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CNN Tonight

Ron DeSantis Announces White House Bid; Man Is Charged With Shoving Woman's Head Against Moving Subway Train; Was Ukraine Behind Drone Attack On The Kremlin?; Police Conduct Wellness Check At Home Of NBA Star Ja Morant; Tina Turner Dies At 83. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired May 24, 2023 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to this hour where we bring you "Tomorrow's News Tonight." We have our great lineup of reporters here with me tonight. We have Sara Fischer, Danny Freeman, Bianna Golodryga, and Miguel Marquez. Great to have all of you here tonight.

Okay, so, Republican Governor -- Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announcing his 2024 White House bid tonight on Tweeter in a conversation with Twitter owner Elon Musk, but they did have some technical glitches and crashes beforehand.

Sara Fischer is covering this story for us. Sara, I joked before in the last hour that Elon Musk has had easier rocket launches than this, you know, launch of Governor DeSantis's presidential announcement. What went wrong, what happened to derail this?

SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: I think you had huge volume. So, they have had Twitter spaces before, Alisyn, that have had a lot of listeners. I mean, the one that he did with BBC, I think it had like up to three million people listening concurrently at the same time.


FISCHER: But I have logged in on this a little after six. There were about 660,000 people. But the problem is they had so many people coming in at the same time in part -- we were just talking about this -- because folks like Elon Musk that have massive followers, you know, he has over 100 million people that follow him, when they tweeted out the link, it exposed this event to so many more people that -- then that typically gets exposed, but just the sheer volume of people that came in crashed the site.

Now, the huge problem here, Alisyn, to your point, is isn't Elon Musk supposed to be the technologist? Wasn't he the person who supposed to bring product updates and innovation to Twitter? The fact that this was going to be your most high-profile event and you couldn't get it right is a huge issue blow to Twitter.

I will say, hopefully, this is an impetus for them to start to take a lot more things seriously. They fired a ton of engineers. They had 7,500 people that work for them. There's about 1,000 now. So, maybe they are starting to realize that this product is going to need actual serious attention if they want to continue to host live events like this, announcements, shows, etcetera.

CAMEROTA: So, on the political front, what message do we all think it sends by him choosing Twitter as the venue instead of something more traditional whistle stops like we've talked about, doing it at a diner, at a beach bar in Florida, something where you are surrounded by people instead of technology? What does that -- what message does that send?

FISCHER: I mean, he has always been one that wanted to go around the mainstream media. He has blocked them from his events. He has called them out. The challenge though is that in reality, we all know that you can actually do that. He knows that, too. That's why Fox News was his backstop to this. He had an interview with them shortly after the Twitter interview.

So, the message he is trying to send is that I am away from the mainstream media, I am above it, I can go around them. Unfortunately, it did not work out the way he thought.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and they all talked about it like this was the town square, the national town square that everybody could have and chime in. But at the end of the day, it was a conference call among like-minded people.


There wasn't much there.

FISCHER: It's true. And, you know, it's worth noting that Elon Musk has said that he's a free speech absolutist. He has said that, you know, he does not want to make anyone feel like they are being censored on the platform. That has been a huge complaint for Republicans.

And so, the other message that Ron DeSantis is sending by going on Twitter is that I agree that we have culture wars problem here, I agree that conservatives have been censored, I'm going to go to a platform that shares my values, and that's why he chose Twitter.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Here, I have two questions. I don't know if you can answer them, but I'm just going to put them out there. One, I'm confused as to how many actual constituents and would-be voters of his are on Twitter itself, right?

And two, the other issue that he has been plagued with, that he is socially awkward, right, that has sort of been the description that we have been hearing from friends and foes for the last year and a half, why choose this platform where we don't see, where we don't get that side of you that perhaps is more congenial, is warmer, right, and give him that opportunity to show himself and debunk some of these narratives that are already out there and I believe hurting them. FISCHER: Such smart questions. Let's take the first one. By the numbers, we used to all watch like the same broadcast networks 50 years ago. We have now segregated out into many, many different platforms. Cable news has 66 million household subscribers in the U.S. That is down from about 100 million just a few years ago. Twitter has about 50 million U.S. users.

