CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Prince Harry Completes Combat Tour; Obama, Biden Attend Inaugural Prayer Service; Clinton to Testify on Benghazi Tomorrow; Jason Wu Designed Dress for First Lady; Cold Front Creeps Across U.S.

Aired January 22, 2013 - 11:30   ET

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


PRINCE HARRY, UNITED KINGDOM: Can't wait to be uncle. It seems unfortunate they publicized it when they were. That's the media. I only hope she gets the necessary protection to allow her as a mother- to-be to enjoy the privacy that that comes with.

Too much light there, that's the thing.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Harry's own privacy is clearly a concern for the prince as well, and he made little attempts to hide it.

PRINCE HARRY: I never wanted you guys to be out here, but there was an agreement made to invite you out on the -- on the -- on the deal that you -- that the media didn't speculate before my deployment. That's the only reason you guys are out here.

FOSTER: Back home, the media glare will inevitably be brighter and the pressure back on to find a partner.

PRINCE HARRY: You find the right person and everything feels right, then it takes time, especially for myself and my brother. You're never going to find someone who's going to jump into the position that it would hold. It's as simple as that.

FOSTER: Perhaps Harry's main interest himself will be getting back out to the front line as soon as he can.

Max Foster, CNN, Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: You may be wondering why are we shooting pictures of the prince in war theater. Often times in the past, the palace has made an agreement with the press to not publicize that he is in combat in theater. In return, they gave the press access to the prince when he's perhaps in a safer situation. This is his second time on a combat tour in Afghanistan. His schedule was to have him returning home sometime this week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: We're going to take you back to the National Cathedral in Washington where President Obama and Vice President Biden and the first and second ladies are beginning the first workday of their second term, and it begins with prayer. This is a tradition as old as our republic itself. More than 2,000 guests are on hand, along with clergy from all of the major faiths. This is an interfaith service. We've heard from representatives of the Jewish faith, Islamic faith, Sikh faith. We're still awaiting the sermon by the Reverend Adam Hamilton, who is a Methodist and a rock star in the Methodist community. He is the founding pastor of the 16,000 strong United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas. As we continue to watch this interfaith service, the big highlight yet to come.

This may be day one of term two, but right off the bat, for President Obama, as he starts his second term, a pretty heated issue left over from the first term. In one word, Benghazi. The secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is going to go to Capitol Hill tomorrow and she's going to have to answer some pretty tough questions from some of her toughest critics, all about the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya last September. Ambassador Chris Stevens died along with three other Americans in an assault against the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Mrs. Clinton was supposed to testify last month but she was forced to postpone due to an illness, a concussion and a blood clot near her brain.

Here are some pictures on Monday as Mrs. Clinton made her way towards the inaugural ceremonies. You can see a servicemember beside her, but she is on the arm of her husband and needs no additional attention or certainly assistance of any kind. But make no mistake, that was quite an illness she went through.

Our Wolf Blitzer is live with us from Washington, D.C.

Wolf, I just want to ask you, as we continue the process of trying to find answers as to why -- what happened in Benghazi happened the way it did, we have an independent review that said systematic failures and leadership management deficiencies at the State Department were at the core. And we have Mrs. Clinton taking full responsibility. How much more is there to find out?

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: I don't think we're going to learn a whole lot more. I would be surprised. I think what will be interesting is the political theatrics. How aggressive will some of the Republican critics on the House Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, how aggressive will they be in their questioning? How serious will the allegations be?

This report that U.S. retired U.S. Ambassador Tom Pickering put out was pretty thorough. Sure, there will be some questions that are unresolved and there will be some fireworks, but in terms of substance, how much more detailed information of why it occurred, the reaction? I'm not sure we're going to learn a whole lot more. I'll be surprised if we do. I suspect the theatrics will be more interesting than the substance.

