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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Stolen Airplane Leads to Deadly Crash; Violence In Charlottesville Examined; Prosecutors Detail Manafort's Luxury Baseball Spending; Trump's Shadow Looms Over Manafort Trial; NFL Preseason Ushers in New Round of Protests; Trump Tells NFL Players to Find Another Way to Protest; Tiger Woods Goes 3-Under Before Play Suspended By Rain. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired August 11, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good morning, I'm Victor Blackwell.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: And I'm Christi Paul. So glad to have you here. We have breaking news to tell you about that happened overnight. A regional airline employee steals an empty plane and takes off and then starts doing aerial maneuvers.
BLACKWELL: This happened just after 8:00 Seattle time. Within minutes, military jets were right behind him. He flew the plane for about an hour and then crashed into a wooded area 40 miles from the airport.
PAUL: We're learning more about the man who apparently stole that plane, by the way. The Pierce County sheriff's office says it was not a terrorist incident. We want to make this very clear. This is not a terrorist incident.
BLACKWELL: That is important to point out. They did not identify this man but they said he is a 29-year-old man who they say was suicidal. Here's a closer look at what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a ground stop. No one is departing right now. They're working out an issue close to our air space.
BLACKWELL: (voice over) With those words to airline pilots all traffic was stopped at Washington State Seattle Tacoma airport known as Sea-Tac after what's being called an unauthorized takeoff of a Q- 400 turbo prop plane from Horizon Air owned by the Alaska Air Group. The company COO said in a video statement that the aircraft was taken by a single Horizon Air employee and no passengers were onboard.
The Pearce County sheriff said the man was a 29-year-old ground service agent. What happened next was a bizarre display in the skies above South Puget Sound. The agent was in touch with air traffic controllers and, apparently, performed stunts in the 76-seater plane. They tried to talk him down to a safe landing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, you did that. Now, let's try to land that airplane safely and not hurt anybody on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I don't know man, I don't know. I don't want to. I was kind of hoping that would be it, you know.
BLACKWELL: Air National Guard jets were scrambled and Washington's Governor Jay Inslee tweeted that fighter pilots flew alongside the aircraft and were ready to do whatever was needed to protect citizens, but, in the end, the man flying the stolen plane crashed.
Pictures from CNN affiliate KOMO showed flaming debris on nearby Ketron Island, the site of the crash.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The plane literally at that moment was flying right over our deck and right behind it were F-15s. We'd never seen a plane that low over our deck before and shortly thereafter we saw a giant plume of black smoke out in the distance.
PAUL: We have more audio from inside the cockpit of that plane, as well, where that man, who we understand was a ground service agent, talked about what he was trying to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to try to do a barrel roll and if that goes good, I'm going to nose down and call it a night.
BLACKWELL: Joining us on the phone now is John Waldron. John, thank you for being with us. It's a late night for you there on the West Coast, early morning for us here on the East Coast. We'll keep it short. You looked up and saw those fighter jets escorting the stolen plane. At any point up to that point, did you realize or recognize that something was wrong or was the presence of those jets the first sign for you?
JOHN WALDRON, WITNESS TO STOLEN PLANE FLIGHT: Well, we have two large military bases within about ten miles from where this all happened so, it's not uncommon to see, you know, fighter aircraft up in the air. But to see them in the manner they were flying and at that location where they were at was a little bit bizarre. So, I started to tape the aircraft and then out of nowhere the guy that was flying this Q-400 just pulled the stick back and put this thing into a complete loop and I honestly thought he was going to stall and hit the water.
But, you know, I mean, it was just very shocking to see so I just kept taping and I was completely unaware of what had actually happened at the airport. I had no idea the plane had been hijacked or what was going on. It appeared the two fighter jets were escorting him; they were alongside him and then they would trail behind him. You know, I don't know what they were trying to do at that time, obviously, because, like I said, I was unclear about what actually was going on and then he headed down towards where he eventually crashed at.
