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Obama Calls Putin On Ukraine; Pulitzer Prizes For Snowden Coverage; What The Bluefin-21 Sees Underwater; Survivor: "Best Worst Day Of My Life"

Aired April 15, 2014 - 07:30   ET



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Just about 7:30 in the East. Let's look at your headlines here on NEW DAY.

The deep, under water search for Malaysian Airlines flight 370 ramping up again. The Bluefin-21 underwater drone going back into the Indian Ocean today. Monday's shortened search found no objects of interest. Also, a U.S. official revealing the co-pilot's cellophane was on at about the time the flight vanished from radar.

Tensions escalating in Ukraine with government forces poised to face- off with separatist groups occupying buildings in 10 eastern cities. Western powers accused Russia of fomenting aggression in the region, a claim Moscow denies. NATO's secretary general this morning called on Russia to de-escalate the crisis and pull back 40,000 Russian troops from Ukraine's eastern border.

In Boston today, a time to mourn and a time to remember as the city marks the first anniversary of the deadly marathon bombings. Three people were killed more than 260 injured. Today, a memorial service will honor the fallen and the first responders who showed the world what it means to be Boston strong. Vice President Biden will be in attendance. A moment of silence is scheduled for 2:49 p.m. Eastern, the time of the first bomb blast. Our hearts will be there with them.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I got my Boston Strong bracelet on. Got them for you guys as well. It's going to be great there today to remember what matters and then next week will be something special.


CUOMO: All right, let's get to "Inside Politics" on NEW DAY with John King. Few people understand Boston strong as well as you, J.K. It was an honor to be up there with you. I hope I'm up there with you again next week.

JOHN KING, HOST, CNN'S "INSIDE POLITICS": Let's add the "er" to it, Boston Stronger on this day and good for the vice president, and good for everybody. Hope everybody around the country can take a moment this afternoon just to reflect on the tough year. I'll certainly do that. Let's go inside politics. A lot of ground to cover.

Let's pick up with what you were just talking about, President Obama trying to diffuse the crisis in Ukraine. Let's start there with me this morning to share the reporting and their insights, Julie Pace of the "Associated Press and Jonathan Martin of the "New York Times."

Julie, you cover the White House. The president speaks with Putin on the phone yet again yesterday. The readout the White House sounds gives us sounds tough. A senior administration official saying Obama and Putin talked. Obama, it was frank and direct. The president made clear the diplomatic path was open and our preferred way ahead, but that Russia's actions are neither consistent with or conducive to that."

Including the Pentagon saying a Russian jet essentially buzzing a U.S. Naval vessel. Does the White House see a way out in the short term here or do they think this is weeks or months?

JULIE PACE, "ASSOCIATED PRESS": Well, there's a lot of tough talk happening right now, but if you actually look at the options that are available to the White House and the options that they have taken so far, it's clear that they don't see a short-term solution to this. They are sanctioning individuals. People who are close to Vladimir Putin, but they are stopping well short of doing these larger sector sanctions, which are sanctions that could really bite, really have an impact on the Russian economy and what they're watching are these 40,000 troops on the Eastern Ukraine border. As long as those troops are there, the White House sees this as a very serious situation.

KING: Not much he can do, Jonathan. There's nobody in America who supports or think there is a viable military option. The White House would like the European to do more. Is there a risk for president credibility wise, he is drawing lines, he is being tough, and again, what can he do?

JONATHAN MARTIN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, there is not much that he can do. Even on the economic front, Julie mentioned the sanctions, well, the business community has a pretty significant amount of interest in Russia. So if we go further on that front that could bite us here, too, domestically. It's a bit of a challenge.

KING: I want to move on to the big domestic challenge for the president and the Democrats this election year. That is promoting trying to defend it. You could say now maybe bragging about Obamacare. Here's my question. The CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, yesterday came out with new numbers, yes, Obamacare is expensive, but less expensive than they thought by about $104 billion over 10 years. That's a decent junk of change.

We know after the disastrous rollout, they got the enrollment numbers up, about 7 million plus Medicaid. Where is the Democratic super PAC to run this message you see on the screen to say, Republicans were wrong. We got the enrollment up. It's not as expensive as we thought. Why won't Democrats, Jonathan, decide in this tough environment the only way to change it is to go on offense?

MARTIN: I answered that same question now for a few weeks. I think it's because they would rather still change the subject. Now, when does that fact change itself? KING: Republicans won't let them change the subject. The conservative super PACs are running ads essentially saying the bad weather is Obamacare's fault. The traffic jam is Obamacare's fault.

