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Bergdahl Swap; Bounce House Incident; Cousteau to Live Under Sea for 31 Days

Aired June 2, 2014 - 08:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Push to address global warming, rolling out a plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. He begins a four day trip to Europe tonight.

A nationwide manhunt is underway for a San Francisco man believed to be in possession of explosive materials. FBI officials say Ryan Kelly Chamberlain is considered armed and dangerous.

Golfer Phil Mickelson and billionaire investor Carl Icahn are denying any wrongdoing in connection with an FBI investigation into alleged insider trading.

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to speak at a ceremony that marks the construction of a new submarine in Rhode Island. The future USS Illinois is named after the Obama's home state.

We're always updating the five things you need to know, so go to for the very latest.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thanks, J.B.

Breaking overnight, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is in Germany for medical treatment. He was released this weekend after being held for five years by the Taliban. The deal gave him his freedom in exchange for the release of five Taliban leaders who were being held at Guantanamo Bay prison. But it was not run past Congress first. This was not a new deal, by the way. It had been negotiated over the course of years. But the actual execution of it wasn't told to lawmakers. And one issue is, was that a violation of law? They're supposed to get 30 days' notice.

Let's debate. There are many issues here. This is very complicated. We have Ana Navarro and Donna Brazile. Ana, as you know, a CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, and Donna, as you know, a CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist.

Let's point, counterpoint this, ladies. And thank you very much for joining us on NEW DAY.

Donna Brazile, let's begin. Why is this deal a good deal?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, this brings home an American who was captured. It frees him and we should celebrate that and congratulations to the Bergdahl family. They'll get to spend the 4th of July hopefully with their son. And that's a cause for celebration.

You know, there is some controversy. There's always controversy when it involves, you know, swapping, you know, a prisoner of war for other prisoners. And I think that controversy will continue to go unabated and, lastly, I'm sure, because of the president's authority, executive authority, that this was an extraordinary circumstance and he used that authority to work with a third party, that is the government of Qatar, to have him released and to -- they were the ones responsible for taking to the Taliban for the prisoner swap.

CUOMO: OK. So, Ana, looking at this as a function of history, why there's outrage, didn't Reagan do a deal where he exchanged arms for POWs? Why is this getting such outcry from the Republicans?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's getting outcry, Chris, for several reasons. First of all - and first of all, I want to agree with Donna, that it is cause for celebration when an American is returned home. And we should all join in that celebration with the Bergdahl family.

That being said, it doesn't mean that there aren't serious concerns for several reasons. Number one, we negotiated with terrorists. The fact that Qatar was the one negotiating really stretches credibility (ph). We all know that this was a Taliban united state negotiation and it sets a very bad precedent. Second of all, at what price did we negotiate? We have just handed over to the Taliban five leaders, as you called them, five battle-hardened Taliban leaders, one of them identified by the United Nations as having killed thousands of Shiite Muslims. So these are people who may very well likely go back into battle and it sets also that bad precedent. And third, what does this mean in the future? Are there going to be more Americans that are taken hostage, more Americans that are in prison, so that in order to get other Taliban released. So it's a very slippery slope that should be of great concern to us all.

CUOMO: So the two big issues for you to respond to there, Donna, are, one, even though Reagan did a deal before, you are hedging by saying that you didn't negotiate with terrorists when it seems like you did and you're saying you can monitor these bad guys once you let them go and there's very little assurance that you can.

BRAZILE: Well, of course we're going to monitor these bad guys. And by the way, we should close down Guantanamo Bay. It's time that we stop, you know, pretending as if that prison down there in Cuba is somehow or another holding all of the bad guys. It has human rights abuses, civil rights abuses, and it's time we figure out a way to close that thing down once and for all.

Look, this was an extraordinary circumstance. You know, when my dad went to war, and I'm sure other parents and children of war, you know, they're told that we will come and get you. And we did in the case of Mr. Bergdahl. So we did go out and we got him and that is something that we -- again, a cause for celebration. In terms of what Secretary Hagel said yesterday, he said, look, we had conversations with a third party, we negotiated and we got him released. Now, in terms of the future, I hope that we will not allow these criminals and these prisoners from Gitmo Bay, who are now in Qatar, to return to their previous line of work. They were Taliban officials prior to the United States' invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. I hope we don't let them go back on the battlefield. And, if so, I'm sure we will find ways to hunt them down and bring them to justice again.

