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CNN NEWSROOM

East Coast Braces for Wrath of Major Hurricane; CBS' Les Moonves Stepping Down Amid Sex Harassment Allegations; Serena Williams Fined $17,000 for Violations at U.S. Open; Vice President Mike Pence Says He's Willing to Take Lie Detector Test. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired September 9, 2018 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[16:00:00] KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: I don't know that. And I don't think you know that. In other words --

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: What would the criminal activity be?

CONWAY: It really depends on what else has been divulged by an individual.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll find out if there was criminal activity involved.

(CROSSTALK)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: But what criminal activity would there be? There was no classified information.

PENCE: Well, we'll see.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. Hello, again, everyone. Thanks so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right. The eastern United States right now in the path of Hurricane Florence. The storm is the first major hurricane expected to make a direct hit on the U.S. this season. Florence is currently churning in the Atlantic as a category 1 storm. And it's likely to grow to at least a category 3 hurricane before making landfall.

The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina all declaring states of emergency. Sandbagging has begun and officials are telling residents to pay attention to evacuation orders should they come.

Grocery shelves are emptying very quickly as residents flock to stock up on water and food. And there are also reports of price gouging on essential goods.

We are covering this storm from all angles. Meteorologist Tom Sater is tracking the latest storm developments in the CNN Weather Center and Kaylee Hartung is in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

So, Tom, let's go to you first and what you're noticing about the storm.

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, the visual satellite image, Fredricka, is not showing us an eye just yet. Our visual satellite means once the sun sets we'll star to lose this, but overnight tonight, by tomorrow, expect tonight, that means rapid development from a category 1, maybe it's a hurricane or major hurricane status. That's a category 3. Could it make it to 4 or 5? It's possible.

Now we are several days out. So to pinpoint a landfall right now, I mean, we can show you the models and talk about it, but there's going to be tweaking to this each and every day. Thursday night into Friday morning, entire East Coast is going to feel the rip currents, the large swells, the strong winds. And as the system gets closer and intensifies, then we'll be able to talk more about a landfall.

But anywhere on the North and South Carolina coastline it's possible. But again, each day when we get new information from the hurricane hunters and the computer models, they're going to be able to give us a little bit more detail. Well, this is very possibly going to be a category 4, maybe close to a category 5. It is possible, too, it could come close to the outer banks and then pull away. It's also possible some models want it just spinning around on the coast of the outer banks.

And if it does that for days, this could be a scenario like we had with Hurricane Harvey in Texas last year. You could outwalk Harvey and it dropped over 50 inches of rain. So that would be catastrophic. So again as we watch the next several days, and it's going to take several days, we're going to find out a little more about this each and every day. However, it's a great time now for families to get together to discuss, talk about evacuation procedures, what zone are you in? Do you have the information and the gear to stay at home?

But this red dot here, you see this, that's the U.S. model. The European is inland. But this wants to hang around for a while. But I want to share this with you. This is not the only storm. The peak in the hurricane season is tomorrow for the Atlantic. Lining up now off the coast of Africa, you've got Helene, not worried about it, it's going to become a hurricane later tonight, and head north in the Atlantic.

Isaac is moving toward the Lesser Antilles. That will become a hurricane and maybe heavy amounts of rain toward Puerto Rico on Friday. Out in the Eastern Pacific, we still have Olivia, which is a hurricane losing strength to tropical storm status, but Fredricka, that's going to move and most likely make landfall in the Hawaiian Islands in about a day and a half. So a lot going on but the big story is Florence only because of explosive development in the next couple of days.

WHITFIELD: All right, Tom Sater, keep us posted. Thank you so much.

Let's go to Kaylee Hartung who is on the coast of North Carolina, Carolina Beach. What are people doing there to brace?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, I don't want the images of casual beach goers behind me to fool anyone. People here are taking the threat of Hurricane Florence very seriously, if anything, today they are just trying to soak up those last rays of sun before hunkering down for what is ahead. As one long-time resident of this area told me, he wakes up every day prepared for a storm. He said that's the risk of living on the coast.

So the first visible elements we're seeing of people preparing, you said it, in the supermarkets, the shelves for water, bread and milk. Even batteries and flashlights. Those shelves are emptying. People also thinking to pick up a board game or two. That's true for people along the Carolina coasts, even inland as far as Rock Hill, South Carolina. We're seeing those shelves empty.

