Return to Transcripts main page


Soccer Player Luis Suarez Bites Member of Opposing Team; The Politics Of Hillary

Aired June 24, 2014 - 16:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Live in Rio, I want to bring in sports correspondent Alex Thomas.

And, Alex, Luis Suarez is a great player but he bites people. And I think this time it could have a serious impact on his country's chances at the World Cup.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: John, you're right. He's such a magnificent player, he'll be on most people's lists of -- in amongst the top five players on the planet. Yet, he can't get into his head, this is a game played with your feet, not with your mouth. And he has history.

He was banned more than six games in the Netherlands when playing for (INAUDIBLE), banned for 10 games playing in England's world famous Premier League. He's also been banned for eight games for using a racist word against an opponent. I was in South Africa four years ago to watch as he handled the ball when it was going to go over the line to deny Ghana being the first ever African team to the semifinals of a soccer World Cup. Back then, Uruguay -- people back in Uruguay said well, that's not cheating, that's just the way we play the game. Anything to win. I'm not sure biting is going to go down quite as well. And you're right: FIFA World Football's governing body is sure to throw the book at him.

BERMAN: Yeah, well, (INAUDIBLE) legal analyst here to figure out how you prove intent on gnawing an opponent's shoulder. But we'll leave that aside for a second because I want to talk about the U.S. men's national team. All they need is a tie to advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup, which is people speaking about conspiracy theories. Will the U.S. and Germany get together and just play a friendly game on Thursday? But U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, he says not so much. Let's listen.


JURGEN KLINSMANN, U.S. HEAD MEN'S SOCCER COACH: We're going to play this game to win it. We are not made for going to a game to go for a tie. That's just not in our DNA.


BERMAN: Now, he's got both American and German DNA when it comes to coaching and playing. So Alex, do you believe him when he says Team USA will go for the win?

THOMAS: Yes, absolutely. For the main reason that if you try and sit back and defend for the draw, inevitably, you're going to concede a goal. You have to push forward trying to win. Although I can see a situation where with 20 minutes to go, if it's still nil-nil between these two teams, maybe the motivation, the excitement will go out of the game. They know they just have to play it out for a draw.

But there's not going to be any secret deal. The conspiracy theorists can rest assured about that. It all springs from the fact that Jurgen Klinsmann knows Joachim Low, the Germany coach, really well. Low was Klinsmann's assistant when he was coaching his native Germany at the 2006 World Cup on home soil. They didn't lift the title there. And Klinsmann's come into American soccer and tried to revitalize it, really, and they've surprised everyone at this tournament. They were seen as lambs to the slaughter in that group. Instead, they've got a really good chance of getting through to the knockout rounds. John?

BERMAN: We are not lions - we are not lambs, we are lions. Alex Thomas, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Coming up on THE LEAD, Bill Clinton taking on critics who are calling his wife out of touch. How he's defending Hillary's remarks about their wealth next.

Plus, just the summer warning you wanted to hear for those traveling to the beach. Why one expert is predicting an uptick in shark attacks. That's next.


BERMAN: Welcome back to THE LEAD, everyone. In politics, Bill's got her back. Former president Bill Clinton now coming to his wife's defense and her suggestion that her family, their family was, quote, "dead broke" when they left the White House. The former president was speaking as part of the Clinton Global Initiative in Denver. Here's what he just told NBC's David Gregory.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt. Everybody now assumes that what happened in the intervening years was automatic. I'm shocked that it's happened. I'm shocked that people still want me to come give talks. And so I'm grateful.


BERMAN: He also pushed back on attacks that Hillary Clinton faced in the media over the comment.


BILL CLINTON: She's not out of touch. And she advocated and worked as a senator for things that were good for ordinary people. And before that, all her life, and the people asking her questions should put this into some sort of context.


BERMAN: All right. This is fascinating on about 150 different levels. Let's bring in CNN's chief political analyst Gloria Borger in Washington. And here with me in New York, CNN political commentator Errol Lewis, the anchor for New York 1's "Inside City Hall."

