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CNN This Morning
Kansas City Chiefs And San Francisco 49ers Face Off; Tight Security In Place As Big Game Nears; White House Memo Slams Republican Attacks On Biden's Age; Trump, Haley Trade Barbs In South Carolina; Nikki And Michael Haley Respond To Trump's Comments On Michael's Absence; Trump Celebrates Border Bill Failure On The Campaign Trail; Qatar And Saudi Arabia Warns Israel Against Rafah Incursion; Netanyahu Vows Safe Passage For Rafah Civilians; 15-Year-Old Suspect In Times Square Shooting Charged As An Adult; Candidates Prepare To Fight Deepfakes As Election Nears; Countdown To Super Bowl LVIII: 49ers Vs. Chiefs. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired February 11, 2024 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good morning, welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. It is already February 11th. I'm Victor Blackwell. I feel like January was two and a half months long, and February has been 15 minutes.
AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: You're actually right. And it's --
BLACKWELL: We're flying through.
WALKER: It is Super Bowl Sunday. I hope you're ready for it.
I'm Amara Walker. Thank you so much for joining us. Here is what we're watching for you.
We're just hours away from Super Bowl LVIII and a major security effort is underway to keep everyone safe. An inside look at the preparations and how a recent Formula 1 race could give officials a leg up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Former President Trump there says that he would not protect any NATO member that does not meet spending guidelines. That's during a rally in South Carolina. How the White House is responding to the comments.
WALKER: And there are new details in the arrest of a teenager charged in connection with a shooting in Times Square. What police are saying about the arrest including the charges the teen is now facing. BLACKWELL: We're tracking the threat of winter storms set to bring up a foot of snow -- up to a foot of snow to the northeast, at least parts of it. Your forecast just ahead this morning on CNN.
Super Bowl Sunday, finally here. These are live pictures here of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas where we will watch the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers face-off. This is the Chiefs' fourth Super Bowl appearance in five season and a win today could cement their status as a football dynasty.
WALKER: For the 49ers tonight is a chance to redeem themselves after losing to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, that was in 2020. Now, with thousands of fans and celebrities packing the stadium, and many more people in Vegas for the big game, of course, security is understandably high. CNN's Josh Campbell reports on the efforts to keep everyone safe.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Amara, Super Bowl security preparations have been underway for months. The hundreds of thousands of fans will be inside and outside. Allegiant Stadium will be protected by this massive deployment of law enforcement officers.
Some of the resources on site will include physical scanners for anyone going inside the stadium. They'll also have explosive detection K-9s. As well as sensors that essentially sniff the air for any type of chemical biochemical or nuclear type of threat. That is all happening on the ground.
In the air, there will be a temporary flight restriction instituted about an hour before takeoff. That is will be enforced by military fighter jets. One area of particular concern for law enforcement pertains to drones.
Drone technology is obviously very cheap to obtain. There are a number of ways that bad actors could cause harm using a drone. So, the FBI and other agencies have brought in counter drone technology.
It's really impressive technology. It allows officers to electronically take control of a drone. Either drop it out of the sky or move it away from a populated area. Authorities point out that anyone caught flying a drone near that stadium faces potential prosecution as well as over $30,000 in fines. Now, right now law enforcement says they haven't identified any specific threat that gives them concern but they say that they will be ready.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CATHY LANIER, CHIEF SECURITY OFFICER, NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: There is no known specific or credible threat to the game or any of the events surrounding Super Bowl. As always, you'll see an increased security presence not only around the stadium on gameday but also around all of our other events.
SPENCER EVANS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: We have FBI personnels stationed in our own emergency operation 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 inter agency, law enforcement and appropriate private sector partners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMPBELL: Now guys, the work of law enforcement doesn't end with the final score. They still have to safely get all of these people home.
We're told by TSA that they will be ramping up the number of personnel at Harry Reid International Airport. Every security screening checkpoint will be open for a period of about 48 hours. Of course, we know that not everyone who leaves Las Vegas leaves a winner so especially for crestfallen fans on the losing team TSA just making their exit a little bit smoother. Victor, Amara.
WALKER: All right. Josh Campbell, thank you for that. Joining me now is CNN senior international security analyst and former assistant secretary for Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem.
Always good to see you. Good morning. I understand you were in Las Vegas --
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good morning.
WALKER: -- last weekend and you --
WALKER: -- got a briefing on this. So, what did you hear?
