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MH17 Crash Site Still Not Secure; Interview with OSCE Spokesman Michael Bociurkiw; Interview with Rep. Steve King
Aired July 30, 2014 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: New questions this morning about military aircraft security, a disturbing find on the U.S. cargo plane, the body of an apparent stowaway was discovered at the wheel well when the plane landed at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The body of a male was found in a post-flight inspection. That plane made numerous stops in Africa during its mission.
The last surviving crewmen from the first plane to drop an atomic bomb has died. Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk flew aboard the "Enola Gay" when it dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, almost 69 years ago. Van Kirk's is son says his father had no regrets about the mission, which helped to end World War II. The single bomb named "Little Boy" killed 140,000 and it launched the nuclear age. Van Kirk was 93 years old.
Got to show you some really terrifying video. Two women trespassing by the way narrowly escaping death after diving under an oncoming train in Indiana. At first they tried to outrun the train and realizing they couldn't get down, they lay down and let the train pass right over them. The only other option is an 80-foot drop below.
The engineer saw them and tried to apply the brakes and sounded the horn repeatedly and what's amazing here is the only injury one of the women suffered was a stubbed toe but they are now facing criminal trespassing charges.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It looks like she was trying to help her friend up. I don't know how intentional that immediately going to the train was.
PEREIRA: I think that was -- because it was like 82-foot drop.
CUOMO: What do you? Do you take the jump or do you try to let the train go over you?
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I don't walk on those tracks.
CUOMO: But once you're on the bridge, what would you do?
CAMEROTA: I guess I'd do what they did. I wouldn't jump 80 feet.
CUOMO: You would let a train run you over?
CAMEROTA: I wouldn't be happy about it.
PEREIRA: I think I would lay down.
PEREIRA: I think I'd lay down and pray.
CUOMO: Where is the confidence come that the train makes it over you?
CAMEROTA: I would make my body two-dimensional.
PEREIRA: She could fit. I've got a little extra -- how do I say -- density, hair. That's it, I got a little extra hair that might caught up in the train.
CAMEROTA: That's right, big hair.
PEREIRA: That's the problem.
CUOMO: I'm thinking -- I grab you in the death hug and jump on the side. You yell at me on the way down.
PEREIRA: I'm going to cushion your fall.
CUOMO: We both know you'd be using me a trampoline as we go down near bottom, but I think I would jump.
PEREIRA: I don't know. I will never put myself in that position.
CAMEROTA: Don't ever walk on those tracks.
CUOMO: Look, it was totally wrong. That's why they are trying them for criminal trespass. There are tons of disasters happen that way all the time. But I still think --
CAMEROTA: You'd jump.
CUOMO: I think I would. Let's the question of science. She want to look at things scientifically.
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I really analyze this. I thought it was a myth if you laid down. I would have jumped, but now I may lay down, right? Things to know.
PEREIRA: Let's not test it out.
PETERSONS: Definitely not. At least we do not to test this out either.
By the way, guys, it's like July, almost August, and we're talking about 40s right now in the morning hours. Really? Yes, we're talking about cold air.
By the way, it's not just like in the Upper Midwest. We're talking about record-breaking lows this morning even in Atlanta. They set the record for the daily today at 60 degrees. Currently, last record, 61. So, very close right there.
What are we looking at, cold air in place for entire eastern half of the country, stationary front, still stationary, still hanging around, bringing those showers into the Southeast. But everyone has been asking, OK. We're getting close to the weekend, halfway through. What are we expecting?
Here's the answer. What Mother Nature feels like giving you, but if we're talking about scattered showers, just wave after wave, very scattered showers as we go through Saturday and Sunday for the Ohio Valley and all the way into the northeast through Sunday or so. That's the story there. What is not -- look at this bulls eye, two to five inches of rain, out through Texas and Oklahoma today and eventually spreading into Texas.
