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Billionaire Branson Reaches Space On Rocket-Powered Plane; Culture Wars, Big Lie Take Center Stage At CPAC; Trump Sues Facebook, Google And Twitter Over Bans; CNN Original Series Premieres "History Of Sitcom" Tonight. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 11, 2021 - 16:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

Today the new space race, the battle of the billionaires is no longer all talk. One side took action. Take a look at this moment just a few hours ago. Virgin Galactic's Unity" spacecraft detaching from its mothership, roaring to the edge of space. Some beautiful pictures here. On board was Richard Branson of course, making him the first billionaire to reach the cosmos on a spacecraft made by his own company. As they entered zero gravity, a smiling Branson sent this message back to earth.


RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER, VIRGIN GALACTIC: To all you kids down there, I was once a child with a dream looking up to the stars. Now I'm an adult in a spaceship with other wonderful adults looking down to our beautiful, beautiful earth. To the next generation of dreamers, if we can do this, just imagine what you can do.


ACOSTA: Very cool stuff. An hour after liftoff, Unity re-entered the atmosphere and landed safely. The quick roundtrip nearly two decades in the making. And after hugging his family on the tarmac, Branson said he hopes the impact of that 60-minute flight is felt for years.


BRANSON: We're here to make space more accessible to all and we want to turn the next generation of dreamers into the astronauts of today and tomorrow. We've all asked on this stage have just had the most extraordinary experience. And we'd love it if a number of you can have it, too.


ACOSTA: And CNN's Rachel Crane was at the launch and she spoke to Branson after his historic journey.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Richard, you just fulfilled a life-long dream. And I know you said earlier that you couldn't find the words to describe it but you've now been back on earth for a couple of hours. So tell us. What was this experience like for you?

BRANSON: Look, I've dreamt of going to space since I was a kid. And I've always pictured what it would be like. And it was just far more extraordinary than I could ever have imagined from the -- from going naught to 3,000 miles an hour in seven or eight seconds, being pressed back into the seat.

The roar of the rocket to arriving in space and the silence. And you know, to looking out of the window, seeing our glorious, glorious, the colors of the sky, to unbuckling and floating just literally lifting -- just going off to the ceiling and floating.

Looking back down on these big windows that now the spaceship is upside down facing back down to the earth. Seeing these three float around underneath me like, you know, giant fish. Get out of my way. I want to see the earth.


CRANE: But you have long spoken about the overview effect. Anyone who's gone to space often refers to the overview effect, how it fundamentally changes them and they become, you know, a steward of earth. Did you experience that?

BRANSON: I -- it sort of capped it off for me. I mean, I will now spend, and I promise, I will now spend the next -- I'm an optimist. The next 30 years of my life, you know, doing everything I can to protect the species on this beautiful earth.

To, you know, work on climate change issues, to work on, you know, trying to stop the degradation of our rain forests. You know, just all the things that are going the wrong way, just to do everything we can to make them go the right way. And I think the same applies to everybody else on the flight.

CRANE: You know, social media was aflutter with let's say -- let's describe it as a competitive spirit between you and Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin. Jeff Bezos, though, just posting congratulatory notes saying that he can't wait to join you or experience it as well. Do you have any advice for him and the Blue Origin crew?

BRANSON: Well, look, obviously wish him -- wish him the most wonderful voyage and I hope he can have as wonderful a voyage as we had. And just do your training. You know, I mean, it's important to get that sort of, you know, seven days of training before you go.


And, you know, if you know what to expect, you can just sit back and have the ride of a lifetime and I'm sure all of them who were on that spaceship will do that. (END OF VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And thanks so much to our Rachel Crane. And here to help us mark this historic moment is former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino.

Mike, great stuff we just watched there. What a monumental day for the future of space tourism. It's been 60 years since humans first made it to space. What do you think? What is so special about today? What's going through your mind right now after watching those stunning images.

