Return to Transcripts main page


What will Obama Do in His Second Term?; Interview with Rep. Peter King; Looking Back at Inauguration Day 2013; Jill Kelly Speaks Out; Prince Harry in the Combat Zone

Aired January 22, 2013 - 11:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Cute. OK. It turns out that the folks in Ottawa actually do have a sense of humor. We misspoke a little earlier in the newsroom that a hockey fan who looked just like Ottawa Coach Paul McClain, he was not actually thrown out of last night's Senators Florida Panthers game. SportsNet reports the man was actually taken away so that refs could get some personal information to contact him in the future. It will be a money-maker for him.

Our apologies to the Ottawa Senator; yes, you do have a sense of humor.

I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me today.

CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Ashleigh Banfield.


Hi, everybody. Nice to have you with us. I'm Ashleigh Banfield and, right now, I want to take you live to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

The picture's on your screen where the president and the first lady, Michelle Obama, along with the vice president and Dr. Biden are attending the national prayer service.

This is a post-inauguration tradition that dates back to the days of George Washington, a very important and solemn moment. We're going to do a lot more coverage as we go along through the hour about just exactly what happens during the national prayer service.

But, again, a storied tradition. And they happen to be inside the National Cathedral, which you will probably remember was making news earlier this month because officials there said they are now planning to allow same-sex marriages in that church for the first time.

You'll also remember from yesterday that same-sex marriage was one of the touchstones in President Obama's inaugural address, an address, by the way, some said was a uniting address and an address that some said was a dividing address.

Another issue in that speech, climate change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.

Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.


BANFIELD: And here is what the American people think about that. Our brand-new CNN/ORC poll shows 49 percent of the nation thinks that it is a man-made problem. And you can see that just 23 percent say it's not a proven fact at all.

I want to bring in our White House correspondent, Dan Lothian. So, there were a lot of things that were touched on, Dan, in this speech, but the mention of global warming, did that seem to catch people by surprise?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think so. I mean, we've not heard a lot of conversation here in Washington lately about climate change.

You know, I looked back. Just a few days ago I was putting together a piece for and I was writing about the president's priorities over the next four years. At the end of that piece, I tucked in a line about climate change and I remember thinking, it's been a while since I've heard about this.

I mean, I have to go back to the first year of the president's first term where he tried to make some movement on climate change and then, caught up in the economic crisis, that got left behind.

And, so, I think it was a surprise, especially since the aides had said that the president was not going to really be focusing on any policy at all. That came seemingly out of nowhere.

BANFIELD: Well, let me talk about immigration then because that's another issue that this president is facing in the next four years and I have more information from our new poll that might give you an idea of where this country is sort of heading.

The majority of people that we questioned think that the focus of the government should be coming up with a pathway towards citizenship and you can see the numbers right there, 53-to-43 who say, no, just deport them and stop more from coming in.

But what are the president's plans at this point that we know of with regard to a pathway to citizenship if he thinks there is one?

LOTHIAN: Well, I think, first of all, the president wants comprehensive immigration reform and he sort of ticked off some of the items that would be part of that, such as making a stronger border security, making sure that employers who hire undocumented workers are penalized, but also a pathway to citizenship for some of those law- abiding -- otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants in this country.

So, he's looking at sort of this overall comprehensive package and the president and his advisors feel like they could make some movement on it in the second term. Why? Well, you look at who supported the president in the 2012 election. He got more than 70 percent of the Hispanic votes.

Republicans realize that and you're starting to hear sort of this warming up to the idea to do something about immigration, immigration reform.

And so, you know, the president had promised in his first campaign that he was going to make movement on this, did not deliver the way that some Hispanics had expected him to do. They're hopeful that in his second term that can happen.

BANFIELD: Dan Lothian, you just used the words "warming up" and I know that you got the assignment outside of the National Cathedral today and it is bitterly, bitterly cold.

But I want you to tell me a little bit about the warmth and love inside that cathedral. We're looking at more of the live pictures.

This is really an awesome event and people might forget that it is an annual event that spans the lifetime of this country.

But give me a little bit of a play by play.

