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Another Winter Storm May Hammer Coast; Trump to Meet Kim Jong- un; Williams Returns to the Court; Jaylen Brown Hits Court; Chaos and Confusion at Florida Shooting. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 9, 2018 - 06:30   ET


[06:33:22] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, so remember when Congressman Trey Gowdy was on NEW DAY and announced that his House Oversight Committee would be investigating the Rob Porter security clearance scandal? Well, now that committee says the White House is not complying. They have not provided key details to the committee about former staff secretary Rob Porter's background check, timeline, as well as information about the security clearance process. The White House instead sending over this letter about the changes that Chief of Staff John Kelly has made in the security process without any mention of Porter's history.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Now, in a letter obtained exclusively by CNN, ranking member Elijah Cummings urges the chair, Trey Gowdy, to call for a subpoena. The leader reading in part, if you decline to issue this subpoena yourself, then I ask that you step aside and allow members of the committee to debate and vote on a motion to issue the subpoena at our next business meeting, which is scheduled for next Thursday, March 15th.

CAMEROTA: OK, the State Department urging spring breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico's Playa del Carmen. The State Department says it has received information about a security threat in this tourist area and it follows a similar warning from the U.S. embassy in Mexico. These alerts coming a week after an explosive device was found in a tourist ferry in the area. The nature of this recent threat was not specified.

CUOMO: The Interior Department defending the nearly $139,000 price tag for new doors for Secretary Ryan Zinke's office suite. A spokesperson says the work is necessary to replace old doors that are in disrepair. She says the project was recommended by facilities and security officials, not by Zinke, who she says was unaware of the expense. Zinke is also under scrutiny for questionable travel habits.

[06:35:16] So, what's your take?

CAMEROTA: I think $130,000 is too much for a door. That's my take.

CUOMO: Well, it's not one door. It's -- it's --


CUOMO: I think it's three sets of double doors. CAMEROTA: Well, that explains it.

CUOMO: But the problem (ph) is this, we see this consistently with government. And this was supposed to be about draining the swamp. It is easy to spend money when it is not yours.

CAMEROTA: I've noticed.

CUOMO: And they were supposed to come in and do a better job of looking after these things.


CUOMO: So the idea of Zinke not knowing is unsatisfying. They're supposed to do better. They're not.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but if you add that to Ben Carson and first class travel, all of that, it's the same thing.

CUOMO: Well, that's right. That's all part of the same thing.

CAMEROTA: All right, meanwhile, folks are still digging out from this week's nor'easter. The East Coast is certainly not out of the woods yet. There's another winter storm that could hit us next week, so says CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

What are you seeing, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I just -- I sure hope not, you know. There's to different scenarios you have. One does make a nor'easter, the European model makes it a non-nor'easter. So we will see.

Still some snow today, but we're not going to melt 28 inches of snow that fell in parts of New Jersey, parts of New Hampshire and Vermont, even with temperatures today around 40. Right now you're below 32 and not melting anything.

New York City, you get all the way into the middle 40s. D.C., a little bit warmer than that. And, obviously, this spring has sprung across the deep south.

So here's the story. It begins to snow across parts of the Great Lakes today. And that stops. Then it begins to rain across the deep south with a separate storm. This is what a nor'easter can do. It turns into the ocean and then turns to the right. If that happens, it is a nor'easter. I don't know yet. If it doesn't, and goes straight out to sea, then we get nothing at all and have a beautiful Monday and Tuesday. I will know more later today. I'll have it on Twitter and certainly we'll talk about it on Monday one way or the other, guys.

Chris, backs to you.

CUOMO: Well, that's impressive. So you think that by later today you'll have a much better sense of what it's going to be?

MYERS: The afternoon models will do a much better job with this. And, yes, we will have it all over our Twitter feed, whether we think it's going to go left or go straight.

CUOMO: Thank you, my man. It was good to see you in person.


CUOMO: Always surprised by how handsome you are face-to-face.

MYERS: Oh, come on, man. (INAUDIBLE) --

CUOMO: President Trump accepting the offer to meet Kim Jong-un. Is the meeting a good idea? Should it be seen as absolute progress, or is it just upping the risks? We take that on, next.


