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EPA Head Scott Pruitt Criticized for Taking Gifts from Energy Industry; New Video Released Showing Alton Sterling's Death by Police Shooting; Students Occupy Administration Building at Howard University over Financial Aid Scandal; Oklahoma Teachers to Strike for Increased Pay and Classroom Funding; Russia Expels Diplomats from Other Countries; Bill Cosby Retrial to Commence; Sister Jean Discusses Loyola's Improbable Final Four Birth. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired March 31, 2018 - 10:00   ET



[10:00:06] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. So grateful to have you with us here on this Saturday, 10:00. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. CNN Newsroom begins right now.

PAUL: So this morning White house officials are frustrated the EPA is on the defense. Some Democrats are calling for a resignation. All of this over the head of EPA and how he is spending taxpayer money.

BLACKWELL: So the main issue is where Scott Pruitt lives when he's in Washington. He's been renting a condo at a rate that is far below market value for D.C. from the family of an energy lobbyist, and some say that violates federal rules and could be illegal. We've also learned the EPA had to buy that condo owner a new door because Pruitt's security broke in to check on him after he didn't answer his phone. CNN's Abby Phillip joins us live from West Palm Beach, Florida, where the president is spending the Easter weekend there at his resort on Palm Beach Island. Abby, good morning to you. There is a lot going on.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Good morning. Just another day and another problem with one of the president's cabinet members. The Environmental Protection Agency had Scott Pruitt as under fire today over his spending on a condo in Washington, D.C. The fact that he paid what seems to be below market rate for that condo, about $50 a night, but only for the nights that he stayed there is well below what people say you ought to be paying on Capitol Hill in that area for a nightly stay in a room there.

But Scott Pruitt is just dealing with several of these issues with ethics. A couple of days ago there was some questions raised about his use of a 24/7 security detail not only when he is on official business but also when he was on personal travel and now this. White House aides are frustrated. They called Pruitt and other cabinet members in several weeks ago and asked them be up front with us about what is coming down the pike when it comes to ethics problems. We don't want to learn about this in the newspaper. But in this case, that's exactly how many in the White House found out

about this problem, and they're not happy about it. President Trump is not happy with the distractions coming from his cabinet and already he has pushed out several cabinet members. Last year, Tom Price over some spending issues, and just this past week David Shulkin had issues with how he spent taxpayer dollars. So here Scott Pruitt is on thin ice with this White House. And it's not clear how long it's going to go on. The EPA, however, has defended him saying that his use of this condo was appropriate.

BLACKWELL: All right, Abby, with all of that that you discussed and all that's going on in the world, the president is up and tweeting about the cost of postage and Amazon.

PHILLIP: That's right. The president is back attacking Amazon again. But this time he made it clear what the issue with that company really is about. He accused Amazon of scamming the postal service. But he also said this bit about the "Washington Post" which is not owned by Amazon but owned by Jeff Bezos who is the CEO of Amazon. He said "The failing "New York Times" reports that the size of the company's lobbying staff has ballooned and that does not include the fake "Washington Post" which is used as a lobbyist and should so register." So the president here making it clear that his critique about Amazon is really about the "Washington Post" which often writes stories that he finds unflattering, and especially when it comes to his business and his business conflicts. The president has made this critique, sending Amazon stocks tumbling in the last week.

But obviously there are questions being raised now about whether the company is being unfairly targeted. He has accused the company of not paying sales tax. Amazon does, in fact, pay sales tax, and the postal service also says that they find the arrangement with Amazon to be mutually beneficial for both companies, Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: Syria, Russia, Putin, Stormy Daniels, the president is focused on postage and Amazon. Abby Phillip there in West Palm Beach, thanks so much.

PAUL: CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein is with us now as well as Washington bureau chief for "The Chicago Sun-Times" Lynn Sweet. Thank you both for being here. Good morning to you. I want to show that full screen here we have again of the five people who have had some questions raised about discrepancies in travel, in spending, with furniture, with this condo now with Scott Pruitt. I look at that, Ron, and I think what is striking about this may be the scope. We're 14 months into this presidency. Is this isolated to the President Trump's administration or, let's face it, surely this is not the first time discrepancies like this have happened.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No, it's not the first time, of course. But the magnitude of it is extraordinary. And I think we are watching a real time confirmation of the very old saying that the fish rots from the head. The president has really set the tone. He set the tone when he broke with years of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns. [10:05:04] They refused to release the logs of White House visitors.

