored at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

But when the FBI executed a search warrant on Monday, agents recovered 11 sets of classified documents with at least one marked as top secret, SCI, which is one of the highest levels of classifications. The newly unsealed court documents outline three potential crimes that are being investigated. So far, the DOJ has not filed any charges.

Plus, new today, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI say they are investigating violent threats made against federal law enforcement, courts, government personnel, and facilities in the wake of the FBI search warrant. The FBI says the number of threats against the bureau are, I'm quoting now, unprecedented.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz is here with more details on the search and this new information that we're learning about one of Trump's attorneys signing that there were no more classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. But we learned this week, according to the FBI search, yes, there were.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: That's right, Fred. So my colleagues, Evan Perez, Kaitlan Collins, and Sara Murray have confirmed this "New York Times" report today, filling in the timeline a little bit more about what happened that led to this search and seizure to take boxes out of Mar-a-Lago that had classified items marked in them. Our reporting is that a lawyer for former President Donald Trump

signed a letter in June, right around the time of this meeting that they had with the Justice Department officials that came down to Mar- a-Lago to try and get back any presidential records, any government records that were still being kept there. And this letter asserted that there was no more classified information stored at Mar-a-Lago.

Now, after that, we also know that there was a subpoena that the Justice Department issued to reclaim anything else that was being kept there, and that there also has been a witness that has been informing the Justice Department about the existence of these boxes that were still there that led to this search and seizure.

There were also surveillance tapes the Justice Department was using. There was a padlock placed on a door to make sure that some things there were being secured.

And clearly, what this means is the Justice Department, even after this June meeting, even after this statement from the lawyer signed in writing, that they believed there was still important information being kept at Mar-a-Lago that should have been in the federal government's hands.

Now, the Trump team says that everything was declassified by the former president, apparently before he left office, which is when he would have been able to declassify things.

He lost that ability the moment he left the presidency. But of course, the things that are under investigation here aren't necessarily pertaining just to classified information. They're pertaining to any sort of national defense information.

And so what this means, the other big picture here, is that Donald Trump could be under investigation here, but there could be others as well, including lawyers for the ex-president who could have some criminal exposure.

WHITFIELD: And then what do we know about the potential crimes that were being investigated before even what we learned just moments ago?

POLANTZ: Right. Well, Fred, obviously the interest in reclaiming national defense information, that is what's driving this ongoing criminal investigation and this search and seizure. And ultimately there were three things that the Justice Department identified in their search warrant as being investigated.


The two main ones are a statute that's called the Espionage Act or it's under the Espionage Act, and it basically criminalizes the gathering, transmitting, or losing of defense information that someone would have reason to believe could be used to injure the United States and potentially help another country. That's a pretty serious crime. Other people have been charged with it, including Julian Assange.

And then there is another thing that's being investigated here, which is potential obstruction of justice. And so Donald Trump was investigated by that before. He was not charged with it.

This is an ongoing investigation, this seizure was just evidence being collected in that, and so we don't know if this will result in charges. But that is what was being investigated.

WHITFIELD: Katelyn Polantz, thanks so much. We'll check back with you.

Let's talk more about all this with Kim Wehle. She is a former assistant U.S. attorney and law professor at the University of Baltimore. So good to see you. So based on this information that's just coming in, that CNN is learning that one of Trump's own attorneys signed a declaration back in June telling the DOJ all classified documents had been returned.

But according to the FBI, as we know now, they uncovered more of the unclassified -- or more documents, we should say, on Monday's search. So what kind of potential legal jeopardy does that pose for Trump and for the attorney who signed the statement?

KIM WEHLE, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, of course, two different issues, and I think Katelyn set it up very well. The three various statutes that were cited in the warrant, we don't know what particular individuals the DOJ has in mind.

One is this Espionage Act that talks about defense information. It doesn't specify classified or not specifically. One is taking or concealing documents.

And the other is obstruction, concealing documents to obstruct an investigation. We don't know which investigation or investigations that applies to.