He actually pulled the nose back up, again, and I thought he was going to stall, again and he made his way down toward (inaudible). I looked again and he was in a nose dive and he went into the ground, straight in the ground. I saw a brief flash of flame and a big plume of smoke and the sound of the explosion. I just had a bad feeling that it wasn't an exercise or anything. I just knew he had crashed at that point.
PAUL: You said earlier that everyone was literally frozen in place. What conversations were you having? What were you thinking? What were you all standing there, in that moment?
WALDRON: I think we were all just completely in awe first of all, over the type of flying this individual is doing because it just -- my first thought is either he doesn't have any flight experience in this aircraft and he's unfamiliar with the controls or perhaps he is a stunt pilot and he's showing off or something. But it's very uncommon to see two military aircraft like that trailing behind.
So, we're all kind of sitting there with our jaws on the ground. You know, like, what just happened? I think maybe a military exercise but over that area would have been very uncommon because that's not, that's a civilian island with little beach cabins on it. It's populated very sparsely but it's just, it's very bizarre to that area. No air shows were scheduled or anything that I was aware of. So, to see this type of flying was just, it was way off what is normal.
BLACKWELL: All right, John Waldron, this amazing video that you shot really helps us understand what happened in those minutes over South Puget Sound. John Waldron, thanks for staying up late for us.
WALDRON: Oh, you're welcome, sir. Thank you, it's a pleasure.
PAUL: Thank you, John.
BLACKWELL: All right joining us now to talk more about this, Mary Schiavo, CNN transportation analyst, former Inspector General for the Department of Transportation and Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona CNN military analyst. Good morning to both of you and I'll start here, before we get into the psychology of this ground service agent and all the particulars, the big headline question is, how in post-9/11 America does a ground service agent get access to a plane and have the possibility of doing something like this? Let me start with you, Mary.
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN TRANSPORTATION ANALYST: Well, this was a question that Congress asked just last year. The House Homeland Security Committee put out a report and they were calling on the TSA to do enhanced background checks, beef up the screening at airport workers; there are 900,000 airport workers at 450 U.S. passenger service airports and they, in some cases, don't receive the same screening passengers do.
Just last year, Congress passed a bill to enhance the screening and the access controls for these employees. It didn't pass the Senate. I think that will be the question that goes to Congress and reviving Congress again next week. It's a big question.
PAUL: So, Rick, with that said, what vulnerabilities did this highlight, do you think? Not just, is it the airport, the airline? I mean, who are they really going to be looking more closely at here?
LIEUTENANT COLONEL RICK FRANCONA CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, every airport is different so, they're going to have to come up with specific guidelines for each airport, and the problem is, once somebody does this, he puts a lot of people at risk. One guy gets in one airplane and he takes off in a crowded metropolitan area and look what happens. Not only does it tie up the air traffic system, but no one knew what his intentions were. He could have easily turned north and gone through downtown Seattle. He could have caused countless deaths on the ground. This is a real vulnerability that they have to address. It's not, they say this is one guy, one plane, but the potential damage he could cause needs to be addressed.
BLACKWELL: Let's go to some of the particulars about this situation now. Earlier the sheriff there in Pearce County referred to him as a mechanic, that's the job title that we were learning in the early moments after the breaking news. We now know that he was a ground service agent. First to you, Mary, most people know what a mechanic is. Ground service agent, what would that description have consisted of and would he typically have access to the cockpit to pull something like this off?
SCHIAVO: No, to have access to the cockpit and taxi an aircraft, ordinarily you're a mechanic and you to have to specific authority. You have to have taxi authority. You actually have to be trained in the aircraft and have taxi authority. You have to know the airport traffic patterns because lots of collisions happen right on the ground in the taxiways.
I have worked air crashes where planes have crashed into each other while they're being taxied around. A couple years ago a mechanic taxied one off accidentally off a taxiway in Florida. So, it's very important. So, that's who is allowed to taxi an aircraft at the airports to and from maintenance and the ground service workers usually not an AMP mechanic which also means doesn't have a licensing and background check that an AMP mechanic would have.
