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NSA Leaker Still At Large; Interview with Sen. John McCain; Rusty the Red Panda, Back in Zoo; Interview with Bobby and Jamie Deen

Aired June 25, 2013 - 07:00   ET



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're following all the appropriate legal channels to make sure the rule of law is observed.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, did we lose him? Edward Snowden now M.I.A., his final destination unclear. Why can't the U.S. get anyone to help?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: NEW DAY exclusive, Paula Deen's sons speaking out for the first time since the scandal surrounding their mother erupted. What do they say about her admitted use of racial slurs?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And the hunt for the red panda. How exactly did Rusty the Panda escape the National Zoo? Inside the furry fugitive's daring escape.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans have voted for it because it's a promise of border security. It's barely a fig leaf.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounded like an earthquake. Kids didn't know what was going on.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


BOLDUAN: Good morning, and welcome back, everyone to NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, June 25th. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CUOMO: And I'm Chris Cuomo with our news anchor as always, Michaela Pereira. It is 7:00 in the East. And we are in the middle of 30 minutes of commercial free news.

We're going to go deep this morning on the hunt for Edward Snowden. Question, did the U.S. drop the ball? Senator John McCain is going to join us in just moments, and later, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Then that NEW DAY exclusive, Paula Deen's sons talk with us live about the controversy surrounding their mother. This is the first time someone from the family has spoken out since her poorly received apology. She has lost another lucrative sponsorship. Can they stem the tide?

Life is good for LeBron, the NBA champ, except he almost loses his head, oh my goodness. John Berman joins us to plain why he gets the NEW DAY award of the day.

CUOMO: Good thing he has cat like reflexes.

Our top story this morning, a new development in the search for NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The kremlin is denying that Snowden is on Russian soil and called U.S. accusations he's being harbored there totally baseless. It was believed Snowden was hiding out in a Moscow airport, this as the Obama administration is calling out Russia and other countries they believe might be working to give Snowden asylum. CNN's Atika Shubert is in London with the very latest. What do we know, Atika?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov just a short while ago insisted that Snowden has not crossed over into Russian immigration, which may mean that he's at the airport but we simply do not know at this point.


SHUBERT: Where in the world is Edward Snowden? This morning, no one seems to know. He's likely somewhere in the Moscow airport's transit terminal, caught in legal limbo, not technically in Russia so not technically Russia's problem. But Snowden is turning into a very big problem indeed. He was expected on an air flight to Havana, Cuba. But as a planeload of journalists found out on the 13-hour flight found out too late his seat went empty.

Ecuador may take him in, but at this hour Ecuadorian diplomats haven't said whether they will grant him entry. This as U.S. applies maximum pressure behind the scenes and in blistering statements on Russia, Ecuador and anyone else thinking of taking him in.

So for now we believe he waits, his global journey aided by this man, Julian Assange, founder of the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, a man whose own legal troubles have led him to seek refuge in the Ecuador embassy in London for more than a year. In a telephone presser, Assange said a WikiLeaks staffer was traveling with Snowden.


JULIAN ASSANGE, FOUNDER, WIKILEAKS: The U.S. secretary of state called Edward Snowden a traitor. Edward Snowden is not a traitor. He is not a spy. He is a whistleblower who has told the public an important truth.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SHUBERT: Assange said WikiLeaks paid for Snowden's flights and legal counsel but would not say where he is, only that he is, quote, "healthy, safe, and in high spirits."


SHUBERT: Right now Moscow airport is crawling with journalists, but specifically there is a transit hotel at the terminal there where Snowden was believed to have been staying. It's a tiny little place, a capsule hotel. Each room has room for a small single bed and that's about it. But still no sightings of Snowden.

CUOMO: All right, Atika, thank you very much. Kate?

BOLDUAN: As the mystery of Snowden's whereabouts deepens, the NSA leaker is causing major headaches for the White House. The State Department says diplomats are in talks with the Russians and officials have warned of consequences for both China and Russia if Snowden escapes. CNN's Dan Lothian is at the White House with more. What are they saying this morning, Dan?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, there is a sense to get Snowden on U.S. soil, especially since he said he plans to release additional documents. And this revelation from a Hong Kong paper that Snowden took the job as a contractor earlier this year with the sole purpose of collecting proof on secret U.S. surveillance programs.


LOTHIAN: The Edward Snowden cat and mouse game has become a diplomatic headache for the White House, and President Obama for the first time in public is putting pressure on any country trying to assist the NSA leaker.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we know is we're following all the appropriate legal channel and working with various other countries to make sure the rule of law is observed.

