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U.S. Sending Team Of Experts To Nigeria; Video Shows Teen Climbing Out Of Wheelwell; Monica Lewinsky's Explosive New Essay

Aired May 7, 2014 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, May 7th, 6:00 in the east. The Nigerian nightmare has just gotten worse. Eight more girls abducted. This on top of nearly 300 still missing. The same terror group involved in all of these, the motive, to condemn education of women. The threat, to sell them all into slavery.

So the question is, what are we doing about it? The Nigerian government has been slow on this to be sure, but new pressure is spurring new action. The U.S. is sending law enforcement and military support and there are calls for the U.S. to do more.

Our coverage begins with Vladimir Duthiers. He is in Nigeria's capital city of Abuja. Vlad, some question of what help Nigerian government wants, but the families involved are certainly desperate and you are hearing that directly from the parents of the kidnapped children, right?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Chris. We spoke to two parents who basically risked their lives to come and talk to us because they want the world to know what conditions they are living under since their two daughters were taken in the middle of the night by this vicious Islamist terror group, Boko Haram. They say they have not seen any kind of significant action from the government. Let me play what they had to say for you.


DUTHIERS (voice-over): Fear this morning that Boko Haram's reign of terror may be intensifying in Nigeria with news of another vicious abduction. At least eight girls, ages 12 to 15, snatched from their homes at gun point Sunday night from the village of Warabe. These latest abductions coming amid international outrage over the kidnapping of more than 200 girls from this school weeks ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want our girls back now.

DUTHIERS: Families avoiding talking to the media out of fear for their daughters' lives until now. These parents of two missing girls speaking exclusively to CNN saying they want their world to know about their suffering, but have asked that we conceal their identities to maintain their safety and the safety of their daughters. The father scoffs at the government's statement that the military has been deployed to search for the girls. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The federal government or the rulers are playing with we parents. They are looking at us as we are fools.

DUTHIERS: Pure agony is what the parents felt after watching Boko Haram's appalling video. The leader taking pride in taking the girls he claims he will sell. Translating for his wife --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the women, we started crying because we have nobody to help us or our daughters have been abducted or have been captured as slaves.

DUTHIERS: They fear not only the fates of their girls but also their own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life is very dangerous in Chibok right now. It seems on 14th of April to date we don't sleep at all. Around five, six people will disappear to the bush because there is no security. It looks like we have no hope.

DUTHIERS: Helplessly they wait. Not knowing where their girls are or if they will ever see them again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is pleading, let them release these girls. They don't know probably one of them are born a president or a doctor or a pastor or a lawyer who will be helpful to the contrary? Please, let him release them.


DUTHIERS: Kate, this was a very difficult interview to sit through the parents' emotions ranging from sorrow to prayerful to anger at government reaction and what they say is a real no end in sight to what they are suffering -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: They are at a loss and completely helpless as they wait for three weeks now and counting to see their loved ones again. Vlad, thank you very much. Wonderful interview to be able to hear directly from the parents.

The United States is now -- is now entering the search for the hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls. President Obama is sending in a team of military and law enforcement experts to try and help find them, but what extent are they going to be able to help?

Let's bring in senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, for more. Jim, bring us details on what the discussions have been between the Obama administration and the Nigerian officials.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, as you know the president was sitting down for a round of interviews on climate change yesterday when he was asked this question about the kidnapped Nigerian girls. He called this crime awful, but also said that the U.S. would do whatever it can to help recover the missing girls and what that involves is something that you just said, the U.S. is going to be sending in an interdisciplinary team of military and law enforcement personnel. Experts who are -- who have done a lot in the area of hostage taking and intelligence. Those folks will be going to assist the Nigerians with this search. Initially they were sort of slow in accepting this U.S. offer of help, but a call from Secretary of State John Kerry to Nigeria's president was apparently what made the difference.

And we should point out that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said this is not going to involve U.S. Armed forces going in to conduct a search to try to recover these missing girls. But as we heard from the president yesterday in that round of interviews saying the U.S. will do whatever this country can to help recover those missing girls that is an indication that things could get ramped up -- Kate.

CUOMO: All right, I'll take it, Jim. Thank you very much.

Joining us now is a reporter with "The New Yorker, Alexis Okeowo. Alexis has written extensively about Africa and is based in Nigeria. Alexis, let's start with the latest part of this problem. Eight more girls taken. What do we know about their age, where they were taken from, and how this was supposedly pulled off?