PAUL: So, Rick, when we talk about the military jets from Portland that followed this plane and we need to point out again these military jets as is being reported had nothing to do with this crash in terms of the consequences of what we're seeing, but you brought up a very good point about intention. Help us understand what those military jets, how they may have been communicating and what may they have been hearing about as they try to follow this guy not having any idea of what his intentions are.
FRANCONA: Yes, you know, they were scrambled out of Portland; it's about 100 miles away. They were going supersonic so they could close that distance in about nine minutes. So, they were on the scene almost immediately and they took up positions behind and above this aircraft and then they made visual contact with the aircraft but they were trying to establish voice contact, which I don't think they ever did.
Of course, they're getting information not only from Seattle air traffic control and also from the Western Air Defense Sector which just happens to be located at that Air Force base in Seattle. They were getting a lot of information. You have to realize what these young pilots are facing because they don't know what this guy's intentions are. Is he going to fly this into a city and fly it into a school or residential area?
So, they go up there and they don't know what they're going to find. They're the first responders. They have to go up and assess the situation. Fortunately, there was only one death and that was the person who stole the aircraft. It could have gotten much worse if he was headed towards downtown Seattle, they would have had to increase their activity level and at the end, we were not going to let that aircraft go into downtown Seattle.
BLACKWELL: And of course that begs the question, at what point what was the protocol to make the decision to shoot down a plane. Colonel Francona, Mary Schiavo stay with us. We'll have more questions including that one in just a few moments.
But, first, one year since white nationalists and counter protesters faced off on the streets of Charlottesville. Now they plan to do it again, this time in the nation's capital. Why they have not learned anything about race and hatred on this one year anniversary.
PAUL: Also a bank employee says his boss wanted a job in the White House and willing to approve a massive loan to Paul Manafort in order to get it. The latest as week two of the Paul Manafort trial wraps up.
PAUL: Multiple events are planned in Charlottesville, Virginia, today to mark the one-year anniversary of the United the Right Rally where white nationalists launched violent protests on the University of Virginia's school law in downtown Charlottesville. Those riots resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
BLACKWELL: Two Virginia state troopers who were in a helicopter watching the protest were also killed in a crash. Now, this morning the University of Virginia will host a morning of reflection and renewal with breakfast and performances and then this afternoon Charlottesville clergy members will lead to faith service for remembrance and this evening there will be a student rally at UVA's campus. A CNN correspondent, Kaylee Hartung is in Charlottesville, joins us now for a look back at what happened a year ago and the lessons learned since then, as well. And you spoke with the Charlottesville police chief who says the nation has not had healing when it comes to issues of race. KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi.
With so much of the negative energy this weekend focused in Washington, D.C., the city of Charlottesville is seeing this weekend as an opportunity to work to heal, to reflect. This city is trying to look forward, not look back but this visual behind me -- these barricades, the secure perimeter downtown. These images are a sharp reminder of what happened in these streets a year ago.
Last summer, Charlottesville became a battleground.
UNKNOWN MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
UNKNOWN MALE: Clashes have erupted between white supremacists and protesters.
UNKNOWN FEMALE: Terror in Virginia; one person is dead.
HARTUNG: One year later a new team of officials are vowing not to let history repeat itself.
RASHALL BRACKNEY, CHIEF OF POLICE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA: We have to start owning we did not live up to our training, we didn't live up to our oath, but we have the opportunity to recover and get it right.
HARTUNG: (Voice over) After a sharply critical report places blame on the Charlottesville police department for its failure to contain the violence and protect the public.
AL THOMAS, CHIEF OF POLICE, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA: This is not a law enforcement event. This is a public safety endeavor.
HARTUNG: Chief Al Thomas retired. RaShall Brackney took over two months ago.
BRACKNEY: When I walked into this position I did walk in in some ways with my eyes wide open but I didn't realize probably the extent and the breadth and the width of what that responsibilities would be because I had not really had the opportunity to hear how hurt this community was and still hadn't healed.