Gloria, I want to start with you here. Bill Clinton says we should put this in context. I always love it when politicians tell the media to put things in context. I'll give you a little context. You wife might want to the run for president. There are a lot of people are suffering economically right now. You need to be a little careful how you talk about wealth.

That context aside, what do you think the fact that Bill Clinton has stepped into this means for Mrs. Clinton right now?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, H=he's trying to clean up her clean-up because she tried to clean this up after she gave the initial interview to Diane Sawyer, talking about how they were dead broke. Now he's trying to sort of say okay, she was right. We were several million dollars in debt. What he didn't say is they had a lot of legal bills.

But what stunned me was him saying he was shocked that people still want him to speak to them. He's a former president of the United States. You know the minute you leave the White House, people are going to want to pay you to speak. And that's what they did to Bill Clinton and that's what they continue to do for Bill Clinton and for Hillary Clinton.

BERMAN: So Errol, the former president was speaking to "The Denver Post" and he had a comment. He said, "Like I said, I'm a bit player. Whatever she wants to do is fine with me." He says he's going to be a bit player to whatever decision she makes. To me, this doesn't feel like being a bit player. This feels like the big dog getting in the game.

ERROL LEWIS, NY1 ANCHOR: Well, exactly. I mean, Bill Clinton says oh, little old me. I can't imagine anybody would want to pay me to speak, although he had just come from an eight-year presidency in which he went from expensive household to expensive household getting great wealth from people by sitting and talking with them. I mean, this is not somebody who I think is going to be the man from hope anymore. That's long in his past.

He's a former president. He's an elder statesman, he's a global figure, he's a very wealthy man. If he can figure out how to campaign like that and still have the Bill Clinton common touch, then he'll really be helping Hillary.

BERMAN: Gloria?

BORGER: Can I just say one thing about being a bit player? Bill Clinton is never a bit player, anywhere he goes or in anything he does. Remember back to the original Bill Clinton campaign, two for price of one? They don't want to say that again, but honestly, that's what's going to happen. I mean, if Hillary Clinton runs and should she become president of the United States, Bill Clinton is not going to be a bit player. He managed to stay in the shadows when she was secretary of state. But he's going to be padding around the White House, and he's going to have a lot of the influence for better or worse.

BERMAN: No, he doesn't seem to do bit very well. I mean, I guess, Errol -- he is factually correct. They left the White House with not much; he grew up with nothing. I mean, he knew what it was like to want as he was growing up. But didn't he just prolong the story yet again?

LOUIS: He tried to clean it up which somebody had to do, right? But what this does speak to, and it will be interesting discussion is the difference. When you say the one percent, Occupy Wall Street always talked about one percent. I think the one percent cutoff is $600,000, $700,000 a year. There's a huge difference between making $700,000 a year and being up in the stratosphere where some of the Clinton's new pals are, where people are making multiple millions -- $10 million, $20 million, some of these billionaires that they associate with.

And that's just the reality. And actually I sort of understand if you're sitting on somebody else's Gulfstream jet, flying to somebody else's palatial estate where you might say, you know what, compared to these guys, we're actually not making very much.

BERMAN: I guess everything is relative.

Gloria, I want to talk about - I guess I'm sticking on presidential politics right now. Because Michelle Obama, the first lady was discussing the future, and she was asked whether a woman will be president. And she gave a pretty clear answer. Let's listen.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: That should happen as soon as possible.


OBAMA: And you know, I think this country is ready. This country is ready for anyone who can do the job.


BERMAN: There were two readies right there. And ready, of course, is a key word if you're a Hillary Clinton fan. Ready for Hillary. What do you think?

BORGER: Well, I think Michelle Obama is probably ready for Hillary, but I sort of was thinking about poor Joe Biden sitting in the White House, sitting you know, vice president. And you know, it's clear that a lot of top Obama people have gone to work for Hillary's super PAC. They're privately at this point supporting Hillary Clinton's run, and -- even though she hasn't announced. And it sort of made me think about there's Joe Biden who served honorably as vice president. And he won't even run if Hillary runs.

LOUIS: If Hillary Clinton didn't exist or wasn't a candidate, let's understand that this is Michelle Obama's politics. I mean, she's a feminist of a particular generation. I thought she was maybe getting ready for Sasha and Malia, the way any good mother would. And she's just a bit player trying --

BERMAN: She's not a bit player in this big story.

