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@THISHOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Donald Sterling Speaks Out; Sterling's Wife Fights to Keep Clippers; New Report, Pings Not from MH370; A Look at Hillary Clinton's New Book; 2nd MERS Case Found in U.S.
Aired May 12, 2014 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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DONALD STERLING, OWNER, LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: I'm a good member, who made a mistake, and I'm apologizing and I'm asking for forgiveness. Am I entitled to one mistake? After 35 years? I mean, I love my league. I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It's a terrible mistake. I'll never do it again.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, A.C. 360: The vice president of the NBA players association, Roger Mason, he said players won't accept anyone in Sterling family owning the Clippers, not you, not your wife, not your son-in-law, not your daughter. Do you believe that?
STERLING: I really don't know. People that are going to decide my fate, I think, are not the media and not the players union but the NBA.
COOPER: The owners?
STERLING: Pardon me?
COOPER: The owners?
STERLING: The owners. If the owners feel I deserve another chance, then they'll give it to me.
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JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's Donald Sterling talking exclusively to Anderson Cooper. Anderson said that Sterling broke into tears a few times during this interview. You'll hear Sterling says how sorry he is, what a terrible nightmare this is, how he was set up. He says he's not a racist.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: But he's not the only one to have a word. His estranged wife, Shelly, is speaking out. She says she doesn't think he's a racist either but that he may be in early stages of dementia.
She spoke to Barbara Walters about how she's fighting to keep her half of the team.
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BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, THE VIEW: Mrs. Sterling, you own 50 percent of the L.A. Clippers. The NBA may insist that the team be sold. What would you do then?
SHELLY STERLING, WIFE OF DONALD STERLING: Well, I'm fighting for my 50 percent.
WALTERS: There are reports the NBA wants to oust you completely as a team owner. You will fight that decision?
SHELLY STERLING: I will fight that decision.
WALTERS: What does the team mean to you?
SHELLY STERLING: It means a lot. I've been with the team for 33 years, through the good times and the bad times. And it's my passion. I love it.
WALTERS: Do you support the NBA decision to ban your husband?
SHELLY STERLING: I can't comment on that. I was shocked by what he said, and I guess whatever their decision is, we have to live with it.
WALTERS: So if your husband is banned, that's something that you would accept?
SHELLY STERLING: Well, we're estranged.
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PEREIRA: Let's break it down with HLN legal analyst, Joey Jackson; along with our sports attorney, David Cornwell; and our correspondent in Los Angeles, Ms. Stephanie Elam.
David, I want to start with you.
Do you think she's really as passionate as she said she is about this team and wants to keep it because of that or is there something else motivating her?
DAVID CORNWELL, SPORTS ATTORNEY: I think she's passionate about it now that she faces prospect of losing it. Listen, this discussion about her 50 percent ownership interest, I think it really misses the point. From NBA's perspective, there are 30 owners. If he loses his ownership, everyone that follows him will lose their interest as well. Maybe at some level of compassion for her but at the end of the day she'll go out with Donald Sterling.
BERMAN: Joey, let me ask you this. Shelly Sterling tells Barbara Walters she's been filing for divorce. She's holding up papers. She's serious about it. She says her lawyers told her not to get divorced right now for some reason. What's going on here?
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: The reality is that she may be passionate about her ownership interest in everything else and she could. There's been discussions also about whether she should be held accountable for his sins, et cetera, et cetera. The reality is that at the end of the day whether they get divorced or don't is a side show. The issue is how is this particular thing what he said going to impair Sterling's ability to own and operate the team? Yes it is. The NBA will remove him. I would also suspect when they remove him, he's done that she'll have no dealings with the team either. A divorce doesn't impact that. Doesn't hold it up. If she decides not to or gets a divorce has anything to do with ultimately what will happen here and that is her disassociation as well as his disassociation from moving forward with the Clippers.