(END VIDEO) HARTUNG: The first images of hate, America saw in Charlottesville came from here. The night before the planned and permitted alt-right rally white nationalists marched on the University of Virginia campus with tiki torches. The visual was startling, but that isn't the worst we would see. The next morning, violence in this intersection as police looked on just outside the park where General Robert E. Lee statue stands.
HARTUNG: (voice over): So-called alt-right activists chanting racist slogans and carrying guns and Confederate flags clashed with anti- racist and anti-fascist protesters and then the day turned deadly.
This street with James Alex Fields, Jr. barreled his car into a group of counter protesters; it remains a memorial to Heather Heyer. Heyer was killed in the attack, 35 others injured; the driver, a Nazi sympathizer will be tried for murder and federal hate crimes.
There was anger and outrage in reaction to not only the violence but the hateful rhetoric that was openly on display here
TERRY MCAUFFLE, VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today; our message is plain and simple. Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Very fine people on both sides.
HARTUNG: President Trump's refusal to condemn the racist attack in its immediate aftermath further inflamed the national conversation.
When you think about the flash point that Charlottesville was in this country, with the dialogue around race relations, where do you think we are one year later?
BRACKNEY: So I don't know if we as a city or even as a nation have had that real honest dialogue about equities in terms of really moving the needle forward. I'm not sure that we've actually instituted policies, procedures or even support that could help move the conversation beyond the conversation.
HARTUNG: And so, the conversation continues this weekend as the second Unite The Right rally organizes in the nation's capital. Here in Charlottesville, the focus will be on continued healing and Chief Brackney says the city has an all-encompassing plan for whatever or whoever the weekend may bring.
There are no planned or permitted demonstrations allowed in downtown Charlottesville. The entire area a secure perimeter, you see these concrete barriers like these behind me blocking any entrance of traffic into the streets of downtown Charlottesville. That's among the lessons learned from last year. The police wanting to keep pedestrians and vehicles separate. The only vehicles you see in this secured area are those from law enforcement. Victor and Christi. BLACKWELL: Far more than we saw this time on that Saturday morning a
year ago. Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much.
PAUL: on this one-year anniversary after Charlottesville, President Trump is still being criticized. I mean, you heard it there for fueling the nation's divide after defending white nationalists, you heard him say there were very fine people on both sides of the deadly rally. Well CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood is in Berkeley Heights near New Jersey, near where the president is staying right now. Any indication that we're going to hear from him this year?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. So far President Trump hasn't spoken out about the one-year a anniversary of the Charlottesville rally. His response to the violence that broke out there obviously is considered one of the low points of his presidency so far. Even his allies at the time were critical of him. Trump on this working vacation has stayed active on twitter. He has been tweeting about all his favorite subjects the NFL, Nancy Pelosi and even rapper Kanye West who praised President Trump Thursday night on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
President Trump thanking Kanye in a tweet writing, "Thank you to Kanye West and the fact that he's willing to tell the truth. One new and great fact is that African-American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in the history of our country. So honored by this. Thank you Kanye for your support, it makes a big difference."
But of courxe in D.C. later this weekend, the white nationalist organization that staged the Charlottesville rallies will hold another demonstration. The White House has yet to condemn that rally even though President Trump will be here in New Jersey while that rally takes place, it will happen in the shadow of the White House and we're waiting to see if President Trump has learned from the mistakes of last summer will be quicker to condemn this year's demonstration. Christi?
PAUL: All right, Sarah Westwood, appreciate it, thank you.
BLACKWELL: We've got more on this morning's breaking news story. An airline employee is dead after crashing a stolen plane. Coming up how air traffic controllers tried to talk the man into landing the plane and the response from that employee in the cockpit.
