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2 Inmates Escape Maximum Security Prison; Ukraine Crisis, ISIS Dominate G7 Summit. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 7, 2015 - 07:30   ET



[07:30:35] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Thirty minutes past the hour. We're so grateful to have your company.

You know, this is an elaborate daring escape from a maximum security prison in New York from two convicted murderers who eluded authorities for the last 24 hours. We're talking about Richard Matt and David Sweat. Please take a good look at your screen here.

They're on the run after using a series of power tools and a series of tunnels to break out. They were able to escape the Clinton correctional facility in Upstate New York. This is just 25 miles from the Canadian border. More than 200 police officers are assisting in this manhunt for the two. Authorities describe these two escapees as, quote, "dangerous". They are urging nearby residents lock your doors, be vigilant.

CNN's Polo Sandoval joining us now with more on really who these inmates are.

I mean, the escape itself is -- it is, it's fascinating. It's one for the record books. We know that this facility was built in 1865. Nobody has ever escaped the maximum section of it, but these two men are really dangerous men. Yes, Polo?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christi. You know, you can call this an impressive escape, a daring escape, and really by definition a quite sophisticated one. But as you mentioned here, officials hoping that that does not distract the public, particularly in Upstate New York, from the main goal here, which is to try to track down these two convicted murderers and manage to escape from that facility overnight Friday into Saturday.

We did some digging into the background of some of these individuals now. We do want to share some of the details from their rap sheet there, including details of Richard Matt, for example. He was serving a 25-year to life sentence, convicted on three counts of murder. He was accused and convicted of kidnapping a man and beating him to death in 1997.

Now, as for his accomplice in this jail break, 34-year-old David Sweat, we're learning more about him as well, a convicted cop killer serving a life sentence. "New York Times" reporting some of the disturbing details of a 2002 incident in which he and several accomplices shot a sheriff's deputy 22 times, and then they left their body overnight in a parking lot. This reportedly happening after a Fourth of July robbery at a fireworks store. That deputy was confronting him at the time when that shooting happened.

So, really, you take a closer look at the rap sheet of these individuals, Christi, and it really does paint a better picture of what these two individuals could potentially be capable of doing. Right now the main concern for authorities who are confident that they will track them down is what these two may do to try to really continue to escape, and, of course, to stay on the run.

In the meantime, though, officials do try to continue to find out exactly how they were able to pull this thing off, how they got their hands on those power tools and how they were able to cut their way out of the cells -- Christi.

PAUL: There are so many questions about the escape itself. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

And I think Victor is going to talk about that.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. We're trying to get some answers from CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes.

Tom, let's start with the picture here of the hole these men carved out using the power tools. You can see how clean the lines are. We talk this morning about why now. Each of these men has been in for at least a decade, but I imagine this takes years of planning.

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I don't think they have both opinion in quite a decade, Victor, after they have been placed in this facility. It would take some amount of planning and obviously the tools that they were able to use.

It would appear that someone inside that prison helped them, either smuggle tools in or enabled them to use tools already on hand and figure out exactly what would need to be cut and how it would need to be done to get out.

As Christi mentioned, the prison, built in 1865, maybe much of the infrastructure was crumbling on the inside anyway, and it might have been a little bit easier to cut their way out than most. But what's troubling here is the head start that they have had. That's what's going to make this so much more difficult if they have inside help.

That prison is only 75 miles from Montreal, Canada. Now, in the time that they were missing, they had a minimum driving range of about 600 miles, so they had, you know, a 10, 12-hour head start to get out of there. They could be halfway to Mexico by the time that they were even starting search for these guys.

So, again, it's not going to be a search in the woods right around the prison like, you know, "Cool Hand Luke" or some of the movies that we've seen.

[07:35:01] These guys could easily be a long way off, even out of the country, which is why the FBI and the U.S. Marshals are assisting in trying to track them down.

BLACKWELL: Guys. Let's put up some of the pictures of Governor Andrew Cuomo looking at this prison trying to understand how these men got out.

And you bring up an interesting point, Tom. Often when we see these prison escapes, they expose obvious weaknesses, whether in personnel or in the structure, but in 150 years, there have been no escapes.

Do we see so far any obvious breaches, any obvious problems as it relates to security?

FUENTES: Well, we don't, but the authorities might and not be releasing that yet. So, you know, we're not giving all of the facts of this as to what happened and how it happened. We generally know that they used tools, that they cut an escape route, that the governor was taken through the route into the tunnel areas that they used to escape from. But, you know, we don't know many of the details beyond that.

I can tell you right now the fugitive search will include trying to track down do they have wives or girlfriends out there who may have assisted? What vehicles do they have? What families do they have? Or they may try to take them to?

So, you know, this could easily be an extended interstate, international manhunt to track them down.

BLACKWELL: Yes. If they did this much planning to get out, how much did they plan for the other side of this escape? Maybe as much.

Tom Fuentes, thanks so much.

