Return to Transcripts main page


Israeli Ambassador: Agreement Paves Iran's Path To A Bomb; Historic Nuclear Deal; Secretary Kerry Weighs In On Landmark Agreement; Lawmakers In Both Parties Voice Doubts; Obama: Not Built On Trust, Built On Verification; Brother Of Detained American Journalist Speaks Out; Slain Woman's Brother Slams Trump; Kate Steinle's Brother: Trump Never Reached Out; Inside El Chapo's Escape Tunnel; New Image Of Motorcycle Used By "El Chapo" In Tunnel; El Chapo Renamed Chicago's Public Enemy Number One; Sole Survivor; First Image of Pluto's Surface. Aired 9:00-10:00p ET.

Aired July 14, 2015 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, AC 360 HOST: Good evening. It's 8:00 P.M. here in New Orleans where on an assignment, 9:00 P.M. in Washington where tomorrow, President Obama will talk for reporters and the country about the nuclear deal with Iran.

The five permanent members of the U.N. plus Germany signing on Iran agreeing to limit its nuclear program and provide access to inspectors in surveillance under a number of conditions in exchange for a step by step lifting of economic sanctions. It is safe to say controversial in the region and here at home even in the Presidents own party.

Tonight, we're looking at all the angles.

Christiane Amanpour is in Vienna. She'd just spoken with Secretary of State Kerry. Jim Acosta is covering the sales effort and challenges to it. We begin though with Christiane Amanpour.

We'll actually get to Christiane in just a moment but we want to talk more on what President Obama is facing even from long time allies. Saudi Arabia, no fan of the agreement, Israel to say the least no fan of Saudi Arabia has long opposed all of toughest agreement. Israel's prime minister calling this a dark day, his cabinet, unanimously condemning the agreement earlier tonight.

I spoke with Israel's Ambassador to the Untied States, Ron Dermer.


COOPER: Ambassador Dermer, President Obama said today that this is a good deal which he says and I quote, "would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon." What's your reaction to that? RON DERMER, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO UNITED STATES.: Yeah, it doesn't cut off the pathways for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. It actually paves a path for Iran to have a nuclear weapon after about a decade. There are many promised with this steel. The first one is it leads a vast nuclear infrastructure in place.

You know, we were told a couple of years ago that the deal that we're going to get is one that's going to dismantle the Iran's nuclear program and then they would dismantle the sanctions regime. What's happening here I understand is they're dismantling the sanctions regime and leaving Iran with a pretty big nuclear program.

The second problem, Anderson, is that this is a temporary deal. The constraints that Iran is agreeing to are temporary. The major constraints to remove...

COOPER: There's a 10-year expiration you mean?

DERMER: Yeah. In 10 years, the major constrain which is around the centrifuge is removed. Now the president himself said a couple months ago "You know, the big fear is what happens in year 13 and 14 when the breakout time goes down to zero." That's exactly right.

The problem is you're putting temporary constraints today on Iran getting a nuclear weapon in the next decade but you're freeing them to get nuclear weapons in the future that's why we say it doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb, it paves it. And just one last thing, Anderson, which is the main problem, there is no linkage in this deal between Iran's behavior and the removal of the constraints on their nuclear program. There's no linkage.

Four days ago, the President of Iran was in a rally where people were burning American and Israeli flags chanting death to America and death to Israel. That wasn't 40 years ago, it wasn't four years ago, it was four days ago. So Iran has no incentive to change and you've just made a terrorist regime much richer today and you're going to allow them after a decade to have a huge enrichment infrastructure to make many nuclear bombs. This is a disaster.

COOPER: I know that obviously the president spoke to your prime minister earlier on the phone and the president reportedly said that United States is going to -- and I quote, "continue our unprecedented efforts to strengthen Israel's security efforts to go beyond what any American administration has done before."

You've obviously been in touch with Israeli officials. I wonder what their reaction is to that. Do you buy that?

DERMER: We appreciate everything that this president has done for Israel security and he has done many things that are known about and many things that are not known about but we have a serious disagreement over this issue.

The president of the United States believes this makes Israel safer. We think it endangers, it threatens the survival of Israel and this is something shared across the Israeli spectrum between right and left, everyone in Israel thinks this is a bad deal.

