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Obama To Propose NSA Shake Up; Obamacare and Hobby Lobby; Families March To Malaysian Embassy In China; Could Robotic Vehicles Find Flight 370?

Aired March 25, 2014 - 07:30   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Four men arrested for parachuting off one World Trade Center. The stunt happened in September. Police say they found video when they searched the men's' homes. Investigators say one was a construction worker at the site. A defense attorney says they accessed the tower through a hole in the fence. Last week a teen was arrested after he allegedly slipped through a hole in the fence and climbed the skyscraper. Big questions about security --

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: That's the last thing I would ever want to do.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Forget the legality and security, what about the insanity of jumping off the World Trade Center?

ROMANS: She is not a classified thrill seeker.

PEREIRA: No. Apparently I'm not and I'm OK with that.

BERMAN: All right, I want to move now. Of course, President Obama in Europe dealing with the thorny issues of Ukraine right now. From that, to the thorny of issue of domestic spying. Let's go inside politics on NEW DAY with John King. Hi, John.

JOHN KING, HOST, CNN'S "INSIDE POLITICS": John, Michaela, Christine, good morning to you. A lot driving our day inside politics so let's get right to it. With me to share the reporting and their insights, Juana Summers from "Politico" and CNN's Peter Hamby. Let's start with this big development in the NSA. The president now saying he is OK with Congress and the administration will propose that the government no longer. The NSA keep this bulk metadata of all these folks.

Number from a policy standpoint, it's a huge retreat. The government since 9/11 has been gathering power, gathering this authority. The administration now says it has to push back. Politically, is there any other way? Some people think he's a traitor. Some people think he is a hero. Juana, you would have to say Edward Snowden is a big winner here.

JUANA SUMMERS, POLITICAL REPORTER, "POLITICO": I think certainly proponents -- supporters of Edward Snowden would say, yes, he is a winner. I want to talk about the policy for a second. This is a huge deal. This president, this administration saying this has been a very important program for us in dealing with this new threats that we have now. They still haven't been able to point to the evidence that one threat has been taken out by the collection of data that has made a lot of Americans frankly uncomfortable. I'll be interested to see how guys on The Hill like Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ted Cruz deal with this as Congress now in session will be forced to deal with these bills when the Obama administration lays out this proposal.

KING: To that point, Peter, you've had this weird coalition, strange coalition, on the liberal side of Rand Paul and the libertarian side and other conservatives who have worked together. Now that they've won this, will they want more and how is this the positive politics of this before?

PETER HAMBY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: I think this is actually something that Rand Paul is probably happy with because it keeps the issue in the news and he gets to keep talking about it as we saw at Berkeley last week, he had a standing ovation talking about these issues. He got a standing ovation at CPAC talking about this issue. I think you're going to perhaps see maybe another filibuster from Rand Cruz or Ted Paul just to keep this in the headlines. One senator who is running for president is Marco Rubio who has to really appease conservatives right now, but is also sort owning that kind neo-conservative space and this is obviously a Bush era policy. So it's interesting to see how he navigates --

KING: Fights within the Republican conservative movement. Let's move on. The Supreme Court today hears a very important case. Two cases actually. It's known as the hobby lobby case. That is one of the case. This is a business. The owner of the business objects to Obamacare because he says providing certain contraception coverage to his employees violates his religious principles.

So when the court rules later this year, obviously it will be a big impact on the policy itself. This one is playing out also in a midterm election. You have Sandra Fluke, the former Georgetown student, saying it's not just about contraceptive it's about broader women's rights. How does it play out on the campaign trail in the midterm year?

SUMMERS: Well, first of all, this ruling is likely going to come down in June. That's the politically perfect time for both sides to take it up. You can say the Supreme Court is infringing on our liberty. If you're a Democrat, you can say, you know, I'm a woman, my rights are being infringed upon. This is taking away control of my body. So it's going to be really politically powerful. I expect a really big thing in this 2014 elections and we are looking forward to in just over 200 days.

HAMBY: And especially as you see Democrats more and more on defense in the polls, et cetera. They're going to start playing more identity politics going after the women's vote. This is certainly an issue that will come up this year.

KING: To drive votes, I mean, it's a very significant and important policy question, but to drive both in an election year, you almost want to be on the losing side if you are taking about the politics of this. If you lose at the court, you can use it to drive turnout come November.

