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NEW DAY SUNDAY

California Wildfires: 39 Dead, More Than 200 Missing as Inferno Rages; Bannon Declares "War: Against GOP Establishment; NFL Team Owners Meet This Week Over Anthem Protests; After CNN Report, Leading House Dem Asks DHS to Investigate Water Distribution in Puerto Rico; Crisis in Puerto Rico: Doctor Quits Relief Team After Workers Take "Spa Day"; Harvey Weinstein Expelled from Motion Picture Academy; Green Beret Killed in Ambush Laid to Rest Today. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 15, 2017 - 07:00   ET

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


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Breaking news: a ranking Democrat now asking DHS to investigate contaminated drinking water in Puerto Rico.

[07:00:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great deal of concern about just how much exposure some residents might have had to this water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some of the fires that have scorched more than 220,000 acres are finally starting to get under containment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got to get people to understand that this is a dangerous event.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She actually made it through the worst part of the whole fire. Her lungs just kind of gave out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been kicked out of the film industry's most elite group.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Men have to speak up right alongside women.

JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: I only met Harvey when I was old and Harvey goes for young.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fighting words from former White House strategist Steve Bannon.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: Right now, it's a season of war against a GOP establishment. Nobody can run and hide on this one. These folks are coming for you.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you.

There is a new wildfire in northern California and now thousands of people are being forced to evacuate. CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Thirty-nine people have died already. That

makes it the deadliest fire in the state's history. More than 200 people are still reported missing. And thousands of buildings, including 2,800 homes are gone.

BLACKWELL: You know, some families, and we've seen it for days now, have suffered just devastating losses. One woman says her 14-year-old nephew died as he tried to escape with his family. And his parents, that boy's parents just couldn't take it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MINDI RAMOS, VICTIM'S RELATIVE: I wish I had hugged him a lot more times! We had no thought in our minds that they would be hurt by this fire. We thought they were just coming down the mountain. When I got the call about Kyle, I couldn't -- I couldn't stand. I fell to my knees and I just said, oh, no! Oh, no! I can't imagine waking up to worse news that my sister is going to wake up to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Yes, she says her sister is going to wake up to that news because the mother and father had been sedated.

Let's go to Ryan Young now standing by in Santa Rosa, California.

Ryan, the fires have just decimated that community.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They have. And, Victor and Christi, listening to that sound, it's amazing. It's heartbreaking to hear that.

We have talked to so many people who have been upset by this fire because the fact they don't know what happened to their neighbors. In fact, we are standing in a neighborhood that, for the most part, is gone. And we've been mentioning that over and over, but that's the part that's so scary because 200 people are still missing, and so, we know at some point, they're going to take cadaver dogs to these neighborhoods to see if they can find some of the missing people. So, you understand the disaster is far from over.

I'm going to step out of the way here, because in the distance there, there is a fire near the Oakmont neighborhood and we know that some of these fires have combined. What a challenge for firefighters when you're dealing with Mother Nature in this way, the wind really spreading in through the mountainous terrain. It's hard. You can't go out with a hose and fight this fire. It is moving pretty quickly, sometimes over the trees.

And coming back down this direction, you can see a house that we are just kind of standing in front of. I can't imagine the views this house used to have but this happens dozens and dozens of time over. We know that more than 20,000 people have evacuated. Just yesterday, they were giving another evacuation order.

We met another woman who not only survived the Las Vegas shooting but then came home and lost the place where she was living to this fire. Listen to what she had to say about her survival story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLA FLORES, CALIFORNIA FIRE VICTIM: I'm not familiar with people shooting at me and that -- so that shook me up quite a bit. I was kind of a mess that week and then this. But then once this happened, it was like, oh, come on. I mean, really?

This has got to -- something has got to stop. I can't take much more. Let's put it that way.

So, I feel very lucky because I came out of both of them, you know? I made it out of the Vegas shooting. I'm still here. I made it out of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YOUNG: Clearly not everyone made it out.

