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Team USA Survives World Cup Play; ISIS Takes More Towns, Controls Border Crossings With Syria, Jordan; Girl Mauled by Pit Bulls Has A Happy Ending

Aired June 23, 2014 - 11:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN CO-ANCHOR: World Cup fever, it is hot, it is sticky, and it is selling, but, oh, it burned last night for the U.S.

Over a after the last second goal, what Team USA needs to do next to stay alive at this World Cup. We will take you to live to Rio @THISHOUR.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can't do it for them, and we certainly can't redeploy tens of thousands of U.S. troops to try to keep a lid on a problem if the people themselves don't want to solve it.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CO-ANCHOR: Strong words from President Obama.

Also, John Kerry is in Iraq, but what can the secretary of State do to bring some peace to that nation?

BERMAN: And first she was, quote, "dead broke." Now, Hillary Clinton says she and her husband are not like other people who are truly well off.

Does she have a bit of an image problem, and what do you think Vice President Joe Biden is up to here?


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't hold it against me that I don't own a single stock or bond. Don't hold that I have no savings account, but I got a great pension and I got a good salary, and --


BERMAN: Hello, there, everyone. Great to see you this Monday. I'm John Berman.

PEREIRA: And I'm Michaela Pereira.

It's 11:00 a.m. in the East, 8:00 a.m. out West, those stories and much more, right now, @THISHOUR.

BERMAN: And what's going on @THISHOUR, the U.S. hasn't seen this much Sunday night drama since "Murder, She Wrote" was on TV.

U.S. soccer fans, longtime ones and converted ones, from New York to Los Angeles, all the way over to Afghanistan, riding the emotional roller coaster last night.

PEREIRA: Portugal scoring the dramatic tying goal in the last seconds of the match.

For Team USA, it's not a win, it's not a loss, and thankfully it is not the end.


TIM HOWARD, U.S. GOALKEEPER: (Inaudible) you know, had we been down to one and we came back and scored, everybody would be happy. So, it ebbs and flows. It's a draw. It's a point. It keeps us in the hunt. And that's what we always wanted.


PEREIRA: Keeps us in the hunt, indeed. Times are tough because you don't get the thrill of victory. You also don't get the agony of defeat.

But you do get to fight another day.

BERMAN: And that is key here. For the USA, that day is Thursday against Germany. The Germans, they're OK at soccer. The USA of course wants to move on to the round of 16.

Right now, let's go to the epicenter of all the World Cup fever. Reporting from Rio for us @THISHOUR, CNN's Chris Cuomo and Lara Baldesarra.

Chris, I want to start with you here.

PEREIRA: Hi, guys.

BERMAN: Man, oh, man, in the middle of high drama down there, sir.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": It really is. You'd will love it down here, J.B.

As you know, Mickey spent a lot of time here, knows the language, been helpful to me. Lara had to take her place down here. You know, she knows everything about what's going on with the World Cup.

For me, it's about the experience of all these different countries coming together, the feel that's down here and of course Brazil calls itself the country of football, so it's more of a way of life here.

I have to tell you, though, I'm more optimistic because of what Lara has been teaching me about the system here. I feel like this was a good thing that happened, for two reasons.

One, they got the point, so they do take a step toward getting out of the group of death, and I think it was a good lesson for these guys. Everything has been the hard way for this side. It reminds them it's not going to be easy for you. You have to fight to the end as these teams get better and better.

So that was my take, but I just love being down here, and this is for you, J.B. You're a bigger soccer fan than I am. I got this jersey for you. I'm going to give it you when I come home.

PEREIRA: Well --

BERMAN: Good. I hope it's a men's large, because as you know, I need a shirt to fill out.

PEREIRA: Lara, I'm glad you're there, because he always needs a Canadian to his side to keep him on point.

I want to talk to you about this next match. It is Germany, part of this group of death we've been talking about, among the best.

It's interesting to think about these two teams, Team USA and the German team. They are going to have a different approach to go into this match Thursday.

LARA BALDESARRA, CNN ANCHOR, "WORLD SPORT": They certainly will. While a win last night for the USA would have secured their progression, it would have kept them alive in the World Cup, it didn't knock them out, so all the USA needs now is a draw against Germany.

