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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Trump Won't Approve Release Of Democratic Memo; New Resignations leave Top Jobs Unfilled At White House, DOJ; Kim Jong-un Invites South Korean President To Pyongyang; Israeli Jet Crashes After Striking Iranian Target In Syria. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired February 10, 2018 - 07:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[07:00:00] MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is no tolerance in this White House, and no place in America for domestic abuse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a second White House official who has resigned over domestic abuse allegations. David Sorenson is a speechwriter for the administration. I think that this will continue to dog the White House.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In an unprecedented move, South Korean President Moon Jae-in shook hands with Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

This is significant. Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader has extended a personal invitation to the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. Always so glad to have you with us here. And this morning, Democrats are accusing the president of trying to hide something after he refused to release a memo about the Russia investigation and any sense of bipartisanship felt in Washington after passing a major budget deal. It seems to be history at the moment.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And on the same day, a second White House official accused the domestic abuse is out. The third in line at the Justice Department is out, the deputy chief of staff is out, and the chief of staff is now willing to leave, too. CNN's Abby Phillip is live at the White House. Abby, the president said yesterday, that he released the memo soon, then hours later, the news came from the White House Council, soon isn't really soon -- it's not happening.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, soon may very well be not at all. The president is declining to declassify this Democratic memo yesterday, citing national security concerns, saying he's going to send it back Congress for them to redact portions of it, to work the intelligence community to take out the parts that he believes jeopardizes sources and methods, and sensitive national security information. The president said in a letter explaining this that he intended to release the memo, the Democratic memo, but that those concerns outweighed his desire for transparency in this case.

However, Democrats are definitely crying foul over this; already saying that this proves the political motivations behind the president declassifying the Nunes memo. This is the GOP version of this memo, which Republicans say alleged FBI surveillance abuses. Now, Democratic Majority Senate Leader -- Democratic Senate Leader, Chuck Schumer, had said in the statement that the president is using a double standard here, that he's claiming transparency, but refusing to release information that could be damaging to him.

However, the White House counters that Democrats simply didn't go through the appropriate process before releasing the memo, that they should have scrubbed this memo of those kinds of sensitive information -- that kind of sensitive information that the intelligence community would then object to. That being said, the president did release the Nunes memo, despite the objections of his own FBI. His FBI said they had grave concerns about the accuracy of that memo, he released it anyway.

BLACKWELL: All right. We're also learning about this second White House staffer, now resigned over allegations of domestic abuses. Give us some of the details.

PHILLIP: Ongoing troubling story for this White House. Two senior staffers now resigned over this issue. The latest, a Speechwriter, David Sorenson, whose ex-wife accused him of being violent in their marriage. Now, Sorenson is vehemently denying these allegations. He released a statement to CNN last night saying that he is intending to counter this legally. And also, that he was the victim of repeated violence during our marriage -- not her -- and that he's going to consult his lawyers about, about countering her allegations against him. But the White House is not even really wanting to engage with this.

After the fallout over Rob Porter, the fact that they took, you know, hours to finally push him out after these allegations surfaced. Deputy Press Secretary, Raj Shah, released a statement last night saying, we immediately confronted the staffer; he denied the allegations and he resigned today. The White House really wants to get ahead of this because the Rob Porter scandal has been so damaging to them. But the David Sorenson allegations seemed to be continuing to unfold; that story just breaking overnight.

BLACKWELL: All right, Abby Phillip, for us there at the White House. Abby, thank you.

PAUL: So, let's talk to Politico Reporter, Daniel Littman; CNN Political Commentator, Alice Stuart; and National Security Attorney, Mark Zaid. Thank you all for being here. We certainly appreciate. Mark, I want to start with you and get back to this memo, and then we'll get back to the other happenings in just a moment. But you told out producer that, the president's decision about not releasing this memo was a poor political move, but the proper legal intel decision. Are you saying that his hands were tied here?

