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Washington D.C. Makes Preparations for Inauguration; Lance Armstrong Confesses to Doping; Manti Te'o's First Interview Since Hoax Story Broke; 29 Children Dead from Flu

Aired January 19, 2013 - 06:00   ET






RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to this very special edition of EARLY START WEEKEND. It is Saturday, January 19th. I'm Randi Kaye, coming to you live this morning from the National Mall in Washington, as we gear up for the 57th presidential inauguration.

Now, all morning, our CNN political team will be bringing you the very latest on preparations for the big day and the biggest challenges facing President Obama in his second term. We have an action-packed show for you. But first, let's bring in my colleague, Victor Blackwell, who is back in Atlanta this morning.

Victor, I know that you have some other news as well this morning.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I do, Randi. Are you bundled up out there?

KAYE: I sure am. Trying to keep warm.

BLACKWELL: All right, good.

KAYE: It's a balmy 38.

BLACKWELL: 38 degrees. All right, Randi. We'll check back in a moment.

Let's start with the first interview with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. He spoke with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap off-camera about the girlfriend hoax we've all been reading about this week. He opened up about how he got sucked in and denied he was part of it. He also explained why he lied to his family about the girl he never actually met. Now Schaap talked about Te'o's manner here. Listen.


JEREMY SCHAAP, ESPN CORRESPONDENT: I could say that in the entire 21/2 hours that we spoke, he was completely composed, self-assured. He betrayed no nervousness. He had maybe full command of the story suggests that it's a story rather than the truth, but he had a full command of everything that I posed.


BLACKWELL: Te'o told ESPN that a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted to being behind this hoax. Now he showed them a tweet, supposedly an apology from Tuiasosopo. CNN has not confirmed the tweet or Tuiasosopo's involvement.

Now we went to his home in California, but the person who answered the door did not comment.

Joining me now on the phone is our Gary Tuchman.

Gary, overnight, you spoke with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap, who did this interview. What was Manti Te'o's reason for never actually meeting this girl, who he thought was his girlfriend?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, Victor, I'll tell you that Jeremy Schaap is a good reporter and he's a good guy, and he graciously let me ask him a couple of questions when he was done with this interview, and things I was most curious about, that one question that you just mentioned, why didn't Te'o want to ever see this girl? Something I was certainly dying to know.

I mean (inaudible) he's in love but never saw her over a period of years. And Jeremy Schaap said the answer was that Te'o wanted to see her, very much wanted to see her, made arrangements to see her, but each time he would make arrangements, something would fall through, the girl couldn't do it. Something would happen and the meeting would never happen.

So you would think maybe you would fall out of love with somebody who would keep blowing you off when you made those arrangements. He certainly stayed in love with her.

Also wanted to ask Tuiasosopo, what was his motivation for doing this? Why would, over a period of years, he'd keep playing the joke on Manti Te'o? And according to Jeremy Schaap, the motivation, not clear. Manti Te'o says maybe there was a rivalry between the two of them, a Pacific Islander rivalry; that was both of their heritages. But he did not know why Tuiasosopo would do that.

Also, a very important question that I wanted to know. You were talking to a girl over a period of years. Who was that voice? What was that voice? And according to Jeremy Schaap, Te'o does not know who the voice was that was talking to him.

And finally, what was the motivation of the girl? I mean, they, over a period of years, he talked to this girl many, many times over the telephone. So the same thing you would say about Tuiasosopo, why would this girl do this so many times over the years? And according to Jeremy Schaap, Te'o says he has no idea what the motivation was of this mystery girl for doing this to him. BLACKWELL: This is such a bizarre story, and so many questions after listening to these details, as they come out. Why are these people doing this? And hopefully, both Te'o and we will get an answer for that. Gary Tuchman, thank you.

Let's stay with sports now and Lance Armstrong. He opened up to Oprah Winfrey in a second and final part of their really highly anticipated interview about the effect his doping had on his family. And he actually teared up a bit when he recalled telling his 13-year-old son about using those performance enhancing drugs.


LANCE ARMSTRONG, FORMER PROFESSIONAL CYCLIST: When this all really started, I saw my son defending me and saying, that's not true. What you're saying about my dad is not true. And it almost goes to this question of "Why Now?"

And I can't -- yes. That's when I knew I had to tell him. And he'd never ask me. He never said, Dad, is this true? He trusted me. I said, don't defend me anymore. Don't.


