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President Biden And Biden Administration Criticize Special Counsel Investigating Classified Documents Case For Reporting President Has A Poor Memory; U.S. Central Command Reports It Has Carried Out More Strikes On Iran-Backed Houthi Targets In Yemen; Israeli Military Seeking To Gain Control Of Rafah Along Southern Gaza Border With Egypt; Migrant Arrested In Connection With Shooting In Times Square; San Francisco 49ers And Kansas City Chiefs Prepare For Super Bowl In Las Vegas; Stanley Cup Products' Popularity Examined; Republican Woman Behind Case To Remove Former President Trump From Colorado Presidential Ballot Profiled; Special Examines Michael Oher's Relationship With Tuohy Family. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired February 10, 2024 - 14:00   ET



DEAN RICKARD, CO-HEAD FOOTBALL COACH, LAHAINALUNA HIGH SCHOOL: We're just so fortunate and thankful and appreciative of the NFL for just recognizing what's going in Lahaina, and sending out the invite. And how we learned was actually an interesting story with our students. They were called to the principal's office, and they had a Zoom call set up. Most of the students were actually thinking that they were in trouble.

All four captains were selected to attend after the game. So they were called into the principal's office, and that's when the Zoom call with Marcus Mariota announcing that they were invited to the Super Bowl was made. And of course, those kids were very, very excited and overwhelmed. There aren't enough words to express our gratitude to the NFL.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: That is so great. You all needed this uplift, right? You continue to go through so much as the community tries to rebuild, recover, and that's just going to take a really long time. So tell me how meaningful, how uplifting this moment is for the students and you coaches who are there. What are you feeling inside?

RICKARD: I think for the students and all the coaches and the entire community, we're extremely proud to be representing our community's resilience, I would say. And that's what these students represent. And they represented that all year long throughout the football season, because they were going to cancel the season, but all our officials and administrative staff were able to salvage the season. We were able to participate in the season, and also end up making it to the state championships. So that in itself was an added bonus to our kids.

But again, a lot of them went through a life-changing event, and the sheer determination to continue playing was their choice, their parents' choice, and the community's choice. And their actions on the field and after the fire, in the aftermath of the fire really united the entire community and bringing everybody together and kind of served as a rallying point and sort of a beacon of hope that as long as we are able to work together in a unified manner with positive energy, we're going to get through this tragic event and hopefully come out of it a lot better.

So it just speaks for the entire community's resilience, and that's what these kids are here to represent. And again, we're just thankful that the NFL is supporting our efforts in the long journey in this recovery, ongoing recovery.

WHITFIELD: You are all epitomizing resilience and determination, just as you said, and will continue to be a beacon. And you'll be a beacon of light and hope there on the big field. Coach Dean Rickard, thank you so much. Mahalo, and the best to you all tomorrow. Very exciting.

Hello, and thanks again for joining me this weekend. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The White House is grappling with the fallout of that damaging special counsel report with its characterizations of President Biden. Democrats are hailing the decision not to bring any charges against the president for willfully retaining classified documents, but they are stunned Special Agent Robert Hur characterized Biden as elderly and that his memory is quote-unquote, poor. Biden and his allies are blasting Hur's assertions. Vice President Kamala Harris calling them gratuitous, inaccurate, and inappropriate.

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is in Washington for us. So Priscilla, how is the White House positioning itself this weekend to dispel Hur's characterizations?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN REPORTER: They're reminding people that there were no criminal charges recommended here, a distinction from former President Donald Trump and his alleged misuse of classified documents.

But this report ultimately strikes and points to one of the defining themes of this presidential election season, and that's the president's age and his fitness for office as it talks about, for example, his memory in recalling how these classified documents were moved around and stored after he left the office of the vice president.

And President Biden's aides have said, since this report was released, that the president is sharp and he is tireless when describing him. But this clearly struck a chord with the president himself who came out in a news conference after the report was released, and really spilled that anger publicly, especially the mention of him forgetting when his son was born. The president taking great office to that.