We're actually pointing our camera toward this garage and we see this play out over and over. So many cars stuck in that rubble. You have to wonder, did everyone make it out? Did they take one car? How did people find out?

When you know some of these fires were moving more than a football field every three to four seconds, so you can understand that you definitely have to go through some of these homes and figure out exactly what happened. This disaster continues, they're going to need a lot of help here -- Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ryan Young for us there in Santa Rosa, California -- Ryan, thank you.

[07:05:03] Well, former White House chief strategist has now declared war against the president's party. A fiery speech we heard from Steve Bannon given to conservative activists yesterday. He aimed at Republicans in Congress who he says are hindering the president's agenda.

CNN's Boris Sanchez is live from the White House.

Who is he calling out?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Victor.

Yes, Steve Bannon was, as you might expect him yesterday, vocal and aggressively going after congressmen who he believes have failed President Trump, including the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, at one point comparing McConnell to Julius Caesar, saying that Capitol Hill was the Ides of March and he eluded to finding Brutus. Of course, in the Shakespearian, Brutus stabs his friend Julius Caesar in the back, killing him.

Bannon, right now, is recruiting conservative candidates to run against GOP establishment incumbents. He is also building a fund- raising network to go after these congressmen. He sees it as a war. Listen to more of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: This is not my war. This is our war. You didn't start it. The establishment started it. But I will tell you one thing, you all are going to finish it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: So, that vow that Steve Bannon made shortly after leaving the White House that he was going to go full force after all of the president's opponents even within his own party is certainly a vow that he is keeping.

One last note, Victor. He also predicted a landslide victory for President Trump in 2020, saying that Trump would take more than 400 electoral votes in his path to four more years -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yes. That, of course, contradicting the reporting that he said that the president had 30 percent chance of completing his term.

Boris Sanchez at the White House, thanks so much.

PAUL: CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" columnist Josh Rogin is with us now.

So, Josh, after hearing that, I'm wondering, how solid a gauge is there of Bannon's influence?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it's less than what Bannon would have you believe it is but more than nothing. I mean, this is Bannon being Bannon. He has been at war with GOP establishment for years before he was Donald Trump's campaign manager while during the campaign, while he was in the White House and now after his White House tenure. So, this is a lot of more of the same from Bannon.

You know, what we have to sort of look at here is what is the best- case scenario for him? Even if he succeeds, he's not going to take over the Republican Party. He is going to elect a few more, you know, anti-establishment senators who are going to make Mitch McConnell's life more difficult. You know, meanwhile, he's going to drain resources from the greater Republican effort to fight the Democrats in the next election.

So, I think we can't discount what Bannon is saying. I think he's got a lot of influence. He's got a lot of money. He's got a lot of organizational skills.

But in the end, this is a continuation of an ongoing internal civil war within the Republican Party that didn't start with him and won't end with him.

PAUL: Right. And let's listen to more of what he said yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BANNON: Up on Capitol Hill, because I've been getting calls. It's like before the Ides of March, right? The only question is -- and this is just an analogy or metaphor, or whatever you want to call it. They are just looking to find out who is going to be Brutus to your Julius Caesar.

(APPLAUSE)

Yes, Mitch, the donors -- the donors are not happy. They have all left you. We have cut your oxygen off, Mitch, OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Fair to pin the blame solely on the majority leader? I mean, the president is sitting in the president's seat.

ROGIN: Right, right. Actually, the president is Julius Caesar, not Mitch McConnell. But I think basically what Bannon is pushing here is half true and half not true. It's very true that Mitch McConnell is unpopular. It's very true that running against him is a way to get candidates elected.

It's not true that donors have cut off Mitch McConnell. The Republican establishment is still a very strong political machine, OK? And that machine will do what it needs to do to make sure that the Bannon candidates don't succeed as much as Bannon wants them to.

So, they're going to both pour resources into this fight, especially in the primaries heading into 2018. The establishment will win some. The Bannonites will win some. And in the end, you're going to have sort of a fight before the fight, and then, you know, they will both head in to the general election basically where we are now.