LOTHIAN: The Obama administration is frustrated with Hong Kong and China for allowing Snowden to slip away, and in a rare move is talking about the fallout in blunt terms.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: When it comes to our relations with Hong Kong and China that we see this as a setback in terms of their efforts to build, the Chinese, their efforts to build mutual trust.

LOTHIAN: Relations with Russia now being tested as well.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We hope the Russians will recognize the request over the United States particularly given over the last two years we have sent seven prisoners back that they requested.

LOTHIAN: But the legal issues are overshadowed by politics. Some say this has become an international embarrassment for the U.S. as Snowden continues to hide out, the White House, believes in Russia.

MATTHEW ROJANSKY, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: If they've treated Snowden almost as a friendly ambassador or special guest or something like that, it's a way of saying look we're an independent actor in global affairs. We stand up to big, bad America.


LOTHIAN: While the U.S. remains focused on Russia, right now the White House is suspicious of China's role in allowing Snowden to leave long Hong Kong. White house aides won't talk about the repercussions will be for this diplomatic mess.

BOLDUAN: Dan Lothian, thanks so much.

CUOMO: The other big business in Washington, an immigration reform bill looks like it may make it out of the Senate on the strength of a bipartisan compromise steeply beefing up border security and retaining a path to citizenship. It sounds impressive, but it takes two houses to make a law and the House of Representatives seems to be a question mark. Dana Bash joins us live from Capitol Hill. Dana, what do we know?

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly how you put it. It is a question mark in the House, but 67 senators including 15 Republicans, a pretty high enough voted yes on this key test vote signaling support an immigration bill with that beefed up border security.

But the issue in the GOP-led House is that many Republicans say that they simply don't buy the underlying promise of the Senate legislation, that the border will be secured before any illegal immigrant can get on a path to citizenship.

And GOP leadership sources in the House anticipate when lawmakers go home for July 4th recess they could face angry constituents that may be reminiscent of the summer of 2009, remember, when Obama care turned town halls into heated events, and 2007 when for a time immigration reform affected the Republican presidential race, temporarily hurting the eventual nominee John McCain.

Now, considering most Republicans are in districts that have solidly red electorates and relatively low percentages of Latino voters, some voters worry it could scare Republicans away from anything that gives illegal immigrants a way to get citizenship.

CUOMO: Thanks, Dana. Let's bring in Senator John McCain, Republican from Arizona, member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Sir, first, let me welcome you to NEW DAY and thank you for coming on the show.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I'm glad to be on and congratulations on your new show. I'm sure you'll all do very well despite your presence.

(LAUGHTER) CUOMO: All right, all right. Appreciate it, senator. Always a pleasure to have you.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

CUOMO: Now let me start with immigration.


CUOMO: It seems that people see this issue one of two ways -- either reform is about keeping people out or reform is about letting people in. Where do you see a chance for compromise here?

MCCAIN: I think that first of all the legislation concerning beefed up border security removes any validity to the argument that border security is not sufficient. I mean, this is not only sufficient, it is well over sufficient. We'll be the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin wall, so that's why I think this amendment was very important.

Second of all, it is -- are we going to let a de facto amnesty of 11 million people living in the shadows in this country or are we going to see a path forward, and that path forward is clearly one that gives people a legal status but then a long, tough, hard road to citizenship. I mean 10, 13 years longer than that, pay fines, pay back taxes, learn English, get in line behind everyone else.

This is a border security measure which I think should suffice to satisfy any critic and it is a way forward, a tough way forward so that we can resolve this and bring 11 million people out of the shadows.

CUOMO: All right, so it's going to take some more politicking there, senator. Obviously we all wish you all with that. People want this to move on.

Let's move on to a different topic here that could be an embarrassment for the country. What's going on with this Edward Snowden? Let me ask you, has anybody down there given you any good information about the U.S. knowing where this man is?

MCCAIN: No, but it is well-known that he's in Russia, and it's reminiscent of the days of the Cold War when you hear a Russian spokesman saying that he's not in Russia, when every shred of evidence indicates that he is.

Look, we've got to start dealing with Vladimir Putin in a realistic fashion for what he is. He's an old KGB colonel apparatchik that dreams of the days of the Russian empire, and he continues to stick his thumb in our eye in a broad variety of ways, most importantly to me, of course, and should be to the world is their continued support of Bashar al Assad and the massacre taking place in Syria, not to mention a number of other areas that Russia is basically showing us a total lack of respect. By the way, this sends a message to the Iranians that they have to be wondering whether we are very serious about saying that they can't achieve nuclear weapons status. CUOMO: When you look at Hong Kong/China, when you look at Russia, doesn't this situation make America look weak, like we've lost our mojo?