So, it's not like -- to say that voters are not there, I actually wouldn't necessarily agree with that. I think that voters are everywhere nowadays. I think that they are just as likely going to be on Twitter as they are going to be watching a particular network on cable news.

The difference is reliability. Cable has a reliable feed. That is something that sports networks are wrestling with when they're trying to figure out if they put their shows on screaming services. And because of that, we know when it is going to air, we know it is going to go up without a hook, we know that we can cut those clips quickly and get them viral on social media without a problem.


We don't have that kind of reliability as you saw with the technical issues on social media. To your point about why did he choose an audio feed if he is trying to prove that he is gregarious and he is prepared to be presidential? I think he wasn't thinking, necessarily, about the image that he was going to portray because he had backup videos, he had this Fox interview that was going to roll out right after. What his priority was sending the message that I am going to do things differently and I am going to go around the mainstream media.

I agree with you that it is a weird move. This is somebody that needs to show his face. We know who his name is, but he's not somebody that has done a lot of mainstream interview. So, I don't think regular voters across places outside of Florida actually know what he really looks and sounds and feels like.

I also think that he is not the most charismatic speaker. You know, just listening to audio of him do not necessarily mean that I am going to feel like revved up about listening to him more. That is actually something that Donald Trump is excellent at. Donald Trump would kill (INAUDIBLE) because he is so charismatic. I think he probably made the wrong choice.

MARQUEZ: This is -- sorry. This is also the Elon Musk effect. These are birds of a feather. People know Elon Musk. Even if you don't know a thing about him, you kind of have a sense of who he is, this carmaker guy who builds spaceships and everything. They do seem to get on together and that -- whether you hear it or not, people will know that they were together at this event.

FISCHER: And let's not forget why they got connected. So, obviously, there has been a longstanding relationship there. Elon Musk tweeted last year that if you are up against Biden, he would support DeSantis. But the moderator of today's conversation, a guy named David Sacks, is a longtime DeSantis supporter and he is a longtime friend of Elon Musk.

When Elon took over the company, he brought David Sacks in to help do a lot of the transitions, et cetera. So, I think they had that mutual friend in common which made this an easier and more friendly place.


DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: My question is, listen, you know, not every -- we have been to enough campaign events. Not everyone goes exactly according to plan. I mean, Amy Klobuchar was drenched in snow a couple years ago. I guess a lot of the headlines that I saw after this focused on the bungled rollout of this campaign. How long will that last? I mean, I can't imagine any politician wanting that to be the major headline of your presidential rollout.

FISCHER: Hundred percent. So, I was texting with the CEO of Chartbeat, a company that measures media consumption and coverage. And this is what he had to say about it, John Saroff. He said DeSantis's announcement and this -- by the way, Chartbeat has thousands of publisher clients -- (INAUDIBLE) will bump across major news sites because it was covered both as straight news and from the Twitter glitch. It got about equal coverage of both. He says that from a pure recognition perspective, it may have actually helped him.

CAMEROTA: There you go!


FISCHER: The thing is, I kind of agree with John's point there. The fact that now we are all talking about this, it's leading the show, we have to talk about this bungled announcement, it has put Ron DeSantis above Donald Trump today in the news cycle and that, by the way, is like gold in this day and age election.

CAMEROTA: And what about Elon Musk? What did it do for Elon Musk? Is he competing with Rupert Murdoch to be this conservative media site, basically?

FISCHER: We heard about that this morning. I kind of think so. I mean, think about it. Fox fires Tucker Carlson. A few weeks later, he says, I'm bringing my primetime show to Twitter. Then you have the Daily Wire, which is a huge conservative media and entertainment company. I reported it's putting all its video podcast on Twitter. Then you have Ron DeSantis coming in and saying, I'm going to announce my campaign on Twitter.

It definitely feels like Twitter is the center of gravity for the Republican Party right now. I don't need to say that Fox isn't relevant. It is. It is definitely the number one cable news network for Republicans.

But I think Elon Musk has hit a nerve with the Republican Party who has felt betrayed by mainstream media, who wants to go to a place where they feel like they have a voice and they are not going to get censored, and that is helping him to court those Republicans, to land interviews. I know for a fact we are going to be reporting about more shows, more exclusives moving over to Twitter from the conservative sphere in the coming weeks.

