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"Never, Ever Give Up"; Obama Pressing For Attack On Syria; Israel Launches Missile Test; Atlanta Airport Fire; Searching For A Missing Firefighter; Clerk Fights Off Gunman; Syria: Making The Case To Congress; "50 Shades" Has Leads

Aired September 3, 2013 - 07:30   ET


DIANA NYAD, LONG DISTANCE SWIMMER: Then we're going to take that pool to the Boston marathon at the anniversary of that, that terror attack and we're going to swim there to help those people recover for what they're going through, and then go to Moore, Oklahoma, and do the same thing for those people who are going to be decades rebuilding their lives.

You know, Kate, we all watch natural and terrorist tragedies and we want to help. We feel such compassion and we sit down and write a check whatever we can to the Red Cross but forget about it. We're on to our Twitter universe lives. You know what? These people who suffered through these things, they're suffering the rest of their lives through it.

So my message now is, we won't forget you. We are all citizens of the world and we're going to come to you and see if we can help you out. So the next one is October 8th through the 10th, in a nice pool with no waves, no jellyfish --


NYAD: No seasickness and those 48 hours should be --

BOLDUAN: A piece of cake compared to what you have gone through. Congratulations from everyone here at NEW DAY and CNN. It's great to speak with you and it's great to hear your message that should be carried on for a very long time. Thank you.

NYAD: Do me a favor, say hello to my old friend, Chris.

BOLDUAN: Yes, he's sitting there right now smiling at you. He's been talking in my ear throughout the entire interview. He says hello as well.

NYAD: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: See you, Diana.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I don't feel so old now although, thanks to Diana Nyad. Boy, she's making us all look great. I love the pool idea, some good stuff alert coming your way, Diana. When you do that we're going to be with you. That's for sure. We're going to take a break now on NEW DAY. President Obama is trying to convince Congress to strike Syria. We're going to start with that when we come back. He has a top Republican on his side. Senator John McCain is going to join us live and make his case.

Also, it's one of the most buzzed about stories. The highly anticipated casting for the "50 Shades of Grey" has been announced. Are they the right pick? I don't know, I'll have to think about it and we'll discuss.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, September 3rd. Coming up in the show we have a lot to go. The crisis in Syria, front and center on Capitol Hill, the president pulling out all the stops trying to convince Congress to authorize military strikes against the Assad regime. We're going to ask Senator John McCain how all of this will play out when he joins us live in just a few moments.

CUOMO: And Dennis Rodman back in North Korea, back in the news, he says he's going to meet up with his "friend" Kim Jong-Un. Question, can he help free an American who was sentenced to 15 years in prison there? That's the big question for him there. Lot of news this morning, let's get right to Michaela -- Mick.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's bring you up to date on the situation in Syria, President Obama making his case for a military strike against Syria. He'll meet today with House leaders, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, as well as top ranking members of several National Security Committees. This afternoon the Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds the first public hearing on military action against Syria with Secretary of State Kerry, Defense Secretary Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Dempsey all scheduled to testify. We're going to speak with Senator John McCain, as we just mentioned to you, in just a few moments' time.

The Israeli ministry of defense is now confirming the launch of an anchor target missile. Reports the launch over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea was successful and that it was observed by radar. Earlier a U.S. official said it did not involve U.S. forces.

New this morning, passengers now being moved to other terminals following an escalator fire at America's busiest airport, the fire at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport filled Concourse "T" with heavy, heavy smoke. The fire was under control by 6:00 this morning. We're told two firefighters suffered minor injuries after they slipped on some water.

In New Mexico, the search continuing this morning for a missing firefighter separated from his team during a routine call last Friday. Token Adams didn't come back to a meeting place or communicate on his radio. Now dozens of search and rescue groups are desperately trying to find him in the Santa Fe National Forest.

Police in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, searching for an armed robber who tried to hold up the wrong mini mart, look at this surveillance video. Instead of handing over the cash the clerk grabbed the end of the suspect's shot gun, the two men wound up in a scuffle in a parking lot. A shot was fired. Thankfully no one was hit. The employee suffered a bruise to his head and that gunman got away.

