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ISIS Declares Creation of Islamic State; Team USA Faces Belgium Tuesday; President Obama to Make VA Secretary Nomination; Scare in the Midwest Skies

Aired June 30, 2014 - 06:30   ET


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Iraqi government, though, hoping that tide might finally be turning. Though we're not yet seeing any chance of that yet here on the ground, Michaela.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Certainly concerning for all those watching as situation unfold there day by day.

All right. Nima, thank you so much for that.

Back here at home. Happening today: President Obama will seek billions in emergency money from Congress to deal with the surge of undocumented children crossing the border from Mexico. White House official says the money, which may top $2 billion, may go to accommodating the children and stemming the influx. An estimated 60,000 to 80,000 children are expected to cross the border without parents this year alone.

Breaking overnight, no mental illness for Oscar Pistorius. That finding announced this morning as the Blade Runner's murder trial resumes in South Africa. The trial had been on a month-long hiatus while it was evaluated for anxiety disorder. Pistorius claims he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp because he thought she was an intruder.

Quite a scary scene on a North Carolina highway caught on tape. A family captured this video of a man caught riding on the trunk of a car on Interstate 77. Now, according to our affiliate WSOC, witnesses say they eventually saw the man smash out the back window and then crawl into the vehicle.

Several people called 911. But police were simply not able to track down that car and are still investigating. A bit of a mystery there, an awfully frightening for anybody who was driving behind them out of fear that he might fall out of the car.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Some kind of stunt, was that a stunt? Was that his car and it was hijacked? Or was --

PEREIRA: It was a woman driving the car apparently, the whole thing is a mystery. But imagine that, seeing that on your way to work.

BOLDUAN: How did it end? We don't know. PEREIRA: Some other big news this morning. A marine corporal missing

for more than nine years, he's now facing desertion charges for the second time. Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun is expected to arrive in North Carolina today where officials will decide if he will face a court-martial.

Barbara Starr is live in Pentagon with much more on this story.

Barbara, what do we know?


This was a case that dates back to almost a decade ago in Iraq. Corporal Hassoun now faces what the military calls a convenient authority. A top officer will look at all this evidence and look at charges. We don't know if he might accept a plea.

But the case dates almost a decade old. It was back in 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq, when he was serving in the Iraq war that he disappeared from his base. Very suspicious videotape turned up. He was blindfolded. There was sword over his head, a claim he had been captured by insurgents. That claim was pretty much dismissed. The whole story just didn't add up. He turned up in Lebanon living with relatives.

Then, he turned himself in. Then, he came back not United States. In 2005, he disappeared again and went back to Lebanon by all accounts when he was facing some legal proceedings for this desertion the first time.

So, this is a guy who the Marine Corps now has back in their custody. He turned himself in voluntary by all accounts according to Marine Corps. Sources, living in Lebanon. Hadn't worked out for him with all the violence there. So, now, almost a decade later, faces potential desertion charges -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Barbara, it does make you wonder why, the Marine Corp, why they seem so confident that he is in a deserter, when you look at kind of the most current case. You look at Bowe Bergdahl, and there's still so many open questions regarding the circumstances of his disappearance.

STARR: I think it's a question a lot of people are wondering about. Why so certain this man is a deserter. Well, look, he left his post voluntarily twice and clearly did not have the intention at the time of coming back. When he left his base in Fallujah, Iraq, in the middle of that war, he went to Lebanon.

Bergdahl, still to be determined what his intention were? Did he never intend to come back? Under military law, dissertation is very serious, but there has to be an intent not to return to your post. And this marine demonstrated that intent twice over a 10-year period -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Very serious charges that he could be facing. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Barbara, as always, thank you so much. STARR: Sure.

BOLDUAN: All right. Let's get back down to Brazil if we can.

Chris Cuomo is down there. Let's get back to him as much as possible.

How's it going down there, Chris?

PEREIRA: Has I been working on his tan?

BOLDUAN: That's natural.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I have. How's it look?

Coming up next on NEW DAY, here we are in Rio. We have two big things for you. First, everyone is talking U.S. soccer in the States. So, we have what you need to know heading into the big game tomorrow against Belgium. And then, we're going to show you a part of this place rarely seen during the World Cup festivities and the big rollout. A side of life you'll want to see.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. I'm live this morning in beautiful Rio. So, half the draw played over the weekend in the hunt for the World Cup.

