Return to Transcripts main page


A Day in the Life of Bowe Bergdahl; Malia Obama Goes to Work; Man Went to Brazil on Horseback

Aired June 20, 2014 - 11:30   ET


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let's take a look at the list of what makes up and quote, normal day for Sergeant Bergdahl. It starts off with a regular schedule. That's important. He eats, sleeps, and does everything on a regular schedule. Doesn't get up in the middle of the night, didn't do anything out of the ordinary. He shares the floor that he's on with other patients. It's a typical hospital room. It is nothing special.

And he also interacts with a very limited number of people. I mean there are hundreds in that hospital there ready -- ready to take care of him and the others but less than a dozen actually interact with him on a regular basis.

And telling his story, storytelling, this is huge, This is his part to recount everything that happened to him in the last five years. And those that are listening, very intimately group, it's going to be his military psychologist, it's going to be the debriefers listen to his story and it's going to be members of his medical staff. The first time anyone has heard it in his words. And that's an important of the routine.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It is so important in the recovery and the reintegration, Martin, but it is not without controversy because so many people still want to know the scat details of that story and how the story began when he left the base somehow in Afghanistan.

So can this storytelling which is crucial to his reintegration -- can it be used as part of the investigation?

SAVIDGE: Yes. You know, that was a question that I've asked several times here because, of course, this young man would be bearing his soul, he'd be telling everything he knows. And the question is when does that become cathartic and part of bringing him home and when does it become part of the possible court martial that could be held against him?

We are told -- I was told that right now there is nothing in reintegration that deals with the investigation. In other words, those are very separate events. But it would be interesting to talk to a military attorney to find out, could those records then later be brought in if there is any kind of court martial which may very well happen.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And very important point to make because again it could prevent him from opening up and from telling those stories which would set back his reentry process.


PEREIRA: One of the other aspects --

SAVIDGE: Yes, he probably knows.

PEREIRA: Yes, exactly.

SAVIDGE: I mean, you know, like, for instance, you know, it's been reported that he has access to the media about the controversy. But the pushback I'm getting from the military, hold on a minute. He has been told about the reporting on his return. I don't think he's been given the full firehouse effect of what the whole controversy is.


PEREIRA: Like anyone --

SAVIDGE: Everything is done is very slowly and carefully on that.

PEREIRA: And still no word on whether he's going to meet with his parents imminently, nothing yet, huh?

SAVIDGE: No. No. Apparently, you know, what they said last week which was that he had not met with his parents, that is still true. There has not been reportedly any contact between him and his family. We don't know the exact reason why. We just know that that's the way it is for right now and the military is sticking to it.

BERMAN: All right. Martin Savidge for us, thank you so much.

Just goes to show how complicated and delicate this is if he has yet to speak with his parents.

Ahead for us @THIS HOUR, want to talk about the president's daughter. She has a summer job. What is it? We'll tell you right after the break.

PEREIRA: What was your first summer job? Do you remember?

BERMAN: Yardwork.



PEREIRA: All right. Just into CNN, the first of up to 300 U.S. military advisers are expected to arrive in Iraq as soon as Saturday. A senior Defense official told CNN this morning that that first group is expected to be a small unit in addition to some U.S. military personnel already in Iraq at the Security and Cooperation Office in the U.S. embassy in Baghdad may be assigned to work with them.

So, again, this is just coming into the CNN NEWSROOM. We have been telling you about the president's plan to send these 300 military advisors. Again, we don't know in what capacity they're going to serve but they are sending a small group there. They should be there by Saturday.

BERMAN: So some other news to tell you about right now. The president and first lady like any parents, they say they want to bring their daughters up the right way and in a new interview with "Parade" magazine that will come out this weekend, they say they want their daughters to understand what it's like to have a job and work for minimum wage.

Now both the president and Mrs. Obama work jobs for minimum wage before they got their law degrees as they were growing up.

PEREIRA: So Malia got a summer job. She got a summer job working as a production assistant on the set of Halle Berry's TV show for a day.

BERMAN: Just like any other kid.

PEREIRA: Let's -- hey, look. Let's not judge. Let's bring in our political analyst John Avlon and commentator Margaret Hoover. John is also the editor-in-chief of the "Daily Beast." We kept you far away but you're still right there with us.

John, I'll start with you since you're so far away. This is a great message, right? I mean, anybody should be trying to teach their kids the value of a dollar. The value of having some hard put in. Not a bad message for a kid growing up in the White House.