We don't see this very often, check it out, it is a walking shark. Discovered off the coast of Indonesia, it uses its fins to crawl along the ocean floor and forage for small fish and crustation. Conservation groups shark experts say this is actually the third walking species that they found in Eastern Indonesia in the last six years. The shark grows to be around 30 inches long and we believe it poses no threat to humans, interesting discovery. Over to you, Chris.

COUMO: All right, thank you very much, Mick. Let's get back to the crisis in Syria now. Most of the concern among lawmakers and the divided public is about whether going in at all is the right move. However, our guest now is on the record saying he's not ready to vote yes on the president's plan, but because the attack doesn't go far enough.

Joining us now, Republican Senator John McCain, he met with the president yesterday, thank you for joining us today, Senator, always a pleasure. Appreciate your perspective.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Thanks, Chris. And let me just correct a little bit what you said. I'm encouraged by the conversation that Senator Graham and I had with the president and his commitment to degrade Bashar Al-Assad's capabilities to deliver chemical weapons, which would mean degrade his assets and also increase the assistance to the free Syrian Army so that they would have a more level playing field and reverse the momentum on the battlefield.

But I worry a lot about a resolution that really would have no real effect, in fact would even damage our credibility even more, but have no doubt. A no vote on this resolution would have very damaging effect to the United States credibility in the world without it.

CUOMO: What is your message to your fellow lawmakers that haven't come back yet, that aren't dealing apparently with the urgency of this situation? Is your message to get back to the capitol right now and take care of this situation?

MCCAIN: Well, I would like to and I would have appreciated the president calling us back or our leaders calling us back, but of course that's not going to happen so we're going to deal with what it is. We're going to have a hearing in the Foreign Relations Committee, a briefing for Senate Armed Services Committee members tomorrow, both of which I am a member.

So there is some movement but obviously there's going to be a further delay and to think that the Syrians aren't making accommodations to the likelihood of a strike by moving their assets around, including military assets into civilian areas is foolishness. This kind of telegraphing punches could make our mission much more difficult and much more damaging to the civilian population. It's frankly crazy. CUOMO: Let me ask you a question, one about tactics and timing. In terms of tactics, in your meeting with the president, did he give you a promise that he would arm the rebels that he would make that happen? As you know that's been a big issue.

MCCAIN: It's been a big issue and as you know not one weapon has been from the United States been put in the hands of the rebels. We discussed, in the discussion about increasing the capabilities and that means providing them not only weapons, but the kind of weapons they need, which are anti-armor and anti-air. AK-47s don't do very well against tanks, so we discussed that and that that would be a course of action that the president would seriously consider I guess is the best way to describe it.

CUOMO: Seriously consider. In terms of timing --

MCCAIN: I think favorably.

CUOMO: Why get out in front of the U.N.? Why get out in front of NATO? Why not wait for the reports to come in on the intelligence to get some momentum behind this plan?

MCCAIN: Because neither organization is going to act. To start with, so you'd be waiting forever. Look the credibility of the United States is at stake here, not just the president. The president announced two years ago that Bashar Al-Assad had to go. A year ago, he said that it would be a red line if they use chemical weapons. They already did several times and now this big use of it has put American credibility on the line.

That's why I'd like to very much want to vote for a resolution, which is meaningful, impactful and can shift the balance of power on the battleground in Syria, and this is turning into a regional conflict, but the U.N. is not going to act as long as Russia and China are behaving the way they are. NATO is not going to, and we know the setback that this effort just took in the British parliament.

CUOMO: But Senator --

MCCAIN: The United States must lead. Go ahead, Chris.

CUOMO: But Senator, the idea of the red line as the reason that the word of the U.S. isn't as strong in the Middle East that's a point you make, but there's also the history of how the United States entered the Iraq war and the feelings about our development of intelligence. That causes a perception of concern in the region as you well know.

Why not wait on that basis and not make the same mistake twice, have the plan of intelligence in place, have the U.N. saying we have the proof of chemical weapons, we're all on the same page. Why risk repeating a mistake of the past?

MCCAIN: First of all we need no further proof. I mean, those bodies you saw stacked up without visible wounds, I mean, it's clear that he has used chemical weapons. He's already used them it's been proven, but then you should not -- the president should not have said he was going to strike and then said we to get a resolution from the Congress of the United States. He didn't say that when he said he was going to strike.

