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Refugee Summit Tackles Europe's Growing Migrant Crisis; Do U.S. Colleges Have a Race Problem?; Hillary Clinton Revives Story of Trying to Join Marines; Several NYC News Choppers Targeted by Lasers. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 12, 2015 - 06:30   ET



[06:32:46] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We do have some breaking news out of northern Iraq where "Operation Free Sinjar" is now underway. An estimated 7,500 Kurdish forces on a mission to retake the strategic city from ISIS. They are joined on the ground by Yazidi fighters, with U.S. coalition warplanes providing cover from above. They are trying to drive out hundreds of ISIS fighters and caught up a major ISIS supply line stretching from Syria.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, a two-day refugee summit is meanwhile underway in Malta, as Europe faces its worst migrant crisis since World War II. Just yesterday, 18 drowned trying to find safe haven in Greece. That's where we find CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon.

It's getting the attention we hope of international people.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One can only help that it's getting the attention that hopefully, some solutions will come out of this. And those migrants refugees dying in these waters, trying to get from Turkey that you can see there in the distance, here to Greece. That boat filled with life jackets there to act as something as a beacon, because what the volunteer teams here want to see take place is those migrant and refugee boats coming and trying to land on this particular stretch island because it's easier for them.

Remember, they're not captained by anyone who actually knows how to navigate these waters. They tend to be captained by one of the refugees themselves. The number of them arriving earlier in the day, packed with men, women, the elderly and the children. Many of them arriving very cold, seeking treatment, pretty much immediately, especially cold because the boats that are they're in are so overpacked by the smugglers that by the time they reach Greek shores, if they are able to reach Greek shores, they have taken in just so much water.

Coming out of that meeting at this stage, pledges of vast sums of money to various African nations to try to help them clamp down with the smuggling, try to help them, stop, break apart the various smuggling rings. But the problem is that, whether it's Africa, or the Middle East or Afghanistan, the people who are fleeing their homelands or making that very difficult decision, they're not going to be deterred.

[06:35:00] They're going to continue to come until those court issues that are forcing them to make this a very difficult and heartbreaking decisions until those court issues themselves are addressed, Chris.

CUOMO: Then you have a weird balance between what to do humanitarian, to unable something that people say is illegal, and then you wind up with the human costs as well.

Arwa, thank you very for staying on the story.

In another news, Bill Cosby's defamation case brought by Janice Dickinson now on the docket. He will be questioned under oath November 23rd in Boston. The former model alleges Cosby and his lawyer defamed her by calling her a liar after she came forward to say she was drugged and raped in 1982. More than 50 people have now accused Cosby of sexual assault. His former lawyer Martin Singer will also be deposed on November 19th.

PEREIRA: On the eve of Veterans Day, some good Samaritans, including veterans in Milwaukee helped stop the burning of an American flag. A group -- a small group of protesters lit the flag on fire outside of Tuesday's GOP debate site. So that group not only extinguished the fire but some police officers that were on site ceremoniously folded the damaged flag.

Veterans across the country so far have liked or shared that video of the police restoring honor to the fallen flag.

CUOMO: You definitely have a right to burn the flag, it's found by the Supreme Court for free speech. But if you did burn the flag, it's also a right to salvage the flag and save it dignity.

CAMEROTA: There you go.

Well, tensions rising on college campuses across the country. University presidents under fire for their handling of racism. Why is this happening? We have answers for you next on NEW DAY.


[06:40:36] CAMEROTA: Colleges across the country say that they're more diverse than ever. But the students are not getting that message. Racism on campus, they say, does not appear to be going away, and protests now erupting at several universities.

Let's talk about all of this, this morning, with Charles Blow. He's our CNN political commentator and op-ed columnist for "The New York Times." And Ben Ferguson, CNN political commentator and host of "The Ben Ferguson Show".

Gentlemen, thanks so much for being here.

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning. CAMEROTA: Charles, what's going on? Why has this just sort of erupted on college campuses within the past week or so?

CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, a lot's happening. It's not just what's happening there, a couple weeks, there's a cumulative effect. I looked at Mizzou, I visited there, I spoke there in 2011, they were talking about racial tensions there. That was a year before this particular president even took office.