That's going to be that real concern for flooding next several days and all eyes by end of the weekend, will shift 70 percent chance we could see this develop into Bertha, as far as where the model take you right now, five days out, as far as we can go, we're still about it heading towards the U.S. mainland, whether or not this actually affects us, still have to wait a little bit longer, guys.
CAMEROTA: All right. We'll keep an eye on that. Thanks so much, Indra.
CUOMO: Most people say they would jump rather than lay down.
CAMEROTA: But they are wrong.
CUOMO: Everybody is staying don't be on train tracks, really dangerous.
PEREIRA: On your Twitter feed, you know what I'm saying.
CAMEROTA: Yes, like minds.
CUOMO: No. But everybody disagrees. You all disagree with me on my Twitter feed but this time they are saying they would lay down.
CAMEROTA: All right. Good to know. Thank you for that. Keep polling that.
Meanwhile, next up on NEW DAY, heavy fighting, of course, around the site of MH17 wreckage. It's making it impossible for investigators to secure that site. So, we will talk with an international monitor about their plan.
CUOMO: The longer that situation goes the worse it gets. Another one just like it, our border. Thousands of kids languishing there. A deal for immigration reform on the table? Lawmakers' five-week vacation just around the corner, will you let them leave before they get something done? We have Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King joining us with answers. Let's put him to the test.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CAMEROTA: International investigators prevented once again from reaching MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine today. Heavy fighting near the debris field has forced the team to stay away for a fourth day. It's been nearly two weeks since that plane has been shot down but nobody has been able to begin the forensic investigation.
So, let's bring in Michael Bociurkiw. He's the spokesman for the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, and they are part of the team of international observers who are trying to reach the crash site.
Michael, great to see you. How close can you get to the crash site?
MICHAEL BOCIURKIW, OSCE SPOKESMAN: Good morning, Alisyn.
At the moment, we're pretty much cut off from the site. Our team of special monitoring mission to Ukraine, OSCE observers, as well as about 60 Dutch and Australian experts.
There is a front line, as you know, between where I am right now in Donetsk City and the site. Yesterday, we were able to go two-third of the way there, and it was just unsafe to do so.
And just quickly, today, what we did is we did a routine patrol to the city limits of Donetsk beyond there, and we were able to kind of test or measure where front line is there, and -- and it isn't actually very far from where I'm standing.
So very fluid security situation here at the moment.
CAMEROTA: And you say that it's unsafe for you to get any closer. What happens? What do you encounter when you try?
BOCIURKIW: Well, I can tell you, it's quite scary because we go, as you probably know by now with a rebel escort to as far as they tell us it's safe to go, and, indeed, they didn't have to tell us it was unsafe because the explosions further up the road in the direction of that site were very, very loud to the point where we almost had to crouch down for safety. So, we -- we will not put our monitors at risk.
We also had with us, Alisyn, a representative from the Dutch and the Australian delegation, so they saw for themselves too.
And, you know, it is -- it is so unfortunate because we haven't been there since Friday. There still are human remains out there exposed to the elements, it's just a horrific thing.
CAMEROTA: There are still human remains out there. It's incredible to think after all of this time. What happens to the evidence and the investigation if you cannot access the crash site?
BOCIURKIW: Well, you know, we like to remain optimistic, and I can tell you there's such a wealth concentration of expertise among these experts, I mean -- and they are empowered to collect the human remains. They have the equipment and treat it with dignity and transfer it to the Netherlands.
But, you know, I don't want to speculate. We're going to remain hopeful. We're going to pull all the levers we can with our stakeholders. I know there's a lot of activity going on today in Kiev, especially with our chief monitor, Ambassador Apakan, the goal now is get there as soon as possible. So, we're not giving up hope.
CAMEROTA: Michael, you talk about your stakeholders. Who in charge? Who is giving you orders?
BOCIURKIW: Well, you know, because there's a shifting line, security line let's call it. There's the rebel groups here, the Ukrainian government, of course, in Kiev, being spoken with at a very, very high level and, of course, there's stakeholders that meet regularly in Kiev with our OSCE representative is the Russian federation representative and the Ukrainian government senior representative.
