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Cheney Challenged On Iraq; Obama Briefs Lawmakers; Brett Favre Behind Thad Cochran; Cristiano Ronaldo In or Out?; Massive Great White Shark On The Move

Aired June 19, 2014 - 07:30   ET



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. It is 7:30 on the nose. Let's take a look at your headlines at this hour. The Obama administration is suggesting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki should step down in an effort to curb sectarian violence there. Meantime, the president has told congressional leaders he'll keep them in the loop about the ongoing crisis, but doesn't need their blessing to take action. They discuss options and the president hasn't decided just yet how he'll respond.

The number of veterans waiting at least 30 days to see a doctor has more than doubled than what was first reported. About 10 percent of vets have to deal with the delay up from initial estimates of 4 percent. The updated figures are in a new report due out today. The acting VA secretary says the increase is probably because more accurate data is now being reported after widespread manipulation of wait times was exposed.

Scientists have found a new clue that could reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Researchers discovered that patients with mutations that break a gene the body uses to make fat particles have a 40 percent reduction in their risk of coronary heart disease. These findings suggest a new strategy in developing new drugs against heart disease. Again, number one killer of men and women. One in four people have heart disease so this is a big finding.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Especially when there's so much we can do ourselves to prevent it and don't.

All right, time for "Inside Politics" on NEW DAY with Mr. John King. A lot going on out there, my friend. Take us through it.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": It is a busy day. Chris, Kate, Michaela, good morning to you. Let's go inside politics, with me this morning to share their reporting and their insights, Molly Ball of "The Atlantic" and Nia-Malika Henderson of "The Washington Post."

Let's start with what Michaela was talking about, the president's sober choices about Iraq. The administration thinks Maliki should go. The administration is pondering air strikes, but as Washington debates this seems like we're re-litigating 2003 more than talking about the president's choices now in part because a lot of the Bush officials who are involved in the Iraq war to begin are coming forward including Dick Cheney.

We talked about this yesterday morning, who wrote an op-ed in the "Wall Street Journal," criticizing President Obama saying essentially that President Obama had lost Iraq, but came up at the White House briefing yesterday, Jay Carney's last day. Listen here.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many talking about the situation in Iraq and the Middle East.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Which president was he talking about?


KING: A little deadpan Jay Carney, they are trying to turn it back on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney was on Megyn Kelly's show on Fox News last night and she put the question to him. Why should people listen to you? A lot of people think you are wrong, Mr. Cheney. You are an architect of a war that cost 4,500 U.S. lives, cost more $1 trillion, the cost up to $2 trillion, but Dick Cheney said, no, he's still right.


DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: No, I fundamentally disagree, Megyn. We had a situation where after 9/11 we were concerned about a follow-on attack that would have involved not just airline tickets and box cutters as the weapons, but rather something far deadlier, perhaps even a nuclear weapon.


KING: Is this helpful? Does it help the country? Does it help the president in Washington and more importantly the country, which is very reluctant to do anything, sort through what the president should do here when we're re-litigating?

MOLLY BALL, "THE ATLANTIC": No, it doesn't bring any clarity to the debate, but it certainly helps the administration. You've got to wonder if the Cheneys are on the Obama payroll, you know.


BALL: I'm thinking --

KING: I'm not wondering if they are on the Obama payroll.

BALL: This is like an in kind contribution to the administration to have the Cheneys back on the scene and a lot of other proponents of the Iraq war, but this really does cloud the debate. This is a different debate. It isn't the same debate as we were having in 2003 about whether to invade Iraq. This is a much more nuanced discussion. Nobody is talking about a new invasion. Nobody is talking about boots on the ground. So I do think it actually clouds and makes it more difficult to understand the choices that are in play here.

KING: And the administration's perspective has been the president brought down, the congressional leadership, God forbid, they don't get in the room more often, right? The Democrats and Republicans there to have a conversation with the president. Everyone left saying it was a fruitful discussion.

The Republicans seemed a little prickly, my word, not theirs, the president saying I'm commander in chief. I have the authority to do whatever I want to do. A debate within the administration, they want Maliki to go. They are trying to do it through diplomacy and the clock is ticking as ISIS moves.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": They feel like Maliki has cracked down and hasn't brought in sort of all the warring factions, the Sunnis and they very much want him to go so there's disagreement in the White House and also some disagreement amongst Republicans as to what to do, sort of a fight there between the Cheney wing and the Rand Paul wing, and I think within that whole debate then you have Americans there.