PEREIRA: Stephanie Elam in L.A., I want to bring in the focus on Magic Johnson. He's saying, Magic, that if anyone with a name Sterling owns the team, the Clippers won't play for the team. It also seems like if that's the case, there's no way the league would want to continue with the ownership. He's poisoned the well for his family by doing all of this, hasn't he?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You've got the NBA, which is a business at the end of the day. If there's a Sterling ownership that's causing a problem for fans, for players and more importantly for sponsors, that's an issue for the NBA. That's what they are looking at as a whole right now. I'm not really sure why Magic Johnson is so on Donald Sterling's mind. This is the third recording this time with Anderson Cooper that he's brought Magic up. He doesn't know what he's done for minorities. I don't know if that implies he hasn't done anything. I don't know if that implies he's done a lot himself, Mr. Sterling, I don't know what that has to do with this issue, although I would point out that Magic has done a lot of business dealings that impacted a lot of minorities. That is also very interesting here. Why he's bringing him up again. And he also said he talked twice to Magic and then Anderson asked about those recordings and he said that the only person he talked to was Magic. Is he implying that Magic released the tapes? It's weird and odd how many times he's brought him up.
BERMAN: And combustible, too.
One last question, David. There are people suggesting that timing of these two interviews, Donald Sterling's interview with Anderson and Shelly's interview with Barbara Walters is not coincidental. They may be estranged as she claims but maybe not as estranged as they like us to think.
CORNWELL: I agree. It's highly unlikely that someone who is advising ms. Sterling isn't also talking to someone who is advising Donald Sterling and it may be very well that the two of them are speaking to each other. Just a couple weeks ago we saw them leaving a restaurant together.
Listen, you know, this is a lot of -- I think a lot to do about nothing. At the end of the day, the NBA has the ability to self- govern itself through dispute resolution procedures for arbitration in front of the commissioner. I don't think this is going to spend a lot of time in the courts at all. Donald Sterling will be out and so will she. BERMAN: David Cornwell, Joey Jackson, Stephanie Elam, great to have you with us talking about this again.
Remember, the full interview with Donald Sterling airs on "A.C. 360" tonight at 8:00. This will be controversial.
PEREIRA: Ahead @ THIS HOUR, a new report on the search for flight 370 says two pings heard last month were likely not from the plane. We'll have the latest as the "Ocean Shield" heads back into the Indian Ocean again today.
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ANGUS HOUSTON, DIRECTOR, JOINT AGENCY COORDINATION CENTER: What we picked up from the ocean was something that was assessed as being from a man-made source and the characteristics of the transmission were very similar to an emergency locator beacon.
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BERMAN: That's search coordinator, Angus Houston, defending the search area for missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370.
PEREIRA: Today the "Wall Street Journal" reported Australian authorities are raising doubts over two of the four pings that were picked up last month thought to be from the plane. We know the "Ocean Shield" is due to arrive back in the search area today with the Bluefin 21 underwater vehicle onboard.
Our safety analyst, David Souci, joins us.
Good to have you with us, David. You're not here in person but that's all right. We want to talk about this notion that searchers are taking only two of the four pings seriously. What do you make of this new report?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: It was interesting because we didn't know before now that the two pings, the second pings that they got on April 8th, were 27, which is far lower than the 37.5 that are expected. So that's why they are ruling those out. Interesting to me, though, that this hasn't been mentioned before. Nobody said anything about this before. They even told us before they were searching within the area or planned to within the area of all four pings. So why --
BERMAN: We appear to have lost Mr. David Soucie there.
He's suggesting that it's odd that we did not hear that two of the pings, the ones heard second a few days after the first two pings were heard, of a much lower frequency.
David, are you back with us?
SOUCIE: Am I? I don't know. BERMAN: Yes.
PEREIRA: Yes, you sure are.
BERMAN: So, David, the question becomes --
SOUCIE: It's snowing out here.
BERMAN: -- if two pings turn out to be not good, if two turn out to be pings not related now to flight 370, how can we know for sure the two other pings, the ones they say are good, how can we trust that?
SOUCIE: We really can't. I've been saying all along that's the best choice they had or best option they had for staying around that area. I've been doing a lot of research finding out how those pingers could put out 33 and I haven't been able to duplicate it. We've taken pingers and broken them and twisted them and put them in ice cold and high pressure. We can't get it to go down nor has there ever been any research in the past even after flight 447, which was extensive research, have we been able to come up with that 33. I'm very concerned.
