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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Stolen Airplane Leads to Deadly Crash; Violence In Charlottesville Examined; The Existence of Racism and the Responsibilities of the White House; Paul Manafort's Wealth Acquisition Questioned; Immigration Questions Surface about Trump's Plan to end Chain Migration with Melania Trump's Parents Migrating to America. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired August 11, 2018 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: ...steals an empty plane, takes off and then crashes. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says the president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation. Now this happened just after 8:00 Seattle time. Within minutes the military jets were right behind him. He flew the plane for about an hour then crashed into a wooded area 40 miles from the airport.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Authorities say this is not terrorism incident; we want to be very clear about that. We are learning, however, more about the man who apparently stole this plane. The Pearce County sheriff's office didn't identify him specifically by name but they said that he was a 29-year-old male who was suicidal.
BLACKWELL: He was what called ground service agent. They can be in charge of directing players on the ground to handling bags but flying the plane is not part of the job's description. Here is a closer look of 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: We spoke with John Waldron. He recorded the video you saw there of the plane doing that roll and he says he was out for a walk when he looked up and he saw those fighter jets escorting the stolen plane.
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: Well CNN Transportation Analyst Mary Schiavo, a former Inspector General for the Department of Transportation with us now and on the phone, Renee Marsh. Mary, to you first, the first thing I think on people's mind is how do a ground service agent get behind the plan and is able to take off from an airport. Talk to us -- the frightening vulnerabilities of this highlight.
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN TRANSPORTATION ANALYST: Right, well the initial thought of course was that this person was actually a mechanic, an airplane power plant mechanic and they are trained and can be permitted and authorized to move the planes to taxi the planes on the ground to and from maintenance. What it was found out that this person was a service worker, ordinarily they do things like marshal planes, handle baggage, take care of deicing and do other jobs that don't involve actually touching the controls of the planes. That's a big issue as to how the airline security allowed this to happen.
BLACKWELL: Renee, to you on the phone, because this was a plane crash, we now know that there will be federal authorities headed in. The statement from the White House that the federal authorities are assisting with the ongoing investigation which is being led by local authorities. Tell us what the investigation from the federal perspective looks like moving forward.
RENEE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I can tell you obviously the NTSB and the FAA are going to be back up here. This really is a criminal situation so we do know that local authorities, the police, they are going to take the lead on this but the NTSB and the FAA will be there to provide any information that they need on the expertise that they can provide as it relates to this aircraft.
But really, Victor, on the face of it when you think about what we are talking about here, someone stole a commercial plane from a major U.S. airport. What the key thing all these investigators whether it is NTSB or FAA and even local police they're going to want to figure out is there something that they have not thought before security wise that they need to tighten.
How is this able to happen with something they did not think of that they now need to put new procedures in place. They won't know that until they have a time line of events. I can tell you at major airports like this, there are cameras everywhere. So you bet that as we speak right now, they are piecing together all of this so they can trace this individual's movement from the ramp to the plane to getting on to the runway to exactly how he was able to pull this off so that they do have a clear understanding of the time line which we don't know right now and they can access, did something slip through the cracks here, something we hadn't thought about.
BLACKWELL: Mary, to you, and I want to pick up on something that Renee said there that they will be looking to determine if there is anything that can prevent this from happening in the future. We have learned from MH-370, we've learned from the German wings crash that there are something, some cameras in cockpits, other types of recorders that can be implemented but the industry rejects those in many circumstances.
There is no guarantee that what can be determined as a preventive measure after this incident will actually be implemented even if they know it will stop it again.
SCHIAVO: You are exactly right. In Congress, the House Committee on Homeland Security took this up last year and made recommendations for additional security, additional background checks and screening of airport workers. There are 900,000 workers at 450 airports, passenger service airports in America and most of them get less scrutiny and screening at the airports than we as passengers do and yet they can get access to aircraft. So I think that Congress will look at this once again. The House passed that bill last year; the Senate did not. But I think they will be looking at it as well. But that bill did not contain mental health screen.
BLACKWELL: Mary Schiavo and Rene Marsh, thank you both. We'll of course get more on the breaking news this morning.
PAUL: Yes, thank you both so much. Now the White House says the president has been briefed on the incident. CNN White House Reporter Sarah Westwood is live in New Jersey right now. She's near the president's golf club where he is today. What are you hearing from there Sarah?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Christi, the White House is finally responding to this incident saying like you mentioned that the president has been informed about the incident and that he's monitoring what authorities are doing to figure out exactly how this was allowed to happen. In a statement, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president has been briefed on the incident involving a stolen plane for Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle and is monitoring the situation as information becomes available. Federal authorities are assisting of the ongoing investigation which is led by local authorities. We commend the interagency response effort for their swift action and protection of public safety.
