Return to Transcripts main page


2 Close Calls in the Skies & F-16 Gets Too Close Great Britain Air Show; Cousin of Murdered Palestinian Teen Beaten by Israeli Police; Pope Francis Meets with Victims of Clerical Sex Abuse; Speaker Boehner Makes Case for Suing President Obama; Obama Heads to Texas, Not to Crisis at U.S./Mexico Border

Aired July 7, 2014 - 11:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Could there be a disconnect in how they are trained and/or their own inexperience?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, both of those things, Michaela. One is that Patco, way back when they had the strike, that President Reagan just decided to replace everybody who was on strike. When he did that, there was a mass influx of people. Those controllers replaced at that time are now retiring. So it's going at a really rapid rate. So the challenge here is to continue the mentoring, which was an important part of training. You can't teach everything in the books and in the classroom. You have to do mentoring and you have someone who's partnered with that new controller coming on. And they are not having to time to do that.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: With air crews, pilots and flight attendants, we hear about sleep. They are exhausted and being worked too hard. Is there a similar issue with air traffic controllers?

SOUCIE: There certainly is. Although, it's very closely monitored what their time is. What's missing here though is the fact these controllers are doing much more complicated and complex things than in the past as well. So what's not being addressed is the simple ability to gauge performance. So, for example, if you were up all night taking care of a baby and you came in for the morning, you would like to be able to say I'm just not up to this. But they don't have that option. That goes against them in performance reviews. So --


PEREIRA: You wish there could. That there would be some way they could speak up and I say, I'm not up for it today and you don't want me at the helm.

On a different note, I don't know if you had the chance to see this video, an F-16 fighter getting way too close to people at an air show in Great Britain.

BERMAN: Nuts. Nuts.

PEREIRA: Honestly, that is the craziest video we've seen in a long time. What is your reaction to seeing this? SOUCIE: Just careless and irresponsible of the pilot. These air

shows are the carefully planned. When I did the oversight of air shows, we spent weeks and months preparing for where the airplanes are going to fly. This guy is just playing "Top Gun" with people's lives and it's really, really scary.

BERMAN: Yeah. And I imagine the people could be hurt there. Even if the pilot knows what he's doing and doesn't, God forbid, make a fatal mistake. Get that close is still pretty dangerous, I imagine, David.

SOUCIE: It's incredibly dangerous. And it's just thrill seeking at the expense of these people. And there have been deaths at air shows by this type of the behavior by a pilot.


PEREIRA: Will there going to be repercussions?

SOUCIE: There ought to be. And I'll follow-up up and get back with you on that.

PEREIRA: Oh, please do. I appreciate that.

BERMAN: That's a man of action.

PEREIRA: I like that.

BERMAN: David Soucie, appreciate you're being with us and appreciate your proactive nature. Nice to see you sir.

SOUCIE: Thank you. You, too.

BERMAN: Other news we're following @THISHOUR, Israeli police have arrested several Jewish suspects in the death of a Palestinian teenager. He was kidnapped and burned alive last week in what could be a revenge killing. Meanwhile, cell phone video shows the boy's cousin, a teenager from Florida, being beaten by police during protests of his cousin's killing. Our Ben Wedeman caught up with the teenager who is now under house arrest.


TARIQ ABU KHDER, PALESTINIAN TEENAGER: I was attacked by police in -- I woke up in the hospital.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You woke up in the hospital.

KHDER: Yeah.


WEDEMAN: And that's it?

KHDER: Yeah, yeah, that's it.

WEDEMAN: How do you feel now that you're out? KHDER: I feel way better.

WEDEMAN: Way better?


BERMAN: Again, that young man was born in America. In Jerusalem on vacation. We said this is a cycle of violence. The latest surge of violence was after three Israeli teens were found dead in the West Bank.

PEREIRA: The battle for control of the L.A. Clippers might, and we emphasize might, play out in court within the next few minutes. That issue, does Shelly Sterling have a right to sell the team? She has a $2 billion deal on the table. We say might because Donald Sterling wants to take the deal off the table. And he wants to move the case to another court, federal court. So we're watching whether this probate jury trial gets off the ground in the next couple minutes or not.

BERMAN: And an ugly scene to show you caught on camera along the Santa Monica freeway. It shows a California patrol officer -- appears to show him repeatedly punching a 51-year-old woman. She was walking between traffic lanes posing a danger to herself and other drivers. She ignored officers' commands. Police say she became physically combative, and the tape only she's small part of what happened. The officer has been put on paid administrative leave. The family plans to sue. By the way, the woman happens to be a great grandmother.

PEREIRA: Very hard to watch that.

