tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 12, 2014 6:00am-8:01am PDT
this is shameful. schools who do it, you need a lesson. we're very happy that ms. gant gave it to you. >> go mamma gant. a lot of news to get you to the news. we get you to the "newsroom" with ms. carol costello. >> i hear you, chris, i was on the free lunch program when i was in grade school. just being on the free lunch program was so embarrassing me for a time. the school system, what were you thinking? thanks so much. "newsroom" starts now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good morning. i'm carol costello, thank you for joining me. disgraced nba owner donald sterling breaks his silence and pleads for forgiveness. he also found a way to insult a beloved icon of the nba and even shift some of the blame for his racist rants that may cost him his team. here is the exclusive interview,
a portion of it, with cnn's anderson cooper. >> i'm a good member who made a mistake. i'm apologizing and i'm asking for forgiveness. am i entitled to one mistake after 35 years? i love my league, i love my partners. am i entitled to one mistake? it's a terrible mistake and i'll never do it again. >> the vice president of the nba players association, roger mason, he said the players won't accept anyone in the sterling family owning the clippers, not you, not your wife, not your son-in-law, not your daughter. do you believe it? >> i really don't know. the people that are going to decide my fate i think are not the media and not the players union, but the nba. >> the owners? >> the owners. if the owners feel i deserve another chance, then they'll give it to me. >> but there is a path for you to fight their decision, isn't there? >> of course.
but if you fight with my partners, what at the end of the road do i benefit, especially at my age. if they fight with me and i spend millions and they spend millions, let's say i win or they win, i just don't know if that's important. >> why wait so long to apologize? it's been a couple of weeks. >> that's a very good question. i'm so emotionally distraught. and the reason it's hard for me, very hard for me is that i'm wrong. i caused the problem. i don't know how to correct it. >> do you trust people? there have been a couple of phone recordings just in the last week or two that have come out or people you've talked to on the phone, seems to be your voice, who sold it to radaronline or tmz. and i hear that and i think, do
you have anyone you trust around you? >> i don't give interviews. the only one i know that i talked to is magic johnson. >> you have talked to him? >> twice. >> did you apologize? >> he knew the girl. he said -- he knew the girl well. >> did you apologize to him? >> if i said anything wrong, i'm sorry. he's a good person, and he -- what am i going to say. has he done anything he can do to help minorities? i don't think so. i'll say it. i'll say it. he's great. i just don't think he is a good example for the children of los angeles. >> anderson cooper is here with more on his exclusive interview. anderson, he seems to have some sort of fixation with magic
johnson? >> there's clearly some issues he has. he actually goes into a lot more -- he says a lot more about magic johnson that i think is going to probably anger a lot of people. that will be on tonight. he claims he's had two conversations with magic johnson. i haven't been able to confirm that with magic yet. but it's a wide-ranging interview. we spoke for well over an hour and really covered everything there is to talk to him about. he answered all the questions. his main point was he wanted to apologize, and he did so in a lot of different ways. >> but not to magic johnson. >> clearly not to magic johnson. after what he'll say tonight, there's even a lot more that people will be kind of shocked by. >> so shelly sterling says that he's suffering from early onset dementia. in your mind, was he completely present during that interview?
>> you know, look, i clearly don't know him in the way she does or a close friend of his would. i certainly in my talks with him, i met with him about a week or so ago and obviously met with him on sunday when we did this interview yesterday. there wasn't anything that gave me pause in terms of actually sitting down and doing an interview with him. i didn't feel he wasn't in control of himself. he certainly is a very capable and smart guy. he's a smart attorney. he clearly has -- he's in a situation, he's trying to figure his way out of at this point. but during the conversation, for instance, if i would ask something and then i'd ask something on another topic based on where the conversation went, he would often bring the conversation back to the previous question. he clearly remembered things and was certainly competent to do an interview. >> to have his talking points. why did he agree to talk to you? >> you know my -- when i met
with him more than a week ago, i simply said, look, i think you need to get your voice out there, rather than being defined in the public sphere by v. stiviano, by people who are selling tapes of phone conversations you had, people should hear from you and you can say whatever you want to say and we'll have a conversation. i'm a fair guy to talk to. he was willing to sit down and talk and that's what we did. >> the full interview, an hour long will rare 8:00 p.m. eastern tonight; right? >> right. >> be sure to watch anderson's interview tonight at 8:00 p.m. for her part, his wife telly says she's not giving up on her team without a fight. in an interview with barbara walters, shelly suspects her husband has early dementia. she also talked about their relationship and what the team means to her. >> mrs. sterling, you own 50% of
the l.a. clippers. there are reports that the nba wants to oust you completely as a team owner. you will fight that decision? >> i will fight that decision. >> what does the team mean to you? >> it means a lot. and it's my passion, and i love it. it's my legacy to my family. it was horrible when i heard it. i mean it was just degrading and it made me sick to hear it. as far as a racist, i don't think he's a racist. >> have you discussed these remarks at all with your husband? >> he saw the tape and he said i don't remember saying that. i don't remember ever saying those things. >> what did you think then? >> that's when i thought he has dementia. >> really? >> yeah. i don't love him. i pity him and i feel sorry for him. >> what is your relationship today with your husband? >> we're estranged.
we've been estranged for about a year. >> why not divorce your husband? >> i've been thinking about it. i filed these divorce papers, i signed them, i was all ready to file. my attorney and my financial adviser said now is not the time. >> but the nba says if donald sterling is voted out, shelly's interest in the clippers would automatically end as well. that has her attorney gear bing up for a fight. in a statement he writes, quote, we don't agree with the league's self-serving interpretation of the constitution, its application of shelly sterling. we live in a nation of laws. california law and the united states constitution trump any such interpretation. with me now cnn's stephanie elam who talked with sterling's attorney and cll defense attorney brian clay pool. welcome to you both. i want to talk first about
donald sterling's interview with anderson cooper. brian, why do you think he agreed to do that? >> carol, first of all, i wanted to tell both donald sterling and shelly sterling they need to get a better acting coach. that was a pathetic attempt at trying to win over the public. first of all, donald sterling and this alleged dementia, he's losing his memory? you have to be kidding me. he has visited eight law firms in california over the last week or two. that's why he hasn't given an interview. he's been lobbying trying to find lawyers to sue the nba. you have to look back who he's apologizing to. he's not apologizing to doc rivers or the clipper players, he's not apologizing the the black and hispanic tenants that he was prejudiced against. he's not apologizing to the season ticket holders. he's apologizing to one set of people, that's the board of governors. that's the 29 owners who are going to vote.