PAUL: All right. Josh Rogin, always appreciate your perspective. Thank you.

ROGIN: Any time.

PAUL: So, today on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Republican Senator Susan Collins are going to be on the show. That's "STATES OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper today, 9:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Harvey Weinstein is kicked out of one of the most elite clubs in Hollywood and now A-list celebrities and "Saturday Night Live" are taking on this disgraced movie mogul.

[07:10:01] PAUL: Also, NFL owners are meeting this week to potentially crack down on players who kneel during the national anthem. The issue -- should protests be left off the field. A former NFL player weighs in on a potential new rules that would force players to stand.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: So, NFL owners are meeting this week and what they want to discuss, obviously, is the policy around the protests we've been seeing.

BLACKWELL: And, of course, this comes after several players began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutal towards people of color. President Trump is calling for the NFL to force the players to stand.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Frankly, the NFL suspended him for one game and he would have never done it again. They could have then suspended him for two games, and they could have suspended him if he did it a third time for the season and you would never have had a problem.

[07:15:00] But I will tell you, you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem. You cannot do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stresses that the league has no plans to mandate players to stand for the national anthem. The league and players association say that the agenda is on how to make progress on the important social issues the players have been speaking about.

PAUL: And yet a German soccer team following in the footsteps of the NFL. Players took a knee before their game yesterday in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players. The team said it did it, quote, for an open-minded world, adding that the team, quote, stands for tolerance and responsibility.

BLACKWELL: All right. Joining me now to discuss, CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill.

Marc, good morning to you.

We are trying to get Ben Ferguson as part of this conversation, there maybe some technical challenges that prevent us from doing it, but believe us, we are trying to get him in.

Marc, let me start with you. First, the commissioner has said that he is coming to this meeting with a possible solution that is he going to present the team owners and the players association. I wonder, first, what you make of the concept that there is a solution to peaceful protest. Is he trying to go to them to get off their knees during the national anthem? Is he trying to goad them to abandon the issue during games? What do you think of that?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What he is trying to do is stop this controversy. He is worried that the controversy is causing people to stay away from the games. I, for example, don't watch NFL games until this issue is resolved and hopefully until Colin Kaepernick is back on the field, that many people who feel that way. So, I don't think he cares so much about protests as he does the bottom line.

But there's a long tradition of people trying to co-op to protest. For example, American universities are one of the hotbeds of protest and resistance. People -- students all over the country whether you're on the left, whether you're on the right, they protest on campuses and oftentimes campuses what they try to do is give students now a protest area. Or you can go over to that square and protest, oh you can go to this room and protest, because they don't want them taking over the student center, they don't want him taking over the president's office.

And so, they try to co-op the resistance, but the problem is, protest is about disruption. So, if you give somebody a protest area, it doesn't matter. If they tell players where to take a knee or how to take a knee, they give them like a designated knee taking area, it defeats the purpose.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Let me read for you something that we got from one of the team owners, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. If we can put that up on the screen.

He says: We have a chance of damaging not just the game, but in this particular case, the Cowboys franchise. Let's come up with ways that we really can give a message about police brutality or we can give a message about disparity. We can give those messages, but we won't be able to give it if we're not as substantive as we are. And this flag issue has taken away from how substantive we are.

Is he right in any way here?

HILL: Not at all. If we weren't tag knees, if we weren't talking about the taking the knees and we weren't talking about the national anthem protest, we wouldn't be talking about police brutality. I mean, it's hard to imagine, it's unfathomable that Jerry Jones right now, today, in 2017, will be talking about state violence if not for these players taking a knee.

So, this doesn't take away from our substantiveness. If anything, it highlights our substance. And that's exactly why we're doing it. Now if his argument is, if we keep doing this and engaging in the ritual and don't do anything else about it, then the means has become the end, then, yes, he would be right about that.

