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Shooters Were Married; Had Extremist Views; Twenty Eight Dead In Assault On Pakistan's Main Airport; New Details About Bergdahl's Captivity; Bergdahl Family Friend Speaks Out

Aired June 9, 2014 - 06:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Also breaking overnight, a massive attack on an international airport in Pakistan. The battle waged for hours. Dozens killed and the Taliban now taking responsibility. How close did they get to passenger airlines?

MICHAEL PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Under threat, the family of Bowe Bergdahl now receiving death threats this as CNN learns the sergeant hasn't spoken to his parents yet.

Plus what did John Kerry tells CNN exclusively about the trade that has one Democratic senator so upset.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

Good morning. Welcome to you. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, June 9th. It's 6:00 in the east. Kate is off. It's great to have Brooke Baldwin here. Thank you for being here with us my friend.

We do have breaking overnight details for you. New information about why a deranged couple killed three people in Las Vegas Sunday including two police officers. Authorities say the married couple behind it may have thought they had an ax to grind with police.

CNN's Dan Simon is following developments for us in Las Vegas. Dan, what do we understand now?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Chris. These were two police officers who were having lunch. It's not like they were on a call or some kind of a dangerous situation. That's when the two suspects, a man and woman, come inside, open fire killing those officers. From there, the suspects then come to this Wal-mart where there's even more bloodshed. Now authorities are trying to figure out what prompted this whole thing.


SIMON (voice-over): Breaking overnight, a raid in an apartment in Las Vegas, possibly the home of the two suspects involved in Sunday's shooting spree. An area around the apartment was cordoned off. Local affiliates report an explosion, apparently with a flash bang grenade set off by police. A law enforcement source tells CNN the suspects were a married couple with extremist views toward law enforcement.

SHERIFF DOUG GILLESPIE, LAS VEGAS METRO POLICE DEPARTMENT: It's a tragic day. It's a very, very difficult day.

SIMON: Around 11:22 a.m. on Sunday, about 10 miles from the Las Vegas strip, two people, one male, one female, opened fire inside this pizza restaurant. Witnesses here declare the ambush a revolution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw the gun in their hand, they told me to tell the cops that it was a revolution.

SIMON: When police arrived they discovered that two of their own were murdered. They've been identified as 41-year-old Officer Alyn Beck and 31-year-old Soldo, both leaving behind wives and young children. Igor

GILLESPIE: What precipitated this event, we do not know. My officers were simply having lunch.

SIMON: Authorities say one officer was able to fire back before being killed. The assailants then grabbing the officers' guns and their ammunition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The man who shot him was hugging him like this, but I think he was going for his gun, trying to get the officers' gun.

SIMON: The duo then headed across the street to this Wal-mart killing a woman near the front entrance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw a whole bunch of people start running towards the back.

SIMON: Police converged on the scene exchanging gunfire inside, but before they could apprehend the pair, the female attacker shot the male suspect, she then turned the gun on herself.


SIMON: Well, CNN is not naming the married couple until they're identified by law enforcement. But we can tell you that they had a lot of things posted online and it's clear they had a real disdain towards law enforcement. Brooke, we'll send it back to you.

BALDWIN: Absolutely, awful, Dan Simon, thank you so much for us this morning.

The death toll rising overnight on that lethal attack on Pakistan's busiest airport. The latest number we have, 28. At least 28 people are now dead with dozens more injured at the international airport in Karachi. Ten of the dead are militants who stormed the airport's cargo area with guns, grenades, suicide vests and now claim responsibility from the Pakistani-Taliban, which says it was motivated by an American drone strike.

CNN's Saima Mohsin is in Karachi for us with the very latest. Saima, good morning. SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Brooke. Yes, a lot of people here this morning, particularly on social media, wondering why Pakistan is the target of the attack that is for revenge of the U.S. drone strike. A lot of shock to this attack. A bold, brazen attack, as you say, ten militants breaking into the largest and busiest airport here in Pakistan, Karachi International Airport.

It's also the financial hub of the country and today, people in shock because they've broken into the airport. They managed to target people. They killed 18 people, airport staff and airport security personnel as well. Today, people are asking questions about Pakistan's intelligence officials and whether they are able to tackle the menace of terrorism here -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: All right, Saima, thank you so much in Karachi for us.

