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Terror Threat Closes U.S. Embassies; Snowden Staying with American Friends; Interview with Congressman Ed Royce of California; Ariel Castro: Life Without Parole Plus 1,000 Years; Weather Outlook; Lie Detector Tests; Jobs Added in July

Aired August 2, 2013 - 08:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And breaking in moments. The stock market at an all-time high and new unemployment numbers could be the lowest in years. We'll bring it to you live.

Your NEW DAY continues right now.



ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

ARIEL CASTRO, KIDNAPPER/RAPIST: People are trying to paint as a monster. And I'm not a monster. I'm sick.

ANNNOUCER: What you just have to see --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's dinnertime, dinnertime. Hope (INAUDIBLE), dinnertime!

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


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It's Friday, finally. August 2nd, 8:00 in the East. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Chris Cuomo. Michaela Pereira, away today.

And coming up this hour, there are still so many questions on what happened on the U.S. attack in Benghazi last year. The biggest: why don't we know more about it?

Now, this morning an exclusive CNN report into what is an unprecedented attempt by the CIA to keep their agents silent about the attack. What they are trying to so hard to keep secret, we have to figure out. But we'll tell you how they're doing it.

BOLDUAN: Also, does Huma Abedin blame herself for Anthony Weiner's latest sexting scandal. Her family partly telling "People" magazine that she feels she is at fault. But why? We're going to take a look at why so many women in her situation have that exact or, at least similar reaction.

But, first up, let's start with the developing story this morning. The State Department closing down several embassies and consulates in the Middle East this weekend. U.S. officials taking no chances with what they call a serious and credible terror threat.

Here's CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In an extraordinary move, the U.S. is closing embassies around the world after what one senior U.S. official told CNN was more than the usual chatter about a potential terrorist threat.

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 installation, indicates we should institute these precautionary steps.

STARR: The move comes as the holy days that mark the end of Ramadan approach and merely a year after the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Now, the embassy in the capital Tripoli will be closed.

Other embassies in the Middle East also posted they will be shut.

From Egypt, where nearly a year ago violent protests threaten the embassy in Cairo, to Tel Aviv, Baghdad, Riyadh, and Doha, Qatar. All embassies that, quote, "would have been normally open on Sunday are being shut down," and the closings may expand to include additional days.

Another official told CNN the Obama administration is monitoring threats against the American embassy in Yemen.

The move came on the same day President Obama met with the president of Yemen who has cracked down on al Qaeda.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we've seen is al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP move back out of territories that it was controlling.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


CUOMO: All right. So, let's move on to another story now.

We know that Edward Snowden is out of the Moscow airport. But the question is, where is he? These new photos show a smiling Snowden walking through the airport as he left. And Snowden's lawyer said he is staying with other Americans in Moscow and soon be speaking to journalists. He is even getting job offers. All so normal for a man in the middle of a international, diplomatic crisis.

CNN's Phil Black is live in Moscow.

Good morning, Phil.


The founder of a hugely popular social networking site often described as the Russian version of Facebook said he'd love for Snowden to come and work for him. But Snowden's lawyer says finding work isn't his priority right now. At the moment, he's concerned with his own personal security and surrounding himself with people he can trust.


BLACK (voice-over): That man with his back to the camera is Edward Snowden and this was the moment he left Moscow's airport after six weeks there.

That's according to his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, who is standing next to him in the photo. Kucherena takes some of the credit for the sudden approval of Snowden's asylum application. This document grants Snowden permission to live in Russia for one year, which also keeps him beyond the reach of the United States for that time.

Kucherena describes Snowden's location as secret and safe.

He says he's staying with other Americans who live in Russia. He say they are people Snowden doesn't know personally, but who reached out via the Internet and offered to help while he was staying at the airport.

The lawyer says Snowden will take a few days getting used to his freedom and recovering from his airport ordeal.

After that he'll do some media interviews, then -- well, he doesn't know. Edward Snowden must build a new life in a country he officially entered for the first time just one day ago.


BLACK: So, he's making friends and he'll soon have family with him, too. Formalities are under way to get Edward Snowden's father a visa, so he can travel to be with his son as soon as possible.

Chris, Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: All right. Phil Black in Moscow for us, thanks so much, Phil.

Let's dig deeper on this Snowden's asylum, as well as those embassy terror threats, with Congressman Ed Royce, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House and a Republican from California.

Chairman Royce, great to see you. Thanks for coming in this morning.


