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White House Has Drafted Documents To Revoke More Clearances; Former U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan Is Dead; Husband In Custody For His Family's Death, But Not Charged; Two People Shot At High School Football Game; Maryland Board Takes Over Jordan McNair Investigation; ICE Detains Man Driving Pregnant Wife To Deliver Baby; Families Gather In Italy For State Funeral For Bridge Collapse Victims; Violence Spikes In Afghanistan; What Is The White House Strategy In Afghanistan?; Trump Attacks Former CIA Director; Russian Space Threat; Manafort Jury Returns Monday Trump Calls Trial "Sad"; Utah Man Killed After Crashing Plane Into His Home; How Not To Say Omarosa. Aired 9- 10a ET

Aired August 18, 2018 - 09:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- official's clearance very quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He really is and I think he's abusing the powers of that office. I think right now this country is in a crisis in terms of what Mr. Trump has done and is liable to do.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: So the White House isn't backing down. "The Washington Post" reporting documents needed to strip additional security clearances from these top officials you see here tied to the Russia probe are ready for the President to sign. Sarah Westwood in New Jersey right now where the President is staying this weekend. And I understand when we say dozens, 60 former CIA officials are standing in solidarity with Brennan now?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN REPORTER: That's right, Christi. President Trump is facing a growing backlash to his decision to target CIA director John Brennan. Dozens of former intelligence officials are speaking out about the sense that Trump has set a precedent of using a political litmus test to determine who gets to keep their security clearances. Trump has linked his decision to go after Brennan to the Russia investigation while the White House has so far not provided any evidence to back up its claim that Brennan lost his security clearance because he abused it.

Meanwhile, Trump is tweeting this morning about Russia and raising the specter of China saying, "All of the fools that are so focused on looking only at Russia should start also looking in another direction, China. But in the end, if we are smart, tough and well prepared, we will get along with everyone."

Now it's unclear exactly who Trump was directing that criticism to, but clearly, as Trump is considering revoking additional security clearances, Russia is on his mind.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Sarah, what are you learning about the potential timing for revoking those other security clearances?

WESTWOOD: While President Trump is weighing of removing the security clearance of nine people who have either spoken out against the President or are connected in some way to the Russia investigation. Those names include former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey and some recently departed FBI officials who have been accused of harboring anti-Trump bias. That's Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page.

And one current DOJ official is on that list. That's Bruce Ohr whose connections to the opposition research firm hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016 has drawn scrutiny from congressional republicans. Senator Mark Warner, the top democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is threatening to take action if President Trump follows through on this plan to revoke additional security clearances.

He tweeted, "I will be introducing an amendment next week to block the president from punishing and intimidating his critics by arbitrarily revoking security clearances. Stay tuned."

Now this comes as "The Washington Post" is reporting that President Trump has already drawn up the papers to remove the security clearances from those nine officials and aides are waiting for the ideal time to execute, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, we appreciate it. Thank you. Gregory Korte, White House Correspondent for "USA Today" with us now as well as Kimberly Dozier, CNN Global Affairs Analyst. Thank you both for being here. Gregory, I want to start with you and I want to start where Sarah left off there with Mark Warner and his proposal while (ph) he'll be introducing this amendment next week. Any indication that he has enough support to make that happen and how effective would it be, if so?

GREGORY KORTE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, USA TODAY: Well obviously this is a republican controlled congress on both sides of the hill. So first you have that hurdle, but also you have a legal hurdle in that traditionally the President has been the ultimate decider of what's classified and unclassified and who gets a security clearance and who doesn't.

This is one of those powers that the President has and it's precisely because it's such an absolute power that Trump cherishes it so much. It's something that he can do without running it past Congress. It's an unchecked power and so it seems to me unlikely that it could go very far.

Now, the question is, similar to what we saw with the travel ban order, just because the president has that power, can he use it indiscriminately? Could he refuse to grant security clearances to Muslim American members of the Intelligence community, for example? Or strip security clearances of just a certain class of people? That's an untested question that's really never been decided before.

