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CNN NEWSROOM

Zuckerberg's Plan to get Five Million Online; Manning Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison; Hecklers versus Cruz on Health Care; "I Guess it was a Slow News Day"; Killer Nurse Could Be Freed; Leveling the Playing Field

Aired August 21, 2013 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY" (voice-over): And the word "we" is the keyword here because this isn't just Facebook. Zuckerberg has done something extraordinary to achieve the extraordinary reached out to the biggest players in social and mobile data a.k.a., his competitors in part to work together.

(on camera): How did those calls go?

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CO-FOUNDER, FACEBOOK: That part varies. But I mean in general, these are companies that we have deep relationships with and have worked with on a lot of things for a long time. So this kind of came out of all of the discussions that we had.

CUOMO (voice-over): So a team with the best in the business is coming together but for a task this size, uniting five times the global presence Facebook has already, it's going to take a lot more.

(on camera): What about the how? Like how -- how do you do this? Like how developed is the plan?

ZUCKERBERG: You know, we have a plan, a rough plan for what we think we're going to need to do to pull it off and of course, the plan will evolve over time and we'll get better ideas. But if you look at the trends, I mean data is becoming more available to people right. Apps are getting more efficient to run. There are new business models to help more people get online.

CUOMO: It's also good for Facebook and these other companies right because mobile access to the Internet is where your business lies. Right?

ZUCKERBERG: You know if we were just focused on -- on making money, the -- the first billion people that we've connected have way more money than the rest of the next six billion combined. It's not fair but it's the way that it is. And we just believe that everyone deserves to be connected and on the Internet so we are putting a lot of energy towards this.

CUOMO: People see you as somewhat of a comeback kid right now. Forget about the kid part. So this is just a phrase right? That you know you took some lumps and you found a way to come back. Are you aware of that? Do you feel that in yourself, that like, you know, some people thought it wasn't going to happen? You know that you had had your run but look at me now? Do you get a sense of that?

ZUCKERBERG: Yes. You know, we've always just focused on building something great over the long term right. So everyone at Facebook, I -- I just tell them, come in and try to make the biggest impact that you can have. And if we keep building a service that people love and that more and more people use every day, which we seem to be doing pretty well at, then we're going to be fine over time and that's -- that's our focus in terms of building the company.

CUOMO: Hard to do, though, when you hit the bumps in the road, though right? I mean it's a great message when everything is ok.

ZUCKERBERG: It's especially important when you hit the bumps.

CUOMO: So when not trying to connect the world to the Internet, you have to run one of the biggest companies and when you want a distraction from that, you've decided to take on the easy task of immigration policy in the United States. Why are you wading into those waters?

ZUCKERBERG: When we were first talking about doing this, a lot of people actually were worried that it was going to be a problem for Facebook right? And -- and I just decided, I think that this is too important of an issue for the country. I mean there are 11 million undocumented people who -- who came here to work hard and contribute to the country and you know, its -- I don't think it's quite as polarized as -- as people always say.

CUOMO: What would be your advice to the people in D.C. who are trying to balance these two almost diametrically opposed positions? One is immigration policy is about what you're talking about. Let's bring in our human potential. And the other one is, let's find a way to get them out?

How -- if you had to enter that, this is your new team, you have to make these Democrats and Republicans come together, what advice do you think you would have that is not going on down there now?

ZUCKERBERG: Well, I can't really tell anyone how to legislate. I mean that's -- everyone understands the stuff way better than -- than I do. So you know my goal in this is just to try to help support folks who care deeply about getting this done on both sides and hopefully we can make a difference.

CUOMO: In terms of the politics of it, you think it's just important enough or where you're going to do it anyway?

ZUCKERBERG: Yes. I mean I think that there are some things in life that if you believe that it's such a big problem, you just stick your neck out and try to do it, right. And I mean, a lot of people think that it's going to be really challenging to connect five billion people, too. It is.

But -- but I think it's one of the biggest problems of my generation to get everyone in the world to have Internet access. And I mean similarly, you know 11 million undocumented people, I mean that's a lot of people whose lives we can improve and make the country stronger.

CUOMO: Good luck with everything.

ZUCKERBERG: Thank you.

CUOMO: You're not even 30 yet. You're doing great.

ZUCKERBERG: Thanks.

CUOMO: Good luck with everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Because Zuckerberg needs me to tell him that he's doing a good job so far, Carol. I mean -- the arrogance.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: You're not even 30 yet.