PAUL: Twenty-eight minutes past the hour right now. Thanks for being here. We're following some breaking news from Washington state. An airline employee killed after crashing a plane that he stole from the tarmac at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
BLACKWELL: Authorities have been slow to release details because it's really early in the investigation. What we know about this man is that he was 29 years old whose name given was Rich. We also know that he was a ground service agent with Horizon Air, a regional airline that is based out of Sea-Tac. Now, audio between the man, again, the name uses for himself is Rich. we don't know if that is his name or what his full name is and air traffic controllers shows they tried to help him safely land for nearly an hour before he crashed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, man, those guys would rough me up if I tried to land in there. I think I might mess something up there, too. I wouldn't want to do that. Oh, they probably have anti-aircraft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they don't have any of that stuff. We're just trying to find a place for you to land safely.
BLACKWELL: OK, let's bring back Mary Schiavo, CNN Transportation Analyst and former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and CNN Military Analyst Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona.
Colonel, let me start with you and a question where we left off at the top of the hour.
We saw those fighter jets, the F-15s that were scrambled to kind of follow and make sure that this didn't head to a population area. What's the protocol? At what point did -- would they have had to take more aggressive action to protect people on the ground?
RICK FRANCONA, FORMER UNITED STATES AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE OFFICER & CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, well, they ramp up the level of engagement to meet whatever need it is. They want to do it with the least amount of violence and hopefully no violence possible.
They were -- the next thing they were going to do was they were going to drop flares. Flares are normally used to deflect heat-seeking missiles, but it puts off quite a show that you get in front of a guy and punch off a bunch of these flares.
It sends a real signal that we're serious and you need to start complying with air traffic control instructions.
CHRISTI PAUL, CO-HOST, NEW DAY SATURDAY: We heard that -- we heard Mary, from a witness who said they were trying to figure out on the ground as they watched this thing and you're seeing it there that's actually his video that he took.
Trying to figure out if this is somebody who knew how to fly a plane and was trying to show off or if it was somebody who did not know how to fly a plane. Talk to us about this horizon Q-400 as we understand it. Is this a difficult plane to fly?
MARIA SCHIAVO, CNN TRANSPORTATION ANALYST: Well, it can be because it's a twin engine turbo prop. When you learn to fly, this fellow had a, you know, a few hours of flying lessons under his belt. You learn to fly on a single engine, what's called single engine land, your landing gear doesn't retract, you have one engine.
From this point, he certainly knew how to retract the landing gear, he had coordinated both engines, powered them up to get a coordinated takeoff. If you don't do that, you can't even, you know, do a coordinated takeoff, and a couple of the turns it looks like what we call in basic flight training a coordinated turn.
Meaning that he used not only the yolk plug(ph), you know, language(ph) terms for steering wheel, but you also coordinate with the rudders and you do the turn so it gives you -- it maintains your attitude and altitude based on the centrifugal forces, so he knew how to do that.
And even to know how to start a barrel roll which turned into a loop, but, yes, he knew how to fly. But then we get another message, then the air traffic controller had to tell him how to set the -- what they call the bugs.
They're just little sort of little levers or little notches on your indicator for your heading and they had to tell him how to do that, which is kind of basic. So had some knowledge, but clearly he wasn't a commercial pilot.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we have a file photograph here of the type of plane that was stolen. This is the horizon Q-400. Again, this is not the exact plane, but this is the same model, the type of plane that was --
PAUL: Right --
BLACKWELL: Stolen last night there at SeaTac. And colonel, let me come to you from the national security perspective, I mean, there are obviously some things that need to change.
Maybe just this airline or this airport or maybe broadly in which a ground service agent can get into a cockpit and take a plane.
FRANCONA: No, and I think Mary addressed that very well. You know, in the last segment though, we've been looking at this, but a lot of these ground service personnel get less screening than we do as passengers.
They need to do more background checks, and I believe there's even a protocol in place now that you -- a two-man rule, you can't get in a plane and taxi it by itself. So there are obviously -- something broke down at SeaTac, I'm sure they're going to review that and fix those procedures.
PAUL: All right, Mary Schiavo, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, always appreciate both of you and your expertise, thanks for sharing this morning.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we will certainly have more on the big breaking story this morning. Also, we've got details of Paul Manafort's lavish spending getting more of those from the trial. This time prosecutors lay out more than $200,000 in Yankees tickets for just one season.
