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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Parents Relocate; Evidence of Security Gap?; Did Boston Bombing Suspects Target New York?; "The System is Broken"; Senate Passes Plan to Avoid Airport Woes; Bangladesh Building Collapse Kills 286; Devastated Town Salutes Blast Heroes; Dreamliner Taking Flight Again; Five Living Presidents Gathered Together; Eric Fisher First Pick in NFL Draft; UFC Champ Tells Personal Story

Aired April 26, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. We do begin with the breaking news in the Boston marathon terror investigation. The U.S. Marshal Service confirms to CNN that bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been transferred from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center here in Boston to a prison facility in Devens, Massachusetts, about 30 miles away.

CNN's Miguel Marquez is here with me for more details on that.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is something that authorities here wanted to do for some time. There was concern among other family and friends of those who had been injured in the blast, who were being cared for at hospitals around the place.

There are still nine people injured in the blast here who are at Beth Israel Deaconess, so their families, their friends, certainly wanted him to go. His condition was in fair condition the last 24 hours. And then overnight, they shooed our folks away that were waiting outside the hospital sometime around 3:00 a.m. or between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.

It was very clear something had changed at the hospital and this morning Bureau of Prisons confirming that he has in fact been moved, clearly good enough to travel. He was in very bad shape for awhile, it sounds like. But his condition clearly improved enough that they could get him to this new facility.

Sort of a perfect situation for law enforcement because they can care for him there, keep him on lockdown, and either cover him through trial or move him to wherever they need to go through the trial process.

BERMAN: Again, there was a great deal of angst here in Boston at Beth Israel with those victim families. I'm sure they're thrilled to see him moved to another place. What do we know about this new facility where he is now?

MARQUEZ: This is run by Bureau of Prisons. It was a former military facility, now it's a decommissioned force and they are able to care for all range of individuals, a lot of it is psychological care. A lot of it is -- there are a lot of individuals there who have long- term psychological needs, some of them very, very dangerous. So they believe that this is the sort of facility where he can be cared for and maintain the sort of security that they need.

BERMAN: Again for now, maybe the most important thing, it's just not here. It is far away from here. Miguel Marquez, thank you so much for joining us this morning. Appreciate it.

We have more new developments to tell you about in the investigation here. Before their alleged plan unravelled, the Tsarnaev brothers reportedly had their sights set on a new target. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the brothers wanted to bomb Times Square. At least it was discussed right at the very end.

We've also learned that the suspects' mother and father have left Dagestan. They are now in another part of Russia, and the mother tells CNN that her husband's planned trip to the United States has been delayed indefinitely because of health concerns.

Also, more developments, the "Boston Globe" reports that anti-terror intelligence units in Massachusetts were never advised that the FBI had investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev's activities in 2011.

And there is another apparent security gap to talk about. A U.S. official says that a counterterrorism task force received a warning about Tamerlan's extended trip to Russia nine months before the Boston bombing but that tip never went anymore else.

So we want to bring in Congressman Chris Van Hollen to talk to him about these latest developments. He's a Democrat from the state of Maryland. He is also the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee. Congressman Van Hollen, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

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

BERMAN: I want to play you some sound from Senator Lindsey Graham, Congressman, because yesterday to CNN Lindsey Graham was suggesting that there is some blame here to go around about the miscommunication, and really the problems with identifying these suspects as far back as 2011. He said that some of these gaps in intelligence with the FBI, ultimately the blame lays with the administration. Let's hear what he says.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I have no idea who bears the blame. I just know the system is broken. The ultimate blame, I think, is with the administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Does the administration bear some responsibility here for these apparent gaps in intelligence dating back to 2011?

HOLLEN: Well, John, this is an obvious example of where we need to collect the fact, do a thorough investigation, and figure out if there were gaps in the system. I think it's way too early to draw any conclusions.

As I listen carefully to Lindsey Graham he started out by saying he doesn't know where to lay blame and then he ends up laying blame on the administration. Let's get the facts. And obviously we need to learn from any gaps that may have been there so that we close them in the future.

I mean, the whole idea after 9/11 was to create a better system of information sharing. We have seen dramatic improvement. If there are still gaps, we need to close them, but let's get the facts. I think people are interested in getting the facts and solving the problems, rather than laying blame here.