I think -- you know, Dr. King in '67 talked about, you know, you can't look at riots -- this is not a riot, obviously -- you can't look at as if these things materialized out of thin air. It's a cumulative effect of environmental forces.

And so, I think what you're seeing a cumulative effect of environmental forces on these college campuses where people do not feel necessarily kind of included. In the cases of Mizzou, didn't feel safe. And that they're also kind of exercising their power in an environment that is a post-Ferguson atmosphere.

CAMEROTA: That does seem to have been a fuse or a spark.

BLOW: Right. Then you also have the movie -- see, I grew up with "School Days." That was big in the community when I was in college. They just -- you know, last year was a year of "Dear White People" movie which was a critically about black kids at white schools who feel aggrieved and try to act that out.

CAMEROTA: Ben, how do you see what's going on that we're seeing at Missouri, as well as Yale, Ithaca, other campuses across the country?

FERGUSON: I think what you're seeing is a lot of students don't want to miss out on being a part of the, quote/unquote, "movement". They want to be a part of this and have their voice out there and be heard.

But you have to look at Mizzou. And let's be clear about what all of this really came from. You have someone that obviously is messed up in the head if they're willing to use human feces to put swastikas that we don't have any pictures of. You have a student body president on a campus that is also African-American and gay. So, that tells to me that University of Missouri actually is a pretty darn diverse place if that's who the students picked to be their student body president.

You also have that same student body president that said it was confirmed that the KKK was on campus, and told students to stay away from windows. And we know that was an absolute fabrication and lie.

CAMEROTA: Ben, they also said --


CAMEROTA: Hold on, Ben.

FERGUSON: Let me finish this real quick, though. He also said that he was talking to the National Guard. Since when has a student body president been the liaison with the National Guards? You have to look at this and go, is this more about someone that says, I want to be part of a movement?

No one's been hurt on campus. No one's been arrested on campus. And the one time they said it was a racial slur towards him, it was guys in a pickup truck off campus. And no one ever found them and backed up that claim. I think you have been to be careful to jump on this bandwagon.

CAMEROTA: But, Ben, sounds like you are suggesting that this is not -- this is a fabrication, it's embellished --


FERGUSON: I'm saying the president of the student body said --

CAMEROTA: Do you think that there are racial tensions there?

FERGUSON: He said he confirmed that KKK was on campus. Facts matter. When you have this many students that are in the middle of this, and tensions are high, for you to put out there the student body president that it's confirmed the KKK is on campus, and you've talked to National Guard and university police. And none of the KKK was on campus. No one confirmed it.


FERGUSON: You had to delete that post, I'm saying you got to look at the individual and wonder, is this more about him being part of a movement than there actually being issues on campus?

CAMEROTA: What about that, Charles? Is it possible that some people are agitators and there isn't sort of racial disharmony that they are claiming?

BLOW: Well, it's not up to me to fact-check whether or not the student body president had someone in the back of a truck yelling N- word in him. The first and only time that I can remember somebody yelling N-word at me was on the back of a truck, passing me by.

[06:45:03] That experience really resonates with me because it happened to me as a kid.

CAMEROTA: I mean, the larger issue is, that is something real happening on campus? Or as Ben suggests, are college campuses always sort of a hot bed of protests and people wanting to kind of make a name for themselves on that?

BLOW: Well, I think that they -- what we saw particularly this week, after the resignation were real threats and the fact that there was an arrest made of someone who had actually made a threat to shoot at black students on that campus, right?

FERGUSON: He was not a student. It lived many miles away.

BLOW: I didn't say that he was a student. And please don't interrupt me. I didn't say he was a student, but he had threatened to shoot at

people on that campus. That's a real threat to people. I think what students are saying to their administration was, we want you to recognize that this is our experience. We want you to be kind of -- not to acquiesce to what is happening, but to actually be responsive to us and to hear us.

In fact, when you issue demands, the demands are actually meetable things. They're not really -- this is what I would always tell about people this particular moment, which is very different from kind of black nationalist movement, that they believe the system can be fixed.

CAMEROTA: Yes. OK. So, what about that, Ben, whatever the impetus is, whatever the catalyst is, that things can still be fixed? Racial tension can be worked on at campus and maybe this is the right catalyst for that?