LOTHIAN: That's right. I mean, you know, I can rewind a little bit to sort of the history of this. You look back to FDR and his first inauguration in 1933. That's when it first started happening here at the cathedral.

It has not been consistent over the years, but we did see that trend to begin in the second term of Ronald Reagan. Since then, every other president has had their post-inauguration prayer service here at the cathedral with the exception of former President Clinton. Both of his services were held at the AME Church, which is an historically African-American church here in Washington.

So, what you're hearing now, some of the music being played. Earlier, there was a choir singing. There will be Bible readings, other spiritual readings that will be taking place here today.

But, mostly, it's a chance to pray for the country and also pray for the vice president and the president as they tackle some of the big challenges in their second term.

BANFIELD: It's a lovely service to be able to be able to watch live and at the same time coming up in a little bit the Reverend Adam Hamilton is going to deliver the sermon.

And, if you don't know who he is, he's a big deal. He's the founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Sixteen thousand members, that's the largest church in that denomination. So, the four guests of honor taking that front pew and a lot of VIPs in attendance as well. Michelle Obama, by the way, can I just say, stunning. She knows how to do it, doesn't she?

We're going to talk a lot more about stunning Michelle Obama and what made her so stunning other than her dynamic style and smile, those clothes, as well.

Dan Lothian, thank you and we'll continue to touch on the national prayer service.

We also want to check some of the headlines. In that introduction to the program, we talked about whether this was a uniting speech or a dividing speech, this inaugural address.

Some of the headlines that we are watching this morning, "The Daily News" saying, "Let's Go, Obama's Rallying Call for an Ambitious Second Term."

Then if you look at "USA Today", pretty darn clear. "Our Journey Is Not Complete," one of the lines he repeated a few times.

"The New York Times," "Obama Offers Liberal Vision -- We Must Act." Beautiful picture of the first couple on the front during the parade route.

And then "The Wall Street Journal", "Obama Vows Aggressive Agenda."

So, a couple of the headlines from the main papers, but then "The New York Post" chose to go with something completely different, Beyonce and Jay-Z, the first couple. Well, almost.

And take a look over here. Right here. Do you recognize that guy? That's Congressman Pete King from New York snapping a shot of Jay-Z and Beyonce. What a front row seat to that little bit of fun and the New York Republican is kind enough to join me right now live.

And there's your picture. You've got the picture. You snapped it and it ain't bad.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Actually, I'm very talented guy, but, more importantly, it's a great moment for Beyonce to be seen with me. I mean, her career is definitely going to take off. That's what she was waiting for all these years.

BANFIELD: Oh, Pete King, I was going to say, I like your picture but don't give up your day job. You're a fine congressman. I'm not so sure about photographer.

Let me get to the business here. There were a couple of things that were said after the president's speech. Some people called this a very forceful and liberal inaugural address and some of your fellow Republicans said this.

I'm going to start with John McCain. He said that he would have liked to hear more outreach while Ohio Republican Rob Portman tweeted this. "My disappointment was that in the speech I think the president missed an opportunity to talk about where we can find common ground."

And then Steve King the Republican from Iowa tweeted this, "Awesome and shockingly liberal address. An epic realignment."

So, some people said not at all, other people said what I just read. What's your take?

KING: Well, you know, the president won the election, so he's certainly entitled to pursue his agenda.

I thought it would have been more effective, though, if he had spoken more in thematic terms. By being as precise as he was, he was really laying out a liberal agenda which is usually what's done in a State of the Union.

You know, going back to Ronald Reagan's first address, he was saying that, you know, government is not the solution; it's the problem. Those are general statements.

I thought the way he got specific yesterday made it more of a, again, almost campaign type of address. I mean, parts of it were very good. He's an excellent speaker, obviously.

But even, for instance, the way he was sort of distinguishing the issues, implying that Democrats care more about disabled kids than Republicans do or he's not going to turn his back on the sick elderly.

Well, you know, no one wants to do any of those things, so I thought he could have found some way to be more constructive. Maybe he felt that the time for that is gone, but, you know, he's going to have a State of the Union speech coming up on February 12th. That's where he can really lay out his agenda.

