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Reporter's Partner Challenges Detention; Bob Filner Expected Back at Work Today; U.S. Stops Some Aid to Egypt; Support Dwindling for Bob Filner; IPhone Rumors Spark Buzz

Aired August 20, 2013 - 09:00   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Happening now in the NEWSROOM, spies, secrets, and now revenge.

GLENN GREENWALD, THE GUARDIAN COLUMNIST: I'll be far more aggressive in my reporting from now.

COSTELLO: Glenn Greenwald vowing to spill state secrets for detaining his partner. How much the U.S. knew and when it knew it.

JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: We do have a close law enforcement and intelligence relationship with the UK.

COSTELLO: Also, exit strategy.

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: The mediator has asked us not to comment.

COSTELLO: Closed-door negotiations. It is day 30 of Filner watch. Will the city get what it's been asking for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bob, it's time for you to resign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He needs to listen to the citizens of this city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to resign so the city can get back on track.

COSTELLO: Plus, cash to Cairo. The U.S. now cutting part of the cord, but some American companies still bee-lining it to the bank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These contractors have a vested interest in keeping the process going forward.

COSTELLO: And Bo meet Sunny. From the dog house to the White House, America has a new best friend.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

COSTELLO: And good morning. Thanks so much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello.

We begin with breaking news and a menacing and ominous warning. Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who exposed Washington's secret surveillance program, says harass and detain my loved one? Well, get ready for a new avalanche of secrets to be released.

In the meantime, minutes ago, we learned of a new legal action from Greenwald's partner, David Miranda. He was taken into British custody over the weekend after Greenwald's controversial reporting on the NSA leak story.

Miranda's lawyer say the Brits twisted an anti-terror law and trample all over his rights. It's the latest roundhouse punch just hours after Greenwald issued this threat.


GREENWALD (Through Translator): I'll be far more aggressive in my reporting for now. I'm going to publish many more documents. I'm going to publish things on England, too. I have many documents on England's spy system.


COSTELLO: And a looming question is, what role did the United States play in Miranda's detention at Heathrow's airport and the confiscation of his private belongings?

CNN's Jessica Yellin pressed the White House for answers.


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Was the White House consulted or given a heads up in advance?

JOSH EARNEST, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There was a -- there was a heads up that was provided by the British government, so this -- again, this is something that we had an indication was likely to occur, but it's not something that we've requested.


COSTELLO: CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is in London with more.

Good morning, Matthew.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bon jour, Carol, absolutely astonishing news, isn't it? The fact that David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, has now launched his own legal campaign against the British state. He doesn't know exactly what aspect of the British states he's prosecuting or trying to -- trying to -- take him to the court, suing. But he wants is for his electronic devices that were seized from him at Heathrow Airport to be returned to him. He wants any information that was on any of the sort of cards that go into computers to not be copied, and if anyone has been -- if anyone that been passed on to a third country, his lawyers have said. He wants those names to be given to authorities as well, to his lawyers, and so they can notify them as well. So that's that legal challenge as well.

And so the partner of Glenn Greenwald coming out fighting, saying he's not going to tolerate this essentially and he is launching this legal challenge to retrieve his computer, his laptop computer, his mobile phones, and the various sort of other electronic devices that was seized from him during that nine-hour detention at Heathrow Airport here in London. -- Carol.

COSTELLO: So Greenwald is threatening to release information, release secret documents that affect the British government? What are the British people saying about that and do they believe the United States has a role in this?

CHANCE: I think there may be a suspicion of that. Although, of course, the British Security Services were implicated, as well, in the revelations from Edward Snowden, of course, about the NSA program of monitoring U.S. citizens. There's also an aspect of that, which involved the British monitoring their citizens, as well, and exchanging information with the United States.

So yes, it's a possibility the United States may have been involved. That's not been confirmed, of course, by the British authorities. And you know, there is a great deal of anger, I think, certainly amongst human rights groups here who have -- Glenn Greenwald himself of course who have called the detention of David Miranda intimidation, saying he had nothing essentially to do with the actual journalistic aspect of this scandal.

And basically there's a lot of concern for the British, a lot of criticism by human rights good. British are using whatever tools they have available to intimidate journalists.

COSTELLO: Matthew Chance reporting live from London. We're going to talk much more about this in the bottom of the hour in the NEWSROOM.

The Obama administration is going to the Supreme Court in an effort to search your cell phone without a warrant. The "Washington Post" says the Obama administration is asking the nation's highest court to put aside a federal appeals court ruling that says police need a warrant before accessing your cell phone.

Police have been given wide discretion in the past when it comes to looking at notebooks and pagers and other items carried by a person under arrest. The government believes the cell phone is no different.

