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Trump Versus Blitzer; Romney Takes Texas; Trumping Romney; Obama Angers Polish Leaders; 11 Countries Expel Syrian Envoys; Judge Scolds Edwards Jurors; 14 People Killed In Italy Quake; U.S. Ask Canada To Investigate Plane Crash; Sandusky Pre-Trial Hearing; Booker's Communication Director Resigns; Postal Service Buyouts; Apple CEO Wants Products Made in U.S.; Trumping the Message; Family Survives Plane Crash

Aired May 30, 2012 - 06:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": Donald, you're beginning to sound a little ridiculous. I have to tell you.

DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR (via telephone): No, I think you are, are, Wolf. Let me tell you something. I think you sound ridiculous.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Plus the White House apologizing after President Obama accidentally insults the people of Poland.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And a pilot pulls up a miracle, after the plane's propeller ends up on the roof of a house. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to --


BANFIELD: You thought you had a rough day. This is EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We are bringing you the news from A to Z. It is 6:00 a.m. here in the east. So let's get started for you this morning.

Mitt Romney trumped by the Donald, after last night's Texas primary win, Romney now has more than enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination, but hardly anyone is talking about that this morning.

Instead it is all about Donald Trump and Barack Obama's birth certificate again. The Donald campaigning with Romney in Las Vegas yesterday reviving that old debate over where the president was born. It triggered this heated exchange with our Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM" yesterday.


TRUMP: A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate.

BLITZER: How can you say that if the --

TRUMP: Many people do not think it was authentic. His mother was not in the hospital. There were many other things that came out, and frankly, if you would report it accurately I think you'd probably get better ratings you're getting, which are pretty small.

BLITZER: Donald, have you seen the actual newspaper announcements within days of his birth in Honolulu. For example, "The Honolulu Star Bulletin" will put it up there. You see the birth announcement back in 1961.

TRUMP: Yes and many people did that.

BLITZER: Excuse me, can I ask the question?

TRUMP: Can I talk without you defending Obama?

BLITZER: Donald, you're beginning to sound a little ridiculous. I have to tell you.

TRUMP: No, I think you are, Wolf.


SAMBOLIN: CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser, live in Washington for us this morning. You know, we were waiting for the 1,144 and fell on deaf ears it seemed like.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, I guess you could say got trumped by Donald Trump as you mentioned. Yes, this was actually a big deal, Mitt Romney now becomes the first Mormon to clinch a major party nomination.

And yes, nobody's talking about that, as you mentioned, Zoraida, everybody is discussing Donald Trump and the issue over the president's birth place. You know, there's a picture of Mitt Romney coming off the plane yesterday in Las Vegas.

And guess what's behind him at the airport there, the Trump plane, and I think that's really kind of a symbolic of the day. You can see him coming off the plane there.

Listen, everybody is discussing Donald Trump and this issue and it is a distraction for Mitt Romney. The whole theme this week for Mitt Romney is the president is bad when it comes to job creators and wasting taxpayer money.

We're not discussing that at all. You know, Newt Gingrich is also at this event last night, this fundraiser that Trump had at his hotel for Mitt Romney. He said this is not a distraction. He disagrees. Take a listen to Newt Gingrich.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Donald Trump said what he said because he thinks it's the right thing for him to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it's the right thing to say?

GINGRICH: No, I think that Obama creates very powerful emotions about him, largely because of the radicalism of his views.


STEINHAUSER: I was looking at the pool notes from that fundraiser last night and Donald Trump, I guess, not expectedly did not bring up the birther issue at the fundraiser.

He did attack the president saying that the country is not great now because of Barack Obama and if Mitt Romney is elected in November, he would bring up greatness in the country. But he did not bring up the issue of the birth place.

SAMBOLIN: What Romney has done is he says that he does believe that the birth certificate is valid, but there are some who think he did bring up that birther issue. Can you tell us about that?

STEINHAUSER: Yes, it was an incident earlier in the day, Mitt Romney was at a campaign rally in Vegas a couple of hours before the fundraiser at a furniture store and he talked about a supporter and the supporter's ideas of what the constitution should include when it comes to a president. Take a listen.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was speaking with one of these business owners who owns a couple of restaurants in town and he said, "You know, I'd like to change the constitution. I'm not sure I can do it."

He said, "but I'd like to have a provision in the constitution that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president, and the birth place of the president being set by the constitution.

