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CNN TONIGHT: King Charles III Gives First Address To Nation In Mourning After Queen Elizabeth's Death; Trump And DOJ Submit Special Master Nominees To Review Mar-A-Lago Documents. Frances Tiafoe Playing Carlos Alcaraz For Spot In U.S. Open Finals. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired September 09, 2022 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I'm Laura Coates. This is CNN TONIGHT. The entire world is following the extraordinary pomp and circumstance of the U.K.'s first full day in 70 years without its queen. And with the funeral still days away and the official coronation of King Charles tomorrow, this may just be the beginning.

Our own Don Lemon is at Buckingham Palace. We are going to get right back to him right now. Hey, Don Lemon. How are you?


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hi, Laura Coates. Well, I'm a little chilly. We have gone today from heat to downpours and now to 57-degree temperature here. But, you know, it is interesting. It is good to be here --


LEMON: -- to witness this. Obviously, a very sad occasion and really mixed because you have a king -- Imagine being, you know, Prince Charles, all of a sudden, you become the king of the country, but you do it after losing your mother. So, it is an interesting time to be here.

COATES: Extraordinary. Think about that, just think about the task of that moment and you're there. You're aware of what everyone is really thinking of now. Eyes towards it. We are seeing all the flowers being brought. We are seeing the crowds there. A woman kissing the now King Charles III as he did a little bit of walkabout. They're used to it. His mother actually started it out.

What is the feeling out there right now? I mean, there is a bit of a mixed reaction globally to monarchies in general, but the idea of this very revered connected to shoe of a figure in Queen Elizabeth II, what it is like being out there? What is the atmosphere like out there?

LEMON: Listen, I wouldn't say -- quite honestly -- I mean, you do see some people shedding tears, but I don't think it is absolute sadness. I mean, let's be honest, she was 96 years old, it is sad that she is gone, but again, I mean, she was 96 years old.

And as our Christiane Amanpour put it earlier, as far as we know, it's her batteries. These are her worst. She sorts of ran out. You know, she is getting up there in her age. It was believed by people who were close to her, they have been saying they didn't believe that she was going to return from Balmoral in Scotland, the place that she loved so much, because she sorts of had some mobility issues, and why would she come back to this when she was sort of in her own paradise?

But there are mixed emotions here. There are, you know, people, quite frankly, who think that the monarchy is sort of a relic of the past, that the country should move past it. There are others who really like the tradition but just think that it should be modernized a bit more.

And, of course, you have the issue, quite frankly, of diversity, the past dealings or doing of the monarchy. They may have a lot to answer for and make up for when it comes to what had been done to brown and Black people in the commonwealth.

COATES: And we are going to see a lot. I mean, the idea of the king having coronation tomorrow, it is a new era, frankly, and this is somebody we've have heard the opinions of him in the past unlike we've heard from the late queen. So many actresses, as you know, in different series have tried to personify what they believe her emotions and thoughts would be, and here we are in real time going to see quite a different scenario.

But you're right, so many people around the world are watching this, and some are wondering about the focus. Others know that there has been quite a fixation on the crown on what is known as "the firm" when it comes to the royal weddings, the idea of what has happened in the past, the more recent turbulence in the royal family. And we are seeing a lot of reaction here. But I just -- I can't help but think.


I mean, Don, here we are in the United States talking about the transition of power and the difficulties and the shortcomings and the hurdles as people believe and think about it, and here we had the second, the last breath of the queen, a king, essentially, rose to power. And it's just so different to think about that very notion, how are so different, and yet our history and maybe our futures are very much intertwined.

LEMON: Well, listen, we're so different and not so different. Listen, we do not have monopoly on reality shows. I would say that the monarchy was the first, great, the original --


LEMON: -- reality show and certainly within the last decade or so. Maybe even before. I think with Diana, you know, the mask sort of dropped. The wall started to come down because Diana was open about how she felt about the monarchy, her feeling that she was on display, her problems, eating disorder, her husband who is now married to the woman who she said was the third person in her marriage. I think that was the first reality show, so to speak, that we have seen, and it played out in real time for us. Think about what happened with Meghan and Harry and also what is happening or has happened with Prince Andrew.