I thought last night -- yesterday, he missed an opportunity. I'm not as critical as some of the others may be. I think it would have been better for him if he had tried to reach out a bit more.

BANFIELD: So, you know, I guess if the president thought that he was giving an address that could look forward to changing the partisanship that is just paralyzing Washington, it didn't take but a minute for the tweets to come out with a completely different perspective.

What else could the president have said -- listen, I'll tell you. I didn't do the counting myself. I'm going to credit "USA Today" for this. He said the words, "our journey is not complete five," times.

He said, "we, the people," five times. He said the word "together" seven times. What should he have done differently that would have assuaged the kinds of tweets that we saw right afterwards?

KING: I think he should have done more to say there's honest disagreement. There's honest disagreement. We have strong views. Let's try to find more of a common ground.

He didn't really acknowledge the honest disagreement. It was, somehow, there's the voice of reason and there's the shrill cries on the other side. So, I think he should have gone more to say, hey, there's people who honestly disagree with me.

Now, there's some people who are never going to agree with him, but I think he would have made more progress if he had acknowledged, again, the honest disagreements, if he had even perhaps mentioned John Boehner's name or Mitch McConnell's name the way President George H. W. Bush did with Speaker Jim Wright back in 1989.

It's just a gesture honoring day which is more of a unifying day. You can still make the case, but do it in a more magnanimous way.

But, again, he won the election. Yeah?

BANFIELD: Yeah, I was just going to say, Congressman, that, you know, sometimes I wonder if words matter at all at this point given the climate in Washington, D.C.

And I only say this because I'm trying to, at the same time, look at the criticism of the exact same speech. The conservative group, Americans for Prosperity, called this a "harshly ideological, aggressively partisan speech more appropriate for the campaign trail. His address reads like a liberal laundry list."

While at the same time, Scott Peters, a Democrat from California, said, you know, this is a call to action and a reminder that we have the ability to do a lot if we work together.

Bernie Sanders saying it's inspiring in its basic theme that we're in this together.

I don't get it. I just don't get it, how you people who all do the same job -- I understand partisanship. I just don't understand hyper- partisanship.

KING: Yeah, you know, well, there's really no place for hyper- partisanship, but there are real honest positions. The country is divided.

I mean, even though the president won a big victory, he still got only 51, 52 percent of the vote. The Republicans still kept the House. So, there is still a divided country.

And, again, I think if he can try to find the common ground -- listen, there are some people who are never going to listen to him. But, if he wants to get the people on his side to bring pressure on Congress, I think if he showed more of a sense of outreach, I think that would have brought more people over to his side.

Instead, those who are watching it who disagreed with him will still disagree. But, if he had, again, I think, extended -- I hate to use the term "the olive branch" -- it may have -- I'm not saying it's going to win over the partisans in Congress, but it could win over some of the supporters, some of the people out there who are more independent-minded who can bring pressure on their representatives on both sides.

Like, for instance, I thought he should have done more to emphasize that he was willing to make some sacrifices on his side when it comes to entitlements because, if we are going to have any progress, Republicans are going to have to move on our issues, but also the president is going to have to move on the issue of entitlements, on Medicare and Social Security.

And, again, he really, if anything, just seemed to dig in hard defending those programs as they are. Now, that was the impression he gave. Now, maybe he's willing to make concessions, but it would have been helpful, I think, if he had indicated that willingness up front.

BANFIELD: It's always good to hear from you and I have a feeling with the big decisions that lay ahead just in the next couple of months, Congressman, that you and I'll be talking again. Thank you very much for your time.

KING: And, Ashleigh, if you're lucky I'll take a picture of you.

BANFIELD: This time, there's this little thing called focus. I just want to let you know in advance. Just hit that thing first.

Pete, thank you.

KING: I gotcha. OK.

BANFIELD: I want to take -- he's great, isn't he? He's just so funny.

And speaking of the fun, this is a great opportunity just to look backwards a little bit at the fun moments from yesterday's celebration. You might have caught a lot of it, but we love these things.

