CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Police Believe Dorner Is Dead; Investigators Confirm Body In Cabin; State Of The Union; Marco Rubio's GOP Response; Getting To Know Lew; Study: Folic Acid Lowers Autism Risk; School Bus Joyride; Lady Gaga Can't Walk From "Show Injury"; Lebron James Sets Another Record; Obama On Gun Laws: "They Need Your Vote!"; What Will It Cost?

Aired February 13, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome, everybody. Some developments in the Dorner manhunt to tell you about while you were sleeping, charred human remains have been found in that burned out cabin. That is where ex-cop Christopher Dorner's ten-day killing spree apparently came to an end.

It could be weeks before there is a positive I.D. on the body, but law enforcement officials seemed very confident that that rogue former cop was actually inside the cabin where he had barricaded himself for one final gun battle with police.

I want to begin this morning with Casey Wian. He is live for us at Los Angeles Police Headquarters. So let's start first with the investigation and maybe even when are they going to be able to I.D. the body?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Soledad, that is a key component of this investigation, which is ongoing this morning. They say they are going to have to do some forensic investigation, examination of those charred remains, they have not said what shape they are in.

It could take anywhere from hours to several days before they have a positive identification of the person who is in that burned out building. Also, another part of this investigation that is ongoing, the possibility that law enforcement said he could have had an accomplice or accomplices.

You remember, perhaps, the marshal's warrant that was disclosed over the last couple of days from Thursday, when it was filed with the court, seeking arrest of Dorner. It talked about an associate of his whose family had property in the Big Bear area.

Sources tell CNN that that associate and other known associates of Dorner have been interviewed and cleared, but they are not ruling out the possibility that he could have had accomplices. Here is what the LAPD had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMMANDER ANDREW SMITH, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: Anybody who has assisted him, assisted him in hiding from the police department, assisted him in avoiding capture or assisted him in any way is criminally culpable and I can assure you that the Los Angeles Police Department and the District Attorney's office will leave no stone unturned to find out if in fact someone was assisting this man in his terrible crimes, in his alluding capture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIAN: Another part of this investigation and operation that is ongoing, round the clock protection of 50 families linked to the LAPD who could have been targets of Dorner. They will not be -- that protection will not stop, Soledad, until those remains are positively identified as Christopher Dorner -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: As one would expect. Casey Wian for us. Thanks, Casey. Appreciate it. I want to get right to Chris Voss. He is a former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator. Thanks for being with us this morning.

When you watched this entire thing unfold from yesterday afternoon through overnight, how now it seems we're focused on this charred human remains, not identified as of yet. How do you assess how it played out as someone who's had a lot of experience in these types of negotiations?

CHRIS VOSS, FORMER FBI LEAD INTERNATIONAL KIDNAPPING NEGOTIATOR: Well, as every moment of this went on, you look for more information about the possibilities of how it might come out. Hoping that at some point in time that it will stop from being a gun fight and turn into some sort of communication that Dorner would have wanted to live enough to be communicated with and talked out.

JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": As a negotiator, when do you give up on negotiating? Because we're seeing reports now that officers actually started knocking down the walls of this cabin before the fire started. So when do you throw in towel and go in aggressively?

VOSS: One of the hostage negotiator's job actually is to help protect the tactical people if possible. So a negotiator is going to continue to try to communicate with the person inside if nothing else, to provide a distraction so the tactical people can get in. It's just one more thing to try to confuse the subject in the middle of the assault if that's the way it happens.

O'BRIEN: His manifesto at least to me seemed to indicate that it was going to be a violent end. As you read and as you followed it over the last 10 days as we all have, was that your sense too that it was going to end in some kind of a confrontation and a shootout?

VOSS: Well, most likely, but everything he did all the along the way, he was completely enamored with himself and his cause. And as a negotiator, you hope at some point in time that his desire to continue that overrides the desire to die. That might give you a thread something to pull on to talk to and get him to lay down his gun. O'BRIEN: Earlier, we were talking to Lou Polumbo, he is a retired police officer that does security, and he was saying that the big break in the case is really when the truck broke down, everyone sort of thinks of it as the confrontation.