CUOMO: But you're kind of creating the problem. There's a little bit of, you have it both ways here on both sides of this debate. Yours is you're saying, we didn't negotiate with terrorists, but you obviously did negotiate with terrorists. And if you want to say it's by third party or otherwise, it's still in negotiation, Donna. And for you, Ana, it's that, well, we're happy that he's home, but we don't like the way he got home. You can't have it both ways. This is what you have to do to get him back. This has been the deal for years.

NAVARRO: Yes - yes, you can, Chris. I mean how do you - you know - well, listen, of course you have to be happy when you see, you know, that there's going to be an American returning to his family. But at the same time, you have to wonder to yourself and think and ask the question, at what price and does this make sense? What is this going to mean for American lives in the future.

CUOMO: This was the deal for years.

NAVARRO: Is it going to put more lives at cost?

CUOMO: But this was the deal for years.

NAVARRO: Well, we are returning to the battlefield, basically - but we are returning to the Taliban. The Taliban who are today celebrating. The Taliban, one of the most powerful mulas (ph) of the Taliban, who hadn't been seen in years, is out there celebrating this deal. And this is going to increase and heighten the moral of the Taliban. That is just probably the unlike - the likely case.

BRAZILE: Ana, under this president, we have gotten more of those bad guys off the field --

CUOMO: Hold on, Ana. Hold on, Ana. Finish your point, Donna. You're saying --

BRAZILE: I mean under this president we have gotten - we have captured and brought to justice many of these individuals. And I - I can rest assured, and maybe everybody can rest assured, but there's one thing I know about our military, is that if -- they will go out and they will find you. It may take time, but they will find you. So I am confident that whatever celebration the Taliban is having today, it is going to be short lived because I am sure we are still looking for those bad guys.

CUOMO: One other point on this. This deal has been made for years. It's been going on for at least three years. So the surprise at it, Ana, is a little misplaced. You knew this was going to be the deal. But then the question becomes, why did you have to avoid the law, Donna, and not give the 30 days' notice. You're saying, well, this was an emergency. His health was failing. There's no proof that he was dealing with any urgent diagnosis. They said he made it through all the medical screens. Why did the president go around the law?

BRAZILE: Because he thought he -- there was extraordinary measures. That he was in declining health. And as you know, in the statement most recently, the administration said that in special circumstances he will use his executive authority to ensure that Americans, who are, you know, in harm's way, are brought back safely. So I trust the administration, that they went to the Justice Department, that it's legal, and that there's no other issue. Now, in terms of going around Congress, look, I'm an old congressional staffer. I wish the administration would have involved Congress but -- and they didn't involve the Afghanistan government. They didn't want this leaked out. They wanted to get it done.

CUOMO: Well, that's understandable. That's understandable.


CUOMO: There is a dearth of trust between the U.S. and Afghanistan.

NAVARRO: Because the (INAUDIBLE) - the -

CUOMO: But let me ask you, Ana, what do you think of this idea of the president going around?

NAVARRO: The answer to your question is very - well, the answer to your question is simple. The reason he didn't go to Congress is because Congress would have raised serious questions, grave concerns about who these five guys we were swapping are. They would have raised grave concerns about negotiating with terrorists. And many in Congress, including Democrats, would not have liked what -- the precedent that we are setting. It would have raised hell in Congress and the president knows that. That's why he skirted Congress.

CUOMO: Ana -

BRAZILE: You know, you've got to go all the way back to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They were dealing with rogue regimes and pirates and everybody else. So every president has used some authority to get Americans back home safely.

CUOMO: Well, I'll tell you, one thing is certainly true, Ana Navarro and Donna Brazile, Congress has abdicated a lot of its constitutional authority when it comes to war to presidents. It's been happening since World War II. Congress has decided to take a back seat and play it both ways. Let the president go out on his own and then complain about it after. That's been true for way to long. Sometimes it comes back to bite them. Thank you very much for joining us on this debate this morning. An important issue.

NAVARRO: Thank you, Chris.

