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Intense Security for Super Bowl Game; Dylan Farrow Reveals Open Letter about Abuse Allegations; Volcanic Ash Smothers Indonesian Village; Broncos versus Seahawks; Chris Christie's Prospective in the Light of New Statement by David Wildstein; Political Unrest in Thailand; Volcano Eruption in Indonesia; Concerns about The Winter Olympics Security in Sochi, Russia; Peyton Manning Promoting Omaha; Seth Meyers Leaving the "Saturday Night Live Show"

Aired February 2, 2014 - 06:00   ET


Christi Paul, CNN ANCHOR: All right. It's 6:00 in the morning. Why does it come so early and so fast.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: It just sneaks up on us.

PAUL: Come on. I know it. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 6:00 as Christi said. It is NEW DAY SUNDAY. And today is the big game.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Super Bowl XLVIII. What was that?


PAUL: Yes. It's not just any old Sunday, people.


PAUL: He was right. Denver Broncos versus Seattle Seahawks. You know, I learned a little tidbit today, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: Denver is tied for the most losses at the Super Bowl and they could get out of that if they win today.


PAUL: They're tied with the Minnesota Vikings and I think the Buffalo Bills for four losses at Super Bowl. As the worse -- as, you know, the worst losses so --

BLACKWELL: Our resident football expert, because you know more than I do.

PAUL: Maybe not so much. BLACKWELL: No. I mean, you know more than I do about it.

So MetLife Stadium. We're looking at it now. This is East Rutherford, New Jersey. I don't care who tells you the game is in New York. It is not. It is in New Jersey.

PAUL: Right.

BLACKWELL: You got Peyton Manning for Denver, Russell Wilson for Seattle. And here's another tidbit from our producer Andrew Myers.

PAUL: So you do know -- there you go.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Manning just won the 2013 AP MVP Award. That happened last night.

PAUL: And, you know, a lot of people, they were just waiting for the half-time show.


PAUL: Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers performing. And remember, I will give, you know, a little love to my co-anchor here. The Baltimore Ravens are still world champs for the next few hours.

BLACKWELL: Yes. They've earned it until, what, probably 8:00, 9:00 tonight.

PAUL: Exactly.

BLACKWELL: We know who's actually the next --

PAUL: Relish in it.



BLACKWELL: OK. So we're going to talk more about the Super Bowl, but, first, for the governor of New Jersey, who is preparing for one of the most exciting sporting events of his career. This is how he spent the eve of the big game. Watch.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Good afternoon, everybody. You already heard enough speeches. Enough speeches of the same thing. I want to tell everybody out there to thank you very much to all of our partners, the NFL, the team owners. Look forward to handing it over to Arizona. I was proud to be in New Orleans last year to accept the --


PAUL: All right. You heard them there, didn't you? Governor Chris Christie with a lot of boos in the audience at a Super Bowl handoff ceremony. This was in Times Square. And it comes, of course, as the governor's office launched a full scale attack on "New York Times" and former top official David Wildstein, titled "Five Things You Should Know about the Bombshell That is Not a Bombshell."

BLACKWELL: OK. So here's what they're talking about. Friday the "Times" reported on this letter from Wildstein's attorney to the Port Authority seeking payment for legal fees and here's part of it. I'm going to quote.

"Evidence exists, as well, tying Mr. Chris Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the Governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference."

PAUL: Now Wildstein is under investigation for his role in the September lane closures at the George Washington Bridge which a lot of people suspect was part of a political revenge scheme. Christie's response yesterday points to this statement from January.


CHRISTIE: And I knew nothing about this and until it started to be reported in the papers about the closure. But even then, I was told this was a traffic study.


BLACKWELL: Well, Christie's camp says this is the bottom line. That David Wildstein will do anything to save David Wildstein and attacks Wildstein's credibility, pointing to accounts from newspapers and people who knew him with examples like he was once an anonymous blogger known as Wally Edge. His high school teacher accused him of deceptive behavior and he created a culture of fear at the Port Authority.

PAUL: Well, here's the thing. Then Christie says Wildstein is only seeking immunity and has apparently failed to provide the, quote, "so- called evidence" after he was subpoenaed by the New Jersey legislature.

BLACKWELL: And for the "New York Times" Christie's response, they call it, quote, "sloppy reporting because the original report said Wildstein had evidence then it was later changed to say "evidence exists." Now the "Times" responded to that criticism saying it made dozens of changes to make the story more precise.

