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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Susan Rice's New Gig; President Reshapes National Security Team; Paris Jackson Hospitalized; Limo Fire Cause Found?; "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant!"
Aired June 6, 2013 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Rice pick is a sign President Obama doesn't mind the fight. Just last month, he brushed off the issue.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The whole issue of talking points, frankly, throughout the process has been a sideshow.
ACOSTA: Former national security spokesman, Tommy Vietor says Rice's critics are wasting their time.
TOMMY VIETOR, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN: If you want to talk about talking points 10 months later, I think the case is closed. The documents have been released. Susan did nothing wrong. It's time for these people who are taking political cheap shots to move on, get a day job.
ACOSTA: Either way, Rice doesn't have to worry. Her appointment does not have to be confirmed by the Senate.
SAMANTHA POWER, U.N. AMBASSADOR NOMINEE: It would be the honor of a lifetime to fight for American values and interests at the United Nations.
ACOSTA: That's not the case with Samantha Power, the president's pick to replace Rice at the United Nations. Well known for her passion on human rights issues including the genocide in Rwanda she's also had some missteps. As an aide to then candidate Obama in 2008 she called his rival Hillary Clinton a monster. Some Jewish groups don't like her comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
POWER: I'm putting something online might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import.
ACOSTA: But several Republicans said it's just too early to pass judgment.
SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: I'm not prepared to express an opinion.
ACOSTA: Samantha Power later apologized to Clinton and they buried the hatchet. As for her appointment, Arizona Senator John McCain put out a statement praising the president's pick for the U.N. As for Rice, McCain said, he'll make every effort to work with her. Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm joined now by CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. Good morning, Candy. Let's start with this NSA collection of Verizon phone records. What does it mean for the Obama administration?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We'll see. What it means so far is that even some of its best allies on the progressive side are saying, whoa, wait a second. What is this all about? This was something that then President Bush got pounded for. This kind of blanket, you know, bring in a bunch of data and let's see what we can find rather than looking for something specific.
This appears to be even broader than what President Bush did. So he's now once again run afoul of progressive groups as well as conservatives. I will tell you that a number of times when things like this come up and we are hearing people on the Hill that have been warning for a while, we think that the American people would be appalled at what goes on in the name of national security.
In the end, Americans have been remarkably OK with some of the things that have caused quite a stir in Washington. You know, if you do it in the name of national security, Americans tend to go for it. So we'll see how it plays out. Right now, it's being called the biggest sweep of this kind of metadata, as they call it, sort of transactional stuff.
You know, when was the phone call made, from what number to what number, how long, et cetera. We'll see how it plays out. Certainly there are people on Capitol Hill who have already said this just doesn't seem acceptable. Again, you have seen groups on both sides go, whoa, what's happening here.
ROMANS: But Congress grants these powers and has granted powers twice to two presidents now.
CROWLEY: Not illegal as far as we can tell.
ROMANS: And the question is it a one-time thing. Is this ongoing? You know, we need to know more about just exactly what they are doing there.
ROMANS: Let's talk a little bit about the shuffle of the president's national security team. Yesterday, President Obama appointed Susan Rice to the national security adviser post. Why do you think he chose her?
CROWLEY: He's comfortable with her. He likes her. He owes her. He thinks she's smart. She's been with him since before his first term. So this is someone -- and anyone surprised by this hadn't been sort of paying attention to what has gone on for some time ever since Susan Rice sort of took herself out of the running for secretary of state. People have known that Tom Donolin was leaving and figured that Susan Rice would be the replacement. So he trusts her. She is going to be one of the most powerful people if not the most powerful person when it comes to national security, short of the president, of course because access is everything.
She has geography on her side. She is right down the hall from him in the west wing. So this is a powerful position. Presidents tend to give it to people that they think are up to the job and they trust. He trusts her.
ROMANS: Let's turn now to the lingering questions about the IRS, Candy. "Wall Street Journal" this morning is reporting that IRS officials in Washington may have known in 2010 about the targeting of Tea Party groups and this contradicts a lot of earlier information and IRS staff citing a Washington link. Not just low level Cincinnati workers, but a Washington-directed link to probe -- a Washington directive to probe the Tea Party groups in 2010.