The hidden cash craze just played a visit to some lucky beach-goers in San Diego. Millionaire Jason Boosie (ph) had hid some 25 PEZ dispensers, each filled with as much as a hundred dollars in cash. People took to the beach and followed hints. According to #hiddencash, folks in Fresno, California, will next have a chance to find money today.

BERMAN: We're split on this. You see --

PEREIRA: I love it. You're cynical.

BERMAN: Yeah. I'm not cynical. The guy calls it a social experiment. I just don't like --


PEREIRA: You don't like -- if he called it something else, you would be OK with it?

BERMAN: Maybe. I think he's just looking at the people scamper for cash. I'm up here dropping my cash so little people can run around and try to find it.

PEREIRA: I know when I was flat broke, a PEZ dispenser full of cash would have made my month, year. It would have made me very happy. BERMAN: OK.

PEREIRA: We're going to take a short break here. Ahead @THISHOUR, Pope Francis coming face to face with victims of clerical sex abuse for the first time since he became head of the Catholic Church. We'll examine what he had to say.

BERMAN: Plus, House Speaker John Boehner in a new op-ed exclusive to on why he plans to sue the president. That's next.


PEREIRA: The pope is seeking forgiveness from victims of clerical sex abuse. For the first time since his election, Pope Francis met and prayed with six victims today in his private residence.

BERMAN: He expressed his sorrow. He acknowledged the failure of the church to act and said such sins have a toxic effect on faith and hope in God.

Let's talk about this. Joining us, CNN religion commentator, the Reverend Edward Beck; also, Barbara Blaine, founder of the Survivors Network of those abuse by priests.

Father Beck, let's start with you.

What do you make of this meeting? We hear both the pope and the victims were moved. The pope described the abuse as a sacrilegious cult that insulted God.

REV. EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Yeah, he said he and the church weep like Christ at this scandal, John.

From what I understand, it was a very emotional encounter with the pope and his victims. He had a homily with them, dinner with them last night. He invited them to mass at his residents and had a homily in which he said to them bishops will be held accountability, there is zero tolerance, and we're going to continue to move forward with this. You know that the pope has created a commission to look into and further recommend actions with regard to the sex abuse scandals. So it seems like this pope is being much more proactive and moving forward in this regard. And he met with these victims not only symbolically but really wanting to hear their stories and have that as part of his agenda for moving forward with the issue.

PEREIRA: Barbara, let's bring you into the conversation. There are those that are going to be skeptical. Some have already come forward saying too little too late. And this is not much more than a stunt. What is your take?

BARBARA BLAINE, FOUND SURVIVORS NETWORK: Well, I think that what we've seen, like millions of others over this past year, six sex abuse victims have been moved by the humble and compassionate personality of Pope Francis. I think though that what Catholics need is for the pope to mix those characteristics with a tough stance on punishing and removing the bishops and church officials who are complicit in enabling and covering up for the sexual perpetrators.

BERMAN: What about timing here, Barbara? Do you think the pope waited too long?

BLAINE: I mean, let's not mistake this meeting today for real action. The meeting today will not make children safer. I think that Pope Francis has yet to take strong action that will protect children. And he could do that by firing the bishops who have been complicit and who are transferring predators. He could do that by acknowledging that this crisis is ongoing. It is not over. And to be honest with you, reparations should come when it is over, not when we're in the middle of it.

PEREIRA: Father, back to that end, let's talk about the practicality of the how the church heals and how they move forward, and as Barbara says, how to make sure children are protected going forward.

BECK: Michaela, I certainly agree with Barbara's perspective and statements that more action is even needed. Just a couple weeks ago, a polish archbishop, who had been ambassador in the Dominican Republic, was removed from being priest and bishop. He was laicized. He can no longer call himself a priest or bishop. There is a criminal investigation at the Vatican. If it's credible, he'll be expedited to the Dominican Republic and prosecuted. This is an archbishop. So what people have been calling for with regard to the hierarchy needing to accept responsibility and action be taken against them has already begun to happen. And I think as this pope continues --


BLAINE: I think we shouldn't mistake that action. That action really shouldn't be acknowledged at this great change because, in fact, Pope Francis covered up for this archbishop. Those governments not only of the Dominican Republic but also of Poland have been seeking his extradition to face criminal charges in those countries. And he was seen on the streets of Rome just recently and only was laicized --


BLAINE: -- when it came out that there were videos of him and a young boy. So let's be clear here that --


BECK: Anybody accused, Barbara, though, is entitled to due process. Not everything can be done immediately without an investigation and due process. This will run its course.


