Return to Transcripts main page


Obama May Scrub Putin Meeting; Katharine McPhee Takes on Malaria; Doctor with Cystic Fibrosis Beats the Odds; Al Qaeda Leader Accuses U.S.; "I'm Going To Keep Fighting"; Rain Could Dampen Weekend Plans; Al Qaeda Threat Prompts Closures; Dark Shadow Over Sochi Olympics

Aired August 3, 2013 - 08:00   ET




ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Twenty-one embassies and consulates is a lot. I mean, this is really sending a message that we're under serious threat.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Americans be on alert. That's the warning from the U.S. government as they plan a massive embassy shutdown and issue a world-wide travel alert.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our presence in Russia will do nothing but help fight this law.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: A new law targeting gays in Russia sparks confusion and fear as that country prepares to host the Winter Olympics. Now some American athletes are taking a stand.

BLACKWELL: Politicians say what? This week Congressman Charles Wrangle compares Republicans to -- well, you'll see.

KEILAR: Good morning to you. I'm Brianna Keilar.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 8:00 here at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

KEILAR: One U.S. official says this is the biggest threat that we've seen from al Qaeda in a while.

BLACKWELL: It's so serious the administration is shutting almost two dozen embassies and consulates tomorrow. Let's bring in CNN's Emily Schmidt in Washington. Emily, what prompted such a sweeping action because so many of the experts we have spoken with said they have not seen anything like this in decades even if they have seen it in their career at all.

EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Brianna, good morning to you. A lot of officials are saying unprecedented and it comes about as a result of this, officials have been tracking this chatter for a week. It wasn't anything new, but then what the changed in the past few days they say is that rate of the chatter increased enough to the point that they believed Yemen based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula could be in the final stages of planning an unspecified attack.

They are especially concerned about the next few days, Ramadan will be entering its final days, and the embassy closing specifically for Sunday and we are also told that could be extended. We know this is a highly unusual step. Republican Peter King who is a member of House Intelligence Committee, says he thinks when it comes to this threat, government is doing exactly the right thing. Listen to why he explained it that way to Wolf Blitzer.


REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE (via telephone): I have been getting briefed over the last seven or eight years at least, and heavily before then, and this is the most specific I have seen.


SCHMIDT: The most specific he has seen. That is why we are seeing now these 22 embassies and consulates set to close tomorrow.

KEILAR: Emily, taking a look at this map right here. I mean, these are embassies that cover so much ground all the way from Bangladesh to Western Africa.

SCHMIDT: It's a field of yellow when you look at it, and that's very intentional. One official says the threat though it appears to be centered right there in Yemen, close to the middle from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, they also say this threat is something credible. They are taking it seriously, but they don't have total clarity they say of what is planned. So that's why the alert is covering that entire area. Officials tell CNN that terror threat includes western and U.S. targets.

KEILAR: And it also makes you wonder because -- especially with the Benghazi anniversary approaching so much. It also makes you wonder if the U.S. government, the Obama administration isn't looking back to the lessons they learned with four Americans including the ambassadors were killed. Are you getting that sense?

SCHMIDT: Yes, a lot of folks are wondering which came first on this one, a threat that they are taking very seriously on its own or a result of what happened in Benghazi. You remember September 11th, 2012 was the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound there. After that the Obama administration certainly criticized for not responding strongly enough to that threat. This time officials say they are acting out of what they are calling an abundance of caution, but this action is very strong and very visual. We will see it when all of those embassies close tomorrow.

BLACKWELL: All right, Emily Schmidt, keep us posted. Thank you. KEILAR: Now the al Qaeda threat has also prompted the State Department to issue a global travel alert.

BLACKWELL: And that means Americans traveling abroad need to be cautious. CNN's Nick Valencia, we sent him out to the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson. Nick, what are you hearing from the travelers there about the concerns about this mass closer across Africa and across Asia as well?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Victor. Good morning. We just took a tour inside one of the terminals here at the busiest airport in the world, more than 240,000 passengers traffic through this airport every single day and whether you want to believe it or not, there are some passengers that they didn't -- they were not even aware of the travel warning.