BORGER: By the way, you're right. I mean, you know, of course you would expect Michelle Obama to say we're ready for a woman president. She might have said that in 2007 if her husband hadn't run, right?

BERMAN: Gloria Borger, Errol Louis, thank you for being with us. Always appreciate it.

Coming up for us, the man who stared down lawmakers on Capitol Hill.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did not, if you have any evidence of that, I'd be happy to see it.

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: I asked a question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I answered it.


BERMAN: Whew! So what prepared the new IRS commissioner for his new role battling with members of Congress?

Plus, one year later, some answers. What mistakes the pilots made in the final minutes before this fatal crash. Mistakes that might have saved everyone on board.


BERMAN: Welcome back. Time for our Buried Lead. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee went into overdrive this week with marathon hearings to interrogate the IRS over the oddly timed loss of key e-mails at the center of an investigation into whether the agency unfairly targeted Tea Party groups.

Last night, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen faced what congressman called an inquisition. The commissioner, well, let's just say he held his own. Tom Foreman joins us now with more. Tom, the IRS commissioner was rather ornery over these two hearings. A lot of people asking, who is this guy?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The simple answer, John, is he's the talk of the town infuriating Republicans, delighting Democrats, and sitting in the middle of this IRS storm as if it's a day at the beach.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why should anyone believe you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I didn't hear in that was an apology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think an apology is owed.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Amid the storm of congressional outrage and accusations, there he sat serene as a saint, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

JOHN KOSKINEN, IRS COMMISSIONER: If you have evidence of that, I'd be happy to see it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked a question.

KOSKINEN: I answered it.

FOREMAN: Throwing jabs and making jokes.

KOSKINEN: I did not say I would provide you e-mails that disappeared. If you have a magical way to do that, I'd be happy to know about it.

FOREMAN: The White House did not have picked a better brawler. He was trained in physics at Duke and law at Yale. He worked for a New York mayor, a Connecticut senator and was deputy mayor of Washington, D.C. during a financial crisis. What he likes most, however, are seemingly lost causes.

FOREMAN: Bringing the World Cup to the U.S. in '94 when many Americans had never watched a match. President Clinton tasked him with saving the nation's computers from what was feared to be a Y2k meltdown.

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: I expect we will experience no major national break downs.

FOREMAN: He headed Freddie Mac when its troubles were spinning out of control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We asked for all the e-mails.

KOSKINEN: You're going to get hundreds of thousands of pages of irrelevant documents.

FOREMAN: Now with the IRS under heavy fire, Koskinen is once again in the middle of the fray.

KOSKINEN: And to say that this is the most corrupt IRS in history ignores a lot of history and seems to me again is a classic overreaction to a serious problem, which we are dealing with seriously.

FOREMAN: Koskinen delivers shattering news as calmly as if discussing the weather. Ask about the computer in which all those e-mails were lost?

REPRESENTATIVE DAVE CAMP (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: Do you know where the actual hard drive is that crashed in 2011?

KOSKINEN: I'm advised the hard drive after it was determined it was dysfunctional and with experts no e-mails could be retrieved was destroyed in the normal process.

CAMP: Was it physically destroyed?

KOSKINEN: That's my understanding.

FOREMAN: To interrogators he seems maddeningly unflappable.

REPRESENTATIVE TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: You've heard the phrase foliation of evidence, haven't you?

KOSKINEN: Can't recall.

GOWDY: It's true in administrative hearings, civil hearings, criminal hearings.

KOSKINEN: I practiced law once 45 years ago, gave it up for lent one year and never went back.

FOREMAN: Impressed enough, he hits back hard and fast. For example, when asked why his agency did not better protect those lost records.

REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA (R), CHAIRMAN, OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Isn't that in fact, a priority that should have allowed for full retention?

KOSKINEN: If we had the right resources, there would be a lot of priorities we would have.

FOREMAN: Or when asked why he lacks evidence of Division Chief Lois Lerner's actions from some years back.

KOSKINEN: I have no evidence whether she beat her dog or a whole series of things.

