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NEW DAY

Rising From the Rubble; Princeton To Offer Meningitis B Vaccine; Deadly Blasts In Beirut; Chao To Testify At Obamacare Hearing; Surveillance Can Continue; Typhoon Relief; Manhole Explosions; Zimmerman Arrested Again; Cheney Family Feud

Aired November 19, 2013 - 06:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've never been in a tornado before. I never want to go through one again.

CUOMO: Path of destruction. New video showing how a twister destroyed a town. The struggle for hundreds of thousands still without power and amazing stories of survival.

BOLDUAN: Arrested again. George Zimmerman behind bars this morning for allegedly pulling a gun on his girlfriend. Could he do real-time for this? We have the dramatic 911 calls.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Monday night mayhem. Tom Brady lets loose on the refs after the team loses on the final play. The refs threw a flag but no penalty was called. Did the refs blow it?

CUOMO: Your "New Day" starts right now.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to "NEW DAY." it's Tuesday, November 19th, six o'clock in the east. And we start with the destruction in the Midwest. We now know it was a real monster that attacked Washington, Illinois. A ferocious Ef-4 tornado, 166 miles an hour winds, hundreds of thousands are still without power in this mad scramble to deal with tremendous loss from Missouri to Wisconsin. The death toll from Sunday's onslaught of twisters now rising to eight.

Let's go to CNN meteorologist, Indra Petersons. She's live in Washington, Illinois where they're still trying to figure out the extent of the damage. Indra, good morning.

PETERSONS: Yes. Good morning, Chris. We all saw that damage yesterday. And today, we now know from the National Weather Service that, yes, this was an EF-4 tornado. So just picture winds of 190 miles an hour, stretching for over 34-1/2 miles. The width of this tornado now we know was a half mile wide.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PETERSONS (voice-over): Hundreds of thousands are still without power this morning after Sunday's deadly tornado outbreak. Illinois's governor declaring seven counties disaster areas in the wake of more than 70 reported twisters that tore across the Midwest from Missouri to Wisconsin, killing at least eight people.

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN (D), ILLINOIS: We were hard hit. We've never, ever in the history of Illinois had so many tornadoes in the month of November.

PETERSONS: From above, you can see where this tornado touched down in an open field and then pummeled this community in Washington, Illinois. At least half of the town of Brockport was destroyed and three people died when a tornado ripped apart two mobile home parks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just don't think things like this will happen. You just don't think --

PETERSONS: There are also incredible stories of survival.

KRIS LANCASTER, TORNADO SURVIVOR: My God!

PETERSONS: Kris Lancaster kept filming while this tornado destroyed his house. Packing winds as high as 190 miles an hour.

LANCASTER: I got hit by debris or something, cut my eye in three places.

PETERSONS: This 78-year-old woman escaped the same tornado with a broken nose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Debris started flying.

PETERSONS: Her home reduced to rubble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hot water heater, the copper pipes, those parts were all on me.

PETERSONS: Yesterday we brought you the story of Steve Bucher. He and his wife miraculously survived in their basement hallway.

STEVE BUCHER, TORNADO SURVIVOR: I was kind of down and she was lower like here.

PETERSONS: When they surfaced, their brick home was destroyed and cars thrown across the street.

BUCHER: The only important thing I had in this house walked out of it with me.

PETERSONS: What was that?

STEVE BUCHER: My wife.

PETERSONS: Thousands left combing through the piles of debris searching for whatever they could salvage. LANCASTER: The video of my wedding.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PETERSONS: You know, I want to give a little perspective as to how rare this event is, since 1985, they've only had 200 or so tornado warnings in the state of Illinois. More than half those came just this last Sunday -- Chris.

CUOMO: Indra, we know that as quick as it was it is going to take them a really long time to get things there back up and going. Did they get the water turned off at that commercial building next to you? We are going to ask you about that when you come back.

PETERSONS: They did turn that off. They're making progress there.

CUOMO: Because, you know, I point it out because the governor said yesterday even things like that might take time. So it's good to see progress there. Thank you for the reporting. Indra, we'll be back to you. You know that.

And as we show you the damage here, a lot of you have said what can we do? Cnn.com/impact, lots of choices there to help the people. The need is great and it's going to exist for a long time.

BOLDUAN: Let's turn now to a disease that could prove deadly, spreading across a college school campus. And now Princeton University is making an aggressive move to stop the meningitis outbreak. They said they will provide vaccinations that aren't yet proven safe in the U.S., yet in order to help students fighting the disease. The school is hoping to make the first of two doses available earlier next month.

