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White House Faces VA, IRS Probes; Biden Contrasts Clinton's Wealth; Ex-NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Back In Court; Soccer Star Clint Dempsey's Family Live

Aired June 24, 2014 - 07:30   ET


JULIE PACE, "ASSOCIATED PRESS": It's a bit strange because publicly they are saying the same thing that they have said about the IRS issue from the beginning, that this is nothing more than Republicans playing politics. But I think to most Americans, they look at this and they say, not only does the email issue seem really strange, but it also seems like the IRS isn't being very apologetic. They are not -- the tone seems a little bit off if these are e-mails that simply disappear. You might imagine that someone said, hey, we're real sorry about that so the combination of both the politics and the policy is going to cause a lot of questions.

RON FOURNIER, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": Look, just now, with that clip he said I'm innocent, but if you have evidence that I'm not I'd like to see it. Not a good position for a public figure to be in. A year ago exactly tomorrow I called for a special prosecutor in this case while giving the president the benefit of the doubt. I now realize how naive I was to give the administration the benefit of the doubt. This needs to be investigated by an independent prosecutor.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": New reporting, want to tip my hat to the CNN investigative unit, which was been on the forefront, a whistleblower coming forward and telling CNN even as the investigation is under way to find out how many veterans were left on waiting lists around the country the records are being doctored because they realize they are under scrutiny.

And they are trying to cover things up now, according to this whistleblower, also a subject that administration witness in the chair on Capitol Hill last night and, again, listen to the Republicans essentially going after the administration's credibility.


REPRESENTATIVE TIM WALZ (D), MINNESOTA: It pains me that we're at this point. How did we get here?


(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: This is another one. This is an inherited problem. The VA has been a mess for years, but the president promised in the 2008 campaign, and it seems that -- if nothing else, what was happening out in the country, the disgust in care level was not making its way to Washington at a minimum.

PACE: The problem for the White House on the VA scandal we're going to keep hearing more of these stories. This is an agency that's just broken. There are widespread problems, not just in Phoenix but all across the country so it's going to be one hospital after another, one whistleblower after another, and while they say that they are trying to fix the problem, it's hard to see how they are going to do that quickly enough to keep up with everything that they uncover.

KING: What happens at this point in the administration where you had one Democrat in that montage there, Democrats are just as mad about this --


FOURNIER: What happens at this point in the administration when even your own party is starting to not trust the answers they are getting, whether it's from the White House itself or the cabinet agencies.

FOURNIER: It's obviously a bad sign. The one thing both these scandals have in common is for a party that wants to establish the fact that good government can do good things, they are giving the public two choices, one, either we're incredibly incompetent, both with the IRS and VA scandal or we're crooked. Pick your poison. It's not a good place to be.

KING: Very tough with the Democrats. Let's move on. Imagine you're Joe Biden, been a loyal vice president for five-plus years now. In recent days you're the guy they asked to pick up the phone to call the president of Ukraine, guy they asked to pick up the phone yesterday to call the prime minister of Turkey to talk about Syria, doing a lot of dirty work when it comes to foreign policy and then you maybe wake up and turn on the TV and see this.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: That should happen as soon as possible, and, you know, I think this country is ready. This country is ready for anyone who can do the job, and what we have learned is that the person who can do the job is, you know, doesn't have a particular race or gender or background or socioeconomic status OK, you know, that -- that's the person who can do the job is the person who is the most qualified, and I think we -- we have some options, don't we?


KING: We have some options, don't we? This should happen as soon as possible. Michelle Obama --

PACE: Who is she talking about?

KING: We should have a woman president as soon as possible.

PACE: I wonder who that is.

KING: Who said option? Sasha, Malia aren't old enough and Michelle Obama says she's not getting into politics.

PACE: I do not feel bad for politicians very often but I do feel a little bit bad for Joe Biden because this guy has done everything that they have asked. He does a lot of dirty foreign policy work, as you said. He's sitting vice president of the United States, and in any other year he would be looked at as the leading candidate to replace Barack Obama and yet he's in this extraordinary circumstance where even the first lady is saying he's not the guy.

KING: Ron, part of this question, Joe Biden talks about he doesn't have a lot of money, been in public service, doesn't have a lot of money, the whole dustup about Hillary Clinton saying we're not truly well off, dead broke in the White House, not going to fact check that, already done it and why is Joe Biden talking like this?