But New jersey will get a chance to set aside political scandals for at least a few hours today as it gets ready to celebrate as host of the Super Bowl. And if you didn't get tickets because a lot of people who watch the game, clearly, they're not there, this may be the next best thing. Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square. A little early, a little dark, you see of course there are always lights on in Times Square but it will be packed later today.

PAUL: Certainly. Today's top priority, too, obviously, is keeping the millions of fans inside MetLife Stadium and in the New York-New Jersey area itself safe. So law enforcement taking every precaution here. There are even nine, did you know?


Nine military helicopters to patrol the sky above the game. You're going to see extra police, security, bomb sniffing dogs.

BLACKWELL: Alexandra Field joins us now from New York live.

Alexandra, good morning.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi, Victor. This is really the day that law enforcement officials have been working so long to prepare for. They spent years actually planning for this event and specifically they've been trying to address the really unique set of challenges that this particular Super Bowl poses.

We've told you before, this is really the first mass transit Super Bowl so a lot of the stepped up security efforts are going to be happening in the train stations. You may have noticed it already this week, along with the state, local, and federal agents who have all been working to secure the mass transit system.

We've also seen TSA has deployed some of its special teams to train stations, including behavioral detection officers. A lot of ticket holders will be taking the train today. Some 15,000 bags are expected to be screened at the Secaucus Junction train station which lets out just a few yards from MetLife Stadium.

All ticket holders will arrive at the stadium will of course be going -- will be undergoing very strict security measures, really airport- style screenings. They also know that there are new bag restrictions in place this past football season. Ticket holders can only carry very small bags or the larger clear plastic bag.

This is a big event for MetLife Stadium. They have hosted high- profile events in the past like a papal visit and World Cup games back in the '90s but one security expert tells us this is really the biggest security challenge that this stadium has ever taken on.


FRANK RODGERS, PUBLIC SAFETY EXPERT: It's terrorism. I think, you know, that's paramount in everybody's mind and, you know, it's the preparation that's going into, you know -- you know, knowing the challenges, knowing the intelligence that surrounds these games, the sharing of that information from both the -- you know, local to state and national level.

So I'm sure that's not -- that's top of their priority list and then there's the day-to-day things that we need to be concerned about. Obviously, the weather and the traffic challenges that this unique venue presents to us.


FIELD: Along with all the security measures taking place on the ground, there will also be security up above the stadium. We're talking about a no-fly zone above the stadium. The FAA has already worked with some of the commercial carriers to work on their flight plans in order to have this flight restriction over the stadium this morning -- Christi, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Alexandra Field, a lot going on to make sure everyone is safe. Thank you.

PAUL: All right. We want to turn to a story now that just exploded yesterday afternoon with a published open letter and, please, just let me forewarn you here that the details of this next story are graphic. They're not appropriate if you have children in the room, but I just don't want you to be taken off guard here. It's tough to talk about. So just want you to be aware.

For the first time, Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Woody Allen, is breaking her silence about allegations that the filmmaker sexually assaulted her as a child. Now the allegations first came to light back in 1993 after Farrow's mother, actress Mia Farrow, split from Allen.

In an open letter published by the "New York Times" Farrow begins by asking readers, what's your favorite Woody Allen movie? After describing the alleged abuse, which Allen has consistently denied, Farrow challenged its readers to answer that same question one more time.


PAUL (voice-over): Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, speaking out for the first time and giving new details of alleged sexual assaults by the famed writer and director.

In an open letter published in a "New York Times" blog she recounts an incident she says happened in 1992.

"When I was 7 years old Woody Allen by took by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother's electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it. Whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we'd go to Paris, and I'd be a star in his movies."

The letter published just weeks after Mia Farrow reignited a longstanding feud with her ex by bringing the personal family history back into the public eye.

All of this played out as the 78-year-old Allen was being honored by his peers at the Golden Globe Awards and his latest film celebrated with three Academy Award nominations.

Mia Farrow, displaying her contempt on social media, tweeting, "A woman has publicly detailed Woody Allen's molestation of her at age 7. Golden Globe tribute showed contempt for her and all abuse survivors."

Her son, Ronin, followed suit. Making no effect to veil his disgust. "Mr. Woody Allen tribute. Did they put a part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after "Annie Hall"?

It's all part of the convoluted story that is Woody Allen's personal life.


