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New Day Sunday

Intelligence Agencies Assessing Damage from Mar-a-Lago Documents; State of Emergency Declared in Mississippi Amid Major Flooding; NASA's Artemis Rocket Set to Launch Monday Morning. Aired 7- 8a ET

Aired August 28, 2022 - 07:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Buenos dias. And welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you, and to you, Boris. I'm Amara Walker.

There are new developments this morning pertaining to those classified documents taken from Mar-a-Lago. Why the director of national intelligence is now involved, and how a judge is responding to Trump's request for a special master in the case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are capable of getting out now, get out now.


SANCHEZ: Evacuations are under way in parts of Mississippi in anticipation of heavy flooding tomorrow. The mayor of Jackson is going to be joining us live with more on how his city is preparing and why this could be the second round of flooding for some residents.

WALKER: On the eve of history, one day away from the launch of Artemis I. How the forecast is shaping up and why this mission is so critical when it comes to getting Americans back on the moon.


WALKER: It is Sunday, August 28th. Thank you so much for waking up with us. Good to be with you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Good morning, Amara. I hope you enjoyed the cupcake you had for breakfast. I enjoyed my prosciutto I have every morning.

WALKER: I'm still working on mine, slowly.

SANCHEZ: We hope you are enjoying your breakfast wherever you are. We're grateful that you made us part of the start of your week.

Up first this morning, assessing the damage to national intelligence from classified documents that were found at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. The director of national intelligence is telling Congress she is conducting a damage assessment of those documents. Material recovered in January included classified and top secret information. Keep that in mind.

WALKER: Also, a judge is considering Trump's request for a special master or third party attorney to review material from the Mar-a-Lago search. She says she has the preliminary intent to grant that request, which means she has prepared to appoint that third party who would sift through the documents and filter out any privileged or private material. The government has until Tuesday to respond, and a hearing is set for Thursday.

Now, the damage assessment follows the release of a heavily redacted version of the affidavit authorizing the search of Donald Trump's residence.

SANCHEZ: CNN White House reporter Natasha Bertrand has more on what we're learning from that affidavit.



Yeah, the director of National Intelligence Avril Haines did confirm to lawmakers on Friday that the intel community is working together with the Justice Department to review all relevant documents that have been retrieved from the former president's home in Florida, Mar-a- Lago. In a letter to the House Oversight and House and Senate intelligence committees, Haines said her office and DOJ are conducting a classification review of the relevant materials including those that were recovered during the search of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month. She also noted that the intel community will conduct, quote, an assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of the relevant documents.

Now, her letter came after several lawmakers had called for the intelligence community to carry out this kind of damage assessment and sent the same day that the FBI affidavit was released that revealed that Trump had kept documents at his home that appear to include information about human sources and other extremely sensitive intelligence sources and methods.

Now, according to that affidavit, the FBI's preliminary review of 15 boxes of documents that Trump returned earlier this year revealed that 184 of the documents contained classified markings, including 67 marked as confidential, 92 marked as secret, and 25 marked as top secret.

Now, some of the documents retrieved even had HCS markings, which according to the office of the director of national intelligence are designed to protect, quote, exceptionally fragile and unique human intelligence operations and methods.

Trump and his allies we should note have given numerous and sometimes conflicting explanations for why he kept these documents, including that the former president had issued some kind of blanket declassification order before he left office, and the FBI did acknowledge that argument in the affidavit, but the rest of that section is redacted, so it is not yet clear why they cited it -- Boris, Amara.



SANCHEZ: Natasha, thank you so much.

So, last hour, I spoke with CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem about whether a special master is going to be appointed to review those Mar-a-Lago documents. A judge says that she has the preliminary intent to do just that.

Here's part of our conversation with Juliette.


JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I don't think this is great for the United States because they are going to have to make yet another case about, you know, where they're doing this and justifying it, and each time that sort of exposes some of the information that they're trying to protect, a catch-22 for them. It also sort of increases the political noise each legal challenge and we really do have to take a step back.

And while this is a legal fight about President Trump and his liability, culpability or recklessness, whatever word you want to put before electronic it is, it is important to remember we have a country still to protect, and those documents may be relevant to our present capabilities and, of course, our ability to protect ourselves today.


