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Firestorm Over Immigration Comments; Caroline Kennedy Nominated as Ambassador to Japan; Who is Sydney Leathers?; A-Rod Doctor: "I Don't See Any Sort of Injury"; Patriots Coach on Aaron Hernandez

Aired July 25, 2013 - 06:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Bachman-Turner Overdrive, who loves you? We do.

Welcome to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, July 25th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor Michaela Pereira.

Coming up in the show, we're learning more about the woman who was sexting with Anthony Weiner. We'll shed some light on the question many people are still asking this morning, who is Sydney Leathers?

CUOMO: Plus, Caroline Kennedy set to break through the diplomatic glass ceiling after her nomination as U.S. ambassador to Japan. The former first daughter would be the first woman to hold that post.

First, let's get to Michaela, a lot of news this morning.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Lot of news this morning. Very busy news day.

Breaking overnight, officials in northwestern Spain believe excessive speed was behind a train derailment that left at least 77 people and more than 100 others injured, including 20 who are in critical condition at this hour. One of the cars burst into flames, another virtually snapped in half. Rescuers had to pry those doors open pulling bodies out of broken windows. Crews are still on scene, at the crash site, and sadly, they expect to find more victims.

This morning, we are learning that Anthony Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, wanted to leave him after learning he had sexted another woman after resigning from Congress. But a friend tells CNN she decided to stay in the relationship because of their young son.

In the meantime, Weiner's resisting calls to quit the New York mayoral race despite the scandal.

President Obama sending Egypt's military-led government a sign of his displeasure with how the government transition is going. He stopped delivery of four F-16 fighter planes. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered the news to the head of Egypt's military, criticizing the continued violence, former President Mohamed Morsy's detention and a transition that has not included the Muslim Brotherhood.

The 6-year-old boy who survived being buried for hours in a sand dune is now out of the hospital. Nathan Woessner was released Wednesday from the University of Chicago's Children's Hospital. Doctors say Nathan has suffered damage to his lungs but they expect him to make a full recovery.

Tired travelers at the International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, got a treat, a free cup of coffee. However, there is a catch: they had to yawn to get some.

It's a specially made coffee machine, employs facial recognition software to detect when someone is yawning. You yawn, a cup appears.

BOLDUAN: No problem here.

PEREIRA: It's funny watching them try and figure out where the button is. Hmm, get frustrated.

BOLDUAN: They're about to yell at it when it comes out because it looks like they're yawning.

PEREIRA: You look at me with crazy eyes. You're worried about me --

CUOMO: I like that. That's the face I'm going to have to look out for. When it comes at you -- this part, it's all over. It's all over with the funeral.

BOLDUAN: Just bring out some coffee.


BOLDUAN: All right, everybody. It's time now for our political gut check -- all the stories you need to know coming out of Washington and around the country.

First up, been talking a lot about this -- Congressman Steve King defending his remarks that many young undocumented immigrants are drug mules.

CNN's chief national correspondent, John King, is here to talk more about this.

John, you know, Steve King is known to speak his mind quite often and he is not backing down from his comment. But at a time when Republicans are trying so hard to win favor with Hispanic voters, I wonder -- how damaging is one person's one lawmaker's comments to the entire party?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate and Chris, good morning.

You know, the first rule of holes, right? When you're in a hole and the Republican Party is in a hole with Latino voters stop digging.

Here's Steve King -- and digging and digging and digging. The Republicans are trying this makeover. They're trying to remake the party's image, in part by doing something to heal their relationship with Latino voters and here you have Steve King playing the role -- forgive me -- of dumb and dumber in making that job harder.

You don't have to go to Democrats for criticism here. Just go to his own Republican leadership. Speaker John Boehner saying let's not use hateful language. If we have policy disagreements, have policy disagreements.

The entire Republican leadership is running away from Steve King. And, Kate, as you know, from your days on Capitol Hill, that's not the first time he's said things that have opened a lot of eyes and had people roll a lot of eyes. The question now is, how deeply does it complicate Republicans both on the policy front and political front as they try to repair that relationship?

BOLDUAN: And I also think it was telling, because often you hear from leadership that one person's comment, well, this is -- you guys -- this is a distraction from the debate, we're focused on the real issues. They didn't seem that they could not get far away from his remarks fast enough -- far enough, fast enough.

KING: But that's part of the problem. Look, the Republican leadership, Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor, they don't appreciate Steve King. They think he's a bit of a gadfly. They think he's a bit of a freak show actually when it comes to some of these policies.

However, he doesn't appreciate them either. He thinks they're part of the problem.


KING: He's one of the Tea Party guys who thinks that it's not just Democrats who are wrong on policy, that his own leadership is wrong.

