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NEW DAY

President Defends NSA Surveillance Program; Airline Passengers Disruptive; Afghan Forces Take Over Security in Afghanistan; Teens Rescued from Clifftop; New Developments in Shocking Lawson Pictures; California Wildfires Could be Severes, Firefighters Worry; Etheridge Criticizes Jolie for Mastectomy

Aired June 18, 2013 - 07:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My job is both to protect the American people and to protect the American way of life which includes our privacy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, the president comes out swinging strongly defending the controversial NSA surveillance program and defending his shift on Syria.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Flight risk. An out of control passenger screaming claiming he was poisoned. His fellow fliers restraining him, the third incident in three days. What's going on?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: New details. Celebrity chef, Nigella Lawson, embroiled in a tabloid scandal. Photos that look like she's being choked by her husband on the front page. The police responds this morning.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you need to know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have approximately 730 individuals, 99 of which are women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you just have to see. This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Good morning, good morning, good morning. And welcome to NEW DAY. Kate Bolduan, Chris Cuomo, Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

BOLDUAN: Welcome, everybody. CUOMO: It's great to be here with you, Tuesday, June 18th, seven o'clock in the east and remind you, we are in the middle of 30 minutes of commercial free news.

We'll begin right now President Barack Obama attempting to bounce back after those awful poll numbers. A day after his approval ratings took an eight-point plunge, the president is insisting anyone who's outraged by his administration's top secret surveillance programs just doesn't get it. Let's bring in Brianna Keilar. She's in Sligo, Ireland, traveling with the president for the G-8 Summit. What's the latest from there, Brianna?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, the latest this morning is an interview that President Obama gave over the weekend before departing for the G-8 summit. He talked about Syria, and he also talked about the NSA programs that have garnered his administration so much criticism.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: In a candid and unusually long interview with PBS's Charlie Rose, President Obama revealed how defending the homeland weighs on him, even as he discussed his goal of helping the middle class.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And that is the thing that I'm going to be focused on for the remainder of my presidency, along with the basics like making sure nobody blows us up.

KEILAR: Obama stood by newly revealed NSA programs that gather vast amounts of phone and online data from millions of Americans.

CHARLIE ROSE, PBS HOST: Should this be transparent in some way?

OBAMA: It is transparent. That's why we set up the FISA court.

KEILAR: That's the secret court that rules on warrants for surveillance. At suggestions his administration has been heavy handed Obama bristled.

OBAMA: Some say Obama was a raving liberal before. Now he's Dick Cheney. My concern has been not that we shouldn't do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism, but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances.

KEILAR: Obama discussed the bloody civil war in Syria, where his administration recently said the government crossed a red line using chemical weapons on rebels, some the U.S. support, long overdue says Senator John McCain.

OBAMA: These aren't professional fighters. The notion there was some professional military inside of Syria for us to immediately support.

KEILAR: In Northern Ireland Obama met with Russian President Vladimir Putin whose government is supplying arms to Syria.

OBAMA: We share an interest in reducing the violence. KEILAR: No breakthrough, though Obama and Putin said they will push both sides to negotiate a peace.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: Now, the Obama administration used the G-8 summit to announce additional humanitarian aid to the serial rebels and countries around Syria taking in refugees, $300 million more, bringing the total to $800 million.

CUOMO: Big money, Brianna thank you for the report from there. The president coming out stronger. The question is, are his answers compelling.

BOLDUAN: That's a very good question. And let's dig more on this exact issue and more with CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King joining us again this morning. John we have new polls released in just the last hour I want to get to, but first let's talk about the president and this interview the president did, a very lengthy interview. Here's a little bit more of what he said about Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Unless you've been involved in those conversations then it's kind of hard for you to understand the complexity of the situation and how we have to not rush into one more war in the Middle East.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: These are his first public comments really since deciding that the red line and publicly coming out to say the red line had been crossed and the White House and administration was going to take further steps in Syria. He's clearly trying to answer critics in this interview and get out there in front of some of the criticism he's facing. Do you think he made a strong enough case, though?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, he also sounds like he's trying to convince himself. This is a president who has been skeptical in part because he's been in that situation. That's what he's trying to tell Charlie Rose. Unless you've gotten the intelligence briefing, Mr. President it would take 20,000 troops to secure all those Syrian weapons sites. Mr. President, if we have a no fly zone we're likely to have pilots shut down. So that's why the president is trying to explain his caution.