The couple separated after 12 years when Mia Farrow discovered that Allen was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi, who is now Allen's wife. The same year Dylan told her mother that Allen had touched her inappropriately. Allen denied the charges and according to the "New York Times" a team of medical investigators found no evidence of abuse. Allen was never charged but the allegations have tainted his image for two decades.

But Dylan finally breaking her silence and admonishing some of Hollywood's most celebrated by name for, in her words, turning a blind eye by continuing to work with Allen.

"That he got away with what he did to me. Haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls."


PAUL: I want to point out CNN did reach out to Woody Allen's representative for comments. We have not yet heard back. We have also reached out to some of the stars that Dylan Farrow challenged by name in her letter and have yet to hear responses from them as well. But we're going to have much more on the next hour with CNN's Brian Stelter.

BLACKWELL: Well, the hunt for some missing pills in a Florida crime lab leads investigators to a much bigger crime. And it could affect as many as 2600 cases going back to 2006.

That's next.


BLACKWELL: Fourteen minutes after the hour now. And this story sounds like something straight out of a "CSI" episode. So a chemist at a Florida crime lab has now been accused of stealing drugs. Now he was allegedly swapping out prescription pills for over-the-counter medications.

PAUL: Yes. OK. So what that means is it could have compromised evidence, obviously, in the 2600 drug cases that he's handled since 2006 covering 80 law enforcement agencies. Now officials say this could result in some drug convictions being overturned. The chemist's name, by the way, hasn't been released.

BLACKWELL: Let's go to Texas now where some cold weather is headed towards the northern part of the state. I think we've got a live camera.

PAUL: Think so. BLACKWELL: Yes. It's still dark there, but no rain or snow just yet.


PAUL: Yet being the operative word.


PAUL: According to nearly 300 flights have been canceled at Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport already and I know that a lot of you there are bracing for some pretty bad weather a little bit later in the day.

Jennifer Gray coming to us now. She is in our winter storm warning or she's there with the winter storm warning, I guess I should say.

Is there snow expected there?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. A little bit. Not much. And we're talking about possible sleet, as well. But about a tenth of an inch of sleet possible in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

You could see from this map we have winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings in effect, also ice storm warnings right there in southern Oklahoma. So it could be a little bit of an active day. Right now things are just starting to get fired up and you can see the snow already coming down in the panhandle.

We'll zoom in a little closer to Dallas. Right now just a very cold rain. We are picking up some of that sleet, freezing rain possibly just north of I-20 on the west side of Dallas in Ft. Worth. So most of the snow, though, is west to the north in the Ohio Valley, Cleveland, Indianapolis, getting all of that. Cincinnati, a cold rain for you and temperatures are going to stay cold in the south.

Thirty-five degrees right now in Dallas. It will be dropping throughout the day. Temperatures will be getting below freezing as we go through the late afternoon. But timing this out, it should be out of here by this afternoon and then pushing over to the east as we get into Monday morning.

Could see some showers for the southeast that does include Atlanta and then off the East Coast. Looking like it's going to miss the northeast for the most part.

The other big story this morning, fog, very dense fog across all of the southeast, and visibility less than quarter of a mile anywhere from Atlanta including Alabama, and most of the state of Florida -- guys.

BLACKWELL: Certainly foggy this morning in Atlanta.

Hey, Jennifer, stick around because we're going to ask you to give us a Super Bowl forecast in a few minutes so we'll check back.

GRAY: Allrighty. PAUL: Meanwhile, I want to tell you about some of the devastation in Indonesia. We know this morning that at least 15 people are dead after a volcano kind of roared to life there. It was spewing hot ash and debris into the air and it was racing down a mountainside.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Let's go to CNN's Kathy Quiano who is in Jakarta with more for us -- Cathy.

KATHY QUIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, well, the victims of Mount Sinabung's eruption on Saturday were found in the village just within two miles from the volcano's crater. Now hot ash clouds with temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit traveled down the slope in just two to three minutes. Now many of the victims didn't stand a chance of surviving that.

And while authorities have recovered most of the bodies, but they say they may be more casualties.

Now Mount Sinabung had been quiet for over 400 years until it came back to life in 2010. It started erupting again in September 2013. Over 30,000 people still live in shelters in the area. On Friday authorities actually allowed thousands of people to go back to their homes that were outside the exclusion zone.

Still, authorities say, Mount Sinabung remains dangerous. They're stepping up efforts to keep people safely away from the volcano's wrath.