it's absolutely disgraceful and pathetic. >> stephanie, it's interesting that shelly sterling also agreed to an interview on national television, this with barbara walters. she talked about how she wanted to hold ownership of the team and she went into the dementia thing, right? she also went into, yeah, i'm going to divorce him, i've been thinking about it for 20 years but haven't done it. what do you think of that? >> it all comes down to finances and whether or not this is going to be a beneficial decision financially is the most important thing. how perception plays into this is a huge part oift. what's also interesting in the barbara walters interview, when she was asked whether or not she thought the nba did the right thing by banning her husband, she said no comment. after this first happened, she put out a statement through her lawyers saying she talked to commissioner silver and she fully supported what he had done. there's a bit of a mixed
message. even if they are estranged, she says she doesn't love him, they still have a family together. you have to care about that. it's hard to extricate the two, whether or not she's seriously talking about this because of how she feels personally as a woman or whether or not she's looking at this as a bigger financial issue. >> brian, is there anything in sterlgs can do at this point to repair their reputation to make people think they really, truly are sorry that all of this has transpired? are you kidding me? there's zero they can do. did you hear the comment donald sterling made to anderson cooper. he said, carol, if i said something wrong to magic johnson. are you serious, donald? do you really mean that? he said, also, it's a mistake. it's not a mistake, donald. mr. sterling, hear me. it's a mentality, a 30-year mentality of being a racist.
you can't claim that's a mistake. that's engrained in your brain. you need help. you need to move on because there is nobody in the city of los angeles including the mayor who i saw at the game yesterday, carol, who i happen to be personal friends with, eric garcetti. he reiterated to make sure no sterling family member has ownership in that final. >> i want to get to magic johnson for just a second. we haven't heard the full extent of his remarks about magic johnson yet. that will air at 8:00 p.m. eastern on anderson cooper's show. what does he have against magic johnson? >> what boggles the mind is we've heard three different recordings, one we know about with anderson and the other two that were surreptitiously done. all three he has mentioned magic johnson. that is bizarre. he seems to be obsessed with magic johnson.
magic is a larger than life personality. when you're in a room with him, you know he's there. he's known because of his basketball skills, the businesses he's opened outside of basketball. he's a businessman. he's opened up starbucks, theaters in harlem as well. he has an issue with him. i think the fact he keeps bringing up magic johnson does not help his case at all. also, this idea that if he has dementia that that could somehow help his case, i think it hurts him more because it shows he is not in the right sound mind to be owning an operation running it. the other thing i've learned. when you spend time at stippal center around people that cover the clippers all the time, how donald sterling has conducted himself, how he has spoken about people of different races, this is not new. maybe this is a bigger extent of it, maybe the first time he was caught on ard rog. apparently to a lot of people
down there, this is not new that he said things that are inappropriate racially. >> stephanie elam and brian claypool, thanks for your initiative. back in a minute. [ female announcer ] when you're serious about fighting wrinkles, turn to roc® retinol correxion®. one week, fine lines appear to fade. one month, deep wrinkles look smoother. after one year, skin looks ageless. high performance skincare™ only from roc®.
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visit your ford dealer. the senator calling on veterans affairs chief eric shinseki to testify about allegations of a massive coverup by va hospitals is warning people not to rush to judgment. senator sanders says allegations that va hospitals tried to hide long wait times for sick veterans are being politicized.
the allegations are serious. cnn has been digging into these charges since last november. this is what we turned up. at least 40 veterans died while waiting for care in phoenix according to multiple sources. some of those veterans waited up to 21 months for care. cnn investigations found delays in care in at least six hospitals including wyoming and texas. the va admitted 23 people died because of delays in care. senator bernie sanders is chair of the committee that will look into these allegations. he joins us now. welcome, senator. >> good to be with you, carol. >> nice to have you here. these allegations are disturbing. three whistle blowers came forward to detail the charges. what's political about that? >> let me just say this, comment on something you said a moment ago. if you look at the arizona republic a few days ago, may 9th, is what they said about the allegations, and the arizona republic has been covering this
issue pretty extensively. i quote, dr. foot, and foot is the main source of the allegations. foot's allegation that 40 people died sometimes has been miscast by media that those deaths were attributable to delayed care. foot said information he provided to congress and the inspector general did not indicate how individuals died or whether they might have survived with more timely care. so what we have done, carol, which is i think the appropriate thing, but the va said, look, charges, allegations have been made by dr. foot. let's go out and do an independent investigation with the inspector general which is an independent entity and get to the truth of the matter. what i just read you suggests, and you just mentioned a moment ago that 40 people died because of delayed care, that is not, as i understand it -- >> i can only rely on drew
griffin and the cnn investigations. they've been investigating this matter since november. you can't escape the fact that the va itself admitted 23 people died directly because of delays in care. they admitted it. >> carol, the va like any large institutions, and that's why i said we are going to do a hearing, immediately after the investigation is completed. second point i want to make is do you know how many people are going in -- veterans are going to the va today, and in my view as a nation we have a moral obligation to make sure every veteran in this country gets the best quality care that we can provide. do you know how many veterans are going into vas? 151 medical centers and 900 primary care facilities today? over 200,000. so the point is, you have a huge
system. what the veterans tell us in general is they like va health care. patient satisfaction is generally higher -- >> senator, that doesn't excuse the fact that people died because some waited up to 21 months for care. >> carol, you're absolutely right. nothing would excuse that. you would agree with me that we need an independent investigation by people who are trained to do that first. if one person died, that is one person too many. that's why we're going to get to the root of the issue. but the broad point that i want to make is when you're treating 6.5 million people a year, that's a lot of people. and there are going to be problems. if we simply say here is a problem, here is a problem -- what i'm suggesting to you sinned dent studies suggest va health care is pretty good, as good or better -- >> let me run this by you. senator john mccain is a vietnam
p.o.w., he says if these allegations are true, it's a crime. listen to what he said. >> if these allegations are true, they're a violation of law. it's not a matter of resignations. it's a matter of whether somebody goes to jail or not. >> there you have it. he says it's a crime. how is it possible that shinseki was not aware of what was going on? surely he knew? >> let's do -- first of all, if there are people who are cooking the books, senator mccain is absolutely right, it is a crime. that's something we will deal with. all i'm suggesting is that i do not want to see 300,000 va employees, many of whom are veterans themselves or related to veterans, vast majority of whom are doing a good job according to the veteran's community and according to i understand dent surveys providing quality health care to our veterans, i don't want to
