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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Learning About Rural America; Interview with Democratic Candidate for Georgia Governor Stacey Abraams; People Gather for Free Speech Rally in Boston. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired August 19, 2017 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:00:00]

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- people have discovered the healing benefits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tai Chi improves our psychological health, and if we have depression, anxiety or sleep problems, it improves all those problems.

The practice of Tai Chi overtime alters the underlying physiology in such a way that we're more resilient and we're less likely to develop chronic diseases of aging.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all need a practice, whether it's Tai Chi or something else, that allows us to slow down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The firing of President Trump's senior strategist Steve Bannon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sources tell CNN Bannon was supposed to be fired two weeks ago.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were laughing at me when I was saying, hey, this guy Trump is going to be serious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bannon's outsider status caused friction with the D.C. insiders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you think they're going to give your country back without a fight you are sadly mistaken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the president himself that failed America. He's failed the United States in terms of moral leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden these statues of civil war generals that were installed in the Jim Crow era here, they became touch stones of terror.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those statues represent the honor, the courage and the bravery of the confederate soldier. Those soldiers were not fighting to perpetuate the institution of slavery.

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CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Wishing you a good morning. Thank you for being here this morning. There's growing fall out from President Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville one week ago today.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Business titans, charities and an Evangelical advisor, all part of this remarkable rebuke of the president.

PAUL: The treasury secretary maybe feeling some of the heat this morning as well. Steven Mnuchin, a former Yale classmate, apparently, urging him to resign. In a letter posted online, more than 300 alumni say it's Mnuchin's moral obligation to step down.

BLACKWELL: And you'll remember, you see the video here on Tuesday Mnuchin stood right next to the president at that news conference when the president doubled down on his stance about violence in Charlottesville, claiming that both sides were to blame.

PAUL: And a week after that deadly violence there in Charlottesville there are new concerns this morning about what could happen today in Boston. Thousands of people are expected to attend what's billed as a free speech rally, but they won't be the only ones downtown.

There are counter-protestors expected to march and demonstrate against the hate, and they won't be that far away.

CNN correspondent, Polo Sandoval, joining us now. Polo, I understand from city leaders there they are building physical barriers to try to keep these two groups apart.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Christi, you could see one of those physical barriers right behind me. Those weren't there yesterday. They have put up those concrete barriers surrounding portions of Boston common here trying to prevent any vehicle from making its way in.

Sadly, we saw the results of what happened there a week ago today in Charlottesville, Virginia, so as a result, even though this event has been planned for weeks now, officials are really upping those security measures with hundreds of police officers, cameras and of course, undercover officers will be in the crowd keeping a very close eye on the crowd.

Even though both sides are calling for a peaceful demonstration today, not just some of these free speech rally organizers, but also some of these counter-protesters that are organizing about two miles away from here, and then making their way here to Boston common. I can tell you, though, having heard from city officials here in Boston yesterday, there is that concern that perhaps some of that mixed messaging from President Trump could perhaps embolden some of the individuals who may show up today to get a little violent, so as a result, really what we heard yesterday from Commissioner William Evans is this call for peace and also civility.

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COMMISSIONER WILLIAM EVANS, BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: I just think the rhetoric has really brought this to a different level, and that's what we're worried about. I've never seen so many people looking, almost looking for confrontation.

And, you know, we've got to knock it down and remember what tomorrow is about. Tomorrow is about coming together against the hate and bigotry that we've seen, unfortunately, in this country over the last couple of weeks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Commissioner Williams also adding a very stern warning about today's events, that if there is any violence that breaks out, Victor and Christi, they will bring things to a close. They will stop things.

But at this point what we're sealing several hours before the event, the Boston Globe says it best, this is the calm before the rally. Things expected to get started here in a couple of hours -- guys.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, we appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All Right. Now To The Exodus From The White House, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon fired, and this morning more than 20 hours or nearly 20 hours, we should say, after his departure, the president is now speaking about Bannon on Twitter.