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I've got a great pension and a good salary, and -- for real. For real. Sometimes we talk about this stuff about struggle. My struggle, my God, compared to where I grew up and the way people are trying to go through things now, but here's the point I want to make. I've been really, really fortunate.


KING: Is it just a coincidence, he does talk about this a lot to be fair to the vice president, but is it just in the middle of all of this about Hillary and the middle of him maybe thinking he's being slighted by the president and first lady?

FOURNIER: He's got a severe case of front-runner's envy for good reasons, like you're saying. What his point really is, she's not very authentic, I am.

KING: But can he beat her?


KING: Let's close. It's a big primary day. Talking more about this tomorrow, but in Mississippi, the big run off, Thad Cochran, the incumbent Republican senator up against a Tea Party challenger, Chris McDaniel and primaries in five other states as well. Charlie Rangel on the ballot in New York City, a question of whether he can survive a primary in what he says will be his last campaign. In a sentence or two, what's the most important thing you are looking for?

PACE: Who turns out in Mississippi, whether Democrats come out to try to help Cochran will be really interesting.

FOURNIER: Specifically black voters. The challenger is trying to scare away black voters, when you scare away black voters in the south it usually backfires. They could come out in big numbers and help Cochran.

KING: This is very, very unpredictable. Makes no predictions. Stay here tonight on CNN. I'll be here late. Mr. Berman, watch closely. I'm sure you're a big Chipotle fan. I want to show you the White House photo. The president went for Chipotle yesterday. Have that glass up. I think they had that up for a reason. I think the customers are not supposed to reach across.

BERMAN: I saw this on Twitter. A lot of people talking about this. Yes, that's just not cool. That's what it's there for, Mr. President. You don't hand pick your items for your burrito bowl. Exactly. Let's hope he washes his hands.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Is he going for refried or black beans?

KING: I want that piece of corn.

BOLDUAN: Right there. All right, I'm going to take liberties the next time I'm at Chipotle. The president did it.

KING: Go for it. Bring your detail with you so they protect you.

BOLDUAN: That would be you and John Berman so I hope you're available.

BERMAN: Happy to take the job, talking to my wrist.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, John. See you guys. Happy primary day, everyone. Another one. Chipotle.

BERMAN: I love Chipotle. Good guys, good people.

BOLDUAN: Now I'm hungry.

Coming up on NEW DAY, Aaron Hernandez back in court facing more charges for a 2012 double murder. Why the former star was recently hospitalized and also the surprising book that he is reading in prison.

BERMAN: Plus the U.N.'s message, Team USA, very good at soccer and looking to come back from that stunning World Cup draw, Team Captain Clint Dempsey, we're here because of him. So crucial to the team's success and his family will join us live to give us their reaction of what's going on.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. Ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez is accused in three murders and is due back in court today, this time in relation to the 2012 murder of two men outside a Boston nightclub. Over the weekend, the former New England patriot was taken to the hospital for undisclosed reasons.

Tonight, CNN explores his rapid fall from grace in a new special report "Downward Spiral, Inside the Case against Aaron Hernandez." Susan Candiotti is here. You've been following this story from the very beginning, Susan. You've been looking into this.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, this is a fascinating guy. People are intrigued by him. He is a study in contrast. A million dollar football player who has a charismatic smile and a fiend on the football field and now he's accused of three brutal murders and shooting a man in the face. In the year-long investigation, we dig into how far Hernandez has fallen, including some fascinating new details about what he's doing in jail.


CANDIOTTI (voice-over): The fallen football star spends his days waiting alone in a 7 x 10 foot cell, trying to keep him in line is Sheriff Thomas Hodgson.

SHERIFF THOMAS HODGSON, BRISTOL COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS: I've talked to him at length. There's a warmth within this person.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): What went wrong?

HODGSON: Learned behaviors and the environment that people grow up in have an incredible influence on who we become.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Sheriff Thomas Hodgson believes in modifying behavior behind bars. He says inmate number 174954 is reading the bible and another book he suggested.

HODGSON: I've got to read "Tuesdays with Mory."

CANDIOTTI: It examines how to create a centered, meaningful life.

