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Tentative Deal to End Shutdown; Interview with Rep. Steve Scalise; Nuclear Talks Between Iran And The West; Bush Heart Condition; Senate May Be Closing In On Deal; Prominent Utah Doctor On Trial; Are Rory And Caroline Still Together?

Aired October 15, 2013 - 07:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Skepticism as nuclear talks between Iran and the five -- and the U.S. and five other world powers under way right now in Geneva. Iran is expected to offer to scale back efforts to enrich uranium. But experts say far more than that needs to be done to assure the west that Iran can't quickly build a nuclear weapon. No final deal is expected to come out of the two-day session.

What was originally believed to be a minor heart problem turned out to be a serious condition for former President George W. Bush. According to sources close to Mr. Bush, they say he had a 95 percent blockage in an artery back in August that required a stent to open it. They say the former president was pretty lucky doctors discovered it in time.

A young fisherman got quite a shocking surprise while out on a lake in East Texas. A lightning bolt struck right in front of 16-year-old Tucker Owing's boat while he was fishing on Lake Athens on Saturday afternoon. The strike happened just a few yards in front of his boat, a little too close for comfort. Owing captured this on a go pro camera that happened to be mounted on the boat windshield. Fantastic video but a little too close for my comfort.

Those are your headlines at this hour. Kate, over to you.

KATE BOLDUAN: All right, Michaela, thank you.

We've been talking about a possible deal to end the government shutdown and also avoid hitting the debt ceiling this morning. But any Senate plan will, as you well know, will have to be approved by the House.

Joining me now to talk more about this is the leader of the House Republican's conservative caucus, Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Congressman, it's great to see you. Thanks for coming in.

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R), LOUISIANA: Thanks. Good to be with you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Of course. So this morning, we now have, I guess, what we can call the parameters emerging of a potential deal in the Senate, essentially reopening the government, funding the government and raising the debt ceiling through early next year, which also re-opens the opportunity for negotiations on a broader budget deal with a couple health care elements, Obamacare elements in there. What do you make of this? Can you support these details?

SCALISE: You know, the details keep changing by the day. There were about two deals over the weekend that seemed close and then seemed like Harry Reid blew them up at the last minute. So we put 20 different proposals on the table to keep the government funded, to address the problems with the health care law and then to extend the debt ceiling. So far we haven't seen the president willing to accept any of those.

So, you know, we'll see what the Senate does, but one of the things we really want to address as we work to get the government open and extend the debt ceiling is just apply basic fairness. You know, the president has exempted over 1,200 groups, including members of Congress from the health care law.

And one of things we are saying is let's make the law apply to everybody equally. Don't give special back room deals to one group. Don't exempt members of Congress of all people, make members of Congress have to comply with this law.

BOLDUAN: So I need to push you on this because we are up against a deadline and people need to start having opinions because it's go time at this point. You have some details emerging. We talked to Senator Pryor earlier in the show and he said he is very confident that the Senate and the president will have an agreement by at some point today. We have some of the details right here. With what you hear me saying, can House conservatives support those details?

SCALISE: Well, so far, we've, you know, like I said put 20 different proposals on the table. We want to see what they come out with. Again, there were two different plans we heard were going to pass over the weekend and neither did. So, you know, we've learned that whatever we hear the Senate might be getting ready to do, many times they end up doing something different.

But we are willing to get the government open. We want to get the government open. We've been working for two weeks now in many cases with bipartisan bills in the House. It seemed like each other they had a deal close, the president or Harry Reid backed away.

So hopefully they get something done that actually start addressing our country's spending problems so that we can get the economy moving again. We've been willing work. We've been offering to work for two weeks now. Let's get this done.

BOLDUAN: So Congressman, what has to be in any deal for you and other House conservatives to support it? If you can't tell me that you can support the details that are coming out or you can't have an opinion on the details coming out in the Senate. What needs to be in there to get your support?

SCALISE: Well, clearly on the debt ceiling, you know, to get anything long-term we want to get a long-term deal that starts addressing the nation's spending problems. You know, the debt ceiling is basically you've maxed out the credit card and when the president comes and says he wants to get a new credit card to spend more, we've obviously been very concerned saying let's address these spending problems --

BOLDUAN: Right. But Congressman, you know very well, you've been in the House, you know very well that you are not going to get an agreement on the long-term -- the drivers of our long-term debt and deficit issues in three days. What you need to agree to something now?