CAMEROTA: So interesting, how the landscape is changing before our eyes. Sara, thank you for all that reporting. It's really helpful.

Okay, next, another awful, violent subway incident. The second this month. It has New Yorkers on edge. Miguel has been digging into the facts and figures on crime in the subway.




CAMEROTA: Another violent New York subway incident. Police charging a 39-year-old man with allegedly pushing a woman's head into a moving train as she walked on a Manhattan subway platform.

Miguel Marquez has been following the story for us. Miguel, the details here are awful. Just tell us what happened, what we know about the suspect, and how is the victim.

MARQUEZ: Horrendous. This is one of those stories that just causes New Yorkers such (INAUDIBLE) because it is happening in a public place, on a subway that we take every day.

Sunday morning, very early, 5:00 a.m. hour, this man, who turns out is a homeless man, Kamal Semrade, he jumps the turnstile at Jackson Heights, Queens, gets on the subway. She follows him a few minutes later.

Police say -- and this comes from both NYPD and from our John Miller, who was able to get to a source who is familiar with this case -- she follows him a couple -- few minutes later, they don't seem to know each other at all.

They get on the same subway, they go to 63rd in Lex, they both get off at the same time. What is disturbing about this -- the picture of this guy, if we could put that up, he looks completely normal. He is having a coffee.


MARQUEZ: He is hanging out --

CAMEROTA: Dressed normally.

MARQUEZ: Police were able to get this picture and that's how they were able to get him eventually. As the train starts to leave -- they both get off the train at 63rd in Lex. As the train starts to leave, he comes up behind her and with all his force, according to police, pushes her into the moving train. Her face hits the train as it is going by. She is terribly injured, paralyzed from the neck down at this point.

[23:15:01] CAMEROTA: Oh, no.

MARQUEZ: Her face damaged very badly as well. She is alive, they have a GoFundMe for her right now, but it is -- it is just a horrific crime.

CAMEROTA: As you say, New Yorkers are rattled. They have been rattled for a while about the subway because they feel as though --


CAMEROTA: -- there is more violence on the subway. I know you are going to give us the stats about this. But, of course, this follows on the chokehold death on the subway. It has been a bad run here for the subway.

MARQUEZ: It's bad. It is getting better. I think probably most of us take the subway here. Since after the pandemic, I will agree, it was a no-man's-land down there. It was disturbing. It has gotten noticeably better, as someone who takes the subway.

The numbers seem to bear that out as well. This month, it is down -- violent crime or major crime on the transit system is down 6.7%. That follows a trend of this year where it is down about almost 9%.

CAMEROTA: So, year to date, down almost 9%, although that's -- obviously -- people don't know that necessarily. That's not the sort of hype that goes around.

GOLODRYGA: Right. And while statistically, you may know --


GOLODRYGA: -- that this is a safe place to ride, I think mentally, once you hear these stories, once you know that there is an increase --


GOLODRYGA: -- in crime regardless of what the police are doing now, you've got more people in uniform patrolling these subway stations, I think the fact that it happens at random times during the day, at random subway stations, this isn't at 2:00 in the morning in the middle of nowhere, people in the city, I know this speaks for me, I view safety in numbers, and when you go on the subway platforms and when you see a lot of people, you associate that with safety. And yet --


GOLODRYGA: -- we continue to hear stories like these. And so, I tell myself, they're safe, subways are safe to go on. My 11-year-old son is now afraid to go on subways because he hears about these incidents. And again, I think that is a really hard problem to rectify. Once people know and are seeing stories like these, even if they know that the numbers are going down -- MARQUEZ: But I assume you are more vigilant when you get on the subway.

GOLODRYGA: I pay attention.


GOLODRYGA: I mean, I -- but again, this is my city. I don't want to be that person that is judging people walking by me and --

MARQUEZ: We were talking about this earlier. I don't listen to my headphones when I'm on the platform. I wait until I get in the car. I make sure I know who is standing around me. I guess maybe I have always done that. And then once you get in the car, you make a pretty quick -- you know, a snap decision about who is in the car.

Also, as you said, they've flooded the subway system with police officers. There are announcements saying that there are police at the station if there is a problem. But 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, you don't expect this. People are just going about their lives.

