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Divide Deepens On Immigration Crisis; Israel Warning Gaza Residents To Leave; White House Aide Slammed For Defying Subpoena; Hillary Clinton On "Daily Show"

Aired July 16, 2014 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, July 16th, 6:00 in the east. And we begin with this growing divide over the border crisis, how to handle thousands of undocumented children, key word there. It's no longer just a political football because outrage is flaring up. Emotions are running high. You're seeing duelling protests in Oracle, Arizona that's where dozens of detained migrant kids were expected to be transferred.

And a new symbol of this immigration fight Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and undocumented immigrant, Jose Antonio Vargas, is now free after he was detained at a Texas airport. So the question is what will lawmakers do? Today is another chance to act. Senators are meeting about President Obama's $3.7 million emergency funding request.

Let's get to Ana Cabrera in Denver with the latest for us. What do we know?

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Chris. It really has been an intense past 24 hours from that detainment of Jose Antonio Vargas to these emotionally charged protests that are just breaking out now all over the country. It seems this immigration crisis at the border is nearing a tipping point as Americans wait for lawmakers to agree on a solution.


CABRERA (voice-over): A bold statement in the immigration battle at the border. One of the nation's most famous and outspoken undocumented immigrants detained for several hours in Texas on Tuesday.


CABRERA: Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, was trying to fly to Los Angeles about two weeks after his film "Documented" that traces his decision to speak out about his status aired on CNN. His capture, then release, comes as calls for action on broader immigration crisis are growing louder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not born here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have to go back to Mexico.

CABRERA: And it's not just at the border. Protests have spread across the country. Yesterday in Arizona, passionate protesters on both side of the debate turned out in droves once word spread that a busload of unaccompanied immigrant children were set to arrive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not better. None of you are better!

CABRERA: And in Texas, demonstrators made their voices heard at a town hall hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can't even take care of ourselves. We have veterans that are homeless.

CABRERA: Protesters are digging in and concerns are growing.

GOV. DAVE HEINEMAN (R), NEBRASKA: Our concern is the cost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Worried about jobs. These kids that are 17, in a year they'll be competing with our kids.

CABRERA: This as states from Washington to Virginia received word that undocumented immigrants have arrived or could be sent there way for processing and/or perhaps deportation.

GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R), IOWA: I do have empathy for these kids, but I also don't want to send a signal that send your kids to America illegally.

CABRERA: Critics of the Obama administration have blamed mixed messages for the surge of nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors crossing the border since October. A new ABC News/"Washington Post" survey shows only 33 percent approved of how the president have handled the crisis. Well, even fewer Americans approve of the response by Republicans in Congress. But while Washington debates, the protests continue.


CABRERA: Now the president has mentioned has puts forth this nearly $1 billion plan to deal with the crisis, that includes money to temporarily care for these unaccompanied minors, that adds resources to the Customs and Border efforts to go after human smugglers that adds money and resources to help process these cases more quickly and also adds money to be able to work with Mexico and the Central American governments on this issue.

Now, unfortunately, many in Congress don't like the price tag of the president's plan and is coming up with their own plan that they hope to have finalized in the next couple of weeks. We've heard that it will largely or at least in part focus on changing the 2008 law to be able to deport these unaccompanied minors from Central America immediately, circumventing what is the current process in place that can take weeks, even months -- Chris.

CUOMO: Because currently there is a process under the 2008 law. They want there to be no process. You just send people back without finding out why they came here in the first place, and as you said, now they are battling over money, and believe it or not, they want more money. That's a big part of the argument. We'll take you through all of it.

And also later this morning, we'll speak with Jose Antonio Vargas. You know him from his documentary he did here, again, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He was detained down there. We'll find out why and what happened.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's turn now to the Mideast crisis. This morning, the message from Israel to Gaza residents is simple, get out now. Israel warning the 100,000 residents of northern Gaza, to leave saying it's for their own safety so the military can target areas where Hamas rockets are being launched. Israel is ramping back up air strikes after a ceasefire attempt didn't slow Hamas militants.

A 141 rockets were fired to Israel Tuesday. Israel did response, but one of those rockets from Hamas led to the first Israeli death in this conflict. The death toll in Gaza now over 200. There is no sign of violence slowing down at this point.

Karl Penhaul is in Gaza for us this morning. Karl, what are you seeing on the ground?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, we're in the eastern part of the Gaza strip and just across there two of the neighborhoods where the Israeli military has been dropping leaflets and also making these robo calls, automatic voice calls to civilians living there telling them to get out of their homes. They are in imminent danger.

