Return to Transcripts main page
New Witnesses in Zimmerman Case; President Obama in South Africa; Obama's Snowden Headache; Neighbors Testify in Zimmerman Trial
Aired June 29, 2013 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A landmark Supreme Court decision propels one state into the spotlight. Why some couples are celebrating this morning in California.
One week into the testimony of the trial of George Zimmerman. And the crucial question arises: who threw the first punch? The answer may be the key to the case.
There are lots of ways to lose your job, but how about being too irresistible? That's one woman's story. Now she is fighting back.
Good morning, I am Alison Kosik.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And I am Carol Costello. Thanks so much for being with us. It's 8:00 on the East. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.
And we begin this morning out west, where temperatures could climb to just 129 degrees.
KOSIK: That's the forecast for Death Valley. Phoenix and Las Vegas, they could see temperatures around 118 degrees. The early summer heat wave is already causing public health problems. Almost 200 people were treated for heat-related injuries during an all-day concert yesterday in Las Vegas. Thirty others ended up in the hospital.
COSTELLO: So guess what? The government, the city governments are advising people to drink lots of water, stay indoors as much as they can, stay in the shade if they have to go outside, and they're also taking steps, you know, to avoid a power outage, because you don't want the air conditioning to go out.
KOSIK: Gosh. Yes.
COSTELLO: When it's 129 degrees, Alexandra Steele.
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right. You certainly -- and we're not even in the warmest part of summer yet.
No. All right. Well, what we've thought, what's happening, it's a jet stream extreme. The west is baking, the east is sinking with so much rain, June all-time record rain for some. But of course it's the west. Eight states, some type, under some type of heat advisory, heat watch, heat warning, and we're not just talking about heat records for the day or for the month.
These are all-time heat records, temperatures that these places have never seen. Why? Well, what happens, air compresses. It sinks, it compresses and it warms. It's kind of like, have you ever pumped up the tire of your bike, and when you're pumping, then you hold the rubber tire and you feel kind of the warmth of it, that's what's happening. And the problem is, it's happening not just today, tomorrow, through the weekend. Really up until the end of next week.
So temperatures are not going to relinquish their bite at all. And you could see the quadron of concern here. Cities involve, Vegas and Phoenix. Temperatures on the average in these places, in the hundreds, anyway. Phoenix on average at 107, right now it's 91 at this early hour. And that's part of the problem with this heat wave. Temperatures at night time aren't relinquishing their controls. Staying at minimal up 90, 97, 95.
So here where we're going to be. Phoenix today, 118. Now, Phoenix, flirting with 120, it's only been at 120 three times in history, so certainly could get there. You could see 116, 113, and by Wednesday, still at 110. So you get the picture.
Vegas as well. Their average high, to give you perspectives, 103, still way above 90, will be for the nighttime hours. And breaking records we certainly have, 117 on Sunday will be their all-time warmest temperature they have ever seen, 116 today. These are the records, 115, 115, and 116. So those should be toppled again for the weekend. And Death Valley, you've got all-time world peak temperature, 134 in Death Valley almost 100 years ago to the date. We won't get there but certainly 128 today, not far from it.
COSTELLO: Good thing nobody lives there. I'm just trying to figure out how would it feel different from the normal, 103 degrees to 116 degrees, because at some point it's just hot.
STEELE: Right. And you can't go outside, be outside, exercise outside, just stay inside. Go to the malls, go shopping, and Vegas has a few things to do inside.
COSTELLO: Yes. I think so.
STEELE: There no tea time.
COSTELLO: No tea time so there's lots and lots to do indoors. You're right. Alexandra, thank you.
KOSIK: County clerks in California will be working overtime this weekend to satisfy the demand for marriage licenses from same-sex couples. The Ninth Circuit Appeals Court lifts its stay on those weddings yesterday. Letting same-sex couples marry again in California. Among the first to tie the knot, the two couples that were the plaintiffs in this week's historic Prop 8 Supreme Court case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL KATARI, PLAINTIFF IN SUPREME COURT CASE: We're going to fly to San Francisco and celebrate with Kristi and Sandy and rest of the people that made this.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And let me tell you. Equal feels different.
KATARI: Equal feels good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: The decision made California the 13th state to legalize same- sex marriage.