BLACKWELL: But even after those tears, Armstrong, the competitor, came through. You know, after this unbelievable fall from grace, the lifetime ban, he says he wants to race again. Ed Lavandera is in Armstrong's hometown of Austin, Texas.

Ed, a thousand-page report from USADA on doping. Stripped of the Tour de France titles, losing the Olympic medal from Sydney in 2000, the lifetime ban. Does he really think that he can compete again?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He doesn't seem extremely hopeful. He's got this lifetime ban. Many of the other riders who complied with the USADA report and investigators received much lighter sentences, but of course Lance Armstrong was at the top of the totem pole there on that cycling team.

And according to the USADA reporters, he was the one that spearheaded and was the mastermind of the doping program on his cycling team. So it stands to reason that he would be the person who suffers the biggest punishment. But there's no question Lance Armstrong says, look, I'm a competitor and I want to keep competing.

BLACKWELL: Armstrong says that he was, quote, "bummed out" that he got caught. But when it comes to remorse, was he, indeed, sorry for his crimes? Is there any evidence that he's sorry about what happened?

LAVANDERA: Well, I think that's the part of this interview that most people will be debating for quite some time, as they sit there and look at it. Was he simply a guy who is bummed that he got caught, or is he sincerely remorseful about everything that he had done to so many people for so long, that that's going to be the big question in all of this?


ARMSTRONG: Do I have remorse? Absolutely. Will I continue to? Will it grow? Will I -- absolutely. This is -- for me, this is just the first steps. And again, these are my actions, I've been -- I'm paying the price, but I deserve it.


LAVANDERA: You know, Victor, one of the most interesting things and one of the things that most of his critics will be taking a much closer look at in the weeks ahead is this contention that Lance Armstrong says he did not use performance enhancing drugs in the last two years that he tried to compete in the Tour de France.

He says that he had promised his first wife, Kristen Armstrong, that if he made the comeback, that she asked him to do it under one condition, that he not cross the line of using performance enhancing drugs again.

And Lance Armstrong said, quote, "You've got a deal. But the USADA says that the blood levels taken from 38 blood samples taken from Lance Armstrong during those years suggests blood levels that are not consistent with normal blood levels.

And in the words of the USADA report is that they would be one in a -- one in a million. So a lot of questions surrounding that, whether or not Lance Armstrong was again telling the truth, when it comes to doping in those last two years of performing in the Tour de France.


BLACKWELL: All right. He's coming back; this is just the beginning. Ed Lavandera in Austin, Texas, for us, thank you.

The fate of an unknown number of Americans is really unclear this morning as this hostage crisis drags on in Algeria.

Now this all started Wednesday when heavily armed militants went into a gas field in Eastern Algeria. They took hundreds captive. Algerian special forces are trying to find a peaceful way to solve this thing.

One American, 11 other hostages were killed in an Algerian military rescue operation Thursday. Now 650 others were freed or escaped. Six of them were American. And some survivors say they escaped with plastic explosives the kidnappers had strapped on their necks.

Now for lots of people, he was the face of New Orleans during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. But now, former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 federal counts of corruption.

He's accused of money laundering and bribery and tax and wire fraud. Prosecutors say Nagin's family members received a vacation in Hawaii, first class airfare to Jamaica, private jet travel. A limo for a New York City trip cost more than $23,000 as part of these alleged bribes.

Let's head back to Washington now. Randi Kaye is live this morning at the National Mall, ahead of President Obama's inauguration.

Randi, I know that there have to be some heaters out there, some blankets, something!

KAYE: Oh, yes. We have -- we have quite the fancy set out here. It's pretty warm, and I know you -- you can't see it, but I'll hold it up maybe just a little bit for you. I actually have a heated blanket on top of me. So they're taking very, very good care of us out here.

We'll be out here all morning. The party's certainly just getting started here. But then again, there's four years to look forward to.

So what issues will define the president's second term? We will take a closer look.


KAYE: But first, all morning long, we'll be taking a look back at past inaugurations. Ronald Reagan's second inauguration remains the coldest on record and, for that reason, they actually took it indoors. We'll be right back.


FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN E. BURGER: I, Ronald Reagan, do solemnly swear --


BURGER: That I will faithfully execute --

REAGAN : That I will faithfully execute --

BURGER: The office of President of the United States --

REAGAN : The office of President of the United States --

BURGER: And will to the best of my ability --

REAGAN : And will to the best of my ability --

BURGER: Preserve, protect, and defend --

REAGAN : Preserve, protect and defend --

BURGER: The Constitution of the United States --

REAGAN : The Constitution of the United States --

BURGER: So help me God.

