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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Kidnapped Children Back In The USA, Parents Charged; New Developments in James Holmes Trial; Interview with Sen. Johnny Isakson; Twister Tears Through Arkansas; Interview with Molly Shannon

Aired April 11, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Christine Romans. The parents accused of kidnapping their own sons and sailing off to Cuba will make their first appearance in a Florida courtroom this morning.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Josh and Sharyn Hakken now face a litany of charges including kidnapping, auto theft and child neglect. Cuban officials handed them over to U.S. authorities yesterday. The boys are now back with their grandparents.

CNN's Victor Blackwell is live outside the courthouse in Tampa. Victor, what can we expect this morning in court?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Hakkens for the first time are going to hear that long list of charges against them, but they will not be specifically in the courtroom. They're actually going to be at the jail where they've been now for more than 24 hours. This is going to happen via closed-circuit television.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: Josh what and Sharyn Hakken, waking up in a Florida jail facing state charges of kidnapping and child neglect after a week on the run. Their 2-and 4-year-old sons, Chase and Cole, are back with their legal guardians, their grandparents, Robert and Patricia Hauser, grateful to the authorities who ended their week long nightmare.

ROBERT HAUSER, GRANDFATHER: And really the thousands of other people who said the prior prayers and went out to try to help to find our grandchildren. We are very appreciative of that.

BLACKWELL: The day after the Hakkens lost their parental rights in connection with the father's arrest and erratic behavior in 2012, deputies say Joshua Hakken broke into the Hauser's home in Tampa. Patricia Hauser called for help.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: 911, what is your emergency?

PATRICIA HAUSER, GRANDMOTHER: My son-in-law just kidnapped my two grandchildren. They've been in my state custody.

BLACKWELL: Investigators learned Joshua Hakken had purchased this boat, the "Salty" and they were heading south.

DAVE COUVERTIER, FBI SPECIAL AGENT, TAMPA BAY: The State Department received information that they were actually in Cuba.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Patrick Oppmann in Havana searched a marina popular with Americans and, sure enough, found their boat and the Hakken family.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I saw a boy playing on the top deck and a man with a large beard comes out. I say, are you Josh? He said, yes, who are you? I said, I'm from CNN, gets very angry, and goes in the boat.

COUVERTIER: We did set up a team that consisted of local, state, around federal agents that actually departed the Tampa area and went to Cuba and actually met with the authorities there.

BLACKWELL: The family was taken into custody. The boys and their parents separated on the flight back to Florida, expedient and rare cooperation on extradition between two countries with an inconsistent history.

PATRICK VENTRELL, ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: We do appreciate the Cuban authorities' extensive cooperation to resolve this situation quickly.

BLACKWELL: The boys now settling into a more familiar home, their parents, at least for now, confined to a new one.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: We do not expect to see Chase and Cole, nor their grandparents inside the courtroom today for this first appearance of their parents, but we do expect to see them at 11:00 Eastern.

The Hausers, those grandparents are holding a news conference on their front lawn. The boys will be there but only Robert Hauser is going to speak. He's going to answer questions about this very traumatic last week -- John, Christine.

BERMAN: All right, Victor Blackwell for us in Tampa this morning. Thanks, Victor.

Zoraida Sambolin has the rest of the day's top stories. Hi, Zoraida.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": Good morning. Well, new developments this morning in the criminal case stemming from the Colorado movie theater massacre. A judge has put the murder case against James Holmes, the suspected gunman, on hold until August.

That's when he's expected to decide if Holmes' personal notebook, which he sent to his psychiatrist is admissible as evidence. Meanwhile, Portland Oregon police have arrested Kevin Michael Perfield. He is accused of sending harassing messages to the families of the shooting victims.

The Arkansas Department of Health is looking for some 100 patients whole treated by the late Dr. William Jared. They're saying some of the drugs that he used on his dental patients may have been contaminated with infectious material.

Jared reportedly had a substance abuse problem and may have actually used some of the name ones full of the sedative Demerol on himself that he used on patients. The department is recommending patients who saw Dr. Jared between November of 2011 and February of 2012 be screened for infections.

And was it a ghoulish prank or something a bit more serious? A package with a goat head delivered to Wrigley Field in Chicago yesterday. It was addressed to the Cubs owner, Tom Ricketts. Police are calling this an intimidating package.

Goats of course, are part of Cubs lore. It dates back to the 1945 World Series when tavern owner, Billy Sianis brought his goat to Wrigley and he was tossed out. That is when he cursed the Cubs, saying they would never win a World Series game at Wrigley Field, and they haven't.