He hired his immediate family members. He spends an inordinate amount of time at his own properties. He allows other institutions with interests in the political realm to hold events at his properties. He has from the beginning set a tone I think that has encouraged this kind of disdain really for the traditional ethical boundaries on many different fronts. It is not only the improper spending of taxpayer dollars but it's also the way the government interacts with lobbyists, both stories converging with Scott Pruitt.

And let's not forget that Scott Pruitt is really of all the cabinet agencies perhaps has been at the forefront of undoing efforts by the Obama administration, particularly in the areas of climate change. Just next week they are scheduled to roll back the historic agreement between the Obama administration and the auto industry to improve fuel economy in cars and trucks. So I think this is a story where really all the different ethical questions converge, and it just shows you how deeply this kind of culture is.

And one last point. It also shows you that the decision by congressional Republicans not to impose more oversight ultimately bites you in the end. They are the ones who are going to be on the front line of defending this behavior in November. And if they had been more rigorous about surveilling the way the administration was behaving to begin with, you'd probably have less of these scandals coming forward.

PAUL: OK, I want to look at the fact that in the last 14 months and just in the last two weeks we have got the economic, the foreign policy, national security sectors all losing their leaders. Now we're talking about Scott Pruitt again. Listen here to Trump supporter Amy Kremer, what she had to say about that a little while ago.


AMY KREMER, PRESIDENT, WOMEN FOR TRUMP: The president was elected to be a disruptor. And when things are not working as he wants, as he expects them, I expect him to make changes that will work. That's what he wants to be successful. Remember, this is a man that gave up his private life to do this. He's not receiving any pay. He's doing it for the better of America. He wants to make America great again. And we know the president does not like to fail. So I trusted him that he's doing the right thing and he will make the right decisions.


PAUL: So, Lynn, is this disrupting the swamp, so to speak, or is there something deeper here?

LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "CHICAGO SUN-TIME": Well, I think it's a little of both. There is no reason that, no matter what your intent and regulations, to deregulate, to wipe out everything Obama did or Bush did or Clinton did, that is still different in the essential ethics question that you don't take impermissible gifts. You don't do extravagant travel. Let's put that in one bucket of lapses that are independent of the policy. It's independent of whether or not you agree with Trump. No matter who you, what your political belief is, you're not supposed to take impermissible gifts, and certainly should have at that level some sensitivity to even the optics of the situation, which is something that is noted in ethics law, that you are supposed to be aware of how things look in order to show the taxpayers that you're not wasting their money.

So these serial lapses from the president on down in not being above the rules, of not making the letter of the law and going past that, is what's at issue here. It's not whether or not you believe in the Trump policies per se. It's what they're doing on the ethical front. And I think that is a way to focus this conversation where you don't have to get into whether or not you believe in Trump policies because even if Pruitt is forced to resign or fired, let's put out there this question. Wouldn't his replacement also be intent on doing the same dismantling of the Obama era policies as Pruitt?

PAUL: Would they, Ron, especially if you see all of these firings and people walking away from the administration in the last several weeks, would anybody really come in, do you think, a new appointee and try to pull of the same shenanigans, do I say?

BROWNSTEIN: Lynn rightly separates two separate questions, the ethical behavior and the policy direction, although, they do converge because in essence what you're seeing in so many of these really across the board in the federal regulatory authorities, whether it's consumer protection or, you know, the dealing with financial agencies or occupational safety and certainly, above all, in the environment, the argument has been from Trump that in essence business knows best and that the government has been too adversarial and confrontational and that business should have a bigger say in determining the way it is regulated in the public interest.

[10:10:00] And I think once that is your north star, almost inevitably you are going to get into these kinds of questions about the way in which you are interacting with those lobbyists as you make those decisions. So I think she's right that no matter who comes in the direction is set. On the other hand, I also think that they are having trouble filling these jobs with -- if you look at the first 14 months of the Trump administration, both the way he may turn on you, the kind of erratic nature of the policy making, the lack of a clear process, it's harder and harder to believe that Republican A-team or even B-team is really interested in this.