PEREIRA: A tidbit new to us, the satellite company, Inmarsat, will begin to give free global airline tracking service, something that some of the voices here and analysts have said on CNN something they pushed for. The Senate thinks its interesting timing. Does this seem like a P.R. move or is this the right move to make?
SOUCIE: You know, aviation committee has stepped up and moved forward with a lot of safety advances. I heard the airlines now are replacing the 30-day pingers with 90-day pingers and changed the way they access the cockpit and being pro-active. I haven't seen this before. Usually after an accident, they wait until after the accident investigation to make these advances. I'm very proud of the aviation community for stepping forward. I don't think it's a pr move at all. Inmarsat has been around a long time. They don't need pr. They have a corner on the market pretty well. They are saying we can improve safety. We've discovered this now with our Doppler studies and we can offer it so we're going to do it.
PEREIRA: David Soucie, we didn't ignore that you say it's snowing in Denver. Is it really snowing in Denver?
SOUCIE: Yeah. It is. I couldn't find my car keys this morning they were in the snow.
PEREIRA: That could be a whole other issue, David.
David from Denver, we appreciate you joining us @ THIS HOUR.
BERMAN: We have news just into CNN. We're learning that CDC is investigating the second case of a very, very dangerous virus. We'll give you details after a quick break.
PEREIRA: A little glimpse into the family side of Hillary Clinton. The first glimpse at the secretary of state's new book "High Choices." But a revealing excerpt was released by "Vogue" magazine yesterday, just in time for Mother's Day. The family first lady honors her late mother, Dorothy Rodham.
BERMAN: She said, quote, "Mom measured her own life by how much she was able to help us and serve others. I knew she would be urging us to do the same. Never rest on your laurels. Remember that word. Never quit. Remember those words. Never stop working to make the world a better place. Remember those words also. That is our unfinished business."
Let's bring in our political commentators, Sally Kohn and Will Cain.
Sally, what I want to ask first isn't so much about the words themselves, not what they say, but that they're said at all. Because to me, this seems to be Hillary Clinton trying to create a new impression of herself, or at least add to the impression people have more than 20 years after she entered the public sphere. Is that even possible?
SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There's a really great book that I would encourage folks thinking about being in the public eye to get. It's called "Compelling People." In it, they argue the most effective public figures have to do two things. They have to convey an essential of strength, not physical strength, but a sense that they matter in the world, that reckon with them, and they have to convey warmth. You have to like them. That's what makes the Ronald Reagans and the Barack Obama and the Oprahs, you know, all of the great public figures great. Hillary is a fascinating study. Once upon a time, she was, you know, kind of too soft in the public eye. Then she said the thing about baking cookies and I don't want to be stuck in the home. And then she was too hard nosed. Then she cried in 2008. She was in the Senate Armed Relations Committee. She's always balancing these two sides of her.
KOHN: She wants to make sure people see her soft, kind, you know, warm maternal side. And, you know, that is not only human. It is a savvy thing to do politically.
BERMAN: Well, Will --
WILL CAIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: She's trying to be a little more likable enough, is that what you're saying?
KOHN: She's trying to be human. She's a political --
PEREIRA: Let it out, what's banging around in your head? CAIN: Barack Obama telling Hillary Clinton she's likable enough. If this is an effort to make her more likable, she's accomplished this.
PEREIRA: You can look at this another way. This, and the Lewinsky article last week, is that an effort to sort of clear the air before -- ahead of 2016?
CAIN: I actually agree with Sally, I don't know what needs to be cleared here, at least with what we're learning right now, about her mop and crafting this image. It really is about making her a character people can relate to. It's necessary to do ahead of time. Did you ever see the documentary "Mitt" on Mitt Romney? If that was released before the election, he would have been seen as a more personable relatable man. He was very, very personable in that documentary.
BERMAN: It created all these rumors he might be running again. It was so good it made him so personable, relatively speaking, that people --
KOHN: Right. Where was that guy?
BERMAN: But, Sally, let's talk about the rollout here. We've known this book is coming. This is a very deliberate release to "Vogue" right now, a very deliberate excerpt on mother's day. There's something going on here.
KOHN: You know, who knows what it is, right? One of two things is happening. Either this is a very deliberate and, I think, smartest rollout, or it's the longest tease in political history.