As far as the security lines, it's business as usual in there. There is no long waits, 10 minutes to get through those TSA check points, and that's what we were hearing from the State Department. They said there would be no visible changes in the security despite this worldwide travel warning. Yesterday we caught up with some passengers and they had mixed reactions about this warning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In my experience and they seem to take every precaution they need to, and it makes more sense and probably a more political move than anything than an actual clear and present danger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would definitely be a little concern, but I trust that the airports are going to do their jobs and protect us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think these advisories are definitely just a good reminder to stay aware no matter where I am in the world.


VALENCIA: We've also spoken with airlines that travel internationally and they say there is no change in their flight schedules. No cancelations, but for those who are concerned about traveling this weekend because of the warning, the State Department gives you a bit of a step by step guide of what you need to do to be prepared to travel.

And the first is register with the U.S. embassy in the country that you are going to, give them the heads up that you're going to be there, and let them know how long you are going to be there. Another thing is to register for this Smart Traveller Enrolment Program. The acronym is STEP. It's a very easy process to put your passport information in there, your emergency contact information.

Just so the State Department can better assist you during a crisis or emergency, and the last one is, of course, the State Department is urging people to check up on their web site to make sure that they have the latest information. There are also other web sites that you can go to. There's "Airlines For America." They are an industry trade group. They are also monitoring this security situation, as it develops, you mentioned Victor, all the way from West Africa to Bangladesh, just on the other side of India, a lot of places affected by this travel warning -- Victor, Brianna.

KEILAR: All right, Nick, thanks so much for that.

BLACKWELL: These travel alerts come as the head of al Qaeda apparently is calling for attacks on American interest. There is a new audio message from Ayman Al-Zawahiri. He reportedly accuses the U.S. of plotting with Egypt's military to overthrow President Mohamed Morsy to get rid of an Islamic-leaning president. And he urges Muslims to quote, "stop the crimes of America and its allies."

KEILAR: Now back here at home, Alex Rodriguez hopes to be back with the Yankees on Monday. That's what he said and that's despite reports of a possible lifetime ban or suspension looming over his head from his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. The controversial slugger sounded confident at a news conference last night that he will suit up in pinstripes again this season. And Joe Carter is live in New Jersey with the latest on that. What do you think, Joe, is it going to happen?

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, that has been the million-dollar question for the last couple of weeks, but yes, last night, for the first time in a couple of weeks, we saw Alex Rodriguez play in a baseball game, in a live action baseball game, and afterwards in the news conference, he definitely spoke very candidly to the media about a lot of topics.

You know, we have not seen him play in a couple weeks. We haven't seen him speak to the media directly in a couple weeks, and last night he did both, and he took a shot both figuratively and literally, and he did hit a home run. And in the news conference afterwards, he took a shot at those that are trying to keep him from returning to the New York Yankees.


ALEX RODRIGUEZ, NEW YORK YANKEE: There is more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field, and that's not my teammates or the Yankee fans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is it? Who benefits?

RODRIGUEZ: I can't tell you that right now and I hope I never have to.


CARTER: All right, there has been plenty of speculation, guys, that the Yankees front office would not mind if Alex Rodriguez were suspended and not return to the team. Now, if he is suspended the Yankees would not have to pay him, and at this moment, the Yankees are on the hook for over $100 million worth of guaranteed salary to Alex Rodriguez. Now Major League Baseball, I believe, is going to make an announcement related to all the suspensions on Monday. That's what it's believed at this point on Monday. I asked Alex Rodriguez in the press conference yesterday what his plan was moving forward, and he said tonight he would play another game with Trenton, Sunday a short workout and then on Monday, he plans to join the New York Yankees when they are playing the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

Now that's all, of course, if Major League Baseball doesn't have something to say about it, but Alex Rodriguez, very candid, as I said yesterday in the news conference even joked afterwards saying, yes, I am absolutely confident that I will be with the Yankees on Monday, unless, of course, lightning strikes, and these days you never know.

KEILAR: Yes, you never know. Pivotal moment for A-Rod and the Yankees. Joe Carter, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Indeed. Joe, thank you. It could be a rainy weekend for some, so where will the rain spoil those weekend plans?

KEILAR: Let's bring in meteorologist, Alexandra Steele. She is in the CNN Weather Center. Who is getting the soggy start here?

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: So let's show you, really it's a cold front, and it becomes stationary to the west, but that's really the access for most of the wet weather around the country, western portions, Colorado and Kansas, some very heavy rain even some gusty winds, and an isolated tornado.

