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Dallas Kicker Misses Four Extra Points; Tom Brady's Future; Hank Willis Thomas is Interviewed about his MLK Statue; Schools Accused of Withholding Merit Awards. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 17, 2023 - 08:30   ET



GREGORY MOREY-PARKER, FORMER ROOMMATE OF GEORGE SANTOS: Well, just I - I kind of assumed that he had made up, you know, about going to Baruch and NYU. But then I thought, well, maybe I was wrong, you know, after the election because I'm sure the DCCC you know, and the RNC would have, ,,you know, investigated him and at least his opponent would have done some op research. So, I kind of thought, well, maybe I'm wrong, you know. Maybe this is just, you know, the truth and I was incorrect.

But, I mean, obviously, the - you know, the truth has finally come out. And I just -- I don't understand. Did he go, like, one by one to everybody in his district and just literally pull the wool over their eyes? Like, how -- it just is flabbergasting.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm wondering if this was the end of -- I guess it was a rocky relationship and it started off well and - because you - this, again, according to you, you he believe that he stole a Burberry scarf from you and wore it when he gave a speech in DC on January of 2021. This is January 5, 2021, one day before the Capitol attack.

Now, CNN has not independently verified this claim. In the speech, Santos falsely claimed that the 2020 congressional election was stolen from him. Now, you say this is not - you know, it's more than just a stolen scarf. This is bigger than that. Did he take other things and why are you saying this is bigger than just a scarf?

MOREY-PARKER: Well, it just bothers me. I mean he is one of a, you know, highest elected officials in the country. You know, he is responsible for, you know, making the laws. And, yes, I mean, I do miss my stone check Burberry scarf, but, at the same time, it's why I feel like they're not focusing enough on the issues at hand. You know, where -- where did all this money come from to finance the campaign? You know, why - who -- the whole thing is just - it's quite bewildering to me. I mean how he even got elected.

LEMON: Well, we -- we appreciate you joining us this morning. Gregory Morey-Parker, thank you so much.

MOREY-PARKER: Thank you for having me.

LEMON: Kaitlan.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, also this morning, despite the Cowboys' 31-14 victory over Tampa Bay last night, the Cowboys kicker, Brett Maher, probably wants to forget the NFL record that he set last night. It was definitely - I mean you go to the playoffs. You're in the NFL playoffs. You want to set records. You miss four extra points.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, so this morning's number is, as Kaitlan was going for, the most extra points missed by one player in one game, four last night. Brett Maher setting the record. The previous record was three.

I mean, I've just never seen anything like this before. I mean to see two missed extra points in a game is something. To see three. But to see four. And not just four, but four in a row. That was the most bizarre thing I saw this entire weekend.

And, you know, Kaitlan, I watch a ton of NFL football. When I see my kicker miss one extra point, I start throwing my cap on the side. But the fact that he missed four, unbelievable.

COLLINS: I know. I was kind of worried for his safety. I love that RG- 3 just tweeted, somebody needs to go through and check his phone records.

ENTEN: Yes, somebody needs to go through and check his phone numbers.

But, you know, the thing I'll point out was, despite last night's game being so lousy, the rest of the weekend's games on the whole were actually pretty good.


ENTEN: So, it was a seven-point median margin across the six games. It was within a touchdown. And this gets at something that I think is larger about football and why people like me are so addicted, and that is the playoff games, in particular the wildcard games, are getting better over time. The median margin now just 7.5 points. That is well down from where we were 20 years ago when it was 14 points. Is shrunk in half, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes, everyone's watching them. They're more competitive. It's fun to watch, of course.

I mean the Cowboys had a great game. Dak Prescott had an amazing game last night, so.

ENTEN: Yes. He had an amazing game. But the fact is, Brett Maher had a game that he sorely wants to forget.

COLLINS: I know. Makes me feel kind of bad.

HARLOW: Why do you keep reminding him then?

ENTEN: Because that's my job as a person in the media is to tell the truth, Poppy, now matter how painful the truth may actually be. LEMON: Why are you so (INAUDIBLE), Poppy Harlow?

HARLOW: It's just - sorry, if I was - I was him, I'd be like can we stop playing all four?

COLLINS: Yes, I mean -- well, I mean he's lucky he didn't like cut at halftime or something.

ENTEN: He's lucky the Cowboys won. That's what he's truly lucky.


LEMON: And speaking of the Cowboys, that win also means that Tom Brady was eliminated from the playoffs. So now the speculation over Brady's future can officially begin right now. Brady addressing, or not addressing, his off season plans.