Now this obviously happened very late at like local times, so we asked the White House when exactly the president was told about this incident, early in the morning or late last night. And we'll see the president later this afternoon when he appears for a photo opportunity at his golf property in Bedminster with supporters so perhaps we could hear more from the president on what the administration is doing to keep tabs on this situation in Seattle. Christie.
PAUL: All right, Sarah Westwood, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Still to come, it is one year since white nationalists and counter protesters faced off the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. Now they plan to do it again this time in Washington, D.C., just across from the White House. Some say the nation has not learned anything about race and hatred on this anniversary.
Plus, a new movie about how a black police officer in Colorado Springs was able to infiltrate the KKK back in the '70s. Director Spike Lee thinks this story from the past offers a perfect message for today.
PAUL: And it is the first major test of the Mueller investigation, the trial of former President Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. We're going to get an update on this week's testimony and the hundreds of thousands Manafort spent on sports.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You also had people that were very fine people on both sides.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know when you're comfortable with spewing that kind of hate as 45 appears to be.
SPIKE LEE, FILM DIRECTOR, WRITER AND PRODUCER: The President of the United States had a chance to denounce hate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well guess what? You just magnified her.
BLACKWELL: That's the mother of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old who was killed during the events last year in Charlottesville and there are several events planned today in Charlottesville, Virginia, to mark on year since the Unite the Right rally where white nationalists launched violent protests on the University of Virginia school lawn and in downtown Charlottesville. The riots resulted in the death of Heyer there and also two Virginia state troopers who were in a helicopter watching the protest; they were killed at the crash.
PAUL: And in less than an hour the University of Virginia is hosting a morning of reflection and renewal with a breakfast. They'll have performances. Later this afternoon Charlottesville clergy members are leading a faith service for the remembrance and the this evening a student rally on UVA's campus. CNN Correspondent Kalee Hartung is with us there. So I see - I understand Kaylee you are seeing some activity there right now.
KAYLEE HARTUNG: That's right Christi. This is the first real visual presence we have seen of law enforcement in downtown Charlottesville. Downtown Charlottesville is a secure perimeter with only two entry points for anyone who would like to enter the area, no vehicles allowed inside. It is among the lessons learned from last year's tragedy. They're trying to separate vehicles from any pedestrians this weekend.
I want to bring in two guests here. Last year's events changed so many people's lives. Caroline and Sophie here, two of them. First of all, I would like your reaction to seeing such a presence of law enforcement here in the city this weekend.
SOPHIE, STUDENT AT UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: It is not what the people of Charlottesville asked for. The police did absolutely nothing last year to protect citizens and anti-racist activists and it is a massive over correction from last year and they do not keep us safe. They protect - we've seen them protect white supremacists continually and we are the ones that keep us safe, not them.
HARTUNG: The police chief here in Charlottesville saying - the new police chief we should add saying no violence will be tolerated and yet this presence does not make you feel safer?
the only violence permitted is the violence that came from police forces when enacted on protesters. that makes us feel unsafe and anxious.
CAROLINE, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA STUDENT: I think we see the only violence permitted is violence that comes from police forcers when it's enacted upon protestors. That isn't considered violence within the police and that makes us feel unsafe and very anxious.
HARTUNG: A year ago, you two experienced the weekend and its totality. You were at the rotunda when white supremacists were marched in with tiki torches. You were on these streets as violence erupted on that Saturday and you were on Fourth Street later that afternoon. Can you tell me what you experienced on the whole that day, the emotion you felt, the vitriol that you witnessed and heard and what you were a part of on Fourth Street.
SOPHIE: On the 11th we watched how UVA laid out the welcome mat for hundreds of Nazis to march on the ground. We were surrounded by them by tiki torches and they were chanting racial slurs and anti-Semitic slurs and that event emboldened them to have more violence on Saturday.
HARTUNG: What did you see on Saturday Caroline?
CAROLINE: On Saturday I was right next to Sophie, we were completely - oh that was Friday. On Saturday, it was chaos, police on the outskirts watching, just men in full cammo with assault rifles with swastikas on their chests. It was like I was on a different planet. I have never seen anything like it.