So, there is a lot to look at here. But yes, it is a great transition of power here. There isn't a real political role for the monarchy, for the royal family here, but there is a constitutional role, people being sworn in. There is a great tradition that the people respect here, and we'll see how far that carries into the future with William and with his father, now King Charles.

COATES: The third, don't forget to add the third. You got to get the full title there, Don Lemon.

LEMON: The third.

COATES: It's the third, Don Lemon.

LEMON: It's hard for me to even to get king out. I'm so used to saying Prince Charles.

COATES: I know. In a way, it is kind of feels like how everyone -- there is the whole vice president -- I mean, President Biden. We are going to have the prince -- I mean King Charles moment for quite a long time.

Don Lemon, thank you so much. Get some rest. You are eyes and ears on the ground. We love having your perspective and seeing the world through your eyes, even across the pond, my friend. Good night.

LEMON: Thank you, Laura Coates. I appreciate it. Good night.

COATES: You're welcome, Don Lemon. Now, I want to turn now to Nic Robertson, who is at Balmoral in Scotland. And again, our eyes and ears on the ground on what we are seeing in Balmoral. We are going back to this place, a place where many of us remember when Princess Diana passed, the family learned of her passing there. We know this has been a reprieve, a sanctuary, a paradise, as Don has described it as well, for the late queen.

Just yesterday, they were there receiving the word that she had passed and peacefully. I wonder, Nic, you've been there and you actually -- and we all heard now soon to be officially King Charles III on that hot mic describing that -- in very emotional way, this is a moment that he in many respects was lamenting and was not eager to have happened.

And I just wonder what it's like out there. What are you seeing? What are you understanding to be the emotional state of the family known as "the firm?"

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yeah, I think that a hot mic moment is also an interesting moment because, you know, prime ministers, historically, have spoken to the monarch about once a week. This is a private audience they would have. The prime minister of the day would show up at Buckingham Palace, and the queen's first prime minister was Winston Churchill, you know, a towering figure and a daunting figure for a young queen to be sitting with.

But there was always, during those conversations, a confidentiality. No prime minister would ever reveal the content of the conversation with the monarch. Yet here is the monarch with the new prime minister who the queen had only just invited to form a government just a couple of days ago. There's a camera there and the microphone picks up the very intimate words, the sort of words you wouldn't ever hear.

The queen, over her time with 15 different prime ministers, was really someone who later prime ministers talked about -- about giving them advice about encouragement, about steadying them through the difficult times of their leaderships. This is both prime minister and the king, King Charles III, knew.

In a new environment and a hot mic, we picked up a snippet of the raw emotion that King Charles is going through, the loss of his mother and the hugely daunting prospect not just of becoming king but this whole question of, can he do it?


Can the people love King Charles the way they loved his mother? He understands why and how they loved his mother, but can he rise and aspire to that and be good for the monarchy and make sure that "the firm" is on stable footing and can endure -- let's think about it, we have had a thousand years of kings and queens in this country -- can it endure and carry on?

Perhaps, in his son, Prince William, now the Prince of Wales along with Kate as Princess of Wales, the title Diana had, perhaps it is possible. They take their children to school. So different to what Prince Charles, now King Charles, of course, experienced, sent off to boarding school. The royals take their children to school and pick them up at the end of the day. It is so different already.

COATES: That is such an important point, that phrase you said just now, Nic, the idea, can he be good for the monarchy? That in and of itself, what is good now, will have to change and evolve with the times. You had a monarch for 70 years but a lot has changed.

You pointed to Prime Minister Winston Churchill for Americans. We are thinking about -- we are talking about since the presidency of Harry Truman. What a different world we are in and one would have to keep up with the times in order to maintain them.

Nic Robertson, thank you so much. More on the late queen, the new king's message to England, and the future of the monarchy is ahead in this hour.