This morning, Team USA is training in Salvador, just a few hours north of where we are, preparing for what is, any way you look at it, a tough match against Belgium tomorrow. Remember, be you win or go home now.

So, are we kidding ourselves about the U.S. side or can we really win? I don't know.

But Jimmy Conrad does. He's joining us. He's a host to KICKTV, and retired player with the U.S. team, played in the 2006 World Cup.

Great to have you, Jim.


CUOMO: Appreciate it, appreciate it.

So, what's the real deal? Belgium is 3-0. They call them the golden generation. We're a bunch of scrappers. You know, do we have a shot?

CONRAD: No question we have a shot. I think we have the intangible, which is belief and momentum. We take care of a really tough group. We've got out of something that people didn't think we could do and I'm really excited about our chances.

CUOMO: So, we are playing over our heads, right? We're hungry. We're being super ambitious.

The Belgium side, 3-0. But you could argue, you could argue -- underperforming.

CONRAD: Well, they have been scoring goals late. Every single game in their group, they scored in the 70th minute or later. They have a lot of energy towards the end of the game. But I think we can take advantage of that. We're going to step on their throats right as the opening whistle.

CUOMO: Right. I like that, good metaphor, step on throat.

Also, the pressure is on them, right? If they lose to the U.S., it's going to be a real bang on their credibility going forward. For the U.S., it's all up side at this point, isn't it?

CONRAD: Well, being around and playing around the world, nobody likes losing to the U.S. So, Belgium goes home and says, yes, we lost to the Americans, that's a lot of shame, not matter what the perception is, because the U.S. is getting better at soccer. We've tried in the end (INAUDIBLE). We have seen miracle n ice. We have watched all the Rocky movies.

That's the word we want to be in. We want to have the happy ending. And I think we can see it against Belgium.

CUOMO: Is you prediction for this game pain (INAUDIBLE)?

So, injuries are going to be relevant. We hear about Jermaine Jones. He's got a broken schnoz. So, does Clint the captain, Jozy Altidore has got that bumped hamstring but we saw him jogging.

So, what's the status with them and how's that upset for what we know about the Belgium side. They're banged up, too.

CONRAD: Belgium is banged up, especially in the back line. They don't have any depth. But their first 11 is very, very good.

As for us, I don't think Jozy Altidore will be playing in this game. Hopefully, we make it into the quarterfinals.

CUOMO: So, what do you think? The jogging line is a little bit off like a stunt?

CONRAD: I think there's some gamesmanship, because he's one of our best players. He holds the ball up very well for us. We have done well for him. Clint Dempsey filled the role. He's doing the thankless work. And I know Clint likes to get the ball but he's got do that extra staff.

CUOMO: So a couple of points of drama on the sidelines. First your boy Landon Donovan. He had been saying I hope they don't play well because it will make me feel better about not being on the team. Is he joking around? How to we take that?

CONRAD: I expect him to be a little bit bitter. He was left off.

CUOMO: How Americantish. CONRAD: And I respect that. But as a competitor there's a part of you -- he's being real if he's coming up and saying that, I want the team not to deal well, because I wanted to prove I should be there. You have to be a team first guy. At the end of the day, we want our whole country to succeed.

CUOMO: Coming from him, I don't respect it, Americant. But now, the coach, he was playing a little bit of the game, too. He is saying it's not reasonable that we win and everybody came after him. Now he is saying who is calling us an underdog. And he supposedly told the guys, rebook your tickets for July 14th, which is the end of the tournament. What's his new message?

CONRAD: I would say with regard to him, he's a mind game guy. It's clear that he got the whole public in a rage. He's very good at manipulated about the media and getting us fired up about it. We're talking about something he said a month ago.

His new message now I think is just one game at a time and I hate cliches but we're on TV. It's one game at a time. They can beat Belgium. They're rolling the dice, playing with house money. And we shouldn't be scared of anybody.

CUOMO: And he does seem to getting them where they need to be, preparing them mentally. It has certainly worked. We didn't like what he said, but they certainly did.

So, the draw this weekend also kind of proved that anything can happen here, right? Even though the outcome, you could argue, it didn't happen the way they expected. True?