MARTIN: Right. So if you're Democrats, you would think you have a stack of good news here over the last few weeks that perhaps you see an opening. We've seen one super PAC ad in Alaska talking about the case of one lady who is now able to get coverage even though she had cancer before. That's an element in the affordable care act. In terms of the expansion of coverage and the cost of the law, we're not hearing anything from Democrats.

PACE: One thing that White House officials are talking to though with some of the committees, the DSEC in particular is having candidates target their outreach on health care. So sending mailers to women in particular, to young people who could benefit from the health care law. Not sort of the wide ranging state-wide ads on health care but more targeted outreach to people who might find the law more popular.

KING: Hard to do in such a loud environment against it.

MARTIN: One fast note, independence, the polling is still pretty rough there. I think Democrats are watching that.

KING: Can you change it? If you don't try to change it you won't change it. Let's focus on our business a little bit. The "Washington Post," a team of reporters there, "The Guardian" newspaper winning Pulitzer Prizes yesterday for essentially publishing stories about stolen information. Edward Snowden stole information. There's no question I don't think that he broke the law.

Some people say he's a hero for that, some people say he is a traitor. Pete King, the congressman Republican from New York saying, "Awarding the Pulitzer to Snowden enablers is a disgrace." The prices go for impact journalism. There's no question this was impact journalism.

PACE: Sure. This was probably the biggest story of last year. There are a lot of people in Washington though who say that this was an Pulitzer awarded to these reporters, it was really an award for Edward Snowden, who has been the object of great scorn both at the White House and Capitol Hill. He put out a statement after the awards yesterday basically saying what a great award this was for these reporters who did such great, great work. So there is a lot of controversy around this, but for people who support Snowden they see this is real vindication of what he did.

KING: He is forcing a change in policy whether you like it or not.

MARTIN: Absolutely. The journalism that was done off of it is lasting and it's still going on.

KING: Let's come back. Democrats are reluctant to fight about Obamacare. That's one dynamic in this election year. Another dynamic is this such anti-incumbent sentiment. Most of the consultants are saying talk about your roots in your state, talk about something personal, talk about local policy, but don't brag about your power in Washington.

An exception, Mary Landrieu, she is a Democratic senator from Louisiana. She is one of the most vulnerable Democrats. She has a new ad on television saying she has stood up to the president and if you re-elect her she will be a chairwoman and use her power more.


ANNOUNCER: Now is the new chairman of the energy committee?

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: Do you think there are a bunch of fairy godmothers out there who just wave the magic wand?

ANNOUNCER: She holds the most powerful position in the Senate for Louisiana.

LANDRIEU: We produce the oil and gas. That's the message we told to the president.


KING: Smart? Only card she has?

MARTIN: Probably the best card she has to play. It's talking about what she's doing for what is the key interest in the state of Louisiana. And I think it's the kind of thing that she's going to have to talk about if she expects to win and push back against a one- note campaign against her which is Obama, Obama, Obama.

KING: She does the combo there. She says she's fighting Obama, but she's fighting for a position of power. Again, a lot of the consultants would say don't brag you have strength in Washington right now.

PACE: Sure. Except in Louisiana, as Jonathan mentioned, the energy sector there is so important to that state's economy and you need to have power in Washington in order to try to influence those policies. She actually might have a positive message there in terms of running against Obama. I mean, I always say that in the White House, they would much rather have her running against Obama now and stay in the Senate than be trying to attach herself and then lose.

KING: There you. Julie Pace, Jonathan Martin, thanks for coming. As we go back to New York, not exactly sure, but I'm interested in your opinion, Chelsea Clinton telling fast company, I live in a city and state and a country where I support my elected representatives. If at some point that weren't the case and I didn't support my mayor or city councilwoman or congresswoman or either of my senators then I would have to ask and answer the question for myself, not running for office, running for office in four, five, six, eight, ten years? What's she doing?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's running from the question, I think.

KING: Good answer. Politician Kate Bolduan.

BOLDUAN: We all know that is far from the truth, John King. We'll see.

CUOMO: Let me tell you, being raised in a political family you know how not to answer a question. But you know, I think at this point let's just say she's aside from the realm of relevant for now.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, John.

KING: Take care, guys.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, the Bluefin-21 going back down into the deep today. Looking for any sign of Flight 370. But it seems like we can get photos back from Mars faster than this. What is behind the process that's been described as slow and pain staking? Our experts explain next.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Search crews this morning set once again to launch the Bluefin-21 back into Indian Ocean for a second day of using the submersible side-scanning sonar. They want to map the bottom of the ocean. We know though this is meticulous and slow process. What exactly is the Bluefin seeing down there?

