Return to Transcripts main page


Christie's Political Superstorm; Spending Plan Agreement; Obamacare Enrollment Woes; Water Flows Again In West Virginia; Hearing On NSA Surveillance; Obama Responds To Gates Book; Deadly Clashed In Egypt; Shot for Texting in a Movie Theater; A-Rod Files Federal Lawsuit; Pilots Land at Wrong Airport

Aired January 14, 2014 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The atmosphere in that administration has always been one of, you know, threats and bullying.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: On the line. Chris Christie giving a big speech today, expected to address the bridge scandal again amid new allegations another mayor was bullied.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Shot for texting. A terrifying scene at a Florida movie theater. A man shot and killed after an argument over texting at the movies. We hear from those inside during the shooting.

CUOMO: Grounded. The two pilots who landed at the wrong airport are now on paid leave. New details on just how dangerous a mistake it was and we'll take you inside a flight simulator. How hard is it to miss an airport?

Your NEW DAY starts right now.

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


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, January 14th, six o'clock in the east.

And Chris Christie is waking up to yet another potential crisis. There are new accusations of political retribution now surfacing now as Bridgegate seems to be expanding, and the feds are investigating. A CNN exclusive, whether Christie misspent millions of dollars from the hurricane Sandy relief fund on tourism commercials he and his family starred in.

So, today, the New Jersey governor will deliver a critical state of the state address. What will he say to smother the political flames? Erin McPike is live from Trenton this morning -- Erin.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning to you. Well, today, Chris Christie will layout his vision for what he wants to accomplish in his first year of his second term. It was a speech that was bound to get national attention anyway after his landslide re- election victory last fall looks like a steppingstone to a presidential bid in 2016, but now this growing series of scandals may threaten his national image.


MCPIKE (voice-over): In the midst of weathering a full blown political super storm, Chris Christie will discuss the bridge closure scandal when he delivers his annual "State of State Address" this afternoon. This will be the first time the popular New Jersey governor is in front of cameras since his marathon apology last week.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I am soul searching on this, but what I also want the people of New Jersey to know is that this is the exception, not the rule.

MCPIKE: But it's not just bridgegate anymore. On Monday, CNN revealed the new storm clouds forming over the brightest spot in his governorship, his response to Superstorm Sandy.

CHRISTIE: Because we're stronger than the storm.

MCPIKE: Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone thinks these tourism ads that promote the whole Christie family might be a misuse of the federal relief funds given to help New Jersey recover from Sandy.

REPRESENTATIVE FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: I think there's extra money that was spent on the ads to put him on the air during a campaign that could be used for other purposes for Sandy relief.

MCPIKE: Federal auditors are probing those allegations though Christie's office dismissed the revelation as conveniently timed and added the Obama administration approved the effort. Another possible incident of retribution, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, a Democrat, considered endorsing Christie for re-election last year, but then declined to do so on July 18th.

Over the next few days, Christie appointees canceled upcoming meetings with him leading Fulop to write an e-mail to a former Port Authority official, Bill Baroni, who had since resigned. In the e-mail obtained by CNN, he wrote in part, "I am not sure if it is a coincidence that your office canceled the meeting several weeks back that seemed to be simultaneous to other political conversations elsewhere that were happening.

Prior to that, you were always very responsive and I sincerely hope the two issues are not related." And there's more on the scandal that started it all, the lane closures to the George Washington Bridge last fall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do think laws have been broken.

MCPIKE: New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski will lead a brand new special committee forming today that will utilize a special council to investigate Christie's key staffers and the governor himself. The committee will have subpoena power. It intends to call on fired deputy chief of staff, Bridget Ann Kelly and Bill Stepien, Christie's long time, trusted political advisor.


MCPIKE: Now two new polls came out yesterday we want to tell you about. A Pew Research poll says that nationally, 60 percent of voters say their opinion of him is unchanged. But an approval rating within the state has dropped about 6 percent in recent weeks. But of course, the onslaught of attacks from Democrats is just beginning -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Erin McPike, thanks so much for starting us off this morning. So take a look at this enormous number. This is Congress at work. Congressional leaders agreeing on just over a $1 trillion spending plan that funds the federal government through 2014. The deal rolls back pension cuts for disabled veterans and also end those across the board sequester cuts that folks on both sides of the aisle all disliked.