GOLODRYGA: And I had no qualms before, once upon the time, to lean forward and look to see when a train is coming on a platform. I never do that now.

FREEMAN: That was always -- I grew up in New York. As a young teenager, always was just riding the subway. I fell asleep on the subway and then --


That was the same message. It was -- you don't want to be on the car, necessarily, where there is not a single soul there. It's -- you want to be where there is a lot of people.

And I guess, again, as someone who has not lived here for a little bit, I was -- I would never have thought twice about getting on the subway, but it does seem like -- I mean, it does seem like the apprehension, at the very least. Even if the numbers are not bearing it out, the apprehension is real.

CAMEROTA: But is it like this in Philly? You're in Philly now. Do you have the same fears in Philly or is this a New York thing?

FREEMAN: Listen, I think that everyone experienced the post pandemic dip in ridership, and then things got a little hairy in terms of empty cars or different people using the subway for different things.

Listen, Philadelphia has had some problems that have been what I would call high-profile crimes that have happened on Septa. This is what we call it down there. But still, I mean, when I used to work in the city itself, I would use the subway to go to work. I know many colleagues who would take the train from the suburbs and come in.

I think ridership is down and they are trying to correct that as well. But again, it's that perception versus is it actually as bad as it has ever been?

CAMEROTA: And do you feel that way, Sara, in D.C.?

FISCHER: It is interesting. So, I take (INAUDIBLE). We call it the Metro. I take the Metro to work. Our office is in Clarendon and I live in the city. I feel very safe in D.C. But also, our metros are built super differently.


FISCHER: We are not in this tiny little underground tunnel. There are these big archways. And actually, to physically push someone into a train would be kind of hard. We have much bigger gaps also in D.C.

The question I have for you, Miguel, thinking about what we have in D.C., there's a ton of advisories, I think there's a lot of education from (INAUDIBLE), the people who run our metro, for us about where we should go, where we can get help, everything. I know where the defibrillator is in my metro. Do you guys have that?

Do people understand in New York where they can get resources and all of that or is it just like, okay, there are police here, go find them?

MARQUEZ: I don't know where. I would go to the subway -- to the operator, the operator car or to the box up front, up top, to get defibrillator.


CAMEROTA: And sometimes, people are not in that box, by the way.


CAMEROTA: That's empty sometimes.

MARQUEZ: And that's starting to be a thing as well. Those are going to be empty at some point as well because they are not going to start staffing at least all of those across the subway system.

So, I don't think that there is that level of information in New York. The thing New York is there's always people around. There is always police and other emergency personnel either in or near the subway. Of course, when something -- when an incident happens, they are never close enough. But it is very frustrating.

FREEMAN: And that's different in Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, there are -- it is not like the New York subway system where it is packed all the time. There are certain times in certain months that they are more packed than others but --


FREEMAN: -- that is one big difference that I think that adds to some of that fear.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. I think it does require us to all be vigilant. When I get on a subway, I see everybody buried in their phones. Their heads are down, buried in their phones, looking at their phones. I just made a point of like looking around and not being buried in my phone --


CAMEROTA: -- because if every single person is, I don't know, it just seems like it is possible that there could be more trouble. Thank you very much for all of that reporting.

All right, meanwhile, U.S. Intelligence is still trying to determine who is behind the drone attack on the Kremlin a few weeks ago, and Bianna has new reporting on the story.




CAMEROTA: Were Ukrainian special forces behind that drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this month? Sources tell CNN that U.S. Intelligence has picked up some chatter among Ukrainian officials indicating that a Ukrainian group may -- may -- be responsible.

Bianna has been reporting on this. What do we know about this?

GOLODRYGA: I was always skeptical with the narrative that this was a false flag Russian operation because it took the Kremlin hours -- I say hours, like eight hours, if not more -- to announce this and say here is what happened. And so that is not something that is indicative of a false flag.

Second, it wasn't followed up by a major operation. So, when you hear of Russia operating a false flag, it is too bomb attack, do something that you know is going to happen rather quickly after that false flag operation. That never happened here.