But up next, a late word tonight on the newest legal battle front in the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. The Justice Department and the Trump legal team together offering up names for the role of special master although they've offered different ones. They are really making these vastly different arguments about how things should go from there. We will come right back to that.




COATES: So just about 90 minutes ago, we got brand-new filings from both the DOJ and former President Trump's legal team, and each are responding to a judge's decision to temporarily, as you know, block the FBI from using the documents that were seized from Mar-a-Lago in its criminal investigation until what you know as a special master has a chance to go through all of them.

They agreed on a little. They happen to disagree on a lot. That can't be the shock of the century that there was some disagreement there. But our senior justice correspondent Evan Perez has been going through the entire joint filing, and he joins me now along with former deputy assistant attorney general, Elliot Williams, and former FBI chief of the counterespionage section, Peter Strzok. A great panel to talk about these issues.

Evan, first of all, what is in this filing? What are you learning?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we see a lot of disagreement, obviously. There is, you know, for instance, the Justice Department wants this to be quick. They want this to be done in about five weeks. October 17th, I think, is the deadline that they put down. Trump team says, how about 90 days? How about three months?

COATES: How about never?

PEREZ: How about never?

COATES: We never know.

PEREZ: Right, exactly. We know the game there. The government wants the special master to not look at classified documents and not to consider anything about executive privilege which, of course, they don't believe is a thing.

Trump says -- of course, the whole point of this is to look at executive privilege along with attorney-client privilege. They want to look at everything. And so, you know, I think those are two big places where the two sides disagree.

One other thing I think is interesting in the filing is you see Trump saying, for the first time, maybe suggesting, that they are trying to take the position that maybe not all these documents are actually classified.

They say in this thing that the government is presuming these things are classified when, really, they are marked classified and it's up to the special master to try to decide whether these items are actually classified. I think it's a very interesting way for them to open up that little area that we've all been waiting for them. Trump, of course, has been saying on the social media platforms that I declassified everything, but they did not actually take that position in court.

And so, I'm not sure whether this is what they are trying to do here or whether they are just trying to be a little bit coy with the whole situation to say, well, the special master will decide whether these things are actually classified.

COATES: What a position to be in, Peter. I mean, the idea of a special master who is likely going to get some sort of security clearance and review of documents quickly, if at all, should that person be in a position to say, is that classified or not? Isn't that the purview of the government, not a special master?

PETER STRZOK, FORMER FBI COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AGENT, AUTHOR: Absolutely. It's not whether or not a special master is appointed. If they are -- whether or not they're coming across things that marked as declassified or not, they have to presume that there may be some unmarked things that are classified.

I absolutely agree with Evan. What stood out to me, you know, the bulk of the government's filing said, you know what, we disagree that a special master is needed at all, but at a minimum, these marked classified documents should be off limits. That should go directly to the risk assessment that the intelligence community is doing, as well as the investigators who are going to pursue it.

This was Trump's chance to argue, in a filing, saying, hey, he did magically declassify this. To take some sort of stand to push back against what the government was saying, they didn't do. What that tells me is not that I don't know that they're playing coy, I think they realize that it's not a legally supportable argument to say that Trump magically declassified it. That's what leapt out at me.

Again, I don't think they made a strong counterargument. And I hope, you know, Evan indicated, this does open the door potentially for Judge Cannon to say, okay, classified documents are off limits for special master.


COATES: Which makes sense. First of all, don't take the street word for it. Bill Barr said something similar about the idea of declassification. Mike Pompeo said something very similar. President Biden about the idea of waving a magic wand. But it makes sense in a way.

Okay, you want to review privileged documents, but the meat of the matter here are the classified documents. So, is it appropriate to compartmentalize the way DOJ is trying to and saying, fine, privilege, you got it, classified, a whole different ballgame?


this go away, Laura, and like you're saying, just segregate out, take out those classified documents, and just have the special master, as a special master would do in virtually any other case, review things for attorney-client privilege and other problems.

COATES: It is an easier lift, you're saying?