[21:05:00] And our Arab neighbors think this is a bad deal. And, Anderson, when Israelis and Arabs are on the same page that happens about once a century, people should pay attention and ask themselves why you're allies on the region, those who are most endangered those who are most vulnerable why they are telling you that this is a bad deal. We live there.

COOPER: What would you like to see? I mean is there any way that Iran can be a nuclear country in your opinion?

DERMER: What we would like to see is a much better deal. The prime minister spoke about it when he came to the United States a few months ago one that would actually reduce the infrastructure, the vast nuclear infrastructure that Iran is being left with and one most importantly, Anderson, that would link the removal of the constraints on Iran's nuclear program to a change in Iran's behavior.

If Iran becomes a normal country, if they stop terrorism around the globe -- they're the formal sponsor of terrorism around the globe -- if they stop that, if they stop gobbling up their Arab neighbors and they currently control four Arab capitals, if they stop calling for the annihilation of Israel and working toward the annihilation of Israel, then remove those constraints. But if they're gonna continue all of this aggression and all of this terror, you can't put them on automatic pilot to have nuclear weapons. That's a disaster.

COOPER: Mr. Ambassador, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.

DERMER: Thank you.


COOPER: We have trouble connecting with Christiane Amanpour a moment ago. We now have that conversation. Take a look.

Christiane, you've interviewed Secretary of State John Kerry today. What was his reaction to this deal?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson, you know, the hotel behind me, the Palais Coburg is now empty Kerry's (inaudible). Everybody's gone away and now the big selling job really gets underway. They all said that while the deal was hard enough to craft, the selling and the implementation is going to be just as hard and I sat down with him as he explained why.


AMANPOUR: Secretary Kerry, thank you for joining us. Have you made history?

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, people call it an historic agreement I guess because Uranus comes to the table and one paper, we have an agreement but we don't have anything until this is implemented. AMANPOUR: What about the selling of it? Before even it gets implemented, how difficult will that be?

KERRY: Well, there are people who regrettably have just already automatically, politically decided I'm going to oppose this. And without even knowing or reading the agreement, without knowing all the terms of it, they're opposed to it. But they don't offer an alternative.

While we did that in the years 2000 till Obama came in, guess what? Their program went form 164 centrifuges to 19,000. Their enrichment stockpile reached a level over 10,000 kilograms where they had enough thistle material to make 10 bombs. Is that safer? Is that what people want to go back to? Or do they want to go just straight to war? People have an obligation to define what's the alternative? You're not going to sanction them into oblivion.

AMANPOUR: The E.U. Chief Federica Mogherini said this is not just a deal, it's a good deal. What do you say to those who say, well OK. It's restricted then for 10 years and 15 and 25 depending on various issues. What about after that are you confident that they don't rush to start up again?

KERRY: Well, I can't make any promise about long-term future of anybody including the United States' actions or choices for any future president obviously but in life, you have to bet on and in diplomacy and in conflict, you have to set up a structure and try to live by it and put it to the test.

We negotiated with the Soviet Union. We negotiated with Red China. We negotiated for years with people we deemed to be the arch enemy. We know, Christiane, that we have unprecedented access through this in terms of verification. So yes, they get to do more in the out years. That's their right as they clean up, supposedly and become an NPT good standing country.

AMANPOUR: Final question. Is this a strategic realignment? You talked about Red China, you talked about the Soviet Union, you seem this administration to be saying this is more than about a nuclear deal or potentially it could redefine the balance of power and new relations in the Middle East?

KERRY: Well, it has the possibility of doing that. You know it would be stupid diplomatically if the diplomatic Malthusian in this particular -- if you ignored exploring a possibility. Now we haven't done that yet. We exclusively negotiated a nuclear deal because we knew that if we got into the other issues. You would never get to the nuclear deal. So in Iran, without a nuclear weapon, Christiane, I think you know this is a matter of common sense, is better to deal with than an Iran with one.

AMANPOUR: Secretary John Kerry, thank you very much indeed.


[21:10:02] COOPER: To you know, to one of the points that Kerry made...


COOPER: ... so many people here have already made up their minds about this and are putting on a full out assault to try to stop this deal.

AMANPOUR: That's absolutely right and it goes not just in he Congress but also in Israel and in some other parts of the world. And what Kerry as you heard said is well, what was their alternative they have an obligation to provide a real alternative. And all those people who are criticizing forget that actually this started more than 10 years ago under the Republican President George W Bush.