Well, a man who knows this very well is David Gallo. He is the co- leader in the search for Air France 447, a director of special projects of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. You are the guy to talk to about what the Bluefin is seeing. In fact, you brought some images for us. I want to show you this. People are probably wondering what this image is. Tell us. This is an image taken by Bluefin.

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: Yes. You're looking down. This is made with maybe one pass, maybe a couple of passes. You can see the shape of a ship, the stern, the bow and here we have two ships together.

PEREIRA: They had collided. Some sort of investigation.

GALLO: I believe this is a case where ships hit each other, sank together. The different colors represent intensities. So maybe something that's shallower or closer to the sonar itself.

PEREIRA: Could we expect then that -- and how quickly would we expect that investigators could get something of this detail if the Bluefin spot something down below?

GALLO: Right away but they're not looking for something we don't think anyway quite this big as big as a ship. So it would be a smaller, maybe piece or half the size of this.

PEREIRA: All right, let's move on to looking at this. I want to show you this because we talked about the sonar side-scanning technology. I think this illustrates it very well.

GALLO: It does.

PEREIRA: First of all, what are we looking at here? GALLO: You are looking at a pass of the vehicle. The vehicle is going from -- you're looking down. That torpedo shape is move that way sending out beams. Every second, ping, ping, ping. Little by little, line by line, builds up this image. When you see bright like that bright reflection. That means its close. Here's a shadow. You can get a lot of information out of a strip like that.

PEREIRA: Again, this strip in the middle is very important to explain. Why is that being shown this way?

GALLO: Because it is side scan. The vehicle is sending out that fan of sound to either side and it leaves a gap beneath the vehicle.

PEREIRA: So this is the gap that is not recording the data --

GALLO: You need to fill that gap up because sometimes what you're looking for may end up inside that gap. Sometimes they overlap the tracks.

PEREIRA: Is that also why they have to have it not right on the surface. That it has to be sort of hovering above?

GALLO: Yes, that's partly right. The closer you get you can close the gap more, but then you start to lose the edges. You want to find -- decide what am I looking for and make it optimal for that.

PEREIRA: So there are ways to account for that gap.


PEREIRA: OK, then moving on to this. You were involved in the "Titanic" expedition and this is an image. Tell us what we're looking at. I want to give you an opportunity to draw and show us the detail here.

GALLO: Well, we used the Rema 6,000 vehicles. We had two. They are just like the Bluefin.

PEREIRA: Same technology.

GALLO: They go to 6,000 meters. A little bit deeper than the Bluefin. We had three of them when we found Air France 447. We used two of them here on "Titanic." You can see the seams the vehicles go up and down. It's about a mile or so long and -- or across. Those are the vehicles. The "Titanic" broke in two. This was 102 years ago today that it sank. That's the bow, this is the stern inside here. Separated by about six football fields. This is a debris field. Classic debris field. A lot of rubble. To the trained eye you notice there's something very different here.

PEREIRA: How can you tell? The trained eye, how can you differentiate between rock and just sediments settling?

GALLO: Well, you see something like this is actually a shadow behind it. Some of the things are shadows. Look at these things. We've talked about this and you noticed those before. Those look like they don't fit the natural background. In fact, pieces of "Titanic."

PEREIRA: Just a closer look.

GALLO: Closer look at the bow.

PEREIRA: Last but not least I want to show this because once the mapping is done they're going to send in a different type of technology.

GALLO: Right.

PEREIRA: That has a camera attached.

GALLO: We go from sound to using light, to using a camera. Best resolution.

PEREIRA: This is the picture that was taken of the "Titanic?"

GALLO: This was done with the Remora, which was operated by Phoenix and we can expect that down the road I think to be involved in something like recovering the black boxes. They've recovered the black boxes from Air France 447 with this vehicle.

PEREIRA: Is that data immediately sent? Is it a series of digital images?

GALLO: It's a long process because you see each one of these is one frame and there's maybe 100 frames inside there. That's the whole bow of "Titanic" where the bow broke in half. The tip where king of the world, way up inside there, the mass, the grand staircase. It takes a lot of processing to be able to put together a mosaic like this.

PEREIRA: Really? David Gallo, thanks so much. Appreciate it, real pleasure -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, coming up on NEW DAY, Rebecca Gregory and Pete Demortino, both injured in the Boston attack, but today they are proof that love conquers all. The newlyweds will join us live.


CUOMO: Welcome back. One year ago today, Rebecca Gregory and her boyfriend, Pete Dimartino were at the finish line of the Boston marathon when the bombs went off. Rebecca's left leg was seriously injured. She's endured six surgeries. Pete's right Achilles tendon was almost destroyed. On April 4th, they overcame it all when they walked down the aisle, recipients of the Knots 2014 Dream Wedding.