WILLIAMS: It's an easier lift. And it does not require the kind of back and forth that I think is now opened up. The judge now has to rule on the Justice Department's motion from a few days ago. They've now put that in a box.

COATES: But that back and forth, Evan, you're reporting, you've gone through it. They actually anticipate having to do a back and forth about who needs to review things and when. Is it a special master first? Is it us talking amongst ourselves? Not us, obviously the Trump team and DOJ for special master. They anticipated all of this drama.

PEREZ: They really did. I think they were ready for that. The most important thing, I think, that they want is for the FBI to have the restored access to these documents which is pretty extraordinary for what this judge did last week or rather this week. I don't know how long this drama --

COATES: What day is it? Who knows?

PEREZ: What day is it? I don't even know.


PEREZ: But, you know, the idea that she has cut off access to these documents for the Justice Department and a part of the Justice Department which at its core, that is their job, right, is to investigate crime.

One last thing I just want to point out really quick, one of Trump's nominees or the names that he suggests is Raymond Dearie, who served on the FISA court. He signed one of the orders for surveillance on Carter Page.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

PEREZ: And you can see what they are trying to do there, right? They know that he signed. This is one of the orders of the Justice Department that they later withdrew because they said there were serious errors and omissions in them. So, you can see that they're trying to find somebody that perhaps might have some very deep suspicion about the FBI.

COATES: Or maybe an extra grind, the idea you played -- fooled me once. What do you make of that, Peter?

STRZOK: Well, I think I am always curious when you see somebody certainly that has a background one in intelligence, bringing something to it. Even if there is some level of suspicion about what happened, the fact of the matter is he served on the foreign intelligence surveillance court, he was the chief justice, he has experience in the national security context.

So, you know, I thought, at least from the Trump side of things, that was a pretty interesting nomination because --

COATES: Clearance.

STRZOK: It seems like. And if doesn't, it could be reinstated. And certainly, he has the ability to look at a classified document and not needs to be brought up to speed because they have a nominee -- I mean, he is a commercial litigator. He has no experience in national --

WILLIAMS: Well, I think the bigger issue is he is not just a commercial litigator. His wife is a judge on the 11th circuit court of appeals, which is the court of appeals that would hear this case if it gets appealed. It is a glaring conflict of interest. Even if they could figure out a way to have her hear the case, it just looks really bad. And so that --

COATES: You don't think that optics is good, do you?


PEREZ: -- who is Trump's current lawyer in this case.

WILLIAMS: Look, I get it. There is certain degree of combat to litigation and you want to win. But, Mr. Huck, more than anybody else, the name of the attorney, on its face, it just presents a conflict and sort of problematic. The two names that the Justice Department put forward are both former federal judges, well respected on both sides of aisle.

PEREZ: They shopped for a judge? What makes you think that they were shopping for --

WILLIAMS: Republican nominees --

STRZOK: But one of the judges put forth by the government was, in fact, with the majority opinion that blocked, at least initially, the House subpoena to Don McGahn. That was overturned. But the point is these are not, you know, by any stretch of the imagination, you know, very liberal far-left judges. There are some folks there that did in the past rule in a way that Trump would find favorable.

COATES: This is why this is such an important conversation and why as breaking it down is so helpful because at first (INAUDIBLE) I think a lot of the talking points we try to capitalize on is that his name (INAUDIBLE) nothing, but there is no correlation, there is coincidence.

Excellent reporting. Thank you all. Elliot Williams, Peter Strzok, Evan Perez, thank you so much.

And look back overseas, roughly 24 hours after the death of his mother, the new king of England gives the biggest speech of his life, addressing a nation that is grieving along with him and his family, and speaking directly to his darling mama. [23:25:04]

We will show you, next.


COATES: At age 73, the oldest child of Queen Elizabeth is now the oldest monarch to ever assume the British throne. King Charles III prepared his entire life for this moment. But it is not a celebratory time for him by any stretch as we overheard the grieving son tell the U.K.'s new prime minister earlier today.