CONRAD: It's very, very true. I mean, there's teams like England, Spain, Italy, all of them are at home watching at TV just like us when we're watching. U.S. is still in it. Costa Rica is playing very well. Mexico got very unlucky. So, CONCACAF is strong.

There's been a paradigm shift not only from support of Americans back home but just the respect we will get from everybody else around the world.

CUOMO: All right. You work at a place called KICKTV. You're Jimmy Conrad. You're part of the team. You got to make a prediction, man. I want to know the score. I want to feel it. Give me some texture, because I'll come to you on it.

CONRAD: Yes, I'm going to say, U.S. 2, Belgium 1.

CUOMO: Strong.

CONRAD: Strong. We're going to score on a set piece, counterattack. Absorb their pressure for a little while. We will take away their best player and make sure he doesn't have any influence on the game just like we did with Cristiano in Portugal, and we're going to win this one and play Argentina in the quarter finals.

CUOMO: Belgium, they don't know heat humidity. They're not ready for this.

CONRAD: We do. That's the advantage we have, because we're used to playing in the big country and different climates. And I think that really plays well, not only for us, for the other teams in our region.

CUOMO: We love it. We love the greenhouse effect. More it that we can get.

Jimmy Conrad, thank you very much. I hope you're right. Great for you to join us here on NEW DAY.

CONRAD: Thank you so much.

CUOMO: Appreciate it very much.

All right. Back to you in New York. Stop saying how good looking Jimmy is.

PEREIRA: You read our minds.

BOLDUAN: What? I was talking about the score. Anyway --

PEREIRA: He talks about the greenhouse effect. Salvador, one of the most beautiful places in the country. They're going to feel it.

BOLDUAN: The weather has been a factor in the World Cup so far.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, who will fix the troubled Veterans Affairs Department described as having a corrosive management culture? President Obama is set to make his V.A. pick today. What we know about his choice and the huge job that he faces.

PEREIRA: Also, a stunning twist in the disturbing case out of Florida. A little boy dies, locked for hours in a hot car. Now, both of the toddler's parents are raising eyebrows.



BOLDUAN: President Obama is set to nominate a former CEO and also a West Point graduate to be the next secretary of Veterans Affairs. That could happen as early as today. Bob McDonald, he stepped down as chief of Procter & Gamble last year. If he is confirmed by the Senate, he'll face the tall task of fixing the scandal plagued agency, which is -- the issues far predate the recent revelations of the secret waiting list. But that clearly is at the top of the list right now.

Joining us to discuss that and much more going on in politics right now, CNN commentator Paul Begala, Democratic strategist and senior adviser for Priorities USA Action; and Kevin Madden, CNN commentator and Republican strategist.

Good morning, guys. PAUL BEGALA, CNN COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Kate.


BOLDUAN: So I want to get both of your takes. I mean, Bob McDonald described as an unusual pick for this. He's not a four star general like many -- like many VA secretaries in the past.

Paul, What do you think? Are Democrats going to support him?

BEGAL: Well, we have to find out more about him, obviously. But here's what I like. First off, as a Democrat, I believe in affirmative action. That means my party has to do a better job of reaching out to the business community. Well, here's a CEO, a businessman, and God forbid, apparently a Republican. He donated to all of Kevin's friends. He donated to John Boehner. Jim Acosta reports he gave $5,000 to Mitt Romney.

And maybe this is the president being really machiavellian and punishing Mr. McDonald for being a Republican and giving him the worst job in Washington. But I like the idea of cross-pollination. I think they're -- I think it's good for a Democratic president to hire a Republican. I think it's good for a Democrat to reach out to the business community. So at least -- he starts off I think on the right foot in an impossible -- almost impossible task.

BOLDUAN: Well, and Paul makes a great point, Kevin. I mean, Bob McDonald goes in -- obviously, would be going with his eyes wide open of the huge task that he faces. He has given to Republicans to the past. But put politics -- put politics aside. Republicans think he can take on the job, though?

MADDEN: Well, look, you know, one of the things that a lot of Republicans are going to like about him is that he's not a bureaucrat. A lot of the problems that the VA has had is because of a stove pipe bureaucracy. CEOs tend to be very results oriented. They -- they tend to be very focused on accountability.

