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Deadly Shooting Rampage; Bergdahl "Abused," Kept Locked in Cage; Clinton's Book Tour

Aired June 9, 2014 - 08:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Monday. June 9th, 8:00 in the East now. Kate is off on vacation.

It is great to have Brooke Baldwin here.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

CUOMO: Michaela and I both (INAUDIBLE) welcome.

We have new information about the cold blooded killing of three people, including two police officers who were ambushed while eating lunch. We are learning two shooters were a married couple. They said they held extreme anger toward law enforcement.

We have Dan Simon on the case in Las Vegas with the latest.

Dan, what do we know now?


We made the decision not to release the suspects' name until they're identified by law enforcement. But based upon what they wrote on various Web sites, it's clear they had both anti-government and anti- law enforcement views. It all came to a head at a pizza restaurant and later at this Wal-Mart behind me.


SIMON (voice-over): Breaking overnight, a raid in an apartment in Las Vegas, possibly the home of the two suspects involved in Sunday's shooting spree. An area around the apartment was cordoned off. Local affiliates report an explosion, apparently with a flash bang grenade set off by police.

A law enforcement source tells CNN the suspects were a married couple with extremist views toward law enforcement.

SHERIFF DOUG GILLESPIE, LAS VEGAS METRO POLICE DEPARTMENT: It's a tragic day. It's a very, very difficult day.

SIMON: Around 11:22 a.m. on Sunday, about 10 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, two people, one male, one female, opened fire inside this pizza restaurant. Witnesses here declare the ambush a revolution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had a backpack and I saw the gun in their hand, they told me to tell the cops that it was a revolution.

SIMON: When police arrived they discovered that two of their own were murdered. They've been identified as 41-year-old Officer Alyn Beck and 31-year-old Igor Soldo, both leaving behind wives and young children.

GILLESPIE: What precipitated this event, we do not know. My officers were simply having lunch.

SIMON: Authorities say one officer was able to fire back before being killed. The assailants then grabbing the officers' guns and their ammunition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The man who shot him was hugging him like this, but I think he was going for his gun, trying to get the officers' gun.

SIMON: The duo then headed across the street to this Wal-Mart killing a woman near the front entrance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw a whole bunch of people start running towards the back.

SIMON: Police converged on the scene exchanging gunfire inside. But before they could apprehend the pair, the female attacker shot the male suspect, she then turned the gun on herself.


SIMON: Well, authorities have not released any information about the victim killed at the Wal-Mart. I want to tell you about these two police officers who were killed. First, officer Alyn Beck, age 41. He had been with the department for nearly 13 years. Had been assigned to the patrol division and he leaves behind a wife and six children. Officer Igor Soldo, 31 years old, eight-year veteran, also a patrol officer, he leaves behind a wife and a baby.

It's just such a heartbreaking situation, Brooke. And this one appears to be politically motivated.

We'll send it back to you.

BALDWIN: Our hearts and thoughts with their families this morning, horrendous. Dan Simon, thank you so much.

We are getting new details here about the abuse that Bowe Bergdahl suffered at the hands of the Taliban. Sergeant Bergdahl is recovering in the military hospital in Germany after five years of captivity. Meanwhile, in the U.S., his parents are getting death threats.

Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is here with the latest.

Barbara, good morning.


Well, the Taliban are now telling their side of the story, relatively good treatment of Bowe Bergdahl they say. But U.S. officials are saying Bergdahl is saying he was physically abused.


STARR (voice-over): At this hospital in Germany, Bowe Bergdahl promoted automatically to sergeant while held prisoner now says he wants to be called by his old rank, private first class. In his mind, he is a PFC, a senior U.S. official says adding that Bergdahl wearing his uniform would be part of the regular reintegration process.

A Taliban source tells CNN's Nic Robertson that not long after Bergdahl was taken prisoner he escaped and was on the run three days before being recaptured. The Taliban account which cannot be independently confirmed claims Bergdahl never converted to Islam and was allowed to celebrate Christmas and Easter.