ALEXIS OKEOWO, REPORTER, "THE NEW YORKER": We know they were taken on Sunday from their village in Borno State in the northeast of Nigeria, which is also the state where also the Chibok is located, with the girls were taken over three weeks ago. The girls were between the ages of 12 and 15. A resident of one of the villages said that the girls were taken by militants, believed to be Boko Haram, put on a bus and driven away.

The Boko Haram militants warned the residents not to tell security forces. Otherwise they would take revenge on them, they said. But the residents did report it to the police.

CUOMO: Now, when you say they reported it to police, there is not police presence there the way that we imagine it here in the states, right, where there would have been something to pursue them immediately, true?

OKEOWO: You're absolutely right. That's the problem in this region. Residents have complained of a lack of military and police protection. They report that Boko Haram is attacking their villages and neighboring villages without any defense from the military.

CUOMO: The power of the threat don't tell anybody, we're seeing it way on the consciousness of these parents because they have been slow to come forward. Obviously no parent anywhere in the world cares about anything as much as they do they do their children, but it is true that the threat is so strong that the parents are afraid to come forward?

OKEOWO: Exactly because they're afraid that, you know, the militants will kill their children if they say anything. They're afraid that the military won't take them seriously. It's almost as if they're dealing with threats on both sides.

CUOMO: Threats on both sides. The Nigerian government, fair criticism, they've been too slow in this situation?

OKEOWO: Yes. Certainly. I just spoke to parents again yesterday saying, why haven't we heard anything from the government, why are we not getting daily updates? There's still even doubt that the Nigerians have launched a serious military operation to go get the girls, which is a terrifying thought for these parents.

CUOMO: What would be an explanation for their not taking action?

OKEOWO: Well, one explanation is that in past hostage rescue operations done by Nigerian military they've backfired and the hostages have been killed by Boko Haram militants. So that is a huge concern. But one would think that by now the military would have been able to come up with a plan speaking to eyewitnesses, speaking to residents who have seen the girls nearby in the forest to figure out a way to get these girls back.

CUOMO: What's your take from your side of the situation, we've been pushing hard here on the U.S. side for the U.S. to do more, so much extensive intelligence and military capabilities. We're being given a complicated response saying, there are existing channels. We are giving them intelligence. You're assuming the government there wants our help. We're not getting that message the way you think we're getting that message. What are you hearing?

OKEOWO: Yes, exactly. I mean, as of last year, the U.S. had already provided over $20 million in security assistance to Nigeria to help them with their fight on terror and with their fight with Boko Haram. It really is a matter of Nigerian government right now taken up the initiative, taking up the steps to really do this on its own and incorporate intelligence that it's receiving from its partners and actually take action.

CUOMO: And we know that there's also international outreach to surrounding countries because there's such a shared borders that you don't know where Boko Haram could be holding the kids right now. But to end on a hopeful note, is your understanding right now that the Nigerian government is being more accepting of having U.S. personnel come in and try to mount a little bit more of an effort in this? Is that a fair assessment at this point?

OKEOWO: Yes, it is a fair assessment. I mean, in the past, Nigeria has accepted U.S. personnel on its fight with Boko Haram. So I do believe it's still accepting it and willing to take help.

CUOMO: All right, Alexis, thank you very much. Complicated situation but the humanity of it is so obvious. We know ugly things are happening there in the war there especially in the north east regions. But 200 girls now, close to 300, something has to be done. Thank you very much for your perspective -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. We will continue our coverage on that throughout the show.

Also this morning, just released security footage of the teenager who stowed away in the wheel well of a Boeing 767. We're showing you a highlight of it right there. The video shows him climbing out of the plane and walking around the tarmac. This is, of course, after somehow he survived the five-hour flight from California to Hawaii. Truly almost unheard of to survive those conditions. CNN's Dan Simon has more of the details.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This newly released airport surveillance video clearly shows someone emerging from the rear of the plane. Authorities say the 15-year-old California stowaway coming out of the wheel well of the Boeing 767 that landed in Hawaii. Moments later, it appears the young man is dazed as he walks on the tarmac.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: You can see he's obviously affected by 5-1/2 hours well above 35,000 feet and he staggers around. He's clearly affected.

SIMON: The boy continues walking until he gets past the stairs of the jetway. Eventually you see him talking with an airport worker wearing a yellow vest. If there were any lingering doubts about this young man's story, this video should put that skepticism to rest.

EMANUEL GOLLA, CLASSMATE: From what I know of he was a really shy person. You know, he didn't really talk a lot. He mostly kept to himself.