But the eastern plank from the Ohio Valley eastward, what we're going to see is more scattered showers and it's kind of a rain train today, and I will show you where. Tomorrow though kind of the eastern flank of that drops south, and so in Washington and the Ohio Valley and through Pennsylvania where it's wet today. Tomorrow is your nice day.

So here's where it's wet now, really, the I-70 and I-80 Corridor, south of Cleveland all the way to New York, and we will see scattered rain showers throughout the day until that front drops out, and behind it we will see much drier air.

We have severe thunderstorm watches in Nebraska and Kansas today, and Colorado is where the severe weather will be. But here in the southeast, Texas, 100 degree temperatures, Dallas, Fort Worth, all we'll see Houston temperatures in the 100s, not only from today through Monday, but actually the forecast looks out through Friday to 103.

Atlanta too, so this is where the summer sizzle is, first full weekend of August, and it will feel like that in the south. Remember last weekend, we were talking about Tropical Storm Dorian, and we saw it dissipate, and now it has regenerated, Tropical Depression Dorian. Here's where it is in Florida. Do expect a wet day in Florida today.

But the good news, a maximum sustained winds are 35 miles per hour, but here its track, moving northeast now. Tomorrow it's expected to move north and take it out to see guys and not affecting land at all so that is the good news. But a regeneration of Dorian with some wet weather for Florida today.

KEILAR: All right, Alexandra, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Closed for business, American embassies from Africa to Asia are preparing a shutdown. We will talk about the new al Qaeda threat with our guests.

And the outrage over Russia, what people around the world are doing to protest harsh new anti-gay laws in Russia.


BLACKWELL: It's 14 minutes after the hour now and a new threat from al Qaeda is prompting the Obama administration to close 22 embassies and consulates this weekend. Look at this map, diplomatic posts cover a lot of real estate, across North Africa, the Middle East to South Asia.

Let's talk to Tom Fuentes, a CNN law enforcement analyst, former FBI assistant director. Tom, good to have you. You know, we've talked a lot about the chatter, increased chatter. I know without going into too much detail, can you give us any insight into what prompted this huge move by the government?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Good morning, Victor. I think what they are saying is that they received or intercepted conversations between a couple or several high-ranking al Qaeda members discussing a potential attack and there has been other human source information to possibly corroborate that, but unfortunately, the information is not specific.

They talked about originally possibly being the end of Ramadan on Sunday, tomorrow, or at a later date this month, so the timing is unspecific, and also the location so they have closed -- first it was 21, and now it's 22 U.S. embassies and consulates, and my question is that if al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is going to mount an attack and they are certainly capable and they have in the past.

I am curious as to how they picked out these 22 facilities when al Qaeda has sympathizers in cells all over the world, all over Europe, and here in this country as evidenced by the April 15th Boston marathon bombing. There are people all over that sympathize with them and may want to do an attack. So, you know, we're going to have to wait and see obviously, but that's the nature of the threat right now.

BLACKWELL: Tom, what is the level of confidence that this is a threat for North Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and not a U.S. target?

FUENTES: I don't know that there is. You know, they have closed those facilities or will close them tomorrow, but then at the same time, the State Department has issued a world-wide travel warning to Americans to be aware. I mean, that's something that you should be anyway anytime you travel anywhere, in or out of the United States, but that warning has gone out as well. They are saying it's an abundance of caution, and obviously it is, to put out that broad of a warning. It's just that it makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to do anything with that. Yes, you should always be alert when you are overseas, and that has not changed, and it was in effect hopefully before 9/11 and every since. But, you know, it just makes it difficult for Americans anywhere else in the world, business, students, vacationers to know what to do at this point when they are in a another country.

BLACKWELL: Tom, let's talk specifically about the group that this threat is connected to, AQAP, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and you talked about their capability of what they can do. Can you fill that out a bit for us, the capabilities that this group has? Because there was a lot of talk in the campaign about al Qaeda being in the last legs, and we know there are different branches and different cells, but talk about AQAP if you could.

FUENTES: Well, the so-called underwear bomber, Abdul Mutallab, who was radicalized while he was attending school in London, and he is a Nigerian national, travelled from London to Yemen and he claimed with 20 other people to learn how to put on the underwear bomb and detonate the bomb. The bomb makers in Yemen gave them the training and basically dispatched him to go ahead and attempt to bomb the aircraft as it was come into land in Detroit Airport Christmas 2009.

