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@THISHOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Aaron Hernandez to be Indicted; Republicans Look For Reasons for Hillary Not to Run; Sterling on Racism in America; Another Setback in MH370 Search.

Aired May 15, 2014 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: We are just learning that former New England Patriots' star football player Aaron Hernandez likely to be indicted today in connection with a double murder in Boston back in July of 2012.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A grand jury has been looking into his possible role in a drive-by shooting that killed two men. Now, this is a separate incident. This is a separate incident, folks, from what he's been charged with already, for murder in the shooting death of his friend, Odin Lloyd. That is why he is in jail right now.

That is why he is being held in custody awaiting trial on that right now. We are awaiting this news conference in Boston which will detail the new charges against him. He's been suspected for quite some time as we've seen the details of this case in this investigation come out, but it will be very, very interesting to say what prosecutors and the police chief there say, and we'll get back to that the minute they start talking.

Also AT THIS HOUR, Bill Clinton responds to Karl Rove's allegations that his wife, Hillary, might have brain damage. A suggestion, I should say, that Hillary Clinton could be suffering from brain damage. Here's what Bill Clinton said yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First they said she faked her concussion, and now they say she's auditioning for a part on "The Walking Dead."

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think --

(CROSSTALK)

CLINTON: Now they say she's really got brain damage. If she does, then I must be in really tough shape because she's still quicker than I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Now, you may have heard Hillary Clinton has not said yet if she plans to run for president in 2016. However, some Republicans seem to be looking for reasons why she shouldn't, especially Karl Rove.

PEREIRA: He's suggesting she may have sustained, as John mentioned, brain damage from a fall back in 2012, and that by the time, if she were to run and if she were to win, by that time she'd be too old at age 69.

We want to bring in out political commentators, Will Cain, Marc Lamont Hill.

Great to have you both with us, as always.

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to be here.

Will, I've got to start with you. Is the prospect of Hillary Clinton running so formidable, so formidable that they have to attack before she even announces?

WILL CAIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Now, Michaela --

PEREIRA: Sorry.

CAIN: -- we are friends. That is an incredibly loaded question. That's will, have you stopped beating your wife? First, if I answer in the affirmative -- you've granted her the premise that we don't know if she's going to run so any questions about her viability is a little premature --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: To be clear, I said that tongue in cheek. I'm not going to grant you that, but go on.

CAIN: Second, any questions about her qualifications reinforce how formidable she is? I think that's a little bit of a stretch. And really kind of undercuts questions we should be asking. I don't know if they're about brain damage, but questions we should be asking.

PEREIRA: So you agree that that was too far?

CAIN: Yeah. I mean, look. There are so many better questions to ask like a very simple one. Can we name Hillary Clinton's primary qualification, primary accomplishment to be president of the United States?

BERMAN: So, Marc Lamont Hill, what we have here now is two supreme political operatives, Karl Rove and Bill Clinton, weighing in on this issue of Hillary Clinton's health. Karl Rove, you know, floating the notion that there could be brain damage to foment this discussion perhaps that we all are now having about her health and her age, if that's what he intended to do, certainly succeeded if that's what he intended to do. And now Bill Clinton responding tongue in cheek but making Karl Rove perhaps, you know, shine the spotlight on him, saying he is ridiculous. Who wins this game of supreme political strategy here?

LAMONT HILL: Well, first of all, I reject the premise that Karl Rove is a supreme political operative. At this moment he's kind of like an Internet troll. Only someone who -- only an Internet troll would do something to that extent of his life. It's sort of sad to see. But when it comes to Bill Clinton, I think what he's trying to do is enter the conversation.

You know, for a long time Hillary Clinton has simply been above the fray. She hasn't talked about domestic politics, hasn't engaged the Republican Party. Instead she's floated around like a global icon which she sort of is at this moment. Now she realizes she has to get back into the muck and mire of politics. Having bill respond is a smoke signal that she does plan to run and that she is planned to prepare to these attacks.