Now it didn't work there was (inaudible) the judge to was president there was no will on either side to really get this negotiation going but the idea the concept of a restricting year on nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions have started along time ago.

And beyond that he had said that, you know, there is a good deal to be had and of course of its implemented it's a completely different reality that the U.S. would now enter with Iran. Forget all the other big issues that obviously they want to have solve but just as an arms control negotiation it would be a huge step in the right direction to take tensions down and to stabilized not just the relationship with the whole region. Anderson.

COOPER: OK. Christiane Amanpour. Christiane, thanks very much. There's a lot more head tonight including President Obama's top sale here at home. Congress gets a chance to weigh in with a late word on that on the reception the deal is getting so far and later ethic images from the edge of the galaxy are first our first up close look at Pluto.



COOPER: We showed you a little bit of the reaction before the break there's a ton of reactions tonight the nuclear deal with Iran from overseas and especially from lawmakers here at home. Jim Acosta joins us with that. The mood in Congress right now about this proposed deal what is it, Jim?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Uncertain, Anderson. And that make no mistake there is a full court press here at the White House in selling those nuclear deal with Iran later tomorrow, President Obama will defend the agreement at a news conference that would be just hours after Vice President Biden is up on Capitol Hill. He'll be spending the morning briefing house Democrats on this deal this global sales pictures are already begun his talk to as really prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He's also talked to the king of Saudi Arabia, King Salman. And there are members of this administration -- top members of this administration who brief top lawmakers up on Capitol Hill. Those lawmakers, Anderson, has 60 days to review and block this deal but the White House is taking comfort in the fact of that much of that time will be during the August reassessment for this lawmakers. That pushes a likely showdown over this deal to September and as a showdown the president said his ready for earlier today he said he is confident that this deal meets the national security interest of the United States and he said and he vowed he will veto any legislation that prevents the implementation of this deal. Anderson.

COOPER: Can they override that veto?

ACOSTA: They can, yes, but they needed two thirds vote and that has not happened during this administration.

COOPER: Right.

ACOSTA: The president has not vetoed many pieces of legislation. So it would be a historic impasse if that were to occur. And the Congress would need a big, big vote but at this point do they have the two thirds vote needed to override the presidential veto? No, they don't.

One White House official told me days before that this deal was agreed to out in Austria that they don't believe that the opposition will be there to clear that hurl. The president likes this Anderson that he will live long enough to see if this deal fails, now, he's going to have that chance. Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Jim Acosta, Jim thanks the nuclear deal says nothing but the fate of four American's being held in Iran including the Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. I spoke with his brother, Ali, earlier today.


COOPER: Ali, as you know critics of the Obama administration have said that the release of your brother and other detained American should have been part of this deal. Where you disappointed that it wasn't part of a broader deal?

ALI REZAIAN, BROTHER OF JASON REZAIAN: I mean clearly every day that goes by that my brother's not released, I'm disappointed, you know, we've always said that Jason shouldn't be links to any other external activities if he didn't have a control over initial of the case but, you know, I was certainly would much prefer a treetop on a hill right now than (inaudible).

COOPER: You where in Vienna about 10 days ago during the talks I know you spoke with the state department officials did you get any answers on that trip and would you actually able to speak to any Iranian officials?

REZAIAN: You know, we've tried to talk with the Iranians a bunch of times and they haven't wanted to talk to me. On the U.S side, I got contacts at state where in close contact obviously it was a very busy time but I know that Jason, and the other American's continue to come up as they keep the discussions going.

My hope is that was with, you know, idea of being done that those discussions don't end, and that they escalate and that people on both sides of the equations realized that these are important folks that they need to be released, that Jason needs to get out. His innocent and has been now locked up for almost a year, it was just, you know, three days in court and 357 days in prison.

COOPER: And your brother had his third trial day yesterday in Tehran the timing I mean it certainly seems coincidental. Do you know when a verdict could be reached?

REZAIAN: We are hopeful that the trial portion will end. So we're hopeful within the next week or so but we don't have another date scheduled and we really have been very vocal both within Iran as well as externally saying that, you know, these delays are just completely inhumane. They're illegal by Iranian standards. They're illegal by international standards.