SAMBOLIN: And watch this. As officers subdue a 62-year-old man outside Santa Barbara, it took seven bean bag shots and seven taser to get him on the ground. Authorities say he was walking on the 101 Freeway and pulled a knife on a deputy who went over to investigate what was happening. The man will charged with assault, that is when he is discharged from the hospital -- John and Christine.

BERMAN: All right, thanks, Zoraida.

It's 35 minutes after the hour right now and time for round two of dinner diplomacy. Last night, President Obama invited 12 Republicans to the White House to discuss whatever was on their minds and have some steak apparently.

It's part of a series that is meant to bring both sides of the aisle closer together on important issues like the deficit crisis, guns, immigration, all issues, of course, that Congress faces right now.

ROMANS: Senator Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia who organized the White House dinner. He joins us now. So lots on the agenda, I mean, tell me, what was -- what was the bulk of the conversation about? What did you talk about?

SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R), GEORGIA: Well, the bulk of the conversation was driven by the members the president allowed to come. Most of the conversation was about debt, deficit, our growing national debt, our fiscal policy, and reforming entitlements. It was a very meaningful three-hour discussion, free flow exchange of ideas from both sides.

BERMAN: Last time, during the first meeting, the members came out and said they were struck by the fact the president really seemed willing to listen. What was your take on the tone in the room?

ISAKSON: Well, just to verify that, the president opened the dinner by saying, I'm here to listen to you. I want to go around the room and have every one of you give me your input and I'll respond. He did. He didn't take notes he responded specifically about items we brought up. We talked about areas of common interest, common ground. We talked about differences. We did what you have to do to build a foundation for solving problems.

ROMANS: Let's talk about one area of common ground. Ari Fleischer tweeting this morning that the president deserves more credit than he's getting for proposing to do something about Social Security, of course, in the president's budget. He's talking about attaching chained (ph) CPI to Social Security. He's wrong on taxes, Ari says, but good for him on Social Security. What do you think?

ISAKSON: Well, it's very important. People need to understand about 2037 Social Security payments are going to be reduced by over 25 percent because of the declining trust fund. If we don't fix the calculation for the formulas in the COLAs in terms of Social Security and in terms of Medicare, those benefits are not going to be there, not just for our children and grandchildren but for some of us.

So it's important that he address that difficult subject. And it's also important to understand we can afford to do it now and solve the problem in the out years, but the longer we wait, the more difficult it's going to be on contemporary beneficiaries.

BERMAN: Senator, there are so many issues in front of the Congress right now, perhaps none bigger than the issue of gun control. Of course, yesterday Republican Senator Pat Toomey, Democrat Joe Manchin came out with their plan on background checks. Have you had a chance to look at it yet and what's your general sense of their proposal?

ISAKSON: Well, candidly, I spent most of my time yesterday preparing for the dinner we had last night that we're talking about. So I have not read the details yet, but I'm going to a meeting at 10:00 where it's going to be discussed. I think there will be a cloture (ph) motion today or a motion to proceed on cloture (ph) which will pass and will move to the gun bill probably Tuesday morning of next week.

BERMAN: Do you think this measure, what you know if it at least,limited background checks, not universal, do you think it has a chance of getting through the Senate? And could you support it (ph)?

(CROSSTALK)

ISAKSON: I really don't know. It's hard to handicap because there's no ambivalence in the Senate about the gun issue. It's a very clear issue that's always been discussed almost every single year. It may be very difficult to pass. It may not be. I just haven't seen the details.

ROMANS: Let me ask you quickly about immigration. I mean, there are so many things you guys are working on right now. Let me ask you about immigration, that was on the agenda. "The New York Times" reporting the Gang of Eight has largely agreed on a deal on immigration reform. It would delay a path to citizenship until after there was some border security and some verification of border security. Where are you guys on this? ISAKSON: Well, border security is the absolute key. It's a non- starter if you don't do that, but I know the group's been working hard. I had a good conversation with Marco Rubio yesterday. I think he is beginning to feel better and better about the security on the border as the first predicate for reform. But there's no question that immigration reform is an issue we must address.

We've got to get out of the amnesty business and into the citizenship business where people are doing it the right way, not the wrong way. And we've got to have a way to get the H1V (ph) high-skilled workers, and the H2A farm workers into our states to be able to pick our crops and help develop our technology.

ROMANS: A lot of work still to be done. Thank you, sir. Senator Johnny Isakson, it's nice to see you this morning.

