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Man Who Stole Plane Identified As Richard Russell; Rallies Mark One Year After Violent Charlottesville Protests; Trump In Bedminster As Washington Braces For Rally; Trump Calls Omarosa "Low Life"; Trump: Sessions Is Scared Stiff And Missing In Action Aired 6-7a ET
Aired August 12, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 29-year-old Horizon Airline employee has been identified is Richard Russell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Commercial aircrafts are complex machines. I don't know how he achieved the experience.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them.
JEREMY KAELIN, WORKED WITH RICHARD RUSSELL: I was just shocked to see that someone who was so nice, so helpful, and caring --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Stunned and heartbroken. That is what we are hearing from the family of a man who died when he crashed a stolen plane. We have more on that story in just a moment.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Also ahead this hour, a year after violent racially charged protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacists and counter protesters are expected to rally again. This time in the nation's capital.
PAUL: A CNN investigation forces Twitter to finally admit info wars violated its rules with its twisted messages of hate and racism.
BLACKWELL: And NASA launches a probe that will travel closer to the sun than any spacecraft before it as scientists try to unlock its greatest mysteries.
Your NEW DAY starts right now.
PAUL: One minute past 6:00 and so grateful for your company. Thanks for being here.
You know, as he was flying that stolen passenger plane near Seattle Richard Russell calls himself a broken guy.
BLACKWELL: Now his family members say they are stunned and heartbroken after Russell was identified as the airline employee who took off from the Seattle airport in that empty plane and then crashed it an hour later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE MATTHEWS, FRIEND OF RICHARD RUSSELL'S FAMILY: This is a complete shock to us. We are divested by these events. And Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together right now.
As the voice recording show, Beebo's intent was not to harm anyone. He was right in saying that there are so many people who have loved him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: We are learning morning about Russell training on the ground there where he was authorized to tote planes to the gate but they do not believe he had a pilot's license.
BLACKWELL: And now as the criminal investigation begins, officials are working to recover the plane's data recordings and Russell's remains. Airport security experts point out numerous flaws in the system revealed by this incident.
CNN correspondent Dan Simon is live in Steilacoom with an exclusive interview with one of Russell's former coworkers.
The family is shocked and stunned and heartbroken. Did this coworker see any potential signs?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning Christi and Victor. We are getting a clearer sense of what Richard Russell was like as a friend, as an employee, as a coworker, and some of what you're about to hear may surprise you.
I can tell you that Jeremy Kaelin worked alongside Russell for eight solid months. They primary handled the luggage there at the airport. And he says he got to know him well.
He says this is somebody who had a lot of integrity, somebody who worked very hard, and somebody who had great sense of humor. He is also not surprised that Russell was able to learn a few things about aviation given certain aspects of his job. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: When you learn that it was your friend and former coworker Richard Russell who did this, what did you think?
KAELIN: Shock. He was really just super nice. Always laid back but super nice, super funny.
And he would always go out and help others with his flights that he wasn't even assigned to help out with, or -- and when he was working with you on your flight he would work as hard as he could.
SIMON: You saw the home video of him doing those maneuvers.
SIMON: He seemed like, to a certain degree, he knew what he was doing as a pilot or behind the controls.
KAELIN: Yes. Well, you can learn how to fly with flight simulators if you buy them. You can literally just run them on your PC, Mac, whatever.
But it was also part of his job description on tow team was to operate some of the systems that were -- he was trained to do by Horizon Air which is part of the tow team. And so, essentially, he just took that knowledge and then built off of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: Now Kaelin says there is so much information out there including YouTube instructional videos that can teach people how to turn on aircraft and how to do basic maneuvers so he is not surprised that somebody like Russell who had access to aircraft was able to do what he did. The key thing is access.
Remember he passed a security check. Now of course all of this is being investigated by the FBI. They are going to be talking to friends and the coworkers, perhaps even Kaelin himself.
And of course the investigation is also centered about 10 minutes from where I'm standing at that island where I can tell you dozens of investigators have been sifting through the debris.