BERMAN: Do we need that smoke signal, Marc? It seems to me the smoke signals have been smoking for a long time now.

LAMONT HILL: Yeah, but this is more direct. This is more direct. We all assume Hillary is the heir apparent. We all assume she's not only going to run but win the nomination. It could change, but I think this is a more direct sign directly from the Clintons as opposed to people connected to her.

CAIN: I do agree this is a smoke signal or direct sign she may run. Actually, it proposes something useful. And that is --

BERMAN: Which is what?

CAIN: -- what should Democrats do? Might they consider if she doesn't run? If she doesn't, for whatever reason, and by the way, I think questions about her age are totally legitimate. She would be the second oldest president outside of Ronald Reagan.

PEREIRA: Don't women do better as they age than men do?

CAIN: They perhaps do, Michaela.

BERMAN: You certainly do. You certainly do.

CAIN: We asked those questions of John McCain.

(CROSSTALK)

CAIN: Yeah, we did. Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

CAIN: But I think Democrats ought to consider just the prospect, what if she doesn't?

PEREIRA: But it's a legitimate question, but it's how it's asked. It was sort of dropped as a bomb. He dropped the mic and walked away. CAIN: Karl Rove.

PEREIRA: Karl Rove.

CAIN: Look, I don't have to defend Karl Rove to question Hillary's qualifications and competency to be president of the United States. Outside of any speculation about falls she has taken.

BERMAN: Will Cain, Marc Lamont --

(CROSSTALK)

Marc, five seconds or less?

LAMONT HILL: There's absolutely no reason to question Hillary's competence or age. It's a reasonable question because of the health issue like John McCain. There isn't one now except the one Karl Rove manufactured. Let's stick to the issues here.

BERMAN: Marc Lamont Hill, Will Cain, come back very soon.

Coming up for us, Donald Sterling says he doesn't think racism is a problem in America. He also says he's a very, very nice guy. Part two of the CNN interview next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, A.C. 360: You think that is a problem in America, racism, and do you think it --

DONALD STERLING, OWNER, LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: I don't think so. I don't think -- I think it's better than any other place in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: Welcome back. The breaking news out of Boston, former New England Patriots' tight end Aaron Hernandez, indicted on two more counts of first-degree murder.

PEREIRA: This press conference has been ongoing. Daniel Conly spoke, the district attorney, he announced this indictment on this double homicide in Boston back in 2012. Let's take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL F. CONLY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY: I am in the very near future. I am joined this morning by Boston police commissioner, William Evans; Superintendent Kevin Buckley; lieutenant detective, Greg Long; and the homicide squad of sergeant detective, Mark Sullivan and Detectives Josh Cummings and Dave Monroe. I'm also joined by first assistant district attorney, Patrick Hagan; assistant district attorney, Teresa Anderson, of our appellate division; assistant district attorney, Edmond Zabin, the chief of our homicide unit.

Today's indictments represent nearly two years of investigation by these police and prosecutors and others in Boston and beyond. They're the result of testimony from more than two dozen witnesses and over 80 exhibits presented to the grand jury starting on July 17th, 2012, and continuing through to this morning. The transcript of the grand jury investigation is over 1,200 pages. As you know, Mr. Hernandez is currently facing charges in connection with another homicide.

While we have a duty to inform the public, and in particular, the victims and their families about these charges, we also have an obligation to our counterparts in Bristol County not to make any statements that could compromise their prosecution. We have a similar obligation to protect the defendant's right to a fair trial, not just in our case, but also in the Bristol County case where he will likely be tried first.

For these reasons, we must be limited in the information that we release to the public outside of a court proceeding. I've discussed these limitations with Commissioner Evans, and he agrees with me. We're both aware of the heightened public interest in this case, but we have to balance that interest with our ethical responsibilities to the commonwealth's cases and the defendant's rights.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That's Suffolk County D.A. Daniel Conley. Indictments for Aaron Hernandez for two other first-degree murders. These took place about a year before the other murder for which he is now being held. That trial upcoming.