PAUL: So Kimberly, with that said and to Gregory's point, I mean the President is working within his -- the parameters with which he is afforded, but have you heard a valid argument to pull these security clearances from any of these people yet?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, there's actually normally a procedure that you go through if you're a government employee and you are having your security clearance reviewed because of some sort of either allegation that you have mishandled information or perhaps you've misbehaved in your private life.

[09:05:09] You've had a drunk driving accident. Then you are first notified of this review and you're able to fight it and appeal it and you can even go to court. The way the President has done this, it seems there hasn't been any sort of procedure followed beyond his word from on high.

So national security lawyers I've spoken to are split. Some say he's safe under his Article 2 powers of the Constitution. Others say he's opened himself to a court case in which Brennan and others, if they're also stripped of their clearances, could sue him for overreach.

This possibly is a kind of case that could go all the way to the Supreme Court where they would have to decide, has he exercised Article 2 powers in a way that has violated John Brennan's rights under the First Amendment to express himself?

There's also a question, what does this mean for people who are serving right now who have clearances who are in federal government? Does this mean they have to watch what they say on their Facebook page, on Twitter? Is it a political loyalty test that applies to everyone in government?

PAUL: So Kimberly, what does it mean for people who lose their security clearance? Is there a danger to national security by doing so, especially when we're talking about something that is as widespread as the President is threatening? Kimberly, I'm sorry. I think -- can you hear me, Kimberly?

DOZIER: I just got you back.

PAUL: I'm sorry. I was asking what is the risk of people in this capacity to lose their security clearance?

DOZIER: Normally, if you are a former official, you keep your clearance at the discretion of the agency you served because they might call you back in for a briefing. At this point, we don't know what the White House might decide, but it seems like the President is all systems go on stripping everybody else of their clearance on that list.

General Hayden was speaking to a public event the other night and he said, if you have secrets, tell me now because I'm pretty sure I won't be able listen to them in a few days.

PAUL: It's become a bit of a joke, I suppose, to some degree or something to joke about, but it's really not at the end of the day. We know that. There was one analyst, Gregory, who I heard said that President Trump should be concerned about the anonymity of these former officials. In other words, this collective 60-plus people getting together and saying, we're not going to stand for this. Is there a risk for the President?

KORTE: Well, look, this is a battle that he has been fighting the entire time he has been President in terms of this so-called deep state that, you know, many on the -- on the right believe exist to undermine his presidency and that's the genesis of all this.

A number of people on this list of people that he wants to strip clearances from are involved in some direct way with the Mueller investigation into possible Russian -- well, definite Russian interference and possible Trump campaign collusion with that interference in the 2016 election.

And so this is the sort of original sin that Trump sees and is systematically sort of going through either firing or stripping security clearances from these people. This is a battle that he has waged and done so from the beginning of his presidency, even while he publicly gives speeches at the CIA, where he professes that he is the most pro intelligence president in our history.

PAUL: All right. Gregory Korte and Kimberly Dozier, always appreciate your insight here. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: The breaking news, Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize winner has died. He was 80 years old. He was a diplomat from Ghana. He served in the position at the top of the U.N. there from 1997 to 2006 and worked tirelessly for humans rights.

Now, the current Secretary General released this statement. "Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us."

CNN's Richard Roth has covered Annan for years and has more for us now.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Kofi Annan was the heart of the U.N. for 10 years and before that as Director of Peacekeeping. And as his family has noted in a statement, the words you hear expressed about Kofi Annan, often compassion, empathy, you don't often hear that about at times these faceless U.N. diplomats the world has an opinion of, despite the heroic work done by humanitarian and rescue aid workers.

So the -- according to the statement issued this morning by the Kofi Annan Foundation and his family, this is what they had to say following the passing at the age of 80 of Mr. Annan. "Kofi Annan was a global statesman," they say, "and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fair and more peaceful world.