MIKE MASSIMINO, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: Well, thanks for having me on, Jim. It's a pleasure to be here with you today on this -- what is a historic day. I think the -- you know, I've been thinking about this. I think the thing that's really different about this is that we have had space flight participants we call them, tourists, people who are guests on the space station that flew up on the Soyuz. I think what's different about this is that this spaceship was built and this dream was made to bring lots of people into space and give them that experience.

And it has been many years. There's been some setbacks for the Virgin Galactic team but today marked the day really of the -- I think the beginning of their operational process of where more and more people are going to get a chance to go. The price is high right now.

But I think that price is going to come down. And I'm really excited because, you know, I dreamt, too, about going to space. But I had to go through the NASA selection process in order to get to space as an astronaut. And now this, I think, is the opportunity to many more people hopefully.

ACOSTA: Yes, it's kind of the ultimate Instagram moment for folks. And I'm sure they're willing to pay for it. Virgin Galactic plans to conduct one more test flight before it will begin flying these high- paying customers. The average American is probably not going to be able to afford this for a very long time. But where do you see us in 10 years or 20 years? Do you think going to space will be as easy and affordable as boarding a plane?

MASSIMINO: I sure hope so, Jim. I do think it's -- the price is going to come down. I've heard Richard Branson say this and Jeff Bezos say this. And these entrepreneurs realized that. In order for them to be successful in the long term they're going to run out of billionaires. They're going to have to have it so more people can afford to do it.

I don't know if it's like going on a really cheap flight. It may be like the price of an expensive vacation. I think that may be where this is headed. I hope so that more and more people can afford it. Who knows? Maybe one day it will be. Sometime maybe, you just said 20 years ahead, maybe it will be an opportunity when you fly from New York to London, you board a spaceship and you get there a lot quicker.

ACOSTA: That would be amazing. And most people don't understand the intricacies of such a risky mission. There was risk involved today as smoothly as everything went. Walk us through the biggest challenges when going to space. Were you nervous at all watching today's launch? What about that?

MASSIMINO: You know, I was -- I don't think I was really nervous. I was pretty confident they were going to be OK. But certainly, any time that -- and I did know several of the people on board today. So any time people are going to space, and especially when you know them, you are a little bit concerned for their well-being. But I also felt that they were going to be as safe as possible. The spaceship, the whole system has been tested.

The pilots up front, the pilots who were flying both the mothership and the spacecraft are very well trained, experienced. One of the pilots on the mothership was a good friend of mine, CJ Sturkcow, a former NASA astronaut. So I knew that they were going to make this as safe as possible. I know the team had worked for many years to make this as safe as possible but still, when you light a rocket ship and it's burning underneath you, that time, your powered flight is what we call it.

Those minutes, all those minutes really count. And you can add up those minutes in your career as an astronaut. You've been under powered flight. And they're very significant minutes. And then of course on the entry as well is always challenging as heat builds up as you slow down and engage the atmosphere once again. Those are the times that you're kind of really hoping that things go well and I was really happy to see it went well today.

ACOSTA: Yes, and, Mike, this was nearly a 20-year project, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars just to experience a couple of minutes of weightlessness. You know, why was this such a short mission, do you think, and what do you say to people out there who think, you know, this is a lot of money and this could be better spent elsewhere?

MASSIMINO: Well, taking those two things separately maybe is -- the reason why it was so short is because it was a suborbital flight. You know, I think they mentioned the speed was a few thousand miles an hour. I think a little over Mach 3. When we go to the space station to go to orbit like my friends around the Space Station right now, and when I went up on the space shuttle, we usually go as fast as 17,500 miles an hour. That's a lot faster.


MASSIMINO: That's a much bigger rocket.


There's a lot more involved there. More expense. So I think this is really maybe the first step, I would say. Of course, it seems like a first step to get people on a commercial vehicle to go do this. And so they started out with what we call suborbital flights. Not going as fast as you can to get to orbit but getting fast enough to get above the atmosphere and into space. Similar to what Jeff Bezos is doing. He's going up a more traditional way with a rocket ship.