Any of that have could potentially affect Donald Trump. He is now a private citizen. He is no longer president.

But honestly, Fredricka, I'm a law professor, and when I hear this, my heart sinks. That is that this lawyer signed this. I guess in theory you could say the lawyer was duped or didn't actually know.

But given their surveillance tapes, according to "The New York Times" article, a half a dozen people told the Justice Department there might still be stuff there. These were box than were labeled "classified." It's hard to believe that the lawyer had no idea.

And if that's the case, people need to understand, the whole system of laws in our country, both civil, constitutional, and criminal, depend on good faith. They depend on lawyers doing their jobs. And what do I tell my students in a week?

As a lawyer, you really should follow the law? Sure, this person or individuals could now not just be disbarred or have problems with their license but could be accessory, or maybe even fall within one of these statutes that are quite, quite serious.

WHITFIELD: Right. So when you mentioned good faith, it goes both ways, with the attorney and the client, right? So if the attorney asks is there anything and the client says no, there isn't, is it incumbent on the attorney to actually go and do a search him or herself to see if indeed the client is being honest?

Because if that's the case, then yes, it sounds like the attorney is going to be in big trouble for knowingly signing a document. But if the attorney is just going by the word of the client, might that attorney escape some sort of culpability?

WEHLE: That's such a great question. And we actually cover it in my first year civil procedure class. The answer is no, you can't be willfully blind, right. You have an obligation.

The question really is what would a reasonable attorney do? And Donald Trump lied in office 30,000 times, plus, according to "The Washington Post" when I last looked a long time ago. This is not somebody that can, based on his reputation, just be taken at his word.

So no, the lawyer has a couple of options, either does the additional investigation to satisfy him or herself that there aren't additional documents, and that would be going to these rooms and looking, right?

Look in the room with the padlock that this counterintelligence official, a counterintelligence official had the conversation, right? So that kind of keys you in that the Justice Department is worried about serious information. Or I'm not going to sign the document. Or you withdraw representation. Those are the options.

But to say, oops, golly gee, I didn't know, hear no evil, see no evil, no, that doesn't really work, because, as I said, the whole system depends on lawyers actually acting in good faith and being trusted.

WHITFIELD: All right, Kim, you are tough. And we're talking about 100 rooms, 58 bedrooms. So you believe that attorney should have been able to go all of those places?

WEHLE: Well, the warrant itself has a reasonable scope, right?


It says 45's office, that means Donald Trump's current office. It also means the rooms surrounding that office. So unless someone was squirrelling things away around the lawyer, I just don't think, I don't think this is -- based on the facts we know, maybe there's more that we don't know, this is not something that I would champion if there were one of my students or a lawyer I was supervising, or myself, frankly. Not a good look.

WHITFIELD: OK, so, I don't know, this is more a political question, but with the backdrop of all these potential legal ramifications, Trump has not announced for sure if he will run for reelection. Of course, he's dangled the carrot, et cetera, for 2024. But if he were to run, how might that impact the ongoing investigation? Or would this investigation preclude his eligibility of running?

WEHLE: I don't think, given how Merrick Garland sort of really played hardball this week, I don't think that that's going to intimidate him from slowing down any of these investigations. There is no obvious legal basis to keep Donald Trump off the ballot.

That is under Article Two, under the qualifications for president, there's nothing about not being under criminal investigation. And of course, it really depends on the states agreeing to put him on the ballot. So I don't think there's way to, in this moment, legally stop that. It's all really about enforcement, right?

Other than, it's conceivable that if Donald Trump got mired in some of this in a serious way, and we also heard from "The New York Times" that he reached out to Merrick Garland prior to the search, or saying listen, people are upset about this, or some time period around that, that he could decide to not run, or maybe there would be a deal.

We'll drop some charges. It's impossible to know because we've never seen this before. This is probably one of the biggest stories around the presidency in the history of the United States. And the Constitution doesn't answer it.

WHITFIELD: Yes, it's unprecedented on so many levels. Kim Wehle, I appreciate it. I enjoyed being a student in your class for the last four minutes. I learned a lot. Thank you.


