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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

U.S. Angry At Russia Over Snowden Asylum

Aired August 2, 2013 - 05:30   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Friday.

American embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world will be closed on Sunday. State department officials say the move was prompted by what they're calling a serious incredible threat directed at U.S. targets overseas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIE HARF, DEPUTY STATE DEPT. SPOKESPERSON: The department has been apprised of information that out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations indicates we should institute these precautionary steps.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The U.S. diplomatic facilities being closed include those in Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Iraq.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Tensions rising this morning between the U.S. and Russia after Moscow defied Washington by granting temporary asylum to NSA leaker and American fugitive, Edward Snowden. That's Snowden leaving the airport where he had been holed up for more than a month. The move could derail a scheduled summit meeting between Presidents Obama and Putin.

CNNs Matthew Chance following developments for us. He's live this morning from Moscow. Good morning.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, good morning. That's right. Absolute fury being expressed by officials in the United States that Russia has made this decision to grant Edward Snowden a political asylum for at least one year. He walked out of the airport. He'd been couped up there for about a month.

You see him walking with his lawyers into relative freedom of Russia, although, it's not clear just how free he will be. At the moment, his location is being kept secret. His lawyers say that's because Edward Snowden, himself, fears for his own safety. He says he believes that U.S. intelligence officers, because of the controversial nature of his position, are chasing him.

We also understand from the lawyer of Edward Snowden as well, the Russian lawyer, that is, that he will be living with American citizens who are living in the Russian capital. And so, these are people, apparently, he met online when he was couped up inside the airport. He met these people online. Now, he's living with these U.S. citizens somewhere here in Moscow -- Christine.

ROMANS: So, what does he plan to do in Snowden -- to do in Russia now?

CHANCE: It's not clear. I mean, apparently, he is going to be able to work here. He's already received an offer of work, in fact, from a prominent owner of a social media website. He said that maybe he may be interested in working in his office to do with protecting personal data on what is the Russian equivalents of Facebook, essentially.

So, that may be something he wants to take up. It's still not clear whether he intends to stay here, though, in the long-term. His lawyers said that he may want to do that, but there is still the possibility he could, you know, plan on going to South America. Remember, he was originally trying to get to Ecuador in South America. So, you know, it's not clear what his travel plans will be or even if he can travel with the documents the Russians have issued him.

ROMANS: So, you know, he's a fugitive essentially. The United States wants him, but now, he's been allowed to stay in Russia. What kind of impact does this have, this asylum have on U.S.-Russian relations?

CHANCE: Well, it's potentially very damaging, indeed. Again, the United States has already expressed its fury. One U.S. lawmaker saying it's like Russia has stabbed us in the back. Every day he stays, it's like a twist of that knife. And so, we're hearing some very strong rhetoric come from the United States about this.

The Kremlin say that this was nothing to do with them. They say this was purely a migration issue, although, you know, people find it very hard to believe that, frankly, given the nature of the Russian state, but, yes, it could put more tensions on what was already a very tense relationship over various issues and international affairs.

ROMANS: And let's be clear, the governments cooperate with each other when they want to on migration issues when you're seeking a fugitive from justice. No question there. Matthew Chance, thank you so much. Nice to see you.

BERMAN: President Obama and Congressional leaders promising changes at the NSA after meeting with lawmakers yesterday. The president said both parties agree to work to improve privacy protections at the agency in the coming months and to make sure that the NSA surveillance programs are more transparent to the American people.

ROMANS: In Michigan, a medical student murder investigation hits a dead end. Police have released this photo of a potential witness in the death of Paul Dewolf, but the man came forward, and police now believe he is not connected in any way. Dewolf was training to be a surgeon at the University of Michigan before he was found shot to death a week ago. The murder has everyone on campus on edge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is definitely unnerving. Just been hustling all the roommates making sure the doors are locked at all times. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see a lot more, you know, public safety and police around here. So, I think they're definitely patrolling the area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Dewolf is said to graduate from medical school next year.

BERMAN: A respected doctor and medical researcher is now awaiting trial in Pennsylvania accused of using cyanide to kill his wife. Forty-one-year-old Dr. Autumn Klein (ph) died from cyanide poisoning in April. After three months investigation, police focused on her husband, the 64-year-old Dr. Robert Ferrante (ph). He's been charged with criminal homicide. Ferrante is pleading not guilty to these charges.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBBI CASINI, PATIENT OF DR. KLEIN: She was so kind, compassionate and caring, and it was just -- she was a good soul. I could not imagine anyone wanting to murder her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think stunned is too little a word for how we feel about this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The prosecution will argue that Ferrante mixed cyanide with a creatine supplement that Klein was taking. According to the criminal complaint, Ferrante allegedly told his wife the supplement would help get her pregnant.

