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December Jobs Report; Target Breach Larger; Christie's Unfolding Scandal; Home at Last For Cassim

Aired January 10, 2014 - 08:30   ET



Breaking news into CNN. The Labor Department has just released the December jobs report. The final jobs report of 2013. Chief business correspondent Christine Romans has the details.

A big surprise.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: A big miss. A big miss. Economists really got this wrong. Seventy-four thousand jobs created in the month, the month of the year. Only 74,000. You'll remember you had - you had economists all week revising upward their expectations closer to 200,000.

Here's the real shocker. The jobless rate drops, drops to 6.7 percent. How --

BOLDUAN: Which we should be cheering.

ROMANS: How can that be? The lowest jobless rate since 2008 basically? More than half a million people just left the job market. Just stopped looking for work. Total jobs created for the year, 2.2 million, making you basically on par with 2012. So basically last year we created as many jobs as we did the year before. Now, we have a whole year's picture for the month (ph).

Seventy-four thousand jobs. That is a big disappointment. A lot of economists thought that it would be much better than that. But then you look at the jobless rate. It fell in part because people simply gave up.

BOLDUAN: Now correct me if I'm wrong. Don't we also -- seasonal jobs. Isn't there normally a little bit of a spike during the holiday season?

ROMANS: You know, the holidays can be - you know they try to season -

BOLDUAN: It gets a little inflated even.

ROMANS: They try to seasonally adjust for this. But, remember, we had all that bad weather too.


BOLDUAN: Yes. ROMANS: So that's something to think about.

CUOMO: I'm looking on -- I'm looking now to see what they're saying about why it's going on. That's going to be a problem. It's going to be a problem -

ROMANS: It's going to be a problem.

CUOMO: And it's going to affect policy, though, because they're fighting over extending those unemployment benefits right now and this speaks immediately to the need for the extension.

BOLDUAN: You're absolutely right about that.

ROMANS: Thirteen point 1 percent is the underemployment rate. About what it was before. That means -- some people call that the real unemployment rate. So that means those are people who are out of work. They're working part time, but would like to be working full time. Those are people who are not fully being utilized in the labor market. So that number's still too high.

That 74,000 number, only 74,000 jobs created, that's the weakest since late 2011. That really catching people by surprise.

BOLDUAN: And also - so we will continue to track this.


BOLDUAN: But I have to ask you about another big story in the money world. And this is affecting your money, your wallet. Target. A new number, almost double the amount of people's information -- the security breach almost double what they thought.

ROMANS: This is the other big story this morning. Target, it's doing forensic accounting of that data breach we told you about. Some 40 million people, their credit card information stolen or accessed. The number is now 70 million people.

Target, this morning, saying, listen carefully to how much information was breached. Names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses for 70 million people, separate from the payment card data that was taken during data breach. That is a huge amount of information. I'm - that -- this is a real problem for Target. The stock is down this morning. Very serious situation there in terms of your money, access to your identity and your information. Worse than we thought.

BOLDUAN: Much worse than we thought. Christine, thank you so much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: And talking about your money, make sure you tune into a brand new "Your Money" at 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday with our Christine Romans.

CUOMO: You're going to have a lot to talk about because - ROMANS: Oh, yes.

CUOMO: I'm telling you, it's blowing up online right now.


CUOMO: We're trying to figure out the incongruity and how do they fix it.

BOLDUAN: The jobs number, yes.

CUOMO: You're going to - so you're going to have to unpack this.

ROMANS: It's a big story. That is a big story today.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Christine.

CUOMO: Mich.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, time now for the five things you need to know for your new day.

At number one, within hours 1,000 pages of evidence will be released by a New Jersey assembly committee investigating the so-called bridge- gate scandal. The big question, will they implicate New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Don't use the water for anything. That's the warning from West Virginia's governor after a chemical used in coal production contaminated the water supply there. Some 200,000 people in nine counties are affected.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai orders the release of 72 detainees, some accused of killing Americans. It could happen as soon as today. But the Obama administration says those men are criminals who could rejoin the insurgency.