Let's move on. It's an interesting personal snapshot. You know, we forget sometimes about people prominent in politics. Sasha and Malia Obama will never have to worry about paying for college. Their dad, before he became president did quite well. Their mom was an attorney before they got involve in politics. But listen to Michelle Obama here.

She had this collaboration with CNN I-Report. She took a number of questions during her trip to China. One of them was about when she was college age, she wanted to take a trip overseas. She was being asked about studying abroad and listen to her here talk about how she was afraid to ask her working class dad if they could afford it.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: I didn't want to ask my father, who was a working class guy, he didn't have a lot of money to pay for that trip. It felt like an extravagance. I remember breaking down in tears feeling guilty about even asking him if I could go. But one of the things I remember my dad saying is that he wanted me to have all the experiences that he didn't have.


KING: It's an interesting moment, we get overly cynical sometimes. It's worth remembering and we are not taking sides here, but politicians are people too.

SUMMERS: Absolutely. It probably reminds a lot of people, you know, with the story during the 2008 campaign that attracted them to the Obama family in the first place. I can relate to this woman sitting in the White House who's giving her kids a really cool experience traveling overseas and able to see things that frankly most middle class Americans are never going to be able to experience, but it's a pretty cool story.

KING: Borrowed every dime to pay for college. I remember sometimes you have to ask your parents for 50 or 100 bucks. I remember how hard it is. They didn't have the money. So it's an interesting snapshot from the first lady there.

Let's move on. A very important development in the Senate race in Alaska. A lot of you probably don't care if you're not from Alaska, but it's another example of the establishment rallying to try to pick the right candidate. In their view, the Republicans think they can win this Alaska Senate seat. What's interesting here, Peter is, Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, who dabbles in and out of politics.

She says she never wants to run for elective office, but she's been raising money this year. She's joining forces with Karl Rove to back the former Alaska attorney general, Dan Sullivan. There are a couple of more conservative and more Tea Party establishment people who think less electable candidates. What's the significance? HAMBY: This is a Senate race that probably not a lot of Americans are paying attention to. But it is a competitive Republican primary. That's interesting. More importantly the winner of that primary might have a chance to unseat Senator Begich in Alaska. So Republicans really want to get behind.

KING: They need that seat. If they are going to get the Senate majority, they need that.

HAMBY: Absolutely. So Condoleezza Rice, who's been a little bit off the radar, but started re-emerging a little bit in 2012, is in a TV ad that's running state-wide in Alaska paid for by American Crossroads. Karl Rove endorsing Dan Sullivan who worked under her at the National Security Council. What I thought was interesting about this is just Condi sort of re-emergence in politics.

She's raising money for NRCC later this month. She is going to give a lot of commencement speeches this spring. She gave a big speech to the Romney campaign back in 2012. They sort of floated her as a VP pick even though that was sort of knocked down a little bit. But it's interesting to see her get back in the game a little bit and see, you know, how her brand plays.

Remember though in terms of thinking about her future in the Republican Party, her name has come up a possible presidential prospect. She has described herself as mildly pro-choice, which is probably a nonstarter for any Republican primary voter.

KING: So just likes walking to the water up to maybe the calves or the knees, but she doesn't want to take the full plunge.

SUMMERS: That's what it looks like to me. You know, obviously, the speech is very lucrative. It's great to have your name out there and stuff. She is very well renowned academic and national security circle. I think this is a win-win prospect for her. She's keeping her name out there staying relevant in the conversation despite leaving public life.

KING: Let's stay in close with Alaska. There's a certain former Alaska governor. She was once the Republican vice presidential nominee. She has a new show that debuts next week. Let's show you a little tease here.


SARAH PALIN: Get red, wild, and blue America.

ANNOUNCER: April 3rd, Sarah Palin, the first lady of the outdoors is coming to Sportsman Channel.

PALIN: This show is going to highlight that freedom that we get to experience in America.

ANNOUNCER: Never back down and hardly afraid to get a little dirty.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: You know, the Sarah Palin show trailer are always incredibly well-produced. Here's the Twitter ad promoting the show. She's coming with a full heart and a full magazine. There's a joke about, what about serving a full term. I'm not going to make that joke, will you?