For more on this, let's turn to CNN's Alexandra Field.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Princeton University leaders say they're ready to offer thousands of students a vaccine that is not approved for use in the United States, an effort to stop an outbreak of a dangerous and contagious disease that's showing up on campus.

MARTIN MBUGUA, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY SPOKESMAN: Pending final CDC approval, the university is prepared to accept these recommendations and make arrangements to provide access to this vaccine as soon as possible.

FIELD: Since March, seven cases of Meningitis B, a rare and possibly deadly disease have been linked to the Ivy League university. Now the Centers for Disease Control is preparing to recommend doses of the vaccine Bexsero for all 5,000 Princeton undergraduates as well as graduate students who live in dormitories and members of the university community with certain medical conditions. Vaccinations will be free and voluntary.

ELLIOT TAN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY STUDENT: If the CDC approves it and the school says it's OK, I'd take it.

FIELD: Bexsero is the only vaccine available to protect against Meningitis B. It was approved this year for use in Europe and Australia, but it is not yet approved in the U.S. It's been administered to 8,000 people and the CDC says it's considered safe. Some doctors say it's key to stopping the outbreak that started when a student returned to school sick following spring break.

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR, VANDERBILT: There are a number of people, we don't know what proportion, in that student population that are carriers of this bug, back in their throats. They're feeling fine. Nobody knows that they have it, but they can spread it and give it to others.

FIELD: The CDC has FDA approval to import Bexsero as part of an investigational drug program. It will only be available at an option at Princeton University, but there's no estimate on how many students will take it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to do more research and find out exactly what the vaccine entails.

FIELD: Alexandra Field, CNN, Princeton, New Jersey.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN: All right, thanks, Alexandra Field for that reporting. Thanks so much.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Let's check the headlines at this hour, shall we? Beginning with breaking news, suicide bombers are being blamed now for deadly explosions in front of the Iranian Embassy in Southern Beirut. At least 23 people have been killed.

Let's go to senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh, live in Lebanon with the very latest -- Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A 146 people wounded, it appears according to investigative judge talking to state media that there were two suicide bombers, one on a motorcycle, one in a car, that approached this Iranian embassy and detonated their devices some short time apart.

The Iranian ambassador saying the embassy was the target and that his culture attache has been killed in the blast. A troubling escalation, not only because this is the first time we've seen suicide bombers used here for a very long time, but also because Iran is the key backer of Bashar Al-Assad, the president of Syria, involved a terrible civil war across the border. Many worry that the spill over of violence may also push Lebanon towards its own kind of civil strive. Back to you.

PEREIRA: Troubling indeed. Nick Paton Walsh, thank you.

To other headlines now, President Obama will make his case to Senate committee leaders today against leveling new sanctions on Iran. He said he believes new sanctions would hurt upcoming talks on Iran's nuclear program. Some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle along with Israel and France have grown increasingly skeptical over the Obama administration's Iran negotiations.

Two Obamacare House hearings getting under way today, top technology manager Henry Chao will testify. Newly released documents reveal he had serious concerns in July that the healthcare.gov website would crash. CNN learning a private consulting firm shared similar concerns with the White House back in March. The administration is now considering letting people bypass healthcare.gov and sign up direct enrollment through insurance companies.

The NSA can continue domestic phone surveillance, at least for now, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a privacy rights group to stop the program leaked by Edward Snowden. Despite claims the program's authorization was improper. CNN has also learned the NSA had promised extra measures to make sure surveillance rules weren't violated. but some material was still collected improperly.

More relief finally on the way to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, two U.S. Navy ships, the "USS Ashland" and the "USS German Town" are expected to arrive by tomorrow carrying nearly 1,000 Marines. Military officials say the two ships will be able to get closer to storm ravaged areas of the Philippines. Hundreds of thousands of survivors are said to still be without food or water.

An investigation is under way this morning for the cause of an underground explosion that fired eight manholes into the air. Rhode Island firefighters responding to a call Monday after a strange odor was detected in Providence's jewelry district. Officials say a build up of carbon monoxide from an underground electrical fire could have caused that explosion. Terrifying moments right there.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

PEREIRA: Those are your headlines, guys.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, so much, Michaela. I was going to call you Indra.

PEREIRA: We look a lot alike.

CUOMO: I'll take Kate. That's a big step up for me.

Indra, back there in Washington, Illinois, holding it down for us, watching the situation. Now a little bit of weather for us please. What do we know, Indra?