Listen to this.


TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: I'm going to go home and get a good night's sleep, as good as I can tonight.

This has been a lot of focus on, you know, this game. So, yes, it will just be one day at a time, truly.



LEMON: So, our Tom Brady is here this morning.

HARLOW: Ah, I love that.

LEMON: Better known as John Berman.

So, John, what do you think?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, together we have seven --

LEMON: You're a superfan, by the way.

BERMAN: We have seven Super Bowl rings between us, Tom Brady and me. Seven.

LEMON: Where are they?

BERMAN: Well, he -- he keeps them.


BERMAN: We've agreed that he gets to keep them and wear them and I just stare at them. Yes.

LEMON: So, what do you think? BERMAN: I think Tom Brady is going to do whatever he wants. You know,

I came down this morning -- I went to sleep before the game was over last night because, you know, I get a lot of sleep now, and I said to my wife, I said, you know, Tom Brady lost last night. And she said to me, very soothingly, she said, you know, that's OK, he's won a lot too.


BERMAN: Which is true. I mean that's the truth at this point.

Look, he is still one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL.


BERMAN: He had the most passing attempts ever this season. The third most yards for any quarterback this season. If he wants to play, he'll play.

COLLINS: What's this mug?

BERMAN: Oh, this is a Barry Manilow mug.

COLLINS: I thought that was Brady.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh.

HARLOW: Wait, I think I remember when you got that.

BERMAN: This is from Dana Bash.

HARLOW: Dana Bash, right?



BERMAN: She knows I'm a big -- I have - I have a show right after this, so I had to bring my - my drinking receptacle with me.


BERMAN: But, yes, no, it's a - it's my Barry Manilow mug.

COLLINS: The big question is, is Tom Brady going to retire? And that's what everyone wants to know.

BERMAN: Right.

COLLINS: I think when you look at it, physically he could still do another season.


COLLINS: The question is, is mentally and emotionally is he there?

BERMAN: Look, he's going to be 46 next season if he plays.

LEMON: Ooo, old man.

BERMAN: And -- well, you're like, yes, that was a long time - can you even remember 46? Kaitlan's like, that's three decades from now.

But -

HARLOW: And I'm creeping up on it.

BERMAN: Yes, I know.

You know, mentally, he had a tough year, right?


BERMAN: I mean he got divorced this year. He did not look like he was having fun playing for the Bucs. So, that cuts both ways. Some people are looking at that and saying, oh, you know, he's done, he doesn't want to deal with this anymore. And other people are saying, particularly up in Boston where they report on his every move, he doesn't want to go out like this. You know, Tom Brady wants to go out on top. And there are a couple good teams out there that could use, you know, one of the best quarterbacks ever.

LEMON: I hate to disagree with my co-anchor here, I don't think that's the big question. The big question was, was Gisele right?

BERMAN: About whether he should retire?

LEMON: Whether he should retire. I'm joking, by the way.

BERMAN: That's - you know, I think that's between the two of them and the kids.


COLLINS: What happens to the Bucs if he leaves? I mean do they - they look for a new quarterback?

BERMAN: I think he's gone from the Bucs. I don't think a lot of people think he's staying in the Bucs. He didn't have fun this year. So, yes, they need a new quarterback. They have a lot of players coming in and out. It's -- the Raiders are named as a likely location because Josh McDaniels was his offensive coordinator. He's the head coach there. The Tennessee Titans, because Mike Vrabel, his former teammate, is the coach there. So, we'll see.

LEMON: Thanks, John Brady.

BERMAN: Thank you. Yes I appreciate it.

HARLOW: Good one!

COLLINS: John Berman Brady.

LEMON: Thanks, John Brady. Appreciate it.

BERMAN: Cheers, Barry.

LEMON: See you.

COLLINS: A lot of B's going on.

HARLOW: All right.


HARLOW: A -- that sculpture to honor Martin Luther King Jr. has sparked a lot of talk. It's a mockery. The artist who designed it will talk to us about the message. He's here in studio, ahead.

LEMON: We're going to talk about that statue.



LEMON: OK, so a monument meant to honor the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King's legacy face something backlash. The Embrace - it's called the Embrace. The statue was unveiled Friday on the Boston Common where King gave a speech back in 1965. It was inspired by a photograph of the couple hugging after Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize back in 1964. So, look at the hands in the picture and then look at that.

The art piece is designed by conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas. Only features the couple's arms during the embrace and not their heads, which has sparked a mixed reaction.


