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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Winter Storm; LAX Scare; Remembering JFK

Aired November 23, 2013 - 09:00   ET

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


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. 9:00 in the East. We hope that Saturday has been good to you so far. Thanks for checking in with us. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Our friends on the West Coast. At 6:00 you all should be getting up now, too. Victor Blackwell here, good to have you with us on NEW DAY Saturday.

PAUL: Want to talk about some extreme weather from coast to coast that you're going to need to know about as we head into this busy travel week. Looks as though the dead of winter in Colorado, doesn't it? That is what people are seeing as they wake up to snow this morning.

BLACKWELL: Let's look at Arizona because the weather there, this is what people are driving through. You should never drive through standing water anyway.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: But heavy rains causing some headaches for folks there.

And if you are joining me out on a plane, train or automobile hitting the air or sky? Air, sky -- same thing. Road for --

PAUL: There you go. You got it.

BLACKWELL: -- Thanksgiving, you might want to think twice because a winter storm could affect your travel plans.

PAUL: All right. CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis, tell us what we need to know here.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right. We are watching --

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: ... roads.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: There you go.

BLACKWELL: Thanksgiving. You may want to think twice because the winter storm could affect your travel plans. PAUL: Alrighty. CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis, tell us what we need to know here.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right. Wwe are watching a couple of things. Lots of cold air built up across the midwest. You already feel that cold. Minus 5 in Fargo. Temperatures are quite that cold in the northeast. But just wait. New York City, we will make it into the 70s - 70s. 47 degrees there.

Coming up tomorrow, those temperatures only ends at 30s with gusty winds behind it. It will feel a whole lot colder. Chicago, only going to make it to about 25 degrees. That cold air is going to be sliding toward the east. As it does, it's going to be some moisture coming up from the south. I mentioned that because I want to show you Dallas. Dallas right now is looking at temperatures that are not going to be rising very much for the afternoon. You have a chance of freezing rain or sleet.

Sleet means it is coming down already frozen. Some freezing rain means that as it makes its way on contact and those temperatures are cold, it freezes on overpasses, bridges. So be careful. Not just there. If you're head into the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, you will see what looks to be an ice storm and may be changing over to snow as we go into the next 24 hours.

So area of low pressure situated across the southwestern United States. Flagstaff seeing some pretty good snowfall right now. Look at this pink shaded area in central Texas. Yes, that looks to be an icy situation. This area of low pressure developed across the southeast and guess what? Just in time for Thanksgiving. We will have more on that coming up at the top of the hour.

PAUL: All right. Karen, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: We got one more live picture for you now. This is L.A.X. Everything here is back to normal this morning. The problem was not weather related, but it looked like another shooting had erupted at Los Angeles International Airport.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody on the ground!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody get down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: It's pretty scary there. Police say someone called and claimed a gunman was on the loose in terminal four last night. More than 4,000 passengers were rushed outside. Some were even pulled off planes. Here is the thing at about the same time, a woman had a medical emergency and lost control of her SUV. She ended up crashing outside terminal five and then police started to put it all together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHIEF PATRICK GANNON, LAX POLICE: After a short period of time, the officers were able to determine that there was not a shooting that had occurred in terminal five, but rather the sounds from the traffic collision caused people to think there may have been shots fired.

Part of that, we believe, is some hypersensitivity to what occurred on November 1st, just three weeks ago here at the airport.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Yes, as the L.A.X. police chief stated it was three weeks ago that a shooter opened fire in the airport and killed the man here on your screen. His name is Gerardo Hernandez. He's a TSA officer. A copy of the coroner's report obtained by the affiliate, CNN affiliate, KTLA, says that 12 bullets struck Hernandez. Those bullets shattered into 40 fragments. One grazed his heart, another severed the spinal cord.

The coroner says Hernandez died within two to five minutes. Now 23- year-old Paul Ciancia is charged with Hernandez's murder. He spent almost three weeks in a hospital after he was shot. Now Ciancia is in a federal facility.