BOLDUAN: You said that Vladimir Putin knows how to play hardball, so should we. We are talking about Snowden here. What should the president do and I guess more importantly, what should Congress do?

ROYCE: Well, in terms of executive branch, we have summit at hand here coming up early September with Russia, and I really believe that actions speak a lot louder than words here. The United States -- I think the president should telegraph the message that he's not going to attend. He's not going to meet with President Putin privately at that summit. And I do think --

BOLDUAN: Is that more optics, though? Is that a strong enough message I want to know?

ROYCE: I think it's a strong message. And, frankly, when you think about it, Russia depends on cooperation with United States. The administration helped champion Russia's inclusion into the WTO, as you know. There are a series of important negotiations that are underway in terms of trade, things that are very, very important to Russia.

But I think at this point, the administration has to make it crystal clear that between this and what is happening in Iran, where Russia is failing to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons breakout capability, frankly quite the opposite, has aided and abetted in that.

I do think it's time for consequences. And one of those consequences is, you know, let's put the pressure on Russia and let's start with this summit. And let's quit running interference. I understand the restart with Russia. But, frankly, there have been no benefits that are discernible to us in Congress that have come from this.

CUOMO: One of the concerns, Chairman, is that you have a domino effect here, right? That you're losing American mojo abroad, and then we hear about after Russia. Now, there are some threats and we're closing embassies.

What do you know what about that?

ROYCE: Well, I had a meeting, along with Eliot Engle and several members from the Senate side two days ago with the vice president on this issue. And as you know, we're going to take whatever steps necessary to protect our personnel overseas. When we do have an indication of a threat, we take that seriously, if we have an indication of when that threat will manifest itself.

It will just like before 9/11, the attack on Benghazi. At that point in time, remember someone forgot to circle the calendar that it was 9/11. And we might want to preposition assets or have contingency plans in place. This time, this with the intel, steps are being taken. And that's to protect our personnel. Now, yesterday we passed out legislation in the House that strengthens embassy security in a whole new series of ways throughout the Middle East, including putting marines on the ground at an access point, building access points guarded by marines that in the future will better protect these sites.

BOLDUAN: Well, on a specific threat that we're talking about today where embassies are going to be closing, do you know how many embassies are going to be closing? And still wondering, and I know there's a lot of classified information that you can't tell us, but where this threat is coming from? Is it al Qaeda? Is it al Qaeda inspired?

ROYCE: It's my understanding that it is al Qaeda linked, all right? And the threat emanates in the Middle East and in Central Asia.

BOLDUAN: OK, all right.

CUOMO: All right. Appreciate it, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for joining us here on NEW DAY.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much.

ROYCE: Thank you. Appreciate it.

CUOMO: Back here at home now -- Ariel Castro, your hell is just beginning. That from Michelle Knight, confronting Castro at his sentencing for holding her and two other women captive for a decade. Knight was taken first, you may remember. She was also held the longest.

CNN's Pamela Brown is live in Cleveland for us.

Good morning, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris.

It was very emotional when Michelle Knight went up to give her impact statement. You could have heard a pin drop in that courtroom. She showed resolve as she boldly faced her tormentor and as she spoke, an emotionless Ariel Castro looked on.


MICHELLE KNIGHT, CLEVELAND KIDNAPPING VICTIM: He deserves life in prison. I could forgive you, but I'll never forget.

BROWN (voice-over): Despite her tearful statement and the 937 counts against him, Ariel Castro was defiant, almost rebellious in court.

ARIEL CASTRO, CLEVELAND KIDNAPPER, RAPIST: I'm not a monster. I'm a normal person. I am just sick. I have an addiction. Just like an alcoholic has an addiction.

BROWN: He even claimed he never beat, tortured or raped the three women he held captive for a decade. CASTRO: Most of the sex that went on in the house, practically all of it, was consensual. These allegation about being forceful on them, that is totally wrong. Because there was times that they would even ask me for sex. Many times.

BROWN: The graphic evidence in court paints a horrifying picture, rusty chains, doors rigged with homemade alarms, windows boarded, a gun Castro would show the women as a form of control, all while Castro claimed it was a happy home.

CASTRO: We had a lot of harmony going on in that home.

BROWN: He even mentioned this YouTube video of Amanda Berry smiling on stage at a Nelly concert as a testament that she wasn't tortured. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Berry's grandmother says she's appalled.

FERN GENTRY, AMANDA BERRY'S GRANDMOTHER: I'll tell you what, if they'd have put one of the chains around his neck, I wonder how happy he would have felt. It wasn't a home. It was a dungeon.