Victor and Christi, back to you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Dan Simon, live for us this morning. Dan, thank you very much.
PAUL: We want to bring in CNN transportation analyst Mary Schiavo. She's a former inspector general of the Department of Transportation.
Mary, so good to see you. Again, thank you for being here.
So this is what maybe some -- perplexing to some people. The tower knew that this was unauthorized departure. There were no routine procedures we had learned, the ramp, the ground, the take off clearances. None of that was given.
So with that said let's put ourselves in the tower's position. You have got a guy in a plane who says, I'm taking off and I'm going, what option did they have?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN TRANSPORTATION ANALYST: At that point once he's -- literally once he's on the runway and rolling down the runway, none. I mean, we've all seen Hollywood blockbusters where police cars or fuel trucks are racing to try to get in front of a plane to stop it, but in reality the controller didn't have time to do anything. They -- well, from what we have learned, they knew that he was moving and he wasn't authorized to do that. But if he was heading straight to that runway and starting that takeoff role, that's it.
You're going up at 134 miles an hour. That plane is lifting off.
PAUL: As I understand it, correct me if I'm wrong, he was towing it but when you're towing it there is supposed to be by protocol somebody in the plane. There was not. At that point, does the onus fall on the airport or the airline?
SCHIAVO: It's the airline. The airline has the authority and ability to control their ground operations. They have their own dispatchers, their own sort of ground controllers.
And so the tower might not have known. There would be no reason to tell the tower that they are moving and repositioning a plane on the ground. So they wouldn't have known that there was not someone in that aircraft.
They -- they -- there's two different functions. You have ground control and then you have the tower that controls the takeoffs. So the tower probably didn't know that it was just one guy moving the plane around.
PAUL: Now that somebody has seen this, is there concern, Mary, that it could happen again at another airport?
SCHIAVO: Well, sure. And it's been a concerned, literally, since September 11th, 2001. Controlling the 900,000 airport workers at the 450 airports, commercial service airports across the country has been a big issue.
Congress addressed it again last year, the committee on Homeland Security. And there is -- you know, just a big question as to what to do as to keep the airports and the traveling public and the citizens over whose heads we all fly safe when you have that many workers and they have to be able to do their job.
So I do assume that it will come up again but there was one clue that just leapt out at me and this is when this fellow was flying and he said to the controller -- he said, can I get the plane -- can you tell me how to turn on the plane's pressurization so I don't feel so light- headed? Well, he wasn't at 14,000 feet where you got light-headed or even over at 10 thousand where you need oxygen, so to me that was a clue and I think they will focus in on that too. Something was wrong, physically, I think, and mentally.
PAUL: OK. So you're -- you're intimating that -- that because he felt light-headed at an altitude that you wouldn't normally be --
PAUL: -- perhaps there was something else going on with him?
SCHIAVO: Yes, yes, that was to me a clue.
PAUL: OK. Mary Schiavo, thank you so much for sharing and for sharing your expertise with us. As always we appreciate you.
SCHIAVO: Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD PRESTON, IMPERIAL WIZARD, CONFEDERATE WHITE KNIGHTS OF THE KKK: I've never terrorized a black person in my life.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why not join the Kiwanis club? Why not call it something different?
PRESTON: Because again --
SIDNER: Why the Ku Klux Klan?
PRESTON: Because I want to see the clan to become what it once was.
REP. TOM GARRETT (R), VIRGINIA: About Charlottesville with the director of the FBI amongst others and asked if Russian inter-meddling had to do with fomenting the flames of what happened in Charlottesville. I was told, yes, it did.
FRANK MEEINK, FORMER SUPREMACIST SKINHEAD: Am I the guy who always brings anger and 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?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: There is a state of emergency in Charlottesville one year, exactly one year after the violent and deadly protests in that small Virginia town.
PAUL: Yesterday, hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets of that city. Police came forward for the worst but the protests were mostly peaceful.
Take a look here. They are going to be -- there is going to be the same show of force today when white supremacists hold the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville but a second rally is also planned at Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington. And that is where find CNN's Sara Sidner is right now.
