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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Shutdown Day 3; Obamacare Glitches Persist; Chelsea Clinton's Public Life; Putin and the Peace Prize

Aired October 3, 2013 - 05:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: It is Thursday, October 3rd. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In a shutdown day three and miracle of miracles, they had a conversation! They talked!

With our economy hanging in the balance, with the recovery at stake, and with most Americans frustrated beyond belief, the nation's leaders actually got into a room and had a discussion. Didn't go anywhere. But, at this point, maybe we should take anything we can get.

Senior White House correspondent Brianna Keilar begins our coverage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For the first time since the government shutdown, congressional leaders met face-to- face with President Obama at the White House Wednesday night. Both sides emerging with no deal and no signs of progress to end the stalemate.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: We are through playing these little games.

KEILAR: Republicans still demanding President Obama accept a delay to his signature health care program.

BOEHNER: All we're asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people under Obamacare.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Am I exasperated? Absolutely, I'm exasperated.

KEILAR: In an interview with CNBC, the president reiterated he won't give in on Obama care but said he will negotiate on some budgetary issues, like taxes, spending, entitlement reform, if House Republicans first agree to reopen the government for several weeks.

OBAMA: We have a situation right now where if John Boehner, the speaker of the House, puts a bill on the floor to reopen the government at current funding levels so that we can then negotiate on a real budget that allows us to stop governing from crisis to crisis, it would pass.

KIELAR: The president is probably right. But that's not happening any time soon. Instead, House Republicans held votes again on funding the government in a piecemeal way that the Senate will surely reject.

Meanwhile, not far from the Capitol, the World War II Memorial operated by the largely shuttered national park service has become a proxy in this battle. To counter images of World War II Vets showing up to the barricaded memorial, the RNC offering to pay to keep it open.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: Our veterans deserve to see this memorial and we're willing to pay the bill. Now, it's up to the president just to let them in.

KEILAR: Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: We should tell you -- the National Park Service has now announced it will not stop veterans from visiting that memorial, despite the shutdown.

SAMBOLIN: Well, this shutdown is having a pronounced impact on thousands of government workers and many are off the job. Others are not getting paid. That impact is spilling over onto those whose livelihoods rely on those workers.

One of them is Allen Neisler. He manages a sandwich shop near the CDC headquarters in Atlanta. Since most CDC workers have been furloughed, they simply are not coming into his shop.

He spoke with our Alina Machado.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN NEISLER, GENERAL MMANAGER, SANDWICH SHOP: I've actually cut back my staff significantly. I've made cuts across the board, which has a great impact to you, too, because these people rely on the money. A lot of my staff have young children as well, so it's making an immediate impact and it's very significant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: The shutdown is hitting the CDC pretty hard. Its annual flu program has been stopped. With so many of its experts now off- duty, officials there worry they may not be able to get ahead of the next major outbreak.

BERMAN: The rollout of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare continues, albeit it haltingly sometimes. Day two was hit by many of the problems as the first day. The insurance exchange Web site has had all kind of technical glitches.

The good news, nearly 5 million people flocked there in the first 24 hours. The bad news nobody is quite sure how many have signed up or for what. At least there's still six more months to sign up for coverage.

SAMBOLIN: So, a dream land of opportunity for foreign spy agencies. That is how the nation's director of national intelligence, James Clapper, describes the impact of the government shutdown. With 70 percent of the CIA and NSA workforce furloughed now, Clapper telling the U.S. senators this is a big opportunity for our adversaries and counterterrorism and intelligence operations are being eroded more and more with each day that this shutdown continues.

BERMAN: New information this morning about a secret pilot program at the NSA. According to "The New York Times", it was designed to track the location of Americans cellphones. It worked by tapping into data from cell phone towers. This pilot program was operational in 2010 and 2011. The director of the national intelligence telling the Senate that the NSA never moved forward with the operation after that.

SAMBOLIN: Five minutes past the hour. Weapons teams are back at it again in Syria today. They are trying to find catalog and destroy that country's chemical weapons stockpiles but the civil war is not helping them. There were intense clashes between the opposition and Assad forces near Damascus just as the team headed out for its first day of work.

BERMAN: There may have been many fewer gunmen behind the deadly attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Security cameras now show perhaps as few as four armed gunmen took part in the attack, not the 10 or 15 that the government originally thought. At least 67 people were killed and the Somali militant group al Shabaab has claimed responsibility.

