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Helping Victims of Paralysis; U.S. Captures Alleged Benghazi Mastermind; U.S. Interrogates Militant on Benghazi Attack; Nine-Year- Old Basketball Star

Aired June 18, 2014 - 08:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good and good looking.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Watch your light (ph).

CUOMO: I'll block it. Oh, maybe not.


PEREIRA: All right, here we go with the five things you need to know for your new day.

At number one, the alleged ringleader of the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi has been captured. Ahmed Abu Khattala is now being questioned aboard a Navy ship. He should be in the U.S. arriving here in the coming days.

President Obama will meet with congressional leaders today to discuss how to handle the crisis in Iraq. There are conflicting reports about whether air strikes are on the table. All of this as Iraqi forces overcome an attack by ISIS militants on a major oil refinery.

Remember the teenage here stowed away in a wheel well on a flight from California to Hawaii? He's speaking out. He says he wanted to find his mom in Africa and the plane was the only one he could find going west. The teen also says he can't believe he survived the dangerous journey. Something we can't believe either.

The controversial prison swap of Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders getting another hearing on Capitol Hill today. Meanwhile, Bergdahl's reintegration team is gradually exposing him to media coverage about him.

This morning, General Motors' CEO Mary Barra heading back to Capitol Hill. She'll testify on troubling findings in an internal report on GM's botched handling of an ignition switch defect that is linked to 13 deaths.

We're always updating those five things to know, so be sure to go to for the latest and freshest.


CUOMO: All right, thanks, Mic. Now to this week's "Human Factor." Sabrina Cohen has been confined to

a wheelchair ever since she was paralyzed in a car crash at the age of just 14. Well now she's helping other paralysis victims get their lives back in motion. Here's CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with how.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 14 years old, Sabrina Cohen was your average teenager. She was building a social life, simply trying to fit in. So when a few older boys offered Sabrina and her friends a ride to a party, they jumped at the chance.

SABRINA COHEN, SPINAL CORD INJURY SURVIVOR: I just remember being concerned with things like not putting my seat belt on because I wouldn't have looked cool. Within minutes, they took off drag racing down one of Miami Beach's most dangerous streets about 90 miles per hour. The other car lost control, hit the car that I was in. We hit a tree. And I instantly became a quadriplegic.

GUPTA: After several months of grueling rehab and soul searching, Sabrina decided to use her experience to help others.

COHEN: My principal approached me and said to me, would you talk to the seniors about reckless driving. And that was the start of my mentorship.

GUPTA: She graduated, at the top of her class, from high school, on time. Then she went on to get a dual degree in advertising and psychology from the University of Miami. A few years after college, she started the Sabrina Cohen Foundation.

COHEN: My focus now is to allocate funds to people who can't afford to get the best therapy. And I think I am an example that life can go on and you can live a full life, as I do.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: What an amazing woman. What an amazing woman. What she's already accomplished and what she's going to add. What more she has to do. Wow, Sabrina, thank you.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, the suspected mastermind behind the Benghazi attack has finally been captured. Was he caught just in time before he could help launch more attacks? That's a question we're looking at.

CUOMO: Plus, this kid's been compared to some of the biggest names in the NBA. Not the WNBA, the NBA. She's in fourth grade. Her name is Jaden Newman. She's making a racket and with good reason. That's two balls. Oh, passed it through the legs.

BOLDUAN: Oh, gosh.

CUOMO: I don't have that move. Curly Neil (ph). Curly Neil (ph). Two words.

BOLDUAN: Whoa, whoa, whoa.


CUOMO: Welcome back.

This morning, the suspected mastermind of the Benghazi attack is on a U.S. Navy ship in U.S. custody, obviously. There are reports he had even more attacks up his sleeve. So, what's going on right now? What are interviewers or interrogators doing to him? What will they be able to get out of him? And still stay within the rules? What are those rules? Who knows? We have someone who does, Philip Mudd, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, former CIA counterterrorism official.

Sir, good to have you here with us this morning. Allow me, please, to present the obvious questions that the uninitiated have about what is happening right now. So, you have this guy. First tell me, why did it take you so long when reporters were able to contact this guy? Why were they a couple of phone calls away and you, experts, couldn't get him?