As far as whether or not we can spend money better, you know, hey, you know, there's a lot of things we can spend money on that are probably more important than going to space. I'm not going to argue that at all. You know, we have lots of issues. But I do think, and I've always felt this way about the space program, it is the money you put away for the future. And I think it is really important.

When we look at our budgets, you know, certainly at home or running a business, whatever it is, you've got to pay the bills first. You've got to -- you need food and shelter and places for people to live, and all these things are really important the way we spend our money, whether it's individuals or governments.

But I still think it's important to put a little bit of money away for the future. And that's what I think our space program has always been. It's been that investment in education, in inspiration and in the future. So my opinion it is well worth it.

ACOSTA: Well, my guess is there are plenty of kids out there who were certainly inspired by what they saw, and Mike Massimino, the work you do as well is inspiring. Thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

MASSIMINO: Jim, thanks very much for having me. Sure appreciate that.

ACOSTA: All right, good talking to you.

Up next, the pretender-in-chief will address his loyal followers at CPAC where all reality has been temporarily suspended.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What are you hoping to hear from Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That he is going to regain his rightful seat as president.

O'SULLIVAN: In 2024?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As soon as the election is overturned for the election fraud.


ACOSTA: I shake my head. It would be funny if it wasn't so dangerous. We'll take you to CPAC and the world of make believe, next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: Right now in Dallas, delusion, outrage and the big lie are center stage at CPAC. The Conservative Political Action Conference traditionally has served as a launching pad for a new crop of Republican presidential hopefuls but instead the party remains all in on the man who lost them the White House, the House and the Senate in just four years' time.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan is in Dallas.

Donie, you've been speaking with attendees there. It has -- that has resulted in some interesting comments. I suppose you could say here and there. Fill us in. Tell us what you've been hearing from folks.

O'SULLIVAN: Hey, Jim. Yes, I got to say, there's a lot of Proud Boys and we've seen members of the Three Percenters militia group as well just walking around the CPAC parking lot as well today to give you an insight into sort of what the Republican Party is becoming. But we have been talking to a lot of supporters here over the weekend of former President Trump. Have a listen.


O'SULLIVAN: Do you accept he lost the election?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I accept that on paper things happened to make it appear that way. I don't know what would have happened. I find it very questionable that he lost given the support that he had.

O'SULLIVAN: Do you think what happened on January 6th was a stain on Trump's presidency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not. Yes. He didn't invoke any kind of violence. He didn't say anything that was making -- that was all just -- just honestly ridiculous. A few people acted out, out of millions of people that attended or -- I wouldn't say millions but most close to a million. Multiple people attended and a few crazies got crazy.

O'SULLIVAN: Do you think he might run again?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I have no idea. I think he might announce something today and I think that might be the big bombshell today. It's a possibility he may make mention of it or give a good hint.

O'SULLIVAN: Would you like to see him run again?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I would, I'm a Trump supporter.



O'SULLIVAN: Do you accept that he lost the election?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he did lose the election but we believe -- I believe there are some discrepancies and those will be revealed at some point.

O'SULLIVAN: What are you hoping to hear from Trump? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That he is going to regain his rightful seat as


O'SULLIVAN: In 2024?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As soon as the election is overturned for the election fraud.


O'SULLIVAN: And that last comment there, Jim, this idea, this fantasy that the election could still be overturned and Trump would some way be reinstated, we heard this week that that is of concern to the Department of Justice as it may provoke further violence. We have spoken to many Trump supporters over the past few weeks both here and at his rally in Ohio a few weeks ago. Most folks are focused on Trump running again in 2024.

But there is this danger of this small minority of supporters if Trump continues to hint at this ridiculous notion that he could come back, that he could be reinstated, that that could lead to further trouble and, of course, Trump supporters will be hanging on to every word the former president says here today. He's due to speak any minute.