But he says as soon as things went awry that you have a suspect under a lot of stress and people under a lot of stress then start acting, you know, in ways that become a little more irrational, if you will. Do you think that's the case?

VOSS: Yes, I think he started to get a little more confused. Up to that point in time he had some sort of plan and he was following most of the steps of his plan. And as soon as he lost sight of the vision of how he wanted things to play out, he did become much more confused and less predictable.

BERMAN: When you see this guy, you know, accused of killing two cops, accused of apparently taking hostages, as a negotiator, you know, is there any way to connect with this type of guy?

VOSS: Well, you look for his will to live. It's not necessarily to connect with him, although at some point in time you hope to, but you try to figure out what's motivating him. If he has any vision of his survival in the future for any reason, you try to find that and nurture it get it him to give up.

BERMAN: From the outside can you tell what that might have been?

VOSS: Well, everything he did was actually to try to keep himself alive. So if you can connect his will to live with his desire to continue his cause even play to his ego, you know, convince him that he will become some sort of a folk hero in some way, if you can nurture that ego part of him, enamored with himself then you might be able to keep him talking.

O'BRIEN: I thought there was an interesting clue when he would say, you know, the killing will continue, the violence will continue until you guys hear my case, until my name is -- the wrong that's been done, my name is cleared.

I thought, you're on a murder -- you are killing people, your name will never be cleared at this point regardless of what had happened in your past, where that investigation that they've now reopened like you are killing other people that your name is never going to be cleared.

VOSS: Yes, it makes no sense to people watching it from outside, which is sort of a hostage negotiator's job is to figure out how it makes to them.

O'BRIEN: Interesting. Chris Voss, a former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, absolutely fascinating. Thanks for talking with us. We appreciate it.

Coming up in the next hour, we're going to be talking to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and also Terry Turchie is going to join us. He worked in the counterterrorism division of the FBI that's ahead in our next hour.

BERMAN: Leaving from Washington today, President Obama hits the road to rally public support for the plans he spelled out in his "State of the Union" address. Last night, he said Congress must work with the White House to create jobs and grow the economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Most of us agree a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. But let's be clear, deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. A growing economy that creates good middle class jobs that must be the North Star that guides our efforts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Florida Senator Marco Rubio delivered the Republican response. He blasted the president's economic ideas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: The idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hard-working middle class taxpayers, that's an old idea that failed every time it's been tried.

More government isn't going to help you get ahead. It's going to hold you back. More government isn't going to create more opportunities. It is going to limit them, and more government isn't going to inspire new ideas, new businesses, and new private-sector jobs, it's going to create uncertainty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So that was the Republican response. There was yet another response from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. He spoke for the Tea Party and he blasted both parties for what he called their excessive spending.

A lot of news going on today all over the world, Zoraida Sambolin in New York with the rest of today's top stories. Hi, Z.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": Good morning to you. Jack Lew testifies before the Senate Finance Committee later this morning in his bid to become the next treasury secretary. Lawmakers expect to question Lew about how he plans to manage the nation's finances and how he will police the financial services sector that sent the economy into a tailspin in 2008.

A new study says taking folic acid during pregnancy may help lower the risk of giving birth to an autistic child. Researchers in Norway looked at 85,000 pregnancies and found women who took the supplement were 39 percent less likely to have a child with autism. The study is in "The Journal of the American Medical Association."

And check this out, video inside this Tennessee school bus shows 18- year-old Jonathan Cole Collins in a bit of a joyride. Police say Collins was walking home when he passed a parked school bus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He noticed the keys were in the bus and that's when he decided that he didn't want to walk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: So the bus was not damaged, but Collins does face a felony theft charge. He was tired. He had to walk 6-1/2 miles, so he hopped on the bus.

Lady Gaga is postponing several shows on her "Born This Way" ball tour because of a painful injury she's had. In a series of tweets, Gaga explained that her joints have severe inflammation and it's gotten much worse recently. She says that she cannot even walk.

Gaga apologized for the cancellations tweeting, quote, "It will hopefully heal as soon as possible. I hate this. I hate this so much. I love you and I am sorry." How is that for a heartfelt apology?