So, this is part of the friction and tension within the Republican Party that complicates their efforts to get anything done. We're talking about immigration now. We'll be talking about the debt ceiling and others a few weeks down the road and the same characters and the same conflicts will emerge.

CUOMO: But it's important that he said it, because this is what it's about on some level. There are people who believe this and that's something they have to deal with because they keep making up reasons why they don't like the bill.

But, John, is it unfair for me to suggest that this is why there's resistance to this bill on some level because they're dealing with this misperception?

KING: There is no question that there is a slice of the Republican Party -- look, you can respect somebody who disagrees with you on policy. But to say for every young immigrant, illegal immigrant, for every young kid who was brought over across the border illegally, for every one of them brought over by their parents, they had nothing in the choice, they were a baby, they were 2 they were 3, they were 5, for every one of them, there's 100 young drug mules?

Look, it's drug trafficking a problem? Of course. But for everyone, there's 100. He says he can back that up with the statistics. I'd love to see the evidence because it complicates the policy.

And if talk to -- go to the last election, not just Latino voters, talk to Asian voters. A lot of Asian voters who are traditionally Republicans said they voted Democrat because of people like this seem to be pushing everybody who is not white away from the Republican Party.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I want to ask -- I also want to ask you about this nomination the president made of Caroline Kennedy to be ambassador to Japan. I know, a lot of people don't think nominations for am ambassadorships are interesting but it is. This has been rumored for a long time.

As you see, she's been a supporter of President Obama. She was a key supporter during the Obama '08 campaign, and it always makes you wonder, is this another way of saying, thank you for your support on everything you did for me?

KING: Yes, but -- and I'll say it this way. Look, remember how important it was back in 2008 when then-Senator Ted Kennedy, who has now passed away, and Caroline Kennedy came out and gave the Kennedy good housekeeping seal of approval for Barack Obama. They're still in the close race with Hillary Clinton.

So, he's been looking for sometime for way to say thank you. She served in some advisory roles. This didn't fit her life in the first term but she says it does now. So, it's a way for the president to say thank you to Caroline Kennedy. But it's also a way for the president to tell the Japanese this relationship matters. They always wanted in Tokyo a star. Walter Mondale, the former vice president, was the ambassador.

If you go back and look at the list of ambassadors, Democrats and Republicans try to send somebody of great stature to Tokyo because it matters in the respect of that relationship. Look, Tokyo is now getting a piece of Camelot. Caroline Kennedy appreciates it and so does the Japanese government.

BOLDUAN: Real quick, any chance, she's never held public office. She's always been in the public eye. Do you think this is a step for her to consider public office?

KING: Chris knows this is because Caroline lives in New York. And Chris lives in New York. She's been asked this and asked this and asked this. She thought about running back when Hillary Clinton was running, or that when that seat came open. She always said, no, that she doesn't want to go into elective office.

So, here is a way to put her in appointed office, representing her country. Good for her.

BOLDUAN: Yes, good for her. CUOMO: It would be nice to learn what connection or involvement she has with Japan. Seeing how she's going to be an ambassador.

BOLDUAN: Not so much connection but she'll be a quick study I guess.

All right. John, great to see you. Happy Thursday.

KING: Wait, wait, you can't let me get away without this.


KING: Student loan will pass next week, the Senate version. The House is going to pass the Senate version. I'm told by a top Republican aide. Next week, they'll send it to the president.

CUOMO: I think it's great, John. We've been talking about it.

The question is: if those rates stay low, are they really setting it up as a priority? The president talked about it in his speech. We'll talk about it more later this morning -- in his economic speech, he wants to find ways to get college costs lower. It sounds great but rings as one of those things you can't get done.

So, we'll what happens. But this is progress, you got to take progress where you find it, that's what John King says.

BOLDUAN: Progress, that's what John King says.

KING: Amen.

BOLDUAN: From your lips to God's ears.

CUOMO: Amen, brother.

BOLDUAN: All right, John, we'll see you later.

All right. Good stuff.

Coming up next on NEW DAY: the woman at the center of the latest Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, she's 23-year-old. Her name is Sydney Leathers, and one of her friends is talking to CNN about her scandalous relationship with the could-be mayor of New York.

CUOMO: And NSA leaker Edward Snowden still in limbo at a Moscow airport, and he may be changing at his mind about where he'd like toned up. We'll tell you about it.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody.

Anthony Weiner refusing to bow out of New York City mayor's race even though he's admitted to another sexting scandal. This morning, we're learning a lot more about the woman on the receiving end of those messages.

Here's CNN's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The woman at the center of the latest Anthony Weiner sexting scandal is Sydney Leathers who also identifies herself online as Sydney Elaine XO. We don't know much about her but we do know she's very comfortable in her own skin.

These are just some pictures she posted of herself on Twitter, that have since been removed.