CNN's Jim Acosta is live at the White House with these new developments so Congress at work, Jim.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. Sometimes the news is when Washington does something right and this is an example of that. Good morning. Yesterday evening, it was reported out of the capitol that the House and Senate Appropriations Committee chairman had come to an agreement that this is going to fund the government through September.

That is something we have not seen here in Washington in some time. Let's roll through some of the things this agreement does. It does amount to about a trillion dollars in spending. It does soften the sequester cuts by making more targeted cuts. It also restores some of those pension cuts for older veterans that were in the framework agreement by the Budget Committee chairman and the Senate and the House.

So that is going to make Republicans, even some Democrats happy. It also restores funding to Headstart. Also blocks the U.S. government from taking Guantanamo detainees out of Cuba and moving them to the United States. But this still has to get passed. It's scheduled to be voted on in the House tomorrow and in the Senate on Saturday. They did have a deadline of tomorrow to get all of this done. So they are going to have to pass a short term spending bill in Washington to keep the government for the next few days.

Kate and Chris, this is a return to what they call regular order near in Washington as they try to pass the budget through the appropriation committees, so they're not just throwing the coin in the toll booth couple months as what they have been doing in the nation's capital over the last couple years.

Sometimes the news is when they do something right here in Washington. We're going to have to wait and see. They still have to pass this thing. It looks like they're in agreement. They're going to get this done.

CUOMO: All right, Jim, good to know on that front. On the front of things that we're not sure is going to go the right way, Obamacare back in the news, 2.2 million sign-ups. That's good, 24 percent young adults 18 to 24. That's not good. The government wanted 40 percent young adult sign-ups. Why? Young people are healthier, so it keeps costs down for the rest of us.

So what will this mean? Let's bring in senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen at the CNN Center. Elizabeth, we know the numbers. Let's put them contest. How are we doing?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that 24 percent number, Chris, that is not what people were hoping for. They were hoping as you said that 40 percent of the enrollees would be young. As you said, this is not a minor detail. This is something that's really crucial. If you have too many older people, your costs are going to go up, up, up and insurance companies they were essentially told to expect around 40 percent.

And so they set their premiums accordingly. Now insurance companies might say, hold on a minute. You didn't give us as many young people as you said you would. That means the following year we might have to hike those premiums up and not just a little bit but a lot.

CUOMO: All right, Elizabeth, isn't that convenient that the insurance companies who study actuarial tables the way I struggle with shirt-tie combinations are now saying to the government, we are depending on you for the numbers. That's curious. Secondarily and this is the question, Elizabeth to you, didn't they always anticipate that young people would sign up slowly and last because of their need for insurance and just general tendencies?

COHEN: Yes, they absolutely did. I mean, if you look at what happened in Massachusetts, we are told that there, young people signed up way towards the end of the open enrollment period and that open enrollment period has not ended. It doesn't end until the end of March. So is it possible that between now and the end of March we're going to have lots of young people come in. We are going to meet that 40 percent expectation absolutely that's possible. If that happens, that's great.

But I'll tell you, if it doesn't happen. It really is a problem for the insurance companies. I don't mean to say, the poor little insurance companies. I can be as cynical as the next person about insurance companies. I read a whole chapter of my book about it, but I will say that this is a real problem. They were told to expect a certain percentage. They set prices accordingly. If it stays at 25 percent, that is going to be a real economic issue.

CUOMO: Also has a fix, though, Elizabeth. They can raise their prices. There are adjustments to be made. I mean, we do have a big wait and see factor here. And if you're in one of those, you have to keep the emotions on hold until you see where the numbers fall.

COHEN: If you raise prices, you might make it unaffordable for people.

CUOMO: That's true. That's true. That's why there's a lot still to be seen here, but we need more numbers. We need more sign ups. We got to let the wheels turn a little bit here, Elizabeth, but they are starting to. Appreciate the perspective this morning.

All right, let's change gears now. Take a listen to this.


ERIN BROCKOVICH, ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATE: We're going to have to start looking at why we have so little oversight of these tank farms that carry lethal hazardous chemicals that are just left to rot and deteriorate until we have a disaster. That's crazy.