I'd like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he can become president of the United States."


STEINHAUSER: Listen, I know part of Mitt Romney's shtick as running for president, part of his theme that he's a businessman and President Barack Obama is not a businessman.

And maybe that's what he was trying to do, but on a day when we were talking about this issue for him to bring up citizenship and birth place it seems a little tone deaf to me.

SAMBOLIN: All right, so let's go back to the official word, 1,144, official or not?

STEINHAUSER: Unofficial, sorry to say, and it doesn't officially happen until the convention when is he nominated, then he officially becomes the nominee. We have to wait until late August. I apologize we have to wait a little longer.

SAMBOLIN: But at least we're there, kind of sort of. Paul Steinhauser live in Washington for us. Thank you very much.

So there's a lot of buzz about Wolf Blitzer's interview with Donald Trump. We're going to talk about that when Wolf joins us live, live at 6:30 Eastern, he's getting up nice and early for us.

An embarrassing mistake by President Obama has Poland's political leaders furious this morning. The White House says the president simply misspoke during yesterday's Medal of Freedom ceremony when he referred to a Polish death camp instead of a German death camp while honoring the memory of a Polish resistance fighter during World War II. Here is the comment that is causing all of the controversy.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto in a Polish death camp to see for himself.


SAMBOLIN: Poland's foreign minister calls that comment a matter of quote, "ignorance and incompetence." Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk is expected to address the controversy publicly today.

BANFIELD: A civil rights group is asking the U.S. Justice Department to step in after a Tennessee judge stopped construction of a mosque. The Islamic Center in Murfreesboro was featured in CNN's "In America" documentary last year.

Yesterday, a judge ruled the county government failed to give proper public notice about plans for the mosque before granting a permit. Anti-mosque groups have been fighting construction for two years. County officials are reviewing the ruling.

Coming up at 7:30 this morning on "STARTING POINT" with Soledad O'Brien, she's going to speak live with the spokesperson representing that mosque, Saleh Sbenato.

SAMBOLIN: Add Japan now to the list of countries who have expelled Syrian diplomats in response to a massacre last week in the town of Hula. Eleven countries including the United States have expelled Syrian envoys.

More than 100 civilians including many, many children, were killed by regime forces in the town of Hula. The massacre is among worst carnage of the 14-month uprising against the Assad government. BANFIELD: For the first time we're hearing an apology from the former Rutgers University student who was convicted of bias intimidation freezing a web cam to spy on his gay roommate who later killed himself.

Dharun Ravi is due in court today before he heads off to start serving his 30-day sentence. In a written statement issued yesterday, Ravi said, quote, "I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made."

SAMBOLIN: Jurors in the John Edwards trial will begin their eighth day of deliberation this is morning and there are signs they're not even close to a verdict.

Several of them sending notes to the judge about scheduling conflicts this week and next week. The judge is also scolding the jurors warning them not to discuss the case outside of the deliberation room.

BANFIELD: Strange, some of the alternate jurors showing up wearing matching clothing.

SAMBOLIN: They did. They did.

BANFIELD: Several days in a row.

SAMBOLIN: They said they were kind of bored and you know, this is their way of adding a little humor. Actually the judge I heard was laughing. Thought it was kind of funny one of those instances.

BANFIELD: Well, I'll tell you what. If I'm John Edwards' attorney I am taking copious notes about all of these misgivings because they've had to be spoken to as well.

And that could be an issue if the verdict comes out not in John Edwards' favor. That's for sure. I always get very concerned when I hear jurors doing anything that isn't just right down the line.

All right, what's wrong with this picture, a propeller on a hot tin roof? Not just a regular roof but find out how the pilot managed to bring the plane down without the aid of one very important propeller.


BANFIELD: It's 12 minutes past 6:00 on the east coast. Get up, get at it. Time to get you up to date on the top headlines and Christine Romans is doing that for us.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, ladies. Mitt Romney's moment in the spotlight overshadowed by Donald Trump. Romney now has enough delegates to be the GOP nominee after winning the Texas primary last night, but no one is talking about that.

Because Donald Trump appearing with Romney at a Las Vegas fundraiser yesterday decided to revive the birth debate and he insists the president's birth certificate is bogus. And Romney is now taking heat from Democrats for not disavowing the Donald comment.

At least 16 people have now been reported dead after an earthquake in Northern Italy. This is the second quake to hit the region this month. Just nine days ago seven people were killed in another quake. Officials say 14,000 people have to live somewhere else.