But with the American people, the slight a majority oppose any help to the Syrian rebels, in Congress he's been pushed by John McCain and others to be more muscular. Here's how this will turn out, whether or not it works or whether or not his answer is good enough. They'll give some military and humanitarian aid.

The president is hoping to change the facts on the ground. Assad is winning. Remember, for months the president said it's not if Assad will go, it's when he'll go. Assad is winning. The president is trying to turn the facts on the ground so if you can get to some peace conference the opposition has some momentum and energy. At the moment it doesn't.

BOLDUAN: He's stuck between the critics who say it's going to be too little too late and other folks saying don't go in at all. We're already overextended in the Middle East.

Let's turn now to some of the new polls we just released in the last hour. Walk us through this, because these take on the big scandals facing the president on the home front. First let's talk about the IRS scandal and the polling on that.

KING: Look at this number because it is stunning. In our new poll, did White House officials order the IRS to target conservative political groups? And 47 percent say yes, up 10 points from last month, 47 percent of the American people say top White House officials ordered this. There is zero evidence of that. Even the Republicans investigating the White House say they have zero evidence any top White House officials ordered this to happen, and yet nearly half the American people think that.

That tells you the American people are angry and disgusted about this and tells you the administration still has some explaining to do, if you will. This will encourage the Republicans in the House to continue the aggressive oversight because they think even though there's no evidence of that, this is hurting the president.

BOLDUAN: Also in combination with the polls released yesterday about the dropping level of trust, the belief that the president's honest and trustworthy, that's a difficult trend, these numbers and those numbers combined from yesterday.

KING: It's a huge trend. If you look at the middle the president is losing the middle. He's keeping most of his Democratic report. Republican opposition was already high. It's has gone even higher. Independents are moving away from the president. That's hard to govern when you lose the middle of America. It tells conservative Democrats they don't have to be with the president, it tells Republicans they don't have to bend with the president.

This is on the immigration question here, a path to citizenship or border security, the president wants a path to citizenship to be the hallmark of the immigration bill. Only half of Democrats think that should be the top priority. Independents and Republicans think the border comes first. That emboldens Republicans to hold their ground and say before we give you any path to citizenship, Mr. President, we want more border security. And it's also going to convince them we don't have to give president -- this is Republican opponents, they don't have to give the president as generous a path to citizenship. The president has lost the middle. That makes it hard to go.

BOLDUAN: That poll shows exactly the tough spot that Congress and the White House is in, because the American people are split down ideological lines with independents moving with Republicans on this, how difficult it will be to push anything through because the American people aren't speaking with one voice on this.

KING: It's an incredibly complicated issue. Do you want a guest worker program? Who should be involved in the guest worker program? Is that just for agricultural jobs? You have different opinions in California in a farm state than you might have in an urban place. Then you have the issue of a path to citizenship. The president will have a lot of salesmanship to do. The president's best friend in that debate is the fact that the Republicans got shellacked in the last two national elections in the Latino vote so Republicans believe they need to do something, so the president has some solace there.

BOLDUAN: We did hear that from Senator Graham quite a bit. John King, always nice to see you. Thank you so much.

CUOMO: All right, for the third time in three days another out of control airline passenger, this time a man who starts screaming at 30,000 feet claiming he'd been poisoned, ranting about the CIA. CNN's Rene Marsh is in Washington with more.

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. The FBI tells us no charges have been filed against the man who created this raucous mid-flight. Not only did passengers jump in but they recorded part of the drama on board, too. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm dead.

MARSH: Dramatic cell phone audio captures a man screaming after he claims he was poisoned on board united flight 116 from Hong Kong to Newark, New Jersey, stunned passengers forced to step in.