ACOSTA: Yes, it's so easy, Donie, to laugh this stuff off as just bonkers stuff. But it really is very dangerous, very volatile, and it is disturbing to hear that there are some of these folks who may have been involved on January 6th hanging around this conference which, you know, I suppose if you swing a dead cat in there you'll probably run into somebody who was at the intersection on January 6th.

Donie O'Sullivan, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Let's bring in our CNN political commentators, former Clinton White House adviser Paul Begala and Republican strategist Alice Stewart.

Paul, everyone Donie spoke to at this conference thought that the election was stolen, except for this one person. Let's listen to this gentleman. Take a listen.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can understand people want to look at things that happened here and there but these people going -- making a big jump from here to there, it's a bit much. I'm a lawyer, too, so I've got to have the evidence. I've got to see it. If you tell me you're going to release the Kraken, show me the freaking Kraken for crying out loud.

And don't tell me to go to Mr. Pillow Man's Web site to get the information and I click on there, and you're going to get a million sites -- ads pop up and I'm still not going to see even a fingernail of the freaking Kraken.


ACOSTA: I think we need to book him for next week, Paul.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I like this guy. They ought to listen to him.

ACOSTA: Yes. Where's the Kraken?

BEGALA: Yes. It is -- you know what it is, you're right. It's not funny. It's pathetic. I used to go to CPAC. They used to host me. I would debate Tucker Carlson. I'd thrash him. But it was fun. It was interesting. They didn't agree with my politics. I didn't agree with theirs. This is the organization that helped launch Ronald Reagan a couple of generations ago. So they have a storied history. To see it become QPAC now is really, really sad.

And, you know, Trump will go and he'll speak to them and that will be fine. What I'm interested in is will he go to Virginia? Not to the QPAC eccentrics in Dallas. But will he go to Virginia where there's a governor's race in a few months?

ACOSTA: Right. Very important race.

BEGALA: And I don't think he's got the guts. The Republicans have nominated a guy named Glenn Youngkin. The Democrats are calling him Glen Trumpkin saying that he wants to follow Trump. Come and campaign here. Come and campaign here. Come in Virginia. I'll pay the bus fare. I'd love to see Trump go to those suburban swing counties in Virginia and try to sell this nonsense.

ACOSTA: And we're looking at some live pictures right now of CPAC in Dallas. And you can see --

BEGALA: So that's Sid Miller, the Texas agriculture commissioner.

ACOSTA: Right. And you can see in the background there, I think what appears to be a painting of some sort of Trump kissing the American flag. I hate to use that as a segue to you, Alice, but, you know, the CPAC has been preoccupied with election fraud. This issue of, quote- unquote, "election integrity" has come up time and again even though there was no widespread voter fraud in the last election.

Let's listen to some of these Republican candidates talking who have been talking about this issue and talk about it on the other side.


JESSICA TAYLOR, ALABAMA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: The left wants to keep lying and cheating. So they can steal our elections.

JANE TIMKEN, OHIO SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running for the United States Senate to stand up for you. Just like when I stood next to President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As your governor, I'll fight to secure our election.

ANTHONY BOUCHARD, WYOMING STATE SENATOR: I stand for the Trump agenda of America first.


ACOSTA: Alice, help me out here. Why is this election integrity issue popping up over and over again in these ads and in these talking points used by these candidates and these speakers at the conference?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because a lot of them are driven by grievance politics. And that is what we're seeing at CPAC and what we're seeing with a lot of people that have supported Trump. The grievance politics of election fraud, fake news, cancel culture, and that's what we're seeing. The problem is we need to shift from grievance politics to good policy of the Republican Party, which is limited government, free markets, national security, and that's where we need to move, moving forward in order to win. But --

ACOSTA: That's what they used to talk about at CPAC.

STEWART: And a lot of these people, look, they want to see Trump come back. They want to see a Trump comeback. That would be a dream come true for them. A dream come true is Richard Branson going to space. Donald Trump come back is a nightmare for the Republican Party because we're 0 for 3 with him and his leadership in terms of losing the White House, the House and the Senate. We need to change the plan.