MARK ZAID, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: This whole process has been politicized, unfortunately by both sized. Neither memo should have been released, although, I can't wait to read both of them. Obviously, I already have read the GOP. But there is a process by which Congress can undertake this oversight review and it should, but this isn't the way to go. And it's interesting as some leaders are saying that the president's obstructing justice by not releasing the Democratic memo. I think one can actually make the argument that he was obstructing justice -- not necessarily legally, but at least politically, but releasing the GOP and not releasing both. He is following what his FBI and Justice Department is saying, which is that there is classified information in these memos and it would harm national security to release this second one. There's lengthier memo.

[07:05:40] PAUL: Right. So, Daniel, what are the Dems planning to do from this point on?

DANIEL LITTMAN, REPORTER FOR POLITICO: They're going to will keep, you know, raising foul. They say it's plain hypocrisy on Trump's part. And the issue is it hurts his P.R. more because it just keeps this in the news cycle. And remember, when he released the first memo, it backfired on him because a lot people, even Republicans said there was nothing in this that justify this huge to-do. Because, it didn't really reveal, you know, huge wrongdoing at the FBI. It kind of made Devin Nunes look bad.

PAUL: So, Alice, how probable is it that this Democratic memo will ever be seen by public eyes?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think we'll see parts of it. I think it's important to keep in mind that the president didn't say he's not going to release it at all, and he just said not in its current form. And he has directed the DOJ to work with members of the House Intel Committee to redact pertinent pieces of information that reveal classified details and sources and methods on ongoing investigation. And I think that's the proper thing to do from a security standpoint. And let's not lose sight of the fact that there's the possibility that Democrats strategically put information in there that they knew was classified, that they knew would need to be redacted, and so it would give the appearance that the Trump administration is trying to hide something or do something to stand in the way of transparency. So, that's a factor as well. But I do believe that the administration wants full transparency with regard to the situation. They are frustrated with some of the methods that the DOJ and the FBI carried out with regard to obtaining these FISA warrants. And they want the American people to know that. Now, if we come back in a week or so, and the Democrat report is fully redacted, then we'll have another conversation. But right now, I think let's just wait and see what the next version looks like.

PAUL: All right.

LITTMAN: But we should also remember that the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release the Democratic memo. And so, they are aware of what was in it, and they still really -- they still voted to tell Trump to release it.

PAUL: To release it. Very good point. I want to move on to this development overnight of Speechwriter, David Sorenson, vehemently denying that he abused his ex-wife, as she is alleging. He, in fact, said that he was a victim of repeated violence, not of her. And according to the White House, he immediately resigned. Daniel, what are you hearing about where this came from? This seemed to come out of nowhere and the very swift reaction from the White House as opposed to what we saw with Rob Portman.

LITTMAN: Yes, I think, with Rob Porter --

PAUL: Rob Porter, rather.

LITTMAN: You know, he was so closely tied to Trump; he worked with them on a daily basis and he was a close ally of General Kelly, which is why Kelly didn't want to throw him out of the bus. David Sorenson is someone that most people in Washington don't even know about. You know, he was a lower-level speechwriter, and the allegations came after the Washington Post was poking around. And it's pretty bad when alleged to have done. He drove over his ex-wife, you know, in his car. He burned a cigarette on her. And so, I think the White House wants to try to look at everyone in their -- in the administration to see who has ex-wives that they've abused. And we still have the security clearances that, you know, 30 to 40 people don't have permanent clearances because of issues in their background which is a troubling thing for this White House.

PAUL: Exactly, and I just want to clarify here with David Sorenson, the accusations that you were talking about those are alleged, that this is not a man who's been convicted. But I want to listen here, because this took a lot of people by surprise, what the president said yesterday about Rob Porter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He says, he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent. So, you'll have to talk to him about that, but we absolutely wish him well. He did a very good job while he was at the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: So, Mark, the allegations from two ex-wives are hard to fathom. A lot of people say, yes, he's innocent because there is no proof. Now, of course, proof has come out in terms of the picture of the black eye with the first ex-wife. But the second ex-wife, she had filed a criminal complaint. There was proof out there. How or why is it, do you think, that this White House held on to Rob Porter as long as they did?