Back to you -- Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: Wow. Kathy, thank you. The work continues as this volcano is still so dangerous.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Still to come on NEW DAY confidence on another level.

PAUL: Not my level, I can tell you that right now. A Seahawks fan gets a Super Bowl championship tattoo. Yes, people, they haven't even played the game yet. Talk about brave.



BLACKWELL: Super Bowl Sunday. And you're watching the evolution of MetLife Stadium. MetLife, of course, is the stadium where the Broncos take on the Seahawks. Super Bowl XLVIII tonight.

This is East Rutherford, New Jersey. Not New York. And this time --


Because New Jersey folks, they are really protective and they want to make sure you know they're playing in Jersey.

PAUL: Yes. It's Jersey.

BLACKWELL: Yes. This covers the time that it took to build the stadium. April of '07 to March of 2010.

PAUL: All for this big game. Right?


PAUL: And obviously we've been covering it. Jen Gray has a look at the forecast for you. But we do want to start with Joe Carter because obviously Joe has got a busy day ahead of him. He gets paid to sit back and watch this game.

JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: I know. Isn't it something? I just want to say congratulations to Jen for getting this forecast for us today because last couple of weeks all we talked about was how bad the weather was going to be.

PAUL: Yes.

CARTER: But it's going to be great.

PAUL: Yes.

CARTER: It looks like it's going to be great. So thank you, Jen. Thank you.

GRAY: You're welcome.

CARTER: Guys, Super Bowl picks real quick. Victor, Christi?

BLACKWELL: I'm going with the Broncos.

PAUL: I'm going with the Broncos. Yes.


PAUL: And tell him why.

BLACKWELL: Well, because Lili, the panda -- was it the panda?

CARTER: Yes, it was.

PAUL: It was the panda. Yes.


BLACKWELL: I just remember the name.

PAUL: That picked the Broncos. Really.

CARTER: Well, guys, you are like many out there picking the Broncos. Vegas, as a matter of fact, says that the Broncos already two-point favorite. It's interesting because a couple of weeks ago actually Denver was a one-point underdog. But things have shifted. Yesterday was the last chance for both teams to really put the finishing touches on the game plan. Both Seattle and Denver went to MetLife Stadium, they did the walk through. This is very customary, you know, gives you a chance to take pictures, get a feel for the stadium, walk through the tunnel.

Seattle comes into this game with the best defense in the NFL. They're secondary. They got a great nickname. They're called the legion of boom. It's a pure, hard-hitting old school football at its finest.

Now Denver, their head coach, John Fox, you know, he's been to a Super Bowl before. In 2003 he was Carolina Panthers, he's they're head coach. John Elway, the vice president of operations, he's been to four Super Bowls with the Broncos, he won two. And you know, this year's team, it's like Elway's '97-'98 team. They're an offensive juggernaut. Peyton Manning, of course, the driving force to that. And most points, most touchdown passes, and most passing yards in a single season.

So that's why yesterday was no surprise when Peyton Manning was named this season's Most Valuable Player. As a matter of fact, guys, it's the fifth time that Peyton Manning won this MVP Award. That's more than any other player in NFL history. And last season, if you remember, he won the Comeback Player of the Year Award. He came back from neck surgery, he left the Colts to join the Broncos. But this season he made it clear from game one that he was on a mission. If you remember, game one against the Baltimore Ravens, the defending Super Bowl champion, Baltimore Ravens -- sorry, Victor -- but seven touchdowns.

Remember, that's how he set the tone for the whole season. Seven touchdowns in that game to start it off and obviously a great season. MVP Award to cap it off. And maybe even a Super Bowl tonight. Be the first quarterback to win two Super Bowls with two different teams. So we'll see.

PAUL: Joe being from Denver, good luck to you, Joe.

CARTER: Thank you. I appreciate that.


PAUL: A lot of luck to you.

CARTER: No luck needed. We got this.

BLACKWELL: OK. All right. Thanks for throwing in that little factoid about the Ravens. Thank you.


CARTER: No problem. No problem.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's go to Jen. Will the weather be kind to all the fans and the players? GRAY: Yes, you know, the weather is really going to cooperate when you consider that both of these teams are used to cold weather. Seattle and Denver, playing in the 40s. They are going to love it. Temperatures will be around 49 degrees at 3:00 this afternoon. But then this evening as we're winding down and getting ready for kickoff, temperatures will be in the mid-40s.