HARTUNG: After this assembly was declared unlawful, if we can be sure to get this picture behind us Jonathan(ph) can we rotate a little bit. When the assembly declared unlawful, counter protesters and protesters evacuated from this area, a man drove the vehicle down on Fourth Street. You were there Sophie, you were too Caroline. Sophie what was the result of the moment you found yourself in?
SOPHIE: Yes, the counter protesters were amidst of celebrating. We had defended Charlottesville. We had drove the white supremacists out of our town it looked like and we turned up on Fourth Street and I was hit by the car that the Nazi drove and the next thing I remember is coming to on the sidewalk and having no idea of what had just happened.
HARTUNG: Tell me of the injuries you suffered and how you are doing now?
SOPHIE: I broke both legs and I had two surgeries on my left leg, facial laceration, multiple contusions on my body and I lost half of my blood internally and obviously this past year has been extremely challenging to not only recover from physical injuries, the mental trauma that we experienced through the weekend and meanwhile continuing to demand justice from the institution that failed us that weekend, UVA in particular.
HARTUNG: What are those demands?
SOPHIE: So the students are demanding that UVA issue lifetime no trespass orders on all identified Nazis from August 11th, that University pay all medical bills from survivors. There are survivors who still have medical bills that have not been paid and UVA has the resources to do this but they have not. And number three that UVA issue a public statement that denounces white supremacy and states that they're not welcome back on the grounds. They have not done that.
HARTUNG: Well I want to thank you both for your time this morning. Tonight there is an event, the rotunda on the University of Virginia campus, you are returning to where you were a year ago to defend the grounds and support those in the community who need it. That'll beginning at 7:00 tonight. They tell me Victor and Christie about a thousand people have RSVPed.
PAUL: All right Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: A black officer in Colorado Springs had an idea back in the '70s. He wanted to win the trust of the KKK leaders and get into their organization. So how did he do it and why? He certainly couldn't go to any of their meetings. Coming up, a new movie by Spike Lee tells Ron Stallworth's story.
PAUL: Also Paul Manafort's long-time aid takes the stand. What he said about the man on trial.
PAUL: This morning there are some tough questions about our nation's airport security after an employee at Seattle Tacoma International Airport stole a passenger plane and he crashed it. This happened over night.
BLACKWELL: OK, so this is still early in the investigation but this is what we know from authorities. He's a 29-year-old ground service agent who they say stole the plane around 8:00 p.m. Pacific time. He flew the plane about 40 minutes before crashing into the small island in the Puget Sound. The Pearce County Sheriff Department says the man was suicidal. An audio between the man and traffic controllers, we're learning that they tried to help him safely land for nearly an hour before he crashed.
PAUL: So I want to bring in...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh man, those guys will rough me up if I try landing there. I think I may mess it up there, too. I wouldn't want to do that. Oh, they got anti aircraft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they don't have any of that stuff. We are trying to find a place for you to land safely.
BLACKWELL: Let's bring in now Peter Goldstein an aviation analyst and former manager director of NTSB.
Good morning to you. And listen to that sound, the man sounds excited or thrilled by this in discussion of antiaircraft. I wonder when you hear that ground service agent got behind, got into the cockpit and took off in this plane. Is this a single breach do you think or did this man have to jump through a series of loopholes to pull this off?
PETER GOLDSTEIN, AVAIATION ANALYST AND FORMER DIRECTOR OF NTSB: No he cleared the background check which he apparently hadn't and worked for the company, this is a clearly one-off event. The person was going through some sort of mental health crisis that he got access to the plane is unfortunate, but these aircrafts are serviced over night and they are maintained during the evening hours so they can fly during the day. This is just a tragic one off event.
PAUL: We know the NTSB and the FAA and FBI have been notified, they're all going to be working on this. What is the first thing they'll look at?
GOLDSTEIN: Well this will be an FBI led investigation, my guess is. The NTSB, my old agency, defers to FBI in any criminal type of investigation. I think the first thing you would do as anyone would do is review your procedures - both your ground procedures to see that security is in place and if there were any gaps in it and you would also frankly review your employee assistance programs to make sure that employees who are having difficulties have access to this.
But you know Alaska is one of the airlines that consistently ranks high in customer satisfaction, high in employees satisfaction, and they're known as a really cutting-edge carrier. So this really is a one-off event. [08:30:00]
But I think everyone is going to take a hard look at it.
