Return to Transcripts main page


Deadly Shooting in Small Pennsylvania Town; Alex Rodriguez Faces 211-Game Suspension; U.S. Issues a Warning to All Americans; Jeff Bezos Buys Washington Post; Venice Beach Driver Turns Himself In; New Details in JFK and Marilyn Monroe's Relationship

Aired August 6, 2013 - 08:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Multiple people shot there. It was chaotic.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Town meeting terror. Overnight, a gunman opens fire at a municipal meeting. Three dead, several injured, until one man takes him on and saves the day. We are live with dramatic details.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: The punishment, Alex Rodriguez suspended for more than 200 games. The fans boo him as he steps over the plate last night as he vows to prove his innocence.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: New claims that Marilyn Monroe called Jackie Kennedy saying she was going to marry her husbAnd the president. Did it really happen?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know it sounds monstrous, it just felt right.

MATT DAMON, ACTOR: I went to the guy with the picture and said, I have to do this. He kind of went, OK.

BOLDUAN: We've got a lot of work to do.

DAMON: We've got a lot of work to do.

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


BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It's Tuesday, August 6th, 8:00 in the East. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CUOMO: And I'm Chris Cuomo here as always with news anchor Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

CUOMO: Great to have you.

Breaking this morning, Americans ordered to leave Yemen immediately after a new terror threat. We're learning more about that message between senior al Qaeda leaders that prompted the closure of 19 U.S. embassies and consulates this week.

Big question for us: we can close consulates, but are we prepared for an attack?

PEREIRA: And a concern this morning: an AMBER alert this morning in California. They are looking for this pair of kids. Sixteen-year-old girl, her 8-year-old brother. Police are looking for the man they believe took the siblings after killing their mother and another child. What you need to know.

BOLDUAN: Pay close attention to that.

And also, we're going to bring you later, my one-on-one with actor Matt Damon. He's starring in the new movie "Elysium", and why he says the role was a bit of a gamble for him, and also, what is next for this A-list star. He's got a lot of changes going on in his life right now.

CUOMO: Looking forward to it.

But we are going to begin with breaking news, a long-running property dispute in a small Pennsylvania town. That's what became important enough to kill for one man.

Three people lost their lives at a public town hall meeting last night when the man opened fire. The suspect, this man, Rockne Newell. He is in custody this morning.

CNN's Poppy Harlow is live for us in Pennsylvania. Good morning, Poppy.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. It was horrific. It was shocking to this quiet, small town that has never seen anything even close to this. It all unfolded behind me about 7:30 p.m. last night during a town council meeting. Here as you said, three dead, several others injured. We do know three have been treated and released from an area hospital. One other victim at this hour, we don't know their condition, but Rockne Newell is in custody and if not for the actions of two heroes, this could have been much more deadly.


HARLOW (voice-over): The normally calm town council meeting turned into horror in seconds. Authorities say this man, Rockne Newell, entered the Ross Township Building and opened fire, spraying bullets at the 15 officials and attendees.

LT. ROBERT BARTEL: As you can imagine, there have been multiple people shot there. There has been a struggle there. So, you know, it was chaotic. HARLOW: Police say Newell started firing even before he entered the building, killing three and wounding several more with what is described as a long gun.

A local reporter in the room said, "I heard more than ten shots and saw plaster flying out, blowing out through the walls."

Then, police say Newell was tackled to the ground after leaving to retrieve a handgun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He then again re-approached the building and entered the building, again firing the weapon. And was subsequently tackled and brought to the ground.

HARLOW: Witnesses say one of the men who tackled him, Bernie Kozen, bear hugged Newell, bringing him to the ground. And authorities credit Kozen with preventing further bloodshed.

BARTEL: They absolutely would have saved lives. He was entering the building again with a handgun. He would have killed or injured other people.

HARLOW: Local media from the last year suggests Newell was troubled, described by neighbors as a junk collector, ordered to vacate his property after it was condemned by the town, following a year's long battle with the township's board of supervisors.

He told "The Pocono Record" last year, "Looks like I'm going to be homeless, because I have nowhere to go."


HARLOW: And, Kate, we have new information just in to us. I just got off the phone with another man, who is a hero in all of this. He didn't want us to use his name, he didn't want the attention, but he also helped tackle the gunman to the ground with Bernie Kozen.

And he told me when the shooter ran into the town hall behind me, he yelled, "They stole my land, they stole my land." He said that was his gripe. So, that is connecting this to the property dispute that just unfolded last week.