So we have had al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula be a very strong cell and a strong cell at attempting to attack U.S. interest that way. They also mailed the packages that had explosives in it, the PETN explosive a while later after that. So they have mounted several attacks outside of Yemen, but they were formed, planned and the original explosives were made in Yemen.

BLACKWELL: All right, Tom Fuentes, CNN law enforcement analyst, thank you so much.

FUENTES: Thank you, Victor.

KEILAR: Congressman Charlie Rangel in the mood to wrangle. We'll tell you what he told the "Daily Beast" in our newest instalment of "Politicians Say What?"


BLACKWELL: In our latest edition of "Politicians Say What?", Congressman Charlie Rangel.

KEILAR: Well, you know, this New York Democrat is no shrinking violet, right, but he may have crossed the line in a new interview that he did with "The Daily Beast." He told the liberal web site that House Republicans are hurting American competitive more than al Qaeda. And he's quoted as saying what is happening is sabotage. Terrorists could not do a better job than the Republicans are doing.

BLACKWELL: But there is more, Rangel also reportedly said the Tea Party Movement should be stamped out like racial segregation. Here's another quote, it's the same group we faced in the south with the white crackers and the dogs and the police. KEILAR: Yes, that doesn't go over so well.

BLACKWELL: It does not.

KEILAR: Doesn't.

Now the Olympic Games are supposed to be a symbol of unity, as you know, athletes coming together around the world, in the spirit of competition, a fun time for spectators, but there is a dark shadow over the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia.

BLACKWELL: Some people are calling for a boycott and protest the harsh new anti-gay laws in Russia. CNN's Kyung Lah has the story.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Visible signs in Sochi as Russia prepares for the 2014 Olympic Games. Half a world away, speed skater Blake Skjellerup trains in his event physically and mentally, the only gay athlete known to be planning to compete in the games.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say I'm a little bit worried, not so much afraid.

LAH: Not afraid despite the risk. Speaking via Skype from his training camp in Calgary, Skjellerup is well aware of Russia's intolerance of gays and lesbians. New laws signed by Russia's president jails and fines people who express any support of equal rights for gays. Gay pride rallies banned. The police have the power to arrest anyone who appears to be spreading, quote, "Propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations."

Despite the International Olympic Committee's assurances that athletes will be protected, Russia's supports minister and a prominent lawmaker say the new laws against gays and lesbians will be enforced even for visitors like Blake Skjellerup.

(on camera): What kind of statement are you making by attending the games?

BLAKE SKJELLERUP, 2014 OLYMPIC ATHLETE: I think it's important to stand up for this and I think it's important for something to say something. And that person at the moment is me. I feel there's a small responsibility on my part to voice my concerns.

LAH (voice-over): Russia's laws have already sparked grass roots protests in cities around the world. The LGBT community in Los Angeles pouring out Russian Vodka into the streets, cultural politics and the Olympics have collided before. Black American Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 games in symbolic defiance of post-Hitler's Nazi German regime. In the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Americans Tommy Smith and John Carlos raised black salute in support of the black power movement.

For 2014, gay athletes have united under groups like "Athlete Ally" saying power is to show up and not boycott the games. Tennis champion and four-time Olympian Rennae Stubbs is a gay athlete and activist and call Sochi 2014 the LGBT's era of civil rights.

RENNAE STUBBS, ATHLETE ALLY AMBASSADOR: To be there and to say, we're here to compete and equal as everybody else. We want to go there, I think as a gay athlete, you want to go there and compete and go there and compete and show everybody in the world that we're on level pegging with any straight athlete. It doesn't matter to us.


LAH: We are now not just hearing from the athletes, but U.S. lawmakers are joining in, Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon says that he plans to introducing a resolution to the floor of the U.S. Senate that will oppose these Russian laws as well as call for the protection of the athletes as well as spectators that go to Russia for the games. We should point out that this is a resolution and won't have any real teeth in Russia. Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.

BLACKWELL: All right, so stick around, we will have a really frank conversation with Olympian, Blake Skjellerup and Johnny Weir. We're going to talk about these gay issues with two gay athletes, talk about the Russia's tactics and that's at 10:30 Eastern Time so be sure to stay with us for CNN NEWSROOM.