The governor of South Carolina, I think he expressed a sentiment that many people had, and that's hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. To that in Charleston, South Carolina, that county aware of what the worst could be and they are saying, in the case that that area is evacuated, they will not be offering shelter within Charleston County because those shelters cannot withstand a category 3 hurricane.

[16:05:13] If that area is evacuated, they are already cautioning people, you will have to move farther inland. But in the meantime, Fred, before any talks of evacuations begin here, like I said, folks here soaking up the sun while they still got it.

WHITFIELD: All right, Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much.

Les Moonves stepping down as the head of CBS. His departure in the coming hours is part of a corporate settlement fight for control of the network. And also follows a series of accusations by women of sexual harassment and assault going as far back as the 1980s including claims of physical violence and forced sex.

CNN's Brian Stelter explains why this case takes on so much stature.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Fred. Yes, extraordinary developments for the entertainment industry and the business world as Les Moonves prepares to step down from CBS.

You know, we've heard about a lot of Me Too cases in the past year, but this is the first case involving a Fortune 500 CEO. And Moonves has been a subject of a brand new story in "The New Yorker." As you just mentioned, they came six weeks after the original story by Ronan Farrow in "The New Yorker."

Step back a little further than that, though, to understand all that what's going on here. Moonves has been the subject of a battle, a corporate tug-of-war between Moonves and the controlling shareholder of CBS, Sherry Redstone, for more than six months now. Redstone and Moonves have been battling over who was really going to control CBS in the future and whether CBS was going to be sold to a bigger company. This has been a battle that's been working its way through the courts. But with that as the backdrop, Farrow's story came out in the end of

July, his initial story came out at the end of July and created a lot of uncertainty about what was going to happen with Moonves. The CBS Board of Directors which skews older, skews male, it decided not to suspend Moonves right away or make him step down. Instead, it brought in two law firms to investigate the allegations that were in the "New Yorker" story.

Now that did not sit well with some other women who read the original story and said, this happened to me, too. They called Farrow, they spoke with Farrow. And the result was this second story that came out earlier today with even more disturbing allegations against Moonves.

Now some of the allegations date back several decades. Moonves has denied what he says the appalling claims in the story. He says he never forced himself upon anyone. But the allegations are quite detailed, quite explicit on the "New Yorker" Web site. And now within hours of that news story, we are told Moonves will be stepping down, that they've reached a resolution of this entire case. It could be announced as soon as Sunday evening.

So the debate now in media circles is about what really led to this extraordinary confluence of events. Why is it that Moonves is stepping aside now? Is it because of this corporate tug-of-war or does it have more to do with the allegations that Farrow has described in his story?

I think the answer is a mixture of both. It became untenable for Moonves to remain the CEO of CBS. As a result, he'll be stepping aside and that announcement could come Sunday evening or certainly by Monday morning before the market opens here in New York.

It's an end of an era for CBS. Of course, an acclaimed broadcast. Everybody knows the CBS brand. And for decades, Moonves has been the leader of that brand, the leader of that broadcast company. It's unclear what, if anything, he will do next. But he does stand to make a whole lot of money on the way out the door. More than $100 million in compensation.

Now whether the CBS Board tries to claw that back based on the results of the investigations into him is something that remains to be seen, but is certainly something that will closely watched.

Fred, back to you.

WHITFIELD: Brian Stelter, thank you so much.

And a stunning upset at the U.S. Open shrouded in controversy after tennis superstar Serena Williams looses to a 20-year-old player. Why some are now claiming sexism is at play for alleged court violations.

Plus it wasn't me. The vice president says he's willing to take a lie detector test to prove he didn't write that anonymous "New York Times" op-ed. This as the White House floats the prospect of criminal charges against the author.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:13:40] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Tennis fans are reacting to $17,000 in fines against Serena Williams for court violations just before her stunning upset at the U.S. Open. The historic victory by 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, who became Japan's first person to win a grand slam title, overshadowed by the controversy.

Serena Williams went back and forth with the umpire over violations including what the umpire thought were hand signals by Williams' coach and a point penalty for smashing her racket right there. Well, that's what prompted Williams to call the umpire a thief. And that call cost her a game.