WEHLE: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, the Democrats' landmark health care and climate bill is now headed to President Biden's desk for his signature. Congress passed the $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act along party lines Friday, handing the president a major legislative victory.

The bill targets the climate crisis, health care, and spending. Earlier today I talked to Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus about what exactly the measure will do, in her view.


REP. DINA TITUS, (D-NV): We need to look at what it contains, negotiating for Medicare prices, capping the cost of insulin, investing in climate change, the greatest investment in climate change we've ever seen.

And that's important in Nevada, as are the health care issues, because we have a low level of people who are insured, and we also have a lot of seniors. So people are going to see the benefit of this right at that kitchen table we always talk about.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Arlette Saenz is traveling with the president who is vacationing in South Carolina. Arlette, when do we expect that signing to take place?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, President Biden said he will sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law later in the coming week. But then they will also hold a signing ceremony after the Labor Day holiday so they can have those lawmakers on hand to celebrate.

But even at this moment, President Biden is taking a victory lap, as the House passed this piece of legislation that really pushed some of his key items for his domestic agenda across the finish line, when it comes to climate change, health care, and also taxes.

The president monitored that vote from the vacation home where he is staying, just a short ways from where we are in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. And he tweeted last night, celebrating that moment, saying, quote, "Today the American people won, special interests lost.

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the House, families will see lower prescription drug prices, lower health care costs, and lower energy costs."

But really, this piece of legislation, the passage of it, comes after over a year of negotiations amongst Democrats themselves. The bill is significantly pared back from what the president had initially proposed.

But it still does accomplish some of their key agenda items. And that includes historic investments in climate change initiatives, also allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of some prescription drugs for the first time. There is also the implementation of a 15 percent corporate minimum tax rate.

And so the president now is hoping that this will help Democrats heading into those midterm elections. This is something that the president, his cabinet, and other officials are preparing to fan out across the country in the coming months to try to promote as they're trying to help Democrats secure their majorities in the House and Senate come November, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Arlette Saenz, thanks so much.


Still ahead, an onslaught of violent threats against law enforcement, federal law enforcement, the courts, and government personnel. A warning from the FBI director to stay vigilant.

And a multitude of online threats also is challenging the new ATF director. He sits down with CNN for a wide-ranging interview, next.


WHITFIELD: There's been a chilling uptick in threats following the FBI's search on former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home. The FBI now says they're investigating, in their words, an unprecedented number of threats against the bureau including against agents listed in the court records as being involved in a search of the home.

The Department of Homeland Security and FBI are also warning of violent threats against federal law enforcement, courts, and government personnel and facilities.


On Thursday, a man believed armed with an AR-15 rifle and nail gun tried to breach the FBI's Cincinnati field office. He was killed hours later after a standoff with authorities. And in a letter, FBI Director Chris Wray urged each of the bureau's more than 38,000 employees to stay vigilant and to adjust security posture accordingly.

That broader threat from online extremists that we have seen beyond the situation in Ohio adding to the pressure on the new head of the ATF. He took the helm last month at a time when gun violence is on the rise in the United States. Here now is CNN's Josh Campbell with the conversation.


STEVE DETTELBACH, DIRECTOR, ATF: We can never accept that this is just part of our nation. It is not.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: The problem, a wave of deadly mass shootings.

DETTELBACH: Violent crime has been increasing over the past several years. Mass shootings are increasing. Violent extremist incidents are increasing.

CAMPBELL: After seven years without a permanent boss, Steve Dettelbach is the ATF's new director. He sat down with CNN to discuss the litany of threats his agents are trying to counter from coast to coast, including a rise in violent domestic extremism.

DETTELBACH: I think the first thing we need to do is to be honest about the fact that we have a problem. I will tell you, it's gotten more bold, more brazen, and more violent.

CAMPBELL: And for Director Dettelbach, countering anti-religious violence is personal.