SANCHEZ: Our thanks as always to Juliette for sharing her expertise with us. A hearing on whether the judge will appoint that third party special master is scheduled for Thursday.

WALKER: In Jackson, Mississippi, residents are being urged to stay safe and head for higher ground this morning as the state is bracing for some major flooding. Governor Tate Reeves has already declared a state of emergency for some areas, and says his administration is actively monitoring the situation, so far deploying 126,000 sandbags to divert the rising waters. And by using drones to monitor water levels along the Pearl River, which is expected to crest tomorrow at 36 feet.

Authorities are also warning that there is a high likelihood that homes impacted during a similar flooding event in 2020 may experience flooding again this time around. For more on this, joining me now is the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi,

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba.

Mayor, I appreciate you joining us on I'm sure is a very busy weekend. I want to ask you about your message to residents now, because on Saturday morning, you had a news conference, a lot of urgency in your voice, the message was for residents to get out now, the residents in the low lying areas. Is there still time to get out?

MAYOR CHOKWE LUMUMBA, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: Yes, there is. But that should be executed as soon as possible. Unfortunately because we have seen these events as recently as 2020, we have a reference point and we know the damage that can occur. So, we're asking most residents to heed the warnings that are being provided to them. We have a coalition that has responded early and often, going from both city departments to the county, all the way up to the state.

And so I'm very pleased with coalition and their response. Now we need our residents to take heed to these warnings and move out quickly.

WALKER: Aare you seeing people listening to that warning?

LUMUMBA: By and large, by and large. But we, you know, if we risk the life of one individual, that is one individual too many. So we want to make certain that we know that both people and individuals, pets, and to the extent that some property can be saved, that it is all spared due to early preparation.

WALKER: So we were saying that the pearl river, which, you know, runs through Jackson and south to Louisiana is expected to crest tomorrow morning at 36 feet. Can you give us some context here? It is supposed to crest at 36 feet. What are the normal levels? And what are you most concerned about?

LUMUMBA: Well, we're concerned about 100 to 150 homes that are in northeast Jackson and some homes that are south of us, south Jackson, that, you know, during these events tend to be the ones affected. We're also concerned because our residents have been inundated with persistent rain over the last few days. So we already have been contending with flash flooding, and so it is quite a toll on our residents.

So, we're just trying to make certain we're present for them. 36 feet is quite obviously a very scary area for them to -- for the river to reach. I think around 31 feet is what we normally see. So I don't want to, you know, state that as an exact measurement, but I do know 36 feet is far too high.


WALKER: Yeah. Concerning enough to get people to get out as soon as they can.

Tell us about the preparations that are under way and I understand that there are search and rescue teams on stand by as well. But, of course, you know, the hope is you don't have to use the search and rescue teams. Tell us more about the preparations.

LUMUMBA: Well, we had the coordination of both the Jackson police department and fire department along with the sheriff's department. We have NEMA that has been on the ground and also Wildlife and Fisheries has all joined into this effort to make certain that we have preparations for search and rescue. Our public works department has been clearing areas of debris that they can. They have been preparing sandbags and issuing them to residents.

Our public transportation, JTRAN, has been offering assistance to residents who don't have the benefit of vehicles in order to evacuate as early as they can. Of course, the American Red Cross has been on the scene. They're operating a shelter and police training academy to ensure that those residents that have no other recourse can seek shelter there.

We have actually instructed our residents to, you know, prepare kits for as long as up to two weeks because we know even while the event may be projected to hit somewhere between Monday and Tuesday, that that water can be with us for some time. And so, we're asking them to over-prepare in the event that their next stay is far more extended than they would want it to be.

WALKER: Yeah, and we were mentioning that this has happened before, in 2020, when your city was hit with major flooding.

Just walk us through and remind us what happened there and I can't imagine that Jackson fully recovered from that flood in just two years.

LUMUMBA: Yeah, our residents have demonstrated an amazing resiliency through a number of challenges, not only this recent event and preparing for it, but in 2020. All while the world has been experiencing a pandemic. And so, Jackson residents have endured quite a bit in 2020. There were communities that were inundated with water, some homes that will never be repaired or salvaged, and several individuals that had to deal with extensive amount of debris.