[08:05:05] Sending this out, this official statement, "I want to thank Steve Bannon for his service. He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary. It was great."

Let's go live now to CNN White House correspondent, Athena Jones. And we were wondering when we would hear from the president, kind of a boilerplate thanks for coming. And we know or at least we're waiting to find out what the real impact will be.

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Victor. That's right. We are waiting to see what impact Steve Bannon's departure will have on the White House. There's a school of thought that believes that Steve Bannon was responsible for a good deal of the infighting.

He himself has talked about his professed right west wing enemies like Gary Cohn, economic adviser, and of course, the president's son-in- law, Jared Kushner. He's indicated that Breitbart, the publication he headed before joining the White House and before joining the campaign. And that he has now returned to will not go to war against the president, but will go to war for -- on behalf of the president, on behalf of the kind of nationalist and the populist policies that both Bannon and Trump professed on the campaign trail.

There's also the thinking that new Chief of Staff John Kelly wanted to bring a sense of order to the White House, and so a departure of someone who was -- is responsible for some of the infighting could lead to a more effective, more efficient White House that can more effectively get the president's agenda through.

I should mention the president also tweeted just a few minutes ago about his meetings at Camp David yesterday, saying, "Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented generals and military leaders. Many decisions made, including on Afghanistan."

So, Victor, that is a preview of perhaps that we will get some sort of announcement on Afghanistan and troop levels just in the next few days -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Athena, one of the elements that Steve Bannon talked about with the "Weekly Standard" was his response to Charlottesville this week, saying that that's his default, that's the message that got him elected, that connects with his base.

Steve Bannon and President Trump may be the only two people at that level in the White House who believe that that has been effective and has worked on his behalf and helped him over the last several days.

JONES: You're absolutely right. Those two -- Steve Bannon was one of the ones who was telling the president that he made the right moves that he said the right words. Whether it was on Saturday or on Tuesday.

But there has been a growing backlash to the president's response this past week in Charlottesville, and not just from critics, not just from Democrats but also from fellow Republicans.

We saw the former Republican nominee for the president, Mitt Romney, post a lengthy and scathing post on Facebook calling on the president to apologize for his remarks to show that he stands for what he said on Monday, which is against white supremacy, against neo-Nazis, against the KKK.

I should mention news we got just this morning that the White House has announced that they are no longer going to participate in the Kennedy Center honors. These are a big deal. It's a big reception and gala each year honoring artists and performers.

And the reason, Victor, is that -- we talked about business councils and charities pulling out of Mar-a-Lago, business leaders pulling out of the president's advisory councils, him having to disband them.

We've also seen, though, artists and performers who were going to be honored at the Kennedy Center gala saying that they were going to skip the pre-gala reception at the White House. This is usually something that honorees want to take part in, but we heard from television writer and producer, Norman Leer (ph), who earlier this month even before the events in Charlottesville told "The New York Times" he planned to skip that gala in protest of the president.

We also heard from another honoree who said that she was planning to skip it and Lionel Richie who has said he is a friend of the president telling the "Today Show" that he was a maybe.

So, the White House pulling out, showing the president -- or a lot of people feeling that associating with the president is not good for their brand or their image -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Athena Jones for us this morning in Bridgewater at the president's golf resort there in Bedminster. Thanks so much.

PAUL: I have to tell you about something else we've been watching this morning. Six police officers shot in three separate incidents. Two in Florida, one in Pennsylvania.

In Kissimmee, Florida, one officer is dead and a second is in critical condition right now in what police are calling a possible ambush. Then two officers were shot in Jacksonville, Florida and in a third incident, two Pennsylvania state troopers were shot.

CNN digital correspondent, Dan Lieberman, has been looking into all of this. What can you tell us about each of these incidents, Dan?

DAN LIEBERMAN, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys. Well, we have three different shootings of police officers. It happened last night, two in Florida as you mentioned and one in Pennsylvania.