PETERSONS: Actually, here in the dark I thought that water was turned off. I took walk over there just a few minutes ago. That water is still gushing out of that building. Definitely a picture of how slow it will be of progress to recovery. I do want to talk about the rest of the nation, the severe weather system has completely moved offshore. That is no longer the story for now.

What we'll be talking about is cool, mild air into the northeast. Temperatures just about 5 or so degrees below normal. It looks like generally speaking very mild. The new story will that be storm system in the Pacific Northwest, we're talking about heavy amounts of snow tonight again in the cascades in Washington, Montana and Idaho.

Let's watch what happens to the system as we make -- watch it make its way across the country towards the middle of the week. Want to point out by Wednesday we're looking right here into the Midwest, some heavy rain making its way through and eventually the same system pushes off into the northeast for the weekend.

Bringing attention, the Midwest, looking for rain by tomorrow right here where everyone is trying to recover they'll be talking about rain as early as overnight tonight, heavy rain in through Thursday and Friday. Even as we go through the weekend we'll be talking about snow in this region. Today is the last day they can collect valuables and try and salvage what they can before the storm moves in -- Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Indra, thanks so much.

Coming up next on "NEW DAY", George Zimmerman behind bars again, police say he pulled a shot gun on his girlfriend. The new 911 calls from Zimmerman claim that may not be the case.

CUOMO: And are you watching the Cheney family? They've crossed the line from politics to personal. The former vice president's daughter's engaging this very public battle over same-sex marriage. Guess what, now daddy's getting involved.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY". George Zimmerman arrested again and denying the charges. He was charged for the felony for allegedly pointing a gun at his girlfriend after an argument. Two conflicting 911 calls, though, are the focus now of the investigation. This is just the latest of a series of incidents for Zimmerman since his acquittal in Trayvon Martin's death.

CNN's David Mattingly is covering the story for us. He is in Sanford, Florida, with much more. Good morning, David.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Two 911 calls, two very different stories here between George Zimmerman and his girlfriend, the first call actually comes in while the couple is still arguing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I'm doing this again? You just broke my glass table. You just broke my sunglasses and you put your gun in my freaking face and told me to get the -- out, this is not your house. Now, get out of here.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): That was George Zimmerman's girlfriend yelling at him just before she tells 911 he pushed her out of her home and barricaded himself inside. A few minutes later, Zimmerman makes his own call. GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: My girlfriend has -- for lack of a better word, gone crazy on me.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With police banging on the door, Zimmerman says his girlfriend is pregnant and blames everything on her.

ZIMMERMAN: She just started smashing stuff, taking stuff that belonged to me, throwing it outside, throwing it out of her room, throwing it all over the house. She broke a glass table because she threw something on it. She got mad that I guess I told her that I would be willing to leave.

911 OPERATOR: OK.

ZIMMERMAN: I guess she thought I was going to argue with her but she's pregnant. I'm not going to put her through that kind of stress.

MATTINGLY: It's Zimmerman's latest run-in with the law since his July acquittal in the Trayvon Martin murder case. He's been pulled over twice for speeding. And in September, he was detained by police after his soon to be ex-wife claimed he smashed her iPad in an argument. No charges were filed then but this time, with his new girlfriend, it's different.

DENNIS LEMMA, SEMINOLE COUNTY SHERIFFF'S OFFICE: She alleged that he had broken a table and at one point, pointed a long barreled shotgun at her.

MATTINGLY: Deputies pushed their way inside to find George Zimmerman unarmed and cooperative. But he's now back in the Seminole County jail charged with aggravated assault. Deputies searched the home until late Monday night.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTINGLY: What they find in this house could help investigators determine who's telling the truth here. Again, within they went in the house, they did not find George Zimmerman armed. So, they will be looking for firearms in that house.

Also, George Zimmerman says his girlfriend is pregnant. She told investigators she is not -- Kate, Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. David, thank you for the reporting.

What are the charges? Will they stick? To discuss, HLN legal analyst, Mr. Joey Jackson.

Joey, thank you for joining us.

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Pleasure.

CUOMO: Take it from the prosecution side -- from the police side in this matter, probably one about the prosecution, at least not now. What's their case?

JACKSON: Well, here's what happens, right? You have conflicting 911 calls, right? What a surprise. In any case you'll have conflict. What they'll evaluate, Chris, is, is who was first in time? She called and if you look at and evaluate her 911, she's saying at the time of the events, right, it's going on at the time she calls.

He, of course, after that when the police are at the door, at that point, he calls 911 to help his story. In fact they ask, well, listen, the police are outside of your home, why didn't you tell them? I want the world to know my story. So they'll evaluate all that.