So how did she meet Anthony Weiner?

Lou Colagiovanni is a friend of Leathers.

LOU COLAGIOVANNI, ACQUAINTANCE OF SYDNEY LEATHERS: She initially contacted him through Twitter. She was a fan.

KAYE: Colagiovanni says the conversations quickly turned from politics to sex. This was the result. Dozens and dozens of sexually explicit text messages and photographs, including images of his anatomy that are simply too explicit to show here. Their online relationship continued for quite awhile.

COLAGIOVANNI: It's been around for eight or nine, maybe even possibly a year.

KAYE (on camera): We came here to Princeton, Indiana, hoping to talk with Sydney Leathers about her communication and relationship with Anthony Weiner. This is where a friend of hers who asked not to be identified told me she lived with her father. Nobody answered the door when we went inside.

That same friend also told me that Sydney Leathers never mentioned Anthony Weiner by name but did say she had met a lot of people with strong political context online. Politics was her passion.

(voice-over): It seems long before Sydney Leathers first communicated with Anthony Weiner she had her eye on him. One of her Web sites that's since been removed listed him as one of her heroes.

Sydney Leathers is now 23. Her friend says she never slept with Anthony Weiner or took any money from him but that he did offer to help her get an apartment in Chicago and suggest he visit her. At one point, she told the Web site that Weiner asked her, quote, "Do me a solid and hard delete all our chats."

Randi Kaye, CNN, Princeton, Indiana.


KAYE: Time now for a trip around the world, starting in Egypt this morning. Supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy holding rallies despite a threatened crackdown from the head of the military.

Reza Sayah is in Cairo with more. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Egyptian military openly putting itself in the middle of Egypt's conflict with the head of the armed forces calling for mass demonstrations tomorrow and calling on people to give him the authority to fight violence and terrorism. Egypt's top general didn't name names but many are going to use this as a veiled threat against the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy who have been protesting for three weeks now.

For their part, the Muslim Brotherhood, they are calling for mass demonstrations, too. So, once again, the stage is set for a Friday showdown in this fight for Egypt's future where the army is playing an increasingly central role -- Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right. Reza, thanks so much.

Now, almost 70 years after the end of World War II, a new push to catch surviving Nazi war criminals.

CNN's Dan Rivers has more on this from London.


DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel is launching a poster campaign in three German cities, Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne. Two thousand of these posters are going up with the phrase, "Late but never late," asking for information about Nazis that they think could still be hiding out in Germany more than 60 years after the end of the Second World War. They're offering a reward for information of more than $30,000 and it's causing huge controversy in Germany.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right. Dan, thanks so much.

And north Korea about to mark a milestone in its history. CNN's Ivan Watson had a chance to talk to some of the country's youngest citizens.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: North Korea is gearing up to celebrate 60 years since the end of the Korean War, and we're here at the palace where the founder of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea now lays in state. Now, all these kids, they frequently come to visit here. It's been 60 years since the war, but this is very much still part of everyday life for North Koreans.

And these kids, we've talked to some of them, they love things that most children love, cartoons, roller blading but when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up? Many of them say they want to be soldiers to protect their country. Back to you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Ivan, thanks so much with a rare look inside the country.

CUOMO: Yes, that is a rare look, indeed.

Coming up on NEW DAY, our must-see moment, former president, George H.W. Bush, showing off his new look. Why? Beautiful reason. In honor of a two-year-old boy's fight with leukemia.

BOLDUAN: He has a great smile.


BOLDUAN: So, you only let me go to London if I bring you back gifts --

CUOMO: Thanks for bringing us inside of a doughnut --




PEREIRA: Yes, you sure do. We know that to be true. Welcome back to NEW DAY. Today's must-see moment, really beautiful, really touching former president, George H.W. Bush, rocking a new do (ph). Check it out. He shaved his head in solidarity with that little one, the two- year-old son of a member of his security detail. That little one is battling leukemia.

Bush 41 followed the lead of his secret service detail all of whom are handsomely supporting chrome domes. The cause certainly hitting close to home for the Bush's. he and wife, Barbara, lost their three-year- old daughter Robin to cancer some six decades ago.

Her death leaving an indelible mark on that family to be sure. So you know that this was something they felt they had a chance to get behind with extra passion in their hearts.

BOLDUAN: He's a good guy.



BOLDUAN: He looks good.

CUOMO: He looks good, but you know, it's really a sign of just what's in his heart also.

BOLDUAN: A bit of a good stuff there for you.


CUOMO: Good stuff. Always love it. Thank you, my friend.

Coming up on NEW DAY, calls for Anthony Weiner to end his attempted political comeback. They're coming, they're coming, but he's saying he's staying in. So, the question is, why is his wife standing by her man?

