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Ted Cruz Standing In The Way Again; Rand Paul To Sue Obama Over NSA; House Takes Up In Flight Calls; Self Defense Or Murder; Tom Brokaw Reveals Cancer Diagnosis; Best In Show

Aired February 12, 2014 - 07:30   ET



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is half past the hour in the east. Let's take a look at your headlines at this hour. The House has passed a clean bill allowing for a debt limit increase, but Texas Senator Ted Cruz could be a thorn in the government side once again. Cruz says he will not allow a clean through the Senate with fewer than 60 votes. Democrats 55 seats in the Senate, so five Republicans would have to join on. It's unclear if Cruz would actually try to delay that vote.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is suing President Obama and others over NSA surveillance programs. Paul's political action committee says he will file a federal class action suit claims the president has publicly refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the fourth amendment. The Kentucky Republican is a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

Millions of folks in the Deep South getting hammered by snow and ice coating trees and roads, tree branches, power line, made for a very, very dangerous drive. Knocking out power to more than 10,000 people in Georgia alone.

Congress a one step closer to banning cell phone calls on planes after a House panel approved a new bill Tuesday. It would require the Department of Transportation to issue the prohibition and a move that they were already considering, but would not impact the FAA's decision last year allowing passengers to surf the web and text, and send e- mail on those phones.

In the Mexican state, parents are now banned from naming their children things like Facebook or Rambo (ph), 61 names deemed odd or offense because officials say they could lead to bullying. All were found at least once in state registries. The list could grow. Other offenders, a girl named Martian and a boy named Circumcision -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's the transition ever. All right, thank you, Michaela. We'll leave that one there. It's 33 minutes after the hour. Today, it could be the final day in the Michael Dunn loud music trial. The defense have rested its case Tuesday after a long and at times emotional testimony from Michael Dunn who spent more than three hours making his own case for self defense. The big question, obviously, did he succeed because he really needed to succeed. The verdict will be up to the jury which is expected to get the case this afternoon. Let's breakdown Dunn's testimony right now bringing in experts, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Jeffrey Toobin along with defense attorney and expert in jury issues, Kimberly Priest Johnson.

Jeffrey, I found this is fascinating day of testimony. It seemed like Dunn knew precisely what he had to do and the language was very carefully chosen. He was saying the decision to fire the gun, he said it was a life or death situation. Was he convincing?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: What a load of nonsense. I mean, look, I don't blame him for going to trial. He's got to take a shot and he never know what a jury is going to do. I think his defense is ridiculous. I think his behavior is inexplicable. I think it's inconsistent with his testimony and the idea that you shoot ten shots at a gas station forgive me, even in the south, and you just leave because your dog has to get a walk is absurd. And I think the jury is going to see it the same way.

BERMAN: Let's talk about how he tried to make his case to the jury. He was emotional on the stand yesterday. He broke down. He was in tears almost in some points. Let's listen to what he said talking about his fiancee, Rhonda Rouer.


MICHAEL DUNN, DEFENDANT: This is where Rhonda starts coming into my mind because I know she's heard the shots. I know Rhonda -- it wasn't just my life I was worried about.


BERMAN: You know, you know juries. How does the jury see that? When they see the defendant breaking down on the stand, what do they see?

KIMBERLY PRIEST JONATHAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, seeing a defendant break down on the stand can be touching to a jury. The problem for Michael Dunn is the times he broke down yesterday were in reference to his fiancee and then the other time was in reference to his dog. Not once in that three to four hours of testimony when he's referring or talking about the death of Jordan Davis did he ever show any emotion or remorse whatsoever? And so I think the fact of where he showed the emotion is going to be detrimental to his case.

BERMAN: He was almost clear, calm, and cold when he was talking about the shooting himself, but it was glaring when he spoke about his dog, he started to get teary. Another subject that came up was the chain of events that happened after the shooting. He talked about the fact that they didn't call police. They went back to the hotel. Let's listen to what he said.


DUNN: We were there looking out the windows like awaking nightmare. Every car was a red SUV, I mean, to us. We thought we had just made them go away and that they were going to come back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't call the police, did you?

DUNN: No, never did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't call the police at the store, right?

DUNN: I -- I didn't call the police at all until the following morning.


BERMAN: This is just got to be a huge problem for the defense, Jeffrey. Why didn't they call the police? Why did they go back to the hotel walk the dog, eat a pizza? Did he make up any ground there in explaining why that happened?