Fans and other players were quick to respond. Even tennis legend Billy Jean King tweeted, "Thank you for calling out this double standard." Meanwhile, Serena Williams is accusing the umpire of sexism and earlier today I asked Wimbledon champion Pat Cash whether he has thoughts about this and whether it is sexism.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Well, the stakes are high, you know, players, I mean, you can speak to this as a player. You know, there's a lot of passion, being upset, whatever you want to call it, but you see it on so many different levels for so many players. And even recently, you know, Roger Federer challenged an umpire in Cincinnati and then he actually got an apology out of the umpire.

[16:15:03] If you go back a few years, there's Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, there were certainly name-calling there as well.

So to Serena's point, is there a double standard? She actually saw a penalty, a hefty one, in points, in game, in financial fine.

PAT CASH, WIMBLEDON CHAMPION, FIVE-TIME GRAND SLAM FINALIST: Well, I don't think so. She may have felt that at the time. Certainly I'm a coach of Coco Vandeweghe who is one of the top American girls, and Coco has been fined and more, have lost points in grand slams before. So, you know, it's not something to do about girls or men. I think it was just by the rules, the umpire thing is very, very harsh, as I said. Very abide strictly by the rules, I suppose. Usually within his right to do that. And I suppose, you know, Serena felt that that was unfair and --

WHITFIELD: She's called it sexist.

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: You know, she calls it sexist. And here I'm talking to a man and asking you about your, you know, definition of what is sexism and did it play out, but you did go as far as, you know, telling BBC Radio, that -- and I'm quoting now, this was the most bizarre match and presentation I have ever seen.

What do you mean by that? And do you think, you know, sexism does play a role here? CASH: I don't think sexism has anything to do with the presentation.

The fact that the crowd were booing completely during the presentation. But this is taking the shine off a girl who -- a young girl, a 20-year-old, who is an absolute superstar. She's potentially the world number one. She was convincingly beating Serena at the time. Serena, you know, got -- started getting back in the match when the incident happened, but she was still pretty much in control.

And it sort of taking the shine off of it, and here was a little girl crying on the presentation stage. Serena is telling the crowd, please, no more booing. We've had enough of this as they're booing along. It was just absolutely bizarre. It was just very unusual. It was quite emotional for us watching it, too, to see this little girl sort of crying and saying, I'm sorry this happened this way. And take the shine off of her win, her performance. But, you know, this court --

WHITFIELD: Well, this --

CASH: It's emotional, it's passionate, and that's the way it goes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And that was a tough moment for that young woman, Naomi Osaka. Meantime, Serena has vowed to continue to fight for equality for women in the sport.

All right. Still to come, as the White House hunts for the anonymous administration official behind that scathing op-ed, Vice President Pence says he's willing to take a lie detector test. And he's not ruling out -- excuse me -- other administration officials doing the same thing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:22:05] WHITFIELD: The White House is still scrambling to uncover the mystery op-ed writer claiming to be the resistance inside the Trump administration. The parade of denials and rebukes still in full swing reaching the highest levels of the White House. Vice President Mike Pence and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway fiercely defending themselves and the president, while even floating the possibility that criminal activity could be involved. They are also showing the great length they would go to prove they are not the mystery writer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Should all top officials take a lie detector test? And would you agree to take one?

PENCE: I would agree to take it in a heartbeat and would submit to any review of the administration.

WALLACE: You think the administration should do that?

PENCE: Look, that would be a decision for the president. But look, I think the honorable thing to do here is for this individual to recognize that they are -- they're literally violating an oath. If they are that senior administration official, that they're violating an oath, not to the president, but to the Constitution.

WALLACE: Treason?

PENCE: Look, it's -- it's un-American. And I think that's why you've seen Republicans and Democrats condemn this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: CNN's Ryan Nobles is live for us at the White House. So Kellyanne Conway told CNN the goal of the author was to create chaos, there's certainly a lot of chaos, but whose fault was that?

(LAUGHTER)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, chaos might be a good word, Fred. I mean, it's probably never a good position for an administration when the vice president has to say that he'd be willing to take a lie detector test to avoid any suspicion regarding a controversy surrounding what's happening in this White House. And it's been four days since this op-ed was initially dropped by "The New York Times." It's one of their most viewed articles of 2018.