Also they described how they tackled the gunman to the ground, two men on top of him, one on his ankles, one on his neck, tying his hands behind his head until authorities could arrive, take the wounded to hospitals, also the shooter was shot, taken to a hospital. He's been released. He's now in police custody.

But as this unfolds, we're clearly seeing what motivated, what seems to have motivated this shooter. And now, we have innocent victims dead and injured.

BOLDUAN: All right, Poppy, thanks so much. Clearly, still questions to be answered, but we're now learning those heroic actions of those men saved lives that night. Thanks so much.

Let's move now to the windy city, where baseball fans greeted the return of Alex Rodriguez with boos.





BOLDUAN: There you hear it. The Yankee slugger playing in his first big league game in 10 months last night and he plans to keep playing, while appealing a 211-game suspension for allegedly using performance- enhancing drugs.

Jason Carroll live in Chicago this morning, more on the game and more on this historic suspension.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And Rodriguez said post- game, Kate, how much he loves playing baseball, that's what he wants to do, get back on the field.

He also said how much he loves the fans. Well, the feeling not mutual with many of the fans who filled the stadium last night.


CARROLL (voice-over): The sounds of boos and jeers echoing throughout U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago Monday night, as Alex Rodriguez debuted for the Yankees, just hours after Major League Baseball announced it was suspending him for allegedly using performance enhancing drugs.

The embattled third baseman talked about what it has been like living under a cloud of suspicion.

ALEX RODRIGUEZ, NEW YORK YANKEES: The last seven months has been a nightmare. It's been probably the worst time of my life.

CARROLL: Rodriguez was one of 13 players suspended Monday. The other 12 players receiving 50-game suspensions for using performance enhancing drugs. The PEDs allegedly provided by the now defunct anti- aging clinic in Florida, Biogenesis.

Rodriguez's punishment is far worse. The top paid player suspension effective Thursday is through the 2014 season, 211 games without pay, which could cost him $31 million.

Major League Baseball's commissioner saying in a statement, "The suspension is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years."

MLB officials also alleging Rodriguez attempted to cover up his violations and obstruct their investigation. Rodriguez says he'll appeal.

And in the past, Rodriguez also denied a connection to the former head of biogenesis and taking PEDs from the clinic. But when asked more than once to clarify, Rodriguez dodged those questions.

RODRIGUEZ: We'll have a forum to discuss all of that and we'll talk about it then.

CARROLL: Some fans did show their support for Rodriguez. Most felt this way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he did cheat. He needs to be punished in some way.


CARROLL: And under baseball's rules and regulations, Rodriguez is allowed to keep playing while he appeals, but once again, many of the fans out here have already made up their minds -- Kate.

CUOMO: All right. Jason, I'll take it. Appreciate the reporting this morning.

We're going to move on now. The State Department is telling all Americans to leave Yemen immediately. This warning comes after a pair of suspected U.S. drone strikes there left four al Qaeda members dead.

The U.S. has flown in a pair of military transport aircraft to help get Americans out of Yemen.

Let's bring in CNN's Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon watching this for us. Good morning, Barbara. What do we know?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Those aircraft expected to land in Germany in the coming hours with about 90 Americans onboard after the U.S. embassy and State Department told Americans to just get out of Yemen, get out immediately, because of the rising terrorist threat. The embassy now only having really a central personnel there. The embassy will remain shut for several days.

What we know is what set off the alarm bells across Washington was an intercepted message from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda in Pakistan to a man named Wuhayshi in Yemen. He is the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, saying, you know, do something, do something now.

It was clearly, the U.S. believes, a message to order an attack. They believe for several days now, that an attack could be in the final stages of planning. The significance here is that al Qaeda in Yemen really has been on the rise, gaining some strength.

The drone strikes have not put it out of business by any stretch, so there is a lot of concern about what that group in Yemen may have planned next -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Barbara, obviously, something to watch. Appreciate it this morning.

BOLDUAN: Let's bring in our own Erin Burnett, host of "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT". Why? Not only because we love you, but also because we're coming up on the anniversary of the Benghazi attack and you've been working with some of our colleagues on a very important special, taking a look back at this attack, what we've learned and where the investigation is.

So, what have you uncovered?

ERIN BURNETT, CNN'S "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT": You know, it's been pretty incredible looking at this. And over the past year, I remember sitting there that night when we first heard an American had died in Benghazi, when that wire first crossed and that sort of shock that we all felt at that moment, you know? You're looking Benghazi, you're finding what happened.