They are meeting frequently, and I know those discussions are held over the course of many, many hours, but yet that kind of breakthrough that we require, that safe passage and corridor isn't there at the moment, trying to remain as hopeful as we can for us to get there.
CAMEROTA: Yes, of course, we understand. It's nice to see your optimism, but what is your plan? How long will you stay there?
BOCIURKIW: Well, we're based here. We've been here for three months. We're not going anywhere. We plan to stay here and with our OSCE special monitoring mission.
As for the Dutch and the Australians, well, they have been here for a few days now. Only a small group of them have been able to go out to the site and that was late last week. I know as we speak, a few floors below me, they are continuing with the mapping, the planning -- you know, everything they need to do to really accelerate things out there.
But, you know, you do sense, of course, a sense of frustration because a lot of them did travel halfway around the world to be here and to, you know, recover the remains of their national and their belongings, but at the moment, we're staying put in Donetsk because of security.
CAMEROTA: Of course. Michael Bociurkiw, thanks so much for being on with us and good luck tomorrow. We know you were turned away today. We hope tomorrow you can make some progress. Thank you.
Well, next up on NEW DAY, more violence in the Middle East as a U.N. school is attacked. So, we will talk to the deputy national security adviser for President Obama.
Plus, can lawmakers reach a deal? That's the big question this morning as Congress remains deadlocked on immigration so we will speak with Congressmen Steve King.
CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Right now your representative in Washington, you know what they're getting ready to do? Take a five- week vacation even though immigration reform remains on the table. Unaddressed thousands of innocent children in limbo on our southern. So let's bring in one of our representatives, see what they're up to, see the dedication that we have from our men and women in Congress. Republican Congressman from Iowa Steve King. Congressman, always a pleasure and I must report you did go to the border, you did check out the situation. What did learn?
STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Well, we traveled all the way from the mouth of the Rio Grand River there at the Gulf of Mexico on up to Laredo, stopped in at multiple locations in Brownsville and Mccalan and on up and on up to Laredo, as close as we could get to the border by road all the way and visited with civilians, regular people there on the ground that have lived there for years as well as with all the agents in uniform and federal employees and others. I learned this. Yes, there is a mass of humanity coming across the border, we all knew that.
As we walked through the facilities, the detention centers and the distribution centers that they have, there were some things that shocked me deeply that I did not expect to hear. And I'm going to put this together as essentially a consensus rather than going to a specific location, but it's this. Of the unaccompanied alien children, 57,000 of them so far this fiscal year, as of June 15th, well over 60,000, probably over 70,000 by now, they were running about 80 percent boys, 20 percent girls.
That number has shifted, a higher percentage of girls now, but a very high percentage of girls are given birth control pills before they send them on their journey up the train of death on the beast to get to the river and then to pay a coyote to give them a ride across because the families expect the girl to be raped on the way, and the sexual abuse reported to us by the workers is in the area of one-third to 70 percent, especially of the girls and perhaps equal number of boys. However there are a lot more boys than girls. Just sickens me to think --
CUOMO: It's disgusting especially given how true it is, but it's a sign of the desperation. Let me ask you, I got lost in your statement there a little bit. Did you visit the kids?
KING: I did visit the kids. We went to a center in Brownsville that had not received any visits from members of Congress. It is an HHS center, a private contractor, not-for-profit organization. They were built and open for business January 23rd of this year. It houses 188 kids, ages 10 to 17. 44 girls and 144 boys, and we learned a lot there. They spent enough time with them.
CUOMO: How are the conditions?
KING: The conditions were good.
I have to say that everybody that is treating and serving people down there is doing everything they can with the resources they have and the resources that they can garner, and that includes the Border Patrol. Yes, they have holding cells and the holding cells have been there for some time. That hasn't changed, but they move people out into a warehouse that was retro fitted for people, and I saw different separation panels there with kids that were sorted by age, by sex. They had HHS workers playing soccer in air conditioned buildings.