[06:41:37] CUOMO: So after months of often frightening rising nuclear tensions with North Korea, President Trump doing a big switch. Something that we've never seen in our lifetime. A sitting president of the United States saying, sure, I'll go meet with the leader of North Korea. And I'm going to do it by May. It took a lot of people by surprise, including those who counsel this president.

Is the meeting a good step, good positive potential, or a problem? Some context. In a "New York Times" op-ed, Nic Kristof, who's visited North Korea multiple times, writes this, what North Korean leaders have craved for many years is international respect and credibility. They want to be treated as equals by the Americans so a scene of Trump and Kim standing side by side could constitute a triumph for Pyongyang. A visit by a sitting American president to North Korea would be a huge gift to Kim, and it's puzzling that our great dealmaker should give up so much right off the bat.

Let's discuss with CNN national security analyst and former director of national intelligence under President Obama, Jim Clapper.

Jim, for context, one, we don't know that they're going to meet in North Korea. That's probably highly unlikely right? This would probably be in the DMZ. Let's put that to the side.

You were very aggressive as part of the administration's efforts to try to do more with the North. So it makes me assume that you think the possibility of a meeting like this could have upside.

JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I do. Chris, I think this is a great opportunity here to maybe profoundly change the, you know, seven decade long paradigm on the peninsula of abject animosity.

Now, that said, I get it about skepticism. You know, we've been through this movie before. But it's a huge opportunity. I would counsel, for what it's worth, that the objectives for this meeting be fairly modest.

I think Nickolas Kristof is exactly right about how the North Koreans crave recognition and to be seen as a co-equal with the president of the United States. But I think another dimension here that's important to remember is that Kim Jong-un has got a domestic audience that he has to attend to as well.

Now, he has long exhorted the population and they have agreed to this, to make these big sacrifices in order to have a nuclear program, which for them is a question of survival. So if I were counseling the administration, I would urge, first a listening -- I think, you know, just the meeting and greeting and gripping and grinning and all that is -- that is important in and of itself. But I would recommend kind of a listening tour here where we get a -- hopefully a clear articulation of just what it is the North Koreans would want that would give them a sense of security so that they don't need to pursue nuclear weapons.

I'd also comment that I think one of the factors that affected this decision on Kim Jong-un's part was that they have reached a level of confidence in their nuclear capabilities so that when they do sit down for negotiations they are not -- they don't feel as though they're supplicants, which has been the case for them in every previous interaction.

[06:45:05] So, bottom line, yes, I think this is a great opportunity. And I agree with doing it quickly, striking while the iron is hot.

I'd also commend the administration for quickly, as I've read, coordinating and communicating with Prime Minister Abe. The Japanese are hugely important in all of this and they need to feel as though they're a part of this and that we're in lock step with them.

CUOMO: What's the risk?

CLAPPER: Well, the down side is -- and I think David Gregory mentioned earlier, and others, you know, if this doesn't work, we're out of runway. And --

CUOMO: Why? I hear the point, but, why? I mean often you get several bites at the apple of diplomacy.

CLAPPER: Well --

CUOMO: This is a process we've never gone down before. Even when you took your meeting or when Madeline Albright took that meeting with the photo-op, wasn't sitting presidents. You know, it was emissaries. It was people laying groundwork. You know, this would be very different.

CLAPPER: Yes. Well, that's why I'm saying -- I'm suggesting, set modest objectives for this first meeting. You know, the bench right now, the bench strength in the administration on Korea is a little -- is a little depleted. And so I think ultimately if we're going to take advantage of this, the administration needs to think kind of long game here. And to get some expression from the North Koreans of what it is they seek in order to feel secure.

Now, that can mean over time, you know, phased withdrawals of not complete evacuation but phased withdrawals of U.S. military.

And, by the way, I think there's some other demands when it comes to this besides denuclearization that we ought to impose on the North Koreans, like the -- withdrawing forces they have on those four cores (ph) aligned along the DMZ, right but up against the DMZ. Not to mention all the artillery and rocketry they have poised to fire at Seoul.