And the White House is still forcing -- is being forced to answer questions about it. And what you do see here, though, is the part of the textbook playbook from this White House when it comes to a controversy. They're trying to distract and in many ways, trying to destroy the credibility of both the messenger and the person behind the op-ed.

This was Kellyanne Conway this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER" suggesting that perhaps the media is partially to blame for all this. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONWAY: What does concern me, though, Jake, apart from everything the president and others have said, is that for a media that is constantly talking about facts, accuracy, transparency, authority, the authoritativeness to this anonymous writer was imbued automatically because of the content. As long as the message is anti-Trump, it seems the messenger has credibility. That should concern everyone.

I'm with the vice president on this. He has said that the person should resign if the person truly is an appointee who has taken an oath to the Constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: So Kellyanne Conway there making a pretty dramatic conclusion about the process that went under by "The New York Times" to allow this person to write this op-ed and give them that space when she has no idea who this person is. [16:25:07] So it just shows you how the White House is attempting to

try and muddy up the waters as it relates to this problem, but it's a problem that still exists. It's forced 25 senior administration officials to come forward and deny that they've had any involvement with the writing of this op-ed. And it's also forced the president to suggest that perhaps the Department of Justice could get involved. That would mean a criminal act would have had to take place. And that was something that the vice president suggested this morning in that interview, Fred.

This continues to be something that's dogging this administration. The president said to be obsessed with finding out who the author of this op-ed is. At this point, they don't seem to have any idea who this person is -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. We're going to talk more about all of this. Thank you so much, Ryan Nobles.

So there has been a lot of speculation about who this mystery writer is. Listen to what former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo told me last hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Let me tell you, Fredricka, I'm fairly certain I know who it is. I've been, you know, going through this parlor game just like everybody else has. And I'm also completely 100 percent certain that the person who wrote this is on the list of people who said they didn't write it.

WHITFIELD: All right, so who do you think it is?

CAPUTO: I'm not going to go into that. My attorney tells me it's a bad idea, but I can tell you this, I believe, first of all, that this person --

WHITFIELD: So you've talked to your attorney. You've consulted your attorney, you've said, I think I know who this is based on certain language that was used? And you've consulted your attorney --

CAPUTO: Based on language --

WHITFIELD: -- and your attorney says don't reveal it?

CAPUTO: Right, I mean, based on language, based on the fact that I believe that the -- these kinds of people leave a trail of crumbs when they're trying to deceive people around them. That's the way it always is. I believe the White House is getting closer to it. I love the fact that --

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: Well, how come you know and they don't?

CAPUTO: Well, I believe they're getting there. I have my opinions. You know, I started with this. Who was the person who I believe hates the president the most? Who was the person in the administration who has screamed about him in their own private office and gone forward and purged their entire office of Trump people? That's where I'm looking at.

The language of the op-ed I think is useless to look at because it's a ghost writer. If we did like we did -- remember when "Primary Colors" came out and they actually compared the writing through a software program and discovered that it was Klein that wrote that book. I believe that would be useless in this regard because ghost writers write for dozens and dozens of people. It's not going to get us any closer. We'll be able to identify the ghost writer, but then we'd have to get the ghost writer tell us who this person is.

WHITFIELD: All right. Are you thinking it's a matter of days, weeks or months when the public knows?

CAPUTO: I'll tell you this. I think that -- first of all, this person will never admit it because in my mind, the author of this op- ed believes that she is a hero to the American people. That she in fact should be president instead of --

WHITFIELD: She?

CAPUTO: Instead of Donald Trump. And in my mind I believe that the president should move forward with a team of people --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: OK. So Michael Caputo says he knows and that it's a she.

Political director for NowThis News, Nico Pitney, joining us, and Norm Eisen, former special assistant on ethics under President Obama and author of a new book, congratulations, "The Last Palace."

All right, good to see you both. So, Nico, you first, your thoughts on what we heard from Michael Caputo.

NICO PITNEY, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, NOWTHIS NEWS: Yes, I mean, in a way, I think it's astonishing that there is so much of a focus on who this is. Because this individual says they largely agree with the Trump administration. They find the president unstable and morally unhinged. Well, we know a lot of people who feel that way. They are leaders in Congress, GOP leaders in Congress and we know their names. And they are not only not using their constitutionally approved responsibility to check what he's doing, but they are about to, for instance, you know, help him install someone on the Supreme Court who will have a major impact on this country for decades. And that's where I think, you know, we really ought to be focusing.