Secretary of State John Kerry defends sending Taliban detainees to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl.

On CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," he suggested to Elise Labott that the U.S. would be keeping an eye on them if they return to the fight.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Elise, I'm not telling you that they don't have some ability at some point to go back and get involved, but they also have an ability to get killed doing that.

STARR: Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein on CBS said she isn't buying that.

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I heard John Kerry this morning saying, don't worry about them in Doha. You can't help but worry about them in Doha.

STARR: And what of that alleged Taliban threat to kill Bergdahl if word of the prisoners swap leaked?

Feinstein said she doesn't believe there was a credible threat.

FEINSTEIN: No, I do not. I've heard of none. Let me put it that way.

STARR: But the senior U.S. official says that once a prisoner exchange deal was reached with Bergdahl's captors, the U.S. had to move quickly, because of intelligence, other Taliban elements might kill him to keep him out of U.S. hands.


STARR: And so far, Bowe Bergdahl has not phoned his parents we are told. U.S. officials are also saying that the FBI indeed is continuing to investigate threats against his parents -- Chris.

CUOMO: Barbara, thank you again for pushing the reporting on this. People have a lot of preconceived notions about the family, about how Bergdahl came to be captured, about what captivity meant and didn't mean.

And the truth is, for many of us, we have no idea what we're talking about.

So, let's bring in somebody who does, Keith Stansell. He was held hostage for 5 1/2 years by a Colombian militant group.

Keith, thank you for helping us with this. I remember in covering your story and sitting with you how painfully revealing it is to explain just how difficult it is to live in captivity, let alone for this period, let alone with people who may well kill you at any given moment.

Please let us understand, when you hear the details of Bergdahl's captivity, what does that do to somebody over that period of time?

KEITH STANSELL, HELD HOSTAGE: Well, the first thing that strikes me, Chris -- good morning -- you know, for Bergdahl, it's 2014 for us. Well, it's not 2014 for him. He's been in a box, for lack of a better term, for five years. So, it doesn't seem all that unreasonable for me to hear that he's more comfortable being called PFC.

So we had certain things in captivity that we held on to, and for us, and our families, also, we had this preconceived vision of what our family was going to be like and what life is going to be like, when we got captured in 2003, rescued in 2008, my vision of my family, my home, all the conditions in which I lived were from 5 1/2 years previous.

So, he's been held in a time warp. It's a difficult adjustment. That part doesn't surprise me. That for me may just be a comfort zone for him.

CUOMO: What does it mean that he's not ready to speak to family? Because for us, the uninitiated, you'd think that's the first thing you'd want to do. What do we missed?

STANSELL: I think what some people might be missing here is just the emotional shock that one is in the overload. As I related to you earlier, the first time I got to see my family, the doc that was assigned to me said, hey, Keith, about 30 minutes is all you're going to get. Probably 10 to 15 into it it's going to be a lot.

It was overwhelming for me. It was overwhelming.

And a big difference between the three of us and Bergdahl was that Mark and Tom and I at least had each other's support in captivity. So, it was a little easier to relate to somebody. We came back, could still speak English. All those things were more normalized for us.

I thought about it last night, how difficult it was for him, no English, five years of foreign land. You know, he didn't have -- for lack -- you know, an internal support network like we did, so to speak, having the three of us together. So, it's got to be tough. But I'm sure they're prepping him as best they can and he's in

decompression now. So, we'll see. That in time will come. Hopefully for the family it will because these reports of threats, it's mind- boggling to me that someone would threaten his family.

CUOMO: Well, let's talk about that. People are throwing the family into the political fray essentially, right? And they're looking at the father and the beard that he grew and what he says were gestures of understanding to figure out what was going on with his son. They're now basically blaming him as a Muslim extremist and sympathizer and he pushed his son in that direction as well.

You find it shameful. Why?

STANSELL: Well, we've always got a fringe element, don't we? I mean, people that have a point to make or they're a little overstated and not so measured in what they say. I look at Bergdahl's father as like any other father or his mother.