Jurors are getting the weekend off in the Zimmerman murder trial.
COSTELLO: But boy, did they have a busy week. They've been hearing from witnesses all week about what they heard or saw the night Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. A neighbor who took the stand yesterday stepped outside of his home when he heard a fight going on. He saw the altercation before that single shot rang out.
CNN's Martin Savidge is outside the courthouse in Sanford, Florida, with more.
Good morning, Martin.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. Yes, you know, the last witness that took the stand yesterday was the physician's assistant. Her name is Lindzee Folgate and her testimony actually gave something to both sides in this particular case. She is the person who treated George Zimmerman the day after the altercation, and of course the key testimony was what kind of injuries did he have, and he did have interest, that's something she pointed quite clearly.
Seemed to have a broken nose, had black eyes and suffered some trauma to the back of his head. The question is how much or how severe were those injuries, and that's something that the prosecution tried to hone in on. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, STATE PROSECUTOR: So denies having a headache?
LINDZEE FOLGATE, PHYSICIAN'S ASSISTANT: Correct.
DE LA RIONDA: Change in VA. What does that mean?
FOLGATE: VA means visual acuity. So no change in vision.
DE LA RIONDA: He denies any slurred speech. What does that mean?
FOLGATE: That would mean exactly what it says. But any slurred speech and sometimes I will rephrase that to patients -- are you talking any more abnormal than what you would have normally.
DE LA RIONDA: He denies dizziness. That's an obvious one but let's make sure for the record what that means.
FOLGATE: Clarifying to see if he had any dizziness meaning he felt off balance for any reason.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And -- abnormality meaning he's able to walk fine, no problems walking?
FOLGATE: Exactly, and sometimes I'll clarify that on layman's terms meaning, are you walking as if you were drunk or staggering.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: What the prosecutor was trying to make out here was the fact that everyone knows George Zimmerman was injured, but the prosecution was trying to say, but he wasn't injured that badly. And remember, George Zimmerman in his self-defense claim is saying that he was being beaten so severely by 17-year-old Trayvon Martin he thought he was going to die, hence why he had to shoot the teenager and kill him.
And of course the prosecution is trying to say those injuries don't sound like a person who's on the edge of death.
The other thing that was brought out in that exchange, in the medical records of George Zimmerman, it was revealed that he said he was training at a club, a club that teaches MMA, mixed martial arts. That was crucial because earlier in the day a witness on the stand said they had seen someone beating a person on the ground in a mixed martial arts style. That's the way the jury was left as they went off on their weekend -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Well, that witness was Jon Good, but he also testified that George Zimmerman was on the bottom.
SAVIDGE: Correct. But there are other witnesses who say, no, it was the other way around. The defense and the prosecution are trying to both argue two different vantage points here, but what the prosecution is going to maintain is that Jon Good -- Jonathan Good was confused. He just had them mixed up and it's the mixed martial arts style that really says who was on top.
KOSIK: Martin, I am curious, because you watched this testimony all week. If you were keeping just a cursory scorecard, would you give this week to the defense or the prosecution as for who won the week?
SAVIDGE: I think it was a good week for the defense. The prosecution does have a difficult case here because they absolutely have to prove second-degree murder here. However, that said, there was some places where their case does seem to come together. What they are trying to point out what is the mindset of George Zimmerman. There is still next week to come and we'll have to wait and see.
I would say right now the defense did pretty good and remember they haven't even started their side of the events.
COSTELLO: That's right. Martin Savidge, live in Sanford, Florida, for us. Thank you.
KOSIK: The defense attorney who told that awkward knock-knock joke in the opening statements of the Zimmerman trial is in another awkward position. Look at this photo that was posted to Instagram by Don West's 23-year-old daughter Molly. And what it shows is them eating ice cream cones, but the caption reads, "Beat stupidity celebration cones," with the hashtag, "Dad killed it."
The photo appears to have been posted either Tuesday or Wednesday. Molly West's Instagram account has since been deactivated after an outcry over the questionable photo. Through a spokesman Don West says, quote, "Sometimes we're deeply disappointed by the things our children do but we love them anyway and we move on."
COSTELLO: As quickly as we can.
KOSIK: As we can. Yes.
COSTELLO: All right.
