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Clinton Remains Quiet About Emails; Do Clintons Have A Transparency Issue?; Malaysia Releases New Flight 370 Report
Aired March 9, 2015 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI: It's not up to Secretary Clinton to decide what's a public record and what's not.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I think that she needs to step up and come out and state exactly what the situation is.
REP. MIKE POMPEO (R-KS), MEMBER, SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI: Secretary Clinton tweeted the other night, she said, I want them released. If they're her personal e-mails, release them.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle criticizing Hillary Clinton's use of a personal e-mail address to conduct business. Many calling on the former secretary of state to address the controversy head on, will she break her silence?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: To discuss, former White House press secretary and Republican consultant, Mr. Ari Fleischer, and former director of communications at the DNC and senior fellow at "Media Matters," Miss Karen Finney. Thanks to both of you for being here.
Let's begin at the beginning. The rule says it's the department's general policy that normal day to day operations be conducted on an authorized AIS, which has the proper level of security to provide all these big words. Keep it safe.
Ari, do you believe that then secretary of state was operating outside this rule because she did not have an authorized AIS?
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I don't know about rule. I know it was wrong.
CUOMO: Why? The rule decides if it's wrong.
FLEISCHER: If you're in the government, you're supposed to conduct all your public business on a public site government site. That's for security reasons. Ask any security official who knows the internet, Hillary's e-mails have been read by Russia, China and Iran. This is a serious national security issue for somebody running for commander-in- chief.
CAMEROTA: Karen, did she put the country in a national security predicament?
KAREN FINNEY, FORMER DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, DNC: No. And I'm sure he's equally concerned about the millions of e-mails missing from the Bush administration if we're going to play that game. Look, a couple of things to remember, as Colin Powell, himself, pointed out yesterday, he too had a personal e-mail.
He did not keep copies as he said because anything sent to someone in the government a record was kept in that system. That's exactly the same thing that Secretary Clinton's folks said last week. In addition to that, they have turned over 55,000 pages of documentation. So they actually have two copies of her records.
The second thing, CNN's own reporting on Friday, no one, not the State Department, no legal expert has said that a law was broken. Also in the spirit of the law or the regulation is the concern about the records act is that the record is preserved. She preserved the record. The State Department now has them.
CAMEROTA: Karen, you know, you say 55,000 e-mails have been released and it shows transparency, yet, there are some who say the very e- mails they're interested in, particularly for the Benghazi investigation are not strangely not part of that treasure-trove. Listen to Troy Gowdy for a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOWDY: There are gaps of months and months and months. If you think to that iconic picture of her on a C-17 flying to Libya, she has sunglasses on and she has her handheld device in her hand, we have no e-mails from that day. We have no e-mails from that trip.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FINNEY: Here's what I love about that comment. That trip was in 2011. Benghazi happened in 2012. He's requested documents related to 2012. He has 900 pages from the State Department of e-mails around the 2012 incident. So he's talking about a picture that was a year before the incident that he's saying he's missing e-mails from.
CUOMO: So the sunglasses, well, that was an attempting thing, but here's the question for you, Ari, if this was such a big deal, such a flagrant abuse of what she's supposed doing, how come nobody said anything?
FLEISCHER: Well, that's a great question for the people who are on the receiving end of her e-mails.
CUOMO: They had to be people from both parties.
FLEISCHER: You don't know if they also have a government account. She deliberately set up a system so she could go around the spirit of the law. Keep in mind, you have to look at Mrs. Clinton's history. After the travel office firings that she was responsible for, a prosecutor count substantial evidence that she lied under oath.
The only reason they were able to make that claim was because of memos that later came out showing she had a role when she said she did it. So here's the question.
Will Mrs. Clinton release everything or picking and choosing what she wants to release. When you look on the how many pages, 55,000 over four years, that's only 38 e-mails a day that she received or sent.
FINNEY: You can't -- none of us know because we haven't seen what the 55,000 pages look like. You can't decide how many e-mails you think that is.
FLEISCHER: It's 38 a day.
FINNEY: Well, that's your estimation. Have you seen the 55,000 pages?
FLEISCHER: That's 55,000 divided by four years.
FINNEY: So you know exactly. That's ridiculous.
FLEISCHER: Math is not ridiculous.
FINNEY: What I would put forward is, are we going to hold everybody else to the same standard? OK. Well, Jeb Bush has only released about 10 percent of the documents from his time as governor. Most reporters in Florida said a lot of it was already out there.
He's feigning transparency. What about Chris Christie? What about Scott Walker? If that is the test, are we going to hold everybody to the test?
CUOMO: They weren't secretary of state at the time. They weren't conducting diplomatic matters.
FINNEY: But they were conducting matters of state and if our concern is about e-mails and public and private records, my question is, does everybody get held to that standard or are we just Hillary Clinton to that standard?
FLEISCHER: The rules are for the federal government. If you're a federal government officer, everything you do has to be a public document, government document. Here's why I'm worried about whether she's turned them over or not --
FINNEY: But you know, the State Department has multiple systems.
FLEISCHER: Think about what's an e-mail. Let's say there is an email where she said, maybe we should do more to work with Assad, maybe he's more of a reformer than we think. Do you honestly --
FINNEY: Do you really think --
FLEISCHER: Karen, I didn't interrupt you. Think about whether or not she would allow that to be released from her server that she deliberately set up so she could pick and choose what she wants to send. She is going to run for president. Why would she release that? I can't imagine that he's going to release everything she has --
CUOMO: We have to leave it there. We're going to keep this debate going. There are obviously concerns because it's not all out there. People are going to speculate, but that was a good back and forth. Thanks to both of you. Ari Fleischer, Karen Finney, appreciate it.