So kickoff temperature 46 degrees. It will feel like 44, not bad at all, considering it's the northeast and then as the game goes on, temperatures will be falling little by little by the end of the game. Of course, temperatures will feel like the 30s and now winds aren't really going to be much of a factor, as well. Northwest wind about six miles per hour, could be up to 10 at times.

So, guys, we'll take it. It's not going to be bad at all.

PAUL: All right. Thank you so much, Jen.

GRAY: All right.

BLACKWELL: Governor Chris Christie is now attacking the credibility of one of his formal officials -- former official, rather. And he's doing it by citing his high school social studies teacher.



PAUL: It is the bottom of the hour right now. We're so glad to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. And so, five things you need to know for your new day. At the half, number one, United Airlines is cutting flights of Cleveland. It will reduce daily departures by about 60 percent, and regional departures by over 70 percent starting in April. The United Airlines CEO wrote to employees, our hub in Cleveland has not been profitable for over a decade and it's generated tens of millions of dollars of annual losses in recent years. We simply cannot continue to bear these losses.

PAUL: Number two, three people were killed in West Virginia yesterday when two cell phone towers collapsed. Now, firefighters responded to calls that the first tower had gone down, which killed two workers and injured two others. Then the second tower fell striking and killing one of those firefighters. The workers were supposed to apparently replace support structures on both of the towers.

BLACKWELL: Number three, prosecutors say former football star Aaron Hernandez used coded messages in jailhouse calls to talk about the killing of his friend Odin Lloyd. Hernandez is being held on first degree murder charges in Lloyd's shooting death last year. The prosecutors are now seeking access to those reporters.

PAUL: Number four, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is in the hospital. The 71-year old became ill, apparently, after he returned from a business trip. And he is in the intensive care unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for evaluation and his family is by his side, we're told, but, remember, Daley served as mayor of Chicago for a record 22 years from 1989 until 2011.

BLACKWELL: And number five, food, commercials and football. Today is the day. In just about 12 hours Super Bowl XLVIII kicks off as the Broncos top rated offense goes head-to-head with the Seahawks number one defense. And good news for players and fans of the game. Despite earlier threats of snow and freezing temperatures is expected to be in the low to mid-40s tonight in New Jersey. Good news, there.

You know, today was supposed to be one of the most exciting sporting events of Governor Chris Christie's career, Super Bowl there in Jersey. But instead, he's facing backlash from new allegations in this George Washington Bridge scandal. He was even booed at a Super Bowl event. Listen.



GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R) NEW JERSEY: Good afternoon, everybody. You've already heard enough speeches. Enough speeches of the same thing. I want to tell everybody out there to thank you very much.


PAUL: OK, so this comes as the governor's office battles new claims that "Evidence exists that Christie knew about lane closures at the bridge while they were happening." And Christie's people sent out this memo. It's titled "Five Things You Should Know About the Bombshell That Is Not a Bombshell." And it basically attacks the credibility of the former official David Wildstein who made the claims against Christie. In one example, it cites the high school social studies teacher who accused Wildstein of deceptive behavior and Christie also questions the so-called evidence.

BLACKWELL: So, joining us to talk about this, CNN political commentator, Ben Ferguson in New York and Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator in Washington. Good to have both of you.


MARIA CARDONA: Happy Super Bowl Sunday.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it is the holiday.

PAUL: You, too. Let's start with you, Ben, since you spoke out first. In this statement to friends and allies that Christi administration is slamming Wildstein with examples from his high school social studies teacher. I mean is this smart defense or some lame, personal swipe.

FERGUSON: Well, I don't even think you have to go that far back. This is a guy that pleaded the Fifth when asked questions and was asked to turn over evidence and he basically said, I'm not speaking. His lawyer since day one when all this came out and he got busted and lost his job has been trying to get some sort of plea deal for immunity. I mean, that's the one thing they have been consistently doing. And now basically the claim is, well, there's evidence that may exist. We don't even know if it does exist. And, to me, you're looking at a guy that won't tell the truth, that won't answer questions, that won't talk but now says, well, there may be evidence. So, I really don't think this changes the story at all. If the governor knew something and he lied to the people of New Jersey, yes, he's going to be in big trouble. It will ruin his presidential aspirations. But I don't think this guy has got anything except for, well, there may be something out there, so give me immunity.

PAUL: OK, and Maria, I want you to respond to that. Because a lot of people might be looking at this thing, you know, as a whole saying ...