One of them just outside of Orlando in Kissimmee. Two officers responded to a 911 call. It may have been an ambush situation. The officers were surprised and they weren't able to return fire. One of the officers died and the other is critically injured. Here is what the police are saying.

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[08:10:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It breaks my heart to have to come speak to you tonight about another senseless tragedy, one that's resulted in the death of one of our police officers and a grave critical situation of another.

This evening Sergeant Sam Howard, a ten-year veteran of the Kissimmee Police Department and Officer Matthew Baxter, a three-year veteran --

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LIEBERMAN: And police arrested three people following the shooting and are searching for a fourth person. And then in Jacksonville, Florida, two officers were shot when they responded to an attempted suicide call when they encountered a man with a high-powered rifle then exchanged gun fire.

The officers were hit and injured. The suspect also was shot and died after being taken to a local hospital. The Jacksonville Police Department saying this.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anytime that an officer is injured in the line of duty, it's tough, and this case is even tougher. I mean, these are serious injuries, and these are people that we work with day in, day out. And they are sworn -- they have a commitment to the community, and tonight they held fast to that commitment. Like I said, they knew as they were approaching that house the seriousness of this and didn't flinch.

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LIEBERMAN: So that's Florida. And then in Pennsylvania, Southwestern Pennsylvania in fair chance just south of Pittsburg, two state troopers were shot last night as well near a grocery store. Both officers taken to the hospital in stable condition.

And President Trump and Florida Governor Rick Scott reacting to these shootings on Twitter. The president saying, quote, "My thoughts and prayers are with the Kissimmee police and their loved ones. We are with you."

And Florida Governor Rick Scott saying "Heartbroken to hear the loss of Kissimmee Police Officer Matthew Baxter. Praying for a quick recovery for officer in critical condition." Back to you, guys.

PAUL: All right. Dan Lieberman, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Well, CEOs, charities, churches, dozens are turning away from the president after his controversial reaction on Charlottesville. Can the White House contain, stop the fallout?

PAUL: Also, young rural Americans feeling like strangers in their own country, understanding the white nationalist movement and why some young men, white men become radicalized.

BLACKWELL: And a candidate for governor in Georgia wants to remove the state's largest confederate monument. We'll speak with her about it.

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[08:16:39]

BLACKWELL: All right, 16 minutes after the hour now. A growing number of President Trump's supporters and advisers are backing away after his comments about Charlottesville. The president's business councils. Let's start there. Shut down after dozens of CEOs resigned in protest.

The infrastructure council that the president mentioned on Tuesday, that didn't even get off the ground. The president's Mar-a-Lago Resort, 16 companies, charities, and organizations have canceled events that were planned there.

Also, a resignation from the president's Evangelical Advisory Board, Megachurch Pastor A.R. Bernard resigned yesterday. He said that there was a deepening conflict in values between himself and the administration.

And then there's dozens now, dozens of Republican lawmakers who have publicly called this president out.

Joining me now CNN political analyst, Josh Rogin, "Washington Post" reporter, Sean Sullivan, and former Georgia Republican congressman and Trump campaign advisor, Jack Kingston. Gentlemen, good morning to all of you.

Hey, Congressman, let me start with you. How does the president stop this? What does he have to do?

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think what we're seeing, particularly with the departure of Steve Bannon is a new discipline at the White House that the chief of staff, Mr. Kelly, is imposing trying to get message discipline but also trying to get policy discipline and trying to move forward on their agenda.

I can tell you this as a Republican, if we do not reveal and replace Obamacare, do not have tax reform and infrastructure bill, we're not going to be in office --

BLACKWELL: But Jack, let me jump back in here because my question wasn't about how does he stop the exodus of the people who actually work for him. Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, the list I just read of people who are leaving him because of his comments about Charlottesville.

