Return to Transcripts main page


One-On-One With Bill Clinton; OSCE Official One-on-One; New Satellite Pictures Of Crash Zone

Aired July 21, 2014 - 07:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. As we speak, Secretary of State John Kerry heading back to the Middle East to try again for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Bill Clinton tried but failed to bring peace to the Middle East when he was in the oval office.

CNN spoke with the former president exclusively about the current conflict and other issues as well. Anna Coren is live in Jakarta, in Indonesia with this. Good morning, Anna.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. It's been a fascinating few days traveling with President Clinton throughout Southeast Asia as he visits the projects that his charity is involved in, the Clinton Foundation is involved in. It's doing some amazing work, impacting thousands of lives.

Apart from the charity, we also so spoke about his wife, Hillary, whether she's going to run for president in 2016 as well as global issues that obviously capturing headlines at the moment. Notably the crisis in the Middle East and the violence, escalating violence in the Gaza.

This is a subject that is very close to the president's heart because, of course, he tried to reach a peace agreement with the Israelis and the Palestinians while he was in office and failed. Let's take a listen.


COREN: Israel launched a ground offensive in Gaza. You said Israel is isolating itself from world opinion by failing to clinch a peace deal with the Palestinians. This is a conflict that you weren't able to resolve when you were in office. What makes you think that it's possible now?

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, I think it's possible partly because at some point you get tired of doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same result. It's crazy. But I think that and I hope that this will lead to everybody doing soul searching and trying to get back to the baseline issue of a peace agreement.

Now, with Hamas involved, it raises a different issue, which is that there's no way the Israelis are going to give up the west bank and agree to a state unless Hamas agrees to give up violence and recognize -- they won't do it. That's sort of a non-starter. And I think it should be. I think you can't just have a one-way peace. You have both sides that have to give up what the other side most objects to.

COREN: Do you see that happening any time soon?

CLINTON: I don't see it, but I feel that it could happen. I know Prime Minister Netanyahu could make a peace that a majority of the Israelis would support. They have said over and over again, if he says that this is good for their security, they would support it.

COREN (voice-over): President Clinton is traveling through Southeast Asia on his way to Australia to speak at the International AIDS Conference. A number of researchers due to attend were killed on board MH17.

CLINTON: We need to wait to make any definitive statements until we know exactly what happened. But it was sickening thinking about those people being knocked out of the sky. It's pretty tough.

COREN (on camera): Do you believe that the U.S. and international community did enough to try and stop the fighting considering that this advanced military technology appears to have landed in the hands of Russian military forces?

CLINTON: The answer to the question is yes, but it doesn't mean I think we did enough. There's another question, though, and that is whether we could have then and we can now give the -- this new Ukrainian government the kind of economic support they need for the course they've laid out.

COREN (voice-over): We met with the former president in Vietnam where his foundation works to provide better access to medications for children living with HIV/AIDS. He has a special connection with this country. Back in 2000, he became the first U.S. president to visit since the end of the Vietnam War. And while in office, he lifted the longstanding trade embargo.

(on camera): There is so much painful history attached to this country, and yet as president, you redefine U.S. relations with Vietnam helping to transform this country. How does this rate as one of your achievements?

CLINTON: Well, for me personally, it's way up there, 20 years ago this year, we dropped the embargo. Twenty years ago next year, we normalized relations. We probably don't have a stronger ally in Asia now than Vietnam. I think the per capita income in Vietnam was something like $300 a year when we started 20 years ago, and now it's just off the charts. So it's really wonderful. Every time I come here I pinch myself almost to see what's happening.

COREN: But it changed people's lives.

CLINTON: Yes, it has. I'm glad we did it and I'm glad it's worked out. I'm glad I had the support of so many Vietnam veterans including Secretary of State Kerry and Senator John McCain. We had right across the political spectrum. We were doing this together.

COREN (voice-over): In Hanoi, Clinton visited an AIDS orphanage where he saw firsthand children benefiting from his foundation's work.

CLINTON: When we came here first in 2006, every one of these children was HIV positive. They would have eventually died of AIDS. They had no future, and so to see them now healthy and alive, it is just amazing. It's far more than anything I could say justified the way I try to live my life now. I love d my life in politics. I loved it, but the difference now is I can see the personal human implications of the decisions we're making.

COREN: Clinton was also in Indonesia still rebuilding nearly ten years after the devastating tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people. Banda Aceh was one of the hardest hit areas.

CLINTON: It's almost impossible to believe that ten years ago, there was literally nothing.

COREN (on camera): And the power of Mother Nature.


COREN (voice-over): He was there shortly after the disaster as a U.N. special envoy working alongside former President George Bush Sr.

CLINTON: It was an unusually good reconstruction. After President Bush and I finished doing our work, the U.N. asked me to be the coordinator for their efforts. I did that for a couple of years.