see everybody disparaged. >> after your initial comments on this on wolf blitzer's show and hundreds of veterans contacted drew griffin to complain, they are worried you will not conduct a thorough investigation. can you assure them you will? >> absolutely. first of all, it's not me that will be conducting the investigation. it's the inspector general. they're doing it now. >> but you're holding a hearing, right? >> i am holding a hearing on the general state of va health care. the hearing on the charges in phoenix cannot be held until we have a report from the inspector general. i think what we want to hear this thursday is from shinseki, is from people who are critical of the va and an overall view of what va is doing well in terms of health care and what they are not doing well. once we have the report from the inspector general, we are going to go from there. so my point is where the va has
been deficient if there are serious problems like keeping two sets of books, that is very serious. we are going to get to the root of that. i just offered comprehensive legislation to make sure we improve health care and other benefits for all of our veterans. we're going to fight hard for the veterans. i'm sure you will agree with me that we need a though row independent investigation to tell us what's going on in phoenix and elsewhere. >> senator bernie sanders, thank you for joining me this morning. i want to bring in cnn's drew griffin now because he worked so hard on this. senator sanders didn't want to debate this issue with you on the air. he wants to talk about it in his office at some point. i wanted to bring you on to tell people what your investigation uncovered. these are serious allegations. >> they are very serious allegations. from senator sanders, to be charitable, he seems woefully uninformed on this issue. my question is where has he and
the committee been? the house veterans affairs committee, bipartisan committee, has been looking into this problems in a year. in november we reported veterans died at mostly southeast veterans hospitals. carol, these men died, mostly men died because they couldn't get a colonoscopy in time. that's the care we're talking about for our veterans. as you rightly said, in february the va admitted that 23 veterans died because of delays in care. 70 or more have had adverse outcomes. now we're talking about a coverup in the last month. phoenix, san antonio and the most recent one is cheyenne, wyoming. we have whistle blowers, people who make the schedules who are telling us and showing us how they're shown how to hide the delays in care. take a look at this e-mail we got a hold of on friday. this is from a clerk inside the
cheyenne, wyoming, va talking about how to game the system. you don't have to know the games of the rule. when we exceed 14-day measure, the front office gets very upset. what this person is talking about is actually scheduling appointments months and months and months in advance but recording them so they only look like they're 14 days out. the whistle-blower came forward and said she provided that to us and to others. her name is lisa lee. listen what she has to say, what's going on inside these hospitals. >> we were being told to game the system because it made cheyenne look good. we were sat down by our supervisor in the conference room. he opened up his laptop and showed us exactly how to schedule so it looked like it was within that 14-day period. it was all verbal when i was down there. they would keep track of the schedulers who were complying and getting 100% of the 14-day, and those of us who weren't
doing it. >> the person who wrote that e-mail, general eric shinseki, put that person on administrative leave, opened yet another inspector general report at the hospital in cheyenne, wyoming. we believe this is systemic throughout the system, has been going on. wen we hear from senator sanders, his immediate reaction is to defend this activity or not proceed. the vaet rans we're hearing from, they lose faith in this system of oversight, at least of the senate. >> drew griffin, thanks so much. still to come in the "newsroom," the first image of the school girls kidnapped by islamist terrorists. nima elbajir visited the town where the mass abduction happened. >> reporter: it's been checkpoint after checkpoint, and we have definitely, as we've been traveling north from the nigerian capital of abuja seen evidence of the security forces that the government is sending
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parts of the koran and making islamic declarations of faith. in a separate portion the terror group leader pitches what seems to be a deal to release the girls. nima elbajir is in the capital to talk about? tape. good morning, nima. >> reporter: good morning, carol. today will be a day of relief for many families. i'm sure they'll also be scanning those videos trying to make sure their girls are amongst that hundred or so girls shown in the video. realistically, the issue is whether or not they can trust in what boka haram is saying. they're offering now to swap the girls for prisoners. you remember, carol, initially they said they were going to sell them as spoils of war. that seems to be a pretty significant about-face. obviously that's something we have to watch closely in the coming days. we traveled to chibok and found
a community still in the very grip of terrorists, boka haram. >> this is a road few have been willing to travel. we have seen evidence of the security reenforcements that the government is talking about. as we got further north, deeper into the boka haram countryside where they've been striking terror into the hearts of villages, much of that presence seems to have evaporated. attacks by boka haram is constant in this part of nigeria. what happened in chibok put the world on notice. in here is where the girls were sleeping when armed man in what they describe as military uniforms came to their dormitory gate and told them they had come to protect them. the girls started to assemble in the yard as ordered to. they didn't realize who the men really were until it was too late. >> we enter this lorry.
>> this girl managed to escape, too fearful to show her face, too fearful to come back. >> big lorrie. >> they came with a big lorry. >> with one or more. >> seven. >> reporter: residents here tell us this raid was effectively a shopping trip for boka haram. over 200 girls dragged from their beds to be sold off as bounty. a message that the militant group's edicts on female education must be heeded. but a way, also, for big men with guns to make money off terrified girls. >> if it's in chibok, i'll never go back again. >> you'll never go back to school because they made you afraid. >> yes. >> reporter: before they left, they destroyed everything they could, textbooks, the library, the laboratory, their attempt to
forever shutter this school. elizabeth and mary, their daughters were also friends, hoping one day to study medicine. they and many their of classmates never made it home from school. >> we are pleading with them to leave our daughters. we don't have power to do anything that requires power. >> they say they still feel powerless. no closer to finding their daughters nearly a month after they were taken. it's absolutely extraordinary, carol. a seven-truck convoy with motorcycle riders, pickup trucks, the descriptions were were feeling were chilling. it gives a sense of the impunity with which boka haram have been able to operate in that region. >> nima, i know it was a frightening journey for you to even get there to talk with these women because the area is so remote and so dangerous. describe what it took for you to
get there. >> reporter: it was incredibly difficult to convince anyone to even come with us. it was difficult to convince people to rent us their cars, for drivers to come along. even the military and police escort that we had been promised would take us into chibok took days to organize. nobody wants to go there. everybody is absolutely terrified. when you get closer you understand why. there's this sense of foreboding, knowing that at any point cars could come out of that savannah. further along there's forests supposed to be guarding the stronghold. the road we went on just the day before, there was a shootout with police in which one police officer was wounded. that threat is ever present, and when you get into that community that's been so traumatized, it's just awful that after having
lost so much, they have to continue to live with the specter of even more violence, carol. >> nima elbajir, thanks for bringing us the important story. >> here at cnn, we're not giving up on the girls. if you would like to help girls worldwide trying to overcome barriers to education, go to our web site, cnn.com/impact. [announcer] play close-good and close. help keep teeth clean and breath fresh with beneful healthy smile snacks. with soft meaty centers and teeth cleaning texture,it's dental that tastes so good. beneful healthy smile food and snacks.