President Obama is in South Africa now. And the health of the man he called a personal hero is weighing heavily on his mind.
KOSIK: At a news conference you saw live right here on CNN, Mr. Obama said his thoughts are with the ailing Nelson Mandela and his family as well.
Let's go to our CNN White House correspondent Brianna Keilar in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Brianna, tell us more about what the president said about Nelson Mandela.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, he spoke again, Alison, as he has at his various stops here in Africa about Nelson Mandela being inspirational. So he talked about that in Senegal before he came here to South Africa, and certainly here that's something he discussed.
But we also learned a short time ago that President Obama will be meeting with family members of Nelson Mandela, although that question of whether he might pay a visit to Nelson Mandela while he's in the hospital, we've been told by the White House he's not going to do that.
Here's part of what President Obama said during his press conference with South African President Zuma.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nelson Mandela showed what is possible and the people of South Africa have shown what's possible when a priority is placed on constitutions and rule of law, and respect for human dignity, and that all people are treated equally. And that we will rise above our parochial concerns, and what Nelson Mandela also stood for was the recognition in that the well- being of a country is more important than the interest of any one person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Now I think a lot of people watching President Obama's Africa visit thought he might pay Nelson Mandela a visit, the first black South African president -- having a moment with the first black American president. They have met before but obviously this is a very high-profile weeklong trip that the president has here in Africa. He had said on Air Force One, heading here to South Africa, President Obama did, that he didn't want a photo-op, that he wasn't trying to be intrusive, and he was trying to respect the family.
So I think that was sort of the line that the White House and that President Obama, Alison and Carol, had been walking here because they didn't want to make this all about President Obama at a time where Nelson Mandela is very much on -- in the heart and on the minds of South Africans and Africans.
COSTELLO: And his family. I mean, they're surrounding his bedside. He's on life support so that's certainly understandable.
COSTELLO: I do know the president talked about domestic issues, issues back here at home because American journalists like you are asking him those kinds of questions. What else did he say?
KEILAR: You know, he talked about -- he was asked about student loans, he was asked a lot of questions actually about his trip in Africa. He was asked, for instance, why wasn't he going to Kenya where he has roots through his father. And he addressed that and we've heard from the White House before. Right now as you -- as you may heard, the Kenyan president, although he has been re-elected recently was charged by the International Criminal Court and will face in November a trial, as of now that's expected so the White House has said this wasn't the best time to go. And President Obama basically said as much today.
But, Carol, the next thing, I think, that's really interesting that President Obama is doing that we've seen and will continue to see throughout his trip is the focus on young Africans, the median age here is 17. So there's a huge population of folks here in Africa who will be going into the job force and so he's kind of tying that into his economic message throughout his travels.
COSTELLO: Brianna Keilar, live in Johannesburg, Thank you. Coming up on NEW DAY SATURDAY, some good news for the victims of the Boston bombing. Some much-needed money is about to be headed their way.
COSTELLO: Sixteen minutes past the hour, welcome back.
It has been two months since the tragic bombing at the Boston marathon. And the one from Boston, it's beginning to distribute the nearly, yes it is, $61 million and is now raised for victims and their relatives.
KOSIK: Zain Asher is following the story from New York.
Zain, good morning to you. How is this money, the $61 million is going to be distributed?
ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, $61 million, it is a huge amount of money. It has far exceeded anybody's expectation. Now, to actually be awarded some degree of compensation from all of this, you have to actually prove that you were physically injured as a result of the marathon tragedy. Now, a total of 259 people filed for a claim, but 232 people, that's a little bit less, were actually awarded some degree of compensation.
Now, the families of the four people who died and those who sustained brain damage or who lost both limbs were given a little over$2 million each. That's a total of 6 people. Victims who lost one limb are being awarded $1 million each of a total of 14 people.
And then it sort of gets broken down according to how many nights these victims spend in the hospital. As the people who spent 1 month in the hospital, for whatever reason, after April 15th, were given just under a million dollars, 2 weeks in the hospital, half a million dollars, $500, 000. One night in the hospital, as a result of the marathon tragedy, and you get $100, 000.
Now I did speak to Kenneth Feinberg late last night. He's the fund administrator. And he said that, you know, what's interesting about this is that this amount of money from the Boston bombings far exceeds the amount of money that was given to the families of those who died during 9/11. Sandy Hook in Virginia Tech as well.