While people at CPAC are lively and they're very vocal, they're not the voice of the Republican Party. And we need to get back to people that focus on the policies. But at the same time, people at CPAC, they are voters and they're volunteers for campaigns. So they're extremely important but we have to build with regard to our base in order to win moving forward.

ACOSTA: And Paul, the former president is expected to address CPAC shortly. Before his appearance this evening he was on FOX earlier today. He was speaking with Maria Bartiromo. He spread a bunch of lies about everything under the sun. She did not fact-check him, as usual, but he was asked about his political future. Let's listen.


MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The question is, will you make the run again? You said that you know your answer, but you're not revealing it yet. You ready to get back in that ring and run for president again, sir?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I do know my answer, but I can't reveal it yet, and -- because that has to do with campaign financing and everything else. You know that. So I can't reveal it yet but I absolutely know my answer and we're going to do very well and people are going to be very happy.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP) ACOSTA: And people ask, why do we keep covering him? He may run again for president in 2024. And he keeps teasing it. It feels like it's a continuation of the grift, but maybe there are some there, there that he may decide to do this. What do you think, Paul?

BEGALA: Yes. All of us who went through 2016.


BEGALA: To paraphrase George W. Bush, don't mis-underestimate this guy. He lost the popular vote to Hillary but he got through the electoral college.


Joe Biden, he lost overwhelmingly in the popular vote and in the electoral college. But I think that he's got the showman's ability to tease and tease. That's entertaining. The problem for his party is if he doesn't run, they need to develop their bench, and have some pretty impressive young talent coming along. But they can't develop if this guy is pushing it down --

ACOSTA: He freezes the field.

BEGALA: He does. And I think that's bad for Republicans. I say again, before you get to 2024, it's a one big election. There's a New Jersey governor's race. It's a more reliably blue state. But in Virginia, it's a pretty swing state. And I want to see Trump come and campaign in Virginia. I don't think he's got the guts.


BEGALA: He's watching. Mr. President, come to Virginia. Campaign for your boy Trumpkin.

STEWART: Well, I'll say this in terms of the Virginia governor's race. Youngkin has been pretty clear about he supports the policies of Donald Trump but he is not as Trumplican as a lot of people give him credit or try to give him credit for, and I think the Virginia race is going to be a great race. One to keep a close eye on. And whether or not Trump goes there to campaign, I don't see that happening but it's certainly a great race to watch.

And any of these candidates know that Donald Trump is great to have in the primary. But he -- they need to distance themselves from him in these general elections because we learned that in the last election.

ACOSTA: Let me ask you really quick. Lauren Boebert, the congresswoman from Colorado, she's sort of the Marjorie Taylor Greene wing of the party in the House. She made this comment at CPAC. Let's listen.


REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): We're here to tell government, we don't want your benefits. We don't want your welfare. Don't come knocking on my door with your Fauci-Ouchy. You leave us the hell alone. (END OF VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Alice, Paul, anybody want to --

STEWART: That is limited government 2.0 Trump style. And what -- that is really what Republicans have felt for many years is we need to have limited government and more individual responsibility. This is just with the Trump tie on it.

BEGALA: This is a congresswoman who gets of course government paycheck, government health care, government office, government staff and then she hates the government.


BEGALA: Anybody out there, though, who's listening to her and agrees, fine, send back the Biden bucks. Send back the money that Joe Biden and the Democrats -- all the Republicans voted against. Send it back. We can use it in the treasury. We'll help other folks who need and deserve the assistance. So send your Biden bucks back. And we'll -- you don't want the money, don't take it.

ACOSTA: All right. Alice, Paul, thank you so much. Great to see both of you. We appreciate your time.

He's trying to go after Facebook and Twitter but could Trump's lawsuit, his latest lawsuit actually turned out to be a massive legal trap for himself? He wouldn't do that to himself, would he? A key figure from Watergate certainly thinks so. We'll talk to John Dean next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: Former president Trump says he's ready to go to war with big tech suing Facebook, Twitter and Google for banning him after the January 6th insurrection.