By and large, if you look point by point at the way Obama has gone about foreign policy, they tend to agree what he's done line by line, but overall he hasn't projected American leadership. The question is how do you project American leadership without boots on the ground at this point, what does that look like?

KING: And at the moment a government they fundamentally do not trust. Let's bring it home to domestic politics. We always ask who might challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries and one of the names that comes up from time to time is the former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. He's a very colourful guy. He is a very guy and sometimes perhaps here is a couple of examples stepping over the line.

He is a profile in "National Journal." He says this to a Dianne Feinstein. She is the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. For a long time, she was a supporter of some pretty tough tactics that a lot of liberals criticized, the NSA, for example, and CIA tactics. Now she's been a critic because she thinks the CIA has lied to her.

Here's what Brian Schweitzer said about Dianne Feinstein. She was the woman standing under the streetlight with her dress pulled all the way over her knees and now she says I'm a nun when it comes to this spying. Maybe that's the wrong metaphor but she was all in. There's a Democrat saying something about women. I think he figured it out himself.

He could have found a better metaphor to make the point and the reporter calls him back on election night a week or so ago, when Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, the Republican lost in Virginia. Here's what he said about Eric Cantor.

If you're a regular person you turn on the TV and saw Eric Cantor talking, I would say I'm fine with gay people that's all right, but my gaydar is 60 percent, 70 percent, but he's not, I think, so I don't know. Again, I couldn't care less. I'm accepting. We like frank people in our politics, funny people in our politics. Are those presidential -- let me ask is that way.

BALL: My friend, Marin makes this point in her terrific profile of Brian Schweitzer that people like him because they find his candor refreshing, but the reason most politicians are more calculating than this is because when you never know what's going to come out of somebody's mouth, that's pretty dangerous.

That's a pretty dangerous place to be as a politician and you do end up saying some things that are pretty off color. Reminds me of when I had to teach my 3-year-old the difference between positive and negative attention. It's not -- it's not clear that he knows the difference.

KING: Maybe you need to spend more time with Brian Schweitzer.

HENDERSON: Brian Schweitzer, in some way seems to be a figment of Brian Schweitzer's own imagination, the idea that he's the progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton. If you talk to progressives they don't mention Brian Schweitzer or his bolo ties, but you know, I think this goes to show that Cantor -- maybe this is the Montana folksy way, but it certainly doesn't fly certainly well. Won't fly with progressives.

KING: Big runoff election in Mississippi on Tuesday, Thad Cochran, a veteran Republican senator is in trouble. He is in a runoff now. Most people expect his Tea Party challenger to beat him because in a low turnout runoff those with passion come out. Let's consider it's the fourth quarter. Let's say Thad Cochran is down a couple of points, who do you want? Well, Mississippi's favorite son, Brett Favre. Look at this Hail Mary.


BRETT FAVRE, FORMER NFL QUARTERBACK: When it comes to our state's future, trust me, Mississippi can win and win big with Thad Cochran as our strong voice in Washington.


KING: Let's go.

BALL: This is the establishment riding to Thad Cochran's rescue. You got the Chamber of Commerce spending a lot of money in this race trying to prop him up in the runoff and you know, Thad Cochran much more than Chris McDaniel needs to expand the electorate from the runoff. He needs to get attention of people who may not be regular Republican primary voters.

Because, you know, McDaniel can pretty much count on his hard core Republican base voters to come to the polls so the chamber here is throwing a hail Mary trying to get the attention of regular Mississippians and getting them to vote in the runoff.

HENDERSON: So they bring in the guy who endorses Wrangler jean and that looks like a Wranglers jeans commercial with him on the truck. I don't know. We've talked about this. I'm sort of sceptical of endorsements in general and I'm not sure this will matter. I'm not sure, you know, Brett Favre, folks like what he's done on the football field. I don't think they will necessarily take his advice that Thad Cochran will be good for education and good for Mississippi.

KING: Better to try that than to put another politician on the air. Better that than another politician on the air. Thanks for coming. What do you think about that, Mr. Cuomo? A lot of experience in politics. I like the beard on Brett Favre, by the way.