You know, One Fund Boston did have so much publicity surrounding it and lastly, I do want to mention that the fund is still open, so people can still donate -- Alison, Carol.
KOSIK: I understand that some people though, Zain had their claims rejected, why is that?
ASHER: Well firstly, you have to actually be physically injured as a result of the bombings right. So, emotional injury in this case is really not enough. Obviously, a lot of people who at the marathon would have suffered some type of emotional trauma, but you have to actually prove some degree of physical bodily harm. Also, some people claim they spent several nights in hospital but didn't have any supporting documentation that was important.
And I also funds administrating that, what'll happen if someone was slightly bruised and then had to go the hospital for sort of maybe, you know, an hour or so but then was immediately discharged, what do yu do then? He said they would use that judgment. But for the most part, these people would have been given $8,000 each. Guys?
COSTELLO: Another job well done by Mr. Feinberg. Zain Asher, thank you so much.
KOSIK: Fired for being too irresistible. This woman says that's the best thing that happened to her and now she's fighting back.
KOSIK: Some sad news this morning. The Georgia dad who was paralyzed after diving into a creek to save a 4-year-old girl, has died.
COSTELLO: Oh, Michael Paterson had been in the hospital in Georgia since saving that little girl three weeks ago. He broke his neck and severed his spinal cord and left him paralyzed from the chest down. A Facebook page has been setup for Paterson, says he died Friday with his family by his side. His funeral is set for tomorrow.
KOSIK: An Iowa woman was fired from her job because her boss said working with her risked his marriage. She sued but lost her legal battle last December and now she's getting a rare chance to fight back. CNN's Poppy Harlow has the latest.
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY. COM CORRESPONDENT: This week, Iowa Supreme Court took a rare step withdrawing a unanimous decision to Melissa Nelson's case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People think this decision is -- it's just unfair.
HARLOW: Dentist James Knight called Melissa Nelson one of the best dental assistants he'd ever had, but he fired her in 2010. Why? Because she presented an irresistible attraction court records say, threatening his marriage.
MELISSA NELSON, PLAINTIFF: His reasoning was I was affecting his home life and his personal life, and that it was time for me to go.
HARLOW: Records show Doctor Knight's wife demanded that he terminate Nelson's employment. Nelson sued claiming gender discrimination.
NELSON: I'm not attracted to him. I've never been attracted to him.
HARLOW: Nelson said Dr. Knight complained her clothing was too tight and revealing. "Not so," says Nelson.
NELSON: I just thought of myself as this everyday a person that came to work. HARLOW: Last December, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled Nelson's firing was unfair but legal and not gender discrimination. Answering the key question, can somebody be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction?
NELSON: Hello. I'm Melissa.
HARLOW: She hasn't stopped fighting. In April, Nelson brought attention to her case on Comedy Central.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're you a good hygienist?
NELSON: Of course.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many cavities would you guess I've had in my entire life?
NELSON: Open up.
HARLOW: Now, Iowa's Supreme Court is reconsidering its decision.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really unprecedented. There is no new evidence, there is no fact that the Supreme Court missed. The only thing that's new here is the public reaction to the opinion which is mostly negative, actually overwhelmingly negative.
HARLOW: Nelson's attorney says her client is delighted at the news. Knight's attorney says he's confident that the Supreme Court will reaffirm its fire decision.
NELSON: I did my job to the best of my abilities. I worked hard.
HARLOW: Now, in its December decision, Iowa's Supreme Court pointed out that Doctor Knight hired a female replacement for Nelson and argued that showed while the firing was unfair, it was not gender discrimination. Legal experts say what makes this case so unique is that the court is not considering any new evidence but still agreed to reconsider its decision. That decision could come as early as next week or it could take months -- Alison.
KOSIK: Poppy Harlow, thank you.
COSTELLO: Alec Baldwin is now saying, "I'm sorry", to gays and lesbians after his angry Twitter meltdown. The actor went on a rant against the British journalist, George Stark. In a Daily Mail report, Stark accused Baldwin's wife of posting self-promotional Tweets during Sopranos star, James Gandolfini's funeral.