Take a look at what we're loving to call the photo bomb, the Clinton photo bomb. "I hear ya, Kelly Clarkson," Bill Clinton peeking out from behind the fantastic Kelly Clarkson as she was singing her rendition of "My Country 'Tis of Thee." This may not have been intentional, but it was a great picture nonetheless.

And then Al Roker got his wish during the inaugural parade. Just watch him as he tries on the sidelines to get first the president's attention and then the vice president's attention.


AL ROKER, WEATHERMAN: Mr. President! Mr. President! Mr. President! How's it going? Is the weather good? Isn't it fantastic?

Mr. Vice President! Mr. Vice President. Hey, how you doing? Come on. Come on. They won't let you. Yes! All right! Yes! Yes!


BANFIELD: Yes! A very, very happy Al Roker and it makes us think about one of the most endearing moments of the inauguration parades and you've got to think back to 1989, Willard Scott who got a kiss from Barbara Bush. And I'll tell you what. The only reason I know this is not that I remembered it. I just started working with this new guy who took on his first day of his job here at CNN today. He happens to have a lot to do with the former "Today" show, Jeff Zucker. He's the new guy.

Welcome, Jeff, to your first day. We here at CNN are really looking forward to more days ahead.

Back to the story. The first lady, Michelle Obama a stunner, of course, which is excellent news for people in the clothing business who make what she wears like J. Crew.

She was wearing one of their belts. Actually, it's a belt from the bridal collection. Now, it is gone-zo, completely sold out. Go figure.

I want to just get you back to the national prayer service at Washington Cathedral. They are singing the national anthem and it's lovely, so have a listen.


BANFIELD: You know, we saw her in pink and we saw her in yellow and we saw her in some very catty headlines. And I'll tell you what, some very downright rude headlines, as well, but we have not heard from this woman, Jill Kelley, until now.

Think back to November and you'll remember the Tampa woman, a volunteer military liaison who unwittingly blew the lid off the affair between then CIA director David Petraeus and his protege turned biographer, Paula Broadwell.

Ms. Kelley has broken her silence and she did so with my CNN colleague, Howie Kurtz, who is also the D.C. bureau chief for "Newsweek" and The Daily Beast.

OK, Howie, boy, did she ever break her silence. And it turns out, if you believe her version, we, the press, got a lot of things wrong, didn't we?

HOWARD KURTZ, CNN'S "RELIABLE SOURCES": Jill Kelley is angry at the media coverage. It was a very emotional two-hour interview, Ashleigh, in which Jill Kelley talked about the things that we in the media got wrong, for example, the famous 30,000 e-mails between her and General John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. And I went along with this like everybody else.

She says there were a few hundred. They were mostly tame, not sexy or flirtatious. And, in fact, Jill Kelley tells me that she sent those e-mails from a joint Yahoo! account that she shares with her husband.

BANFIELD: Well, now, that's what stood out to me perhaps the most. Other than the 30,000 e-mail issue, which I do believe, very early on, on this program, having spent a lot of times in the courtrooms, I kind of had the idea that the 30,000 e-mails were bulk accounts they needed to look through to find out if there were connecting e-mails. However, the part that you just said, Howie, about the e-mail account she shared with her husband, doesn't that tell us a lot about what nature the e-mails would have been between General John Allen and her if her husband was part of them, as opposed to these flirtatious e- mails?

She might have been the other woman? She may have been having an affair with John Allen? I mean, doesn't this kind of clear the air?

KURTZ: No, I want to caution that I haven't seen the e-mails, so we don't have any first-hand evidence of their tone, but Jill Kelley contends with me that's on The Daily Beast this morning that she also copied General Allen's wife on many of these e-mails.

So, she says it was just social. They were friendly. She's a woman in Tampa who became friendly with David Petraeus and with General Allen, as well.

And, look, she has been portrayed in the media as a social climber, as an air head, as somebody who was very flirtatious and it may be that we kind of got carried away. Of course, she didn't help us by being silent for nearly three months.

BANFIELD: Good point.

KURTZ: We didn't have any access to her side. That's what I'm trying to provide now.

BANFIELD: I'll tell you what. I want to read one of the things that's quoted in the piece that you read from Jill Kelley.