The United States is asking Canada to investigate a deadly plane crash that happened in Virginia. That's because both planes were owned by U.S. federal employees, one from the FAA and the other from the NTSB.

The planes crashed into each other mid-air on Monday about 50 miles from Washington, D.C. One pilot and a passenger was killed. The other pilot injured.

Former Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky is not expected to attend a pre-trial hearing in his case later today. But the accused child molester was in a Pennsylvania judge's chambers Tuesday afternoon for a closed door hearing. Sandusky has pleaded not guilty to the charges he sexually abused at least 10 boys over the course of 14 years.

The fall gal, Ann Torres has resigned as communications director for Newark Mayor Cory Booker. There are reports that she was forced out because of controversial statements made by Booker on NBC's "Meet the Press" earlier this month.

The Democratic mayor is an Obama surrogate, but said he was nauseated by the president's attack ads against Mitt Romney. Republicans had a field day with that and Booker was forced to back off those remarks to get back in the good graces of Democrats.

The U.S. Postal Service is offering $15,000 buyouts to 45,000 mail handlers as it seeks to cut costs and reduce its staffing levels. The Postal Service reported a $3.2 billion loss in the first quarter. There you go.

BANFIELD: I hope that will help to keep some of those (inaudible) open. The bigger concern they would shut her down.

ROMANS: These are mail handlers, people who are packing things up, putting them from truck to truck and fewer pieces of mail we're sending there's not much demand for those jobs.

BANFIELD: How much mail in your box is just junked?

SAMBOLIN: A 100 percent one day, everything --

ROMANS: Part of their strategy for recovery is they want to small businesses to be sending more direct mail because they think that might be something for the future of the Postal Service. BANFIELD: That is not a good idea.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Christine.

BANFIELD: Thanks, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: It is 14 minutes past the hour here. Heavy rains, flooding even hail depending on where you live, how you pay attention overnight. Rob Marciano has your weather update. Hi, Rob.


You have two spots. One in the Northeast, I don't have to tell you about that. To Upstate New York, New England, and even the metro area, of the tri-state area, got hammered with hail, so did Oklahoma. This video out of the Richmond area, pretty much the entire state got peppered with severe storms yesterday, numerous hail reports and damaging hail at that. Anymore from golf ball to in some cases in King Fisher, Oklahoma, softball size hail.

So, that will take a windshield out and ding up the car. Auto body shops certainly in high demand this morning and they might be again later on today and tomorrow, another threat for severe weather, Storm Prediction Center putting it a moderate risk for Oklahoma City proper, which has got it's power knockout last night.

So, a round two of storms expected as we go through the afternoon and evening with the tail end of this front that is pushing through the Northeast, ahead of it last night is where the line of thunderstorms crushed the Northeast area with also winds and hail and reports of up to baseball-sized hail there.

The rainfall from tropical depression Beryl certainly impressive, 15 inches in Wellborn, Midway, Florida, over a foot of rainfall. The rain is headed toward South Carolina and North Carolina as well, pouring along the border through Wilmington, Newborn, eventually will cross the four corners, pretty much scrape the coastline. By the time it becomes a tropical storm again, it will be offshore and out to sea. We'll say bye, bye to Beryl here pretty soon.

Eighty degrees expected in New York City, once the front gets through. Look at Chicago 66 degrees, cool, low humidity, we'll take it.

SAMBOLIN: Perfect.

BANFIELD: That's a nice evening with the windows open. Thank you, Rob Marciano.

A pilot of a small plane pulling off one heck of a miracle after the propeller broke off. No kidding. He was able to touch down safely, in an emergency landing. Took the plane down on a field. Look at that. Not even a scratch on it, it seems.

Investigators say that it's likely that the engine belts on the Cessna blew, and that caused serious damage to the front of the plane. The propeller, though, landed on the roof of a home near the airport in Montego, California. Apparently there was other debris landing in the pool but not landing on anyone, which is the good news so there were no injuries involved.

SAMBOLIN: That is good news.

BANFIELD: Isn't it?

SAMBOLIN: All right. Saving Nemo. Check out this viral video. A scuba diver spots a puffer fish swimming by with a hook stuck in his mouth. So, what does he do? He delicately pulls it out. And he was a good patient. The diver got it out, the fish swam away.

Not even a thank you, right? But look at that.