SIMON: The reserved high school sophomore identified as Yahya Abdi told investigators he was trying to get to Somalia to see his mother and had no clue where the plane was headed. It's believed that he hoped a fence at the San Jose Airport shortly after 1:00 a.m. on April 20th and stayed on the grounds for nearly seven hours before the plane took off. Medical experts say the lack of oxygen and subzero temperatures at high altitude put the boy in a state of hibernation.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Because of the hibernation he may not have needed as much oxygen and that may be how he survived.

SIMON: He's now back in California and in the custody of child welfare officials. Local police want to conduct another round of interviews. They tell us they haven't ruled out charges. If it's anything, it would be trespassing. Though as some have noted his disorienting journey would have been punishment enough. Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Amazing to see that footage.

All right, let's take a look at more of your headlines right now. Breaking overnight, Ukrainian forces killed five pro-Russian separatists. They retook a city council building in the east before being over taken again. Now Russia's foreign minister is calling the timing of the upcoming Ukrainian election unusual. Possible sign Moscow may contest the result. NATO's chief calls the situation the gravest crisis to European security since the cold war.

The man arrested after a lock down of the White House is expected in court today. Officials say Matthew Goldstein faces unlawful entry charges after trailing the motorcade carrying the president's daughters through the complex gates. The Secret Service swept the vehicles for explosives. He reportedly holds a pass for the U.S. Treasury Building.

In North Carolina, CNN is projecting a big primary win for the Republican establishment over the Tea Party. State House Speaker Thom Tillis will avoid a runoff for the GOP Senate nomination. His victory sets up a November showdown with incumbent North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan who won the Democratic primary. We are still awaiting results of a closely watched House primary race in the state. "American Idol" runner-up, Clay Aiken is vying for the nomination against two other Democratic candidates. It's too close to call, but Aiken has a slight lead.

Overnight, the Beverly Hills City Council passed a resolution calling on the government of Brunei to divest ownership of the famed Beverly Hills Hotel. The resolution does not include a boycott of the hotel despite calls to do so. There have been a growing number of protests against the hotel's ownership after Brunei recently implemented Islamic Sharia law. In fact, many groups are saying we are not going to hold our events there until something is done.

All right, it's mother's day weekend this weekend. Did you think about that? Have you ordered your flowers? Is it a good weekend to take mom for brunch outdoors, Indra?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Seriously, it's only Wednesday. Everybody is asking me about the weekend. We're so close. Let's talk about the change we're expecting as we get closer towards Mother's Day. Here's the pattern. It is has been hot smack in the middle of the country. This is the trend here. Let's look at the temperatures especially some of the big cities here.

We are talking about temperatures. Out towards D.C. and Philly, rise in the 70s and even 80s. That trend will continue and filter in towards New York City and even Boston as we get towards the weekend itself. That's good news. It doesn't mean we're necessarily dry. Let's talk about how we're getting there. First, again, middle of the country. This is the heat. This is where it's coming from.

Look at warm it is still well above normal. Chicago, you're talking about 60s today. Back into the 80s. This is the heat that will be spreading to the east. A lot of heat out there. It does mean we're talking about a chance for showers. Even severe weather is going to be out there today. Look at the low in the Pacific Northwest. That's going to clash with the middle of the country.

This system right now is what's going to start to bring on shift all that farther to the east. So, showers will be out there as you go through the second half of the weekend, really kind of kicking up overnight tonight, and we're going to have severe threatening and kicking in all of the way through the weekend. So, kind of hit and miss throughout the weekend. It is warm. It was a brutal winter. I do not care. It can rain all at once.

It says a lot to me.

BOLDUAN: Indra says, someone is lost (ph).

CUOMO: This will be the last Mother's Day when you are not a mother.

BOLDUAN: Oh, it's true. I had not thought about that. I always think of my mother. Now, I get to start thinking about myself.

PETERSONS: You get you a gift, too.

PEREIRA: People have to hand me little crafty things.

BOLDUAN: It does beg the question, what are you going to get me?

CUOMO: Well, what I'm going to get you. Should you I get you one preliminarily? No. We don't like that. So, we have to wait until next year.

So, what will I get you? You'll start getting lots of ugly flatware from the kid. They'll start going like make powdery because, you know, the daddy doesn't know what to get you and he gets you flowers.

BOLDUAN: So glad your kids are probably still sleeping. He loves what you're making.

CUOMO: They may not be sleeping but they're not watching. I'm no match for SpongeBob. I learned that the hard way.

But you'll get -- you know, it doesn't matter what you get because it all matters so much more when it's coming from the kids. The husband could bring like a yacht into the front yard and you're like, move that yard yacht so I can see the card that the kid made with all of this jewelry.