REAGAN : So help me God.

BURGER: My congratulations, sir.





DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: You know what happens Monday, ladies and gentlemen? President Barack Obama becomes President Barack Obama for the second time. How about that? It's the inauguration!


LETTERMAN: Monday! That's Monday, the inauguration, and then Tuesday, that kicks off the 2016 campaign.


KAYE: Welcome back, everyone.

Hundreds of thousands of people are starting to descend on Washington for President Obama's second inauguration. And this morning, we're looking past the oath of office to the next four years, the plans, the prospects and the priorities. Joining me right now here is White House correspondent Dan Lothian.

Good morning to you.


KAYE: So nice to be with you in person here.

LOTHIAN: Yes, on this chilly morning.

KAYE: Yes, on this chilly morning on the National Mall.

We saw the president unveil his gun plan this week. Would you say that's job number one right now?

LOTHIAN: I think it is. You hear the president and the vice president talk about seizing the moment. They realize that there are other times when you have these mass shootings; everyone talks about, you know, coming down with some kind of new regulations. And then they forget about it.

So they realize in this case, they have the public support. Polling is showing that most Americans want stricter gun laws. And obviously, there will be opposition up on Capitol Hill. There is some bipartisan support for what the president is doing, but I think in general, there is a sense that now's the time to get it done. And so that will be a big priority for the president.

KAYE: We've also been talking quite a bit about the debt ceiling. We now have the president, he's already gotten this offer from the House Republicans for this extension, this three-month extension. And then I guess that nobody would get paid if the Senate doesn't buy this. So do you expect a big fight ahead on this as well?

LOTHIAN: Well, we expected a much bigger fight. I mean, there was that sense that this was building up to be like what we saw in the past. But the White House says they're encouraged by what Republicans are doing.

You hear Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as well, saying that they're encouraged by this move because, as you know, Republicans were saying that they would not raise the debt ceiling on this. There were these equal spending cuts. And the president came out and said, I'm not going to negotiate on this.

So this is, I guess you could say, taking some of the air out of that balloon. It won't be as intense, at least over the next few months.

KAYE: Yes. What other issue do you think is going to dominate the early days of this second term?

LOTHIAN: I think it has to be immigration reform. That's something that the president said he wanted to get done in his first term and it did not happen. There was a lot of -- a lot of, I don't know, anger, but certainly people in the Latino community were upset at the president, because they fully thought that he was going to push a lot of this through in his first term. He did not get it done.

The president said, you know, this week that this was a big priority for him. And as you know, Latinos supported him overwhelmingly --

KAYE: Yes, 71 percent, something like that.


LOTHIAN: Exactly. He got a lot of support. Republicans noticed that, so I think he has a little bit more Republican support going into whatever he plans to do on immigration reform this time around.

KAYE: All right. Dan Lothian, nice to see you here on the mall. We'll check back with you later on this morning. Thank you.

Well, we are just looking ahead right now, but next hour, we're going to take a closer look at one of those issues that will likely define President Obama's second term, and that would be immigration, which Dan was just talking about. But we'll take a closer look at it then.

All right, now I want to send it back to Victor, who's in a nice, toasty studio in Atlanta.

Hey, there, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Comfy, cozy here in Atlanta. You have some patriotic music there with you, a little fife and drum.

KAYE: Yes, we have a little band, a little band playing. Everybody's getting ready for the party here on the mall.

BLACKWELL: That's very nice. Very nice, thanks, Randi.

Hey, if you had to pick, who would you choose to play the role of Penn State Coach Joe Paterno in a movie? Think about it. We'll tell you who is taking the role.

And there could be a Lance Armstrong movie soon. The rights have already been secured.



BLACKWELL: Hey, if you love football, this is a big weekend. The Final Four NFL teams are preparing for their conference championship games. Tomorrow, it will be the New England Patriots hosting the Baltimore Ravens. And in the NFC, it's the Atlanta Falcons hosting the San Francisco 49ers.

And meanwhile, San Francisco police say they're investigating allegations of sexual abuse against Niners star wide receiver, Michael Crabtree.