FUENTES: You're welcome.

PAUL: Well, right now, President Obama is meeting with world leaders at the G7 summit. Security is tight. A lot at stake here.

Does the U.S. though have the leverage to get world leaders to stand up to Russia?

And conservative candidates fighting not just for a spot on the ballot but a spot at the podium. What some candidates may have to do to make the top ten as we get closer to that first debate.


[07:40:58] PAUL: President Obama and fellow world leaders meeting in Germany right now at the G7 summit. While the setting is idyllic, look at this, there are a lot of tough conversations to be had. They are trying to figure out what to do about the Russian-backed fighting in Ukraine, what to do about ISIS and other violent extremists. I want to bring in CNN global affairs analyst, retired Lieutenant

Colonel James Reese.

Lieutenant Colonel, thanks so much for being with us.

I want to start with Russia, if I could. Germany, Britain and the U.S., we understand, searching for some sort of an agreement to offer, you know, any support to any E.U. member that may be waffling on sanctions against Russia.

What do you think it's going to take to sway some of those E.U. members that just aren't sure what to do at this point?

LT. COL. JAMES REESE (RET), CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Christi, very candidly I think it's going to be very difficult. Right now, I know, one of the biggest issues is the intertwining between security, economics, political and diplomatic, informational, all the different elements out there, just not an easy fix.

One of the biggest problems is, you know, that Russia exports 22 percent of their energy with gas and oil into Europe which is a huge piece for the Europeans.

So, it could be difficult. You could see possibly some border countries that have not been in NATO that could be bought in. But I think one of the things that we're going to watch here in the next year is the real winner in this whole piece is going to be China aligning with -- with Russia, with this Ukraine piece.

PAUL: And if that happens, then what are options, and how dangerous is a threat is that to U.S. interests?

REESE: Well, what it does, is -- you know, China needs resources. Russia needs a place to send its energy out because it's dropped down to-their GDP right now is down to about 2.9. So, it really becomes a neighborly aspect.

What it really does is it continues to push if Russia is able to get economic support from China, all the sanctions from the West and from the E.U. does nothing to them, and we sit here at a standoff again and this continues to grind on and grind on.

PAUL: Obviously, one of the things that will be discussed and I think is discussed at a lot of dinner tables all around the world is the threat of is. We've learned today that Baiji in Iraq, the city there, has at least regained some control, Iraq and coalition forces have regained some control there this morning.

What does that mean to talks as they have those same discussions around the table there in Germany today?

REESE: Well, again, for everyone sitting around the dinner table, and I try to remind everyone is don't look through a soda straw at the issues in the Middle East, so we've focused on the last couple of weeks about what happened in Ramadi, but there's been a lot of good things going on in Iraq north of Baghdad, what I would call up the I- 95 corridor going towards Mosul. We took Tikrit back in April. Now they have been fighting diligently in Baiji, as you said before in the last segment, the largest oil refinery in Iraq. That's critical.

Look at it this way. You know, Baghdad's Washington, D.C. They have taken Baltimore. Now they are taking back Philadelphia. They have taken back these large swaths of land from ISIS.

And what we don't see because it doesn't get reported is up in Mosul out to the West the supply lines from Syria have been pretty much cut off by the coalition air forces into Mosul, and the Kurds have done a great job of surrounding the top area, I would say almost two-thirds of Mosul, which now preps Mosul for an attack by the Iraqis when they feel that they can go in with the most combat power to go in.

So, the Iraqis are doing some work, but combat and war is a difficult task, and it's not something you watch play by play. You've got to watch over a continuous season.

PAUL: Not only a continuous season, but you all have made the points many times again that it's not just about the fighting and the military aspect of this. It's about the Iraqi government and whether they can solidify a government that the rest of the country can get behind.

[07:45:02] How might that -- if that does not seem to move forward, how secure do you think the coalition forces are? How long are they in this?

REESE: Well, I've said this and I've been criticized about it is we have to stay in this for the long haul, not just us in the United States but the Western coalition and the other Arab powers around the region. We just can't jump a toe in, get our toes wet and jump out when we want to.

We have to stay committed. I talked about this week what would have happened if we stayed post-Desert Storm? We'd be at 23 years right now. What would the framework look like right now?

But you're right, the diplomatic aspect of how the Iraqi government gets to -- you know, gets in place here and continues to evolve is very critical and also, you know, that aspect -- the fighting is a key point to this in driving back ISIS, but with a diplomatic aspect and what the government of Iraq has to do, one of the most important aspects of the fight is the logistics. If you don't have logistics, if you cannot resupply your soldiers and you can't help the humanitarian people who are displacing at times, everything crumbles around you.

And that's what the Iraqi government has to do is fix its logistics aspect to help its soldier.

PAUL: All righty. Lieutenant Colonel Reese, we always appreciate it. Thank you.

REESE: Thanks, Christi. Have a great day.

PAUL: You, too.