ZAID: Well, isn't that one of the questions to look at? And one of the things we really need to find out about is when did the White House, and certainly, the senior staff know, not only within the general councils' office, from a suitability standpoint, but the office of security in adjudicating his security clearance. And now, these individuals have interim clearances, there's nothing wrong with that. That routinely happens; they have full access when they have an interim clearance. But there hasn't yet been an adjudication of their clearance to maintain for whatever term of length it would be if it's a secret or top secret or even SCI, which is within the intelligence community. And the question is, when this information is obtained, what then does the White House do about it? Now, these are allegations, even though we have physical proof by, at least, by the photographs and there's court proceedings. But, you know, when you're looking at the White House and senior-level positions, you're going to hope, just as the president has said, to have the best and brightest. And one has to question whether that is the case no matter how valuable these individuals may be.

PAUL: So, really quickly, Mark, if somebody isn't formally convicted, they're seeing it as fair game to work at the White House?

ZAID: Well, obviously, that can be at any place, and with respect to at least security clearances, people can mitigate them. I mean, you can have committed crimes and have a security clearance. I accomplished that for people all the time; it depends on the facts of the case. And I would just at least caution, I'm not defending anybody in the White House here, but I would caution people that rushed to judgment without knowing both sides of everything. Because clearances -- not suitability, but clearances are about mitigation. And we have not heard both sides, but that said, there's a high standard to work in the White House, and you have to question when you've known about it from what we have known publicly, for months at a time, and you see those photographs, why is someone like that still working in the White House.

PAUL: Real quickly, Alice, give me your take.

STUART: Well, I think what's notable in that tape you just played from the president, is not what he said, but what he didn't say. He didn't say one word about these women, he didn't say one word about the fact that domestic violence shouldn't be tolerated in any form. He didn't say one word about, I hope these women have a great career, and he didn't say a word about being sad for the women and that's unfortunate. He had the opportunity to make a real statement that domestic violence shouldn't be tolerated anywhere, and certainly not in the White House. And I think that is -- that's unfortunate because this a time more than any time where we need to make sure that women can have their voices heard, and actions have consequences. And we cannot have people with personal lives like this have public servant positions that are compromising to our country.

PAUL: Yes, sometimes what you don't say speaks the loudest.

LITTMAN: Absolutely.

PAUL: Daniel Littman, Alice Stuart, Mark Zaid, we appreciate you all so much, thank you.

ZAID: Thank you, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the diplomacy at the Olympics, Kim Jong- un sent his sister to South Korea, she has now invited the South Korean president to North Korea for talks, as the two countries, you know, play as this unified ice hockey team. CNN's Coy Wire is live from the site for the Olympics. Coy, good morning.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. Coming up, we're going to tell you about a family that's going to watch one daughter compete for team USA in hockey, and she'll have to face her sister, possibly, who's playing for that Unified Korean hockey team. An incredible story coming up right here on NEW DAY.

PAUL: Also, you're going to hear from the first African-American hockey player to ever take the ice for team USA. How has this milestone affecting him as friends and family cheer him on?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[07:14:14] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe this is my son that is one, going to the Olympics, and breaking the color barrier. I mean, he's making history and I'm so proud of him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: A historical moment, this year's Winter Olympics is not just about sportsmanship on the ice, but also a diplomacy that's happening right now. North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, invited the South Korean to visit North Korea, extended this historic invited through his sister Kim Yo-jong.

PAUL: Now, she's visiting South Korea for the games, have lunch with the South Korean president earlier. And CNN's Will Ripley is live from South Korea. You broke the story, Will, I know, about this historic invitation. What do you know about what was said and help us understand the significance of this year?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kim Yo-jong, the sister of Kim Jong-un was sent on a diplomatic mission here. This was a deliberate strategy on the part of the North Korean leader to really to try to warm relations with the South, and it's a strategy that appears to be working because she delivered that letter in a blue, essentially, envelope or a leather case to South Korea's president inviting him to travel to Pyongyang as soon as possible to talk about inter-Korean relations.