PHILIP MUDD, SENIOR FELLOW, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Well, come on now, let's check - let's have a reality check here. When a reporter goes in to talk to this guy, this fellow owns the turf. The reporter doesn't own the turf. This guy sets the stage of where it's going to be, when it's going to be, where his security teams are surround the area.

When a U.S. team goes in, we don't own the turf necessarily and we have to be careful. What's his pattern of life? What's his pattern of life going to be tomorrow? Where are his security guards? What kind of weapons do they have? Where are the women and children? Where are the dead ends in the neighborhood? What happens if a man goes down and we have to recapture him in the streets of Benghazi? The story between a journalist going in when the terrorist owns the turf and a SEAL team going in when a terrorist owns the turf are a lot different, fundamentally different.

CUOMO: Was there also a layered aspect here in terms of the requirements to make this move in the first place, having the evidence built up to make the case?

MUDD: I think that's a huge story here. Look, let me take you into one piece of why these cases take so long and why they're different from a journalist going in to speak to this fellow. Let's just take witnesses. You go in and you say, if you're a prosecutor, I don't want to go into a court of law without proof, when a defense attorney can pick apart what I'm going to say. So I want to talk to witnesses. Well, first, from 5,000 miles away, I want to figure out who they are. That might take months.

Second, in a war zone, I want to figure out where they are. Third, I don't own Libya. I'm going to have to go to the Libyan government and say, find these people and give them - give me access to them. So let's say you're six moments in now and you start the interview process. One more point, what do you think's going to happen when you interview 10 people? They're going to start, over the course of those interviews, maybe over the course of weeks and months, contradicting themselves. So you're going to have to re-interview.

My point is, the difference between intelligence, which is "I think" and evidence, which is "I know," is huge. And that takes months or years to put together in a war zone.

CUOMO: I know, or at a minimum for our standards, I can show and I get that that took time.

All right. So now you have him. He's on a ship.

MUDD: Yes.

CUOMO: What are the rules of - not engagement, but what are the right rules that keep this legal on this ship? Can you interrogate? Is he in custody? Is he under arrest? What if he says he wants a lawyer? How does this part play out?

MUDD: Heck, yes, you can interrogate him. I find the debate in this country humorous on the issue of how we deal with terrorists. We don't have to read them - read him his rights right away. You can sit on a ship and talk to him for --

CUOMO: Why not?

MUDD: Because that's what the law says. He's not in U.S. custody - I mean he's in U.S. custody. He's not - the FBI does not - is not required by law regulation or policy to give him his rights right now. They can talk to him. Not a problem.

By the way, they're not going to talk to him about Benghazi right now. I can tell you what they're going to ask him. A, forget about Benghazi, where's the next attack? B, who's responsible for the next attack, and tell me about who those people are? And, C, if those are the people responsible for the next attack, where are they and how do I get them? This is a people business, counterterrorism, and I want to hunt the people for the next attack before I worry about the evidence for the last attack.

CUOMO: What if he says I want to go and what kind of tactics do you employ to start opening a guy like this up?

MUDD: Sorry, dude, if you want to go, you are done. Put a fork in that dude, he's going to a U.S. federal prison, he's going to rot. He's not going anywhere. The tactics in this case are quite simple.

CUOMO: But you said I'm not under arrest. Why can't I leave?

MUDD: He's on a U.S. ship. He's in U.S. custody. And there's an unsealed complaint against him. You can hold him as long as you want. He's not going anywhere.

In terms of the interrogation, I think what's going to happen here is, let me take you inside the room for a second. You have to have people in the room who know everything about this guy's history. And everything about what he's done in the past so when he starts to lie about what he's done, he doesn't know what you know.

And you start to say, look, if you said you were not at that facility, here's where you were on that day, here's what you were doing on that day. He starts to realize that the room is closing around him. It takes him a long time to understand that he can't lie because the interrogators know more than he thinks.

Over time, you build a sense that there's no way out for him and he starts to get a sense that there's no option but to talk. You put your arm around him, say, "Son, if you don't talk, life is going to be really rough and your sentence is going to be longer." So, this will take a while, but it takes real expertise to slowly close the room around him.