Producers of a movie on the life of Joe Paterno, they now have their star. Al Pacino has signed on for the role. It's based on the best- selling biography. Now this film is expected to focus more on Paterno and his coaching career at Penn State and less on the sexual assault scandal that ended his career.

And there could also be a movie about Lance Armstrong soon. It will be based on the book "Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong." Now the book has not even been released yet, but Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot have already bought the rights. If you don't know the name, Bad Robot produced the show "Lost" and the last "Mission: Impossible" movie.

Speaking of Lance Armstrong, this story really is capturing the attention of people all over the world. CNN's Zain Verjee headed to the Tour de France's homeland from London to find out if the French are really ready to forgive -- Zain.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, this is a huge story in France and so many people stayed up into the wee hours of the morning -- 3:00 am is when it was broadcast -- just to watch and see what Lance Armstrong had to say. Everyone I talked to had an opinion.


VERJEE (voice-over): Vive la France, but not Lance Armstrong.

(on camera): I guess you don't think much of him now?

TESS TRACY: Not really. I don't really care, because he kind of ruined the Tour de France, really.

VERJEE (voice-over): The French are in no mood to forgive and forget Lance Armstrong's pack of lies. (on camera): The Tour de France is as French as La Tour Eiffel. We caught Marie biking here. And I just wanted to ask you, what did you think of Lance Armstrong's confession?

MARIE TREPPOZ, MARKETING DIRECTOR: I think it's good that he admitted, but it's really bad that it took him so long time to say that he had cheated.

VERJEE: Do you think that he could ever make a comeback?

TREPPOZ: No, I don't think so.

VERJEE (voice-over): Marie says what strikes her is that so many people helped Armstrong cheat.

Thomas Vergouwen is a longtime fan of the Tour de France. He took me for a bike ride. I asked him about the confession.

THOMAS VERGOUWEN, EDITOR, VELOWIRE.COM: I think what I would really like to see is to have him explain why he never said he was doping before. He always said the contrary. And now he just confesses.

(on camera): What does it mean for France?

VERGOUWEN: I think while people think that they have stolen -- well, that Lance has something from France.

VERJEE: What do they want back?

VERGOUWEN: Well, they cannot get those victories back to the real winner, so that's difficult. So I don't think they want anything back. They just want everyone to be done with it.

VERJEE (voice-over): I hopped off for a quick coffee in a typical Parisian cafe.

(on camera): Ooh la la. Avec toi (ph). Let's get a coffee.

(voice-over): Alexandrine says many cyclists are doping, not just Armstrong.

ALEXANDRINE MUGNIER, ART THERAPIST: I think it's a pity. It's very sad. It's a man. It's a human. All people can make mistakes.

VERJEE: Frederic (ph) tells me, Armstrong's paid enough.

FREDERIC: He has many money to give back. He has lost all his titles. And I think it's enough.

VERJEE: In Montgeron town, where the first stage of the first-ever Tour de France started, the walls of this restaurant are filled with cycling history. I got in a spat over one picture.

Lucien (ph), I think it's about time that this picture of Lance Armstrong came down. I think we should get rid of it.


He tells me that photo is part of Tour de France history and it's got to stay up.

(on camera): If you could say something to Lance Armstrong, what would it be?

VERGOUWEN: Never do this again.

VERJEE: I thought you'd swear or something, actually.


(voice-over): As Armstrong finally faces the music, France just wants to forget the stain on its beloved Tour de France.


VERJEE: Most French, though, say that they're just exhausted with this story. They've had enough. And they want the world to move on. Victor?

BLACKWELL: Zain, thanks.

Let's go back now to Randi Kaye, live on the National Mall in D.C. And we know that there's at least one fife and drum squad there, practicing and preparing. And we've seen all week all the preps with even the stand-ins for the first family as they prepare for the inauguration.

KAYE: Yes, they're -- they don't want anything to go wrong here, so they've been practicing for weeks now. And yes, we have a little bit of free music here on the mall, that I'm sure will continue throughout the morning. We'll also have plenty of security here on the mall and around Washington, in the days ahead. We'll be talking about that.

But do you worry that airport security guards get a little too close? A look at you and your family with those new whole body scanners. Well, we'll tell you about some changes the TSA is making after much public outcry.



BLACKWELL: It's 30 minutes past the hour now. Good morning. Thank you for waking up with us. Although I have to say, Rosemary, who just hit me up on Twitter, it's 10:00 p.m. in Australia, so to you, Rosemary, good night. But everyone else, good morning. We have so much to get to this morning.