BOLDUAN: I was surprised. Made him look completely not like Brett Favre. Had to be done.

CUOMO: I think when you get a local hero which he certainly is to come out, it helps you, especially for politicians, because people have such low opinions of politicians and high opinions of their sports stars. I don't know how it could hurt the guy.

BOLDUAN: I don't think it could hurt Thad Cochran.

KING: Maybe Republicans should have had Brett Favre run.

BOLDUAN: Isn't that a novel idea? Maybe that's what the beard is telling us, I don't know.

KING: Not my call. I like the beard. It looks like Wolf Blitzer to me.

BOLDUAN: A little Wolf Blitzer-esque. Good morning, Wolf. Going to try to do this at least once a week. Thanks, John.

Coming up on NEW DAY. Will he or won't he play? We are not talking about Brett Favre anymore, folks. Soccer's biggest star may be sidelined in the World Cup and it could help the United States. We're going to take a look at it and get the take from Greg Lalas.


PEREIRA: I love that song. It makes me happy. We're on top of the world.

Team USA may have just got a big break ahead of its World Cup match with Portugal on Sunday. Word is the star from Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo, may not be able to play because of a bad left knee. He apparently limped out of practice twice this week, so the question is will one of the world's top players have to watch the big game from the sidelines, and does this give the U.S. the upper hand in this so- called group of death?

The man to talk with us is the editor-in-chief of, Greg Lalas is here with more on the World Cup. So that's the big question. We've seen the ice on the knee. We've seen the limping and hear there's maybe an injury going into the World Cup, et cetera, et cetera. Bottom line, is he in? Is he out? What are you hearing?

GREG LALAS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, MLSSOCCER.COM: Right now, we don't know. That's the biggest issue. We wish we knew.

BOLDUAN: When will we know?

LALAS: Probably not until an hour before kickoff.

CUOMO: What's the chance that he's faking? Is there gamesmanship?

LALAS: I don't think it's faking. He just came out of the long season with Real Madrid limping. He's played so many games over the last year that his body basically is starting to break down. His doctor back in Portugal in fact said he needs to stop or he'll cause damage and needs two months off.

PEREIRA: Which begs the question. What is this, is this a chronic with a bum knee or is on the verge of blowing a tendon?

BOLDUAN: A career ending injury?

LALAS: I don't think he's on the verge of blowing out his knee. Right now the doctor says there's pressure on his patella basically, which could cause some damage. I'm not a doctor so I really don't know.

BOLDUAN: Is he that much of a game changer?

LALAS: Yes, I especially on the Portuguese team. When they get the ball first thing they do is look for Cristiano Ronaldo. He and Lionel Messi, the great players where you try to do everything you can to isolate them against somebody else, and then let him go and do his thing and he can execute on that way.

CUOMO: What do you make of this theory that we're hearing, it's foreign to the idea of sport in the U.S. usually you get beat in a sport, football, soccer is a sport, but like the big sport that we follow, you come back stronger than ever. What do you make of the theory that the Germans beat them down so badly that Portugal may not have the will to fight?

LALAS: I think that we do see a difference between what happens here in the United States. In Major League soccer, for example, the way things are set up, which I love, it's more competitive. No matter how far down you are, you always feel like have you a chance and part of that is also mentality.

CUOMO: Right.

LALAS: I think in Europe, in particular, there's a sense of you know what, everything is going against us so why are we trying so hard?

CUOMO: So it's real? It can affect the whole thing?

LALAS: There's a sense of source of realism -- they would call it realism and they would call what we have is idealism in a way.

PEREIRA: The U.S. Coach Klinsmann says the U.S.' worst nightmare is a mad Ronaldo. If he does play, the team is down. They lost to Germany. They could come back with a vengeance.

BOLDUAN: I think we should take everything the coach says and he means the opposite.

PEREIRA: We've seen that before.

LALAS: A mad Ronaldo is not somebody you'd want to poke anymore in this case. Not just Ronaldo, Pavio Contral, he's out as well.

CUOMO: Key defensive guys out for the U.S. as well. If Altidore's hammy is no good he can't come back.

LALAS: It sounds like Altidore won't go, but Chris Wondolowski could step in there and do a very good job against a defense on Portugal that's not always alert to what's happening.

CUOMO: What are our chances?

BOLDUAN: You were 50/50 in our first match. Where are you right now?