BANFIELD: That's really where I'm going here. When is this honest- to-goodness fact finding? Because we don't have an arrest yet, and we have a dead ambassador and three dead servicemembers. When is this political overkill? BLITZER: In terms of going over, the Libyans who were directly responsible for killing Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans, there is an FBI investigation, I'm sure the CIA, I'm sure the U.S. government. They are looking and there have been strong words from the president, on down, that justice will be served one way or another. But you're absolutely right. They had a few leads. There were a few arrests. That investigation doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

And, look, there's a lot of chaotic situation that remains in Libya, especially the Benghazi area. We see the spillover from Libya and ongoing into Algeria, Mali, elsewhere in North Africa, I'm sure in Tunisia, maybe even in Egypt. This is a serious problem. And maybe the secretary, even in these final days of her tenure as the secretary of state, she'll be asked about this unrest.

The Arab Spring in North Africa and the Middle East was supposed to lead to democracy and a much more productive, progressive area, but there's still so much more work to be done and so many more challenges that are very real that could plague the Obama administration, indeed, for the next four years.

BANFIELD: How much do you think this is going to be questions about -- clearly, this hostage incident has been remarkable in its nature. What's happening in Mali, northern Mali, also remarkable in terms of the Islamist strong hold in northern Mali. How much have these two hearings -- I should note she's going to be in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 9:00 eastern and then the House Foreign Affairs Committee at 2:00. How much of the hearings will be about what we can look forward to in terms of problems? And how much of these hearings will be looking back at Benghazi?

BLITZER: I'd say probably half and half. I think there's going to be a lot of questions from Republicans about the blunders that were made. Four State Department officials were put on administrative leave, resigned, forced to resign, including the deputy secretary of state. There were major blunders. Why was the United States ambassador in Benghazi, especially on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, a day when everybody in the world was bracing for some sort of terrorist action? Why was he there? Why was he there with such limited security? And where were the Libyans? The Libyans are responsible for protecting American diplomats. Why were they missing in action on that very, very sensitive day?

And there were serious blunders that were committed by the department -- the State Department, specifically the security -- diplomatic security personnel, those who were forced out. The question will be, you've taken personal responsibility. Why didn't you do more? Where were you? Were you even paying attention?

I assume they'll ask her why she decided not to go out on the Sunday talk shows and asked Susan Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, to do it. The answer is a simple answer, she wasn't feeling good. She was exhausted. We know she was suffering from a bad virus and bad flu. We know that she had stomach problems. She eventually fainted, suffered a concussion. And perhaps as a result of the concussion, she had this blood clot between her ear and her brain in her head. I think she's still got some lingering effects from that as well.

So all of these questions are going to be coming up, I suppose, in the morning and in the afternoon sessions. And I'll be watching it every step of the way. I'm sure you will be as well.

BANFIELD: Absolutely. It's like a court of law. There's a reason we put witnesses in a court, so we can look into their faces and into their eyes as they answer. So I think a lot of people are going to want to see Mrs. Clinton.

Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Be sure to watch Wolf's program, "The Situation Room." Starts today, 4:00 p.m. eastern time, only on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: They are gorgeous. No question. President Obama on fire as the man of the hour, the man of the weekend. But just as fiery, First Lady Michelle Obama in that red-hot dress. Ohwee, baby.

Alina Cho is here with me about the story behind that dress and why the first lady chose that dress.

It was Jason Wu. She chose him as her designer last time around.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unbelievable.

BANFIELD: It's very unusual to make the second choice.

CHO: Very young.

BANFIELD: He's 30.

CHO: 26 the first time. I had to check his bio again. I thought, are you serious, he's only 30.

BANFIELD: But he is.

CHO: He's got a lot more to accomplish.

BANFIELD: There's nobody in this business who knows more about fashion than you.

And it's amazing. This girl hears a name and she can rattle off the bio of the designer right away.

And you were actually able to talk to him right away. CHO: I did. I spoke to him on CNN about an hour ago. Ashleigh, the one thing he talked about that was interesting, was what was so striking about the gown, the color. The ruby red is what he likes to call it, a mixture of chiffon and velvet. He says that the reason why he chose that color -- because sometimes a design does begin with that, right -- was because he felt after four years of watching the first lady and her style and how she's evolved, that the country, not just her, but the country was ready for a confident first lady.

BANFIELD: I never get it. Red is that much of a statement. But it is.

CHO: It is. I have to tell you, that's a look at the actual sketch that Jason Wu did of the gown. And obviously there was something there that the first lady really liked and something that caught her eye. You can bet she saw this sketch and so did her stylist at the White House.

BANFIELD: And said go for it.