Part two of Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah, Manti Te'o is now talking about this girlfriend hoax, and of course, the inauguration preps in D.C. Randi Kaye is anchoring part of the show live on the National Mall this morning. Randi, good morning. A lot to talk about when it comes to the actual event and everything that happens around it. KAYE: Oh, yes. Very busy time here in Washington, D.C. Good morning again to you, Victor. We'll have much more on the inaugural and all the preparations coming up in just a little bit. But first, let's get to some non-inauguration news.

The flu has killed nine more children in this past week. That makes 29 pediatric deaths this season. The number of elderly people hospitalized with flu-like illnesses also has spiked. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control. 30 states now report high levels of the flu, that is six more than last week. And for the first time, California is on the list. This season's flu vaccine is only about 62 percent effective, but experts say it's still the best option for staving off that flu.

The chance of a federal government default in the next few weeks has dropped significantly. That is thanks to House Republican leaders who agreed to vote next week to extend the debt limit for three months. It's a 180 from their earlier refusal to delay the debate. But there is a catch here, both the House and the Senate must pass a budget before the extension expires . And if they don't, well, guess what, Congress won't get paid.

Remember the guy who warned the TSA agent to, quote, don't touch my -- yes, you know that. Well, he doesn't have to worry anymore, apparently. That's because the Transportation Security Administration is removing all 174 full body scanners at airport security checkpoints. Officials say they can't meet a congressional deadline for making them machines less intrusive. The scanner show a naked, but shadowy outline of the body, and many people opt for manual pat-downs, anyway, including the guy who gave that very familiar warning.


JEREMY SCHAAP, ESPN: I could say that the entire 2 1/2 hours that we spoke, he was completely composed, self-assured. He betrayed no nervousness. He had maybe full command of the story suggests that it's a story rather than the truth. But, he had a full command of everything that I posed.


KAYE: That was ESPN's Jeremy Schaap talking about Notre Dame linebacker, Manti Te'o. Te'o spoke with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap off- camera about the girlfriend hoax that we've all been reading about this weekend reporting on. It's his first interview since the story broke, and Te'o says if he was the victim of a horrible hoax and that he lied to his family about meeting his Internet girlfriend, basically, because he was embarrassed.

Well, we'll have much more from the National Mall, but for now, let's head back to Atlanta and Victor, I guess we've also been talking a lot this week about that Lance Armstrong story. Boy, oh, boy, he gave quite an interview to Oprah.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and you know, we finally saw the emotion on night two. Didn't see much of it on the first night. But I'm sure you've heard, Lance Armstrong finally fessed up to using performance enhancing drugs at the height of his cycling career. Now, the truth came out in part one of his interview with Oprah Winfrey this week, this aired on her own network Thursday, the second half of the interview aired last night. And apparently, Armstrong doesn't just want to compete again, He says he's earned it. Listen.


ARMSTRONG: I can't lie to you, I would love the opportunity to be able to compete. But that isn't the reason that I'm doing this. Frankly, this may not be the most popular answer, but I think I deserve it.


BLACKWELL: Now, remember, last year Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, banned from cycling for life. Earlier, I spoke with a man who could play a major role in his future. He's David Howman, director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency. And I started by asking him what he thought of this interview.


DAVID HOWMAN, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY: Well, look, it was a confession made on a talk show. It wasn't a confession made on oath. It wasn't a confession made under the processes the that we operate under, with the World Anti-Doping code. So, so far as the process for his lifetime ban is concerned, that's finished. He had the opportunity to talk, he had the opportunity to appeal, he did not take either of those chances, and he's got a lifetime ban. This interview and confession means nothing in terms of that process.

BLACKWELL : So, something you said early this week, I want to dig deeper into this. You said earlier this week, only when Mr. Armstrong makes a full confession under oath and tells the anti-doping authorities all he knows about doping activities, can any legal and proper process for him to seek any reopening or reconsideration of his lifetime ban commence." So has that window closed now or is there still a window for him to return to professional cycling?