That's what the protest is about. The protest is to get the league to make a different choice, to get America to pay attention and for us to come up with some concrete material solutions to a very big problem. And that's where we need to go next and that's where the NFL is going to have to do something serious to show it takes this issue seriously. But more importantly, that all of America takes this issue seriously.

BLACKWELL: I'm told we have Ben Ferguson with us now.

Ben, to you, what do you make of this idea that there is a solution that can be proposed by the commissioner at this meeting this week?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I do think they need a solution. I think the NFL needs to go back to doing what specifically they do, which is to play football and to entertain their fans. I think that's what's causing problems in the NFL now is, is this about the political protest or is this actually specifically about, you know, going out there and playing football?

And I think the NFL has basically completely overlooked the negative impact of what this is going to be for their fans. And there is a lot of people that say, look, you have the right to protest. You have the right to protest, you have a right to be involved in the community, but do you have a right to go out there and to go out there and disrespect this country every single weekend and expect the fan base to stay there?

I don't think the American people are going to continue to stand by the NFL if they continue to do this week in and week out, and instead of doing this outside of a normal day. I mean, most people don't have the right to go out there at work --

BLACKWELL: Yes.

FERGUSON: -- and have a political protest at their desk at work.

Why does the NFL not have the same exact standards that the other people do when they got work Monday through Friday?

BLACKWELL: Except for the vice president who last week went to Indianapolis and according to what the president said, himself, that he sent him to that game and if was there kneeling, he wanted him to get up and leave and the press pool was told that there is no reason to get out of the van.

[07:20:02] The vice president won't be here very long.

Well, the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick's former team, will be playing the Washington Redskins. Now, they're not in D.C. They're a Landover. That's a different fight.

FERGUSON: Sure.

BLACKWELL: But do you expect to see a vice president, a member of the cabinet go and pull what many call a stunt again this week at the game?

FERGUSON: Look, here is a very similar point with the vice president and the president of the United States of America. Their job is always to protect this country, honor this country, and honor those that give the ultimate sacrifice for this country. I don't care if you're Republican or Democrat, black, white, Hispanic, any other color, it doesn't matter what. When you're the president of the United States of America, you never go to a private business and allow the United States of America and the men and women who fought for it to be disrespected.

So, I don't ever look at it as a stunt for the president or the vice president to say, I am not going to be a part of a moment in history that is disrespectful to the United States of America and to the men and women in uniform that protect in service. They have a duty, an obligation as the president to stand up for this country, or the vice president.

So, if he walks out of the game for the rest of the time this is going on, that's never a stunt when you're the president of the United States of America. That's your job.

BLACKWELL: This is -- Ben, this is reframing this entire conversation as it is a stunt to disrespect members of the military. In fact, the kneeling was actually advised by a former member of the military to Colin Kaepernick. And the original question was --

FERGUSON: Well, he was wrong, though.

BLACKWELL: -- can someone go to -- you said that these people who are at work should not be protesting. The vice president went in his official capacity on Air Force Two, on the taxpayers' time for a stunt in protest.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: Again, he went there to honor -- let's be clear. It was on the books. He went there to honor Peyton Manning who he knew very well.

BLACKWELL: But how long did he stay for that?

FERGUSON: Well, he met with him.

BLACKWELL: Marc Lamont Hill, Ben Ferguson, we've got to wrap here. We could have this conversation for the rest of the show. But, unfortunately, we've got to wrap. Technical difficulties are challenging us. We'll have it again.

HILL: All right.

FERGUSON: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: Thanks.

PAUL: So, there is a lawmaker who is demanding answers from the Department of Health and Human Services about people found to be drinking water taken from a hazardous waste site in Puerto Rico. He is calling for a full-blown investigation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:26:40] PAUL: We so appreciate your company. Happy Saturday to you -- Sunday I should say. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Weekend has just flown by.

PAUL: I know. It all rolls together.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you this morning. After a CNN exclusive report from Puerto Rico, a leading House

Democrat has asked the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the water situation on the island.