CHO: That's what -- when they get the green light, they like that first.

BANFIELD: So the other little bit of news and historical perspective -- I didn't know this until your reporting -- all inaugural ball gowns, you get to wear them once, and then they're part of the history books and literally part of our American history.

CHO: It's unbelievable. These gowns go into the National Archives, the ones from this past weekend. And they will remain there until an Obama Library is built, if that is built. And once that happens, if it does, the gowns from this term will go to the Obama Library, with the notable exception of the first-term inaugural gown by Jason Wu, the white gown. That will remain in the Smithsonian.

But what's interesting, I want to take you back to the moment, Ashleigh, from last night. Four years ago, Jason Wu was ordering a pizza and watching the coverage in his apartment. This time around, he was with 30 of his employees in his studio, working late.

(CROSSTALK)

CHO: And here's what he said about when he found out she was wearing his creation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON WU, DESIGNER: She came out. Everyone let out the biggest scream and the whole entire studio. It was amazing. The energy was amazing.

CHO: You had a little bit of a problem with the computer. It was buffering.

WU: Of course, it was buffering the moment she was set to come out. No, this cannot be. With dressing for big occasions, I think it's really important to always really think about the client and, to me, I just had Mrs. Obama in mind. You couldn't really think about everything else that comes with it or else you would be so nervous or you would start second guessing yourself. My first image was red. I felt red was so confident. It's commanding and it's beautiful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHO: Yes, I think, Ashleigh, what people forget, here is a man who started designing for dolls, Barbies?

BANFIELD: Dolls? You're kidding.

CHO: Clothing for dolls. It's unbelievable.

(CROSSTALK)

CHO: Now he's designing for the first lady.

BANFIELD: Tell me a little bit about the first lady. This happens to be a big conversation every time, the lead story, apart from the wonderful inaugural festivities, is what does the first lady wear. These inaugural ball gowns of first ladies of days gone by, they are really spectacular pieces.

CHO: They are, most certainly.

BANFIELD: Can we see some of them. I know we put some historical ones together.

CHO: There was the most famous one from four years ago, the Jason Wu gown, which as I mentioned, goes into the Smithsonian. Is there right now. There you see, is that Hillary Clinton?

BANFIELD: Hillary Clinton.

CHO: With Sarah Phillips. She was an Arkansas designer. And there you see Michelle Obama today at the National Prayer Service.

Just got an e-mail a couple of minutes ago from the representatives for the Indian designer who lives here in New York named Naeem Khan. Mrs. Obama has chosen Naeem Khan on many occasions, including state dinners, most recently the White House Correspondent's Dinner. And there she is glowing today with her hair back, but bangs still on full display, at the National Prayer Service.

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: You know what? I don't think it will ever get old. The big male newscasters used to say, and the first lady looks lovely in a pink hat with a matching pink coat with matching gloves. It's a big deal.

BANFIELD: It is a big deal. And boy does she look wonderful today. Naeem Khan, by the way, was in the running for the gown last night. Didn't happen. Maybe that's the reason why she gave him a nod today.

BANFIELD: I'm sure there are a lot of hash tags tout out for Khan.

Thank you. Alina Cho. Great work.

She's on it.

Alina Cho, our fashion --

(CROSSTALK)

CHO: Mutual fan society.

BANFIELD: By the way, the first thing I said to you today, I nailed your designer today, didn't I?

(CROSSTALK)

CHO: Yes, you did.

BANFIELD: Alina Cho. Good job. Thanks.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: If it is nice and warm where you live, consider yourself lucky. There's Cleveland and, news flash, it is really cold. Let me correct that. It is freezing cold. That's literal. In fact, here in New York City, it's about 20 degrees. But even cold temperatures are creeping over the north and the Midwest. It's getting even worse out there. Dropping to, are you ready, 51 degrees below zero with the wind chill in North Dakota, 51 below. When I said zero, that's not true. It's 51 below. I'm used to saying that from when I grew up. 40-below zero in Celsius was brutal.

That cold weather isn't just an annoyance. It's really dangerous. And it can be deadly as well. Police say one person was killed during this accident in Ohio involving 86 vehicles. And that deadly pile-up was one of many multiple crashes in Ohio due to the blinding snow there.