HOWMAN: There's still a window open for him to climb in and put a full statement on oath, to the authority, USADA, all through us, WADA, and say, look, this is all the information I could tell you. I should have done it before, I've got it now, I would like you to look at it all, and give me the chance by way of a rehearing to put it all to you and be cross-examined on it. That's called an application for a rehearing. Now, if the sufficient substance in that to warrant a rehearing, then he's got the opportunity during that rehearing to say, look, I know I did it, but a lifetime ban is too harsh. Can you reconsider that sanction? And that's an opportunity. It is there. How long it remains is now doubtful. I mean, you can't just put off and put off, particularly once you've gone on a talk show and you confessed. You can't say, I'm going to put the legal process off for another day. It's really got to come quickly.

BLACKWELL: What do you think the appetite is in the international cycling community and in the world sport community for Lance Armstrong to return to professional sports and for this ban to be lifted?

HOWMAN: Well, I think that's for others to say. I just have to say there is a process available to him and my phone is on. Everyone seems to know the number. My door is open. He can come and talk to me. The sooner he does it, the better. The reaction from others will be to whatever process then takes place, and if there is a different outcome to that, it's early days to sort of start speculating about that, because he may not even take the opportunity. So we're left at this - at the current situation, that he has a lifetime ban and he won't be able to do those things.

BLACKWELL: I think one of the remarkable parts of this story is the effort that Lance Armstrong went through to try to tamp down stories anywhere, where from someone who said that he, indeed, doped, he would bully people, sue them, threaten to sue, threaten people, anyone who got into his way. Listen to part of an interview with Travis Tygart, head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency from "60 Minutes."


SCOTT PELLY, CBS ANCHOR: Was Lance Armstrong personally involved in intimidating these other riders to keep them quiet?

TRAVIS TYGART, CEO, U.S. ANTI-DOPING AGENCY: He was. It was tough. All these witnesses were scared. Of the repercussions of them simply telling the truth.

PELLY: What could Lance Armstrong do to them?

TYGART: Incinerate them.


BLACKWELL: Tygart went on to say that parts of this program operated like the mafia. Was anyone at WADA threatened or you ever threatened?

HOWMAN: In the year of 2005, when the French laboratory issued the research reports, which indicated that he had six positive cases of EPO, we were not threatened, but we were certainly intimidated. Not so much by Armstrong. We never had any personal contact by - from him. But from members of his legal team.

And we had to take pretty strong action in terms of our legal response. Then we were subject to a similar sort of attack, if you like, by the International Cycling Union, who sued my former president, Richard Pound. So the intimidation spilled over into others, and no one's yet come to us and said, sorry for that.

We got it wrong. I would expect that to be remedied at some stage too. So we were the subject of some bullying, I would have to describe it. And don't forget, Mr. Armstrong was regarded in the cycling fraternity as the boss.


BLACKWELL: WADA, the subject of some bullying, that's from David Howman. Make sure to stick with us all morning long. We'll have more on Lance Armstrong's fall and what he hopes will be redemption.

We're also this morning talking a lot about the inauguration. And you know, it's customary for former presidents to attend inauguration ceremonies. But neither of the former Bush presidents will be in D.C. for Obama's swearing in. And we will take a look at why.


KAYE: Our live coverage of the presidential inauguration, upcoming. Those are some live pictures here of our set at the National Mall. Our beautiful set. It's quite - quite a set here. Two stories. We'll be bringing you coverage all weekend, and of course, through Monday, the big day.

Meanwhile, a former president George W. Bush was, of course, invited to the Obama inauguration, but it turns out that he can't make it and neither can his father, George H.W. Bush. Both attended the first inauguration. The elder Bush is recovering from a month-long hospital stay due to bronchitis and he's still getting some physical therapy. A spokesman for Bush 43 says the former president and his wife Laura wish the Obamas "all the best" for a wonderful inaugural weekend.

And, Victor, hundreds of thousands of people certainly expected here on the mall for the inauguration. It's just getting started. For the most part, of course, there is going to be standing room only, this whole area behind me will be packed. But the good news is, it's already about 38 degrees here. It's going to get into the 50s today. But the bad news is that it's going to get colder and colder and colder as we get closer to Monday. So it's going to be pretty chilly, apparently.

BLACKWELL: Yes, so they're going to have to wear warm socks and comfortable socks --

KAYE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: -- because they're all heading there --

KAYE: Dress warm.

BLACKWELL: -- to just stand for hours. And, you know, they're going to be standing around because there are no chairs allowed. Desiree Nathanson is with us this morning. She is the official trainer for the Atlanta Hawks cheerleaders. And people cannot walk around, because they don't want to lose the spot. What do they do to maintain that stamina while they're standing there?