Wrapping up week two of the first major test of Robert Mueller's investigation.
[06:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Well, it is a wrap for week two of the Paul Manafort trial. Friday, yesterday, prosecutors focused on the former Trump campaign chair's lavish spending on baseball tickets.
More than a quarter of a million dollars for luxury box seats at Yankee stadium in New York allegedly paid for from an unregistered foreign account.
BLACKWELL: Now, the jury was expected to hear that part of the case right when court started, but instead, a five-hour delay pushed everything back until mid-afternoon. Cnn national correspondent Athena Jones is following the story.
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prosecutors expect to finish laying out the government's case against Paul Manafort early next week. This after a week of damaging revelations, many of them coming from Rick Gates, the government's star witness in the trial.
Manafort's long-time partner pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to lying to investigators, and is cooperating with the government as it tries to convict his former boss on 18 counts of bank and tax fraud.
While the trial was not about the president or his campaign, Trump's shadow looms over the proceedings. This is the first of two trials his former campaign chairman faces in Virginia and Washington D.C.
The Virginia case presenting the first big test for special counsel Robert Mueller who was investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Manafort spent about six months on the Trump campaign.
PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR DONALD TRUMP: He's just won the primary process with a record number of votes.
JONES: Before leaving, amid questions about his lobbying work for the pro-Russian government in Ukraine and the payments he received which prosecutors say totaled more than $16 million.
[06:40:00] The government alleges Manafort hid millions, lied about his income and failed to pay taxes while spending big on items like expensive suits and ostrich jacket, real estate and New York Yankee's season tickets.
While serving as Manafort's right-hand man for a decade, Gates whose three-days on the witness stand began Monday testified that he and Manafort had 15 foreign accounts that they didn't report to the government, even though they knew it was illegal. He said Manafort instructed him not to submit the required forms.
Gates also testified that Manafort recommended a banker who had loaned him money for a position in the Trump administration. And he admitted he had cheated on his wife and had embezzled several hundred thousand dollars from Manafort by submitting false expense reports.
Revelations -- Manafort's defense team hopes to use to undermine Gates' credibility. The government has also presented e-mails, photos and financial records to prove their case. And employers from the FBI and the IRS testified about the money Manafort earned from his political work in Ukraine and his failure to report some of it on his tax returns.
The president has played down his relationship with Manafort in recent months.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time.
JONES: But he has been watching the trial closely, taking to Twitter early on to express sympathy for Manafort, comparing his treatment to prohibition (INAUDIBLE) gangster Al Capone and calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Mueller probe immediately. A call the White House described not as an order but as an opinion.
BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Athena Jones for that report.
PAUL: So Charlottesville, of course, is preparing for marking this one year since last year's rally and that deadly attack. We're going to talk to a former skinhead about what he thinks drives these hate groups and can anything change that hate -- we're back in a moment.
[06:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Forty five minutes past the hour right now. Charlottesville is marking one year since that deadly unite the right rally and the governor in the city has declared a state of emergency. The same group that organized the rally last year, holding another one in Washington now tomorrow.
Last year's rally called to protest the removal of a confederate statue ended with one woman, Heather Heyer. I spoke to Heather's mother Susan Bro, and here's what he had to say about hate groups.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN BRO, MOTHER OF HEATHER HEYER: White privileges are very real thing, it's not mandatory that you think a certain way just because you live a certain way. You have the ability to still think for yourself.
I often say don't drink the Kool-Aid, be aware of the fact that you don't have to believe the way you were brought up to believe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Thank me. Former skinhead and founder of Harmony through Hockey with us now. Though some American history expert, was inspired by his life. Frank, it's good to see you again. I know we talked to you last year as well.
I saw you kind of shaking your head or nodding your head when you listened to what Susan had to say. What struck you there?
FRANK MEEINK, FORMER SUPREMACIST SKINHEAD: You know, it's the old bait and switch, actually, it could do for people to become white supremacist, there's an issue. And when I would go -- when I was trying to recruit people, I would go and I pull the greatest bait and switch ever pulled in mankind.