COREN: Spending time with children at a local mosque. Even as news of undocumented children crossing the U.S. border is in the headlines back home.

(on camera): President Obama believes they have to be deported. At the same time, he wants to overhaul the immigration system. What is the answer?

CLINTON: First of all, in general I support what he's trying to do. There's no question that a lot of those young people were sent to the United States because they were told by the countries they came from that once they got here, if they were kids, they could stay. So we've just got to work through all this.

I think in general what the president proposed is good, but we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation. And I hope he will get this money he's asked for because some of these kids may be eligible to stay under our laws because of the circumstances they face back home.

COREN: Now the question on everybody's lips, is Hillary Clinton, your wife going to run for president in 2016? Can you answer that?

CLINTON: No. I don't know. This has been the first free time she's had in a long time. We reached a point in our lives when we think you really shouldn't run for office if you don't have a clear idea of what you can do and a unique contribution you can make and you can outline that. I'm proud of her. Whatever she does is fine with me. I'll support whatever she does.

COREN: What is your advice?

CLINTON: She hasn't asked me yet.

COREN: Really?

CLINTON: No, no.

COREN: Let me ask you, what sort of president would she be?

CLINTON: She'd be really good. She's the ablest public servant I've ever worked with. It's a decision that only she can make and I'm not going to try to jump the gun, and if she decides not to do it, I'll be happy to. When I left the White House and Hillary went into the Senate in New York, I told her, I said for 26 years you made a lot of sacrifices for my public life.

So I'll give you the next 26 years. And if I'm still around, then we'll fight about what we're going to do after that. We're a little over halfway through the second 26 years and whatever she wants is fine with me.


COREN: Certainly a fascinating conversation with one of the most charismatic people in the world. John, I did not get the scoop on whether Hillary is going to run in 2016. But I certainly got a sense from the former president that he would like his wife to run. Of course, they would be making history with Hillary becoming the first female president of the United States and the first husband and wife team to lead the free world. But for now, John, I think we're going to have to keep on guessing. Back to you.

BERMAN: We certainly appreciate you trying. Anna Coren for us from Jakarta this morning. Thanks so much.

Next stop for us on NEW DAY, CNN has obtained new satellite pictures of the debris field where Flight 17 went down. What can these new pictures tell us about the jet's final moments? We'll analyze them before the best experts around next.


CUOMO: Welcome back to this truly hot section of Eastern Ukraine. A few things to report for you. First of all, the temperature here is so high and that's why it's been so undignified for the bodies to be out here for days. We saw what we hope were the last of them just transferred. It's also overheating our equipment. That's why it's been difficult to come to you.

We can also report that the fighting has resumed in Donetsk, the local train station has been shelled. There are civilian casualties. Artillery is being used we believe by Ukraine authorities to reclaim the city. We'll find out what happens and act accordingly as the situation changes.

The only good set of international eyes on the ground right now to oversee everything that's been happening here and not happening is the OSCE, an international body for security and cooperation. The head of it is a man named Michael. He is the head of their communications. We've been in contact with him and we've been trying to follow their efforts to monitor the situation, which has been met with great resistance by the local militia forces.

We just spoke to him as they came here for the first time with Dutch authorities to look at the situation. I asked how it was going. Here is what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going well. We've been on the ground here for three months, there are about 275 of us in ten locations in Ukraine. It so happened we had a team here in Eastern Ukraine. We brought more to boost our numbers. Up until now it's been very difficult on us in this region because of the fighting going on. We had maybe ten people here. We've now doubled or tripled that number when we heard of this tragic incident.

CUOMO: We've been with you here from the beginning and we know difficulty to get access, local militias, the different layers that who surround the self-appointed prime minister. How difficult have they made it on you to do a fair assessment?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we've been here for three months we know them. We held talks when our eight colleagues were kidnapped and were returned. We didn't have to start from ground zero, land here and establish relationships. On the first day we arrived here, we did come to the site. It was a bit chaotic. That got better the next day and yesterday and today. Today we have three Dutch forensic subjects with us and they're getting pretty much unfettered access.


CUOMO: Listen, Michael has a very difficult job. He has to keep relations to this self-appointed government in this newly appointed republic of Donetsk. We know the Dutch were kept outside the actual scene. Hopefully, they will get access to the bodies and we know that when the self-appointed prime minister said that the reason he left bodies here in an undignified way for days was because he was advised to.

But the OSCE while they didn't want to talk about it on camera, we can report that that's not true. They never advised anything and Michael even referred to the fact he's a monitor. He's not somebody in the business of advising someone how to conduct this scene. It is very difficult here.

Now with the renewed fighting, the one good thing is, the local militia men have left because they're concerned about the fighting, so they're not here harassing us right now. Back to you in New York, we'll keep you apprised of the security situation here because, again, fighting has been restarted here. We believe Ukraine is trying to take back control of the major city of Donetsk here in Eastern Ukraine.