KING CHARLES III, KING OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: It's the moment I have been dreading, as I know a lot of people have, but, we'll try and keep everything going.


COATES: Keep everything going is just what he pledged to do today, offering the people comfort while he himself along with his family mourns both in person and during his first televised address to his nation as the king.



KING CHARLES III: I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. My beloved mother was an inspiration, an example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family could owe to their mother. Queen Elizabeth's was a life well lived, a promise with destiny kept, and she is mourned most deeply in her passing.

I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you, and I share that sense of loss beyond measure with you all. In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.


COATES: Imagine having to comfort an entire nation, really around, while you yourself just lost your beloved mom. He will never serve 70 years on the throne like his mother did or anything, frankly, close to that, but he did bow and bows to lead by her example.


KING CHARLES III: That promise of lifelong service, I renew to all today. I, too, now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation. I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect, and love, as I have throughout my life.

My life will, of course, change as I take up my new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.


COATES: It's expected of the British monarch to, of course, be apolitical. So, the king, who once weighed into environmental matters and, frankly, other polarizing issues, will now likely be much more muted.

Now, in his speech, King Charles also bestowed his former title of Prince of Wales on his eldest son, William, who is now first in line to the British throne, and his wife, Kate, becomes Princess of Wales. She is the first now to hold that title since William's late mother, Diana. The king also warmly mentioned his youngest son and daughter- in-law, who chose to leave royal life for new life here in America.


KING CHARLES III: I want to also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.


COATES: At the end, we saw a sight of this new king that we've never seen quite before, a son who just lost his mother, talking directly to his now late mother.


KING CHARLES III: And to my darling mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late papa, I want simply to say this, thank you, thank you for your love and devotion to our family, and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


COATES: A rare humanization of somebody who obviously knew her far better than the rest of the world, and intimately so as her son. May Queen Elizabeth rest in eternal piece.

Right back, in a moment, with much more of her life and her lasting legacy, will be next.




COATES: In the coming hours, King Charles will be formally proclaimed the new sovereign, and in a historic first, the right will actually be televised. Now, already, however, the king has fully taken on his mother's duties, just in a nation at a time of grief and uncertainty, just as she had done over seven decades. So, many are now wondering just what kind of king will King Charles III be? We have the perfect guests on tonight: royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith, professor of British history and politics Laura Beers, and the managing editor of politics at "Axios" Margaret Talev. Welcome to all of you.

My diction is thrown off, hearing all of the British accents this evening. So, there you go, if they're wrong (INAUDIBLE) should appear, that's excuse me.

Let me begin with you here, Sally, on this notion because many people, obviously, there is a constant of Queen Elizabeth, and really, you've known Prince Charles, but who might he be as king knowing full well that he cannot be as a local about his opinions any longer, he must be apolitical and very much behind the scenes? What do you think we can expect?

SALLY BEDELL SMITH, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think stability. He has a prime minister who has been in office for two days, which is astonishing.


And the queen, of nothing else, represented stability, tradition, continuity. And you could see the (INAUDIBLE) in his speech today. He mentioned tradition. And I think he has spent his entire career devoted -- as he said, I'm going to put my causes and my charities assigned, and there are other people who would be able to run them.

And in fact, he has been doing that gradually for probably 10 years. He has been gradually sort of diminishing them. Although, he has still been -- you know, he has still been speaking out on climate and on other issues that have been near and dear to his heart.

But he knows now that as a monarch, he must do what the government tells them to do. He cannot give a speech without the government approving it, a very different from the way he would operate as Prince of Wales.

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There's like a real natural (ph) tension there because it's those things that have been these (ph) terrible causes that can actually endear him to a world, to these other 14 countries that are part of that commonwealth realm where there are really a lot of movements against the monarchy, these talks about, should we become a republic?

When you're championing issues like climate change or some of the charitable workings done for people in need, some of the words he used in his speech about respect, was a word that stuck in my ear, and loyalty, kind of flipping the script on colonial days, he recognized this, that he is up against a huge wave of public sentiment, millions of people around the world who think about the legacy of oppression, of slavery, of imperialism.