SCALISE: When we met with the president on Thursday at the White House, we had an hour and a half meeting with the president, and we said, look, let's get a short-term extension on the debt ceiling because we are still in place to get a long term debt ceiling, but we need to have some talks. We finally have to get an agreement from the president to even sit in the room and start negotiating on a long-term deal. The president wouldn't even agree to that.

So hopefully the president is willing to finally agree to start negotiating to get long-term solutions so we don't have this crisis- to-crisis moment. One thing we don't want to see is just another patch where in a couple weeks later we're in the same spot again. The president is going to have to agree to sit at the table and start negotiating on the long-term issues.

Like I said, we've been saying this for two weeks. We're ready to do it. The president has still yet to even agree to start negotiating our difference. The ability is there to get a deal especially a short-term and long term.

BOLDUAN: So am I hearing that you say some kind of a trigger, you could agree to some kind of a short-term deal if there was a trigger to actually sit down and talk about the bigger budget issues?

SCALISE: Right. That was what was put on the table with the president at the White House on Thursday. It was not even getting any details, just saying, Mr. President, agree you'll start negotiating offer these long-term issues so that we can get a short-term extension. He wouldn't even make that agreement on Thursday. He still hasn't made that agreement today. At some point the leader of the free world has to be willing to sit at the table and be a part of these negotiations.

BOLDUAN: A couple quick questions for you. Senator Pryor earlier in the show, he said that in the Senate they want 70, 75, even 80 votes in the Senate to put pressure on the House to pass what they send over? Does that kind of vote count in the Senate impact your vote?

SCALISE: Ultimately we've been focused on solving the problems both short term and long term. So you know, let's see what the Senate does. You know, they've tabled about 18 of the bills we sent over so far. It would be nice if they pass something and obviously we're going to be looking at the details. But we put a number of options on table, too. We want to get this done.

BOLDUAN: How likely is it do you think that John Boehner is going to have to put a bill forward on the floor that you cannot support because he is going to have to get something done?

SCALISE: You know, I can't speak for what Speaker Boehner is going to do. We're going to have a conference --

BOLDUAN: So what's your message to him in the conference?

SCALISE: You know, obviously he's been working to try to get a deal and we appreciate the work he's been doing to try to get this resolved and we're not there yet, but we're still working. You know, we're going to get it done before the clock runs out, but we're going to keep working --

BOLDUAN: Do you think we are going to get it done before -- do you think there is going to be a vote in the House on something that will pass and get to the president's desk and he'll sign it before we hit the debt ceiling on Thursday?

SCALISE: Yes, we've already put that kind of deal on the table to say, look, let's just extend the debt ceiling and keep the talks going. You know, ultimately start solving these problems to get our economy back on track and addressing all the things that are holding families back. That ability is there. Again, the president has to be willing at some point to be a part of getting these problems solved.

BOLDUAN: All right, we'll see if House conservatives, House Republicans and the Senate and the president can get on the same page in the next couple days. Congressman Steve Scalise, your voice is going to be important in the next couple days. We appreciate your time this morning.

SCALISE: Thanks. It's great to be with you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Of course. Chris, over to you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we are going to take a break now. When we come back, the shocking case of a Utah doctor accused of killing his wife to be with his mistress. Find out why his own daughters don't need convincing when it comes to his guilt.


CUOMO: Welcome back. A shocking murder trial six years in the making, a prominent Utah doctor and lawyer charged with killing his own wife using prescription drugs. Motive, mid-life crisis, life with his younger mistress, that's what authorities say. Jury selection in the trial of Martin Macneill begins today. Nancy Grace is here to give us her take. But first, here's CNN's Jean Casarez.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning, prominent doctor and lawyer, Martin Macneill will be in a Provo, Utah courtroom as jury selection begins in the murder trial of his wife, Michelle. The Macneills lived what seemed to be a charmed life. Yet their almost 30-year marriage came to a tragic end one April night in 2007.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Who's in the bathtub?

MACNEILL: My wife! UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Is she conscious?

MACNEILL: She's not. I'm a physician. I need help!

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Sir, I can't understand you. Can you calm down just a little bit?

MACNEILL: I need help. She's under the water and I need an ambulance!

