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Official: 99.9 Percent Sure Bomb Crashed Russian Jet; Rubio Admits Mistakes Using GOP-Issued Card; Naked Teen Photos Spark Felony Investigation. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired November 8, 2015 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Ninety-nine-point-nine percent certain is what one official says.
What more do they need to become 100 percent?
PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, I think the only thing they need is for the Egyptian government to acknowledge that this was a terrorist act. They have the information they need to make the call. The voice recorder will have a sound at the end of it. It can be analyzed. It can be compared to previous terrorist acts.
You know, you could look at the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie and compare that sound to this sound. They can tell whether it is a high order explosive or not.
Now, the Egyptians have to bring forth the physical evidence that they have on the ground and acknowledge that this is a terrorist act and they really are in a bind to put in the kind of protections at their airports so that people feel confident flying again.
PAUL: We will get back to that in a minute.
But, Michael, I want to bring you in the conversation here, because U.S. and British intercepts of possibly ISIS chatter are a big part of what they are looking from. Help us understand the chatter. I mean, where does it come from? How reliable is it? Obviously, without compromising any information.
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, one of the problems is, whenever there is a disaster of this kind, you know, terrorists like to claim responsibility for things they haven't done.
WEISS: So, you know, the NSA, GCHQ and intelligence agencies of United States and Great Britain apparently intercepted chatter before and after the explosion or the mid-air disaster, indicating that jihadists running around in the Sinai had done this.
But "The New York Times" article put it very well yesterday. This was spotty intelligence, they said. This is not really deviating from the normal one tends to hear when jihadists have not perpetrated an act of terror.
So, what I suspect has happened now is, you know, we are now well beyond a week since this disaster took place. They have gathered even more intercepts. Sinai assuming they are indeed the per traitor will have gotten in touch with ISIS central command, either in Raqqa or I'm even hearing that vindication of (INAUDIBLE) in Aleppo, praising and congratulating them for this spectacular operation and so on.
There might also be now at this point some human intelligence, some spies in Egypt or perhaps even in Syria and Iraq who might shed some light on this. One of the angles that we haven't really discussed in the media is the Israelis are quite good at understanding what is taking place in Sinai and in Egypt, and they have a good security relationship with the Sisi regime. There was some mention in the British press when this -- when the story that this might have been a terrorist attack first came to light that, in fact, the Israelis were the ones to sort of bring this in the foreground and say they shared the information with the British.
We will see more in the days to come. I'm sure they are sitting on a lot more intelligence than they have let on so far.
PAUL: Sure, sure. Peter, lastly, the cockpit voice recorder we all listened together yesterday as the head of the commission there investigating this talked about this noise at the last second that they heard from the cockpit voice recorder, how reliable do you think that is to what really happened on that plane?
GOELZ: Well, it could be very reliable and high order explosive devices leave with distinct signature and we have got a number of voice recordings of terrorist acts and non-terrorist acts over the years. They can be compared to each other and shown on a visual way whether they are similar or not. Using sound spectrum analysis and other techniques, the investigators can zero in on that sound.
Then, in addition, the Egyptians are going to have to open up the wreckage to allow investigators to really see where this explosion took place. The signatures of a bomb or a high order explosive will be in the wreckage and it can't be disguised.
PAUL: OK, good to know. Peter Goelz and Michael Weiss, we appreciate both of you gentlemen. Thank you.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio releases his controversial credit card statements. We've got new details on how much he spent on personal items. The big question here -- what does this mean for his campaign?
PAUL: Also, a nude photo scandal at a high school that involves hundreds of students, some as young as eighth grade. They are using a secret app to do this. We have an update on this story.
[07:35:00] Stay close.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Well, after a week of scrutiny, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has released American express statements going back ten years.
BLACKWELL: Chris Frates of CNN Investigations has detailed a look for us now of the finances and why they are causing problems for the candidate at this moment.
CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Marco Rubio has come under intense fire for charging personal expenses to a Florida Republican Party American Express card when he was in state leadership in Tallahassee.
And just a few hours ago, Rubio's presidential campaign issued 22 months of previously unreleased American Express statements detailing his spending.
The campaign said that Rubio had the card for about four years. He charged about $180,000 during that time, of which $22,000 were personal charges.
Now, Rubio always insisted for years he paid for all of those personal charges himself. The newly released statements covered a time between January 2005 and October of 2006, where Rubio charged about $65,000 total, of which about $7,000 was personal. Those personal charges included about $1,800 for a hotel and car rental when Rubio extended a political trip to Las Vegas for personal reasons. He has family and relatives that live in the area.
He also spent almost $3,800 on pavers, an expense her referenced in his 2012 autobiography when he said he pulled out the wrong card to pay for them.
[07:40:07] Rubio also spent 600 bucks at an auto dealer owned by one of his top political donors, a gentleman by the named of Norman Braman.
In all three cases, Rubio said he paid American Express for the charges. But even with the release of the AmEx statements, CNN could not independently verify which charges were personal and which were business-related.