BERMAN: The nation's heartland waking up to a path of destruction. In Arkansas, a twister shredded a path several miles long through three downs in Van Buren County, which is north of Little Rock. Nearly three dozen homes were damaged. Several vehicles over turned on the highway and a popular church were simply wrecked. At least three people were injured there.

Marci Manley is with our affiliate KARK. She is live in Van Buren, Arkansas this morning. Good morning, Marci.

MARCI MANLEY, KARK REPORTER: Good morning. We are in Van Buren County. This is near the area one of the hardest hit. So far reports are getting in that damage to 30 homes, six homes completely wiped out. I'm going to show you the damage we're talking about when we're talking about damages to homes.

That is or was a house. The walls are missing, the roof obviously gone, the foundation completely shaken and pieces of people's lives are now scattered all across the area up and down Highway 65.

Obviously, you've got the normal everyday aspects of living, but then you have things that tell us about the people who live here from a keyboard and harpsichord that we found also to different aspects like a baby bassinet and things like this, children's books, children's pictures strewn across the area.

That really is the heartbreaking part of not knowing how this really will impact people as the sun comes up. We'll start to get a better idea of that. Back to you guys.

BERMAN: People are going to have to come back home and go through their belongings. It's so sad. Marci Manley in Arkansas for us, thanks so much.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, it is a great day in Georgia. Augusta, Thursday, at the Augusta Masters tees off. Tiger Woods is favored, but a 14-year-old is the one that everyone is talking about. We'll have a live report coming up.

And then, Molly Shannon is scary funny and he's starring in a new film "Scary Movie 5." She will join us live with a preview. She's waving to us and drinking a caffeinated beverage. You're watching STARTING POINT. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: The face of golf and the future of golf will both be on display this morning at Augusta National. The world's top ranked golfer Tiger Woods goes for his fifth green jacket when he tees off at the Masters that happens about three hours from now.

ROMANS: But everyone is buzzing about 14-year-old Chinese Phenom Guan Tianlang, the youngest player ever to compete in 80-year history of this event.

Patrick Snell live from Augusta, Georgia this morning. So Patrick, this could be a huge comeback for Tiger. He's now only four major championships behind Jack Nicklaus.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, Christine, you're absolutely right. It could be, but you know, he hasn't won a major in nearly five years so the now world number one is absolutely desperate to try and end that miserable streak for him.

This is a guy conditioned to winning who cares only act winning majors and comes here brimming with confidence having already won three PGA Tour titles this season and one former Masters champion in particular, three-time Masters champion, Phil Mickelson, believes Tiger can never be underestimated.

So basically you have the situation there where players like Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, the defending champion, they know that Tiger is a person that will contend and will make things very hard.

Of course, Rory McI'lroy of Northern Islands, he is someone else who is trying to get his major, but it's going to thrilling. Tiger, by the way, will tee off with England's Luke Donald and Scotland Persy of the USA. We're all desperate to get this tournament under way.

We're looking forward to the challenge from Tiger Woods. As I say, he's after a fifth Masters green jacket. But he wants to eclipse Jack Nicklaus as the game's all-time most recorded with 18 majors. Woods has four to go to level him and he needs one more to become the game's most decorated player of all time. John, christine.

BERMAN: It's really a crucial tournament for Tiger Woods. And of course, the way Augusta sets up, it's really a perfect course for both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. They should always be considered favorites there. Even so, they are not necessarily the game people are talking about right now. It's this young 14-year-old Chinese golfer.

SNELL: Incredible story. Guan Tianlang, yes, basically by day plays practice rounds with the likes of the Tiger Woods and then goes home to do his homework and work on his English. Talk about confidence, I shook his hand when he was holding court with the media, came out and greeted the public and pose for photographs. I spoke with him briefly, confident young man, playing fearless golf. My one concern is he doesn't quite hit it as far as some of the top pros, but you would expect that. This is a kid of 14, the youngest ever to play in the Masters, the second youngest in major history. I hope he's still around. I hope he makes the cut because what a story, John, Christine. I wish him well, certainly.

BERMAN: What a story although all the guys on the field are hitting a million and a 1/2 miles right now. Patrick Snell in Augusta for us, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, she shot the fame on SNL as the nerdy Catholic school girl, Mary Kathleen Calliger, you know, now Molly Shannon is starring in the new horror movie parody "Scary Movie 5." No. She joins us live.