PAUL: I don't know who to trust because Wildstein, you know, as Ben pointed out, there are people saying he wants immunity, he wants them to pay his legal bills. I mean can Wildstein be trusted?

CARDONA: Well, that's exactly right, Christi. The problem here is the perception. And this continues a downward spiral about the perception that Christi actually did know more than he did. Now, Ben's absolutely right. We shouldn't trust Wildstein at his word because he clearly has some motives here of his own.


CARDONA: But at the same time, even in the response that the governor's office put out, they're changing the goal posts. What Wildstein is saying and his lawyer is saying, is that the governor knew about the lane closures while they were happening. In his press conference, the governor was very clear that he didn't know about the lane closures. Didn't find out about them until days after when they were reported in the press. And what his office put out, they're now saying that he had no prior knowledge of the lane closures. So, right there, there's a lot of questions that in people's minds is well, you know, who can we trust? That's why he was booed at the event yesterday. That's s why his poll numbers are plummeting. And the American people, you know, they have a lot of tolerance and can forgive, if you are contrite and if you are honest from the very beginning. They can forgive a screw up. But what they won't forgive is if they feel like they are being screwed over.

FERGUSON: Now, Maria, as of now, we have no information, not one single email, not one document as of now when more than 2,000 have been gone through and investigative reporters and people that hate him in New Jersey and Democrats try to find any smoking gun. Any link. Not one thing as of this morning has linked him, when everyone's been trying to find it. And so, I go back to this guy's motives. He desperately needs money for his legal defense because he doesn't want to go to jail. He pleads the Fifth, he's asking for immunity and basically the only claim we have this morning is evidence may exist. To me, that means nothing at all from a guy that you can't trust that gotten in trouble that lied and now may go to jail. CARDONA: Well, and you know what, Ben, you're absolutely right about everything that you just said. So, we will have to wait and see. But the problem here, and you know this very well, is that in politics, perception becomes reality. So, even though right now today there is no real smoking gun, there have been questions because of what Christie himself has said. Moving the goal posts in terms of knowing while, you know, knowing about the lane closures while they were happening or before they were happening. The other issue is, is that he was very clear in his press conference that he doesn't really know Wildstein. A lot of people don't buy that because there is a lot of press reports ...

FERGUSON: No, but a lot of people close to Wildstein ...

CARDONA: Hang on a second, hang on a second. There were a lot of press reports about how close they were with Wildstein. And in fact, the position at the Port Authority was created for him because he was such a close friend to the governor's and that he was his eyes and ears at the Port Authority. So, again, this is the perception of the voters in terms of this downward spiral about what Christi knew and what he didn't know and when he knew it.

BLACKWELL: Last word to Ben. Really quickly. Go ahead, Ben.

FERGUSON: Look, I go back to this. I think this is Democrats wanting to destroy Christi because a lot of them know he is a huge threat to any Democrat running for president. He is a charismatic guy. They see an opportunity here and as of this morning not one single document. When thousands of people are looking for it. When hundreds that want to end Christie's career have had the opportunity trying to nail him. No one's come with the one piece of paper linking these closing.

CARDONA: Perception - perception is reality and Christi has become his own worst enemy.

FERGUSON: I know you hope so.

BLACKWELL: All right. Maria Cardona and Ben Ferguson, thank you so much. You saw that poll we posted up there at the latest ABC poll, the 2016 presidential election were today. 53 percent for Clinton, 41 percent for Christie. So, we'll see if this continues to erode those numbers for Christie. Thank you, both. We'll continue to have the conversation.

CARDONA: Thanks you, guys.

PAUL: Good to see you, thank you.

And still to come on "NEW DAY." We're going to show you some of the pictures of the heart breaking Indonesia volcanic ash has devastated a small village there.

BLACKWELL: Plus, disputes over an area just outside the Olympic Games has security experts on edge this morning. We'll explain why.



VB: Good morning to you. Live look now at a popular section of Dublin. You see there the temple bar. There is no night life, although it's buzzing right now, just about 17, 18 minutes before noon. Let's get some of the news making headlines around the world this morning and head over to Christi.

PAUL: Yeah, Victor, thank you so much. Let's just take a trip here to Indonesia first. There is a small village there that has been devastated covered in volcanic ash. Kathy Quiano has more for us from Jakarta. Hi, Kathy.