BERMAN: So even if you put the issue of blame aside for the time being, some of Senator Graham's allies, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire are calling for hearings into what happened over the last two years dealing with this, to figure out if there were the gaps. Would you at least support the idea of hearings to figure out what intelligence communications may or may not have worked over the past couple of years?

HOLLEN: Sure absolutely. Look, I think we need to have hearings. We need to gather information. These should be done in a professional way rather than people on very little evidence beginning to draw conclusions.

Let's get the evidence, let's figure out what went right, if anything, in terms of collection systems. What went wrong because it does appear there may have been gaps. We don't know exactly all the evidence is in.

But by all means, yes, we should have hearings. The more information we collect, the more prepared we are for the next -- to try and prevent this from happening in the future.

BERMAN: As we mentioned before, you are the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. And there have been budget issues now for longer than most of us can remember, Congressman.

Let me start with last night. Last night, the Senate passed a bill that would give the FAA some assistance in their budgeting to keep these air traffic controllers from being furloughed. Do you expect that the House will pass a similar measure today?

HOLLEN: I do expect the House will pass that kind of measure, but I think it's important to point out that this is just a band-aid, John. I mean, this is just responding to the most recent example, and a very visible example of the disruptive effects of "The Sequester."

What we really need to be doing is replacing "The Sequester" so we achieve the same amount of deficit reduction over a longer period of time, but in a smarter way. And I and my colleagues in the House have put forward a plan on four occasions to do exactly that.

Unfortunately, the speaker of the House hasn't even allowed us the benefit of a vote on that, but the real solution is to replace "The Sequester." Otherwise, we're just attacking the symptoms as they pop up.

By the way, you know, we're addressing these most visible examples. Members of Congress are flying around the country, so they're feeling that. But there are seniors who get help through meals on wheels. There are kids in Head Start programs.

There are people who don't have as strong a political voice who are already hurting right now. So let's address the entire sequester which also, by the way, is having a very disruptive impact on job growth.

BERMAN: Congressman, you're looking to have a conference committee between the House and the Senate budget plans right now. You don't actually think we're anywhere near doing something like that or close to a resolution, do you?

HOLLEN: Well, the first step, John, is of course to have these talks. You know, the Senate has now passed a budget. The House has passed a budget. We don't yet have a common budget for this coming year, for the government, which is why we've been calling for what is the next step in the budget process, which is to go to conference to try and iron out these differences.

And again, we're very disappointed right now that the speaker of the House has refused to allow that budget process to move forward. They were understandably critical that the Senate had not passed a budget. We remember that criticism.

Well, now the Senate has passed a budget, and the speaker of the House refuses to have that next conversation in the budget process. In fact, we are now past the congressionally mandated deadline of April 15th for getting a conference committee report.

Well you can't get a conference committee report if you refuse to go to conference. So I hope people will, you know, call upon the speaker to get this process moving. We shouldn't be waiting when we've got all these disruptions to "The Sequester" and other problems in the economy.

BERMAN: All right, Representative Van Hollen, thank you so much for joining us this morning. Really appreciate it.

HOLLEN: Thank you.

BERMAN: Christine Romans is back in New York with more of the day's other top news. Good morning, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning again, John. Developing this morning in Bangladesh, the death toll now climbing to 285 in that devastating collapse of an eight-story building, 2,000 people have been rescued. But it's believed hundreds more are still trapped in the rubble.

Before it crumbled on Wednesday, cracks developed in the building, which housed garment factories that make clothes, for both Europe and the United States. But people were reportedly ordered to go inside and go to work anyway.

Caskets draped in American flags and mourners openly weeping for the first responders who gave their lives. Twelve of the 14 people who died after the fertilizer plant blast in West, Texas were trying to put out the fire.

Hundreds of firefighters from across the country attended that service in nearby Waco. President Obama said West, the town of West, represents the best of America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: America needs communities where there's always somebody to call if your car gets stuck, or your house gets flooded. We need people who so love their neighbors as themselves that they're willing to lay down their lives for them. America needs towns like West.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The president and first lady also met privately with victims' families.

Boeing 787 Dreamliners are cleared to fly again out of Japan. That country has authorized flights starting today, but it's not clear exactly when Japan's largest Dreamliner carriers will resume those flights. Battery related problems grounded Dreamliners earlier this year.