And he, to hold together, to preserve some vestige of the monarchy, he has to reset that. He has to dial it back. He is talking about slowing it down. But he also has to change people's minds about what he represents, and it may be really hard for him to do that while he is walking that line.

BEDELL SMITH: (INAUDIBLE) power. He has sort of negative power.

TALEV: Yeah.

BEDELL SMITH: He had more power, really, as the Prince of Wales. And he is a great believer in the commonwealth, which is not really threatening. I think we are talking about 56 nations. And he has been a real advocate for these small nations, for good governments, reaching out. You know, Prince Charles is taking that all around the world. So, it's not only been voicing things, he's actually been doing things.

COATES: And yet, Sally, as you know, there are many nations, Laura, and of course, as well the realm and the empire was quite larger. Now, you have many countries who are pulling back for the reasons you're talking about. Seeking their independence, wanting to be a republic.

(INAUDIBLE) most recently was one of those nations who say, okay, we've had enough of this sort of monarchy and what's going on. There has been this constant, though, but Margaret and Sally, I have to make this point, in order to keep their relevance and the support, they have to evolve and recognize what's being said.

LAURA BEERS, PROFESSOR OF BRITISH HISTORY AND POLITICS, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: I mean, in some ways, the comment that he can't really say anything or do anything without the space of the government now underscores the extent to which he really is a figurehead. And I think it is not going to be the case in the United Kingdom any time soon. There is a discussion about doing away with the monarchy.

But I think in Australia, that discussion is already happening, right? In places like New Zealand, it is already happening. We saw just recently (INAUDIBLE) speaking. The Republic of Jamaica is on that road by 2025.

It's a bit up in the air. Recent opinion polling in Canada suggested a very slender majority would prefer to be a common republic even before the queen's passing. So, I think, while his future is, as monarch is secure in Britain, it's less stable in the commonwealth, and I totally agree with you --


BEERS: But I don't think the commonwealth is going to send there, right, and not at least everyone wants to start (INAUDIBLE) commonwealth gains.


BEERS: But whether or not the monarch (INAUDIBLE), some of them decide they want to be a republic.

COATES: I mean, he's not totally powerless. And there were three rights that still exists. The right to advise, to warn --


BEDELL SMITH: You can still encourage --

COATES: Behind the scenes, he still has some power.

BEDELL SMITH: Well, he has those powers which are, you know, they're almost passive. He doesn't have the power to advise, to say you should do this, you should do that. And the queen, you know, in her capacity to be a consultant, she would say, you think that's why or have you thought about another possibility?

COATES: Not so productive as the idea of being able to say, here's what we're going to do.

BEDELL SMITH: I mean, you can't. I mean, the monarch can't do that.

BEERS: At the same time --

BEDELL SMITH: It can be a sounding board.

BEERS: At the same time, each prime minister, every week, sits down with the monarch, kind of keeps her or now him abreast of what has happened in parliament, what policies the government is putting forward.


And that informal sounding board, I think, that takes place weekly. There is a lot of subtle power of influence that can be conferred in that.

COATES: Now, Margaret, as you know, I mean, you've got somebody who is the constant, not formerly prince, about to be King Charles and the brand-new prime minister. I mean, one of them has some seniority.



TALEV: Two days. I mean, look at what is going on in Britain right now. We have been talking about this for days and even before the queen's passing. But the implications of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, this insane energy bills that Americans are dealing with, not completely manageable, that is a hard way to come in as prime minister, and then whatever the constancy of a monarch is worth is now off the table also.

I think for King Charles, it is also a very unique opportunity to reset people's impressions of you. He has always been sort of a very reluctant public figure. He is either misunderstood or feels that he is misunderstood.

COATES: Today, someone kissed him on the cheek in a COVID era, I'm just saying. (CROSSTALK)

COATES: And he did not push back.

BEDELL SMITH: Two people (INAUDIBLE) hand.