SENECA SCOTT, COUSIN OF CORETTA SCOTT KING: It's not the missing heads that's the atrocity. Other people glam on to that. It's a stump that looks like a penis. That's a joke.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Look at this. Look -- Youtubers, I'm sorry, but that's a -- that looks like a giant penis right there. I'm sorry, it does.

MARTIN LUTHER KING III, SON OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: I think the artist did a great job. I'm satisfied. But it represents something that brings people together.


LEMON: All right, not sure we played some of that because it's just, obviously, trolls. But, listen, the -- joining us now is the conceptual artist behind the statue, Hank Willis Thomas.

Thanks -


LEMON: Thanks.

HARLOW: Good morning.

THOMAS: And how are you?


LEMON: Good morning. Great to see you. I've got to tell you, I saw the small version, and the concept beforehand at a dinner, and I thought it was fantastic. There are lots of people who think it's fantastic. And you don't really care that this hubbub -

THOMAS: Yes, I can because, I mean, how could you not think about Dr. King and Mrs. King's legacy and not care, you know? But also, when you put art in the world, you can't control what people see. You know, I think about the Rorschach test, the ink blot test, you know, what you see says a lot about what you see about the world.

HARLOW: About you.

THOMAS: And so I - I -- the work is meant to be gone into. It's a call to action. You go in and be in the heart of their embrace. So, what people see online, I can't really control.

HARLOW: I love this because it makes you think more deeply. And I love -- so much focus is in on Dr. King, and not on her, right? And it's a - it's a couple and the importance of that support and power. But also you say there are so many monuments of the Kings that we don't see them as real people. That was your goal here.

THOMAS: Yes, I wanted to capture - like embody the feeling of love in their relationship. You know, there's a quote that really inspired this piece in - it's from Mrs. King's book, "My Love, My Legacy." But it says, to me the beloved community is a realistic vision of an achievable society, one in which problems and conflicts exist, but are resolved peacefully and without bitterness. The beloved community is a state of heart and mind, a spirit of hope and goodwill that transcends all boundaries and barriers and embraces all creation.

So, the idea of the beloved community that they talked about, that we forget about, is what I was hoping and am hoping - well, I know, whenever I see someone go in, they feel.

COLLINS: What does it mean for you to be able to contribute to their legacy in this way?

THOMAS: I -- it's unbelievable. Boston Common is the oldest continuously used public space in the country going -- dating back to the 1600s. You know, to have a monument to the descendants of slaves who were inspirational beings, who will be known and talked about for centuries, and celebrated through this work is something that I am eternally grateful for.

[08:45:13] LEMON: OK, so a couple of rapid fire questions. So, you're happy with it?

THOMAS: Oh, overjoyed.

LEMON: No - there are no plans to modify or change it?


LEMON: Would you do that if they asked - if asked?

THOMAS: I mean, by who?

LEMON: Right.

THOMAS: I mean, I - because this is a piece that was selected by the people of Boston. This is not Hank just came and put something. Thousands of people worked on this. Thousands of people actually put it together. And no one saw this I would say perverse perspective. And, I mean, to bring that to the Kings' legacy and -- to dictate the making of art and the celebration of them was really strange for me.

LEMON: I think it's - I mean, obviously, you see what you want, as Poppy said, in the art. And I think sometimes the most compelling art is the controversial art, or what people bring. Because I have this one piece, you know who William Pope.L is?

THOMAS: Yes, of course.

LEMON: In my home.

THOMAS: Oh, yes.

LEMON: And people will come in -- which was -- Rasheed (ph) said, get it. I love it. I love this piece. Rasheed Johnson, who's a friend of both of ours, said get this piece. And it is the most - it's the first thing that people talk about when they come into the house.


LEMON: And so if it causes people to have a discussion, then isn't it worth it?

THOMAS: Yes. And (INAUDIBLE) good art asks questions in how you -- what you see says a lot. And so what I'm asking you, what do you see? You know, I see the power of love to transform society. Other people see other things.

But I really can't wait for you guys to go and see it and be inside it, because that's where the art really happens.

HARLOW: I can't wait to take my kids. I was telling them, my daughter just came home, she's six, and -- on Friday, and she said -- she learned who Dr. Martin Luther King was. So, to hear that through a child's voice for the first time and what he did for this country was a lot. THOMAS: And the last thing is that, I remember when the Vietnam War

Memorial came out. There was a lot of controversy around that. Now it's so beloved. A lot of people see crazy things when they look at the Washington Monument. You know, so there's all kinds of ways in which these monuments have sparked various perspectives. And this is just another one of them.