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donald sterling breaks his silence and raises eyebrows in a conversation with anderson cooper. sterling pleads for forgiveness but says his assistant v. stiviano baited him into making the racist comments in a secretly recorded conversation. he maintains he's not a racist and he hurled insults at nba hall of famer magic johnson. a primary target of the rant that went public two weeks ago. watch his interview with donald sterling, 8:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. o on to football and the case. michael sam has yet to practice on an nfl field. he's quickly becoming the league's most controversial player. on saturday he started a firestorm by kissing hi boyfriend moments after being drafted by the st. louis rams. tam took to twitter after the draft to thank everyone for
their support and what should have been a glorious moment in his career is now sour because of the reaction he's getting from current, some current and former nfl players. >> the st. louis rams select michael sam, defensive end -- >> it was a tremendous moment of joy for nfl draft pick michael sam that quickly became the center of an online firestorm. just moments after sam received the news over the phone, the first openly gay player drafted by the nfl kissed his boyfriend, sparking some haitful tweets. oh, my god, tweeted miami dolphin don jones. he later added, "horrible." the tweet since deleted. from former houston texan derrick ward, i'm fine for it being a new day in age, but for him to do that on national tv, disgusting. man, you got little kids looking
at the draft. i can't believe espn even allowed that. >> are there going to be idiots out there that say stupid stuff, yeah. i'm not worried about that. >> overnight the dolphins suspended joentsz and slapped him with a fine. jones apologizing for what he calls inappropriate comments. ward says he doesn't regret hitting send on his tweet. i'll continue to speak my mind because it's my god given right and supposedly you can do it without being frowned upon in america. for sam, as ever, it's all about the game. >> since february, since my big announcement, this has been a whole speculation of the first gay, openly gay football player. it's not about that. it's about playing football. can michael sam play football? yes, i can. >> joining me now to talk about
this l.z granderson, senior writer for espn. good morning, l.z. >> good morning, carol. >> first it was all about history being made. now it's all about that kiss. i admire sam for his courage, but did he go a step too far? >> i don't think it's all about the kiss. i'm still looking at michael sam the football player and wondering how might he do and how they'll do with new picks and a new tight end. there were a few people bothered by the kiss. we're focusing in on stupid people as opposed to the tens of million who didn't think about it, have since moved on with their lives. if we look at the story as a whole, the real story is where did johnny manziel end up, where did michael sam end up? it's not about the kiss. >> i think it's more than a few people, l.z. while americans may be more
accepting of gay people, they're not quite as effective. >> the same network had the show "brothers and sisters" in which you had the couple kiss, get married, wake up in bed together. same network. same -- in fact, it was an hour-long show, not just a half-hour show. for every modern day example you have of two couples not kissing for whatever reasons, i can have come up with new shows in which you have seen displays of affection by same-sex couples. >> you have to admit it's not pervasive and you have to admit there is a reason for that. >> we don't see a great deal of interracial couples on television either. as we remember from the cheerios commercial, america kind of responded to that. we rightfully so remember that this is a voice of the mine nofrt, not the majority. the country's attitude has shifted when it comes to
marriage equality. obviously if the attitudes shift towards marriage equality, that goes along with the idea of two same sex people kissing. i'm not trying to say there aren't people who will be upset about it. what i'm trying to say is as much emphasis as we're putting on the people who do have trouble with it. the two players you mentioned, one a seventh round pick like michael sam, the other is a retired player who is no longer there. this is not the entire nfl brotherhood that you're taupging about. you pointed out two individuals, one a second year player and one not even in the league. you're not talking about a whole rush of players rushing to twitter, facebook and instagram. >> l.z, if they have any brains at all, they won't rush to twitter and put negative stuff on. they're not because they know they'll get in trouble because the nfl came out and said don't do that, that's wrong, we're trying to be more inclusive. >> there's a combination of things you can look at.
if you think about the story with jeff fisher, the man who wanted to draft michael sam and is the coach for the st. louis rams. if i can have time to give you a little history of that, brendan burke was a student athlete manager at the university of miami in ohio. he played hockey. he came out to the team. they embraced him. he was killed in 2010 in a tragic car accident. his brother and family came up with an organization in his honor, you can play. the current president of you can play is wade davis a former nfl player who played for jeff fisher. wade davis this year went to the nfl and had a conversation about why it's important that this -- that we have an environment which openly gay players can feel safe in the nfl. in that room was jeff fisher who went up to wade davis afterwards, gave him a hug and said he understood. months later we have this moment. and so my point is that we can choose to look at all the people
who denounce michael sam, denounce the kiss or we can look at the heroes who have worked tirelessly throughout the decades, being brave enough to come out and here is this moment and we need to look at and encapsulate in its entirety, yes, some of the objection is the story line. we didn't celebrate the kkk during the march on washington, we focused on the achievements. i think we should embrace this in the same manner. >> eric dickerson came out in support, he was one of the first to tweet, said fabulous things. there are a lot of supporters. of course, michael sam has to make the team. >> he has to make the team. still to come in the "newsroom," another body has been recovered in this weekend's hot air balloon crash. we're learning more about the pilot and about a high-level push to improve balloon safety. we'll talk about that next. i'm m-a-r-y and i have copd.
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the third and last body has now been recovered from the virginia countryside after friday's deadly fire aboard a hot air balloon. the ntsb is now investigating the crash and pushing for tighter rules governing the operation of hot air balloons. >> right now we know that balloon crashed into a power line but the question is why and how could that have been avoided? right now investigators are trying to find pieces of the balloon and basket in order to answer those questions. hours before the ill fated flight at a hot air balloon festival in virginia, one of the victims documented her apparent excitement with a series of instagram pictures with the caption will go up this evening hash tag anxiety.
>> the basket has come off. we're trying to find that. >> reporter: the ntsb is investigating a crash that killed three people. one month after the agency issued a letter to the faa urging greater safety regulations meant to "address operational deficiencies in commercial sightseeing balloon operations." the balloon hit a power line friday night as it came in for landing catching fire. then a small explosion separated the basket from the balloon. witnesses saw two people jump or fall. >> you could hear them screaming, please, dear god, sweet jesus. help us. we're going to die. >> reporter: the pilot seen here in recent video had 30 years of flying experience according to his father. >> he was a very safe pilot. >> reporter: a police spokesperson says the pilot was seen doing safety maneuvers. >> he was taking every effort he
could to extinguish the fire. >> his passengers, ginny doyle and natalie lewis, both were alumni of the university. which honored them sunday during a moment of silence during a commencement ceremony. we reached out to a spokesman saying that there were an investigator checking out balloons before the flight happened. a spokesperson for the faa says that inspectors are routinely at these hot air balloon shows and we should know more sometime next week when ntsb puts out their preliminary report. >> we'll check back. thanks so much. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" after a break. ♪ ♪
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happening now in the "newsroom," disturbing news video of the captured school girls being forced to cover themselves and read the koran and the girls will be let go if their demands are met. plus -- >> i'm wrong. i caused the problem. i don't now how to correct it. >> donald sterling says he's sorry. he sits down with anderson cooper for an exclusive interview. the wait is over. after an earthquake and nearly three years of repairs, the washington monument reopens. "newsroom" starts now.