Let's talk about a potential resignation, but for now San Diego mayor Bob Filner is expected to return to work this morning. Filner was last spotted on the job back on July 26th. Since then he left therapy and took personal time to deal with his growing sexual harassment scandal. And today Filner might actually get back to the businesses of running America's 8th largest city. But just how long will he remain in office?

A mediation session began Monday between Filner, the city, and some of his accusers. In that session, according to CNN affiliate KGTV, was a review of a potential resignation.

Kyung Lah is live with us now.

So, what are you hearing?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, our city hall sources have been telling us that they anticipated that Mayor Filner would be back on the job today, Carol, but in that same breath they say all of this is a big question because he has been so unpredictable.

This video that you are looking at, this is very significant, because this is the very first video that we have seen of Mayor Filner walking into a building in the streets of San Diego in weeks. It's been three weeks since we've actually seen him publicly. He was walking into a mediation session involving the San Diego city attorney, two councilmen, attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing a former mayoral aide who has sued Filner and the city of San Diego for sexual harassment and a number of other things.

None of the parties could talk about the details of what happened inside that mediation session, Carol, but this is very important. This is very significant because just like that video of the mayor that we haven't seen in weeks, Carol, this is the very first time that we've seen all these parties come together in one room trying to reach some sort of settlement.

COSTELLO: So the mediation session went on yesterday. Will it go on today again or will the mayor come back to work, do you think?

LAH: We don't know as far as the mayor returning to work, but what I can tell you is that the mediation is not going to be happening today. They are not meeting today. We are being told that. But the mediation is ongoing. So this isn't going to happen very quickly. The person who's presiding over this mediation is a former federal judge, highly sought in San Diego. He is a no-nonsense sort of fellow and we know that he is going to take his time to make sure that there's a fair resolution for all the parties involved.

COSTELLO: All right. Kyung Lah reporting live this morning.

While Bob Filner fights his uphill battle, he won't be doing it alone. On Monday dozens of his supporters came forward to support the San Diego most are calling for due process to play out and for Filner to be treated fairly in the court of public opinion.

In 10 minutes, we'll talk to Enrique Morones, a Filner supporter who's not backing down from his controversial stance.

Doctors are trying to figure out what's wrong with Vice President Joe Biden's oldest son. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden underwent testing at a Houston hospital with his dad by his side. The vice president's office says Beau became disoriented and weak while on family vacation last week. And he did suffer a mild stroke three years ago. We'll keep you posted.

After days of being pressured to do so, CNN has learned the Obama administration is stopping some military aid to Egypt. This comes amid escalating violence between supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy and the interim government.

Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence joins me now with more.

Good morning, Chris.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Carol. Yes, the Obama administration is temporarily suspending some military aid to Egypt while it considers and determines whether it wants to let future aid go through, or hit that off switch permanently. But whichever way the president decides, you can bet there are some big American companies and a lot of American workers who have a stake in that decision.


LAWRENCE (voice-over): The Obama administration could say enough's enough and cut aid to Egypt, but some American companies want to keep that money flowing, because they are the ones cashing in.

JOEL JOHNSON, THE TEAL GROUP: You're buying U.S. equipment from U.S. contractors.

LAWRENCE: The U.S. doesn't cut a check to Egypt, it deposits the aid in an account at the Federal Reserve Bank. That money pays American defense contractors to build the weapons and parts for Egypt. That includes $400 million to General Dynamics for tank kits and $2.5 billion to Lockheed for F-16s.

Big companies got these contracts in part by sending legions of lobbyists to Capitol Hill. They reminded lawmakers that if the Boeing to Lockheed can't build weapons for Egypt, all those small town suppliers, from Lima, Ohio, to Oxford, Michigan, will get buried.

JOHNSON: Joe with company X has made this particular piece of a tank for 20 years and that's what he does. And he's very good at it. But if I don't give an order for six months. I'm not quite sure what's going to happen to old Joe and his workforce.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Former congressman Jim Kolbe used to control the purse strings on Egypt. He heard that pitch year after year and it worked.

JIM KOLBE, FORMER CONGRESSMAN MALE: The contractors have a vested interest in keeping the process going forward.

LAWRENCE: Kolbe says the U.S. has put itself in a bind. Cutting the aide both give the government on a paid off the defense contracts it already signed.

KOLBE: It's going to end up costing the taxpayers a lot of money and getting nothing in return. (END VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE: So even though the U.S. has only transferred about half of this year's $1.2 billion to the Egypt account, withholding that other $600 million doesn't really save that money. We also reached out to both Boeing and -- I should say we reached out to Lockheed and General Dynamics. They basically say they are honoring the contracts that they signed with the government and they don't want to comment on what the Obama administration may or may not do -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Chris Lawrence reporting live from the Pentagon this morning.