BOLDUAN: That dangerous chemical spill in West Virginia has now drawn the ire of environmental advocate, as you heard right there, Erin Brockovich, calling for more oversight and this morning, thousands of residents there are finally getting the green light to use tap water for the first time since that spill followed the water supply for some 300,000 people.

Authorities are lifting the do not use order by zones hoping to have the taps flowing again soon for everyone. CNN's Alexandra Field is live in Charleston with much more on this. But soon definitely cannot come soon enough since it has been days for all of these residents, Alexandra?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It cannot be overstated, Kate, 75,000 people have now been given that long awaited word that they can turn on their faucets and let that water run, but that means 225,000 people are still waiting for the green light. They've been without water since that chemical leak was detected back on Thursday.

Here in Charleston, West Virginia, a team of federal investigators have now arrived on scene. They are tasked at looking at how equipment failed, how the leak started and how it was reported. The Chemical Safety Board says it will also delve into any safety data concerning the chemical itself that could be available and the CSB says it will look into the plan's record of inspection.

Over the weekend the State's Department of Environmental Protection says the plant was last inspected back in 1991. That's when it was now under different ownership and used for a different purpose. The DEP now says its records indicate that an inspector returned to the plant in 2010 to check out reports of an odor and found that nothing was wrong.

In 2012, inspectors were asked to see if the plant required any new permits. They decided that was not the case and at that time, Chris, Kate, the tank that has caused so much hardship now was again not inspected.

BOLDUAN: Something clearly went wrong in this one and they continue to investigate to make sure it doesn't happen again. Alexandra, thank you very much for that.

Let's turn to John Berman now in for Michaela for more of today's top stories.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Kate. Happening today in Washington, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from President Obama's panel advising him on changes to the NSA. Lawmakers will examine the panel's suggestions to the president including not collecting phone records of Americans and scaling back on spying on foreign leaders. President Obama will outline his reform proposals to the public on Friday.

New developments on back and forth between the White House and Robert Gates, the former defense secretary, President Obama speaking out for the first time on criticism from Gates in his new memoir. The president took the high road calling Gates an outstanding cabinet member and a good friend, but he implicitly rejected criticisms of his war leadership saying, they ultimately got Afghanistan right.

One death is reported in new clashes between Egypt security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy near Cairo. It comes as Egyptians head to the polls on a draft constitution. This is intended to place the one passed just months before Morsy was removed by the military. They've called for a boycott just before the polls opened a bomb went off near a courtroom in Cairo.

Now the first expulsion of an American journalist living in Russia since the end of the cold war, former "Financial Times" and "Wall Street Journal" correspondent David Satter confirming the ouster on Twitter. He'd been in Russia since September working as an adviser for Radio Free Europe. He's also written three nonfiction books about Russia. Radio Free Europe's president said no explanation was given for Satter's expulsion. We will speak with Satter live later this morning on NEW DAY.

And then there's this, "The Worm" back on U.S. soil this morning. Dennis Rodman arrived in Newark last night at the airport there before departing from Beijing. The former NBA star apologized again for what's going on in North Korea, but said he did nothing wrong by organizing a basketball game in Pyongyang where he sang "Happy Birthday" to Leader Kim Jong-Un.

This followed another apology for his outburst during the interview right here on NEW DAY. We heard from Kenny Anderson last night saying they really regret the fact they did not do their homework before they went.

CUOMO: They are also put in a bad situation. I don't think they knew what they are getting into part their fault, part something else. All the I tension on the -- attention on the matter was OK if only to give attention to what's going on with Kenneth Bae.

All right, let's get over to Indra Petersons now. Unless I'm wrong, and that happens a lot, didn't you say that it was going to be cold? Did we know it was going to be nicer today? Did I just mis-hear?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Definitely. I said colder a little bit each day. We're going to have to do playback for you. Pretty much anywhere on the east coast, we're actually looking at a low that's formed. And slowly it's taking its time. It's going to be cruising up the coastline. So then tomorrow, yes, you get a break. And then you have another cold front, cold front after cold front, each one cooling you down.