ROMANS: A Florida man is vowing to sue the sheriff's department of Escambia County after deputies shot him in his own driveway. Roy Middleton (ph) is out of the hospital. He's recovering from two gunshot wounds this morning. He says he was reaching into his car for a cigarette when deputies fired at him 17 times thinking he was a thief. The sheriff says he's confident his deputies acted appropriately.

BERMAN: It was just a joke. That's what Anthony Weiner is saying now about his strange online alias. Carlos Danger. But at least one of his opponents for mayor says the chat room name is no laughing matter. He says it's insulting to the Latino community, and he called on Weiner to apologize. Wiener says the name was an inside joke between him and one other person, but he refused to say who that other person was.

ROMANS: Insulting is, you know -- oh, my. Oh, my. OK. One minute of terror. That's how people in Jacksonville, Florida are describing this tornado that tore through their neighborhood yesterday. The National Weather Service says it was an EF-2 with 125-mile-an-hour winds that tore down trees, power poles, and fences. One woman clearly shaken up, crouched in her car since the violent storm moved through.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGELA RED, CROUCHED IN CAR DURING STORM: It lasted for probably a good minute. Probably one of the most terrifying experiences of your life. And I got down on the floorboard of my car and I was just looking out and I saw pieces of houses and trees and poles and fencing flying over top of my car.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The National Weather Service says it's still trying to figure out how long the tornado touched the ground and how wide it was.

BERMAN: So, will things be better for this weekend? Indra Petersons is here with the weekend forecast.

ROMANS: Good morning.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. Yes. I really want to give you a little update here on Florida and feel like just a couple of days ago we were talking about the waterspout area. Once again, those conditions are just so ripe that, really, it doesn't take much at all. This is the loop from yesterday on the radar. And you can actually see this storm really popped up almost out of nowhere.

We're talking three to four inches of rain in 30 minutes. That's an unbelievable storm. Of course, we are talking about lightning strikes as often as once a minute. So, definitely a powerful storm that kicked up. Want to talk about Gil. Everyone wants to know what's going on with Gil. Well, here it is. We're still seeing a category one hurricane here. Steady winds at 85 miles per hour.

Upside of this is expected to die out eventually to get some cooler waters. Notice this actually since before it and behind it. Also chances for development what we're looking at is for those to kind of compete with each other and also not help with intensifying there which is good news. So, there you go. You can see the current track staying south of Hawaii, and again, continue the weekend eventually it gets to cooler water.

So, that's the upside for Gil. That's what's left of Dorian. Notice all the moisture south of Miami. So, we're going to be looking for some heavy rain in that area today as well as the Bahamas thereafter. It's expected to be carried to see, but of course, not leaving flooding potential there in Florida today. The rest of the country, what we're looking at is a couple of short wave.

We're just pieces of energy that kind of kick on through. The best summary I can give you, if you're pretty much in the Midwest today, kind of stretching in areas to the Dakotas, hanging all the way over to and even as far as Indiana, you'll have a chance for rain today. By looks like Saturday, the mid-Atlantic, behind that, something looks pretty good for everyone, unless, you're in the Dakotas or west. You at least get one day somewhere, right?

BERMAN: Sorry Dakotas.

(LAUGHTER)

PETERSONS: Yes, sorry.

ROMANS: Thanks, Indra.

All right. Indra will love this one. Did you hear the one about the black bear who had a hankering for Wienerschnitzel. This is not a joke. A German restaurant owner in Colorado Springs was determined to find out who was dragging his dumpsters from a back alley into the middle of his parking lot and then emptying them out.

So, he set up surveillance cameras, turns out it was a schnitzel loving bear. Look at the wheel, the thing like a grocery cart. Look at that. So, how do you get a schnitzel craving bear to stop coming back? The owner is going to try surrounding the dumpsters with spike sticks as a deterrent.

BERMAN: Just give the guy some schnitzel.

ROMANS: I think some red pepper flakes in schnitzel, and then you're in good shape.

BERMAN: Wow. What kind of bear doesn't love a good schnitzel?

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: That's amazing.

All right. Coming up, a terrifying story of survival. A child suck down a storm drain and dumped into a river. We will tell you how this all happened coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. We have an incredible story of survival from Southwest Florida to tell you about. A young boy sucked into a neighborhood drain pipe and dumped into a river. Police say the child was under water for about a minute. That's a long time. He was at a party in Fort Myers last night when he began splashing in a puddle in a nearby ditch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNEY OAKES-LOTTIRIDGE, NEIGHBOR: It was just completely covering with water, and there was a tiny whirlpool. I mean, you would never been able to tell there was a drainage pipe under it.

CHRIS BEVAN, FORT MYERS BATTALION CHIEF: It appears that the child was swept through the storm drain all the way out into the river approximately 300 yards.

OAKES-LOTTIRIDGE: We saw the little kid. He was being put on the stretcher. And you could tell his back was just beat up, and he was just crying.