COLLINS: That's such a good point.


COLLINS: And you make such a good point about it being a conversation starter. And really the point is to have a conversation about their legacy and about why you did this.


COLLINS: And I'm glad that we had that conversation.

LEMON: Because, ultimately, that would -- even wherever it starts, it will lead to that part where you want it to lead. It also reminds me, I lived in Chicago, remember when the bean was installed.

THOMAS: Yes. Yes.

LEMON: Yes, so, you know, it is what it is.


LEMON: I love you and your gorgeous wife.

THOMAS: Thank you.

HARLOW: Thank you.

THOMAS: Thank you.

LEMON: You should have brought her on.

THOMAS: I should have, but the babies weren't fully up yet.

LEMON: Hank Willis Thomas, we appreciate it. Best of luck and thank you.

THOMAS: Thank you. Thanks for having me on.

HARLOW: And congratulations.

COLLINS: Thank you.

THOMAS: It's really great to be here.

HARLOW: All right, well, ahead for us on CNN THIS MORNING, an entire school district in Virginia under investigation for failing to give their students the national merit scholarship awards in time for college applications. Who the governor is blaming, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


COLLINS: All right, Virginia state attorney general is now investigating the entire Fairfax County public school system for human rights violations, they say. The school district is accused of withholding national merit recognitions ahead of college applications over what they say is equity. The probe began with one school, but it's now been expanded to include the entire district.

CNN's Athena Jones is covering this story.

OK, break down exactly what this dispute is over, withholding these recognitions from students, which they would want to have when they're applying for college.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And so we're talking about multiple schools in the Fairfax County School District. But the Virginia attorney general mentions three in particular, three high schools where they failed to tell students that they got commendations from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. So, these are basically honorable mentions. It means you're - you made the top 50,000 of students who took these tests, the tests you need to take, in order to be able to apply for these scholarships, which is actual money.

So, these commendations, they - these people are out of the running for the National Merit Scholarship in particular. They're still able to get access to, you know, private -- corporate or business-sponsored scholarships. But the parents argue that this - you know, they want to at least be able to -- the students want to be able to at least include this in their college applications for early decision.

It is an honor. It is not exactly the same thing as taking money right out of their pockets because when it comes to these other - these other scholarships, those are usually applying to a limited number of people. So, it's not exactly the same thing. The commendation and the scholarship are not the same thing.

But the investigation is going on because parents are sort of raising an alarm saying that they thought the schools were holding back on recognizing these students in order not to make others feel bad.

Listen to what Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin had to say about this. He feels pretty strongly.


GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA): They have a maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all cost. And at the heart of the American dream is excelling, is advancing, is stretching, and recognizing that we have students of different capabilities.

This overarching effort for equal outcomes is hurting Virginia's children and it's hurting, even worse, the children that they aspire to help.


JONES: So, this is part of a larger discussion that we've seen going on with Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who ran on education issues and has talked even about changing of the admissions process at TJ (ph). So, this is -- the problem is that it's not clear who he's talking about. Who said that they're looking for equal outcomes for everyone? I'm not certain where he's getting that from. And so there's a lot of debate going on about this.

COLLINS: But the argument seems to be that they would have benefited if they could have mentioned on their college applications that they did get this recognition.

JONES: Exactly. It is recognition. It's not money and it's not exactly the same thing as money.



COLLINS: All right, Athena Jones, thank you for covering this for us.

LEMON: Thank you.

HARLOW: So, just ahead, a new development this morning involving the missing mother from Massachusetts.


Why call logs contradict what her husband's lawyers say.


HARLOW: Well, today's "Morning Moment," we will leave you with this. A restaurant in Nashville hiring people who are homeless and teaching them everything from dishwashing to running a business and offering housing, counseling and medical checkups. Once homeless himself, the executive director of The Cookery, Brett Swayn, was taken off the streets to work at a restaurant. He's now giving that chance to others.


BRETT SWAYN, HEAD CHEF, THE COOKERY: They come off the streets, there's a sense of normality, if you will, that they cannot trust right away. It's -- the only thing that makes it seem more valid for them is that every one of us have gone through homelessness back there.



HARLOW: What a guy. To date, 72 men have participated in the program. Pretty great.

LEMON: That's so great. That is great. That reminds me of CNN Heroes.


LEMON: When I'm so happy for everyone else but I walk away feeling like, what am I doing with my life? I need to do more.

HARLOW: Yes, we all need to do more.

We're glad you're with us. We'll see you tomorrow.

CNN "NEWSROOM" is now.