BLAINE: Of course, but why would the Vatican --


BECK: Then criminal investigation and prosecution will occur.

BERMAN: Barbara?

BLAINE: But the police and prosecutors in the Dominican Republic should be the ones to make that determination, not the people in the Vatican. They are the ones who extradited him.


BLAINE: That's where the crimes took place. But why was he allowed to escape the Dominican Republic? And why wasn't he sent back months ago when they asked for it?

BECK: Because the investigation needs to be done at --


BECK: -- at the Vatican now because it is its own city-state as well. And if the Vatican says these are credible, he will be extradited and face criminal prosecution in the Dominican Republic. It's all part of a process. We have seen before innocent people accused as well. You would agree, Barbara, that everybody is due a fair hearing and an investigation.

BLAINE: But the problem unfortunately is that children remain at risk. What we see is like --


BECK: Children remain at risk everywhere.

BLAINE: -- find a way to cover up. But the problem is that our perpetrators were allowed to have access to thousands of these children unnecessarily because church officials covered up for them. And this is still ongoing today. Just last week, it was -- we heard an acknowledgment that Father Karedema (ph), in Santiago, Chile, is going to be punished now because he was exposed for doing public ministry in December 2013 when he was supposedly removed from ministry. We see -- like a bishop here in the United States, Bishop Finn, in Kansas City, has been found guilty of endangering children, yet he's still the sitting bishop. And we see Father O'Connell, in the archdiocese of Chicago --

BECK: Barbara? Barbara --


BLAINE: -- just recently returned to ministry.


BLAINE: So kids remain at risk.

BERMAN: Go ahead, Father Beck.

BECK: All I can say is with tens of thousands of the priests in clergy and you're talking about 1.2 billion Catholics. Yes, you can name examples, 5 percent perhaps of the clergy. Each of those needs to be examined. I you cannot blanket your statements by a whole group with such examples.


BERMAN: Father Beck --


BERMAN: Father Beck, Barbara Blaine, I think one things is clear from this is the pain from everything's that happened still lingers, will not be solved in one generation or even two. But whatever movement can happen from the Vatican will be welcomed from all.


BLAINE: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Thank you so much for you both joining us. I appreciate the discussion we've head here.

PEREIRA: Ahead @THISHOUR, he's making his case, John Boehner, in a new op-ed, on CNN, for his plans to sue President Obama. Why he thinks the president has failed the nation and should be held accountable.


PEREIRA: John Boehner is revealing more about his plans to sue President Obama in an exclusive op-ed only on He laid out his case as to why he can take legal action against the president. Quote, "But too often, over the last five years, the president as circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he has sworn to uphold, sometimes even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him."

BERMAN: So for his part, President Obama calls the threat a stunt and defends his use of action, saying he isn't sorry for trying to act when Congress will not.

Let's talk about this. There is a lot of anger and frustration about this. We're joined by Democratic strategist, Maria Cardona; and Republican strategists, Ana Navarro.


So, Ana, is there a serious legal threat or is this a political stunt, as the president says?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Frankly, John, I think it is symbolic of the gross dysfunction going on in Washington, D.C. I don't think it happened from one day to the other. There is I think what we are seeing is more he said he said, a game of chicken, posturing. I think it's been President Obama who hasn't really developed any relationships in Congress, not even with Democrats. A Congress -- a Republican caucus that is very difficult to run, even for Speaker Boehner, and they can't work together.

Let me tell you this. They got three more years to deal with each other. So they've got to start figuring out how to get some things done. If I were a teacher, I would put both of them in time-out.

PEREIRA: You make a good point. They have three more years of this.

Maria, let's bring you in and talk about this. The president responding to all this, saying --


NAVARRO: We have three more years of this, even worse.

PEREIRA: We have three more years. That's a good point. Now the president is saying, go ahead, sue me.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what the president is talking about -- and I think this is absolutely right. The issues that the president has done these executive orders on that have made the Republican Congress mad are issues where the American people are with him. They are equal pay for equal work, anti discrimination of the LGBT community, DACA (ph), which is the Deferred Action for Young Immigrants who came to this country and know no other country. These are issues that the president feels confident, and polls show it, poll after poll, that the American people are with him on this.

I think what the president really would like is -- and I agree with Ana -- there is frustration. But the president would like for Congress to actually work with him. He has invited Congress to work with him. They have, time and again, essentially slapped him across the face and do not want to work with him. In fact, we know that this is a talking point for the extremist Republicans. Any time any Republican gets close to President Obama, they use that against that Republican.

BERMAN: One of the biggest issues right now that we're dealing with, these executive actions, is the issue of immigration.