>> good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me. we have some stunning new video just in this morning to cnn. it purports to show about 100 of the more than 200 school girls being held captive by islamist terrorists and it's the first images we've seen of these girls since they were abducted four weeks ago today. the video obtained by boko haram is 27 minutes long showing the girls wearing muslim headdresses and reciting parts of the koran. the terror leader pitches a deal to release the girl. isha sesay is at the nigerian capital with more on this tape. >> reporter: the point to be stress to our viewers is this 27-minute long tape, the portions that contain the girls, also display quite clearly the absolute terror these girls are
in. they are clearly under duress as they sit there on camera clothed in traditional islamic clothing wear be the headdress and reciting portions of the koran. these are girls that are afraid. there is no doubt about that. i think the tape also demonstrates just the brazenness of boko haram they could keep 100 plus of these girls together and film them on camera out in the open air clearly without any concern of being under any real pressure on the part of the nigerian government. here they are for the world to see that they have indeed got these girls and they feel that they hold the cards. carol? >> what are officials saying about this video? >> reporter: cnn is tirelessly hitting those phones trying to connect with nigerian officials to get some independent reaction from them to get their sense of this video and what they make of it and of course that specific
demand that is made in the video that they will hand these girls over in exchange for held boko haram prisoners. we haven't received any reaction or comment but we continue to work that, carol. >> i know you are continuing to try. isha sesay reporting live from nigeria. those girls were kidnapped from their school in the northern nigerian town. it's a day's drive from the capital. we will hear a report over the coming days. now one of the girls is talking after being able to escape her captors and explains why the town lives in fear. >> reporter: by an absolute miracle, some of those girls managed to escape on that horrifying night. even for them, this nightmare isn't yet over. one of them has agreed to speak to us but she's asked that we don't identify her in any way and we don't give away her name, family house, anything that could bring about what she fears the most, the kidnappers could
can you describe the men that came and took you? what did they look like? were they wearing civilian clothing or military uniforms? what were they wearing? what was their dress? what were they wearing? did they look like soldiers? you feel afraid? you don't want to talk about what they look like? it's okay. i understand. i understand. i'm sorry. >> an exclusive interview with one of the few girls that managed to escape a mass kidnapping on her school. we'll continue to cover this story of course. the outcry for these girls safe return spans the globe. in brooklyn yesterday dozens gathered to light candles and raise awareness to rescue them.
at cnn we'll bring you the latest as the story unfolds. if you want to help girls worldwide overcome barriers to education, go to cnn.com/impact. new this morning, disgraced nba owner donald sterling breaks his silence and pleads for your forgiveness. in an exclusive interview with anderson cooper, sterling maintained he's not a racist and that his ugly rant was a terrible mistake. he also shifted some of the blame to his assistant, v. stiviano who secretly recorded the conversation that may cost him his team. sterling's wife says she will not surrender her half of the team without a fight and makes startling comments about her husband, his mental state and their marriage. we'll hear from her in just a minute. first, let's listen to whsome o donald sterling's exclusive interview with anderson cooper. >> i'm not a racist. i made a terrible, terrible mistake and i'm here with you
today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all of the people that i have hurt, and i've heaurt so many people. so many innocent people. i hurt myself. you know, i spoke to a girl that i was fond of. when i listened to that tape, i don't even know how i could say words like that. i'm so sorry. i'm so apologetic. >> what are you sorry about? >> i'm sorry that so many people are hurt. i never dreamt that this could happen. it's a terrible, terrible nightmare. my players, they didn't need this. they didn't need this cloud over their head. they're good people. i love them. i respect them. and i would always be there for them. for them to hear that i am a possible racist is so painful to me because i'm not a racist. i've never been a racist. it's not me. >> when you saw them wear their
warmup jerseys reversed and the name clippers wasn't on in the first game, what did you think? >> i really didn't pay attention to that. they are clippers and they're mine and i'm theirs. that's how i feel. i would do anything for them. i made a mistake. i hope it's in their heart to forgive me for that mistake. i don't know why the girl had me say those things. >> you're saying you were set up? >> i was baited. it's not the way i talk. i don't talk about people for one thing ever. i talk about ideas and other things. i don't talk about people. >> do you know how the tape got released? >> no. >> do you think she did it? >> i don't know. i mean, an 80-year-old man is foolish and i'm kind of foolish. i thought she liked me and really cared for me. i guess 50 years, 51 years older than her, i was fooling myself.
i don't trust her. i wish i could ask her why and if she was just setting me up. i think that people say she was taping me for two years. so maybe i was just fooling myself thinking for two years that she cared for me. she certainly acted like it. >> be sure to watch anderson cooper's full interview tonight at 8:00 eastern here on cnn. let's go to los angeles now and check in with cnn's stephanie elam following this story. stephanie, clearly donald sterling blames v. stiviano. he said the girl had me say these things. >> i don't know how anyone could get you to say something that you don't believe but that is what he is saying. it's also interesting to note he doesn't talk about people but one person he continually talks about is magic johnson, someone that comes up every time we hear from him which we'll hear from more tonight in anderson cooper's exclusive interview.
the one issue that keeps coming up is that it's been a couple weeks now since this tape came out and this is the first time that we're actually hearing him say he's sorry and a lot of people wonder the validity of that because it did take so long. >> it did take a long time. also his wife decided to go on national television. shelly sat down with abc's barbara walters. let's listen to a bit of what she had to say. >> it was horrible when i heard it. i mean, it was just degrading and it made me sick to hear it. but as far as a racist, i don't really think he's a racist. >> have you discussed these remarks at all with your husband? >> he saw the tape and he said i don't remember saying that. i don't remember ever saying those things. >> what did you think then? >> that's when i thought he has dementia. >> really? >> all right. she says she thinks her husband
has dementia. i asked anderson cooper about whether donald sterling was completely there during this interview. anderson said he noticed no sign of that. he's not a doctor or anything. donald sterling certainly remembered certain points he wanted to stress and went back to them and was mentally present during this interview. what do you make of shelly sterling saying that? >> if they were in fact estra e estranged and says they were only together on his 80th birthday, the infamous video we've seen of them coming out of the restaurant where she is defending him but she says she was defending herself about being a racist, she says they're estranged and not together and if that's true, how would she know if he is in dementia? the other issue with this is this is not the first time that race issues have been applied to the sterlings where they have been accused of these. they did make their money through real estate and they've had tenants who sued them about this before. they have settled out of court.
