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Supreme Court Historic Decision; Obama in Africa; Zimmerman Trial Day Four

Aired June 27, 2013 - 08:00   ET



EDIE WINDSOR, DOMA PLAINTIFF: I'm honored and humbled and overjoyed.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: A monumental victory for gay rights as the Supreme Court hands down landmark decisions. We'll tell you why the same-sex marriage battle isn't over yet.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Key witness. Trayvon Martin's friend gives riveting testimony about the teen's final moments. She's back on the stand today and is she helping or hurting the case against George Zimmerman?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Monster problem. The energy drink being sued after the teenager died drinking it. Are these extremely caffeinated drinks dangerous? Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us live.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.



ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The one on top, like he's hitting him. I believe it was Zimmerman.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

CARTOON CHARACTER: Are you really going to save the world?


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


BOLDUAN: Good morning. And welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It's Thursday, June 27th. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CUOMO: And I'm Chris Cuomo. We're joined by news anchor Michaela Pereira. It's 8:00 in the East.

Coming up this hour:

The last person to hear Trayvon Martin alive, we have her powerful testimony. Take a listen.


RACHEL JEANTEL, TRAYVON'S FRIEND: Hear a little bit of Trayvon saying, "Get off, get off."


CUOMO: HLN's Nancy Grace will join us live to break it down.

BOLDUAN: We also have a lot of political news to work through this hour. Same-sex marriage and new details on Edward Snowden and the president's visiting Africa. We'll talk with hosts of the new "CROSSFIRE," the new, the old, the wonderful "CROSSFIRE": Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter joining us live.

PEREIRA: And get ready to laugh. Actor Steve Carell is here to talk about his new movie, "Despicable Me 2", nothing despicable about him.

CUOMO: Nothing at all. We love him with his minions.

All right. We start now this morning with the battle over same sex marriage -- far from over, despite the Supreme Court's historic rulings as officials figured out how to implement sweeping changes at the federal level. Opponents of same-sex marriage are ready for a new fight.

Joe Johns is in Washington with the latest. Joe, where do we go from here?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: OK, Chris, the Supreme Court has weighed in and the question now is what happens next on same-sex marriage. Short term, it's going to be about how long it takes couples to start getting married in the state of California. But longer term, it's about what this means for the whole marriage equality movement.


JOHNS (voice-over): All night and into this morning, celebrations for historic ruling.

While others denounce what they call the death of traditional values.

Emotional reactions following a pair of Supreme Court decisions giving the same-sex marriage movement its biggest victories to date.

The court striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies benefits to legally married same-sex couples and allowing same- sex marriages to resume in California.

But what now?

JOHN EASTMAN, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE: We will continue to fight in the states where we won 37 times out of 40 ballot initiatives. And I think the states will continue to defend traditional marriage in overwhelming numbers.

JOHNS: One of the lawyers who led the case for same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court says bring it on.

UJNIDENTIFIED MALE: In five years, our goal is to have marriage equality throughout the country. I think that's an achievable goal.

JOHNS: Polling shows support for same-sex marriage has grown over the years. Fifty-five percent supported it in the latest CNN/ORC poll. Two years ago, that number was 51 percent. And four years ago, it was far less.

But there's still a long way to go. As of now, 12 states and the District of Columbia have voted to allow same-sex marriage, 36 states expressly forbid it.

Battleground California has voted both for it and against it. But now, the Supreme Court has declined to rule on Proposition 8, clearing the way for couples to star getting married there.

KAMALA HARRIS, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: There's no doubt, what so ever, the bells will ring and the marriages will begin.

JOHNS: Both sides have plenty of money and are highly motivated and they have been doing this for years. You haven't heard the last of the fight over same-sex marriage.


JOHNS: And then there are those federal benefits. About 1,000 of them affected by the restrictions of the Defense of Marriage Act. They want to move quickly to put that ruling into effect, but a lot of work to do on that, too, Chris.

CUOMO: That's right, Joe. And to be sure, there will be a lot of robust debate.

Segue, time to bring in the new host of "CROSSTALK."

BOLDUAN: Let me help you out.

CUOMO: Please?

BOLDUAN: On the left --

CUOMO: That's good. Oh, Stephanie Cutter, a Democratic strategist who work in the Obama presidential campaign and the administration.

BOLDUAN: On the right --

CUOMO: Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House and Republican presidential candidate. The CNN classic "CROSSFIRE" comes back this fall. But we start it today.

Good to have you both.

BOLDUAN: Caught at the crossfire, Chris and I. That's nothing new.

Congratulations for both of you.


BOLDUAN: Mr. Speaker, let's start with you. I mean, I want to talk about Edward Snowden and the NSA leaker. I mean, the White House has been talking about -- they're trying -- they're saying stuff, they're trying to get Russia and Ecuador to help send him back and get him back to the United States.