I will tell a guy who says I need to be proud of my heritage, and I'll go to them and say, boy, you want to be proud of your heritage because if you say you're proud to be white in America, you're a racist is what I would say to this guy.
And I would say, you want to be proud of your heritage, come join my group. And the guy would come join my group, we never once talked about our heritage. What we always talked about, everyone else's heritage.
What are they doing? Look at their live, they're not living up to our standards -- like we didn't talk about our own heritage because you only talk about Aretha Erickson so much. So we just would have these conversations that would be getting more hateful and geared towards violence.
I mean, that's what hate groups are formed, they're formed out of men with fear --
PAUL: Right, OK --
MEEINK: Men and fear --
PAUL: And so that's what I wanted to ask you about. Let's listen together here to Sarah Sidner, she spoke to a neo-Nazi -- Sarah is one of our reporters, spoke to a neo-Nazi who said he's fighting a culture war. Let's listen together to this exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rural America spoke up when they elected Trump. Rural America. We're staring down the barrel of a gun here and wait, America, there's still 193 million white Americans, yes, the vast majority of them are in their 60s and 70s, will be in the ground in the next 20, 30 years.
And therefore, we have a possibility of becoming a minority in our own country. A possibility --
SARAH SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It sounds to me -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of becoming a minority in our own country --
SIDNER: Like you're afraid of being me and being me is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my country.
SIDNER: Is right, this is also my country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys didn't win the culture war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: OK, I saw your reaction watching that as well. Fear, I know we talked about it last time. It is -- it is the underlying theme of everything that is white supremacy, you say.
MEEINK: Yes, I mean, guys who wake up and their whole thought -- I would wake up in the morning and say, why did they have BET? And I would think about that all day and it would drive me and it would -- as a 16, 17-year-old boy, I would, you know, think why don't we have white entertainment television?
Again, I don't have the facts enough to say, no, you can see almost all television, white entertainment television, but I would seriously be -- I seriously would wake up and that would be my driving force in the morning.
Is that they're getting something over me and I wasn't born with a silver spoon. You know, but when I go for a job application, I can hide that I came from the hood. People that are minorities can't hide that. And that's why they have affirmative action and groups and things now that are in place to help because, you know, I can't hide that, I grew up poor.
PAUL: Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam said this yesterday. He said "those torches carried by white supremacists in Charlottesville a year ago shone a light on an ugly truth, but they also really wakened our commitment to fight back against the ugliness of racism and bigotry. Hatred has no home in this commonwealth."
[06:50:00] Since we talked last, last year, Frank, have you -- do you feel like you've seen any change?
MEEINK: Not much. And I wish I'm one of the people I'd like to see the glass half full, but I mean, you have a president who goes to Twitter battles like he's a rapper, and you know, he constantly going after people.
He even is full of fear. Again, when these hate groups started forming, it wasn't when Trump got in, it was when Obama got in. These groups got really big, but he lowered them back to sleep because he didn't really do any of the stuff they said he was going to do.
He didn't come for the guns, he didn't come for all those stuff. When Trump announced his candidacy, he said the words that almost every racist in America says, and that is we make exceptions. Oh, I hate all black people except for John, John is cool because I work with John.
If you remember his speech was they're all, you know, drug addicts -- drug, you know, drug dealers and rapists, gang members, all this stuff. And at the end, he goes -- and I assume some are good people. He related to so many of those home racist people who were like I hate --
PAUL: Well --
MEEINK: Them all except for one.
PAUL: Yes, he was talking about immigrants at that point when he was saying that, but --
MEEINK: He was talking about human beings is what everybody was talking about --
PAUL: We know that he was talking about human beings, yes, but that was the group that he was speaking to, but you're right. I'm wondering, we know David Kessler, we know David Duke is going to be at this rally tomorrow.
As a former skinhead, if you could be in front of them, is there anything you would want to say to them? Anything that you believe --
MEEINK: Not good --
PAUL: Could sway any of these people to think differently?