The biggest problem, though, is the aggravated assault case which involves the pointing of the gun. Was she in imminent fear of injury as a result of that?

If she is --

CUOMO: It can't just be pointing of the gun, right?

JACKSON: Right. It's not the pointing of the gun. There has to be an overt act and, of course, you have to feel if you're the victim that there's an imminent threat to you. And the problem with that, there's a mandatory minimum of three years if that sticks.

So they'll evaluate all of that. They'll go, the search warrant to the house. They'll pull the other weapons to corroborate what she said, was that there were other weapons involved.

Of course, when the police show up, there's some dispute and some issue as to whether he broke a glass table, as to whether he broke her sunglasses, and as to whether he pushed her out the door and barricaded it with furniture.

BOLDUAN: So, the elephant in the room, of course, is how does his past play into what they're dealing with now? Does the judge take all of this into account?

JACKSON: Absolutely, Kate. Here's the issue, most immediate issue -- when it comes to bail, you can consider everything, all right? The first thing is he's going to be arraigned. When he goes before the court, the judge is going to consider the instant case, the severity of it, whether it can be proven, what would be the strength of the case.

And then, of course, as to your question, the past background of George Zimmerman and what he's like and what's he about. And that goes to the issue of whether he'll be released. And if so, what the bail conditions will be? Will there be high bail? Will there be electronic monitoring? Will the judge order him to stay away? Will he not get any -- you can't have alcohol. So those will be the conditions.

PEREIRA: You can look at -- it's so interesting. You can look at this like this guy can't get away from trouble. He always seems to have trouble follow him. And you also wonder, is he an easy target? You know, if people wanted to make trouble for him, it would be easy to do that.

JACKSON: It's a great point to make. The only problem is -- it always comes down to credibility, right, who's telling the truth, who's lying, who's fabricating.

But here, the reason why there could be something here, and we don't know -- innocent until proven guilty. Anybody can make an allegation -- is on that the call, it seems to be going on when the girlfriend calls at the time she does. And then, of course, when the police come there's actual furniture which is barricading him into the home. So, that would lend corroboration.

CUOMO: The big ticket here is the assault. That's felony. It has a sentence.

When you hear her on that 911 call, I understand why people have feelings about George Zimmerman. When you hear her on that call, do you think the charge can stick?

JACKSON: Well, the problem is, with what they're going to argue, the defense, of course, there's no imminence here. She's saying, oh, he put the gun in my face and everything else. But, of course, the prosecution will say at the time he pointed the gun, she had every reason to believe that he would exercise the threat. That's why she called 911 and, of course, him pushing her outside of the home was problematic, too.

So you know what? Will it stick? It will be up to a jury ultimately to determine but they do have somewhat of a case here.

PEREIRA: What a mess.

JACKSON: What a surprise.

PEREIRA: What a surprise.

CUOMO: The interesting thing will be -- will Florida take his gun license over this?

BOLDUAN: That's --

JACKSON: Of course, the police, originally what they're doing, if you release him, right, no guns or anything else, we want those guns removed. So --

CUOMO: That would just be temporary. It would be interesting, though.

JACKSON: Long term, I think, certainly that's something that they're going to be looking at very closely. No guns for George Zimmerman.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Joey.

JACKSON: Thank you.

CUOMO: This is always griff (ph) for the discussion. Tell us what you think. Tweet us #newday. We'll keep the conversation going.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on "NEW DAY": Dick Cheney's daughters feuding publicly over same-sex marriage. Now, their dead, the former vice president, is stepping in. Which daughter is he siding with?

CUOMO: And Toronto's embattled mayor stripped of his powers, now declaring outright war on the city council. He's leaving little doubt about the idea of stepping down. He says he's not going to do it.

We have the one-on-one with Mayor Ford, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY", everyone. Tuesday, November 19th. Time for our political gut check the morning.

Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, now entering the battle between their daughters over same-sex marriage. The former vice president sticking up for the Wyoming Senate Liz Cheney, saying her part in this matter shouldn't, in his words, be used to distort her position. So what happens when parenting and politics mix?

CNN's chief national correspondent John King is here for more on this.

Good morning, John.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's unseemly at the least, right?

BOLDUAN: I guess, I mean, a little bit. I feel a little bit bad that what should be a private family matter if there's a dispute within the family has become so public. But Dick Cheney came out in support of Liz in a public way. What do you think is going on here?

KING: Well, he was angry at his other daughter Mary for posting on Facebook and other social media sites, her reaction to her sister, Liz.