Do you think they've done enough or done enough early on to make this happen?

NEWT GINGRICH, CO-HOST, CNN'S CROSSFIRE: Look, I think they've got to do everything they can to get him back here. I think he's very dangerous. We don't know what he knows. We don't know what documents he's taken. We don't know if he's sitting in Moscow right now, so we don't know the Russians are learning.

And I just think also, as a matter of precedent, you want people to have a sense that if you betray the United States and you've betrayed our secrets, we're going to find you, and we're going to get you and we're going to bring you to justice. It's very important and, frankly, should be more aggressive.

I mean, for example, they haven't gone to Interpol. So, the Russians can say, oh, gee, we don't have the right documentation.

BOLDUAN: So, the administration failed here?

GINGRICH: Well, I think the administration clearly has not been as aggressive as it should be in order to get that. But I also think this is a big problem for all Americans.

CUOMO: Let's talk about as a perception to the country. Stephanie, Vladimir Putin in a mixed metaphor, yet damaging nonetheless. Related to America's wants for Edward Snowden as shearing a pig, which I'm not sure you do, by the way. And he said too much squeal and not enough wool, which I don't think they have, by the way.

But the import and impact of the statement that we were weak was loud and clear.

Is this a moment where people would look at President Obama and the administration and say, you've heard us, internationally we are weak, you have taken our mojo?

CUTTER: Right. Well, first of all, the person hurt internationally is Snowden. He violated the nation's trust and put this country in real jeopardy. Secondly, we don't know what is going on behind the scenes between the United States and Russia. You know, having been in government and you know this, too, from being in government. You have no idea what the pressure is going on in the inside between the United States and Russia.

CUOMO: They don't sound pressured.

CUTTER: Well, we're not in those conversations. I think we have to let this play out. I think this is the first act in a long play. Putin is absolutely playing games with us, absolutely playing games with us.

GINGRICH: You also have to recognize I think, Putin who was a KGB agent --

CUTTER: Exactly.

GINGRICH: -- sees himself as a tough guy. Remember the picture of him with no shirt on having killed a tiger --

CUTTER: On horseback.

GINGRICH: Putin is in this whole, I'm really macho, you're not really macho. And I think that we're seeing game-playing by him. In the end, the United States is a lot bigger than Russia and the United States, if it keeps the pressure up, will, in fact, force the Russians to be cooperative.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about the major topic domestically: the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Obviously, a lot of talk about the reaction and the fallout and what this means practically in every day life. But, right now away, we heard from many conservatives, Stephanie, this was another example of judicial activism and the justices making policy from the bench.

CUTTER: Well, they didn't say that when the Supreme Court overturned the Voting Rights Act or the key provision in the Voting Rights Act. It always depends on what the outcome is and who's decrying judicial activism. I think there was no other way for the court to rule.

DOMA is discriminatory. There is no other way to look at it. When you're creating a subclass of people through your federal laws, it's discriminatory.

And it was a good day yesterday. A lot of us were working for a very long time. That's why you saw the celebration across the country yesterday, with people celebrating us in return.

BOLDUAN: Is there no other way to look at it?

GINGRICH: I think anybody who reads what Justice Kennedy wrote, has to be very troubled by the language he used.

CUOMO: Because?

GINGRICH: He, funny, in essence, said, 85 years, senators are bigots. He, in essence, said, if you're a faithful Catholic, if you're a fundamentalist Protestant, if you're an orthodox Jew, if you're a traditional Muslim, you're a bigot. His language is astonishingly strong and judgmental, and I think that's wrong for the Supreme Court.

It's not a political body. It's a judicial body and having one person get up in the morning and say, I will now rewrite the Constitution, 4- 4. So, this whole idea that Kennedy is the decider, it's pretty unstable country when one lawyer gets to be the constitutional convention.

CUTTER: It was 5-4, so, it's 5 joining that opinion. And I think if you polled those senators who voted for DOMA many years ago, many of them would say that that vote was wrong. I mean, President Bill Clinton signed it and he came out against it saying it was the wrong thing to do.

CUOMO: So, bottom line, what do you think, Speaker? Do you think that same-sex marriage should be the law of the land?

GINGRICH: No, again, as somebody who believes a marriage between a man and a woman, I think there are a lot of arrangements you can make. I think it's called marriage. That's my view. I think it's better to work it out in the political process than it is to have judges impose their bias on a whole country.

CUOMO: Federally or state by state? How should it be done?

CUTTER: You know, I think that marriage is traditionally done state by state. But I think the federal court and the federal government system has to set up some parameters there.

BOLDUAN: All right. "CROSSFIRE" back at you. When are we launching?