HODGSON: He was clearly moved by the book. He told his mother she needs to read it.

CANDIOTTI: The sheriff tells Hernandez to find his center by turning to his childhood anchor, his late dad.

HODGSON: Get back to that place that you felt comfortable and safe in, and that's only going to happen if you go back. Talk to your father. Go back to your cell and talk to your father.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): What did he think about that advice?

HODGSON: When I see him every so often, did I do what I asked you? No, but I'm getting there. I think at this point he's got a picture that he didn't have before, his dad's picture.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): A photograph of his late father in his cell.


CANDIOTTI: But don't get him wrong. This sheriff isn't coddling the former football star. If found guilty, the sheriff says he'll pay. And tonight, you know, Kate, we're going to hear more details about this fascinating case that keeps taking so many twists and turns.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely right. I mean, you look at kind of is he changing in prison? Is he trying to find his path, but you can't deny the fact that he's still very likely going to be paying some serious time for his past?

CANDIOTTI: Well, it's a lot of strong circumstantial evidence. Have to see when a case gets to a jury and we don't think that's going to happen until maybe next year.

BOLDUAN: Susan, thank you so very much. A quick reminder to all of you. Don't miss CNN's special report "Downward Spiral, Inside The Case Against Aaron Hernandez." That's tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN -- John.

BERMAN: Terrific reporting in that. Do not miss that.

Next up for us on NEW DAY, one of Team USA's brightest stars, Clint Dempsey, his scoring touch once again has World Cup fans taking notice. He's got magic stomach that scored the magic goal. His family joins us live to talk all about it. That's next.


BERMAN: That is Captain America, Clint Dempsey. He needs no shield because he has his goal-scoring stomach. That's the one that just gave the U.S. -- right there -- gave the U.S. that late brief fleeting lead over Portugal on Sunday. Clint Dempsey is a flat out sports star right now. Twenty five million people watching that game Sunday night, watching him score.

Maybe as many will be watching on Thursday as the U.S. takes on Germany to move on to the round of 16. I know a couple of people who will be watching. His family. We're joined now by Lance and Ashley Dempsey, Clint Dempsey's brother and sister-in-law, guys, thanks so much for being with us.

So we were all watching together.


BERMAN: Sunday night there. When that goal happened, not your brother's, but when that goal to tie it up at the end happened, how did that go over in your house?

LANCE DEMPSEY, BROTHER TEAM USA CAPTAIN CLINT DEMPSEY: It went from -- the highest high to the lowest low, but we're still in a good position, and my brother's still positive and he's still a threat, so I feel like their chances are great right now.

BERMAN: You and your brother have something in common, you took your shirt off when he scored a goal. Is that a Dempsey family ritual?

LANCE DEMPSEY: It is. It's working out. If they win the next game I'll have to do the interview body painted next time.

PEREIRA: That's a deal. We'll do it back here at CNN.

BOLDUAN: Ashley is like I'm on board for that. So, take us back to the game. Do you guys have any superstitions? What do you do, other than the taking off of the shirts? What superstitions do you have, Ashley, which means, of course, what's it going to be like Thursday for you guys?

ASHLEY DEMPSEY, SISTER-IN-LAW OF TEAM USA CAPTAIN CLINT DEMPSEY: We're just, we're kind of just on pins and needles. Those first few minutes into the game, it kind of takes Lance and I walking around a little bit before we can kind of settle into our seat and get going with the momentum, but definitely, the taking off of the shirt, that's a soccer tradition, so it seems to be working.

You know, the last two games, we've done so good. So, other than that, we're just kind of, you know, biting our tongues and just excited, you know? It's exciting, it's nerve-racking, it's an awesome thing. We've been enjoying it. It's been a fun World Cup.

PEREIRA: John was just talking about the fact that the game on Sunday set a record, 25 million people watching soccer. You're a soccer family, clearly. You've been following his games, I'm sure, for many, many years, but is it something wonderful for you to see that the whole nation is getting this World Cup fever? It seems that we have had football fever and baseball fever and basketball fever and hockey fever, but soccer hasn't had its due.

LANCE DEMPSEY: Yes. The fans are bigger, the support is bigger, and Clint, he was in England and he decided to come back to the states to raise his family and to join MLS, and he wants to grow the game here, and I think he is doing a tremendous job.