And we've really spent a lot of time covering this over the past year. You know, our conclusions are, Kate, pretty like this -- it was administration focus first and foremost on reelection, there was a message about defeating al Qaeda that this administration wanted to push out, and that sort of prevented more investigations from happening, which was very different from saying there was an act of cover-up. But that was part of it.

And then on the Republican side, you have people with real questions who have turned this into a little bit more than a witch hunt than it ever should have been.

So, that's some of the conclusions that we have, but we do go through who was to blame, and who knew what, when, and how such horrible mistakes were made. And as you'll see, there were horrible really mistakes that did not need to be made.

BOLDUAN: One fascinating, jaw-dropping aspect of this, is Arwa Damon, our intrepid correspondent, she went back to Benghazi. She ended up sitting down and speaking with one of the suspects who says that he has never been interviewed by the U.S. government.

BURNETT: That's right. It was a person of interest in Benghazi. She was able to talk to him for a couple of hours.

You know, he says, look, I was directing traffic. I just happened to be here. But she has been able to speak with him. People in the media have been able to speak to this person, Abu Khattala is his name. The FBI hasn't at this point.

And I can tell you, when Arwa spoke to him a couple of months ago, and first started this great reporting, since then, Benghazi has become so dangerous, journalists can't even go. So, you know, you're talking about a situation that the U.S. government saying, look, we can't go in, it's too unsafe. And now, it has gotten significantly worse, which is a fair word to describe.

PEREIRA: On that terrible night, it wasn't just Ambassador Stevens that was killed, other men died that night. You had a chance to sit down and talk with the sister of Navy SEAL Glen Doherty. That must have been an emotional conversation.

What did she have to say? BURNETT: It was an incredibly emotional situation. Her name is Kate, and there's three siblings in this family, her brother, 42 years old, he was a SEAL.

He had gone back to do this and he was actually ready, Michaela, to go back into the private sector, but he was scared to do it. Look, I have all this training as a SEAL, I can do all these things incredibly well, but to be in the private sector, I'm going to have to go back to school and start from zero. It was intimidating.

And just a quick clip I just want to play for all of you so you could see just emotion of talking with these families, which for me was the most special part of this documentary. Here's Kate.


BURNETT: He chose to run in and chose to defend, even though it wasn't his job. He ran in.

KATE QUIGLEY, SISTER OF FORMER NAVY SEAL GLEN DOHERTY: That's how Glen has lived his whole life. You know, anything you need at any time, he's there for you.


BURNETT: Yes, so that was what it was like. And she talked about getting the call that night when she found out her brother was dead and had to call her parents and tell them.

These families -- I want to emphasize this, too. There was one family, the mother of the information officer Sean Smith, she's incredibly angry. She's incredibly angry at Hillary Clinton. She said she promised she'd call me, you'll hear her say that, she hasn't called me.

The other families really don't want to make this political. They really don't. You can go to the Web site, your Web site, our Web site, there's foundations, you can donate to these families and the memories they are trying to provide for Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and Chris Stevens. But it was very emotional.

CUOMO: It's also what's fuelling a lot of the curiosity here. Just to bring it back with what you started with here, Erin, the idea of whether or not this is real or not, OK? And the families are big motivation for people who want to ask mores questions.

But, you know, the reason this is such an important topic, politically, people are divided as to whether or not this warrants any discussion. We know what secretary of state, then. Hillary Clinton said, right? How she kind of dismissed it at the hearing, wound up being a bravo move for her. What is the conclusion in terms of why and should we pay attention?

BURNETT: We should pay attention and it does warrant a discussion. I think there's no question about that. And when you hear what people saw at that time -- I mean, we talked to the security officer briefing Chris Stevens in security.

And he said, look, the U.S. government at that time did not even know which group was which. They didn't know which group was which, they didn't know who was a threat, they didn't know whether to take the threats seriously.

The morning of the attack, Chris Stevens, he's a guy across the street from the compound, taking cell phone pictures of the compound. He actually reported that to police but went ahead with his schedule. You have the British, the Red Cross, already left Benghazi.

So, if there's a situation where you need a discussion about what America did wrong so it doesn't happen again, this is that situation. And I think the push for all of us has to be as journalists we don't want to politicize it, but we have to have this conversation.