BROWN: Photos also released of all three victims a day after their dramatic rescue, fragile and pale from years of confinement. Friends of the victims are outraged.

ANGEL ARROYO, FRIEND OF GINA DEJESUS: That's straight villain, that straight monster, that's just a person with no emotions. And so I hope that he gets what he deserves.

BROWN: Their abductor will spend the rest of his life behind bars. His victims looking healthier with smiles that capture their astonishing resilience as they close this chapter of their lives.

KNIGHT: After 11 years, I'm finally being heard and it's liberating.


BROWN: Michelle Knight there, and may be small in stature, only about four feet tall, but she has an indomitable spirit. In fact, she stayed through the end of the sentencing and at the very end, I not noticed she cracked a little smile and you could imagine the tremendous sense of relief that the man who tormented her for so long will be behind bars for the rest of his life. Meantime, the courage fund set up for the women has now topped $1.2 million -- Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Pamela. Great work there. Thank you so much for that report. She is such a strong woman, that Michelle Knight.

There's a lot of news developing this hour. So, let's get to John Berman for the latest.

Hey, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Kate.

In Egypt, supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy calling for a million man march but the interim government has reportedly authorized police to break up protests in Cairo. The country's interior ministry is calling a threat to national security. The U.S. State Department called on Egypt to respect the right of peaceful assembly.

Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup for the Trenton Thunder, the first of two rehab starts in the minors. But will he ever play again at Yankee Stadium? Rodriguez is in talks with Major League Baseball to try to negotiate a long suspension and avoid being banned for life. Baseball expected to announce soon more suspension for players accused of using performance enhancing drugs.

Casey Anthony paying $25,000 so she won't have to write her life story. Her bankruptcy trustee was thinking about selling the story to help chip away at Anthony's huge debt, but Anthony argued that would give whoever bought the rights too much control over her. Anthony was acquitted two years ago of murdering her daughter, Caylee.

An incredibly rescue caught on camera. This happened in Pickens, Georgia, when intense rain hit an already swollen creek. Look at this. This pickup truck driver got stuck and had to be pulled from his car. No one was injured in these floods, amazingly. But some 40 homes were destroyed.

Finally, you've heard of singing for your supper -- well, a couple of dogs were willing to dance for their dinner. Colt and Rosy are English springers, dancing English springers. The girls were so excited to eat they literally twirl from room to room while their owner sings what can only be described, listen to this -- he's done -- an awful, awful song about dinner, probably just spinning in rage. I can't listen to this any more.

BOLDUAN: Very impressive.

CUOMO: I could bear Cee Lo Green.

The dogs are loving it.

BOLDUAN: The only sad thing, they're so dizzy by the end, they can't eat.

CUOMO: That's the only problem.

BOLDUAN: All right, John, thank you.

Let's get straight over to Indra for the latest on the weather this morning.

Hey, Indra.


Once again we're show you some video here out of Florida yesterday. This was an EF-2 tornado that struck just after 4:00 p.m. near Jacksonville. They saw winds as strong as 125 miles per hour. Anywhere from three to four inches of rain that fell in 30 minutes. Unfortunately, there was some damage in the area. About five homes, about 15 to 20 structures damaged in the area.

This is yesterday's radar and you can actually see, very typical in Florida. All it takes is one thunderstorm and very quickly it can develop into a severe thunderstorm. And, unfortunately, that is what they saw in the area yesterday.

We're speaking about Florida. Well, you may notice more rain in the area today, but for a different reason. These are the remnants of Dorian. So we could be looking at some flooding potential here. Some thunderstorms do start to pop.

But the bigger picture, I mean we're talking the real big picture here, look at the Atlantic. So calm considering, yes, it is Atlantic hurricane season. What is going on? We typically see storms form off of Africa, make their way along the coast. Well, there's this huge dust cloud out there. It's a - I'm going to keep trying this, Saharan Air Layer. There you go. This big dust cloud continues to pommel dust all the way across the Atlantic and that actually inhibits the growth of those cyclones. So that's actually good news for all of us. But it also means some dust is actually carried all the way over to Florida, even the Gulf. That's how big this dust cloud really is.

So, as far as rain, it's the weekend. Everyone wants to know, where is the rain, when is it going to happen? Well, we're talking about today anywhere pretty much from the Midwest all the way over through Indiana. Then in the mid-Atlantic by Saturday. And then Sunday we're going to have another storm start again and that one's going to occur pretty much east of the Rockies, right around the northern plains there. So, overall, yes, there's some rain in the forecast, but it's like one day for everyone. So you've got a good day, a bad day. Just, you know, want to be a couch potato (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: I'll take dust over a hurricane any day.