BRAZILE: Thank you.

CUOMO: Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up next on NEW DAY, another bounce house scare. A gust of wind tosses the sizable inflatable toy across a Colorado field trapping two kids inside. More on their frightening ordeal. That's ahead.

And, an historic day 60 feet beneath our ocean's surface. You're taking a live look right now at explorer Fabien Cousteau and his team who have set up the world's only underwater laboratory. What is he doing down there? We're going to find out.


BOLDUAN: This happened again. A bounce house picked up by a huge gust of wind, trapping two children inside this time and leaving parents, of course, fearing the worst. And what can they do. They just have to stand by and watch. Ana Cabrera has more on the terrifying ordeal in Colorado.


ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Panic and fear when this bounce house takes off into the air with two young children inside. Parents of players watching helplessly as a strong gust of wind blows the inflatable slide across a field and into the middle of a Colorado lacrosse tournament.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We thought the girls were going to get taken out because this thing's massive.

CABRERA: Witnesses recall the horrifying scene.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As the wind picked up, it would tumble and just -- like a bag in the wind.

VANHESSA ATENCIO, WITNESS: And then all of a sudden it picks up and there's a girl going down the slide. She flies out about eight feet in the air.

CABRERA: A 10-year-old girl was thrown from the bounce house right away. But an 11-year-old boy continued to tumble another 200 to 300 feet before the slide finally came to a stop. Both are recovering from minor injuries. Airbound (ph), the company operating the bouncy slide, says they maintained all safety precautions, including having their staffing on site. "We did have the inflatable properly staked into the ground. We do wish that we had been able to foresee the microburst wind and shut the ride down prior to this incident occurring."

This isn't the first time these party favorites have gone airborne. Just last month, three children playing inside this bouncy house in upstate New York were sent flying nearly two stories high when the inflatable structure was blown right off the front yard. In 2011, 13 people were injured when another bouncy house was swept into a crowd of onlookers at this soccer game in Long Island. And that same year, another accident caught on camera at a fifth grade graduation party in Tucson, Arizona.

But for the children involved in this most recent accident, this attraction providing more fear than fun.

Ana Cabrera, CNN, Denver, Colorado.


BOLDUAN: So scary. And the only silver lining in that is the kids are -- have minor injuries. We don't know much more the extent of the injuries, but my goodness what a scare.

CUOMO: Yes, they got lucky. And this is not one of those remote things that you hear about where, ah, there's little chance this happens in your own life. Almost every big kids' party and carnival you go to now -

BOLDUAN: Has one of these in it (ph).

CUOMO: And they just flock to it because they love it so much.

BOLDUAN: I know. That's right.

CUOMO: So, got to figure out how to make it safe.

Coming up on NEW DAY, a little quick break here, how does a month under water sound? Good? That's a great vacation. Well, one explorer thinks it is. He's going to study climate change. He's also trying to break a record that's already held by his family. We're going to talk with that man, Fabien Cousteau, live when we come back. Hello Fabien.


CUOMO: You know the music and if not you can see the graphics. It's time for "The Good Stuff". In today's edition is all about the grand gesture, OK --

BOLDUAN: Tell me.

CUOMO: -- especially for a friend. 17-year-old Juwan Espinal -- OK. He can't speak because he has cerebral palsy. That did not stop him from getting a pretty special invite to the prom from classmate Morgan Assel. She lured him to a lacrosse game -- so it was an intricate plot -- where she enlisted some help from the NFL, a star no less, to ask him to the big dance.

Out from behind a banner reading "Will you go to the prom with me?" popped Juwan's favorite football player Redskins quarterback RG3 -- Robert Griffin. Take a listen.


ROBERT GRIFFIN III, NFL PLAYER: We make time in our schedules for stuff like this because it's so worth it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: It couldn't be more worth it than this. All this joy thanks to the thoughtful actions of his friend.


MORGAN ASSEL, FRIEND OF JUWAN: I'm just really excited. Really grateful that RG3 came to help Juwan. Sorry. It means a lot that they're willing to do this for him because he's such a special person and he really deserves it.


CUOMO: It all started with her. She was the person who wanted this to happen for her friend. She knew how much it would mean for him and for RG3 and the NFL to step up was also a beautiful thing. But what a real --

BOLDUAN: That face is a beautiful thing.