CROWLEY: Sure. Basically, we have this story on Sunday. It still doesn't answer the basic questions. We knew that IRS officials knew early on because of Cincinnati asking for guidance, et cetera, that there were those in Washington who knew. The question still is who decided it was a good idea to target folks seeking tax exemptions with either the name Tea Party or Patriot in the name of the group.
Who thought that was a good idea? Who directed it and why did they do it? None of these interviews at least -- now, mind you, we haven't seen the full transcript. You have to believe that the transcripts that the Republicans are leaking are the ones they consider make the most direct link. It's still not there. We still don't know who ordered it and that's really the question here. We knew that the IRS in Washington knew early on, but whose idea was it?
ROMANS: All right, Candy Crowley, big questions for this administration. Big questions continue. Thanks.
CROWLEY: Absolutely, thanks.
BERMAN: It's 36 minutes after the hour right now sources close to the Jackson family tell CNN that Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson's 15-year- old daughter, was rushed to the hospital early Wednesday morning after cutting one of her wrists. A family attorney says that Paris Jackson is in good physical health this morning.
In recent days, Michael Jackson's daughter has been taking part in the family's wrongful death lawsuit against promoter AEG Live. Paris Jackson has twice answered questions about her father's death in that case.
CNN Miguel Marquez live in Los Angeles with more on the story. Good morning, Miguel.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. I would underscore those same sources say she's doing just fine and getting the help she needs. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
MARQUEZ (voice-over): A cry for help is how some family sources are describing a possible suicide attempt by Paris Jackson. Paramedics rushing to the Jackson family home, a suicide hotline counselor called 911 after getting a call from Paris. Frightening moments captured in this dispatch transmission played by "Entertainment Tonight."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calabasas. Female 15 OD'd on 20 Motrin and cut her arm with a kitchen knife.
MARQUEZ: The 911 responded to Jackson's home at 1:27 a.m. Wednesday morning for the possible overdose and a cut to one wrist.
PARIS JACKSON: Hello. This is my face. It's kind of a shocker but, yes, this is what I look like.
MARQUEZ: A week ago, Jackson released this how-to makeup video on YouTube. In it, she's funny, even silly.
JACKSON: What is she doing there? What? What?
MARQUEZ: The 15-year-old with great natural beauty at times acts like any other teenager -- unsure of herself.
JACKSON: Yes, I'm pink in the face. I have acne. I'm so weird. I need serious help. I'm crazy. I'm crazy.
MARQUEZ: Hours before the 911 call, Jackson tweeted, I wonder why tears are salty and quoted the "Beatles." Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they're here to stay.
ALAN DUKE, CNN COVERING JACKSON FAMILY: Paris is a very sensitive and dramatic child, a teenager, 15 years old and the emotions that come with that.
MARQUEZ: Jackson, along with her grandmother Katherine and her siblings are suing concert promoter AEG for the wrongful death of her father. Twice she's been questioned.
KEVIN BOYLE, JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: Paris Jackson was asked intimate details about her father and her father's death. It was a very intense situation.
MARQUEZ: A tough situation for any kid, tougher yet for one that spent so much of her life in the spotlight.
MARQUEZ: In a family statement, they say that she is a sensitive 15- year-old and particularly sensitive when you lose the person closest in your life -- John.
BERMAN: It has to be so hard. Miguel Marquez is joining us now from Los Angeles. Thanks so much, Miguel. Following her suicide attempt, Paris Jackson is said to be getting appropriate medical attention in a Southern California hospital this morning.
Our next guest has known the Jackson family for years and can shed some light on the situation. Raymone Bain is a former Jackson family spokesperson, has known Paris since she was a toddler. He joins us now from our Washington Bureau. Thank you so much for being here, Ramon. I've got to ask you. You know, you have known the family for years. Were you surprised by this?
RAYMONE BAIN, FORMER GENERAL MANAGER AND SPOKESPERSON, MICHAEL JACKSO: I was paralyzed as most people in the country. Having been Michael Jackson's spokesperson and general manager, I observed Michael and Paris, she, the apple of his eye. He looked at her as his little princess. So you know with what she's had to go through all of these years, people don't realize that she was there with Michael 24 hours a day.