DETTELBACH: For too long, and I say this as somebody who has dealt with a lot of victims of hate crimes and somebody who is Jewish American and raising Jewish children in this country, for too long I think it was too easy for to us write off some of the rhetoric that was going on as kind of harmless, crazy rhetoric, until it wasn't harmless anymore.

CAMPBELL: One of his many challenges, guns in the hands of criminals devastating communities and schools.

What's your message for parents out there who might be concerned about their kids going back to school in this era of gun violence?

DETTELBACH: There is absolutely nothing that a dad or a leader of a law enforcement agency can say to those families except that we're going to be doing our best at ATF 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to try and help solve this problem. And we're never going to make it go away. But if we can turn it around

and drive the number down just a little bit, every family that doesn't have to go through this, every single one is a win for our country and for ATF.

CAMPBELL: But, Dettelbach says, when it comes to identifying warning signs of potential shooters, the ATF and its law enforcement partners can't do this work alone.

DETTELBACH: If you see something, say something. It's always easier not to be involved. And I get that. We all have things going on in our lives. But I want people to ask themselves this question -- if they stand involved, and God forbid, something happens to one of their neighbors or people that they now, how are people going to feel?

CAMPBELL: And the sad reality is that there are Americans out there going about their day right now who may not be alive when this interview airs. Does it feel to you like this is an endless race against time to try to stop the next shooting?

DETTELBACH: And 109 people in this country every day die from gun violence. And that is something that sticks with all of us. It certainly sticks with me all the time.

You can call it an endless race to try and save people. You can call it the pounding, the pounding of that in my head and our heads all the time. So do I feel pressure? Yes, I feel pressure.

CAMPBELL: Josh Campbell, CNN, Los Angeles.


WHITFIELD: And next, the emotional testimony and dramatic trial forcing late NBA legend Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa to leave the courtroom in tears. What's at stake for officials accused of egregiously sharing images from that fateful helicopter crash site, next.



WHITFIELD: Emotional testimony this week in Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against Los Angeles County. At one point the wife of NBA legend Kobe Bryant walked out of the court in tears as witnesses recounted being shown photos of her husband's remains.

Bryant is suing L.A. County for damages for emotional distress and mental anguish, claiming photos taken at the scene of the fatal helicopter crash that killed her husband, her daughter, and seven others, were inappropriately shared, including at an awards gala and bar.

Natasha Chen is following the trial.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE) NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On Friday, the jury heard from one of the whistleblowers and one of the deputies accused of taking and sharing unauthorized close-ups of crash victims, including Kobe and Gianna Bryant, on January 6th, 2020.

We had previously heard from a whistleblower who saw a deputy sharing these grizzly photos at a bar, but on Friday we heard whistleblower Luella Weireter explain how a Los Angeles County firefighter was showing photos of human remains from the crash at an awards gala.

Weireter happens to be the cousin of one of the victims in the crash, so she was particularly emotional in recounting how the group of people were huddled around a phone looking at the alleged gruesome photos.

She said one of the firefighters eventually walked away from the huddle jokingly saying, I can't believe I just looked at Kobe's burnt- up body and now I'm about to eat. As Weireter cried on the stand, Vanessa Bryant was also visibly emotional.


I saw her with her head in her hands, rocking slightly forward and back, trying to hide her face as she cried. She was not in the room at all for afternoon testimony of Doug Johnson, one of the first sheriff's deputies to have climbed the treacherous hillside to reach the crash scene.

He says he took about 25 site photos at the request of another deputy to share with command staff 1,200 feet below so they could form a strategic response.

He said about a third of his photos were of human remains, and he remembers taking pictures of body parts, people missing a head, missing arms or legs, organs lying in the open.

He said he had texted these to the deputy who requested them, and also airdropped them to a firefighter that to this day has still not been identified. So the county's argument that the photos are contained is disputed by Vanessa Bryant's team who argues there could be more photos out there that we don't know of.

Still, Deputy Johnson said that he was unaware of any policy that would have prevented him from taking these photos and sharing them with other first responders. He said, quote, "I know I didn't do anything wrong." He said he doesn't regret his actions that day.