So, I was always skeptical as to that argument, and I thought that it could very well be the Ukrainians that were behind this. Now, was it the Ukrainian military proper? No. I am hearing from many sources that it was likely Ukrainian intelligence and this was something to do to rattle the Russians. And as intercepts have shown, Russians communicating with each other were very skeptical about this, again, coming from them.

And we're concerned that this was, indeed, at the hands of the Ukrainians. Now, whether Zelenskyy knew about this or not, I think there is some question about that. This, obviously, gives them a lot of plausible deniability, too.

CAMEROTA: Do we know what this means for the war? The fact that possibly Ukrainian special forces were able to make it to the Kremlin with a drone?

GOLODRYGA: I mean, it shows how vulnerable the Kremlin was. The Kremlin took it to the tenth degree and said that this was an assassination attempt against Vladimir Putin. Unless Vladimir Putin was outside at that moment standing at the poll, this was not assassination. He wasn't at the Kremlin.

But it was to send a message that, as impenetrable as you say the Kremlin is, that is a very symbolic place that is very recognizable and it was caught on video.

MARQUEZ: The symbolism cannot be denied. But could it just be Ukrainian intelligence recruiting anti-Putin Russians as well or those that they know are on their side? I mean, we see these incursions into Russia near the Ukrainian border. We've seen lots of strikes now either in Russian-occupied territory or in Russia itself. Lots of weird things going on.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. Well, the Ukrainians have been openly recruiting Russians and even Russian soldiers, saying if you want to desert, if you don't want to die, we have systems in place where you can move here, we can even fund you, we can help fund your family, leave Russia. I am not sure we are seeing that happen in droves.


GOLODRYGA: Let's not forget that the majority of Ukrainians, especially the Ukrainians that live in the eastern part of the country, are fluent Russian speakers. President Zelenskyy's native language was Russian.


GOLODRYGA: When you hear these people speaking Russian, it's easy to say, hey, perhaps they're bringing Russians over. But these are native-speaking Russians, many of them, that are operating in this.

And even, as you said, some of the infiltration that we have seen over the past couple of days on Russian territory itself, in Belgorod, they are -- these men, many of them are affiliated with far-right nationalists. So, to get an understanding of why, I think, this is a potentially dangerous move if it is --

CAMEROTA: These are anti-Putin --

GOLODRYGA: These are anti-Putin --

CAMEROTA: Soldiers.

GOLODRYGA: -- nationalists, right-wing nationalists. These are people who the Russians have said are nationalists and the Ukrainians have acknowledged are nationalists as well. What concerns me is that this helps feed into the Russia narrative that they are fighting Nazis because these do happen to be neo-Nazi supporters. I'm not saying all of them are, but they are affiliated with it and it helps into that narrative.

MARQUEZ: Which has been an ongoing issue for the Russians and for the Ukrainians all the way along. Do you have a sense of -- I mean, I assume that they are not coordinating efforts here, but clearly, the pace of attacks, the length to which they are going, the targets that they are hitting both in Crimea and in Russia itself, it does feel like whatever counteroffensive is going to happen may be -- this may be the beginning stages of it.


GOLODRYGA: Yeah. My military sources say that the military part of this counteroffensive, this is probably the early stages of this. I'm not sure what role these attacks play into that planning, and I think therein lies part of their bigger plan is to this level of confusion in sowing doubt among Russians. Where do we need to send our troops? Is it to this border? What else can we expect? Can we expect other attacks inside Russia?

The reason I say that's a dangerous calculation is you are now seeing Russians who are potentially -- who may be indifferent with regards to this war now say, listen, I'm having to dodge bombs, clearly this is what Ukrainians are dealing with on a daily basis, but if Russians are having to do that, then it plays into the propaganda that we are seeing from the Kremlin that, look, they are attacking us.

Free Can I ask you? I'm sorry, go ahead.

CAMEROTA: How is all this playing in Russia? I mean, what do they -- what do regular people get and know about what is happening?

GOLODRYGA: Most people in Russia get their news from Russian state media. So, this does play -- and you are hearing about these attacks and seeing the videos. In Belgorod, for this specific reason --


GOLODRYGA: -- that these are the neo-Nazis that are attacking our people. And on these videos, you see residents condemning and really criticizing their own government for not doing more to protect them.