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's a great message but I'm sure somehow they'll find a way to politicize it and make into a net negative, because haters are going to hate. But it's -- but it does actually send a great message. The mere fact that the president himself, you know, worked at an ice cream parlor when he was a teenager, sends a message about aspiration, which is one of the really important roles of the White House. So it does -- it should send a great message.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Let's be very clear, though, John, and Michaela and John. This is not Malia going to McDonald's and flipping burgers or making lattes or getting any sort of basic minimum wage job. She's working for one day on the set with Halle Berry, a Steven Spielberg TV show which --

PEREIRA: Have you work as a production assistant?


HOOVER: It's not easy but just for one and it's with Halle Berry. And she got to wrap the take. She got to actually do the tape. Not many production assistants get to do that.

PEREIRA: Fair point. Fair point.

HOOVER: But, you know, not many production assistants are the kids of a president of the United States. BERMAN: It's just like mowing lawns in the neighborhood. It's a job

just like that. No. Look, I think you're both right here. There's no question that the Obamas, you know, did not grow up with, you know, silver spoons in their mouths. They both had to work for it. They were paying back student loans well into their 30s and I don't doubt that they like any parents, like you guys are parents of a kid.

You think about how you want to bring your kids up and they thought a lot about this. So I give them a ton of credit for talking about this out loud. That said, you know, as much as they may want it, people growing up in the White House, kids growing up in the White House, they can't be just like any other kid because, John, no matter how hard you try, they're not. That's not to blame anyone or turn it politically. It's just a fact.

PEREIRA: It's just reality. Yes.

AVLON: Yes. Most kids don't have to -- you know, have Secret Service follow them around. I mean, there's an inherent aspect of living in a glass bubble if you're a presidential child and the most -- what most presidents have done is to try to create a zone of normalcy as much as it's possible and practical. But simply saying that message, I mean, you know, summer jobs are so key for kids as they learn about work, as they start to figure out what they want to do and the directions they want to move in.

And the best you can do, though, is to create the conversation and as much normalcy as possible consistent with the reality which is you've got Secret Service following you around.

HOOVER: Well, and it's not just because that, John, as you know. And by the way, hats off to the Obamas, too. I totally respect it. Everybody -- you know, I worked minimum wage jobs. Three or four of them.

PEREIRA: We all did. Sure.

HOOVER: You know, we all did. And it's important. You know, a little bit of personal insight here, I -- you know, I grew up with the grandfather who was the son of a president of the United States, and so I've seen a little bit about how this affects families and if you are the child of the president of United States, one of the most powerful people in the world, it for the rest of your live affects how you interact with the world and what your perspective on the world is and how other people perceive you.

Malia and Sasha will probably never have normal lives the way we understand normal, but the further away from the presidency they get, the closer to normal they get.

PEREIRA: That's true.

HOOVER: So the Presidential Library System, I interact with lots of kids of presidents and descendants of presidents. And the further they are from that presidency, the closer they get --

PEREIRA: More normal.

HOOVER: Returning to normal.

PEREIRA: But don't you also think, too, these young women now, almost, young girl, came in as young girls to the White House?


PEREIRA: Right. They -- OK, quote-unquote, they started normal. When you have that kind of foundation that sticks with you. We're still all influences of those early years in our lives. Don't you agree, John? That we -- you know, we -- you may not cut grass every day like you did back then, John Berman, but --

HOOVER: But the values are there.

PEREIRA: The values are instilled at an early age.

HOOVER: I think that's absolutely right. I couldn't agree with you more.


HOOVER: And it depends on who your parents and what their values are. And clearly, you know, this is important to the Obamas. That's just the way they came from and they want their children to be the best that they can to have a sense of what it takes to earn a living.

BERMAN: We've had a bunch of presidents in a row, by the way, no matter what you want to say with them, on either side of the political aisle, who'd gone to great ends to raise their kids the right way.


BERMAN: So I think it's a good message --


PEREIRA: Great dads, great moms. That's absolutely true. And another pair right here with us.


PEREIRA: Always a delight to have you. Go have a weekend you two. Thanks for joining us @THIS HOUR.

HOOVER: Thank you, guys.

BERMAN: Ahead for us, why has Oklahoma been getting hit with just this incredible number of earthquakes?

PEREIRA: Unbelievable now.

BERMAN: You know, we're talking this week, dozens, crazy stuff, scientists say this is not just Mother Nature at work. We'll explain what's going on next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: There is a whole lot of shaking going on in Oklahoma these days. How about seven earthquakes on Wednesday alone? One hit while a meteorologist was on the air.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The winds are going to be with us. Whoa, oh, my gosh, I'm so sorry. This is live on air.


PEREIRA: Just this year the state had 207 earthquakes, surfacing even shaky California. My nerves would be shot. Many scientists suspect it's caused not by natural forces but instead by drilling for oil and gas.

Joining us from Washington we have a seismologist with us today, Bill Leith. He has with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Bill, thanks so much for joining us. I think any of us just looking at those numbers, 207 earthquakes in Oklahoma has so many of us shaking our heads. How does that compare to previous years?

