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Passport Policy Changes Denied; Larson Family Remembers McCain; Kaepernick Case Heading to Trail; Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 31, 2018 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] DAVID DRUCKER, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, Washington EXAMINER: Finding out what happens once you become president of the United States, which is that if you have skeletons in your closet and the closet is too full of them, they just start to spill out because there is just simply too much scrutiny and too much attention and too many people digging into what you did. And especially because the president -- this president in particular -- doesn't have the type of message discipline that probably would help him at times. He ends up casting attention on these subjects, such that more people like us tend to ask him questions about this, more information comes out, more people feel pressured to talk. You wrap that all into a special counsel investigation that is looking into things and I think that there is just so much more information that we are going to see about this. And that's why you see a nervousness from the president about it.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Carrie, David, Margaret, thank you very much.


CAMEROTA: All right, an increasing number of U.S. citizens are having their citizenship questioned. They are being denied passports. Why is this happening? What are lawmakers doing after this stunning report has come to light? That's next.


[06:35:21] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, now to a story that you must hear.

The State Department is fighting back against a "Washington Post" report that claims a growing number of Hispanic Americans are having their citizenship questioned and passports requests denied.

CNN's Nick Valencia is live with the very latest.

Tell us about this story. It's alarming on many levels, Nick.


This is a stunning report, but it's something that's not so new to south Texas residents. Admittedly it's happened under President Bush, as well as President Obama. But what "The Washington Post" reports is that it's now happening more frequently under President Trump affecting hundreds, if not thousands of Americans, most of them whom are Latino. It's an assertion that the State Department pushed back against heavily overnight here as part of their statement saying, quote, this is an irresponsible attempt to create division and stoke fear among American citizens while attempting to inflame tensions over immigration. Under the Trump administration, they say, domestic passport denials for so called midwife cases are at a six year low. The reporting is a political cheap shot.

But that's not what we're learning from immigration attorneys there in south Texas. We spoke to several of them yesterday who do indicate that there is a surge. In fact, o\One attorney we spoke to says he has 30 such cases in court right now.

And what the government is alleging that between 1950 and 1990s there were individuals delivered by midwives who were provided fraudulent documents, they say or babies that were actually born in Mexico but given false U.S. birth certificates. In fact, I spoke to one of those individuals. He didn't want to give his name for fear of retribution by immigration officials, but he did tell me that he has had his passport denied twice, once under President Obama, again under President Trump. He said this time around he was asking -- asked a lot more specific questions and felt that the process was a lot more strict.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Nick Valencia, thanks so much for that. We're going to have much more on that a little bit later.

As family members prepare to lay Senator John McCain to rest, we are hearing from the family of the man he will be buried next to in Annapolis. What they're thinking as they head into this somber weekend.


[06:41:25] BERMAN: In his final book, Senator John McCain discussed his last days and wrote about his final moments on earth saying, he will, quote, take my leave, bound for a place near my old friend Chuck Larson in the cemetery on the sever (ph) back where it began.

This weekend, Senator McCain is bound for Annapolis, where he will be laid to rest beside Admiral Chuck Larson, his one-time friend at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Joining me now is the family of the late Admiral Chuck Larson, his wife Sarah Larson and his daughters Kristen Larson-Datko and Erica Larson.

Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

I know this is an emotional and difficult weekend for you all in many ways.

Sarah, tell me about your husband and tell us about the remarkable long friendship he had with John McCain.

SARAH LARSON, WIFE OF ADMIRAL CHARLES "CHUCK" LARSON: Oh my goodness, it just goes back so far with so many memories. I knew John before I actually married my husband in 1961. And we've kind of followed each other through the years, John and Chuck. And even though their paths kind of changed, where Chuck went to submarines a John went aviation, they always stayed in touch. Always stayed in touch. They were very, very dear friends. And we certainly miss them.

BERMAN: You know, it strikes me, yes, they were both in the Navy for so long and lived that life for so long, yet they had so many differences. John McCain was, what, fifth from bottom of the class and Admiral Larson, I think, was the president of the class. There's a big gap of like several hundred Naval Academy students between the two.