KAYYEM: I mean, they're ready. This is the -- this is the best kind of event to prepare for because we know the time, the date, and the place, right? I mean, in other words it's a notice event. It is -- it is a place. The biggest challenge actually is not the specific threat, it is just how many security players there are.
There's a couple of cities. There is a county. There is the state. There is the feds. There is the private sector.
You've got Usher and others with their own security, Taylor Swift. So, you just got a lot of different pieces coming together. So, basically a lot of the planning is around just governing these different pieces in the sky, on the land, crowd surge, and other issues like that. So, they are -- they are as ready as you can ever be in terms of anticipating a threat and then sharing the intelligence.
WALKER: Does Las Vegas itself present unique security challenges given that it is Las Vegas, right, and you have this big gambling and entertainment scene that -- which comes with a ton of security?
KAYYEM: Look, it's a party city. There will be -- in other words, like people who sort of lose their mind are always a concern, right? That something that shouldn't have been a fight becomes a fight, becomes something bigger. So, obviously, the -- a lot of the planning and the private and public safety officials know is how to de-escalate. I think, that is one of the key concerns here.
The stadium is outside the Strip so you have that benefit. And you also -- I mean, to be honest, these are expensive tickets. So, you also have people who have their own cars who may be not staying on the Strip but at private homes.
So, there's all factors at play into how they are thinking about what the risk is. In other words, this is not a college game. This is a high-profile, high-priced game which may help minimize some of the -- some of the threats.
But, look, this is obviously something they care about. I always feel like I'm the buzz kill here. Like, people are going to have fun. Just keep your head on. You know, don't do anything stupid.
WALKER: Yes. Always good advice. Don't do anything stupid.
You heard Josh Campbell there talk about the threat of unauthorized drones. And that has been something that the NFL has been dealing with over the 2022-2023 season entering their stadium. So, what exactly are law enforcement doing to, I guess, prevent unauthorized drones from entering the stadium?
KAYYEM: Right. The first thing that they did, is they're going to have what's, you know, the no-fly zone, the NFC instituted by the federal government that you can't have drones anywhere close essentially a mile around the stadium.
You know, part of this is is people are just -- once again, you know, people are just stupid sometimes. They put things in the air. They don't realize there is helicopters, media, CBS, you know, all of these different entities that are taking pictures down below.
So, you create a heavy fine so that can try to prevent people from doing this. And then the more technologically savvy response is they have something that basically descrambles the drone. The technology is a little bit more complicated that what I'm describing that law enforcement can take over the drone's flight pattern and land it safely.
You do not -- you know, people are always like, well, they'll shoot it out of the sky. You do not want to shoot a drone out of the sky over a stadium. You just don't want to do that for obvious reasons.
So, they've been working on this kind of capacity. It's pretty sophisticated. And the goal is you're just looking in the skies and trying to bring the stuff down before it gets over the stadium.
WALKER: It seems like in terms of coordination between all the different law enforcement agencies and, of course, the personal security detail of some of these celebrities, that is going to be complex. I mean, who takes the lead in terms of keeping just the regular folks safe? KAYYEM: So, Super Bowl is -- it is a great question because -- because of this issue, right, you have city, county, state, federal, the Super Bowl is designated as a national special security event. A tier 1, which is sort of the highest, and that means that the federal government will be sort of what is called the lead incident commander. That is someone who is just organizing all the different pieces.
It doesn't mean the feds are in charge. You're going to have all different pieces. It just -- you'll have a coordinated entity on the ground. So, what you heard NFL security talk about is, you know, you'll have your unified command, all the terms that we now know, an incident command, and those are managed through -- through basically policies and procedures that almost everyone on the ground knows. Even the private sector security plays into that.
Look, the Super -- for example, I know everyone talks about Taylor Swift. The Super Bowl halftime is its own thing. Like, they -- they literally like bring in like Usher and the -- and the performance and then bring it out. That comes with a lot of challenges, a lot of vulnerabilities.
And so, they've been playing that out as well to make sure that the stadium is secure even during the halftime.
WALKER: All right. We'll leave it there. Juliette Kayyem, great to see you. Juliette with the best advice all day. Don't be stupid. Thank you.
And we want to take a quick live look at Las Vegas. Just over 12 hours away from kickoff between the 49ers and the Chiefs. We're going to check in with Andy Scholes live in Las Vegas for the preview of the big game a little later this hour.