SAMBOLIN: So, President Obama has one, but now, an activist group is pushing for Russian President Vladimir Putin to have a Nobel Peace Prize as well. The group says Putin, despite his backing of the Assad regime in Syria, works to promote, quote, "settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet". And it says Putin is more deserving than President Obama because Putin they say has steadfastly avoided military intervention overseas.

BERMAN: If he gets the prize, he'd put on the mantle next to his Patriot Super Bowl ring, which has one also.

All right. Let's get a quick check now of the weather. It's Thursday. Indra Petersons is here.

Hey, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, guys.

Yes, it's beautiful out there again today. But there are some changes as we get closer to the weekend. I know it's always tough --

SAMBOLIN: Just focus on today, will you?

PETERSONS: I'm going to focus on today. You know what, block the next two days.

SAMBOLIN: Get rid of it.

PETERSONS: Don't even look at them. Yes.

Definitely still warm out there. We're talking about temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal. You can see we are going to stay warm but notice I try to put clouds to show you in each city, we are going to start the rain. So, there is something kind of making its way across the Midwest and kind of maybe making its way around to the great lakes. We will start to see some showers in the area and even a chance for severe weather.

So you're going to be watching right around pretty much Iowa and through Nebraska for some severe weather with this one. Then, it's going to make its way farther so as we go into tomorrow, we're watching for the Northeast to start to get some showers. Not really a huge rainmaker by the time it makes its way to the Northeast. Pretty light out there, maybe just about an inch or so.

So, that's not going to be the big concern. I think the big story still is going to be what is going on in the Pacific Northwest. There is a big storm out there that is a snow maker by the time it makes its way to the Midwest by Friday, we are talking about severe weather as well.

So, it's behind this, guys, that's going to change a lot.

SAMBOLIN: Forewarned is always good. Thank you, Indra.

Seven minutes past the hour.

This next story will require your complete attention. Come over, sit down, with your cup of coffee, you need a really good eye as well.

Could that be Bigfoot?

BERMAN: Definitely.

SAMBOLIN: New images are out Berman from a group calling itself the Sasquatch Genome Project. They claimed this is the legendary creature. These images dating back around 2005. They were presented to reporters by an entrepreneur trying to promote an upcoming documentary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADRIAN ERICKSON: People have chosen just to believe it. They can't find it and remind to believe these things exist.

MR. MELBA KETCHUM, SASQUATCH GENOME PROJECT: This creature does not follow the general rule. It's very different. We think it is a human hybrid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Of course, the Sasquatch Genome Property has had its, quote, "research" debunked several times. But the group is promising to keep its work, trying to prove that Bigfoot is it real indeed.

A show of hands, how many people believe in Bigfoot?

BERMAN: I thought Bigfoot was real ever since the '70s, and the Six Million Dollar Man. We're all talking about that here, right, guys? I mean, the Six Million Dollar Man fighting Bigfoot. Six Million Dollar Man won, of course.

SAMBOLIN: Of course.

BERMAN: But I have the Bigfoot action figure.

SAMBOLIN: Do you still have it?

BERMAN: I don't think I have that one.

SAMBOLIN: I think you do. Go looking.

BERMAN: Mom, if you have it. Send it my way.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Coming up - -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conrad Murray had a license. He graduated from an accredited college. And we felt he was competent to do the job of being a general practitioner.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Concert giant AEG held not negligent in Michael Jackson's death. The jury explains why the King of Pop is responsible for his own demise. That's coming up next.

BERMAN: And Chelsea Clinton ready to make a big announcement. The new role that she is going for in 2014 -- will she, won't she?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START.

A concert promoter is off the hook this morning now that a jury has rejected a claim from Michael Jackson's family over who was responsible for his death.

Here is Miguel Marquez.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has the jury reached a verdict?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning, the verdict in the Michael Jackson wrongful death civil suit sinking in.

KEVIN BOYLE: We, of course, are not happy with the result as it stands now. MARQUEZ: Jurors speaking out.

KEVIN SMITH, JUROR: Michael Jackson was pretty used to getting his own way.

MARQUEZ: AEG Live may have hired Dr. Conrad Murray, but Michael Jackson was responsible for his own care.

SMITH: If anybody said, no, well, they were out of the mix and he finds somebody else.

MARQUEZ: Jackson's mother and children sought as much as $2 billion from the concert promoter from what they claim was the company's role in hiring and supervising Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted in 2011.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter.