O'BRIEN: That's terrible for her. How sad. I mean, how awful and then, of course, her fans too will be wildly disappointed. All right, Zoraida, thank you.

President Obama promising the plans that he laid out in the "State of the Union" will not add a dime to the deficit. But can he keep that vow? Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen is going to join us. He chairs the Budget Committee. That's straight ahead.

BERMAN: And then they don't call him king for nothing. Lebron James simply on fire lately breaking an NBA record.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Lebron James had it in a way that no one ever has been doing it before. The NBA king made history last night doing something even Michael Jordan was not able to do on the basketball court. Joe Carter is here with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hi, Joe.

JOE CARTER, "BLEACHER REPORT": Good morning, guys. Lebron is absolutely rolling right now and so are the Miami Heat. Last night the Heat won again. They beat the Trailblazers to win their sixth game in a row. Lebron James scored 30 points again.

You know, over these last six wins, he's put together a string of historic performances, scoring at least 30 points while making at least 60 percent of shots. He is the first player in NBA history to be that efficient and that consistent over a six-game stretch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEBRON JAMES, CREDITS TEAMMATES AND COACHES FOR HIS NEW SCORING RECORD: For me to be in the record books by myself, with such a stat, any stat, it is big time, and it's a -- you know, a tribute not only to my -- I don't care about myself, but my teammates allowing me to do that. My coaching stuff put me in a position to succeed. I try to go on and do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARTER: Well, the best college basketball team in the state of Michigan right now is Michigan State. The Spartans hammered their arch rival Michigan by 23 points last night. Michigan has lost three of four since they were ranked number one two weeks ago. Michigan State on the other hand is tied for first in the big ten, which considered by most to be the toughest conference in college basketball.

Prince Fielder, no doubt the guy is a big dude. He tips the scales at 275 pounds. It's only fitting to put him on the world's largest baseball card. The Topps trading card company unveiled this massive card at Tiger Spring training practice yesterday.

It measures 90 feet by 60 feet. One of the questions out there was I wonder how big the piece of gum is inside and how wonder long it will take to flip the card to see the stats on the back, just a couple things to think about.

Comedian, Will Farrell, known for doing just about anything for laughs, last night, he was at the Lakers game, donning the security guard uniform. He is in full ware there. He even booted somebody from the game, Shaquille O'Neal, who so eloquently played along.

Farrell, of course, the middle of shooting "Anchorman 2," but no doubt he was not shooting part of the movie last night considering that his name tag did not say Ron Burgundy.

For all your entertaining sports news, check out bleacherreport.com. I wish I could repeat the name on the name tag, guys, but it's not appropriate for a family friendly show.

O'BRIEN: Well, text it to us so we can find out. Thanks, appreciate it.

CARTER: You bet.

O'BRIEN: One of the more passionate moments of the president's "State of the Union" address was about gun control. Can he get Congress to agree to an up-or-down vote on gun control legislation? We're going to take a look at that with Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen. That's coming up next. You're watching STARTING POINT. Got to take a break. We're back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hadiya's parents, Nate and Cleo are in this chamber tonight along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote. They deserve a vote. They deserve a vote. Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek and Tucson and Blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: That was the most emotional moment of last night's "State of the Union" address, the president asking for an up or down vote on gun legislation. As for the rest of the speech Republicans are focusing on the cost and specifics, too, I think it's fair to say.

While the president insists that none of his ideas are going to add a dime to the deficit. I want to get to Congressman Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from the state of Maryland, chair of the Budget Committee. It's nice to have you with us.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Good to be with you.

O'BRIEN: I want to start by talking about that emotional moment and sort of the optics of watching the House Majority Leader John Boehner stand and clap and kind of sit because, of course, the debate around the clapping is really what people are arguing about now and the nation is very divided about it. What did you think of the emotion of what the president said and the guest that you've brought who was affected by gun violence?

VAN HOLLEN: That's right. I had a guest, Carol Price, whose son was tragically killed in an accidental shooting many years and actually she was the catalyst for some gun safety legislation we passed in Maryland.

This was clearly the most powerful moment of the speech and the president's right, what he's saying is he's got a proposal, universal background checks, let's see if you have a criminal record, if you have mental stability before you have a gun and at the very least let's have a vote.