BLACKWELL: Big week on the campaign trail. Rhetoric is ramping up among the GOP and Democratic frontrunners. The White House released a memo citing various instances of people describing President Biden as sharp and alert. Republicans are piling on to a special council report calling his age into question. Donald Trump tore into Biden's handling of classified documents in South Carolina Saturday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Said he was a disaster mentally and he willfully stole gigantic numbers of classified documents, willfully. But because of his condition, mentally, is this guy going to make it to the starting gate, seriously?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And Nikki Haley handed out mental competency tests at a campaign stop in South Carolina. CNN's Alayna Treene has more.
ALAYNA TREENE, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Amara and Victor, Donald Trump set foot in South Carolina on Saturday for the first time this year. And he delivered a clear message to his supporters which is, that South Carolina is his to lose.
Now, Donald Trump and his team really have increasingly saw this state as a place where they would deliver the final blow to Nikki Haley's campaign. And that is in part because of his continued success into the polls. He's consistently had an overwhelming lead over Nikki Haley in recent months but also because of the intensity they've seen in the ground.
And on Saturday, I can tell you, the venue was packed. They had many people who were not able to get in because it hit capacity very early on. And I think that just gives you a sense of how they're viewing the energy from his supporters in the Palmetto State.
But despite that confidence from Donald Trump and his team, Trump still ramped up his criticism of Nikki Haley on Saturday. And he even went so far as to question the absence of her husband on the trail. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Where's her husband? Oh, he's away. He is away. What happens to her husband? What happened to her husband? Where is he? He's gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TREENE: Now, Victor and Amara, I do want to be very clear that Michael Haley, Nikki Haley's husband, is currently deployed in Africa and that is why you have not seen him appear alongside her on the trail.
But it's also worth pointing out that Melania Trump, the former first lady, has not been appearing at Donald Trump's campaign stops or any of his court appearances thus far. We've really only saw her when she appeared alongside her husband when he launched his White House bid in 2022.
But look, Donald Trump did not just go after Nikki Haley. He also really tested out some of his general election rhetoric against President Joe Biden that included attacking his handling of the southern border as well as ramping up his criticism of the Justice Department's decision not to charge Biden over his handling of those documents while repeatedly questioning Biden's mental fitness.
Alayna Treene, CNN, Conway, South Carolina.
BLACKWELL: Alayna, thank you. Now, both Haleys responded to Trump's comments about Michael Haley's absence. This is what Michael said. He posted a meme on X and this is what it said. Quote -- "The difference between humans and animals? Animals would never allow the dumbest ones to lead the pack."
This is what Nikki Haley had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don't deserve a driver's license let alone being president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Also on the campaign trail, former President Trump celebrated the failure of the bipartisan border security deal in the Senate while in South Carolina, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We also had another massive victory that every conservative should celebrate. We crushed crooked Joe Biden's disastrous open borders bill. Crushed it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: And that is not the only bill that he tried to tank that went successfully. The Senate is working through the weekend to craft a foreign aid bill. But Trump has already signaled that he will oppose this one as well.
All right. Still ahead, a stark warning, Saudi Arabia vows very serious repercussions for Israel if it storms the city of Rafah. We will go live to the region.
BLACKWELL: Plus, the dangers of deep fakes in politics. Why America's elections are not ready for artificial intelligence.
And the northeast is bracing for snowstorms that could disrupt air traffic. Your forecast is next.
BLACKWELL: New this morning, Qatar strongly condemns Israel's plans for a ground offensive in Rafah. Qatari officials urge the U.N. Security Council to intervene and prevent what they call a genocide.
WALKER: Saudi Arabia and the UAE also voiced concerns about the Israeli military's plan to move into Rafah. CNN's Jeremy Diamond is in Tel Aviv, Israel, tracking all of this. Hi there, Jeremy. What is the latest?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that the Israeli military is working up a detailed plan for evacuating civilians from that southernmost city of Rafah, as he vows an Israeli military offensive in that city that has become a last refuge for so many Palestinians. More than half of Gaza's population actively sheltering there, 1.4 million people, according to the United Nations, crammed into a city that normally -- where normally there are 300,000 people who reside there.
