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Hillary Clinton's Long Summer; Christie Leans Right In The South; Violent Protests Rage In Missouri; Ebola Victim Is Making Progress

Aired August 14, 2014 - 07:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": The president was briefed last night. He has issued one statement. He will be briefed again this morning, first African-American president.

There are some in the community are saying why isn't he speaking to the camera? Why won't he visit Ferguson? Is that an unrealistic expectation or is it the president's responsibility?

JACKIE KUCINICH, "THE WASHINGTON POST": We talk a lot about when the president is on vacation, that he takes the office with him. That's still very much the case. This is about optics at this point. You add the deputy press secretary last night, tweeting about this party in the vineyard that the Obamas were at.

And yet you have all this chaos in Ferguson. They need to find a balance. Should the president go there? I don't know, but I think they need to do a better job than they're doing.

KING: And you see other politicians as well. There's been some controversy in "The Washington Post," this story last night saying how silent many politicians have been. Senator Blunt issued a statement. Governor Nixon then said I'm going back there. Politicians tend their reflexes to be cautious and step away from this thing.

JOSH KRAUSHAAR, NATIONAL JOURNAL: It's striking that Jay Nixon, talked as a long-shot 2016 presidential contender has been so slow reacting to the crisis, especially since he got a lot of good reviews for his handling of the tornadoes that took place several years ago in Joplin.

As far as the White House goes, this is a White House that really focused on optics. They really are concerned about the optics that come across on the cable news networks. I've been struck that they've been so quiet and dismissive of what's going on in Missouri.

The White House spokesman last night talked about the Hillary/Obama hug as all this chaos was taking place in Missouri.

KING: We'll watch out as this plays out. I'm remembering the president waited a while, but then issued a very personal statement after the Trayvon Martin verdict that was mostly complement. Some people took issue with that, but the president devastated about his personal experience. It will be interesting to watch this plays out. If the White House changes its position and get more. There is a Department of Justice review under way. That's part of the White House caution.

They're reluctant to speak out during an investigation, but we'll see how this plays. Let's go back to the hug. Before the hug last night, this was Hillary Clinton at a birthday party for Vernon Jordan's wife in Martha's Vineyard.

She has said, "If you've been following the news, some tough things about the president's foreign policy particularly in a "New Atlantic" interview that was timed right around the Iraq strike.

So a lot of people thought what is Hillary Clinton trying to do? Listen to her, she's got a book signing on Martha's Vineyard. She is trying to say, look, I have some differences with the president but he's my pal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to hug it out with the president?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Absolutely. Yes. We're looking forward to it. Going to be there tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it a hard choice to --

CLINTON: No. Read the book. We agreed. We are committed to the values and interest and security of our country together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Jackie, she's a good pitch woman for the book there. But this ham handed as a presidential candidate how they've walked through this or is it somehow cynically brilliant, we're buddies. But she's also getting separation from the president?

KUCINICH: I'm getting flashbacks to the 2008 primary where it was very clear they had differences. The only difference was that Obama was in the spotlight and Hillary Clinton seemed like the past. And now it seems like it's flipped. There are old wounds here being opened up, definitely.

KING: Listen to this this is Dick Cheney, the former vice president, who likes to comment on political affairs. Listen to him on the radio show saying he thinks this book tour has damaged her to the point where Dick Cheney actually said it's not a slam dunk anymore. She'll be the Democratic nominee.

DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT (via telephone): The book tour got her in a fair amount of trouble. She hasn't been as smooth an item as one might expect. And, you know, she's -- I think there are a lot of wannabes over on the Democratic side who are holding back because she's sort of occupying the space as the expected preferred option. I'm not at all sure that will be true two years from now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I'm not sure many Democrats look and listen to Dick Cheney as the prognosticator about Democratic affairs.

KRAUSHAAR: Her play was a smart one, ahead of the curve and hedging her bets. If she runs for president, she knows that he's unlikely to leave office with high approval ratings. She is hedging her bets. Sneak out some independents, that was her strategy with "The Atlantic" interview, Jeffrey Goldberg. It's a smart one. It shows her political savvy not her political weakness.