If Speaker Boehner and others want to vote no, go ahead and do it, but do it in the light of day. Don't try to hide from the American people. I think that's what people are looking for. A little honesty in the debate, not people trying to put proposals in the drawer and hide from accountability and responsibility.

O'BRIEN: You say honesty in the debate and accountability, which bring us to the budget nicely.

VAN HOLLEN: Not one dime.

O'BRIEN: Not one dime. Is that honesty and accountability and a long, long, long speech that had a long list of proposals that the president would like to see? That seems unrealistic.

VAN HOLLEN: If you look at his budget from last year as well, and he mentioned it last night the American jobs plan. so what he did was he said we need to have some additional investments, targeted investments, but we need to pay for them by eliminating spending in other areas and closing a lot of these special interest tax loopholes.

The last presidential campaign both candidates, Mitt Romney and the president, talked about these tax breaks. They're still out there so the president says let's do some targeted spending cuts, not these across the board cuts like "The Sequester" would result in, which would hurt the economy but let's do the targeted cuts.

In fact, the president mentioned last night when it comes to Medicare savings, he would achieve the same savings by the beginning of the next decade as the Simpson-Bowles plan would do. Of course, he does his Medicare savings in a very different way than Republicans and Paul Ryan would do.

He does not support that voucher plan, which transfers the costs on to seniors. He supports a plan to change the incentives within Medicare and ask the pharmaceutical companies to pay a little bit more.

BERMAN: That's the proposal he's been talking about now for well over a year, $400 billion savings for some kind of Medicare. People say he didn't offer any new proposals to cut the deficit. Is that a fair criticism?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, I think the plan he put forward before is as good today as it was when he first offered it. I mean, Republicans have continued to resist it. We've now adopted pieces of it. We did $1.5 trillion in spending cuts by putting these caps on future spending. That's $1.5 trillion in 100 percent cuts.

As part of the fiscal cliff agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff first round, we had $600 billion in revenue from high income earners and what the president is saying is let's do another $1.5 trillion plus, but let's also do it in that balanced way.

A combination of cuts and he identified the cuts in his speech with respect to some of the areas in health care. He's identified additional cuts in the plan he's presented to Congress, but also let's close these loopholes. Remember, Speaker Boehner --

O'BRIEN: Cuts, loopholes and additional revenue, do you have to go back to the well and raise taxes again?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, again, the president's original proposal on revenue is $1.2 billion, we did $600 billion. Speaker Boehner within the last couple of months has said that he has a plan that would raise $800 billion by closing loopholes.

We haven't closed any loopholes that benefit very wealthy people. The president has identified those repeatedly, carried interest loopholes for hedge fund managers, big tax breaks for big oil companies. The president said you can reduce the value of the deductions.

O'BRIEN: If you end up raising taxes that begins to become a problem.

VAN HOLLEN: The takeaway is the balanced approach, which is supported overwhelmingly by the American people, a combination of targeted cuts, and revenue by taking away loopholes. Interestingly, you know, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan talked throughout their campaign about these tax breaks that benefit very wealthy people.

BERMAN: But those were instead of the tax, the tax hikes you passed at the beginning of January.

VAN HOLLEN: But the point is why should we keep in the law tax breaks that disproportionately benefit very wealthy people?

O'BRIEN: Because you just taxed the wealthy people already in the last go round would be one of the answers to that question, right?

VAN HOLLEN: But the president did not even get back to the Clinton era tax rates for higher income individuals. So look, this has been part of the president's plan from the beginning. The Republicans keep saying they don't have a plan. That's not true. They don't like his plan because as you say it does raise some more revenue combined with cuts to reduce the deficit.

O'BRIEN: We will see where it goes. The debate has only just begun with what the president said last night, Chris Van Hollen, congressman from Maryland. It's nice to have you with us. Thank you.

Lots more to talk about this morning, a breakthrough discovery overnight, charred remains found in the cabin where suspected killer Christopher Dorner was holed up, is it his body?

BERMAN: We gave you the Democratic reaction to the "State of the Union" address, but how do the Republicans feel? We have Ohio Senator Rob Portman joining us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)