FERGUSON: Well, I think we also have to look at the fact when you have some people that I think are trying to make a name for themselves. They actually make a name for themselves by claiming there's more injustices on campus than there really is.

I go back to the main core issue -- you have an individual that is the student body president that is African-American and gay. How much more diverse can you get that you have someone like that to lead them?

That tells me that the university may not have as big of a racial issue as everyone is trying to make this out to be. Also, remember, nobody on campus has been hurt or harmed or arrested on the campus with any of this. And the only main thing, the president of the student body said happened to him with this racial slur was off campus.

How would the student body president expect the chancellor of a university to handle a situation like that? Why would he be fired if that happened off campus?


FERGUSON: There's no way that the president of the university could fix that situation. I mean, he can't go off campus and somehow, you know, kick a student out of college that isn't going to college, and they don't even know who it was, and it happened off campus.

That I think is a problem as you have people that want to make a name for themselves in a situation. And they're using this to make sometimes things worse than they are better.

CAMEROTA: Ben Ferguson, Charles Blow, we have to leave it there for time, but we'll be talking about it throughout the show. Thanks so much for both of your perspectives.

What's your take on this? You can tweet us using the #NewDayCNN or post your comment on

Michaela? PEREIRA: All right, Alisyn.

Hillary Clinton said she once tried to join the marines but was turned down. Why is that story coming under scrutiny? We'll tell you more about it when NEW DAY returns.


[06:52:17] CUOMO: So, did Hillary Clinton really try to join the marines? Clinton says she inquired about signing up back in 1975, after moving to Arkansas to marry Bill, but not to avoid marrying Bill, which is still part of it.


CUOMO: But was turned away.

It's a story Clinton brought up again this week for a small group of New Hampshire voters. But she's been telling it for years. So, is it true/

Joining us now, senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny.

What's the answer, my brother?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a great question. We do not have enough specifics actually to really know if it's true or not. But you're right. She has been saying it over the years.

It goes basically like this, around 1975, around -- when she was 26 or almost 27 years old, she said she went into a marine recruiting office in Arkansas to ask if she could sign up. She said the young officer who was working there was about 21 or so, he looked at her, he sized her up, and said, no, the glass, your age, you know, no, you can't. You may want to try the army instead.

And she mentioned this yesterday, campaigning in New Hampshire to a small group of voters. She didn't give any other explanation. So, we asked her campaign for just a few more details on this. Because it seems so unusual that a Yale-educated lawyer who worked on the anti- war campaigns of McCarthy and McGovern, who had just moved to Arkansas, whose husband was about to become the attorney general of the state would decide to want to join the marines.

But the campaign said they're not going to add any more comment on this. The questions are left to discuss here.

CAMEROTA: Well, Jeff, this comes on the heels of Ben Carson's past and whether or not he embellished any stories. And, of course, he said that he was offered a full scholarship to West Point and ended up not exactly as clear as that. And his point, Ben Carson's point is that reporters don't look into these things on the Democratic side with quite the gusto as they do his narratives.

So, are reporters digging into this Hillary Clinton story? ZELENY: I think the fact that Ben Carson said that people aren't

looking into everyone, it misses a bit of historical context here. He's newer to this presidential campaign. Inexperienced than most people, certainly than the Clintons. I mean, I think anyone can say Bill Clinton's background, was scrutinized, his time in the draft.

Barack Obama's background was scrutinized. That's how we asked and knew all the questions about Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers.

So, this is one point of Hillary Clinton's biography that is going to get a little more attention here. She first mentioned it in 1994, when she was the first lady. She was on Capitol Hill actually talking about how far women came in the military. And she mentioned that she once tried to join. So, it's one of those anecdotes that a candidate kind of throws out and we often move on.

[06:55:06] But, again, we've tried to ask some more questions about this, just trying to understand why it is she wanted to try to join the marines after just moving to Arkansas.

CUOMO: Veracity matters. These stories themselves don't matter on some level. Ben Carson said he once stabbed a guy when he was a kid. That's what he wants you to know. But whether it's true matters.

And it's also little apples to oranges, the guy has no other record except his biography which has made him very compelling to people.

CAMEROTA: Right. But is there a way to get to the bottom of Hillary Clinton's claim? Is there any record that would have been kept --

CUOMO: Probably not, right?

