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Part of the Wing of Flight 370 Washed Up on the Beach; Joe Biden's Perspectives for Presidential Campaign; Police Officer Shot in Tennessee. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 2, 2015 - 06:30   ET



BLACKWELL: Bottom of the hour now. And two breaking news stories this morning. First, you're looking at an image we just received of a new piece of metal. An object of interest, it's being called. It's washed up on the beach of Reunion Island. This, of course, in the interest of the investigation of flight 370. This as Malaysia's Ministry of Transport says a piece of the plane's wing, the flaperon that was found on this beach has now been officially confirmed as being part of a Boeing 777. That piece is now in a lab in France.

Memphis police officers are also trying to find the person who shot and killed one of their officers. The incident happened late last night. Officer Sean Bolton was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in the southeastern part of the city. And we've got an update, new details here coming from Nick Valencia in just a few moments.

PAUL: But right now, we want to check in with CNN's Erin McLaughlin. She's live on Reunion Island. She has the latest on our first breaking news story. And what have your learned this morning?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christi. Well, what police are calling a metal object of interest was found on a beach not far from here, about 11 and a half miles away from where the original piece of debris was picked up that has since been flown to France. The news agency AFP releasing a photo of that object, shows a twisted piece of metal with what appears to be Chinese characters. It could be some sort of brand name. Now we know that some eight police officers were on that beach earlier today to pick up that object. They've since brought it away for further analysis. But at the moment refusing to comment, refusing to speculate if it is in anyway tied to MH-370.

PAUL: All right. We appreciate it so much. Thank you, Erin.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in David Gallo. He is the director of Special Projects for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. David, first good to have you. Second, now that there are these objects that are washing up, first the flaperon, now confirmed being part of a 777. This object of interest, do you expect this will shift the search area? So far they've been waiting for things to wash up. Will they become more proactive around this island? DAVID GALLO: Well, I think there is two - there are two different

searches. One is the continued search for floating objects, things that have moved away from the crash site over the past 500-plus days. But then there is the underwater search. And what the real goal is, just to find the main wreckage of the plane, the engine and more importantly the black boxes and the remains of the victims of this horrible crash. And those are at the bottom of the ocean someplace more likely than not.


GALLO: And the Australians are very confident in that regard for those - for the main body of the plane that they are searching in the right area off the West Coast of Australia.

PAUL: So, David, I want to take a look at the latest image of what they have discovered overnight here. Because one of the things of great interest, I think, to a lot of people are the markings, the characteristics that are on this piece of metal that was found. How quickly might they be able to deduce or I.D. a plane based on those characteristics? We are going to see them here in just a second.

GALLO: Well, because now that it's in the hands of the French, the BEA, that's the French equivalent of the NTSB, it's become a criminal investigation. So I think it's going to be some time before you get any sort of official word on what that next piece means and what it might hold in terms of information about the plane.

BLACKWELL: As we talk more about this underground - sorry, underwater search for the massive amounts of debris, so far you've got a flaperon from a 777. And this, as you can see from the picture, let's put it back up. That this is just between rocks or stones on this beach. So, this isn't a very large part, to put that into some context there.

GALLO: Correct.

BLACKWELL: I'd imagine that they will be studying these gyres, these - the movements of the water there. How will that direct them into where to look for potentially this - this - this jackpot of debris and the rest of MH370?

GALLO: You're right. That's a great question. Again, the carrier. You know, they have to backtrack that over 500 days to make it help with the search for where the X box, the spot is. And that's an extremely difficult thing to do. It's thousands of miles. There have been typhoons, there have been monsoonal changes in the weather pattern.

So to be able to backtrack it to the point where it makes sense is going to be very difficult to do. The one thing that it will do is give that - those teams out there, they are out there right now, at this very moment, searching and they have been doing it for month after month after month, it will give them a boost knowing that there's actually a target out there somewhere that they're looking for. PAUL: Already. And how confident are you that they will eventually

find this crash site location if these items do prove to be from MH370?

GALLO: Right now I'm very confident. And I think -- I've got some colleagues out there. They have been out there. I think they've got the right equipment that certainly got the right game plan. I've seen an image or two. And they're about halfway done with the primary search area. I've been there myself. We've been there, and so we've been in that situation and with halfway to go, we'll see what they come up with. But I'm hoping something breaks in the next month or so. It will be fantastic.

PAUL: Especially for those families who are so desperate for answers. David Gallo, we so appreciate your expertise. Thank you.

GALLO: You're welcome.

PAUL: I also want to remind you that we're following breaking news out of Memphis, a manhunt right now for the person who gunned down a police officer during a traffic stop. Nick Valencia is up with us next with more information on that. Stay close.




BLACKWELL: Checking in on our other breaking news this morning, the manhunt for a cop killer in Memphis.