BLACKWELL: I also want to share, our producer told us during the break that you and I wonder, we should disclose this, have done some consulting work for Alaska Airlines, just so everyone's cards are on the table here.
GOLDSTEIN: I have and I admire the airline greatly but everyone will take a look at procedures and at whether every step was followed and whether there were any gaps and those will be closed. I can't think of an event like this happening before in my lifetime.
BLACKWELL: Yes, you know I wonder and I got Mary Schiavo's perspective on this and I want yours as well. After a plane crashes, train crashes as well, we've talked about some of the protections, some of the protocols that could be implemented that would protect these in the future and there has been some hesitancy, some resistance from the industries to implement those. To what degree do you think that we'll see intensified or increased mental health screenings or checks for employees of these airlines? We know that'll come at great expense.
GOLDSTEIN: Well there is expense on doing that and certainly the (inaudible) who had the German wing tragedy some years ago has completely revamped their mental health screening and their whole mental health environment for pilots. It is a challenge, I think if this incident is reviewed, there will be new procedures in place.
PAUL: All righty. We do want to point out, you mentioned Alaska Airlines, as we understand that this person was employed by Horizon Air, as well just to be clear. Thank you so much Peter Goldstein, we appreciate you being here and appreciate your perspective as always.
BLACKWELL: Thank you.
GOLDSTEIN: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: The trial of Paul Manafort will enter its third week on Monday. Prosecutors are expected to wrap up the case soon. On Friday, they focused on the former Trump campaign chairman's lavish spending on hundreds of thousands of dollars on baseball tickets; $226,000 for luxury box seats at Yankee Stadium in New York City allegedly paid for from an unregistered foreign account.
Now, the jury was expected to hear that a part of the case right when court started Friday but instead, there was this 5-hour delay that pushed everything back until the middle of the afternoon. CNN National Correspondent Athena Jones is telling us what to look forward as this case moves forward.
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Prosecutors expect to 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 is 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 is investigating the Russian meddling of the 2016 election.
Manafort spent about six months on the Trump campaign.
PAUL MANAFORT: 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 $60 million. 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 Yankees 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 did not report to the government even though they knew it was illegal. Manafort instructed him not to submit the required forms. Gates testified that Manafort recommended a banker who loan him money for position of the Trump Administration and he admitted he 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 emails, photos, and financial records to prove their case and employees from the FBI and 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's watching the trial closely, taking to twitter early on to express sympathy for Manafort, comparing his treatment to prohibition-era 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. Athena Jones, CNN, New York.
PAUL: Thank you to Athena there. So African-American activist Theo Wilson went undercover as a white supremacist because he wanted to better understand the hatred of where all this was coming from. What did he learn, what is he saying about it now? He's with us next.
PAUL: Well multiple events planned in Charlottesville, Virginia, today and we've already seen some of the activity that's going on there as they mark one year since the deadly violent Unite the Right rally that was launched by white nationalists.
BLACKWELL: Charlottesville police are already on the streets here. You see dozens of them now with the tightening security ahead of today's events. No in just minutes, the University of Virginia will host a morning of reflection and renewal with a breakfast and performances. Later this afternoon, Charlottesville clergy members will lead a faith service for remembrance and this evening there will be a student rally on UVA's campus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The KKK is planning an attack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you purpose to make this investigation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll establish contact over the phone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll need a white officer to play me when they meet face to face.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You from the white race?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh hell yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that it becomes a combined problem solver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can do that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the right white man we can do anything.
PAUL: The clip there from Spike Lee's new film, "Black Klansman" which he deliberately released this weekend to mark the passing of this one year since Charlottesville. The movie is set in the early 1970s. It's based on the true story of an African-American police officer in Colorado Springs who infiltrated the KKK along with his white partner. Our guests did something very similar here. I want to introduce you to Theo Wilson. He went undercover as a white supremacist to better understand their hatred.
Theo, thank you so much for being here. It's always good to have you. We talked with you last year at this time and because of that I want to ask you, first of all, what surprised you most about the people that you were in communication with?
THEO WILSON, AFRICAN-AMERICAN UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER: What surprised me most is how hatred backfires on hater immediately. Of all the guys in the alt-right that I was studying and all the guys who were tolling me when I was making Black Lives Matter content, the thing that struck me is that none of them are happy and that the emotional entanglement in white identity causes great suffering for these people in of itself and it comes out as rage and anger and hatred. But what was most alarming was that none of these guys were fulfilled in living their best lives and that was kind of ironic to me when I was doing my research and going undercover.