BILL LEITH, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY SEISMOLOGIST: It's a remarkable increase. Compared with, say, the average between 1970 and a few years ago, there are only about three earthquakes in Oklahoma magnitude 3 or greater. And as John mentioned, we've had more than 200 so far this year. The number of earthquakes is well beyond the number that we recorded this year in California in fact.

BERMAN: Yes. I'm not good at math and even I can tell that's a big, big difference. And it does beg the question what's going on here. You have a lot of people, a lot of scientists pointing to oil exploration and the wastewater drilling, the aftereffects of this kind of exploration there.

LEITH: Right. So it's not the drilling that's actually potentially triggering the earthquakes. The reason why we have a hypothesis that this is triggering from the disposal of wastewater related to oil and gas production, and that's really based on a very careful study of the earthquake that occurred there in 2011, November 2011. The largest earthquake in Oklahoma --

PEREIRA: It was 5.7, right?

LEITH: It was 5.7. And it occurred very close to some deep wastewater injection wells and the analysis of that earthquake sequence convinced quite a number of seismologists that these earthquakes may be triggered by wastewater injection.

PEREIRA: So the numbers alone would make one assume that the oil industry gets what's going on, but essentially they are saying hold the phone, we want to look at this a little more carefully, we want to study some more. Is that what's going on with the oil industry? Is that what they are saying?

LEITH: You know, I don't follow that, but they have good justification for saying, you know, there may be some natural earthquakes here and that's true. Oklahoma has a history of earthquakes that goes well back before this -- this sort of secondary recovery that they are going through now.

PEREIRA: Not 200 a year.

LEITH: No. That's just that rate that I mentioned before, about three per year. But the increase in earthquakes is really unprecedented and it's occurring over a very widespread spread area central Oklahoma, northern Oklahoma, and even into southern part of Kansas. And there's a lot of oil and gas in this area and this -- and we expect that a lot of these earthquakes are due to the disposal, very large volumes of wastewater from that production.

BERMAN: At a minimum it does seem like it is something worth looking into as the amount of exploration does continue in many parts of the U.S.

Bill, thank you so much for being with us. An important subject to a lot of people.


PEREIRA: Ahead @THIS HOUR, we've been talking World Cup, right, Brazil, the place that everybody wants to be. Some got there by air, some were close enough to get there by car. A guy in Canada said no,. I want to go on my horse, so he did. We'll have his amazing story in a bit.

But first, though, for many people, a baseball game is a cherished family tradition, but for parents of children with autism we know it can cause a public meltdown. Well, this week's CNN Hero realized that fear and leaves many families to isolate themselves. She took action.

Dr. Wendy Ross helps them enjoy their lives out in the world including at America's favorite pass time.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Going through new experiences with my son is a gamble. You are on edge all the time. If he's having a meltdown on the floor and the whole entire store is looking at you like you're a bad mom. You just want to go and crawl under a rock. It's challenging.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I stay in sometimes because it's easier for him to be around all of his toys. I'm afraid.

WENDY ROSS, CNN HERO: As a developmental pediatrician, I do a lot of diagnosing of autism. When I heard that my families were afraid to go out, I felt like I needed to find a way to help them. Everyday experiences like going to a baseball game can be a challenge for kids with autism. There's a lot of unexpected sensory things happening. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good, how are you?

ROSS: Are you ready to go?


ROSS: I work with the Phillies to train all 3,000 people that work at the ballpark. Autism is a social disability. So it needs to be addressed in the community. We prepare the families with a storybook of experiences that may happen at the park. And then we provide supportive game experiences, sort of like a safety net. If you start taking steps outside of your door, your world gets bigger and bigger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's having fun. One success means more success.

ROSS: It's about more than a game. It's about opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hopefully there will be zoos in our future and aquariums. The world is our oyster.


PEREIRA: It really is. If you know somebody like Wendy Ross who deserves recognition, go to Tell us all about them. Nominate someone right now.


BERMAN: All right, get yourselves ready, soccer fans. A huge game for Team USA. Sunday night against Portugal. If the U.S. can win, they will almost certainly move on to the second round. There is a problem, actually two, however. The game being played in the jungle.

PEREIRA: The Amazon.

BERMAN: Brazilian jungle. It is way hot, way humid. That's one problem. Another one, star striker Jozy Altidore will not be playing. However, the U.S. players say the conditions could be to their advantage. Look at this.


MATT BESLER, U.S. SOCCER TEAM: As an American team, we feel like, you know, it better suits us. You know, we're used to it. You have teams coming over from Europe that never play in humidity, and they -- they're cramping and complaining about it. And so for us, we're trying to use it to our advantage.