PEREIRA: Two men killed in Boston in 2012, Furtado and Abreu, two men from Cape Verde. And a lot of people were thinking, wait. Wasn't he already charged with something else? This is a separate indictment. So again, some trouble coming for Hernandez to be sure.

BERMAN: What it does is paint a picture of a guy, as we already knew, potentially a very troubled, troubled past involved with many things, and it may also help explain what happened in 2013 with this other charge that we've known about for some time. We will bring you much more on this when we get it.

Coming up, you know who says Donald Sterling is a really, really nice guy and not a racist.

PEREIRA: Donald Sterling?

BERMAN: Exactly. We'll have that when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

So Donald Sterling, he says he's a warm person, a good person, that he says hello to all the players when they come into office and that he is not a monster, or as he puts it, an ogre.

BERMAN: AT THIS HOUR, the NBA players and fans are digesting another deluge of information right from the mind and mouth of the L.A. Clippers' owner. CNN's Anderson Cooper asked him about racism in America, and you will want to hear Donald Sterling's thought. Here's more of that exclusive interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Do you think that is a problem in America, racism? Do you think it's --

STERLING: I don't think so. I think it's better than any other place in the world.

COOPER: You don't see it as a big problem here?

STERLING: I don't see it. I'm not, you know, an African-American. You know, take Judaism. I don't think the Jews have any problem. I mean, there's a couple of people that they killed that are Jews coming out of a synagogue, remember. In general, I think America handles everything well. Do you think there's a lot of prejudice here?

COOPER: I think there's -- yeah, I think there's prejudice everywhere, but I do think there's different forms. There's institutional forms of prejudice. Then there's stuff that -- biases that people have in their hearts.

STERLING: I don't know. In the legal profession, a guy comes in, you know, he's a lawyer, I respect him if he's done it and worked hard, I wouldn't think he was any different than a white lawyer. I don't think -- I think America has worked well with that. Maybe not as well as the African-Americans would like. But, you know, I'm a Jew. I watch what's going on with us. I think it's better than it's ever been. That doesn't mean there isn't, you know, anti-Semitism. There is a lot of it, especially in the south.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Atlanta radio host, Mo Ivory, joins us.

Mo, I'm wondering if I can get your reaction there.

PEREIRA: She's already shaking her head.

BERMAN: It was interesting because at first Sterling says he doesn't see anti-Semitism or racism in America, then he went back and said there is.

PEREIRA: A lot of it.

BERMAN: Let's take the racism part of it right now. No racism in America according to Donald Sterling. Discuss.

MO IVORY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST & ATTORNEY: Listen, if you are a billionaire, you live in an isolated society where everybody agrees with everything you say, everything you do. You can have whatever you want. I can imagine that you could think there's no racism. So, I mean, from the perspective that I always look at Donald Sterling is what is he thinking in his own head from his own experiences? I can see why he would say that. I absolutely do not agree with it, but I can understand why, in his head, he thinks that.

PEREIRA: It's interesting that you should say in his own experience, right? Because he also goes on in part one of the interview putting all of the blame squarely on the shoulders of the media. He also says that he doesn't think the players are going to boycott. So his reality is very different from other people's.

IVORY: Michaela, absolutely it is.

PEREIRA: I said it as diplomatically as I can.

(LAUGHTER)

IVORY: Think about what his reality has been. If these players have always on the weekend called him up and wanted to golf with him or wanted to come over to his house, you know, share a meal with his family or they wanted to go and maybe stay in his vacation home in Paris, then in his mind, he has a great relationship with them.

And he's paying them, and they're having these wonderful lives. So his reality really is very skewed because he lives -- I wouldn't even say 1 percent. Probably 0.05 percent of the way people live. Whenever he's trying to get in touch with his sensitivities to racism, he goes to his own experiences of being a Jewish man and what he believes Jews have experienced in this country. And that's really sort of the safest place for him to have any identification. But I really think that that's where he sees the similarities.