A bond hearing will be held this morning for the Florida woman convicted in a stand your ground case. Marissa Alexander says she fired a warning shot at an abusive husband. Now officials say she violated terms of her release.

And at number five, how about this for a five? Samsung will unveil its answer to the iPhone 5s in April. The Galaxy S5 may have an eye scanner to compete with Apple's fingerprint scanning technology. Android users rejoice, like me.

We're always updating the five things to know, so be sure to go to for the very latest.


BOLDUAN: All right, we're going to take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, Governor Chris Christie has apologized for his staff's involvement in an exploding political payback scandal, but is the damage already done? Our panel will break it all down. CUOMO: And back in America after nine months in a Middle Eastern prison. You're looking at Shez Cassim and he's speaking out for the first time about what it was like for him for so long.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Nearly 1,000 documents, that's what we're awaiting in Governor Christie's unfolding bridge scandal. The governor appeared obviously apologetic Thursday and flat out denied any wrongdoing. But with so much at stake, his governorship, a possible presidential run, where does he go from here? We're going to have a panel break it down. CNN political commentator, Republican strategist Kevin Madden, John Harris, editor-in-chief for Politico, and CNN political commentator and Republican consultant Margaret Hoover.

Margaret, I start with you because you are the smartest and best looking and that's how it works on television.

Let me ask you --


CUOMO: He now -- we talked about this earlier this morning. I saw the governor high on responsibility, arguably low on accountability to himself. He blamed everybody else. He fired someone else. He didn't say it's on me really. Does it matter?

HOOVER: Did we watch the same press conference?

CUOMO: We did. I watched every second of it.

HOOVER: He - as far as I can tell, he said the buck stops with me. I'm responsible. This is my fault. I take responsibility for this.

CUOMO: But I knew nothing and I'm firing other people.

HOOVER: And - but isn't that plausible that he didn't know?

CUOMO: Absolutely.

HOOVER: I know you don't think it's plausible that he didn't know (ph).

CUOMO: No, I think it's unusual, but certainly possible.

HOOVER: I think it's certainly possible. We take him at his word. Look, he, as everybody has said, he gave himself no wiggle room. If he knew, we will find out and then he will have a very different future than it looks like he can potentially have now.

BOLDUAN: And, Kevin, jump in on this because - and while he left himself no wiggle room and some will say that means that he really knows that he has done nothing wrong and that he will be fine here. Francis Wilkinson was on a little earlier who said, it kind of doesn't even matter what he says from this point, that the information will be dripped out in excruciating detailed fashion over the next year and that in and of itself is going to be the nail in the coffin. What do you think?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I would disagree. I think everything he does from here on out matters as far as it relates to managing his public profile as a governor and as a potential 2016 candidate. He set a very high bar and, again, I disagree with - I agree with Margaret and disagree with Chris. He set a very high bar of accountability. He actually welcomes another level of accountability. And he's going to get that scrutiny now.

He has to match every single piece of information now that comes out, Kate, with the same level of accountability and, quite frankly, the same level of contrition if he's going to be able to manage himself through this crisis. And that's the other point. This is not an event. It did not end yesterday. This is going to be a process. And every step in this process he's going to have to have those similar levels of contrition and accountability.

CUOMO: John, speak to the point that I'm making. It's that - look, you are the man at the top. Ordinarily -- man or woman, it doesn't matter. Usually when you're going to say, this went down on my watch, there's usually this attendant, so now I'm going to have to pay for this one way or the other. That did not happen yesterday. And it may be because he says, I didn't do anything wrong. But when you pick the people and you are the boss, shouldn't it be more than just about ascribing blame to others? Your take.

JOHN HARRIS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, POLITICO: Yes, Chris, I know what you mean and I actually know what both your very smart and good looking other panelists mean.

BOLDUAN: Ah, you're jealous.

HARRIS: He did -- he did accept accountability to say the buck stopped with me. But, I must say, atmospherically, the message was, these idiots, I was screwed by these guys. And the question is, if these -- these idiots who were behind this scandal, what idiot appointed these idiots? So he does have a large measure of culpability. And you didn't really get the full on embrace of that. I heard it the same way you did, frankly.

HOOVER: I think we did.