KING: That's going on, that's the American compassion, Chris.
CUOMO: And it's very important because that's who we are, Congressman, right? I mean, even in bad situations we always treat people with dignity and respect. Its one of the things the country wants to be known for, and as terrible as it is what you're reporting to us about these families who may be giving their kids birth control bills because of the horror they expect to befall especially the girls, a little change of heart for you? I mean, you know, obviously you keep getting reminded of what you said about cantaloupe-sized calves and that these people were drug runners, these kids were drug runners. Do you feel differently now?
KING: Not since I've measured the cantaloupes and measured the calves. No, that's an accurate statement, Chris. That part doesn't change. It was the truth when I said it and it's objective and its even more objectively true today.
CUOMO: You believe most of these families are sending their kids up here to be drug runners?
KING: I never said that, Chris. That was a liberal press that put that out. I never said that. I was talking exclusively about drug smugglers.
CUOMO: I know.
KING: I characterized drug smugglers, and, you know, on the left they decided we're going to turn that into something else.
CUOMO: You said for every one that's a valedictorian there are 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and have calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana.
KING: Dick Durbin has not uttered the word "valedictorian" since I made that statement because he knows I'm right.
CUOMO: There's no way that you can prove that statement that you said. My point is I'm giving you a chance to modify the humanity of the opinion based on what you now know.
KING: You have to show me the first valedictorian and then I need to find you the first 100 drug smugglers. They are all over the internet, a 12-year-old kid with 80 pounds of marijuana on his back was the youngest one in a group of four and he had the heaviest load. 75 pounds of marijuana is what I said.
CUOMO: You saw those kids down there. You saw those young boys and girls. You know they are not here to smuggle drugs. You know these kids were sent by their families to find a better way of life. Don't play politics.
KING: Chris, I didn't say they were here to smuggle drugs. I didn't say that.
CUOMO: Well then what does that mean?
KING: We have drug smugglers coming across the border every single night. We have thousands of pounds of marijuana coming across the border. It is on the backs of young people that fit the very demographic of some of those that are in these facilities now, and we need to understand that there are billions of dollars of drugs coming into the United States.
CUOMO: No question.
KING: And many of the people that are carrying them across will fit into the Dreamer category just like those that are in those holding facilities that I saw. That's what I'm talking about.
CUOMO: But you know now having seen their faces and seen those kids that you know they shouldn't be used as pawns in a political game and that gets us to the fix. So, I'm starting a hashtag here at NEW DAY today, its called fixorstay. You can't let your brothers and sisters in Congress leave for vacation without fixing that problem down there when you're all so outraged, can you?
KING: I think we should fix it. I think we should first articulate this clearly. This is a man-caused disaster, and the man that caused it is Barack Obama with his DOCA policy, with his Morton Memos and the advertisement that has been such a huge magnet that have caused these families to give their daughters birth control pills and send them down a rape path all the way through Mexico, and it's a death path on the death train.
CUOMO: It's horrible. You've identified the problem, so fix it.
KING: And so the president is the one who can fix it, but here's what Congress --
CUOMO: You can't -- what can you do?
KING: What Congress can do is pass a resolution that identifies the problem. I actually don't think we're going to get that to the floor, but we should do that. And the second thing that we can do is send money to the states to call up their National Guard to secure the border. There was a universal statement that came all across that border, and 90 percent of the civilians I talked to was Hispanic. Everyone said you have to send them back or they will keep coming. The only way is to send them back. So I say treat them humanely. Make sure that we don't send them into the United States.
We do have to send them back so let's fix the 2008 bill. That is partly a reason and partly an excuse that they are being distributed across the country. That 2008 fix and a fix to the asylum language will help, and then we have to shut off any funds from developing any future DOCA amnesty. Do those two things and that does the most good that we can do and the strongest message we can send, but I can tell you Harry Reid is not going to take it up, the president is not going to sign it.