TOOBIN: And especially when you consider his whole defense was he was so scared. If you're scared, you call the police for help. He obviously was panicking trying to figure out what to do with this horrible thing he had done. I just find the whole story completely incredible and his defense lawyers argument that well, you didn't book a flight out of the country. I mean, yes, he didn't rob a bank either. The fact that you didn't commit more crimes doesn't mean that you didn't commit the one you're charged with.

BERMAN: But Kimberly, he didn't try to run away. Is that convincing?

JONATHAN: Look, this is a really bad fact that the defense has to deal with. As I've been covering this case, this is what I hear most from people that are tweeting. They are bothered about the fact that when he left the scene of the shooting, he didn't call 911. Now, he explained -- attempts to explain this away by saying he was in shock and he just needed to be alone, get his bearings together and then approach the police.

Unfortunately for him, he actually testified that he then called police. Well, we saw in the prosecution's rebuttal case that -- that that actually wasn't the case, according to his fiancee.

BERMAN: You bring up bad facts. It may be that the worst fact of all for Michael Dunn has to do with the idea that he saw a gun in the other car. He claims he was acting in self defense because he thought that the people in this car that he was looking at, he thought they were armed. He also claimed that he told his girlfriend after the fact that he thought he saw a gun. This led to one of the most interesting juxtapositions in testimony of the entire day. Let's listen to what he said and then what his girlfriend said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you describe the weapon? Did you say they had a sword?

DUNN: A gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A gun. You used the word gun with Rhonda Rouer?

DUNN: Yes, I did.


DUNN: Multiple times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the defendant ever tell you that he saw a gun in that red SUV?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the defendant ever tell you that he saw a weapon of any kind in that SUV?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no mention of a stick?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no mention of a shotgun?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no mention of a barrel?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no mention of a lead pipe.



BERMAN: Jeffrey, that's his girlfriend.

TOOBIN: That fact -- I mean I think his defense is ridiculous. The whole thing is a mess. He is obviously scrambling to come up with a story after the fact that somehow explains away his behavior. But this is why we have trials and courtrooms where you can pick things apart and show when a story is nonsense.

BERMAN: Kimberly, every guy in the studio all morning has looked at that testimony all morning, the girlfriend testifying against her boyfriend. All she would have to do is say he told her about it. She won't do that. The jury has got to see that.

JONATHAN: She's clearly the prosecution's star witness. You can tell the anguish that she's going through on the stand having to do what she's doing. She knows that she's sending her fiancee to prison essentially. I think that she just feels like she's got to tell the truth. She is the most credible witness in this trial.

TOOBIN: Undoubtedly she has told the police and prosecutors this before. So she can't suddenly on the witness stand say, now that I think about it, I remember he did say there was a gun. She's undoubtedly locked in on this story.

JONATHAN: We also know she was worried herself about being arrested at the beginning. We surmised that the prosecution did not charge her so they could have her as their star witness.

BERMAN: And they sure did yesterday. The defense has their work cut out for them in the closing arguments which come today. We'll cover that right here on CNN. So obviously stay with us all day for that. Jeffrey Toobin, Kimberly Jonathan, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

Let us know what you think about this. Tweet us with the hashtag #newday, a very interesting case -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, a titan of our industry is fighting the battle of a lifetime. Tom Brokaw announcing that he's been diagnosed with cancer. We're going to bring in Dr. Sanjay Gupta once again to talk about what Tom Brokaw is facing and his road to recovery after the break.

PEREIRA: And it's the competition dogs across the nation have been waiting for so who took home best in show from the Westminster Dog Club, the Kennel Club, rather? We'll tell you.


PEREIRA: This morning, we're finding out more about legendary news anchor Tom Brokaw's diagnosis. The long time NBC News correspondent has revealed that he is currently being treated for cancer. Brokaw was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. It is a cancer that attacks bone marrow cells. Doctors say they are encouraged by his progress thus far.

Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta was able to brave that Atlanta weather and get into the bureau. He is there with us at World Headquarters for CNN. So glad to talk to you about this because I think a lot of us this is not a cancer we're very familiar with. Can you explain what multiple myeloma is?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is a rare type cancer, Michaela. It's a cancer that affects the bone marrow cells. You make all your important cells for the body, your red blood cells, your white blood cells, cells that help you clot blood. This is a cancer of one of those cells where that cell just starts growing out of control. They're called plasma cells.

As a result, you developed too many of those sells, which can affect the bone and cause bone fractures and other things in the body, but you also don't have enough of the other good cells. And that's sort of the hallmark of this particular cancer. Again, a pretty rare cancer, but it's also a cancer for which we don't have a cure. The treatments have improved over the last several years, but as far as cancer goes, this is one of the tougher cancers.