PAUL: All right. Let's talk about what else is going on right now. The world's top diplomats including secretary of State John Kerry gathered in Geneva at this moment for what could be a history-making deal.

BLACKWELL: They are trying to hash out an agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear program and keep a nuclear weapon out of Iran's hands. CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins us now from Geneva.

Jim, there's this shuttle diplomacy that's going on, now a shuttle between countries, no one's on the plane, they're going between conference rooms and hotel rooms. Tell us what is happening now as they try to come to some agreement.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I got some news for you, Victor. A very important meeting just took place between secretary of State John Kerry and the Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif along with the EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton in the room for a time a top EU diplomat telling us it was an hour-long meeting. A workman-like meeting. But that they got some work done. Very key to have the U.S. and Iran at the same table at this stage of the negotiations.

You know, as we said when we spoke earlier, we were told that Secretary Kerry and other foreign ministers would not come here to Geneva unless they were close to a deal. This morning most of that shuttle diplomacy had been between members of the western delegations, for instance John Kerry meeting with the French foreign minister, the British foreign minister.

Now to see him coming together at the same table with the Iranian foreign minister really means that we are down to brass tacks in this negotiation. We don't know if they're going to make a deal today. In fact, when we heard from the western diplomats involved in these talks this morning, they kept emphasizing there are still gaps that we have to bridge. But that's a very key meeting in the broader scale of these talks.

BLACKWELL: Jim, we heard from some leaders in Congress this week about partisan group urging the administration not to agree to this deal and even if this deal is agreed to, senators like John McCain - they're skeptical.

SCIUTTO: Well, right. They are threatening to add new sanctions on top of the many sanctions that are already affect Iran. Now the administration feels that they've been able to push off that new sanctions pushed for at least a couple of weeks as these talks continue which is what they've asked for. They say "If you put in new sanctions now, we really can't take advantage of the historic opportunity or the Iranians appear willing to talk about new and unprecedented restrictions on their nuclear program. So give us a time to explore that." But the administration is aware they can only hold that off for so long. There has been some talks that a vote on new sanctions would not come until the next legislative session in January. But even Senator Harry Reid says it's possible that a vote may come before the end of the year after the Thanksgiving break.

So the administration knows they got a short window and here they want to take advantage of it.

PAUL: Alrighty. Jim Sciutto in Geneva for us this morning. Thank you so much for keeping us (INAUDIBLE) of what's going on there. It's minute by minute.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, President Obama's approval rating is at an all-time low. So here is the big question. Who or what is to blame? We will look into that next.

PAUL: Plus, we're talking to this man. Clint Hill. The brave Secret Service agent who jumped into the line of fire in the hopes of saving President Kennedy after he was shot 50 years ago.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Ten minutes after the hour now. You know, the Obamacare web site, everyone was told, including members of Congress, is supposed to be up and running properly one week from today and a lot of people doubt it will make that deadline.

PAUL: Yes, the administration is moving forward with these little fixes here and there. Starting with officials who are beginning a new pilot program in Florida, Texas and Ohio, specifically to make it easier for people to bypass healthcare.gov and get Obamacare insurance directly from insurance companies.

Also, they've extended the enrolment deadline by a week. So now Americans, you'll will have until December 23rd to select an insurance plan. It will go into effect, hopefully, January 1st. But the thing is, the president was speaking to Barbara Walters last night and Tory Dunnan has more on that. He not only, I know, was talking about this, but he was talking about this weekend and the JFK 50th anniversary of his death.

TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor and Christi, let's switch gears a little bit and talk about President Obama and really how he celebrated and marks this anniversary. He marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK with a moment of silence at the White House. He also met with Peace Corps volunteers.

Now remember, President Kennedy started the organization in the '60s, but now we are hearing from President Obama about the impact of the Kennedys. Take a listen to what he said in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: JFK, in particular, I think, captured the idealism, the ability to imagine and remake America to meet its ideals to me in a way that we have not seen before or since.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DUNNAN: Victor and Christi, I have to tell you, I was in Dallas for the ceremony yesterday, it was honestly so surreal. The focus was not on the assassination itself, but you really could not help but imagine the dangers of a president driving through Dealey Plaza in a convertible. During that same interview President Obama said that he is thankful, his own safety doesn't weigh heavily on his mind. Victor and Christi, he really believes that the tragedy, although it was horrible, it also reshaped Secret Service.