[09:10:10] During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations, he was an ardant champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law. He was involved in many global crises at that time in those 10 years, sometimes with success and others, he was able to escape condemnation. A lot of it by the force of his personality."

BLACKWELL: Alright. Richard Roth, thank you so much. A father arrested in the deaths of his wife and two young daughters is still not charged with a crime.

PAUL: Coming up, we're speaking with a former prosecutor about why charges haven't been filed and what we can expect in this case. Also, two days of deliberations down. So far no verdict in Paul Manafort's fraud trial.

BLACKWELL: And the fate of President Trump's former campaign chairman is not the only thing riding on this jury's decision. We'll have more on that.


PAUL: We have new details this morning regarding the death of a pregnant woman and her daughters in Colorado. Listen to one of those little girls here singing about her father.



My daddy is a hero. He helps me grow up strong. He helped me (INAUDIBLE). He reads me books. He ties my shoes.


PAUL: He helps me grow up strong, she's saying. Her dad, Chris Watts, is the prime suspect now and is accused of killing his wife, Shanann, and daughters, 4 year old Bella and 3 year old Celeste. Watts has not been charged, but prosecutors are expected to file those charges in the coming days.

We have a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Yodit Tewolde with us now. Yodit, always so glad to have you with us. First and foremost, I know the charges have not been filed yet. Why is that and do you anticipate he will be charged for the death of their unborn child?

TODIT TEWOLDE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So it takes a lot of time with regards to a murder. I know he was just arrested on Wednesday. The bodies were just recently found and the autopsies were just done. So the delay is just pretty common in terms of this type of case and wanting to make sure that they have everything, they, being the prosecutors, have everything that they need in order to ensure that they are supported in whatever charge that they want to bring forth and I believe that would be on Monday.

I do believe that they will be charging Chris Watts with the murder of his wife and his two children. They will not be able to charge him, however, for the unborn child because in Colorado, they do not have the fetal homicide law that most states have. They don't recognize an unborn child at any stage as a person for the purposes of their murder statute. So that's not going to happen, but the state can consider that as an aggravative factor, being that his wife was pregnant at the time, as an aggravating factor to determine whether they want to pursue the death penalty.

PAUL: Here's something we learned overnight. That attorneys for Christopher Watts requested DNA swabs of his wife and children. Why would they do that? Is that standard?

TEWOLDE: It's pretty standard with the defense building their own case. They don't want to rely on whatever the law enforcement says they collected, in terms of DNA. And DNA has always been considered the gold standard with regards to forensic evidence, but there are so many issues with DNA that cases have come forth to prove that there have been DNA testing errors.

And so what they're doing is just collecting their own DNA with their own expert possibly to challenge whatever DNA the state and law enforcement collected. And they want to make sure that the bodies are who they say they actually are. So they're just basically doing their own job. That's pretty standard.

PAUL: OK. So he confessed, according to reports that we have, he confessed to the crime. We have to assume that he led them to the bodies because they were able to get to to bodies quite quickly. Does that confession mitigate the case for him?

TEWOLDE: I would say that it wouldn't and even if it did mitigate, I mean the fact that his wife was pregnant at the time kind of takes away that mitigation which is unfortunate. But his confession alone isn't enough, however, because he could go in on Tuesday, and I believe that is his next court date, on Tuesday, and plead not guilty because all of the evidence, his attorneys don't have yet. And so it would be foolish for them to allow their client to go into court and plead guilty to something that they haven't even really established yet.

And so his confession, which we don't know how it was taken, it could have been lawful, maybe unlawful, but the evidence would have to be supported by his confession. So we don't know how they found the bodies. It wasn't too far off from where they lived, but that confession alone isn't enough for prosecutors to the convict him for first degree murder. They have to have some corroborating evidence.

PAUL: I think what has been really tough to take in here, a lot of people thought about Scott Peterson.