BOLDUAN: And we're going to continue to follow breaking news out of Spain where a train derailment in the northwestern part of that country has left more than 70 people dead and at least 100 injured. One car snapped completely in half, another caught on fire. We'll have more coming up.


CUOMO: Welcome back, everybody. The relationship between A-Rod and New York Yankees took another bizarre turn. The third baseman, boy, oh, boy, sent a doctor on a media tour to say he is fit to play. Let's bring in Andy Scholes with "The Bleacher Report." This is like quad gate.

BOLDUAN: -- the A-Rod reported --

CUOMO: Right.


ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, guys. It basically boils down to this. According to a source, A-Rod believes he is healthy enough to return to the line-up, but he thinks the Yankees are conspiring against him to keep him off the field so that they can collect the insurance money for the more than $25 million he's owed this season.

Now without permission from the Yankees, A-Rod hired his own doctor to take a look at his MRI of his quad. The doctor said he didn't see any signs of an injury and the Yankees, meanwhile ,continue to insist that they want A-Rod back on the field as soon as he's physically able to play. A-Rod, of course, is still facing a possible suspension over the alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, speaking publicly for the first time since former patriot, Aaron Hernandez, was charged with murder. Belichick who was usually very vanilla when it comes to speaking with the media was much more forthcoming and genuine while discussing the Hernandez situation yesterday.


BILL BELICHICK, PATRIOT HEAD COACH: I and other members of the organization were shocked and disappointed in what we had learned. Having someone in your organization that's involved in a murder investigation is a terrible thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) All right. We want to warn you about this next video. Look away if you're squeamish, brace feet (ph). Tim Hudson trying to cover first base last night and he gets his ankle stepped on by the Mets Eric Young Jr. Look, he goes down --

BOLDUAN: Slow mo.

SCHOLES: Oh! That's tough to watch, guys.


CUOMO: -- slow mo twice.

BOLDUAN: Yes, thanks, Andy. Thanks, Andy.


SCHOLES: Yes. Hope you aren't eating breakfast while watching that. Of course, Young Jr. felt terrible about this whole thing. He said he knew Hudson's ankle had to be broken right when it happened. Hudson taken out on a stretcher, guys, unfortunately for him in a brace. His ankle, is in fact, broken and he's going to probably miss the rest of the season.


CUOMO: Andy Scholes.

BOLDUAN: Andy Scholes, my goodness.

SCHOLES: Sorry, guys.

CUOMO: The ghoul of sports.

BOLDUAN: Andy, wow! OK. Thanks, Andy. Great to see you --

CUOMO: it's good to see you, pal.

BOLDUAN: -- regardless of now my stomach is not feeling too great. You hear the music?

CUOMO: Saved by the music.

BOLDUAN: Saved by the music. It is time for the "Rock Block," everybody. A quick round up --

PEREIRA: I got run cover.

BOLDUAN: -- of the stories you'll be talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: That's where you're going to be talking about that horrible video, but let's take a look at the papers.

First up, from the "Delaware News Journal," a big school board vote tonight in a city of (INAUDIBLE) to decide whether it is OK to offer local high school students to class that examines the role of the bible in society.

In the "Chicago Tribune," first lights at Wrigley Field. Now, this Chicago city council signing off and it's $500 million renovation. This is a hotel, a retail complex, and a jumbotron.

And in the "Houston Chronicle," new treasures from a shipwreck off the coast of Galveston, Texas. Researchers have recovered weapons, dishes, and clothing from the 200-year-old ship. We love this stuff.

Time now for business news and Christine Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: A treasure of its own. Facebook, a pleasant surprise there. Mobile now accounts for 41 percent of its total ad revenue. Mobile accounted for virtually none of it a year ago. That helped Facebook shares, Facebook stock surged by $5 after the closing bell.

All right. Sneaky credit card fees cost a third of you out there $14 billion a year. So-called gray charges that include automatically renewed memberships, expired free trials, extra charges on online purchases.

When buying a house, remember this, cash is king. In states like Nevada, Florida, New York, foreclosures, depressed prices meant that more than half of the homes, half of the homes in June were paid for with cash. In Vermont, it's 80 percent.

Finally, let's get to Indra Petersons for the weather -- Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I was actually cold this morning, Christine. Look at the highs that we are expecting in the afternoon, temperatures in the 70s all up and down the northeast. Now, there's an unwelcome change as well, and unfortunately, that is the low that is about. So, we're going to be talking about some coastal showers up in the northeast as well.

Where the heaviest rain will be, well, we're talking the Midwest as well as the plains today. And then, of course, we have Dorian, but we're going to give you that update on tropical storm Dorian coming up in just a few minutes.

BOLDUAN: All right. We'll get back to you in just a second. Indra, thank you so much.

We're now at the top of the hour which means it's time for the top news.