BLACKWELL: The GOP candidates for president are in Iowa this weekend, eating pork and riding hogs. The first annual roast and ride. We'll talk about who came out on top here and if there could be yet another potential candidate.


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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The '70s awakened us and polarized us.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was bombshell after bombshell after bombshell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Watergate scandal broke wide open today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 1970s, I think more. More hair. More naked people. More misbehavior.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The world is getting crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The culture revolution kind of exploded, and kind of fascinating chaos emerged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of what was going on, people came home and they wanted to laugh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want one picture taken with Archie Bunker and me. One, two, three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a period of discovery for a lot of people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My only defense was it was the '70s.




[07:51:28] BLACKWELL: Well, the race for 2016 roared into Iowa this week. GOP presidential hopefuls take part in the first annual roast and ride in Boone. You see here, Wisconsin Governor Walker was the only potential candidate to actually ride, got the leather jacket, he's wearing gloves, and he actually rode his Harley on a trip down from Des Moines, held in honor of the veterans.

Let's talk about the impact the impact of events like this. We've got with us, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Maria Cardona, also Republican strategist Lisa Boothe.

Welcome to both of you.


BLACKWELL: Lisa, I want to start with you. I mean, the reports are that Governor Walker did really well here. However, as important as this -- it's kind of who do you want to have beer with type of event, we did not see Jeb Bush, we did not see Ted Cruz, we did not see Rand Paul.

What's the value of this type of event for Scott Walker and how can it hurt the others?

BOOTHE: Well, I do think it's an important event because Iowa is one of the states where retail politics is incredibly important. So, it gives someone like Scott Walker the opportunity to ride around on a Harley with some of the voters and shake their hands and talk to them.

And I do think Scott Walker was a clear winner here and he is someone who already has natural inroads with Iowans. You know, he is a Midwesterner himself, which is something that he frequently touted at this event, where he talked about. And he's repeatedly said that the Midwest is the key to the path to presidency, and this is something he is very comfortable discussing and talking about, and he had his breakout moment in Iowa as well at the Iowa Freedom Summit and he's been leading in polls since. I think he currently has a seven-point lead in Iowa, and it's a state where many Republican voters consider themselves socially conservative and evangelical Christian, and as a son of a preacher, that's also a natural inroad connection it has with these voters.

BLACKWELL: So, we know, Maria, Governor Walker and former Governor Rick Perry and others hit back at Secretary Hillary Clinton for claims she made when she was in Texas about the governor's efforts to make it more difficult to vote. I mean, we're seeing now that they have already kind of gone after Secretary Clinton instead of trying to get the nomination in what typically we see as them going after each other at this point.

CARDONA: Well, it's interesting, Victor, is that apparently, they all think that is the only way to get ahead within their own party right now, and that could be true. Look, events like this in all honesty don't matter this early on. Let's remember that, you know, some years ago, Rick Santorum was the one who actually won Iowa and look how good that did him.

So, I do think that this help in terms of snapshots of the moment, those candidates who actually need momentum who aren't that well known by not just Iowa voters but the nation as a whole, I think have an opportunity to get their name out there, Scott Walker is one of them.

But I think one of the stark things that you saw over the weekend, is that none of these Republicans really have any new ideas that really national overall voters are looking for. The only thing they seem to know how to do is go after Hillary Clinton, and she is talking about actual solutions to things like voter -- the issue with keeping voters back from the polls, which is something that Americans, I think, are looking at and does resonate with folks. [07:55:01] I think the big winner here was actually Senator Joni Ernst, because everyone came to sort of laud her.


CARDONA: So, I think that is sort of a great thing for her, frankly.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And she has certainly become a celebrity there in the party. She's now in her first time in Iowa.

CARDONA: But let's get one thing clear, the candidates did talk about the issues. They talked about taxes and they talked about foreign policy as well.

BLACKWELL: All right. Lisa and Maria, thank you very much. A short segment today, but, of course, we will have you back to talk throughout the season.

BOOTHE: Thank you, Victor.

CARDONA: Thank you so much, Victor.


PAUL: Always something new to talk about there.


PAUL: Game two of the NBA finals tips off tonight. Can LeBron James win it alone since there are injured Cav stars questionable for tonight's game? Are they going to play or are thy not going to play?

Plus, at the top of the hour, we have some new details for you on the escape of two convicted killers. We're talking Shawshank style here. The latest on the search for these two murders. Take a good look at them.

We're back in a moment.


PAUL: Well, the Cleveland Cavaliers' Big Three, and then the one is LeBron James.

BLACKWELL: Yes, a good one to have. Andy Scholes has more on this morning's bleacher report.


You've actually got to feel bad for the Cavs and star point guard Kyrie Irving. He's not only going to miss for the remainder of the finals, he's going to be out three to four months. Irving had surgery yesterday to repair the broken kneecap that he suffered in Thursday's game one overtime loss. Now, him being out for the rest of the series, a major blow for the Cavs.