BANFIELD: Great video.

SAMBOLIN: That's sweet.

BANFIELD: Isn't it, adorable.


BANFIELD: A little nearby saying, "You made me ink."

It's inscribed on the back of your iPhone, "Assembled in China." But Apple's new boss says I think I want to make a change to that. Christine Romans is will come back with more from that. It's Tim Cook, folks, rumor has it.

SAMBOLIN: For an expanded look at our top stories, head to our blog


BANFIELD: A very good morning to you. It is 21 minutes now past 6:00. We're minding your business this morning.

U.S. markets kicking off the week with a pretty nice rally following the holiday on Monday. The Dow and the NASDAQ and the S&P all gaining more than 1 percent and I guess no news is good news because Europe's debt crisis back in focus this week but the lack of negative headlines from the region helped to push the stocks up.

SAMBOLIN: Very nice.

Facebook was another story all together. Christine Romans is here with the low.

ROMANS: Yes, the lowdown and the low, low. It fell another 10 percent yesterday. It's down 2 percent again this morning in the pre- market. The stock has lost nearly a quarter of its value since its IPO and closed below $30 yesterday. New lows partly yesterday due to speculation it was going to buy this Norwegian mobile operator called Opera. There are people who are concerned that, yes, Facebook needs help in mobile operations but investors were questioning whether this was the right fit overall.

Other Facebook news yesterday, the co-founder Eduardo Saverin speaking with a Brazilian paper "Veja," he addressed speculation that he moved to Singapore to avoid paying taxes on his Facebook holdings.

This is what he said, quote, 'The decision was strictly based on my interest of living and working in Singapore." I'm obligated and I will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the American government. He, of course, has said and others before that he's already paid and will continue to pay his taxes.

He also said he has no ill, he likes Mark Zuckerberg, thinks he's a visionary and that he had held true to his mission and goal for the company from the very beginning.

SAMBOLIN: He didn't make that much money, you know?

BANFIELD: I hate to even bring this up -- is this a time to buy Facebook?

ROMANS: Well, it' interesting, a lot of people have been asking me that but the options trading opened on Facebook and the options investors are more bearish than bullish on Facebook, another reason why the stock was down.

BANFIELD: About, how about Apple, we have a rare sighting.

ROMANS: A bombshell really from Tim Cook, who is the CEO. He told the All Things D, D10 conference, that he wants Apple to make products in the U.S. someday.


UINIDENTIFIED MALE: Will there be an apple product ever made again in the United States?

TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: I want there to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will it ever say on the back of an Apple product "designed in the California, assembled in the United States"?

COOK: It may. It may. And even though it doesn't say that today, you could down there, several parts are from the United States.


ROMANS: Several parts. Well, you know, like the glass is from the United States and it has a lot of criticism in this country, because it makes all of its products at huge compounds overseas and mostly in China, Foxconn. And they've had to double the wages there, they've been concerns about conditions there.

He hit on incredible new products but said the company is doubling down on secrecy as well. So they've been telling us, and I was on a conference call with him recently he was talking about this pipeline that is just full but they're not going to tell us about.

BANFIELD: Pipeline full of new products?

SAMBOLIN: Something will leak.


ROMANS: They're very secret but that manufacturing comment I think was a bombshell because a lot of people said this company has no intention of making anything in the United States. The jobs created by Apple are created overseas. The middle class built by Apple is built in other countries.

Consumers and shareholders in this country benefit but not employees, except for retail employees who make less than, you know, the national average or -- so interesting stuff.

All right. The one thing you need to know about your money, by the way, I wanted to bring this to you. Emergency unemployment benefits are running out for tens of thousands, almost half of the states have fewer weeks available now folks. Many states now are tightening their requirements for jobless benefits.

We're seeing a major shift now from emergency benefits to chronic unemployment for the long-term unemployed. Watch, you're going to see unemployment benefits start to wind down for a lot of people.

BANFIELD: Is it possible to get the real unemployment number? We get the unemployment stats.

ROMANS: What do you mean?

BANFIELD: The ones who have been out of work so long, taking the benefits, they are not counted anymore.

ROMANS: We know how many people are in the country and we know how many people are working, we know the percentage of people working is something like 58 percent of working aged people are working. There are a lot of different statistics.

BANFIELD: It's frustrating.

ROMANS: You got to read my book.

BANFIELD: I have only looked at your book but have it displayed prominently in the office.