So now they are fresh off a trip to the Dominican Republic. Rebekah and Pete Dimartino, both Dimartino now, very nice, joining us this morning, the first honeymoon. Another one is coming, right, because that's part of what the Knot gave you. Where is that one in going to be?

REBEKAH DIMARTINO, RECIPIENT, 2014 THE KNOT DREAM WEDDING: In Thailand. We're very excited. CUOMO: Very cool. Let's go back to the day we're all taken with today, the anniversary date. You have said that that was the best worst day of your life. Why?

DIMARTINO: The worst for obvious reasons. The best is because we appreciate everything so much more now. Every hug from my son is that much more precious. Every moment that we get to spend together, our families, friends, everything. You hear it all the time that life is short, but until you experience it the way that, I guess, we did last year, it takes on a whole new meaning after that.

BOLDUAN: And, Pete, I'm sure, it gave me chills to see the juxtaposition of pictures from the day and then you see your wedding video. It really is just amazing how far you've come in one year's time. I'm sure you didn't imagine that you guys would be here. What does this anniversary now signify for you guys?

PETE DIMARTINO, RECIPIENT, 2014 THE KNOT DREAM WEDDING: I think the anniversary just signifies that, you know, we can prove we can come back from anything, and just how strong we are, and not just us, but, like, Americans, and everybody that was there in Boston that day and you know, just great that we can be here and celebrating life.

PEREIRA: It's interesting to hear you talk about the "we," right? Because this is a very intensely individual and personal thing for each of you, together as a couple, but then within the backdrop of the community, too. You know, when you talk about this, when you go places, does it cause you pain when people want to talk to you about it or is it -- do you find that it heals a little bit each time?

REBEKAH DIMARTINO: I find that it does a little bit of both. There are certainly days where if we just decide to run out somewhere really quick and someone stops us and says, what happened to you? I attract a lot of attention in a wheelchair, but you never know who you're talking to that day, and you never know if that person really needs that support and encouragement from you, and that's kind of what we've done is just try to be that beacon of hope for anybody and everybody that we can.

CUOMO: You make a good point about the physical, also. Obviously, you've been dealing with this battle of what to do with your leg. It's uncommon that somebody arrives at the conclusion you have. Usually people will fight to keep the limb at all costs. You're saying it's become a hindrance to me. It's just a leg, which is a remarkable thing for someone to say.

BOLDUAN: Amazing.

CUOMO: You want to have it taken off, move forward with your life because you say people don't focus enough on the emotional side of what this has done to people and the physical is one aspect. Tell us about that.

REBEKAH DIMARTINO: You know, there's a certain number that the news always reports of how many people were injured that day, but the physical injuries will eventually heal or at least get fixed as much as they can. There are so many other people that were standing there, that may have not been injured per se, but the emotional side of that is so much harder than anyone can really describe.

And America was injured that day because this happened to our country, and not just to a select number of people, like us. You know, I have a terrible leg. Yes, but it's not my life, and I'm so blessed that we're still here and able to -- to celebrate today because we're survivors. We're not victims.

BOLDUAN: You're absolutely right. You are and that speaks to when I heard you say that you do still have a long road, a long, hard road ahead, but now you kind of have a partner on that road ahead. What does the road look like from here on out? We marked this anniversary, but you guys have a lot more to do?

PETE DIMARTINO: I think the road ahead is exciting, you know? I'm very looking forward to everything that we have going on in the future and I couldn't pick anybody else to do that with, other than Rebekah.

PEREIRA: I think he's in love with you.

REBEKAH DIMARTINO: I sure hope so.

CUOMO: You guys should be like a couple modelling team. You are a ridiculously attractive couple, and Noah makes the family?

REBEKAH DIMARTINO: Yes, our 6-year-old.

BOLDUAN: How's he doing?

REBEKAH DIMARTINO: He has things that will be really tough for him from here on out. He got blown up at 5 years old, that's the bottom line. But she a tough little cookie, and he is so excited for us to be married and be a family and he is -- he's really going to be just fine with this.

BOLDUAN: Got good examples to lean on, mom and pop. Right, called you Pops?

CUOMO: Pop-pop is good. They say it's all about better for worse and you got the worse out of the way early. So it's only better from here.

BOLDUAN: Great to meet you. Congratulations. Enjoy your trip. Take lots of pictures of Thailand and let us now that was.

We are going to take another break here on NEW DAY though. When we come back, crews set to launch the underwater drone for a second day to scan the ocean floor for signs of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. This as new details reveal that the co-pilot's cell phone was on when the plane disappeared. We're going to break it down.