Sara, you've had some pretty interesting conversations around this.
SIDNER: Yes. I think Charlottesville, for anyone in this country, and even outside of the United States, has seen that as a real example that this country is still struggling with deep racial divides.
[06:10:10] We went to a town in Pennsylvania that is struggling with the question, what to do about a neighbor who is outspoken and a neo-Nazi and fires off his guns that night.
SIDNER (voice-over): In the calm of this rural northern Pennsylvania town, a sign that hate lives here. Are you a neo-Nazi?
DANIEL BURNSIDE, PENNSYLVANIA DIRECTOR OF FAR-RIGHT NATIONAL SOCIALIST MOVEMENT: Do I embrace it? I don't try to push it away.
SIDNER (on camera): Well, you're wearing a swastika on your shirt --
SIDNER: -- and you've got swastika flags. Why the flags? Why the shirt? Why these hateful symbols in this town?
BURNSIDE: I don't think they're hateful. I think it's an ideology that has been completely misinterpreted since the Third Reich.
SIDNER: OK. Now, I have got to stop you.
SIDNER: Misinterpreted, misinterpreted six million Jews were killed?
BURNSIDE: No, no. You'll never sell me on that.
SIDNER: I'm not trying to sell you.
SIDNER: It's reality. It's history that cannot be denied.
(voice-over): Daniel Burnside is lightning rod of discord in Ulysses, Pennsylvania, population 690. With the help of the Internet, his message has spread far and wide, giving his town attention it doesn't want.
BURNSIDE: Rural America spoke up when he they elected Trump. Rural America.
SIDNER: And by rural America, he means white America.
BURNSIDE: We are staring down the barrel of a gun here in white 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 years and, therefore, we have the possibility of becoming a minority in our own country. A possibility --
SIDNER: It sounds to me --
BURNSIDE: -- of becoming a minority.
SIDNER: -- like you're afraid of being me. And being me --
BURNSIDE: It's my country.
SIDNER: -- is great. This is also my country.
BURNSIDE: You guys didn't win the culture war.
SIDNER (voice-over): He invited us on his property to talk, but when he doesn't like our conversation, he explodes.
BURNSIDE: Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of here now!
SIDNER: We do. Just down the street, we're met by a dozen residents who say Burnside does not speak for this town.
(on camera): There are families in this county that blame politics for people like him sort of being able to come out and be very loud. Is that fair?
IVAN LEHMAN, ULYSSES RESIDENT: Our president we've got right now hasn't helped the situation a whole lot. You know, he has done a lot of the same believes.
You know, he won't speak against them, OK? This guy feeds off that stuff.
SIDNER (voice-over): Among the crowd, many with grandfathers or fathers who fought the Nazis in World War II.
CARM BARKER, ULYSSES RESIDENT: They're good people and he is stepping on all of us. He is stepping on all of us. We are all one -- we're all one tribe.
Who does he think he is?
SIDNER: Teacher, Debbie Hamilton says she just returned from touring concentration camps in Poland.
DEBBIE HAMILTON, TEACHER: One of the things that we spent a lot of time talking about was passive resistance versus active resistance.
SIDNER: So far, they have chosen passive resistance with Burnside.
On the other side of Potter County, Joe and Lashina (ph) Leschner are convinced passive resistance is the wrong choice.
JOE LESCHNER, ULYSSES RESIDENT: I'm not saying you should go to their houses with pitch forks and guns. I'm saying hold a peaceful protest against them.
BURNSIDE: Traditionalists, American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan neighborhood watch.
SIDNER: After seeing KKK flyers appearing in their neighborhood and Burnside's decorations in the county, Joe did protest only to receive a threat by one of the supremacists he stood against.
LESCHNER: They would look at me and gave me the finger and even make little gestures, you know, that they were going to shoot me.
SIDNER: Joe says the racial hatred intensified with when his Jamaican bride arrived.
