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Booz Allen: We Fired Snowden; Source: Snowden Charges In The Works; New Intel Leak Details Promised; Riot Police, Protesters Clash In Turkey; Richmond Airport Re-Opens; Apple Unveils Updates For iPhone, iPad; NSA Building Huge "Data Farm"; Obama Remarks On Immigration Any Moment; Cancer Doctor Accused Of Killer Coffee
Aired June 11, 2013 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, manhunt in Hong Kong.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know where he is generally. I'm not going to talk about where he is.
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COSTELLO: The NSA leaker on the run and nowhere to be found.
And top secret spy facility. The NSA's largest. Is this where your information will be stored?
Also, tornadoes ravage Maryland and Kentucky, scorching heat out west. This is not your average spring.
Plus poisoned coffee, a doctor, her lover, and lasting damage.
And hello John Oliver --
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This looks weird. It feels weird. It even sounds weird. It sounds weird to me and this is my actual voice.
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COSTELLO: "The Daily Show" begins its summer without Jon Stewart. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. The now former employer of the NSA informant is speaking out and implying that Edward Snowden may have exaggerated a bit. Booz Allen just released a statement minutes ago saying intelligence contractor, Snowden, was fired and he didn't makes a much money as he claims.
Christine Romans begins our coverage. So tell us more about these new developments. CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Booz Allen says they fired Edward Snowden yesterday. Booz Allen is, of course, the massive major government contractor, $5 billion or $6 billion in revenue last year, almost all of that coming from government contracts. This is what Booz Allen says in a statement on reports of the leaked information, leaked information that came from Booz Allen, which was supposed to be keeping secrets for the U.S. government.
Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, was an employee of the firm for less than three months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. Snowden who had a salary at a rate of $122,000 was terminated June 10th for violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy. Now Snowden told "The Guardian" that he made almost $200,000, that he lived in paradise as he said in Hawaii with a girlfriend and that he left all of that trapping of luxury and success because he felt so strongly about what he said was spying by the American government that he wanted to change that.
As you can imagine, Carol, we will be and authorities will be and all people following this story will be looking at every one of the claims he's made and tries to unpack who is Edward Snowden and what are his motives. At least from the statement from Booz Allen, $122,000 was his salary. He worked for them for only three months and they officially fired him yesterday.
COSTELLO: Just fired him yesterday. So we don't know, he might have made up the money doing something else, we just don't know.
ROMANS: That's right. That's absolutely right.
COSTELLO: Or he could have been exaggerating. We don't know.
ROMANS: There's a lot we don't know about Edward Snowden like where he is right now. We know he checked out of the Boutique Mira Hotel in Hong Kong where he had been for some weeks, a hotel that is $400 U.S. a night, where he was hiding under the covers, typing on his computer because some of our reporters were talking to "Guardian" reporters. He was worried that there were cameras in that room.
So he lived sort of the life of subterfuge until he went public and now he has left that hotel. We don't know exactly where he is right now. We don't know if charges are being prepared. We don't know what the next step for the U.S. government is or for Edward Snowden.
We know earlier this week he had talked about maybe looking for -- word was he was looking for maybe a country that would grant him asylum. But again, we are still trying to understand the motives and more about what makes this guy tick. Only three months he had worked there.
He also told "The Guardian" I'll tell you, Carol, that he dropped out of high school, that he had not completed his computer courses at a community college so every one of these sorts of angles of his background will be scrutinized. Booz Allen saying $122,000 was his salary. He worked for them for three months and he was officially fired for violating their code of ethics and code of conduct yesterday.
COSTELLO: Yes, that's understandable. Christine Romans reporting live from New York. Christine mentioned charges, possible charges levied against Edward Snowden. Joe Johns is covering that part of the story. He joins us now from Washington, D.C. What can you tell us, Joe?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, we do know there is an investigation. Law enforcement is expected to use their regular play book on this. Law enforcement official tells CNN that authorities are preparing charges in this case, but nothing is imminent as of yet.
There is a briefing for House members scheduled on Capitol Hill today involving the FBI, intelligence community even though authorities do not yet know the extent of this case how much more sensitive information from the National Security Agency may have been leaked to a British newspaper.
COSTELLO: And as far as we know, Joe, the government hasn't started extradition proceedings and as far as we know we don't have any, I don't know, American agents searching for this guy in Hong Kong?
JOHNS: Well, I don't think we have as far as we know extradition proceedings because it's not clear to us at all that charges have already been filed in this case. So as far as FBI agents searching, we do know there are FBI agents on the ground in Hong Kong and available to the authorities. So that could be happening, but you don't want to speculate -- Carol.