WHITFIELD: Natasha Chen, thank you so much.

Let's talk more about this with Areva Martin. She's a CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney. So good to see you. So this sheriff's deputy testifying that he was instructed to take crash scene photos, and then he later sent them to a fire department official, and no one has been able to identify some of the parties. So where is the defense going with this? What will it be able to do?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The defense, Fred, has been trying to argue that these photographs, first of all, were never disseminated widely. So they are disputing Vanessa Bryant's claim that the photos were distributed not only to others within the sheriff's department and fire department, but also that they were ever distributed online.

The sheriff's department is also claiming that any emotional distress Vanessa Bryant has suffered is a result of the death of her husband and her daughter, not as a result of the photographs that were taken, and according to Vanessa Bryant, shared widely.

But there is a lot of confusion about what happened that day, Fred. We know that this firefighter, this first responder who said that he was instructed to take the photographs, there's some dispute about that, because there was also a videotape played during cross-examination where the alleged officer that told this first responder to take those photographs denied ever making that request.

So I don't even know if we've gotten to the real facts in terms of what happened that day, but the photographs are so disturbing.

WHITFIELD: And so Areva, while you're talking, I think your microphone has fallen. So while we're asking the question we'll try and get some help there to adjust that microphone so we can continue to hear you, because the totality of this case also involves the fact that the county settled with other family members that were involved in the case, but Vanessa Bryant has refused to do that.

She has also alleged a coverup of the incident. This is incredibly traumatic for her and for the rest of the family. But does she have a good point that she really is trying to get to the core of how this happened and make a variety of people pay for their judgments?

MARTIN: Absolutely, Fred. We do know that there's been a settlement by Los Angeles County, around $2.5 million with some of the other families who were tragically -- lost loved ones as a result of this plane crash. I think Vanessa Bryant is trying to make a bigger point.

She's obviously already been effective in getting some change in policy with respect to photographs being taken at the scene and how those photographs are to be treated.

But I also think she wants to send a loud message to the county of Los Angeles that they need better protocols in place to deal with these kinds of situations. And for her, it doesn't appear to be at all about the money but about how the families are treated and how the remains of their loved ones are treated.

And she's saying in this case her loved ones were not treated with respect and dignity, and that she had the right to control those images, not these first responders who, according to her case, has taken these photographs, shared them, laughed about them, disseminated them widely.

We're going to watch to see what happens in this case, but she makes a very powerful argument that I think will resonate, Fred, with a lot of these jurors.

WHITFIELD: Areva Martin, we'll leave it there for now. Thank you so much.

MARTIN: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Still ahead, the impacts of the climate bill set to have an immediate impact for some California residents. The renovations some people are making to save water right now.



WHITFIELD: California is expected to lose 10 percent of its water within just 20 years. That alarming estimate is prompting the state to take action as it battles a long-running drought, hotter temperatures, and impacts from climate change. Governor Gavin Newsom has just announced a new multibillion dollar plan to preserve the state's water supply.

CNN's Mike Valerio is in Los Angeles right there, it's hard to believe, at the base of the Los Angeles River, but there it is, with just a couple of inches of water. Tell us more about the steps the governor wants to take.

MIKE VALERIO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Fredricka. I think the biggest step is really building storage space, space for water to be held during the winter months when it falls and it doesn't go anywhere for all of us to use.

And Fredricka, that's really the opposite of this backdrop that we've picked here, the Los Angeles River, right on the bottom, because it's designed to channel water from here 20 miles out to the Pacific Ocean. The aim of the game form the engineering standpoint is to get the water out of the city and into the ocean. That is the opposite of our reality, what we need here. We need to hold on to water.


So Fred, the biggest points of the Newsom plan proposed to Sacramento are these right here, building 4 million acre-feet of storage space. Think really cisterns, storage tanks, reservoirs, to hold this water when it rains here in the winter months and it doesn't go anywhere, it doesn't run off into the oceans.

And the second point, reuse wastewater, reuse water that goes into the drainage ditches in your neighborhood, and, again, collects in these channels and goes out to the ocean.