Look, this is a family feud that reflects the big divide in the Republican Party over what to do about same-sex marriage. Remember, George W. Bush and his vice presidential candidate and Vice President Dick Cheney disagreed on this issue. Then governor and later President Bush wanted a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Dick Cheney's position has been, leave it up to the state. Each state should decide individually.

That's his daughter's position. She's running for Senate. A conservative PAC has come in to criticize her, saying she's not conservative enough. She's trying to run to the right of the incumbent Senator Mike Enzi.

And so, what happens, a conservative PAC, it shows you the influence of outside money, comes in and raises this issue and then provokes this family feud within the Cheney sisters and it's playing out.

A lot of people are saying this is not the issue that will decide this primary. But every day, Mary Cheney and Liz Cheney are fighting, Dick Cheney is getting involved is a day she's not focusing on the incumbent senator.

CUOMO: It also plays on a political myth, right, like you can't control your own family, how are you going to control public life? I've also found that very hypocritical, because as we all know, family politics are much more vicious and difficult than any politics that play outside.

But what do you think that ultimately means, that she has drama with her own family? How difficult is that for her to kind of overcome?

KING: Well, that's the question in the sense that Mike Enzi is known in Wyoming as a nice guy. And so, you're trying to beat an incumbent and do people think, do we want this drama? Do we get the whole Dick Cheney drama again nationally if we elect his daughter? Do we get this debate playing out? Is this what we, you know, Wyomingites want in a United States senator?

And again, if you're trying to run to the right of Mike Enzi, saying, you know, he's too willing to cooperate with President Obama, he's too willing to do this, every day you're spending on this is time you're not spending on the fundamental issues.

But remember, the Republican Party is the party out of power nationally right now. They are going to go through these debates, in high profile races like this one in Wyoming and other states across the country next year. It's inevitable until it sorts out its position that you'll have this. This is, you know, add capital D to the drama because it's the Cheney family.

BOLDUAN: Well, on really along that exact note, Chris Christie was speaking yesterday to the "Wall Street Journal" CEO Council event. And he talked as he often does about the fact that Republicans need to do more to attract women and minority voters. He's really talking about the GOP identity crisis going on right now.

My question is -- he talks about the need to draw in more support from women and minority voters, but is the Republican Party doing anything about it? Do you get a sense that the Republican Party nationally is making moves to do that?

KING: Well, nationally, you hear conversations from leaders on Capitol Hill, from the Republican National Committee, from time to time we're going to start this new minority outreach, we're going to start this new women outreach. But, Kate, that's not how it works and Governor Christie understands.

Party's out of power -- Bill Clinton ran after Walter Mondale lost 49 states saying they have to move the Democrats back to the center, you have to be a different kind of Democrat. He changed his party.

The Republicans are going through the same soul searching now, is who do we want to do be? And Chris Christie just won and won big. He can point to exit polls and say, look, I did much better among women, much better among African-Americans, much better among Latinos. However, that's his one race in New Jersey. We're going to have a great laboratory next year. Look at the governor races in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, around the country. A lot of these governors are going to get a chance to say, this is a way to do this differently, but the national Republican Party and some of the state politicians sometimes not always on the same planet.

CUOMO: But also, you know, look, John, if you look at the political realities of it, he didn't have a race in Jersey. You know, it's easy for him to be the benevolent dictator, right now, because he squashed the competition. So, he won every category.

But you know have -- you have Christie, you have Santorum, you have Ryan, all saying we can't just be the opposition party. We have to be more. What is the fugazi (ph) factor in that statement because it's working so well for them?

Whose -- do you mean we can't be the opposition party? Of course you can. It's probably the most effective poison in politics, is to attack your opponent, be effective doing it and, therefore, come to power.

CUOMO: I think your question, sort of raises the question, what date in the calendar you are looking at? You can be the opposition party now and you can see, President Obama is at an all-time low. So, Republicans on Capitol Hill can say, look, our opposition has driven this guy to an all-time low.

However, lift your head a little bit. His term is up in a couple of years. You have another chance at the presidential election. If you're the Republicans, you've had your butts kicked within the last two, because of the demographic shifts in America because your party has not been able to do it. Governor Christie is right about the question. Attract nonwhite voters. Attract college educated women in the suburbs.

And so, what are you trying to accomplish? What is your big goal? Do you want to be an opposition legislative party? Or do you want to be a presidential party? That's the tension within the Republican Party, which is why some tactics that work to stymie President Obama's agenda, fight the Democrats here in Washington, don't sell out in the country if you're saying now make me president.

BOLDUAN: Very conflicting priorities that we're seeing playing out right now.