She said, "It was devastating to have your privacy invaded. It is truly -- there are no words to describe it. Instead of enjoying a family birthday party, I had paparazzi storming my front lawn, pushing down the door. There are no words to describe the panic and fear at that moment."

And you just alluded to it. She had a publicist who I think told her not to say a word. Does she feel like that was a terrible mistake now and now she's correcting the record?

KURTZ: She does feel like it was a mistake to stay silent and let everybody else kind of set the narrative around her but, you know, this is a woman who didn't have any dealings with the media.

She was terrified, Ashleigh, to use her word, when she got this bursting barrage of anonymous e-mails we now know from Paula Broadwell, General Petraeus' "gal pal," as I call her, threatening her.

She used words with me. I haven't seen these e-mails either, but Jill Kelley tells me that those e-mails were -- she describes them as having extortion and threatening nature and blackmail.

So, she did -- she says she went to the FBI to protect herself and her family and, suddenly, the thing explodes. There's a whole Petraeus that she didn't know anything -- she says she didn't know anything about.

And she's holding a birthday party for her 7-year-old daughter and the media invasion takes over her front lawn. That's got to be a pretty daunting prospect.

BANFIELD: Well, I'll tell you what. Blackmail and extortion are not legal and, of course, a prosecutor can only work with so much. And, if your star witness, read, "Jill Kelley," isn't interested in going forward, then that's perhaps why it's possible we don't have charges in this case.

Howard, it's great reporting and good reading. Say that again.

KURTZ: Just to clarify, prosecutors just a couple of weeks ago decided not to go forward with any charges against Paula Broadwell on those anonymous e-mails.

BANFIELD: Well, like I said, it's good reading and it's good digging. And you know what? There's nothing like setting the record straight and, certainly, if it's our fault, that needs to be called out.

Always nice to talk with you, Howie. Thank you.

KURTZ: Thanks, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: A prince -- a prince -- called to duty.


PRINCE HARRY, UNITED KINGDOM: It wasn't done in the wrong way, but it was just ...


BANFIELD: That's Prince Harry in the middle of an interview as an alarm sounds and the third-in-line to the British throne dashes off to his attack helicopter, unbelievable video and a great interview, life in the Afghan combat zone for Prince Harry.

We're going to show you more of this coming up after the break.


BANFIELD: You don't often get the chance to interview a sitting prince, but Britain's Prince Harry is now talking and for the first time he's actually addressing all those nude photographs, that romp with a woman in a Vegas hotel room.

The photographs of the incident went viral about four months ago, just before he was deployed to Afghanistan. And not just any deployment, he was a gunner on an attack helicopter.

Speaking to reporters Prince Harry said this. Quote, "Probably let myself down. I let my family down. I let other people down."

But he also had this to say. He chastised the media for not giving him the privacy he believes he deserves.

Prince Harry also spoke out about being in a combat zone. He was asked if he had ever killed any insurgents.


PRINCE HARRY: Our job out here is to make sure the guys are safe on the ground. If that means shooting someone and shooting them, then we'll do it.


BANFIELD: Our Max Foster now with more on Prince Harry's combat life in Afghanistan.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: They call this VHR, very high readiness.

It might look like down time, but the call to fly can come at any time. It happened once in the middle of an interview.

PRINCE HARRY: It wasn't done in the wrong way, but it was just ...

FOSTER: It wasn't just being able to do his job that made harry value his deployment to Afghanistan so highly. It was the simplicity of his life out here.

Prince Harry stayed in these simple containers when he was here in Camp Bastion. It's a far cry from the palaces he grew up in.

And when he was working overnights, things were even more basic.

PRINCE HARRY: This is my bed. I don't really make it when I'm down here, which is a joy. So this is as much privacy as one would get.

FOSTER: It was while he was out here that Harry received news that his sister-in-law, the duchess of Cambridge, was expecting a baby.

PRINCE HARRY: Can't wait to be an uncle.

I think it's very unfortunate they were forced to publicize it when they were and -- but that's just the media for you. But I just only hope that she gets the necessary protection to allow her, as a mother, mother-to-be, to enjoy the privacy that that comes with.