Now, Vice President Kamala Harris has also strong words on this report and what the was in included in it. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KAMALA HARRIS, (D) VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The comment that were made by that prosecutor, gratuitous, inaccurate, and inappropriate.

The way that the president's demeanor in that report was characterized could not be more wrong on the facts, and clearly politically motivated.


ALVAREZ: Now, again, going to the substance of the report, Special Counsel Robert Hur found that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified information, but again, did not recommend any criminal charges. He also drew a distinction between President Biden and former President Donald Trump and why the two cases were different. But all of this, again, happening as we go into this heated election season where senior campaign officials have said that President Biden is on the trail, that he is partaking in these traditional retail politics stops, and those are the moments where voters can engage with him and decide for themselves whether he should hold office again as all of this brings up a sensitive issue for the campaign and the White House, which is, again, the president's age.

WHITFIELD: Priscilla Alvarez, thanks so much.

Now to the Middle East where U.S. Central Command says it has carried out more strikes on Iran-backed Houthi targets in Yemen. Cent Com says the strikes happened Friday and were aimed at drones and missiles that were getting ready to launch against nearby ships. And it follows strikes last week where the U.S. and U.K. hit more than a dozen Houthi locations.

CNN's Nic Robertson is following the development from Tel Aviv. Nic, what are you learning more?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, so these are not just air missiles. Cruise missiles were among them. But some of them were the seaborne, like speedboat packed full of explosive, unmanned surface vehicles that the Houthis have been using for a number of years now but now targeting the U.S. Navy and commercial shipping in the Red Sea with them.

And what we know is that following on from those heavy strikes a week ago, there has been a lot of surveillance of what the Houthis are doing. So when they bring out some of their munitions, like these four missiles cruise missiles that were targeted as well and the mobile launcher for cruise missile, when they're brought out of hide hiding, the strikes are placed on them.

And this is intended, again, to continue to send a signal to Houthis that they must stop targeting commercial shipping going through the Red Sea. It has a huge detrimental impact on many shipping companies, and many companies in Europe and other parts of the world are struggling because ships have to be re-routed a much longer way. So this is all part of that campaign. But as we've seen and continue to see, the Houthis are not stopping. They're continuing to try to get these shots off.

WHITFIELD: And then Nic, there's a growing concern about the situation in Rafah along the southern Gaza border with Egypt. More than a million Palestinians are sheltering there, and now Israel is indicating that it wants to evacuate or prepare for evacuation there. How might this play out?

ROBERTSON: Everything we hear from the prime minister's office indicates that he is trying to prepare the way for this operation to happen. He said it has to be done by the 10th of March because that's when Ramadan is. He said that the army must provide a way to evacuate this 1.4 million population of Palestinians. That's more than half the population in the Gaza Strip, the military must find a way to evacuate them.

His narrative, the prime minister's narrative is that there are four battalions of Hamas there. They have to be routed out, that if you stop now then all the soldier's lives lost in the battle against Hamas so far will be lost in vain.

So this is very powerful and emotive language that the prime minister is using. Is he using this language and setting us this scenario at the moment who he can put pressure on Hamas to cave on their demands for prisoner release and other things in the hostage deal that is still in the works, it appears? Is it that, or are troops really going to go in? There isn't an order for it yet, but of course, this is the expectation.

WHITFIELD: OK, Nic Robertson in Tel Aviv, thanks so much.

Let's bring in CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier. Good to see you, Kimberly. I want to ask you about the U.S. and its relationship with Israel in a moment. But does Israel see its operation in the Rafah area as a strategic necessity?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: If Israel wants to make sure it's decimated Hamas and stopped Hamas's ability to rearm, Israeli military officials think they need to recapture control of what's called the Philadelphia Corridor. That is the border between Gaza and Egypt.