LALAS: Our chances of getting out of this group are very good now.

CUOMO: In this match.

LALAS: In this match against Portugal, 65/35 for the U.S.

BOLDUAN: And who are the names we'll be talking about?

LALAS: Here we go, the names we have to talk about. I think that we're going to be talking about, in this case, again, Clint Dempsey.


LALAS: Mainly because he's coming into this one with a nasal fracture and all the talk about whether he can breathe through his nose, wearing a mask and all that and I think he'll score another goal.

PEREIRA: Don't sleep on Brookes.

LALAS: I think the other player in this game that can be so vital is Kyle Beckerman, a midfielder for Real Salt Lake. He is one of the most incredible players to watch because he's got huge dread locks and fly all over the place when playing. His defensive ability in the midfield is the kind of thing that will slow down the two creative guys who are not Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal, mainly it's Motinion, and if they can slow him down.


CUOMO: If they win this game, they will be in a position we've never seen --

LALAS: They are through.

BOLDUAN: This group of death.

LALAS: They are alive.

PEREIRA: Easy, easy, easy.

CUOMO: This is why they hate us.

BOLDUAN: American exceptionalism. Reminds us of American exceptionalism.

CUOMO: Christiano is there shaving his thighs, I'm back. Taking off his shirt and doing his crunches.

Coming up on NEW DAY, all you beach-goers out there. Put down your coffee. Imagine a 1,000-pound shark bearing down on Florida. Her name is Katherine. Good news and a lot of tooth. We've got people tracking the 14-footer and we'll tell you where she's headed. It's part of an amazing and breakthrough scientific research.


BOLDUAN: They don't need to play the "Jaws" music. Not all sharks are scary, but this one might be. Scientists are tracking the movements of a massive great white shark nicknamed Catherine. She's in the Gulf of Mexico, possibly heading toward Texas and her movements are changing what researchers thought they knew about the predators. CNN's Alina Machado is on Miami Beach with more. What are we learning here?

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, it's not just scientists eager to find out where Catherine is headed. She has thousands of followers on Twitter who want to find out where she's going next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shark is named Catherine.

MACHADO (voice-over): Fourteen feet long, 2,300 pounds, Catherine is a great white on the move, and a team of researchers from O-Search are able to track her in real time. By the looks of it, she's got her sights set on Texas. Last summer, Catherine was tagged and outfitted with a locator in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, then clocking in pings all the way down of Mexico, possibly arriving in Texas in the coming weeks. That's more than 4,000 miles.

(on camera): And the reason they're doing this is because they're trying to unravel the mystery behind the great white shark in the Atlantic Ocean. They want to figure out where and when these sharks are breeding and also where their nurseries are located so they can protect these areas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It says it's very large.

MACHADO: Very few get the chance to come this close to a shark of this magnitude safely. People across the U.S. are fascinated with following this ocean giant, just as vacation season heats one plans to venture out into the ocean water. Earlier this month, a 22-year-old woman was bitten by an unidentified shark while tubing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm in the water. She's bit by a shark and she's bleeding everywhere. There's nowhere for me to go. I'm right next to her. I could be next.

MACHADO: This photo taken right after the attack showing torn muscle and crushed bone, and just last week, a Texas teen had a run-in with a shark that was swimming dangerously close to shore off the coast of Galveston Island.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just felt like something like bumped into my back. I was like this could be a shark.

MACHADO: And it was. The 14-year-old emerged from the water with teeth marks etched into the right side of her back.


MACHADO: By the way, as far as we know, Catherine has not been involved in any attacks since she has been tagged and it looks like she has some company. Betsy, another great white shark that was tagged in Cape Cod in August, is also in the Gulf of Mexico right now -- Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Alina. We are debating, though, how do they decide on the names? Is it like hurricanes, this kind of come out of nowhere?

CUOMO: I don't know.

BOLDUAN: What would you name a great white?

CUOMO: Dangerous.

BOLDUAN: Christopher is a good one.

CUOMO: Toothy.

BOLDUAN: Toothy, come on.

CUOMO: Land shark.

BOLDUAN: Yes, you are a land shark.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, two everyday Texans arrested. Why? Allegedly conspiring to join the terrorists. The troubling details we're learning this morning and was ISIS, the military group right now, invading Iraq, were they involved in the recruiting? We're live in Dallas with the latest.