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Governor Vows Fix for Religious Freedom Law; German Magazine, Newspaper Described Video of Germanwings Crash Final Moments; 4 Hours Away from Iran Nuclear Deadline Deal; Bob Kraft Takes Stand in Hernandez Case. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired March 31, 2015 - 14:30   ET


JEFF TAYLOR, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, INDIANAPOLIS STAR: The reality is that the law probably is not as bad ultimately as critics might fear. It's also not as clear cut and focused and narrow as the proponents would want to believe either. There's a lot of gray here. The issues there need to be addressed to clear this up and to really send a message unequivocally that this law can't be used to discriminate, can't be used to deny services to people, and that Indiana's a place that embraces those principles.

[14:30:2500] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: I know the governors of Washington State and Connecticut, they are forbidding any sort of state group to travel to Indiana. I want to play some sound. This is Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy talking my colleague here on CNN today.


GOV. DANIEL MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Republicans muscled this through. They thought it was a great idea. They were patting themselves on the back saying how wonderful this was that they could get this done. He announced days before that he would sign it. He had a ceremony signing it. He invited three homophobic men who have gone out of their way to make gay people in Indiana miserable to the ceremony. That's what they did. You can't defend it. It's indefensible. If they don't solve this problem, then companies and associations need to move out of the state.


BALDWIN: Just quickly, talking about moving out of the state, also businesses moving into the state, you have big business. I think the most famous CEO, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, with that opinion piece, Final Four, Angie's List all threatening to pull out of Indiana. Will the governor be able to amend this law in a way that will keep all of this business and the money in your state?

TAYLOR: Well, that's the central question. I think it remains to be seen. Again, we have to see what the language of the law -- of this proposed law involves, how far it goes. Clearly, there are huge implications for Indiana and for Indianapolis. We've had a number of CEOs of prominent companies here speaking out in opposition to the law that was passed and also speaking up for the need to take steps to address this so that we eliminate the question here that any businesses outside the state might have about whether this is a good place to do business.

We have had -- we have the Final Four happening here in a matter of a few days. The NCAA is based here and has raised concerns about the future of events, among other things. It's a very serious issue. That was one of the driving reasons behind our decision to go with the front page editorial position we took. But the biggest issue of all was really about the issue of equality.

BALDWIN: Yeah, we'll continue to read. Obviously your piece is telling both sides. We'll see the language to your amending law, what that will look like.

Jeff Taylor, thank you very much.

Meantime, speaking of the Final Four there, Duke University says, "It deplores any efforts to discriminate." Michigan State says, "Inclusion is foremost among our values." Wisconsin saying it "believes in promoting an inclusive environment." And Kentucky, "We have a strong and enduring commitment to the values of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion."

Let's go to my colleague here at CNN, political commentator, Michael Smerconish, joining me from Philadelphia.

To you, and this is something I was just talking to Jeff about. I'm curious your perspective about the media. A lot of people usually blame the media. You have the governor here blaming the media for the smear campaign against the law, but if he's now considering amending the law, why would the law need amending? Trying to work that one through.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & CNN HOST, SMERCONISH: Well, I take umbrage with what he had to say. Here's the law. I've read the law. I'm not shooting from the hip. I think to the extent there's a misunderstanding out there, it's the fault of the governor. He did himself no favors today when he stood up and spent all of his time talking about what the law isn't without telling us what the law is. Then as you point out, he bashed the media, then wrapped himself in Bill Clinton. Well, those who are interested in going knee deep on the issues should read what Garret Epps posted at "The Atlantic" today.

He's painstakingly read every one of the state statutes, this one included, compared them to the federal bill, and this one is different. This one creates for for-profit businesses a right to assert freedom of religion when being sued by a private entity. That goes well beyond anything done by the feds. It is an effort to provide protection for that florist, for that photographer, for that caterer. You know all the hypotheticals. So when they're sued by a same-sex couple, they can point to that law and say, here's our defense. And they can do that in Indianapolis where there are protections that have been provided where the state of Indiana has refused to do so.