CASAREZ: Michelle was found dead in their bathtub in their home in Pleasant Grove, Utah by their youngest daughter, Ada who was 6 years old at the time. Macneill allegedly killed his wife so he could be with his mistress. He says she accidentally died. Prosecutors say they will show evidence that he poisoned her with an overdose of medication when she was recovering from a facelift, a facelift prosecutors say he forced her to have. Medical examiners found a powerful cocktail of drugs, including Valium, Percocet and Ambien in her system.

CHAD GRUNADER, PROSECUTOR: I will say that we are aware of the challenges that we face in this case, but we make no excuses.

CASAREZ: Since her mysterious death, Michele's two oldest daughters have been showing up for pre-trial hearings support of their mother and accusing their father of the unthinkable.

RACHEL MACNEILL, DAUGHTER: My mother is just a wonderful human being. She deserves justice. She should never have trusted my father.

CASAREZ: Among the state's star witnesses will be at least one of his daughters, part of the effort to send him away for life. Prosecutors say Macneill was carrying on a year-long affair with Gypsy Willis who moved into the Macneill home as a nanny shortly after Michele's death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom deserves this. She deserves justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My father orchestrated this whole plan and how to murder my mother.

CASAREZ: Macneill has pleaded not guilty to charges of first degree murder and obstruction of justice. He insists his wife's death was an accident and that he was at work the morning she died. Jean Casarez, CNN, Provo, Utah.


CUOMO: It sounds horrible, but can prosecutors make the case? Let's bring in HLN's Nancy Grace. She has been on top of this story, obviously former prosecutor. She is going to head to Provo, Utah tomorrow to cover this story from the courthouse. Nancy Grace, thank you so much for being with us on NEW DAY this morning.

NANCY GRACE, HOST, HLN'S "NANCY GRACE": Thank you for inviting me.

CUOMO: So give us the theory of the case for prosecutors. How do they say that it is this man?

GRACE: Well, in her bloodstream as you just heard Jean Casarez say there was a cocktail of drugs, Ambien, Percocet, Valium, why was all that in her system? Because her husband, and there is testimony to support this, almost forced her, persuaded her, a former beauty queen, absolutely beautiful to undergo a full facelift.

And catch this, after seven or eight hours under the knife he wanted to take her home. He wanted her to recuperate at home after an eight- hour surgery. The attending physician said, look, let her just stay one night in the hospital. So she did. All of those drugs in her system he obtained for her.

She was found, there are conflicting reports, in the bathtub. Here's the problem for the state. The first medical examiner who has now since passed away with breast cancer, sadly, said this case was natural cause of death. She was not privy to all of the facts and circumstances that we have.

Since that time other medical examiners have looked at it and found it not to be natural. There are just so many circumstances surrounding this. She was so afraid, so afraid just before her death. She comes home, her face is totally bandaged. She can't see. Her husband is feeding her pills. He's the only one that will give her medication.

She was so afraid. She was trying to feel the pills before she would take them. She said to her daughter, Alexis, who was in medical school at the time, if I die, make sure your father didn't kill me. Here's the kicker. Alexis races home from medical school to find -- when she finds out her mother is dead, she gets there a couple of hours after her mother's dead.

Cuomo, he had already cleaned out her closet. She hadn't even been dead but a few hours and he cleaned out all of her clothes, her shoes, jewelry, everything. And he has someone else to hide to dispose of all the drugs he had been giving her.

CUOMO: So a lot of bad facts there when you're doing the analysis of the case. Some of the key moments that will come here will be that 911 call. You have a man who is a physician, not acting like a physician on the call. What is the prosecutor's take on that? Is it a hysterical man or a man trying to perform artificial emotion?

GRACE: Exactly. You think a doctor would have a better demeanor on the phone instead he was yelling and screaming at the 911 operator, hung up several times on them, then gave them the wrong address before he would even call 911. He seen his daughter, remember his 6-year-old girl -- they have eight children -- the 6-year-old girl finds the mom half clothed dead in the bathtub. She had a lot of water in her lungs.

She spit up when they were doing CPR on her, frothy pink water, which leads to another conclusion that she had been drowned. Not only does he give 911 the wrong address, scream at them, hang up on them twice, he has the daughter get a neighbor to help. But when the daughter gets there, he won't let the neighbor help. CUOMO: The 6-year-old daughter and now his older children at least one of them, may testify against him, very unusual to get a child to turn against a parent.