CNN reported that workers were distributing water taken from a federally designated hazardous waste site.

PAUL: Now, yesterday, CNN reached out to the Department of Homeland Security for comment on Congressman Benny Thompson's request. We did not receive a reply. But according to the EPA, consuming this water can have serious health effects including the increasing risk of cancer.

Here's CNN's Ed Lavandera.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some Puerto Ricans are so desperate to find water here on the island that they have started tapping into wells on what is described as a super fund site. This is an official designation issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. Super fund sites exist all over the country. They are considered some of the most toxic sites and ground areas in the United States.

Here in Puerto Rico alone, there is 18 of these designated superfund sites. The focus is just on one of them in the town of -- around the town of Dorado, Puerto Rico, which is just west of San Juan, the capital here of this island.

We were with an EPA team as they were taking water samples. And as I mentioned a few days ago, reports started emerging that people were lining up at some of these wells getting drinking water or water being used for cleaning or other purposes in their hopes homes in the toilet system and that sort of thing.

So, a great deal of concern about just how much exposure some residents here might have had to this water and there is now testing being done on these water wells to determine if, at all, this water is, indeed toxic. Just because the superfund site is around there and that there are toxic chemicals in the ground, EPA officials say it doesn't necessarily mean those chemicals have reached the water there.

But nonetheless, over the course of this next week, they will be testing this water to determine whether or not these wells should be turned off or controlled in some sort of way. We have seen long lines of people getting into these water wells, using them either for drinking. Some people have told us. Or I mentioned, cleaning purposes around their homes, just kind of goes to show you just how desperate the situation for many people still remains here in Puerto Rico when it comes to water.

EPA officials say they are really more concerned about long-term exposure to this water that it would require residents to be drinking this water for long periods of time, months, if not years, for them to see the effects of that -- if those toxic chemicals in that water. But nonetheless, it is still very much a dangerous situation and they are trying to spread the word out there. In the meantime, this really does just show how desperate the situation is for many people and EPA officials are urging these residents to stay away from these water wells around the town of Dorado, Puerto Rico, until these test results are coming back.

So, that work will continue and we are told it will take the better part of this week for a full understanding of exactly what is in that water.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: Well, next, a doctor quits her disaster relief team in Puerto Rico over what she is calling a gross misuse of taxpayer money. The situation that triggered her resignation, you'll hear that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:32: 15] BLACKWELL: Well, matching the resources with the needs remains a major area of concern in Puerto Rico. The number of people killed there now up to 48, 86 percent of the island still has no power. Hospitals are running low on medicine and supplies. But there are urgent attempts to help.

The federal government has sent ten disaster teams of doctors and nurses and paramedics to the island. Four mobile hospitals have been set up in a hospital parking lot. And the medical treatment ship, the Comfort, is there on the scene. The HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response said Puerto Rico is receiving comparable relief as the disasters in Florida and Texas.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile, there is a doctor assisting with disaster relief in Puerto Rico who has quit her team after seeing medical workers treat themselves to, as she quotes it, a spa day.

[07:35:03] Apparently, a nurse on the team arranged for two nail techs, one hairstylist and a massage therapist to come and provide discounted spa services in those triage tents that were set up. Each person that participated did pay out of pocket from their own money but they were paid for a full day's work on a taxpayers' dime as they were supposed to be assist be patients.

Well, this doctor wrote a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and said the situation is a gross misuse of taxpayer funds and an abuse of privileged positions that she finds abhorrent.

HHS did respond, saying this: HHS personnel to date have provided medical care for more than 3,000 patients in Puerto Rico, including more than 500 patients in that facility. After learning of this incident, based on information gathered so far, HHS has removed the person responsible and that individual will be sent home. An inquiry, internal inquiry is ongoing. One example of poor judgment should not overshadow the life-saving work being performed by the more than 500 HHS personnel on the island.

So let's talk to that doctor who quit. Dr. Mona Khanna.