Now that's a result that would also benefit Germany, meaning that they would both go through.

Now, in my mind, it would be very smart soccer not to go out there and necessarily play for the win for the Germans, necessarily go out there and cause the USA to lose, thus making it a little more difficult for the USA to progress, because let's remember here, the ultimate goal is not to win just one match in the World Cup. It's to win the entire World Cup.

So as long as you are moving on, that's all that really matters. So smart play by the German's and maybe a little bit of -- I don't know -- some people are suggesting collusion.

CUOMO: Some people?


CUOMO: Named Baldy -- I don't know.

BALDESARRA: I might have started to suggest that a little bit.

You know, Jurgen Klinsmann, the head coach of the U.S. men's national team, he's German. He's a German hero. There's five Germans on this squad that were actually born in Germany, big connection here. BERMAN: Look, one of the most infamous matches in World Cup history

was Germany against Austria, where Germany actually, a lot of people thought, played for the tie, didn't try to win. There is a history there. This country has done it before.

Chris, Team USA last night, they looked a bit gutted at the end there, but they're trying to keep a stiff upper lip. What are the players now saying about the match?

CUOMO: I think that, if you want it, I think we have an interview with a few of the guys last night.

Early this morning, we talk to Jermaine Jones. He was huge, because they needed to come back. It was just a few minutes into the match last night when Portugal scored, and they scored in a way that made the U.S. look amateurish. It was a real breakdown of defense.

So they needed that goal to come back to even, and when Jermaine Jones unloaded, he really changed the game.

I think I'm hearing what -- I'm kind of stealing what I'm hearing from them, which is we don't care about what happened last night. We kind of let them back in. We get that.

It makes us realize that you got to stay tough through the end, but they didn't outplay us. It wasn't even an even game last night, and we played better than they did. They feel good about it, I think.

BALDESARRA: Oh, yeah. No, that last goal that came with 30 seconds remaining in extra time, that wasn't the USA taking it for granted that they were going to win. That was a very nice goal that was set up by Cristiano Ronaldo.

CUOMO: With incredible speed and the no-tattoo so he can give blood and all that.

BALDESARRA: It's true. Did you guys know that? That Cristiano Ronaldo does not have a tattoo on his body so he can give blood twice a year.

PEREIRA: How about that? Impressive. Impressive, indeed.

Look at all the information we're learning from Rio de Janeiro. Chris Cuomo, Lara Baldesarra, they have been doing the hard work down there, also having a good time in one of most beautiful cities in the world.

I know. Tough work, somebody has got to do with it. We're both green with envy, guys. Thanks so much for your reporting.

Still ahead, right ocean, wrong spot, the search for Flight 370 moves, but the question is will it bring -- more importantly, the families of the missing -- any closer to closure?

BERMAN: And new information about the Veterans Affairs investigation, if you thought it was bad before, wait until you here these new details. PEREIRA: She was badly mauled by three pit bulls. KFC allegedly then asked her to leave their restaurant because her scars were too disturbing.

Now two doctors are offering to help this little 3-year-old. We'll talk with them, @THISHOUR.


PEREIRA: Secretary of State John Kerry wrapping up a trip to Iraq, he traveled there for crisis talks with both the Shiite-led government and some Sunni leaders, this as militants gain more ground.

BERMAN: These are the latest developments. Fighters from ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have captured at least four more towns in the western desert.

They now control critical border crossings with Syria and Jordan, and they have a direct line to the western outskirts of Baghdad.

Iraq's military denies suffering huge losses. An army spokesman claims his troops made a strategic withdrawal in some areas.

President Obama tells our Kate Bolduan there's only so much the U.S. can do.


OBAMA: Part of the task now is to see whether Iraqi leaders are prepared to rise above sectarian motivations, come together, compromise. If they can't, there's not going to be a military solution to this problem.

There's no amount of American firepower that's going to be able to hold the country together, and I made that very clear to Mr. Maliki and all the other leadership inside of Iraq.


PEREIRA: So the president again stressing the need for political inclusion in Iraq, that's something Iraqi prime minister Maliki has repeatedly ignored.

I want to bring in our military analyst, retired Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, former military liaison officer to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, also assigned he had been to the CIA for operations in northern Iraq, so you are the perfect person to talk about this.