PETERSONS: Thank you. Yes, I will.

CUOMO: You know what I mean.


BOLDUAN: Speak for yourself. No, I'm just kidding.

PETERSONS: I think we know (ph) pretty well.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra.

CUOMO: All right, coming up on NEW DAY, we have an exclusive for you -- spies, lies and Libya. The latest on what could be an unprecedented attempt to keep the CIA's Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out. You're going to want to see this.

BOLDUAN: And did a doctor literally poison his marriage? Prosecutors say yes. We'll have more on this strange case, coming up.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. Here's a little bit of a Friday gift for you. We have a CNN exclusive.

We have learned that the CIA is going to great lengths to keep its secrets about Benghazi. A source tells CNN, dozens of operatives were on the ground the night the U.S. diplomatic facility was attacked. CIA operatives who worked in Libya are now being given lie detector tests to see if anyone is leaking to the media or members of Congress. Drew Griffin joins us now from Atlanta.

And, Drew, the question is, will this only fuel the flames of many Republicans who think the administration is hiding something?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, absolutely. Yes. The answer is yes. And we should point out, this is only Republicans who are asking this question. You had Jason Chaffetz, the congressman from Utah, on earlier this program. I think he - he really said exactly what the Republicans are all about here. They think the administration is hiding something. Now we're finding out how.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agencies Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out. Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency's working. The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress. It's being described as pure intimidation with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communication obtained by CNN, one insider writes, "you don't jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well." Another says, "you have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation."

ROBERT BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that.

GRIFFIN: The rate of this kind of polygraphing is rare, according to former CIA operatives, including Robert Bear, now a national security analyst for CNN.

BAER: If somebody is being polygraphed every month or every two months, it's called an issue polygraph and that means that the polygraph division suspects something or they're looking for something or they're on a fishing expedition. But it's absolutely not routine at all to be polygraph monthly or bimonthly or whatever.

GRIFFIN: In a statement from CIA Public Affairs Director Dean Boyd, the agency asserted its being open with Congress. "The CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi," the statement reads. "CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want," and that "the CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident."

Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed. CNN has now learned that number was 35. With as many as seven wounded, some seriously. While it's still not known how many of them were CIA, a source tells CNN 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex believed to be run by the agency.


GRIFFIN: Among the big questions, just what were the CIA and State Departments employees doing in Benghazi? Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility there was a mission to secretly help move surface to air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels. The State Department is on record denying that, only admitting to us that they were helping Libyans destroy the weapons that they were deemed to be unusable by the Libyan government. I got to tell you, Kate and Chris, we asked the same question to the CIA. They will not tell us anything about the CIA mission there.

CUOMO: Oh, not surprising on that front, though, Drew. But is there any other explanation for why they would be doing the lie detectors, other than the one that's suggested from your sources?

GRIFFIN: None whatsoever. It's just targeted towards the people that were involved in that Benghazi mission. Whatever it is, they don't know what the mission per say is, but it seems like they're just trying to control it and keep it from being leaked out.

CUOMO: Thanks, Drew. Appreciate the report. Really important.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, prosecutors say a respected doctor ended his marriage with a lethal dose of cyanide. But can they still prove it? We'll hear from his defense lawyer, coming up next.

CUOMO: And later, Anthony Weiner's wife. Whom does she blame for his lewd text messaging habit? There's a new article coming out in "People" magazine where Huma may include herself in all of this trouble. Why? We'll talk about it.


CUOMO: Oh, Vanilla Ice.

Welcome back to NEW DAY this Friday, August 2nd. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.

One of the stories we're following this morning, is Huma Abedin blaming herself for her husband's, Anthony Weiner, sexting scandal. Well, that's what "People" magazine is saying. They have their - they have family members talking about that to them. We'll have more on that coming up.

CUOMO: And we have the story about a Pittsburgh man who is accused of using cyanide to kill his wife, a well-respected doctor. He is denying he had anything to do with it. And this morning we're going to talk to his lawyer and get their side of the case.

We also want to give you a little bit of news here. The story about - what's coming on with the jobs reports we're going to want to talk about this morning also, right?

BOLDUAN: We've got big numbers that are going to be coming up.


BOLDUAN: Christine Romans is here with some of that.