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New Day

Airport Attack Survivor Speaks Out; Mental Health & Guns In The Spotlight After Airport Attack; Interview with Rep. Tim Murphy; Kellyanne Conway Live On New Day. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 09, 2017 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Annika, thank you so much for being here with us. We know that you've just lived through this ordeal. How are you doing?


CAMEROTA: So Annika, you were waiting --

DEAN: I'm doing well.

CAMEROTA: -- at the -- you were at the baggage pick-up waiting for your luggage, then what happened?

DEAN: Then I heard gunfire. I recognized it immediately as gunfire. I looked for an escape or a place to hide. There was no escape. I would've been directly in his path had I tried to get out the door, so I turned around. I found a smart cart. I dropped down on the other side of it and I just laid there praying, essentially, that he wouldn't find me.

But he was definitely walking near my area, shooting as he came, and I just began to pray. Prayed that my children wouldn't lose their mother. Prayed that -- prayed that they wouldn't have a seriously injured mother. And as I was praying a man climbed on top of me and shielded my body, and as he did so, he said I will protect you.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh. And, Annika, that -- we're seeing a picture of him right now and his beautiful angelic smile there. That's 70-year- old Tony. So, did you know him? Had you seen him on the plane? Where did he come from?

DEAN: I did not know him. I hadn't seen him but he was standing near me. His wife was not standing near him at that time and everyone immediately when we -- when we realized what was going on, you know, dropped where they were at. And he could have dropped right where he was at but, instead, he chose in the process to shield another human being and saved my life.

CAMEROTA: So Annika, when he -- when Tony saved your life and basically covered you -- as a human shield, he acted, then what happened?

DEAN: So we laid there on the ground for what seemed like another minute until the police arrived. But I was told by another witness that the shooter was walking next to us and Tony said that there was a shot fired over us. I had my face to the carpet. I wasn't looking around, you know. I had been praying -- I was still praying, but when Tony shielded me I did feel immediate comfort. I knew that I would be safe. I did not know if Tony would be safe or if he would be hit, but I knew that he was protecting me.

CAMEROTA: And we are happy to report that Tony did survive. He was safe. He protected you. He also was spared the gunman's rampage. Tony is, as it says here, on a well-deserved cruise right now, we understand, with his wife. But his children have weighed in and said that it doesn't surprise them at all that he did this. This is the man that they knew. What have you -- what were you able to say to Tony after all of this?

DEAN: Immediately after the police arrived and we felt that it was safe to get up, I turned around and I thanked him and I told him how comforting his shield was during this horrifying experience. And I thanked him. And I realized I didn't get his name or number and so, you know, I tried to find him later and was able to do that and piece together what had happened and where we were, and that he was the man that shielded me and I thanked him throughout the day. We were in lockdown the remainder of that day and I thanked him a few times. Talked with his wife and just told him he was a hero.

CAMEROTA: And Annika, what did you say to your two children when you did make it home that day?

DEAN: I hugged them. I hugged them and they were very thankful and, you know, glad that I was alive. They were a bit shaken up and we're just thankful. You know, this could have been a different outcome for our family. And, you know, I had three possibilities -- dying, serious injury, or living, and we are all just grateful for the outcome that happened in our family.

CAMEROTA: What did you think Tony will mean to your family --

DEAN: A lot of that we --

CAMEROTA: -- now, going forward?

DEAN: Oh, my entire family -- all of my family and all of my friends, we are all just really grateful to Tony. He is a hero. He was my -- he was my guardian angel. I had been praying for safety and he was the one that provided that for me.

[07:35:00] CAMEROTA: It sure sounds like it. There are angels among us and Tony is one of them. Annika, thank you very much for sharing your personal story with us and we wish you a speedy recovery from this ordeal that you've been through. Thank you for being with us.

DEAN: Thank you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: A big week for Trump's transition team, so what can we expect? Will the president-elect actually own the intelligence that Russia motivated the hacks? Will he talk about his conflicts of interest and what he can do to remedy them? What's going to be on the big agenda? We have Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway joining us next.


[07:39:50] CUOMO: Fort Lauderdale Airport attacked, renewing the debate about mental health and guns. Federal officials say the shooting suspect had been treated for mental health problems at least once before in Alaska. Authorities had confiscated his gun and later returned it.

Joining us now is Republican Congressman Tim Murphy. Congressman, as you know, I enjoy speaking to you but, boy, is it a regret that it's you and me after so many of these events. And here we are again, this time with -- interfacing with a government agency, obviously, mentally ill. The treatment protocols not there. Alaska part of the problem. They are very low on the list of how acutely they deal with mental illness, but what do you see as the recurring issues, once again, in this tragedy?