So there are individuals such as myself out there, we've taken the time to study it, and we think you're wrong, respectively. [14:35:03] BALDWIN: Let me go back to a name you just mentioned.

This was another point I wanted to ask you about, Bill Clinton. I had a guest on my show bring up Obama. A lot of -- it's a talking point for a lot of Republicans in defending this law. They say Obama signed it as a Senator in Illinois. Bill Clinton signed it. These are two people who normally -- you know, these folks on right rip. Now they're pointing out, well, they signed it. To me, that's not fair. Is there a little irony in that?

SMERCONISH: Well, I think it's a two-fold answer. One, the federal law can be distinguished for reasons that I just articulated from what Indiana has just done, but secondly, Brooke, there has been a seat change in this country like none other since 1993 on this issue. If you told me -- and I was on the radio as a talk host just getting started in 1993. I remember well what that climate was like. If you told me where we would be in 2015, I'd have been floored. I would never have believed it. So I don't know that you can go back in time that distance and say, well, there you are. Bill Clinton did the same thing, when in fact, he didn't.

BALDWIN: Times have been changing. Lawmakers, politicians, we've been hearing from a lot of these Republican contenders for 2016 throwing down the gauntlet on how they feel. Most of who seem to agree with Governor Pence.

SMERCONISH: Great point.

BALDWIN: Are you surprised by that?

SMERCONISH: I'll just say I was most keenly interested to see how Jeb Bush was going to play this hand. You knew that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum, of course they're going to doggedly line up with this view, with Governor Pence. Here's Jeb, a guy who's trying to be a different type of conservative, and trying to reach more moderate voters but that's not the direction in which he went in this case. Frankly, it reminded me -- you know, his Catholicism runs very deep. That's a wonderful thing, except when it intrudes on matters of public policy, like it did in the Terri Schiavo case. We just marked the tenth anniversary --

BALDWIN: 10 years ago.

SMERCONISH: -- of the passing of Terry Schiavo. When I saw Jeb's statements, it's the first thing I thought of -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: That's interesting.

Michael Smerconish, as always, a pleasure.

Make sure you watch "Smerconish" every Saturday here on CNN at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, "Smerconish."

Appreciate it very much.

Next, more on our breaking news. The cell phone video, this card from within a cell phone, found somehow amid the debris in the French Alps showing what the passengers lived through in those final moments.

Plus, the airline revealing what it knew about the co-pilot's mental state long before the crash. We'll discuss that.

Also, the prime minister of Israel says it's worse than his deepest nightmare. Just a short time from now, the deadline will expire on America's nuclear talks with Iran. Will there be a deal? That's next.


[14:41:3600] BALDWIN: In case you are just joining us here, breaking news on CNN. This French magazine and a German newspaper, this tabloid, has published transcriptions of this SIM card that was found from a cell phone somewhere in the wreckage there in the French Alps. The video reportedly showing the final moments on board that doomed airliner. To be clear, the publications are not releasing the actual video. They are simply describing it.

So let me go to my colleague, Will Ripley, in Dusseldorf, Germany, with more detail as far as what happens in the video and where it's even taken from.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, we know that this SIM card was recovered on the French Alps, the crash scene, where there is debris and remains scattered everywhere. This was an extremely violent impact. The plane was essentially going full speed ahead when it went into that mountain. It was all happening as this video and the cockpit voice recording transcript that was leaked earlier this week, also by the same tabloid "Bild," it shows passengers were very much aware of what was about to happen. There was terror and chaos in the back, those 149 people who were helpless. You could hear people screaming, "oh, my god." You could hear a loud metallic bang. It's believed to be the captain trying to break into the cockpit.