BERMAN: The president says he will look at taking measures by himself without the help of Congress.

Maria and Ana, stick around. We want to talk about this.

The president is heading to Texas. He will not head to the border, at least not yet. We will talk about immigration, what he is doing, what he should be doing, and the controversy surrounding that.



REP. HENRY CUELLAR, (D), TEXAS: It would be nice for him to come down to the border. But with all due respect, I think he is still one step behind. They knew this was happening a year ago. Last year, and again, they are -- they are not reacting fast enough at this time.


BERMAN: That was Texas' Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar. He is adding his criticism now of how the Obama White House is handling the immigration crisis.

PEREIRA: President Obama is headed to Texas on Wednesday. It's a fundraising trip. So far, he has no plans to visit the border and have a look at the immigration crisis unfolding there. Texas is one of the states dealing with an influx of undocumented immigrants, mostly women and children arriving from Central America. It is being called a humanitarian crisis.

I want to discuss it further with our political commentators, Maria Cardona and Ana Navarro, back with us again.

Ana, I'm going to start with you.

By any accounts, does it matter what side of the aisle you are on? This is a humanitarian crisis when you have women and children arriving at the border, yet the president is not planning to visit the border? What are your thoughts about that?

NAVARRO: You know, I think if he's going to be in Texas, frankly, it's a good opportunity for him to go and visit and make some statements about this issue, some statements that are going to garner press attention both here and in Central America. A lot of what's involved here and what needs to help right now is a public relations campaign. I think the White House, the administration has begun to do that with TV ads planned for Central America. People are coming from poor conditions, don't have TVs. They are more likely to be reached through radio, through word of mouth. I think any statement, any time the president of the United States can use his pulpit to emphasize that, number one, it is a humanitarian crisis and that it required a holistic approach. We need to work together. We also need to treat those children with some compassion and make sure that the ones that are facing true danger in those countries are not sent back. All those things need to happen. He has the bully pulpit. I hope he uses it, because I think it's an important opportunity for him to do so at the ground zero.

BERMAN: Yeah. Maria, you are a Democratic strategist. Strategize for us here. He can't go to Texas and not address this and not make this a serious part of his trip, perhaps, even go there geographically. I can't imagine him getting away with that.

CARDONA: I think he should go. I think he will go. I don't know if it will be this week. But the president is doing everything in his power to try to mitigate this issue. It is absolutely heartbreaking and a difficult issue to deal with, no question about that. But he is actually now asking for help from Congress. And if Republicans are now kicking and screaming about this being the fault of President Obama, which many of them are, then let's work together to try to fix this problem instead of pointing the finger of blame. The president needs to do a couple of things. He has asked for

additional money from Congress to deal with this influx of children, to protect them, to make sure they are processed in the right way. He is sending down additional immigration lawyers. Immigration courts are now looking at these issues in a quicker way. All of that needs resources. They also need to change the law, in 2002 and the one in 2008, that has allowed for these children to be -- to come here and not be sent home.


PEREIRA: It's different for kids that come from Mexico. They can be sent home immediately.

CARDONA: Exactly. Exactly. For that to be changed, there needs to be a change of the law. From a legislative standpoint, it's very difficult to get anything done. This will be a test for Republicans. If they want to fix this and not just point the finger, let's get done this.

Another issue that would have helped -- and I think Ana will agree with me on this -- if we had passed immigration reform years ago, there would be a definitive plan of where the United States stands on immigrants that are allowed to stay and those that aren't. We need that as well.

BERMAN: I know both of you agree on that.

Ana Navarro, Maria Cardona, thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

CARDONA: Thank you.

NAVARRO: Thank you.

BERMAN: We have a promo. Do not forget to turn in to CNN's "The Sixties" this Thursday at 9:00 eastern. It is exciting this week. We are looking at the British Invasion, the music, the story behind the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the other bands who really took this country by storm.

PEREIRA: And your heart.

BERMAN: And my heart.


BERMAN: I saw the Kinks. The Kinks were my first concert.


BERMAN: -- like 30 years after the British Invasion.

PEREIRA: We are talking about an amazing lineup of guests here with us from the British Invasion all week. Tomorrow, Lulu, best known for '60s hit songs, "To Sir, With Love" and James Bond title song, "The Man with the Golden Gun." Wednesday, Graham Nash joins us.


PEREIRA: He was in the British band the Hollies (ph). And on Thursday, singer, Petula Clark, will join us. We have quite an all- star lineup coming up.

BERMAN: That is a phenomenal lineup.

Thank you so much for joining us today @THISHOUR. Stick with us all week.

"LEGAL VIEW" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right now.