KING: Here's one of the things Republicans will talk about a new poll out showing Hillary Clinton falling. She was the secretary of state. She had high numbers. Comes out on a book tour. We're talking her every day. Guess what, her numbers fall.

She's leading Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, but by single digits in the same poll back in April, she had a double-digit lead over all of them. It's 2014. I'm not going to invest a lot of time on that. Get back on the political sphere, you fall.

Chris Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He was in Alabama yesterday, helping the Republican candidate for governor there, who I don't think -- correct me if I'm wrong, appears to be in any trouble this election year. South of the Mason/Dixon line, the governor of New Jersey says look again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: All over the country, certain predispositions and preconceived notions about folks. As I get to know the folks in Alabama better over time they'll understand that I'm a pretty conservative guy, have a record in New Jersey that is conservative, especially when you're fighting every day against a Democratic legislature as I have been for the last five years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: He's Mr. Conservative.

KUCINICH: Yes. And he's using that -- you know, usually the chairmanship of the RGA, might be in a little bit of trouble as you said. Not a lot of trouble in Alabama or Mississippi for the governor there. He is trying to bulk up his bona fides. We'll see who runs against him in the primaries.

KRAUSHAAR: In the state, Mississippi, who doesn't even have a governor's race in 2014? It's not a state that Republicans have to worry about. This is all about his conservative credentials, messages that could appeal to the right.

KING: And raising a little bit of money. That never hurts.

KUCINICH: Never.

KING: This one will be for Berman and Kate. If you remember Florida politics at all, Charlie Crist was a Republican governor. Is he running now for governor as a Democrat and a Republican wants to make a little mischief found an old Charlie Crist recording when he was trying to win a Republican primary. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLIE CRIST: Hi. This is Charlie Crist willing to set the record straight, I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants, support traditional marriage and I have never supported a new tax or big spending program. Floridians need a consistent, conservative governor they can trust. I would appreciate your vote on Election Day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Mischief but fair mischief, right?

KUCINICH: The entire campaign, you see the Rick Scott people doing this.

KRAUSHAAR: The governor has spent tens of millions of dollars attacking Charlie Crist. Robo call will be effective.

KING: Mr. Berman, that is his own words. So Charlie can say, wait, I've changed. But life and politics, not fair sometimes. Ouch.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Not fair. It's always tough when your words come back to bite you.

JOHN BERMAN: Record can be a very difficult things sometimes. Appreciate it, my friend.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, John.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, another night of violent protests in Missouri over the death of an unarmed teenager. Now even reporters are getting caught in the chaos. Two were arrested last night. "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter, he is going to be joining us to weigh in on that.

BERMAN: Ebola patient's son thought he would lose his mother to the virus. She has made a big comeback. We'll speak to him about the latest prognosis.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back. Protesters and police clash for a fifth straight night in Ferguson, Missouri. This is over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager. At least 16 people were arrested in this latest escalation. That's according to CNN affiliate, KFDK, including two reporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop videotaping. Grab our stuff and go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hurry up, let's go. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don't take our video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see me working.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: This video was taken by a "Washington Post" reporter who was arrested in that McDonald's last night. He and a "Huffington Post" reporter both say they were aggressively handled. They were cuffed, they say. This raises a whole lot of questions about freedom of the press.

When should a reporter draw the line between doing his or her job and becoming part of the story? One man has the answers to these questions.

We're joined now by Brian Stelter, CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES." Brian, let me state the obvious here. We are journalists. We care about journalism. These people are colleagues of ours. So when we see them treated in ways that may not be what we consider fairly, we tend to stick up for them.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right.

BERMAN: It isn't just about sticking up for friends here. This is about freedom of the press. This is about shining the spotlight on a situation going on in an American city.

STELTER: And it's because of the photos and the videos and these reports, in this case, tweets, shared from Ferguson, people have a better sense of what's going on there. I thought before they were arrested on Wednesday night, two of the best reporters on social media as well as traditional media.