LASHINA (ph) LESCHNER, WIFE OF JOE LESCHNER: In Walmart, you know, I get a lot of that. It's (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
SIDNER: In their minds, if more people stood up against hate, the racist would be forced to leave and let love stand.
SIDNER: Now we are here in Lafayette Park. And a lot of people who are standing against the Unite the Right rally that is scheduled here on the very day that Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville during the counter protest to the Unite to Right protest. People see it as spitting in the eye of the victims of that protest to have yet another one here in Washington, D.C., right across the street by the way from the White House.
But there counter protests that are also scheduled and there expected to be more people at those protests than at this one. The Unite the Right organizers got a permit for about 400 people whether or not that number materializes we won't know until this evening. They are expected to start and end up here at about 5:30 in the evening.
They will also be faced with those counter protesters who are here. They are calling it D.C. shut it down -- Shut It Down D.C. They are supposed to end up in this park right outside the White House, just giving you another example of the racial divide in this country.
BLACKWELL: Certainly. And let's hope everything remains peaceful there.
Sara Sidner, thank you so much.
PAUL: Sara, thank you.
And Sara just mentioned Heather Heyer. This is a woman who people are remembering today. They left messages for her on the walls of downtown Charlottesville.
One reads, teach love, not hate. And this is such as you can imagine a really tough weekend for her mother. But her mom says even though this was not her goal in life necessarily, she was a teacher, she was with her family. She says it is now her job to stop fighting for the social injustice that her daughter was fighting for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: What do you think Heather would say to you one year later, if she could? And what would you say to her?
SUSAN BRO, HEATHER HEYER'S MOTHER: I would say, I need you. I hope she would say I'm proud of what you're doing. I'm helping from up here, mom.
PAUL: Do you feel her helping you?
BRO: I do. She makes things come together.
PAUL: What is your wish for Charlottesville this year?
BRO: Don't be in such a rush to heal, that you don't fix the underlying problems. I know Mayor Walker is working hard to get some of those things done. I know some other people are working hard.
If you rush to heal it over, if you rush to just spackle (ph) on top of the black mold on the wall, then it's only going to fester and grow and we are going to have this problem again in a short time. And I really don't want to see another mother, black, white, Asian, Latino, in my spot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And by the way, Susan Bro there says that she is going to go to Heather's -- the place where Heather died on Fourth Street. She's going to lay some flowers there today.
BLACKWELL: Well, on this one-year anniversary, we are learning more about the Russian interference after Charlottesville. A GOP lawmaker says Russian trolls fueled that hate and anger, meddling online in the aftermath of the Charlottesville rally last year.
We'll learn more about how he says (INAUDIBLE).
PAUL: Also a security guard opens fire in a store in Las Vegas. We have new video to show you here of some frightening moments there as shoppers were hiding from that shooter.
BLACKWELL: Also, a multimillion dollar settlement for the man who says a popular weed killer caused his cancer. Coming up, what this landmark verdict could mean for the hundreds of patients suing the makers of Roundup.
PAUL: Well, this morning President Trump is in Bedminster, not at the White House. If he was in Washington he'd see a gathering of white supremacists pretty much right outside the White House lawn.
BLACKWELL: It's the same Unite the Right group that marched in Charlottesville last year. And GOP congressman Tom Garrett told CNN that Russian trolls use the internet to stir racial tensions even more after that 2017 rally, in an effort to, and this is a quote, "Hit Americans against Americans." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARRETT: I sat in a closed session briefing probably two months ago about Charlottesville with the director of the FBI, amongst others, and asked if Russian inter-meddling had to do with fomenting the flames of what happened in Charlottesville. I was told,
yes, it did.
I asked, is this information classified? They said, no, it's not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood live from New Jersey. Sarah, any reaction to that from the president?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Christi, President Trump has not really weighed in much beyond the tweet yesterday that he sent condemning racism. That was perhaps an attempt both to pay tribute to the pain the Charlottesville inflicted on the nation last year and to make clear his position on the white nationalist gathering today before they get under way.