REP. TIM MURPHY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, you have several breakdowns here. You have a criminal justice system or the FBI that perhaps said hey, we don't see terrorism here, so they say they're done. You have a mental health system that said well, he agreed to a voluntary commitment and other treatment. We need to know what kind of other treatment was required, if any.

[07:40:13] Many states, like Alaska, have an assisted outpatient treatment law where a judge can require that someone stays in treatment, but if the person voluntarily agrees then the judge doesn't monitor them. You also have a criminal justice system in Alaska where he was charged with strangling and attacking his wife, but it looks like those charges may have been set aside if he cooperated with treatment. Several levels here which broke down.

As well as you wonder what happened with the military -- someone with PTSD or a general discharge from the military. All these signs here pointed to some trouble going on with him. They took his gun away in November and gave it back to him in December. And you just -- it leaves me wondering did people connect these dots? We know the serious problems that will get emerged as we'll work on a mental health reform bill. There wasn't enough beds and Alaska is very poor in its number of psychiatric hospital beds -- not enough providers.

CUOMO: Right.

MURPHY: Alaska is low in that, and these problems go on. And then, the HIPAA laws. You wonder if anybody ever discussed with the family when he was discharged from the hospital. Say he needs help, take care of him.

CUOMO: A couple of stats to back up the suggestions about Alaska. They have 89 psychiatrists registered in the state -- the whole state. That's 8,200 people per psychiatrist. They had 1,100 hospital beds in 2010, now they have only 383, a loss of 736. Hospital beds, of course, relevant for having a place to put someone --

MURPHY: That's right. CUOMO: -- being treated for mental illness. You said connect the dots. You could make the suggestion, Congressman, there are not dots to connect because unless you are adjudicated mentally ill -- which, as you know and for the audience -- Tim's not just a congressman, he is an active psychologist. He treats people now, with an emphasis on the military so you see the clinical side of this. And unless you're adjudicated mentally ill -- and again, very few people are -- there are no questions about getting a gun anywhere in the country that go to your state of mind.

MURPHY: Absolutely. It's a very high standard in many states and that is you have to be in imminent danger of harming yourself or someone else. Now, that imminent danger could disappear a few hours or a few days later if that person says no problems, I have this under control. But we don't have all the facts yet, I'm hearing, and so I want to be careful about this, but at least what's reported in the news is a man who said he thought that someone was trying to control his thoughts with ISIS. Perhaps there were some delusions, perhaps some hallucinations on top of a history of violence.

And Chris, you and I have talked about this troubling statistic before. A person with those sorts of symptoms and a history of violence is 15 times more likely to engage in future violence --

CUOMO: Right.

MURPHY: -- than someone who does not have that symptom pattern or who is in treatment. That being the case, where do you get treatment when you have so few psychiatrists and almost no hospital beds and you have to wait several days for one, and they try and move you out because they have someone else in line?

CUOMO: So, we get to the big question. And first, what you've taught me over the years with this is that people who have mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence than a perpetrator and yet, 50 percent of mass homicides do involve some kind of mental illness so you have to look at it. What do we do? It seems that you guys have no ability on the federal level and there's very little appetite, except in a few big states, on the state level to make any significant change to how people are vetted before they get guns.

So what do you do with this recurring fact pattern of someone has obvious manifestations of mental health, they get treated or they don't stay on it, or it's ignored, and then they get access to a gun and something horrible happens?

MURPHY: Well, this is where psychiatric hospitals have to step up and do their part, too. That if a psychiatrist or psychologist there say look, this is a history of some violence here on top of these other symptoms, instead of going for a voluntary commitment, look at the involuntary. Let's look at the risk assessment pattern. Who did a risk assessment? What was involved with that?

And critically important, did they talk to the family? When you hear -- when you read about family members in the news talk about he was furious or talk about he came back very troubled from Iraq. His brother saying he had lost contact with him. Why wasn't he responding to emails?

That tells me someone didn't talk to the family here and perhaps didn't get history or certainly didn't pass that history on. Had they done that, would they have had enough information to say this guy needs to be involuntarily committed and then that name would have gone to nix list and then he would not have been permitted to have his gun -- a big gap.

CUOMO: Is there -- is there a way to review how he got the gun back and they could change in that part of the formulation of the decision process or are the hands tied legally of the people making that determination?