Also we are getting new details about the health of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and about the abuse he endured for years, those five years in Taliban captivity as Bergdahl recovers at a military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. His parents are receiving death threats back here in the United States.

Let's go to Barbara Starr with a lot new on the story. Good morning, Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Brooke. The Taliban are certainly telling the story that fits their narrative. But U.S. officials are telling us that Bowe Bergdahl was kept in captivity, was physically abused and at a point was kept in a confined space described as a cage.


STARR (voice-over): At this hospital in Germany, Bowe Bergdahl promoted automatically to sergeant while held prisoner now says he wants to be called by his old rank, private first class. In his mind, he is a PFC, a senior U.S. official says adding that Bergdahl wearing his uniform would be part of the regular reintegration process.

A Taliban source tells CNN's Nic Robertson that not long after Bergdahl was taken prisoner he escaped and was on the run three days before being recaptured. The Taliban account which cannot be independently confirmed claims Bergdahl never converted to Islam and was allowed to celebrate Christmas and Easter.

Secretary of State John Kerry defends sending Taliban detainees to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl. On CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," he suggested to Elise Labott that the U.S. would be keeping an eye on them if they return to the fight.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not telling you that they don't have some ability at some point to go back and get involved, but they also have an ability to get killed doing that.

STARR: Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein on CBS said she's not buying that. SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I heard John Kerry this morning saying, don't worry about them in Doha. You can't help but worry about them in Doha.

STARR: And what of that alleged Taliban threat to kill Bergdahl if word of the prisoners swap leaked? Feinstein said she doesn't believe there was a credible threat.

FEINSTEIN: No, I do not. I've heard of none, let me put it that way.

STARR: But the senior U.S. official says that once a prisoner exchange deal was reached with Bergdahl's captors, the U.S. had to move quickly, because of intelligence, other Taliban elements might kill him to keep him out of U.S. hands.


STARR: And the FBI is continuing to investigate threats against his parents -- Chris.

CUOMO: Barbara, thank you for continuing to drive the reporting on this. It's a story that begs understanding. Let's bring in Matthew Hoh. He's a friend of the Bergdahl family. He is a former State Department official and a U.S. Marine captain.

Captain, thank you for joining us. Appreciate you being here. Give us a sense of where the family is at? How they are processing what they hear about Bowe's recovery, the tough news that he's not ready to speak to his family.

MATTHEW HOH, FRIEND OF BERGDAHL FAMILY: Good morning. Thank you for having me here today. They're doing as well as you can expect with someone in these circumstances to do. They're very grateful for the support they're getting from their community. They're very grateful for the support they're getting from members of our public who can see themselves in Bob, in Jani's place.

You know, imagine this was your son or your daughter who is a prisoner of war, who is being held captive halfway around the world for five years in condition that you can only imagine as horrific and brutal. So they're doing very well and like any dedicated parent, they're devoted right now, to getting Bowe better. Getting him back to the U.S. and getting him through this initial process.

Because they know this is going to be a long road that this is something -- look, I've been very open about my own post-traumatic stress disorder, which is nothing compared to what Bowe has gone through. The onset of that for me was seven years ago and I still struggle with it.

You can imagine what it's going to be like for Bowe going forward. And really, for lack of a better word to describe it shameful rhetoric coming from members of the media and coming from members of our political class --

CUOMO: Directed at the family now? HOH: Exactly.

CUOMO: Is it true the FBI is investigating death threats that the family is receiving?

HOH: Yes, they have been. Speaking to Bob last week, they have received both e-mail, as well as phone threats. They're receiving great support from the FBI and local police out there are terrific, very supportive of the family.

CUOMO: Now, this stems from people saw Bob with a beard and heard that he had learned the language and he was trying to understand better the culture of the men who had taken his son. And it was somehow portrayed by a couple hot heads in the media and echoed online as him being a sympathizer, is that what this?

HOH: That's exactly what it is and your lead story about the shooting in Las Vegas, supposedly where these people when they murdered two police officers shot in a revolution. It's analogous. It's similar. You have people in this country for political theater, for purposes of political gain fan these flames.