This doesn't have anything to do with U.S norms. It just has to deal their own law as -- and they, you know, choose to continue to break them on a daily basis as they on Jason.

COOPER: And do you know how he is doing and then what the conditions are that his being held at?

REZAIAN: You know, what we know is he's being held essentially in isolation. So he doesn't get a lot of human interaction. He is able to see h is wife occasionally and when my mother is in the country she is able to speak with him and has have some meetings with him.

COOPER: Do you see any signs of hope?


REZAIAN: You know, I think there is movement in the trial its slow but at least its happening. For 10 months, they did not allow Jason to have a lawyer. You know, it was nearly 11 months before his trial started. So at least the fact that there is a little bit of movement there, it is hopeful. We know that he has strong case. We know that the evidence against him is just, you know, not existent and then any fair reading, any fair view of the case would result in his acquittal in letting him come home and, you know, I think that with the additional focus on Iran and our relations there I hope they take this seriously and they let Jason come home soon.

COOPER: Ali, I appreciate you're talking to us and I wish you and your family the best. Thank you.

REZAIAN: Thank you, Anderson.


COOPER: Before, we get a break, one quick note for anyone who like to show their support for Jason Rezaian who is in prison in Iran, you can go to or tweet using hashtag free Jason. Just ahead, breaking news, in the Mexican prison break, new photos of drug lord El Chapo's escape route through that tunnel all the way to the house where he popped up before vanishing.

Also, the brother of Kate Steinle who was killed allegedly by an illegal immigrant at San Francisco, Donald Trump as you know have been talking about her killing an awful lot what her bother tonight has to say about Donald Trump's comment, my conversation with him when we come back.



COOPER: We got more breaking news tonight, the brother of the 32- year-old woman who has killed in a random shooting on a San Francisco pier this month says that Donald Trump is using his sister's death to score political points.

Kate Steinle's death has become a focus on a debate over immigration. One that Donald Trump says proves his point about illegal immigration. The man charged with her murder as you know is undocumented immigration. He's seven time felon had been deported to Mexico five times.

Here are some of what Donald Trump has been saying lately.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This guy that killed a wonderful young woman from San Francisco. He went back to Mexico, they forced him out, shot the wonderful and beautiful woman and then you had the horrible tragedy of San Francisco with the young woman who was shot with the person that should have never been here.


COOPER: Here's my interview with Kate's brother, Brad Steinle.


COOPER: Brad, it's been one week since we last talked. First of all, how are you and your family doing?

BRAD STEINLE, KATE STEINLE'S BROTHER: We're hanging in there. We're hanging in there. We're leaning on each other and trying to keep Kate's memory alive and just doing the best we can to put one foot in front of the other.

COOPER: To hear politicians talking about your sister, I'm just wondering on a personal level, what is that like?

STEINLE: Well, it's a bit strange. I would hope that people would reach out and get our views and our input in what's going on. My goal is that we have something that's put together by like-minded, reasonable people, something that is fair, and we'll be agreeable by both parties.

COOPER: Can you talk a little bit more about whose recaps? I mean obviously, you know, Donald Trump is something who was talking about your sister early on. I'm wondering if he ever reached out or if his campaign did and what your thoughts were about him, about the way he talked about what happened to your sister?

STEINLE: You hear, you know, Donald Trump talks about Kate Steinle like he knows her. I've never heard a word from his campaign manager, never heard of word from him. It's disconcerting and, you know, I don't want to be affiliated with somebody that can't have -- doesn't have a common courtesy to reach out and ask about Kate and ask about our political views and what we want.

The platform that he is setting isn't exactly what our family believes in. We believe in the right for people to come to this country with the idea that it's a place where you can provide a better life for you family. And if you're here trying to obtain that goal then you're in the right place. If you're a criminal and you're here to sell drugs, commit violent crimes you should be kicked out of the country as quickly as possible or sent to jail.

COOPER: And I think for a lot of people that's certainly seems like common sense. Do you feel -- this is a hard question. You don't have to answer. Do you feel like Donald Trump is using your sister?

STEINLE: In a way yes. Sensationalizing it is not the route we would like to go.

COOPER: So your message to Donald Trump would be what?

STEINLE: You know, if you're going to use somebody's name and you're going to sensationalize the death of a beautiful young lady, maybe you should call and talk to the family first and see what their views are and go from there.