PEREIRA: So it's incurable but treatable. We'll talk about treatment in a second. How would he have presented to his doctors and known something was wrong. You mentioned a fracture, would that have been something that led him to realize something is really wrong with me?

Yes, you know, it's interesting. I've talked to a few colleagues about this last night. Most often people do have some sort of bone pain and typically it's in the back. But that's a vague thing, right? A lot of people have back pain from time to time. The back pain may have been something that just didn't go away. It shows a very particular sort of problem. I don't know if we have an image of this.

You typically notice punched out lesions in the bone. You may see it in the back, in the skull bone, really anywhere in the body. But that's typically it. People can also have fatigue because of the anemia, but it's sort of -- sometimes a little bit vague.

PEREIRA: So his doctors are saying right now that they're really, really positive about his prognosis. Give us an idea of what kind of treatment he is facing or he's currently undergoing?

GUPTA: Yes, you know, as I mentioned. There's no specific cure for multiple myeloma, but the treatments have improved quite a bit on over the last several years. You want to sort of kill those cells that have grown out of control within the bone marrow. You give a chemotherapy type drug, sometimes radiation is used. You kill a lot of the good cells as well. The goal is to kill the bad cells without killing as many good cells or replenish the good cells after the treatment is done.

Sometimes it even involves bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant to try and get the good cells back in the body. It's a cancer of the bone marrow. Think of it more in the context of a leukemia or lymphoma type cancer and you have to treat it with chemotherapy.

PEREIRA: We're told that he's been working through some of his treatment. Sanjay, thank you for explaining this to us giving us a better understanding of what he's facing. And all of us obviously wishing him well and hope that he has strong days ahead. Sanjay Gupta, we appreciate that.

BERMAN: A legend and a model journalist. All right, thanks, Michaela. Next stop for us on NEW DAY, we have a winner and as far as I'm concerned a major controversy, the Annual Westminster Kennel Dog Show crowns this year's best in show. Find out about this dog and the ones that did not win more importantly coming up next.


PEREIRA: The champion, people, right there. Welcome back to NEW DAY. At this year's most prestigious dog show, you could say the sky is the limit. It was Sky, a 5-year-old wire fox terrier that grabbed the best in show title at the Westminster Kennel Dog Show. She was crowned last night before a nearly jammed house in Madison Square Garden in New York City.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Best in show this evening is the wire fox terrier.

PEREIRA (voice-over): Thousands of competitors from 200 breeds were primped an paraded at Westminster 138th annual dog show. In the end only one ferocious victor nabbed the coveted title of best in show at America's most famous pooch pageant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a look at our best in show for 2014, Sky.

PEREIRA: Crowd favorite and veteran show dog, Sky, a female wire fox terrier deemed worthy of the show's top award. Terriers have taken 46 of the 105 best in show ribbons at the nation's doggy Super Bowl, most recently in 2010. Veteran judge handed out the honor draped in distinct Westminster purple.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Overwhelming, so proud of her. I can't say -- no words to describe this.

PEREIRA: Sky the best of the terrier group beat out canine contenders in the other six categories including Ally, a poodle in her retirement show. In the end it was this terrier who stole the judge's heart. The champions don't win a cash prize. Best in show dogs are awarded a ribbon and a. You size silver plated bowl perfect to house a steak dinner.


PEREIRA: That is a champion right there. Sky, well, done. You can't stand this.

BERMAN: This is not just all fake cable outrage. I have a little bit of outrage over this. I have dogs. Lab is the most popular dog in America.

BOLDUAN: I grew up with all labs.

BERMAN: I talked to people at the dog show that there's a terrier conspiracy mafia. Terriers win because they have a little bit of attitude. They are cocky. They walk in and say I'm going to win this show.

BOLDUAN: Guys, I have to read you a quote from the judge that you are pointing out. There's something magical that happens and it's hard to put in words, it's the "it" factor. She was really on. This was her night. So Sky, it was her night. All we know.

BERMAN: I'll give her congratulations. You robbed a whole generation of labs.

BOLDUAN: There are a lot of breed of dogs I have no idea what they are.

PEREIRA: It's thousands.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, served with pride as part of the American delegation to the Olympic games. Now gold medalist and figure skater, Brian Boitano just got back from Sochi and give us the scoop on Shaun White and what it was like to be there.

BERMAN: Plus we're monitoring this epic storm bearing down on the southeast right now. And what's in store for the northeast because guys it's coming. NEW DAY returns in a moment.