They were writing stories for their websites and newspapers, but they were also sharing what they were seeing in realtime online. In fact, both of them, tweeted saying that these police officers come into this McDonald's and threatening arrest. That was the last thing they said before they were arrested so people online were very worried about them once they went silent.

BERMAN: Let me read you a tweet from Ryan Riley. He said, SWAT just invade McDonald's where I'm working, recharging. Asked for I.D. when I took photo." Again, being on the ground, reporting on the ground is so important for just this reason, because sometimes your presence illustrates a larger point here.

STELTER: That's actually what Reilly said to me about last night. He said I don't want this to be about me. I want this to be about the community. There are protesters who have been in worse situations than me.

In fact, he described being in the back of the police van last night, having a man -- large man and the policeman struggling to breathe, yelling for help to the officers.

He said the officers ignored those cries for help. He doesn't know what happened to that man. Even though he was in police van, he took the attention and tried to move it over to this other person.

BERMAN: And what their situation illustrates is what some critics are calling the militarization of law enforcement on the ground, for instance.

STELTER: I think to me one of the most significant things about this week has been the photos that we've seen, the photos that we're showing of these heavily armed forces. These pictures look like they're from the Middle East, but they're from the Midwest and in some ways it's a consequence of a decade of wars that the United States has fought.

Some of this equipment is now coming home. We're seeing that and because of social media in particular, people can share photos in the way they couldn't before. What we've seen on match ups, for example, on the left, a picture from Iraq. On the right, a picture from Ferguson.

Those can sometimes be misleading and taken out of context. There is no real comparison to make between these two stories and two places. Those images are very provocative. They make tensions rise. They contribute to the passion around this story.

BERMAN: Something that Wesley Lowery wrote, he was talking about the moment of the confrontation there with the officers. He said, "My hands are behind my back. I said I'm not resisting. I'm not resisting. At which point one officer said you're resisting. Stop resisting. That's when I was most afraid, more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets." So where does a reporter draw the line? How far should you be willing to push things?

STELTER: You know, they did appear to pack up their stuff and be ready to leave. Some people have already been saying they should have packed up sooner, suggesting they were trying to pick a fight. I don't think that's a case. These are both well respected reporters trying to do their jobs.

I know that that's the sentiment that will come up. By the way, they're not the only reporters who were arrested. There is one other reporter, he is a citizen reporter. He's actually local official named Antonio French, who was arrested last night.

He is believed to still be in jail. His main job is not to be a reporter. His main job is to be a local official representing the public. But I think he has been one of the best eyes and ears on the ground. He has been posting so many Vines and Instagrams from the scene.

I've learned a lot about what's going on there from his social media accounts. So we have to keep in mind in situations like this nowadays, we need both. We need traditional media and also social media. Citizens accounts from the field. We learn from both of those these days.

BERMAN: Look, we need eyes on the ground. No one is saying the reporter shouldn't obey the law and no one is say there should be a special set of rules there.

STELTER: Police are in the tough situation here. We got to say that too.

BERMAN: But we need to be there to show what's going on so these discussions can be had. Brian Stelter, thanks for being with us this morning. Be sure to join Brian for "RELIABLE SOURCES," Sundays at 11:00 am only on CNN. Next hour, we will speak with one of the reporters who was arrested.

Next up for us on NEW DAY, the son of an American aid worker with Ebola said he thought at one point that his mother might not make it. Now he says she's making a huge comeback. What a story. Nancy Writebol's son joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. One of the American aid workers, who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia is getting stronger every day, according to her husband, David Writebol, who spoke to CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID WRITEBOL, NANCY WRITEBOL'S HUSBAND: Each time I talk to her I get a sense her voice is clearer and brighter, so I'm imagining that she's getting stronger and she tells me that she is feeling better and getting stronger. Still very weak and still not necessarily -- it's moving in the right direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEREIRA: Nancy Writebol remains in isolation at Emory University Hospital after she received the experimental drug, ZMapp. Her husband, David, is also under quarantine after returning from Africa, but showing so far no signs of that virus and the hope is he won't.