BEVAN: It turned out to be a really lucky day for this child. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That drain pipe is only 18 inches wide. When neighbors and police rented the other end of the 300 yards away, as you heard, at the edge of the Caloosahatchee River, they found the boy screaming and struggling to get to safety, but the great news is that doctors say he will be OK.

ROMANS: Oh, add the list of things to be terrified about as a parent, you know? Wow. Crazy.

BERMAN: Watch your kids.

ROMANS: All right. Let's take a look at what's coming up on "New Day" this morning. Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan join us now. Hi, guys. Happy Friday.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Happy Friday to both of you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you both. Obviously, we're going to start strong with this terror threat that's prompting the U.S. to close embassies and consulates this weekend. What's going on? We need some information. We're going to get it from the Pentagon and figure out how dangerous a threat this is.

BOLDUAN: We're going to talk more about that. How do you even describe the sentencing here for Ariel Castro yesterday?

CUOMO: Bizarre.

BOLDUAN: Bizarre, shocking.

CUOMO: He had the legal right to make a statement at his sentencing, but, boy, did he --

BOLDUAN: Quite a statement it was. I mean, really amazing. I mean, he talked about there was harmony in the home. He was not a monster. He almost seemed -- he talked about harming the home at one moment and then he's apologizing to the victims in another. I don't think you can ever understand the mind of a monster or the mind of this man, but we're going to talk to a top psychiatrist not only about that statement, but also about the recovery ahead still for these women as one of them spoke so powerfully and courageously in court yesterday. We're going to talk about that.

CUOMO: But that was the good part. The world he's trying to figure out what we can make of one of these people who does this. So, hopefully, a psychiatrist can help us with some other psychology going on in the news.

A lot of people are wondering why did Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner's wife, come forward. Why did she do this? Why did she put through this? Why did she stay with him? All this, let's judge someone else's marriage-type questions. Well, there's a "People" magazine article coming out where friends of Huma say a little bit of this dynamic in the relationship is what she blames herself for. BOLDUAN: Yes.

CUOMO: Now, is that bizarre? Is that common? Is that something that happens in marriages under stress? We don't know, but we have people who are going to talk about it today because a theme comes up a lot.

BOLDUAN: A lot, yes.

CUOMO: That's what we got.

BERMAN: Very interesting. You also have a special guest, I hear --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: We have a promotional package going on. Mickey is not here today. She went down to the NABJ, the Black Journalist Association down there in Florida. We had to bring somebody in. Sting not available.

BOLDUAN: David Hasselhoff.

CUOMO: The Hoff wasn't available. The chair wasn't big enough. But we did find someone to sit in. Ladies and gentlemen, just dwarfs every one of those people. No, it's not me, although I did ask to do both jobs, but I think that when the man sits in the chair this morning and you see who's subbing in, you can only be impressed. Even you, John Berman, will be impressed.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: It's a buy one get one free sale, right?

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: It's not talent. It's availability, folks.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: That is the key.

CUOMO: No. I don't want to give away who it is, though, but John Berman will like it more than anyone.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: His mother will like it more than all of us.

ROMANS: There you go. All right, guys. Thanks.

BOLDUAN: We'll see you guys in a bit.

ROMANS: Coming up, a scary moment at the X games. We're going to let you know how this athlete from Chile is doing this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As scary as it looked, just looking at the bars actually detached from the --

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back. Alex Rodriguez's representatives and Major League Baseball are negotiating a deal on suspension. In the meantime, A-Rod is returning to the field. Andy Scholes joins us now with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, Christine. It was business as usual for A-Rod yesterday as he was back out on the field in Tampa taking part in a simulated game. Now, he's on his way to Trenton, New Jersey where he will begin another rehab assignment tonight.

The Yankees announced yesterday that A-Rod would play for the Trenton Thunder tonight and tomorrow if he is not suspended and prevented from playing pending an appeal, A-Rod could rejoin the Yankees early next week. A-Rod's reps to Major League Baseball continue to try to work out a deal that would allow A-Rod to avoid a lifetime ban. An announcement is expected any day now.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, Riley Cooper, continues to deal with the firestorm he created when he used a racial slur towards a security guard at a Kenny Chesney concert. The incident was caught on tape. Many of Cooper's teammates like quarterback, Michael Vick, say they have forgiven him and they know what kind of person Cooper really is. But Eagles' running back, Sean McCoy, said he no longer respects Cooper after what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, it's -- hopefully it wears off, but, I mean, at this point, I'm speaking about myself and other teammates, I know it's definitely different.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Well, less than 48 hours after being traded by the Houston Astros, pitcher, Bud Norris, was facing his former team. Wednesday at the trade deadline, the Astros sent Norris to the Orioles. He had he to walk about 50 yards to get to his new clubhouse. Last night, Norris pitched six solid innings against the Stros to get the win, and afterwards, some of his New Orleans teammates gave him the old pie in the face to help initiate him to his new club.