BLACKWELL: All right. Tory Dunnan in Washington, thank you.

PAUL: Yes and we are going to talk about that to somebody who knows about that as well. Take a look at this. I want to ask you, do you see that man in black, there on top of the presidential car, that secret service agent, Clint Hill. He was the first person who tried to save JFK after he was shot 50 years ago.

He's joining us next for a haunting firsthand account of that infamous day. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Marking an important weekend here. I'm wondering if you were old enough to remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when President Kennedy was shot. Well, one man has had to live with the haunting firsthand account of the assassination every single day for the last 50 years. That man is Clint Hill.

You might not know his name, but you have seen him before. Here he is. Kind of frozen in time like his memories. Jacqueline Kennedy's former Secret Service agent. He was the first person to jump on the back of the presidential car after shots were fired in a desperate attempt to protect the president and the first lady. He gives an insider account of what happened in those moments and in the following days and in his new book, "Five Days in November."

And Clint Hill is joining us now from Dallas. Clint, we are so grateful that you are with us. Thank you so much. And I know you are in Dallas now going back for this. Are there ghosts for you there still now 50 years later?

CLINT HILL, FMR. SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Well, I'll never forget exactly what happened here still coming back to Dallas and specifically to Dealey Plaza is a very emotional experience for me.

PAUL: What was it like to be there?

HILL: Well, it was nice to be there to pay tribute and honor President Kennedy, but at the same time, it was emotional to be there and to just be present in that space where all this occurred those 50 years ago. So, it was with mixed feelings.

PAUL: Yes, can you help us - take us back to that moment and help us understand what it was like for you. When you jumped on the back of that car, did you immediately know the president was dead?

HILL: Well, I got up there and I put Mrs. Kennedy back in the backseat and the president's body fell into her lap with his head with the right side of his face up and I could see his eyes were fixed and his - I could see through the skull where the brain matter was completely gone. At that point, I did assume that he was dead because it appeared to be a fatal wound to me.

PAUL: What did the first lady say to you or to him in those moments?

HILL: Well, she really didn't speak to me directly. What she said was, at first, she said, "I have his brains in my hand" because she had come up on the trunk to try to retrieve some of the material that came out of the president's head when he was shot. And when I put it back in the seat, she was there with the president's body in her lap. She said, "Oh, Hack, oh, Jack, what have they done. Oh, Jack, I love you." And that was it. She didn't say anything else as we drove all the way to Parkland Hospital.

PAUL: And you were with her for hours after that. Weren't you? Can you tell us about that?

HILL: I was with her constantly from that point on. I had been for a matter of three years. But from that point on, I was with her all the way back to Washington and out to Bethesda Naval Hospital where the autopsy was performed. I took her up to the 17th floor to make sure she was comfortable and family members arrived. Then we took the body of the president back to the White House.

I was with her until she went up to the residence in the second floor of the White House. She was going to remain there for a while. At that point, about 6:00 in the morning, I did go home and shave, shower and change clothes and grabbed a bit to eat and went back to the White House. I was with her all the time.

PAUL: How did you see her evolve after that? I think I read that you said the sparkle in her eyes was gone when he was gone.

PAUL: That's true. From that point on, that sparkle was gone. That smile was gone. She didn't laugh like she used to. She was very sad and it was very, very discomforting to see the way she was because she had been so alive and so active and so full of life with everything before that. It was very difficult.

PAUL: You know, you struggled with a lot of guilt that you think you could have done something else to save him. I want to play some sound here from the interview you gave "60 Minutes" back in 1975.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: A great deal of guilt about that. And I turned in a different direction. Part of me - it was my fault. If I had reacted just a little bit quicker - I could have, I guess. I'll live with that to my grave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Did any of that guilt dissipate by now 50 years later? I mean do you understand that you did everything you could have done?