MARQUEZ: For administering a fatal dose of the surgical anesthetic of the dose of Propofol to the star.

GREG BARDEN, JURY SUPERVISOR: It wasn't easy for anyone.

MARQUEZ: The verdict, all the more stunning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Question number two.

MARQUEZ: As jurors found Dr. Murray competent when AEG hired him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was Dr. Conrad Murray unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired? Answer, no.

BARDEN: Conrad Murray was hired to be a general practitioner, and maybe had the word ethical been in the question, it could have been a different outcome.

MARQUEZ: The jury deliberated 13 hours after sitting through five months of testimony and the presentation of thousands of documents. This much less publicized trial full of twists and turns, including testimony from Jackson's crying mother Katherine and the mother of Jackson's children, Debbi Rowe. The stress of the trial affecting Jackson's daughter Paris, hospitalized and still getting special treatment after a suicide attempt.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Our thanks to Miguel for that.

Attorneys for Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev compared the conditions he's facing behind bars to torture. They say he's in near total isolation, banned from praying with other inmates and only out of his cell only to meet with lawyers for short periods in that prison enclosure. Authorities say the restrictions are needed because of Tsarnaev's continued desire to incite. SAMBOLIN: The threat that shutdown Jacksonville's airport for hours turned out to be a hoax. And that guy right there is in custody. The 39-year-old appeared in court Wednesday. He's charged with making a false bomb threat. Authorities say he announced he had a bomb hidden inside his backpack as he passed through airport security. The airport was evacuated for nearly six hours. Dozen of flights into and out of Jacksonville were either delayed or diverted or canceled because of that security care.

BERMAN: It was an accident. A coroner in British Columbia releasing the final report of on the death of "Glee" star Cory Monteith last July, saying it was caused by a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol. That is a bad combination. Authorities found a spoon with drug residue at Monteith's hotel room, along with a used hypodermic needle and they found multiple champagne bottles and glasses. Monteith was just 31 years old.

SAMBOLIN: Federal authorities shutting down a Web site known as "Silk Road", that allegedly gave drug dealers around the world a platform to peddle heroine, cocaine and methamphetamine.

The operator of the site, 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, who went by the name Dead Pirate Roberts. He was arrested in San Francisco. He looks like the guy next door. He is also accused of using the site in connection with murder for hire schemes.

BERMAN: Alex Rodriguez not playing baseball, no. He's making his case before arbitration panel that had his 211-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs reduced or wiped out completely. Alex Rodriguez's representatives are denying a report that says that the Yankee third baseman claims he was duped by the head of the Biogenesis lab into taking PEDs, believing they were legal supplements.

SAMBOLIN: On the heels of that, Lance Armstrong losing another link to his once legendary cycling career. The International Olympic Committee now has possession bronze medal Armstrong won at the summer games in Sydney. That was back in 2000. He was stripped of that medal back in January after he admitted to doping.

BERMAN: He gave back the bronze medal and all of his Tour de France titles at this point, if you're keeping score at home.

So, this year, we have a royal baby and we could see the same excitement here in --

SAMBOLIN: Are they having another baby?

BERMAN: They're sort of a U.S. similar example, not quite the same thing as the royal baby. I should downplay expectations here.

Chelsea Clinton saying she may be close to adding to her famous family. Here is Erin McPike.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton may finally be getting what she has long hoped for. No, we aren't talking about the White House.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my life, whatever it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before you leave! Before you leave.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: Be subtle, but persistent about this.

MCPIKE: Ask and you shall receive. Appearing in the November issue of "Glamour" magazine, Chelsea Clinton said she and her husband Marc Mezvinsky, "want, God willing, to start a family. So, we decided we were going to make 2014 the year of the baby."

She joked, "Call my mother and tell her that. She asks us about it every single day."

Bill Clinton told CBS last month he thinks his wife would prefer the title grandmother to president.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: My goal is to live to be a grandfather.

MCPIKE: Clinton sources say the once and maybe future first daughter is not expecting yet, but once she is, expect royal baby fever here in America.

CHELSEA CLINTON, CLINTON FOUNDATION/CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE: I had very much led a deliberately private life now and now I'm attempting to lead a purposely public life.

MCPIKE: She is making the television round, now runs the foundation she shares with her parents and is even thinking about running for office.

C. CLINTON: I thought I could make more of a difference in the public sector or if I didn't like how my city or my state or my county were being run, you know, I have to ask and answer that question.