BOLDUAN: This is all happening in real time, breaking news, and we'll be watching it with you, Chris. In that interview, really highlights the very delicate and dangerous balance that the OSCE, the monitors, have to strike. They have to be there because they need to monitor the situation. But they are trying to get the truth out as much as they can.

BERMAN: It's a job that needs to get done. Their safety on the line, only so much they can do.

BOLDUAN: That's right, John. We'll take another break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, can new satellite images tell anyone anything new about the MH-17, how it was brought down, how it was blown out of the sky and brought to the ground? We're going to analyze the pictures and see if anything links the attack to pro-Russian rebels.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. CNN has obtained new satellite pictures of the area where MH-17 made impact in Eastern Ukraine. What can these images tell investigators searching for concrete answers to exactly what happened? Joining us for a closer look, CNN's safety analyst, David Susi, former FAA inspector and author of "Why Planes Crash."

So David, let's get right to it and let's take a look because I know you've been pouring over these images. Let's try to get to -- I believe this is the broader picture that we want to look at. So our viewers can understand, you're teaching me this, this is the primary crash site, right?


BOLDUAN: There is a secondary crash site down here, which we'll zoom into. This broader image, what do you take from this?

SUSI: Something important to look at here, as you fly over, a lot of the first part of an accident, finding where it is, don't have that issue here. But you -- all the way over here, more than two miles from the actual impact, there are debris in this field. This far away. There is debris in this field, that far away.

So what we're looking at here is the trajectory, which way did the aircraft come in, did this debris happen in the air or did it happen as it hit the ground and the debris threw -- this is too far for debris to fly from the location. This tells us it did break up in the air.

BOLDUAN: You have some breakup in the air to make me wonder why we saw the huge explosion that --

SUSI: Yes.

BOLDUAN: That plume of smoke when it made impact.

SUSI: That's an important point, Kate. It did not explode in the air. As we noted originally, there wasn't a trail of smoke going to the location. What that tells us is the missile disabled the aircraft because the tail is down here. If the tail is down here, we have to think about did the tail come off in the air at 35,000 feet. No, it did not. If it did, it would be much further away.

BOLDUAN: So this is -- this is the primary impact site.

SUSI: Correct.

BOLDUAN: What do investigators glean from this? How does an image far away help that maybe you don't see close up on the ground?

SUSI: From far away, it gives you perspective as what happened at 30,000 feet. It tells you what happened up here. This is going to tell you what happened once it hit the ground. Really important notice, look how close it is to this little village.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

SUSI: We could have had many fatalities on the ground had this been another 100 feet the other way.

BOLDUAN: This area that looks almost white, what does this indicate?

SUSI: What this is, these are metal -- I don't want to cover them up, but these are actually metal -- molten metal. That's how hot this was. When this explosion occurred, this is the center section of the aircraft.

BOLDUAN: Why is this important to investigators?

SUSI: It just tells us so much about what might have happened in the air. Because as this gets in a criminal investigation, especially a war crime, there has to be proof and there has to be a chain of custody of all of this information and of all the parts and pieces. You see the guy carrying this orange device that they think is the flight data recorder.

Well, that is going to be really damaging in a case because they're going to say, it went from here to here, maybe somebody planted this thing, but in an actual investigation, when there is professionals there, there is no question about chain of custody because it is documented from the very beginning to the very end.

And that's my biggest concern here is if you're going to put pressure on Putin to hold the people accountable for -- who did this are or if we put pressure on him, as accountability to him, without chain of custody, it is not going to be possible.

BOLDUAN: And also from the satellite images, you can see where things were because there is a potential that some of this evidence could be moved before investigators can get on the ground, why these satellite images really teach us a lot and what has happened here. David, thank you very, very much. David Susi sticking with us. We're continuing to follow the breaking news out of Ukraine. Satellite images and right from the ground, in Ukraine, and also recovering big news out of the Middle East. Let's get right to it.

CUOMO: We have breaking news live from the final resting place of MH- 17 and hostile area of Eastern Ukraine. The U.S. and the world is ramping up pressure on Vladimir Putin. New evidence as to who shot the plane down and the possible attempts to cover it up. The crash site controlled by rebel fighters, 298 bodies now in limbo.

Their memories and dignity at the mercy of a larger battle. We have hard questions for the rebel leader. Please answer the allegation. As families and the world demand answers and action.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": I'm Wolf Blitzer live from Jerusalem. Breaking news. The deadliest day for both sides in the conflict. More than a dozen Israeli soldiers killed. Two of them Americans, and 90 Palestinians killed. The death toll rises. Now Secretary of State John Kerry en route to the region to stop the bloodshed. And now this, Hamas claims they captured an Israeli soldier.

CUOMO: A special edition of NEW DAY starts right now.

We do have breaking news here from this hostile region in Eastern Ukraine. This is the final resting place of MH-17 that you see over my shoulder. The news here this morning involves what is going on --