KINGSTON: Well, I just think he needs to stabilize the ship and move the agenda forward. The best way to get past this is to get past this and just to move on. And I think so many of the people on the business councils and so forth never were Trump supporters.

They were fair weather friends and doing camo type jobs. You know the business community is very, very risk at verse and they get pressure from left wing outside groups to not go to Mar-a-Lago or not to serve on this board or that board, and they yield to it. I understand that. They are not reliable political allies for Democrats or Republicans. They never have been.

BLACKWELL: Sean, let me come to you because part of the list that I read, I think it's 24, 25 Republican lawmakers who are calling the president out by name. And it wasn't without controversy to be on the president's boards before now.

There was a trickle of I guess a few CEOs who backed away earlier in the administration. How does the president stop this? Is he interested in stopping it? I'll put the question to you, Sean. SEAN SULLIVAN, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes. It's not clear that he is. And, you know, when you listen to the way that Republican members of Congress are talking about the president now versus the way they were talking about him four or five months ago, it is very different.

They really have distanced themselves. You know, they're almost talking about him often not as if he is the leader of their party or the president, just as somebody who they might be able to work with, and if they're not able to work with him, a lot of them shrug it off and say we're going to focus on our congressional agenda.

And remember, we're not even a year into this presidency yet, so it is remarkable to see high-ranking members of the president's own party distance themselves from him to the extent that they have so far.

[08:20:02] BLACKWELL: Seven months tomorrow. And, Josh, to you, I want to read an excerpt from a letter from more than 340 former classmates of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, class of 85 from Yale. And they signed this letter urging him to leave.

And here is a portion of it. "We call upon you as a friend, our classmate, and as a fellow American to resign in protest of President Trump's support of Nazi-ism and white supremacy. We know you're better than this and we're counting on you to do the right thing." Impact here.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I don't think Steve Mnuchin is going to resign anytime soon, although it is clear that he and other Trump administration officials have been putting out a lot of not so subtle indications that they were very displeased with the president's remarks about Charlottesville.

You know, in the end the Mnuchin, Cohn, (inaudible) wing of the White House is winning, right. That's what the Bannon exodus shows. And they've got an agenda and they want to -- since they've already got of linking themselves up with the Trump administration whatever costs and benefits that's going to give them, they might as well move forward and try and get their agenda through.

And that's exactly what they're doing. So, you know, that's a different calculation than these sorts of councils full of people who as the congressman never really bought into the Trump administration in the first place.

Those councils are never really a very substantive thing anyway, so you can't really way the costs and the benefits in any measurable sense. But for guys like Steve Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster for that matter, Vice President Mike Pence, they've bet their careers on what they can do in this administration.

And they are not going to go anywhere until they've figured out if they can actually achieve those things.

BLACKWELL: Hey, Jack, what's your assessment of what we read in the "Weekly Standard" from Steve Bannon on his way out saying that the presidency, speaking about the president's base, that they fought for and won is over? It will be something else, but that presidency is over? What's your take there?

KINGSTON: Well, you know, Victor, I think there's always disappointment anytime you win a race that you can't quite do everything you wanted to do and do it as fast because you meet the unmovable object called the status quo in Washington, D.C.

I understand some disappointment there. I'm not a 100 percent sure I know exactly what he meant because on the same hand he has pledged to fight Trump's enemies from the outside. And as you know, he has been very, very effective on the outside.

BLACKWELL: But he believes some of those enemies worked for him. He believes some of those enemies are his daughter, his son-in-law, his economic advisor, his national security advisor.

KINGSTON: You know, but it still has Vice President Pence. He still has Kellyanne Conway. People who came up with Steve Bannon, ideological conservatives who have deep roots and lots of different conservative camps.

So, I don't think Steve Bannon is going to give up on the fight that he's put his life's work in in terms of the philosophy. And I spoke to the White House about this yesterday, and they said this move was far more functional than philosophical.

That they still believe in what Mr. Bannon believes in many cases they're populists, but as a matter of function, he did four press conferences last week without authorization and you just can't have that.