Well, they call it the X games for a reason. During practice yesterday, Javier Villegas (ph) from Chile going for the backflip and he had to bail and he crashes hard. He was knocked out when he landed, but he did regain consciousness, and Villegas ended up with a broken and dislocated right hip.

Hopefully, he will be OK. Here's another one, Christine. Bob Burnquist from Brazil in a skateboard competition, and he's going to go for this jump right here, and he's going to come down right on his face. Amazingly, Christine, he would get right back on the board and continue on the event and he would go on to win a bronze medal. Incredible recovery from that fall right there.

ROMANS: Proof, again, that you and I have jobs for sissies.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHOLES: I would not get up from that.

ROMANS: No way. All right. Thanks, Andy Scholes. Have a great weekend, Andy. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back. Pranking the president, this happened during a White House photo op with the UCONN women's basketball team. Our Jeanne Moos picks up the story from there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He may be the leader of the free world, but basketball players felt free to give the president bunny ears. Seriously? Bunny ears? Behind the president's back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Photo bombing the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Its kids today.

MOOS: The kids in this case were two members of the University of Connecticut Huskies. The White House was honoring the women for being the NCAA champs. Now, usually, it's the president making jokes.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My bracketology needs some work.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Hmmm.

MOOS: Oh, snap.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: Suddenly, the laugh is on him.

(LAUGHTER)

The two perpetrators were identified as Stephanie Dolson and Kia Stokes. Stephanie even tweeted out the photo casually giving the president bunny ears. what they weren't giving, the university said, was interviews. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Disrespectful or funny? You let us know. Tweet us.

MOOS (on-camera): CNN's crack investigative team, you're looking at it, has determined the true culprit. The person who instigated this affront to presidential dignity.

(voice-over) Recognize the guy? Listen to him insight the teen as they pose.

OBAMA: We all saying he's? No rabbit ears behind me.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: Now, you can't expect young people within earshot to resist that bait. In less than ten seconds, the rabbit ears went up.

(on-camera) Anyway, President Obama can't really complain. After all, when it comes to rabbit ears, he's not entirely innocent.

(voice-over) Look what the White House did to Bo, the first dog, just to say Happy Easter, and after a get-together of the five living presidents, someone photo shopped President Obama into giving President Bush bunny ears. After the basketball team photo op, the president ended up shaking the hands that just rabbit eared (ph) him, but try this with tough guys like Russia's President Putin or Korea's Kim Jong-Un, and you'll end up with a rabbit ear ache (ph).

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: That's it for EARLY START. Time for "New Day." I was firmly on the side of disrespectful, but now Jeanne Moos made me think it's funny. What do you think?

BOLDUAN: Oh, I don't. I don't think it's disrespectful at all. I think --

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: He started it. Apparently, he started it.

BOLDUAN: That's fine. That's fine. We bunny ears although time on the show.

CUOMO: That's true. The best of things that happen to me.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: Not leader of the free world.

CUOMO: I'm not?

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: My mother just spit out her sanka.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: All right. We'll see you in a bit, Christine.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: Look at that. Almost top of the hour. You know what that means here on "New Day," time for the top news.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Preparing for attack. The United States closing embassies across the Middle East, but why? We go to Congress for answers.

BOLDUAN: Speaking out, family and friends react to the Cleveland kidnapping victim bravely confronting her tormenter and to his twisted excuses for why he did it.

CUOMO: Outrage. Edward Snowden now a free man in Russia. The blowback is intense. Anger and threats from both parties. But will Russia care?

Your "New Day" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is "New Day" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Good morning, everybody. Happy Friday. Welcome to "New Day. It is August 2nd, six o'clock in the east. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Michaela is away this morning.

Lots going on this morning, though. The sports world is bracing for what could be the biggest suspension in baseball history. Major League Baseball and superstar player, Alex Rodriguez, negotiating he could end up with a lifetime ban, though, for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs. He could lose his $28 million salary, and it could happen at any moment. Our Rachel Nichols is tracking it for us and we'll bring it to us when it happens.

CUOMO: Big story.

Also, many are wondering why we still don't know what brand of salad is behind all the sickness. Now, we have known for days that some prepackaged salad is the source. Question is, why aren't state and federal officials saying which brand of the outbreak it is. You know, what does this link to. We keep getting explanations about what was a variety of greens that we don't want to -- it may not be on the shelves.

BOLDUAN: Not on the shelves anymore so don't worry about it. People are worried. CUOMO: So, we're going to get after it, all right?

But first this morning, the story we're going to talk about is this terror threat. The state department is shutting down key U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the Middle East including Egypt and Israel. And they're doing it based on a, quote, "credible and serious," unquote threat to U.S. targets overseas.