After the break, two presidents with one big headache, how NSA leaker Edward Snowden is shaking up the Washington and Moscow friendship.

And lunch with the president, was 2016 on the menue? We will talk to our political analyst about Hillary Clinton's latest moves. Stay with us.


KEILAR: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back everyone. I'm Briana Keilar.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

Number one: 22 American embassies and consulates are getting ready to close this Sunday and perhaps longer. That's because intelligence agents have picked up new threats in al Qaeda chatter. The diplomatic posts stretch across North Africa, the Middle East, into South Asia.

KEILAR: And at number two: there has been a horrific attack in eastern Afghanistan this morning. Government officials say a suicide bomber killed nine children, 23 people injured. A government spokesman says three attackers opened fire near the Indian consulate in Jalalabad then one of them detonated the bomb.

BLACKWELL: Number three: Iran's President elect apparently is backtracking. Hassan Rouhani will be sworn in tomorrow. Actually yesterday he was quoted as saying that Israel was a wound on the Islamist world that needed to be removed well now Iran-state run TV is insisting that he was misquoted. Rouhani was elected in June and had pledge to seek a more moderate approach. KEILAR: In money news, "The New York Times" is selling "The Boston Globe" to the owner of "The Boston Red Sox". "The Times" is taking a huge lost on the sale. It bought the paper in 1993 for more than $1 billion but it sold it for just $70 million.

BLACKWELL: Wow. Number five: CBS is going dark for three million viewers in some major American cities today. The network is locked in a contract dispute with Time Warner Cable. The two companies are fighting over the price of transmission fees, but there's still hope a deal can be worked out as more talks have been scheduled.

KEILAR: So Edward Snowden is free to roam Russia today finally sprung from his diplomatic no man's land in the Moscow airport. And after living in that transit zone for five weeks Russia gave the NSA leaker temporary asylum this week infuriating the White House now hint that President Obama may cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month in Moscow.

So let's talk about this international intrigue with Ross Douthat, CNN political commentator and New York Times columnist; and also Van Jones, he is one of the hosts of CNN's new "CROSS FIRE". Gentlemen thanks for being with me.



KEILAR: Ok so first off this is my question. Not only is this visit with Putin in jeopardy, but it was linked to President Obama going to the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg. If Snowden is still roaming around as you would expect that he is because I believed he has a year here with his temporary asylum, in any -- is there any possibility that you think as far as appearances go, President Obama can go to Russia period?

DOUTHAT: I mean I think --

JONES: I think he's going to go. Go ahead Ross.

DOUTHAT: No, no, go for it Van, you have stronger views. Go.

JONES: I think he will -- he will go. I think there is too much important business between the United States and Russia to let this thing get even bigger and bigger. I don't think anybody has got a real interest in elevating or escalating it.

But I will say this you know I hope we will take a step back now and look at this whole situation, and how it evolved to this point. I don't -- I don't think that whistle blowers in the United States are being given the opportunity to do stuff in a responsible way.

And until the Obama administration really stops being so tough on all this whistleblowers, Bradley Manning you know throwing the book at them, putting them in horrible conditions, you know. Until the whistle blowers can do things more responsibly I think we're going to have more of this stuff like with Snowden rather than less. I'd rather focus on getting our house in order to make sure our whistleblowers can come forward responsibly than to escalate things with Russia. I think we got too much real business with Russia to escalate this thing further.

KEILAR: Speaking of that real business, Ross, I mean speak to that. You've got Iran, you have Syria -- President Obama has basically said you know Snowden is the least of my issues when it comes to Russia. Do you think that President Obama perhaps, if he is to cancel this meeting with Putin that that could really hurt some of these issues that the U.S. needs to make progress with Russia on?

DOUTHAT: I mean it might I think that this is actually an ongoing very helpful thing for Vladimir Putin. Because I mean what -- what were you guys just talking about before the commercial break? You were talking about Russia's new laws surrounding homosexually and the winter Olympics and this is a big embarrassment in certain ways for Russia and it's the sort of thing that could lead to Russia's diplomatic isolation. But at the same time the Snowden case is a case where actually most U.S. allies don't want to be seen as toeing the U.S. line on the issue right they don't want to go back and tell their domestic audiences oh yes we -- you know we agree Russia should be isolated for hiding -- you know for hiding this whistleblower because they want domestic audiences to think that they are standing up to U.S. surveillance and spying and so on.