BLACKWELL: And let me get to Sean here. Will there be still this kitchen cabinet that Steve Bannon will be part of, although, he won't be on the government payroll, that he'll still have the ear of the president.

SULLIVAN: Yes. I mean, and that's the way the president has operated. If you look at the way he's operated in the campaign and during the early months of his presidency, he's cycled through a lot of lot of top advisors.

But a lot of these advisors, even when they leave their official roles and capacities, continue to have a dialogue with the president, continue to have his ear, continue to influence him.

But the question now is, you know, what does Bannon do when he returns to Breitbart? Does Breitbart start to really single out members of Trump's administration that Bannon clashed with when he was there?

Does Breitbart start to single out the president more than it has in the past. That's the question, I think, what kind of dynamic are we going to see? Are we going to see a new level of tension that we haven't seen before?

BLACKWELL: Well, Steve Bannon has said that he's jacked up and free now. I've got to get to you, Josh, in this because you are global affairs guy. Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president and strategist.

CNN reporting that he's on thin ice. If Gorka has pulled out, is that really an impact on policy? I mean, how much of a role does he have in the White House?

ROGIN: Gorka is an interesting character because while he wasn't on the National Security Council staff, he doesn't even have a security clearance as far as I know, he was messaging the president's foreign policy on tv every day and that has its own impact.

And he was doing that under Steve Bannon's tutelage and with the president's approval. So, if Gorka goes that's going to change how people understand American foreign policy around the world because he simply won't be explaining it anymore and that's important, OK.

And so, this just shows that sort of the bad move from the inside to the outside really is significant because you know, the Breitbart stuff that was already going on. They were already going to do all the stuff that they were about to do.

[08:25:08] But inside the White House, to have that sort of ideological line pushed at that high of a level, if that goes away and if Gorka goes with it, that's a big change and that's significant.

BLACKWELL: All right. Josh Rogin, Sean Sullivan, Jack Kingston, thank you.

PAUL: Well, still to come, mocked, cheated, disenfranchised, that's how some young white mean in rural America are feeling. We're discussing the driving message behind the white nationalist movement and why they become so radical.

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PAUL: Well, the violence in Charlottesville has undoubtedly started yet another national conversation about the state of race relations in the U.S. But the white nationalist rallies, popping across the country here, those specifically have sparked a debate about why parts of white rural America are becoming radicalized to the point of joining neo-Nazi rallies. Well Arlie Russell Hochschild wanted to talk about this. She is the author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mouring on the American Right. Also a professor of sociology at the University of California Berkeley and it's really fascinating, you spent five years in white rural America to write this book and you admittedly said this was a different bubble for you traveling from where you are to where you went. What did you learn about white rural America that surprised you most?

ARLIE RUSSELL HOCHSCHILD, AUTHOR, "STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND": Well that they were eager to talk to me. That they were as worried about this divide as, in our country as I was. That there was no one story that there is internal complexity but most of all that they feel between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand they have suffered a lot of losses and feel like their culture has been bypassed and their religion and they feel invisible. They feel like strangers in their own land. On the other hand they are being equated with the alt right and they say no. There's a cultural, a missing cultural space for them as white, very often blue collar, people and they want to be seen. They felt that Trump was giving them that visibility and now seems to be stumbling and they feel like they don't have a choice and there is a missing space for them.

PAUL: So as I understand it, you said that it was an extraordinary journey for me for five years to really get to know some amazing people live in a different truth. And what you are talking about it sounds to me like you're saying that they feel cheated. That they don't want government help but what is the difference...

HOCHSCHILD: And they don't want the Alt Right either. You know I've just been talking to a lot of them about Charlottesville. And asking them about the statue thing. And I ran abide them my ideal by a colleague of mine, (Troy Duster) who has this idea of two statues. You don't take General Lee down but you add Frederick Douglas, you know. And that you keep history and you, what you pull forward though are people that don't have monuments to them like Ida B. Wells or Booker T. Wilson. You know, A. Phillip Randolph, and create a conversation. I put that to them and they said, one of them said, you know that's a great idea. Why isn't anybody talking about that?