Our city is still reeling from the investment we had to make in terms of that damage and looking for, you know, reimbursement through the federal government and we anticipate that. But before we can even recover from the first weather event, we're already being challenged by another one.

Quite honestly this has become commonplace. We're experiencing more rain in our rainy season, hotter summers and colder winters, and it has taken a toll on our infrastructure.

WALKER: Yeah, it sure has. Listen, we hope that people watching in the Jackson area to -- they will heed your warnings and get out now as well. We are glad there are shelters hope. Stay in touch with us.

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, thank you so much and wishing you the best.

LUMUMBA: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: So, it's not just Mississippi. Rain and thunderstorms are expected along the gulf coast today.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is live at the weather center.

And, Allison, this is a widespread event, right?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is. All eyes are really seemed to be focused on Mississippi and Louisiana, but any state along the gulf coast has the potential for the shower and thunderstorms today. Here is a look where we have the flood warnings. Again, you get a couple in east Texas, areas of Louisiana and then, yes, of course, the focus in Mississippi.

And we talked about this, the Pearl River at Jackson, at 35.2 feet. It is forecast to get up to 36 feet in less than 24 hours. But just as the mayor pointed out too, you have to understand, it takes time for that water to come back down.

So even though we anticipate hitting the peak by Monday morning, it is going to be days and days before you really finally start to see that water get back below flood stage, which is starting at 28 feet. That's when you consider to have minor flood stage. So it is still going to be a very prolonged event before that water comes back to normal levels.

Here say look at the forecast for today. Texas through Florida, you're looking at the showers and thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoon and evening hours. The heaviest rainfall will be focused over Florida. From Houston all the way over to Biloxi, 1 to 3 inches is still possible.


And 1 to 3 may not sound like much, but when it's on top of what we already have, it can cause big concerns. You have that stationary front hovering over the gulf coast.

But another concern for the gulf coast is not what is there right now, but what could be there a week from now. Take a look at the tropical Atlantic, we have four separate systems all potentially becoming named storms in the next several days. This one in the center has the highest chance for gulf impact in the next five days.

SANCHEZ: We're getting to that time of hurricane season where things start revving up. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

WALKER: And you and I are very familiar with these hurricane seasons and how they impact Florida.

All right. We're counting down to a historic mission. Artemis I is set to lift off from Kennedy Space Center tomorrow on its mission to the moon. What we know about the launch and some of the interesting cargo, nonhuman cargo, on board.

Plus, why there could soon be relief for parents still having trouble finding baby formula for their children.



SANCHEZ: We are on the eve of history this morning, just one day from the launch of the most powerful rocket for human flight ever, NASA's Artemis I rocket.

WALKER: It's Orion capsule won't actually touch down on lunar surface, but tomorrow morning's launch is the first step in a possible return of astronauts to the moon. Think about that.

Joining us now is retired astronaut Chris Hatfield, former commander of the International Space Station. He's also the author of the novel "The Apollo Murders."

Commander, thank you so much for joining us.

First off, just talk to us about how this mission is such a crucial step, especially when it comes to a mission, a manned mission to Mars, set for hopefully 2025. That's not that far away.

COL. CHRIS HADFIELD (RET.), FORMER COMMANDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION: Good morning. You know, people that look up at the moon and that little red spot in the sky of Mars for as long as we have had shepherds out looking at the sky. We have never been able to go until we started building the machines that enabled it, and we just managed to get 12 people to the surface of the moon when I was a kid.

But this is a whole new vehicle, a whole new capability and what we're planning for tomorrow morning is the first big test flight of all of that equipment, a mission that is over 40 days long, go from here, launch, get to the moon, stay in order around the moon, test everything, make sure everything works properly, so that then the next time we can put people on board as we go from here to the space station to the moon and eventually all the way to Mars.

SANCHEZ: And, Chris, what is notable about this isn't just the intent of the Artemis mission, but also the method of getting there. What does it tell you that NASA isn't relying on SpaceX, for example, to conduct this mission that is something they built themselves and the most powerful rocket for human flight ever.