ROMANS: It's quoted. There are lots of different ways to cut the numbers. That's why you see in the campaign trail, people focus on the numbers that suit their purposes.

BANFIELD: You know you are my guru, right? Christine Romans, thank you.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-five minutes past the hour.

The beard versus the hair. Wolf Blitzer taking on Donald Trump in his birther beliefs. Wolf is going to join us live next.


SAMBOLIN: Wolf Blitzer takes on Donald Trump. You heard it here on CNN.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Donald, Donald, you're beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you.

DONALD TRUMP, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: I think you are, Wolf. Let me tell you something, I think you sound ridiculous.


SAMBOLIN: Coming up in a few moments, Wolf Blitzer joins you live to talk about that exchange.

BANFIELD: The story of survival, a family of three joining us to talk about how they beat the odds when thinker small plane went down in the mountains of Idaho.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, Jeb Bush for vice president? Hear what the former president's brother has to say when asked if he could be Mitt Romney's pick.

Welcome back to EARLY START. Thanks for joining us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD: Hi, everybody. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. Nice to have you with us. It's 30 minutes now past the hour. That would be 6:30 on the East Coast.

Let's get started, shall we? And let's start with this one.

It should have been Mitt Romney's big day because he got enough delegates last night to secure the GOP presidential nomination yesterday. Trouble is, across the air waves, his supporter Donald Trump was sucking the air out of every room he was in by talking about President Obama's birth certificate again, whether it's real or whether it's fake.

Let's be clear, government officials in Hawaii, Republican and Democrat, have said it's real. So now that we've gotten that clear, let's go to the call, because he called in to CNN's "THE SITUATION ROOM" with our Wolf Blitzer, and here's how the discussion progressed.


TRUMP: A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate.

BLITZER: How can you say that if the state --

TRUMP: I know you won't report it, Wolf, but many people do not think it was authentic. His mother was not in the hospital. There were many other things that came out. And frankly, if you would report it accurately I think you'd probably get better ratings than you're getting which are pretty small.

BLITZER: Donald, have you seen the newspaper announcements within days of his birth in Honolulu, for example, the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" -- we'll put it up there. You see the birth announcement back in 1961, the Honolulu -- listen to me, Donald. Honolulu--


TRUMP: Excuse me, Wolf, am I allowed to talk --

BLITZER: Can I ask the question?

TRUMP: So you can stop defending Obama.

BLITZER: Donald, Donald, you're beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you.

TRUMP: No, I think you are, Wolf.


BANFIELD: Hmm. And that's that.

Joining me live on the phone, Wolf Blitzer, my colleague, the anchor of "THE SITUATON ROOM," who got up early for us.

Good morning, Mr. Blitzer.

BLITZER: Good morning, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: How are you doing?

BLITZER: Good, looking forward to our discussion. Looking forward to another good day.

BANFIELD: OK. So, listen, huge fallout, a lot of people talking about it, not only because the birther issue continues to rear its head thanks to the Donald. But also it's sucking the life of what really should be Mitt Romney's big day today.

BLITZER: It was really an historic moment in the United States, in American history, for the simple reason that for the first time in our history, a Mormon is now the nominee of a major political party.

Look, there have been other examples of other religions entering into the mainstream of American politics, John F. Kennedy in 1961 when he was elected the first Catholic president of the United States, when Barack Obama four years ago was the first African-American president of the United States. Now there's a Mormon who is going to be the Republican presidential nominee, and it was really an historic moment.

And, unfortunately, because of all this so-called birther stuff, it was somewhat overshadowed and I think that's sad. I think we could have spent some other time talking about some other important issues, but when -- it would have been different if Donald Trump would have been doing it by himself in Trump Tower in New York talking about this.

But it happened to be on a day when he was hosting together with others a fund-raiser for Mitt Romney in Las Vegas.

BANFIELD: So, why is he doing it, Wolf? Listen, this is no secret anymore. If anybody's watching and wondering if there's still some shade of question, it was the Republican governor in 2010 of Hawaii who called this a horrible distraction and said that it is just a fact, period, that the president was born in a hospital in Honolulu.

Why is Donald Trump doing this, doubling down, as you put t especially on a day when his own candidate is possibly not going to weather it well?