CUOMO: I mean, you know, it's interesting. You know, he is young, right? And he has been not just precocious but so wildly successful that his life story has already been told in a major motion picture. And yet I do believe -- one of the reasons I pointed out his age and his relative success to him personally, was that I think we're seeing a next chapter for him in his personal maturation process, getting involved in politics, taking on partnership initiatives, expanding himself. I think this is personal as well as professional growth.

COSTELLO: Well, 30 is an important milestone. It's when we have to grow up, right, even Mark Zuckerberg?

CUOMO: Yes, I can't wait for it.

COSTELLO: Yes. Thank you, Chris.

All right. We welcome our viewers around the world.

Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison and he has been demoted and dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army. Chris Lawrence is at Ft. Meade, he's been covering the proceedings. Chris Lawrence, tell us more.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes Carol, there was an audible gasp in the courtroom as that verdict was read and Bradley Manning was quickly rushed out of that courtroom, within seconds, as supporters in the back rows yelled to him, "We love you, Bradley. We're still fighting here for you, Bradley."

We could see his family members who were in the front row just behind him, his aunt, a cousin openly crying, weeping and wiping tears as the judge decided to sentence him to 35 years.

Now where does that fall? Prosecutors were looking for 60 years. The defense had asked him to be sentenced to no more than 25. But when you break that down, Bradley Manning already is already getting credit for nearly four years of pretrial confinement. So that brings it down to a little over 31 years. He's only mandated to serve at least a third of that. So it is possible that with parole Bradley Manning could be out of prison in about ten years -- Carol.

COSTELLO: So is it your sense, Chris, that the judge showed some leniency in this case?

LAWRENCE: I think she struck a balance. And I think even the prosecutors by only asking for 60, not the full 90 that he could have gotten, were recognizing that Manning -- that this crime was different than Manning going directly to a foreign agent and directly giving them the information. At no point did the government prove that Manning knew that these documents would end up in the hands of al Qaeda.

The defense has been arguing that he was a troubled man, that this was someone who was struggling with his gender identity issues, that he was exploring how to become a woman, and that as the United States soldier, especially serving under "don't ask, don't tell", and deployed to Iraq, that he had no way to really communicate that or deal with that.

The prosecutors had argued that this sentence needed to send a message to other -- others who would potentially do the same thing. They said a sentence could act as a deterrent.

And so I think the judge while she did err on the side of the lower sentence she definitely struck a balance between those two arguments.

COSTELLO: All right Chris Lawrence, reporting live from Ft. Meade, Maryland this morning.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM: Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a town hall on Obamacare and oh the hecklers. Put it all together and what do you get? Well, we'll show you after a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Ted Cruz, the Republican rising star and Senator from Texas finding himself in the middle of a faceoff during a Dallas town hall. His opponents? Hecklers angry about Cruz's very outspoken stance against Obamacare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (D), TEXAS: There is a new paradigm. Gentlemen, thank you for sharing your views. You know, part of the First Amendment is about respecting the views of others. Sir -- you know, I'll make a couple of observations about those two young men.

Number one, I agree with them. They should have health care and Obamacare is causing more and more people struggling to climb the economic ladder to lose their health care.

And number two, in the world of astro turf, fake grassroots, you know, President Obama's group Organizing for America is trying to pay people to pretend that the grassroots are with them. I've got to tell you every time they come to protest in Texas, they've sent a small group of people and you all have outnumbered them, two and three and four to one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: He's smooth. Cruz called Obamacare quote, "Probably the most destructive law that's ever been imposed on the American people." And he is backing a plan to defund Obamacare even if it means a government shutdown.

Joining me now to discuss -- CNN political commentator and columnist for "The Blaze", Will Cain; and HLN contributor and Hiram College political science professor, Jason Johnson. Welcome to you both.

JASON JOHNSON, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning.

WILL CAIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.

COSTELLO: Good morning.

Ok. So I'll start with you, Will. Ted Cruz says "Hey Obamacare is causing a lot of young people to lose their health care." And in part he's right because a lot of companies are opting out of paying health care because of Obamacare.

CAIN: Right. We just saw the news this morning that UPS is dropping the spouses of something like 15,000 employees and they're blaming specifically Obamacare. Carol you know what's awesome about that clip that you just played of the heckler and the Ted Cruz rally is that it's -- it really begins to embody the current status of Obamacare, a small minority that still supports Obamacare, spouts off cliches like health care is a right and if you have it I should have it, while a growing majority symbolize by that crowd see's that it's falling apart.