FOREMAN: He's not above giving his opinion whenever someone needs it.

KOSKINEN: That's the first time anybody has said they don't believe me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe you.

KOSKINEN: That's fine.


FOREMAN: Part of what may make all this fine for Koskinen is his own situation. Financial disclosure papers show his personal wealth may be as high as $27 million. He's a big Democratic donor and the soccer stadium back at Duke is even named after him. He doesn't need the job or the abuse. He just seems to like it -- John.

BERMAN: He really does. I'd never seen like a guy like a congressional hearing as much as that. All right, Tom Foreman in Washington, thanks so much.

Coming up next, beachgoers beware. One expert is warning of an uptick in shark attacks this summer. He'll explain his three reasons why. You won't like any of them next.


BERMAN: Welcome back to THE LEAD. In the National Lead, you're going to need a bigger boat. It was an awe-inspiring and self-soiling sight off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey. A group of fishermen spotted this giant great white shark circling past their boat this weekend. The shark eventually gnawed off the chum bucket and then fled the scene. Some scientists say sights like this could become more frequent.

A new report from Discovery News is warning there could be a surge in shark attacks this summer, and that they could be connected to climate change. Today, NOAH reported we just came off the hottest month of May in recorded history and more people may be headed to the shores to beat the heat, which means more toes on jaws' turf.

Joining us to talk about this is George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research. Thank you so much for being with us. Help me understand how a warming ocean and warming climate leads to more shark attacks here. Are the sharks changing their habits or are we?

GEORGE BURGESS, DIRECTOR, FLORIDA PROGRAM FOR SHARK RESEARCH: We're both reacting to what is natural to us, natural temperature regimes that are comfortable for ourselves. So sharks have their own particular temperatures they're happy in. We do, too. If the waters warm up farther to northerly waters in our hemisphere, sharks and humans both will be probably swimming farther north.

BERMAN: That's really reassuring. We're swimming more and they're swimming more where we're swimming. Not only are there more people on earth as we move through time, there are more sharks I understand, too. So is this a simple math thing going on here? More of them, more of us, more meals?

BURGESS: Well, of course, sharks took it on the chin for a couple decades overfishing and habitat loss and there are now measures in place to help get those populations back up to normal, at least in the case of the white shark, our studies indicate that the white shark population is in fact increasing.

BERMAN: So times are good for the great white shark, as you say, the population is up I think 42 percent since 1997. I didn't know there was a Shark Census Bureau. So things are good for them. They seem to be eating well. So why do they need to eat us?

BURGESS: Well, of course, they don't really go out to eat us. We're involved in an experience when we visit the sea. We're visiting their territory and not on their normal diet. They are happy to see an increase in seals and sea lions, other sea mammals which are their preferred food items.

BERMAN: Is there an equal danger on both coasts, an east coast, west coast thing?

BURGESS: Probably maybe a little more chance of getting bit in the east coast simply because there's more people going into the water. Obviously, our waters are warmer all the way up the coastline than the pack coast which tends to have cooler waters. So there's more people entering the water than means there's a greater chance of a shark and human coming together.

BERMAN: So what do you say then to the people headed to the beach who don't want to become shark bait?

BURGESS: I say that each year, sharks kill four or five people worldwide. So your chances of being bit and far less dying by a shark are almost infinitesimal.

BERMAN: George Burgess, thank you so much for being with us today. I'm not sure you put us at ease very much, but sharks do have it tough and deserve to swim somewhere as long as it's not near my beach. Appreciate you being with us.

BURGESS: Glad to be with you.

BERMAN: In other National News, three dead, are 187 injured in an all could have been avoided. Investigators are blaming the pilots for the Asiana jumbo jet crash that skidded across a San Francisco runway last summer. National Transportation Safety Board officials ruled that the flight crews mismanaged the landing and shut off an automatic speed control system that might have the prevented the accident entirely.

The NTSB also found that Boeing's complicated automatic flight systems on the 777 contributed to this crash. All right, make sure to follow me on Twitter. That's johnberman @johnberman. Follow the show @theleadcnn.

That is all for us today. I am John Berman in for Jake Tapper. I turn you over now to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."