And President Moon was quick to accept that invitation saying he wants to engage with the North Koreans. He thinks the talking is the way to go, also saying that he thinks North Korea and the United States should talk. But that seems unlikely given the tone from Vice President Pence who was on the ground here, blasting the North Korean regime during a number of different public appearances including with North Korean defectors joined by Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, who died six days after being released from North Korean custody.

All of these leaders were sitting together in the VIP box at the opening ceremony. It was tense, kind of awkward looking situation. And Vice President Pence said, he was hoping that South Korea would disengage with North Korea; stop talking and start putting on the pressure to denuclearize after the Olympics are over. But clearly, President Moon, not taking that advice, instead, saying that he is willing to travel and to meet with Kim Jong-un. So, mission accomplished as far as sending his sister here in South Korea to get that offer made and accepted.

[07:20:26] BLACKWELL: There's another form of this diplomacy that we're seeing between the North and the South as this unified hockey team. We're seeing them; we saw them last night in that parade of nations. What can you tell us about this team?

RIPLEY: Well, the team was certainly a controversial decision here in South Korea, because by incorporating North Korea players into the teams, some of the South Korea players who've been training for the Olympics for years have to sit on the bench during these games. But nonetheless, again, this is another really a P.R. win for Kim Jong-un because President Moon Jae-in to attend the game with Kim Jong-un's sister, and also with the North Korea's Ceremonial Head of State, Kim Yong-nam. And so, you have all of them. They've just arrived within the last few minutes.

They are sitting together, watching the game, cheering together. Another public show of, really, legitimacy for the North Korean regime -- not the isolation that the United States is calling for. And so, sports, well they do have an opportunity to bring countries together. At least in this particular situation right now, it seems that this is what the North is trying to do, and perhaps succeeding to some extent, is to try to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, because South Korea is not taking the advice of the U.S. administration.

BLACKWELL: All right. Will Ripley for us there in Pyeongchang. Will, thank you so much.

PAUL: This whole dynamic day in South Korea is bringing some pretty intriguing storylines, and one of them is about two sisters who are competing for different countries in ice hockey.

BLACKWELL: Yes, one of us is on that team, we just talked about. Coy Wire is there, live in South Korea as well with more on the Brandt Sisters, Coy.

WIRE: Hi, Victor. Hi, Christi. As you can imagine as a parent to have one child that qualified for an Olympic team, but then to have two daughters and they both qualify in the same sport but competing for different countries, that's the case for Greg and Robin Brandt. Their daughter Hannah, made team USA, and their daughter, Marissa, who they adopted at 4-months-old, will compete for that Unified Korean team under her birth name, Yun Jong-park. Hannah and Marissa, both pinching themselves over this absolutely surreal moment in their lives. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARISSA BRANDT, OLYMPIC ATHLETE: Now, we're going together and get to experience everything for the first together, which is very special and not many people can say they've done that with their sister.

HANNAH BRANT, OLYMPIC ATHLETE: The coolest thing about going to the Olympics together is I'll be walking around, I'll be at the ding room, and my sister is going to be there. Most people can't say that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: All right. Two events coming up today, you want to check out snowboard men's slopestyle, where 17-year-old, Red Gerard, from Cleveland, hoping to meadow in his Olympic debut. Also, Alpine skiing men's downhill, is going on as well -- some serious speed there. Now, Hannah and Marissa, they both will be playing this weekend. Marissa right now -- and it's unlikely that the two teams will face each other during the games. But Victor and Christi, could you only imagine if they do.

PAUL: I have the center and the middle of the stage. You're a one side here, and you're one here, and here is me. Here's the ball. All right, Cony Wire, so good to see you, thank you!