And I think what is interesting that we have seen from Putin up until this point is that he has allowed criticism from the far right as to how far to take this operation, this military operation, special military operation they are calling it, not a war. There is no opposition. The opposition in the country is dead or in prison. But I am curious to see how far this goes, that they allow criticism of the way the war has been handled thus far.

FREEMAN: I'm just going to ask, how important is it from your perspective that the United States and the Americans who are watching these new stories come out, how important is it that the United States is still paying attention to this conflict over there?

Because, you know, you are telling me that, oh, that drone attack might have been part of Ukraine forces. That was one thing that -- you know, as someone who has followed it every day, that was a moment that stood out to me and got me, I think, a little bit more engaged. So, is that part of it, too? Just the strength for Ukraine on the international level?

GOLODRYGA: I think that is something that -- again, when I say it is a risk that the Ukrainian intelligence is doing, and I'm not necessarily sure that that is in the long term in their interest to be doing because, yes, America's attention is directed at that and it's causing some chaos internally among Russians, as we've intercepted, they don't know who did this. The Ukrainians' narrative can be, well, listen, there's some dissent internally in Russia, maybe these are Russians turning against Vladimir Putin.

I think, obviously, the most important thing for Ukraine is to continue to get western support, mainly from the United States. We have known that this administration has been reluctant about delivering certain weapons and material because they were concerned about this being used inside Russia proper.

And if we are starting to see more and more of these attacks, I don't think it's a coincidence that U.S. Intelligence is leaking this out there saying, we know that it was Ukraine. They are not going as far as saying that President Zelenskyy knew about this, but they are saying, we know that this was the Ukrainians. And by the way, some of these special forces have been using American-provided equipment.

CAMEROTA: Interesting. Bianna, thank you very much for that update because we were very curious when that happened. It sounds like it is slowly getting out. Thank you.

All right, so, police conducting a wellness check at the home of NBA star Ja Morant. Dan is following developments in this story for us. We will be right back.




CAMEROTA: Police say Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant is fine after officers conducted a wellness check at his home this morning. Police received multiple calls after Morant reportedly posted then deleted cryptic messages on Instagram, telling various family members that he loved them before writing the word "bye."

Morant is currently suspended from Grizzlies team activities after a second incident involving him flashing a gun on Instagram live in two months.

So, Danny is following the story. So, tell us what happened -- first of all, if anybody saw those messages, it would be a wellness check because that message did look like he was saying something final.

FREEMAN: Yeah. I was speaking to some of my friends who are just NBA fans. And when we saw these headlines start to come out, there was a scary, unsettling moment. And again, all of this cannot be said without establishing the context that Morant is an incredible, incredible player, right? He is a star. He is the next generation when he is on the court. But he has been beaten up a lot over these two Instagram live videos where he was seen flashing a gun (INAUDIBLE) at least at the moment, and that was what led to this morning.

We actually have a clip from "Undisputed" on Fox, just one of the many, many people in the sports world today who was discussing these posts. Take a listen.


UNKNOWN: Was this a cry for help? I don't know for sure but it felt like --


UNKNOWN: -- in the context of what is happening, it certainly could be.

UNKNOWN: Yeah. Normally, people don't get on IG and say, bye mom, bye dad, love you mom, love you dad, and then show himself walking away.

UNKNOWN: And then delete it.


UNKNOWN: To your point, I wish you could sit with him.



FREEMAN: So, you can see, I mean, just a tremendous amount of -- there is care. There was worry this morning. There was care. And the good news, at least from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office actually going and having deputies go to his house and do wellness check is that they said he is okay, he is fine, and he is just now taking a break from social media.

Again, you can see a lot of concern after he posted those troubling and, as he said, cryptic messages.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. When I saw those messages, the "bye" did not seem like a "bye" from social media.


CAMEROTA: It seemed like a bye to, like, something more permanent.

FREEMAN: Again, love you mom, love you dad, love you too to his daughter as well, you know, it is three -- the most important people you would think in his life, right, for that message that you see on the screen right there.

So, again, a lot of people have been talking about this. And it has been a tough couple of months for Ja Morant because he really, especially after the second incident, a lot of people really were beating him up for that, saying, you know, you were given another chance and you blew it.