So I think in terms of the international stage it's actually relatively helpful for Putin at a moment when Russia you know could be and will be I think as the Olympics get closer facing a lot of international pressure.

KEILAR: Ok let's talk politics now, gentlemen.

The interesting story this week was a certain woman who came to Washington to have lunch with the President and breakfast with Vice President Biden. Hillary Clinton and obviously everyone thinks she's going to throw her hat into the ring or a lot of folks do in 2016. She's certainly when you look at polls the Democrat to beat right now what do you think the point Van was of her coming to Washington. Just a social call?

JONES: See old friends, you know. The White House food is really good. It's yummy and tasty. I mean who doesn't go by, you go by and you see your old employer you know and you make sure the resume -- I mean come on, we know what this is. This is, this is you know, part of the roll out. It's a -- it's part of keeping her in the news, it's part of the whole dance.

I think it's great, you know, as a Democrat, you know you've got the most famous woman in the world, the most powerful woman in the world just sitting there and waiting to take -- to take her job and the Republicans are kind of falling apart and the libertarians fight in the social conservative.

For me it's great. But yes, she is probably just dropping by to make sure that her old boss remembers her name that's all. (CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: And -- and perhaps Ross that everyone else remembers her name as well, right?

DOUTHAT: Well I'm most interested in what -- what she and Biden said to each other.


DOUTHAT: Because the interesting subtext is --


DOUTHAT: -- that in the -- and I admit extremely unlikely event that Hillary Clinton did not run for president, I think Joe Biden is firmly convinced that he should be and could be the Democratic nominee in 2016. Now again I think the odds of that happening are very slim but you just wonder if they were you know sitting there over breakfast and Joe like Hillary you know let me tell you, God love you, you don't want this job, you know it's too much pressure.

KEILAR: And we -- and let me ask you this and do you think that Hillary Clinton said to Joe Biden, "Hey, did you see that recent poll, you guys know the one I'm talking about the McClatchy/Marist Poll likely Democratic voters if the election were today 63 percent say they would pick Hillary Clinton, 13 percent for Joe Biden -- a very distant second. I mean so what do you --

DOUTHAT: Listen, 13, that's very respectable. Joe could say "Well in the first polls you know when Obama got in the race in 2008, where was he?" No obviously, if Hillary runs, if he's -- I mean it's hard to see the path for anybody but for a figure like Biden who would not represent any kind of sort outsider or sort of disruptive force, it's almost impossible to see a path for him.

KEILAR: Van Jones and Ross Douthat, oh sorry Van last word to you.

JONES: I just want to say, I think Vice President Biden has been extraordinarily an awesome amazing Vice President, and I -- people kick him around a lot because I think he actually a really nice guy and a great guy, but I don't think he is going to be president of the United States and I think Hillary Clinton will be and -- and I'm sure that was the subject of any conversations that they had.

KEILAR: Maybe unspoken, though and I bet he'll -- I bet he may give it a whirl. Van Jones and Ross Douthat.

DOUTHAT: Awkward.

KEILAR: Getting me excited about 2016 already. Thanks for your insight this morning guys.

DOUTHAT: Thanks.

JONES: Very good. BLACKWELL: A major progress this week for the little girl whose fight for new lungs became a game changer for sick kids across the country. We'll have the latest on Sarah Murnaghan's recovery.

But first, actress and singer Katharine McPhee is on a mission to prevent malaria claiming more lives of children. Here is this week's "Impact Your World."


KATHARINE MCPHEE, ACTRESS: Hi I'm Katharine McPhee and we can make an impact on malaria. Through personal connections U.S.-Africa I'll have the opportunity to build a preschool. The school master, a wonderful woman there, she came down with malaria. I had gotten together with Malaria No More and said I would love to get to Africa to see what we can do for her and for all the people that she worked so hard to help.

Every minute a child dies from malaria. It's something that doesn't need to happen. It's something that's curable and preventable. It's nothing we would ever happen in the United States but it's something that's really is devastating to other lives and there are so much to be done that you can feel overwhelmed was like what can I actually do.