Now, Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, is also speaking out to mark the one-year anniversary of Charlottesville. She tweeted, in part. "While Americans are blessed to live in a nation that protects liberty, freedom of speech and diversity of opinion, there is no place for white supremacy, racism and neo-Nazism in our great country."
Now again beyond that tweet, President Trump has been pretty much silent on this one-year anniversary of Charlottesville. Other lawmakers have been speaking out more forcefully. He has no public events on his schedule today so we may not hear more from him beyond his Twitter feed.
BLACKWELL: And we know that President Trump is reacting to Omarosa -- her new book and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' on Twitter. Tell us more about that.
WESTWOOD: Well, Victor, President Trump is clearly unhappy with the sensational claims that his former aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman makes in her new book which is set to be released this week. President Trump waited on the former "Apprentice" contestant that he then hired at the White House yesterday. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I better not go any further.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER: Mr. President, do you feel betrayed by Omarosa, sir?
TRUMP: Low life. She is a low life.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WESTWOOD: Now Trump has also been venting his frustrations on another topic the Justice Department and the origins of the Russia investigation, which he and his allies have sought to discredit.
Trump, yesterday, accused attorney general Jeff Sessions as being a missing in action when it comes to an investigation of how the Obama DOJ opened the Russia investigation even though Sessions has recused himself from all matters related to that Russia probe. So President Trump clearly still fuming about some of his favorite foes the media and Justice Department as he wraps up his 11-day working vacation here in New Jersey -- Victor and Christi.
PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Joining me now Daniel Lippman, is reporter and co-author of "Playbook" at "Politico." Daniel, welcome back.
DANIEL LIPPMAN, REPORTER & CO-AUTHOR OF PLAYBOOK, POLITICO: Thanks for having me.
BLACKWELL: So after the "low life" criticism of Omarosa from the president, the natural follow-up is, the president wasn't taking them, if she is such a low life, why bring her into work in his White House?
LIPPMAN: Yes. This is what happens when you hire "Apprentice" stars as senior aides who are making over $100,000 on a public salary. And Omarosa kind of left a trail of damage in the White House. Aides didn't think that she may -- did any work and she would leave shoes just lying around in the West Wing. And so this book seems to be an attempt to capitalize on her stint serving the public.
BLACKWELL: So Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, she responded through a statement. The president yesterday called her a low life. Is this the extent until we learn more about the book or is there any indication that they are mobilizing for a "Fire and Fury" style response?
LIPPMAN: I think the White House may have learned a lesson which is don't respond every day to a new book out about the inner workings in the palace and trigger (ph) the White House because you're just going to give it more attention.
I think Michael Wolff would be the first to admit that the White House's severe attack on his credibility, that helped book sales because people were wondering what is this whole thing about? And so another problem is the White House has not seen a full copy of the book which comes out this week. And so they don't really know what they are responding to when they are trying to fight back against Omarosa.
BLACKWELL: OK. So let's talk about the president's criticism of attorney general Jeff Sessions. He said he is scared stiff in this most recent tweet but in the past he has called him beleaguered and said he's in a weak position. Those criticisms really have changed nothing. Sessions has not rescinded his recusal. He hasn't intervened in the Russia investigation, has not pushed for a second special counsel to look into -- to Hillary Clinton.
What's the benefit here? I mean, the slams are ineffectual here.
LIPPMAN: Yes. And they're also -- they also provide grist for Robert Mueller and his investigation. "The New York Times" did report that they are looking at Trump's tweets constantly criticizing DOJ and the investigations team that that is part of obstruction.
And I think Sessions, you know, when he did that recusal, he was looking at -- way down the line, years ahead in terms of what history books would write about him. If he was going to be the attorney general who stopped a lawful inquiry into Trump's behavior in the campaign, that would tar his place in history. He wanted to be seen as an ethical person and that is why he recused himself.