Across Idaho right now there are more than 1,000 firefighters hoping that it will rain. So far, a jaw-dropping 400,000 acres have burned in the resort area of sun valley. Some 5,000 homes now in danger and that includes the pricey spreads of the rich and famous. Actors Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis both reportedly have homes here.


NICOLE IRWIN, ASSOCIATION OF MARK KELLY: Many people think this is an affluent area, and it is, but many people are affected that are from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and that's who's staying with us.

ORLANDA CABRITO, FIRE EVACUEE: I think just not knowing. I think the outcome if we're going to be able to go home or if we're going to have a home, I think that's the most nerve racking.


COSTELLO: And it's that uncertainty that's causing many residents to ignore mandatory evacuation orders, yet the red cross continues to pour supplies into a shelter where some evacuees are now staying and they are prepared to take in hundreds more if the flames close in on neighborhoods.

Here's the good news for Alex Rodriguez. Since returning to the New York Yankees from hip surgery, two weeks ago he's hitting .319 and the Yankees are still in the hunt for the playoffs. Now the bad news. Tensions keep rising between A-Rod and Yankees' management, with a general manager who doesn't want to talk to Alex Rodriguez and a president who allegedly said he never wanted a-rod to play again.


JOE TACOPINA, RODRIGUEZ'S ATTORNEY: What randy Levine said to Dr. Kelly was that, I would rather Alex never step on the field again.


COSTELLO: A-Rod's attorney claims the Yankees did not share last year's hip injury diagnosis with the third baseman.

CNN has reached out to the Yankees for comment. We have heard back and the topic of Biogenesis scandal. On that tropic, Attorney Joe Tacopina says A-Rod had a consulting relationship with the clinic but there is no evidence A-Rod did anything to violate baseball's joint drug agreement.


COSTELLO (voice-over): Still to come in the NEWSROOM.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let the mayor be the mayor.

COSTELLO: Supporting Bob Filner.

Ud He's always handed himself very well.

COSTELLO: Tell that to the 16 women who claimed he sexually harassed them. Will embattled mayor Bob Filner finally step down today? We'll talk to one of his supporters after the break.

Also, going gold. Apple bling it out for the new iPhone. Rumors are flying and we're on the case. NEWSROOM is back right after this.


COSTELLO: Checking our top stories at 17 minutes past the hour.

A fractured skull, a torn ear, and bullet wounds through the mouth and face. The surviving Boston bombing suspect had those injuries before his capture in April. Details are in newly released court documents. It's not clear whether the 20-year-old and inflicted any of those injuries on himself or suffer them and he's showdown with Elite.

Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has been charged in the 2007 assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. This marks the first time charges have been filed against an ex-military leader in Pakistan. Musharraf has been under house arrest since April and has denied having anything to do with Bhutto's killing.

Don't think all the rain in the south matters to you? Well, think again. Because some of your favorite fruits and veggies, even tobacco are drowning under all that water, and farmers could see losses in the billions. All of us will like pay more. Check out lines in the coming month. Economist Bernard Weinstein told NBC to expect the average price of fruits and vegetables to rise about 10 percent this fall.

If San Diego mayor Bob Filner is looking for support in his growing sexual harassment scandal, he's not going to find much of it in San Diego. In a poll released on Sunday by KGTV and the "Union Tribune" newspaper in San Diego, and conducted by Survey USA, 81 percent say based on what they know, Filner should resign. Only 14 percent say the mayor should stay in office.

And as support dwindled, Mayor Filner's backers, well, they are not giving up. They are finally going public. Dozens gathered Monday to publicly support Filner's due process.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANITA W. TURNER: How would you feel if your father, your son, your brother, your husband were accused, allegations, no evidence, no facts?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you saying that no sexual harassment ever happened, that these women are liars?

TED MUGA, FORMER NAVAL AVIATOR: I have no idea. They are accusers. That's where due process comes in.


COSTELLO: Joining me now is Enrique Morones, one of Filner's supporters.

Good morning.


COSTELLO: OK, so a lot of people -- a lot of our viewers probably are wondering why would you be supporting Mayor Filner when all of these embarrassing allegations have come to the forefront?

MORONES: There's a lot of people that support Mayor Filner, and they are embarrassing allegations, but having embarrassing allegations is not against the law. In this country, you're innocent until proven guilty and this whole circus-like atmosphere is something that the majority of San Diegans do not like. It is an embarrassing situation for San Diego, as well.