That apparently infuriated Baldwin who Tweeted, "My wife and I attended the funeral to pay our respects to an old friend. And some toxic Brit writes this effing trash? I'm going to find you George Stark, you toxic little queen and I'm going to beat you up." Baldwin apologized yesterday on the website of a gay rights group. Baldwin said his Tweets did not have anything at all to do with the issues of anyone's sexual orientation. Nothing --
KOSIK: Nothing at all.
COSTELLO: -- at all.
KOSIK: OK, well --
COSTELLO: He was just saying.
KOSIK: Right. I just wanted to get that out there, or leave that alone. Sending just to get Edward Snowden, President Obama says it's not an option but what does the president need to do to make his Snowden headache go away? We're now going to look at the options.
COSTELLO: Welcome back to NEW DAY SATURDAY. Its 30 minutes past the hour. I'm Carol Costello.
KOSIK: And I'm Alison Kosik. Here are five things you need to know this morning.
Number one -- excessive heat warnings are blanketing southern California, Arizona and Nevada. The temperature in Death Valley this weekend could climb to 129 degrees. Phoenix and Las Vegas could see 118 degrees.
The heat wave is already causing health problems. Almost 200 people were treated for heat related injuries at a concert yesterday in Las Vegas. Officials are keeping an eye on the power grid to make sure the AC doesn't go out.
COSTELLO: Number two on our list, some county clerk officers in California are opening up over the weekend to offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Yesterday two women and two men who are the lead plaintiffs in this week's historic Supreme Court decision were married. The case over California's Prop 8 made that state the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
KOSIK: At number three President Obama calls Nelson Mandela an inspiration to the world. He plans to meet with Mandela's family today during his visit to South Africa. The beloved former South African president remains in a hospital in critical but stable condition fighting a reoccurring lung infection.
COSTELLO: Number four an American student has been killed in protest in Egypt, 21-year-old Andrew Pochter was stabbed while watching demonstrations in the coastal city of Alexandria. The violent protest seen here between supporters and opponents of the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, whose one year anniversary in office is tomorrow.
KOSIK: And finally, at number five, Random House has pulled the plug on Paula Deen's upcoming cook book release. Paula Deen's new testament has shot to the top of Amazon's best seller lists as fans showed support following her recent controversy, but now the book has been cancelled along with Deen's five-year contract. Anyone who pre-ordered the book will be issued a refund.
COSTELLO: The Edward Snowden affair has become quite the headache and quite a distraction for President Obama. He had to answer questions about the U.S. surveillance program during his European trip a little over a week ago and now while he's in South Africa, he's still being asked about Snowden, the extradition efforts and possibly strained relationships with some of the countries involved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've got a whole lot of business that we do with China and Russia and I'm not going to have one case of a suspect who we're trying to extradite, suddenly being elevated to the point where I've got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues simply to get a guy extradited so that he can face the justice system here in the United States.
No, I am not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Joining me now to talk about the President's reaction, our CNN contributors Paul Begala and Ross Douthat. Welcome to both of you.
ROSS DOUTHAT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning.
COSTELLO: Good morning. So Paul, President Obama doesn't see Edward Snowden as public enemy number one anymore?
BEGALA: You know I think that's smart. Lower the blood pressure here. They are sending mixed signals. I think they are trying to walk a line. You know you see the President is saying well it's just one guy, I don't want to have to be calling President Putin in Russia or President Xi in China and he's right. Right to be in awkward conversation they would say are you spying on us and he would say, "Well yes, I certainly hope my country is spying on other countries." The problem that America has to some of us is that he can be spying on us as well.
And shifting the focus to Snowden though is actually good for President Obama. Because instead of focusing on whether our government is tracking every phone call we make we're now focused on this really bizarre "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego" and the notion that a great fighter for press freedom is hiding out in China and Russia -- two countries not exactly known for press freedom?
COSTELLO: Yes but come on Ross supposedly he's damaging our national security, he's endangering all of us, and now it's like I'm not going to scramble fighter jets to catch this kid.
DOUTHAT: No but I think that that's an example of why Paul is exactly right. I think that the White House is very, very happy with how this has played out over the last couple of weeks. Because before Snowden revealed his identity, the story was as Paul said all about this expansive potentially massive essentially virtual eavesdropping effort by the administration. And now the story is one about you know where is Edward Snowden? Two, it's about how the champion of press freedom has gone to China and Russia which are not exactly champions of press freedom themselves.