BLITZER: I've known Donald Trump for a long time and interviewed him on many, many occasions. He's an intelligent guy, not a stupid guy or anything like that. I assume maybe, you know, it's an obvious reason, he believes it. He believes that there are a lot of questions out there. He's read a lot of these conspiratorial theories that come round and he believes what he's saying.

BANFIELD: Do you really think that because I heard you questioning him over and over about the number of times he brought up the issue that, quote, "many people believe this," in fact we with our producers count the number of times "many people" -- it was 18 times in your interview, Wolf, that Donald Trump said "many people believe this."

And I know you took him to task and said who? What people of record? And he said "I don't give names."

BLITZER: Yes, I know. I was surprised because if he's going to back it up, he's got to have evidence. And you correctly point out, Linda Lingle was the Republican governor when she authenticated the birth certificate. Now, there's a Democratic governor, he has authenticated the birth certificate.

But much more important, the individual who was in charge of the department is Republican and authenticated the live form birth certificate.

And, you know, Mitt Romney disagrees with him, Newt Gingrich disagrees with him, all the other Republican presidential candidates basically disagree with him. They accept the fact that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii back in 1961. Even Karl Rove, the head of the largest pro-Republican super PAC out there disagrees.


BLITZER: He says the president of the United States was born. So it's not controversial.

BANFIELD: No, it's not controversial. And I heard you.

BLITZER: I don't understand why he continues as I say to double down and now sort of all in, as a casino metaphor.

BANFIELD: And that's what I wonder. I wonder if he's so all in that he can't get out. I heard you confront him with the fact and even show on the screen the birth announcements in newspaper, two different newspapers in Honolulu, on that day in 1961.

And instead, his retort was, "many people used to do that," put birth announcements to try to somehow suggest they were citizens of the United States.

I got to ask you this. I've never heard any reporting of that trend. Have you ever heard of that kind of a trend and did you get a response when you asked Donald what his facts were to back up that claim?

BLITZER: About the birth announcements of the Honolulu newspapers?

BANFIELD: Yes, including birth announcements when you're --

BLITZER: If there was a conspiracy, it started back in 1961. Just think about this, Ashleigh, for a second. If he were in fact born in Kenya in 1961, even phone calls, transatlantic international phone calls from Kenya to Honolulu, they didn't have cell phones or Internet service in those days, that would have been a little difficult but forget about that for a second. If you assume that back in 1961 somebody said you know this little baby who was born.

BANFIELD: My baby is going to be president.

BLITZER: Someday, he's black, white and African-American, his mother is Caucasian but you know what? Someday he might run for president so let's put this announcement in the newspapers.

BANFIELD: I think Donald Trump's jumped the shark, I got to be honest with you.

BLITZER: Let's see what happens. He's not backing down though, you know.

BANFIELD: You got that right. Made for good TV, my friend.

BLITZER: Vintage Donald Trump.

BANFIELD: You held your own. It's good to see you.

BLITZER: All right.

BANFIELD: I was watching it live. Very proud of you. Thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Wolf Blitzer joining us live, getting up early with us on the phones.

And, by the way, in case you're wondering if that's just a one- sided interview because Wolf Blitzer and Ashleigh Banfield are raving Democrats who don't support Donald's -- forget about it. Here I have put together a mash-up of some of Wolf Blitzer's greatest hits and they are non-partisan and I direct you to David Duke, Michael Moore, Newt Gingrich, have a look.


DAVID DUKE: I'm asking you a question. Do you think David Irving should be imprisoned in Austria for voicing an opinion?

BLITZER: We invited you on. Why is there a Zionist conspiracy if we're letting you on television right now? How do you explain that?

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I haven't seen you in three years --


MOORE: -- after you trashed "Fahrenheit" and said I was wrong about, oh, yes, this war was, come on, I'm waiting for an apology.

BLITZER: Michael, we've invited you on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, you've declined our invitations over these fast three years.

You said that he lives in a world of Swiss bank and Cayman Island bank accounts. I didn't say that, did you?

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did and perfectly happy to say that on an interview on some TV show. But this is a national debate where you have a chance to get the four of us to talk about a whole range of issues.

BLITZER: But if you make a serious accusation against Governor Romney like that, you need to explain that.


BANFIELD: Blitzer! Boo-yah! That's why you tune in to TV journalism, folks, right here.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thirty-eight minutes past the hour. A warning people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- watch out for people peddling fake pills online. That story is coming up.


SAMBOLIN: Forty-two minutes past the hour.