Colonel, thanks for joining us, as always.

You talk about the fact that this weekend's advances by ISIS really is a critical development, especially the capture of this one city. Explain to us why that is so concerning to you.

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: The city is Rutba, and it's the major city in western Iraq. It controls the approaches from Syria and from Jordan, so once they have that, they can control what comes to and from Jordan.

Now this is critical for people who are trying to get out of Iraq. If you are going to go overland, Jordan is probably one of the better places to go. Now everything's going to have to go south to Kuwait.

It also gives them a better approach to Damascus, so they can come up into Syria that way.

Remember, ISIS doesn't just stand for Iraq and Syria. It's greater Syria. It's that whole area. They designs on Jordan. They probably have designs on Saudi Arabia. So this is just the next step.

So taking that that town was very, very critical to them, much more important than the four other towns. Those four other towns were just filling in what they already had.

BERMAN: Essentially there's one way in and out of Iraq from that part of the Iraq. It's a big country, but there's one road, and they control the key city now on that road.

That gets me to my next point, though. You talk about Rutba, you talk about Al Qa'im, those cities have now been lost to ISIS. The U.S. has sent three military advisers in there. The Iraqi military says they've stemmed the flow, the tide going into Baghdad.

Maybe, but when you see these cities fall, is there any hope of getting them back? Why would the Sunnis in Al Qa'im ever want to go back to a Shia-led Iraqi government.

FRANCONA: They don't. And what you're seeing is here, they are not really taking them. They're moving in and consolidating the control.

The Iraqi army is gone. Four divisions just kind of evaporated. They pull back to Baghdad. It looks like they're going to say it will defend Baghdad.

They have ceded the control of western Iraq to ISIS, so we're not seeing any action at all on the part of the Iraqi army.

So when these adviser get there, they are going to have to try and recreate a command structure that really doesn't exist anymore.

PEREIRA: And one of the points that our Kate Bolduan was speaking with the president about, and you heard the president just a moment ago, talking about the task that some of these military leaders and the policymakers will be looking at is seeing if there is any level of compromise that Iraqi leaders are willing to come to.

Is that realistic?

FRANCONA: I don't think so. And I heard the president's words. He said, if we won't see this cooperation between the Sunni, the Shia, and the Kurds existing then we may not want to do this.

And I just don't see that happening in the next few days, and time is not on our side, because ISIS is not waiting for us to decide what to do.

PEREIRA: They are not on our time scale.

FRANCONA: They're not on our time zone -- on our time scale, and you know they get a vote in what happens too.

BERMAN: These just seem to be political and military realities to me at this point that will be difficult, if not impossible, to change. It seems like the borders are being redrawn in that country.

FRANCONA: Well they are obliterating the borders, they don't want those borders. They don't want that Syria Iraq border there and they pretty much obliterated that. Now they have gone to the Jordanian border, and this is very troubling for everybody else in the area and everybody is looking to the United States, what are you going to do about this. And we're still talking about can we get 300 advisers in there. I don't think we have any in there yet.

PEREIRA: Final thought, what about all the people trying to flee all this violence? You said they control the one road in.

FRANCONA: They can still get south to Kuwait. That probably is the safest way for them or you can fly out. But once you get out of Baghdad on the northwest, the northeast, the north, you run right into ISIS. So the battle lines are being drawn and we'll have to see how long it take for them to make a move on Baghdad. It won't be easy. I don't want to give you the impression that they are going to storm Baghdad. It will be very difficult for ISIS to do that.

PEREIRA: Colonel Francona always a delight to have you. Thank you so much for walking through that with us.

Now to this, first this girl is attacked by three pit bulls, then a restaurant allegedly kicks her out because they say her scars are too disturbing. After all for this trauma it finally does get better for this little one, two doctors are now offering to help repair her face for free. Those are the men right there. We're going to talk to them live ahead @THISHOUR.


PEREIRA: A three-year-old girl's story has caused a whole lot of anger on social media but, we should let you know, with a positive outcome, Victoria Wilcher was mauled by three pit bulls some months ago leaving her face severely scarred. She lost he sight in one eye and can't move the right side of her face.

BERMAN: Weeks after this happened, Victoria's family says they were asked to leave a KFC because her face was disrupting customers. Now there is positive news. A plastic surgeon saw the story and decided to donate his services to the little girl.