The Israelis then followed those words with action and this morning, we have watched as multiple Israeli air strikes have been taking place. We hear the screech of an F-16 going over and then hear the bombs going in.

That has not stopped Hamas because at the same time from the very same neighborhoods that the Israeli military is bombing, at one point we saw eight rockets going out from a single launching site. Another rocket went off of there a few minutes before we came to air. All of this because of the breakdown, failure of this ceasefire to get off the ground.


PENHAUL (voice-over): As the sun rises in Gaza, more explosions. Air strikes progress overnight as the death toll continues to rise. In Israel, Hamas launched an attack on Tel Aviv this morning, the iron dome blocking those rockets fired from Gaza. This defense mechanism did not stop Israel's first casualty late Monday. He was volunteering on the border crossing delivering food to soldiers and was hit by a mortar shell.

In Gaza, more than 200 people now dead and over 1,500 injured. The United Nations says they are mostly civilians and is urging Israeli forces to back down. Overnight, the Israeli military warned residents in eastern Gaza strip to leave their homes in an effort to minimize casualties sending text messages and dropping leaflets.

As the Egyptian ceasefire fails to get off the ground, the Israeli government promises to ramp up its military campaign. Threat of a ground invasion looming, soldiers and tanks line the Gaza border, but the Obama administration says it hasn't ruled out a ceasefire just yet.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I am prepared to fly back to the region tomorrow if I had to or next day or the next in order to pursue the prospects if this doesn't work, but they deserve, the Egyptians deserve the time and the space to be able to try to make this initiative work.


PENHAUL: Now as the bombs were falling on these neighborhoods this morning, I saw a man moving his entire family out of his home on a donkey cart. It was him, his wife, his sister and about ten children. I said to him, you know, be not afraid, and he looked at me and he said I feel we're already dead. Back to you, Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you for the reporting from the ground. Stay safe. We'll be back with you. We want to come back home now for a very different kind of combat, the political parlor game of who is suing whom in Washington, D.C. Now the White House could be teeing up a new legal battle with Republicans this morning.

The White House is defying a House subpoena claiming immunity for one of President Obama's top advisors. Now, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa wants David Seamus to testify today about activities at the White House political office. Let's get to Michelle Kosinski at the White House. They say it's

tough to get a job as an attorney these days, but working down here, it's a good place where you are to being a lawyer.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris, plenty of discussion lately over what is or isn't political theater around here as well as this battle that's been going on between House Republicans and the president. Now the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed a top White House adviser, the political director to appear at a hearing today over whether he might be doing political campaign activities on White House time, which could be a violation of something called the Hatch Act.

The White House has asked Darrell Issa to withdraw the subpoena saying that there aren't any reasons given or evidence presented as to what Issa thinks that this Director David Seamus might have been doing wrong and further the White House top advisers have immunity and Seamus will not be testifying.

Also yesterday, the White House sent a bunch of staffers to Issa's office to talk about all of this and they were, shall we say, more than annoyed that Issa himself did not show up. For his part, Issa says he saw this more as a meeting among staff members and what he really needs to do is question Seamus directly.

Democrats though, including the top Democratic on Issa's own committee, are calling this ridiculous, false controversy and theatre -- Michaela.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Theater, I like that. All right, Michelle Kosinski at the White House, thank you so much for that. Let's give you a look at more of our headlines right now.

Breaking overnight, militants have taken control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit about 100 miles northwest of Baghdad after Iraqi security forces liberated several government buildings. Fighting broke out with militants believed to be from is. They fired mortar shells, machine guns and driving Iraqi forces out. This battle left more than 50 service men and 40 militants dead.

Also breaking overnight, at least 18 suspected militants were killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan, according to intelligence sources. Missiles were fired from the drone destroying a compound in North Waziristan. This is the fifth drone strike in Pakistan this year.

Overnight, breaking news, a Dutch court says the Netherlands is liable for the deaths of more than 300 Bosnian Muslims in 1995. The men and boys were killed in the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian war. The court ruled Dutch U.N. peacekeepers failed to protect the 300 victims when the town fell to the Bosnian Serb Army. More than 7,000 were killed in that massacre.

Sloan Gibson makes his first trip to Capitol Hill today as acting head of the scandal-ridden Veteran Affairs Department. He'll testify at a Senate hearing on improved wait times and accountability in the VA health care system since taking over when Eric Shinseki resigned in May.