It's not just the AmEx spending that has raised eyebrows on the campaign trail. Rubio faced foreclosure on a home he co-owned in Tallahassee. He cashed out almost $70,000 in retirement savings. That likely costs him a bundle in taxes and penalties, and he also splurged on $80,000 boat.
So, critics say those are not the savviest financial decisions.
BLACKWELL: All right. Chris, thank you so much. Question is: will Marco Rubio, some would say his messy finances hurt
him politically? Or will he be able to turn this around and convince voters that a lot of people have struggles with credit cards?
Let's bring in CNN political commentator Errol Louis, good enough to stay with us this morning.
Let's start with the big question. They've released these statements. There have been calls not through this campaign but dating back to his 2010 campaign for Senate where people who wanted to see these statements. Why are they doing it now?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, because Marco Rubio is getting a lot more attention. He's a lot more relevant now. He had a very strong debate performance in the last time around and he went from 5 percent in the polls to something like 14 percent. In many of the polls, he is coming in third, right behind Trump and Carson.
So, he's a force to be reckoned with. He is the highest polling -- in recent polls, he is the highest polling of actual politicians as opposed to some of these anomalies like Trump or Fiorina or Carson.
So, he's in for the lane that he is in among the traditional politicians. He is doing quite well. He's picked up a number of endorsements. He's got endorsements from about 11 members of the House of Representatives, three of his fellow senators have endorsed him. He's on a rise.
He's a young man in a hurry and this is the kind of thing that happens where people go back and give you a little bit of extra scrutiny and in this case, what they found is that he's had some problems keeping his paper work straight and his finances intact.
BLACKWELL: Twenty-two thousand dollars in personal charges to those credit cards according to Chris Frates' report there. Does this answer the question or at least on end the calls for more releases of statements, or will he have to release proof he actually paid off all of these personal charges?
LOUIS: Well, no, no. Look, Marco Rubio, I think, did a pretty good job, he and his campaign, of getting ahead of this story by releasing all of this stuff. I went through all of this stuff in mind-numbing detail. You see all of the times he went to Publix and bought stuff and local CVS and hotel stays he made while trying to help build the Republican Party in the state of Florida.
And so, if anybody got cheated a little bit on this, if anybody paid something they weren't supposed to, it was the Republican Party in Florida and they are not complaining. So I think ordinary people will see this as a whole lot of nothing, although it is kind of interesting to see how politicians do their work.
The real question is whether or not the endorsements slow down, whether the donors get a little bit anxious and so forth. And again, this isn't the kind of thing that can really sort of blow you up. I mean, I think he has said in his book that he wishes he hadn't done some of these particular expenses, but other than that, it just seemed like a young guy who is in his early 30s when all of this was going on, who let all of this get away from him.
And if anybody has kept their paper work perfectly straight on their expense bills at their company, I haven't met that person. You know, everybody has these problems from time to time.
BLACKWELL: All right. So, adding the credit card issues with the foreclosure on the rental process and cashing out of retirement savings, Jeb Bush's campaign a ha said this is all fair game. Any indication that they will double-down after these releases or if this is even sticking?
LOUIS: Well, I doubt that it's going to stick like I said with ordinary people. The political class might, you know, raise an eyebrow here and there. I think they will absolutely continue to use it, Jeb Bush in particular because this is his home turf. As I mentioned if anybody had any complaints, it's the Republican Party in Florida of which Jeb Bush was the head for quite a while when he was the governor.
So, I think there will probably be some antagonism. We have seen it from Donald Trump, some complaints, some tweets, you know? It will kind of come up, but, again, Victor, I just can't see this in a country facing the problems that we are facing, really getting very much traction in part because Marco Rubio got ahead of the story, and in part because Marco Rubio paid all of the bills.
Nobody is saying that any money went missing. What they're saying is this is a guy with financial struggles in his personal life and who didn't keep his paperwork straight when he was doing some work for the party.
[07:45:04] BLACKWELL: Yes, well, the next debate is a few days away and we know Marco Rubio is quick on his feet there in the debate or he'll have a line ready as he did in the last one.
BLACKWELL: Errol Louis, thank you so much.
LOUIS: Thank you, Victor.
PAUL: Well, scores of high schoolers trading nude pictures. Official say some of those pictures appear to have been taken at the school. What the felony investigation is finding now.
BLACKWELL: And later, University of Missouri football players boycott. A live report ahead on the racial issues prompting the players to hang up their cleats.
PAUL: Well, a Colorado high school is caught in the middle of this felony investigation after police got a hold of at least three students' cell phones and they contained hundreds of nude pictures of themselves and classmates.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and at least some of these pictures appear to have been taken on school property. A lot of the photos were widely shared with others and complicating the issue is that many of the people who are sending these are underage.
[07:50:03] While others risk being labeled as sex offenders.
CNN's Polo Sandoval has the story.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, ultimately, it will be up to prosecutors to decide if any charges will be filed against any of these students. Canon City school superintendent George Welsh telling me that already several students have been suspended. They range from eighth grade middle schoolers all the way to high school seniors.