KATHY QUIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At least 15 people were killed when Mount Sinabung in Indonesia erupted again on Saturday. Hot ash clouds with temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit traveled down its slope in just two to three minutes. The victims simply couldn't outrun the searing volcanic debris. Now, the victims were all in an abandoned village within the danger zone. Thousands of people have been living in temporary shelters since the volcano came back to life in September. It is unclear when they can all safely go back home, again. Back to you, Christi.

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

And let's go to Bangkok now. Security teams are out in force there as the nation which is mired in political unrest is heading to the polls. Saima Mohsin is there. Hi, Saima.

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christi. Extra security personnel is being drafted up and down the country. In Bangkok alone, 10,000 security personnel are on standby as we have seen violent clashes break out over the last few weeks in the run-up to elections. They wiggle force in the gun battle on the eve of the election Saturday as clashes broke out between government supporters and anti- government protestors. They don't want this election to go ahead. Thailand has a major tourism industry, all eyes are on this country as it tries to end its political deadlock. Back to you, Christi.

PAUL: Saima, thank you.

And to Sochi, Russia now. CNN's Ivan Watson is going to kind of break down for us why a dispute over a contested territory is one reason that security experts are so on edge about the upcoming Olympic Games. Ivan?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. Many people may not know this, but five-minute drive away from the Olympic Park is an international border that most international visitors will not be able to cross. The region here is Abkhazia, it is the source of an ongoing territorial dispute. A war was fought there 20 years ago and the republic of Georgia continues to claim that territory.

<06:45:00> WATSON: It's referred to as a frozen conflict. And this is part of why security questions are such a big concern for Russia's upcoming Winter Olympics here in Sochi. Back to you, Christi.

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

BLACKWELL: So, this is the question everyone is asking. After this winter and, no, we're not talking about the Super Bowl, but after this winter, how long is this going to stick around?

PAUL: There's only one person, I shouldn't even say person that has that answer. It's a groundhog.

BLACKWELL: It's a groundhog.

PAUL: Yes, it's Super Bowl, but, people, did you realize it's groundhog day, too? When we find out whether winter is going to stick around or spring is going to pop up early? That depends on what Bill the Groundhog does. Did he see his shadow? Joe Murgo from CNN affiliate WTAJ has more.

JOE MURGO, METEOROLOGIST AT WTAJ-TV: Victor, Christi, we have tens of thousands of people here at Gobblers Knob just outside of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. All night long they have been braving clouds, mud, rain. Why? To find out what Punxsutawney Phil has to say. If he sees his shadow, there is going to be six more weeks of winter, not spring around the corner with the rain coming down you would think he wouldn't see his shadow. But last year a lot of controversy about what happened. He said he didn't see his shadow or at least his handler said that. And then he was almost sued from an Ohio attorney, but then they said, oh, it's a misinterpretation. The Ohio attorney came today and had a lot of fun with it. They are doing a lot on stage to keep the crowd going despite a lot of rainfall. Now, we're having nighttime fireworks. In just over an hour they'll have a whole procession of (inaudible) and they'll rap on Bill's stump behind me, then they'll talk to him in grounhoguese (ph) and they are going to have this prediction. And he's been doing this since the 1800s. Most of the time he sees his shadow. But we'll see, with clouds of rain coming on down, what they are going to see. But until then, folks are rejoined here and we'll have more on what Bill had to say coming a little bit later on. Now, we'll send it back to you.

BLACKWELL: OK, Joe Murgo for us there. And, you know, I don't know if he's going to see the shadow and that will send him back into the hole or the fireworks that we're hearing there.

PAUL: Yeah, the static you heard were the fireworks going on. So you know.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. But that is a party before dawn every year there in Punxsutawney.

PAUL: I think the reason - for a groundhog.

BLACKWELL: Still to come on "NEW DAY" Nebraska's largest city owes Peyton Manning one big thank you. PAUL: More than that. No one knows - a lot of people say they don't know exactly what it means. But the star quarterback, as you know, has been chatting Omaha throughout the playoffs and the city is making millions off the publicity.



PAUL: Good morning, Omaha! It doesn't work when I say it. A live look right now at Washington Center on the campus of Clayton University. And hope you're all up and going this morning because I know that you're going to be watching the game.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, they're going to be listening to hear Peyton Manning yell Omaha! A couple of dozen times in the Super Bowl today.

PAUL: Most likely, at least. Broncos quarterback, as you know, he's been - had everyone guessing for a while why he has been shouting about Nebraska's largest city before he snapped. Here's one thing that we do know. Omaha is enjoying all of its attention. Omaha native CNN's Dan Simon has more for us.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo has lots of penguins and this is its newest one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We named it Peyton after Peyton Manning.