And you can, I think, see in the kind of appointments that have come in the White House, Larry Kudlow, John Bolton may be very fine people, but they are not someone that anybody else on that stage would have had on the inner circle when we look back at the Republican debates in the summer of 2015.

PAUL: Ron and Lynn, we're looking at some video now, excuse me, of President Trump arriving at his golf club. We understand it's been I want to say 138 visits to one of his properties since he's become president. Lynn, is there at any point where these visits are going to get in the way of the effectiveness of his administration, what he's doing, credibility, especially when you look back at the comments he made about President Obama in saying I'm not going to be on the golf course every weekend?

SWEET: Well, and he is. So how many more examples of Trump -- this is a serial hypocrisy going on almost every weekend. And also this is expensive. This constant weekend travel to either his properties in New Jersey or Florida cost the taxpayers a lot of money. Past presidents have often been criticized for their travel on vacations or on, President Obama and Mrs. Obama got an enormous amount of criticism one time for taking a plane to New York for a recreational weekend. That was an incident that had legs for weeks. Now every weekend, every weekend the president goes to one of his other properties.

That is, again, because Ron, I like to separate issues. The other interesting thing is just in how Trump operates, in all his time in Washington, he's only gone out maybe three or four times when he's left the White House to go to some place other than a property. And that's been usually to a hotel or a facility where there is a dinner or an event. So one other thing, just think, you have a president who is so insulated that when he hasn't gone to a national park in a year, he hasn't visited except for an airplane hangar or event where he gives a speech or a venue, maybe a factory, he hasn't even explored the glorious golf course that's are around Washington, D.C. Andrews Base, for example. He is that cloistered from experiencing anything out of his own bubble.

BROWNSTEIN: Can I just real, real quick. I just take this back to Congressional Republicans I think have brought this on themselves by sending the signal really increasingly over time that they are not going to perform real oversight. I think President Trump and the administration has basically viewed they can get away with almost anything. And ultimately, it is the people in Congress that are going to be on the front line if there is a backlash against this. And by sending that signal, they have in the end brought more trouble on themselves.

PAUL: I got you. Ron Brownstein, Lynn Sweet, always good to you have here. Thank you.

SWEET: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, new insight into the 2016 police shooting death of Alton Sterling, what never before seen video is now revealing about the officer who killed Sterling.

PAUL: Also, new details in the police shooting death of Stephon Clark. Why his family's attorney is now saying an autopsy report proves that the police are lying.


[10:18:04] BLACKWELL: This morning, new disturbing video of Alton Sterling's death. For the first time we are now getting a clear picture of what happened just before a white police officer shot him six times, killing him outside of a Baton Rouge convenience store.

PAUL: We want to warn you that the video you're about to see is disturbing. We do not want you to be caught off guard here. CNN's Kaylee Hartung is in Baton Rouge live with us. Kaylee, this is hard to watch.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, Christi, and good morning to you, Victor. With the help now of two of the officers' body cams as well as the surveillance video from the convenience store, we do now have a more clear and complete account of the encounter between the officers and Sterling, the moments that his life was lost, and the moments that followed. I want to warn you one more time, this video that we received from the Baton Rouge police department is disturbing.


HARTUNG: Graphic and disturbing new video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did I do? What I did?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't move or I'll shoot you. Put your hands on the car.

HARTUNG: Showing the controversial shooting death of Alton Sterling in 2016. The Baton Rouge chief of police announcing Officer Blane Salamoni who shot Sterling six times during a struggle with him, will be fired over his actions.

CHIEF MURPHY PAUL, BATON ROUGE POLICE DEPARTMENT: The violation of command of temper has been sustained. Officer Blane Salamoni is terminated from the Baton Rouge Police Department effective today.

HARTUNG: This week Salamoni refused to answer any questions during a disciplinary hearing the chief said, while Howie Lake, the other officer involved, answered them all. Lake, who the chief said made mistakes but controlled his temper during the encounter, was given a three-day unpaid suspension.

PAUL: Two different perspectives and one officer did not follow the tactics, training, professionalism, and organizational standards.

[10:15:00] HARTUNG: The police chief making it clear, their administrative investigation was separate from the federal criminal charges both officers were already cleared of. The police department released four videos from the night of the shooting, including this surveillance footage from the SSS convenience store. That is Sterling at the front of the store, sitting at a table where he is selling CDs. Minutes into the tape, he is seen conducting a transaction with an unidentified man. Here he removes what appears to be a gun from his front pocket followed by money from the same pocket. Within seconds, Sterling is seen jokingly making a shooting motion towards the man.