COSTELLO: And I know you have a story for us so let's roll it now.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators are scouring the personal and professional life of NSA contractor Edward Snowden to determine if anyone helped him gather sensitive documents that he leaked to journalists to expose the agency's top secret surveillance programs.
Snowden's last known whereabouts are traced to this hotel in Hong Kong, but he's no longer there. A reporter with "The Guardian" the newspaper that broke the story said on Monday he will not be the one to reveal his source's location.
GLENN GREENWALD, "THE GUARDIAN": I know where he is generally. I'm not going to talk about where he is either in general or specifically. He's a source and I'm not going to disclose information about his whereabouts. He's perfectly capable of doing that himself if he wants to.
JOHNS: And signs Snowden sparked suspicion even before he revealed himself. Investigators visited his Honolulu home asking about his long disappearance from work, but they were too late. He and his girlfriend had cleared out. A new national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that a majority of Americans are OK with the government surveillance, 56 percent of respondents say they approve of the phone tracking program and even more, 62 percent say they're willing to have their privacy intruded upon if it prevents terrorism.
EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.
JOHNS: With this videotaped confession, Snowden could face felony charges under the espionage act.
DON BORELLI, COO, THE SOUFAN GROUP: If you disclose classified information to unauthorized individual for, you know, that could lead to the detriment of the United States. I believe that carries a 10- year penalty.
JOHNS: And if charged, the next question is getting Hong Kong to extradite him.
TOM FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: The State Department can immediately revoke his U.S. passport and then send a certified copy of the revocation to the authorities in Hong Kong basically notifying them this individual is no longer traveling on a valid U.S. passport.
JOHNS: There are calls on Capitol Hill for prosecution of the person who leaked information on the National Security Agency and we may not yet even know the extent of this. The journalist from "The Guardian" who wrote about this says more stories are on the way -- Carol.
COSTELLO: He does. Joe Johns reporting live from Washington, D.C. Thank you.
Anti-government protests intensifying this morning against a key U.S. ally, just hours ago, riot police in Turkey unleashed tear gas and water cannons on protesters in the capital city of Istanbul. They're demanding the resignation of the prime minister and government that they say is growing ever more oppressive.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in Istanbul. Have things calmed down?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At this point, we have seen tear gas still pouring out of the square. We've seen some of the barricades protesters have erected. What you're hearing now is the call to prayer, quite unrelated to what's happening behind me. Police have made it clear through their actions they want to take central Taksim Square back from the protests. That's been relatively easy for the past few hours.
The real fight they seemed to have been facing is one of these side roads heading down to luxury hotels away from where I'm standing. That's where protests have erected barricades. This has been nearly nine hours of clashes we've seen here since the police moved in early in the morning. Some protesters were pulled back as armor trucks and rocks, Molotov cocktails, seem to result in one of the armored trucks actually catching flame that took 20 minutes to put that out. The question now as people begin to get word spreads and maybe the protesters in the last few weeks or so against the police tactics, do they join protests in the square? Do the police manage to keep them from coming and realize some results or are we looking at an evening of continued clashes here?
COSTELLO: All right, Nick Paton Walsh reporting live from Istanbul this morning. Back here at home, Richmond International Airport now reopened after being evacuated for nearly three hours this morning. The terminal and parking garages were cleared after an airport spokesman says a serious threat was phoned in. Passengers were forced to wait outside or in their cars, but the Richmond Virginia International Airport now open for business again.
An overhaul for Apple as the tech giant gives its iPhone and iPad a makeover. Laurie Segall is in New York with more on what you can expect, part of this I really like -- Laurie.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. You know, Tim Cook, Apple CEO, he said that this is the biggest change to IOS since the introduction of the smartphone, not a big deal although, I'll tell you this, Carol, a lot of people wanted the bright shiny new toy and a lot of pressure during this developers conference for Apple to continue to innovate with such momentum. Some say they delivered. Some say they didn't quite deliver. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a great thrill that I announce IOS 7.
SEGALL (voice-over): Your iPhone and iPad will soon look very different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now double click and swipe between your running applications.
SEGALL: Also baked-in services like a flashlight and apps that automatically update, all part of Apple's newest tech on display at the company's annual Developers Conference.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OS 10 Mavericks. Now Mavericks is a release with deep technology focused on extending battery life and providing responsiveness.
SEGALL: An update to the Mac operating system and the much- anticipated music streaming service.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We call it iTunes Radio.
SEGALL: Apple long known for surprises didn't have any in this keynote. Most of the offerings were heavily anticipated by the tech world. ROCCO PENDOLA, THESTREET.COM: Before Steve Jobs died, he put up a slide with a screen that said, 2011: the year of the copycats, talking about how they were all copying Apple's innovation, but iTunes Radio is a Pandora radio and Apple is doing what everyone else has den, copying it.