BOLDUAN: We can do an entire three hours of just Chris talking about my soon to be born child.

CUOMO: I'm very excited.

BOLDUAN: I know you are.

CUOMO: For all the mothers, of course.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

Back to the news. Coming up next on NEW DAY, Monica Lewinsky breaking a decade of silence about her affair with President Clinton. Why is she talking now? Who does she blame? And what does she say about Hillary Clinton calling her a narcissistic loony tune?

What do you think the search for Flight 370 should continue? Do you think we will ever really know what happened? We have answers from people just like you in a brand new CNN/ORC poll. You will be surprised by the answers, and we have them ahead.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back.

Monica Lewinsky opening up for the first time in a decade, with new details about how her affair with former President Bill Clinton has affected her life.

In a new essay for "Vanity Fair", Lewinsky looks back at the scandal, expressing regret and anger at what she calls the global humiliation she suffered at the hands of the Internet. But she also looks forward.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Monica, hold on a second.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): The salacious details of the Monica Lewinsky scandal forever burned in the public's memory. Now, after a decade of silence, Lewinsky herself is opening up about the affair with President Clinton.

In an essay written for "Vanity Fair" titled "Shame and Survival", she writes, "It's time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress." Lewinsky now 40 says she deeply regrets what happened, but doesn't blame President Clinton. Writing, "Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship."

At times during the 16 years that followed, Lewinsky describes having strong suicidal temptations. It wasn't until the 2010 tragedy of 18- year-old Tyler Clementi that she decided to speak out. Lewinsky explained she empathized with the Rutgers student who jumped to his death off a bridge, humiliated after discovering his roommate streamed video of him kissing another man on a Web cam.

Like Clementi, Lewinsky says her mother had, quote, "a fear she would be literally humiliated to death."

Now, Lewinsky said, she's ready to stop tiptoeing around her past, writing, "I am determined to have a different ending to my story, so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past." Adding, "What this will cost me, I will soon find out."


BOLDUAN: For more on this, we're joined by Maggie Haberman, CNN political analyst and senior political writer at "Politico".

Good morning, Maggie.


BOLDUAN: So, during all of this she talks about -- I want to get your take on why do you think she published the essay now because she talked about back in the 2008 Hillary Clinton run, she was virtually reclusive. She had all of these asks to speak to the press and had all of these opportunities but she said no and wanted to stay out of it.

But why now do you think?

HABERMAN: Well, bearing in mind that we have not seen the full interview, we have no idea we don't know what else she says in this I take her at her word, that she feels like she's been silent too long. She hasn't done it very much. She clearly feels like she has something to say. She clearly regrets not talking in 2008.

And the Internet era has changed everything. She can really control her own story line in a way she absolutely could not have in 1998. Had the Internet interest existed in a different way she might have fought back differently.

CUOMO: Let's talk dirty (ph). You say fought back differently. Do you believe she was unfairly treated in that situation?

Look, (AUDIO GAP). Here's "The New York Post", all right? It says, "My Life Sucks". Pretty neutral, right? Probably -- could be any of our faces right now from time to time.

But if anyone wants to love up Monica Lewinsky, it should be "The New York Post", right, because of their typical political leanings. The devil in a blue dress. Fair point that she was really made into a villain in that situation in a way that would not happen today.

HABERMAN: It's hard to overstate the extent she was -- demonized is a very specific word, but it's hard to describe it another way, right? I mean, essentially, you had the weight of both sides of the political parties coming down on her and she talked about this in the essay. She was, you know, her files were seized by special prosecutors. Ken Starr never spoke to her, as my colleague Todd Purdum at "Politico" pointed out today.

Her life would be very, very different today. There is no question that she was at the center of something that she couldn't control. She had no ability to fight back against.

Whether she was demonized to the extent she feels she was, whether, you know, some of this was fair or not fair, those are debatable points but there's no one in recent history we can point to in America who is treated the way she was.

BOLDUAN: What do you think about the here and now? The impact, of course, is the question. I mean, we talk about the impact of Hillary Clinton's first grandchild on her political future. Of course, everyone is going to ask what do you think the impact of this?

I mean, separate from 2008 because 2008 it really was not part of the campaign. People did not talk about the scandal. But this time around, do you think it will be different? I mean, there are already Republicans bringing it up. HABERMAN: Well that -- I mean, that is where this is different. This has already been coming up. Rand Paul in particular has been talking about this. Other Republicans have been alluding to the go-go '90s scandals. I don't think this is particularly new information.