they never have been actually found to be racist. not like you can be found that way. this is not the first time this issue has come up and i do think when she's looking at this, there's two sides that we have seen. previously put out a statement saying she supported commissioner silver and the nba's decision to ban her husband and in the latest interview with barbara walters saying she can't comment on that over whether or not that was a good decision. seems like we get a mixed message from shelly sterling. >> stephanie elam, thank you so much. at the bottom of the hour we'll talk to a sports attorney to hear his views on these latest developments. still to come in the "newsroom," for nearly three years it was covered in scaffolding but not anymore. the washington monument back open. aaron mcpike is there. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. the tallest building in washington is now stronger than it was before the 2011 earthquake. more on that after the break.
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it survived an earthquake. now after nearly three years and a multimillion dollar makeover later, the washington monument, that gigantic tribute to america's first president reopens at this hour. let the fireworks begin. good morning, erin. >> reporter: carol, good morning. the bulk of the damage was at the very top where that pyramid structure stops at the 450-foot mark. there are about 150 cracks up
there. those have all been repaired. that's where a bunch of debris fell. the national park service has took extra care in this repair process that has generally been on time and on budget despite our very harsh winter. for three years crews have been restoring the washington monument to its original glory. hard work, stone by stone that's come to a long awaited end. now that the 555-foot monument reopens to the public. >> one of the most spectacular views in america and certainly the best view in washington, d.c. and we're very excited to allow visitors back up at this level. >> reporter: it's been closed since august 23rd, 2011, when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the marble and granite sending debris flying. >> we had some initial reports that there may have been some
mortar and stones that had come loose. >> reporter: the large crack pictured in this video caused rain to pour inside and down the stairs. >> had to do a careful analysis of over 20,000 stones at the monument before we could figure out exactly what we needed to do to repair it. the first couple of weeks we had people who were repelling down and they were doing photo documentation and analysis of each of the stones to determine the significance of the damage. >> reporter: the worst damage was at the top. >> many people who have lived here for many years suddenly have a renewed interest in going to the top of the washington monument. we're very excited. that's what we're here for is to have this site open to the public. >> reporter: the $15 million restoration project for a while lit up washington skyline until the most soaring site in the nation's capital was back to the way it should be.
and you know that we don't take advantage of all our many tourist attractions here unless of course we have family in town. i will tell you that bob vogel of the national park service told me that getting up into the washington monument has become the hottest ticket in town when the website reopened to issue tickets he said 16,000 tickets went in 15 minutes but also this morning we have seen people line up at that office to get tickets for tours today. there are still tickets available today. i waited in that line this morning. look what i have. two tickets. i lived here for almost 13 years and i'm going to go up at 3:30 this afternoon. finally after all of this time. >> who are you taking with you? who is the lucky person? >> reporter: cnn producer is coming with me and he'll talk about it today on "the lead with jake tapper." >> that was wonderful.
erin mcpike reporting live. a rallying point for democrats and now some key republicans are breaking away from their party. up next, why democrats are not the only ones now calling for an increase to the federal minimum wage. hey. i'm ted and this is rudy. say "hi" rudy. [ barks ] [ chuckles ] i'd do anything to keep this guy happy and healthy. that's why i'm so excited about these new milk-bone brushing chews. whoa, i'm not the only one. it's a brilliant new way to take care of his teeth. clinically proven as effective as brushing. ok, here you go. have you ever seen a dog brush his own teeth? the twist and nub design cleans all the way down to the gum line, even reaching the back teeth. they taste like a treat, but they clean like a toothbrush. nothing says you care like a milk-bone brushing chew. [ barks ]
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>> i, for instance, as you know part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of the minimum raise. i think we ought to raise it because our party is all about more jobs and better pay and i think communicating that is important to us. >> say what? romney's comments come just two weeks after his own party blocked a bill in the senate that would have increased the federal minimum wage to more than $10 an hour. let's bring in cnn chief business correspondent christine romans. this is change of heart or has mr. romney always believed this? >> he's believed it and then he's been pushed back by conservatives in his party before and had to walk it back. now he's saying, look, if we want to be the party of regular joe and jane and we want to make sure that working people support our policies, we need to think about a higher minimum wage. you mention tim pawlenty, used to be the governor of minnesota, also rick santorum, the former
senator, he was on "state of the union" yesterday. listen to his distinction. >> i think governor romney came out in favor of president obama's increase. i'm not in favor of president obama's increase. when i was in the senate and house i voted for incremental increases that did not cost jobs. if you look at the cbo report, half a million people would lose their jobs as a result of the obama minimum wage increase. i'm talking more in the range of $1 phasing that in. >> so it's how you would implement it and not implement it is the distinction here for senator santorum. let's look at what americans say. 71% of americans support a minimum wage increase. when you look at republicans, you know, about half in a lot of different polls that we look at, a little over half of republicans support an increase and agreeing on the 10-10 minimum wage is what the president wants. a third agrees that's what the
level is it should be. you heard him talk about damage to the economy. you hear this a lot. i hear this over and over again from republicans and conservative economists. 500,000 people would lose their job. that's according to congressional budget office. but 900,000 people may be lifted out of poverty according to cbo. that's a tradeoff here. you put money in people's pockets but you might be taking a job away from someone to do so. this issue is not a dead issue. no question. you have companies already doing it. we heard from gap recently. trader joe's. costco. other companies said we pay higher than the minimum wage on principle and it's good business for us and you have states that are doing this too. states that already have a higher than $7.25 federal level minimum wage. 21 states. four states are set to join. oklahoma is a state i didn't put on the chart but they passed a law banning increasing the minimum wage, carol. >> interesting. interesting. christine romans, many thanks. still to come in the
"newsroom," donald and shelly sterling taking on the nba and each other as both fight to hang onto the los angeles clippers. is it all a little too late? i'll talk to a sports super agent that inspired jerry mcgwire to get his perspective. mine was earned in korea in 1953. afghanistan, in 2009. orbiting the moon in 1971. [ male announcer ] once it's earned, usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection. and because usaa's commitment to serve current and former military members and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me. donald and shelly sterling, the embattled elders of the l.a. clippers and estranged husband and wife each making their case to the public for why they should retain control of the team in the wake of donald sterling's racist rant. now in a cnn exclusive, donald sterling is breaking his silence and seeking forgiveness.