Every living president in one place or as President Obama called the gathering yesterday in Dallas, a special day for our democracy. The event was the dedication of the George W. Bush Library and Museum. Brianna Keilar has more on this historic moment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The five living presidents together for the first time since President Obama's 2009 inauguration.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We've been called the world's most exclusive club, and we do have a pretty nice clubhouse. But the truth is, our club's more like a support group.

KEILAR: At the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, they put partisanship aside.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: Starting with my work with President George H.W. Bush on the tsunami, and the aftermath of Katrina, people began to joke that I was getting so close to the Bush family I had become the black sheep son. My mother told me not to talk too long today. And Barbara, I will not let you down.

KEILAR: A frail George H.W. Bush received a standing ovation, as he struggled to stand himself. A newly unveiled statue at the library, testament to his father/son political dynasty, as Barbara Bush poured cold water on the idea that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush might join them.

BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: There are other people out there that are very qualified, and we've had enough Bushes.

KEILAR: Inside the museum, displays of the legacy bush intended for himself quickly give way to the moment that defined his presidency.

(on camera): This is one of the most talked about parts of this museum. Twisted steel beams from the World Trade Center. Tower two, to be exact, what's thought to be the point of impact and at many museums you're told not to touch exhibits.

Well, here there will be employees encouraging museum goers to reach out and touch this wreckage of the World Trade Center as a way to connect to what happened on 9/11.

(voice-over): The bullhorn President Bush used to address workers at ground zero a few days later is on display, along with the gun Saddam Hussein was carrying when he was captured in 2003, an era of controversial decisions made by a controversial president. But this day was for celebration, not for criticism.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Whatever challenges become before us, I will always believe our nation's best days lie ahead. God bless.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: A very emotional day for President Bush and the thousands of his supporters who came here to celebrate this. And while the museum and library was dedicated on Thursday, it officially opens to the public on May 1st. Brianna Keilar, CNN, Dallas.

ROMANS: Ahead on STARTING POINT, it's NFL draft time from the surprising picks to Manti Te'O's rough night. We have all the details in a live report. Then UFC Champ George Saint Pierre here live with his new book about his climb to the top of the mixed martial arts world. You're watching STARTING POINT.

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ROMANS: As predicted the first round of the NFL draft was heavy on the big guys. For the first time two offensive tackles went to the number one and number two overall picks. Joe Carter is here with the "Bleacher Report." Good morning, Joe.

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Good morning, Christine. So far this draft has lacked star power. But it certainly made up for it in with size and a lot of surprise. People shocked to see two offensive linemen go first, and then seven offensive and defensive linemen go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select Eric Fisher, tackle, Central Michigan. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CARTER: And wow, Eric Fisher is a big guy, 6'7", 306 pounds. His job next season is a very important one. He's going to protect the Chiefs' new investment, their multimillion dollar investment in quarterback Alex Smith.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC FISHER, NUMBER ONE PICK IN NFL DRAFT: This is so hard to process, the fact that I was the number one pick in the NFL draft, it's a dream come true. Something I've been working for, for so long and, I'm standing here right now, and I just can't believe it yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARTER: As I said it was an unusual night because a record number of offensive and defensive linemen were taken in this year's first round. Field position largely ignored in the first 32 picks, only one quarterback was drafted. No running backs were taken.

But in the fifth pick, Detroit, you got to say they rolled the dice big time with defensive end Ziggy Ansah. This guy was born and raised in Ghana. He only knew soccer for most of his life. He moved to the United States in 2008 and has only played football for three seasons.

But the Lions really liked this guy. They liked him along side Perry. Well making news for not getting picked Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'O. He was passed up by all 32 teams. Maybe it's because of the fake girlfriend baggage. Maybe it's because he played poorly in the national championship game against Alabama.

Either way he didn't make the trip to New York City. He is in Hawaii with his parents where he's hoping his name will be called later today. You got to feel bad for this guy. It was a rough night for West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. He waited in the green room for his name to be called but it never was.

He waited and waited and waited. He was not picked and many predicted, and I mean many predicted this guy was going to go in the first round. Some said possibly in the first few picks, but it never happened. He said I'm not going through this again. I'm getting on a plane and I'm going to watch the second round at home with my family.

Now you can watch the second and third round, and track it on bleacherreport.com. They've got a nice breakdown of what happened in the first round, which teams came away winners. Which teams came away losers? Again, that's bleacherreport.com.