WHITFIELD: So Trump has, you know, also called on the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to get involved, to investigate, to find out who is at the bottom of this. And then listen to what the vice president, Mike Pence, had to say about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PENCE: Well, we'll find out. If there was criminal activity involved. I think the president's concern is that this individual may have responsibilities in the area of national security. And if they now published an anonymous editorial that says that they are misrepresenting themselves, that they are essentially living a lie within this administration and trying to frustrate and subvert the agenda the president was elected to advance, that's -- well, that's an important issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So we also heard a similar message coming from Kellyanne Conway. So, Norm, is this, you know, an appropriate form in which to use the Department of Justice, the attorney general, or are they just really grasping at straws?

Fred, thanks for having me back. They are. There's no crime described in the anonymous op-ed. And the wild flailing that this is treason, it doesn't fit the legal elements of treason. It's outrageous that they want to use the Department of Justice as a political tool, squandering the taxpayers' time and money when there are far more important things to be done.

And when you have a President himself who, I believe, is implicating the statutes, laws, regulations, and the constitution itself on a daily basis, it's another abuse. And if the President instead of lashing out aught to say, why is it that people in my own administration object so strongly? So I totally disagree with what Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway said.

WHITFIELD: So Nico, we have seen a lot of, you know, denials, you know, threats of possible legal action and maybe even, you know, inviting themselves to take lie detector tests. But what you're not seeing from the White House is any way in which to dismiss all the language that was used, whether it be in the op-eds or, you know, that the commonalities and all the books that have been written. Instead, it's going after who authored it.

NICO PITNEY, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, NOWTHISNEWS: Yeah. I mean I think that President Trump's response has been to prove what exactly what the op-ed said. It's been erratic, anti-democratic. Obviously, there's no crime committed here. And -- but because President Trump is voicing those concerns. Other administration officials like Pence and Kellyanne Conway have to basically echo them or at least hint that there may be something there.

You know it's a circle, a never-ending circle. So yeah, it's amazing that Trump is able to continue with that. The other thing is that the President is -- sorry.

WHITFIELD: Are you getting some feedback there?

PITNEY: Yeah, I am sorry.

WHITFIELD: OK. Well, all right, well, let's try to work that out. So I wonder, Norm, you know, you know, Kellyanne Conway said, you know, the goal of this op-ed writer is to create chaos. But when you read the op-ed, it is describing that there is chaos in the White House. So how does the White House go about kind of riding the ship, because they are looking very distracted, you know, chasing their tail by publicly saying, you know, we're going after the person who wrote it and there are consequences?

EISEN: Well, Fredericka, they don't have the capacity, I believe, to ride the ship at this point.

PITNEY: Yeah, yeah.

EISEN: I explained on CNN, a CNN opinion piece, that anonymous is a hero, because they are attempting to keep the ship of state afloat. You know I have just written a book about 100 years of these moments of democratic crisis. And it's the people exactly like anonymous who have saved democracy again and again from inside the government, including by descent. So I view it as an act of civil disobedience.

And Trump, Conway, the Vice President are the ones who are causing this ship to spin in circles without a rudder.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it there for now. Ambassador Norm Eisen, Nico Pitney, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.

PITNEY: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, we now know the identity of the Dallas police officer who allegedly shot and killed a man in his own apartment. So why hasn't the officer been arrested and charged?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:35:00] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Dallas police have now identified an officer who allegedly entered the wrong apartment, thinking it was her own, and fatally shot the man who lived there. Amber Geiger, a four year veteran of the department was off-duty at the time. According to police, she shot 26-year-old Botham Jean. At a vigil last night, the Dallas community honored Jean who has been described as a perfect citizen. Jean's mother also paid tribute to her son.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As you all know, there are times when you feel like giving up. I could not give up because of Botham. Right now in his death, I can never give up, because I know that Botham is singing with the angels, and I want to join that choir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Joining me right now is S. Lee Merritt, the attorney for Botham Jean's family. Mr. Merritt, good to see you. So I mean just hearing from Ms. Jean there, I mean she is a pillar of strength, but how is the family doing given all this?