She was home schooled. You know, she was the closest thing to him, she, Prince, and Blanket. It has been a tremendous shock to this little baby. I call her a baby because she is only 15. I must admit yesterday I received hundreds of calls from those who had worked for Michael Jackson. People from as far out as the Middle East, Japan, who were all concerned and wanted me to share with Paris and the family that she's not alone.
There is so much speculation as to what the issues are, but this young girl has gone through quite a lot. I don't think anybody will know exactly what caused this, but we just want her to know that we are praying for her. We are praying for the family and we are wishing her the best. Her father talked to me for hours about his plans for her and her siblings.
Let me tell you something. I want her to know that her father thought a lot about what she would do in the future. He had great plans for her. I want her to know that he looked at her as another Angelina Jolie, Audrey Hepburn. He looked at Paris as someone who would carry his mantel worldwide.
I want her to know that she's not alone out here. Her father's spirit and all of us who have been working for him for years are holding her up and we just want her to know that, John, because for whatever reason this happened, she can overcome it.
BERMAN: Let's talk about the facts here. We have heard she had possible cut marks on her arms. We saw the tweets. We have seen the videos. They are suggesting, you know, a 15-year-old girl going through tough times. But do you know any signs of anything like depression that she's been battling over the last few years?
BAIN: Well, I have not. I have spoken to members of the Jackson family. I must admit I have not seen Paris since her father's funeral. I have been in close communications with her grandmother on occasions, her grandfather and her aunt or uncles. I have not been advised that there has been any depression.
But I tell you what. Michael Jackson passed in June of 2009, my mother several months later. That was a traumatic circumstance for me at my age. So you think about Paris who was there with her father all over the world from the Louvre to sitting with him, talking about him and his life and his career as a little child.
We would go into Asia and Australia and Ireland, and Michael loved books and reading and in those bookstores they would have CDs. So Paris would make Michael buy his CDs, if you can believe it. She is his number one fan. There is not a number one fan in Asia or Europe -- Paris Jackson is the number one fan.
Can you imagine the king of pop being in a record store or a bookstore and his little girl, at the time, 6, 7, 8 years old, coming with a stack of "Thriller" and Michael Jackson's "History 1, 2, 3" and Michael would say to her, listen, Paris, we have those CDs at home. I'm not going to buy my own CDs.
You know, as a little kid she would say, well, daddy, you're my favorite artist. I want your CD and we would end up buying Michael's CDs and videos everywhere we went around the world. That's the kind of love and admiration she had for her father. For him to be taken out unexpectedly at 50, she was there with him.
She saw what we have been hearing about -- the horrible facts of deterioration. That little girl and her brothers were there to see that. So you can imagine the kind of shock that she experienced and why she is going through what she's going through now.
BERMAN: She's been through so much for a 15-year-old girl. Raymone Bain, thank you so much for helping --
BAIN: Thank you for having me.
BERMAN: -- shed some light a little bit on who Paris Jackson really is.
Let me just read a statement from Katherine Jackson. This is what it says, being a sensitive 15-year-old is difficult no matter who you are. It is especially difficult when you lose the person closest to you. Paris is physically fine and getting appropriate medical attention. Please respect her privacy and the family's privacy.
That's a statement on behalf of Katherine Jackson right there. So again, that news from the Jackson family, hard to be a 15-year-old girl always and as Raymone Bain just said, she's been through so much the last few years.
ROMANS: Absolutely. When we come back, we're going to look at the tropical storm bearing down on Florida, much of the state right now in tropical storm watch. Tornado warning, watches in the state. We're going to bring you the very latest on Tropical Storm Andrea right after this.
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Welcome back. We have our first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season now in the gulf making its way toward Big Ben, Florida. We are talking about steady winds of 60 miles per hour. The good news it is not expected to strengthen. Making its way through Florida today and eventually dissipating, but not without bringing heavy rainfall, 2 inches to 4 inches of rain anywhere from as high as New York, and 7 inches to 8 inches of rain in Florida.
BERMAN: A messy, wet weekend up and down the east coast.
ROMANS: Thanks, Indra.
BERMAN: Investigators believe they may have discovered the cause of a deadly limo fire that killed five women last month in the San Francisco area. KGO TV reporting investigators believed air springs in the back of the limo ruptured. That set in motion a chain reaction that led to the fire. The women were on their way to a bridal shower.