JACQUES ROIZEN, HELPED SUBDUE UNRULY AIRLINE PASSENGER: I got up along with a few other passengers. And at one point he reached out for something in his pocket in his jacket and that's when about three or four of us basically tackled him to the ground.

MARSH: Jacques Roizen was one of the passengers who held him down while the flight attendants supplied plastic cuffs to restrain him. Roizen snapped these photos of the unruly passenger was described as paranoid and claimed to have information about NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

PETER JONES, UNITED AIRLINES PASSENGER: He said he worked for the U.S. embassy in Abu Dhabi and he was being detained by the CIA and being transferred and his life was in danger, and so he repeated that over and over and over again.

MARSH: This midflight drama is just the latest in a string of midair scares. A man on board a frontier airlines flight from Knoxville to Denver claimed he had a bomb in his bag. No bomb found, the man taken into custody and a passenger on board an Egypt air flight from Cairo to New York's JFK airport found a note inside the bathroom saying "I'll set this plane on fire."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARSH: The good news in this latest incident, the plane landed safely and passengers were deplaned at the gate. We have reached out to the state department after the claim this man worked at the U.S. embassy in Abu Dhabi. So far, no word back as yet. Chris?

CUOMO: Rene, that was the key because that's what he was saying. So we were talking earlier about how we wanted to get deeper into this. Rene, thanks for the reporting. Three passengers, three days, what does this mean? So we're going to bring in national security analyst and former homeland security secretary assistant Juliette Kayyem. If I hadn't said assistant you would have been all over me for the rest of this interview. Thanks for joining us live from Boston. The obvious question, do we have a problem with safety up in the air -- three passengers, three days?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, a problem, yes. These things are occurring. They are very scary. But it's not a systemic issue. These planes are not going down. These are not successful attacks, if you even want to call them that.

Chris, how I often think about it on any given day there are 1.5 million people boarding flights across the world. Two of these three flights began abroad. That's a lot of people. You are going to have issues, you're going to have crazy people boarding flights and we have to view passengers as we've seen in a lot of these cases as a last line of defense. It may not be ideal, but just given the number of people who are on airplanes, it is going to happen.

CUOMO: All right, but it's the exception that gets you, right, Juliette. So what do you know about safeguards in place we may not recognize moving through the airlines that are keeping us safe?

KAYYEM: It's called a layered defense system, and this is what TSA has been focusing on the last couple years, focusing on -- the biggest risk is bringing the airplane down. So you have a pilot secure, you have locked cockpit doors, you have the whole process of reviewing passengers when they are making their flight reservations. That's why we put that information in online.

Then of course once you're on the flight, on some flights you have air marshals and we have every expectation as a security apparatus passengers will notice things and may have to get involved. It is part of what this layered defense is, is that passengers have to be aware, it's called see something, say something, but it's part of the planning of that layered defense. So there's stuff going on at the moment of reservations to secure the airplane, check of the luggage, secure the cockpit and then of course whatever's going on with the passengers. And what we've seen in the last couple days, there are crazy people who fly.

CUOMO: In your opinion is there something more that needs to be done?

KAYYEM: It's hard to say at this stage. I think that there is probably too much being done in some regards in terms of the passenger entry onto the plane. If our biggest fear is bringing down a plane with explosives or getting into the cockpit, those should be our biggest fears. Then we have done a lot in terms of luggage security as well as securing the pilots. That's the most important thing.

A lot of the passenger security that's going through TSA, and this is why you're seeing changes to what passengers go through at airports, whether it's the proposal to end the knife ban, which I was for, although the department has retracted from it for now, or even stopping the checking of liquid, it is because we have so many other layered defenses, some of the more public things will begin to disband, and we have to be prepared for it.

Security is not static. It's changing all the time depending on the risk, depending on the flights, and as we've seen in these cases two of these flights began abroad, so we are completely dependent also on other nations, so it's a constantly fluid process and I'll never say security is perfect, but we have to constantly be reassessing it given the millions of people on planes each day.