The Israeli prime minister says that there will be safe passage for the civilian population of Rafah. But where will they go remains the question. This is how the Israeli prime minister answered that question this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The areas that we've cleared north of Rafah are -- plenty of areas there. But we are working out a detailed plan to do so. And that is what we've done up to now. We're not -- we're not cavalier about this. This is part of our war effort to get civilians out of harm's way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND: So, as you can hear there as the Israeli prime minister vow safe passage clearly there are no clear answers about exactly where that would be. He's talking about north of Rafah, but so much of Gaza has been absolutely decimated by this war over the last several months.
And, of course, there are major humanitarian implications. Not only the fact that you have to move so many people but we've seen as Rafah -- one of the reasons it has become such a last refuge for people is that is where so much of the humanitarian aid is coming in. And getting humanitarian aid further north in Gaza has been an enormous challenge. And there simply is not the infrastructure to house all of these people.
So, we'll be pressing the Israeli government for answers on exactly how that can be achieved. But as this planning is in place already significant concerns raised by the United States who say that a military operation in Rafah without serious planning for the civilian population would be a -- quote -- "disaster." And now, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates warning about the disastrous implications of such a move.
Saudi Arabia warning that there will be serious repercussions if Israel moves forward with a military operation in Rafah calling for an urgent United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the matter. So, so much at stake and the Israeli prime minister saying that he wants to move on Rafah. And he also wants this operation completed by March 10th, the start of Ramadan.
So, so much compressed into a very short timeline. Of course, there are still those ongoing negotiations being mediated by the Egyptians and the Qataris for a potential cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. That is certainly the backdrop to all of this and a deal could potentially avert this offensive in Rafah, at least for now. Victor, Amara.
BLACKWELL: Jeremy Diamond for us there in Tel Aviv. Thanks so much.
We're joined now by CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier. Kimberly, good morning to you. Let's start here with the Saudi foreign ministry which warns of these very serious repercussions if there is the storming and targeting of Rafah.
What do you expect that means? And we don't often talk about the Saudi's militarily, is that the context? Is it unilaterally? What do you expect they have behind that warning?
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think this is a diplomatic warning. That the olive branch that they've held out to Israel that they would consider normalizing relations if Israel even indicates a willingness to start planning for a separate Palestinian state, that then they could have diplomatic relations with Riyadh, that would be off the table.
But with other nations, like the UAE that's part of the Abraham Accords, that were signed by the Trump administration and continued by the Biden administration, the UAE has also threatened some sort of fallout if this Rafah operation goes forward. That could mean threatening the Abraham Accords, possibly pulling out of it.
So, the Israeli prime minister's office has said they are planning for -- or they've ordered the army to plan for some sort of evacuation. Unfortunately, we've seen how evacuation plans have gone in the past. Without trust between the Israeli military and the various NGO and U.N. bodies to plan for where these people would move, and also without trust between the Palestinians who will be getting orders from the Israelis as to where they should move, it is not going to work out well.
We've seen how it worked when the Israeli military had the detailed plan where it broke Gaza into dozens of different sectors and then messaged Gazans where to move to when it moved south. They didn't -- they weren't able to move fast and sometimes Hamas prevented them from moving and sometimes there was just nowhere to go.
BLACKWELL: Yes. And we heard from the prime minister there that they are doing for Rafah what they've done up to now and we've seen how that has resulted. And they want to do this within four weeks before Ramadan. It's 28 days to relocate more than potentially a million people out of that area.
So, the U.S. says that it will not support this ground operation in Rafah without serious planning, I assume more than what they've done up to this point. What does opposition to it look like?
Is that a speech? I mean, I don't know that the U.S. is going to pull back any financial or military support based on what is coming through Congress. What's opposition to it look like?
DOZIER: Well, the Biden administration has done a full-court press in terms of rhetorical warnings last week to Israel, that it has stepped too far. From Biden saying from the podium that Israel's response in Gaza has been over the top, to John Kirby saying that -- the NSC spokesman saying that if they hit Rafah it would be a disaster, to Blinken, the secretary of state, visiting Israel and saying from the podium there that Israelis have essentially dehumanized the Gazans and the dehumanization of October 7th doesn't give them an excuse to do that.
All of that is the public threat. Behind it, though, is a White House memo that was quietly released that week -- last week that didn't name Israel specifically but said that any country receiving U.S. military aid, which Israel really needs right now to continue its prosecution of this operation, has to sign an annual pledge of sorts saying that it is believing to international law. So, that is one way of saying, if this continues, the U.S. might turn off the tap or lessen this ammunition flow to the Israeli military.