I want to be very clear here about this. DMAT, which she is a part of, Disaster Medical Assistance Team, is overseen by HHS. This is not FEMA, which have been heavily criticized for a lack of preparedness. But just to be very clear, this is not FEMA.

But, Dr. Khanna, thank you so much for being with us.

I know that you have traveled the world doing this. You were in Haiti after the earthquake there. You were one of the first Western doctors on the ground in Indonesia after the tsunami. You have seen a lot.

Take us to this day when you saw this. Help us understand what happened and what struck you as wrong.

DR. MONA KHANNA, MEDICAL DOCTOR, HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER VOLUNTEER (via telephone): Certainly, Christi. Well, I was treating patients as I always do. I was the only team physician left in the two tents that were seeing patients. I went to another tent just adjacent to get some food and Styrofoam containers that the hospital was providing for my patients since we would keep patients in the tent for hours at a time.

I went to get some food and I walked in and I was surprised to see a manicurist sitting at a table painting the nails of one of my key members, and I didn't know what was happening.

PAUL: And we are seeing pictures here. You say there was -- you discovered manicurists and pedicurists and massagers. We are seeing of people in flip-flops.

KHANNA: Right.

PAUL: Was this an area that should have been sterile or at least sanitary if you were treating people?

KHANNA: Well, when I came back to my own treating tent which is where the pictures were taken of the person in flip-flops, I asked around. I said, what's going on over there? And I was told that this person who was wearing the flip-flops had made the arrangements for these service providers to come in, in taxpayer-funded medical tents, on taxpayer-funded time, to provide these services to our team members.

And the reason she was wearing flip-flops is that she, herself, had just had a pedicure and she was air drying her nails.

PAUL: So, did that cause alarm to you?

KHANNA: It did cause alarm to me. Now, mind you, this isn't an operating theater, so it's not a sterile environment per se, but we do have strict-mandated dress code and as you can see, next to her feet in flip flops, there's a woman wearing black boots. That is part of our dress code. And we do it for protection. What if one of one of the patients' gurney fell over on our toes? What if we run over by the wheels of a gurney? This is for our protection, so we do have a strict dress code. PAUL: OK. Listen, I'm going to pull an Elwoods moment here on you.

Manis and pedis, this much I know, they require clean water. We have been watching these stories for weeks of people who can't get drinking water, who are drinking contaminated water.

Do you know what water was used for these services?

KHANNA: I did not since I didn't procure the services myself and I didn't stick around long enough. I was so enraged. I didn't stick around long enough to observe the techniques of these manicurists and pedicurists.

My suspicion if they were worried about using water that was available to bathe in and wash hands, they may have used bottled water but I can't confirm that.

PAUL: OK. I want to get back to the HHS statement. They said that they removed the person responsible. That they sent them home. That there's an internal inquiry going on, and that they urge one example of poor judgment shouldn't overshadow the life-saving work being performed.

What is your reaction to their response? Is that enough for you?

KHANNA: Look, I'm tired of people making excuses. I'm tired of excuses about Weinstein and I'm tired of excuses about people who hold positions of stewardship and power in this country being given passes, free passes.

Look, these are people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. We have been empowered to, by the federal government, to have stewardship of taxpayer funds.

[07:40:00] We have a mission. We have to be mentally prepared when we go out. We have to be physically prepared when we go out. There is absolutely no excuse.

What it a lapse in judgment? No. It was premeditated, pre- calculated, pre-thought out, and I might say, done in combination with the commander of the team.

So, sent home? That's an impotent response.

PAUL: All right. Dr. Mona Khanna, so sorry, we've run out of time. Thank you so much for sharing the pictures, sharing your story and your experience with us. We certainly appreciate it.

KHANNA: Christi, it breaks my heart for having quit a team I was with 20 years. It just broke my heart.

PAUL: Does this mean you're quitting altogether or you just quit this Puerto Rico project?

KHANNA: My original intention was to quit this particular team that made these calls about allowing these services and perhaps transfer to another team. Now, having come out and done the things I've done and said the things I've said and made these pictures available, I doubt it will be possible for me to go back to the system.