PAUL: Did anybody want to? What kind of conversations were they having?
WILSON: The kind of conversations that they're having are basically based on blame. They are centered around the fact that America sadly an a-historical society. When I go around the country speaking at universities, what I find is there is a gigantic vacuum, when it comes to the history of people of color, they don't know about even here in Colorado the Sand Creek Massacre, the burning of Black Wall Street. None of that stuff is taught and therefore you lose context in the present moment. History contextualizes the now and when you lose that, you have this vulnerability especially in the age of the internet and people falling for new-school Mein Kampf ideas, getting rebranded as something brand new and they don't realize that they are baited on the wrong side of history yet again.
PAUL: So one year ago we talked about this.
PAUL: We're now a year later, do you get a sense that anything have changed?
WILSON: What I do get a sense of, and I think this is interesting with the Charlottesville rally, in a way the far right imploded on itself. I remember the atmosphere in the country being something of that they might have a valid political voice. And when Charlottesville happened, it was like oh, these are the same old crazy people that white supremacy has always produced. I think it actually put a dent in their momentum and it put a dent in their credibility. When Heather Heyer was killed, it showed that this violent ideology is still the same thing as it always was. It's been taken life since 1492 and it showed up as that again and we have the right to be on edge of these rallies.
PAUL: There is a student activist at Charlottesville High School who said this. I believe it was in "The Washington Post." She said there hasn't been the work to go back and reckon with white supremacy. Before we can move on and heal as a community, we have to reckon with that.
How do you think Theo you reckon with white supremacy. What conversations need to be had? WILSON: I think the conversation especially needs to be had and
white America is the difference between guilt and accountability. There is something in our past, a huge past that is something to be ashamed of like the genocide of Native Americans is something to be ashamed of. The enslavement of black folks, what happened with the Chinese on the railroads is something to be ashamed of but the feeling just triggers guilt and then people hide.
What needs to happen is okay, I may not have been the one perpetuated these crimes individually but I kind of did inherit the wealth of that. The accountability comes with how do we reckon with the past so we don't make these mistakes. Let's make brand new mistakes in the future but the cyclical nature of this is what's alarming to me. You have to be able to distinguish emotionally between shame and guilt and accountability for what you've inherited.
I think that's a very important conversation.
PAUL: OK, and that's what's interesting here as well because another article, in this "Washington Post" article another moment in it takes on institutional racism, saying listen, it exists.
PAUL: They say the city and the university have not come to terms with their history of being built, enriched, and sustained by enslaved people and remaining for much of the 20th century segregated institutions that celebrate the vestiges of the Confederacy rather than casting them aside. What do you think holds people back from that acknowledgement that needs to be made and can you move forward without the acknowledgment?
WILSON: You can't move forward without the acknowledgment. We have to keep in mind this has been an openly apartheid society like enslavement and oppression of black folks was legal from 1619 to 1971 when the last Jim Crow law fell, Swann versus Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Okay, so basically if you are Generation X, you were born at a time when this kind of oppression was legal. So the last 40 or 50 years versus the last 400 years is literally not enough time to reverse the damage that was done when this society was openly apartheid.
PAUL: But there are people who will say I didn't live in that time. So, and I don't acknowledge that now so why can we get over it? There are some people who will say that. To that you say what?
WILSON: You can break somebody's legs and you can say I am very, very sorry for it but the time it takes to heal that leg is the time that takes to heal. If you don't acknowledge that leg is broken, if you don't put the cast on it, if you don't give it the proper nutrients then it will never heal. This society has a habit of denial; it has a habit of defensiveness. It has the habit of wanting to live in the pie in the sky fantasy of what this country often portrays itself it be versus the brutal reality of what this has been for a long time and you don't get to escape from that just because you don't want to see the damage that has been done to people of color.
Eventually you have to face it because we are the living echoes. Yes?
PAUL: Theo, I thank you so much. I'm sorry we run out of time. I want to say I appreciate you being here and sharing.
WILSON: That's all right.
PAUL: Thank you for being here. Thank you, take good care.
BLACKWELL: We are in Charlottesville this morning as the city marks a year since the violent white nationalists rally. Security is tight; dozens of officers are there on the streets. They come as Washington is preparing for another rally by the same group tomorrow. We'll get the president's perspective and those supporters and we'll be joined by the former co-chairman of the Trump campaign in New York State, Joseph Parelli. We'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: One year ago Charlottesville police admitted they were not fully prepared for the Unite the Right rally that turned deadly. This morning, we're seeing something very different. Police are already moving in, taking up position in preparation for today's events. One University of Virginia student we spoke with earlier this hour said that what we're seeing and this is a quote, "a massive over correction."