Yet, Erica, I think it's so fascinating. Senator McCain reveres your father. One of the things he says, he said, I can think of no finer example of honorable service to our nation than the service Chuck Larson has provided so faithfully and so well for so many years. It has been a privilege and an honor, as a young man and an old one, to serve in Chuck's shadow. That's from Senator McCain.

ERICA LARSON, DAUGHTER OF ADMIRAL CHARLES "CHUCK" LARSON: Well, that is lovely. But I have to tell you, my dad felt the exact same way about him. And even though they were completely on opposite ends in the class, they had a lot of similarities. They really were thoughtful, principled leaders. And, at the same time, they -- they also both knew how to have a lot of fun and had a great sense of humor. So it's no surprise to me that they would end up best friends.

BERMAN: Kristen, talk to me about those qualities your sister was just mentioning they both had together. What would they be?

KRISTEN LARSON-DATKO, DAUGHTER OF ADMIRAL CHARLES "CHUCK" LARSON: Oh, integrity, dedication to service, loved their country, honor, every good quality you could think of. I mean stand up individuals.

BERMAN: And, Sarah --

LARSON-DATKO: You don't find that any more.

BERMAN: You know, John McCain was a U.S. senator. His father, his grandfather are buried at Arlington. So it was an interesting choice to go back to Annapolis. And I know Annapolis is a place that was so important to your husband, twice the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. What do you think the draw was to both of them?

S. LARSON: I think it's back to the beginning.


S. LARSON: That's where it all began.


S. LARSON: And their love of service and their love of country and it, I think, really instilled in them, you know, the -- America's promise and what it can be in the world as a guiding light.

[06:45:02] BERMAN: And, Sarah, your husband died, it was five -- four years ago, 2014.

S. LARSON: Four years ago.

BERMAN: Four years ago. So I know in a lot of ways this has got to be a tough weekend for you. Yes, you've lost a friend in John McCain that you've known for a long time as well, but it must be a moment where you go back and think again about your husband.

S. LARSON: Yes, that is so true. It's brought it all back. It's brought it all back. But wonderful, wonderful memories. And --

BERMAN: Talk to me more about Chuck Larson because I covered him some when he was superintendent at the Naval Academy. That was a tough time. He was, what, the second youngest four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy at the time. He went from being a pilot to a sub commander. I haven't heard of anyone who's done something like that. What a career.

S. LARSON: Yes, he had a fantastic career. Slightly different. I come from a Navy family, and my -- my side of the Navy family, they were all aviators. And Chuck was an aviator when I married him. And then he comes home one day and says, guess what, I'm going to submarines. And, wow, OK. And so we just had this incredibly wonderful adventure together for 53 years. And it was -- it was an adventure and a wonderful one.

BERMAN: I have two questions. Number one, when you learned that Senator McCain chose to be laid to rest next to your husband, I mean, first of all, how did you learn that and what was your reaction?

S. LARSON: Actually, Chuck came home one day and he said, I picked a -- my grave. And I went, oh, OK. And, you know, when you -- when you do that kind of thing 20 some years ago, you don't think that's ever going to happen. So I kind of nonchalantly said, oh, that's fine, good. And he says, and, by the way, John picked -- John's going to be next to me. And I went, oh, OK, you know. But, you know, you think that's 20 -- you know, that was 20 some years ago. So -- and then all of a sudden it hit that, oh my goodness, we are next -- they will be next to each other. And it's kind of cute. as somebody said, Chuck has his wingman back now.


BERMAN: Wingman, 20 years in the planning.

And you said you knew John McCain before you even met your husband.

S. LARSON: Correct.

BERMAN: What was that John McCain like way back then? You have the dirt.


S. LARSON: Oh -- oh, my goodness.

K. LARSON-DATKO: A lot of fun.

S. LARSON: A lot of -- a lot of fun. In fact, I guess, and I'm not quite sure how that worked, I was at the College of William and Mary and John would come up and pick me up. And I would go down to Norfolk to his party house and I found out later that John was sort of checking me out for Chuck --

E. LARSON: Screening you.

S. LARSON: Really.


S. LARSON: At the time. But they were such good friends, I guess, they were checking each other's girlfriends out.

E. LARSON: Well, and you obviously passed.

K. LARSON-DATKO: Yes, you --

BERMAN: My goodness. Well, clearly, both John McCain and Admiral Larson has terrific tastes. So we are lucky for that and I'm sure you're most grateful, grateful for that.