That was handed over to Egyptian control, and I've had Israeli current and former officials both say they think that the Hamas militants smuggled in the majority of their weaponry and the cement they needed to build the vast tunnel network over land from Egypt. So that means the Israeli military feels it has got to recapture that territory and then renegotiate with Egypt, who polices what crosses over that border, with Netanyahu's latest comments being that Israel wants to take it over entirely again.

WHITFIELD: OK, and now let's talk about what seemed to be growing contentions between the U.S. and Israel. Have a listen to a comment President Biden made earlier in the week.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The conduct of the response in Gaza, in the Gaza Strip has been over the top. There are a lot of innocent people who are starving, a lot of innocent people in trouble and dying. And it's got to stop.


WHITFIELD: He said it's over the top, meaning the Israeli behavior as it pertains to Gaza. So is this a prelude, potentially, to a change in the U.S. support or posture of its commitment to Israel?

DOZIER: This was part of a full-court press of U.S. officials coming out in public and saying things that other western officials have been saying. They had been punishing in private and supporting Israel in public. But you had the president, then you had Secretary of State Blinken in Tel Aviv, saying what's happened to the hostages was dehumanizing, but it's not an excuse to dehumanize the Palestinians inside Gaza. That was taken as a sharp rebuke.

You also had National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby say that for Israel to try to take Rafah right now without finding some way to relocate the million plus Palestinians who are sheltering there would be the wrong thing to do. He had some really choice words. And there's been a real reaction inside Israel to that. The mood has changed, so Netanyahu's back is against the wall.

At the same time, you don't see him changing the policy publicly. You do see him saying they'll find a way to relocate those Palestinians. But the track record hasn't been good in the past. The Israeli military has come up with plans to move people, has shared those instructions with Palestinians on the ground. And either the Palestinians simply haven't believed the Israelis, or in some cases it's been reported by multiple international news agencies, Palestinians have been blocked from movement by Hamas. So I think you're still going to see a lot of Palestinians stuck in the way when Israel moves in.

WHITFIELD: Kim Dozier, we'll leave it there. Thanks so much.

Coming up, new audio from that deadly plane crash on Interstate 75 in Florida, what we're learning about the cause of the devastating accident.

And New York officials give a new warning against generalizing migrants following a string of crimes in the city. Our team has the latest straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: All right, take a look at this dramatic new video and audio from a plane crash on a south Florida interstate that killed two people.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Challenger Hop-A-Jet 823, lost both engines, emergency. Making an emergency landing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoever has got that emergency, cleared to land. Runway 23 Is that Hop-A-Jet 823?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're clear to land but we're not going to make the runway. We lost both engines.


WHITFIELD: That private plane collided into a car and caused a massive explosion along Interstate 75 in Naples. And here's what happened moments after that terrifying emergency landing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anybody else in there?



WHITFIELD: Unbelievable. Three people survived the crash, which happened just a few miles away from the airport. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.

New this hour, CNN has learned a 15-year-old migrant arrested in connection with Thursday night's shooting in Times Square has been charged as an adult. He is accused of shooting and injuring a tourist at a sneaker store, then firing twice at an officer during a foot chase. Part of that chase captured on this video.

CNN's Jean Casarez is live in New York for us with more on all this. Jean?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The official charges have just come down for this 15-year-old from Venezuela. He is being charged, as you say, as an adult with two counts of attempted murder of police officers, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal assault and attempted criminal assault.

But one thing that the police and all of law enforcement, whenever they talk about what is happening now in New York City with migrants, they want people to realize that we don't care who you are, we don't care where you are from, we care about the crime that may be commit here.