HADFIELD: Well, you wouldn't want to go somewhere critical and just have one way to get there. If you have any problem, you're stuck. I think competition and multiple means is a really great idea. And the Artemis I mission that is going tomorrow, it is very heavily built across the United States.

I think there is something built on it from every single state in the union. But it is also international. A big piece of it is made by the European Space Agency, and Canadian Space Agency is part of it.

We have that whole piece going under NASA's wing and meanwhile. SpaceX is working on a different rocket that still hasn't launched in its completeness yet, but that's going on also. So, all of this and 77 space agencies around the world are all headed towards the next big steps in space, the moon and Mars and beyond. And tomorrow is the big crucible test with the biggest rocket that we've ever built.

WALKER: So, first big step, hopefully, will happen tomorrow during that two-hour window. I'm just fascinated by, you know, what happens, once we do bring the first woman and the first person of color on the moon, in 2025. I was reading about this base camp with the lunar cabin and the mobile home and a rover. It just sounds like science fiction, but I don't think it will be. You're pretty hopeful this will happen in 2025 and what will we see in terms of exploration on the moon and astronauts living and working on the moon?

HADFIELD: Yeah. Everything sounds like science fiction until somebody actually takes the risk and organizes and does it. It is only one long human lifetime ago that the first person got to the South Pole and now thousands of people live in Antarctica, and now a continent like no other on Earth. And we have done the early exploration of the moon, this I the next step where we put robots and machines and fairly soon people, representative people, you know, of all different normal types and get them on the surface of the moon and then make that another part of the normal human experience.

And it always seems impossible until an organization like NASA or the other space agencies make it happen. But, critical things have to work. And it is not just, you know, wishing, but it is -- the machinery and the complexity and the technology, the type of thing we couldn't have done, you know, a few years ago, the way we're going to do it tomorrow. All those things have to come together and there is a lot of hearts beating fast tomorrow, a lot of fingers crossed, but an enormous amount of work going into tomorrow's launch if the weather permits.

SANCHEZ: It is crazy to think that just a long lifetime ago we were talking about the beginning of South Pole exploration and now we're talking about Mars.


Tell us about what's actually on board this spacecraft. No humans on board, but I understand snoopy is going for a ride?

HADFIELD: Well, we have three sort of mannequins on board as well. Because you want to know what is the radiation environment like, what are the vibrations like, one of them is sort of like a crash test dummy and to measure all the subtle things that we want to test and prove before we risk a human life on board.

But Charles Schulz and his family, he was a huge supporter of the Apollo program and you always want to have some fun little thing in there. When you go from the crushing acceleration of the rocket and the engine shutoff and then you're weightless, it is lovely to have some little dangling thing that is your visual reminder that it is floating in front of you. And that's going to be snoopy on this flight, which I think is a lovely touch.

WALKER: Oh, I love that. I can't wait to see snoopy floating around there in zero gravity. What a pleasure to have you on this morning, Commander Chris Hadfield. Thank you very much. HADFIELD: Amara, Boris, thank you very much.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much.

WALKER: So, NASA engineers are looking over launch pad 39B after lightning strikes nearby. NASA says rain and thunderstorms are over the area Saturday and three lightning strikes hit the protection system towers. NASA says the lightning protection system towers are 600 feet tall, there to protect the rockets by steering lightning currents away. So, apparently, they were working.

Meteorologist Allison Chinchar back with us now.

Hi, Allison. So, just tell us, is it going to launch or not tomorrow?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That is a million dollar -- multimillion dollar question when you think of how much money is spent. The thing is, it is summertime. And it is Florida. So pop-up showers and thunderstorms, this is commonplace in the summertime in Florida. And, yes, unfortunately we do have a 60 percent chance of rain around the Cape Canaveral area on Monday morning.

The concern and the big question is, but are those showers and thunderstorms in that two-hour window when they would like to launch? Here is a look at the forecast between that 8:30 to 10:30 time frame when they want to launch. Right now, there is a 30 percent chance of a weather violation. That may change later today, Boris and Amara, as we get an updated forecast.

SANCHEZ: Allison Chinchar, thank you so much for that.