Keep in mind, the video was taken from the rear of the aircraft. Think about how loud that must have been. Passengers in the front would have been able to hear the alarms sounding. People looking out the window could see the mountains creeping closer. Of course, the left wing is believed to have scraped the side of the mountain or one of the wings was believed to have scraped the side of the mountain, Brooke, and somebody pulled out their phone. Whether it was a crew member or a passenger, they were documenting this. While pretty much everything was destroyed, the card survived. It was leaked to these publications. And now the families, once again, have a reminder of just how terrifying it was in those final minutes for their mothers, for their fathers, for their husbands and wives and children. Just awful.

[14:43:53] BALDWIN: Hard to imagine. And the fact that they found this tiny SIM card amidst all this debris and they're still looking for that second black box.

Will Ripley, thank you very much.

We're going to talk more about what investigators it are gleaning from this video in a couple minutes with some of our experts.

Meantime, to all of you in your concern, I know a lot of you want information of how you can help victims' families. We have an entire list of organizations working with them. Go to

Next, a big deadline a short time from now in the Iran nuclear negotiations. We're hearing the self-imposed deadline might slide. Why?

Plus, from the Super Bowl to the courtroom, the owner of the New England Patriots taking the stand today in the murder trial of one of his former superstars. Hear what Aaron Hernandez privately told Bob Kraft, ahead.


BALDWIN: All right. Check the clock. Less than four hours away from this key moment with Iran and the nuclear program negotiations. Many years of work have come down to this, whether negotiators today can come up with a frame work that will determine whether Iran will agree to a deal stemming its nuclear proliferation. The clock ticking toward midnight, this self-imposed deadline to reach that consensus. Now you have one senior State Department official saying they might continue working into tomorrow to cement this preliminary deal, terms that have fallen apart multiple times since the Bush administration. Major sticking points, the duration of the deal, when sanctions will be lifted and inspections, basically, how to keep Iran from cheating.

So let's talk about this with two folks who really know it best. Joe Cirincione is back with us today, member of the secretary of state's advisory board and author of "Nuclear Nightmares." And Hillary Mann Leverett is the co-author of "Going to Tehran" and formerly one of a small number of U.S. diplomats authorized to negotiate with Iranians on Afghanistan and al Qaeda.

Wonderful having both of you on today.


[14:49:58] BALDWIN: Joe, you're up first.

We were chatting this time yesterday. We were reporting it was just in and Secretary Kerry was saying they'd go into the wee hours of the night, making quite a big deal of this self-imposed deadline. No what's your read?

CIRINCIONE: The last hour of negotiations is often the most important hour. It looks like the negotiators want to stretch that hour out. We're not sure exactly why, but it may be that they're coming down to their best and final offers. There's some real stuff on the table, and they're trying to hammer it down. They don't want to miss this opportunity. It looks like it might extend into tomorrow.

BALDWIN: So maybe just based upon what you're saying, this could be a good thing, a positive sign. CIRINCIONE: This could be a good thing. We should step back just for

a minute and forget about how much uranium Iran is going to keep and what rooms they're going to store it in and look at the big picture. By all accounts, this deal is going to shrink Iran's nuclear program to about one-third its current size. It's going to freeze that program. It's going to put it in a box and put cameras on it. And that condition is going to last for at least ten years. What part of that deal don't you like? What else in your life gives you that much certainty? If they get that kind of deal, this is going to be a big win for U.S. national security.

BALDWIN: OK. I'm going to come back to the 10-year point with you in just a minute.

But, Hillary, some of the sticking points as we've discussed, U.S. wants to take some time to release the sanctions. The shrinking amount of centrifuges. You have been in the room. You've negotiated with Iran. Do you think these sticking points will be agreed to by midnight or sometime hereafter?

HILLARY MANN LEVERETT, CEO, STRATEGIC ENERGY AND GLOBAL ANALYSIS & AUTHOR: I think that the foreign minister of Iran is an incredibly sophisticated negotiator and intellect. He has his PhD from here in the United States from the University of Denver in international law. He really knows what he's doing. The negotiator they have on the technical side, their vice president, has his PhD from MIT in this subject.