CUOMO: What do you think? What's your best guess as to what the tentacles are from this guy to other bad guys in the region, other plans that were going on?

MUDD: I would say he knows a lot. Whether he reveals a lot has to do not only with interrogation techniques but his own personality. When we were holding detainees at CIA, as you know, we held them at black sites when I was there; the way a detainee broke was vastly different, according to personality type. If he gets nervous and decides he wants to talk because he thinks that will get him off the hook, we might get a lot of information early.

My guess, based on what I've seen of this guy, is he is at the other end of the spectrum. When you have people who are religiously motivated, who believe that they are directed by God to do terrorist attacks, they are not going to break very easily. So I would say this is going to take a long time if ever, to get really at what this guy knows.

CUOMO: Philip Mudd, thank you so much for taking us inside the room and inside the heads of the men and women who are trying to advance the U.S. cause on the war on terror. Appreciate it.

MUDD: Thank you. Sure.

CUOMO: Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much -- Chris.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, there -- not me, her, there she is. Basketball's newest phenom, colleges are recruiting her. Chris is about to attack her. That is a scary sight. Christopher, be nice.

CUOMO: I'm all hands. She can't take it.

BOLDUAN: Guess what -- she is nine years old. And she's going to beat Chris Cuomo. Jaden Newman here in the studio to show off her skills and talk to us about all of it. All the attention.

CUOMO: Did you see that rebound? I yanked that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PEREIRA: Good stuff today is even gooder. Nine-year-old Jaden Newman, just like any other fourth grader.

BOLDUAN: Or not.

PEREIRA: Except for she gained national attention for being a basketball phenom. She's already being recruited, yo, by colleges. Jaw-dropping skills landed her on the high school varsity team, caught the attention then of the University of Miami, which has started recruiting her. Who's here? None other than Jaden Newman, 4'7", btw, and her --


BOLDUAN: I mean that's crazy.

PEREIRA: This is Jamie -- Jamie Newman, good to have you both here. How are you doing, darling?


PEREIRA: You are here to show this big man a few things. But first of all we're all so excited to have you and your dad here. Dad, you're coach too right.


PEREIRA: Both your kids play.

JAMIE NEWMAN: Yes, they do.

PEREIRA: Your wife played, you played.

JAMIE NEWMAN: It's family thing.

PEREIRA: It would seem wrong if she ended up an accountant.

BOLDUAN: She can be an accountant but a baller accountant -- you know what I mean.

CUOMO: You doing well at school?


CUOMO: You're playing because you love the game?


CUOMO: That's all that matters.

BOLDUAN: Can we stop the talking? Can we start the playing?

CUOMO: We will. But I want -- here's something because this is so unusual. You know, I got kids this age, we're trying to get them into sports, usually introducing a nine-year-old to the game.

PEREIRA: That's a good point.

CUOMO: When did you realize that this kid was just accelerating in terms of skills at an unusual pace?

JAMIE NEWMAN: Really at four. She started the three. But at four, we -- she could already dribble two balls at four.

CUOMO: At four?

JAMIE NEWMAN: At four years old. At four years old.

BOLDUAN: When did you give her a ball? Three?


PEREIRA: Think I was still dribbling, actually dribbling.

CUOMO: Out of your mouth.

PEREIRA: That's what I'm saying.

OK, girl, I need to talk to you. Can you just show this big man your skills, because he does a lot of this talking about how much game he has? Will you do a favor for Kate and I take him down?


PEREIRA: What you got? What you got?

CUOMO: I'm taking my jacket off. I will give that you level of respect. Because when you were warming up before, you almost tore my jacket.

BOLDUAN: She's rolling her eyes at you already.

CUOMO: I know.

BOLDUAN: Show him your ball-handling skills. Go ahead, show us what you got.

CUOMO: Let's see, if you're dribbling, 'cause these kids are all bigger than you, they are going to think that you're weak, they come up near you, what do you do?

JADEN NEWMA: Go by them.

BOLDUAN: I go by them. It's as simple as that.

PEREIRA: Still scratching Jaden.

CUOMO: Let me start again. Keep dribbling. Keep dribbling.

BOLDUAN: This is what I don't get.