Hey, you're going to want to check out, because there is an interactive look at this historic launch. You can see what it means by the numbers, from the miles the capsule is going to travel to the temperatures, the extremely hot temperatures it is going to endure. And, of course, CNN is going to have full coverage of the launch tomorrow morning like you will find nowhere else.

WALKER: Still to come this morning, the price of the American dream. We're going to take a closer look at the human toll from migrants crossing into parts of Texas.



SANCHEZ: We've got a quick check on this morning's other top stories, including this one that we've been following very closely.

The families of several victims of the Uvalde School shooting are calling on Texas lawmakers to pass gun reform. Remember, in May, 19 students and 2 teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School.

WALKER: And yesterday, some of their families joined a March for Our Lives rally in Austin. Rally organizers say they want Texas Governor Greg Abbott to call a special session to pass gun reform measures. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIMBERLY RUBIO, DAUGHTER "LEXI" ANIYA RUBIO KILLED IN UVALDE SHOOTING: Lexi's life, her future was stolen from her on May 24th, 2022, because an 18-year-old had legal access to an AR-15, which he used to murder 19 children and 2 teachers. So, today, we demand Governor Abbott call a special session to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR to 21. We want enhanced background checks, and most importantly I want him and like minded individuals to know that I will never stop fighting.


WALKER: The group also included survivors from the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting where ten were killed.

SANCHEZ: Dutch officials say that three of their soldiers have been injured. One of them in critical condition after a shooting in Indianapolis on Friday night. It happened outside the hotel where the Dutch soldiers were staying for training exercises. That's according to Indianapolis police. They say no arrests have been made so far, but they believe this was a targeted incident meaning there is no greater broad danger to the public.

A Michigan baby formula plant has restarted production of its Similac brand for the first time since a recall halted work back in February. They had tried to restart production of other specialty formulas earlier this summer, before the factory in Sturgis, Michigan, was damaged severely by storms. Similac production has stopped you may recall and the plant initially shut down because FDA inspectors found deadly bacteria there. The company says it is going to take about six weeks for the product to start shipping to stores.

WALKER: New York City officials say they are preparing for another round of buses filled with migrants from Texas. Texas has bused almost 9,000 migrants to New York and Washington, D.C. in recent months. It is part of Governor Greg Abbott's efforts to highlight his criticism of the Biden administration's immigration policies.

New York's mayor and other city officials have previously accused Abbott's administration of forcing asylum seekers on to buses bound for the city and of not coordinating with city officials on the transfer of people.

Now, this year has been one of the deadliest in recent history for migrants trying to come to the U.S. from Mexico.


SANCHEZ: CNN's Rosa Flores has been following this story for you, but we should let you know, some of the video you're about to see is graphic.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This 22-year-old Mexican construction worker crossed into Texas with his brother last week, authorities say.

DR. CORINNE STERN, WEBB COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: They'd been walking for three days without any food.

FLORES: The patches on his body -- now, did he get medical attention?

STERN: He did.

FLORES: Signs paramedics tried to save his life.

Migrants have tried entering the U.S. southern border a record- breaking nearly 2 million times since October. And this man's tragic story is far from unique.

Webb County medical examiner, Dr. Corinne Stern, says this year is on pace to be the deadliest pace for migrants crossing into this region of Texas in recent memory.

STERN: I'm seeing an extreme increase in the number of border crossing deaths compared to other years.

FLORES: So much so, Stern recently did something she says she has never done in her 20-year career. She told officials in the 11 border counties she serves that her office is at capacity.

STERN: And so we're asking them to store them at their funeral homes until we have a space available.

FLORES: And in Maverick County, one of the deadliest counties, says Stern, a funeral home there tells CNN they're at capacity too. And with the medical examiner not taking the deceased, they are now burying unidentified migrants.

In the back of the county cemetery, there are 16 fresh graves. There were no funerals, no family, no flowers. All the graves are marked with partial crosses made out of PVC piping. All of these are migrant Jane and John Does, except for one. There's a baby John Doe.

Stern says she has 260 deceased migrants in her custody. The majority died this year from drowning or hyperthermia and are pending identification.

Despite the dangers, Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber says the arrival of migrants is not stopping, and neither are the deaths. He shows us postmortem photos, some too graphic not to completely blur, including of a child, of just some of the migrant deaths in the past seven months.