PAUL: That manhunt going on right now. Nick Valencia has been talking to folks there. What have you learned this morning, Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi. We just got off the phone with the Memphis police department. No new details in their investigation. But as you mentioned, an active search underway right now for whoever was responsible for fatally shooting a Memphis police officer overnight. 33-year old Shawn Bolton was the veteran police officer there in Memphis. He was shot and killed, shot multiple times during a traffic stop. A police had a press conference yesterday saying that a citizen used the officer's radio to radio back into police to let them know that one of their own had been shot. He was rushed to the hospital where he later died. The mayor of Memphis addressing the public last night.


MAYOR A.C. WHARTON JR., MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: This, again, evidences the fact that there are so many guns on our streets in the wrong hands. That's the key thing. And the men and women in blue have certain rules of engagement that they have to follow. But in any given minute in a 24-hour day, they're dealing with folks who have no rules of engagement.


BLACKWELL: The Memphis police director saying that this is the third police officer shot in the four years that he's been head of the Memphis police department. No description has been given of the suspect. Christi.

PAUL: All right, Nick Valencia, I appreciate the update. Thank you so much. We'll be checking in with him throughout the morning as well.

BLACKWELL: New this morning, reports that Vice President Joe Biden is exploring possibly a presidential campaign. So what happened that may have changed the vice president's mind?



BLACKWELL: New this morning, Vice President Joe Biden is reportedly exploring a possible presidential campaign. Now, according to "The New York Times," the vice president's advisors have started reaching out to Democratic leaders and donors who have not yet committed to Secretary of State, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. So, what happened that may have change Mr. Biden's mind? For one long time, Biden's supporter reportedly told "The Times" that the vice president had been deeply moved by his late son Beau's desire for him to run again. Joining us now to discuss this topic and others about the 2016 race, political anchor for "New York One News" Errol Louis. Also with us, CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson. Good to have you both.


BLACKWELL: Errol, I want to start with you. I mean, it's unimaginable what the vice president, the decision making process he's going through after hearing that from his son. But I wonder is there still space -- is there still enough Democratic talent available this late, quote, unquote, late in the game? We're still almost 500 days out, but these positions have been kind of cemented. Have they?

LOUIS: Well, there are an endless number of political consultants out there that would love to take any candidate's money. Frankly so. I don't think we need to worry about that. It's a big profession. There are a lot of people who like to get paid. I should point out, though, Victor, that Joe Biden in 2012 during the reelection campaign for the Obama/Biden ticket was said by campaign insiders to be spending a lot of his time campaigning in Iowa, campaigning in New Hampshire, making visit after visit to the early states. This is not something, I think, that's just popped into his head. I mean let's take him at his word that his dying son's wishes are part of his calculation. But Joe Biden does not have to be pushed at all to think that he has a decent shot at winning the Democratic nomination. And frankly the polls bear that out. He's by no means out of the hunt. And so it's a logical thing for him to at least consider.

BLACKWELL: We've got a lot to talk about with GOP. But I want you to weigh in on this first. If this run, let's say the vice president gets into the race, goes the way of the '08 run and the one back in the '80s, they were pretty short leave. What does that do to, I guess, his legacy, his future?


BLACKWELL: Is - they are over pretty quickly.

FERGUSON: Yeah, not much. I think at most people look at him as a vice president that stood by a historic president when he was elected, Barack Obama. And he'll go down as being part of that historic ticket. So I don't think there's any negative or downside for him doing this. I also think there's a second part of this, which is even more curious to me. Early on you had almost every Democrat saying in the leadership it's going to be Hillary Clinton. And I'm sure that had to influence him to say everyone's rallied behind her. I don't want to lose an election. No one jumps in really to lose, especially when they're the vice president.

[06:50:02] BU FERGUSON: You don't want to lose or lose badly when you are the vice president to anybody. But now when you see how Bernie Sanders has done - you've seen how Hillary Clinton has not inspired everybody in the Democratic Party. There are still a lot of people searching and looking for another alternative. I think you have to look at this if you're Joe Biden and say could this be Hillary all over again. Remember, she was leading earlier on, and this was the same talk we earn until Barack Obama took her on and really beat her. So, I think from his perspective you're almost, if really is looking this, you are almost hoping is this Deja vu and am I going to regret not running if I don't get in? And I think there's a very good chance you will.

BLACKWELL: Hey, Ben, let's talk about the GOP side of the race now. You've got Governor Scott Walker last evening reiterating a pretty controversial position, the uncertainty that he talked about previously, whether or not President Obama is a Christian. Let's hear it from Governor Walker and then we'll talk about it.


SCOTT WALKER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're not going to get a different answer than I said before. I said I don't know. I presume he is by his comments in the past, but I've never asked him about that. And as someone who is a believer myself, I don't presume to know someone's beliefs about whether they follow Christ or not unless I've actually talked with them and understand them. But he said he is, I'll take his word ...