MCCAIN: It does, and when you withdraw to fortress America, when you believe in light footprints, when you show the world you're leading from behind, these are the consequences of American leadership. As you know I spent a lot of time in the Middle East. Every one of these leaders say where is American leadership? Where is American leadership? We need to show more leadership and that does not mean confrontation but it means steadfast adherence to the principles that many presidents since the end of the Cold War and since before have stood for that the rest of the world will respect.

CUOMO: Do you see this as a direct relation to President Obama's friendlier approach to foreign policy that we have been made to look weak, like our resolve is not what it used to be?

MCCAIN: I think what it shows is that the United States says things and then they don't do things. The best example of that was the Syrian use of chemical weapons. The president said that was a, quote, "game changer," that it would be unacceptable and now what have we done? We're going to send light weapons to the freedom fighters there against tanks, helicopters, and scud missiles. And so I think the problem is that most now especially China and Russia don't believe we're serious.

CUOMO: Where do you believe this all leads?

MCCAIN: I think it should lead to a reevaluation of our relations, particularly with Russia and China, a more realistic approach to two nations that are acting in their own spheres of influence in a provocative fashion. It means that we should stop the sequestration, which is decimating our military to an alarming degree, and we should carry out the promises and commitments that we make. And it doesn't mean threats, but it means that the United States is still the only nation in the world that the rest of world can depend on, and these -- and China and Russia both in their own way are trying to assert spheres of influence which are not good for the things we stand for and believe in.

CUOMO: What is your advice to the president? What do you think he should be doing right now?

MCCAIN: The first thing I would do is go to the oval office and say I've told Vladimir Putin that we want this guy back. He's broken American laws and under every treaty and agreement that we have, he should be returned to the United States. On a larger scale I would say we're not going to let Basher al Assad stay in power, that would be the greatest victory for Iran that could happen in 25 years, and we are going to stand by our allies and we're going to help people who are struggling for freedom.

CUOMO: Last two questions, ding the U.S. gets Snowden back? Do you think that we have the juice to do that with our allies, and do you ever expect to see American boots on the ground in Syria? MCCAIN: Never do I expect American boots on the ground in Syria except in a specific post-war case where we have to internationally go in and secure the caches of chemical weapons. I don't know whether they will respond or not. Putin's behavior has been with disdain or even contempt of the United States of America so we'll have to see. But I -- he has to understand and we have to be serious that this will affect our relations with Russia in a broad variety of ways, and that does not mean a return to the Cold War. But it means a very realistic approach to our relations with both of those countries.

CUOMO: After everything that's happened did you think that in your lifetime you would see it happen again where Russia and China seem to be aligned against the interests of the United States?

MCCAIN: Yes, I did, because I have known about Vladimir Putin for a long, long time. He is, as I said, an old KGB colonel apparatchik that has disdain for democracy and the things we stand for and believe in. If he sees a situation he'll take advantage of it. I mean anybody that takes somebody's Super Bowl ring has got to be not exactly like us.


CUOMO: An unsubstantiated allegation, though, senator. We have to be clear, we don't know what happened with the ring but it is a window of perspective for you on this. Senator McCain thank you very much for joining us on NEW DAY. Appreciate it.

MCCAIN: Thanks for having me on. Congratulations.

BOLDUAN: Only John McCain. It's un-American, senator, it's un- American.

This summer is getting off to a very hot start, a heat wave hitting much of the country. So, let's get the latest from Indra Petersons.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Does it feel like summer yet?

BOLDUAN: Yes, yes it does.

PETERSONS: Just a tad, right? Especially in the northeast.

We're talking about heat advisories where temperatures will feel like they're in the mid-90's. Average temperatures should be about 10, 15 degrees cooler so today another hot one and in fact it's going to last about another day or two, relief toward the second half of the week.

So what is going on? It's called a Bermuda high. Why? Yes, because high pressure goes right over Bermuda. Pretty obvious on this one. But either way, we're looking at the warm air going all the way from the southeast all the way up to the northeast. But it's not just bringing in the warm air, it's also bringing in the humidity. Yes, all that water vapor, all that moisture cruising up the northeast and for that reason we're talking about those afternoon thunderstorms really anywhere from the northeast down to the southeast. And then, yes, look at these hot temperatures. I mean it feels hot. On the west coast it's a little bit drier but either way they're talking about temperatures possibly moving up to 120 -- 125 degrees, it is the only benefit of getting up at 2:00 a.m., right?

BOLDUAN: You know, nice and cool right?


BOLDUAN: It was still warm though when we woke up this morning when we came in.

PETERSONS: It's still hot. That's the sad part, right?