So obviously it's you know I think in an ideal world the White House would want to have him extradited, but I think they are reasonably happy to be talking about why is Edward Snowden in Russia rather than talking about why are we doing what we're doing here at home.
COSTELLO: Which makes Edward Snowden's father's letter to -- to Eric Holder very sad because he sent this letter to Eric Holder and he said -- Eric Holder by the way is the Attorney General of the United States -- he said that "Edward Snowden would consider coming back", he thinks. He thinks "he's not a spy or traitor" he's you know his father thinks Americans should embrace Edward Snowden. And he might come back on three conditions, and I will read you Paul the three conditions.
One, Edward Snowden would come back if he would not be detained or imprisoned prior to trial. He would come back if he would not be subject to a gag order. And Edward Snowden would come back if he would be tried in a venue of his choosing. Really -- any of that really possible?
BEGALA: No. It's the short answer. I haven't obviously talked to the Attorney General about it, but no attorney general is going to -- first off, he is an accused criminal and his crime is serious. And -- and -- and so he's not in a very good position to negotiate. Yes he's hiding out I guess somewhere at the (inaudible) in the Moscow airport or something, but no every -- every parent loves their child and my heart does go out to the parents here.
But if in fact Mr. Snowden did what he is accused of, that's a very serious crime. And he's not in a very good position to be negotiating with the attorney general I don't think.
COSTELLO: No and Ross though we had, we have reporters all over the globe looking for this guy. Where do you suppose he is? I mean one of our correspondent said he may have snuck out of the Russian airport or the Moscow airport, which I --
DOUTHAT: Well this is I mean -- I mean this is part of why if you are Edward Snowden, a lot of people have said well look you know a true whistle blower would have revealed this information and then you know stood and faced the consequences and so on, but if you -- you see in the letter from -- from his father exactly what he's worried about. He's worried about something like what happened to Bradley Manning who is basically been held without trial for an extended period of time. Obviously it's a different situation because Manning is an officer in the U.S. military.
But I don't actually -- if I were Edward Snowden, I understand his sort of you know his -- his theory that it's better to go globetrotting than to actually face the music. But he' going to end up in a situation basically the best case scenario is the sort of Julian Assange situation where you end up being a virtual prisoner in say the Ecuadorian embassy in London which is not exactly the happiest ending to a story, I would think.
COSTELLO: Not the happiest. You know you wonder, how Edward Snowden thought this would end. I mean how did he think it would end do you suppose Paul?
BEGALA: That's a great point Carol, I don't know. I can't look into -- to -- to the man's mind, but it is important for people to know though that there were legitimate avenues a whistleblower could have taken. Mr. Snowden believed that the program in which he was participating was wrong or violated the law of the Constitution he could have gone to an Inspector General, he could have gone to the Congress privately, he could have gone to any number of places without going to China and releasing all of this to the public and you know Lord knows -- there's one reporter in "The New York Times" that the Chinese have already wiped his computers clean. I have no idea if that's -- if that's accurate but the Times is a pretty good newspaper.
DOUTHAT: I've heard that.
BEGALA: There are other ways for whistleblower to call attention and that -- this is not the right way to do it.
DOUTHAT: In sense so in Snowden, in Snowden's defense you do -- as he probably knew this is a program that has congressional oversight and has been approved by Congress. I think from Snowden's point of view the problem is Congress considers it legal but the American people don't know about it.
So there are issues there I think where it's not quite as easy to say, oh, he should have just called up his congressman and told him about it. He was speaking to the American public and I think that's what you can say in his defense.
COSTELLO: Yes. And come on Paul not many people have complete trust in the government and the way it works. I mean let's just be honest about that. So you can understand --
BEGALA: But he was working for -- he was working for the government, he was taking, I don't know, $100,000 or $200,000 a year. It's -- the program --
COSTELLO: And he said he gave it up.
BEGALA: I don't like the program, but it is legal. It is, it was authorized by the Congress.
COSTELLO: I know.
BEGALA: It was enacted by the executive and it was supervised by the judicial. It's the only three branches we have. COSTELLO: I know.