In the meantime, Robert McDonald, the president's choice to permanently leave the agency, will have his confirmation hearing before the same Senate committee next Tuesday.

Well, Jon Stewart tried, but he could not get Hillary Clinton to publicly and definitively declare that she was running for president on his show last night. Hillary Clinton did offer a tease of sorts while talking about working from home in her office.


JON STEWART, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL'S "THE DAILY SHOW": Do you have a favorite shape for that home office? Do you like that office? Let's say would you like that office -- would you like to have corners or not to have corners?

HILLARY CLINTON, AUTHOR, "HARD CHOICES": You know, I -- I think the world is so complicated, the fewer corners that you can have.


PEREIRA: She is promoting her memoir "Hard Choices," obviously appearing I think it's the fourth time now on "The Daily Show." We were talking about this last time, 2008. What happens then, 2008?

BOLDUAN: There's a reason you go on a comedian show.

CUOMO: That's called a pass. Looking to get a pass.

BOLDUAN: And to show some personality.

PEREIRA: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: But I feel you can show some personality here on the NEW DAY set.

PEREIRA: We're very welcoming.

BOLDUAN: Our desk does not have corners.

PEREIRA: Exactly.

CUOMO: Good point, running for president will not be a joke. If she is going to take it on.

BOLDUAN: And look who is back.

CUOMO: Speaking of no jokes, science.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Definitely a rough couple of days here, especially with all of that severe weather into the northeast. Today still dealing with it, especially in the morning hours, but slowly look at all these explosive storms on the entire eastern seaboard yesterday. That will eventually die down. Still another round in the morning hours especially into the northeast, but, yes, finally behind.

This is the reason why, look at all the cold air that will be moving in. That will really trigger some of those storms and now that it's moving in it will feel better not only temperature-wise, but that humidity dropping down as well. What's left? In the morning hours out towards Boston, a couple inches of heavy rain.

And then kind of towards the afternoon, still seeing a little bit of it and really not going to be the big story as much as another low that's really going to start picking up moisture from the gulf. Out towards Texas as we go towards the weekend, 5 inches if not more rain can be seen.

Let's talk about what feels good, right look at these temperatures as you start off the morning hours, 50s into the Midwest. It hasn't creeped quite into the northeast. Still holding on to the 70s there and eventually that cold air makes its way in and the afternoon highs start to come down, so, yes, feeling a lot better, very rough day especially for travel I can tell you firsthand.

BOLDUAN: No kidding. Thanks, Indra.

CUOMO: And yet you're so happy to be back.

PETERSONS: Lack of sleep, called adrenaline, maybe craziness. I don't know.

CUOMO: Which is your way of saying you're so happy to be here.

PETERSONS: So happy.

BOLDUAN: I like that. Well done.

CUOMO: Got to milk that one.

Coming up on NEW DAY, well, science gets right with her answer. We have a big interview. Dick Cheney, Jake Tapper did it, so what Cheney think of his role in the Iraq war, plenty and it's all good. What does he think of President Obama, plenty and it's all bad. Take a listen.


FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: I think he is the worst president of my lifetime.



BOLDUAN: Welcome back. Some harsh words coming from former Vice President Dick Cheney aimed at President Obama. In an interview with Jake Harper, Cheney called Obama the worst president in his lifetime, but he also rejected calls by some Republicans for impeachment of President Obama saying that it would be a distraction, that it would accomplish very little. Cheney also weighed in on the current crisis in Iraq, laying blame squarely on President Obama.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: A new "Wall Street Journal" poll shows that 71 percent of the American people think going into Iraq was not worth it. Now, you've been out there very forcefully in the last few weeks talking about what you think is a mistake by President Obama in Iraq. How do you respond to the vast majority of the American public who disagrees with you and thinks Vice President Cheney is not the guy who should be giving advice on Iraq?

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Oh, listen. We made good decisions. Remember the problem we had in the aftermath of 9/11. We were especially concerned about a linkage and hookup of terrorism on one hand and weapons of mass destruction on the other, nuclear or gas, but that was at heart of the analysis.

TAPPER: Let's not go into the WMD.

CHENEY: No, but you have to understand the problem we face now is we're in a situation where that threat is even greater, where the spread of terrorism is significantly greater than it was on 9/11. We used to have to worry about Afghanistan. Now it runs all the way across North Africa as well.

TAPPER: Do you think the decisions that you made, your administration really had nothing to do with what's going on in Iraq right now?