He was a huge surrogate on the campaign and he probably views this as disloyalty by the president who actually has a good relationship now with Rod Rosenstein. He told -- Trump told "The Wall Street Journal" about a week ago that Rosenstein is fantastic. So Trump kind of goes hot and cold on his staffers.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about this photo op because that's what it was billed as with the president yesterday and Bikers for Trump. Jeff Mason, with Reuters, summed it up this way.
"Bikers meet in clubhouse because of rain. Press pool brought in. Trump asks crowd if they like the media. Shouts erupt, including suggestion that press be sent out in the storm. President calls former staffer a low life. Event ends."
This probably isn't the way they wanted it to go, but bring in the media to slam the media.
LIPPMAN: Yes. I think this is kind of a -- that is a normal day in the White House. That is a slow news day when just that happens and not a million other crazy things.
And so, you know, you're actually going to see a bunch of major newspapers, including "The Boston Globe," in the next couple of days, issue a -- denunciation against Trump's attacks on media. They're kind of coordinating to say that we don't deserve that this type of treatment that we are valued part of democracy and we are just trying to do our jobs and hold power accountable whoever it is.
BLACKWELL: Daniel Lippman, good to have you back. Thanks so much.
LIPPMAN: Thanks, Victor.
And later this morning, the president's attorney Rudy Giuliani is on "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER," 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN. PAUL: CNN has exclusive reporting that Twitter admitted the fringe media organization info wars violated its rules but did not remove the problematic tweets from their Web site. We will tell you what we have learned.
BLACKWELL: We have got some really terrifying video showing people inside a Las Vegas store as they hid from an active shooter. The video shows a little girl and her father hiding underneath a clothing rack. You see them here. This is at a Ross store.
PAUL: The alleged shooter was a security guard there. Police say he got into an argument with his manager, left and came back with a gun. Thankfully no one was hurt.
The suspect was shot by police though when he left the store. He is still alive.
And picture this. You go to the outlet mall, casual day of shopping and when you return to your car -- this.
Six cars. Yes. Swallowed up by a sinkhole.
This is outside an outlet mall in Lancaster at about 60 miles outside Philadelphia.
BLACKWELL: So one woman who was in her car at the time says, it felt like an earthquake. That is understandable.
No one was seriously hurt though. Good news there.
Officials say they cannot remove the cars until they are sure that area is stable. And having worked in Florida for seven years, these pop up occasionally and the worst thing you can do is approach one of these too soon and then another chip falls off --
PAUL: Sure. And then you go down with them.
BLACKWELL: You're going down into the hole with it.
BLACKWELL: All right. Now exclusive reporting from CNN. CNN found that far right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his fringe media organization InfoWars violated Twitter's rules. That's after the company defended keeping the accounts on its sites saying they did not violate the rules.
But Twitter was forced to admit the violations but says it will let InfoWars stay on the platform.
PAUL: And soon after CNN's investigation was published the tweets disappeared from the social media Web site. With us now CNN money senior media reporter Oliver Darcy. OK. Oliver, tell us more about how this happened and what's happening now.
OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes. Twitter really continues to stand alone here. Earlier this week we saw Apple, Facebook, YouTube scrub their platforms of content related to Alex Jones and his fringe media organization InfoWars but Twitter did not do that.
At the time, the CEO Jack Dorsey he said that Alex Jones had not violated the Twitter rules and that if he did, Twitter would enforce those rules. But we conducted an investigation here at CNN earlier this week and found there are repeated violations of Twitter's term of services by Alex Jones and InfoWars. He had tweeted things that were degrading towards Muslims, that were degrading towards members of the gay and transgender community, that were engaging in harassments of individuals, and so on and so forth.
After we published our story Twitter came back the next day and they said that we now see that there were violations of our rules. However, Twitter is still not taking any action at least nothing meaningful that we can see. The InfoWars and Alex Jones' accounts are remaining online for now.
BLACKWELL: So what's the new reaction from others especially other users of the platform?
DARCY: I think people are confused. They're seeing a lot individuals say, what is the purpose of having rules if you're not going to take a meaningful action to enforce those rules?
