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Holder to Decide Whether to Seek Death Penalty for Accused Boston Bomber; Clapper Urges Snowden to Stop Releasing Info; Former Dolphin Jonathan Martin Explains Leaving Team; Stories of Being Stranded in Atlanta Snowstorm; Truck Driver Tells of Being Stranded; Tapper to Interview Obama; Sick Cruise Ship Docks in Jersey; Grimm Threatens Reporter, Apologizes

Aired January 29, 2014 - 15:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Just past the bottom of the hour, you're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Two big stories we were watching. First, you have this cruise ship, just docked this afternoon in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Almost 700 of the people on board got sick on this trip, and right now, they are in the process of disembarking, getting off that cruise ship. So we are watching that.

Also, the snowstorm that absolutely brought the city of Atlanta to a standstill. Finally, you are seeing some movement here in this picture on the highway.

Right now, though, more than 24-plus hours, people are still stuck.

More on both of those stories, but first, let's take a look at some of the other headlines today.

First up, the U.S. Attorney, Eric Holder says by Friday he will decide whether to seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev is the surviving suspect, the younger brother of the two accused of bombing the Boston marathon, Boylston Street, last April.

Those two bombs killed three people and wounded another 250. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to the 30 counts against him.

And the director of national intelligence says terrorists are, quote, "going to school" on the classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

James Clapper also says it is time for the former NSA contractor to stop releasing all this information before something terrible happens.


JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Snowden claims that he's won and that his mission is accomplished. If that is so, I call on him and his accomplices to facilitate the return of the remaining stolen documents that have not yet been exposed to prevent more damage to U.S. security.


BALDWIN: At the same hearing, the director of the defense intelligence agency said Snowden's leaks have caused, and I'm quoting, "grave damage" to U.S. national security and could cost American lives in the future.

Former Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin says he felt trapped by the bullying he claims happened on his team, Martin now speaking for the first time since leaving the Dolphins after he accused teammate Richie Incognito of harassing him.

Here was what Martin said to NBC.


JONATHAN MARTIN, FORMER MIAMI DOLPHINS PLAYER: I'm a grown man. I've been in locker rooms. There's vulgar language used in locker rooms. One instance doesn't bother me. It's the persistence of it.

I wish I would have had more tools to solve my situation. But I didn't. I felt trapped, like I didn't have a way to make it right.

It came down to a point where I thought it was best just to remove myself from the situation.


BALDWIN: Incognito has apologized for leaving a racially insensitive voicemail for Martin, but he says that's how they communicated.

Incognito was suspended indefinitely, and the NFL is conducting an independent investigation. The league is expected to reveal their findings after this Sunday's Super Bowl.

And we are hearing from a lot of people, as you have heard in the last two hours, just stranded, and frustrated because of the snow in Atlanta.

Coming up next, we have put together some of the most amazing survival stories, and from some of the people who are the most outraged at the current road conditions, hear them take out frustrations on camera, next.


BALDWIN: The ninth biggest city in all of the U.S., Atlanta, some drivers stranded over 24 hours. Stopping by and defending his response to the storm. That got me thinking about the stories we have been hearing all day long.

Here is a taste of what the mayor had to say and what's playing out on the streets all-around Atlanta.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR KASIM REED, ATLANTA: I don't feel the people are angry at me and they have a great deal of frustration.

BRITTANY LUIZ, STUCK AT HOME DEPOT (via telephone): I definitely feel like it is the government's job to make sure the citizens are safe.

I can tell you, spending 10 hours in my car, moving a few feet every 30 minutes, not knowing how far I was going to be able to go, my phone died about two hours into my commute, ,y family didn't know where I was and if I was OK, it was awful.

REED: We started immediately and the bottom line is we are going to work nonstop and get the city open and operational faster. We need to get people off of the freeway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you were there, you could tell it was going to be a long night.

REED: We got 1 million people in Atlanta out of the city. We got all of the children who were on school buses in the APS system off of those buses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was kind of cold, but I have on a lot of layers, so I'm OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the other kids?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some of the other kids, they were really cold, so we -- I bundled up with one of the kids, so they wouldn't be cold.

REED: We started de-icing the city before the snow ever fell. And we are now in day one of this crisis, and we are fully staffed and running full, 12-hour shifts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know where any of the cops have been, salt trucks have been, but we've had about 15 people here in the complex here (inaudible) and it has been here since about 2:00 p.m. It's what 9:30?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 9:00, 9:30 p.m. right now.

REED: And what we are going to do is continue to work and get the city open and operational. And we're going to go out and partner with the state and get folks off the freeway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really it just makes me worry for if this happened again.

You said earlier, what would happen if this came up again in a month? I don't know if it would be any different, and that worries me.