KOHN: We don't know. I think what it does is allow Hillary to shape her own narrative. The way, for instance, a lot of us in the media, including the liberal media, have sort of said, well, now that Hillary's daughter, Chelsea, is having a baby, will that affect Hillary? No one ever said it disqualified Romney to be president. Hillary, at least she takes control of the narrative.
PEREIRA: Why not, Will, come out and say you're running? I've been having this conversation with friends. Just say it already.
CAIN: I guess because you can get TV coverage --
CAIN: -- and she said, "never quit." Does that mean she's going to run? We have to pontificate on this.
KOHN: We do love to pontificate, do we not?
CAIN: It's the longest tease in political history.
BERMAN: Does this matter? Can you reshape the narrative? Or is that something that's on the side and what matters at this point are things like Benghazi, things like Benghazi, Lewinsky -- facts?
CAIN: Those matter. Can you reshape the narrative? The Clintons have proved very adept at reshaping their public image over and over. I hope substance rises to the surface. We have debate over what Hillary stands for, what she's done, not just the image she can craft.
PEREIRA: Will Cain, Sally Kohn, always good to have you here.
BERMAN: I should say it's a lovely story about her mother who seems like --
PEREIRA: No, this is the thing. We get so cynical. It's a lovely article and her affection for her mother, how much she influenced both her and her -- well, her daughter, Chelsea.
PEREIRA: Also, we want to alert you to this. We're just learning the CDC is investigating a second case of a really deadly virus. Details for you after a quick break. Stay right here with us @ THIS HOUR.
PEREIRA: We are getting word @ THIS HOUR that the second case of MERS, that deadly virus, has been found in the United States.
We want to bring in our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen. She joins us from Atlanta.
I think a lot people aren't really familiar. Give us an idea what it is and why it's so deadly.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a 30 percent mortality rate, Michaela, so that is really quite high. So it's called MERS. It's a respiratory syndrome. It can start innocently enough but it can get bad quickly. It's spread mostly through close contact. So what the CDC is going to report this afternoon is a second case of MERS has been found in the United States. There was one in Indiana recently. This new one is in Florida. Again, just like the first case, this is a health care worker who was working in Saudi Arabia and flew back to the United States. All we know about this person is this person's in Florida and took several flights to get from Saudi Arabia to Florida. So now they need to go and contact the people who were on that flight to make sure that they get checked out as well.
BERMAN: So, Elizabeth, a concern at this point is what, that once it is here, that it will be passed within the United States? They've seen no evidence of that yet, have they?
COHEN: It's interesting. If we look at the Indiana case, they looked at those family members. They looked at colleagues. They didn't find that -- they found that it had not spread to other people. So it's just that one case. You know this doesn't spread as easily as, like, say, something like the flu. This takes a little bit more of an effort. So what we've seen in the Middle East is that it's family members. It's husbands, wives, children. It's passing from patient to doctor or patient to nurse. It's that kind of close contact. This isn't the kind of thing like the common cold where it's really easily spread, where I could just touch a surface you touched and could get sick. It doesn't seem to be spreading that way. So I think that's one reason why, while this is scary, and while, you know, nobody likes deadly illnesses coming into our country this isn't something you would likely get by, let's say, sitting on a bus next to someone for five minutes.
PEREIRA: That's the thing that's concerning, you showed us the full screen of the symptoms. We've all had something like that recently, shortness of breath, fever, a cough. A lot of us over the winter had a case of that. How do we differentiate it? Otherwise, everybody's going to be going to the doctor.
COHEN: I see what you mean, Michaela, so I'll tell you, if I were this sick person's wife and I had a cough, I would be really worried. If I were this person's colleague and have worked closely with them day after day, I might be concerned. If I were just anyone, I wouldn't be concerned. If I were just in the state of Florida, which I was recently, I'm not worried. This is, again, close contact. I think that's really important to remember.
PEREIRA: Thanks for jumping on the story for us. We want to alert people of these kinds of things.
Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much.
And thank you for joining us @ THIS HOUR. I'm Michaela Pereira.
BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Do not forget, "A.C. 360." Anderson's exclusive interview with Donald Sterling, that's tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern.
"LEGAL VIEW" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right now.