CUOMO: We got to promote the special, but can't let you go before saying, God bless, good luck to you. You look great. It's great news for you.

BURNETT: Thank you very much.

CUOMO: Good news with serious news.

BURNETT: That's right. That's right. Thank you. And great to see you guys.

BOLDUAN: Thank you very, very much.

You can watch the special we're talking about, "The Truth About Benghazi" tonight, 10:00 Eastern. You don't want to miss it, right here on CNN.

CUOMO: All right. Erin brought us a big headline this morning. But there is other news to tell you about, as well.

So, let's go back to Michaela.

PEREIRA: Yes. And our top headline right now, breaking news, an Amber Alert has been issued if southern California. Police are looking for 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and her 8-year-old brother Ethan. Their mother and the body of an unidentified child were found dead inside a burned-out house over the weekend.

These children are believed to be traveling in a blue Nissan Versa with a California license plate, 6WCU986. The suspect is identified as 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio.

After a series of delays, the court martial of accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan beginning today. Hasan acting as his own counsel. He's actually expected to cross examine some of the very people he's accused of shooting. He allegedly opened fire on fellow troops who were preparing to shift out to Afghanistan and Iraq back in 2009. Thirteen people were killed.

The man suspected of driving a car into a crowd on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, California, expected to appear in court for the first time today. Nathan Campbell was charged with murder after turning himself in. The terrifying incident killed a 32-year-old Alice Gruppioni. She was on her honeymoon and married just three days when the car struck her. One person was critically hurt, two others have serious injuries.

President Obama's better bargain for the middle class road tour stops in Phoenix today. He'll talk about home ownership in a city that was decimated by the housing crisis. The president will lay out his plans to keep the housing recovery going before heading to Burbank for an appearance on "The Tonight Show."

Let's talk Cookie Monster, folks. You know, he isn't exactly known for self-control, at least when it comes to cookies, but this muppet is changing his ways. He's put out a new parody of the iconic pop summer hit, "I Love It," to help make his point. When it comes to eating plates full of cookies that are delicious and not very nutritious, this reformed Cookie Monster now says, "I want it, but me wait."

CUOMO: What?

PEREIRA: He still is the Cookie Monster and cookie still starts with "C," Chris. But he's saying he's going to wait for it.

CUOMO: He's caving to the --


PEREIRA: No, because the fact is, you would be the first to wave this banner, you believe that cookies should be a treat and not a regular --


BOLDUAN: But he's a character on "Sesame Street."

CUOMO: PC Police.


BOLDUAN: We love you, Cookie Monster. We do.


CUOMO: Barely has arms, the guy, you know? How's he going to eat those cookies anyway?

PEREIRA: He manages somehow.


PEREIRA: I had the alphabet and "C," and that monster is right where I slept. Literally, I wanted to hide under my bed. I don't know what it was.

BOLDUAN: We are learning much more than we ever thought we would.




BOLDUAN: All right. Tell us about these storms in the Midwest.

PETERSONS: Yes. We actually have some great video, and now, from all these storms that really went through Kansas and Missouri overnight. We're talking about impressive amounts of rainfall, anywhere from four to even nine inches of rain in Missouri this morning. Since midnight, rainfall rates about two inches per hour.

Fifty to 60 miles per hour winds and even hail really ripping through the states, and here's the problem, we're still looking at storms in the area. This is actually the current radar, about a six-hour loop, and you can tell they're just training. We call it training because the thunderstorms just continue to develop. It's almost like having that cloud right above your house. Heavy rainfall still expected really in that region today.

So, that's something we are going to be monitoring. You can actually see the low kind of making its way through Canada, but it's that trailing cold front and will continue to bring showers from the plains and eventually spreading all the way into the mid-Atlantic by tomorrow. So, rain really in the forecast for a lot of us. So, that is something we'll be monitoring. We'll give you an update on the tropics coming up in just a little bit, guys.

BOLDUAN: OK. Thanks so much, Indra.

CUOMO: All right. Appreciate it now.

How about this, we may be witnessing the perfect marriage of old and new media. In a surprise move, founder, Jeff Bezos, is buying "The Washington Post" for $250 million. "The Post" has been owned by the same family for nearly 80 years. Now, it will be in the hands of a very well-known entrepreneur.

CNN's Alison Kosik joins us with that. Big move, good move, question mark?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Could be a good move, question mark, of course. Bezos says that though he is buying "The Washington Post," he's not looking to lead the day-to-day business of the newspaper. He says he's keeping the executives in place at the paper, at the parent company, the post company, and it means that some things are going to stay the same, but he also says there's going to be change, of course.