BALDWIN: So we want to be clear, too, when we talk about traffic, obviously, the city of Atlanta is responsible for schools and those primary and secondary streets within the city of Atlanta.

And then, of course, it's the state of Georgia that's in charge of the highways, et cetera.

And you heard Mayor Kasim Reed saying maybe they could partner with GDOT folks, in terms of getting help to people on the freeways.

But just to be clear, two jurisdictions are dealing with a mighty mess.

And some people are moving. Some people are not. And the thing is that snow is likely to freeze once again.

Let's talk to truck driver Greg Shrader. He's from Maine. He's stuck here in Georgia.

And, Greg, I think we talked a couple of hours ago and we're talking again because you, my new friend, you are still stuck, yes?

GREG SHRADER, STRANDED TRUCK DRIVER (via telephone): No, I just got out.

BALDWIN: You did?

SHRADER (via telephone): Just got out. I am in a truck stop in Temple.

BALDWIN: Congratulations, first of all, for getting unstuck. You had been stuck for how long again?

SHRADER (via telephone): Since about 1:00 yesterday.

BALDWIN: So, what's the scene on the highways now? Are we seeing some movement?

SHRADER (via telephone): I saw movement and it's still stop and go. There's Still ice.

The biggest problem I would say now is abandoned trucks off the road and stuff like that.

The further I got away from Atlanta, the better it got.

BALDWIN: That's my next question is how they got abandoned cars and trucks off the road, many of which are out of gas.

Are most of those stuck cars, abandoned cars, are they in the middle of the highways or are they off to the side?

SHRADER (via telephone): Oh, they're everywhere. It's like a slalom course. There's some on the left, some on the right, some in the middle, some leaning up on trees.

It's like a Stephen King movie. It's just there's abandoned cars everywhere, a lot of trucks jacked around. Some of them left out of gas and they just walked away from them. BALDWIN: We're looking at some live pictures, some aerial footage from our affiliate in Atlanta, WXIA, and I see what they are talking about. These cars are everywhere.

How many years have been driving a truck, Greg?

SHRADER (via telephone): Eighteen years.

BALDWIN: Of those 18, 19 hears, have you ever experienced anything like this?

SHRADER (via telephone): I experience weather like this all the time, I live up north, but I've never have seen communities, or I should say state, fail this bad at taking of storms, taking care of the roads.

I've never have been in a two-day traffic jam, no.

BALDWIN: Two-day traffic jam, that's exactly it. That's exactly what this is.

Before I let you go, I know I heard from the governor during a press conference earlier this morning, placing some of the blame with the 18-wheelers, some of which have jackknifed and that, thus, makes traffic even worse.

What would your response be to that?

SHRADER (via telephone); Actually, I heard the governor say that, and there is a lot of things that contributed to this result.

You don't jackknife unless you're on a slippery road, and it -- he really was pretty insulting.

If you manage all 48 states, you manage Canada, you manage all 18 years, and you've never had a problem, suddenly the governor knows better than me how to drive a truck.

He ought to stick to running the state. He could use a little practice.

BALDWIN: Greg Shrader, glad you're OK and glad you're moving. Thank you so much.

SHRADER (via telephone): Have a good day.

BALDWIN: Thank you. You, too.

Coming up next, an update on our other big story, the cruise ship we've been talking about.

We just got an interview with a passenger who was sick. Live pictures, she is giving us some new information about the conditions on board this ship, and what the workers, what the crew members did to try control the virus from spreading.


BALDWIN: A bit of a road trip today for President Obama, he toured a Costco just outside of Washington, D.C., in Maryland and then he was off to suburban Pittsburgh, pushing some of the themes we heard last night in his State of the Union, including raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women.

Tomorrow, President Obama heads to Tennessee and Wisconsin.

And Jake Tapper, the host of "THE LEAD," sitting down with the president tomorrow. Congratulations on that "get," by the way.

And, secondly, what's question number one for the president?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE LEAD": Why would I tell you?

BALDWIN: Because we are friends.

TAPPER: Don't you think that they -- then you and I can talk after the show or we can email.

You should send me question ideas. I'm soliciting question ideas -

BALDWIN: I have a list.

TAPPER: -- from colleagues at CNN, from people on Twitter, use the hash tag, #potuslead.

But there are -- there's no shortage of questions. Obviously, we want to talk about issues that people care about, including jobs and the economy, health care, national security, foreign policy.

There's going to be a walk-and-talk, as well, and usually you maybe have like a lighter question there. I don't know if it'll be about, say, the pope or the Super Bowl. Who knows?

But it's very difficult. We are right now at the accumulation stage. We're like the National Security Agency. We have every single conversation that has been known to man and now we have to winnow it down and find the ones that matter.