FLORES: And it's every day that you're finding bodies?

SCHMERBER: Every day.

FLORES: And then shows us --

A 3-year-old in this area?

SCHMERBER: In this area.

FLORES: Where a 3-year-old drowned Monday.

SCHMERBER: I was informed he was taken out, given CPR, but then he died.

FLORES: Tuesday, our cameras were there as another body was recovered from the Rio Grande, this time, a man. Yards away, dozens of migrants who had just crossed the river waited for Border Patrol, including two Cuban women in their 20s who did not want to be identified for fear it could impact their immigration cases.

How deep was the water for your daughter? She shows us it was about waist-deep and then got emotional when asked about children dying on the very river she had just crossed.

She says it was a tough decision for her daughter's future.

Most likely, the same hopes and dreams this man had. His cut short. But Stern says he was fortunate not to die alone.

STERN: His brother stayed behind and was with him at the time Border Patrol found him.

FLORES: Which means unlike the hundreds of other unidentified migrants in her custody, he will reunite with his family soon, says Stern, and has this message for anyone thinking about crossing the border.

STERN: Politics aside, all these deaths are ruled an accident. An accident, by definition, is preventable 100 percent. Stay home.

FLORES: Rosa Flores, CNN, along the U.S.-Mexico border.


SANCHEZ: Our thanks to Rosa Flores for that report.

Still more news to come when NEW DAY continues after a quick break.



WALKER: Higher prices and canceled flights haven't stopped travelers from taking trips this summer. Even as stranded passengers lost luggage and high gas prices seemed to make headlines every week. And now it is time for one more major travel weekend, Labor Day. I'm not traveling, are you?

What should we expect and what should you do if you bought your tickets or are still waiting until the last minute?

Melanie Lieberman joins me now. She is a managing editor for Global Features at "The Points Guy".

All right. So, let's take that first question. I mean, for those who are waiting at the last minute to hopefully snag a good price ticket, what should they be doing?

MELANIE LIEBERMAN, MANAGING EDITOR FOR GLOBAL FEATURES, "THE POINTS GUY": I mean, hopefully, at this point definitely know where you're going and hopefully you've been watching the prices on that flight and lock it in as soon as you can. Labor Day weekend is right around the corner. We want people to think about making those bookings, booking the first flight out if you can, and also building in a buffer day or two. Those are things you can do to take some of the pressure off because we know it could be a pretty chaotic weekend.

WALKER: And what is your advice if you end up, you know, let's say you're brave to take a flight because I had to deal with so many flight cancellations, worrying about my luggage even arriving, I met a couple who were in Europe for a week and still hadn't received their luggage.

So, what is your advice to people who are getting on a plane to hopefully, not ensure, but try to make things go smoother?

LIEBERMAN: Yeah, the reality is we're not going to see a significant improvement until next year. So we really do unfortunately want travelers to think about building in a backup plan and protecting themselves for the possibility of a delay, or a disruption or cancellation. So, again, if you have it and you can book, do a nonstop flight, that's going to help eliminate some pressure points.

Look at -- purchase a carry only bag. Make sure you're just traveling with a carry on if you can, because that will eliminate that risk of having a lost bag along the way. No one wants that stress.

Also think about making sure you have your whole backup plan mapped out. Know what other airlines are flying the route you're going to be on, have the airlines app downloaded so you'll be the first to know about any cancellations or delays on your route, and you can start rebooking yourself. You really want travelers to be proactive and feel empowered and that's what you're going to find is going to help things the most because, again, we're not going to see a significant improvement in this situation until at least next year.

WALKER: So, you know, whenever I check out after purchasing a plane ticket, there is that last little paragraph about buying travel insurance. And I always click the default no and keep going. But with all this craziness happening, do you think it is worth getting travel insurance?

LIEBERMAN: You know, if you never considered it before, this is one of those times to think about it. We know a lot of travelers are starting to turn to travel insurance, whether through the airline or through an independent provider. You know, there is really nothing you can say is more important than having peace of mind when you travel, and for a lot of people that travel insurance is going to go that extra step. But also be sure you read the fine print, know what your cancellation and rebooking policies are because there is a lot more flexibility still in those tickets that you're buying, so you might have enough wiggle room, enough flexibility, but having to add a travel insurance.