The final real major point of this plan, de-sal, desalination, taking salt out of ocean water, out of brackish water to use for drinking water. So Fredricka, that's really the macro plan for building infrastructure that, again, is pretty much the opposite what have we see here. The micro-plan is really encapsulated in the bill that passed the

House, the climate and health care bill, which is giving money to families to tear out their green grass lawns and put in, instead, desert plants, flowers that are more accustomed to this climate that use less water. Take a look at this.


MARIANNE SIMON, GREEN GARDENS GROUP: These types of native plants need less water. They're adapted to our climate. They can get by on nine to 15 inches of water a year. For the most part, lawn isn't adapted to that.

PAMELA BERSTLER, GREEN GARDENS GROUP: No, it needs 50 inches of water a year in the west, or more.


VALERIO: OK, so that's Marianne and Pamela who own their own company in Santa Monica, a couple of miles away from here, to help municipalities and families transition their lawns. Fredricka, they said in addition to these big changes that we have to make here in the west, moving away from fertilizer.

Just having a little bit of mulch, a little bit of leaves falling on your backyard, your front yard, is what we need, just little changes in addition to these big changes that are set for the next 20 years here in the west, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Wow, all right, incremental and big, all of it. All right, Mike Valerio, thank you so much.

Next, 75 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier playing his first game in the Major Leagues, two teams honoring that bridge from the Negro Leagues to the Major Leagues in a very special display today as the Royals take on the Dodgers. I'll speak with Los Angeles Dodgers manager, there he is, Dave Roberts. He's coming up next, that conversation. Stay with us.



WHITFIELD: A rare honor for a basketball legend. The NBA announced Thursday it will permanently retire Bill Russell's number six jersey throughout the league. Those currently wearing the number, including Lakers' LeBron James, they will be able to continue to wear it.

But number six will not be handed out to any new players. Russell, who died last month at the age of 88, won 11 NBA titles with the Boston Celtics, was a five-time MVP, and the first down black head coach in the league. He will become the first player to have his number retired across all 30 teams.

Only two other players in major sports have had their numbers retired leaguewide. Wayne Gretzky's number 99 in hockey and Jackie Robinson's number 42 in baseball.

And in fact, this year marks the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major league Baseball's color barrier. And now his former franchise, the Dodgers, is celebrating that historic achievement in the city where he began his professional career.

Before making history in his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger back in 1947, Robinson was an all-star in the Negro Leagues for the Kansas City Monarchs. Kansas City is now home to the Negro League's Baseball Museum.

And a short time ago, the L.A. Dodgers visited the museum ahead of tonight's matchup with the Kansas City Royals, the team reflecting on the sacrifices and the legacy of all those that came before.

And among those who had an opportunity to get through it and now talk about his experiences, joining us from Kansas City, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. So good to see you.

DAVE ROBERTS, MANAGER, LOS ANGELES DODGERS: It is so good seeing you, and you couldn't have laid this out any better. This is quite the honor. What a day we've already had.

This is the first time the Los Angeles Dodgers have been to Kansas City since 2014. And as you mentioned, Jackie Robinson, 75 years, breaking the color barrier. So today, Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro League Museum, hosted us, and there were plenty of Dodger players there and staff.

And we got the tour and learned all about the history. It was so amazing, and we're off to a great start today.

WHITFIELD: And I love the pictures. Just the camaraderie, everyone unified in their display of just being exuberant about the whole occasion. And it really is a milestone, isn't it? Here you all are getting ready to play another very big game, but then this kind of puts it all in perspective, doesn't it? This is an emotional -- a very emotional journey.

ROBERTS: It really does, it does. It's emotional, it's exciting. And even tonight, here in Kansas City, we're going to have the Brooklyn Dodgers of 1955 play the Kansas City Monarchs of 1945. So we're all going to be wearing different jerseys so our players are all hyped up about that.