It's a tough challenge, but we are excited for the opportunity to talk with the president.

BALDWIN: How long do you think you get with him?

TAPPER: They tell us 15 minutes. If it's going poorly, that maybe ends up 11. If it's going OK, maybe it ends up 16 or 17 minutes. I don't know.

You don't get a ton of time, and politicians, they have lots of thoughts and ideas. They tend to speak at length on the subjects they want to talk about, so who knows?

But I'm looking forward to the conversation. I hope it's illuminating. I hope we get some insights into how this next year and the rest of his term's going to be.

BALDWIN: That is fantastic. We'll be looking for a little bit of that. We'll look for you, what, Friday morning, and then, of course, on "THE LEAD" on Friday with the whole interview, Jake Tapper.

TAPPER: The whole interview on "THE LEAD" at 4:00.

And, Brooke, I'm expecting you, but by the time I land in Wisconsin, I expect question ideas from Brooke.

BALDWIN: So you want me to do all your work for you.

TAPPER: Not all of them about Atlanta's weather. Just try to make not all of them about Atlanta's weather.

BALDWIN: All right, Tapper, duly noted.

"THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts in 10 minutes.

TAPPER: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Thank you very much.

Coming up next, we're going to talk about that cruise ship that's now finally docked in New Jersey.

We have just landed this interview with a passenger who's been sick. Live pictures, by the way.

She is giving us information about conditions onboard the ship -- and there it went -- and what the cruise ship workers did to try and control this virus from spreading.

Hear that story, next.


BALDWIN: The ship with the biggest outbreak of what they believe to be norovirus, this gastrointestinal sickness, on a cruise seen in the last 20 years has docked in New Jersey.

Close to 700 people, mostly passengers, some crew members, became severely ill on the Explorer of the Seas.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is standing by dockside of that ship.

What are passengers telling you?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Passengers telling us that it was a rough ride, to put it mildly, Brooke.

We just spoke with one passenger who had some really nightmarish details.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KIM WAITE, SICK CRUISE PASSENGER: When I was in my room I didn't know about the other people until I asked a crew attendant.

They put me in a wheelchair and pushed me to the fifth floor which is where the shops are for everyone. Then we went further down.

When we went downstairs and they opened the doors, you could see absolutely sitting there being sick in buckets, in bags. It was awful.

And they just gave us a number to wait. And I had to wait three hours to be seen.


COHEN: And they have -- a CDC official has told me that on the cruise before this one, on this ship, there were sick passengers, 16 reported cases.

It's not a huge number, but still there were sick passengers on the cruise that happened before this one.


BALDWIN: OK, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much.

And a congressman shows his real emotions in this confrontation with a reporter, threatens to toss him off the balcony on Capitol Hill.

Hear what the congressman is saying today, next.


BALDWIN: President Obama is not waiting to act on the agenda laid out last night in the State of the Union address.

He signed a presidential memorandum directing Jack Lew to allow workers to start their own retirement savings accounts. He's calling it MyRA.

During his State of the Union address last night, the president said it's a new savings bond.

The president says the plan would guarantee you a decent return with no risk, and the White House says the money earned will be tax free.

Have you seen what then happened after the president's State of the Union last night?

New York Congressman Michael Grimm, part of this interview, post- speech, moments after the speech wrapped, when this reporter asked the Republican from Staten Island about an investigation into his campaign fund-raising and then this happened.


MICHAEL SCOTTO, REPORTER: Why - REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL GRIMM (R), NEW YORK: Let me clear to you. You ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this (BEEP) balcony.

SCOTTO: Why? Why? I just wanted to ask you --

GRIMM: If you ever do that to me again -

SCOTTO: Why? Why? It's a valid question.

GRIMM: No. No, you're not man enough. You're not man enough. I'll break you in half like a little boy.


BALDWIN: When reporters caught up with Congressman Grimm today, he apologized for his behavior and blamed it on being passionate.


GRIMM: I apologized. I called Michael Scotto. He was very gracious and accepted my apology.

We're going to have lunch sometime next week and just make sure this is all behind us.

The bottom line is sometimes I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I was wrong, it shouldn't have happened and that's why I apologized to him.

So, you know, made my apology. He was gracious and he accepted it. And now I got work to do on flood insurance, so I'm going to get back to work and, you know, look, I'm passionate. My constituents know that.


BALDWIN: Congressman Grimm, you heard him say that reporter accepted the apology.

We are also hearing they will be going out to lunch next week to discuss their differences, the stories, what have you, don't know. But that's happening.

And that's it for me. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Tune back in tonight, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, for an entire live hour.

It will be Don Lemon, my colleague, and myself, holding things down for an hour here on CNN.

In the meantime, "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.