CUOMO: Is he a Muslim? Does he favor the Taliban?

HOH: Absolutely not. Look, Bob and Jani and Bowe are a Presbyterian family. They're very devout. Bob grew the beard, Bob studied the languages. Bob did all of this. You know, one time, I was speaking to him last year, alarm clocks went off in his house. He said, excuse me, let me turn this off. What that was, Bob had set his clocks to go off five times a day to correspond with the times in Pakistan and Afghanistan, when he figured Bowe was being forced to pray with his Muslim captors.

I mean, this is a man who immersed himself in it because he wanted to understand what his son was going through and for anybody not to understand that, either, you know, they have no children or they have no shame or they are so devoted as some ideology and political rhetoric that they're blind to everything else.

CUOMO: What do you make of people looking at the video of Bowe and saying he looks OK to me, you know, he walked up, almost as if he deserves this for whatever he did. What is your perspective as somebody who's been at war, about what those conditions would be like? What that would be like to live through?

HOH: You get -- you know, I actually went through the military's events, survival, and escape training back in 2002. They put you in a prisoner of war camp. They smack you around. Just even that, the instructors a lot of the instructors were former Vietnam prisoners of war.

So the conditions that he would have endured and what was a benefit for the Vietnam prisoners and for other prisoners of war was that they had each other for solidarity. Bowe did not have that. For anyone, particularly for someone who has never served, never heard a shot fired in anger, where so much of this rhetoric, political theater is coming from is disgusting.

You know, it makes a lot of us very angry and I hope that men and women who are still in the military, men and women who are veterans are observing this and understanding that, look, there are members of our political system who will, as well as the media and public, who will completely abandon you, who will completely use you for their own political purposes.

And so I hope this motivates out of guys and gals in the military now or veterans to get involved, to speak out, to realize that.

CUOMO: I hear you. Captain, how do you square your feelings about who's bringing what you call shameful actions with. What we heard from the men who are serving with him? Who say we think he deserted. You know, we don't know about whether we would have traded for him. How do you reconcile that?

HOH: Yes, sure, it's tough. I feel for those guys. I understand their grief. I understand their anger. It's been five years. They hadn't been allowed to speak about it. I would say to them, as we discussed the other day, look, it's justified, your anger. You're upset that your brothers were killed over there. I lost people, too, in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

But your anger should be directed at those who are responsible for these wars who made policy, who kept these wars going. The generals and the politicians. That's responsible for it. Not Bowe, not Bob and Jani. I think and I hope with time, these guys, and I respect them. And I would say to them, guys, look, this is your brother who has come home, forgive him and embrace him.

CUOMO: And you say, you're cautioning people to be patient from what you understand of the situation, these people who are saying he definitely deserted, that he was a sympathizer with the Taliban, you think as the facts come out they're going to be greatly disappointed in their own theories?

HOH: Absolutely. And of course, we'll never hear an apology, a mea culpa from them, right? I think that's the case. I think we're going to find, Bowe had left the base previously. He went out with a camera and a notebook. The intelligence said he was looking for someone who spoke English. This is a kid to listen to foreign legion. He probably did something very stupid by leaving the post.

He signed every Red Cross letter home PFC Bowe Bergdahl. There's no indication that he ever -- you know, when you go through a prisoner of war training, the whole concept is to run home with honor. So Susan Rice who received a lot of flak for her comments what about she said about Bowe, if you look at what he did, five years in captivity. The suffering, the torture, the isolation, he did it and didn't bring shame on himself.

CUOMO: You're saying no video statements.

HOH: Exactly.

CUOMO: Especially if he's a sympathizer.

HOH: This is an organization, as you know, Taliban, al Qaeda, they're very, very good in their propaganda skills. I was actually in an al Qaeda propaganda video. These guys are very good at it by taking things, manipulating them and putting your words around.

And so, the fact that never occurred and he was there by himself for five years. He didn't have anyone else to lean on. And these reports that are coming out now about the possible torture, the isolation, certainly --

CUOMO: It will break you.

HOH: It will break you. I don't know how he didn't break.

CUOMO: You said even in training, when you knew they were your own and friendly, guys would break.