DESIREE NATHANSON, FITNESS EXPERT: Well, Victor, there are four very important things that the National Posture Institute has actually come up with.

BLACKWELL: Wait a minute, there's a National Posture Institute?

NATHANSON: There is. Yes, there is a National Posture Institute

BLACKWELL: OK. All right. All right. NATHANSON: So, first, you want to stand tall, you're going to do this with me.


NATHANSON: You want to stick your chest high --

BLACKWELL: High chest.

NATHANSON: Then you want to have your shoulder blades back, like you're holding a pencil.

BLACKWELL: Pinching: All right.

NATHANSON: Then you want to engage your abs.


NATHANSON: So you should be standing like this, so that you're not rounded forward and straining these muscles back here. So that's very important. You also want to make sure that you don't lock your knees.

BLACKWELL: Oh. So I'm supposed to stand like I'm in the Hall of Presidents for eight hours there?

NATHANSON: Well, this is the thing --


NATHANSON: Perhaps every hour on the hour --


NATHANSON: You and your friends can pick a fun activity to do so you can do like - but squeezes or something, to keep you moving --

BLACKWELL: But squeezes.

NATHANSON: Or you can march in place.

BLACKWELL: OK: All right.


BLACKWELL: My friends and I don't really do butt squeezes, but if we have to, then we will.

NATHANSON: There is (inaudible).

BLACKWELL: We are burning some calories there, because that gives us something to do.

NATHANSON: Absolutely, you can burn an extra 300 calories a day just from standing.

BLACKWELL: OK. Now, what about eating? Should we have the heavy meals, should we have things with us to snack on?

NATHANSON: Well, you always want to make sure you're eating every three hours, anyway. So perhaps pack some snacks, like some bars, like (inaudible) bars, or rice bars, or some nuts, dried fruits, some apples, bananas.


NATHANSON: Just easy things you can snack on and not have to go anywhere.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the drinks. Because, of course, it's important to hydrate.

NATHANSON: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: But a lot of people will be taking hot coffee, hot cocoa, because it's going to be in the 30s. Is that the right thing to drink?

NATHANSON: Well, that's fine, if you need to drink that, but perhaps alternate it with water. So, you know, have your coffee, then have some water, you're going to be going to the bathroom a lot, but it's better to stay hydrated than have that risk of fainting from dehydration.

BLACKWELL: All right. All good to know, and the National Posture Institute --


BLACKWELL: -- which we now know about. Desiree Nathanson, thank you so much.

NATHANSON: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Hey, the crowd in D.C. for the inauguration will be a lot smaller than what we saw in 2009, but there are a lot of people who feel they must make the trip. Here's Tom Foreman with this morning's "American Journey."


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All across the nation, by planes, trains, and automobiles, the faithful are converging on the Capitol. From Georgia, Maurice Madden made the journey last time to see Barack Obama take the oath. Now it will cost him about $3,000 and a couple of days' vacation, but he's going again.

MAURICE MADDEN, TRAVELING TO INAUGURATION: I knew on the night that he was re-elected as president of the United States, that I wanted to return to Washington to be part of this celebration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president-elect of the United States, Barack H. Obama.

FOREMAN: The last inauguration saw 1.8 million Americans braving the freezing temperatures, the crushing crowds to witness this quadrennial moment. This year, the crowds are not expected to be as big.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, nice to see you again, welcome back.

FOREMAN: But still enough to fill hotels like the historic Willard, where Steve Blum says he's met seven presidents.

STEVE BLUM: I got a fist bump from Obama.

FOREMAN: And everyone has learned that the festivities are not really about any one person.

BLUM, BELL CAPTAIN, "THE WILLARD": What we celebrate is that we are the greatest democracy on this planet and that we could have this transition of power, whether it be second term or whatever it be, like no other country can.

JIM HEWES, BARTENDER, "THE WILLARD": You might not like the president, you might not like his politics, but he's the president. He's the only one we have.

FOREMAN: Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 was the first president to draw massive crowds. But in 1945, Franklin Roosevelt called off the big party when World War II was raging. Historian Douglas Brinkley.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: But that was a very unique year, 1945. In most normal situations, even if we're in a recession or we're in a foreign war, we still throw pretty big inaugurals.

FOREMAN: For Maurice Madden, it is mainly a big moment.

MADDEN: I do believe that if I'm blessed to live to be an old man, I'll be able to look back on all of this and say, I know that I was, you know, a part of American history. And that really means a lot to me.