That, he says, quote, "We're going to need to invent," which means we will need to experiment. So, yes, change is inevitable with anything like this no matter who owns the paper, and why not? Because "The Washington Post," quite frankly, is losing money. And it's not just "The Washington Post." This is an industry-wide problem. Newspapers are dealing with falling ad revenue.

More of us are getting our news online. Other publications, we've seen in news headlines, have been feeling it. Look at "The Boston Globe," it sold this week for a fraction of what it was once worth. "News Week," it's gone all digital. Though, Bezos has a great track record for innovation. You look what he did with Amazon, but the question is, you know, we all know that he's a great idea man.

He's an entrepreneur, but these forces that are really on top of the newspaper industry, what's he going to dream up to kind of pull "The Washington Post" up and make it stronger? So, that's really the question mark that lingers.

BOLDUAN: Make it creative, and that might be the best thing needed right now.

KOSIK: Exactly. Yes.

BOLDUAN: All right. Alison, thanks so much.

CUOMO: Alison, always --

KOSIK: A pleasure.

CUOMO: Deserved a double thanks.


CUOMO: We're going to go to break right now. Coming up on NEW DAY, a dramatic twist in court. His father comes to his son's defense saying he is the one who is a killer.

BOLDUAN: And how much did Jackie Kennedy know about Marilyn Monroe and JFK? A new book says quite a bit. There's the two women talked. Is it true? Going to take a look.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Sensational revelations in a new book about President John F. Kennedy's long suspected and rumored affair with sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe. The book claims the sultry actress actually called the first lady, Jackie Kennedy, to confess.

Zoraida Sambolin has the juicy details. Quite a scandal.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes, quite a scandal. So, all of the details definitely are juicy, but are they true? These explosive new allegations claim Jackie Kennedy told Marilyn Monroe, "if you want him, you can have him."


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Never before have such details been heard about the relationship between President John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and the first lady. In a new book, "These Few Precious Days, The Final Year Of Jack With Jackie," author, Christopher Anderson, claims that the Hollywood starlet actually called Jacqueline Kennedy on the White House phone confessing to an affair she was rumored to be having with the president.

The first lady allegedly responded by saying, "That's great. You'll move into the White House and you'll assume the responsibilities of first lady and I'll move out and you'll have all the problems."

NICK RAGONE, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: The claim that Marilyn Monroe actually called Jackie O. at the White House, it does seem farfetched, but then again with Marilyn Monroe, seemingly, anything was possible.


SAMBOLIN: The book also claims the breathy sex symbol singing here in "Some Like It Hot," confided her most intimate details of the alleged affair to a friend, convinced the president would leave Jackie for her, even fantasizing, quote, "can't you just see me as first lady?"

RAGONE: The idea that President Kennedy would leave his beloved wife who the nation adored for a sort of aging movie star probably was a fantasy only in Marilyn Monroe's mind.

SAMBOLIN: The book also tells of Jackie reportedly telling her doctor that of all her husband's alleged affairs, the one with Marilyn was the most troubling.

RAGONE: Jackie Kennedy, she was a smart political wife and she feared Marilyn Monroe, not as somebody who would be emotionally intimate with President Kennedy, but rather somebody who could take down the administration in scandal and she viewed her as a loose cannon and unpredictable.


SAMBOLIN (on camera): So, I should add here that the claims in the book have not been substantiated, but one historian says it could very well be true, and that although it seems unbelievable, it is the sort of thing that happens in history. So, you never know, right?

BOLDUAN: More than we know.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, exactly.

BOLDUAN: That is quite a line.

CUOMO: Can you imagine if it happened today? This was largely not reported at that time. You know, just little details now and then. Imagine if it were today, the man would have been able to do nothing else in office. This would have completely dominated coverage.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, absolutely. At the time, it would have dominated also, right?


BOLDUAN: You can have him and all the problems that come with it. SAMBOLIN: That's right.

BOLDUAN: That's a pretty good line.

CUOMO: Time for a break. Coming up on NEW DAY, the meteoric rise and the spectacular fall of Alex Rodriguez. A look at a-Rod's life on and off the field.

BOLDUAN: And one-on-one with Matt Damon, the Oscar winner transforms for his latest role in "Elysium," a sci-fi epic set in the future.

CUOMO: He seems shy.