PAUL: So Arlie when you talked with these people, could you discern why some would want to join a neo-Nazi movement?

HOCHSCHILD: I should for the record, the people I came to know over five years are not neo-Nazi and they are in horror of it and they feel in the eye of the public confused with that position, but that don't feel seen by anybody else. There's a sense of being strangers in their own land. And that makes them think, well, I don't have choices. They didn't see that in the Democratic Party.

PAUL: You are echoing what you, how you described them and characterized them is what a lot of African Americans would say in this country as well. Based on what you learned in those five years, did you also, or were you able to identify a way to heal some of the race relations we see today?

HOCHSCHILD: Yes absolutely. And you know, I think what we need is a bridging movement. And there is something like that going on. If you are to Google a bridge alliance, for example, you will find some 70 or 80 different organizations, grassroots with names like High From the Other Side, or Living Room conversations. I've been part of one myself. And since the book has come out, I've gotten a lot of e-mail. Hey, I'm part of an Episcopal Congregation in Massachusetts but can you put me in touch with a congregation like Charles, Louisiana? So I call up my friend in Louisiana. She said sure. So there's a lot of good angels of goodwill that's being wasted right now that (fears) to come forward.

PAUL: Arlie it's certainly a task that you took on that it's interesting to hear how you grew and what you learned. Arlie Russell Hochschild thank you so much for sharing. I appreciate it.

[08:35:00]

BLACKWELL: All right let's take you now to Berlin where we're seeing neo-Nazis, neo-Nazis in Berlin. Counter protestors rallying there as well. They are marking the anniversary of the death of Rudolf Hess who was Adolph Hitler's deputy. Hess killed himself in prison 30 years ago and police are not taking any chances after the violence we've seen here in the US.

And next, she wants Confederate monuments to come down but she also wants to win the race for Governor in the South. Can she do both? We'll talk to the candidate for Georgia Governor, Stacey Abrams.

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BLACKWELL: Welcome back. Twenty minutes till the top of the hour. It's got to be the largest Confederate monument in the world--the carving on the face of Stone Mountain just outside of Atlanta larger than Mount Rushmore. Take that in. It shows Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and joined by the President of Confederate States, Jefferson Davis. Our next guest who is running for Governor of Georgia wants to see it sand blasted off of that mountain. On the phone with us, Stacey Abrams, Georgia State lawmaker and Democratic candidate for Governor. Representative, good to have you this morning.

[08:40:00]

STACEY ABRAMS, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA: Thank you for having me.

BLACKWELL: So first explain if you would, we've got some time constraints, but tell us now why you want this monument off that mountain.

ABRAMS: This is a really challenging moment for our country when our President is condoning hatred and violence and people are losing their lives. And this is a time for leaders to stand up and say that we're capable of better. Confederate monuments do not reflect what we're capable of becoming together. We can be a state where our public schools are actually fully funded where there are jobs in every single county, where people have access to health care. But most importantly we have to be a state where equality fosters prosperity for every Georgian and that cannot happen when we have massive monuments to hatred and bigotry and racism.

BLACKWELL: So let me get you to respond to something that Republican Candidate for Governor Michael Williams said in response to your call for that monument to be removed. I want to know where Stacey draws the line. Will she demand we blow up the Jefferson Memorial or knock down the Washington Monument? And he says that he doesn't support defacing Stone Mountain. Your response to that?

ABRAMS: Confederate monuments have nothing to do with any of our American history, except treason and domestic terrorism. They were put up post reconstruction to terrorize black families, to scare them because of their demand to be treated as equal American citizens. I may have issue with other parts of our American history, but there is nothing that Americans should unite around more than tearing down monuments to bigotry and racism and domestic terrorism.