MURPHY: Well, it's both. There was some decision made in December to give him back a gun and I'm sure that's part of what the authorities are reviewing now -- who made the decision and on what basis because, unfortunately, you have a system where one of the breakdowns is if someone -- you've taken someone's word for it if they say look, I'm OK, I'm under control. But was he going to be continuing to take medication, so that's a breakthrough. I mean, that's a breakdown in the system there, too, to find out how that happened, but it's ongoing.

[07:45:06] And we -- I still believe we need stronger federal laws on this. You need a stronger stand in this need for treatment. Alaska had some of that but if they have no place to treat what can you do? And then, make sure that doctors are going ahead and gathering that data from families and making a decision that this is a person who has a certain level of dangerousness. That name should go on that nix list.

CUOMO: That's amazing --

MURPHY: A lot of times they don't.

CUOMO: -- that the burden of proof is still on the healthcare provider to justify taking a weapon, and not on the person who's been seen as mentally ill on why they should get it back. Representative Tim Murphy, we know you're out front on this issue. We will stay on it and, you know, God forbid there's a next time that we have to discuss it in this context. Be well.

MURPHY: Thank you.

CUOMO: Alisyn --

CAMEROTA: While facing questions, President-elect Donald Trump will answer questions from the press this week as his cabinet nominees face confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. Mr. Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway is going to join us next on all of that.


CUOMO: President-elect Trump gearing up for a big week. He's going to become the 45th President of the United States in what, 11 days. Confirmation hearings begin for his cabinet nominees. He's going to give his first press conference since he won, and there's a lot to deal with.

[07:50:12] So let's discuss with someone at the center of the transition. Trump senior adviser, incoming White House counselor (ph) Kellyanne Conway. It's good to see.


CUOMO: Always a pleasure. So, Reince Priebus says this weekend yes, after the classified briefing that the president-elect got he does see the basis for identifying Russia as being the motivator of the hacks. Is that true?

CONWAY: Well, as the president-elect said in his statement on Friday after the intel briefing, Chris, he recognizes that Russia, China, and others are constantly trying to hack into government institutions, businesses, individuals, and we, of course, are against that. We don't want foreign interference from anyone into this country. This man, Donald Trump, ran successfully on "America First" and he means it, including on this issue.

But we also just -- you know, we can't get over the selective feigned outrage. I mean, China hacked 21 million personnel records. That's 21 million individuals who did nothing wrong other than have their records at the Office of Personnel and Management, a government entity. The White House has been hacked. The Department of Defense, the Department of State, other agencies. We should be concerned about that. I just think there's been selective outrage about Russia only because some people want to conflate that with the election result which, of course --

CUOMO: Which you can argue --

CONWAY: -- of course, Mr. Clapper said there was not the conclusion --

CUOMO: Which you can argue is a mistake and politicizing something that should be dealt primarily -- and it's certainly, at first, as a national security issue. And even in that response, Russia, China, and North Korea. China and North Korea are not mentioned by the I.C. in their declassified report and it certainly hasn't been the focus of their intentions. Why include those other two and not just say yes, he agrees this time it was Russia and we'll have to figure out what to do?

CONWAY: Because, Chris, if we're going to have a serious conversation about national security and intelligence we should be talking about all the actors who have hacked and continue to attempt to hack.

CUOMO: But two of the three are said by the intelligence community to not be involved.

CONWAY: But that -- but most of it -- but look, they have a large part of the report dedicated to Russian television, RT. Do you want to talk about that?

CUOMO: That's a declassified report, though. CONWAY: Well, but look, the nut of this 25-page report is really just five pages and if you look at it, I do want to say that there's no smoking gun when it comes to the nexus between these hacking activities and the election results. And there are a lot of people on T.V. here and elsewhere trying to confuse people into believing that is the case and --

CUOMO: Not here.

CONWAY: Not on this set, not at this moment. But, Chris, here's the other thing. Where was the outrage and, frankly, where was the punishment equivalent to expelling 35 Russian operatives, which President Obama did about 10 days ago? Where was that when China hacked those personnel records? Where was that even when the president chose to say 'knock it off' to Vladimir Putin instead of taking stronger action? So, we don't want --

CUOMO: I think that that's a fair point to say they did things wrong, I just don't know why that is the response to where the president- elect's head is on Russia because it does seem that there is an intentionality on his part to insulate Russia from exposure on this issue.

CONWAY: No, that's not fair and it's also not true, and here's why. He's not insulating anybody --

CUOMO: He's never mentioned Russia, even after this. He's been tweeting all kinds of stuff this morning --

CONWAY: But he mentions in Russia in the --

CUOMO: -- most of it we'll ignore.