MCPIKE: But, for now --

C. CLINTON: I'm deeply grateful for my life now. I love my life.

MCPIKE: And she may be adding to it very soon

Erin McPike, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Obviously, we wish that young couple the best of luck. There's nothing worse than grandparents or family members or anyone asking you, like, what are you having a baby? SAMBOLIN: But now that you've made the announcement, right, that 2014 is the year of the baby, she is going to be hounded!

BERMAN: No one needs that kind of pressure.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my gosh.

Coming up -- the shutdown, forcing thousands of government workers out of their jobs and there are new warnings of more furloughs to come in the private sector.

"Money Time" is headed your way next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Is it really "Money Time"?

BERMAN: It is "Money Time".

That's our favorite time of the day, to say.

Christine Romans is here with the great news about our money.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, the debt ceiling can't hold us!

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: Look. There's only one story that matters to your 401(k) right now, it's Washington, the shutdown, the debt ceiling, 800,000 federal workers will stay home today. We are trying to grow jobs and your Congress sends 800,000 people home without paychecks.

It's crazy time. Not money time. Crazy time.

There was a meeting between the key players. They are meeting. Woo- hoo!

None of this is good for stocks right now. At one point, the Dow fell 147 points, rebounded, close at the loss of 58. It was the eighth loss in the past 10 trading sessions. NASDAQ and S&P also closed lower. And stock futures, you guys, are lower again this morning.

One group feeling the pressure particular on Wednesday. Companies that rely on military contracts for most of their revenue, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, United Technologies all closing with losses. The shutdown is quickly making its way to the factory floor.

United Technologies says that 2,000 of its workers will likely to be furloughed starting next week. The company makes the Blackhawk helicopter, through its, of course, the aircraft division. That furlough could reach to 4,000 if the shutdown drags into next week, 5,000 if it extends to next month. United Technologies says operations are being held up because the government inspectors who watches over manufacturing in the plants are furloughed.

You got to have these government watchdogs basically there on the factory floor and they went home without pay.

Remember when the president called these guys fat cat bankers? Remember that? Well, now they are in Washington and on the same page with the president, who called them fat cats. More than a dozen Wall Street bank chiefs warning the White House Wednesday a shutdown could do serious damage to the economy. A debt ceiling crisis might kill it. They met with the president and told them the last thing a fragile recovery needs is a budget impasse that spirals into the U.S. defaulting, not paying all of its bills.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LLOYD BLANKFEIN, GOLDMAN SACHS CEO: There is a precedent for a government shutdown. There is no precedent for a default. We are the most important in the world. We're the reserve currency of the world. Payments have to go out to people. If money doesn't flow in, then money doesn't flow out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: It's real simple. You got to pay your bills. American has paid its bills on time every time for a very long time. That's why we are the center of the global financial complex.

Blankfein added that Congress should not use the threat of causing the U.S. to fail on its obligation to repay its debt as a weapon. It's really, really interests and scary where we are right now that we could consider not paying our bills.

BERMAN: Can we just one more time have that sound effect of how excited you were that there was a meeting?

ROMANS: Woo-hoo!

BERMAN: Yes, all right. Christine Romans, thank you very much.

ROMANS: You're not going to see that if you're looking at your 401k, because they have a really nice year. There's so much room for them to screw it up. You got a great year. Why would you keep buying stocks as you watch what is happening in Washington, you know?

SAMBOLIN: Don't open those envelopes when they arrive in the mail -- that's all I'm saying.

BERMAN: Coming up -- more on this government shutdown now in day three. No different than day two. Will it be better than day four?

The speaker of the House under even more scrutiny. We are going to visit his home district coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: We've asked to go to a conference, to sit down and try to resolve our differences. They don't want to -- they will not negotiate.

REID: I said, fine, we'll go to conference. All we want you to do is open the government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Shutdown, shame. Bickering in Washington suffering in America. This morning, the latest developments and the latest outrage.

SAMBOLIN: A deadly crash killing six members of a North Carolina church, 14 others were injured. What caused this catastrophe?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meredith is no more in this world but I'm not responsible. I -- me Amanda, we had nothing to do with this crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The man that Italian police killed along with Amanda Knox opens up as the pair are tried for murder again.

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. We are really happy you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. About 30 minutes past the hour right now.

SAMBOLIN: So, the government still shutdown this morning. It is day three of the shutdown and thousands of government workers are out of work. They have been furloughed. Many are protesting, saying they want to get back to their jobs.