[07:23:31] BLACKWELL: All right. Memo denied, more staff departures, a wild week in the markets. We're going to take a look at all that's happened and what that means for you and the week ahead?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: All right, rise and shine. It is Saturday morning, and we've been waiting for you. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: So, President Trump is denying the release of Democratic memo on the Russia probe saying that there's just too much sensitive information in it even though the Republican got their memo released just last week and he was against the wishes of the FBI.

BLACKWELL: Now, on the same day, more departures from the administration, the third person in line at the Justice Department, her name is Rachel Brand, she is leaving her position. The reporting is, she'll be heading to become one of the corporate attorneys for Walmart, is also the second White House official in just a few days accused of domestic abuse, also gone. He denies the allegations from his ex-wife which says that, he actually -- he says he was a victim of abuse during the marriage. The deputy chief of staff is out of that position, heading to another one. And the Chief of Staff, John Kelly, who has not been on the job for very long, says that he would be willing to follow them if that's what the president wants from him.

PAUL: So, yesterday's announcement about the memo and the resignations -- not a great end to pretty chaotic week at the White House, and one that put the Trump administration squarely in another P.R. crisis. So, let's talk about how we got here. It started Monday when President Trump insisted that Democrats were "un-American and treasonous for refusing to stand to applaud the State of the Union address. That afternoon, while President Trump was touting the economic benefits of his tax plan, during a televised speech, the Dow took its first tumble of the week -- down 1175 points. That was the work point go in history. On Tuesday, the president asked the Pentagon for a large-scale military parade. The Pentagon in reviewing potential dates for that. But the president has requested and sit well with lawmakers on other side of the aisle. In fact, here's what Republican Congressman, Lee Zeldin, told CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LEE ZELDIN (R), NEW YORK: I do think of fleet week that goes on the New York City area, and how great of an event that is for all of the sailors and whomever participates in that event. And I don't believe that we should have tanks and nuclear weapons going down Pennsylvania Avenue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[17:30:11] PAUL: Allegations of domestic abuse surfaced on Wednesday when the Daily Mail reported. White House staff secretary Rob Porter, verbally and physically abused his ex-wives. And the Chief of Staff John Kelly defended Porter praising his integrity and honor. After the publication of photos of Corbett, holding her black eye, however, Kelly issued another statement, essentially doubling down unwanted defense of Porter.

Then on Thursday, it was revealed top officials including White House counsel Don McGahn, knew about the allegations against Porter for at least a year. That same day, the stock market tumbled again, 1,033 points. Making this the worst week for the stock market in two years.

And they have the government shut down but the right by Friday morning, Congress had passed its spending bill. And the president signed it into law, effectively, re-opening the government.

BLACKWELL: All right, joining me now to talk about of that happened, and it has been a lot. Daniel Lippman, reporter and co-author of the POLITICO Playbook, and Alice Stewart, CNN political commentator, and Republican strategist. Welcome back to both of you.

DANIEL LIPPMAN, REPORTER AND CO-AUTHOR, PLAYBOOK, POLITICO: Thank you.

STEWART: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: Alice, let me start with you, and this reporting that General Kelly has spoken with other White House officials, that he be willing to leave the White House. Leave this position as chief of staff if the president wants him to. No official offer of resignation yet. And Hogan Gidley, the deputy press secretary there said that he hasn't official -- officially offered his resignation. Would that behoove the president to accept that resignation? Show there's a degree of accountability for this entire Rob Porter mess. And try to turn the page back to legislation back to doing the work of the American people? STEWART: Yes, it's clearly the president's call and I think it remains to be seen what will happen. Look, I think, no matter where you go, there you are. And no matter who the President leaves, our sense from this administration. We're still going to have the same people at the top, and I think that's something that we need to consider.

And look, talking with folks at the White House yesterday, they say, its business as usual. Chief of Staff Kelly was overseeing a meeting. He was there as chief of staff, and for all, and things have purposes, they don't see things changing at least anytime soon. I think we have to keep in mind, he was brought to the White House to restore some discipline and some order and streamlining the information that gets to the President and some that leaves the Oval Office, and he's done a good job with that.