Let's look at the facts from Thursday night, because it was right in this heart of Times Square, where the hustle and bustle and the tourists and people just walking on a Thursday evening around 7:00. It was at JD, it's a footwear store, athletic clothing store. There were three teenagers there, two 15 year-olds, one 16-year-old, and they were shoplifting. They were getting the clothes, they were getting shoes. [14:20:06]

And when the 16-year-old approached the exit, the loss prevention officer had seen all of this, asked them for the clothes back, the shoes back. He steps back a little bit, takes out a .45 caliber gun, and shoots. Witnesses say that she ducked, but then it hit a tourist, a lady in her late 30s from Brazil. It hit her in the leg. But she's rushed to Bellevue Hospital. He flees the store. Police officers are running after him. He turns around, fires two shots at the police officers. They didn't fire back because there were so many people there.

But I want you to listen to the chief of patrol, John Chell, as he talks about these issues but also how we need to look at them.


JOHN CHELL, NYPD'S CHIEF OF PATROL: We saw the moped robberies and snatches. We see pockets being picked in Times Square and on the subway. You see some groups go into stores, Macy's, Kings Plaza, Glass Hut, and stealing property. So yes, we have seen it, it's a trend. But I want to be clear here, again, right. We don't care. We don't care who you are, what you are, what your status is. Our job is to keep this community safe.


CASAREZ: And we never want to forget the victims. The tourists who was from Brazil just here on vacation with her husband, she has gotten treatment at the hospital, and she, of course, will return to her home country. But also, as those two shots, Fredricka, were just being shot at police officers, it was crowded. And if you were close to that and you saw a .45 caliber gun being taken out by a young 15-year-old and shot, you could be concerned, and you will remember that.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh, that is traumatizing on so many levels. Jean Casarez, thank you very much.

CASAREZ: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Coming up, Las Vegas is getting ready for tomorrow's big game. Extensive preparations under way for Super Bowl LVIII.



WHITFIELD: OK, so the stage is almost set for the biggest football game of the year. Tomorrow's Super Bowl in Las Vegas will feature the Kansas City Chiefs looking to win back-to-back titles while the San Francisco 49ers will be going for their first Super Bowl win in three decades.

We have got coverage for the big game. Andy Scholes is in Vegas. Josh Campbell is also with us talking about security preparations. So Josh, you first. How safe is it going to be? What kind of preparations are in place?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. Preparations have been under way for months now. The hundreds of thousands of people who will be inside and out Allegiant Stadium will be protected by this massive deployment of law enforcement officers. Some of the resources they're bringing include physical scanners for everyone entering that stadium. They're also explosive detection K-9s. They also have sensors that essentially sniff the air for any type of chemical, biological, or nuclear type threat. That's all on the ground.

In the air there will also be a national security temporary flight restriction instituted about one hour before kickoff. That will be enforced by military fighter jets. One area that law enforcement is particularly focused on pertains to drones. We know that drone technology is obviously very cheap, bad actors could cause a number of different ways of harm using a drone. And so the FBI and other law enforcement agencies brought this counter-drone technology. And I've seen still stuff up close. It's really impressive. They can technically take over a drone, take control of it, move it to an area that's away from the crowd for investigation. Law enforcement says that anyone caught flying a drone around that stadium faces potential criminal prosecution, over $30,000 in fines.

It's worth pointing out that right now all this is precautionary. Authorities say that they haven't identified any type of threat that gives them a particular concern, but they say they're ready. Have a listen.


CATHY LANIER, CHIEF SECURITY OFFICER, NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: There is no known specific or credible threats to the game or any events surrounding the Super Bowl. As always, you will see an increased security presence not only around the stadium on game day, but also around all of our other events.

SPENCER EVANS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, LAS VEGAS DIVISION: We have FBI personnel stationed in our own emergency operations center and at every joint command post and intelligence center operating throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

We are monitoring and sharing every scrap of information that indicates a potential threat with all of our interagency, law enforcement, and appropriate private sector partners.


CAMPBELL: Now, Fred, the work of law enforcement doesn't end with the final score. They have to get all these people safely home. To that end, TSA says that at Harry Reid International Airport they're going to have all hands on deck, all security checkpoints up and running for 48 hours. Of course, everybody knows not everyone leaves Vegas a winner. There might be some crestfallen fans. TSA just trying to make their exit just a little bit easier there.