BLACKWELL: And you think that is realistic considering the political concerns in an election year, that the U.S. would reduce its military cache that they would offer Israel?
DOZIER: Possibly it wouldn't get that far but it is a warning that -- look, the Biden administration is facing an election and the left side of its base is furious over the prosecution of the war in Gaza. So, they need Netanyahu's government to make some good faith effort to show that they are trying to look after the health of the Palestinian people. If only so that the Biden administration can be seen publicly to be speaking on their behalf.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk now about these remarks from the former President Donald Trump. This is him in Conway, South Carolina, ultimatum of sorts for NATO allies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Now, that what he says will happen if NATO countries don't pay up. Now, he's long put it in this framework of NATO countries paying. What he's talking about is a non-binding target of countries paying 2 percent, at least, of their GDP toward their defense. There is a short list of countries that do that now.
But we've heard from the White House on this. It is music to Putin's ears. What do you think is the reaction to -- from those allies? It really can't be a surprise though, I wouldn't imagine?
DOZIER: It is leading every European and British newscast. And European officials had already been disaster planning for a potential Trump administration second term. That is what officials had told me. And they are worried. Simply put, bracing for impact.
BLACKWELL: Kimberly Dozier, good to have you this Sunday morning.
WALKER: Still to come, a 15-year-old is facing charges after allegedly firing shots in Times Square. So, what message is the NYPD sending by charging him as an adult?
BLACKWELL: The 15-year-old suspect in a shooting at Time Square is being charged as an adult with attempted murder. U.S. Marshals took Jesus Alejandro Rivas Figueroa into custody on Friday less than 24 hours after the shooting.
WALKER: A tourist was hit with the stray bullet while the teen fled from the store's security after being stopped for suspected shoplifting. The NYPD says he then fired at police officers as he tried to get away. Rivas Figueroa has been identified as a migrant from Venezuela who entered the U.S. last year. Here's CNN's Jean Casarez with more on the charging decision.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The official charges are two counts of attempted murder of a New York City Police officer, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, assault, and attempted assault. Now, the 15-year-old's name is Jesus Alejandro Rivas Figueroa. And the Police Department wants everyone to know that they don't care about where someone comes from, they don't care about who they are, they care about crime, they care about law and order. But we have to look at the facts.
It was Thursday night. It was Time Square. There was the hustle and the bustle of a Thursday night 7:00 p.m. Time Square in New York City, a lot of people. There's a store JD which is a sportswear store, athletic footwear store. There were three teens in it, two 15-year- olds, one 16-year-old. They were shoplifting. And they were taking clothes and shoes and various items.
Well, when the 15-year-old was approaching the exit, the loss prevention officer who had seen what was happening asked him for the items back. Well, witnesses say at that point, he stepped back, took out a gun, a 45 caliber gun, and shot. He missed the loss prevention officer but he shot in the leg a tourist from Brazil, a woman in her late 30s.
The 15-year-old flees the store, then the NYPD start to run after him. And as he's in the midst of this large crowd, he takes that gun, turns around, fires two shots allegedly at the police officer. There were so many people. The NYPD officer did not respond to that shot but they ultimately found him found him in Yonkers, New York and arrested him on the spot. And that was a bit later.
But the Chief of Patrol John Chell is saying that we have to accept the reality of what is happening but we also need to look at the larger picture.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN CHELL, CHIEF OF PATROL, NYPD: We saw the moped robberies and snatches. We see picks -- pockets being picked in Time Square and on the subway. We see some groups going to stores, Macy's, Kings Plaza, Glass Hut, and stealing property. So, yes, we are seeing -- 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. We -- our job is to keep this community safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: In other words, Lady Justice should be blind. Now, we cannot forget the victims in this case. The tourist that was shot in the leg, she was rushed to Belleview Hospital. She was treated. She will survive but we don't know the condition for the future with her leg. And then also, all the people in that crowd that were enjoying themselves in Time Square, to see someone take a gun, turn around and begin to shoot it, you have to wonder what they went through and will continue to visualize and remember that whole situation.
BLACKWELL: Jean Casarez for us, thank you so much. Now, CNN has reached out to an attorney listed for Rivas Figueroa. We are waiting for a reply. His next appearance in court is scheduled for February 13th. Coming up, a Tennessee sheriff has increased the reward for help in finding a murder suspect. The latest on the search and the amount of the reward being offered, that's coming up next.