I did sent a Twitter message out that said, "Thanks for speaking out about my beautiful sister," a day or two after it happened but it doesn't mean I affiliate with Donald Trump. I do not believe in building a wall or a fence on the boarder. Again, it all comes back to common sense and being rational. That's not rational. It's not common sense and it's just -- it's so far right that it does not align with my views or the views of my family.

COOPER: You know Brad, the San Francisco sheriff was asked if he would have done anything differently in the case of the man who admitted to shooting Kate and he said he told federal authorities to do their job. I'm wondering what through -- what went through your mind when you heard that because that sounds to me like a bureaucratic response.

STEINLE: It's insulting. The fact that he looks like at Kate's death as something that is entirely not his problem, not his issue and the justification for that is that he didn't have the right piece of paper piece of paper on his desk. [21:30:02] And if anybody else had that excuse for their boss that I didn't use common sense, they'd probably be fired. So I'm insulted and, you know, it's back to the finger pointing game. Nobody wants to take responsibility for the fact the system miserably failed my sister.

COOPER: Brad, I appreciate you speaking out with us tonight and again our thoughts and so many (ph) prayers with you and your family. Thank you so much, Brad.

STEINLE: Thanks, Anderson. Take care.


COOPER: Brad Steinle set up a fund raising site in his sister's memory. We have the address on the screen and you can donate at And again it's

We're going to have a lot more ahead tonight. They called the fugitive drug lord El Chapo, Mr. Tunnel.

Up next, new pictures of the remarkable tunnel that he used to make his escape more than a mile long with a built-in motorcycle.


COOPER: We have new images to show you tonight taking along the route, the drug lord El Chapo used to get out of maximum security prison and we've just gotten these pictures in. They show the partially build house at the end of the tunnel that El Chapo used to break out. He crawled out of a hole in the shower, made his way down the tunnel and then came out here.

[21:35:02] He rode part of the way on a motorcycle. That's the motorcycle there. He's been -- there's been no sign of him since his breakout just by the $3.8 million reward.

A former DEA chief said the first 72 hours after his escape are obviously the most important. And if he's not caught by then, he may never be.

Nick Valencia joins me now from outside the prison with the latest.

What do we know now about the investigation to his whereabouts?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know right now that the authorities are being very tight lipped. And if they know anything about El Chapo's whereabouts, they haven't announced that publicly.

Yesterday at the press conference, La Secretaria de Gobernacion which is the equivalent of the Interior Minister here in Mexico said that it is likely, Anderson, that El Chapo had help from inside. We know that more than 30 prison guards have been taken in to custody, being questioned, as a result to this investigation. And the director of the Altiplano prison has been fired as a result to this escape, Anderson.

COOPER: And there's going to be another press conference tonight from Mexican authority. Do we expect any new details?

VALENCIA: We're hoping. We didn't get much last night. You know, this is to underscore and highlight how incredibly embarrassing it has been for this government. The government of Enrique Pena Nieto, he called a second escape by El Chapo unforgivable. And from locals that we've been speaking to here, there's a lot of criticism that you hear from the locals in this area and beyond.

Pena Nieto was in France when he heard the news about El Chapo's escape and he still has not returned from that trip. So, we're waiting to see what the authorities have to say in this upcoming press conference, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Nick Valencia, I appreciate your reporting.

The escape is once again from the spotlight on how drug cartels move their products into the United States. Miguel Marquez got a tour over drug tunnel along the U.S.-Mexico border. Take a look.




MARQUEZ: And this would go all the way to the Mexico side?

GARCIA: Yes. And you can see it's not that really done really well.


GARCIA: It's just attached and then they had a power system in which they would use for the pneumatic spade or ample lighting.

MARQUEZ: So, this is the sled on regular mining tracks? They would have moved dirt out of the tunnel and drugs across the tunnel. They literally had gone 1,700 feet, about six football fields all the way into Mexico to bring it, wind up into this area here.

The tunnelers weren't exactly on target as they dug.

I take it Joe, they came up here thinking they were inside the warehouse and this is just outside the warehouse.

GARCIA: You are absolutely 100 percent correct.



MARQUEZ: Digging through clay, the estimate, it took about nine months and up to $2 million to construct. They get one shipment through. It's worth it. You must assume that one of these tunnels is always at some stage of being built.

GARCIA: Yup. We do, we operate on that.