BEGALA: I don't like this program but there is no doubt that it's legal.
DOUTHAT: But that again is the case for -- that's the case for what Snowden did, is that if the entire government considers it legal and you consider it wrong --
BEGALA: Then it is.
DOUTHAT: You can see -- you can see there being an obligation to tell the public about it.
COSTELLO: We can argue about this all day long, but I've got to wrap it up, gentlemen. Thank you so much for being with us Paul Begala and Ross Douthat.
BEGALA: Thanks Carol.
DOUTHAT: Thanks for having me.
COSTELLO: Coming up -- you're welcome.
Coming up in the 9:00 hour, Eastern hour, at 9:00 o'clock Easter hour we'll talk more about Edward Snowden and the NSA, I'll be joined by Bill Vinny, he's a former NSA official who famously quit and became an outspoken critic of the agency. That comes your way at 9:15 Eastern.
KOSIK: A man who witnessed the fight between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martins says it was Trayvon Martin who was on top during their fight. We're going to explain what that means for the prosecution's case.
KOSIK: Now to the George Zimmerman trial, neighbors gave dramatic and crucial testimony on Friday, including John Good, who said he saw Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman moments before Zimmerman shot Martin. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: All right. If you could, could you tell at that time, in terms of describing who was on the top and who was on the bottom?
JOHN GOOD, WITNESS: I could only see the colors of clothing.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. The color of clothing on top, what could you see?
GOOD: It was dark. DE LA RIONDA: OK. How about the color of clothing at the bottom?
GOOD: I believe it was a light white or red color.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: Joining me now is CNN legal analyst Paul Callan in New York, and CNN legal analyst Mark Nejame in Orlando, Florida. Good morning to both of you.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning.
MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning.
KOSIK: Now, we know that Trayvon was wearing a black hoodie the night he was killed and Zimmerman was wearing a bright red jacket, and the witness also made it clear the light-skinned person was on the bottom during the fight.
So Paul, let me ask you, you are a former prosecutor, how damaging is this testimony to the state?
CALLAN: This was a very damaging blow to the state. I mean, the state's entire case seems to have been driven off the side of a cliff this week. They started strong, of course, in their opening. But this witness, John Good in particular, he is close to the scene, he is the closest witness.
He has Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman, and he really puts in play the self-defense claim in a major, major way. It's very hard for me to imagine how the prosecutor is going to be able to counter this since he is the closest eyewitness that will ever be available to what actually happened that night.
KOSIK: Mark, what do you think?
NEJAME: Without question. And a lot of people are wondering why the prosecution went ahead and called him anyway. I have to tell you I think it was a good strategic move on behalf of the prosecutor, because this witness was on the defense witness list and was going to come out anyway.
So I think that the prosecutor knowing that this very credible witness was going to be extremely damaging, at least wanted to call him first so he could kind of put his own spin on it and at least minimize the damage as much as possible and also maintain credibility before the jurors by showing that he was not hiding anything.
But nevertheless, it was a devastating blow. And remember, this is the state's case. This is when it's all supposed to be going their way, and now with such reasonable doubt being injected in this case, it's going to be a very hard climb for the prosecutor to get around and go over.
KOSIK: OK. Paul. Another state witness, Lindzee Folgate (ph), a physician assistant addressed Zimmerman's head injuries. The state's goal -- to point out those injuries were not life threatening so Zimmerman should not have used deadly force. What do you think? Do these images and these testimonies prove that for the state?
CALLAN: Well, it's an interesting question. But I think there's a misconception that a lot of people have about this. Self-defense says that if you think that you are going to be seriously hurt or killed, that you can use deadly physical force to protect yourself. It's not really a standard of were you actually seriously injured, it's what you perceive that night. And Zimmerman's claim, of course, is that his head was being pounded on to the cement, his nose had been broken.
I was just going over his statement to the police again. One of the things he says is that with Trayvon Martin on top of him, his nose broken, he was pressing on his nose and Zimmerman was fearful that he would have trouble breathing. Now these pictures, of course, would support that claim. Even though he was in fine shape the next day, the defense is going to say hey, it's what is going through your mind on that rainy night.