CUOMO: As you told me before, there are inconveniences but we have to be tolerant because the risks are big. Juliettete Kayyem, thank you very much for the insight this morning, appreciate it.

We are in the middle of commercial free news for you, and there's a lot to get to, so let's get over to Michaela. Michaela?

PEREIRA: All right, Chris, thanks so very much. In the headlines on the day, Afghan forces formally take over security from NATO-led troops, a deadly explosion rocking that country's capital. The intended target, one of the country's senior Shia Muslim clerics. Reza Sayah is following developments for us from Kabul. Reza, this latest attack certainly highlighting concern about Afghan troops being up for the task.

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a reminder of what's in store for them. And this was a milestone day and moment of truth for Afghan security forces, in many ways a moment of truth for the U.S. mission and the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

In a ceremony this morning NATO officials transferring the lead security role to Afghan security forces. That means for the coming 18 months, NATO forces, U.S. forces will still be here in Afghanistan, but only as a backup role. Leading the charge will be Afghan security forces.

This is an army that certainly improved over the past few years according to officials, but critics say they're poorly trained and there's no way they can defend this country against the Taliban. Earlier this morning, as you mentioned they got a reminder of the challenges ahead with the suicide attack in Kabul.

Another big development this morning, President Karzai announcing that an office is going to be opened in Qatar for peace talks with the Taliban. We'll keep a close eye on that in the coming weeks as well. Michaela?

PEREIRA: Reza, thanks for that. Certainly some challenges ahead. We appreciate your report.

Today the Pentagon is expected to announce plans that will put more women in combat including elite special forces like the Army Rangers and Navy S.E.A.L.S. Today's announcement will place another 6,000 women into combat positions in the U.S. Army. The plan could put women in training for elite special operations units by 2015. Full implementation of women into combat positions including infantry and army units is to be completed by January of 2016.

For the first time in this year's Stanley Cup finals, Boston and Chicago didn't need any overtime periods to determine a winner. Bruins goalie Tukka Rask stopped every puck that came his way. He had 28 saves, leading Boston to a 2-0 shutout over the Blackhawks. The Bruins now have a 2-1 series lead. Game four taking place in Boston tomorrow night, before heading back to Chicago for game five. I got a note right before I did that from Berman saying you better bring the energy for the Bruins.

BOLDUAN: You better.

CUOMO: Boston strong.

PEREIRA: Boston strong.

BOLDUAN: The guys on the floor love to see a good hockey fight. They say it's interactive.

CUOMO: Guys like to see any fight.

BOLDUAN: I guess that's a really good fight.

Here is a video you have to see, two teenage boys being air lifted off an 8,600 foot cliff. This video will make you so scared. It happened in California Monday. The boys getting stranded when they tried to hike over a ridge. CNN's Miguel Marquez is live in Los Angeles with more on this amazing story. Miguel?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is amazing. Good morning to you. We all do pretty dumb things when we are young. For these two California boys, this is the summer, we hope, of live and learn.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: A Rescue like none other, 8,600 feet up, two boys trapped on the rocky spine of a ridge only a few feet wide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we went up there, we made decisions to get up that ended up making it so we couldn't get back.

MARQUEZ: : Bad decisions. Sixteen-year-old Austin Dreschler and a friend on a family camping trip will never forget. In gorgeous but unforgiving nature biting off more than one can chew all too easy.

AUSTIN DRESCHLER, HIKER: We thought we could walk across the ridge. When we got up there and saw the other side, it was heartbreaking. That's when we realized, we're in trouble.

MARQUEZ: Serious trouble -- high winds, gusts up to 30 miles per hour buffeting the helicopters. California highway patrol made four passes before with the precision of the surgeon plucking the boys to safety.

OFFICER DAVID WHITE, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL: It was the most challenging I've done in the 12 years I've been in air operations.

MARQUEZ: The challenge lowering harnesses the boys themselves had to put on, then coming back around to have them hook up to be safely carried to a landing zone miles away.

WHITE: We lowered the hook a couple of times but the wind would blow us out of position and we'd have to go back around and try it again.