CUOMO: John Harris, now the best looking person on the panel.

BOLDUAN: John, you're just trying for the title.

HARRIS: I knew - I knew that would win me some points. I knew that would win me some points.

BOLDUAN: All right, Margaret's going to win it back on this one. Kevin, you're a close second. I know you are.

We talk a lot about -- on the news, we talk a lot about that he created a culture, an atmosphere to allow this. Did he do that? Do you think that is a -- a real concern if he did create this atmosphere that allowed his advisers to go so rogue? Or do you think that's just kind of amongst the chattering class?

HOOVER: Yeah, absolutely, look, tone always comes from the top. There's also a certain cultural context for politics in New Jersey that's not unlike the way we joke about Chicago politics, right? Each has their own flavor. What Chris Christie has to do is get away from being pegged to that stereotype.

BOLDUAN: How does he?

HOOVER: This is an opportunity for him.

BOLDUAN: Because that atmosphere clearly, at least for the moment, seems like it existed because they went really rogue.

HOOVER: He needs to do, metaphorically, a lot more walks to Fort Lee to apologize to those mayors. And he needs to see around the corners and demonstrate graciousness, softness, statesmanship, diplomacy in everything that he does from here on out in order to affront those stereotypes before really they stick to him if he's going to be in the national stage.

CUOMO: Kevin Madden, follow up on that. Because let's assume, for the purpose of this discussion, this situation was too much small ball for the governor to involve himself in dealing with the mayor of Fort Lee, a Democrat whose endorsement he didn't need anyway, and this was so obvious, and to use his word, "stupid". Even so, what must he demonstrate going forward to keep the shine on him as somebody who may be the best choice for Republicans in 2016?

MADDEN; Well, look, I think one of the legitimate criticisms here is that every single organization is a reflection of its principal, and during the press conference yesterday, he did say he's going to go through, I think, a pretty detailed self-examination of what he's done to help encourage this type of behavior somehow.

So I think what he can do right now, and where Chris Christie has always flourished, the reason he became, you know, the most prominent Republican as far as potential 2016 nominees, is because he's always been a very unconventional politician. He has to continue to do that.

The big risk for him before he had this press conference was that he fell into a box where he started to look like a conventional politician, somebody who says one thing but does another. So as long as he can continue to, you know, show that he's a no-nonsense guy, take-charge guy, who accepts and embraces accountability, his profile can be repaired with a lot of those potential 2016 voters.

BOLDUAN: And the profile seems to be a little bit out of his control because the question now is does this cement the view that you have of Chris Christie? Does this change the view you have of Chris Christie within his party and outside of his party? And that will be left, obviously, eventually to voters if he does pick -- final word, John? JOHNNN: Well, I just would agree. He didn't just double down in this news conference, he tripled and quadrupled down. It's a big red flag. If it turns out that he did he have any involvement in this either direct or indirect by the culture in the office he created, this is incredibly damaging because not all scandals are equal. Some hit closer to vital organs. And I agree this hits very close to what's his most important vital organ, which is as a reformer and unconventional politician.

BOLDUAN: And -- and hits really close to home for everyone because everyone knows how angry they are when they get stuck in traffic. On that most basic level, I feel like that's also part of this.

Kevin, John, Margaret, great to see you. Thank you so much.

We're gonna take another break, but coming up next, an American jailed in a Middle Eastern prison is back home in the U.S. sharing his harrowing story for the very first time. What he told CNN coming up.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Home at last. This morning an American is waking up in his own bed in Minnesota after spending nine months in an United Arab Emirates jail. We've been following Shezanne Cassim's story, his family pleading for his release. Very -- we've been following the story very closely on NEW DAY. Now, in his first comments since his return Shez says he was convicted in a bogus trial all for posting a parody video online.

CNN's Ted Rowlands was with Shez on Thursday, and he's joining us now from Minneapolis.

Hi, there Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Yeah, he has a lot to say about his stay, as you can imagine. And as you can imagine after what he's been through, he's very happy to be back home.


ROWLANDS (voice-over): Back home walking through the Minneapolis airport, 29-year-old Shezanne Cassim was finally free to say what he really felt about spending nine months in a Dubai prison.