MEEINK: Well, first, we have to reintroduce empathy into -- people that are full of fear and hate, they've lost empathy, they've lost humanity for the world because they got acceptance to be part of this group that tells them they shouldn't have humanity and acceptance for other people.
But what I would say to them is, look, I figured out the solution and the solution is life is just about the moment I have with people. It could be from my cashier at a store to -- you have moments in life, and am I the guy who always brings anger and you know, hatred towards every conversation I'm in.
Or am I the guy who can bring peace and resolution to something by not degrading other human beings or believing them as idiotic belief in the world is that I'm better than you because of the color of my skin.
I mean, let's go over to -- what a lazy group. All -- any supremacist group goes by the color of their skin, what a lazy -- you didn't achieve anything, you were just born that way. You didn't go out and get a certain degree to become part of this group, you are just born that way, it's very lazy.
PAUL: Well, Frank Meeink, we appreciate your insight and talking to you one year later just about --
MEEINK: Right, thank you --
PAUL: Where we're going and hopefully maybe what we can do to make things better. I thank you so much, Frank --
MEEINK: Thank you --
PAUL: And by the way, we're going to have more of my interview with Heather Heyer's mother, Susan Bro in the next hour as well, she had a lot to say.
BLACKWELL: All right, President Trump has not said anything on Twitter yet or anything anywhere about these pending protests that are coming to the nation's capital by these white supremacists. But he has talked about the NFL players protesting during the national anthem. Andy Scholes is here with more, Andy?
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Yes, Victor, the president says the players should find another way to protest. And coming up, we'll hear from some of those players explain why they won't do that.
[06:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLACKWELL: President Trump says NFL players should find another way to protest or they should be suspended without pay.
PAUL: Andy Scholes is here with more on ongoing national anthem protests, that's this morning's "BLEACHER REPORT".
SCHOLES: Yes, good morning guys --
PAUL: Morning --
SCHOLES: You know, and a report by the "Wall Street Journal" in its sworn testimony by Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones and the Colin Kaepernick collision case, Jones said President Trump told him in a phone conversation about the national anthem protest, quote, "this is a very winning, strong issue for me. Tell everybody you can't win this one, this one lifts me."
Now, President Trump again tweeting twice about the subject Friday, saying "numerous players from different teams wanted to show their 'outrage' at something that most of them are unable to define."'
President Trump also said the NFL should suspend players who don't stand for the anthem without pay. Now, Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, worthy only players to take a knee during the anthem on Thursday.
Others around the league raised a fist in the air, and two of those players, the Eagles Malcolm Jenkins and the Dolphins Robert Quinn explain why they will continue to protest social injustice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALCOLM JENKINS, SAFETY, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Everybody is going to wait and see what the league is going to do, that doesn't mean that we stopped, you know, what we've been standing up for. So, that's -- you know, that is just my personal decision to make sure that we keep these things at the forefront. ROBERT QUINN, DEFENSIVE END, MIAMI DOLPHINS: Everyone's may have
brought up the word protest, not a protest, it's awareness, you know, I think word test kind of segregates this country, and awareness we're trying to raise.
You know, this country preaches freedom and unity and that's all I'm trying to do is preach freedom and unity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Now, last night, there were two NFL games, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch as he did last season was sitting on the bench during the national anthem.
Now, the NFL continues to have no policy on how to discipline players who don't stand for the anthem. They put a policy in place back in May, but after outraged, announced they were putting that policy on hold and the NFL in a statement on Thursday night said they are still in discussions with the players on how to deal with the issue.
All right, the second round of the PGA championship was suspended due to heavy rain yesterday afternoon, and Tiger Woods was surging when the horns went off, he had three birdies to get to 3 under.
Tiger likely going to have a very busy day and have to play 29 holes, and guys, play resumes at 8:00 Eastern this morning and that could seen on our sister station "Tnt", but like I said, busy day for Tiger, he's going to be out there all day, hopefully the back holds up.
BLACKWELL: All right --
PAUL: Thank you, Andrew --
SCHOLES: All right --