Both Welsh and also the principal at Canon City High School told me that this sexting scandal all boils down to this -- some of their students were sharing nude pictures of themselves with fellow classmates. The early investigation right now suggesting that some of those photos were not only shared on campus but potentially taken on school grounds. And because there are minors involved here, many of them exchanging the pictures, there's also a lot of gray area, according to the district attorney.
CHIEF PAUL SCHULTZ, CANON CITY POLICE: The district attorney's office will make distinctions as we see fit, depending on levels of culpability and exactly what people have been involved with, whether or not things were consensual or the result of any coercion, those types of factors.
SANDOVAL: Well, the Canon City school superintendent stressing what he wants the message to be for these students. He says the district attorney will be proceeding with, quote, "common sense". And the school will be helping those who made a bad decision.
In Welsh's own words, this is, quote, "not the end of the world for his students."
He does, however, encourage parents to take a harder and closer look at what some of their children may be doing on their cell phones. In fact, many of the photos that were shared are kept on what are called photo vault. These are apps that are on the phones made to look like a calculator, or a harmless media player.
Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.
PAUL: I want to introduce you to the Georgia state trooper who is making headlines. Put yourself in the position here. Can you imagine having to tell four children on Halloween that their parents just died? Well, neither could he. I spoke with trooper Nathan Bradley. You can see the extended
interview with him on Facebook, on our Facebook page and on mine as well. So far, he's raised more than $400,000 to help the kids. Go to Facebook.com/NewDay to see it. He is a pretty inspiring guy.
BLACKWELL: Well, dozens of football players at one big SEC school are, let's call it, taking a sand.
PAUL: Yes. They say they are boycotting games and practices unless the university president resigns.
[07:56:16] PAUL: Listen, let me introduce you here to one of this year's top 10 CNN Heroes. He's a Chicago surgeon. And for more than 20 years, he provided medical help to thousands of patients who have no other way to get it.
Here's why he did it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DAN, CNN HERO: There's over a million people in Chicago that are essentially invisible to the system. They're either uninsured or under-insured. But they're very important to me. And that's what I dedicated my career to. My focus is to improve their lives, to break down the barrier, and help them reach their potential with regard to their injuries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: For more on Dr. Dan, as he's called, go to CNNHeroes.com, and check out all of this year's top 10. Vote for your favorite. We want to hear from you. Who do you want to be CNN Hero of the Year? You vote once a day at CNNHeroes.com.
BLACKWELL: University of Missouri football players, they are on strike. Dozens of players announced a boycott threatening to not play, nor practice, or take part in football-related activities until university president Tim Wolfe is removed from office. They accused him of negligence and inadequate response to alleged racist incidents around campus.
Now, Wolfe apologized to statements. He issued a statement and here's part of it. "Racism does exist at our university. It is a long standing systemic problem with daily affects our family of students, faculty, and staff. I'm sorry this is the case and I truly want all members of our university community to feel included, valued, and safe."
CNN's Coy Wire is here.
Coy, I just wonder, you've got the 30 students and some of them are high profile. They decided this is worth walking off the field and staying off the field. COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and that's a huge statement.
These guys are on scholarship. There's big money involved. Why is it a threat to university?
We're talking about -- I looked up some numbers. Two years ago, the football program brought in over $50 million in revenue for the school. Last year, over $70 million in revenue.
So, you're talking big, big numbers. Now you're threatening the players to walk off and boycott. There were about 30 members of that Missouri football team. They're a member of a group Legions of Black Collegians.
They sent out this tweet yesterday saying, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." It also read, "We will no longer participate in any football-related activities until president Tim Wolfe resigned or is removed due to his negligence towards marginalized students' experiences. We are united."
Now, there have been disturbing happenings on campus. There was a swastika that showed up in a dorm with feces. Guys, this is really, really disturbing. These groups have gone to met with president and expressed their concerns. But they're saying that his inaction is causing them to take action. They want change. We'll see if the sports program, the football team, specifically, can make some noise to try to create some positive change where it's needed.
PAUL: OK. Here is one of the things I wondered. These kids, some of whom have to be on scholarships. Do they risk their scholarships by saying I'm not playing?
WIRE: Here is what the athletic department said in a statement. They said, we have to come together as leaders, take these issues head on. They said we support our athletes' rights to do so.
So, the athletic department is behind the athletes. That's another big bold statement. I think we'll see serious investigation into what is really happening, and who has or has not done anything to take -- to make things right at Missouri.
PAUL: And that president is stepping down is the only way that they're going to get back --
BLACKWELL: Yes, it's more than a sports-related story.
WIRE: That's right.
BLACKWELL: All right. Coy, thank you so much.
WIRE: You're welcome.
PAUL: Thank you, Coy.
All righty. And we are so grateful to have you with us.
BLACKWELL: Your NEW DAY continues right now. (MUSIC)
BLACKWELL: Donald Trump making some waves on "Saturday Night Live". Even though he poked fun at himself, not everyone is laughing.