MARQUEZ: So we're 35 feet, 40 feet below the ground right now.

GARCIA: Correct.

MARQUEZ: And this was dug, clearly, with pretty route of entry. It looks like tools of some sort with a lot of this.

GARCIA: Absolutely. These creations that you see here are exactly the markings that a pneumatic spade which is a handheld tool...


GARCIA: ... would do for cutting in. The other tools that we found down here, believe it or not, are a pickaxe and a shovel.

MARQUEZ: Tunnels like this, ever more important in the drug trade. As border security increases, Mexican drug cartels have to work harder.

GARCIA: We're pushing them, literally, into the air underground and up to the ocean.

MARQUEZ: Miguel Marquez, CNN, on the U.S.-Mexico border.


COOPER: It's amazing how much money is put into those tunnel.

El Chapo's public enemy number one in Chicago, the Chicago Crime Commission reinstated that title for him today and its executive director said he's escape has to be addressed to the highest levels of the government.

Ryan Young joins me now from Chicago with more.

So El Chapo, the Sinaloa cartel, they control territory in Mexico. Why is he considered so dangerous in Chicago?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they consider him number one here because the fact, there was two brothers here, the Flores brothers who actually turned evidence against El Chapo. And they are believed to run drugs all the way through the Midwest. And especially here in Chicago, where we know, there's a lot of gang violence.

The people here say he has a direct connection to some of all the violences on the street, the gun violence, the killings and it's really affected this community.

COOPER: And El Chapo -- was he still calling the shots from prisoner in Mexico? Is it known? YOUNG: Well, that's something that they are questioning. That's one of the reasons why people here wanted him brought back because they say all the murders that have happened here in the streets, the fact that a billion dollar with the assets were ceased just in the Chicago area. They believe someone that powerful could reconnect to the streets of Chicago very quickly. And of course, you could have more violence on the streets, something that the cities are already struggling with especially with gang violence, and they're hoping to have it stopped.

That's why you heard the commissioner stand up so strongly. The only other parts who was ever been called public enemy number one was Al Capone, Anderson.

COOPER: And he was called this before, El Chapo was?


YOUNG: He was and that was one of the reasons why, you know, he faces seven indictments across this country. And they were thinking with all the power that he has, in fact, there's so many drugs float into the area. They wanted to make sure they were able to stop this. They want to make sure people in the public understand that it's not just happening there in Mexico but the effects of the tunnels and all the power that he has, has influence here on the streets of Chicago especially with that gang violence where people are fighting over corners for all the drugs that he's bringing into the area. Not just cocaine but marijuana and methamphetamines.

COOPER: Ryan, I appreciate your reporting.

Up next, we have breaking news and a really incredible survival story. 16 year old girl, alive, after the plane carrying her and her grandparents crashed into a mountain. Now, for two days, she apparently hiked the rugged terrain without a map or a compass to reach help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Are you injured at all?

AUTUMN VEATCH, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: Yeah. I have a lot of burns on my hands and I'm, like, kind of covered in bruises and scratches and stuff.


COOPER: There's breaking news tonight about a young plane crash survivor. We just learned that she has left the hospital where she's been recovering.

[21:45:00] CNN affiliate, Cuomo, obtained these new photographs of her eating breakfast this morning in her room.

Autumn Veatch is her name. She's been called of a hero for surviving a deadly plane crash and managing to hike out of the rugged mountains where the plane went down on Saturday. She did this despite being hurt and having to leave her grandparents, who, according to her, did not survive.

Dan Simon joins me now with the latest. Dan?


Hospital officials confirmed that Autumn Veatch has in fact left the hospital. She was discharged just a few minutes ago. She's been given a clean bill of health from her doctors. She was treated for dehydration and some minor injuries. One of those minor injuries included a burn to her hand. According to the sheriff, she reached into that burning plane to try to rescue her step-grandparents. She did everything she could to try to rescue them.

We know that Autumn actually left from a back exit here at the hospital. Apparently, she is not ready to confront the media at this point.

We've also learned some other details surrounding her ordeal. There was no food up there. There was no water. At one point, she took a sip out of the creek but she was afraid that by drinking all the water there at the wild, it would make her sick.