SEGALL: Steve Jobs was known for his dramatic presentations, introducing a new category of tech with a simple sentence.
STEVE JOBS: Now there's one more thing --
SEGALL: A line that introduced many of Apple's most famous inventions. So can Apple continue to innovate? It's a question the company faces.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't innovate my --
SEGALL: That's a statement from Apple's marketing chief. He previewed the long awaited new Mac Pro.
PENDOLA: They are using Steve Jobs bravado to back up non-Steve Jobs- type innovation. This is an incredibly expensive computer, very powerful, is it innovative? Yes, within a vacuum of geeks, power users, designers, musicians, editors, the type of people that are going to spend a lot of money for a computer, not a mass product like the iPhone, iPod or the iPad.
SEGALL: As you can see a lot of people waiting for that one more thing although a lot of developers are very happy about these updates. They say they've been a long time coming -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Well, one of the new features that Apple has, it's one I really like, it features this kill switch and it's designed to thwart Apple pickers.
SEGALL: Absolutely. And if you've ever had your iPhone stolen, which it has happened to me, it is not a good feeling. You've got about like two seconds before your iPhone is completely wiped. So essentially they have a feature called the activation lock and what it does is if someone disables your find my iPhone security part or if they completely wipe your phone, in order to reactivate it, they have to type in your Apple I.D. and password.
You know, will this work and hackers probably get through this, maybe, but is it a step in the right direction? Coming from someone like me who had my iPhone completely taken away, I would have liked this back in the day.
COSTELLO: I would have liked it, too, because my tracker didn't work because they shut my phone off. But that will solve that problem, is that right?
SEGALL: It's a step. If anything, it could reduce the value of iPhones on the black market. So you know, can hackers get through this, possibly. It's not out there yet. We'll wait and see, but it's the kind of thing that this could help quite a bit. And if you look in major cities, up to 40 percent of theft is cell phone theft. So they have to do something to counter the problem.
COSTELLO: I think they need the help of the phone companies, too. So we'll see. Laurie, thanks so much.
Coming up next in the NEWSROOM, America's spy agency now working on a gargantuan data farm that is so big it could hold 100 years worth of e-mails, texts and phone calls.
Also, a live look at the White House right now, we're expecting President Obama to speak about immigration reform in just a few minutes.
COSTELLO: As the feds chase down NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, the NSA is putting the finishing touches on a gargantuan complex in Utah. When I say gargantuan, I mean, gargantuan. According to NPR, this thing is 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. What will it be used for? They're calling it a data farm.
Here to talk about it, NPR's Howard Berkes. Welcome, Howard.
HOWARD BERKES, NPR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.
COSTELLO: Thanks for being with us. So 1.5 million square feet, what will go into all that space?
BERKES: Well, 100,000 square feet is devoted to computers and computer servers, and the rest of the space will be used to maintain those computers and computers servers to keep them from burning up. They are going to generate an enormous amount of heat, take 65 megawatts of power to power those computers and servers. That's enough to power 65,000 homes. If that was a city in Utah, it would be Utah's 10th largest city for that power consumption.
COSTELLO: OK, so the next question is what those computers will be used for. This thing is being called a data farm. So what will those computers harvest?
BERKES: Well, the NSA will only say that those computers will be used to gather electronic data that relate to foreign intelligence. What we don't know, of course, based on what we've heard in the last week is whether there will be domestic e-mails, phone calls, text messages also gathered as part of that. I think we won't really know what's going to be going into the Utah Data Center until we find out if we find out what NSA is gathering generally speaking.
COSTELLO: So once it gathers these e-mails and texts and phone calls, will they be stored at the data farm or will they be checked on and then fly away somewhere?
BERKES: What the NSA says is that the data farm will gather and store all of this electronic information. That analysts, who are sitting at computers all around the world, will be able to connect via network connections to the Utah Data Center and do the analysis there. They tell us that there won't be any analysts based here in Utah, there that there will just be 100 or so technicians to keep the place humming.
COSTELLO: I would assume that this is not the only data farm out there.
BERKES: It isn't, but it will be the biggest that NSA will have to date. NSA is also building as we speak another data farm outside its headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. It will be about two thirds the size of this facility. This facility is expected to handle what is referred to as five zetabytes of data.
Five zetabytes is equivalent to 1.125 trillion DVDs. This is an estimate from William Benny, who used to work for NSA. He was a technical director there and has become a whistle blower. It's his sort of calculation. NSA won't tell us how much data they will be able to handle there. That's classified information they say.