That night police were initially called to the SSS convenience store responding to a 911 call from a witness who saw a man with a gun. Watch closely as things escalate quickly. From Salamoni's perspective, you can see a brief struggle and then his gun is trained on Sterling's head.

BLANE SALAMONI: Don't you move or I'll shoot you in your -- head. Do you hear me? Do you move!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, hold up, hold. You're hurting my arm.

HARTUNG: Sterling then was pinned to the ground and Tased twice.

HOWARD LAKE: Get on the ground. Get on the ground!

SALAMONI: Pop him again, Howie.

HARTUNG: Before being fatally shot.


HARTUNG: Previously released cell phone videos recorded by bystanders show at this point in the encounter, Salamoni believed Sterling was armed. A gun was recovered from Sterling's body. But the federal and state investigations determined that the officers' actions were reasonable and couldn't prove that Sterling wasn't reaching for a gun.


BLACKWELL: Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much for that report from Baton Rouge.

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, the leaders of Black Lives Matter gathered outside city hall last night demanding justice for Stephon Clark.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black lives, they matter!

CROWD: Black lives, they matter!


BLACKWELL: Clark was an unarmed man then when he was killed by police. This is 13 days ago. According to an independent autopsy, the 22-year-old was shot eight times, six of those in the back. An attorney for the Clark family argues that that contradicts the police narrative that Stephon was moving towards them when they fired. Police at first said they thought the cell phone he was holding was a gun. This investigation is ongoing.

PAUL: And it's now day three of a student protest at Howard University. A group of students have staged a sit-in, completely taking over an administration building on campus there after the school's employees were accused of pocketing financial aid over a nine-year period.

BLACKWELL: And they say they will not leave until their demands are met, one of which is the resignation of the university's president. CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval is following this story for us. Polo, what are you learning this morning?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Three days now, guys, and at this point these students say they're not going anywhere until demands are met. This protest here, these students essentially occupying this administration building, about 350 according to organizers, staying strong right now, and partly in response to the financial aid scandal. And now there is a report revealing the misappropriation of financial aid funds over a period of nine years. Some university employees were receiving grants from school to attend classes while also receiving tuition remission.

According to a university statement, basically they earned more money than the tuition actually cost, so they would pocket that difference. Specific amounts though haven't been revealed. The university saying that reform has happened, that that has taken place following an investigation including changing to the grant approval process and also giving students access to annual financial aid budgets.

But many students saying this is the tip of the iceberg. Look at their list of demands that they have literally posted outside of that administration building. They include everything from wanting the student body to have a vote in matters that are taken up by university officials. They want to disarm police officers on campus or at least campus police, and also hiring of more counsellors, and finally, holding faculty accountable for certain language and actions against those students and ultimately the resignation of the university president and their board of trustees, who say that some of those concerns are, quote, "inaccurate," Victor and Christi. So day three now and these students saying until demands are met, they won't be going anywhere.

BLACKWELL: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

PAUL: Thank you, Polo. Russia is expelling diplomats from 23 different countries now after, of course, those countries kicked out Russian diplomats. The question now is how far is this going to go?


[10:29:08] PAUL: It's 29 minutes past the hour right now. Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Saturday to you. Russia is testing new missiles and kicking out diplomats from nearly two dozen countries as an escalating international standoff continues.

PAUL: So far we haven't heard much publicly from President Trump regarding the Kremlin's latest steps. And now senior Trump administration officials, we understand, are attempting to convince the president to take a more aggressive stance on Russia. This is according to "The New York Times" which says so far he's refused.

BLACKWELL: Joining us now from Washington, CNN national security analyst Steve Hall, retired chief of Russia operations for the CIA. Steve, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So let's start here with these expulsions. The U.S. and other countries join the U.K. in expelling Russian diplomats. The U.S. closed down the Russian consulate in Washington state. Then Russia reciprocated, getting rid of diplomats in Russia and closing the U.S. consulate there in St. Petersburg.

[10:30:06] Do you expect the U.S. and other countries will now again reciprocate and this goes on and on, or is this the end at least as related to the nerve agent attack, the end of those expulsions?

