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Powerful Winter Storms Slams Northeast, Mid-Atlantic; GOP Congressman Doubles Down on Controversial Tweet; March Madness Tips Off Tonight; Controversy Over New Michael Brown Video. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 14, 2017 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:03] PATRICK HEALY, NEW YORK TIMES DEPUTY CULTURE EDITOR: These sort of, you know, not only the, you know, really offensive remarks that Donald Trump made on that --

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: That was right after the "Access Hollywood" tape came out.

HEALY: Right. Right after the "Access Hollywood" tape, when a lot of Republicans were kind of moving away, but now, you're seeing -- I mean, Speaker Ryan, a leader of the party. He just wants to focus on repeal and replace Obamacare. He doesn't want to have to get into defending every tweet that Donald Trump is a candidate or as president made. He sort of knew that was a problem.

But it is, as you point out, Chris, Breitbart sort of wading into this, you know, sort of deciding -- you know, everything that Breitbart does is essentially trying to send a message to someone like Speaker Ryan or sort of saying, we're watching this, we're going to -- we can cause you a lot of heartburn, you know, over this. And specifically, it's about this bill.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And the timing, look, right after the CBO comes out with this number, that is pretty devastating for Republicans.

CUOMO: This could compromise their ability to get passed more than anything that's happened this far.

HARLOW: Exactly.

All right. Guys, thank you all very much. We appreciate it.

We're also watching this huge storm up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Blizzard warnings across the Northeast. You're looking at live pictures out of New York City right now, early in the morning. But we're in the beginning stages of seeing a foot of snow at least dump on New York.

Chad Myers has the latest forecast, next.

CUOMO: Can't even see him. He's already completely covered.


[06:35:26] HARLOW: A powerful winter storm slamming the Northeast this morning, also the mid-Atlantic, as well. Tens of thousands of people right now in the direct path of this storm.

Our meteorologist, Chad Myers, is in Central Park with the latest.

Where does this fall in terms of sort of epic, epic storms?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know, the bench mark is the blizzard of 1888, which dropped between 50 and 56 inches in the city, but it snowed for 36 hours.

This is not that storm. This is going to snow for 12 hours. So, we're going to cut that number really by a third and that's where we're going to see, somewhere between 15 and 20 inches.

Is it paralyzing? Sure, for some people. Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, yes, paralyzing.

But what you'll notice right now is that it has picked up. It has picked up in the last about 30 minutes.

Let's go up to this light. All the way up here. And you can begin to see the amount of snow coming down. Also, the wind picking up. That's because the low itself, on the bottom left of your corner, you can see the radar.

On the bottom left, the low itself. The spin of the low, not the eye of a hurricane, but the spin of the low is now in the water. That is intensifying the storm. That's going to continue to make the storm stronger and stronger, all day long.

We won't see the peak for many, many more hours, Chris. We'll have a long day out here. There's going to be a lot of snow, probably 15 to 20 inches in many of spots.


CUOMO: Chad, appreciate you being there. We'll check back with you in just a little bit. Stay warm.

The Republican Party turning own one of their own, blasting Iowa Congressman Steve King. You probably heard him here on NEW DAY yesterday. If not, we'll remind you of what he said that had people saying, "Hey, not only are you in hot water." We've got to talk about what's right in America, next.



[06:41:03] CUOMO: A Muslim-American, an Italian-American, a Christian-American, a Jewish-American, you do realize that they are all equal, right? They are all the same thing. We don't need babies from one of those groups more than we need them from other groups. Do you agree with that?

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Well, I would say that --

CUOMO: Why do you pause on a question like that, Congressman? What do you mean, it doesn't depend on any definition.

KING: Because --


CUOMO: All right. Steve King had my hands going.

The Iowa Republican congressman slowed to answer in an interview about the equality of all different kinds of Americans. And, in fact, he was doubling down on a controversial tweet voicing support for a white right-wing anti-immigrant Dutch politician, saying, "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.

Lawmakers in his own party even turning against him.

Let's bring back our panel, Abby Phillip, Patrick Healy, Matt Lewis.

Abby Phillip, I was surprised. We have Steve King on a lot. And I know he gets a lot of heat for things. Sometimes, I think he's just trying to provoke conversation.

But this one left me with my head scratching. I don't understand where he was trying to go with this. And we saw a very quick rejection of him by a lot of his people. Even Jeb Bush came out and said this was the wrong thing.

How did it play down there in D.C.?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it was remarkably slow, the degree to which it took quite a while for his Republican colleagues to condemn it. But I mean, beyond that, Steve King has been saying things like this for quite some time. Months ago, in the campaign, he talked about how European civilization had really been the only civilization to contribute to modern society, which is factually inaccurate.