Nancy and David's son, Jeremy Writebol joins us now from Atlanta. What a pleasure and I saw you watching your dad there. Have you had a chance to talk to him as well?

JEREMY WRITEBOL, SON OF EBOLA VICTIM, NANCY WRITEBOL: Yes, I've had an opportunity a couple times to chat with dad on the phone and he seems to be doing very well. I've been encouraged by his health and progress and glad to have him back in the states again.

PEREIRA: Let's talk about mom. Does she have any idea how many people have been sending prayers for her and sending good thoughts along the way? She's been aware of the flurry of news, her name has made?

JEREMY WRITEBOL: She's embarrassed by it, I think. She definitely knows that there are tens of thousands, if not millions of people praying for her and is very grateful for just our nation's reaching out and concern for her care.

PEREIRA: You're there in Atlanta. So I know you've had an opportunity to spend some time with your mom. I want to you walk us through that in a second. Your dad was saying that she's getting stronger, albeit that she is still weak. How is she doing today?

JEREMY WRITEBOL: Today she's doing well. I'm looking forward to going over and seeing her in just a little bit. But I know that each day since she's been at Emory there's been progress forward in her condition and care, and she's getting stronger and stronger, which is something we really praise the Lord for.

PEREIRA: So the consensus is that this serum worked for her then.

JEREMY WRITEBOL: I think it was part of it. I also think that a bigger part of it was the preventative and protective care that Emory has given her, just to help her work through this virus, the medical staff there has been incredible, they've been compassionate, professional, and that's been really the key I think in helping mom recover.

PEREIRA: Can you give us some insight into what that treatment is like? How are they caring for her? We know that she's in this isolation unit. We know the CDC is just around the corner, so we know they are very well equipped to deal with this. What does that treatment actually look like?

JEREMY WRITEBOL: I think in one hand it's the presence of the doctors and the nurses that are there with her 24/7, monitoring her care, getting her the right fluids and things to be able just to help her body fight this virus.

PEREIRA: According to your dad, your mom was working in the decontamination unit, actually teaching people how to avoid getting sick, yet she got sick.

JEREMY WRITEBOL: Yes, that was just a mystery to this whole situation of how she helping doctors decontaminate and prepare themselves for going in to serve other Ebola patients and to come out and cleanse themselves, where that happened and how, we don't know, but that was a way that mom was serving there in Liberia.

PEREIRA: Can you give us an idea of how the decision came when she had to choose to say, yes, I will try this never before tested on humans, this serum, this ZMapp. Tell us about that struggle to make that decision.

JEREMY WRITEBOL: I really don't know much about the decision-making process there, and how mom and dad worked through that. I know she was very sick and need some help and that was made available and they went forward with it.

PEREIRA: Your parents have traveled the world over as missionaries doing tremendous work and we know that they've known of the risks when you travel in some of these parts of the world, there are rare infectious diseases that you have a chance you're at risk of getting. Did she or your dad ever express concern?

JEREMY WRITEBOL: I think early on when it became aware that there was Ebola in Western Africa, there wasn't even a possibility at the hospital that they were working and serving at, the patients could be received there. There was a heightened sense of concern something might happen in that way, but we never anticipated this at all.

PEREIRA: Yes, you never imagine this until like you said, this family, you're in the midst of it, mom is in isolation at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Dad is quarantined elsewhere. You say that he's doing good.

And hopefully you'll be able to have both of your parents without all of this protective gear back in your arms where you can tell them how much you missed them in person.

Jeremy Writebol, thank you so much for joining us today. Hopefully, we can stay in contact with you as your mom continues to get her strength back.

JEREMY WRITEBOL: Thank you very much.

PEREIRA: All right, we'll take a short break here on NEW DAY.

Up ahead, violence erupting again in a St. Louis suburb over the death of an unarmed black teen. Police breaking up protesters using tear gas. We're going to take you back live to Ferguson and talk more about these dramatic pictures.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are now firing into the crowd.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Breaking overnight, chaos on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, the most violent night yet, protesters and police clashing, SWAT teams using tear gas and rubber bullets.