HALL: My guess is it's probably the end, at least of this round, meaning that something could always happen a little bit later. But this is a really interesting situation in that I think for the first time in a long time you have just not individual back and forth bilateral, the Russians throw out one American diplomat and we throw out a Russian diplomat. This time you have the west actually acting as a group. You have got a whole bunch of countries getting together and protesting Russia's attack on the Skripals on Great Britain, which is really significant and I think probably a bit of a surprise, frankly, to Vladimir Putin.

PAUL: So with this exodus of all the diplomats, is there any concern regarding a security or an intel hole any longer in Russia?

HALL: Well, you know, in the short term, the western countries tend to lose a little bit more when you have these back and forths because the Russians always have more diplomats and therefore, assumedly, more intelligence officers in their target countries like the United States and Great Britain and other western countries than we do in theirs. There is a short term effect there.

But really over the longer run this is significant because remember that Putin's primary goal here was to divide the west. And this is a bit of a miscalculation because now the west has come together against him, with one exception, and that is that Donald Trump, the president of the United States, remains silent on this. And that's a signal that Putin I think will read and take a look at very carefully.

PAUL: Steve, we had a Russia expert on earlier this morning who says that Russia's testing of this, as the U.S. calls it, this Satan 2 intercontinental ballistic missile was hyped. What is your view of this test of this missile, also in the context of what we're hearing from the president about these discussions over an arms race, the cold war phrase potentially now going weapon for weapon with Russia?

HALL: I'm going to have a tendency to agree that it is hyped on Russian side. This is Russia's attempt, oftentimes very successful, to concern the west. You hear it a lot of people's interviews. We have to be careful of an escalation, spiral of difficulties with Russia. And I think it's what Russia -- that plays well into Russia's hands. It's what Vladimir Putin wants because it forces at least psychologically the west to say wow, we better take Russia into consideration when, in fact, that's probably a lot less true than many people think. We actually don't need Russia for a lot of different things going on in the world. But Russia would like very much to stay at the table.

PAUL: All right, Steve Hall, so appreciate you taking the time to be with us. Thank you, sir.

BLACKWELL: Let's take you to Oklahoma where teachers there got a $6,000 pay raise, but they plan to strike anyway.

PAUL: Joining us next, president of Oklahoma Education Association, Alicia Priest, she spent more than a decade teaching in Oklahoma schools. She's going to talk to us about what it's going to take to stop the strike.


PAUL: Pay us more or we walk. That is the message from Oklahoma teachers who got a $6,100 pay raise, but they say it's not enough. They're planning to strike on Monday. So let's put some of these numbers into perspective for you. Oklahoma ranks 49th in the nation in teacher salaries. This is according to the National Education Association. The average salary for a high schoolteacher, $42,460 a year. That is almost $19,000 less than the national average according to the bureau of labor statistics.

Joining me now, president of the Oklahoma education association, Alicia Priest. Thank you so much for being with us. So let me ask you first and foremost, I know you received $6,100. Was that a one year -- was that an annual increase or is that spread out over a number of years?

ALICIA PRIEST, PRESIDENT, OKLAHOMA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: That's an average annual increase. But this is about much more than teacher pay. It's about making sure that we get funds into our classrooms.

PAUL: Right. And let's take a look at some of the things you might be dealing with here. We have video of -- I think it is a chair that somebody sent from the Oklahoma teachers -- from one of the schools there. It's broken. I'm assuming this is a chair that they require students to sit in every day. Is this common for what you see? Or is this an exaggeration of what you are dealing with in your school system?

PRIEST: It's unfortunately common. We've been cut over 28 percent in the last 10 years in education funding, and our schools just can't maintain all of the supplies, instructional materials, textbooks, even copy paper. Copies are limited in schools to maybe 30 a week.

PAUL: What would you say is your biggest need, your most dire need right now for your students?

PRIEST: For our students we have to have qualified, certified teachers in the classroom in front of them. We have to have support professionals that are also qualified and able to make a livable wage. And we have to have those resources for -- to reduce class size so that teachers can be one-on-one with students.

[10:40:01] We have to have textbooks. We don't even have full sets of textbooks. Some of the textbooks are 20 years old or more. So we have all kinds of financial hardships because of these funding cuts.