BERMAN: Wow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing with your hands?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes when I get nervous, I stick my hands in my arm pit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That's just so fun to watch especially with you. That of course, Molly Shannon known for among other things, for her role as Mary Kathleen Calliger from "Saturday Night Live." You saw it right there. We just watched it with her. That was so fun.

ROMANS: Some familiar frat falls from "Scary Movie 5." Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show the children how it's done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And skipping and halt, spread your legs a little bit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at that form, that technique. I'll never be that good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: OK.

ROMANS: "Scary Movie 5" is in theaters tomorrow and Molly Shannon is here with us this morning. It's nice to see you.

MOLLY SHANNON, ACTRESS, "SCARY MOVIE 5": Thank you.

ROMANS: How much fun to do that movie?

SHANNON: So much fun. David Zucker was our producer, the legendary writer/director from "Airplane." He is so much fun to work with. He's so fun. And I just had so much fun. It was a very over the top character like a ballet dancer that drinks and smokes and bitter because she is being replaced of a young dancer. It reminded me of old movies like whatever happened to Baby James, you know. It's a funny movie.

BERMAN: The jokes in these films, they're so relentless. One after the other after the other, is it exhausting to film those and to do them?

SHANNON: To film those, well, no, because I just do my part, a lot of -- you can seem like you have a pretty big part in a movie and go shoot it in two weeks. So mostly it was just fun especially when you work with people like you know. David Zucker and I, this is our third movie together. So we just -- we laugh. We go out for dinner at night. It's fun.

BERMAN: We consider you the lead.

SHANNON: Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: You were watching some of that, you were cringing. Are those some cringe-worthy moments when they were happening? Do you feel awkward doing those things?

SHANNON: No. I don't know. I don't always love to watch myself. I would rather feel what it feels like than be looking at it. As a comedienne, I don't want to be thinking about it, I want to be free as a woman to not be thinking about how I look or beauty or -- I think comedically, you have to not think about that, be free. Does that make sense? I don't like looking at the image.

ROMANS: When you were looking at the "SNL" character, you said ridiculous. It must be defining. Do people walk up to you?

SHANNON: I get people coming up to me, they want to take pictures. But it's so flattering to me because I created that character and it's a version of me when I was little and it blew my mind when I did it for the first time on "SNL."

That next Monday after that show, so many people came up to me, my daughter loves that, look, I could really feel like, wow, people are really relating this, and I wrote how I felt from inside. Such a great lesson in writing and if you really write the truth from who you are, how people respond to it. So it's very positive.

BERMAN: So before we came on here, we were talking about it and we know a little something about headaches. And you are doing some work for Excedrin.

SHANNON: What's funny about headaches? Yes, I'm thrilled to partner with the makers of Excedrin Extra Strength, and yes, there is nothing funny about headaches. But being a comedienne, I had a sense of humor about situations that cause headaches.

And you can go to the Excedrin Facebook page, and they are having the contest on who deserves Excedrin the most to win prizes and sweepstakes, and there's also really funny videos about headache- inducing situations like delayed planes or toddlers that ask too many questions. Why, mommy why? The questions are funny.

SAMBOLIN: How do your kids feel about this?

SHANNON: Yes, my daughter is 9 and my son is 8 and I love being a mom. I'm so happy. But let me see, I try not to make it too much about me. For a while, I hardly said anything, I wouldn't show them anything and kids in their class started seeing.

I saw your mom on "The Middle." And then I had to tell them, but I never really wanted -- I feel sensitive to my daughter. I don't want her to be the daughter of some actress. I just felt sensitive to it. So I've shown them very little.

ROMANS: Molly Shannon, very nice to meet you. Best of luck with everything.

BERMAN: "Scary Movie 5." Ahead on STARTING POINT, thousands without power this morning, tornadoes carving a path of destruction through two states. The governor of Missouri declaring a state of emergency there with dozens of homes near St. Louis damaged or destroyed.

ROMANS: And two teenage girls who found the super human strength to lift a 3,000-pound tractor off their father's chest. Joining us live along with one very grateful dad. You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Good morning. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Happening right now, storms streaking across the east, leaving tornadoes in their path, cars tossed off highways, homes wrecked. We'll tell you where these storms are going next.

ROMANS: Then in just the past few hours, more than 3 million cars recalled this morning over faulty airbags. Find out if your car is affected straight ahead.

BERMAN: Plus, the Senate expected to start debating new gun control laws this morning and we will talk to the man behind them all, Senator Joe Manchin.

ROMANS: Watch what happens when a store owner decides to --