CONWAY: He said over the weekend that if we can have positive relations with Russia where it counts -- where it actually benefits America, Americans, her interest and her allies, we will do that. And the example that he gives and that many of us give is if we can come together to just defeat ISIS, not call the J.V. team that's on the retreat when we know that that's now true. They just massacred Christians on New Year's Eve in Turkey. They target people of all faiths. They're anti-democratic, they're anti-freedom. They're certainly anti-woman and girl.

And so, if we could join together with other countries, including Russia if they want to get serious about defeating ISIS, then we'll do that. That's where the president-elect's mind is on Russia. Other people want to continue to talk about the hack.

And the other thing is if you read "The New York Times" or even "The Washington Post" over the weekend, Chris, you quickly see that people were surprised that given the way the testimony went on Thursday in Washington that the intelligence briefing on Friday and, frankly, the publicly-available report, there weren't any fireworks there. There wasn't an 'and here is the direct nexus between alleged' -- they kept using the words that Russia "aspired" to. They attempted to -- CUOMO: But that's adeclassified report. Our sources on the investigation and how the intelligence community feels is that they have zero percent doubt that Russia was motivating the attacks. But I think --

CONWAY: And there's zero percent evidence that anything that was done affected the election results.

CUOMO: But I have not even brought it up --

CONWAY: Well, when you --

CUOMO: -- in this conversation.

CONWAY: It's everywhere and I think to affirmatively debunk it is very important.

CUOMO: I know, but here's what I don't get still. I get why you're sensitive about that. I get why you think it's objectively wrong. I get it, the politicizing standpoint of what its impact was, but two things. One, during the campaign fair is fair. Donald Trump, as candidate, was saying read the WikiLeaks. I hope WikiLeaks gets her emails from the server if they have them. Put them out. So there's no question he wanted that to happen. He was hoping it would, in fact.

[07:55:15] CONWAY: No.

CUOMO: He encouraged it. But I'm saying --

CONWAY: He had nothing to do with it.

CUOMO: But -- I'm not saying he had anything to do with it but he certainly had something to do with encouraging people to look at it, but that's the political aspect. I'm saying why corner yourself on not acknowledging what the intel community is so confident about.

CONWAY: But he has. Read the whole statement, but the --

CUOMO: He has never said -- with all his tweets about all these myriad issues, he's never said -- he'll talk about Meryl Streep but he won't talk about Russia and say yes, had the intel briefing, Russia was behind it. Won't happen on my watch.

CONWAY: Well --

CUOMO: He could have just said that.

CONWAY: -- forget his tweets for a moment. Look at his full statement on Friday. I hope everybody really --

CUOMO: Russia, China, North Korea.

CONWAY: Yes, but beyond that, he said -- he started out by saying I respect the members of our intelligence community, the great men and women who serve, and he is reaffirming his commitment to work closely with them. And he has great respect -- enormous respect that we all have, beginning with the president-elect, Chris, for the men and women in that community. Then he talked about how this is about the DNC being hacked, which is true. You and I would not be having this conversation but for the DNC not having the proper firewalls, not taking the FBI --

CUOMO: Or if the hackers had leaked what they got from the RNC or any of the other things.

CONWAY: And then he says --

CUOMO: They only selectively put out information.

CONWAY: He says he's going to meet with his team -- he says he's meeting with his team and in the first 90 days he's going to ask them for a plan to really beef up our cybersecurity. I hope you and I can agree that cybersecurity is really woefully --

CUOMO: Sure. They should be -- they should be up there. But, you know, Sean Spicer was saying RNC wasn't hacked. Where'd you get that? You better never say it again. Well, the intelligence community says they do believe --

CONWAY: Well, they believe that the attempt was made.

CUOMO: They're right. I mean, they were trying to get them, too, and they don't know for sure whether or not they hacked them.

CONWAY: The RNC had the proper firewalls, the DNC did not. And look, do you --

CUOMO: I don't think they're 100 percent on whether or not they got anything.

CONWAY: Ninety percent.

CUOMO: We just know they didn't release it.

CONWAY: It raised my eyebrows so it must have been newsworthy enough be on CNN. That's where I read it. The CNN report that raised my eyebrows last week, Chris, is the one that said the FBI asked the DNC for access to its information to its servers and the DNC did not accede to that very simple request.

CUOMO: I think that nothing you're saying is false on that, I just think it's a distraction from the main issue.