I'm a native San Diegan, I have known Mayor Filner for a long, long time. I've traveled internationally with him, we were in Mexico just a couple of months ago with former Mayor Sanders and Mayor Bustamante from Tijuana. I've never seen anything even closely related to what these women are accusing him of.

If Mayor Filner deserves due process and the accusers also deserve due process and that's why we had our second press conference yesterday in support of that.

COSTELLO: But sir, the mayor has admitted he has a problem in dealing with women and he went into intensive therapy to cure himself of something.

MORONES: Right. You and everybody else that's watching this has issues that they could improve upon, and the fact that we are all sinners, that we've all committed mistakes is human nature and the fact that he's admitted it and seeked help is something admirable.


COSTELLO: Yes, but he went to intensive --

MORONES: Nobody supports this type of behavior --

COSTELLO: He had just undergo intensive therapy and be out of office for two weeks to deal with his problems. That sounds serious to me, although a lot of people say two weeks is not enough, you know, in light of the allegations against him.

MORONES: Right. Yes, it does sound serious, and a lot of people have had these types of issues when they've had to leave for treatment. I mean, this has happened a long time in a lot of different issues. San Diego has a long history of mayors that have been thrown out of office. Roger Hitchcock Murphy resigned recently.

We've had a lot of scandals here, Pete Wilson, his affair with his male chief of staff, et cetera. The thing is --


MORONES: -- there's a difference between allegations and due process.

COSTELLO: So why in light of that, sir, in light of that, why should Mayor Filner stay in office, because he knew the history of San Diego and the mayors of San Diego.

MORONES: Because he was elected.

COSTELLO: I understand that, but now, and you saw the survey, right, most San Diegans want him to resign.

MORONES: Right. And that survey wouldn't have been too different about six weeks ago. Forty percent of the people in San Diego supported the mayor after his election, of course, the majority voted for him. So now that that's down into the mid 20s, 15 percent difference, very low percentage. We've seen lower percentages in Congress right now, as a matter of fact, much lower. But he needs to move forward, the city needs to move forward.

I know it's going to be very challenging, but what we're asking for is due process for the mayor, due process for the accusers, not have this kangaroo court of public execution. That's not what this country is about, that's not what democracy is about. So let's see what the next steps are.

We want to let the mayor know that we haven't forgotten his 40 years of working side-by-side with a lot of the oppressed communities from a freedom writer to working on immigration issues, Bob Filner has been great for this country, he's very good for this city. Let's see what happens next and if he did break the law, he should be processed to the highest extent of the law.

We're not saying give him a pass.


MORONES: We're saying handle it in court and handle it through the legal channels, which looks like some of that is taking place now.

COSTELLO: We'll see. Enrique Morones, thank you so much for joining me this morning.

MORONES: Sure, my pleasure.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, forget about a shiny cover for your iPhone. Why the latest Apple rumors suggest those covers should be out of style.

Let's get your bling on. You can do that right after a break.


COSTELLO: Want a little bling with your ring?


I couldn't wait to deliver that line. A rumor has it that iPhone lovers are in a frenzy because in about three weeks Apple will release its latest product announcement and some are betting that a gold iPhone first shown on the Web site could be the company's latest offering. Swanky.

CNN business anchor Christine Romans is in New York to tell us more. Good morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Good morning. That intro was good as bold, Carol. Couldn't wait to deliver that line.

Look, listen, this is what the tech blogs are speculating about, could it be white, black, and perhaps a gold iPhone when the new iPhone debuts later next month, September 10th is the date. All things digital, some other tech blogs saying it could be a gold tone iPhone. Think less 14 karat yellow gold and more like a champagne color and, boy, that could be a good selling point for customers in China.

Gold is a lucky color in China and you know, Apple, the iPhone is only, like, the number eighth or ninth smartphone favorite -- smart phone rather in China. So has a lot of work to do on that -- in that market.

Also maybe a cheaper iPhone would really help it sells the more units in China. And there's a lot of speculation that when on September 10th Apple unveils the new iPhone. It's new iteration of the iPhone, there will be a 5C, which will be a cheaper version of the iPhone that will sell for less and could help penetrate some of those other markets.

So Apple shares, Carol, while the rest of the market's been doing so poorly, Apple shares have been recovering here. The six-month high. Look at the right side of that stock, one-year stock. There's some optimism again about Apple shares heading into the fall. Traditionally, it's product development time, product debut time.

COSTELLO: All right. Can't wait. Christine Romans, thanks so much.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, a journalist empowered with public trust now vows personal revenge. The latest ripple in the -- in the NSA surveillance program raises the question, is it the reporter who's now abusing power? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)