SIMON: The Washington wilderness, spectacular but unforgiving. No one knows that more now than 16-year old Autumn Veatch, the lone survivor of a small plane crash that left this young woman alone and scared. And she had to literally claw her way to safety through this jagged and mountainous terrain.

SHERIFF FRANK ROGERS, OKANOGAN COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: And we're just impressed with her. She's kind of like a superhero.

SIMON: The ordeal lasting some 48 hours with Autumn using every bit of her small frame to trek some unknown distance in the dark and cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, this is Michael with the Okanogan County 911. What is your name?

VEATCH: Autumn Veatch.

SIMON: This is the teenager talking to a 911 operator, moments after being rescued. She'd been driven by some good Samaritans to a country store. She was later described as dazed.

VEATCH: I was riding from Kalispell, Montana to Bellingham, Washington. And about -- well, I don't know where, but we crashed and I was the only that made it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, made it out from the collision or...

VEATCH: From the plane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: .... or survived?

VEATCH: Yeah, the only one that survived. SIMON: Autumn's step-grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman apparently did not make it. Mr. Bowman, 62 years old was said to be at the controls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Are you injured at all?

VEATCH: Yeah. I have a lot of burns on my hands and I'm, like, kind of covered in bruises and scratches and stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. All right, Autumn, how old are you?

VEATCH: I'm 16.

SIMON: Autumn stayed with the bodies in the wreckage for about a day hoping help would eventually arrive. But after a while, she decided to make the dangerous trek into the woods.

RIC LEDUC, STORE OWNER: Obviously, she was shaken and distraught.

SIMON: For more than 24 hours, she hiked. No cellphone coverage, no map. She said she followed the river downstream until it led her to a highway.

LEDUC: She definitely looked like she'd been out in the woods for quite some time.

SIMON: Owner, Ric LeDuc is also a pilot and knows the dangerous of flying this remote region.

LEDUC: That's just your classic jagged peaks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just happy she is safe.

SIMON: Autumn was taken to the hospital for observation and reunited with her weary father who had spent what seemed like eternity wondering if he would see his daughter again.

DAVID VEATCH, FATHER OF AUTUMN VEATCH: I didn't want it to be real. So I just, nope, not until anything is confirmed. And I just didn't feel like she was.


COOPER: Have search teams found any sign of her step-grandparents?

SIMON: Anderson, they haven't and that gives you an idea in terms of the kind of terrain that we're talking about here. We know that navy aircraft as well as some volunteer aircraft has spent the last couple of days searching that area, trying to find the plane wreckage, trying to find the bodies. At this point, they had come up with absolutely nothing.

They've talked to Autumn in great detail to try to get a precise location of where that aircraft was when it went down. They've taken some of that information and they've refined the search area. But unfortunately, at this point, they've come up empty, Anderson. COOPER: You know and a lot of people when they heard that 911 call, I mean, they know how kind of calm she sounds.

SIMON: Well, the description that we were given as soon as she was rescued was days. And you can imagine that this is somebody who was very dehydrated, somebody who was hungry and was just looking to be rescued. And fortunately, there were some good Samaritans there on the side of the road who were able to put them -- put her in the car and take here to that country store where, ultimately, a call to 911 was made. But, you know, you listen to her friends, you listen to the doctor and they've all talked about two things.

[21:50:00] One that she has this incredible will and that she is just such a determined person, and they say this really fits her personality. Anderson.

COOPER: Dan, thanks very much.

Search teams are as Dan noted, are still looking for the plane's wreckage and Autumn's step-grandparents.

Joining me now is Jessica Jerwa, spokeswoman for the Washington Wing Civil Air Patrol.

Jessica, you were the first person to call Autumn's father, telling him that his daughter was found alive. Can you describe the area where the search for the aircraft? I mean, how rugged is it?

JESSICA JERWA, SPOKESWOMAN, WASHINGTON WING CIVIL AIR PATROL: Definitely very rugged. That area is described as the Washington Alps, so it's really steep cliffs and very rocky, lots of tree cover. It's really a difficult area to search in as well fly in.

COOPER: And how is -- how do you go about searching? I mean, is it a search by air or is it on the ground?

JERWA: We start with our cellular forensics and radar analysis team. They actually were able to give us three good grids to search in. From there, we narrowed that down using eyewitness accounts that had seen the airplane fly it over. We narrowed that down, obviously, even further when Autumn walked out of the woods. But we actually had already been flying over that area. She reported that she saw us fly over her during the day. So the cellular forensics puts us right on top, and then her walking out certainly has given us a really good place to search for the aircraft.