HOH: Oh, yes.

CUOMO: It can be horrible and unimaginable if real.

Listen, Captain, I appreciate the perspective. As always, the best to the family. I do not wish this on anyone, let alone people just trying to get their son back.

HOH: Thank you, Chris. Really appreciate it.

CUOMO: Appreciate it, Captain, as always.

Over to you, Michaela, look at the headlines this morning. Other news, of course.

PEREIRA: Absolutely, Chris. Thanks so much. And here they are. Major announcement from the White House aimed at easing crippling student debt.

President Obama expected to expand sign at an alternative repayment programs that caps monthly payments for certain federal student loans at 10 percent of a borrower's discretionary income. Those changes would allow an additional 5 million people to qualify for the program, which wouldn't take in effect until December 2015.

Officials are advising residents to evacuate as a massive wildfire threatens 250 homes outside of Bend, Oregon. The two bowls fires started Saturday. It's a bit of a wind-driven fire, spreading quickly into a six-mile inferno that has scorched 6,100 acres. The evacuations are not mandatory. We're told that no structures have been lost. So far, no word on what caused that blaze. They are expected winds to pick up again today and that could be a real issue for firefighters.

Broadway's brightest stars honored at the 68th annual Tony Awards. It was an historic day. Audra McDonald won her sixth Tony for acting, the most ever. Other winners, Neil Patrick Harris took the honors for best actor in a musical, "Hedwig", of course. Bryan Cranston won best actor in a play "Her Own Way." And "A Gentleman's Guide for Love and Murder" won the Tony Award for best musical.

Brooke, we have some things to do. We've got some shows to go see.

BALDWIN: I was just thinking, like all these different shows. I saw "All the Way" a couple of weeks ago. Phenomenal. But I have a week.

PEREIRA: You have a week.


BALDWIN: We'll talk about it.

PEREIRA: Come on, musical theater, you love it.

CUOMO: Look, I'm happy that I didn't get beaten over the head with Hugh Jackman references the whole time.

BALDWIN: Can we talk about Hugh Jackman bouncing? Did you guys see that?

PEREIRA: No, I didn't.

BALDWIN: OK, we'll revisit that later.

CUOMO: We'll revisit it. It's not fair for a guy to look like he does and be able to, as talented as he is.

PEREIRA: You're doing fine, fella.

CUOMO: Thank you. I'm no Hugh Jackman. My son tells me that.

Coming up on NEW DAY, the Hillary Clinton book tour. Is it the kickoff to the presidential campaign? I hope so, otherwise, why are we talking about it so much. We're going to tell you what she's saying about what's going to happen and when?

BALDWIN: Also ahead this morning --big talk, did you watch, did you go? California Chrome's owner blasting the rules and the horses that beat him. Is he right, calling them cowards?

We'll hear from a racing analyst coming up here on NEW DAY.


BALDWIN: Welcome back. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching NEW DAY here as we are hearing new revelations from Hillary Clinton, as her new book is set to hit store shelves, and as she goes up for a book- signing tour this week. In a new interview, Clinton is dropping even more hints about a possible 2016 presidential run.

So, we turn to our senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar in Washington with a preview.

Brianna, good morning.


You know Hillary Clinton has said she has a decision to make. Well, if you're hoping for a little clarity on when she's going to do that, you're not going to find it in this interview because Hillary Clinton is keeping her options open.


KEILAR (voice-over): On the eve of her head-grabbing book rollout, Hillary Clinton shares with ABC News her timetable for deciding whether she's running for president.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I just want to get through this year, travel around the country. Sign books. Help in the midterm elections in the fall. And then take a deep breath and kind of go through my pluses and minuses about what I will and will not be thinking about as I make the decision.

KEILAR: Pushing back her personal deadline to 2015.

CLINTON: I will be on the way to making a decision by the end of the year, yes.

KEILAR: But she's already in the political spin cycle, Clinton didn't rule out appearing before a Republican-led House committee investigating the Benghazi attack.

CLINTON: Well, we'll see what they decide to do, how they conduct themselves. Whether or not this is one more travesty about the loss of four Americans or whether this is in the best tradition of the Congress, an effort to try to figure out what we can do better.