GRACE: Yes, very, very unusual. In fact, I have talked to some of the daughters at length and as you can imagine, they are distraught. They have seen this through. This happened years ago and it's just making its way to a trial. It was ruled a natural death to start with. They never gave up. They want justice for their mother.

This is all I can say. Too bad they don't have the firing squad anymore in Utah. This is not a death penalty case, but I believe it should be a death penalty case and that the needle would have been the alternative for Dr. Macneill. His daughters have never given up. They'll be in the courtroom for a period of time, probably be sequestered from the courtroom during another part of the trial because they are going to be witnesses.

Remember, Alexis is the daughter, she said if anything happens to me, make sure your father didn't kill me. Of course she's going to be a witness.

CUOMO: Still not an easy case for prosecutors to make. Drugs were in her system. If they can't show that she was forcibly drowned, it's going to be tough. It's not an easy case to make even though there are a lot of circumstances.

GRACE: It is going to be really tough.

CUOMO: Nancy Grace --

GRACE: One last thing.

CUOMO: Please.

GRACE: Another problem for the state. One of the medical examiners said she had myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart. If one juror seizes on that, it's all over for the state.

CUOMO: Nancy Grace, a lot of intrigue. Thank you for breaking it down for us. Look forward to your coverage.

GRACE: Yes. Thank you.

CUOMO: Absolutely. Like I said, you can watch Nancy Grace every night, of course, 8:00 pm Eastern on HLN. She will be covering this case and a lot of other ones. Kate, over to you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris. Coming up next on NEW DAY, a family forced to move from their home after their daughter said she was raped by a local high school football star. CNN investigates what seemed like an iron clad case that was suddenly dropped.



BOLDUAN: More on that story the next hour. Welcome back to NEW DAY. So are they still a couple or not? Chris, that is a question you need to ponder. An Irish paper reports that Rory McIlroy and his professional tennis playing girlfriend have called it quits.

CUOMO: What?

BOLDUAN: Maybe over this Twitter photograph. It tells a very different story. CNN entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner is here with more.

TURNER: First of all, that Twitter picture is not cute.

PEREIRA: It is cute.

BOLDUAN: Grounds for a breakup?

TURNER: No. She says, first of all, what are you talking about? They're giving each other the business there. It is a funny picture. I look crazy when I'm asleep, too, but Carolyn says we're not broken up. What are you talking about? I think we have to go with her on this you, guys, because we heard directly from her that they are still together, right?

But what we're hearing with them breaking up was from a tabloid newspaper from an unnamed source. So you already know -- we should have been given already for that one, but this paper said that because of this Twitter picture. He hated it. So he decided to break up with her and she was totally devastated. When you don't have any names attached to anything, you have to say what's going on?

PEREIRA: How long have they been together, first of all?

TURNER: They have been together for two years and that's the thing, they actually give each other the business on Twitter a lot. They joke around. We were talking earlier this is kind of touching on a bigger issue because they're two big name, power couple, sports star that have been together. Chris, you were talking about, look, they're so young.

They may break up at some point, 22, 23 years old. But the talk has also been, you know, both of their careers haven't been the greatest since they've been together. So, what's going to happen? Everything they do, everybody watches because they want to know what's going to happen.

BOLDUAN: Rory, know this. We all look like that when we're sleeping so have no fear. We're all with you.

PEREIRA: A little drool, sometimes a little crust right here.

BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks, Nischelle.

TURNER: Love me, flaws and all.

BOLDUAN: We take you how we get you.

CUOMO: His mouth being open like that speaks to a sinus condition -- just saying.

BOLDUAN: Chris is the expert on sinus conditions.

CUOMO: Get that addressed.

Coming up on NEW DAY, is the progress on a debt ceiling deal as tremendous as Harry Reid says? Short term, doesn't seem the House is crazy about it, is this really progress? We're going to talk to two senators who are in the trenches, trying to put this deal together.



SENATOR HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Good faith negotiations continue between the Republican leader and me.


CUOMO: Are we there yet? Two days and counting to the debt ceiling deadline and the Senate could be about to strike a deal, the big obstacle, House Republicans. Is everyone prepared to compromise? We're live with the latest.

BOLDUAN: Breaking overnight, a second explosion at LAX airport. Reports of more dry ice bombs found. The hunt is now on for whoever is behind it.

PEREIRA: New hope for finding Madeleine McCann. Police have received two tips pointing to the identity of the man in these sketches, as her parents give an emotional interview.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know.