PAUL: So you are asking for $10,000, as I understand it, a $10,000 raise for teachers over the next three years. It starts with $6,100. Is that a good starting point for you? And do you have any idea what the next two years beyond that would bring?

PRIEST: It's a good starting point. And our legislature put funding with that. Unfortunately, they've backed out some of that funding. So we are not quite sure how they're going to pay for it if they continue to take the funding away.

PAUL: All right, so we know that the bill the lawmakers passed this week, does it include additional education funding for the schools other than teacher pay?

PRIEST: It included a small raise for support our bus drivers, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers. And then it included $50 million for those funds to buy textbooks and curriculum and instruction and reintroduce things that have, classes that have been cut in our schools like the fine arts, world languages, advance placement classes, things like that. So $50 million will buy less than one textbook per student in Oklahoma. So it's not a real way to fund education.

PAUL: So what is the number that you need? What is the number that you all are saying this is what is going to get us out of the strike zone and back into the schools?

PRIEST: Well, we will be back in the schools when our members tell us to. So what we need is for our legislature to fully fund what we've asked for, which is in relation to the operational costs of the schools.

PAUL: But what is that number?

PRIEST: It's $200 million over three years to rehire those teachers, reintroduce those course work, and make sure our children have the materials they need to be successful in the future.

PAUL: All right, Alicia Priest, I'm sorry we've run out of time. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us here. And we know they will be still on strike on Monday. We have to see where this goes, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Christi.

Still to come, Bill Cosby's attorneys revealing new details in Cosby's sexual assault case, and the retrial is set to begin next week. We have more on that ahead.


[10:45:42] In Texas, over 40 percent of kids who go to jail once will be back within 12 months.

PAUL: So this week's CNN hero is a chef from Dallas who left a top restaurant and successful career to help stop that revolving door.


CHAD HOUSER, CNN HERO: I remember consciously thinking that the system is rigged, based on choices that were made for him, not by him, the color of his skin, the part of town that he was born into, the schools that he had access to, and I just thought it's not fair. He deserves every chance that I had. And I thought if you're not willing to do something yourself, then you're a hypocrite. So either put up or shut up. And that was it for me.


BLACKWELL: Yes. To see just how Chad is doing, go to And if you know someone who deserves to be a CNN hero, nominate them.


PAUL: The Bill Cosby retrial starts next week. Jury selection begins Monday. The judge pushed back opening statements, though, until April 9th. Cosby is facing three counts of indecent assault charges. CNN's Jean Casarez joins us with more details. So Jean, at this point what have you learned about what to expect next week.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's going to be a very different trial, I'll tell you that much, from the previous trial. A new defense counsel, Tom Mesereau out of California. And the judge really hasn't decided on all the evidence that's going to come in or not come in before the jury.

But tonight we have an hour look at this trial, a very fresh look. And I wanted to know who Andrea Constand was, because she is the accuser in this case. And we flew to Toronto, and her sister Diana spoke with me. It's the first time the Constand family has ever spoken out. But we learn a little bit about Andrea Constand and also Brian McMonagle. He was the lead attorney for Bill Cosby from the very beginning. And right after last June's mistrial, he sat down with me and this is the first time we have the full interview from him. But it was Andrea Constand, the one and only person that went forward to police that went public in 2005 to say Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted me.


CASAREZ: Diana Parsons is Andrea's older sister, knows her better than anyone else. And she spoke exclusively with CNN about her sister who she describes as private and centered.

DIANA PARSONS, ANDREA CONSTAND'S OLDER SISTER: She's very spiritual, and she's calm. She's humble. She's honest.

CASAREZ: And she's also a lifelong athlete.

PARSONS: She played soccer and she played basketball.

CASAREZ: She chose to focus on basketball as she grew taller.

PARSONS: Andrea is six feet.

CASAREZ: Six feet? PARSONS: Yes. Her basketball skills are unbelievable. I think she

was in grade 12 and different universities started coming forward offering Andrea scholarships.

[10:50:03] CASAREZ: Andrea Constand played four years of division one ball at the University of Arizona. It was followed by two years of pro ball in Europe. Her goal, to play for the WNBA. But it didn't happen.

How traumatic was that for her?

PARSONS: I think it was something, yes, she really did want. But that path did not work out for her. And she moved along to the next path.

CASAREZ: In 2001, she decided it was time to make a career off the courts. So she accepted an administration job with the women's basketball team at Philadelphia's Temple University, a path that led her to the very center of Bill Cosby's world.