PAUL: And the case where he killed his wife, Laci, who was pregnant, but this is also a man who allegedly killed two of his children. What is his defense? I don't -- I mean accident certainly couldn't be part of this, yes?

TEWOLDE: That would -- that would be -- that would be a stretch. Most defense attorneys would argue that he accidentally killed, say, one people, but we have three here.

PAUL: Yes.

TEWOLDE: So how do you accidentally kill three people? So that would be a stretch. The only other defense that they could possibly use would be insanity.

PAUL: And what would they have to prove to do that? I mean what if there's some sort of premeditation? Because he came out the day -- the next day seeming calm. How does that, by the way, and how does that play into his interview the next day, begging for them to come back? How does that play into this?

TEWOLDE: It demonstrates how cold, callus and calculated he is. Eerily similar to Drew and Scott Peterson. Prosecutors can use that to paint this picture of this person who isn't someone you should even feel any type of remorse for, but that he calculated these murders of his wife and children.

[09:20:17] And so it doesn't make him look good. But in order to support a plea or a defense for insanity, he would have to prove that he wasn't in his right state of mind at the time.

But his actions afterwards say so much and speak so much to his mental state and where he was at and that he was also charged with tampering with evidence in that he was moving the bodies. He knew that police would be searching for their bodies and he calculated that and he moved them so that they weren't found. And so that also plays a role. So everything that he did after definitely plays a role in how the prosecution's going to pursue these charges.

And so it's going to be interesting to see what this affidavit that describes why police think he is the subject on Monday, what that actually says because right now, there are so many things we don't know, especially motive, that we need to know to better understand what was happening.

PAUL: Yes. No doubt about it. Yodit Tewolde, always appreciate your insight and your expertise here. cease here Thank you for being here.

TEWOLDE: Thank you, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Two people in Florida were shot at a practice football game. This was at Palm Beach Central High School.


BLACKWELL (voice-over): The helicopter here is landing on the football field after it was cleared out to assist those who were hurt. Now authorities say the shooting was related to an altercation between students. Reportedly, one of the victims is in critical condition at a hospital. And here you see, or you could have seen -- here it is. Here's the video. Players running off the field in the middle of the game when the shooting started.

(END VIDEO CLIP) Now the officials who are investigating, they don't have a motive or any suspects, but they said the violent crimes division would take over this investigation.

PAUL: Well, the Maryland Board of Regents has taken control now of two investigations into its flagship university after the death of 19- year-old football player Jordan McNair. Earlier this week, President Wallace Loh admitted that the school just did not do enough to protect this teenager.


WALLACE LOH, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day of May the 29th.


PAUL: McNair died June -- in June, I should say, 15 days after suffering a heat stroke during practice. An ESPN report later uncovered what is described as a, quote, "toxic culture" within the football program. Earlier this morning, I spoke to CNN's Sports Analyst and "USA Today" Columnist, Christine Brennan and asked her something that a lot of people are asking right now, how is it that these incidents are still happening?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: How in the world is this still happening to our children in our country of ours? I think it's probably happening other places to some degree or other. There was the South Carolina coach, Will Muschamp, when asked about D. J. Durkin, the Maryland coach, and this situation instead of expressing sadness, regret for the loss of a young 19-year-old, no. He immediately turned on the media and said it was gutless anonymous sources.

That was the reaction of a coach at South Carolina, the head coach, at another school after knowing about the death of this man. And they're not even focused on it. It took him 48 hours, Will Muschamp, to be able to finally talk about the loss Jordan McNair.

So I think there's a culture, I think there's a mindset and we all kind of lead into it and encourage it because, of course, if you're buying season tickets, you're cheering for your team, we love our college football. But there can be love of college football and also sanity in terms of how we treat these players.

PAUL: What happens now? I mean is there a plan? Is there any overseeing board that is trying to craft some sort of plan or protocol for all universities to deal with this?