S. LEE MERRITT, ATTORNEY FOR THE FAMILY OF BOTHAM JEAN: They love Botham Jean dearly. And so he -- this is a great shock to them and they're still coming to grips. His father is on his way from St. (Inaudible). He will get in later tomorrow, cousins, aunties, uncles, they are all flying in. So they're holding together, but they are really looking for answers about how this happened.

[16:39:52] WHITFIELD: Yeah. And so what is your understanding? I mean this is an apartment complex. And the officer Geiger lives in the complex according to authorities, as does Mr. Jean. But that she accidentally went to the wrong apartment. Do you know anything about whether these two have ever interacted before? If there was familiarity with each other, given they lived in the same apartment complex?

MERRITT: Well, as you stated, the prevailing narrative is that she actually drove up to the fourth floor. She lives on the third floor. Botham lived on the fourth floor. She actually lived in the apartment directly below his. We don't have any information that said they knew each other that they interacted with each other. The only one thing that we're looking into now is that there may have been some noise complaints from her apartment about his apartment.

And so because she would be the person directly below him and things like that, but right now that's just speculation.

WHITFIELD: So authorities say they are still looking for information. Yesterday was a pursuit of manslaughter charges. Now, Texas rangers are involved. Today, it is unclear what kind of charges, you know, the officer might expect or what is being pursued. This is incredibly confusing and perplexing. What is your gut telling you about this investigation? Or what do the facts that you know thus far tell you about this investigation?

MERRITT: I feel like the investigation is clearly biased. My gut tells me, my training, and my -- and the history tells me that if a regular citizen walked into someone else's apartment and shot them to death, that they would at the very least be going home in handcuffs. The Dallas Police Chief, Renee Hall, looked at these specs and immediately said there was enough here for at least manslaughter.

And she began preparing a manslaughter warrant when the rangers came in and took over the case and withdrew those preparations, and decided that they should send the officer home instead. I don't think that any other regular citizen gets that kind of differential treatment.

WHITFIELD: So Mr. Merritt, I spoke with the Mayor of Dallas last night who also attended the vigil last night for Mr. Jean. And this is what he said to me about his request to the community for patience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In moments of tragedy, we all want to know exactly what happened real-time, OK. I think a good investigation takes a little bit of time and I want to get to the bottom of it. And I want everybody to be very transparent so everybody knows how we get to the bottom of it. So I call for a little patience here, but making sure that we honor and stand up for the victim's rights here. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So what are your thoughts and what is your reaction to that?

MERRITT: Well, I understand that investigations take time. And we certainly don't want the rangers or the Dallas district attorney's office to rush their investigation. However, part of that is securing the suspect. And in most cases, when you have probable cause, which we all know that they have now, probable cause that a crime has been committed, they issue an arrest warrant.

You either put the person behind bars or you secure them with some sort of bail. You check to see if they have ties to the community sufficient to ensure that they are not a flight risk. And they are not doing any of that because this young woman is a law enforcement officer. And I think the police should be held to a higher standard, not a lower one.

WHITFIELD: S. Lee Merritt, thank you so much for your time. And our hearts are broken for the family and our prayers go out to them.

MERRITT: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: President Trump praised North Korea's Kim Jong-Un today, even saying the two like each other because of what Kim did not do. We will explain when we go live to North Korea, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:45:00] WHITFIELD: President Trump today praising North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un in a tweet, but it was for something Kim did not do. North Korea held its 70th anniversary parade this weekend but left out the usual display of intercontinental ballistic missiles. President Trump's tweet went on to say thank you to Chairman Kim. We will both prove everyone wrong.

There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other. CNN's Will Ripley is in Pyongyang.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILL RIPLEY, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The stands of Pyongyang's Mayday Stadium transformed. Tens of thousands of North Koreans like human pixels flipping colorful cards, revealing the new agenda of their supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un. This super-sized socialist propaganda blitz does more than dazzle. It reveals the new message North Korea wants to send to the world. The last time they did these five years ago, the focus was nuclear power.

Now, it's economic power and diplomacy with a history-making nod to South Korean President Moon Jae-In due to visit Pyongyang for a summit with Kim Jong-Un next week. They call these the (Inaudible) games. This is actually my first time seeing it in person, and I have never seen anything like it. It's mind blowing. Sort of like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. They even have a huge torch, but it is all about North Korean history and their economy.