WHITFIELD: All right, Josh, thank you so much.

Let's bring in Andy Scholes who is there in Vegas. OK, so Andy, what are the players and fans now saying ahead of this big match-up?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, the players are done talking. They've taken all the Taylor Swift questions they can handle all week long.


SCHOLES: They are just doing one last walkthrough today, then they're coming over to this stadium here behind me to take some pictures as a team and with their family.

But in terms of fans, the ones we talked to, both Chiefs and 49ers, both of them are confident that they're going to win this game. I would say that there's more 49ers fans here in Las Vegas than Chiefs fans. Obviously the proximity helping that. And so they might have a little bit of home field advantage in tomorrow's game. And they are the favorites, two point favorites are San Francisco. They're, of course, led by their dynamic running back Christian McCaffrey. And he's trying to make a little history here tomorrow.


His father, Ed, played for the 49ers and won a Super Bowl with them back in 1995. If Christian is able to win here tomorrow he would be just the second father-son combo to ever win a Super Bowl for the same team. And Christian, he said earlier in the week that playing in this game, it's a dream come true.


CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS RUNNING BACK: It would mean the world, man. To be able to win a Super Bowl is something, like I said, I've been dreaming about as a kid. I got to watch my dad do it. And so to be able to do that would be awesome.

I've wanted to play football ever since I was seven years old when I first put a helmet on. It's been my dream to play in this league and to have success. And to be sitting here and have an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl is a lot of fun.


WHITFIELD: That's cute. Wow.

SCHOLES: Now a ticket to get into the game tomorrow, Fredricka, will run you about $6,000. It's on pace to be the third most expensive Super Bowl of all time. I caught up with StubHub's Joseph Bocanegra earlier and asked him why is this game so expensive this season?


JOSEPH BOCANEGRA, HEAD OF GLOBAL CUSTOMER SERVICE OPERATIONS AT STUBHUB: I think there's two things in addition to Vegas. One is this is a rematch. And so 49er fans are anxious for their teams to win. We are seeing about 40 percent of our sales come from California being closer. The proximity to California, I think, is driving sales in a meaningful way.

And you can't escape the Taylor Swift effect. I know it's hard to measure. But when Taylor Swift after her appearance at the Chiefs game back in September, we saw a three-X spike Chiefs home game sales. So I'm sure she's doing something.


SCHOLES: So there you go, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: She has got the Midas touch.

SCHOLES: -- Super Bowl ticket prices.

Yes, and I've got one state for you before I go. So Fredricka, 16 of the last 19 Super Bowl champions have been wearing their white jerseys for the game. Who's wearing white this year? Its' going to be the 49ers. But in 2020 when these two teams played each other, the Niners were wearing white and the Chiefs still won that game. So if you're superstitious, there's a stat for you. We'll see if it holds there or if the Chiefs can do it again and win in their red.

WHITFIELD: And folks have all kinds of fun with superstitions in Vegas after all. So let her roll, let her roll. Andy Scholes and Josh Campbell, thanks to both of you, appreciate it.

A century old overnight success, that's how the president of Stanley, the maker of water bottles and tumblers, describes the company's meteoric rise. It was the power of social media that made them a must have item. But as CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich reports, with Internet popularity also comes scrutiny.



VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Screams, tears, waiting in the freezing cold.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely freezing, not my first time doing it.

YURKEVICH: Fights and arrests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One woman in Roseville has been arrested.

YURKEVICH: All over a Stanley Cup. No, not that Stanley Cup. This one.

I don't get it. Can you explain it to me.

GABRIELLA RIBERIO, BARND STRATEGIST: TikTok and social media streams have an incredible ability to vault brands to a popularity that we haven't seen before. It also has an incredible ability to create momo. So once somebody sees one carrying it, somebody has got to have it, and it just continues to just show in their feed.