BRENNAN: No. No, there's not. I thought, Christi, when the Penn State story broke, the Jerry Sandusky horrors in 2011, I thought then we might see a group of 20 select university presidents come together in an extraordinary meeting and say, OK, this is broken. We need to fix this. Because that was all around the college football program at Penn State. No. Never happened. Never happened. The NCA tried to punish Penn State and immediately people pushed back and the NCA ended pushing back. So I'm not throwing up my hands and saying there's nothing to be done. I'm just saying so far the leaders of our college football programs around the country, they seem to be reticent to do anything.

Maybe it takes a tragedy like this, of this young man and his parents. You see them on TV, such wonderful people. You see their hurt or see their pain, maybe it's Jordan McNair that finally rings that bell loud enough so that people are paying attention.

[09:25:02] PAUL: And we do need to note, school officials say since McNair's death, the university has given more training to athletic training staff and increased the number of breaks and cooling stations during those practices.

BLACKWELL: Well, there have been two days of deliberation. Now the weekend and they get back to work on Monday. The jury in the Paul Manafort fraud trial needs more time to reach a verdict. Manafort's freedom and Robert Mueller's credibility of the investigation could be on the line here and apparently the judge's safety. He has some concerns about that, too.


PAUL: Well, I hope Saturday has been good to you so far. Twenty-nine minutes past the hour right now. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

PAUL: I want to let you know about this story regarding a new baby boy. He is not with his dad today because ICE agents hauled his father away as the family was headed to the hospital where the mom was scheduled for a C-section.


BLACKWELL: The mother says she does not know what to do now.

Chris Holmstrom with CNN affiliate KCAL-KCBS has more.


CHRIS HOLMSTROM, KCAL REPORTER (voice-over): Maria del Carmen Venegas holding back the tears. She says she is doing bad at this moment and that's when you most need your husband. The mother of five just gave birth two days ago, the same day her husband, Joel Arrona, was detained by ICE agents.

It was Wednesday afternoon Venegas was on the way to the hospital with her husband. She was heading there for a pre planned c-section. Surveillance video shows them at the gas station when two cars surround her vehicle. She says they were ICE agents.

She says, they asked for her ID so she got her ID and gave it to them. And then they asked about her husband's ID. She says he doesn't have his. We live pretty close and we can get it if you need it.

She said that's when agents had him step out of the vehicle to check for weapons. When he got out they put him into custody. You could see Venegas was hysterical and had no idea what was going on.

She says her husband has no criminal history and that police have never stopped him. He's never had a ticket. Venegas was forced to drive herself to the hospital. Shortly after, she gave birth to her baby boy.

While he's physically OK this mother is living a nightmare. She said, my husband needs to be here, he had to wait for his son for so long and someone just took him away.


BLACKWELL: The family is now working on getting an attorney, but ICE has not yet commented on this incident.

The Taliban stages a comeback in Afghanistan with a week of deadly attacks. What is the White House strategy and why hasn't the president visited with the troops, 148 days at his golf properties, not one with the troops in Afghanistan? Colonel Rick Francona joins us next.



PAUL: Thirty-six minutes past the hour. And today in Italy, it's a national day of mourning for the victims of the Morandi Bridge collapse. There are families of these people as well as the Italian president and prime minister who are attending today's state funeral.

You see some family members there, they're praying, they're placing flowers on the casket of the people they have loved -- loved and lost. But there are other families who have chosen not to participate because they're still angry at the government. They blame the government for this. And rescue workers all the while are still searching through tons of the rubble for victims.

BLACKWELL: A spike in violence in Afghanistan this week has raised serious questions about what the U.S. administration is doing there, the strategy moving forward.

Dozens of people were killed Wednesday when a suicide bomber targeted a school if Kabul. A day later, two gunmen attacked a training center for the Afghan intelligence service. And more people were killed as the Taliban try to take (INAUDIBLE) to the key city from government control.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the uptick in violence and what the Trump administration plans to do about it and why the president has not visited American troops there yet after well over a decade of war.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We're committed to finding a political solution to end the conflict in Afghanistan. We're exploring all avenues for dialogue in close coordination with the Afghan government. We're going to continue to do that.