I understand why the prosecutor called the witness. It's all they have and they have to put it forward. But they have a tough, tough case with an uphill battle and they're struggling, I think -- Alison.
KOSIK: Yes, Mark. What do you think? Because this was supposed to be the big opening week for the prosecution and they've clearly had trouble this week. How can they sort of bounce back? What is really key?
NEJAME: Well, I said from the beginning that this was going to be a challenging case for the state, and it's exactly right. It's not an objective standard, it's a subjective standard. What did the victim in any self-defense case is making that claim reasonably believe? Did they reasonably believe that they were in fear of death or great bodily harm?
And so if they were able to establish it, that's what was in their mind and that fear was reasonable, then how does anybody really get around that? I also think that you are going to see that this defense is going to do everything possible to make their case showing reasonable doubt in the state's case to do everything possible to keep George Zimmerman off the stand, because that's where they could run into some trouble because he has given a variety of statements at different times and that would be a prosecutor's dream to get him on the stand.
So I think you're going to see the defense continuing to dissect this case, throwing that reasonable doubt out there, where they are able to not put George Zimmerman on the stand when it becomes their time to put on their case.
KOSIK: OK, Mark Nejame, Paul Callan thanks so much for your time.
NEJAME: Thank you. COSTELLO: Maybe this is a little too fashion forward. A coat made of -- I can't even say, this is so disgusting. This coat is made of chest hair. John Berman will have that story for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: OK. How cute is this?
KOSIK: Really cute.
COSTELLO: That's Thelma and Louise.
KOSIK: Thelma and Louise?
KOSIK: Look at this stuff, you have to go figure.
COSTELLO: It's a two-headed baby turtle and it was hatched last week. It goes on display today at the San Antonio Zoo which sounds kind of cold. But you can visit Thelma and Louise at the zoo there. Officials say the turtle, a Texas River cooter appears to be healthy and is able to swim and walk. They expect Thelma and Louise to amaze visitors at the zoo's aquarium for a very long time to come.
KOSIK: I guess if you consider it, it looks like a freak show. People are going to go look at the turtle. Isn't that nice?
OK, have you heard about this five-year-old who is one-part rapper and one-part golfer? Look at this really young MC
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
K: So cute. So cute. That is Caleb (inaudible) of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Caleb's dad says the video is just a creative way for them to spend some time together. The video actually has more than 19,000 hits on YouTube. That is some produced video. That takes a lot of -- talk about time -- that takes a lot of. He is in different areas.
COSTELLO: He is with his dad. It's fun.
KOSIK: He's really cute.
Your loyal dog has nothing on this little guy. That monkey refusing to let his owner get a ticket. John Berman joins us with the story and everything we learned this week on the Internets.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KOSIK: So much happening on the Internet this week. We have prancers, we have collegiate cologne, and a coat made of human chest hair. Who wants that? And of course, lots of animals because animals are a huge favorite.
John Berman has more. Good morning John.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: You know, this morning we have monkeys, gorillas and people dancing like horses. Yes, the Internet overflowing with human and animal ingenuity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: For these runners in Spokane, Washington this isn't just exercise, it's prancercise. The Blind Irish Running Club claiming they have set the world record for the largest group prancercise. That's 447 prancers. Clearly they're going for quantity over quality. They don't quite have the equine artistry of prancercise creator Joanna Rohrback.
More feats of human genius. A man juggles his way across Iceland, because he juggled apparently in Iceland.
And proof that smart can be gross. A coat made of 100 percent human chest hair, 1 million strands, commissioned by a company in protest of fashion it apparently finds emasculating. No comment on that one.
Some animal prowess. Look at what happens to a cop reaching inside a car in Texas. Angry monkey to angry gorilla. Look at these kids in Dallas making fun of a gorilla. We don't want to take sides here, but we are with the gorilla.
Finally, college football fans you know how Notre Dame plays, but how does it smell? You might now learn because of this, the university along with its licensing partners releasing Notre Dame Perfume and Cologne. ND Gold eau de toilette for men and Lady Irish eau de perfume will be available this fall.
Twitter finding a Manti Te'o twist to the new scents, commenting it smells like lies and Internet girlfriends and perfect for that girlfriend you made up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Yes, no one said the Internet was nice. The real bottles of the real perfume expected to retail for about $62. Good pricing.