WALKER: The reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in Tennessee now stands at $100,000. The Blount County Sheriff's Office is working to track down 42-year-old Kenneth DeHart. He is wanted on multiple charges including first-degree murder after Deputy Kenneth McGowan was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Thursday. A second deputy was injured after returning fire.
Now, DeHart's brother was also arrested. He is accused of helping the suspect after their shooting and he's being held on $1 million bond.
BLACKWELL: Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin says that he will not seek reelection. Just days ago he refused to impeach Homeland Security Chief Alejandro Mayorkas. Gallagher is facing fierce criticism for bucking his own party's vote. He's the latest Republican to announce an exit for Congress. House Speaker Mike Johnson had hoped to impeach Mayorkas to punish the Biden Administration over its handling of the migrant crisis at the Southern Border.
A fast moving winter storm is set to bring up to a foot of snow to some parts of the Northeast this weekend stretching from Pennsylvania to Boston and Upstate, New York.
WALKER: Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is here. She's tracking the system. What are you watching, Allison?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, so we start with the southern end of this particular storm where you've got rain right now from Jackson, Mississippi all the way up through Washington, D.C. And a separate cluster just behind that, that's where we have severe thunderstorms ongoing at the moment. You've got this yellow area here. That is where we've got the severe thunderstorm watch that's in effect until 11:00 a.m. Central Time this morning. Already a few warnings having popped up. And then on the back side of this system, a lot of colder air is in place. That means snow is coming down across Lubbock, as well as Amarillo, Texas. Both of those areas could see upwards of six inches of snow. That's going to spread east into places like Oklahoma City where they could also pick up about two to four inches.
So, here's the forecast for this morning. Again, you can see that cluster out to the west. That's going to slide east and also, as well as the cold front itself. So, by the time we get later on into the evening, now you've got some of that heavy rain across Memphis all the way down back towards Houston. Now, you're starting to see that change over to snow into Oklahoma City where again we said they could get a couple inches there.
Tomorrow morning, unfortunately for the morning commute, it is going to be a very soggy one for cities like Atlanta as well as Charlotte, Greenville, Spartanburg. A lot of these area looking at very heavy rain but also the potential for some strong to severe thunderstorms. Some snow also sliding across portions of Northern Arkansas. This system will then lift into the Mid-Atlantic as we head into Monday morning and Monday afternoon. And then by Monday evening, then the focus becomes the northeast.
So, here you can see we have those winter weather alerts out to the west, but also some new ones popping up across the northeast. This is because -- this is going to be the target point for Monday night into early Tuesday. Most of these areas you're talking widespread four to eight inches, but there will be some spots especially say around Binghamton, New York up to Worcester, Mass where we could see as much as a foot.
BLACKWELL: Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.
WALKER: All right, up next, a new CNN analysis shows the U.S. is vastly underprepared for an election in the A.I. era. Hear from a former Chicago mayoral candidate whose campaign was the target of a dangerous deepfake. That's next.
WALKER: With South Carolina's GOP Primary just weeks away, campaigns are grappling with ways to fight off deepfakes. A.I. generated versions of candidates voices and images are already here. Someone faked President Biden's voice in a robocall ahead of the New Hampshire primary.
BLACKWELL: The Biden Administration is holding drills with National Security leaders on how to fight misinformation. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan sat down with a Chicago mayoral candidate who lost the election by just four points after thousands of possible voters heard a deepfake of his voice.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PAUL VALLAS, FORMER MAYORAL CANDIDATE, CHICAGO: You know, some countries that do political assassinations, here we do character assassinations.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Character assassination of a new kind like this.
A.I. GENERATED VOICE OF PAUL VALLAS: These days, people will accuse a cop of being bad if they kill one person that was running away. Back in my day, cops would kill say 17 or 18 civilians in their career and nobody would bat an eye .
O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): When Democrat Paul Vallas ran in a contentious race last year for Chicago mayor, he faced an unprecedented attack, a deepfake created using artificial intelligence.
A.I. GENERATED VOICE OF PAUL VALLAS: We need to stop defunding the police and start refunding them.
O'SULLIVAN: So you've never actually heard the audio.
VALLAS: No, no, I never have.
O'SULLIVAN: Oh, wow. Well, I'm going to play it for you.
VALLAS: No, no, no, no, no. You don't need to. It's only -- it only aggravates me.