BLACKWELL: Joining me now, CNN military analyst, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Rick Francona. Colonel, welcome back.


BLACKWELL: What do you attribute this uptick in violence in Afghanistan? Is the Taliban making a serious comeback here?

FRANCONA: Well, they're trying to. I think both sides are jockeying for good positions in the upcoming talks.

There are going to be talks between the two sides. Each one -- each one wants to approach this talk from a position of strength so that they feel they have got the upper hand. It's interesting when you look at the actual fighting, it looks like there is an uptick of violence and there is but the Taliban is not doing as well as it might look from the amount of violence.

No matter what the Taliban does, they just can't seem to make that final push that gives them the edge. If you look at what happened in Ghazni, what you referred to there, you know, they were able force the army back into certain strong holds but then they were soon pushed back.

They could take the ground but they couldn't hold it. So what we are seeing is a political positioning right now.

BLACKWELL: OK. I want to listen to a part of a conversation I had this morning with Republican state senator in Georgia, Michael Williams. We talked about President Trump being a war time president and his not having visited with the troops in Afghanistan yet. Watch.


SEN. MICHAEL WILLIAMS (R), GEORGIA: Donald Trump is a business guy and to be an effective business guy, you have to delegate. The CEO of a multi-billion dollar company cannot do everything. He cannot be the person that does every single task.

He has people in leadership in the military that he respects, that he honors that again he hand chose is going out there and doing that and, again, he is fighting what he feels like is the most important (INAUDIBLE) they have money to take care of their family.


BLACKWELL: We have the numbers up there for people who are listening to this and not seeing it. Maybe you didn't see it the president has been in office about 575 days.


He spent 148 days, more than a quarter of his presidency at one of his golf properties, not one with the troops in Afghanistan. In many respects this is symbolic, it's symbolism to go there and say thank you. And it may mean more than that to people who are actually fighting.

What's the significance of the president having not made that trip yet?

FRANCONA: Yes. It's very interesting that he has not done that because he is the commander in chief. These are his troops out there fighting, you would think that he would want to go there not just to show the symbolism, that's important.

It's important that they know that the president is behind them and there is no other way to demonstrate that but to go there. But more importantly, he's in charge of the strategy, he's in charge of what's going on there, you would think he would want to go there and assess it for himself.

You know, I have worked for a lot of good people and they all say the same thing, there's nothing like being there. Get on the ground, smell it, hear it, then you get a different sense of what's going on, and only then can you adequately assess what you need to do.

So I'm surprised he hasn't done this. You would think as a good business leader he would want to be out there like on the factory floor, if you will.

BLACKWELL: All right. You know, some people will ask about his predecessor, President Obama. I think we have those numbers to put up.

If we don't President Obama actually when he took office, there were two wars going on. He went to the Baghdad on day 77 of his presidency back in 2009. And then to Afghanistan on day 432.

So that when President Obama went to those two countries there. Let me move on to one another thing, NBC news is reporting the president has this now renew interest in potentially outsourcing the war in Afghanistan, to privatize the war, having this conversation with Erik Prince, head of Blackwater.

What's your take on that?

FRANCONA: Yes. I don't think that's a very good idea. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of privatizing a war.

You know, wars need to be fought by countries. You know, if we're going to -- if we're going to represent and defend the United States national interest and it should be the United States troops doing it. You can't outsource (INAUDIBLE). We've tried this before. It doesn't work. It also bring up a lot of questions, I don't know if it's even legal, but how do you -- how do you enforce any kind of accountability? What kind of standards are you going to adhere to? Who are they going to take orders from?

It's just -- it's just a bad idea from the start.