CHENEY: I think when we left office, we had an Iraq a very stable situation. Barack Obama said as much. We put together a program with a surge, the decision the president made and implemented in '07-'08. And by time we left office Iraq was in relatively good shape. The plan was to have a stay-behind force that could continue to train the Iraqis and provide capabilities they didn't have themselves intelligence, air, and so forth. And what happened was that the stay- behind agreement was never negotiated. When the Iraqi force fell apart, and obviously Maliki bears some of the responsibility, but Obama's failure to provide for a stay-behind force is what created the havoc we see in Iraq.

TAPPER: Are you really saying it's all Maliki and Obama?

CHENEY: I think it's primarily Maliki and Obama. That's what I believe and I think that is what the history books will show.

TAPPER: You have said that Hillary Clinton, you think, would have been a better president than Barack Obama.

CHENEY: Jimmy Carter might have been a better president than Barack Obama and I didn't think I would ever say that.

TAPPER: She now leads the pack for the Democratic candidates. Rand Paul, according to polling, leads the pack among Republicans. How bad is Rand Paul compared to Hillary Clinton?

CHENEY: We're just starting the process on our side and I have not endorsed or condemned any of the candidates yet and won't. My concern basically is to make certain that the fundamental issues of national security are addressed by our party going forward. I think that there will be another mass casualty attack against the United States. I don't know when. I think it will be more devastating with deadlier weapons than the last one on 9/11. I think we have to be prepared for that, and I think we have to play a prominent role in the Middle East, support our friends, oppose our foes and we've got to be here at home very strong from the standpoint of the military. Barack Obama doesn't believe any of those things, and I'm looking for a candidate on our side that I can support for the Republican nomination.

TAPPER: Your successor as vice president nominee in 2008, Sarah Palin, recently called for the impeachment of President Obama. What do you think about that?

CHENEY: I'm not prepared at this point to call for the impeachment of the president. I think he is the worst president of my lifetime. I fundamentally disagree with him. I think he's doing a lot of things wrong. I'm glad to see that the House Republicans are challenging him, at least legally at this point, but I -- I think that gets to be a bit of a distraction. Just like the impeachment of Bill Clinton did.


CUOMO: All right. A lot to discuss. Here comes Kevin Madden, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist and Paul Begala, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, senior adviser to priorities USA Action. Kevin Madden, I don't know why you're smiling. Let me ask you a question. He wants to talk about the Iraq War and how we got into it so it's fair to look back. I'm all for progress, but the vice president wants to look back. How does he ignore the decisions that got us into the Iraq war, and do you, as a representative of the Republican party, endorse Cheney's view that the decisions that put us into Iraq were good decisions?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, boy, that's a lot to digest right there.

CUOMO: It's a yes, no question.

BOLDUAN: Sum it up in 15 seconds.

MADDEN: If I were to label this interview and sum it up, I would say it was no retreat by Dick Cheney. He's seriously dug in on his positions. I think that he is firmly believes, as you can tell by the way he answered the questions in the interview, that in the long view of history that his view and the decisions that he made are going to be vindicated when it comes to America's national security posture and the decisions that we made in order to ensure that posture. And I think that one of the things that he sought to do in that interview was, again, provide the context for the decisions that President Bush made and that he supported in going into Iraq.

Given the sense after 9/11 we had a very unstable situation and we had radical Islamic jihadists that we worried would get their hands on nuclear weapons and the anticipatory self-defense was needed so I think he's very, very interested -- again, believes very strongly that he's going to be vindicated in the long run, and that what he's doing right now is engaged in an active litigation of those positions because he feels that right now some people inside the Republican party aren't doing it and he's worried a little bit more about the Rand Paul isolationist wing of the Republican party emerging as a dominant voice.

BOLDUAN: He also says wants to make sure, Paul, that the Republican party are the "go-to guys" in his words on national security and defense policy. Now while I know that you agree with Dick Cheney on probably nothing, and you also relish the fact on taking him on almost as much as you relish the fact taking on Rick Perry as you did last week. What do you think looking forward, what do you think is Cheney's goal in coming out and speaking out so forcefully and so often really relatively speaking right now?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, either he's a secret plant from my party, reminding people of an administration that they hated. When he left office Dick Cheney's favorable was 13 percent. 13. There's forms of venereal disease that are higher in polls.

BOLDUAN: Oh, stop it, Paul.