FOREMAN: A big part of his American journey. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


BLACKWELL: This week, the big stories were all over the place. Gun control, Facebook's new venture, Lance Armstrong and Oprah. Here's a look back at the week that was.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Already, the NRA is on the attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just another elitist hypocrite.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lance Armstrong has come clean.

OPRAH WINFREY: Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good-bye, Google? Facebook is launching a new search function.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's all sorts of gems in that information.

BLACKWELL: Privacy concerns, a public confession, and political combat dominated this week that was.

OBAMA: If there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try.

BLACKWELL: And he's trying. The president unveiled an ambitious gun control agenda, with 23 executive actions.

OBAMA: There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists, publicly warning of a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty.

BLACKWELL: And cue the NRA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are the president's kids more important than yours?

JON STEWART, "DAILY SHOW" ANCHOR: And why does he get to veto bills and command an army --


STEWART: -- when we don't?!

BLACKWELL: After more than ten years of defending a lie, Lance Armstrong finally admitted what many have said for years.

ARMSTRONG: Look at the (inaudible) this guy, look at this arrogant prick.

BLACKWELL: And even though he spent millions of dollars punishing his accusers and skewering the wife of his teammate, let's get one thing straight, Betsey Andreu.

ARMSTRONG: Listen, I called you crazy, I called you (EXPLETIVE DELETED), I called you all these things, but I never called you fat.

BLACKWELL: Well, Lance, that is a relief.

KAYE: Facebook takes aim at Google.

BLACKWELL: Well, sort of. The site rolled out a new search engine this week. It basically allows you to browse your own social network for things like --

KAYE: Restaurants your friends like or look for job connections or you could even use it to find singles in your area. BLACKWELL: Yes, that's right, graph search could also land you a date or two. Something that Hillary Clinton might want to consider in the future. Just ask her husband.

BILL CLINTON: She's still got time to have three more husbands after me.


CLINTON: So I think she'll live to be 120.

BLACKWELL: That's Bill Clinton during an interview for his foundation this week, joking that he'll kick the can long before his wife.

CLINTON: She refers to me as her first husband.

BLACKWELL: Oh, Mr. President. Speaking of husbands, Elton John and David Furnish made a big announcement this week. The arrival of a second child.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I have you show a picture of the baby before we go on?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that we have it.


BLACKWELL: The baby's name, Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish John. And that's the week that was.


BLACKWELL: Let's head back out now to Randi, who is sitting on the National Mall. A beautiful sunrise behind you there.

KAYE: Yes, we were just taking a look at it, the sun just starting to come up over the Capitol, just beautiful there. We are expecting huge crowds here for the inauguration on Monday. So how hard is it to find a place to stay this weekend? Well, we made some calls and we'll show you how that went.


KAYE: Welcome back, everyone, to the National Mall, where the entire city of Washington, D.C., is getting ready for the big party. The free tickets to the inauguration are going for as much as $7,500 a piece online. And yes, I said the free tickets, going for thousands of dollars. Doesn't make much sense, does it? Also in high demand, of course, hotel rooms. So we had our Nadia Bilchik check in with some of the best hotels in town to try to find a room.


NADIA BILCHIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm wondering how much a hotel room will be for Sunday night, the night before the inauguration? Oh, a three-night minimum stay. And how much is that per night? $1,532 per night. So that's a three-night minimum, $5,262 for the three nights, but it would have to be a three-night minimum. A view overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, yes. And how much would that be? $1,665 per night, making it what for three nights, the grand total is $5,719. And I will call you back if we decide to take it. I'm wondering if I could speak to reservations, please? I'm going to make a reservation for this Sunday night.

You've got the 19th through the 22nd, and what would that be per night? $999 a night. So that's a minimum stay of 999 a night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reservations. (inaudible)

BILCHIK: And I wonder if you had any rooms left and what the price was?

You have a four-night minimum. King-sized bed, $1,145 a night and it's a four-night minimum. And if I want to upgrade to a premiere suite? A junior suite. Well, I'm curious to know how much your most expensive room is going for at this time? For the royal suite, it's $20,000 a night, four-night minimum. And has that been booked for the inauguration? It has been booked. Thank you so much.


KAYE: Twenty grand a night? What a deal.

Thanks so much for starting your morning with us. We've got much more ahead on CNN SATURDAY MORNING which starts right now.