What do you do when total control has been taken out of your hands? All you want is to get your child home, what do you do? I don't blame him whatsoever. We all may take different paths. But at the end, any of us, we love our children.

I mean, I have three boys and a daughter. Let's say my son were to rob a bank tomorrow -- hopefully never -- I understand he's got as to pay for his crime. At the end of the day, because he was a bank robber, does that mean I don't love him anymore as a father? I mean, that's the point that I don't get.

I respect Bergdahl's efforts o to do whatever they can to get him back. Whether I agree with him or not is irrelevant. It's irrelevant. You have a father obviously dedicated to his son. Where I don't get where the animosity for that is coming from. Just to me, it's terrible. It's a horrible thing.

CUOMO: Well, often the source of anger is somewhat confusing. All we get to see is its manifestation. And, you know, while I wish I didn't have to do this, just to correct the record, Bob Bergdahl is a practicing Presbyterian. He's not a Muslim. So, those of you who keep shouting it like it was even relevant, like being a Muslim is bad, are just wrong.

Let me ask you one other thing, Keith, when we hear reports that he tried to escape and that he may have been held in very severe confinement after that, that during the proof-of-life offerings, he never said anything that was a statement against interest with the United States. He never criticized the United States. Many are dismissing that as so what?

How difficult is it to maintain in confinement? How difficult is it to resist turning or saying whatever you're told to say when in captivity?

STANSELL: I don't think that for Americans it's that difficult. We have a patriotism here. It's kind of home grown. I think where he's from in Idaho, I would imagine that's deep in everybody's blood there.

But, hey, I remember at one point in captivity I'm chained to a tree and I'm listening to a BBC press conference live covering the secretary of defense. An "A.P." reporter said, hey, Mr. Secretary, what about the three American hostages. He just looked and said, we don't discuss. We don't negotiate. Next.

One side, Chris, that killed the three us. It was tough to hear. On the other side, we were proud of the stance that was taken, a very tough stance.

It had to be very tough for Bergdahl. Whether you agree with what he's done -- we still don't know. A lot is conjecture. He was solo on his own. Got to be tough, for five years. I mean, the guy is unbelievably tough.

CUOMO: You've been very clear in your work when people have been taken into captivity, your experience, yourself, it's going to take time. God willing he winds up making the recovery like you have. It's a great joy to see the pleasure you take in living your life, and the pictures and the work that you're doing now, and the love you have with your family.

So, Keith, let's hope the best for him and see if he can come out close to where you are. Thank you for the perspective my friend.

STANSELL: As always, Chris, have a great day. I just hope people out there with show a little prudence when it comes to his mother and father. They've done nothing wrong.

CUOMO: We're not seeing enough of it. But that is the right wish, for us. Keith, take care.

Mick, a lot of news this morning. Let us know what's going on.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. I sure will, Chris, here are your headlines, folks.

Breaking overnight, 28 people are now dead, dozens other injured in an attack on Pakistan's busiest airport. This began late Sunday night at the international airport in Karachi. Ten of the dead are militants. They stormed the cargo area armed with guns, grenade and suicide vest. Pakistani Taliban says it carried out the attack as a retaliation for an American drone strike that killed its leader.

In a rather unique gathering at the Vatican, Pope Francis led the presidents of Israel and Palestinians in a prayers summit on Sunday. The symbolic ceremony was an expression of hope for an end to one of the world's largest conflicts, longest conflicts. But the meeting was more about prayer than politics as the three also joined together to plant an olive tree. Pope Francis said he hoped the symbolism will be the beginning of a new journey.

And there she is, Nia Sanchez, the newly crowned Miss USA. The 24- year-old from Nevada beat out 50 other beauty queens to take the crown. Sanchez is a fourth degree black belt in taekwondo. She wants to promote awareness of self-defense for women. Sanchez will represent the U.S. in the Miss Universe competition later this year.