So I think you're right. I mean over time probably we're just going to go back to the status quo. I would hope, though, that -- and this is my concern, that we not chest beat here and just continue cohesion because if the sanctions have worked as the administration claims, then there is jeopardy here in causing a violent implosion of a -- of a DPRK in North Korea, which would have all kinds of negative implications. So that's, I think, the danger here is we revert to, OK, we're just going to put the screws even more to North Korea. Well then that could create another set of problems.

CUOMO: Right. And, look, and let's be honest, if these were two different state actors, you'd have a different analysis. Having Trump and Kim Jong-un, when both are known to be volatile, and you don't know what they're going to say, and you don't know who's going to try to be the big man in that room, it injects a risk of literally nuclear proportions.

CLAPPER: Absolutely (ph).

CUOMO: Jim Clapper, thank you for laying out the parameters. Appreciate the perspective.

CLAPPER: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Well, she's back. Serena Williams returning to the court for the first time in more than a year. The "Bleacher Report" will give us all the details, next.


[06:52:16] CAMEROTA: Serena Williams back on the court competitively for the first time since having a baby and experiencing a difficult birth and recovery.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

How did it go, Andy?


Well, pretty good. You know, and it's been 14 months since we've seen Serena play in a professional match. And in an essay she wrote for CNN, Serena detailed how she almost died after giving birth to her daughter Olympia. She -- after having an emergency C-section, Serena had to have multiple other surgeries and spent six weeks in bed.

But after a long recovery, she was looking more like her old self yesterday. Serena, she also had a big cheering section. Her new husband Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian on hand watching the 23-time major winner beating Zarina Diyas 7-5, 6-3. Serena said after the match it wasn't easy but it felt incredible to be back playing.

All right, scary moment in the Celtics Timberwolves game last night. Jaylen Brown goes for the slam, but he slips off the rim and lands on the back of his head. He was down for a while, but was able to walk off the court on his own. Brown then went to the hospital to have a CT scan and other tests. Later he tweeted, appreciate everybody. I'm OK. Got a headache, though. Good team win.

I'll tell you what, Chris, definitely good news because that was one scary fall. And we've seen many basketball players get hurt doing that.

CUOMO: Yes, he lucked out. It often makes me think, you know, there's a rule about showboating, right? And so guys are careful about how long they stay on the ring. I often feel like it's time to let that go. These guys are up too high for too long. Let them swing from the rim. Who cares. It keeps them safe.


CUOMO: And we like to watch it, let's be honest.

Andy, good to see you. Thank you very much.

SCHOLES: All right, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, new information about the Parkland massacre. It reveals the chaos and confusion experienced by the first responders when they hit that scene. A live report, next.


[06:58:12] CUOMO: All right, we have just released documents and audio recordings that detail the chaos and confusion moments after a gunman opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We all should remember, I know it has faded from the headlines, but 17 people are gone.

CNN's Athena Jones is live in Tallahassee, Florida, has the latest.



The new timeline details released by the Broward Sheriff's Office show it took officers 11 minutes to enter the building because of confusion about where the shots were coming from. And the Broward Sheriff's Office's radio system was not able to connect with the Coral Springs Police Department's radio system, meaning the two agencies weren't able to communicate quickly about what the shooter looked like and what kind of weapon he was using.

The public integrity office at the house of representatives here in Tallahassee is investigating law enforcement's response to the incident and they've subpoenaed documents from the agencies involved. That investigation will go on even after the session ends here. Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott is in the process of deciding whether

to sign a school safety bill that includes provisions he does not like, namely a three-day waiting period to buy a firearm, and a controversial guardian program that would allow some teachers and other school staff to be armed.

The union that represents 140,000 teachers across the state of Florida is urging the governor to use his line item veto power to veto the funding for that program. The governor has 15 days to take action on this bill. That 15-day clock began yesterday when the bill hit his desk. If he doesn't take action after those 15 days, the bill will automatically go into effect.

He is set to meet with the families of Parkland victims later today. They have all come out in support of the bill. All this as we learned that the arraignment date for the Parkland school shooter has been set for March 14th, the one-month anniversary of the massacre.

Chris. Alisyn.

[07:00:08] CAMEROTA: All right, Athena, thank you very much for all of the updates from Parkland.