TRUMP: Everything is a war. With me, life is a war. And, yes, we're prepared. And somebody had to do it. I made a big speech in Florida the other day. We had 48,000 people. And the people are screaming, when are you going to sue social media, big tech? Everybody has wanted me to do this. They are bad. They're bad people and they're doing bad things and they're really hurting our nation. They may be in the process of destroying our nation. We're not going to let that happen.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: They're going to want to take a deposition from you. You're going to sit for a deposition?

TRUMP: Sure. I mean, I look forward to it actually. I look forward -- I love talking about the election fraud because it was the most fraudulent election. Well, I think we've had a lot of them, frankly, but the most fraudulent election in the history of our country. People know it.


ACOSTA: Joining me now is former Nixon White House counsel and CNN contributor John Dean.

John, you just listened to the former president there say he would love to sit for a deposition. But you believe Trump has just set a massive legal trap for himself. Tell us about that.

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he knows -- he should know all the lawsuits he's brought, even though he's not an attorney, that when you're a plaintiff, you voluntarily put yourself in play for a deposition so that's why, obviously, that question was asked, and he's always said I'm willing to give a deposition, just like he's always said I'm going to turn over my tax returns when the audit is finished.

ACOSTA: Right.

DEAN: He'll have an excuse for this. So I think what the big tech should do is just not move to dismiss will be the normal move, but rather engage him because he's going to lose on the merits. Seriously lose on the merits.

ACOSTA: Right. And at the press conference, you know, they had said that anyone who wants to join this lawsuit should go to this Web site, or something like that. But when you go to the Web site it's pretty much just a page to donate money and doesn't offer a clear way to sign up for the suit. I guess the Web site could say just It sounds like again part of this continuing Trump grift. Never ending.

DEAN: It certainly does because I am a little bit surprised that the lawyer who is representing him, because he's actually been on both sides politically, and he certainly is savvy enough, while he doesn't have a record in this type of lawsuit, one doesn't have to look very far to understand these First Amendment cases just go down.

They went down against newspapers when people wanted to get forced to have their own op-ed in to respond to something that was in the paper. And they're going to -- the same happens with a private organization that runs a social media platform. The First Amendment does not apply.


It applies to the government. Not to private organizations. So a little surprised the suit was even filed.

ACOSTA: And what would you ask former president Trump in a deposition, John? What would be top of mind for you if you were there standing toe-to-toe or going toe-to-toe with the former president? I mean, I think I would want to ask him about what was happening inside the Oval Office on January 6th. But I am curious what you think. DEAN: I would pay to give that -- do that deposition. I think a lot of

attorneys would. Of course, you'd go right into the January 6th, who he was talking to, what he was talking about. He'll lie. He's a very good liar, we know that. But I think if you start drawing in some of the papers and facts that are now appearing, he's going to have more trouble with it. It could be a dandy deposition. I think you could sell tickets for it and do quite well.

ACOSTA: Yes, he always talked about how he wanted to talk to Robert Mueller, though, and we never really got around to that. But, John, let me ask you this. This isn't happening in a vacuum. The Trump Organization's chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, was recently indicted for tax fraud and in the indictment, prosecutors made some not-so-subtle references to Weisselberg's family. The Mercedes-Benz for his wife, the apartment for his son, tuition for his grandchildren.

Does this send kind of a message from the prosecution that, you know, cooperate or everything you love is fair game? We're going to take away all your goodies?

DEAN: It certainly does. It's a speaking indictment. It is very clear what it's saying that we have a lot of information. We've gone back at least 15 if not more years. We know what you've been doing. We know what the Trump Organization has been doing.

We know it's been a massive fraud scheme. You're too sophisticated an accountant or a bookkeeper to not understand what was going on. And it's widespread. And there are also hints that other people may flip in there and even cause you problems if you don't flip.