BERMAN: You know --

(CROSSTALK)

PEREIRA: If there are similarities.

BERMAN: A starting point for a discussion for racism in America. Unclear what Donald Sterling has learned in this whole, you know, endeavor so far.

Mo Ivory, great to have you here with us.

IVORY: Not to talk on the phone. Thanks.

PEREIRA: All right.

BERMAN: Ahead for us AT THIS HOUR, the search for the missing flight 370, increasingly looking filled with new problems. There has been another dramatic setback. We'll tell you what it is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: So the search for flight 370 has come to an abrupt stop. And it may be days before it starts again.

PEREIRA: Yeah, the Bluefin 21 underwater vehicle, it was damaged as it was being hoisted up onto the ocean shield. So that's a problem. Time and time again, the families have asked for raw data to be released on the search. And today the Malaysian transportation minister responded, saying it's not up to Malaysia to release it but the satellite company, Inmarsat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIA AIRLINES TRANSPORT MINISTER: The raw data is with Inmarsat. Not with Malaysia or Australia. So if there is any request for this raw data to be made available to the public, it must be made to Inmarsat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEREIRA: Joining us, our aviation analyst, Mary Schiavo, and safety analyst, David Soucie.

Good to have you both with us.

Mary, so what do you think of this? Does it make sense? Does it stand to reason? Malaysia is basically saying we don't have the raw data, pointing the finger at Inmarsat. Are they passing the buck here?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: They are passing the buck. If they don't have the raw data, there has been a tremendous amount of resource and not to mention mental anguish because of this. They have followed these leads to the exclusion of any others.

And now when they ask for the families and public ask for data, they don't have it, Inmarsat does. I can't believe they don't have any of the data. And if they have it, then according to IKO rules, they can release the data of their investigation into this crash. So it's a big buck-passing move and probably a clue of what's to come in the investigation.

BERMAN: And, David, we seem to be in a strange place in the investigation. The equipment they have isn't working. Malaysia says it's teaming up again with China and Australia to reexamine the data that they have. Does it feel to you like they were prepared for this moment that they're in right now?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: No, it really doesn't. I mean, you think back, the initial part of having the Bluefin go out and look at that second ping, it tells me two things. The fact this they don't have any additional equipment out there, one, they had an incredible amount of confidence in the Inmarsat data and in those pings to say look, we don't need anything else.

We expect to go down there and find the airplane. The other thing it tells me is they had very small knowledge or lack of knowledge about what it takes to start a deep water search and to get the right tools in the right places. This takes months normally to plan. And had they known they were going to have to do this more, do a deeper search, they would have started that months ago, and they didn't. That's two different things that I think are very concerning about this investigation.

PEREIRA: I know for the families, they've been so frustrated and so angry with the Malaysian government about their lack of transparency and the lack of providing communications or lack thereof. But today the Malaysian government announced that it's starting this committee. Their aim, I suppose, is to streamline the communications with the families. This is awfully late in the game for them to be doing this.

SCHIAVO: It is. This is pretty much in the category of too little, too late. But there is a lot that they still can do. I mean, first of all, the Australians have announced a $90 million budget for the search, but they don't know where the money's coming from. The insurance companies say they don't have to pay except for the damages. And so now they say that the families, you know, will be given instructions how to apply for $50,000. But, of course, the international treaty says it's supposed to be $175,000. So they have a lot of answering to do. They can provide information, but the transparency factor is mighty low.

BERMAN: Transparency is an issue. An issue is also going to be coming up very soon, already is, is money. They'll be running into serious money crunches very soon.

David Soucie, Mary Schiavo, thanks for being with us.

PEREIRA: For you at home, thanks for joining us AT THIS HOUR. I'm Michaela Pereira.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman.

"Legal View" with Ashleigh Banfield. Ashleigh is down at ground zero at the 9/11 memorial. That starts right now.