And Christine, as I said, Geno Smith, you got to feel bad for this guy, he's potentially going to get picked today. Aaron Rodgers who went through a similar situation back in 2007, he's now the Green Bay Packers quarterback, tweeted Geno Smith last night basically saying, keep your head up, everything's going to be all right.

ROMANS: Difference between first round and second round is millions of dollars, isn't it?

CARTER: Multiple. Yes, you're talking about $15 million to $20 million.

ROMANS: All right, thanks, Joe Carter. All right, wondering about the next stop for Anthony Bourdain, "PARTS UNKNOWN?" Here's a preview of CNN's new hit show airing this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": -- from Venezuela. It's extremely cheap. Like 50 cents a gallon. The government subsidizes a lot of it. They're able to buy Venezuelan gasoline and sell legally Venezuelan gasoline in Colombia.

Having taken on as much gas as could be bought in one city, we're off again. It's hot out here, desert hot. We plan to ride three hours along the coast to our latest spot. I refused to wear a helmet or sunblock. We avoid wild donkeys and goats and get lost more than a few times. So it leads to a lot of horsing around and we decide to open these puppies up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: No. Anthony Bourdain: "PARTS UNKNOWN," airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, George St. Pierre, one of the most successful UFC fighters joins us live for his new book about how he rose from a bullied kid to a celebrated champ. He's going to teach me a few moves. You're watching STARTING POINT.

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ROMANS: He's the UFC welterweight champion and is considered one of the top mixed martial arts fighter in the world in his new book, "The Way of The Fight," Georges St. Pierre shares the things he learned on his journey to the top, both inside and outside the ring.

He writes, "Watching myself fight I realized the line between success and failure is so narrow, it's scary. Every single time I win a fight, I better understand how the greater the risk, the greater the reward."

George St. Pierre is here now to tell us about it. You know, when we read this book, you have a rabid following of people who love to watch you and love to watch this sport, but there are a lot of lessons in here for leadership and failure, success and failure, no matter what walk of life are you in. I think it really transcends just this sport to life. Is that the point?

GEORGE ST. PIERRE, UFC WORLD CHAMPION FIGHTER: Yes, when we made this book, we wanted to do something for the bigger public than only the MMA hard-core fans, you know, wanted to make it for a bigger audience. It's not a biography, really a book of philosophy and used basically to my goal, my dream, my fear. Putting everything together from where I come from to where I am right now in my career.

ROMANS: So let's talk about what that strategy is because you were sidelines with an injury. You had some time away from the sport. That's when you started writing this. Did you have to refocus and think what does it take for me to be a winner and leader? How hard do you have to focus on yourself and your own performance?

ST. PIERRE: To do that project, yes. It happened when I had my ACL surgery. It was a hard time in my career. I didn't know if I would ever come back, you know, because some injuries like this, sometimes you never come back. And I had a lot on my mind and also a little bit kind of therapeutic. Sorry for my English. I'm French speaking is my first language. I work with this, and we work with a lot of interviews. Altogether, and made that book.

ROMANS: Let's talk about bullying as a child. When you say it made you who you are, if bully was part of the definition of what you had to overcome as a kid. You say the truth is, I didn't start as a winner. When I was a kid, I was just another reject. I started at the bottom. I think all winners do. Tell me how that defined you and what can others take from that?

ST. PIERRE: Well, just an obstacle I faced in my life. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I grew up in mixed martial arts and it gave me confidence and bullying like -- I don't say I'm an expert in bullying. Bullying in my time is way different than now.

Now they have cell phone and internet. They didn't have it back in the day. In my time, way different -- more face to face, you know, but I -- I talk a lot about it in my book and the strategy I used to go through it and made me the person that I am. And I am very competitive.

ROMANS: All right, George St. Pierre, really nice to meet you. The book transcends the sport into sort of leadership, success, and failure. You're right, there's a very, very fine line. Really nice to meet you. Best of luck to you.

All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, we've just learned this morning that the Boston bombing suspect has been moved to a new location.

New details about a second possible attack being planned by those suspects. We're live in Boston again at the top of the hour.

And controversy this morning over a nearly three-decades' old video of police, police making fun of the homeless. You can't make this up. What's more surprising is who appears in it. You're watching STARTING POINT.

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