HAMBY: She also has a new streaming TV show coming out of New Digital Channel called Rogue TV. Sarah Palin is -- I think in 2012, there was a reasonable chance she could have jumped in at the last minute. I'm not sure there's a political future for her anymore, but she certainly knows how to have a career in entertainment.

SUMMERS: Remember her last TV show on TLC only lasted I think eight episodes. I'm interested to see if this one has a little more staying power, certainly a very glitzy roll out.

HAMBY: She is still playing politics. She is endorsing in some Republican primaries.

KING: As we go back to New York, I'm sure John Berman is going to watch this program all the time. He will put it on the DVR. You are a firm believer in Rogue TV, aren't you?

BERMAN: I go to sleep luckily at 7:00, so I don't get to make these decisions. John King with the full term joke there. I envy your Twitter feed over the next three hours. Have fun this morning.

PEREIRA: All right, a short break here. Thanks, John.

Next up on NEW DAY, heart break in the search for Flight 370. Desperate families flooding the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing searching for answers. We'll have the very latest for you from China.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. I'm coming to you live from Perth, Australia and we are following the latest developments in the search for Flight 370. This morning, rage and clashes between very frustrated family members and police in China. Hundreds of relatives and friends of lost passengers angered by Malaysia's handling of the crisis marched towards the Malaysian Embassy in China today, but police officers blocked them from reaching the embassy building.

Let's get straight over to Pauline Chiou live in Beijing this morning with much more. Pauline, what happened?

PAULINE CHIOU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the families here in China say they're just not satisfied with the Malaysian government's explanation about why they had to announce that the plane went down now. They say they want tangible evidence before they can close the door on this ordeal.


CHIOU (voice-over): This morning, outrage and fury as relatives face off with police outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing. Over 300 Chinese friends and family members of Flight 370 protesting.

STEVE, MOTHER ONBOARD FLIGHT 370: From the beginning, they just hype everything. I don't think that this kind of government, a liar and even a murder can solve anything.

CHIOU: Following Monday's dire announcement by Malaysia's prime minister.

NAJIB RAZAK, MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER: Flight MH-370 ended in the Southern Indian Ocean.

CHIOU: Frustrated by Malaysia's handling of the incident, they descend upon the embassy on foot, marching over 2 miles after police prevented them from taking buses and blocked the embassy once they arrived. Monday's solemn pronouncement that there was no hope for the 239 on board the 777, piercing the hearts of hundreds of relatives, many inconsolable. So my mom is gone, one woman cries as she falls into the arms of her family. Another woman wailing, I can't be like this. I can't be like this.

Some so distraught they had to be wheeled out in emergency beds. Others lashing out at the media yelling, still shooting? Furious and skeptical of Malaysia's investigation. Some Chinese family members release a statement reading in part, "The Malaysian government and the Malaysian military continue putting off, holding back and covering up the truth of the incident, as well as trying to deceive the families of passengers and people of the entire world."

DIMAL SHARMA, BROTHER ONBOARD FLIGHT 370: I don't know why I just want to see some debris of the aircraft and the black box to know what exactly happened because there are too many unanswered questions.


CHIOU: Now, because of all the questions that still remain, some Chinese families say they're now willing to go to Kuala Lumpur because they want to confront the officials there at the highest level. They say the Malaysian representatives here in Beijing are just not effective enough. Meanwhile China's president, Xi Jinping, has sent his deputy foreign minister to Malaysia to try to negotiate this whole ordeal -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Pauline. So many questions and it is far from clear when they are going to get any of the answers that will give them any comfort to deal with their loss. Pauline Chiou in Beijing, thanks so much, Pauline.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, in a vast and remote ocean, the search for Flight 370's wreckage may now rely on high-tech robotics. We are going to demonstrate just how this technology could help in the search coming up next.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is believed that Flight 370 crashed in the Southern Indian Ocean, an area that is so terribly vast and so remote. The search for the plane's wreckage may very well hinge on some pretty high tech robotics perhaps the only way to find debris that could be thousands of feet below the surface.

Joining me to demonstrate is Captain Tim Taylor. He is an accomplished sea explorer and president of Tiburon Subsea Services and you've been involved in searches like this before and you brought some hardware in. First of all, explain what we are seeing in front of us. What is this?

CAPTAIN TIM TAYLOR, PRESIDENT, TIBURON SUBSEA SERVICES: This is a smaller version of the larger units that they will use to go down to find the debris field.