However, no fear. There are plenty -- there are thousands of nongovernmental organizations with which I could volunteer my free time to provide services to people who have been through disasters.

PAUL: And thank you for your service for that, certainly. And thank you, again, for reaching out. Dr. Mona Khanna, we appreciate it.

KHANNA: Thank you, Christie.

BLACKWELL: Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer, has been kicked out of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences. The prestigious group, you know, is behind the Oscars. The decision comes after more than a dozen people have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and even rape.

The academy's board of governors released a statement after the vote, saying, and this is just part of it: We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who doest no merit the respect of his colleagues, but also to send message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predator behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.

Let's talk about it, CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES", Brian Stelter, is here.

And this was not even just over the line of a majority. This was, as they say, exceeding, far exceeding a majority of this vote to expel Harvey Weinstein.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right, an unprecedented decision by the board. They had rules for this, but they never actually had a vote like this until yesterday.

I think it's notable, Victor, that statement talking about the era of willful complicity is over, it is confirming there was an era of willful complicity. This is Hollywood doing some soul-searching and admitting to some nightmares in its past.

You know, I talked to Jodi Kantor of "The New York Times, one of the reporters who dug into Weinstein's behavior. This was an investigation that took many months and they were proud it was finally published ten days ago.

Here's part of what Kantor told me about the reaction to these accusers' stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JODI KANTOR, CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: One thing I was also really happy about was seeing how much respect there was for the women's stories and the women who chose to come forward. I think any woman coming forward in that situation, you know, if you're unknown, you have set of fears, right? Like I'm this anonymous person who's going to be dragged into the media spotlight. If you're very well- known, you have a different set of fears, which is, who get him, I'm going to be tabloid fodder for days. And it seems to me the world has treated the women who have come forward very respectfully and I'm glad for that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: We'll have more of my interview with Kantor on "RELIABLE SOURCES" at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time today.

But she's on very important there, I think. The idea that in the past, there have been cases of sexual harassment and assault allegations where the women, the accusers have been shamed. In this case, it's Harvey Weinstein being shamed.

And here is an example of that from "SNL" last night. "Weekend Update" had a lot to say about Weinstein.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apple has announced it will add hundreds of new emojis to its iOS system, including a person at a spa, a vomiting face, and a shushing finger, finally giving emoji fans the ability to describe what it was like to work for Harvey Weinstein.

Weinstein has been accused of multiple counts of sexual assault is reportedly going to Europe for sex rehab. Somehow, I don't think that is going to help anybody. He doesn't need sex rehab. He needs a specialized facility where there are no women, no contact with the outside world, metal bars, and it's a prison.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, this is a tough spot for a comedian because it's so hard to make jokes about sexual assault. But it's so easy to make jokes about a guy that looks like this!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: There you go. "SNL," the late night shows were criticized for not saying more about the Weinstein allegations this time last week. And now, it seems "SNL" is trying to make up for lost time and lots of comments about this ongoing scandal.

BLACKWELL: All right. Brian Stelter, thanks so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: And be sure to watch Stelter's show, "RELIABLE SOURCES." I just called him Stelter. This morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

PAUL: Brian Stelter.

BLACKWELL: Stelter, Brian.

PAUL: We got it.

This week's "Staying Well" takes a look why adults who play more, stay healthier. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. BOWEN WHITE, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF PLAY: When we were born, we came into the world and we now how to play. Play is what kids don't have to be taught.

Creating something that is so engaging and so interesting, losing track of time, that is the adult version of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all remember playing kick ball from P.E. when we were in grade school. It brings you back to a little bit of your childhood.

I'm a mortgage banker and each day has its own deadlines and timelines that can cause for a stressful day or week, and kick ball is a good way to relief that.

WHITE: Work places where people have fun working together, they do better work. What you get from the culture is work is important, more is better, so we don't honor the fun factor.