BALDWIN: Apparently, as a little girl she lived in a women's shelter with her mother. She wanted to learn taekwondo to build up her confidence.

PEREIRA: And to protect herself, too. Yes, absolutely.

CUOMO: Strong, but she would finish third on this set. She would finish third.

PEREIRA: Oh, you're a sweetheart.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, the latest on Hillary watch. Ahead of her book release, she's talking about Benghazi, her health and something else. What else is she talking about?

BALDWIN: Maybe that whole presidential thing.

CUOMO: That's right. Diane Sawyer gets on her about when is she going to run? She gives an answer that has us thinking.

BALDWIN: A little murky.

And some improvement for Tracy Morgan since the car crash he was involved in, horrible accident that killed another comedian. Listen, he still has a long road ahead. We will have an update on Tracy Morgan's condition right here on NEW DAY.


BALDWIN: And welcome back to NEW DAY, I'm Brooke Baldwin, in for Kate Bolduan this week. Hillary Clinton back on the road, starting up a media tour to promote her new memoir, "Hard Choices", which, by the way, is due out tomorrow. And yes, she is already revealing these new details about when she will decide to run and explaining if she has any side effects from the fall in 2010.

So, here to break it down is our two CNN commentators, Republican strategist Ana Navarro and Democratic strategist Paul Begala. Paul is also a senior adviser to the PAC Priorities USA Action.

To both of you, good Monday morning.



BEGALA: Let's run through a couple of sound bites so we can ponder and pontificate on the significance here, ahead of this book release.

So, the first one is basically the timetable, the whens, the ifs, the how. Roll it.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I have to make the decision that's right for me and the country.

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: But is the party frozen in place waiting for you to make it?

CLINTON: No, I mean, no. People can do whatever they choose to do on whatever timetable they decide.


BALDWIN: So, Paul Begala, first to you, this whole idea of it's almost like a freeze frame, what will Hillary Clinton do? How, as long as she takes, does this affect other potential democratic contenders?

BEGALA: Yes, the party I suppose is not frozen, but the donors, the grassroots activists, they're not so much frozen as they are on fire. They want Hillary to run. And until she decides whether she's going to run, they're not going to commit to anybody else.

By the way, this is a good thing for the Democrats, but also a good thing for America. We don't need an endless president campaign. As she points out in the interview, Hillary's husband announced for president in October of '91, the election, of course, was November of '92, just 13 months in advance. We're 2 1/2 years in advance.


BEGALA: You and Ana weren't even born then. But I actually worked for her back in 1992. That was plenty long enough. We don't need a 2 1/2-year campaign.

BALDWIN: We were around. We were around.

But let me push you quickly on that. If people are on fire and want to give money to camp Hillary and if camp Hillary ultimately decides no, then what about those other folks who would run?

BEGALA: Oh, then, it will be a mad dash, it will be a scramble. The Democrats actually have a pretty good base -- bench rather. But right now, everybody really is waiting for Hillary. I'm afraid of hers, I want her to run terribly. I don't have any keen insights.

But I want her to run. And I speak for the vast majority of Democrats, something like 69 percent, 70 percent of Democrats are saying they'll support Hillary if she runs.

BALDWIN: Ana Navarro, does the waiting game help your party?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it does because frankly, if she does decide to run, it looks like she's not going to get a primary or very serious primary. I think that does benefit the Republicans because it puts all of the attention on the Republican primary.

I remember when this happened in 2008, all of the attention was on the Democrat primary because McCain wrapped it up very early in 2008 and it was left -- McCain was left with nobody paying any attention to him. On the other side, there's this idea, this notion of somebody being anointed the nominee, of somebody being handed it over, being coronated -- well, we don't like that in America. I think it will rub some people the wrong way.

And the third thing is, frankly, I think Hillary Clinton needs the political practice. She hasn't done politics, she hasn't done retail politics in -- it's going to be eight years by the time 2016 rolls around. And practice makes better.