So our credibility is at stake here if this resolution is voted down, and I don't want the resolution to be voted down, but it's got to be a meaningful resolution that I believe will have a long-term effect and ultimately that's reversal on the battlefield. Chris, this say regional conflict and that Syria is a client of Iran.

This will encourage the Iranians and the North Koreans and others that the United States' word is not good and that leads to a dangerous world.

CUOMO: Given what you just said, it becomes very important who comes to power if the regime is taken out, and are you concerned about which rebel faction comes to power? We've heard there are al Qaeda elements involved. The Lebanese newspaper reported that some potential kidnaper of pilgrims managed to get a picture of you when you visited in Syria. Do we know for sure who takes over?

MCCAIN: First I hope you don't believe in al Qaeda sponsored Lebanese newspaper to start with, but second of all, I know General Adriese. I know these people. I was in Syria and I can assure you the Institute for the Study of War and other experts who are in all the time the most viable and powerful force is the Free Syrian Army. Al Qaeda and al Nushra are spending their time trying to impose Sharia law. We know who they are and how we can get the weapons to them.

They're still the major fighting force in Syria and anybody who tells you they're not doesn't know who they are, come with me to Syria. I'll introduce you to them. It is not true that we don't know who they are. I know who they are and we know who they are and they are people fighting and dying as we speak as we kind dither around on a resolution.

And they are dying by the thousands -- hundreds and 100,000 have already been massacred and there are 1 million children who are refugees and this conflict is spreading. Iraq is dissolving as we speak and returning to a base for al Qaeda in both Syria and Iraq, and remember, Iran is the sponsor of all this as they proceed as the centrifuges spin and they proceed toward nuclear weapons.

CUOMO: There's no question, Senator, that's why your voice is important in this debate. What is your take on the fact that the Russians are coming? Do you think they're going to help when they come to Washington, D.C., and have members of their parliament in this situation? Will you want to join them?

MCCAIN: I'd be glad to talk to them, but I hope they bring Mr. Kraft's Super Bowl ring with him to give him it back. I was thinking this morning the worst thing you could do in the old west was to steal another man's horse. I would think in New England the worst thing you can do is steal another man's Super Bowl ring.

CUOMO: Make some kind of deal. You get Snowden and they get to keep the ring. You notice the Patriots after all. It's neither of our teams.

MCCAIN: There's a place for new the diplomatic court, Chris.

CUOMO: Senator John McCain, thank you so much for the perspective as always.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

CUOMO: We heard from Senator John McCain there. We're going to have more coverage at the top of the hour. We're going to talk exclusively with Senator Lindsey Graham. He too met with the president with Senator John McCain. What does he think? We're also going to hear from the hosts of "CROSSFIRE," Van Jones and Newt Gingrich -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, everybody is talking about the new stars of the film version of "50 Shades Of Grey" and they've gotten the thumbs up from the author of the wildly popular book series. We're going to have details on that ahead.

Also this, the worm is heading back to North Korea, can Dennis Rodman's basketball diplomacy help free an American who is supposedly serving 15 years hard labor there.


BOLDUAN: We're bringing sexy right to the film screen. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's time now for the "Pop Four." That means our Nischelle Turner is here. Little different, we have the pop one because there's so much controversy about this.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, there's controversy, there's discussion. We're going to see how involved Chris Cuomo is. We have one story, one big top pop story that has everyone buzzing. We have our leads for the "50 Shades of Grey" movie. Yes, Charlie Hunnam of "Sons of Anarchy" and he also played in "Pacific Rim" this year, he will play the sexy billionaire, Christian Grey. While Dakota Johnson, the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, will play Anastasia Steele.

OK, so now that we have that out of the way, reaction! That's what we're talking about.

BOLDUAN: What has been the reaction?

TURNER: Well, there's been a lot of reaction, because first of all, there were so many names batted around, no one knew what was going to go on. There's Emma Watson, Emma Roberts, then we had people in my mind's eye, Ian Summerholder would have played Christian Grey. There were people like Robert Pattinson being batted around. Ryan Gosling, but we have two virtually unknowns, which could be a good thing. You like that?