BLACKWELL: So as a lawmaker you know there's a process to remove these, but we've seen people across the country, in Durham a statue was snatched down. They've been defaced and vandalized in Arizona was tarred and feathered. What would you say to those people who agree with you but are taking matters into their own hands to deface public property? Do you have a message for them?

ABRAMS: My message is that we have an obligation to do what's right even if what's right is hard. And as a candidate for Governor, it is my mission to be the kind of leader who will fight for more. And that means fighting against those who want to maintain these terrible relics to an ugly, ugly history that continues to find its space in today's society. And so I would say to everyone that we have to call for our leaders to take action. That we have to stay consistent and persistent if we want to see our country becomes better.

BLACKWELL: So what I didn't hear from you Representative, any type of denunciation or comments specifically on people defacing public property and snatching these things down without going through a process. Is that something you endorse?

ABRAMS: Again, what I'm saying is that I believe that we need to have leaders who stand up and who make any of those actions unnecessary. It is critical that people who want to be in charge of our government at any level, that they take the actions necessary to stand up for what we believe is right. I am deeply disturbed that we have a President who is condoning hatred, bigotry, who is sympathizing with domestic terrorists and that's going to lead to a very strong reaction from the people. But the way that you have a united states is by having the leaders that we have elected take a stand and stand firm about removing domestic terrorism monuments no matter how large or how small.

BLACKWELL: Stacey Abrams, Candidate for Georgia Governor. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

ABRAMS: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: All right next hour we will be joined by one of the rivals who I just quoted and in the Georgia Governor race, GOP candidate Michael Williams who wants to keep Stone Mountain as it is.

PAUL: A free speech rally and protest against it, a cause for concern today in Boston certainly with fears of violence just like what we saw last weekend in Charlottesville. But don't controversial groups have a right to demonstrate as well. A constitutional attorney is weighing in on how far this can go.

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[08:45:00]

PAUL: (INAUDIBLE) an hour people are going to begin gathering in Boston for what's being called a Free Speech Rally. They won't be the only group demonstrating we should point there are thousands of protestors expected to march against hate and bigotry.

And this all coming a week of course after what we witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend where counter protestors was killed when a car plowed in her group after what you're seeing there.

But CNN Legal Analyst Page Peyton is here. He's a criminal defense and Constitutional attorney and this is important because there is a lot of gray area here. When does hate speech cross the line into a hate crime?

PAGE PEYTON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I mean, we're going to see, right. I mean, with all these protests across the country we're seeing that conflict in real time. The First Amendment protects hate speech so a group can protest, they can talk about how they hate the Jews, the can talk about how African-Americans, entirely protected by the First Amendment.

[08:50:00]

What is not protected is either violent conduct like we just saw on the screen, people hitting each other, or threats of violent conduct. So when speech crosses the line into a threat of some sort of imminent harm or danger, then you got a potential problem and a potential crime.

PAUL: OK so let me ask you this. There was an image last week that we saw of some of the White Supremacists who were getting ready to rally. They were holding guns and they were marching into their space there at the rally.

Does holding a gun, which is their Second Amendment right does that move into a criminal area in some sort as you talk about a threat?

PEYTON: I think it can. When we talk about protecting freedom of speech, we're talking about protecting the expression of an idea even if the idea is something we reject as the majority of Americans; you've got a right to express that idea.

But what idea are you expressing when you're giving hate speech, when you're saying these things and you're carrying a firearm?

Are you really expressing a threat to the individuals around you who may disagree with your ideas? So if what you're doing is threatening people either directly or indirectly, that can possibly be a crime.

It's not something the Supreme Court has looked at before. They've protected cross burners, they've protected flag burners, but when someone has a firearm and at least says words that indicate they're willing to use that firearm at that location at that time that can be a crime.