And the violations that Alex Jones and InfoWars, that they committed on the platform, they are not really very small violations. These are repeated violations over a long period of time and, like I said, doing things that degrade individuals based on their religion or their gender identity. So you have a lot of people wondering today what is the purpose of the rules if they are not going to be enforced.
BLACKWELL: All right. Oliver Darcy, continue to watch it. Thank you so much.
DARCY: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, sir.
Listen, a terminal cancer patient has won a landmark case against one of the most popular lawn care products. The multimillion dollar outcome here and here is the catch. Whether there could be more cases to come.
PAUL: A California jury has ordered agricultural giant Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a man who said he got terminal cancer from Roundup weedkiller. Dewayne Johnson, is his name. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
He has lesions over 80 percent of his body. Well, Friday a jury found the groundskeeper's cancer was caused by glyphosate, that's a chemical found in the weedkiller.
Hundreds of lawsuits claim Roundup causes cancer. Hundreds of them. But Monsanto insists there is no connection between the product and cancer.
CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson with us. So, Joey, first of all this is a 46-year-old man, father of two. This was expedited his trial was because he is -- quote -- "near death." How solid was the evidence against him and what precedent does it set?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning, Christi.
You know, those are very significant questions and so let's start with the solidness of the evidence. I think it was overwhelming. And the reason I say that is because it's hard enough to convince a jury but in this particular case what we have to know is that about $250 million was for punitive damages.
Punitive damages are damages that are designed to punish. They are designed to send a message to the company that what you did is wrong. And so, clearly, the evidence in their view was compelling because in order to find that you did wrong and it's punitive, you have to find that the company acted with malice.
And so although there is a conflict, as it relates to the science as to whether there is causal connection, you know, between the disease that he developed and this actual ingredient that you spoke to, the reality is that those are questions of fact and you have a battle of the experts, one expert saying it doesn't, another expert saying it does.
Clearly, the jury sided with the experts who say it does. And so this is resounding and I think the precedent is overwhelming. There are many suits, thousands across the country, and I think as a result of this lawsuit, certainly, it's beneficial to those causes that will be moving forward.
PAUL: Yes. This is a father, as I said, who is near death, they say. His wife is working two 40-hour a week jobs just to make ends meet right now. He has two young children. And Monsanto has vowed to appeal this.
So I wanted to ask you about two things stand out regarding that. First of all, if they appeal, from a PR standpoint and this man alone, the optics are pretty heartless. At the same time, because there are thousands of lawsuits out there or allegations against them, the precedent is frightening for the company if they let it go as is.
Is it too late for the company to settle? JACKSON: You know, it's never too late to settle and, oftentimes, what you see is after a verdict, there will be a settlement because of all of the litigation that happens post-trial, right? And the fact is that you can appeal, as they are, and in the event that you appeal and the verdict is overturned and you start again.
And so there are incentives even with this victory for there to be some type of settlement. But, you know, on the one hand you could see that the company would be dug in. This is ruinous liability.
What I mean by that is that the overwhelming nature of the verdict, the numbers itself and the precedent it sets to your point is horrific for the company. And so if they give in here, just think about all the other lawsuits that will follow, that will buckle this company to its knees. And so as heartless as it may be and as, you know, tough optically as it is as you point out, I think the company has an incentive to really dig in and say, look, there's no causal connection with this science.
But clearly this jury found otherwise. I think many other juries on, you know, the strength of the evidence could find the same thing. And I think the day of reckoning certainly is here and as it relates to the other lawsuits, may be close at hand.
And so I think that people looking to use this particular, you know, ingredient and this particular pesticide are going to really think twice moving forward as to whether they should be doing it at the risk of getting cancer.
PAUL: All right. Joey Jackson, always appreciate your expertise, sir. Thank you.
JACKSON: The pleasure is mine, Christi. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: To the sun's atmosphere. NASA probe is now using more launch energy than a trip to Mars. Next, how it will survive in the outer atmosphere of the sun where it's more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one, zero. Liftoff of the mighty Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA's Parker Solar Probe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So this is really cool. NASA is now sending this probe where no spacecraft has gone before, the sun. Now they tried to get this off the ground yesterday but there was a 24-hour delay.