CAMEROTA: -- at marine officers that everybody who came in to sort of volunteer?

ZELENY: I really doubt that. I mean, like back in 1975, I doubt there would be a record of someone coming in to inquire about this. It has been looked into over the time. But at that moment, marines were admitting women.

You have to remember what time this was. This was after Vietnam. All services were looking for women to come in. They were trying to rebuild the services and the marines were letting women in in noncombat positions here.

CUOMO: Right.

ZELENY: But stories like this is hard to pin down and fact check.

CUOMO: Well, no recruiting officer is going to write down, I turned this lady away. I said she was too old. You wouldn't set yourself up for type of criticism.

So, really, this falling to the categories where you need the candidate to help you.

ZELENY: Exactly.

CUOMO: You know, as you did with Ben Carson. This is a big part of -- remember with Tony Rezko, they wound up going to Obama saying, explain to us, senator, why was this OK? Why is this loan OK?

Reverend Wright, you know, what did you take from him? What did you not take from him?


CUOMO: You know, there are issues where you need them to facilitate their interest.

CAMEROTA: And they're reluctant to provide more information.

CUOMO: Because they're seeing, what's the upside?

CAMEROTA: Right, absolutely.

But let's talk about another strange meme that's come up on the campaign trail and that is Hillary Clinton's hair. Donald Trump of all people is talking about Hillary Clinton's hair. He has some questions about it.

He was on Mark Levin's radio show. Listen to this, Jeff.


MARK LEVIN, RADIO HOST: Well, she has a new hairdo, did you notice that today?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Is that a wig? You're right, it must be it was massive. You know, her hair became massive.

LEVIN: You know you're going to get in trouble now.

TRUMP: I don't care.


TRUMP: I don't care. But, no, because I'm a person that tells the truth. It was very different, wasn't it? Did you like it?

LEVIN: Don't get me in trouble now.


CUOMO: Says the guy who courts trouble all the time. I mean, he's not going to get in any trouble with that guy's audience.

But is this a sexist shot or is it OK because people make fun of Trump's hair?

CAMEROTA: Look, this is my point -- of all people, not to be making fun of hair, Donald Trump should have learned that lesson.


ZELENY: I think anytime Donald Trump is making fun of Hillary Clinton's hair, that's going to help Hillary Clinton. This could fuel the skepticism or the conspiracy theories in some corners that he's trying to help her hair. If they spend the day talking about is Hillary Clinton's hair, Hillary Clinton is going to win, I promise you.

Donald Trump's hair looked pretty good yesterday when I saw him in New Hampshire. It had a bit of a lift to it. But it is slightly smaller than Hillary Clinton's, no question.

CAMEROTA: Wow. The hair report.

Thank you, Jeff, so much for all of that.

CUOMO: There say lot of news this morning. What do you see? Let's get to it.


CAMEROTA: Questions about the death of a Virginia man in police custody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The force was adequate at that time. Once they got his leg shackled, it should have stopped.

OFFICER: Get on the ground.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just did cocaine, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The conduct is unconscionable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: GOP 2016 hopefuls back on the campaign trail.

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am hopeful that the people will pray for me and my family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amidst a deep divide over illegal immigration.

TRUMP: We would do it in a very humane way.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't care what Donald Trump says.

PEREIRA: The FAA proving a series of laser attacks into major cities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see the people involved right now. They're walking in and out of the building. Hitting us right now. Don't look, George. Oh, yes, you think this is a joke, huh?

(END VIDEOTAPE) ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome back to your NEW DAY.

We do have breaking news for you this morning. The FAA probing a pair of laser attacks in two major cities. Three separate commercial planes hit by lasers while trying to land in Dallas.

CUOMO: Also, several TV news choppers were targeted in and around New York City. This in the face of drones, security holes, terrorism and a list of other threats already faced by pilots. This is no joke.

CNN aviation correspondent Rene Marsh live with breaking details, what do you know?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you, Chris, that three local television stations saying they're choppers were targeted with lasers. The NYPD saying that two of those incidents happened overnight. One of those incidents happening over Newark Liberty Airport.

Take a listen. This pilot was quick thinking. He zoomed in on the suspects who were flashing that laser at the chopper. And eventually, police were able to arrest them. Take a listen.