PAUL: That's something different. You know, it's interesting because the Mayor of Boston had stated yesterday in a press conference he didn't want to approve this and give this two-hour permit. PEYTON: Right.

PAUL: But by law he had to.

PEYTON: That's right. You know, you have to -- you can make them comply with the requirements of a permit, local ordinances make sure it's located in a particular area, doesn't disturb traffic, things of that it that nature.

But you cannot discriminate based on the content of the message. So if he's going to give a permit to the counter protestors, he's got to give a permit to the people who are with the Alt-right or the Neo- Nazis.

PAUL: So let me ask you this if we would see a repeat in Boston like we saw in Charlottesville, is there any point where the law would come in and say, listen this particular group that is causing this problem; can they ban them from any sort of rallies for a specific time period or is there -- or do they look it's their free speech.

PEYTON: Right. I think that's a possibility. I think if law enforcement and municipalities, if they can show a pattern of conduct, this particular group is not there to simply express an idea, they are there to cause violence, they are there to insight people to riot.

If you can show a pattern of that type of activity, even though it's very difficult to do under the First Amendment because you're stopping speech before it happens, and that is always frowned upon by the Supreme Court.

But if you can show one particular group is really bent on violence, bent on threatening people and causing the type of problems that we saw in Charlottesville, then yes, I think a law that's tailored to that type of activity would pass Constitutional muster.

PAUL: All right. Page Peyton, always appreciate, boy, your insight in all of this. Thank you.

PEYTON: Thank you Christi.

PAUL: Victor. We'll be right back.

[08:55:00]

BLACKWELL: So how often are you on a plane and you really just want to pick up the phone and make a call mid-air?

PAUL: Well, this was CNN Money Innovate tested it out for us and figured out how it can be done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL: Hey John.

JOHN: How are we doing?

DANIEL: Not bad. How are you?

JOHN: I'm good. I'm good. I am literally in a chair in the sky. We are about 20,000 feet over Paris testing the latest WI-Fi technology. Can you believe I'm calling from an airplane?

DANIEL: And you can hear me well, what's the quality like?

JOHN: Coming through crystal clear. It's really amazing.

DANEIL: How many megabytes per second are you getting?

JOHN: It's really fast up here. New technology actually promises as much as 50 megabytes per second. That's as much as most people get to their house.

DANIEL: So John you use Wi-Fi on typical flight and now you're using your super fast Wi-Fi, how is it different?

JOHN: The big change here is that rather than beaming to a ground, we're beaming up to the stars.

DANIEL: The system's most U.S. carriers use this 2008 connected the plane to a network of cell towers on the ground. They're hooked to the internet and give us limited access to check e-mail and do light browsing.

But that technology couldn't keep the lightening fast evolution of our devices, and our habits to consume loads and loads of data so it choked.

New technology points to the stars, connecting the plane up to a satellite hanging more than 21,000 miles above the earth. The satellite keeps the signal down to the ground station and gets the data from the web, and sends it back up to the satellite to pass it over to the plane onto your device.

And that happens at lightning speed over and over again.

John: When can I expect this on my next flight?

DANIEL: Well, it's actually available now. It's rolling out on airlines and Jet Blue's got it and Delta's getting it, American's getting it.

JOHN: And is it all about the passengers or other users for now?

DANIEL: Well, the cool thing about high-speed data connection is that it opens up a world of possibilities not just for us as the flying public but for pilots too.

They can share data between airplanes to get the latest weather information or get optimized routes to make their flights more efficient.

Cybersecurity is a huge part of us and really the way the system works is that it separates key safety data on a totally separate system. DANIEL: We have enough problems with hackers and I don't need them

following us in the sky.

JOHN: Daniel I'm glad we could chat about this and we're wrapping up here and getting ready to land.

DANEIL: See you earth.

(END VIDO CLIP)

PAUL: Always so grateful to have you company. Good morning to you I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, good to be with you 9:00 o'clock here on the east coast. CNN's :NEWSROOM" begins right now.