YURKEVICH: The Stanley Quencher took off and took over on social media, users proudly showing off collections, even making "SNL."



YURKEVICH: The company isn't laughing. Limited editions are selling out in minutes. For over a century, the Stanley brand targeted men, popular on hiking trails and construction sites.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's some kind of tough thermos.

YURKEVICH: Today, their success is influencers and TikTok moms. The company's key demo is now women. Introducing lighter colors, it's now a fashion accessory. The company doesn't do much advertising. Their consumers do it for them.

PETER SHANKMAN, MARKETING CONSULTANT, MENTAL CAPITAL: Is it the best thermos in the world? Absolutely not. But it took advantage of a moment where everyone thought it was.

YURKEVICH: That insatiable needs to own one has sent the company's revenue soaring from $70 million in 2019 to $750 million last year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are a 110-year-old overnight success.

YURKEVICH: But with that success comes scrutiny.

Stanley took advantage of the rise in popularity of social media. Is there a flipside to that?

SHANKMAN: There is. What the Internet giveth, the Internet can taketh away.

YURKEVICH: Just as fast as a group of TikTok moms put Stanley on the map.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'm divorcing my Stanley.

YURKEVICH: Concerns over lead in the cups spread across social feeds. Some TikTokers allegedly found small traces of lead by using at home lead tests. Stanley's website confirms lead is part of the vacuum seal at the base of the cups, but says there is no lead on the surface of any Stanley product.

Do you think that has caused any damage or enough damage to the brand to impact sales, impact popularity?


SHANKMAN: Keeping in mind that a year ago their sales were here and now they're here. Even if they go to here, it's still a giant win for Stanley.

YURKEVICH: For some, the popularity may already be waning.

SARAH KAASE, STUDENT: It's a water bottle. I remember when hydro- plastics were like the fad. I feel like a lot a lot of people will buy them and then the hype will go down.

STEPHANIE ESPINAL, STUDENT: I like mine. It's blue. It was a gift from my aunt for my birthday.

YURKEVICH: Would you ever decide to spend your money on it?

ESPINAL: No. No. I just feel like, yes, they're nice. They're cool to have. But there's just so many other things that I can spend $50 on.


WHITFIELD: Still, it has taken off.

All right, if you don't know Michael Oher's name from his eight-year career in the NFL, then you probably know it from the movie "The Blind Side," the Hollywood story of how Oher, who is black, was rescued from poverty and homelessness by a wealthy white family who positioned him for success in college football and beyond.

But last year, Oher alleged they Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy never adopted him, but instead filed a conservatorship and profited from a false narrative about him, which they deny. The conservatorship has since been terminated by a Tennessee judge, but Oher's case against the Tuohys asking them to provide information about his finances over the years is ongoing.

Now the new CNN flash doc "Blindsided" examines the story behind Hollywood's take on Oher and the Touhys. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The controversy surrounding the hit movie, "The Blind Side."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Oher blindsided, he says, by his family at the center of the Hollywood blockbuster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alleging they earned millions from pushing a false narrative that they adopted him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The movie depicted a totally different person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael really didn't like the movie from the very beginning. It followed him everywhere while he was in the NFL.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He felt someone was making money from this movie, and it wasn't him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said that they never intended to adopt Michael. I think, as they say from the south, they got some explaining to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seemed to be all love, and a lot was offered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was portrayed as unable without the help of the Tuohy family to have made his way in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The movie is great. It allows us to go around and talk about the Michael Ohers of the world that need a forever family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know what a conservatorship is now thanks to Britney Spears. To hear something like that that caught on, it strikes a nerve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They bounced out of him from the start.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Blindsided," tonight at 8:00, on CNN.



WHITFIELD: This just into CNN, Wisconsin Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher has announced he will not seek re-election this November. The news comes just days after Gallagher angered many in his own party by voting to against impeaching Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The 39-year-old how had been seen as a rising star in the Republican Party was facing blowback from his vote, even threats from his party to primary him.