The truth of it is a $10 net can save lives. That's why we're working so hard with Malaria No More to end malaria deaths by 2015. Join the movement, "Impact Your World".



BLACKWELL: We've got an update on 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan she is the girl in Pennsylvania with cystic fibrosis whose case prompted a change in lung transplant rules. Look at this -- this new video posted her mother's Facebook page it shows Sarah last week standing up for the first time in ten months. It's the latest sign of progress since Sarah got a new set of lungs in June.

Now before Sarah's parents took their fight to Washington, children younger than 12 were at the end of the waiting list for adult donor lungs and now have equal access at least through next spring. Go ahead Sarah congratulations to her and her family.

KEILAR: Very good.

And in this week's "Human Factor" a doctor living with cystic fibrosis is defying the odds and living his dream. Here is Dr. Sanjay Gupta with his story.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every day now, Chuck Fox is beating the odds.

CHUCK FOX, HAS CYSTIC FIBROSIS: When I was born, the average life expectancy for somebody with cystic fibrosis was 18 years old, currently the estimated to be at 38 years old, last year I passed that threshold.

GUPTA: When he was born Chuck's parents were determined to see him thrive even though doctors warned he may not survive.

FOX: I have to wear this mechanical vest every day to just help keep my lungs clear and help me breathe. I get hooked up to that, and then it's basically like doing physical therapy for your chest and for your lungs.

GUPTA: And like his parents, Chuck didn't allow the skepticism he encountered to discourage his dreams of becoming a doctor himself and having a family.

FOX: If anything it just sort of made me want to do it more and just prove that I could do it.

GUPTA: And that's exactly what he did. Dr. Fox graduated from Harvard Medical School and he's been a practicing gastroenterologist now for eight years. He and his wife, Amy -- they just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary, and they are proud parents of 11-year- old twins, Sidney and Ben.

FOX: I would say I am the luckiest person I know.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

KEILAR: Coming up some of the funniest viral videos out there this week including a daring dog, a dancing raccoon and of course, a runaway moose. We'll have that next.

BLACKWELL: But first Christine Romans has a preview of "YOUR MONEY" coming up at 9:30 this morning. Good morning Christina.


Google chairman Eric Schmidt is changing the world, but coming up at 9:30, I'm going to ask him how to change the fate of U.S. workers. He says this new Google phone is assembled in the U.S. It's not made in the U.S., it's assembled in the U.S. and that's a difference that matters with 11.5 million Americans searching for work.

That's all coming up on "YOUR MONEY", 9:30 a.m. Eastern.


BLACKWELL: Coming up on ten minutes before the hour, and it's time for some of the coolest viral videos this weekend.

KEILAR: CNN's John Berman shares what he learned from the Internet this week.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Victor and Brianna.

So we have daring dogs, we have a dancing raccoon, and most importantly we have a tribute to one of the greatest films ever.


BERMAN: Don't try this at home. Doggy stair surfing.

Gentlemen, I know what you are thinking, is or was this a boy dog?

Do try this at home. At least this guy makes it seem like a lot of fun. Listen to a man watching a moose running along the road in Maine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did he go? Where'd he go moosie, Moosie come here.

BERMAN: You can try this at home if you want, though you might look a little strange. A man dancing with a raccoon to Aretha Franklin "Chain of Fools"; we really should say, dancing near the raccoon because the raccoon doesn't really seem to like the dancing.

Question, how crowded is too crowded? This is one crowded pool in China -- nothing as refreshing as taking a dip with thousands of your closest friends.

Finally, recognize this car? It's an exact replica of the Wagon Queen family truckster, immortalized in this film, "Vacation". Yes, a family in Georgia, a family actually named the Griswolds, serious, the Griswolds, they built an exact replica and they drove it to Disney World.

This actually happened. Disney was so excited, they posted the video themselves.


BERMAN: So, you know, it is the 30th anniversary of "Vacation" this year. Makes some of us feel a little bit old. The real life Griswolds drove to Disney World because they say they love it. They go a few times a year. Plus, in real life, there is no actual thing as Wally World -- Victor, Brianna.

BLACKWELL: Thanks John. You know, I know in that pool in China, thousands of people, somebody went.

KEILAR: Somebody put the "p" in pool.

BLACKWELL: Some -- I was not going to say it but thank you Brianna.

Here's the thing about -- I love "Vacation". Love that movie.