>> am i entitled to one mistake after 35 years? i mean, i love my league. i love my partners. am i entitled to one mistake? it's a terrible mistake and i'll never do it again. >> the vice president of the nba players association says players won't accept anyone in the sterling family owning the clippers, not you, not your wife, not your son-in-law, not your daughter, do you believe that? >> i don't know. the people that are going to decide my fate i think are not the media and not the players union but the nba. >> in the meantime, in an interview with abc, shelly sterling continued to distance herself from her husband speaking candidly about the man she's been married to for more than 50 years. >> it was horrible when i heard it. i mean, it was just degrading and it made me sick to hear it. but as far as a racist, i don't
really think he is a racist. >> have you discussed these remarks at all with your husband? >> he saw the tape. and he said i don't remember saying that. i don't remember ever saying those things. >> what did you think then? >> that's when i thought he has dementia. >> really? >> yeah. i don't love him. i pity him. i feel sorry for him. >> what's your relationship today with your husband? >> we're estranged. we've been estranged for about a year. >> why not divorce your husband? >> i've been thinking about it. i filed these divorce papers. i signed them. i was already to file. my attorney and my financial adviser said now is not the time. >> so let's talk about this cnn commentator and host and the
sports agent who inspired the film "jerry mcgwire" also a sports attorney. welcome to both of you. >> good to be here. >> good morning. you represented many pro athletes. as they listen to mrs. sterling, do you think it pulled at their heartstrings in any way? >> as he made those remarks after the saturday when the tape was released, i think he might have gotten a much more sympathetic hearing because you hear him pouring his heart out. the problem is he touched a third rail of race and this became the biggest issue and he became more villainized than any sports figure i've seened in years and it penetrated all of the way down to the man in the street and the president himself. so probably too little too late. the players won't accept this situation.
curiously, public opinion has started to show a sizable amount of people who don't want him to lose the team not because of anything to do with race but their perception that you ought to have the right to privacy and speak in your own house and express even a stupid opinion and people who don't like the way that the tape was released. here's the point. they don't understand the nba constitution. once the owners vote to terminate or revoke his franchise, gone are shelly's rights, gone are donald's rights. that franchise shifts to the stewardship of the nba. this is not a private business like buying a drugstore. this is something he bought with all of these rules and restrictions because it's a public entertainment. it's a very different set of rules. this is not like someone taking your local business. >> but that's not what shelly
sterling's attorney thinks at all. she says that the nba -- >> you can find an attorney -- >> go ahead. >> i understand you can find an attorney to argue any position in the world. i went to law school. that doesn't mean that it has any merit to it. the law here is clear. nba law. owners buy franchises knowing there are a set of rules and restrictions. she doesn't have a case. what happens is they vote and terminate donald's peripheral interests don't matter and league is running the franchise and they already put richard parsons, the ceo of time warner, former ceo, in place and it was a very popular move. >> very popular move. okay. mark, let's go back to donald sterling's interview. i asked anderson cooper why do you think he sat down to talk with you and what could he say anderson said donald sterling
wanted to apologize. he seemed sincere but he keeps bringing up magic johnson and it's really strange. >> it's a bizarre thing. on one hand he seems sincere. i suspect if you were to hook him to a polygraph machine and ask if he was racist, it would turn out he's not lying. he sees himself as an ordinary person operating within the confines of the culture. the problem is his behavior betrays his words. we can go back to the '80s and '90s and into the 2000s and every decade a major race based crisis around donald sterling's life and career. that's a big issue here. donald sterling sees a disconnect between what he says and does. the court of public opinion doesn't agree with him and every day people don't agree with that sentiment. he's pained right now. he's embarrassed. he's ashamed. i also think it's difficult for him to separate that feeling he has right now from the broader
sense of feelings he has about brown people and others. >> shelly sterling says that her husband is suffering from early onset dementia. is she saying that because she believes it or as a way to hold onto the team? >> i think the latter. how kind of a wife to characterize her long-term husband as suffering from dementia. this gets curiouser and curiouser like they said in "alice in wonderland." it takes place of prime time or daytime soap and drama. i truly believe him when he says he doesn't remember making those statements. one discussion out of many, many discussions and i agree with our other panelists he doesn't think he's a racist. he's reflecting some of the racial new orleans -- he's 80
years old. a long, long time ago. the whole society has changed. what we accept is different and race is a very toxic concept. the point is that the league granted donald sterling the right to own the team. not shelly sterling. and if she were to apply to be the owner, she would have to undergo the same background checks and owners would have to vote for her. it's donald sterling's team. the california marital assets doesn't have anything to do with it. he gets paid when they sell the team. she'll get paid her share. >> marc and leigh, thank you so much for your insight. i appreciate it. be sure to watch anderson's full interview with donald sterling tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. still to come in the "newsroom,"
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i'm looking at you phone company dsl. check your speed. see how fast your internet can be. switch now and add voice and tv for $34.90. comcast business built for business. some two months after flight 370 disappeared, the company that had the last known contact with the plane via satellite is offering to track global airlines for free. the offer applies to some 11,000 passengers planes equipped with the firm's satellite technology. imma immarsat made the offer this week. the focus on tracking flights comes as "the wall street journal" reports that searchers
believe pings detected on april 8th in the south indian ocean did not come from the missing plane's black boxes. those pings helped focus mission for search teams and giving hope to families that the wreckage would be found. the bluefin-21 will resume work today. the australian official in charge of the search talked with cnn about the next steps. >> do you think that something could be found within the next month? >> i guess what we're doing is pursuing the lead that we have at the moment and we need to pursue that lead to its conclusion. if we find something i'll be overjoyed. if we don't, we'll go to the next phase of the search. >> joining me now to talk about this, jeff wise, author of "extreme fear" and david is a
former faa inspector and author of "why planes crash." welcome, gentlemen. david, we have to talk about what "the wall street journal" is reporting this morning. the pings detected on april 8th, "wall street journal" says those sources say those pings may not be related at all to the black boxes. the pings on april 5th might be. can you parse that out for us? >> it's interesting this information that came out today about the fact that the second set of pings on april 8th were only 27. we were questioning 33 frequencies we got on pings number one and two. this puts into question a couple of different things in my mind. one is why did this information not come out before and two, again are they questioning or actually doing these searches because they think this is from