BALDWIN: What she has done is testify. Let's get to Benghazi. She testified for hours and hours under oath. This is Diane Sawyer asking her if -- if she is asked to testify when it comes to Benghazi and the select committee, this is her response. Take a look.


CLINTON: We'll see what they decide to do, how they conduct themselves, whether or not this is one more travesty about the loss of four Americans or whether this is in the best tradition of the Congress, an effort to try to figure out what we can do better.

BALDWIN: Paul, if she is asked to testify, will she have to?

BEGALA: Well, she may be subpoenaed, in fact. I would advise -- having been through many of these investigations -- I would advise the Republicans on the Hill to be careful what they wish for.

Hillary has testified, seven hours under oath, as you point out. There is a legitimate congressional oversight function. Hillary as a former senator knows that. I thought she articulated that well. She didn't say everything they're doing is partisan.

But it's starting to look like it's partisan. This has been investigated. She did testify under oath. She also commissioned a really scathing report about her own State Department and followed up by implementing all 29 recommendations of that report. So, it has been looked into. I think the Republicans, if they call her, beware, she'll kick their butts.

BALDWIN: Well, Ana Navarro, I don't know if you'll agree with that.

NAVARRO: I'm not sure -- look, I'm not sure, that didn't exactly happen when she did testify. She obviously doesn't listen to me. If I was advising her and she gets called, I would tell her to do it because I don't think Hillary Clinton wants her last words on Benghazi to be, what difference does it make?

We saw that she wrote about it in this book, but we also saw this week a new poll in "The Washington Post" where more than half of Americans disapprove of the way she handled Benghazi. That's not just Republicans. Despite the Democrats' best effort, it is not just Republicans who have questions and are unhappy and unsatisfied with the way Benghazi has been handled. It also includes moderate Democrats and a lot of moderates and independents in the middle.

BALDWIN: And the possibility of her being subpoenaed, this is one reason that Pelosi ultimately said, OK, let's get Democrats on the select committee.

Final sound bite --

NAVARRO: Well, that or because she got nudged by someone in Clinton world.

BALDWIN: Perhaps, but they'll be there and we'll watch for it if she is subpoenaed.

Final sound bite. This is Hillary Clinton. This is talking about her health.


SAWYER: So, no lingering effects?

CLINTON: BALDWIN: No lingering effects.

SAWYER: Of any kind?

CLINTON: No, no.

SAWYER: You would release your medical records if you run for president.

CLINTON: I would do what other candidates have done, absolutely.

SAWYER: And what would like to say to Karl Rove about your brain?

CLINTON: That I know he was called Bush's brain in one of the books written about him, and I wish him well.



BALDWIN: Final last thoughts on both of you. Ana, we begin with you.

NAVARRO: Smart thing for her to do is to release the medical records if she becomes a candidate, because if not, it's going to become what taxes became for Romney, where people think she's hiding something.

BALDWIN: And I know, Paul, you say it's more about economy than anything else, right?

BEGALA: Well, it is. Ana is right. Everybody who wants to be our president has an obligation to be transparent. I was glad to see Hillary say that she will be, what a huge mistake by Karl Rove. I want to thank Carl publicly for one more time helping to boost Hillary by unfairly attacking her. We can have an honest debate about ideas and issues. But that kind of stupid personal attack really backfired on Mr. Rove.

BALDWIN: Paul Begala, Ana Navarro, thank you very much on this Monday morning, for waking up with us here on NEW DAY.

NAVARRO: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Chris Cuomo, back to you.

CUOMO: Some vintage Diane Sawyer. What would you like to say to Karl Rove about your brain? That was very good -- good exchange.

All right. Let's take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, we have the latest on the deadly car accident that left comedian Tracy Morgan in critical condition. We're going to tell you how he's doing this morning, and the reports still fairly dire.

And fighting words. California Chrome came up short in his bid for the Triple Crown. But the story now is his owner. Some harsh words for the racing community. Hear what he has to say and weigh in on what is a fomenting debate.