CUOMO: Right? He doesn't have to say anything because his eyes and his expression tell you everything. Beautiful.

BOLDUAN: Good on you, as you like to say, RG3 and Morgan and -- that was just beautiful.

CUOMO: "The Good Stuff".

BOLDUAN: The grand gesture. I love it.

CUOMO: All right. We're going to have much more NEW DAY after the break. We're going to try to get that live shot out. You know Fabien Cousteau, he's way deep under water. We know how hard it is to search. We're searching for Fabien.

CUOMO: We're going to find him. We'll be right back.


BERMAN: A perfect song because this morning history is being made under water. For 31 days, ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau will live, work and dive 60 feet under water. Why is he there -- to study pollution and climate change in the only under water laboratory right now in the world. His goal is to try to break the 30-day record set by his grandfather.

And we are joined right now I hope by Fabien Cousteau, some 60 feet under water off the coast of Florida. Thanks so much for being here, Fabien. Let me ask you. You've been under water now for about a day. You are about 1/30 of the way there. Are you ready to give up?

FABIEN COUSTEAU, OCEAN EXPLORER: Absolutely not. This is the most fantastic place in the world to be. As a matter of fact, you're going to have a hard time finding me because I was trying to hide.

BERMAN: I was going to say how does one pack for 31 days under water? COUSTEAU: (inaudible). This laboratory in the world is called Aquarius. (Inaudible) operated by Florida International University. And we are -- I'm being handed the (inaudible) we're having (inaudible) so I can hear you more properly. But we're nice and tightly packed in here. This is about the size of a school bus. And we're six people in a very cozy place. So we have to pack lightly.

BERMAN: What does this vantage point being 60 feet under water for this length of time? What kind of research opportunity does this provide you?

COUSTEAU: Well it provides us an unprecedented view on the final frontier in terms of exploration on our planet.


BERMAN: It does sound like the final frontier. Go ahead.

COUSTEAU: It really is. It really is. You know, we're able to go out there eight to ten hours or more a day to go diving, to gather scientific data in our case for exploration and other topics that really do pertain to us as a species.

BERMAN: We can see other some species swimming outside your window. In fact, indeed your neighbors there in this home are right outside there.

Talk to me about the importance to you, the personal importance because of your family relationship with the seas. Your grandfather famously spent 30 days under water.

COUSTEAU: Well, my grandfather did build some of the first underwater habitats (inaudible). We're really basing missions (inaudible) about 50 years ago in the Red Sea where they spent 30 days under water to learn a bit more about that human ocean connection. They did a lot of (inaudible) which is the basis for the aquanauts that live down in the sea today.

BERMAN: And Fabien, what's the hardest part about being under water like this for so long?

COUSTEAU: You know, I think for the most part this is just the most amazing experience. Maybe the hardest part is the lack of red wine.

BERMAN: Yes. I'm sure you are suffering from the lack of red wine there. But there is a supply when you surface in some 30 days. We know you'll invite us all to the party.

Fabien Cousteau, thank you so much. Good luck. We'll check in with you again under water because it's an amazing sight out that window where you are right now.

COUSTEAU: Well, I look forward to showing you the rest of the habitat next time. It's pretty amazing stuff down here.

BERMAN: Good. We look forward to it. Thanks so much, Fabien -- guys.

CUOMO: You heard it right there. John Berman will be joining Fabien Cousteau in the submarine to follow up on all of that and he will bring copious amounts of --

BOLDUAN: Red wine.

CUOMO: -- red wine.

There's a lot of news this morning. Let's get you right to the "NEWSROOM" with Ms. Carol Costello who does not partake in the red wine celebration of morning news. Not for Carol.


BOLDUAN: Exactly girl -- what?

CUOMO: She's straight tequila, as you can tell.

COSTELLO: Just a shot. Thanks guys so much.

CUOMO: Those earrings alone say "tequila, tequila".

COSTELLO: You got that right, Chris Cuomo. I'll see you guys tomorrow. Have a great day.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.

Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me this morning.

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years is a free man. Right now Bergdahl is recovering in a medical center in Germany.