A quick check of your travel forecast, here's Rob Marciano.

MARCIANO: Good morning again, ladies.

We'll start you off at the airports we think are going to see some problems. New York, showers leftover, Philadelphia same deal. Dallas, afternoon thunderstorms and San Francisco some wind later today as well.

Actually, the thunderstorms in Dallas, there's a couple of them that are going through the morning hours, we'll get a reenergizing of that later on today.

Here's what's left of Beryl. Beryl actually could become a tropical storm. It's kind of raking the coastline of South and North Carolina. Heavy rain to this area, been traveling to say, Wilmington, or Newborn, or the outer banks. That will be moving off the see fairly quickly, being pushed by this front, which is bringing in cooler and quieter air after a rough night last night across much of New England and the Northeast.

Sixty-seven degrees, low humidity in Chicago. That's good stuff. Eighty degrees, still sticky in New York, but you will see cool and dry air later on tonight.

Ladies, back to you.

BANFIELD: Thank you, Rob Marciano.

By the way, we have a really big show coming up next. I don't know if you heard about it. Hosted by --

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN HOST, "STARTING POINT": You're just trying to pay me back because I said a story you were surprised about. "Hey, that was on our show yesterday." Come on.


BANFIELD: I said something about a 6-year-old. Wow, did you know there's a 6-year-old in the National Spelling Bee? That was on the news yesterday.

SAMBOLIN: And yes, I watch your show.

BANFIELD: Nice monitor on that.

But every so often I have to go to the bathroom.

O'BRIEN: I understand.

BANFIELD: What's coming up?

O'BRIEN: Five years and millions of dollars spent, Mitt Romney has finally clinched the Republican nomination but it is Donald Trump, as you were just talking about a moment ago with Wolf Blitzer, who has really been stealing the headlines. We'll tell you how Trump's birther claims are overshadowing his big night.

Al Qaeda in Yemen, after secret negotiations with the terror, a reporter is blind-folded and driven to one of America's most dangerous enemies. The journalist's name is (INAUDIBLE) and he'll join me to talk about a look at the terror group's inner workings.

And late-night funny man David Letterman sits down with Regis Philbin for a one on one interview. It's very rare. Both of them don't really do that. See how that went.

And don't forget watch us at the top of the hour or if you head out to work, whip out your mobile phone, or get online and follow us

BANFIELD: And don't miss us because Soledad will test you when you're on the show.

O'BRIEN: Yes, I will. Tomorrow is your day, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Looking forward to.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. It is 47 minutes past the hour.

A miraculous survival story this morning with the family of three recovering from only minor injuries after their small plane went down in the mountains of Southern Idaho. Pilot, Brian Brown (ph), who was flying from Sacramento with his wife and daughter was forced into a snowy mountainside after a sudden cold front caused the plane's wings to ice over.

And after several hours, the family was able to locate their cell phone in the wreckage and dial 911.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Owyhee County 911, what is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I'm in an airplane, and I crashed, and I'm in the mountains.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you at, hon?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the 29 miles east west of Mountain Home, Idaho. I need you to send a search party, please.


SAMBOLIN: I believe that's Heather, their daughter that you're listening to on the phone there. The family was stranded for over 12 hours before being airlifted from the crash site, but all three have been released from the hospital, and there were no life-threatening injuries, we are happy to report. Brian and Jay-Ann Brown are with me now on the phone. Good morning to you.



SAMBOLIN: Thank you so much for joining us this morning. And Brian, I want to start with you. If you could talk us through what happened. At what point did you realize that you were in trouble?

BRIAN BROWN: Well, we were getting actually the weather closed in on us, so that right there was a pretty biggest indicator when we knew we were getting into trouble. We could still see the ground, but still, the weather was just pretty severe that had closed in on us pretty quickly. So, again, that's about when really identified we were in a lot of trouble.

SAMBOLIN: And what made you realize that you were in trouble?

BRIAN BROWN: Well, you know, again, I'm not an instrument pilot (ph). I'm more of a visual. So, again, we need to have good visibility, really not just the ground but all the way around us, and that part of that visibility was closing in pretty fast.

SAMBOLIN: And, were you trying to communicate for help at all? Was that possible or no?

BRIAN BROWN: No. I was actually focusing a lot more on just flying the airplane at that time, you know, and keeping us in the air.

SAMBOLIN: And I was reading reports here that you belly flopped the plane into the mountainside. Was that a purposeful maneuver?