COOPER: So, how long were you -- had you already been looking for them?

JERWA: I think at that point, we've been looking for two days. So yeah, we've been flying whole towards this. I think we've flown 15 or so the first day as already is every time the aircraft takes off and leaves space and flies around that in return. So...

COOPER: And a plane -- I mean, when the plane goes down in that kind of an area, I mean, it --and what, it just disappears under the brush? JERWA: Yeah, depending on the weather. A pilot has a choice to go above or below the clouds. So in this case, we believe he went below. And if you fly into trees, which it sounds like they may have impacted trees. But aircraft doesn't just stop there. It can break up, then in its smaller pieces under that. So, that's definitely buried under the tree cover.

You're looking for a very small object. So, if you don't see a glimpse of metal with the light or the shadows are just right, you're not going to see it. In fact, we do training with our pilots in our aircrafts. We need to know how to signal if we ever go down in a crash. So all of our members are trained on how to signal in that type of emergency.

COOPER: So, that's critical. I mean, if somebody is in a crash, to be able to signal with what? With the piece of metal or something to any plane that's flying overhead?

JERWA: Things that don't look natural to the terrain. So things that are not man-made or what tell us. You know, hopefully, we're going to see broken tree tops, that's something we obviously look for. We might look for burns in the terrain. But as far as what people can do to make themselves more visible, it's going to be bright colors, metallic objects and, you know, uncovered as much as possible.

COOPER: Well Jessica Jerwa, I appreciate. Good luck on the search. I appreciate you talking to us. Thank you.

We do have more breaking news tonight, a huge milestone in space exploration. NASA made history again today when its unmanned spacecrafts sped past Pluto and its five moons. This is the first image being back, Pluto's first ever close up.

Remarkable. We'll be right back.



COOPER: Well, there's more breaking news.

To tell you about the Iran deal, it was not the only history made today. Just hours after the agreement, was reaching NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto. And tonight, we have the first images sent just a moment before its closest approach, sped past the small icy planet about 31,000 miles per hour.

Jennifer Gray joins me now with the latest.

We're getting this new video from Mission Control. They just made contact with the New Horizons spacecraft. What do you know about their trip?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the trip was long. I think that is the most important part of this. It had traveled 3 billion miles, nine years in the making. This launched in 2006. It was still a planet then before it was downgraded to a dwarf planet. And so to see Mission Control, to see these people so excited when it finally made contact on the other side of Pluto was just a really special moment to see in Mission Control.

The average speed of this spacecraft, 30,000 miles per hour was traveling so fast that if it came in contact with something as small as a grain of rice, it would've completely ruined the space craft, and the mission would not have been able to be completed. So, the fact that it made it over there in nine years without hitting anything was really remarkable.

Size of Pluto, extremely small, 18.5 percent the size of earth. Its diameter, 1,400 miles or so. Anderson.

COOPER: It's just incredible. Was this the goal of the mission?

GRAY: Well, we just want to learn as much as we can about Pluto. It is so far out. We didn't know very much at all. And so, in the past five days, we've learned more than we've ever known before. We know that its got the five moons. We've learned about Churon. We know that it's got ice caps on it. We know that it's got an atmosphere made of nitron, you know.

And portions of Pluto, the southern section, actually only sees a little bit of daylight every 100 years so it has just been such a mystery, and only a little spec out there in space until now, we've seen some incredible images. And now that we know we have made contact, tomorrow afternoon, we will get the newest images and the freshest images we've ever seen of the planet. Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. It is just incredible. And then more pictures tomorrow, yes?

GRAY: Absolutely, yes. We are expected to see more pictures tomorrow afternoon. I believe, around 3:00 Eastern Time. Of course, that time could vary. But everyone is anxiously awaiting, and the space community and everyone around the world, really, to see these images of Pluto and learn even more.

COOPER: Yeah. It's just incredible, the technology behind this. Thanks so much.

That does it for us. We'll see you again at 11:00 P.M. Eastern tonight for another edition of 360.

[22:00:01] CNN tonight with Don Lemon, starts now.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHTHOST: Trump on top, that Donald leading a national poll for the first time and it may not be the last. This is CNN tonight.