CUOMO: Both sides have to be pressured to make a deal. I mean, every time -- you've been pushing the impeachment thing for President Obama. At least he wants to do something. Shouldn't members of Congress be censured if you go on vacation without bringing forward at least a resolution of the problem?
KING: I am not pushing impeachment. What I'm doing is trying to deter the president from violating the constitution in a way we've never seen in the history of this country. That's what that part is.
CUOMO: You have suggested impeachment.
KING: I have said that if the president continues to violate the constitution, if he should with the stroke of his pen, as he's threatening to do floating his trial balloons this last week - -
CUOMO: That's pushing impeachment.
KING: He's going to grant amnesty in a lawless way, we've all taken an oath to uphold the constitution and I wouldn't want some member of Congress that would say whatever the president does, no matter how bad it is - -
CUOMO: You pushed impeachment. The Article II is pretty clear this. This isn't treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. You're playing politics with impeachment.
KING: Congress defines high crimes and misdemeanors. Congress defines that.
CUOMO: Good. You should define it for yourselves because you should not go on vacation before fixing this.
KING: I don't want to go down that path. I want the president to operate in a lawful manner, in a constitutional manner.
KING: I'm trying to encourage him to do that.
KING: We should both do that and the people on the other side of the aisle should say to the president, you know I've taken an oath to uphold the constitution, don't put me in that position either, Mr. President. You have no constitutional authority to make up law out of thin air, defy the constitution, defy the Congress. He's doing that, he's taunting Congress. We've never had that happen. CUOMO: One of the reasons he's doing it, not to defend the president's
position, but to look at it in context is what we're seeing right now. You guys have to get things done. You're about to go on vacation for a month after you just toured the border and saw all these horrors. You have to get something done
KING: You get up early so I don't need to give you a wake-up call every time I go to work back in Iowa over the vacation, Chris. But can you imagine, though, the president of the United States saying to Congress I think that you should have passed this law and so since you haven't then I'm going to violate the constitution and do what I want to do. That's what he is saying when he waves his cell phone or his pen at us.
CUOMO: So take it away from him by getting it done yourselves. You are your own solution.
KING: Simply pass what the president commands or watch him violate the constitution?
CUOMO: No, no, no, no. I'm saying make your own deal.
KING: And then not doing anything about it?
CUOMO: Make your own deal. You said you want to at least pass a resolution, but what the problem is and the potential fix is, you said you may not even get that done. You can't even get a resolution on the problem?
KING: I am working to get the deal made, and we're very close on that.
KING: And some of those negotiations I'm not going to talk about on the air this morning because it might throw it off a balance.
CUOMO: Well, I don't want that.
KING: But I will just tell you this, that I think we're close to getting the DOCA language in there that would prohibit, if it ever became law, the president from violating the law and giving -- creating groups of people and giving them a pass on immigration law. We're close to getting that, and we're - we are I believe we're able to get some funding that can go to the National Guard, although I think it should go directly to the states because the president will not secure the border any more likely that he's going to build the keystone pipeline.
CUOMO: The president has identified the need to secure the border several times, how to get it done is going to largely come down to what you guys can agree on. That's all. Fix or stay.
KING: The president wouldn't even visit the border, and they -- they don't have any of these --
CUOMO: Fair criticism, fair criticism, but he has been sensitive to the situation, but he didn't visit the way you did. You have to get kudos for that.
KING: Well, I wanted to see it hands on and look in people's eyes that are down there and they are suffering, Chris. And when you see that, when you see little babies and they are in there and they are nursing in a cell with a scattered group of people that haven't had a chance to take a shower in a while, they are going to get one in a few hours, I will say. Border Patrol is doing a good job, CBP is doing a good job, but when you see that happen, you have to understand that this human tragedy and calamity started because there's this huge magnet created by the president's policies and these families are sending their daughters up through 2,000 miles of Central America, down a channel of people who are between 30 and 70 percent of them will be raped along the way. And that is a human tragedy.
CUOMO: That is a human tragedy.
KING: So we have to send them back.