O'SULLIVAN: OK. This deepfake audio of you played into this idea that you know, you weren't Democrats enough for the Democratic Party, that you're too pro-police which was a line of attack against you.
VALLAS: Yes, well, clearly. You know, look, Chicago is a very, very, very, very blue city and they were trying to uh portray me as some far hard-right Conservative Republican. Being able to throw mud against the wall like that put you in a position where you have to deny it or damage has still been done and there's some damage that's not repairable.
It's clear based on the result tonight that the city is deeply divided.
O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): Vallas lost the election by four points. He says he doesn't know the full effect the deepfake had on the race.
O'SULLIVAN: The account that shared the deepfake of you was called Chicago Lakefront News.
O'SULLIVAN: It doesn't exist.
VALLAS: Yes, it doesn't exist, yes.
O'SULLIVAN: So, it was very clearly set up for the purpose to character assassinate you.
O'SULLIVAN: And this was a close race.
VALLAS: And this was a really close race.
O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): Digital Forensics Expert Hany Farid says A.I. deepfakes are no longer a hypothetical problem but an actual threat to elections.
A.I. GENERATED VOICE OF PAUL VALLAS: 17 or 18 civilians in their career and nobody would bat an eye.
HANY FARID, DIGITAL FORENSICS EXPERT, U.C. BERKELEY: So, I make a lot of fakes because I'm in the business of detecting them, and I can do that whole thing in about five minutes. Yes, almost anybody. And here's why I think audio alone is in some ways a bigger threat.
The most compelling deepfakes that I've seen are these so-called hot mic deepfakes. You don't see their mouth moving you. Don't see anything but you hear the voice and it's visceral and it sounds like you're eavesdropping on them. And I think that those are really powerful.
O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): A CNN analysis shows the U.S. isn't prepared to respond to effectively. We asked election officials in all 50 states how they're preparing for deepfakes, 33 responded but less than half of those cited specific actions to handle A.I. threats.
FARID: I don't think we're ready. I mean, we are still struggling with the last 10 years of the nonsense that has been social medias and the lies and the conspiracies that have propagated. It's hard to look at that and say, well, the injection of jet fuel into that is not going to have any impact. Of course, it will.
O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): Francisco Aguilar, the head of Elections for the battleground State of Nevada says he's working out how to respond.
O'SULLIVAN: You mentioned on the panel there that federal official asked you about what are you doing about A.I. And you kind of said, well, what are you guys doing about it?
FRANCISCO AGUILAR, SECRETARY OF STATE, NEVADA: Exactly. Because again, you look at our budget at the State of Nevada and you see what constraints we have. They have access to significant resources that we don't have. Right now, we're having to say this is what we need, this is what we want, this is where we feel vulnerable.
I don't think we've been through a full election cycle where it's truly existed, so we are kind of in pioneering times right now.
O'SULLIVAN: They talk to a lot of people on the left, Liberals, and there is at times a bit of smugness there which says well, it's the Trump supporters who fall for online misinformation.
O'SULLIVAN: Not us.
O'SULLIVAN: We're all susceptible to this, are we?
VALLAS: Yes, we're all susceptible to it and we all do it. And I say we all do it. I'm saying, within every group, there are people who will do it. There are people who will cross that line.
O'SULLIVAN: A lot of Americans might think, oh, the risk of A.I. and all this sort of stuff, it's in the future, it's being overblown.
VALLAS: Yes. I mean, the future is now. The future is here. I won't be the first and I won't be the last, you know.
O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): Donie O'Sullivan, CNN Chicago.
BLACKWELL: Wow. Donie, thank you for that report.
Super Bowl Sunday, it is today. CNN's Andy Scholes is following all the major news around the game from the Vegas Strip. Andy, probably the calmest the city will be all day.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes. Calm here at Allegiant Stadium, Victor. Over at the Strip, still Saturday night for a lot of people. They're all still out and about. But Super Bowl LVIII coming up here later today. And I'll tell you coming up why Patrick Mahomes never leaves the Sin City a loser.
WALKER: All right, football's biggest stage is set for the 49ers and the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII.
BLACKWELL: CNN Sports Anchor Andy Scholes joins us live from outside the stadium in Las Vegas. Andy, I got my buffalo chicken dip ingredients on deck. It's a fantastic day.