And certainly, what we're finding out this week in my view, we're finding out that General Kelly is much more like Donald Trump on the issues than we first thought. But with regard to his future there and what he will be doing in the near term, that's completely up to the President to decide.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

STEWART: But after this week with regard to what happened with Rob Porter, I think that the best statement out of the White House was from Russia, saying that they could have done things better and I hope --

BLACKWELL: And apparently, that the President didn't like that. That Russia -- that's the reporting out from CNN that the President was unhappy with that. Go Ahead -- go ahead, Daniel.

LIPPMAN: Yes, I think the White -- it's very rare to see a person -- you know, (INAUDIBLE) the White House press briefing, and admitting that they did something wrong. That's something you used to see in previous White Houses. But, I know in the POLITICO newsroom, our jaws dropped when Raj Shah said something like that. And then, he said -- you know, Rob Porter, he was fired and the official line up until then was -- you know, he had stepped down, he had resigned. And so, and that was Raj Shah's first press briefing and so, I think, you know, he hasn't been, you know, taught to be the best spinner in terms of, you know, polishing things that aren't the best for the White House.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that might have been what that, and this is just speculation that a two-plus hour delay in the news conference on Thursday. You know, what he should say there, and you know, you bring up an interesting point here about jaws dropping, Daniel. Yours -- in the newsroom and POLITICO was in response to what Raj Shah said. There are a lot of dropped jaws yesterday, and that remarks from the President when they talked about Rob Porter.

But this is in defending him. This is part of a pattern of this White House. Let's just put up on the screen, and we put this together. This is a -- the list of alleged assaulters and abusers that the White House has defended, Rob Porter now, Roy Moore about out of Alabama. Allegations against a former chief strategist Steve Bannon. Corey Lewandowski, as well. Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes, and there's a mistake here because there's one face missing and that's the President of the United States himself, and more than a dozen women who have accused him of sexual assault. Alice, so there is a pattern here?

[07:34:57] STEWART: No doubt and whether we are talking about sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic abuse, there is a pattern in this White House. First off is to downplay the allegations, and then they will defend the demand who is accused of this activity. And they will try and denounce the woman, and denigrate her. And that is very problematic.

I think, in this day and age, more than any, we need to give these women a voice. We need to believe these women, we need to let them have the opportunity to tell their stories. And also, we need to let the American people know that there are consequences for this actions in character counts. And if you are -- if you have things that happen in your private life that are questionable or in some cases, abhorrent, it should -- it should stop you from serving in public office. And this is an opportunity for this White House to make an important statement on that, and change the history they have with regard to this kind of a view and a response to this kind of activities.

BLACKWELL: Daniel, I want to turn to another revelation that's come out this Rob Porter scandal that CNN is reporting now that 30 to 40 White House official -- officials and political appointees of the Trump administration, do not have they're working without a security clearances. We know that Rob Porter had this interim security clearance, we know that a senior advisor to the President and son in law, Jared Kushner, after a year in the White House does not have full security clearance. Do we know who else is working under this and remind me which just how troublesome this is or the dangers and problems this could cause.

LIPPMAN: So, I'm sure both of us wish we had the full list of those 30 to 40 people just to see, you know, exactly, you know, who'd has not passed the FBI background check. And I think it is troubling because -- you know when you have the FBI and other people doing those investigations and finding things that are problematic that could leave people open to blackmail if that information came out into that hurts our national security potentially.

With Jared Kushner, he worked on issues related to China, when his own sister was in China last year -- you know trying to drum up support for the family company.

BLACKWELL: And he -- and he has been -- you know, given this nickname of being the secretary of everything. So, his hands are in a lot of pots around that in the administration. We're running sort out of time, I hate to jump in there. But Daniel Lippman, thanks so much. Alice Stewart, thank you.

LIPPMAN: Thank you.

STEWART: Thanks -- BLACKWELL: Christi, to you.