And that was only a week and a half ago. So, to see this after that, a lot of the weight of a lot of professional athletes and retired players come out, it was challenging to see that today.

MARQUEZ: So young. So talented. Do we have a sense of -- I mean, the gun videos, the recklessness is what I -- I mean, he has so much to offer. Why that recklessness? Do we have a sense of sort of his background and why?

FREEMAN: Listen, a lot of the people who initially came out to defend Morant after the first incident said this is not him. He is not someone who normally does this. This is not -- where he as you just heard in that clip right there, was really -- folks love to watch him play and love to see him as the next generation of the NBA.

I mean, this week, we were talking about Lebron James potentially retiring. This guy could be the next generation and people just want him to get help.

GOLODRYGA: To that point, if you are someone like me who -- you like sports but you are not following so incrementally, paint us a picture. How big of a star is this? How big of a potential star is this? Is this why we are talking about it here? Is he really going to be the next Lebron or Michael Jordan or is it just because it's such an unusual incident and we are worried about mental health in sports athletes more broadly?

FREEMAN: Ja Morant, 23 years old, he has only been in the NBA for four years, already a two-time all-star, he's 2020 Rookie of the Year, and again, you have to see him in action to really appreciate.

I mean, the guy is not a big guy. He is not Shaq. He's not huge. But I promise you, you watch him and he flies over much, much bigger guys than him. He does it with a flare, too. He will do 360 jumps and dunk it. He does things that people you would say, that is not a possible thing for you to have done. He does it.

He has got a deal with Nike that is a little bit influx potentially at the moment. A deal with Powerade. He is part of this new younger generation of basketball players that really the league is excited about.

You know, Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, when he was asked by ESPN about the second incident, only a couple of days ago, he said he was shocked because -- he said he was shocked because he had a conversation with Ja about it before. But the first thing he said was, I was worried he was going to hurt himself or hurt someone else by brandishing a gun. Nobody wants that.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you very much for all of that. I owe you one.

GOLODRYGA: No. He's a phenomenal player. That's it.

CAMEROTA: Now, I look forward to watching him now you told me that he flies over the court.


MARQUEZ: That would be good, Danny.

FREEMAN: I tell you, it's mind-boggling how good he is.

CAMEROTA: I can't wait. Thank you very much. Next, remembering the queen of rock and roll, Tina Turner. Nischelle Turner, no relation, is going to join us to talk about Tina's greatest moments, next.










CAMEROTA: What a voice, what a performer. That was Tina Turner's "Private Dancer" from her hit 1984. The queen of rock and roll died today at the age of 83. And it was not just her incredible performances that made her a superstar. It was also her inspiring life story that so many people followed.

Nischelle Turner is the host of "Entertainment Tonight." She is also a CNN contributor. She is here now with us. So, tell us your thoughts, Michelle, today.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, Alisyn, I heard you earlier when you said Michelle Turner is going to join us, no relation. Let me tell you, my entire life, I wished I was related to Tina Turner.


I used to make up stories and say I was related to Tina Turner because she was just that fabulous. I do have a cousin named Tina Turner.

CAMEROTA: That's awesome.

TURNER: We are going to claim it today because we are giving the queen of rock and roll her flowers.


When you hear the news, you are automatically dejected. But throughout the day, I don't know if you guys were doing this, but throughout all day, I went back and I was listening to her music and watching some of my favorite performances from her, and I was watching the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors when she was inducted there.

Oprah Winfrey was inducting her into the Kennedy Center Honors that year. She said during her speech that Tina Turner turned her bruises into her battle cry. And I thought that was so poignant because that was exactly who she was that night in Las Vegas when she decided to take back her life from Ike Turner and leave with 35 cents in her pocket.

For the next eight years, she played supper club, she played little. You know, crowds -- people told her she couldn't do it without Ike. And she said, all I have is my name and my talent. But boy, am I going to make something of herself.

So, her redemption story, her reinvention story, and she became the biggest star in the world during the 80s. I mean it just goes to show you what kind of woman she is. I think we can all learn a lesson from her resilience. We can all admire her beauty and her talent, and we can all wish we had legs like Tina Turner, right?