SCHOLES: Yes. It always is, guys. Super Bowl Sunday, you know, you eat, you drink, and we hopefully get a great game. And on paper, this one is looking like a good one. We got the 49ers and the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII. The Niners two-point favorites for this game. But Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, they've never lost here at the Allegiant Stadium. They're a perfect 4 and 0. They do well here in Las Vegas. They even won the match, the golf match back here in June.
I caught up with them both that day and they did a little foreshadowing. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SCHOLES: Super Bowl champs, match champs, what -- are we going to get another Super Bowl after this to keep it going?
TRAVIS KELCE, TIGHT END, CHIEFS: I wouldn't mind coming back here in February and defending the title, baby. But we got a long way until then.
PATRICK MAHOMES, QUARTERBACK, CHIEFS: Like you said, let's bring it back here. It's a long ways away but Vegas is hosting the Super Bowl, let's get back to the Super Bowl again and see if we can win another one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Yes, so again, that was back in June. It seems like yesterday. It's pretty incredible that they're here in Vegas now playing in the Super Bowl. Now, if it wasn't for Taylor Swift and Kelce's romance, the top story of the Super Bowl would likely have been Brock Purdy. He's the first Mr. Irrelevant ever to lead a team to a Super Bowl. Mr. Irrelevant the title given to the very last player taken in the draft, and Purdy was picked 262 back in 2022.
Despite where he was drafted though, Purdy says he's always believed in himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROCK PURDY, QUARTERBACK, 49ERS: People can overlook you, may not think you're the biggest, the fastest, the strongest, but man, if you believe in yourself and you think that you have what it takes, and you truly do believe that and you don't give up on it, then you can achieve it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: It would be rather amazing if Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant, leads the Niners to their first Super Bowl title since 1995. Now, guys I've been walking around Vegas all week talking to people getting their predictions. A lot of people are picking the Chiefs to win this game. Here are some of the predictions I got from the red carpet at the NFL honors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICAH PARSON, LINEBACKER, DALLAS COWBOYS: It'll be a close one. Whoever wins is going to win by six.
RICH EISEN, HOST, NFL NETWORK: I've gone back and forth. That's the problem with these predictions. I started --
SCHOLES: You're going be right somewhere.
EISEN: I started off the season saying the Chiefs and Niners were going to be in the Super Bowl together. ALY RAISMAN, OLYMPIC GYMNAST: I feel like the Chiefs have just been so
dominant but I've learned in sports like to never make a prediction because you never know what's going to happen. So, I don't know.
BARRY SANDERS, PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAMER: I'll go with a team that beat the Lions. I'll go with them.
SCHOLES: Niners? Niners? You got the Niners.
SANDERS: I'll go with the Niners, yes.
MARCUS SPEARS, NFL VETERAN: If I'm Travis Kelce and I win the Super Bowl, I'm proposing to Taylor Swift after the game and it's probably going to be the greatest sports moment in the history of sports.
SCHOLES: That would destroy the Internet. You know that pays more than 10 to one. You can bet on it.
SPEARS: That's how we live for. We live to destroy the Internet, man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Guys, if that happens, I mean, I don't know what we're going to do because that would be the biggest thing that ever happened probably at a Super Bowl, maybe in the history of sport. I give that a less than one percent chance of happening though. I don't think Travis Kelce would do it if they win. I don't know. We'll see though. It would certainly be fun.
WALKER: I mean, he would take away all the spotlight on the winner of the Super Bowl. You can't do that. OK, Andy, who do you have? Who's winning this thing?
SCHOLES: I can't bet against Patrick Mahomes. I'm going Chiefs.
BLACKWELL: All right. I'll go --
WALKER: Oh, my gosh.
SCHOLES: What about -- what about you, guys? Who do you got?
BLACKWELL: Oh, my gosh. You can't see this, but Allison Chinchar is here with a T-shirt that says, Go Taylor's Boyfriend.
WALKER: What's his first name? Does Allison know his first name?
BLACKWELL: She doesn't care.
CHINCHAR: That's true.
BLACKWELL: She doesn't care what his name is.
WALKER: She's one of those.
BLACKWELL: I'm going to go with the 49ers because I like the Mr. Irrelevant storyline. WALKER: Underdog.
BLACKWELL: I like that storyline.
WALKER: My prediction is Usher. He's going to be the big winner.
BLACKWELL: Yes, yes. All right, OK.
WALKER: Did you really do that?
BLACKWELL: Did everybody get it? All right. Thanks, Andy.
WALKER: The next hour of CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.