Almost every poll now over 50 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare. And why wouldn't they as deadlines are missed and -- and problems mount up. Obamacare simply -- the truth of it is starting to become very apparent to everybody.

COSTELLO: Well most of the polls I've seen is pretty evenly split. Right, Jason Johnson?

CAIN: Over 50 percent.

JOHNSON: Yes look, I mean look.

(CROSSTALK)

COSTELLO: And on the other hand that -- you could say that some companies are opting out of paying health care for their employees but there are alternatives under Obamacare for those young people to get insurance, right, Jason?

JOHNSON: Yes. You know you can stay on your parents' insurance longer. Look, it's not a perfect policy. I don't think anybody thought this as perfect policy. I don't even think liberals thought it was a perfect policy. But the President was actually trying to do something about the rising costs. There are certain states or certain parts of New York where it seems to be working fine. I can talk about my own college how it's actually increased expenses.

So again there are going to be people -- people who have concerns. But Ted Cruz and Republicans like him who want to focus their entire rhetoric for the next 18 months on defunding Obamacare they're not helping their party. And they're continuing this idea that they're the party of no. They have to have a better alternative than just we hate this policy.

COSTELLO: And he's right about that. Because -- you know the establishment, the establishment, you know, what I'm talking about, Republicans here, they don't like the idea of shutting down the government and defunding Obamacare because polls show that most of the American people will blame Republicans if the government shuts down.

CAIN: That's a political analysis, though Carol and largely uninteresting to me. Jason's analysis that we have a problem with health care and yes Obamacare is imperfect, amounts to just to do something do anything it doesn't matter if it's imperfect or it doesn't work. Just do something.

And that is a big problem because for many of us we see this is a seminal point in American history. You are attempting and clearly failing to restructure one-sixth of the American economy. I don't blame you for not being able to do that. I blame you for trying. It was an impossible task.

COSTELLO: Ok.

Well let's move on to topic number two because this has been very much in the news lately. Ted Cruz has been in the headlines after news of his Canadian birth sparked the question of dual citizenship. Here's what Senator Cruz had to say to CNN's Candy Crowley.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR, "STATE OF THE UNION": I have to get this birth certificate off the table. Why -- I think it's fairly cool that you had dual citizenship. You could go run for the Canadian parliament. You can go run for president. What's wrong with that?

CRUZ: Well look I think it's the silly season in politics. This past week the "Dallas Morning News" asked me for a copy of my birth certificate so I sent it to them. And they ran a story that seems a whole lot of media outlets -- I guess it was a really, really slow news day but they ran with the story, which is -- which is fine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: But Jason, didn't Donald Trump initially bring this up?

JOHNSON: Donald Trump brought this up. When you run around with crazy people, you end up with a propeller hat on. That's the situation that he's got going on right now. It was the Republican Party that promoted and appreciated and pandered to the birthers and that's where some of this nonsense will come from.

Ted -- you know, Ted Cruz has dual citizenship. Lots of people have dual citizenship. That's not going to prevent him from running. And I don't even think it makes the Tea Party people hypocrites. I just think this is -- it is the silly season, like he said.

COSTELLO: Will.

CAIN: I totally disagree. It's not a silly discussion to be had. First of all, legally, can Ted Cruz run for president? That's pretty clear. Every legal analysis suggests he's a natural-born citizen. And that's the phrase that the constitution includes -- you must be a natural born citizen.

But why was that included in the constitution? Because there was a natural suspicion of immigrants. Now that may sound xenophobic, but in the 1700s, there was a fear that the British aristocracy would come and try to co-opt American government. Existentially, it revolves around the concept of allegiance and loyalty.

So we arrive today at Ted Cruz having a dual citizenship and he's now renounced his Canadian citizenship? I actually think that's a good idea. I want to know that 100 percent of his loyalty and allegiances are to the United States American.

I'm not going to play this citizen of the world nonsense. It's not cool. Right? It may be cool for you or me but if you're running for president, just be loyal to America, period.

COSTELLO: Well, I was born in Canton, Ohio, and I am loyal to America, Will Cain.

CAIN: And I feel strongly -- I feel --

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: Bradley Manning was born here and he wasn't loyal. I mean this is a silly discussion. I think Ted Cruz is promising to lead this country.