You hear that Cuomo? Each one cooling you down. There you, just again in case you missed it. And you know, we're actually talking about heavier amounts of snow possible right around Wisconsin, especially Green Bay today. You'll be seeing as much as eight inches so near blizzard conditions for them. Otherwise, all three of these systems so mild, not really a huge story, just enough. It's a little bit of a chill kind of moving in.

I do want to point out that if you're around the Dakotas, the core of the jet stream. It's going to be right there today so very strong winds are expected in that region. It's also the region we are talking about near blizzard conditions around Wisconsin and also the reason that you are going to be cooling off 20 degrees.

Why do you care on the east coast? Because once that cold air filters in, it will eventually make its way to the east. So that will take some. Unfortunately, it means by the weekend for that east coast, we'll see those temperatures dive back down to the 30s. All the way to the west coast, it seems like the weather is calmer.

Unfortunately, Santa Anna winds are out there. They have drought conditions. They are very dry. So red flag warnings, extreme critical fire danger expected over the next several days, definitely a lot of danger out west.

BOLDUAN: OK, thanks, Indra.

CUOMO: So sleet is coming? Is that what you're saying?


CUOMO: Hate being wrong more than five times a show.

Coming up on NEW DAY, murder in a movie theater. A father is texting his young daughter, then another movie-goer demands he put away his cell phone. What happens next will shock you. We're going to hear from the people who were inside the theater.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, how could two seasoned airline pilots land a Boeing 737 at the wrong airport in Missouri? We'll go inside a flight simulator to see just how easy it is to miss the mark.



SHERIFF CHRIS NOCCO, PASCO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Everybody is paranoid. They're scared because a movie theater should be somewhere safe, where people are out there to enjoy themselves. Unfortunately what America has seen over the past couple years is that movie theaters have become dangerous places where incidents occur.


BOLDUAN: And unfortunately that was the case here. New details this morning in a deadly movie theater shooting in Florida. Authorities say the gunman is a retired police captain who allegedly shot and killed a man a few rows in front of him, all because of an argument over texting. CNN's Tory Dunnan is live in Ft. Lauderdale with much more. What happened, Tory?

TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So Kate, you just have to imagine what this was like. It was the middle of the day. There are about 25 people inside the movie theater for a matinee showing of "The Lone Survivor." And never did they think that they'd get caught in the middle of an argument over texting, which turned unto a shooting.


DUNNAN: A frightening and fatal afternoon at this Florida movie on Monday, all apparently because of texting.

NOCCO: It's absolutely crazy that it would rise to this level of altercation over somebody just texting in a movie theater.

DUNNAN: The previews just began to roll at the Cobb 16 movie theater in Wesley Chapel, when an altercation erupted off screen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There seemed to be irritation between a guy sitting two rows - two seats over from us and the guy behind him over a cell phone.

DUNNAN: The suspect seen here, 71-year-old Curtis Reeves was a retired Tampa police captain. Police say he was irritated that 43-year-old Chad Oulson was texting his 3-year-old daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their voices start going up, there seems to be almost a confrontation, and then bang, he was shot.

DUNNAN: Charles Cummings a retired Marine, who served in Vietnam, says it was absolutely shocking to be caught in the crossfire once again.

CHARLES CUMMINGS, RET. MARINE: He staggered two seats over, fell on my son and I.

DUNNAN: The father and son watched in horror as Reeves allegedly shot and killed Oulson with a .38 caliber handgun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He started - man I can't bailiff I got shot. Blood started coming out of his mouth. I was trying to hold him up and he just fell down.

DUNNAN: Amid the chaos, heroes step up.

CUMMINGS: The fellow was in the movie, said he was a nurse, jumped down, they started pumping the gentleman's chest until the paramedics arrived.

DUNNAN: An off duty deputy in the theater detained the shooter and secured the gun until police arrived. Reeves, now charged with second degree homicide.

CUMMING: I can't believe people would bring a pistol - a gun to a movie. I can't believe they would argue and fight and shoot one another over popcorn or even a cell phone.


DUNNAN: And Chris and Kate, the victim's wife, Nicole Oulson, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the hand, police saying that she tried to shield her husband during all of this. Now, we're also hearing from authorities that the suspect was at the movie with his wife and that these two couples didn't know each other at all. But all this apparently over texting.

BOLDUAN: Which is why it's even that much more confusing. They were both there with their spouses, that this happened. It's just amazing. Tory, thank you so much.