[16:49:50] They say around 100,000 people are participating, mostly students. Earlier Sunday, a military parade through Pyongyang's Kim Il-sung Square. It featured thousands of goose-stepping soldiers. But unlike past parades, when the nuclear program was featured prominently, this time they didn't have a single intercontinental ballistic missile on display. Just because North Korea is not parading nuclear weapons, it doesn't mean it's getting rid of them.

Denuclearization talks with the U.S. have hit an impasse. The main sticking point, North Korea wants a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, a war featured prominently in this parade, celebrating North Korea's 70th founding anniversary. Do you think that North Korea should give up nuclear weapons?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never, ever. We built this powerful nation on the basis of our military strength. If we give up our nuclear weapons, we can't guarantee the existence of this nation.

RIPLEY: Pyongyang's display of military hardware comes just days after Kim reportedly sent a letter to Trump. Have your feelings about America and President Trump changed at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't worry much about President Trump or U.S. policy. We care about the policies of Marshal Kim Jong-Un with working to improve our economy.

RIPLEY: It shows that whether the focus is on the nuclear program or on the economy, there is still one thing that matters the most to the people in this country. And that is showing their admiration for their leader, Kim Jong-Un. This may be the new image of North Korea, but here some things never change. Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang.

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WHITFIELD: Still so much more ahead in the Newsroom. But first, meet this week's CNN Hero, a woman who is working to bring children to the U.S. for life-changing medical help.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're empowering them because we're giving them back what they lost, a chance to stand on their own and write and go to school and to contribute to society. They come from different corners of the Earth, and they all heal together, laugh together. They don't speak the same language, but love is universal. So often, people will say why can't you help your own? Aren't they our own? Don't we share this Earth?

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WHITFIELD: To see how Elissa is transforming the lives of these children, go to CNNheroes.com right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:55:00] WHITFIELD: All right. Tonight, we'll see a Miss America pageant that is trying to adapt to the modern era. That means no more swimsuit competition and no steering away from politics. Case and point, Miss West Virginia in the preliminary competition, when asked what the biggest issue was facing our country, she said Donald Trump.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unfortunately, he has caused a lot of divide in our country. And until we can trust in him and (Inaudible) the choices that he makes for our country, we cannot become united. Thank you.

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WHITFIELD: This will be the first Miss America pageant since former Miss America and TV host Gretchen Carlson became Chairwoman. Carlson says that she wants the pageant to represent a quote, a new generation of female leaders. All right, the first Sunday of the NFL season kicked off today. And the games also bring a return of the league's national anthem controversy.

So far, today's demonstrations have only involved fewer than a handful of players who took a knee or raised a fist during the national anthem. CNN's Lindsay Czarniak is in Miami for us, where some of those protests took place.

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LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Fredricka, this is the day football fans wait all year for, right. This is the first Sunday of the NFL season. And things got a little bit crazy here today because we're in Miami where the Dolphins are hosting the Titans. You can see how beautiful it looks here weather-wise, but there's lightning in the area, so this game was delayed.

And then during that delay, Colin Kaepernick tweeted his support of two Miami Dolphins players. Here's why. Because Dolphins' wide receiver Kenny Stills this afternoon became the first Dolphins player to score a touchdown this season. He also became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem this regular season. Stills wasn't alone. He was joined by his teammate Albert Wilson.

They both knelt down right in front of the Miami bench as that anthem was sung. And this is something that Stills has been doing since 2016. He did it that entire season. He says that he will continue it throughout this entire season. But here's what Kaepernick tweeted in support. He said, my brothers, Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson continue to share their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed.

They have not backed down even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward. Fredricka, we should also mention that the NFL today, as was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, says that it will not be releasing any sort of policy that seeks to discipline any players should they choose to kneel. That, they say, will not happen at all this season, Fredricka.

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WHITFIELD: All right. Lindsay Czarniak, thanks so much for that from Miami. All right, thanks again for joining me this Sunday. I am Fredricka Whitfield. The news continues right now with Erica Hill.

ERICA HILL, NEWSROOM HOST, CNN: You are in the CNN Newsroom. I am Erica Hill in today for Ana Cabrera in New York. Not one, but two hurricanes now barreling towards the east coast, Florence and now Helene, which has been upgraded to a category one storm. And here, let's take a look. You can see. There is a third major system also making its way west in the Atlantic. That is tropical storm Isaac.