And former President Donald Trump, campaigning right now in Conway, South Carolina, ahead of the state's primary in two weeks. He's coming off a big week legally and politically. On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court signaled it was poised to keep Trump on the ballot in Colorado despite a Colorado challenge to his candidacy based on the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. That Supreme Court decision could come as early as Monday. The lead plaintiff suing to keep Trump off the ballot in Colorado isn't some Democratic operative. It's a 91-year-old Republican from Colorado. CNN's Lucy Kafanov has more on the woman now taking on Trump.


LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The biggest challenge to Donald Trump's presidential ambitions isn't a political rival like Joe Biden. Instead, it's this 91-year-old former Colorado lawmaker and diehard Republican.

NORMA ANDERSON, LEAD PLAINTIFF: This is very personal to me. I've lived a hell of a long time, and I've gone through a lot of presidents. And this is the first one that is trying to destroy the Constitution.

KAFANOV: Norma Anderson never thought she'd be at the center of a legal battle to keep her party's leading candidate off the ballot, until the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, which Anderson thinks violated the U.S. Constitution, making Donald Trump ineligible to hold office.

ANDERSON: You cannot serve if you committed an insurrection. What is trying to throw out an election? I call it insurrection.

KAFANOV: Anderson was inside as the highest court in the land heard arguments in the case against Trump bearing her name which involves around the insurrectionist ban in 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

ANDERSON: To engage in insurrection or rebellion.

KAFANOV: A document she holds sacred, always carrying a copy in her purse.

ANDERSON: I've always tried to read the Constitution over and over again myself.

KAFANOV: The life-long Republican says she isn't worried about raising the ire of her own party.

ANDERSON: I've had more than one Republican disagree with me in a lifetime. I was born four months before FDR was elected.

KAFANOV: Anderson has been a force in Colorado's Republican scene for decades.

ANDERSON: In 87 we passed the simple rate tax.

KAFANOV: First elected to the state house in 1986, Anderson spent 19 years as a Colorado legislator. She was the first woman to serve as majority leader in both the State House and State Senate.


ANDERSON: I'm not afraid of a hard job.

KAFANOV: She was known as someone who could make deals and work across the aisle.

ANDERSON: When I was in committees, I'd have my mind made up on a bill. And then I'd hear something, and I'd think, well, maybe I'm wrong.

KAFANOV: Which earned her some big accomplishments in education, transportation, and healthcare. For Anderson, the Supreme Court battle is about protecting America's democratic institutions.

ANDERSON: I remember World War II, and I remember everyone in the United States pulled together to protect our democracy. We're not doing that now. And democracy is precious.

KAFANOV: A message to fellow Republicans.

ANDERSON: They better sit down and read their Constitution. That's the best message I can give them.

KAFANOV: Lucy Kafanov, CNN, Denver.

(END VIDEO TAPE) WHITFIELD: Still to come, the emotional unveiling of a new statue revealing Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.


WHITFIELD: If you don't know Michael Oher's name from his eight-year career in the NFL, then you probably know it from the movie "The Blind Side," the Hollywood story of how Oher, who is black, was rescued from poverty and homelessness by a wealthy white family who positioned him for success in college football and beyond.

But last year, Oher alleged they Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy never adopted him, as he says they told him, but instead filed a conservatorship and profited from a false narrative about him, which they deny. The conservatorship has since been terminated by a Tennessee judge, but Oher's case against the Tuohys asking them to provide information about his finances over the years is ongoing. And now the new CNN flash doc "Blindsided" examines the story behind Hollywood's take on Oher and the Touhys. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The conservatorship over Michael Oher is officially terminated. That was the decision handed down today by Judge Kathleen Gomes in Shelby County probate court. But she made it clear the case is far from over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The judge granted the wishes of both dies and ended the conservatorship. And she says she's never seen in all the years on the bench a conservatorship set up in a case where someone wasn't incapacitated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One big thing that I find unusual is the judge mention in the order granting the conservatorship that Michael had no mental or physical incapacities. He was a normal, functioning 18-year- old adult.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If there was an order that specifically stated there was no disability or no incapacity or something of that nature, then that would raise an eyebrow as to the necessity of the conservatorship, because that's what's required.