BLACKWELL: And I'm actually going to go home and watch it. But we were talking about "Avatar" sequels. "Vegas Vacation" ruined the whole series for me.

KEILAR: Oh really?

BLACKWELL: By the time we got to Vegas, and the kids were old enough to gamble, they jumped the shark by then.

KEILAR: Speaking of the kids getting old, I wonder right now those little kids think that's pretty cool. Do you think they're going to be embarrassed that mom and dad traipsed them off to Disney World in that vehicle as they get older?

BLACKWELL: In ten years they will love it again. But like nine years, between now and then, they're going to think it's so corny.

KEILAR: Yay for enthusiasm, I think.

BLACKWELL: Yes, because that's exactly what they have.

KEILAR: And at the top of the hour a new terror threat shutting down 22 embassies and consulates.

Plus there is a warning that you need to know about if you are headed to the airport.



JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: There is a big fight going on in the Republican Party between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Rand Paul. In an effort to end the spat Rand Paul offered to go and get a beer with Christie, but Christie refused. Christie said it's going to take a lot more than a beer to win me over. You're going to need wings, stuffed potato skins, tater tots, ribs, and onion rings -- I need the whole deal.

JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: I think this is great. I just that the NFL is about to get its first time full-time female referee. That's right. Good for them. It will be a little different though, because when a player asks her what he did wrong, she will say, "Well, you know what you did."


KEILAR: I love that. That is fantastic.

BLACKWELL: That was good.

Remember this guy, the dumpster diving bear in Colorado. How could you remember this guy? He was caught on a surveillance camera --

KEILAR: He is unforgettable.

BLACKWELL: Remember the bear who stole the dumpster. He stole this entire dumpster of food from a German restaurant. He loved it so much he came back for a second dumpster. But sadly all good things must come to an end. The bear came back, but this time he went home empty- handed and hungry. The restaurant learned its lesson and bolted down those dumpsters' lids. They even wrapped chains on the lids to keep him out.

KEILAR: I thought maybe they ran out of dumpsters.

BLACKWELL: No, no, no. They got the dumpsters back. He just came back for that dumpster schnitzel which apparently --

KEILAR: Delicious.

BLACKWELL: -- was great.

KEILAR: And what would you do if you just came across a moose, you know, running down the highway at top speed. Check this thing out -- unbelievable. A man was driving through Maine. He found himself in this very situation. He grabbed his camera and starts to shoot. Clearly he was pretty excited about it. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, moosie. Oh my gosh, this is insane. Where are you going? Where are you going, moosie. Moosie, come here.


KEILAR: He sounds like he is rooting for his horse in the derby.

BLACKWELL: Yes, come on, moosie.

KEILAR: Hilarious.

And here is one kitty who never learned that old adage, pick on someone your own size.

That's a barn cat named Matilda, and she was at a horse training demonstration, and she was actually chasing the trainer's whip when it inadvertently lunged right -- the cat hit the full-grown horse as you can see there. No major fallout. The horse really seemed to be the startled one here. And the audience was pretty startled, too.

BLACKWELL: I think everybody would be if the cat jumped all on you.

KEILAR: Matilda, last seen hitchhiking to get out of dodge.

BLACKWELL: Yes, (inaudible) those barn cats. And I know you're sitting there and saying Victor -- you don't have a dancing dog this morning? Oh, I have got you -- I've got your dancing dogs.

KEILAR: Oh, yes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dinnertime. Dinnertime. Hope and Rosey want their dinnertime, because they're hungry, hungry, hungry girls.


BLACKWELL: Hope and Rosey are English terriers -- English springers, rather. They are so excited to eat. They've got this great song. Dinnertime, yes. Robert Goulet there singing to the dogs -- not really.

KEILAR: And then they sit down at the end.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and they are like, ok, we have done the dancing. Where is the food, sir? Oh, yes.

KEILAR: How does this develop, I wonder. Like where the owner says, we are going to try this out?

BLACKWELL: Yes, we are going to sing to the dogs.

KEILAR: So cute.

BLACKWELL: We have the moose -- that's cool, the moose, right?


BLACKWELL: We have the moose, the dogs, and cats jumping on the horse and stuff --

KEILAR: Bears -- we have it all.

BLACKWELL: Thanks for starting your morning with us.

KEILAR: The next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.