MARQUEZ: The harnesses have to be correctly otherwise it's a long fall. For a nervous father watching all of this from below, heartstopping.

RICHARD DRESCHLER, FATHER: It's my oldest son and that doesn't come back, right? You don't recover from something like that.

MARQUEZ: Thankfully only a frightening lesson learned.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: And that lesson, says Austin Dreschler is always stay on the trail. Kate back to you.

BOLDUAN: That is exactly the lesson to learn from that. Miguel Marquez, thanks so much Miguel. That's a summer they'll never forget.

PEREIRA: Unfortunately it seems that this happens all too often. People don't pay attention to the signs that are posted because you think I want to get a little closer, I want to get that nice shot. You see it on mountains, you see it in hikes. It happens all too often.

BOLDUAN: It does.

PEREIRA: It won't happen twice with these guys.

BOLDUAN: No. They will stay on the path.

CUOMO: I tell you it is scary for the kids but imagine being that dad. He has nothing worse than being a parent and not being able to help your kids and seeing them suspended in the air and you hear the rescuers saying it was the most challenging thing they had done. And it's so interesting when you talk to people in that line of work, and say you must be upset that these kids did something reckless. They say you cannot control peoples' choices. We do our job to get them out of the situation they create.

(CROSSTALK)

PEREIRA: They put all of that aside and look at what needs to be done in the moment.

BOLDUAN: Miguel puts it perfectly, with the precision of a surgeon. He really puts it perfectly because of all the variables there. Good story though, good ending at least.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, British police responding to those disturbing pictures of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson apparently getting choked by her husband. See what happened when CNN caught up with him.

BOLDUAN: And singer Melissa Etheridge, a breast cancer survivor is now criticizing Angelina Jolie's decision to undergo a double mastectomy, why she calls it a fearful choice.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. New details on disturbing photos of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. It's a fascinating story. British police now say they have warned an unnamed man in the case. Pamela Brown is joining us and then tracking the latest on this story.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. We're learning this morning, Kate, that the husband, Charles Saatchi has actually volunteered to go to the police station. Stunning pictures on the front page of British tabloids like this showing Nigella Lawson, on of London's most beloved celebrities, in a very public argument that some witnesses say escalated to physical violence. Her husband says it's not what it looks like but according to some domestic violence experts the pictures tell a different story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: She's a celebrity chef, well-known author, and TV star.

NIGELLA LAWSON, CHEF: The weekend brunch of my dreams.

BROWN: He is a multimillionaire marketing mogul and art dealer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's portrayed as a powerful woman, the woman in control, so for her to be subservient is a rather telling story.

BROWN: Nigella Lawson and husband Charles Saatchi are making British tabloid headlines like "Choke Attack," "Boiling Point," and "Nigella's Tears." After pictures surfaced showing Saatchi's hands around his wife's neck during an apparent argument at this upscale London restaurant.

NEIL SEAN, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: What you see is a woman who is very distressed and I believe a man who is very much in control.

BROWN: CNN caught up with Saatchi Tuesday morning as he was leaving his London town house. He offered no comment, but in an earlier statement he said "there was no grip. It was a playful tiff. Nigella's tears were because we both hate arguing, not because she had been hurt." That's not how it looked by some activists against domestic violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is typical of batterers that they blame the victim and others and excuse themselves, if you weren't such a bad wife, so worthless, so useless, I wouldn't have to do this to you.

BROWN: Lawson's publicist says she's since left the family's home with her two children. Other celebrity couples like musicians Chris Brown and Rihanna, Ike and Tina Turner, and the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown have all been at the center of domestic violence allegations.

ARIEL ZWANG, CEO, SAFE HORIZON: It's a reminder that it can happen to anyone, and people feel so much shame, that's one reason that victims don't sometimes reach out for help.

SEAN: If it can happen to super rich mega-people who seemingly have no problems than normal average people have got then it can affect anyone.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And one of the big questions -- why didn't anyone intervene? The restaurant says it did not see the alleged incident nor was anybody alerted to it at time. Lawson hasn't pressed charges but Scotland Yard is investigating and police gave this cryptic update saying a 70-year-old man was officially cautioned in regards to the incident but they haven't identified him as Saatchi.