PAUL: Already, the U.S. has not won gold in hockey since the 1980 Miracle on Ice, who could forget that one? The question is, what are they going to do this year? You're going to hear from an athlete who's going to try to make that happen and his already making history on his own.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:42:28] BLACKWELL: For the first time in decades, Boston University is sending a hockey player to the Winter Olympics and Jordan Greenway is already making history before competition even starts.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Well, Greenway, trying to get them start in the right way. Here's hockey backhander gets his own rebound and he scores! Just like that --

BLACKWELL: Pro hockey's counts say Boston University Junior Jordan Greenway is good enough to play in the NHL. He is 6'5", 230 pounds, strong, fast and smart. But regardless of a professional sport's future, he's already making history. 20 years old, he has some big skates to fill. The last BU player on team USA played in 1980 and pulled off the storied Miracle on Ice victory over the then, Soviet Union. It's also the last time the U.S. men's hockey team won gold.

JORDAN GREENWAY, HOCKEY PLAYER, TEAM USA: I just want that I'm -- I can go over there -- you know, with the guys and -- you know, build on their legacy.

BLACKWELL: And as the only African-American player on this year's U.S. men's hockey team, Jordan is building a legacy of his own. His two biggest fans could not be prouder, BU head coach, David Quinn, and his mom, Shannon Sullivan.

BLACKWELL: What do you see and what do you feel when you see him on the ice?

SHANNON SULLIVAN, MOTHER OF JORDAN GREENWAY: It's something that I never dreamed of for him growing up, and coming from a small town where we are.

BLACKWELL: Jordan has come a long way from Canton, New York.

GREENWAY: I was put on skates at a young age by -- you know, 2 or 3 years old. You know, a lot of my families played hockey, you know, my uncles and cousins, they'll played. There's a range every two miles, so I just kind of next in line and I continued to play.

BLACKWELL: And he continued through youth leagues and prep schools in Minnesota. He even won gold twice at the World Championship.

GREENWAY: Every time you come over the wind and you hear your national anthem, flag -- you know, and you see your flag going up, that's a pretty -- that's a pretty cool experience. You know want that doesn't get old.

BLACKWELL: Win or lose in Pyeongchang, Jordan is single-handedly changing the face of Olympic hockey. More than being the only African-American hockey player on this year's U.S. team, he is breaking a nearly century-old color barrier as the first African- American to represent U.S. hockey at the Olympics ever.

GREENWAY: Throughout, I didn't know I was breaking that color barrier. I didn't find out for a while. You know, I think it's great.

SULLIVAN: I can't believe this is my son that is one going to the Olympics and breaking the color barrier. I mean, he is making history and I'm so proud of him.

[07:45:05] GREENWAY: I'm the first African-American to be able to play hockey for the United States, of the Olympics, but hopefully the first of many, you know, hopefully, you know, this could go out and try something different.

DAVID QUINN, HEAD COACH, BOSTON UNIVERSITY ICE HOCKEY TEAM: That that's a responsibility that will he live up to it, I think Jordan's personality and his likability, and his smile, and he is 6'5", and he is -- you know, could Hollywood good looks, and he's a heck of a hockey player, you add all that up, I think, you know, someone of this stature, not only be a great hockey player, but if you just a casual sports fan, you're going to be interested and listen what he has to say. And I think, you know, the significance of that will be impact all to the sport of hockey for a long time.

BLACKWELL: Is there any additional pressure with being the first?

GREENWAY: I don't think so. You know, I think I just going to the Olympics, you're representing a pretty big -- you know, you're representing the whole United States, you know. And for me, I know that I'm going to go over there and continue to work hard, put in all the efforts that I have to get give me this far. And I think that's really all anyone can ask.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: And of course, we all will be pulling for him. The U.S. Olympic Committee says that this is the most diverse Winter Olympics team that the U.S. has ever sent to the games. Next Wednesday, Wednesday, you can watch Jordan Greenway and the men's hockey team take the ice and go to CNN.com for more of Jordan's story.