BLACKWELL: I'm pretty sure that the Governor Walker understood what the reaction would be after he said it, considering he received that reaction when he said it back in February. Why is he unwilling to answer this question more clearly? And is this going to work? FERGUSON: I think there's two points here. One, he's obviously letting people know that his faith is something that he is willing to talk about and explain very clearly what he believes and why he believes the Christians. And - oh, I believe in God. And I think he's saying look, I'm not going to say that I know who is or who is not Christian without me having an extended personal conversation with them about their personal faith and what they truly believe in. I don't think this is going to hurt him at all. I think he's saying you know what I stand for, you know what I believe in. I'm not going to judge if someone's not a Christian. But I'm also not going to just jump on this, oh yes, everybody's a Christian in this race and everybody loves God in this race, we're all the same, when in reality they're probably not all the same.

BLACKWELL: Well, it's important also, Errol, to highlight that this was in front of a group of about 450 donors organized by the billionaire brothers, the Koch brothers. Is this what big money donors for the GOP want to hear?

LOUIS: Well, I'm a little startled, actually, if only by the setting. But I have to disagree with my friend Ben. I mean I think of that - that notion of like, well, I'll take him at his word. That's code talk. I think we all know what that is. You know, this very same question was put to Hillary Clinton in 2008. She gave the very same answer. We know what this is about. We've seen this that you couldn't possibly have looked at presidential politics for the last seven and a half years and not noticed that the whole flap with Jeremiah Wright was the biggest story in the country for I don't know how many months. And it involved his faith. He wrote a book that centered around his encounter with a particular church in Chicago. That too was big national news. For Scott Walker to then say, oh, well, I don't really know anything about it, this is a signal to part of the Republican base that always wanted to sort of suggest that maybe the president is too friendly to Muslims. Maybe the president is Muslim. It's an ugly kind of politics and it's disappointing to hear and play that.

BLACKWELL: We've got to ramp up here. But you know, you could also add to that list a lot of people would say the president's eulogy of Clementa Pinckney after the Charleston massacre - it's disgusting. Faith there as well. Errol Louis, Ben Ferguson, thank you so much for joining us. We've got a lot of breaking news to get to. Thank you for being part of the show this morning.

LOUIS: Thanks, Victor.

PAUL: In the next hour of "NEW DAY," breaking news in the investigation of what happened to flight MH-370. Look at this. Do you know what that is? Authorities are looking it closely too, because it washed up on the shores of Reunion Island.

Also, UCLA's newest basketball commitment comes from a 13-year-old boy. He hasn't played a minute of high school ball yet. What do you think, is he too young to be worrying about paying - playing for a college? We are going to talk about that after the break. Stay close. [06:54:35]


BLACKWELL: A 13-year-old basketball player from California has verbally committed to the UCLA basketball team. 13, I said. LaMelo Ball's two older brothers also committed to UCLA months ago. Now, the teen star averaged around 20 points in 17 and under - last week in Las Vegas. So, how young is too young to commit to a college program?

PAUL: CNN sports Coy Wire joining us for that conversation. I want to know what he wants to major in.

BLACKWELL: He probably doesn't know.

PAUL: I didn't know when I went when I was 19. 18, 19.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: 20 years ago if you were a junior and you were getting scholarship offers that was early.

PAUL: They do.

WIRE: Right? This has changed. This is an alarming new trend happening all across the country with colleges offering kids who aren't even in high school yet. They haven't been to a high school prom. They haven't been to a high school cafeteria. And most importantly, they haven't been in a high school classroom. What are the implications of this? What does this do to a young boy, a young girl who is not really knowing what they want to do yet in college when it comes to the important stuff, the class room, right? Does it build a false sense of entitlement for this young athlete? Do they get a superman? A wonder woman complex? You know, there's a lot of questions to be asked about this. How young is too young? That's the question we want to pose to you. Is 13 years old too young for a college to make a scholarship offer to a young athlete? We want to use your comments, hashtag "NEW DAY CNN", we are going to get your insight. And use your comments in the next hour. We love as always when you join us. Let us know how young is too young for a scholarship offer to be made to a young athlete.

PAUL: I think 13 is too young. But that's just me.

BLACKWELL: I'm sure, these kid's parents are relieved. Oh, now we know how college is going to be paid for. Until this kid changes his mind.

PAUL: Or they change their mind.

BLACKWELL: Because now he wants to be a dentist.

WIRE: So, the coach changes their mind.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that's true.

WIRE: That coach may not even be there. What does it do to that young athlete's state of mind if they change their mind and say we don't want to give that scholarship anymore?

PAUL: Yeah.

WIRE: Because they are not committed to it.

PAUL: It's tough. All right. Looking - thank you.

And thank you so much for starting your morning with us.


BLACKWELL: We've got a lot of breaking news we're covering this morning. We are going to continue with "NEW DAY" right now.