TALEV: It is just a time of huge change and uncertainty in the U.K., and to have a new prime minister and the end not just of a queen's reign but that queen's reign, I mean, decades, most people's lives, she was the one constant in many people's lives.

BEDELL SMITH: She really is Britain's identity. Fifteen prime ministers have come and gone, and she remained. And she knew everything, she had been everywhere. She can tell prime ministers the things that they never heard before.

COATES: I mean, when you think about the prime ministers and around here in the states -- I mean, ever since President Harry Truman -- think of all that changed here in our country and compare to what she has seen, it is a fascinating time.

Sally Bedell Smith, Laura Beers, Margaret Talev, I wish we have more time with all of you and your insights. Thank you so much.

BEDELL SMITH: Thank you.

COATES: And speaking of changing times, a special year at the U.S. Open is heading to the big finish this very weekend. But this year's action is also the start of something. A historic generational shift that is unfolding on the courts. We are going to talk about that, next.




COATES: All right, now to the U.S. Open, an exciting close match going on right now as we speak between American Frances Tiafoe and Spain's Carlos Alcaraz. Tiafoe won a fourth set tiebreaker now, forcing a fifth set.

Joining me now is Patricia Turner, the director of the Arthur Ashe Legacy Project at UCLA. Patricia, it is so nice to see you this evening. You're actually at the Open earlier tonight. This is a real crowd favorite now. Frances Tiafoe is getting people to talk about some really important athleticism. Tell me what you're seeing today.

PATRICIA TURNER, DIRECTOR, ARTHUR ASHE LEGACY PROJECT, UCLA: Well, what is really exciting for me as the director of the Arthur Ashe Legacy Project is the manifestation of what Arthur Ashe would have loved, I think, to have seen.

It has been 54 years since he was the first African-American male to win. And I often tell my students, he was the last African-American male, and there are so many similarities between him and Frances in their trajectory, what got them here. So, it is a really exciting time for those of us really familiar with the story of Arthur Ashe.

COATES: And we're learning more about the story of Tiafoe. I mean, his background is so unbelievably compelling. Tell us a little about why it is there are these comparisons.

TURNER: Well, we will start with the fact that Arthur Ashe was able to play tennis. He learned the game because his father was the groundskeeper for what was called the negro park enrichment (ph), the only place where he as an African-American could good play tennis in the city. But tennis court was in his backyard. He had that proximity.

It's the same story with Tiafoe. His father is the grounds manager for the tennis courts. They are integrated courts, of course, but he literally sleeps next to the courts. It's the exact same scenarios we had with Arthur Ashe.

Arthur Ashe, in 1969, he wanted to expand the range of people who could play tennis, stop it from being a country club sport. So, he, Sheridan Snyder, and Charlie Pasarell founded the National Junior Tennis League. Tiafoe came up through the National Junior Tennis League. So, you know, yet another comparison between the two of them.

COATES: Well, you think about these manifestations, I mean, it really is unbelievable to think about. Of course, the statue is still standing in Richmond, Virginia of Arthur Ashe.

And the idea of Arthur Ashe Stadium and what's happening right now, there's a lot of excitement, regardless of whether he is successful and winds. I mean, he is successful in this process. He has become the fan favorite in so many respects because of his passion for the sport that's so transparently there.

TURNER: Absolutely. He, like Ashe, talks and emphasizes that he wants to be a role model for the generation after this.


He also wants to be, you know, move his family. This isn't just about Tiafoe as an athlete moving forward. It's about his family. It's about his community. It's about Americans because it has been so long since an American has even reached this stage.

COATES: It is such an important point. And the idea of why people -- I mean, it's always more than just about the game. It's about all the different things. One of the few sports, as you know, where the magnifying glass is on the particular person to carry so much with him on his back. Truly unbelievable. We're all watching with breath.

Patricia Turner, thank you so much for your time. Nice speaking with you.

TURNER: Nice speaking with you, Laura.

COATES: We're watching to see what happens. Thanks to everyone here for watching, as well. CNN's coverage of the royal succession continues live from Buckingham Palace right after this.