KEILAR: Only 37 percent of Americans approve of her handling Benghazi. But a majority still approve of her overall performance as secretary of state, according to a new ABC News/"Washington Post" poll. Clinton also gets very high marks for leadership qualities as they prepares for a demanding book tour some see as a dry run for 2016, Clinton also answered questions about her 2012 blood clot and concussion that she said caused her to suffer dizziness and double vision.

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: So no lingering effects of any kind?

CLINTON: No lingering effects. No.

SAWYER: You would release your medical records if you run for president?

CLINTON: I would do what other candidates have done, absolutely.

KEILAR: Recently, Karl Rove made it a hot button issue.

KARL ROVE, GOP STRATEGIST: She had a serious episode, a serious health episode.

KEILAR: And for the first time, she personally respond.

SAWYER: What would you like to say to Karl rove about your brain?

CLINTON: That I know he was called Bush's brain in one of the books written about him and I wish him well.


KEILAR: So, trying to downplay the issue there, but this book is part of the big book rollout. There will be other interviews. There will be a lot of speeches. There will be book signings.

And all of it, Brooke and Chris, is designed to sell books and keep her well positioned for a 2016 run.

BALDWIN: We talked about this before, nothing is on accident, this is all perfectly choreographed to read through the tea leaves of whatever it is she says this week.

But, you know, Diane Sawyer said to her, you know, listen, it sort of seems the party is frozen right now. So, let me ask you about that about the people who may possibly run against her at least on the left side of the aisle.

She said that they can do whatever they choose to do in whatever timetable they decide. But that's not entirely true.

KEILAR: No, it's not really true. I mean, there's not a whole lot maybe she can do about it right now, because I think pretty much, everyone agrees, the sooner she gets into this race, the trickier it is for her. But largely right now when you're looking at staff picks and fund-raising, those folks are kind of holding their fire.

So, I think she has, if she decides she is probably going to run, she's not a little more time. If she's thinking she may not run then she kind of needs to get out of the way and let some of these Democrats, you know, make headway when it comes to fund-raising and stuff.

CUOMO: What you guys take on this? I was actually happy that Diane pressed her the way she did. You know, it's a dicey move because when Hillary becomes candidate and becomes the presumptive candidate, that can come back and hurt you.

But Diane pressed her anyway and got her to say, yes, by the end of the year. That's early, by the way, right, Brianna? I mean, you know, if she says end of the year, I'm in, she's early. She'll probably be first then?

KEILAR: Well, so, let's sort of split what she said, because she said she'll be well on her way by the end of the year.

BALDWIN: What does that mean, by the way? KEILAR: That's exactly -- the box that she's gotten herself into, she

said, I will basically be deciding the end of this year. That's what we understood. And there is going to be a lot of pressure after the midterm elections to do that. But then she basically kept her options open. And you can basically see that because Diane kind of went through all these different avenues and it made it very clear that she's keeping her options open. I mean, in politics, you're supposed to have options. She's there certainly are options, and she's trying to give herself something she didn't have before.

BALDWIN: OK. Brianna, thank you very much. We'll be talking about this later on in the morning. But just quickly, to your point, I mean, if it does take quite a while longer, what happens to the other folks who want to attempt to run against her?

CUOMO: Because she's doing what they call in politics, freezing pockets, because the donors of giving her money thinking she's going to run. That means they're not going to have available for other candidates --

BALDWIN: Exactly.

CUOMO: -- if she doesn't and I don't think she's going to give it to them.

BALDWIN: She's on her way.

CUOMO: We'll see.

We couldn't help her any more than we have. She's got just a free ride, so far, from the media. We're the biggest ones promoting her campaign. So, it better happen.

Coming up on NEW DAY, the rant heard around the world. California Chrome loses his Triple Crown bid. You knew that.

But did you know the horses he was running against that they didn't have three races. That's why his owners now are crying foul. Is he a sore loser? Or does he have a point?

BALDWIN: We'll talk about that. Also ahead, Tracy Morgan facing a long recovery after this car crash that claimed the life of another comedian. We'll have the very latest for you on his condition and the legal battle for the driver who may have caused the crash.