BOLDUAN: You know it will be a bad or hot day at least.


BOLDUAN: Indra, thank you so much.

There is a lot of news developing at this hour, let's get straight to Michaela for the latest.

PERIERA: All right, thanks so much Kate. Good morning to everybody at home. We are still in suspense over some major Supreme Court cases including two on same-sex marriage and one on voting rights. But the high court will convene again today to denounce more decisions. Which of these six remaining rulings will they reveal? We'll find out at 10AM eastern.

The targeting of political groups by the IRS was apparently more wide- spread than previously known. Democratic Representative Sandy Levin of Michigan says new information shows that liberal groups seeking tax exempt status were also singled out with the term "progressive" included on IRS screening lists. The IRS says that practice ended last month.

Day two of the George Zimmerman trial, this morning lawyers will make their case about Zimmerman's other calls to 911that are not related to his confrontation with Trayvon Martin. This follows Monday's bizarre opening statements during which a prosecutor used profanity while quoting Zimmerman and the defense used a knock knock joke that fell quite flat.

Voters in Massachusetts head to the polls to decide who takes over now Secretary of State John Kerry's old Senate seat. Twenty-term Democratic Congressman Ed Markey taking on Republican businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez. Right now Markey leads in the polls.

After a daring escape and 24 hours on the lam, Rusty the red panda is back home at Washington's National Zoo. For a time, though, boy he was the toast of the town in the nation's capitol, both on the streets and online. Here's CNN's Athena Jones.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Panda-monium in this Washington, D.C. neighborhood. All to capture this little guy, a ten-pound red panda named Rusty. The tree-climbing, bamboo-eating animal just shy of a year old escaped from the Smithsonian National Zoo sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're great climbers, and they can go -- because they're so light, they can go way out on a branch.

JONES: When zoo officials didn't see Rusty and his long bushy tail in his enclosure early Monday, they launched a code green alert, like an all points bulletin for animals. The search for Rusty ended here, in this neighborhood just a few blocks from the zoo. Zoo officials found him behind this house, high up in a tree. Eric Alda (ph) lives in this house where Rusty was found uninjured.

ERIC ALDA (ph), RESIDENT: Good, I'm glad that they managed to catch him so. Got my five minutes of fame.

JONES: By midday there were at least six Twitter accounts dedicated to Rusty, posting jokes like this one, "Sorry @NationalZoo, it's just such a beautiful day out. I'm hitting the town. @BonxZooCobra, let's meet up."

That's right, Rusty's just the latest critter to go on the lam and tweet about it. Remember the cobra that went missing from the Bronx Zoo in 2001? The snakes was eventually found, safe and sound. And there was the peacock that flew the coop from the Central Park Zoo that same year. He later returned home on his own, no worse for wear. All proof that, well, it's a jungle out there. Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.


PERIERA: Reporting to the interweb they are native to the eastern Himalayas, and southwestern China. Related to the raccoon.


BOLDUAN: They're really cute. Tell them what you said.

PERIERA: What did you say?

CUOMO: What did I say?

PERIERA: You don't even remeber?


BOLDUAN: I don't know whether to take it as an insult or as a compliment. He said I looked like a red panda this morning.

CUOMO: Yeah, they're very cute and attractive animals.


PERIERA: That was kind of a good one.

PERIERA: How are you at climbing trees? We've seen you tight - tightwire --


BOLDUAN: Very good at anything.

CUOMO: I'm glad he's home, that little Rusty.

BOLDUAN: All right, anyway. Coming up next on NEW DAY a NEW DAY exclusive, Paula Deen's sons are here live to open up the controversy that could cost their mother her career. It's the first time family members are speaking out since her apology.

CUOMO: The Twitter-sphere is alive with people saying Kate Bolduan does look like a red panda. That's not Kate Bolduan, that's Nancy Pelosi. She's going to be here to talk live about the international hunt for Edward Snowden and immigration reform.

The red panda is very attractive.



CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Celebrity chef Paula Deen has lost another endorsement deal, this one with Smithfield foods, the world's largest pork producer. This is the latest fallout from Deen's admitted use of the N0word. We're going to speak with her two sons in just a moment. In a NEW DAY exclusive, but first CNN's Pamela Brown joins us with a look at the plummeting fortunes of Paula Deen. Hi Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, good morning to you both. Paula Deen has already suffered a tremendous blow in the court of public opinion. What remains to be seen here is what kind of fallout her admitted past use of racial slurs will have on her pocket. The Food Network has already pulled the plug on her three shows, and now she's lost a big endorsement deal.


PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: I'm going to wrap it in bacon and we're going to deep fry it.