So, you know, you're talking about people who really know what they're doing and I think are very focused on the goals they want to achieve.

For the Iranians, their goal is not to satisfy what they view as essentially some trumped-up concerns about their nuclear program. Their goal is to end the war against Iran and a war that's been focused very much in terms of economic warfare. Their goal has been very much on sanctions.

I think that's where the sticking point is largely at this point, whether the United States can end the war against Iran by agreeing to lift the sanctions in exchange for Iran satisfying some of our concerns on the nuclear program. That's been the crux of the deal to negotiate all along. And my concern at this point is whether the United States is going to have the political will to get the ball across the line at this point.

BALDWIN: It's interesting about the Westernization of some of these very high-ranking folks on Iran's side.

Joe, what do you make of what Hillary just said?


CIRINCIONE: I think the sticking point is the sanctions. We have put a solid agreement on cutting off Iran's pathways to a bomb, stopping them from being able to sprint from a small civilian program to a large military program if they wanted to. We have pretty good agreement on the inspection regime. This is going to be the toughest inspection regime we've ever put in place for any agreement like this. It's the sanctions. Iran wants to lift them all at once. We want to lift them slowly. Right now we have Iran in a global sanctions vice. As they perform on this deal, we'll loosen it up and allow them to sell more oil. If they cheat, we'll snap it back on. But to do that requires the unity of all the P5-Plus-1 nations -- U.K., Germany, France, Russia -- who are all negotiating there. That's what gives the sanctions the bite. You blow that unity, you blow the sanctions.


Final question, Hillary, on the point of 10 years. The ayatollah is 75 years old. Flash forward, if this thing goes through, what happens in ten years?

MANN LEVERETT: I think in 10 years, we will have an increasingly rising Islamic republic of Iran. The Islamic republic is not going anywhere. And I think that's another critical problem here. Part of the negotiation is, I think, attuned to toward perhaps there's going to be some post-Islamic Republic Iran. That's not going to happen. I think that kind of -- that fantasy could get us in a lot of trouble, where we could end up back into another, if not war, a highly conflictual situation with the Islamic republic trying to overthrow a system that is not going anywhere. I think we need to, as I wrote in my book, accept the Islamic Republic of Iran as the rising power in the Middle East, just as Nixon and Kissinger accepted the Peoples Republic of China as the rising power in Asia. It's that power.

[14:54:52] BALDWIN: Hillary Leverett, Joe Cirincione, thank you very much.

CIRINCIONE: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: You got it.

One day here after emotional testimony from the fiance of former NFL superstar, Aaron Hernandez, now Hernandez's former boss, New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, took the stand today in the suspect's murder trial in Massachusetts. Kraft testified that, yes, indeed, he had a conversation with his former player about what happened the night Odin Lloyd was killed. He was on the stand for less than 25 minutes, but he told the court he asked Hernandez to look him into his eye and tell him if he had anything to do with Lloyd's death.


UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: And what did he say when you had asked him whether he was involved in this matter?

ROBERT KRAFT, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS OWNER: He said he was not involved, that he was innocent, and that he hoped that the time of the murder incident came out because I believe he said he was in a club.

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: Did you -- when you went to leave, did he say anything else to you?

KRAFT: He hugged and kissed me and thanked me for my concern.

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: OK. And after that time, did you see the defendant again?




BALDWIN: As Bob Kraft walked out of that courtroom today, Hernandez turned to watch him. His glance lingering there. The state is expected to rest Thursday, and the defense says it will start and finish its case next Monday.

Next, more on our breaking news. This cell phone video, this memory card recovered out of the cell phone amidst all this wreckage in the French Alps, allegedly shows those final moments before that tragic crash. What investigators hope to learn from that piece of video, next.