Meantime we're learning from an entertainment reporter that Saatchi is opening an art exhibition in London this week. The couple is expected to make an appearance together so it will be very telling if one or both of them do not attend that exhibition. We'll see what happens.

BOLDUAN: It's just such a strange story. There's more questions than answers, and there's a lot of differing opinions about what exactly was happening there. But isn't that always how it is.

CUOMO: Now all of this kerfuffle that's around it, and unsubstantiated allegations at this point, if they don't show up together at this event, it could be because they're having trouble. It doesn't necessarily mean he was choking her.

BROWN: And you talk to reporters in London who have been covering this couple. They're saying that they did have a tempestuous marriage. On the outside it might look perfect to the public but they've had their own issues. We don't know the full story but people waiting for Nigella to come out and say something. People taking to Twitter saying she needs to come out and address this, that she's this powerful figure and this makes her look weak according to some people that she's not --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: She needs to come out in her own time.

(CROSSTALK)

PEREIRA: What happens between couples is private.

BOLDUAN: That is their private life. All right, Pamela, thanks so much.

CUOMO: Thank you very much for that.

Let's go to Indra Petersons with a look at today's forecast. Indra?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The whole eastern portion of the country again today dealing with all of this rain. The unfortunate side of this it the west coast where they need the rain they're still not getting it. It's so dry out there.

I focus in on California, because yesterday firefighters mentioned they're afraid this could be the worst fire season in 100 years. There's a reason for that. Look at the departures from normal. This is the amount of rain -- below average. So they're 8.19 inches below average in Eureka. That's really throughout the state. Now, typically you get rain in the wintertime and it holds you out through the summertime, and when things dry out by the end of the summer, that's when you start to see the brush fires in the fall. But, we're seeing this very early on. We could see this throughout the summer in addition to the fall, that's why the concern exists so early on this year.

Typical situation throughout the entire west coast, as this continues seeing temperatures, by tomorrow the ridge of high pressure building again. The low goes nearby. What does that mean? Temperatures go up, humidity goes down, winds pick up, so any (INAUDIBLE) conditions out there already going to be exasperated over the next several days. The good news, there is some rain unfortunately not in that area but for today if you are looking for rain, we're talking about in the Carolinas, two to four inches along the coastal sections there. Also towards Florida, one to two inches and then the heaviest rain today looks to be around Texas.

Of course for your local weather, bottom of the screen, guys.

BOLDUAN: All right, Indra thanks so much.

Now this is a pretty unexpected story. Singer Melissa Etheridge criticizing Angelina Jolie for Jolie's decision to undergo a double mastectomy. Jolie says her decision, she decided to have the surgery after learning she carried the BRCA gene which put her at an extremely high risk of developing breast cancer. But Etheridge is taking issue with that. Nischelle Turner, our entertainment correspondent, has been tracking all of this.

It's a very interesting twist in this story. Jolie had so much support when she came out with that op-ed in "The New York Times" about why she made her decision.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTIANMENT CORRESPONDENT: Indeed and this is the first real kind of backlash that we're hearing from her decision. I don't know if I'd call it backlash. Melissa Etheridge is a breast cancer survivor. She has a little bit of a different view so maybe this is the first time we're hearing a different view to the decision that Angelina Jolie was making, but Melissa Etheridge was given an interview to "The Washington Blade." It's an LGBT newspaper. And what she said was that Angelina's decision was, quote, "not something I can believe in for myself."

She went on to say she thinks this is the most fearful choice when confronting anything with cancer. She believes so much of cancer has to do with the environment of your body. She says a lot of people have the gene but it never turns into cancer and like we said Melissa Etheridge is a breast cancer survivor, she's been cancer free for nine years now.

Last night, you know, I got the chance to catch up with Angelina Jolie's fiance, Brad Pitt. This was at the premiere of his new movie, "World War Z."