So joining us is the surgeon, Dr. Frank Stile and master ocular prosthesis Dr. Raymond Peters. Dr. Stile, both of you, thank you so much for being with us. We really appreciate your time and what you are doing here. Let me ask you off the bat, Dr. Stile, when you heard this story, what was your first reaction when you heard what happened to this little girl?

DR. FRANK STILE, PLASTIC COSMETIC SURGEON: Well, it was a mixed bag. I mean, first, I mean, as a person, I was very touched by thinking of what she has to struggle with and the challenges that she's had so far. And then I was a little bit upset by what allegedly happened to her in that restaurant. I was motivated to somehow help and immediately I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, but besides my professional services, we have a foundation that helps support children like Victoria who are challenge by crisis in their lives and it seems like the very obvious thing to do. We just reached out and the amazing response that we got, you know, for our foundation for Victoria , was incredible, and it just made us want to get involved as much as we can to help her through the process.

BERMAN: And Dr. Peters, you are actually donating a prosthetic eye?

DR. RAYMOND PETERS, PROSTHETISCIST: I am, and I do this quite often for children and adults on a pro-bono basis whenever they they'd this service. And it is just one of my passions.

PEREIRA: Well we are so glad you are passionate about this. Dr. Stiles , why don't you give us an idea about the complexity of this surgery now? Because we know this is probably not going to be one surgery. Will it require many visits to you?

STILES: Well, the first thing that -- hello?

PEREIRA: Go ahead, Dr. Stile.

STILES: The actual first thing I want to say is that the real heroes of this story are the doctors and nurses of University Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, who basically did a lot of heavy lifting here so to speak. This was a very critically injured child when she arrived at that hospital back in April, and they managed to take care of her and get her stable, and actually do a superb job getting her to where she is now.

At this point, our plan after initially seeing here this Saturday is to send her over to Raymond Peters, who is an amazing, kind, and generous person and is donating his services in fabricating her prosthesis. We're going to continue to make sure she moves on with physical therapy, speech therapy and gets the psychological support that she needs and then there will be a series of ongoing evaluations and stage procedures that will include scar revisions and corrections, possible -- there will be a lower eyelid reconstruction and there will be facial reanimation procedures as need to get the right side of her face, which is now paralyzed, to move and allow her better function with respect to expressions, swallowing and eating.

BERMAN: Dr. Peters, you guys deal with outside appearance and surgery and whatnot. In your experience, dealing with kids who have been through experiences like this, how are they emotionally?

PETERS: This is very difficult on children. It really is a pattern for their future life, and I've found in the past that what you do is you bring them out of the shadows and make them whole. And once a child knows that they look normal and they can mix with their peers, it's beneficial to them in a lot of ways. And I've seen it in many cases in the past where they walk into my office and they are down and life is at an end and we put them back in shape and get them looking normal and they go out and they are smiling and that's the greatest gratification in the world. That's what makes this job so gratifying.

PEREIRA: I bet it does. We're both so grateful to the two of you. I know there is just a chorus of people who want to say thank you. And I am sure chief among them is the family. One thing before we say good-bye to Dr. Frank Stiles and Dr. Raymond Peters, we want to mention that KFC has issued a statement and here it is. I'll read it in part. We continue to take this report seriously and have great sympathy for Victoria and our family, since our franchise was unable to verify the incident in their internal investigation, they have also hired a third party consultant to conduct an independent investigation. We have always provided ourselves on respect for all people. We will continue to emphasize this to all our employees.

Apparently they are also donating some money to help with Victoria's medical bills as well

BERMAN: Thirty thousand dollars.

PEREIRA: Dr. Peters, Dr. Stiles, thank you so very much. If you want to follow along on this tale you can see more on our Facebook page, @THISHOUR.

BERMAN: Ahead for us, next, Hillary Clinton ever more controversial views of her own wealth. After saying she was dead broke after leaving the White House. Now she says she's not like other people that are truly well off. Why? Because the Clintons she says pay their taxes.

PEREIRA: Also new information about the veterans affairs investigation, if you thought it was unbelievable before, wait till you hear new details. Things just got worse. New information into CNN after a quick break.