(CROSSTALK)

CAIN: Logic doesn't work that way Jason. That's not how --

COSTELLO: We're going to have to end it here because I think Jason you're right. It is a silly discussion. Will Cain -- I love you; Jason Johnson, you too. Thanks so much for being on this morning.

CAIN: Thank you.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, a nurse serving a 99-year prison sentence for murdering a baby could be set free 60 years early. And it's all because of a legal loophole.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: A nurse suspected of killing more than 40 infants by giving them lethal injections could soon walk free. She was sentenced to 99 years but a legal loophole could get her out of prison early.

Ashleigh Banfield will be talking about that topic on "LEGAL VIEW" in the next hour. Good morning Ashleigh.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Hi Carol.

It's infuriating, isn't it when you hear something like this?

COSTELLO: Yes.

BANFIELD: This woman injected a baby and killed a baby and this baby was in her mother's arms when it happened. And so you would think that a 99-year sentence plus oh, I don't know, an additional 60 might ensure the woman never walks free. But what about this loophole -- why does it exist? Can they backtrack it, change it, and make it retroactive?

It is a big question and there's one woman right now who is prepared to exhume her own baby to try to keep that woman behind bars. I'll tell you about that story and all the legal arguments to go with it.

COSTELLO: All right. Ashleigh Banfield, we look forward to it.

BANFIELD: Thanks.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM: in the closet while playing in the NFL now out and helping LGBT athletes. We're going to talk with Wade Davis next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Professional sports stars are supporting a level playing field for athletes of all sexual identities. Check out this video. Some Bay Area players you probably know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're about winning championships.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Multiple championships.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to play on our team?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you play?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you play?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We only care about one thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you can play, you can play. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gay, straight, bi, whatever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gay, straight, bi, whatever. We don't care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you can play, you can play.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: You can see videos with that same theme from other athletes on the "You Can Play Project" Web site which works for equality for LGBT athletes and also provides training programs for sports teams.

Wade Davis is a former NFL player who's just been named the executive director of the "You Can Play Project". Davis came out as a gay man last year. Good morning, Wade.

WADE DAVIS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Hi, Carol. How are you doing today?

COSTELLO: I'm good. It sounds like a great project. Tell us about it.

DAVIS: Well, what the "You Can Play Project" is it's really an organization that was founded on principles that all athletes, regardless of their gender orientation, their gender expression or their gender identity should have access to playing sports and do it free from harassment and any forms of discrimination.

COSTELLO: And you're going to be going around to different NFL teams, kind of teaching people to be more accepting?

DAVIS: Well, yes. The "You Can Play Project" signed an historic deal with NHL and also with Major League Soccer. And we're doing work with other sports leagues to do trainings, to do some educational trainings and programs. We do something called the invisible athlete forum where we have a moderator and other LGBT athletes that share their actual stories. We hear and you can play just believe that the sharing of stories is really pivotal in changing hearts and minds.

COSTELLO: Are feelings different in different sports? And the reason I ask you that is because I interviewed some members of the Detroit Tigers, even their manager Jim Leland. And I asked them, you know, would you feel comfortable with a gay player coming out on the Detroit Tigers. And everybody says, what's the big deal? Is it different in the world of baseball than it is in the world of football?

DAVIS: I don't think so, actually. I think that we do athletes a disservice by assuming that they are either all Neanderthals or they're all homophobic. I think that what I've found from talking to other players that most of them don't care what someone's sexual orientation is. And it just requires a conversation that's open and honest and just allowed everyone a voice in the conversation.

So I don't believe that there is one sport that is more or less homophobic. I just think that athletes are not given the opportunity to prove how accepting and inclusive that they are. COSTELLO: And I guess I ask you these questions because, you know, in the world of sports, especially in football, you see many religious players, social conservatives.

DAVIS: Yes. You know, I think that religion is important and the one thing that we do is we try to meet the players or anyone where they are at. So if there's a player that has a religious concern about playing with an LGBT player, we want to have that conversation, do it in an open and honest way, do it free from judgment and make sure that everyone's voice is actually heard.

COSTELLO: All right. Wade Davis, thanks for discussing this, this morning. We appreciate it.

DAVIS: Thank you so much Carol.

COSTELLO: You're welcome.

And thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello. "LEGAL VIEW" with Ashleigh Banfield after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)