SIMON: It's the latest example of the city relishing in this. Denver's quarterback with a mystery call at the line of scrimmage 75 times during the playoffs.


SIMON: Manning has been shouting "Omaha!" throughout what is sure to be a hall of fame career.


SIMON: But apparently, a more powerful microphone on the field has made it more noticeable. And it's become a big talker in the sports world with everyone guessing what it means.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a run play that, but it could be a pass play or a play action pass depending on a couple of things. The wind, which way we're going and the jerseys that we're wearing. So, there's your answer to that one.

SIMON: In Omaha the answer has been not to fumble a good opportunity. To bring eyeballs to the city and its businesses. Omaha is where I grew up and one thing I can tell you, is folks here are very proud of their city and are eager to show it off any time they get the chance. So, naturally, they are enjoying this moment in the spotlight courtesy of Mr. Manning. The Omaha Chamber of Commerce estimates the attention has provided $10 million in free advertising for the city.

TODD SIMON, CO-OWNER OF OMAHA STEAKS: First off, it's just plain fun to hear your city being talked about over and over again.

SIMON: That's Todd Simon. Yes, there is a relation. He is my cousin and a co-owner of Omaha Steaks. Which has been in my family for five generations.


SIMON: It was one of eight companies that donated $100 each time Peyton called out Omaha ...


SIMON: During the AFC Championship Game. ConAgra, (inaudible) of Omaha and Union were among the other well-known businesses.


SIMON: The Omaha shoutout is generating almost $25,000. The money going to Manning's foundation to help disadvantaged children.

TODD SIMON: You know, we were able to create a lot of extra buzz and also do something great at the same time.

SIMON: For the Super Bowl, it's now up to 17 companies. Omaha's mayor says the attention has made her a Denver Bronco's fan.

MAYOR JEAN STOTHERT, OMAHA: We hope that he will say it repeatedly in the Super Bowl and we hope when they win the Super Bowl Peyton Manning says he's going to Omaha instead of Disney World.

SIMON: And Omaha isn't alone in trying to take advantage of it. An online gambling site in Canada is taking odds on how many times Manning will signal using the city's name during the Super Bowl. "Omaha World Herald" columnist Mike Kelly.

MIKE KELLY, "OMAHA WORLD HERALD": Now, my big fear is, he's going to come up to the line of scrimmage at the Super Bowl, look at the defense and say Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo!

SIMON: Either way, Peyton the Penguin will keep his name. Dan Simon, CNN, Omaha.


PAUL: Omaha!

BLACKWELL: Omaha! I'm going for maybe 18. That's my prediction.

PAUL: I'll go 20.

BLACKWELL: OK. All right. We'll see that. Dan Simon, thank you so much.

All right. End of a pretty fun era at "SNL." Comedian Seth Meyers saying good-bye.


PAUL: No, a lot of people saying good-bye in the entertainment industry right now. We're going to show you last night's all-star sendoff, though.



SETH MEYERS, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": A Montana man who is wearing a hat with the word weed on it was arrested after police found six pound of marijuana in his car. Police knew where to look for the drug, because his shirt said, it's in the trunk.


CECILY STRONG: Wait, was that your last joke?

MEYERS: Yes, it was.



BLACKWELL: Yeah, it's the end of another chapter for "Saturday Night Live's" weekend updates. Seth Meyers said good-bye to the anchor desk last night.

PAUL: You know, would not that be a proper farewell without a surprise sendoff, let's say, from two old pals. Take a look.


STRONG: And on that, we're going to miss you so much. Seth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You barely know him!



MEYERS: I'm - so, sorry, this is Amy and this is Stefon.

AMY POEHLER: I just want to say, Cecily, you are doing such a great job.

STRONG: Thank you.

POEHLER: Congratulations.

(APPLAUSE) POEHLER: And, Stefan, Seth has told me so much about you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep my man's name out of your mouth!


MEYERS: It is my last show and I just want to say being out here with my co-anchors and my dear friend and my husband is the perfect way to end.


MEYERS: This is the job I always wanted and I had the best time and I met the best people and I just want to thank the crew and the cast and especially the writers and, Lauren, thank you very much. And take us out, Cecily.


STRONG: A weekend update. I'm Cecily Strong (ph).

POEHLER: I'm Amy Poehler.


MEYERS: And I'm Seth Meyers. Good night.