There was a corrosive culture of -- of -- of lack of accountability inside the VA. So ideally, Mr. McDonald has the resume to really force some change in there, to change the culture of the VA in a way that puts it going in the right direction. So I suspect Paul's right there. There's going to be a lot of questions up on Capitol Hill from Republicans and Democrats and alike. But I suspect that this is a choice that is not going to get a whole lot of opposition.

BOLDUAN: A quick reality check, though, I mean, Paul. Just as -- even as Republicans and Democrats are saying if Eric -- pushing Eric Shinseki out wasn't going to fix the problem out in the VA the next day, putting Bob McDonald in isn't going to fix it either.

BEGALA: Absolutely. The report that Kevin cites, talking about a corrosive culture, was done by Rob Nabors, the president's deputy chief of staff, one of the ablest people in government. And I think people have to take that seriously. So you can't have just a change at the top. A lot of Republicans say, "Look, the VA secretary needs more authority and flexibility to fire people." I agree.

A lot of Democrats point out the VA needs more money. The Republican Congress has underfunded VA, vis-a-vis the president's request, an average of $2 billion less each year than the president has asked for. So they need more doctors. They need more nurses, but they also need more accountability. And I hope they give them both.

BOLDUAN: Well, you mentioned $2 billion. You just mentioned more money. Let's talk about that issue on a very different topic that is really important, a dire -- humanitarian crisis they're facing at the border.

Kevin, the president is expected to be asking Congress to make a formal request for $2 billion in emergency assistance to help with the humanitarian crisis with children flooding the border -- flooding the border in the south right now.

Also, though, an important part of what he will be asking is a change in law allowing the administration to speed up screening and deportation of some of these children. I know Republicans obviously support tougher border security, but is this a move that Republicans can sign on to?

MADDEN: Well, I think a lot of it remains on whether or not the Obama administration can answer some of the questions about how they do plan to go about implementing it and -- and making sure they are more accountable.

This is not a -- this -- this $2 billion request, I expect that ultimately it could be authorized. But it's not going to be without a lot of the tough questions.

I mean, ultimately, many Republicans up on Capitol Hill believe that this crisis was one of the president's making, essentially that some of the Obama policies lacking enforcement incentivized more people to come across the border.

But ultimately Republicans do believe we need a much more secure border, that we have to do a better job of -- of -- of making sure that borders are more secure. So they are going to hold the White House accountable and make sure that this is a sustainable level of security down there, rather than just throwing $2 billion at a problem.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, I mean, is it throwing good money after bad? I mean, Paul, the big question is not really is the president going to get a lot of flack from Republicans. This could be tough fight for the president from his liberal supporters, those who really want to push for immigration reform, this move to speed up screening and deportation that's gonna -- that kind of feeds into what that description of him being dubbed deporter in chief.

BEGALA: Well, that's the tension here. Right. This is -- it's a $2 billion Band-Aid, but still just a Band-Aid for a problem that needs major surgery. I mean, we do have to have comprehensive immigration reform. The Republicans on the Hill have blocked it, and they will now forever more.

You know, a few weeks ago Eric Cantor lost his primary, the House majority leader, because in part, some part, he supported some sort of immigration reform. So I think Republicans are running away from that like the devil runs from holy water.

But it does seem to me they ought to at least support this. I mean, my goodness, this president has actually spent -- he's deported more people than any president in history. He's put more boots and guns on the border than any president since Woodrow Wilson was chasing Pancho Villa around. So I think -- I think at least Republicans should report this.

BOLDUAN: I mean --

MADDEN: Real quick --

BOLDUAN: Of course, Kevin, go.

MADDEN: -- real quick on that point, though, Paul. Yeah, remember that you cannot discount the fact that one of the reasons that we're having a hard time getting any comprehensive immigration reform is the lack of trust up on Capitol Hill with the president. The president hasn't done the job of reaching out to Republicans and building that level of trust.

And every time that he has taken an effort where he's unilaterally amended the law to weaken immigration enforcement right now, that's only created more distrust up on Capitol Hill. So don't -- don't just blame Republicans here. This is an administration that hasn't done a good enough job building those coalitions up on Capitol Hill to get it done.

BOLDUAN: Let me -- let me ask you then this time, the reality -- the reality check to you, Kevin. Do you think -- I mean, once Congress comes back after the Fourth of July recess, they're heading off on their August recess some four weeks later.