COSTELLO: I bet so, but you found out a lot. Howard Berkes from NPR, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
BERKES: Thanks for having me, Carol.
COSTELLO: It was a pleasure. Thank you. As the Senate prepares to vote on the so-called "Gang of Eight's' bipartisan plan for immigration reform, President Obama will weigh in from the White House at any moment now. The president will make remarks from the east room. You're looking at it right now.
Where he will be joined by representatives from labor unions, the Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will be there among others. Brianna Keilar is also in there somewhere among the crowd. There you are, Brianna, so what's the president expected to say about immigration reform?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Carol, he's expected to make an argument for it both when it comes to national security and when it comes to the economy. And this is a big day for President Obama here at the White House and his administration. This issue comprehensive immigration reform is going to be a defining issue of his second term if not the defining issue. And it will be defined either as a failure if it doesn't get through Congress or as a tremendous success for President Obama.
So this is an event here in the east room that's meant to highlight the issue as the Senate does begin debate on this bill that has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in bipartisan fashion. You'll be seeing President Obama talking to really some different supporters here. You have some strange bedfellows here, Democrats and Republicans in the audience.
But he will be talking to and flanked by members of law enforcement. There will be business leaders here, labor, religious leaders as well as political leaders. And again, this happening simultaneously as the Senate begins debate and faces a key test vote on this issue later today.
The fate of this bill in the full Senate is not secured. At this point, Carol, this is something that is going to be taking weeks really as they move through debate on the issue. But in recent days, there has been some momentum. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican Senator from New Hampshire with conservative credentials, has put her weight behind the bill. That is certainly something the White House is very appreciative of and pointing to as something that is moving this bill in the right direction.
But even if this gets through the Senate, Carol, there is a huge question mark when it comes to the House. You have lot of Republican leaders, political and intellectual, who want to see immigration reform passed. One of the big lessons for them of 2012 was that they stand to become politically irrelevant if it they don't move forward on this issue of comprehensive immigration reform. But in the House you still have a lot of Republicans who are certainly not on board with anything that includes a path to citizenship as this bill does in the Senate -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, and they are also concerned about the stronger border control included in that bill. We're going to talk about it a lot more. We're still awaiting the president to come through that door. So we are going to take a quick break. When the president begins speaking here in the east room, we'll take it live. We'll be right back.
COSTELLO: One of the country's top cancer doctors is accused of trying to poison a colleague she was dating. Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez- Angulo was charged with spiking her lover's coffee with, of all things, a deadly sweet tasting chemical commonly found in antifreeze. Her victim did survive. Here is more from Ed Lavandera.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez- Angulo is a breast cancer specialist researching the most aggressive forms of the deadly disease at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She was featured in this Susan J. Komen Foundation video highlighting a day in the life of a breast cancer doctor at one of the most respected cancer hospitals in the country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of my aunts died with lung cancer when she was 35 and I was 10 so that was when I made my decision this is what I wanted to do.
LAVANDERA: Which makes the allegations swirling around her all the more stunning. Houston police investigators say she tried to poison her lover, George Blumenschein. A fellow cancer doctor at MD Anderson as well.
(on camera): According to court records back in January, George Blumenschein was behind these gates at the home of Ana Maria Gonzalez- Angulo. According to those records, she made him a cup of coffee. He started drinking it, but then told her that it tasted too sweet. She told him finish that first cup of coffee and that she'd put Splenda in it and make another one. He drank both cups of coffee. Sixteen hours later he was in the emergency room.
(voice-over): Blumenschein started losing his balance, suffered slurred speech and loss of motor skills. According to the court records, doctors found ethylene glycol in his system, a potentially deadly chemical used in antifreeze. But MD Anderson officials told investigators it's a chemical commonly found in labs at the cancer center. Defense Attorney Mark Geragos says it could be a tough case to prove in court.
MARK GERAGOS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: What you always have to take a look at what the prosecutors will always look at in a case like this is the motive. Why did somebody want to do it and why did they want to do it in this way and rule out other environmental factors. That's where the defense is always going to go. Was there a motive? Would somebody have done this, do they have the character to do this?
LAVANDERA: A lawyer for Gonzalez-Angulo says she's, quote, "completely innocent," and that these allegations are, quote, "totally inconsistent with her personal and professional life." Neighbors around her gated home say she is a quiet woman who kept to herself. George Blumenschein survived, but he has suffered severe damage to his kidneys, even needing dialysis to try and repair the damage.
COSTELLO: Ed Lavandera joins us live now. Go ahead, Ed. Take it away.
LAVANDERA: No, sorry about that, Carol. I was just going to say that Dr. Gonzalez is out on bond and her attorney had also told us that they have had already several meetings with prosecutors here in Houston.