WALKER: What does travel insurance do for you, though? Is it about getting a refund for your tickets or regarding your luggage?

LIEBERMAN: Yeah, that's a great question. And it really goes policy by policy. But travelers should be thinking about making sure they can get a refund, so that's one of those things where you might get a voucher for your trip and that's not necessarily going to cut it for a lot of people. There is really nothing quite like getting that cash back in your wallet. So making sure you're booking a ticket that flexible enough to get you a full refund or that you got the travel insurance to protect that ticket.

WALKER: Melanie Lieberman, appreciate your advice. Thank you.

LIEBERMAN: Thanks for having me.

SANCHEZ: So we talked about Amara's cupcake for breakfast, my prosciutto. How about a cold dog?

WALKER: Huh, what?

SANCHEZ: This one is for some -- yeah, it's for adventurous eaters only. This Oscar Meyer special, CNN is putting it to a taste test when we come back.



WALKER: From barbecues to baseball games, it is a summer staple, of course. The good old Oscar Mayer hotdog, right?

SANCHEZ: As American as baseball and the 4th of July, right?

But as we close out summer the company decided to put a new spin on this classic.

Our Jeanne Moos tries out a cold dog so you don't have to.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Why stick to hot dogs on a bun when you can try a cold dog on a stick like a wiener-flavored popsicle, only creamier?

They've redecorated the Oscar Mayer wiener mobile for the debut of the cold dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not an Oscar Mayer hot dog, it is a gelato base.

MOOS: Oscar Mayer teamed up with a Popbar, makers of fancy, frozen desert on a stick. The cold dog even has the illusion of mustard.

Everyone who tried it said the same thing --

But it really tastes like a hot dog.


MOOS: It's not nice to talk with your mouth full, especially if the nicest thing you can say is, it's not horrible.

The cold dog was inspired by Oscar Mayer's stupid or genius campaign, featuring imaginary items like a hot dog rake and a hot dog cake. But they decided to make the cold dog a short-lived reality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like this is something I'll have in my freezer for a very long time.

MOOS: Very long.


MOOS: I'm following you.

We stepped inside the wiener mobile for a quick tour as we excited there was an NYPD officer, we feared, might be giving the wiener mobile a ticket. Instead he wanted to try a cold dog.

Tastes like what?


MOOS: Smoky.

The smoked hickory flavor seems to supply the hot dog taste, which both officers liked.

And then after I finished eating it, it continued to taste like a hot dog even when I wasn't eating it anymore. It's that lingering wiener aftertaste that sticks with you.

SONG: Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


WALKER: Gross.

SANCHEZ: I was hoping those cops were there to arrest whoever came up with that terrible idea.

Would you give it a shot, Amara?

WALKER: No way. I love how Jeanne Moos ends with the lingering wiener taste. Yeah, I mean, that's just so disgusting. Gelato is supposed to be sweet, not savory, and also looks like a hotdog. So, there's no way I would try that. That grosses me out.


SANCHEZ: The silence when they asked her if she liked it. I think that says it all right there.

So for those of us who grew up in Florida like myself, or spent a lot of time there, like Amara, this is not a completely crazy --

WALKER: Oh, yes, it is.

SANCHEZ: Well, no, people that were trying to cool off at a park in Philadelphia this week did not expect to splash around with a cold- blooded creature.

WALKER: Why yes. That's an alligator on a leash, not completely crazy, right, Boris?


WALKER: Okay, right. That's Wally. And he's the emotional support animal of a Philadelphia man who rescued the gator back in 2016. Of course, people of all ages stopped to take pictures, hopefully from afar with the affable alligator, some even picked Wally up to pet him.


SANCHEZ: This might be weird for Philly, but I know a guy in Miami who has a 12-foot gator with a pet in his I don't yard, not that weird for Florida. He looks sweet. Look at him smiling.

WALKER: No, no, I need emotional support just even being near an alligator.


WALKER: Thanks for starting the morning with us, everyone.

SANCHEZ: Appreciate you being with us.

"INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY" with Abby Phillip is up next.