So I think the message is very clear, Mr. Weisselberg. I don't think he's a Gordon Liddy type who wants to be a masochist and spend his retirement in jail. So we'll see what -- how this plays out. I think they may put more pressure. They may indict his wife, they may indict his son. And then he'll have some serious thought to have to consider what he's going to do.

ACOSTA: I was going to ask you, because is this the kind of pressure that you think that will force Weisselberg to flip against Trump? Or do you think that they may raise the temperature further in the days and weeks to come?

DEAN: We don't know. It's a very strong case as is with 15 counts. He could be facing serious jail time. Juries do not like rich guys who skim and get benefits so it's not a winning case to go to trial on. I don't know what his plan is at this point. I know that his attorneys did not appear at the press conference following the indictment while the Trump Organization lawyers did. That told me that they are keeping the door open and they are still talking.

So I think we don't know the full story, obviously. But it looks to me like there may be conversations going on.

ACOSTA: All right. John Dean, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

And coming up, excitement gets out of control. Why some Euro 2020 fans are getting rowdy.

Plus, another brand-new CNN original series is coming. "THE HISTORY OF THE SITCOM" is bringing you all the stories behind your favorite sitcoms, the classics, the megahits and the new shows leading the way. Watch "HISTORY OF THE SITCOM" tonight at 9:00 only on CNN.


HENRY WINKLER, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: You come home, turn on that television. What do you want? You want comedy.

JASON ALEXANDER, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: And there you go. Situation comedy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Laughter opens you up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you talking about, Willis?

LISA KUDROW, ACTRESS: We get to know these sitcom characters. They're your friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all share these experiences.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Laughter is a great way to deal with a very tricky world.

RANDALL PARK, COMEDIAN: Discussing race in a sitcom, you're able to kind of take in new ideas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, hi, neighbor.

ALYSON HANNIGAN, ACTRESS: You hope that you'll have those kinds of relationships in your life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was revolutionary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Laugh out loud funny.

KELSEY GRAMMER, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: It's one of the great accomplishments of the modern age.

ANNOUNCER: The stories behind the moments we shared. "HISTORY OF THE SITCOM" premieres tonight at 9:00 on CNN.





ACOSTA: They answer the call of duty and joined the international effort to find survivors following the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida. But today a farewell to the men and women from the Israeli search and rescue task force as they head back home. A water salute for the team they joined Miami-Dade officials shortly

after the collapse. You're watching the tribute to those rescue workers right there. They were tirelessly digging through the rubble doing everything that they could to find people alive. Unfortunately, no survivors have been found and the number of confirmed deaths is now at 90. Thirty-one people are still unaccounted for.

Pope Francis in the meantime appeared in public this morning for the first time since having colon surgery last week. The Pope held his first weekly prayer from the window of a hospital in Rome saying he knows how important it is that people have good and accessible health care. He said many of his prayers have been for Haiti over the last few days following the assassination of that nation's president. The Pope is expected to be released from the hospital in the next few days.


And watch this.

That was the scene at London's Wembley Stadium earlier. Rowdy fans without tickets trying to storm into the arena where England and Italy are currently playing the Euro 2020 soccer final. A spokesperson for the English Football Association told CNN earlier in part there were no security breaches of people without tickets getting inside the stadium.

But Wembley Stadium just released a statement saying, "There was a breach of security and a small group of people got into the stadium. We are now working closely with stadium stewards and security to remove these people. Anyone inside the stadium without a ticket will be instantly ejected."

And on the field, we can report right now England and Italy are now tied with a goal apiece. Where is Ted Lasso when you need him? England could use him right now.

Coming up, we're counting down to the new CNN Series "HISTORY OF THE SITCOM" with a look at the TV home from the '80s show that launched the career of Leonardo DiCaprio. Can you guess what that is? We'll answer that coming up.



ACOSTA: The CNN Original Series "HISTORY OF THE SITCOM" debuts tonight. And to get you ready we're putting your sitcom knowledge to the test.