Play is great stress management tool. Your blood pressure goes down. You release dopamine. It allows us to connect better with other people.

Family systems where people have fun together, they play together, they are healthier family systems.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being outside, playing with your friends, you kind of forget everything else. You're not thinking about, whatever personal things might be going on in your life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get excited I'm going to see my friends. There is just something about that cohesion that I don't think you can create it anywhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good game. Good game. Good game.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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[07:50:40] BLACKWELL: One of the four Special Op soldiers killed in the ambush in Niger will be remembered by friends and family today.

PAUL: Army Staff Sergeant Dustin Wright is going to be laid to rest in his hometown of Lyons, Georgia.

Here's our Kaylee Hartung.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL WRIGHT, BROTHER OF STAFF SGT. DUSTIN WRIGHT: The last words I said to my brother were, I love you. Last words he said to me, I love you. KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Will Wright last

spoke to his younger brother Dustin on September 24th, Dustin's 29th birthday.

WRIGHT: We talked about how things were going. The ups and downs and how he was feeling. Talked to him about his girlfriend and his plans when he came home, and where he was going and some potential moves in his future.

HARTUNG: Ten days later, the future the brother discussed was taken away. Army staff sergeant Dustin Wright was serving his third deployment, a second tour in the Northwest African country Niger when the Pentagon says his Green Beret unit was ambushed by ISIS fighters. Staff Sergeant Wright, Staff Sergeant Brian Black, Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson and Sergeant La David Johnson are the first American combat deaths in Niger, as the U.S. counterterrorism mission there continues to expand.

WRIGHT: It's a war zone, even if you don't hear about it on TV.

HARTUNG: The Wright family is not unfamiliar with the harsh reality of war as their military legacy dates back to 1812.

WRIGHT: Our record, we had never lost a member until Dustin. That's 205 years, that's a good run. So, it's been -- it's been great to hear that history and share that history and, you know, if once every 205 years this is the price we pay, then that's what it takes.

HARTUNG (on camera): I don't doubt Dustin knew what he signed up for, but what was he ultimately fighting for?

WRIGHT: I think he was fighting for his brothers. I think he's fighting for his family. I think he's fighting for his country. Ups and downs, good and bad, as the political current sway, soldiers stand fast and they do their jobs. And we're blessed to have men like them.

HARTUNG: The job in Niger for the 3rd Special Forces Group is to advise, assist and train local forces -- a job that suited Dustin's personality and passion.

WRIGHT: It didn't matter if he had known you for a day or his whole life. The man was a servant and he loved people. He found a way for him to serve others, to sacrifice and to love people, and do it in some of the worst environments in the world. To his final breath, he was doing that.

HARTUNG: A lifetime of service, celebrated and mourned, when this humble hero returned home to Georgia on Saturday.

WRIGHT: I knew my brother didn't want accolades. I know he didn't need praise and awards or anything else. He did the job not for the president to say, you know, good job. He did it because it's what he loved it and that's what he's born to do.

HARTUNG: Kaylee Hartung, CNN, Lyons, Georgia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: Our thoughts and prayers with that family today and our thanks to all of you who serve. No doubt about it.

And thank you, too, for spending your mourning with us. We always appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: All right. Coming up on "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King, a former top strategist to the president has just declared war on the Republican establishment. Of course, that and much more on "INSIDE POLITICS".

But, first, a quick look at this week's episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, PARTS UNKNOWN: Nigeria, it took us a long time to get here. I don't know why we were here before, but the city of Lagos, 20 million people live here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lagos is the melting pot of Nigeria, even Africa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All kinds of things are happening here, but everything is cramping into a small ecosystem. And it works. That's the amazing thing about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see people who make huge, making watches, creating things and actually selling them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody does any one job in this country.

BOURDAIN: They say you have to have three houses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

BOURDAIN: Very entrepreneurial society. There's a lot of magical thinking going on.

It's mad, it's bad, it's delicious, it's confusing.

[07:55:00] And I've never seen anything like it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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