BRIAN BROWN: Well, I don't know about the belly flop definition, but yes, I did try and pitch the nose of the plane up to match the terrain that I was heading towards. So, we didn't nose the plane in, you know, straight into the ground.

SAMBOLIN: And Jay Ann, what were you thinking while all of this was happening?

JAY ANN BROWN: I was terrified. I could see the ground coming up on us and knew that I -- I knew that it was not a good situation. I also knew that, you know, if anybody could get us through this, it was going to be Brian, because I trust his piloting skills explicitly.

And -- but I was very frightened, as anybody would be. And when I realized that we were going to crash, I -- it was just very, very frightening, very frightening.

SAMBOLIN: And I know that your daughter was there with you as well. Were you sitting in the front of the plane and she was behind you?

JAY ANN BROWN: Correct. It's a four-seater plane and Brian and I were in the front and she was in the back.

SAMBOLIN: Now, once you crashed and you realized everybody's alive, what happened then? JAY ANN BROWN: We just sort of sat there for a minute, because we didn't know where our phones were. We didn't know how to communicate with anybody, but, we also knew that we could, you know, that somehow, some way, we knew our indicator, there's a crash indicator and you'll have to ask Brian what the technical name of it is, but there is a crash indicator on the plane, and I knew that that would begin to go off so somebody could hear it.

SAMBOLIN: And also, you mentioned cell phones. Your daughter's cell phone started ringing which is how you knew where it was, and she was able to call for help?

JAY ANN BROWN: Exactly, but that was several hours later. We didn't realize -- we couldn't find them. It was getting dark, and we couldn't find them. And so, when the cell phone rang, of course, it lit up. And then, she was able to find it and then make the call.


JAY ANN BROWN: We also didn't think we had power or reception.

SAMBOLIN: And your rescuers actually had to trek through the snow to get you. How long did you spend out there?

JAY ANN BROWN: About 12 hours, I believe.

SAMBOLIN: Wow. Well, Brian and Jay Ann, we are so grateful that you're with us this morning. Are you well? Everybody OK?

JAY ANN BROWN: We're well. We're banged up. We're banged up and bruised, and couple broken bones, but we are alive.


JAY ANN BROWN: And this is nothing short of a miracle, and God's hand evident in every single thing that happened.

SAMBOLIN: Well, Brian and Jay Ann, thank you for joining us this morning and give our best to Heather as well.

JAY ANN BROWN: Thank you.


BRIAN BROWN: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Wow. It is lucky they're with us. Banged up seriously, broken rib, stitches. I mean, they really got hammered, but they are alive --

SAMBOLIN: And they call it just banged up, right? It could have been so much worse.

BANFIELD: I know. I know.

So, if you're leaving the house right now (INAUDIBLE) on your desktop, also on your mobile phone, you just need to go to, and everything you need is right there.


SAMBOLIN: Fifty-seven minutes past the hour. Time for your "Early Read."

The government is paying close attention to online sales of fake Adderall.


SAMBOLIN: The Drug Enforcement Agency is investigating complaints about counterfeit versions of the popular treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The DEA warns the phony pills might not only be ineffective, they may also be harmful.

BANFIELD: Scary. There's a new study that claims patients who need a lung transplant actually might be better off getting one from a former smoker, that according to not getting one at all. "The Toronto Star" has details on this one.

The researchers are admitting that patients who get a smoker's lung probably won't live as long as they would have had they gotten a transplant from a patient who didn't smoke. But then the study also says the person who does get a lung from a smoker has a 21 percent chance of dying than a person who's still on the waiting list.

So, better not to be on the waiting list for you have a better time (INAUDIBLE) and better to get that smoker's lung which is just not as good as it could be, unfortunately.

SAMBOLIN: All right. "Starting Point" is less than a minute away. We wrap up, as always, with best advice. Here's Christine Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. And today's best advice for you comes from actor, David Cassidy. This is advice from his own father.


DAVID CASSIDY, ACTOR: Follow your dream, follow your passion, do it, and do it as well as you can do it, no matter what it is.


ROMANS: Do it as well as you can do it no matter what it is.

BANFIELD: It's true, you know? If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.



ROMANS: All I know is someone's got to pay you to do what you're doing.



BANFIELD: That is EARLY START, the news from "A" to "Z." Thanks for being with us. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN" starts right now.