BLACKWELL: Quickly from you this response to the president's tweet in the last 30 minutes, he says, "Has anyone looked at the mistakes that John Brennan made while serving as CIA director? He will go down as easily the worst in history and since getting out, he has become nothing less than a loudmouth, partisan, political hack who cannot be trusted with the secrets to our country."

This is of course on the week where these revocations of security clearances as the big story.

FRANCONA: Yes, my take on the security clearance issue, if you are no longer working for the government and you're no longer consulting or contracting you don't really need a clearance and you shouldn't have one. It's -- it's -- there is no reason for these people to have clearances so I take the politics out of it. Need to know should be the criteria.

BLACKWELL: OK. For those who say that potentially these former leaders of the intelligence community may be called upon for decisions and advice in the future?

FRANCONA: I can guarantee you they're not calling on John Brennan.


BLACKWELL: Yes, probably -- probably not. Colonel Rick Francona, thanks so much.

PAUL: Well, there are new concerns inside the U.S. defense community regarding a Russian military satellite that they say has been acting -- they characterized it, very strangely. Experts worry that this odd behavior could mean the Russians are planning to use the satellite as a weapon.

CNN's Brian Todd talked with experts who have been tracking it.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Blasting off from a Russia cosmos drone a Soyuz rocket surges into space. Its pay load a military satellite shrouded in mystery. That was in June of last year.

Now space and military analysts are investigating whether that satellite is the same one which a top U.S. arms official said this week was exhibiting -- quote -- "abnormal behavior."

BOB HALL, SATELLITE EXPERT, ANALYTICAL GRAPHICS INCORPORATE: When you look at the entire Russian catalogue, this satellite and its children are the ones that jump out, the ones that are acting in an unusual way.

TODD: The satellite's children? Experts at the firm's Analytical Graphics, who have analyzed this satellite believe the larger Russian satellite -- quote -- "birthed" a smaller satellite a couple of months later, then a couple months after that the smaller Russian satellite birthed an even smaller satellite.

HALL (ph): Almost like a Russian nesting doll.

TODD: The Russian ministry of defense even announced the first birthing, saying the smaller one would -- quote -- "inspect the condition of the longer one," but experts are worried the Russians could be testing it out for military purposes.

HALL: The fact that it's the MOD announcing at the ministry of defense announcing that and it's a secret mission clearly it's -- even if it's a test satellite it has got some kind of military purpose in what it's testing.

TODD: What kind of military purpose? The Pentagon and U.S. Air Force Space Command won't say specifically what they believe the Russian satellites could do.


But now a U.S. military official tells CNN the Russians and other adversaries have turned the space into a -- quote -- "warfighting domain."

MICHAEL KOFMAN, EXPERT ON RUSSIAN MILITARY, CNA: You could see the evolution of that technology in that a single satellite could then sort of give birth to multiple smaller satellites (INAUDIBLE) be potentially kinetic weapons. Of course, we're thinking later on for the future.

TODD: This possible threat is one reason why the Trump administration has been pushing so hard for a so-called space force. U.S. military officials have told CNN, the Russians have already developed a satellite called Kosmos 2499. They've nicknamed it Kamikaze because they say it could at some point have the capability to on the attack and slam into American satellites.

Experts say the Russians could use satellites to jam American satellites, intercept or disrupt crucial communications.

KOFMAN: A lot of our image surveillance reconnaissance means are space based so it's really more United States' ability to see and support its forces that potentially (INAUDIBLE).

TODD: The Russians are flatly denying the U.S. assertion that they are trying to weaponize satellites.

ALEXANDER DEYNEKO, RUSSIAN DISARMAMENT OFFICIAL (through translator): The same unfounded slanderous accusations based on suspicions, on suppositions and so on and so forth. TODD (on camera): In denying that they have weaponized satellites,

the Russians are again pressuring the Americans to join a treaty that would ban weapons in space. The Americans are resisting joining that treaty saying, there's no way to verify that Russian and China are curtailing their weapons and they say the treaty has too many loopholes allowing those countries to actually build their weapons capability.