E. LARSON: Oh, I agree. Yes.

BERMAN: Sarah Larson, Erica Larson and Kristen Larson-Datko, thanks so much for being with us. It's been a really nice discussion sharing these memories.

E. LARSON: Thank you for having us.

KRISTEN LARSON-DATKO: Thank you for having us.

BERMAN: Thank you.

S. LARSON: Thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: She said Chuck has his wingman back.


CAMEROTA: That is so profound to me.

BERMAN: I had no idea this was 20 years -- this was 20 years in the making that these two great Navy men decided 20 years ago they wanted to be side by side.

CAMEROTA: That's really beautiful.

All right, other news to get to.

Colin Kaepernick getting a big win in his legal battle against the NFL. So we'll tell you the next step in this case. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:53:01] CAMEROTA: OK, a win for Colin Kaepernick. An arbitrator ruling that Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL will go to trial.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

What's the latest, Andy.


Yes, the arbitrator hearing Kaepernick's case basically said, there's enough smoke here that there may be a fire. So he decided to throw out the NFL's request to dismiss the case.

Now, Kaepernick claim that owners conspired against him to keep him out of the league because of his protest of social injustice. He has not played in the NFL since 2016.

Now with the case going to trial, that means owners, coaches, even Roger Goodell could be called to testify during the season. Definitely a situation the league hoped to avoid. The NFL declined to comment when asked about the arbitrator's ruling.

All right, the pre-season, meanwhile, wrapped up last night. The Eagles and Falcons will kick off the NFL season on Thursday. College football, meanwhile, gets going in a big way. Tomorrow, number six Washington taking on number nine Auburn in Atlanta for the big game of the day.

All right, finally, Phil Michelson wants everyone to know that his dance moves are real. So this was his Mizzen and Main commercial that came out earlier this summer. Some thought Phil had a dance double and really couldn't pull these moves off. Well, Phil, taking to Twitter to show that that leg kick he did in that commercial, oh, it is real. Look at him do it again. Look at the height on that thing.

John, I tried that earlier this morning and, you know, I do Cross Fit, but I couldn't come near to getting my leg as high as Phil did right there. He's 48 years old.

CAMEROTA: That is -- that's better than a prima ballerina what he just did there.

SCHOLES: Incredible.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, I understand like this move or whatever he was doing is not that hard.

BERMAN: Do that again?

CAMEROTA: Oh, I have a lot of Phil -- Phil, he -- he was also -- he was also doing this at one point, which is not that hard.

BERMAN: Do that one again. CAMEROTA: I'm talking about the leg lift.

BERMAN: I'm sorry, sorry, I got to (INAUDIBLE). I will tell you that I pulled my groin watching Phil Michelson do that leg lift, right? That was how dramatic and impressive it was.

SCHOLES: It's dangerous.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for that color.

SCHOLES: All right, (INAUDIBLE), guys.

[06:55:00] CAMEROTA: Thanks so much, Andy.

All right, moving on.

BERMAN: President Trump' revealing in interview, not as revealing as the dance moves we just saw here on live television. How long will Jeff Sessions remain as his attorney general? We now have a timeline, when we come back.



MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: It's not an illegal probe. This is a make believe universe that the president likes to craft.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What's happening is a disgrace. And at some point I will get involved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This president understands the severity of this. He's trying to create the conspiracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing Donald Trump doesn't like about Jeff Sessions is that he is protecting the Mueller probe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There could be a Wednesday morning massacre after the midterms.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I like Jeff Sessions. How smart do you have to be to understand this -- this is not working.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What made Senator McCain so special was that he cared about the substance of my heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't debate his character or how much he gave to our nation.

[07:00:06] JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: John's going to take his rightful place in a long line of extraordinary leaders. We shall not see his like again.