NASA has now launched its first unmanned probe toward the solar atmosphere. PAUL: And you heard the gentlemen saying there the Parker Solar Probe is what this is called that has a four-inch thick solar shield to protect it from extreme heat and cold. There's a sensor too that will extend to get samples of the sun's atmosphere.
The first download of data back to Earth is expected in early December after the probe reaches its first close approach of the sun in November.
All right. So maybe once the sun goes down tonight you're going to have something else to look at in the sky.
PAUL: There's going to be an incredible show. I don't know what you were thinking.
BLACKWELL: All right.
PAUL: I opened myself up to that. Sorry, folks.
BLACKWELL: It's Sunday morning. The Earth is passing through a comet's debris field right now. That means it's the perfect time to see shooting stars.
Here is CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar with a closer look at what is happening. Allison, you have to admit she just served it up.
PAUL: I'm sorry.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I do admit my heart was beating kind of fast because I don't know where they are going to take this.
CHINCHAR: Tonight is the peak, guys. And really, truly this is actually going to be the pretty stunning. Because while this does happen every year say in July, into August, this year is going to be even better because it's going to be, well, rather moonless.
Meaning we don't really have much of a moon out there which is going to make conditions much darker. Meaning you'll actually be able to see much more of this than you have, say, perhaps the last couple of years.
Now the really cool part about this is, again, when we talk about this peak viewing is actually tonight. For most people it will after say about 10:00 or 11:00 in the evening and carry on until about 4:00 into the early morning hours.
But let's take a look at some of the finer details of this. Because this is actually a pretty interesting night to take a look at some of these conditions. Now, we talked about the evening hours. The peak hours being about 11:00 p.m. to, say, about 4:00 a.m. in the morning. You also want to keep in mind too you can't just go out, expect to look up, five minutes later see everything and be done with it.
You are going to need to allow your eyes about 30 minutes or so to adjust to the dark sky. If you live in a big city with a lot of light pollution you may even need to give yourself say about 45 minutes for that. OK?
Now the other thing is because it is peak viewing tonight for folks, say, in the countryside or rural locations you could see as much as anywhere from 120 to 200 meteors per hour. Some of the more city locations probably closer to about 70 to a hundred meteors per hour. But that's still going to be plenty.
The key for viewing is going to be whether or not mother nature will cooperate and allow you to have those clear skies. Unfortunately, we have some rain showers expected for places like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, stretching over towards Mississippi, and also some areas of the northeast including states like Massachusetts, New York, even around Connecticut.
So take, for example, New York City. You are going to have some hit or miss areas because you're going to have a pretty decent amount of cloud cover. That doesn't mean you won't be able to see it. You may just have to sit out there quite some time and wait for a good clearing in between some of those clouds.
Dallas also not looking like a very good city to see this. Because you're not only going to have clouds but also the chance for thunderstorms.
Minneapolis, however, fantastic city. Nice, clear skies. And, again, since we won't have that moon out there, guys, that will really help for a lot of folks, even in city locations, to be able to see the meteor shower.
PAUL: I expect some parties will be happening tonight to watch this. Oh, darn. I have got to sit out here even longer with my glass of wine and my friend so I can see these stars.
BLACKWELL: Oh, man.
PAUL: Allison, thank you.
BLACKWELL: Thanks so much, Allison. PAUL: So, listen. We are learning more about the man who stole that plane and crashed it near Seattle yesterday. One of his coworkers is giving us some insight into how that man knew how to operate the plane.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We were as far at 30 points behind in the national polls. And our view is if we didn't win the first primary in Iowa, there would no chance to win the nomination. And so he spent more than 80 days there in 2007 meeting one-on-one and in small groups.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are any of these people over 30?
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm on my way to Mason City, and then the Sioux city, and then the Council Bluff, and then out and around.
OBAMA: How many people are going canvassing today?
OBAMA: It's a little brisk outside.