CUTTER: The fall.

BOLDUAN: This fall, this fall. All right.

CUOMO: Do you think we can them or not? I don't think we can take them.

BOLDUAN: I can do a lot, I cannot take these two down.

GINGRICH: One night you guys come on the show.

BOLDUAN: The last day I want to be on TV, I will come on the show.


BOLDUAN: Thank you, both. Great to see you and huge congratulations. So much excitement here at CNN for that.

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

PEREIRA: All right. Thank you so much, Kate.

Making news just moments ago: President Obama addressed the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision during a news conference in Senegal. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think the Supreme Court ruling yesterday was not simply a victory for the LBGT community, I think it was a victory for American democracy. I believe at the root of who we are as people, as Americans, is the basic precept that we're all equal under the law. We believe in basic fairness. And, you know, what I think yesterday's ruling signifies is one more step towards ensuring that those basic principles apply to everybody.


PEREIRA: That question asked by CNN's chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin. Mr. Obama also spoke about NSA leaker Edward Snowden. He said he was not scrambling jets to get him and he was concerned about any additional documents that Snowden might have.

Testifying in his family's wrongful death suit, Michael Jackson's eldest says his father would cry after getting off the phone with AEG executives and his former manager. Prince Jackson said his father told him, they are going to kill me. The 16-year-old said he saw AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips have an aggressive confrontation with Dr. Conrad Murray shortly before his father died.

It has been nearly two years since Indiana University student Lauren Spierer vanished without a trace. Now her parent filed a civil suit against three students who knew her. This suit accuses them of getting Spierer drunk and failing to get her home safely, which her parents believe contributed to their daughter's disappearance and ultimate death. Spierer's body was never found.

A slightly embarrassing mistake for an institution of higher learning. Graduates at Bradford University in Virginia found a number of spelling errors on their diploma, including the word Virginia missing an I, also thereto also misspelled. The school has promised to correct the typos and get the graduates their newly improved diplomas.

How about some cute? Are you ready? Here is some cute. Two-headed baby turtle. This week the turtle with two heads goes on display at the San Antonio zoo. Officials say the turtle, which is a Texas river cotter appears to be healthy and able to swim and walk. They expect Thelma and Louise to amaze visitors at the zoo's aquarium for a long time to come.

CUOMO: Two turtles?


BOLDUAN: One for those two heads.

CUOMO: I know. But it's a two --

PEREIRA: A turtle with two heads.

BOLDUAN: Nothing has compounded Chris Cuomo more than this story. CUOMO: Two-headed animals.

BOLDUAN: Yes, we have a cat.

CUOMO: Yes, the cat with the two faces.

PEREIRA: Yes, I don't like that one.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Michaela.

Coming up next on NEW DAY: powerful testimony in the George Zimmerman trial. But whose side is the prosecution's key witness really helping at this point? HLN's Nancy Grace is here live to bring it all down for us.

CUOMO: An important question for young people and parents. Energy drinks, can it be deadly? One mother claims they killed her son. Her son and our conversation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, coming up.


CUOMO: There he is. Steve Carell standing stoically. Happy, slightly uncomfortable, because he's in a glass room, but he's drinking a little something. Very nice. We're very happy to have you on NEW DAY. Very good to have you. Thank you very much. He'll be up soon.

But first, but first, day four of the George Zimmerman trial starts in less than an hour and a key witness is expected back on the stand today. She is 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel on the phone with Trayvon Martin just moments before he was killed. OK. Let's listen to a little bit of the testimony.


RACHEL JEANTEL, TRAYVON'S FRIEND: I heard Trayvon (ph) say, get off, get off.


CUOMO: All right. Now, what we heard her saying there was, "I heard Trayvon say get off, get off." Huge implication, if believed by the jury. To tell us why, HLN's Nancy Grace joining us from Atlanta to give us her take. Nancy, let's begin with that. Thank you for being with us this morning. "Get off, get off." If the jury believes Rachel Jeantel, if they believe that Trayvon Martin was heard saying "get off, get off." What does that mean?

NANCY GRACE, HOST, HLN'S "NANCY GRACE": Well, if they believe her, that's a big if, I thought she was going so great when she was on direct exam. It was the single best witness that the state had had for Trayvon Martin, but on cross-examination, oh, man, but that's a whole other can of worms. I'm going to get to that in a moment.

If they believe what she said on direct examination, that means that Trayvon Martin was absolutely on the bottom of that scuffle, placing Zimmerman on top and firming up the theory that he is the aggressor. But what we got to remember is, he was out walking his dog with his gun in a car and followed this high school junior.