SHEZANNE CASSIM, RELEASED FROM DUBAI PRISON: I feel angry. A lot of time was wasted.

ROWLANDS: Cassim had been working in Dubai as a business consultant when he and four friends were arrested last April for making this video, an obvious parody about a fictitious suburban Dubai fighting force, sort of wannabe gangsters.

CASSIM: I did nothing wrong. There was nothing illegal about the video, even under UAE law. I was tried in a textbook kangaroo court. And I was convicted without any evidence. ROWLANDS: Cassim says for four months he wasn't even told why he was in jail. And after four court appearances, he says he found out that the judge who ordered him to prison hadn't even watched the video.

CASSIM: They were very indifferent and callous in the way they approached our trial.

ROWLANDS: He does say he was treated well by prison guards.

CASSIM: Physically, yes, there was no abuse. But in terms of the prison facilities, there was nothing. So we were pretty much in a cage for nine months.

ROWLANDS: Last month, Cassim and two of his friends were sentenced to prison for a year for damaging the UAE's image under newly enacted cyber crime laws. He was freed early for good behavior.

CASSIM: They wanted to send a message to the UAE public saying that look what we'll do to people who do a silly YouTube video. This is what we'll do to people who do such a video. So imagine if you do something that's actually critical of the government, it's a warning message and we're scapegoats.

ROWLANDS: While Cassim was in prison, the effort to free him included support from around the country, including comedians like Will Ferrell and lawmakers in Minnesota and Washington.

ROWLANDS: Were you aware that everybody was pulling for you and to what extent were you aware?

CASSIM: I was aware but not -- I didn't know just how far it went because I didn't have any access to information.

ROWLANDS: And grateful, I assume?

CASSIM: Very grateful. Very grateful.


ROWLANDS (on-camera): And Shez spent last night at home with his family. He says he has a lot more to say and, Chris and Kate, he says he's going to say that over the next few days. He also says he's never going back to Dubai.

BOLDUAN: That is no surprise. Thank you so much, Ted for that update. Great job meeting him at the airport.

I mean, it really was amazing. And it was so unclear what the outcome was going to be. We spoke with Shez's family multiple times. He's sentenced to a year sentence, then they did time served. They didn't know the outcome. Every time they would go into the courtroom, they did not know if he was going to be walking out with them or if he was going to be back in jail. And it has been such a roller coaster for that family. And that's why we've been following it so closely.

CUOMO: Well, I mean, you've been very close to this story and there's some justification in this. Now it got attention. Because again, the frustration with the State Department.

This is not North Korea where Kenneth Bae is, where they don't have any diplomatic strategy going on. This is the UAE. We have such good ties, such commerce and yet really it took a long time.

Anyway, we're going to be back in just a second. When we do, we'll have more on those new job numbers, very shocking. We'll unpack it when we come back.


BOLDUAN: Are you ready?

CUOMO: I'm always working.

BOLDUAN: Oh, working. Sorry. I thought the words were, "Are you ready for the weekend?" Because the answer is yes. Welcome back to NEW DAY. Tomorrow and Sunday --

PEREIRA: This is exciting.

BOLDUAN: -- this is very exciting. Be sure to watch "NEW DAY WEEKEND" starting tomorrow --

PEREIRA: What a team.

BOLDUAN: -- 6:00 a.m. Eastern join the brand new anchor team, Christi Paul and Victor Blackwell. Congratulations to them. Tomorrow they're gonna be talking with actress Candace Cameron Bure -- I don't know this person.

PEREIRA: Yes, you know her.


CUOMO: She's from "Full House."

BOLDUAN: Oh. Apologies. I should know this stuff. That's why I'm watching tomorrow.

We're gonna be talking to them, but congratulations to Christi and Victor.

PEREIRA: Your NEW DAY continues through the weekend.

CUOMO: That's absolutely right.

Great combination of head and heart with those two. Good luck to them.


CUOMO: All right. Lotta news this morning, as you're well aware. So let's get you to the "NEWSROOM" and Ms. Carol Costello.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, have a great weekend. Thanks so much.

NEWSROOM starts now.