BEGALA: That's one option or, which I think is much more likely, he's a sociopath. Good Lord, the most damaging, destructive Vice Presidency since Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton (CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: No apology, no remorse. This was a man who was charged -- the first thing he was asked to do as vice president, number one, was to lead a task force on terrorism. That task force never met. The top White House counter terrorism official was running around with his hair on fire. Cheney wouldn't even meet with him and the attack came. That's on Mr. Cheney's record.

BOLDUAN: Kevin, jump in on this, make the argument against the fact that Paul thinks he's a sociopath.


MADDEN: Look, substantively Paul can disagree with him. I don't think it calls for insults. I don't know about the disease transmission comment. I don't even know where to start with that. It's too early in the morning, but, you know, he makes his points and then he backs them up with what he believes is an evidentiary trail of reason on them.


CUOMO: That's what I wanted you to answer. He did not directly answer the questions, and I'm going to ask them to you again because you didn't directly answer them either . And don't you smile, Begala because I'm coming after you about Hillary's interview that passed with Jon Stewart in a second.

It matters, it matters.

BOLDUAN: I know , but look forward. Does it even matter that Dick Cheney is speaking out?

CUOMO: It does, because people now believe---

We did have a good reason to get into the car. Were the weapons of mass destruction ever found, Kevin? Yes or no.


CUOMO: Was there yellow cake, yes or no?

MADDEN: That was -

CUOMO: No. Did he say there was? Yes. Did he have Colin Powell go on TV and jump on that brigade? Yes.


MADDEN: You know this is not as simple as yes or no.


CUOMO: He's not disagreeing. Kevin's not disagreeing. BOLDUAN: There's no reason to litigate the past today


MADDEN: We can all agree, Chris, that it's much more complex than you and I engaged in a yes or no true or false dialogue on such an important issue. It takes -- in 15 seconds. It takes much longer than that.

CUOMO: We shouldn't have gone in. Everybody agrees now it was a mistake. He should say that and then he has credibility going forward.

MADDEN: Not everybody agrees. Not everybody agrees. Again, he argues the context of --. What Dick Cheney is arguing the context of the threats that we knew at that time and after that attack of 9/11 were we able to risk the word of somebody like Saddam Hussein that he didn't have weapons of mass destruction and that they were secure from other radical Islamists that may get their hands on it. He wasn't willing to do that.

CUOMO: I'm only going to move on because Kate is giving me the stink eye.

BOLDUAN: I am because I think we need to talk about does Dick Cheney have a place in the Republican party going .forward and we'll talk about that tomorrow because we have to talk about Hillary Clinton. Go.

CUOMO: Well, because we know the answer to that question too. For their sake the answer better be no.

So, Paul, you had your interview with Hillary Clinton okay? Your friend. She's there with Jon Stewart, your other friend.

BEGALA: Right.

CUOMO: He gives her a pass, okay. She winds up making a joke of whether or not to run for president. Everybody laughs on his show, ha, ha, ha, because he breeds disaffection with the political process. I want to play a piece of sound that I really think deserves examination about what she puts forward about what we need to do with the narrative of America and what he wants to ask about why America is in trouble when it comes to foreign policy. Listen to this.


JON STEWART, HOST OF THE DAILY SHOW: You know, what is our foreign policy anymore? Can we expect other countries to view us with such nuance when we so clearly don't view them with nuance and with that type of understanding?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: That's a really good question because --

STEWART: That's all the time we have. (LAUGHING)


BOLDUAN: I know where you're going with this.

CUOMO: Look, the first question is do we even have a foreign policy anymore? She was the one who was in charge of it. No question from him about that, but he's a comedian so you give him a pass although everybody says he's a news source. And then her answer Paul, is, you know, we have a great narrative. We've done so much around the world. We helped stop World War II, and we did this. Nothing that she was responsible for as a big part of her pitch of what the narrative of America should be. What's your take on that?

BEGALA: First off, she wrote 690 pages about the things she and President Obama were responsible for.

CUOMO: Her answer is the past, not what she did.

BEGALA: I commend that book. One of the things that she said that I thought was really interesting was that we have to move to a much more little d Democratic foreign policy, not just leader to leader, but we have to engage people. I will say this about Jon Stewart, by the way, who hates my guts. He does not breed disaffection though, Chris. He doesn't. I was worried about that, too. I teach at Georgetown, the public policy school, and one of my students a few years ago did a paper on this. She found that people who watch Jon Stewart tend to vote more. So even though he hates my guts, and I guess you don't like him, I like Jon a lot.