All right? Who was supposed to be there. That was where his father lived. He was going home. So, how he ended up in a scuffle far, far away from where they started, I mean, clearly, paints Zimmerman as the aggressor. So, if they believe her Trayvon is on the bottom and Zimmerman is on top, Zimmerman is still the aggressor. If she crumbles in their eyes on cross-examination, then, not so much.

CUOMO: All right. But here's why it's so important. Just to remind people, Nancy, and help me fill it in here. Under Florida law, if you start a fight, you cannot successfully claim self-defense, correct? How does it work?

GRACE: Absolutely. They've got a legal conundrum there. It is going to be probably a problem for both sides in this case. At the end of it, it's called stand your ground, which basically means if somebody comes at you, you don't have to run. You can, quote, "stand your ground."

CUOMO: If they come at you.

GRACE: That's what that's all about. But I'm -- yes, if they come at you, but what I'm saying is the whole thing started -- look, the defense is going to be, hey, look at the back of Zimmerman's head. It's bleeding. It's gushing blood. Trayvon Martin was beating his head into the cement. You'd shoot him, too. The problem with that is that Zimmerman started it by Zimmerman's own words on the phone with 911.

He started following Trayvon Martin. They told him not to do it. He was packing a gun to walk his dog. He follows the kid, then suddenly, boom, the kid is dead.

CUOMO: Now, that goes to all of the speculation about self-defense and that being Zimmerman's main thing. The other big component here in this trial is the prosecution's ability to show depraved mind, right? Because that's a key component for the second-degree murder charge that they want.

So, the judge agreed with the prosecution, let in these earlier calls before this night that George Zimmerman have made to emergency authorities because the prosecution said they show his state of mind, where he was mentally and emotionally the night he was with Trayvon Martin. The defense, of course, resisted but lost. What do you believe the significance of those takes were at trial?

GRACE: Well, look, the jury is just hearing the tip of the iceberg. There are about 50 of those phone calls where he calls police. Hey, I see a garage door up. Hey, I see somebody loitering. Hey, hey, hey, and almost everyone is Black male, Black male, Black male, bah, bah, bah. Everybody is a black Male that he's watching. I think there was a couple of calls about a Caucasian.

So, the state is trying to say that he was profiling any Black male that he saw, even a high school junior walking home with nothing but Skittles in his pocket to his dad's house. That's where the state is going. The defense is going to say, he's the captain of neighborhood watch. The residents call him for him to call police.

That's why there's 50 phone calls. They're going to both be using this. My question is, when did it become a bad thing to call police? But, if you listen to the calls, he always calls about a Black male.

CUOMO: If he's a bigot, it doesn't mean that he had evil intent that night, though, right? That's going to be the stretch for the prosecution. So, what do you think needs to happen today as we watch day four?

GRACE: Well, for one thing, the main thing the state's got to do today, they've got to rehab Rachel Jeantel, the young lady that got up on the stand because she's already been caught in three or four lies, big lies that she lied in the initial interview with the defense attorneys. She lied to Trayvon Martin's family.

I mean, serious lies. Her story has changed. That's a big hurdle for the state. They've got to rehabilitate her.

CUOMO: And the defense will keep hammering at that that she can't be believed, because at the end of the day, before we get to George Zimmerman, assuming that he doesn't testify. The best eyes are really ears that we have on this situation and they're hers. So, she couldn't be more important, right?

GRACE: Yes. And another very important thing, Zimmerman was wearing a very bright red, I think, it was a leather jacket and it was very dark. It was raining outside. And one of the witnesses says the person on top, painting them as the aggressor, had on a dark colored shirt or jacket. That would have been Trayvon Martin.

But, it was so dark out there, when you really look at the pictures, you can't tell what color anything is. So, that's a bone for both sides.

CUOMO: And that's why the lawyering here is going to be so important in terms of what they make believable versus what they dismiss. And that's why we need you, Nancy, to keep helping us through it.

GRACE: I've got one last monkey wrench for you.

CUOMO: Please.

GRACE: They've already lost one of the alternates. We're down to three. We're down to three. Let's hope we don't lose some more and have to start all over because we've only got five jurors.

CUOMO: That's right, because remember, everybody, you only have six in this trial because in Florida, if it's not a capital offense, not a death penalty, you only have six, not 12 jurors. Good point, Nancy. As always, thank you very much. You can all watch Nancy Grace live on HLN weeknights at 8:00 p.m. eastern. You know that. And remember, we want your thoughts. Please, check us out on Twitter and Facebook and go to Let us know what you think about the case and what matters and what's unclear. OK? -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Chris.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, was an energy drink to blame for a 19-year- old death? A mother is suing a big name drink maker because of that. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here to talk about it.

Also, actor, Steve Carell, as Chris is dancing, but Chris, Steve not dancing. He's serious. He's live in studio. He's coming to talk to us about his latest movie and whatever else we're going to throw at him.