the airplane? from what we are hearing, they don't. there are other things that might create these sounds and it's very disturbing to me the fact that they are going back out with bluefin doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. >> jeff, let's talk more about this. what i got from this article, pings they picked up on april 8th were short in nature and didn't sound quite right. the pings picked up on april 5th were sustained for more than two hours. >> yeah. i mean, that itself can be problematic. are you asking me? >> yes, i am. >> go ahead, jeff. >> you know, that itself is problematic. these pingers only have a limited power output which means they can only be detected from a certain distance away from half mile to one mile or two miles. if the ship is moving along for two hours, that would imply perhaps that the pinger also is moving. it's very strange. there are different ways to parse this. just to reinforce what david was
saying, i agree with him absolutely. it's absolutely baffling that they are now coming out with this information that would really cast doubt on why they brought up and thought the pings were from the black box in the first place if the frequency was so different. why are we hearing about this now? >> is it a waste of time to send the bluefin back down? >> you know, at this point they're doing this as was said in the interview previous to this, we're going after that lead. i think what he means is that's the only lead they have. there is no other lead. if that isn't from the boxes, i think at this point they committed to it and they have to go back and keep searching especially where that long ping was up top because they really have no other choice other than to start searching the entire southern arc and the northern arc because immarsat data itself hasn't been released and we haven't had a second set of eyes verify that. >> why not bring in new
technology now? >> well, you know, as david is saying, it's not the question of using new technology to search the ocean bottom better. the question is it even on this patch of ocean bottom or indeed on any ocean bottom? you know, we really have to go back to first principles and i listen to immarsat people who are smart people working with highly sophisticated equipment but until we really understand what they're doing, it's hard to vouch for ethicacy of their approach. >> thanks for your insight as usual. still to come, a massive wildfire in texas has already destroyed close to 100 homes. even more homes now in danger. >> we're going to talk about dangerous conditions attributed to that fire yesterday. details coming up next. [ female announcer ] when you're serious about fighting wrinkles,
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right now firefighters in the texas panhandle are working to control a massive blaze north of amarillo. close to 100 homes have been destroyed. hundreds of residents have now been evacuated. officials say the blaze is about 75% contained but warn more evacuations might be necessary. let's check in with indra petersons. that's terrible. >> just look. yesterday afternoon you could see that strong frontal system did make its way through the region. the winds were shifting around the time the fire started and that wasn't even the worst. let's talk about conditions they saw yesterday during this time period. temperatures were into the upper 90s. we're talking about humidity down to single digits. only 5% at the time. in addition to that, we talk about winds gusting to 41 miles an hour. every condition possible favorable for fire development was out there. temperaturewise you'll see a nice drop. the winds are still expected to kick up through the afternoon today. that's going to be the biggest concern for firefighters in
addition to just the dry fuel that's out there. amarillo in exceptional drought. that only fuels those fires and those flames that are already out there. biggest news we have is temperature difference. yesterday you saw those temperatures into the upper 90s. today at least a 30-degree temperature drop and it should stay that way for the next several days. you still have dry brush out there and even strong winds will have to combat. at least temperatures are down. >> at least. indra petersons, many thanks. still to come, a short lived celebration at the top of the world. what happened to this climber after reaching the top of mount everest? the amazing story next. i make a lot of purchases for my business. and i get a lot in return with ink plus from chase
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to set foot on mt. everest is to risk death but nothing could have prepared one american climber when he made it to the top of the world's tallest mountain. brian describes what happens after he lost his vision on the dangerous summit while all by himself and running out of oxygen he was forced with the option to die or somehow find a way down. he spoke to cnn's anderson cooper about his amazing story. it's today's "american journey."
>> you were climbing with sherpa who got sick before you made the summit. what happened? >> yes. so at about 28,000 feet, we had a conversation. he was not feeling well. we were the only two people above the 26,000 feet which is very rare on everest these days. >> so you had a discussion with him. what did you decide? >> he said he wasn't feeling well. and at that moment, i had to make a decision. i'm going to solo mt. everest, solo the summit. >> people don't do that. >> no. >> how far did you have to go alone? >> the last 1,000 feet. >> and when you finally made it to the summit, was it everything you thought? >> i think you ask anyone who made the summit, they'll give you a different response. i was completely alone so it was very surreal. i was trying to take it in.
i made a radio call down. people below me were excited. it was hard to process it. two months to get there and i was there and i didn't have much time to take it in and i had to head down. >> you had broken your goggles going up? >> i dropped my goggles when i was taking my oxygen off to get a drink of water. they cracked and i ended up having to rip an internal lens out which i didn't realize at the time cut them in half basically. >> and explain why you need goggles up there. >> because there's only a third of the air and a third of the ozone. as soon as the sun comes out, it banks off the eyes and it will fry your corneas and you go snow blind. >> that's what happened to you? >> yeah. >> when did you realize you were starting to be blind? >> so with snow blindness when it happens, it happens. there's no turning back. you can be affected the day
prior and then it just happens. so as soon as i got to the summit, i took some pictures. i was heading down and then a couple steps into it everything just went bright white. >> you couldn't see at all. >> couldn't see at all. >> and your eyes were in pain as well? >> yeah. it feels like scratching the inside of your eyelids. it's very painful. not like blind where everything is black. it's snow blind. everything is bright white. >> you are all alone. just on the top of mt. everest. probably exhausted and suddenly you're blind. how do you get through that? >> the first thing i did as soon as i realized i was snow bilind i grab the rope i'm attached to. i'm blind at the highest part of the world and i'm completely alone. no one is coming to get me. the whole time i was there i felt this presence. if you closed your eyes, a peaceful presence the whole time. i never felt alone.
>> can you explain that more? what do you mean you didn't feel alone? >> i never felt alone? i felt like there was someone there with me the whole way up and down actually. >> how long did the snow blindness last for? >> i didn't get the eyesight back for a month and a half. >> has this changed you? this experience? >> definitely. it definitely puts things in perspective. >> incredible. a great story. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> glad he made it down. thank you for joining me today. i'm carol costello. "@ this hour" with berman and michaela starts now. donald sterling in his own words. finally telling his side of the story and telling it exclusively to cnn's anderson cooper. >> i'm wrong. i caused the problem.
i don't know how to correct it. >> then, the faces of some of those school girls kidnapped in nigeria. this just released video comes with demands from the terrorists who captured more than 200 girls. what will it take for boko haram to set these girls free? coordinator leading the search for missing flight 370 defends where searchers are looking despite a new report questioning two of the pings heard underwater last month. hello, everyone. i'm john berman. >> i'm michaela pereira. happy monday, everybody. it's 11:00 a.m. out east. 8:00 a.m. out west. that's the time. >> that is in fact the time. >> so many stories to get to. a busy news day. we want to talk about what's going on with the clippers. it's been a crazy weekend. up until now all we heard from donald sterling was this disembodied voice on the recording