HABERMAN: It will be new information for millenials, people who were not around during this period.

CUOMO: That's true.

HABERMAN: But I don't know that it's going to make them think differently about Hillary Clinton. I think it will seem like such a distant memory and it is something that they don't totally understand and it will seem out of context. I think people who were inclined to like Hillary Clinton, this is not going to change because of that. I think people who were disinclined to like her because of this is not going to --

BOLDUAN: And millenials have a different -- maybe I'm wrong on this. But they have a different kind of look at all the politicians who are --

CUOMO: They've grown up with sex scandal.

BOLDUAN: A lot of politicians have similar sex scandals.

HABERMAN: And that's bad economy, jobs that are hard to find. They're far more concerned about their own lives that this specific scandal --

CUOMO: They'll be surprised to learn that this Monica Lewinsky is probably the only person caught up in on of these, really didn't cash in. This is the age of discretion that word becomes profit. And you can make that case.

BOLDUAN: She talks about those offers.

CUOMO: Absolutely. I remember at the time I got to know her at the time when this was happening. Believe me, she was not acting the way people in this Kardashian era act now when they do something stupid, they wind up getting rewarded for it.

HABERMAN: She makes that point.

CUOMO: Help me through the thicket of gender politics. When Hillary Clinton says I believe myself in part for this, I wasn't there for my husband emotionally. This is going to be novel. If she's going to be president of the United States, if that comes to pass, first woman obviously.

So, how does this all kind of come together in analysis of her, do you think, that as women, to hear a woman say in a situation that seems so obvious what happened, I blame myself. Is that worthy of analysis of her as a candidate? HABERMAN: Well, my initial reaction to that is we have not heard her actually say that.

CUOMO: True, true.

HABERMAN: It's interpreted through her friend Diane Blair, through her papers. We don't know what she says other than what she wrote in her own first book "Living History", I don't think she's going to address this in her new book which is coming out next month.

BOLDUAN: But Lewinsky takes it on. Let's throw some graphics so our viewers can look it along with us. She says in one of these excerpts, she says Hillary Clinton wanted it on the record that she was lashing out at her husband's mistress. She may have faulted her husband for being inappropriate but I find her impulse to blame the woman not only me but herself, troubling.

CUOMO: Strong point.

HABERMAN: We, again, in terms if she's speaking specifically about the Diane Blair comment that is not necessarily wanting it on the record. That was talking to her friend. And we don't know whether she knew that was all being recorded or not. If she's talking about other comments, it's a totally fair point.

But in the larger point, I think a lot of women will look at that and feel some concern about it.

On the other hand, can you think of another instance where you had the leader of the free world and his wife dealing with a situation like this playing out in public in real time? So, I think that for a lot of women they are going to find it to be a human and sympathetic response.

BOLDUAN: Real quick, Maggie, do you think -- no response from Hillary Clinton's people on the Lewinsky essay. She will be asked about it at some point, along the campaign trail if she decides to run. What do you think the response is?

HABERMAN: I think the response is going to be as little as possible and as minimal as possible. This is not an era the Clintons want to revisit. You've already seen as Republicans going on about this and talked about this era recently. You've seen defenders of Clintons like David Brock at Media Matters speaking very aggressively against why this is not something people are going to be discussing.

I think Hillary Clinton will be content to let other people debate this and talk about this as little as possible. Whether that's going to be enough is an open question.

BOLDUAN: Like, it wasn't Hillary Clinton's indiscretion that she needs to answer for.

HABERMAN: Or I don't even think it will be something like that. I think this will be something we discussed a long time ago. I'm interested in future. I'm interested in other people's lives. I think she will try to stay away from this as much as she can.

CUOMO: And I think that's exactly what Lewinsky wants almost. And if anybody deserves a second chance, like let her be something else in her life, I think she does. She's been through enough already, and hopefully become part of her campaign.

BOLDUAN: It will be interesting to see the rest of it. Maggie, great to see you.

HABERMAN: You, too.

CUOMO: All right. Let's take a break on NEW DAY. When we come back, nearly two months of nonstop mystery. The question: will we ever learn what happened to flight 370? Is it time to stop looking? It's hard to ask that. But maybe that's the reality. We're going to find out what you think in an eye-opening new poll.

And we have brand new video of that stowaway teen. If you question his story, oh, I'm not sure he was in that plane -- well, you're going to see him stagger out of it when he lands, and you're going to watch it for yourself and figure out how did he survive this five-hour flight in a jet wheel well. We'll take you through the story.