Let's go live to the Warner Brothers Studio back lot in Burbank, California. Do you recognize this house? It was used in a hugely popular '80s sitcom. Wondering there if you figured it out. If you haven't figures it out, CNN's Stephanie Elam is right there to help us out, joining us live. Stephanie, what's the answer? I didn't recognize it at first. I have

to be honest. did not recognize it, and I feel bad because I watched a lot of TV program.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I was just about to say, I was just about to say, Jim, I don't feel like you have time to watch sitcoms. I feel like you're way too busy. But for the rest of us who are busy taking in these sitcoms when we were kids, this is the house from "Growing Pains." This is where the Seavers live. In fact, I'm going to take you inside. You see there's a group out here right now enjoying the tour here at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. This is here in Burbank.

There are 37 sound stages on this property now but, you know, since we're here, we might as well just see what it looks inside one of these, you know, houses here in midwestern U.S., although I believe the Seavers were in Long Island. But as you can see, you look up. It looks like it's a whole house but really you could see they have all the bars up there rigging so that they can put lights up for all of these sitcoms.

And there's, you know, cabinetry and all that. But there's no functioning plumbing or anything like that. So we're going to take you out of the Seavers' house and take you back out here. It's just really (INAUDIBLE) shows have been taped here. So many movies as well. I mean, the Wayans brothers, George Lopez was also taped here as well. "Living Single." All of that happening on sound stages here. So many of your favorite shows. That's why so many people like to come here.

I'm just going to walk down the street a little bit here in Midwestern town. (INAUDIBLE) big things that people love to see, where all the moments from "Friends," and seeing the set. Well, right here, this is where -- remember when Phoebe took Chandler and Joey up to upstate New York to find her dad, driving her grandmother's taxi?


ELAM: This is where it was. Another little shot that you can see. Now what's funny, too, is because they used these exteriors for so many things, Jim. If you look up here into the top of this building you could see there's some Greek letters up there on top. Right up there the -- you know, they faded in the sunlight. You can see signs of how they used these for other things. But they make sure that there's always a house if they want to make it seem like a neighborhood.

You can see another house in the background but you would never know that that was the main house for a different show. So all of that is here during the tour here at Warner Brothers. It's fascinating. And so for all the people who want to know more about sitcoms, just relive some of those moments we love, "HISTORY OF SITCOM" premiering on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 Pacific Time, tonight -- Jim.

ACOSTA: Very cool stuff. I didn't realize that you could go on a tour and see all of these houses and relive that history of the sitcom.

Great stuff, Stephanie Elam. Thanks so much. Great talking to you. We'll see you again soon.

And be sure to tune in, "THE HISTORY OF THE SITCOM" premieres tonight with back-to-back episodes at 9:00 and 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

What is something you've done purely out of the goodness of your heart but never told anyone? That question was recently posted on the Web site Reddit, and in response one New Jersey man shared how he donated a bicycle to child through One Simple Wish, the organization founded by CNN Hero Danielle Gletow. It helps donors purchase items requested by kids in the foster care system. Reddit members responded by flooding the One Simple Wish Web site to fulfill all 220 wishes.


DANIELLE GLETOW, ONE SIMPLE WISH FOUNDER: Somehow it just blew up. There were just thousands of comments of people relating to the foster care experience and then it was just this with one after another of people saying, you know, we should just clear their site. We should grant all of their wishes. And then it just snowballed until they crashed our site. We got the site back up. They granted more wishes. Eventually they cleared the site of all of the wishes.

It's definitely given all of us a renewed sense of energy and hope, and it certainly does remind you that there's so much more good in this world than anything else.


ACOSTA: So wonderful. And for more on the work of Danielle's organization "One Simple Wish" and to nominate someone you know to be a CNN Hero go to



ACOSTA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. And we're talking about the dawn of a new space age. That's what billionaire Richard Branson tweeted today after traveling to the edge of space. During the historic Virgin Galactic flight he sent back this transmission to earth just as they entered zero gravity.