ROMANS: They will be looking now at the capacity of that limo, how much weight was in the limo and were there signs of wear and tear.
Ahead on STARTING POINT, a Minnesota mom rushed to the hospital suffering from excruciating back pain, the diagnosis -- a six and a half-pound baby girl. She said she had no idea she was carrying. We'll hear from the mom next.
ROMANS: On Sunday, Minnesota mom, Trish Staine, went out on a 10-mile training session, 10-mile run, you know, preparing for an upcoming marathon. She made it through the run, but by morning, had terrible back pain. She thought she maybe pulled a muscle or ruptured a disk. The pain got worse and worse. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Soon after, her diagnosis was delivered a 6 pound, 6 ounce baby girl.
BERMAN: So Trish and her husband, John, had no idea that she was pregnant. That is until the surprise delivery Monday afternoon. The stunned mom, Trish, is joining us now from Duluth. She named the baby, Mira, short for miracle. Trish, how are you doing? How is the baby doing today?
TRISH STAINE, GAVE BIRTH TO UNEXPECTED BABY GIRL: I'm feeling pretty well. I haven't been by the hospital to see her at all. First of all, just a correction real quick, her full name is Miracle. I just call her Mira.
ROMANS: That's beautiful.
STAINE: So that's her nickname.
ROMANS: That's beautiful. Now you have to tell me, I mean, it seems just so unbelievable that you are on a 10-mile run. You think have you ruptured a disk. I mean, the pain gets worse and worse. You have two pie logical children. You have experienced pregnancy before, experienced delivery before. I mean, the question is on everyone's minds. Especially anyone pregnant before, how could you possibly not have known you had a baby?
BERMAN: Six pounds?
STAINE: Yes, it's pretty mind blowing to me too. You know, they say hindsight is 100 percent. There have been signs, but, thinking back on it, I was -- pregnancy and having kids was the furthest thing from my mind. I've always said I had my one boy and one girl, I was done so obviously --
ROMANS: Could you feel her kicking along the way. Usually at 20 weeks, kicking, feel the puttering, a bump, and the whole thing.
STAINE: There wasn't any bump. I kind of already have a tummy anyway and I didn't gain any weight, and I think probably through my training, I probably lost what I had. And she just replaced it, is what I'm thinking happened. And as far as movement, she did not move. My other daughter was kicking and moving everywhere, so active, and even my son. You could tell there was a kid in there. I had a lot of weight gain with both of them.
BERMAN: As if this story is not incredible enough. The other aspect of this, your husband had a vasectomy four years ago. So what does your doctor say about that?
ROMANS: He wants a refund.
STAINE: Well, I argued with everybody. I argued with everybody, you know, that's why this is impossible, and you know, the doctors came in, gave me statistics, which I didn't remember, because at that point, I was not -- my mind still really wasn't there. They gave me different statistics about how, you know, sometimes it doesn't work and things grow back or 1 in 1,000 gets through I think is what they told me. Somebody needs to be here to let him know when he gets here because he won't believe me.
ROMANS: Wow, wow, Trish. She is adorable. Miracle, Mira, is adorable and I know she joins brothers and sisters. I'm sure the whole family is having a great time running out and buying baby clothes.
BERMAN: A miracle to say the least, right?
ROMANS: And starting this new chapter for you. Thanks for joining us.
STAINE: Thank you.
BERMAN: Ahead on STARTING POINT, an explosive report this morning, alleging the federal government compelled Verizon to turn over the phone records of millions of Americans to the National Security Agency. We will have the latest details including the Obama administration's reaction in a live report coming up.
ROMANS: And a wild weather day for Florida. A tornado warning issued for Palm Beach County and now a tropical storm moving in. You're watching STARTING POINT.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: Our STARTING POINT this morning, is big brother listening?
ROMANS: Top secret documents reportedly show data on your phone calls, is being collected and stored by the government, but why?
BERMAN: A deadly building collapse in Philadelphia. We have dramatic pictures of a rescue, but not everyone made it out alive.
ROMANS: Plus wicked weather targets Florida, a tornado warning in Palm Beach County, now a tropical storm moving in --