CUOMO: I want the ball. I want the ball. I want the ball. I want the ball. Why do you move so fast? I want the ball. JAMIE NEWMAN: She's just so fast.

CUOMO: Can you put it in your left-hand? I'm on your right hand. Left hand.

BOLDUAN: Does she ever just run --

CUOMO: Keep dribbling. I'm using the body, I'm using the contact, because you're small. You're small -- very fast.

PEREIRA: She's equally able -- left-handed and right-handed. One hand dominant --

CUOMO: She felt the twinge.


CUOMO: Can't see anything. I'm in your face. Can't shoot, too, in your face. In your face.

PEREIRA: This guy does a lot of talking, he is a big fellow.

CUOMO: She is very quick and can use both hands with the ball.

JAMIE NEWMAN: Right. She can finish with her left hand as well.

PEREIRA: Let's give you a second ball and see if you can dribble two at the same time.

BOLDUAN: Here's the other thing, she is already being recruited. What did you think when you got the call from the University of Miami? Did you think they were crazy?

JAMIE NEWMAN: At first I couldn't believe it but I understand her skill level and being a female. Nowadays, females stay away from sports.

BOLDUAN: Does it make you -- is there any nerves related to them recruiting her, given so many people paying attention to her so early?

JAMIE NEWMAN: Not really, because like her whole life people have been looking at her, ever since she was three. She was always playing with the boys, first of all.

PEREIRA: Yes, yes, yes.

BOLDUAN: I'll take that ball.

PEREIRA: Go ahead and shoot and then we will see what the big man's made of.

CUOMO: One shot for all of it.

PEREIRA: How do you keep her letting her be --

CUOMO: Breakfast. PEREIRA: Just a fourth grader?

JAMIE NEWMAN: She still has her play dates.

CUOMO: The loser pays for breakfast. You can shoot from anywhere you want.

PEREIRA: And she and her brother play together.

CUOMO: Whoever makes it first -- don't let me distract you. Shoot when you're ready.

BOLDUAN: Chris, stop talking. Go ahead, Jaden go.

PEREIRA: Go ahead Jaden.

CUOMO: Just make sure you're behind the line.

BOLDUAN: Oh my God.

PEREIRA: Don't listen to him Jaden.

Just because he is tall doesn't mean he has authority.

CUOMO: All right. What I was looking for.

PEREIRA: That's all right. Shake it off.

CUOMO: That's one shot. Let's see how many you take.

PEREIRA: Shake it off.

CUOMO: You're getting nervous.

PEREIRA: There you go.

CUOMO: That's it. That's what I'm talking about.

BOLDUAN: Let's get you up there.

CUOMO: The basket's the wrong height. I set this all up for show.

BOLDUAN: Why do you get to the line?

CUOMO: I'm going to see how many shot she takes. I'm hoping we got to go to commercial before I have to shoot.

PEREIRA: That's what I'm talking about.

BOLDUAN: Nothing but net.

CUOMO: All right. How much time before we go to commercial?

BOLDUAN: You shoot and talk about -- I think we're going to break.

CUOMO: You are better than I ever was in my life. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: That's all I got. Like that.

PEREIRA: All right. Jaden one more time. Are you ready? This is for the game tie. Go.

CUOMO: No pressure.

PEREIRA: That's what I'm talking about.

BOLDUAN: Nothing but net. Come on over here baby girl.

Finally practice time.

PEREIRA: High five. You're my new favorite nine-year-old.

CUOMO: You're the best. Good luck going forward, sweetheart.

JADEN NEWMAN: Thank you.

PEREIRA: Congratulations Dad.

JAMIE NEWMAN: Thank you. Thank you.

CUOMO: See you when you make the pros.

A lot of news this morning, let's get you right over to Poppy Harlow in for Carol Costello. She wasn't that much quicker than me. She wasn't that much quicker as it looked at home.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Not that much. Does she know you practice every day after the show in the newsroom, Chris?

CUOMO: Didn't work. Whatever I'm doing is not enough, Poppy.

HARLOW: I guess it's not. Too much fun you guys are having there, enjoyed it and you're a rock star right there by the way.

JAMIE NEWMAN: Thanks for having us.