CAMEROTA: Yes, we can, though those seem actually impossible to capture. But Nischelle, about her life story, I mean, her doggedness and everything is incredible, particularly at that time and that generation, and what she made her way out of. And then, as you say, she had this challenging time even after she left Ike. And then in 1984, what turned it around? What allowed her to have this incredibly huge album?

TURNER: Well, you know, it was her determination. It was her actually wanting to move past what she went through in her life with Ike Turner. I mean, she said so many times during interviews over the years that she didn't even really want to talk about that time. She knew that it was a chapter in her life. She knew that it was a period in her life. She knew that it helped shape her into the woman she was going to be. But she wanted to leave it there. She wanted to leave.

She said at one point, I'm tired of singing the blues. I want to sing rock and roll. That's what's in my spirit. That's who I am now. I think it was really when she did that, she got a new music producer and said, this is the type of music I want to sing. You know she wasn't accepted in that genre right away. Like I was saying before, for so many years, she was really working her way up. She sang disco for a little bit. She did all kinds of things until she got that hit.

You know she made "Private Dancer." She made that album. We all remember that spotlight on her when she walked out in the jean jacket and her hair was big and her legs were long and she sang that first note and everybody knew Tina was back. She was back in a big way. And then she went on to just (INAUDIBLE) in so many different ways. We are looking at a video there from when she was with Ike Turner, the Ike and Tina Revue. I mean, she was phenomenal then. But look at her. Look at the woman that she is. She sang about female empowerment, "Private Dancer," "What is Love Got to Do with It," "Who Needs a Heart When a Heart Can Be Broken."

That was her mantra. I'm going to be the woman that I've always wanted to be. I don't care what anybody says about it. That is so empowering.

CAMEROTA: And Nischelle, as I was saying in the last hour, she (INAUDIBLE) Mick Jagger, okay? So --

TURNER: Well, she thought Mick Jagger how to strut. Don't make no bones about it.

CAMEROTA: I guess she did. She must have because --

TURNER: She did.

CAMEROTA: -- like Mick Jagger's moves, she is better at them in this 1985 Live Aid. Look at her. She is in stilettoes, leather minidress. He is God knows what, actually.

TURNER: She really did teach Mick Jagger how to strut. When the "Rolling Stones" came to America, Ike and Tina Turner Revue joined them in concert and joined them on tour. They were the opening act for the "Rolling Stones."

And Ike Turner -- Mick Jagger has always said that he fell in love with Tina Turner when he saw her early on, saw her presence on stage, saw how she moved and saw how she strut. He took a lot of his influence from her. So, yes, she did teach Mick Jagger who to do his thing. Believe it.

CAMEROTA: That is awesome. Bianna, I know that you are also covering (ph) her legs.

GOLODRYGA: Well, was it just a rumor or were they ensured $4 million?

CAMEROTA: Nischelle, were they ensured $4 million, her legs?

TURNER: You know what? I don't know the definitive answer to that. That has always been the folklore. That has always been the story. It wouldn't surprise me but there has never been a confirmation if that is, in fact, the case. Therein lies her power.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Mick Jagger is taking some liberty with those million dollars legs right now.


Right there. And Danny, you have some pride of ownership over this because this is Philly?

FREEMAN: Yeah, exactly. Live Aid, 1985. This is Philadelphia right here. This is where it is. It was London during the day and then Philadelphia by night. And it's very (INAUDIBLE).


"The Philadelphia Inquirer" did a whole spread about this performance today in order of Tina.

CAMEROTA: Of course. I could watch it forever as we all can. She is -- she is (INAUDIBLE) him. It is incredible. What a performer she is on every single level.

Nischelle, great to see you. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your memories tonight with us.

TURNER: Well, I love seeing these memories of her, this video. Like I said, it was a sad day. But looking at this, you can't help but move your shoulders like she did, her little strut across the stage and smile and just appreciate the soundtrack of our lives that she gave to us. And she will always have, like they said, like her family said in the statement today, we will always have her music, and that is her legacy.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. That's beautiful. Great to see you. See you soon.

TURNER: Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: All right, tomorrow on CNN THIS MORNING, forget Ozempic injections for weight loss. What about taking a pill? The new development that could change the weight loss industry.

Thanks so much for tuning in tonight. Our coverage continues now.