WHITFIELD: Joining us now is Michael Fletcher. He has covered Oher's story for years as a senior writer for ESPN, and he appears in the "Blindsided" special. So good to see you.


WHITFIELD: So as we said in the introduction, a court has determined there was no adoption. There was a conservatorship, which has now been terminated. But the case is ongoing. In all of your years of reporting and getting to know these various sides of the story, it's also been revealed that Oher felt pretty horrible about the movie once it came out, and that it kind of followed him on the field and beyond. Can you share more about how this really wasn't the story that he was most proud of?

FLETCHER: Absolutely. From the very beginning, as you point out, Fredricka, Michael Oher was uncomfortable with the depiction of him, not as much in the book as in the movie. But he also said that he was kind of willing to live with this for a long time because he felt like the movie, despite the flaws he saw, did a lot of good. It encouraged people to reach out to one another and to help one another.

But as he learned the truth about his situation, as he puts it, that he was not adopted, the inaccuracies of the movie ate at him. And he goes through describing even when he was drafted into the NFL, a lot of teams assumed he was stupid, because the movie actually depicts him that way. And he feels like it hurt his draft stock. Even though he was a first round draft choice, he actually slipped down later into the first round that he was projected to. And he attributes that to the depiction of him in the film. And it's something that's always eaten at him. And then to later learn that he wasn't adopted the way he thought he was, that was something that just really hurt him psychologically.

Both the Tuohys and Michael Oher, the requests were out, but they declined to be interviewed for this film. But we did hear from so many people who have been close to Michael Oher through his life, foster brothers, friends, teammates, other families that he lived with before he actually met the Tuohys. And do they all kind of come at this in the same way? Do they all feel like he was kind of tricked, or that he was served well through this relationship?

FLETCHER: I think the theme that I've heard is that people said, of course Michael is a resourceful person. His success isn't solely due to the Tuohys. Michael Oher himself gives credit to the Tuohys for helping him in a very vulnerable moment in his life.


But he also says Mrs. Tuohy didn't teach me how to play football the way this film depicts me. I'm not -- I didn't become an NFL player strictly because of their help in my life. I had some fortitude. I had some inner drive. I had a survival instinct that had taken me as far as to even meet the Tuohys. He didn't meet them until he was well in high school. And I was a great athlete. He was blessed with that skill. And he had a great mind. As it turns out, he was on the Dean's List at Ole Miss.

So despite all of his hardships -- and he had a hard life. He doesn't deny that. He grew up on the rough side of the mountain, if you will, and the Tuohys certainly did help him, but there was more to his success than just the Tuohys. And everyone seemed to agree on that.

WHITFIELD: OK, we'll look forward to what is going to be a very fascinated look at this entire experience. Michael Fletcher, thank you so much.

The CNN flash doc, "Blindsided," premieres tonight, 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific right on CNN. And you can stream "Blindsided" on Max. All right, four years after he was killed in a helicopter crash, the

Los Angeles Lakers have unveiled the first of three statues honoring the late basketball legend and five-time NBA champion, Kobe Bryant. Large crowds gathered at the center of Star Plaza on Friday to see the 19-foot tall, 4,000 pound bronze statue of Kobe. The sculpture features him wearing his number 8 jersey and pointing toward the sky, which symbolizes the moment he walked off the court following his career high 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors back in 2006. The other statues will feature Kobe wearing his number 24 jersey and will also feature a depiction of him and his late daughter Gianna Bryant, who was also killed in that crash.

And we'll be right back.