We'll talk about that in a moment. Joining me now is Republician New York Councilman Joseph Parelli. He's also the former co-chairman of the Trump Campaign in New York State and a contributor to the Hill. You've got a lot going on. Joseph good morning to you.
JOSEPH PARELLI, FORMER CO-CHAIRMAN ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN IN NEW YORK: Good morning Victor.
BLACKWELL: Let's start here of what we are hearing from the president and what we are not. The president famously said after the events in Charlottesville that there were some very fine people on both sides. He knows the importance of what is happening this weekend one year on.
The President instead on Friday chose to tweet about the protests by NFL players during the National Anthem, has said nothing publically about these protests that are coming right to his front door at Lafayette Park across from the White House by white nationalists. Why ridicule one protest and not talk about the other?
PARELLI: I think look, it is 8:30 in the morning. I think you will hear something from the White House today. Sarah Sanders has said essentially that of course President Trump denounces white nationalists, KKK, and that sort of thing. I won't be surprised if you do in fact hear something from the White House at some point today. BLACKWELL: OK, so let's now talk about what the impact of the
president and his rhetoric during the campaign and administration have been potentially for some of these white nationalists. Listen to the exchange between Sara Sidner of CNN and man named Daniel Burnside and a borough named Ulysses. Watch.
DANIEL BURNSIDE, ULYSSES RESIDENT: Rural America spoke up when they elected Trump. Rural America, we're staring down the barrel of a gun here in white America. There's still 193 million white Americans, yet the vast majority of them are in their 60's and 70's, will be in the ground in the next 20 years and therefore we have the possibility of becoming a minority in our country. The possibility...
SARAH SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It sound to me like you're afraid of being me. And being me...
BURNSIDE: This is my country.
SIDNER: This is also my country.
BURNSIDE: You guys didn't win the culture war.
BLACKWELL: The man said that rural America spoke up when they elected Donald Trump and then went on to talk about the fear of why people becoming a minority in the country. This man with the white power and swastika on his tee shirt feels emboldened by this president. What responsibility does the president have to jettison those people who believe that he speaks for them?
PARELLI: Well I think the person that you just put on your television show with the swastika and the white nationalist flag is probably an A-hole but it doesn't really have much to do with the fact that to some degree rural America did speak up. Working class voters did speak up against sort of the power they saw, the powers that be they saw in Hillary Clinton.
I'm not sure we can still be blaming Donald Trump for every racist problem in the country. I think the more and more time goes on...
BLACKWELL: No, I don't think anyone is doing that. I think what this man said is that people spoke up and elected him, that that was their way of speaking up.
PARELLI: Yes, a lot of people felt that they were not being heard.
BLACKWELL: And he in turn after Charlottesville said there were fine people on the side that said Jews will not replace us.
PARELLI: Look, that was a mistake. I think the president has acknowledged that but on August 12 he denounced thugs, KKK, racists, on August 14 he made similar denunciations of the same people. On August 15 he made the same denunciations and on August 22 he went to his own hometown you know MAGA hats and people waving American flags and he said the same thing about denouncing white nationalists and KKK.
BLACKWELL: You say apology, we don't hear apologies from the president very often. I don't think he apologized for that but let me go to another element. We don't have much time but I want you to listen to what the president says about what he calls chain migration.
TRUMP: Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate families by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.
BLACKWELL: A source with direct knowledge told CNN that Melania Trump, the First Lady, sponsored her parents to come in what is the president calls their
chain migration. Why is it good for his family and no good for other families?
PARELLI: Well I don't know if it is good for his family but certainly what he was talking about there was a proposal that essentially Democrats and Congress rejected. That presupposes that Donald -- Melania Trump's parents would not qualify for admission under any other type of immigration program or they would not have qualified under the GOP's immigration with the program that they would are passed.
BLACKWELL: All right, Joseph Borelli, I think the president says that you can bring in unlimited amount of people. He wants to limit it to spouses and children but except when it comes to his wife's parents. They were allowed in. Joseph Parelli, thank you so much for being with us. We're at the top of the hour here.
PARELLI: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right so Smerconish is up next after a short break.
PAUL: Yes, we'll see you again right back here 10 a.m. Eastern for CNN Newsroom.