PEREIRA: It's a submersible.

TAYLOR: It's an ROV. Yes, everything that goes underwater is submersible, unmanned submersible.

PEREIRA: It's unmanned submersible. But here's the key that I think is really important to know, I was assuming this would be like a drone, right?

TAYLOR: It is a drone, but unlike the drones that they fly from Langly --

PEREIRA: Where a guy's got a stick operating it.

TAYLOR: That's easy to talk to you through satellites. This because it's in the water is very difficult. So have to pre-program it. It has to have a brain or instructions on its own. It has to carry it out on his own.

PEREIRA: So there's no free styling. There's no further exploration if you find something, you go and do a little more investigation.

TAYLOR: On some of the larger units, you can give it updates on some navigational issues and some health issues. But it's got all its internal workings, it will find its way.

PEREIRA: Explain why this is so vital or a tool like this, this technology is so vital.

TAYLOR: This is the future. It's typically to take a picture of the bottom of the ocean no matter where you are, you have to get the camera. In this case, we're taking pictures with sound instead of light and you have to get it close to the subject. Close in this instance is anywhere from 30, 45 meters from the bottom of the ocean.

PEREIRA: Which is still pretty close.

TAYLOR: You have to get it that close. You have to go there. In order to get there, you have to put it on a cable and tow it in 2,000 feet or 20,000 feet of water.

PEREIRA: Which is limiting in some respects, sure. TAYLOR: Cable weighs more than anything else and it moves and it's miles behind a boat. This goes down autonomously by itself. Runs it pattern. Comes back up. You don't receive the data in real time, but you are able to plug in, pull the data off when you recover it and --

PEREIRA: How long does that usually takes to recover the data and then sort of analyse it?

TAYLOR: We were running one of the major -- big projects we ran mapping 1,800 square miles. We would run for 24 hours and 45 minutes of pulling that down, backing it up and making sure it's all good.

PEREIRA: OK, this is similar to the blue fin technology -- that we know the USA is bringing to aid in the search?

TAYLOR: Yes, in fact, I was instrumental in developing most of the 12-inch blue fin operation at depths of 5,000 feet.

PEREIRA: Let's talk about the weather. We know that the search was called off for today because of the issue with the weather being inclement, to say the least. They're dealing with high seas, high wind, gusts, et cetera. How do these deal in inclement weather?

TAYLOR: They'll get in the water. They'll do fine, but the issue with anything in the ocean putting it in and out of the water is always the issue. Those are the limiting factors. This vehicle will run about eight hours. The big ones that they are going to be using can be run up to 30, 40 sometimes up to 60 hours in the water, but still once you launch them. They are in the water. Getting them back out of the water with a ship going up and down is always in the ship.

PEREIRA: It occurred to me though that we know it's the southern -- they believe it's the Southern Indian Ocean. That's still a vast area so Tim, let's talk about that. Unless you have a really specific tiny targeted search area, are we talking about this prematurely?

TAYLOR: Since they know -- have an idea where it down and they are narrowing the search with the satellite information and then hopefully wreckage. They will narrow it down. Now that they have an idea where it went in. It's just a matter of how narrow they can get that search. These things can run, average 10 square nautical miles a day.

PEREIRA: And it's looking to pick up those pings, correct?

TAYLOR: Correct. These will not pick up the pings. That's the next thing. They're going to send in a hydrophone to try to find the ping. They've got 10 days. That's focus right now is on the ping. Once they find the ping --

PEREIRA: Then this guy goes or one like this.

TAYLOR: If they don't find the ping, they're going to have to create a search area where they highly likely think it is and then they start using these to kind of mow the lawn and then eliminate --

PEREIRA: Good way to look at it. It's always a pleasure to have you. Thanks for bringing this in. Incredible, the use of technology and how it is going to aid in the search.

BERMAN: They have a lot of work left to do. All right, Michaela, thanks so much.

Next up on NEW DAY, with no definitive sign of Flight 370 wreckage, is it premature for the Malaysian government to say that the plane ended up in the ocean. Our experts will debate?

Plus the grim search for survivors following an enormous and deadly mudslide near Seattle, 176 people still unaccounted for. Rescuers admit they're hoping for a miracle. We're live at the scene just ahead.