But, it's also something that is not uncommon with -- for this particular member of Congress. And it's surprising that, you know, it took hours and hours for folks to come out and give some fairly tepid condemnations of this comment and beyond that, no one is saying, hey, I think it's time for you to step aside.

HARLOW: Right. And so, to your point about sort of the tepid reaction from some of his fellow Republicans, Paul Ryan saying, you know, "I don't think this statement reflects what is special about this country." But then he said, "I would like to think, and I haven't spoken to Steve about this, but I would like to think he misspoke and wasn't really meaning it that way and how it sounded."

Hopefully he's clarified that, he didn't. I mean, Matt Lewis, he doubled down --


HARLOW: -- on it last night on another network. And he has tweeted, you know, things akin to it in the past. So why would Paul Ryan respond that way?

LEWIS: Well, he's trying to duck the question. And I think Paul Ryan does a have a very noble and positive position on things like immigration. He comes from the same kind of school that I come from, called a Reagan/Kemp school that believes that more people equals more ideas. And that we're benefited -- we benefit as a country from having diverse viewpoints.

So, I think what Steve King said is dangerous. It's actually representative of a sort of fringe strain that's becoming more popular on the right, right now, both internationally and in America. I do, though, think, that there are elements within what he was trying to say, that I'm sorry to see get caught up in this.

I think most mainstream conservatives would say, more Americans, white, black, whatever, should be having more babies. And that a civilization needs to be basically reproducing and having kids in order to survive. Part of the reason we need immigrants, frankly, is because we're not having -- Americans are not having enough kids.

And I also think it's just fine to defend Western civilization. I mean, starting in 2015 with the signing of Magna Carta, until today, Western civilization has delivered all sorts of great things, including the rule of law and tolerance.

So, there are elements that I think he's right about, but the larger point, I think is very toxic and pernicious.

[06:45:05] HEALY: Can I follow up one point about what Matt is saying?

I remember being in Iowa in January of this last year during the caucuses and Steve King has a really power base there. The Republicans, you know, were all sort of courting him. Ted Cruz, you know, got him, got his support.

And Steve King wasn't talking about babies back then. You know, he was talking about civilization and American values and the importance of that. But he wasn't using this kind of language.

And I just think there's something to what Matt is saying about the fact that this sort of language has become -- is -- there's a power to it. It's becoming the empowered kind of far-right, being able to sort of say these things and not have them being swatted down. To feel like it is -- that there's a sort of normalization going on around it. It's different than it was a year ago.

HARLOW: It comes with a movement that we've seen arise of white nationalism across this country --

HEALY: Sure.

HARLOW: -- as well. The context is important.

Thank you all very much.

Coming up for us, conflicting accounts of the last hours of Michael Brown's life. What does this surveillance video that a lot of us are seeing for the first time, what does it really show and why does it matter? What could it mean?

CUOMO: Plus, this big blizzard is not going anywhere anytime soon. Eight different states in the bull's-eye here in the Northeast. We'll take you through the latest numbers and what is still to come.


CUOMO: A lot of talk about ice and snow, but now it's time for a little March Madness. The NCAA tournament tips off tonight on Turner's truTV.

[06:50:03] We've got Coy Wire joining us with the "Bleacher Report".

Are you ready to go, my handsome friend?

COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am ready, Chris, and I know you are too.

I got a chance to talk to Dickie V, the one and only Dick Vitale promoting all states bracket challenge, legendary coach at all levels and commentator since the '70s. I got some bracket picking tips for us.

I asked him who he thinks is going to win it all, and here's what he had to say.


DICK VITALE, ESPN COLLEGE BASKETBALL ANALYST: My gut feeling tells me, when it's all said and done, the Zags are going to prove all the naysayers out there, Gonzaga, that they're legit by getting to the final game. But in the final game, they're going to run into a dilemma. They're going to run into the explosive offensive team of North Carolina.

And when it is all said and done, Coy, the Tar Heels are going to cut the nets down and win the national title.


WIRE: All right. Real quick for you, guys. Big storm warnings across the Northeast, we're keeping our eyes on what kind of impact the weather could have on the sporting world for you. Both the nicks have home games tonight that are still set for their scheduled tip off times.

And in the NHL, the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals, Poppy, both have home games. But as of right now, they are still scheduled to drop the puck.

HARLOW: There you go! Coy Wire, thank you so much.

WIRE: You're welcome.