CONWAY: Let's talk about Meryl Streep, by the way. I think it's great that she wants to give a platform about the --

CUOMO: That's a distraction, too, but I'll give it to you because I wanted to talk about it.

CONWAY: But seriously speaking, why didn't she use that platform to talk about the mentally challenged boy last week who was tortured on a live streaming Facebook by four young African-American adults in Chicago, screaming racial --

CUOMO: Because one of them was done by a bunch of miscreants. The other one was done by the president-elect of the United States.

CONWAY: No, no, no. I -- no -- but we should -- oh, come on. You're really going to equate the two? He has debunked that whole -- that whole --

CUOMO: No, I don't equate them at all. One of them was a crime.

CONWAY: -- a report -- and that's right. That's a crime and I hope the book is thrown at them. But again, if she's got this great platform and she has a worldwide audience at that moment, why not bring attention to that recent event?

CUOMO: Because there's no controversy over that. They did it.

CONWAY: There isn't?

CUOMO: Yes, because they've been charged with a hate crime.

CONWAY: That's an active investigation. That's a crime.

CUOMO: No, but it -- but that's -- we know who did it. They don't deny doing it. If they do, it doesn't matter.

CONWAY: In fact, CNN said they were just being kids.

CUOMO: Listen, that ain't me, OK? We know what they were. They were haters, they were hateful, they got busted for it by making that video which, thank God, they did.

CONWAY: Do you agree with Meryl Streep, Chris, that the most vilified people right now are in Hollywood? I mean, I could --

CUOMO: No, but I don't -- I don't care about -- I --

CONWAY: -- the cost of some of those gowns last night --

CUOMO: Look, I think --

CONWAY: -- and I'd like to borrow them for the inaugural gala.

CUOMO: I think -- I think comparing the two is wrong for several reasons. I think Hollywood does what it does and people can judge it. I find it odd all Donald Trump then, and president-elect Trump now needed to do was say hey look, making that gesture about Serge was wrong and I apologize, and it would've been over. Instead, there are these tortured attempts to say oh, no, no, I had nothing to do with Serge.

CONWAY: Maybe what he's saying that isn't what he said. He's saying that was never his intention. He said it many times.

CUOMO: And you have people online defending it by saying oh, he did that to other people, too. CONWAY: I haven't seen any of that. But I'm just merely saying that when you tune into the "GOLDEN GLOBES" award show, is it always appropriate to talk politics? They can say what they want but then they have to be held to account. I mean, look, that's a very myopic place. That place --

CUOMO: That's fine.

CONWAY: -- this network, frankly, all believed the election would turn out a different way.

CUOMO: But is she wrong? Is she wrong that it was wrong for Trump to make gestures like that about a man with disabilities?

CONWAY: He didn't -- but that is not what he did and he has said that a thousand times. As he tweeted out today --

CUOMO: He can say it a million. Look at the video.

CONWAY: Why can't you -- wait, excuse me. Why can't you give him the benefit of the doubt the way the benefit of the doubt was given to CNN's polling, all of its analysts? Everybody in the world saying that he --

CUOMO: Because he's making a disgusting gesture on video talking about Serge.

CONWAY: Not about that reporter and that's just a fact. That is what he's said. You should give him --

CUOMO: But how is it not about the reporter?

CONWAY: -- the deference and respect if he says that it was -- he was not mocking, he was mocking the groveling. He said it again this morning. He has three tweets out about it.

CUOMO: But he's doing a gesture that goes right to the guy's vulnerability.

CONWAY: You're saying you don't believe him. You're calling him a liar and you shouldn't.

CUOMO: Look, Kellyanne, to me that's like you're trying to scare me off the point and we both --

CONWAY: Not all at.

CUOMO: -- know it's a waste of time.

CONWAY: I'm not going to scare you off anything.

CUOMO: He's making a gesture that is so keenly tuned to what Serge's vulnerability is.

CONWAY: And now you're giving oxygen to what Meryl Streep said.

CUOMO: Forget about Meryl Streep. This whole thing's before her.

CONWAY: That's where -- that's why we're talking about it.

CUOMO: Your people said well, he said it to Cruz also.

CONWAY: It was all --

CUOMO: He did that to Cruz also.

CONWAY: It was all very litigated.

CUOMO: He did it after --

CONWAY: Listen, it's --

CUOMO: He did to a reporter.

CONWAY: It's all talked about in the election. I came on this network --

CUOMO: So you don't think it deserves an apology?

CONWAY: -- weekly and talked about things --

CUOMO: If our kids did that, can you imagine what we would say to them?