PEREIRA: Also helping the Americans' chances, it's possible that Portugal's star player, the FIFA world player the year, Cristiano Ronaldo, will not play because of a nagging knee injury. Also their lead defender Pepe got a red card and will be sitting out this game on Sunday.

BERMAN: Can't head-butt people from the other team. He's sitting out for that.

PEREIRA: Neither on the NEWSROOM, you know.

BERMAN: Never. He'll sit out for the next round.

Thousands of fans from all over the world have gone to Brazil for the World Cup. Most flew. One guy, though, he did it a different way. He rode 8,000 miles from Calgary, which I understand is in Canada, all the way to Brazil on horseback.

PEREIRA: Was this like some sort of thing about prices of airline tickets? I don't know. Filipe Masetti Leite, joins us from Palmeiras, Brazil.


FILIPE MASETTI LEITE, COWBOY AND JOURNALIST: Thank you so much for having me on your show.

PEREIRA: No, I'm actually -- now we've got to switch to English for my friend over here.

BERMAN: Yes. I have no idea what just happened but I'm sure --


PEREIRA: I just said hello and congratulation. What an amazing journey.

LEITE: It was amazing.

PEREIRA: You've taken. How were you able to do this? And how do you feel now that you've gotten back to Brazil on a horse?

LEITE: Thank you so much. How was I able to do it? A lot of perseverance, positive thinking. And just not giving up. I feel great to be here. I love soccer. I was born in Brazil. And this was a dream of mine. So I just -- you know, I'm finishing a year -- two years in the saddle. That was just a lifelong dream.

BERMAN: Filipe, we're incredibly impressed by you and what you've been able to accomplish. But how about giving the horse some credit?


LEITE: Exactly, exactly. This is Bruiser next to me. A quarter horse from Montana. One of the three heroes that walked 8,000 miles from Canada to Brazil. It's insane. They're warriors.

PEREIRA: They really are warriors. Talk about that. You have three horses. You probably got to rest them a little bit. If somebody encounters you along the way, I hear, included a grizzly bear? LEITE: Yes, exactly. Imagine a Brazilian and a grizzly bear, just

not a good matchup. I had no idea what to do. It's funny because the rangers in Montana were, like, you need to pack heat, you need to take a gun. I'm like, I can't, I'm from Brazil. You know, I'll get arrested. They're like, all right, here's a can of pepper spray. And then I actually saw the grizzly and I'm like, what am I supposed to do with a tiny can of pepper spray?

It was the scariest moment of my life. But we got through it. Bruiser fell in a large hole in New Mexico, one of the scariest moments of this trip. Frenchie, he got hit by a car in Mexico.


LEITE: Also, just one of the worst moments because these horses are like my children. I spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the past two years with them. And when something happens to them, it just breaks your heart because they're everything to me. And -- but with a lot of work, took care of them before I took care of myself. I always fed them before I ate. I always gave them water before, you know, I drank. And it's paid off because today they're in Brazil in perfect shape and they'll be retired here and rest for the rest of their lives.

PEREIRA: Going to have to translate for them.

BERMAN: Not a bad way to spend the rest of your life down there in Brazil. So what's next for, you know, this unique little family that you've built over the last 8,000 miles or so?

LEITE: So now we're riding to Brazil's largest rodeo. We'll get there at the end of August. And that is really a big party. They're building a statue of the horses and I that will be on the rodeo grounds forever. And then we'll retire the horses. Make sure they get a lot of green grass, water, and on to the next project. I'll be editing a documentary on the entire trip. Writing a book.

Everyone, right now, you can head to You can follow the entire that, this is the best part of, you know, doing this trip. It's the 21st century.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

LEITE: So people can come along every -- I've put pictures on instagram, see you on Twitter, and --


PEREIRA: I've been following on Twitter and watch his adventures.

Felipe, this was a delight for us.


PEREIRA: We heard about your story and we wanted to talk to you. Thank goodness for technology, that Skype allowed us to do this. Go in and enjoy some (INAUDIBLE) and a (INAUDIBLE) for me and you make sure to cheer -- well, I guess Canada doesn't have a teen in the World Cup. But anyway, cheers for all the soccer teams that you're cheering for.

Thank you so much for joining us.

LEITE: I agree.

PEREIRA: Bless your heart, amigo, OK? Baiji.

BERMAN: A little bit of showoff. I love it.

LEITE: Thank you so much, thank you.

PEREIRA: No, no, no.

LEITE: Bezo, bezo.


BERMAN: Take care.

What a guy.

PEREIRA: And the smile. He's a journalism kid that's going to put this all into a documentary. I think it's fantastic.

That's it for us. What a nice way to wrap up Friday, right? Thanks for joining us @THIS HOUR.