HARLOW: Up next for us, prosecutors and a documentary filmmaker clearly at odds over newly released video of Michael Brown in that convenience store just hours before he was shot and killed. The attorney for the market, the Ferguson market that Brown allegedly robbed before he was killed, he differs quite a bit from what the documentary filmmaker says. He's going to join us live, next.


[06:55:20] CUOMO: All right, back in 2014, what happened in that convenience store with Mike Brown? This is part of a growing controversy because of this footage from a new documentary film.

The filmmaker claims Brown was in this Ferguson, Missouri, market, doing a drug deal, there was a barter or exchange going on. And there is evidence that he did not rob the store. Hours later, of course, he would be shot by police.

But the prosecutor who investigated the case in 2014 says that that's nonsense.


BOB MCCULLOCH, ST. LOUIS PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Mr. Brown had a discussion with them, picked up the bag, started to walk out of the store. One of the clerks said something to him or more. He returned, put the bag back on the counter, continued a discussion with them, and then took something off of the counter itself and walked out of the store.

JACK POLLOCK, DIRECTOR OF NEW DOCUMENTARY ON MICHAEL BROWN: At no time does the little bag come back across the counter.


CUOMO: Now, very important for the investigation here. The St. Louis County Police Department says that not only can they not confirm this, but they said, if it did occur, what the filmmakers says, the incident is still irrelevant to our investigation, because this is about what happened with Darren Wilson, the officer, and Michael Brown. And there's a big misconception that somehow Officer Wilson was referring to what happened in the store because of what happened with Michael Brown. The police say, that's not true.

All right. So, let's just stick with what happened in the store.

Jay Kanzler, the attorney for the owners of the Ferguson market, joins us now.

Thank you very much for joining us, Mr. Kanzler. The filmmaker says what was going on in the store was not a robber,

but a bartering, he said, that's what this market is known for, that you can go in and barter for things. This was a barter of cigarillos and marijuana and some type of exchange. Do you accept that notion?

JAY KANZLER, ATTORNEY FOR FERGUSON MARKET: No, it's a lie. It's a falsehood on both fronts. There was no barter here. And that's not something they engage in.

CUOMO: So when he says, this is a shady store, we asked a lot of people in the community, this is what goes on there, you say no?

KANZLER: No, it's absolutely not. People in this community love this store. It's been around for a long time.

And -- you know, this is a deceptive documentary based on a false premise, put out there by a documentary with the intention of doing nothing more than garnering publicity for an otherwise unknown documentary filmmaker.

CUOMO: So what happened in the store?

KANZLER: Michael Brown walked into that store that night with a bag of marijuana, what looks like marijuana, he tried to buy merchandise with that, cigarillos and sodas. The clerks definitely said no. And when you watched the entire video, it shows them saying, no, get out of the store.

He had thrown the bag of marijuana on to the counter. And when he comes back and puts the bag down, the bag of merchandise, he picks up the bag of marijuana. When you watch the entire video, you watch him leave with that bag.

There can't be a transaction when Mr. Brown leaves with what he -- the filmmaker says he paid with. He left with the marijuana and you can see that.

What the filmmaker did was take a four-minute interaction with lots of moving parts and he boiled it down to 20 seconds, laced them together into this false documentary.

CUOMO: Michael Brown had experience in that store. What if your clients told you what they knew of the young man?

KANZLER: What they told me was the truth and that's probably that he had never been in the store before that evening. That's another false premise that this documentary filmmaker put out there.

They didn't know Michael Brown. They didn't have a relationship with him. And if you watch the unedited footage, what you see is a very heated argument going on that evening. Not one between friends, but one between a store owner and somebody that's trying to illegally purchase material, merchandise with marijuana. And it just didn't happen.

CUOMO: So, there is no battering there, there is no weed trade there. Michael Brown did not have a relationship with the people there. They didn't know him? That's what you're saying?

KANZLER: That's right. That's right.

CUOMO: And let me ask you something else --

KANZLER: That's the truth, Chris. And the problem is, the filmmaker, himself, never came to the store, never talked to the clerks, never talked to me, never talked to the owners. He just took this video and chopped it up into 20 seconds and then attached an outrageous story line to it.

CUOMO: One other quick thing. Was there a physical altercation between someone from the store and Michael Brown?

KANZLER: The next morning, there was, between the owner and Michael Brown, he was -- Michael brown tossed him into the chip rack.


KANZLER: Because he came back the next day because he could not purchase the cigarillos with marijuana, he came back the next day to steal them.

CUOMO: Did they believe that mike brown was a drug dealer, or just somebody to buy paraphernalia to maybe use drugs?

KANZLER: Somebody that came in and didn't have money and then was trying to buy merchandise with marijuana.