PEREIRA: I have two thoughts. The idea is to cast relative unknowns so that it's a clean slate. My second thought is this, if you get three women in a room, their idea of their fantasy man, even from a book based on it, will be three different people. There's no way everybody's going to agree on how this guy should look or how she should look, because our mind's eye creates our own version.

TURNER: I have read all three books, couldn't put them down. I was walking around, didn't have them on my iPad, I wanted everybody to see I was reading "50 Shades of Grey." No shame in my game, honey. I embraced it all. But the thing that was interesting, I definitely had a mind's eye immediately when I started reading, because there's such a good description in the book, his eyes, his hair.

You definitely get a look in there. Anastasia Steele, on the other hand, kind of the girl next door, so there's a couple people that could play her, but this movie, guys, if it stays true to the book, I don't know how they are going to make it without a big fight from the MPAA on their hand.

BOLDUAN: What is going to be the rating on this movie? Because I will tell you there are a lot of women who don't want it to be watered down.

TURNER: I don't.

CUOMO: Is this going to be a straight, you know, chick flick?

BOLDUAN: I don't know if you need guys.

CUOMO: Do we know anything about the guys reading the book?

TURNER: Date night, that's what it's going to be and if you need a little spice in your relationship.

CUOMO: You're hoping it has some kind of rub-off effect?

TURNER: I mean, have you not read the book?

CUOMO: What are the chances that I've read the book?

BOLDUAN: No, he has not.

CUOMO: Are you kidding? I thought it was about ties. I love grey.

BOLDUAN: Grey is a good color for me. Thanks so much, Nischelle.

TURNER: I have all three of them, you can borrow them.

CUOMO: Great, when we come back, here's our question for you, is Dennis Rodman playing basketball diplomat? Why the former NBA star is back in North Korea?

BOLDUAN: And a face-off in Washington over how to handle Syria. The White House keeps laying out its case for military action, but will lawmakers on Capitol Hill bite? We'll talk exclusively with Senator Lindsey Graham to have his take coming up.


BOLDUAN: That music means it is time for the rock block, everyone, a quick roundup of the stories you'll be talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right, in the papers, in the "New York Post," a social media network designed exclusively for police officers. It's called "Blueline," scheduled to go live the end of next month.

And in the "New York Daily News," actress Scarlet Johansson is backing Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Johansson says America would benefit by having a mother in the office. Time now for Zain Asher with your business news.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Investors are back from their long Labor Day weekend and think to be in a buying mood. Futures are higher this morning. Hopefully, that will help erase the memory of a tough August where the Dow was down more than 600 points. Just in time for football season. Time Warner Cable and CBS now have a deal after one-month cable blackout that affected three million customers. Finally, let's go to Indra Petersons for the weather.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Finally, it's looking a little bit better out there. What a tough Labor Day for so many of us. Finally, we're seeing that cold front making its way offshore. That's for the Mid-Atlantic in the northeast, but if you're heading to the southeast, same old story, this guy is going to be lingering. It's hanging out all the way through Friday. At least we have a storm go away.

BOLDUAN: All right, Indra, thank you so much for that. We're now at the top of the hour, which means it's time for the top news.


MCCAIN: This is a regional conflict. This is not a conflict that's confined to just Syria.


CUOMO: Face-to-face, the president meeting with congressional leaders just hours from now as his national security team faces questioning in the Senate. Is he any closer to making a deal to strike Syria?

BOLDUAN: Never too old, the inspiring words from Diana Nyad, her dream finally realized, making that brutal 112-mile swim 35 years after her first attempt. We hear from her this morning.

PEREIRA: Breaking overnight, Dennis Rodman back in North Korea. His controversial friendship with Kim Jong-Un now put to the test. Will he try to free the American held captive there?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The water was this high at my door, my patio door, and it just started coming in like a river.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If something really is important to your heart, you look and see what's inside yourself and you find a way.


BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It's Tuesday, September 3rd, 8:00 in the east. A lot coming up this hour, the White House continues flooding the zone, as they are saying, pushing for a strike in Syria. The president meeting with more key congressional leaders to make his case today. We're talking exclusively with one of the most influential lawmakers on this right now, Senator Lindsey Graham who met with President Obama yesterday --