CAMEROTA: OK, also, one year after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing. A new report makes a key revelation about the plane that likely hampered the search. We'll speak with the wife of a missing passenger and get her reaction to the big findings.
CAMEROTA: Welcome back. Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey, America's top general is in Iraq this morning for briefings with U.S. commanders and Iraqi officials, this as two bloodthirsty terror groups have joined forces.
The leader of Nigeria's terror group, Boko Haram, is pledging loyalty to ISIS. That could help Boko Haram with recruitment and logistics as it fights off a ground and air offensive from Niger and Chad in north east Nigeria.
CUOMO: Today, marks eight years since former FBI agent, Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran. At the time he was kidnapped, Levinson's family claims he was doing freelance work for the CIA. He will turn 67 tomorrow and is the longest held hostage in American history. Iranian leaders have repeatedly denied knowing where Levinson is.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The Vatican says two priceless document versus been stolen and being held for ransom. What's important to note here, the documents were stolen from the Vatican archives back in 1997, however, this is the first time that the public is hearing about it. The Vatican says it has refused to pay that ransom.
CUOMO: There is a new report into the disappearance of MH-370 revealing startling details about the batteries that was supposed to be powering the jet's data recorder. CNN's international correspondent, Anna Coren, is live this morning in Kuala Lumpur -- Anna.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, startling evidence coming out of that interim report released on the one-year anniversary since the disappearance of MH-370. As you say the battery in the flight data recorder has expired, a glaring oversight by the maintenance of Malaysia airlines.
It is important to note, however, that the battery in the cockpit voice recorder was operational. So the pings would have still been detected. The other thing in the report shows there was mass confusion within that air traffic control tower in Kuala Lumpur.
What was interesting also, Chris, was the pilot, there has been this rogue pilot theory around now for 12 months, perhaps he was responsible for committing suicide. But really this report came out and said he was not suffering stress. There was nothing different about his behavior or the co-pilot's or staff.
So it's really clearing him, if you like. For the families of the 239 people on board, Chris, they feel that this is meaningless because it provides no answers whatsoever as to where their loved ones are.
CUOMO: And that's the key, it really just helps us understand a little bit better why they haven't found the plane, but the question remains. Where is it? Anna, thank you very much for the reporting.
PEREIRA: Family members of MH-370 say this report has done nothing to help them including her next. Her husband was on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Jennifer, very difficult I'm sure to hear this. But it's been a year now and I know you've had a chance to deal with some of this information. Tell us your reaction to this report.
JENNIFER CHONG, WIFE OF MH370 PASSENGER CHONG LIN TAN: Yes, if not we need to search for the plane and after one year. One thing we have learned is that and I might have let the plan flight on the flight data recorders and yet the airlines not treating the families promptly.
PEREIRA: It is quite shocking to think that those batteries may have expired as far back as 2012 before the plane went missing. What has the reaction been from the other families?
CHONG: We are shocked. We are surprised and we are just discussing how could they keep quiet and what is the ping they heard from the oceans? If the battery is dead and they wouldn't have any ping and why don't they tell us earlier and keep quiet. It's just ridiculous.
PEREIRA: Do you feel Malaysian and Australian authorities are doing enough to help find your husband?
CHONG: Malaysian airlines, the Malaysians, the search is narrowed down to very concentrated areas in the South Indian Oceans. For the search, I think they should have done better. They should have, you know, make sure the every stone is turn and to follow maybe more credible leads of theories because even until now, we haven't found any wreckage at all. So it is very difficult for us to believe that it is there and very difficult for us to believe that they are doing it now.
PEREIRA: Imagine it's difficult for you and for the other families to hear the Australian deputy prime minister warning that the end of this search could be imminent, that this can't carry on forever. How does that sit with you?
CHONG: It is actually very worrisome because ever since the declaration, led to discussion of compensation and the Australian deputy prime minister says that the search could have end in weeks. In view of the coming recent is going to end in May event is coming, we are just getting very worried. Because we haven't heard any commitment from the authorities that they're going to find -- they're going to continue the search until they find the plane and the passenger as soon as the passengers, those people that are your loved ones, your husband.
I know, Jennifer, you refuse to call yourself a widow. I want you to tell us about the man that you married, the man that you love, the father of your boys. Tell us about your husband.
CHONG: My husband, he is very strong and courageous. Even though he is so successful in business, back home he's just the best person I can ever ask for, amazing father, he's a good son, caring son to his parents, a protective sibling. He's a good man and he doesn't deserve all this.
PEREIRA: I can see the smile on your face when you speak of him. I know you have been forced to sort of be mother and father to your children. You've had to step up and be the leader in the family and handle so many things you didn't have to handle before.
You're a tremendously brave woman. You're very courageous. We wish you well and send you our thoughts and prayers. Jennifer, thank you so much for joining us today.
CHONG: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: OK, Michaela, thank you.
Apple about to unveil the Apple Watch, is this the next big thing? We'll tell you what we know about it.
CAMEROTA: It's time for CNN money now. Chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, is in our money center, another milestone for stock report.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The bull market is six years old today. On March 9th, 2009, a horrible day, the S&P 500 hit a low of 676 and turned around and climbed 206 percent since then and makes it the fourth strongest bull market in history. Most analysts believe this bull has enough steam to make it to seven years.
Apple's big reveal later today in Cupertino, California. The Apple Watch and the specifics have Apple fans -- they've been waiting for these. They will learn about battery life, when it goes on sale, how much it will cost. It costs $349. You need an iPhone to use it.
So the question is, do you need both devices, all of the Apple freak, the fanatics today want to know what this deal is at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
PEREIRA: We'll be watching, Christine. Thanks so much. Iraqi troops are in a furious battle to reclaim Tikrit as America's top general arrives in Iraq. We'll tell you what Joint Chief Chair Martin Dempsey is doing there. Stay tuned.