HILL: Well, 15 years after that interview in 1990, I came back here to Dallas and I walked the area of Dealey Pplaza. I went up into the Texas Schoolbook Depository. I looked out that window on the sixth floor. I examined everything possible. The angle, the weather, the conditions. I came away finally with the understanding that I had done everything I could have done that day.

All of the advantages that had gone to the shooter and we didn't have any. So that did give me some consolation. I still felt that sense that we failed because our responsibility was to protect the president and we failed to do so on that day.

PAUL: Former Secret Service agent Clint Hill with us. Stay here, will you, Mr. Hill? Because we have more that we want to ask you, including what you think about some of the conspiracy theories that are still out there. Did he act alone in killing JFK? We'll be back in just a moment. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: We will dive right back in our conversation with Clint Hill, Jackie Kennedy's former Secret Service agent and a brave man. You're going to here in black there. Who jumped on the back of the presidential car to protect the president and first lady after shots were at him 50 years ago in Dallas.

Clint, we were just talking about the conspiracy theories. You know so many people wondering, you hear every thing out that the mafia was involved or the CIA was involved. Do you believe any of those or do you think this was just Lee Harvey Oswald?

HILL: Well those conspiracy theories are just theories. There is no fact involved in any one of them. There are ones that somebody come up with every day. They are foolish. All the evidence points that there s only one shooter and there were only three shots fired that day. They all came from the same location. Fired through the same rifle by the same individual, Lee Harvey Oswald. I don't think there is any question in that anymore.

PAUL: So many people are fascinated by the Kennedy's. You have this rare privilege of knowing them. What can you tell us about this family that maybe we don't know? What fascinates us so much about them?

HILL: Well, I think the reason the people have such a great interest in them is that they could relate to them really because of their age. They were very young. They replaced an administration, the Eisenhower administration, where President Eisenhower was a grandfatherly figure. He was 70 years of age and here comes the new president.

When he was elected, he was 43. She was 31. They had a young daughter named Caroline and Mrs. Kennedy was pregnant. All of a sudden they had a new born baby. And everybody could relate to that. Also, they were very active and very attractive as a couple. They lived a lifestyle that most people wished they could live. So I think that people really, really wanted to be part of that scene.

Also, the president was one of the individuals who when he talked to you, even if you were in a crowd and he was just shaking hands, when he got to you, you knew he was talking to you and you alone because of the way he did things. It was very appealing situation.

PAUL: You know, we know that Jackie's pink suit is being preserved. I understand that you burned the suit you were wearing that day. Why?

HILL: That's correct. Why? I didn't want that to linger on. It was saturated in blood. I thought it best that it be completely destroyed so nobody would have anything to hawk or do whatever they wanted with it. So I personally destroyed it.

PAUL: Well former Secret Service agent Clint Hill and author of "Five Days in November." Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and your thoughts with us. There's your book. We hope people go get it. We greatly appreciate you. Thank you so much.

HILL: Thank you very much for having me.

PAUL: Of course. Take good care.

BLACKWELL: I listened to conversations with Mr. Hill several times, especially over the last week and over the years. I learned so much in that conversation. Especially about the suit that he burned. I never known that. That moment back in '75 "60 Minutes" interview where he says those three words, "it's my fault."

PAUL: You just feel for him because everybody knows if it wasn't. You saw him jump to action immediately. Who could have known? What differently - It probably did change the way Secret Service did things. To carry that guilt for so long, it is good to hear he has finally kind of let that good. BLACKWELL: Yes, it took 15 years. But he did it.

thank you so much for watching. Of course, we will see you back here at the top of the hour.

PAUL: Coming up on right on brand-new "Your Money" banks got bailed out, as you know but you may still feel a little sold out, right? Christine Romans sits down with a man who just secure a $13 billion dollar payout. He says he's done seeking justice from Main Street.

BLACKWELL: All right. "YOUR MONEY" starts right now.