CUOMO: Not really so much a story about texting as it is just about what happens when emotions run hard, then there's angry words and violence and then there's a gun involved. It does create a randomness to it, and an unfortunate result there for the wife as well. So, she lost her husband and she's injured. We'll follow the story, let you know where the prosecution goes and how the other victim is doing.

We're going to turn right now, though to this morning's Bleacher Report. So we had A-Rod's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, on NEW DAY yesterday, right. He said the plan was to make a federal case of the matter, but in a bit of a shocker, they are taking on a new target. Let's bring in Andy Scholes. He has the details. What do we know now?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN BLEACHER REPORT: Yeah Chris, you know A-Rod and his lawyers filed a lawsuit, just like they said they would, in federal court yesterday, alleging that arbitrator Frederick Horowitz was biased when he ruled that A-Rod was going to have to sit out all of next season and the post-season.

Now, in the suit, A-Rod names Major League Baseball and the Player's Association as defendants. He claims the union did not fairly represent him in his fight and that he is being suspended without just cause. Legal analysts believe that this lawsuit has virtually no chance of being successful.

All right, turning on right now. For some, nothing gets in the way of watching your team in a big game. Not even church, not even if you're the pastor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may not be aware, but there is a football game starting in just a few moments. Would you all like to be forgiven for your sins? That's great, you are. There's some bread and some wine up here on the table. Feel free to help yourself if you'd like to. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

CONGREGATION: Okay, we will. Thanks be to God. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, and I'm out of here!


SCHOLES: Guys, this video got over 250,000 hits on YouTube already. The pastor's name is Tim Christianson, and just so you know it was kind of a joke. He did actually come back and they had a traditional service after he walked out of there. But still awesome.

BOLDUAN: It was awesome and he knows that that's what many folks were saying as they're going in. Come on honey, we got to get out in time for the game. Wrap up your sermon. Then you know, they're going to stick around and listen. I like it.

SCHOLES: Been there.

BOLDUAN: You're forgiven for your sins, Andy.

CUOMO: What a blessing to have a priest that gets it.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Andy needs my forgiveness, right? Thanks Andy. That was great.

CUOMO: What blessing, though, to have priest who gets it.


CUOMO: You know, bread and wine up here, help yourself.

BOLDUAN: Help yourself, I'm out.

All right. We're going to take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, the latest on the Southwest Airlines flight that landed at the wrong Missouri airport. How did the pilots make such a dangerous mistake? We're going to take a look inside a flight simulator to help us understand this.

CUOMO: Plus, talk about maximizing the home field advantage. We're going to tell you what the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are doing to keep their opponent's fans out of the stands this Sunday.


CUOMO: Two veteran Southwest Airlines pilots, who made a rookie mistake are grounded this morning. Investigators are looking into their landing mix-up. Here was the situation: the 737 they were flying touched down at the wrong airport in Missouri on Sunday. So, we were wondering, how hard or easy is it to make such a dangerous mistake? To answer the question, we sent Pamela Brown, our resident pilot, into a flight simulator to find out.

So, what was it like? What did you figure out?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you know I figured out that I should never be a pilot, for one.



BROWN: Exactly, stick to my day job. It was actually pretty hard, especially trying to land at night. You know, the visual landing at night definitely came with its challenges. So, we looked at that through a flight simulator's point of view, and also we looked into how this could've happened. It's clear that if the pilot had not slammed on the brakes the way they did, there could have been a disaster we'd be talking about right now. Flight experts also saying that the way the plane was built, a newer version of Boeing 737, is a big reason it didn't go over that steep cliff at the end of the runway.

A few details have emerged about why the pilots landed at the wrong airport, but now we're hearing the announcement they made from the cockpit right after the mishap.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rest assured that we're safe and sound here.

BROWN: That's the announcement 124 passengers on Southwest flight 4013 heard from the cockpit, shortly after landing at the wrong airport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks again for your patience. Again, I apologize.

BROWN: Now, the NTSB is investigating what went wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They saw the airport, they assumed it was the right airport. It's clear they weren't scanning all of the available instruments to them.

BROWN: Airport officials say air traffic control at Missouri's Branson airport made contact with the pilot.