And Jackie played for the Monarchs. So we're still going to be rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But it's a piece of history, and I'm always trying to educate our players on the history, the past, and the struggles that the Negro League players had to go through to then some breakthrough to play in the Major Leagues. But it was just such a treat today, and we're going to have a lot of fun tonight in Kansas City.

WHITFIELD: That's amazing. What about the whippersnappers, the younger generation of players? Do you think it has really sunk in for them, the meaning of the history, the symbolism of wearing the uniforms, the importance of recognizing these incredible trailblazers?

ROBERTS: You know what, I think it's sinking in. I think it's a process, and I can't say enough about Bob Kendrick who's kind of made it his life journey to talk about the Negro Leagues and what it meant to Major League players.

But I think that, it's kind of upon all of us to tell stories, learn more, to let these young whippersnappers get educated. And so I think that once they do, it's that aha moment that the game of baseball just didn't just happen 10 years ago and there's a lot of things that took place in our history, in our country's history to get to where we are. And I think as we go forward really to have an appreciation of our history and how we came to be is just so important.

WHITFIELD: Among the giants, first Monarch player and first African American coach in the MLB with the Chicago Cubs back in 1962, Buck O'Neil, finally initially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame just last month.

And this weekend his Hall of Fame plaque arrived there in Kansas City, and with his induction, tell us about the importance of the storytelling of history for him. I mean, look at the video of him walking out there. He's at bat and he's ready to go. I love that. But talk about the importance of really paying homage to him in a gigantic way.

ROBERTS: You know what, I think we're all just -- I'm not by myself in saying that it's great to see that the Hall of Fame, Major League Baseball got it right inducting Buck O'Neil, and the plaque, as you said, is going to be, is here in Kansas City. It's going to be at the ballpark.

And it's going to be shown to us the Dodgers today at 5:00 p.m. local time. So we're going to have everyone there get into kind of put our eyes, our hands on that plaque, and it's truly an honor. And a future Hall of Famer to be Clayton Kershaw was there today too at the Negro League Museum, so that's going to be a special moment for him, too.

WHITFIELD: That's nice. Oh, my gosh. Well, gosh, I hope you have a hankie nearby, because there are a lot of emotional moments that are going to continue to happen for you.

ROBERTS: It's pretty emotional, yes.

WHITFIELD: Yes, indeed. I'm so glad you were able to take a moment and help reflect with us. Thank you so much Dave Roberts, appreciate it, and enjoy every moment of the rest of today and the entire journey. And I say that to you, all the managers, and all the players, everybody involved.

ROBERTS: Thank you so much. And thank you so much for telling the story.

WHITFIELD: Thank you. Appreciate it. All the best.

Coming up next, the goal. Take one knee and propose? How an ironclad effort kind of fell flat, but in a good way. You're going to love how it ends up. You'll see.


ISABELLA DE LA HOUSSAYE, LUNG CANCER AWARENESS ADVOCATE: So often you just assume you can't do something, and I think when someone shows you that you can do it, it can inspire other people to try.

I was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. When I was originally diagnosed, the cancer had eaten my sacrum and my lower spine, so walking was incredibly painful and difficult. Once the cancer treatment started killing the cancer, I was able to start rebuilding bone, and part of that was walking.

And so my son and I actually walked the Camino from Lisbon to Santiago, Spain. I'm not doing anything fast, but I am still doing, and that is important to me. I went for the kids to do an alter race in Mongolia and then did the Korean Ironman with my second son. My daughter and I climbed the highest mountain in South America.

I have a non-smoker's lung cancer. It's an issue that society is oblivious too. And that is what led to the bike ride across the country for non-smokers' lung cancer. So we rode from San Diego all the way to St. Augustine, Florida, and the goal was less about fundraising and more about spreading awareness.

I never, ever want to define myself as a cancer patient, and I don't want my cancer to define me.


WHITFIELD: All right, the perfect plan, finish an Ironman, propose to his girlfriend. What could go wrong?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Best proposal ever.


WHITFIELD: OK, I'm not laughing. I actually can really empathize. If you have done a triathlon, and of course, I have not done Ironman, you just might be dehydrated, and you will cramp up.