CASAREZ: The defense says, of course, any interaction between Andrea Constand and Bill Cosby was consensual. Christi, we don't know how long this jury selection is going to take because in the span of six months, this is a whole new world. You've got the Me Too movement. You have got jury selection in Montgomery County which is where Bill Cosby is basically from. He's the hometown boy. He's loved and adored. He has been in that area. So it will be interesting to see if people have such strong opinions that they cannot set it aside to be fair and impartial.

PAUL: Yes, if they can seat a jury there. Jean Casarez, thank you so much.

CASAREZ: Thanks, Christi.

PAUL: Of course. And Jean's CNN Special Report, "The Case Against Cosby" does air tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern.

BLACKWELL: All right, Coy Wire is here with some Saturday motivation in his Difference Makers featuring Sister Jean.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, we have featured championship coaches, Olympic gold medalists, other pro sports stars in our Difference Makers series. This week it's 98-year-old woman they're calling Cinderella. She is now wearing glass slippers. She's wearing Velcro sneakers. She's the biggest star of this year's Final Four. That's coming up.


[10:56:29] BLACKWELL: Of the many inspirational stories at this year's Final Four, perhaps none is more inspiring than that of Cinderella team Loyola Chicago and their team chaplain Sister Jean.

PAUL: Sister Jean, the difference makers, Coy Wire.

WIRE: Yes, good to see you. Love this story. Difference Makers brought to you by Ford, going further so you can. Sister Jean is 98 years old. She celebrates life and gives life to anyone who sees or hears her leading and creating positive change in our world.


SISTER JEAN DOLORES SCHMIDT: I'm Sister Jean from Loyola University Chicago. And each one of us makes a difference in this world. God bless us. Go Ramblers. And amen.


WIRE: You don't have to go traveling with the basketball team. You don't have to be getting up doing all the interviews for TV. Why is this important to you? Why do you do this?

SCHMIDT: I just have fun. I have a lot of fun. I want to go one step further myself by encouraging students to do that. I have to give them the example that I do that too.

WIRE: What was one of your favorite moments of this tournament?

SCHMIDT: That was the buzzer maker in the first game that Donte Ingram made almost from the NBA line. And it was great. And the one that Clayton Custer made, too. I said to him after the game, Clayton, I wasn't sure about the ball was going into the basket because it wobbled around. He said Sister Jean, I wasn't sure it was going to make it either. I said, well, I'm really glad you tried it.

WIRE: Sister Jean, what do you want your legacy to be?

SCHMIDT: That I really made some kind of an impact on their lives, because if a life makes a difference, then you have to make an impact. And I just want them to know that I love them. I'm happy. I'm a happy person. I have a lot of fun, and I'd like that to, even to the guys I say, enjoy what you're doing on the court. Then you're more relaxed.


WIRE: Victor, Christi, I told Sister Jean that I've interviewed Olympians, pro sports starts, but I was nervous to interview her. I said you're a celebrity. She said, I know.


WIRE: She had to correct a reporter that said Loyola's story is national. She said, no, we're international. She's 98 years old. Quite the inspiration.

PAUL: Yes, she is. Coy, thank you. That was awesome.

BLACKWELL: All right, so a Florida pilot kissed the tarmac after survining this landing at an airport here. PAUL: I'd do the same thing. He was coming in for a landing when the

plane's landing gear malfunctioned. Look at this. He was forced to make that emergency landing nose first on the tarmac. The pilot and the passenger not injured, thankfully. The NTSB and the FAA investigating that crash there. So glad everybody is all right.


WIRE: We always appreciate spending some time with you on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Thank you for making us part of your morning. We hope you make good memories this holiday weekend.

BLACKWELL: There is much more ahead in the next hour of CNN Newsroom. We turn it over to Ryan Nobles. In for Fredricka Whitfield. Ryan, good morning to you.

PAUL: Morning.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you, Christi and Victor, thank you so much. It's 11:00 on the east coast. I'm Ryan Nobles in for Fredricka Whitfield. Newsroom starts right now.

And after a period of relative quiet from the president, Donald Trump is lashing out at Amazon again, criticizing the company's business practices and tax payments, tweeting, quote, "While we're on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. post office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to billions of dollars.