PAUL: And listen, take a look at your screen here. That is an Israeli fighter pilot bailing out after coming under anti-aircraft fire in the skies over Syria. We'll going to tell you what happened, stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: All right, Valentine's Day, circle it, next Wednesday. You know, people spend $1.8 billion, you know, incomplete on sweets for their sweetheart. In this week's "FOOD IS FUEL", Nutritionist Lisa Drey, have told us not all chocolate is created equal.

[07:49:20] LISA DRAYER, CNN HEALTH AND NUTRITION CONTRIBUTOR: Depending on the type, chocolate can actually be good for you and eaten every day as long as you don't overdo it. That's because of compounds in cocoa called flavanols. At high levels, this anti- oxidants can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and the risk of diabetes. Dark chocolate contains the highest amount of cocoa flavanols, milk chocolate has less, while white chocolate has none. Dark chocolate also tends to have less sugar than milk chocolate.

Generally speaking, the higher the cacao content, the more flavanols. So, look for dark chocolate that is at least 60 percent cacao. When possible, go for natural cocoa instead of Dutch process which reduces some anti-oxidants. Beyond flavanols, cocoa also contains minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Of course, portion size matters, so try to limit your daily treat of dark chocolate to one ounce or about 150 calories.

ANNOUNCER: Food as fuel, brought to you by Pom Wonderful, 100 percent pure pomegranate juice, crazy healthy.

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BLACKWELL: The Las Vegas shooter who carried out the deadliest shooting in modern history had anti-anxiety drugs in his system. Stephen Paddock's autopsy also showed he lied or rather died -- polls ask for that -- of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

PAUL: After he opened fire on thousands during a country music concert last year, of course. And 58 people died, almost 500 were injured and police found Paddock's dead inside his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Authorities haven't released a motive for the massacre, but Paddock was known as a gambler who visited Las Vegas casinos frequently.

BLACKWELL: Our "BREAKING NEWS" this morning. Israel says an Israeli fighter and the fighter jet has crashed after coming under massive anti-aircraft fire from Syrian forces. And Israel admitted today, its forces launched attacks on Iranian targets in Syria.

PAUL: CNN's Senior International Correspondent and Ben Wedeman is live from Beirut. Ben, kind of walk us through what we know happened this morning.

BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we understand, what we're hearing from Israeli officials is that early in the morning, an Iranian-may drone entered the Israeli airspace. That was shot down by an Israeli helicopter soon afterwards Israeli aircraft targeted a position in central Syria, it's called the T-4 Air Base near Palmyra, where they went to take out the launching system that sent this drone toward Israeli airspace. Now, during this air raid, apparently, some of the Israeli aircraft encountered a good deal of anti-aircraft fire. And one F-16 was damaged, it appears. And when it re-entered Israeli airspace, it crashed, we understand the pilots are still alive, one is in critical condition. Now, following that, the Israelis launched 12 air raids around Damascus in retaliation. And several hours afterwards, another smaller air raid.

Now, this is hugely significant, it represents a dramatic deterioration in the situation now. For the last several years, Israel has launched dozens of air strikes within Syrian territory normally targeting they say armed shipments from Syria to Hezbollah here in Lebanon. But oftentimes they simply do not comment on those reports. Today they're being quite explicit giving more information about today's incidents. Then, they have over the dozens of the incidents, this have taken place over the last few years.

But this is the first time in decades that the Syrians have been able to bring down, it appears, on Israeli aircraft. Now, there is calls for restraint on many sides, but the situation is even by the standards of Syria extremely tense.

[07:55:28] PAUL: All right. Ben Wedeman, thank you so much for the update. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: Well, the next hour of your NEW DAY, coming up after a quick break.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor has decided, he is not going to declassified the (INAUDIBLE) Donald.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That the unfairness is so obvious and so egregious.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm upset because this is a clear abuse.

TRUMP: We wish him well, he worked very hard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The victims here are the women.

PENCE: There is no tolerance in this White House and no place in America for domestic abuse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a second White House official who was resigned over domestic --

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