BROWN: Celebrity chef Paula Deen is now bringing home a lot less bacon. First The Food Network announced it would not renew her contract. Now, her lucrative endorsement deal with pork processor Smithfield Foods has been canned.

P. DEEN: I want to apologize to everybody.

BROWN: : Deen issued back-to-back video apologies last Friday after readily admitting to using the N-word in the past. The revelation surfaced in a deposition stemming from a racial and sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee. Under oath, an attorney asks Deen if she's ever used the N-word. She answers, yes of course. She admits she used the slur to describe a black man who robbed her at gunpoint back in the 1980's when she worked in a bank.

She goes on to say she is sure she used it on other occasions in the past, but doesn't remember the context. The suit also claims Deen wanted to plan a southern plantation themed party staffed with black waiters. Deen has talked openly about her views on slavery and race relations, speaking at a "New York Times" event last year.

P. DEEN: Black folks played such an integral part in our lives. They were like our family, and we didn't see ourselves as being prejudiced. I think we are a all prejudiced against one something or another and I think black people feel the same prejudice that white people feel.

BROWN: But another comment from that even about a black employee has raised some eyebrows.

P. DEEN: I have a young man in my life and his name is Hollis Johnson and he's black as that board.

Come out here, Hollis. We can't see you standing against that dark board.

BROWN: Despite the backlash, support for the southern chef is still flowing in from fans, several flocked to her restaurants over the weekend, some have threatened to boycott The Food Network over her firing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has apologized, and I think maybe we all should take that for what it's worth.

BROWN: But will her public apologies be enough to keep her products on store shelves?

There's already wisperd that QVC may be dropping, Walmart is another big one on the line. It seems that The Food Network may have started some sort of domino effect for Paula.


BROWN: And the "Forbes" editor I spoke with says Deen has already lost about $2.5 million from being dropped by The Food Network and she stands to possibly lose $5.5 million more if the companies she's connected with severs their relationship with her. Now, "Forbes" says Deen was the fourth highest earning chef in the world last year, earning $17 million just in 2012. If Deen does manage to repair her image analysts say they wouldn't be surprised to see Food Network take her back, or perhaps another food channel pick her up. Of course, she does have very loyal fans.

CUOMO: Pamela, thank you very much. Joining us for an exclusive interview are Paula Deen's sons, Jamie and Bobby Deen. They join us from Savannah, Georgia. Jamie, Bobby. Thank you very much for being here, fellas. Appreciate you taking the opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, Chris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, Chris, thank you for giving us the opportunity.

CUOMO: All right, well here it is. Let's deal about this head on, okay? I mean, what do you say to people who believe that your mother is a racist?

BOBBY DEEN, PAULA DEEN'S SON: That's simply not true. Our mother was, under oath, asked in a deposition if she -- to pour over her entire life, and to admit whether or not she had ever heard or used this word, and it broke her heart to have to answer truthfully and say yes that they had. But the important thing here is for people to know that is not her heart. It is certainly not the home that we were raised in.

We were raised in a family with love and of faith and a house where God lived. And neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted towards any other person for any reason, and this is so saddening to me because our mother is one of the most compassionate, good-hearted empathetic people that you'd ever meet. And these accusations are very hurtful to her, and it's very sad, and frankly I'm disgusted by the entire thing because it began as extortion, and it's become character assassination and our mother is not the picture that's being painted of her.

JAMIE DEEN, PAULA DEEN'S SON: Let me tell you a story, Chris. When I was a young man in 1975, before I had my tonsils taken out, Henry Aaron was my first sports hero growing up. In 1974, he broke Babe Ruth's home run record by hitting 715 home runs. Before I had my tonsils taken out, I was 7 years old, I was very nervous. My parents gave me Hank Aaron pajamas and when they gave me these pajamas, my mom and dad told me the story that the challenges The Hammer faced in his pursuit of his record. They told me that he's a man of character, and the challenges that he overcame because of his color was unacceptable. This is a lesson that my mom and dad taught me when I was 7 years old, and it's a lesson that I've carried throughout my life of inclusion and to treat everyone fairly and by their character and by their own merit. Under no circumstances should you ever judge anybody for any other reason.

CUOMO: Jamie in the deposition your mother says she taught you that there can be acceptable uses of the N-word, that not to use it in a mean way, but you can use it sometimes. Is that true?

J. DEEN: That's completely false. I've never heard that before in my life. The first time I'd ever heard that was just now, Chris. My mother would never teach Bobby and I anything other -- we're obviously a product of our environment. We care very much about our community. I'm raising two boys right now. This is ridiculous. It's completely absurd to think there is an environment of racism in our business and it's really disrespectful to the people we work with.