I mean, any time you use the word immigration on any kind of legislation, there's -- that tells me that that's going nowhere fast even if it is a dire situation at the border. Are Republicans threatening to be seen, painted as just obstructionists that they can't sign on to this in four weeks?

MADDEN: Well, look, I think that there are going to be a lot of tough questions from both sides of the aisle, to be honest, Kate, from Republicans and Democrats on this issue.

BOLDUAN; Yeah, do -- does your gut tell you, thought, that they can get it done? Or do you think this really isn't going to go anywhere?

MADDEN: I think it's a crisis that so many of these border states feel like they need to pay attention to, that ultimately it's going to get authorized, but not without some really tough questions and concessions from folks up on Capitol Hill.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, final thought. Paul?

BEGALA: Yeah, look, I hope Kevin is right. And they should ask tough questions. It's our money, after all. But -- they gotta do something -- it's a humanitarian crisis. We are talking about . We're talking about children who are fleeing violence. They're not coming here because they're being drawn by the magnetism by Barack Obama. They're fleeing drug gangs that are taking over Central American villages. And that's what's going on here. We can't fix that unilaterally, but we have to address the humanitarian crisis.

BOLDUAN: And also, you have to also say all of this must be looked through the lens of the midterm election. We know that is, for better or worse, that is the way it will be looked, through the lens of the midterm election on Capitol Hill. So that has to be taken into consideration as well. Could put a lot of folks in a tough spot.

Paul Begala, Kevin Madden, happy Monday, guys. Thank you.

MADDEN: Good to be with you.

BEGALA: Thanks.

BOLDUAN: Thanks.

All right. We're following a lot of news this morning, this included. So let's get right to it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; All of a sudden, you saw their faces go like this and you heard a big bang and a hiss.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you to all of you who are here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a White House gamble.

BARACK OBAMA, U.S PRESIDENT: We are going to do right by our veterans across the board as long as it takes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The World Cup has lifted spirits here, if not the standard of living.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They haven't got a democracy. What they've got is a kleptocracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rain is coming down pretty hard. You could be barely see anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Flash flooding, severe thunderstorms making for dangerous driving conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have never seen damage this severe and widespread.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. I'm Chris Cuomo live in Brazil. Team USA gearing up for its big World Cup match against Belgium. But there is more down here than just soccer.

We're following other stories, what's going on with the World Cup, of course, but also outside the biggest city here, Rio, in the slums. They're not the limelight. You know, there's a world here that is very different than what you have been seeing, literally a tale of two cities. We're going to show it to you.

We're going to introduce you to this other life that happens here and why it is that way and what's the reaction been to all the money, the wealth, and the fanfare that the World Cup has brought here. We're going to show you this place. They are called favelas here. They're slums, and they're are all over the country.

But they're unlike anything you've probably seen before. And of course we'll also tell you what's going on with the game and what to look forward to with U.S./Belgium. We'll give you the inside scoop from Salvador. We have people on the ground there. But there's a lot of news this morning as well. So let's get back to Kate in New York for that. Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, Chris, thank you so much.

Let's turn to the breaking news overnight, a scare in the skies over the Midwest. The United Airlines flight headed for California forced to land in Wichita, Kansas after -- just look at that picture -- the evacuation slide deployed mid-flight.

So were passengers in danger? And, really at the most basic level, how could something like that happen? Aviation correspondent Rene Marsh has more on what was obviously a frightening ordeal for those passengers. Rene?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And you ask the question, could passengers have been in great danger? Short answer, yes, they could have been. One passenger on social media calling this the scariest flight of all time. The plane descending more than 20,000 feet within minutes after this emergency slide accidentally deploys, filling the back of the plane.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden you heard their faces go like this. And you heard a big bang and a hiss.

MARSH (voice-over): Shock aboard a United Airlines flight when an emergency slide accidentally deployed mid-air, inflating inside the back of the Boeing 737 carrying more than 100 people. Passengers report hearing a distinct popping noise before the slide started filling up inside the cabin. Flight attendants rushed to assess the situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just had a panicked look, and they quickly took the carfs (ph) and ran backwards to the front of the plane. MARSH: No injuries reported, but the plane en route from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to John Wayne Airport in southern California was forced to make an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas, descending over 20,000 feet in 10 minutes, according to