Brian Todd, CNN Washington.


PAUL: And thanks to Brian Todd there. So up next a man gets arrested for domestic violence. And hours later, flies a plane into his own home.



BLACKWELL: Two days and counting now, the Paul Manafort jury will return on Monday after -- entered the second day of deliberations without a verdict. The verdict will be the first big courtroom test for special counsel Robert Mueller and President Trump, where he did not hesitate to weigh in. The former Trump campaign chairman is charged with tax evasion, bank fraud, and hiding foreign bank accounts.

CNN's Kara Scannell has more for us now.


KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The jury in the Paul Manafort trial deliberated for 15 hours over two days. But most of the activity was outside of the courtroom Friday when the President Donald Trump was asked if he would pardon Paul Manafort. He offered words of support for his former campaign chairman.

TRUMP: I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad.

When you look at what's going on there, I think it's a very sad day for our country. He worked for me for a very short period of time.

But you know what? He happens to be a very good person. And I think it's very sad what they have done to Paul Manafort.

SCANNELL: Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing spoke to reporters after the court ended for the day thanking the president for his support.

KEVIN DOWNING, PAUL MANAFORT'S ATTORNEY: We're very happy to hear from the president and that he is supporting Mr. Manafort.

SCANNELL: Downing also said the length of the deliberations was in his favor. The jury reconvenes on Monday where they will deliberate for the third straight day deciding Manafort's fate in this high stakes case where if convicted Manafort faces at least a decade in prison.

Kara Scannell, CNN Alexandria, Virginia.


BLACKWELL: A pilot in Utah crashed a plane into his own home just hours after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife. The wife was inside the house at the time along with her son. They got out. Fortunately, they got out safely.

PAUL: That husband Duane Youd did not survive.

He was a professional pilot for a construction company. He had full access to the plane. Taking off from a small airport where apparently there are no air towers or traffic control monitoring who takes off or who lands. The NTSB is, of course, investigating.

BLACKWELL: So a lot of the people have been talking about Omarosa this week after she released secret audio recordings from the White House. But the White House press secretary refused to say the O word.

Jeanne Moos has that when we come back.



PAUL: Well, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, she says a lot of different names from the podium of the press room. But apparently she won't say the one name so many people are talking about.

Jeanne Moos explains.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Omarosa Manigault-Newman.

MOOS: Better known as --




MAGGIE HABERMAN, NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER: Do you feel betrayed by Omarosa, sir?

MOOS: But you know who won't betray the president by even speaking Omarosa's name?

SANDERS: It wasn't until this individual started to negatively attack -- MOOS: Omarosa was on practically every reporter's lips in the White

House briefing room --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make Omarosa feel better --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We (ph) would you like the president to stop tweeting about Omarosa?

MOOS: Even the president uses her name. "Wacky Omarosa," "wacky and deranged Omarosa." But when Sarah Sanders was asked about --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His attacks on Omarosa --

MOOS: She did everything to avoid saying her name.

SANDERS: The individual with the fact that this person, like the author of this book.

MOOS: Her favorite formulation for evading the O-word --

SANDERS: This individual. The lack of integrity that this individual has shown.

MOOS: But I guess this individual beats being called --

TRUMP: Lowlife. She's a lowlife.

MOOS: Sarah Sanders finally broke down and said it, one time.

SANDERS: Respect to Omarosa.

MOOS: This individual reminds us of that woman.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

MOOS: Mrs. Manigault-Newman's famous first name may have been plastered on the screen, but it was screened out by the press secretary.

SANDERS: This individual.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

CLINTON: That woman --

SANDERS: This person --

MOOS: -- New York.


PAUL: Only Jeanne Moos. Only Jeanne Moos.

BLACKWELL: How did Bill Clinton get into that?


PAUL: (INAUDIBLE) but it was good.


BLACKWELL: All right. Lots more to tell you about.

PAUL: Yes. The next hour of NEWSROOM starts now.