BERMAN: He is growing the game here, right before our very eyes. All right, we all care deeply about his condition because he got kicked in the face! He's got that shiner. We saw him limping off the field at the end of the game. Make me feel better about this. How is your brother doing heading into the game on Thursday?

LANCE DEMPSEY: Well, I think you have nothing to worry about because last game he showed up and he was tougher than ever. I thought he was going to score with his nose if he had to, and he used his stomach. So you know, he's a soldier, he's a warrior. He's doing a great job.

BOLDUAN: Have you guys heard anything from him throughout all of this, after the first game, when he broke his nose, after Sunday's game? Have you guys heard from him?

LANCE DEMPSEY: Well, my family is down there currently. His wife and his wife's family is down there, so they're filling me in. I know he's getting a lot of time taken away with the national team and with the family, so this is kind of my way of joining them is being a soccer fan at home.

PEREIRA: I love that. Keeping the home fires burning and doing all the cheering from here because look, they'll feel it. We can yell loud here in the United States. They can hear it all the way to Brazil, if need be.

BOLDUAN: That's right.

PEREIRA: I know a lot has been made, Ashley, you have had a chance to talk to the family members, a lot of people have been making a lot, especially the coach of the U.S. team, about the amount of travel the guys have had to do within Brazil to get to all of those matches. We know that's going to take a toll on them at some point, or maybe it already has, but you also mentioned that he's a warrior. I'm sure all the other players on the team are as well. Do you get a sense that it's going to affect them?

ASHLEY DEMPSEY: I don't think so. I don't think so. I think that they're so excited and so pumped up for how amazing they've been doing. I don't think it will. I know one day they did get a day off, and he was able to go and spend time with the family, and so were the rest of the players, and actually kind of get to just enjoy themselves. I think the coach rewarded them with that for all the hard work they've done. So, I just think they're just preparing and doing all they can do and ready for this next game with Germany. We're excited.

BERMAN: Ashley Dempsey, Lance Dempsey. Lance, we hope you have a shirtless Thursday, because that means the U.S. has scored a lot of goals there, so I want to see some flesh.

PEREIRA: He hasn't stopped smiling this entire time, have you noticed? That's a proud brother right there.

LANCE DEMPSEY: Yes. Yes, ma'am.

BERMAN: Thank you very much for being with us.

BOLDUAN: I think we make it a theme! No, no, we don't make it a theme.

Great talking to you. Good luck to you and to Clint. Coming up next on NEW DAY, a day of contentious hearings on Capitol Hill. First up, the latest in the VA scandal. Is there another potential cover-up?

BERMAN: Plus, lawmakers demanding answers about lost e-mails at the IRS. This is as a top White House lawyer is set to take the stand. We'll break down the latest developments.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember being told in April --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't remember who told you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is a good system --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- Congressman.


BOLDUAN: Late-night grilling. Congress tears into officials at the IRS and the VA in two separate evening hearings. The IRS for losing those e-mails amid a congressional investigation, and stunning, new allegations against the VA including a whistleblower speaking out to CNN as the hearing was under way.

BERMAN: New this morning, John Kerry on the ground in Iraq, one on one with CNN, sounding off on the Iraqi government and the critical faction that now says it wants out.

PEREIRA: Caught on tape. A great white grabs -- my goodness -- grabs a snack right off a boat in New Jersey. Now, new research says the number of great whites is growing. What exactly is behind this trend and should we be worried?

BOLDUAN: Your NEW DAY continues right now.

Good morning, and welcome once again to NEW DAY. It is June 24th, 8:00 in the east. John Berman kind enough to stick with us once again, as Chris is traveling back from Brazil. Thank you, sir.

BERMAN: Good to be here.

BOLDUAN: Late-night fireworks to tell you about on Capitol Hill. Officials getting grilled by lawmakers in separate hearings. The head of the IRS taken to task for lost e-mails that may, may have shed light on the agency's alleged targeting of conservative political groups.

Also, VA officials getting an earful over a troubling pattern of care at hospitals, this as a whistleblower brings startling, new allegations that the Phoenix VA hospital covered up the true number of vets who died while waiting for treatment.