Severe weather expert, Chad Meyers, joins me for more on this.

First, before we get into all of the things in front of you, there's life saving tips you have, let me know who is getting the worst of it at this point, and what we can do to about it.

CHAD MEYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's still Minnesota, Wisconsin, upper Michigan. That's where the biggest cold air event is, minus 30, 40-below zero when it comes to the wind chill. Your car doesn't feel the wind chill, your pets do, you do, your fingers do. And the current wind chills with winds picking up today, the wind chills will go down, they will go down colder than what you see now as winds pick up during the day.

Ashleigh, did you know -- you want to walk away knowing something knew, viewers knowing something they didn't know yesterday -- that minus-40 Celsius is the same as minus-40 Fahrenheit.

BANFIELD: I did. You know why? Because I grew up Canada and we were comparing temperatures to our neighbors to the south, and minus-40 meant minus-40 in Celsius and Fahrenheit.

MEYERS: We always had it on the bank. We never now what the "C" meant after the 22. Why it was color in Canada.

Anyway, let me go to what you should have in your car now. This is dangerous cold. These are things I have my car. Always have a new pump. This pump pumps up air. If you have a slight flat, you don't have to change the tire. Pump it up by itself. If it does go flat, get this goo stuff. If you ever put water in your radiator, you're not a red neck, but you've done something wrong. You need to put this in your radiate, antifreeze. I will keep you protected to 40 below. Water freezes at 32 Fahrenheit. Heat, it goes in your gas tank. It stops condensation that may be water in gas line from freezing the gas from getting to your engine. This is unbelievable able. I tried to find some good washer fluid in Georgia. You can get it. This is only good to 21 above. I used to buy, when I was in Nebraska, 30 below. This will not be the stuff you want to buy for New York. Keep that in mind. Keep wipers clean, because you want to be -- especially when the muck comes off from cars in front of you.

The kit I want you to set up for just the next couple of months -- gloves in your car, maybe a flare, a sign that says emergency help. The biggest couple of things a blanket. Keep a blanket in your car, old one, doesn't matter. Or a poncho or emergency silver blankets that you can cover yourself up with. Car gets stuck, stalls, whatever, you have to stay warm. A flashlight, to work on the car, to signal somebody else. These things are fantastic even if you're hunting, fishing, or in the car. Break them care them, tear them and they stay warm for 12 hours. Keep your fingers warm. A battery maybe to keep charging your cell phone. A candle that goes into this can. That candle you light with those matches, put your hands on the can, your hands stay warm. Jumper cables, some water, it will probably freeze, but you'll have it, and snacks -- Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: That candle -- again, growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, doesn't get any colder -- the candle was the most critical thing we were always told have that in your glove box, if nothing else. That can save your life. If you get stuck in a snowdrift, you're not going anywhere. You could get covered over as well.

Chad, great information. Thank you. Could be life saving for some of our viewers. Appreciate it.

Chad Meyers.

And we're back right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: If you're brave enough to hit the coast and get in a brisk swim or maybe surf a few waves around Cape Hatteras, watch out, because this little lady is hanging out there, too. Meet Mary Lee. She's 16 feet long -- lovely teeth -- a great white, and touring the coast from Florida to North Carolina, so far in the past two weeks, too. Mary Lee is being tracked by Chris Fischer. Mr. Fischer talked with our John Berman earlier about tracking this great white and making sure people know what she's up to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS FISCHER, FOUNDER, OSEARCH: When a 16-foot mature white shark over 3500 pounds comes close to a populated area, I feel an obligation to call.

When you look at her track, observe past two weeks from Jacksonville Beach, which you mentioned earlier, all the way to where she is now off Cape Hatteras, she's been exploring the coast, going in and out, very near a lot of estuaries and river mouths.

Just in the last week, she's moved from Charleston, up the beach to Myrtle Beach, she's rounded Cape Fear, Cape Lookout, and is now at Cape Hatteras. Really expecting her to turn back south. It's a little bit too early in the winter for a snow shark to be heading north. We feel like she'll head south again. But really, no one knows. This is the first time we've ever been able to do this ever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: He named her after his mom, too. How adorable is that?

Thanks for watching, everyone. NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL starts right now.