Return to Transcripts main page


Police Catch Newark Airport Suspect; Grand Jury Investigates White House Party Crashers; Alleged Bomber in Court; Interview With Texas Congressman Ron Paul

Aired January 8, 2010 - 22:00   ET



Breaking news on two fronts tonight. Remember that guy who breached security at Newark Airport, brought the place to a halt, and then apparently got away? He's not a mystery anymore. He's in custody and being questioned tonight.

Also tonight, breaking the Salahis. They breached security at the White House. Now a grand jury wants answers, and criminal charges could follow.

And, later, our "What's Next" series continues with a look at your future, at the future of your money. Personal finance guru Suze Orman is here talking about what the coming decade will mean for your bottom line and how you can prosper.

First up tonight, the breaking news.

Authorities tonight not only have a name for the guy caught here on tape breaching security at Newark Airport last Sunday. They also have the man himself. According to CNN affiliate WABC, he's a 28- year-old man by the name of Haison Jiang of Piscataway, New Jersey. He was taken into custody at his home this evening and is being questioned tonight.

You will recall the security incident shut down Newark's terminal C for hours. And authorities initially had trouble identifying the culprit, because TSA security cameras weren't even rolling. They were not recording.

Luckily, a Continental airlines camera picked up the breach. This is what it caused.

Some early perspective now from national security contributor Fran Townsend, former homeland security adviser to President Bush.

For having little to go on, other than this surveillance video, I mean, they found this guy relatively quickly, it seems.


And I think -- you know, remember Senator Lautenberg asked Continental to release publicly that video, so we could get the public's help in identifying him. Obviously, it worked. And when we -- when people wonder about why he's been taken into custody, when you look at that tape, Anderson, I'm not sure it's very clear, but you're looking partly, once you look at where the guard stand was, past that is a smaller sign you're looking at the back of. That warns you not to cross that line, that that's a security line. You're not to come in through the exit.

And I suspect that they're going to charge him with having breached that line.

COOPER: Yes. We're hearing from WABC that he's been charged with criminal trespass, that he's been released.


COOPER: It would seem to indicate that, clearly, he doesn't seem to pose much of a threat, that this was somebody who, for whatever reason, it seems like he was kissing a woman there or wanted to meet somebody, you know, decided to just duck through the line.

What's more interesting about this story is what that one little security breach, what it has wrought in terms of showing, not only that the TSA guy left his post, that the cameras weren't rolling. It points to a lot of failures.

TOWNSEND: No, that's right, Anderson, and many embarrassing failures that, frankly, the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security don't need, in the wake of the December 25 attempted bombing of the Northwest Airlines flight.

I think you're going to find they're going to double-check. It looks to me -- the guy, you know, he was -- they believed he left about 20 minutes after he breached that line. And I suspect he was saying goodbye to his girlfriend and just then left the airport.

But, look, I -- in some ways, it's good -- they're -- all airports ought to be checking their cameras now to make sure they're working. They ought to be putting in place a process to make ensure that those cameras are reviewed on a regular basis and those tapes are reviewed.

And, so, you know, this vulnerability, while this guy may not pose a threat, may cause TSA to be serious about its procedures.

COOPER: It is mind-boggling that, in an airport where some of the 9/11 hijackers actually left from, that security cameras could not be rolling, could not be recording, and that TSA representatives would not inform police of a breach of security like this for some time.

TOWNSEND: I think that's right, Anderson. And the notion that it took them 80 minutes -- I mean, I'm a little incredulous that it took them 80 minutes to notify anyone. That's the length of time, we're told, it took TSA to notify officials of this incident.

And, so, look, this is a real embarrassment. TSA is struggling. They have got an acting director, she's clearly not up to the job. And they -- their -- their nominee is in trouble, for both lying, and there's a union issue. And so...

COOPER: Yes. You know, to me, the unsung hero in this story is the -- is just the citizen who saw this guy jump through the queue and trespass basically and said something. This is -- so many people, this day and age, you know, just kind of will look the other way and just keep on walking.

Yes, this guy maybe didn't pose much of a threat, but because this citizen came forward, we now know of all these other problems that -- that would have been unknown heretofore.

TOWNSEND: Anderson, and it's worth, I think, pointing out, look, this is -- citizens came to the forefront and helped us with this one, the TSA breach in Newark.

And it was passengers who saved the Northwest Airlines flight.

COOPER: Right.

TOWNSEND: In the end, it's average Americans who see a problem and do something about it who are -- you know, for all the billions of dollars and trillions of dollars we spend on security, again, it's average Americans doing the right thing to protect themselves and their country. And I'm with you. They really are the heroes here.


COOPER: And, of course, the passengers who brought the plane down in Shanksville, they, of course, took matters into their own hands...


COOPER: ... another example of that.

Fran, thanks.


COOPER: We're going to talk more later in this hour about those White House party crashers. A grand jury has now been convened.

The breach, though, at Newark Airport happened just days after the Christmas bombing attempt. Today, the alleged bomber was in court. He's actually in that SUV right there heading into court. And he pled not guilty. He was in a federal courthouse in Detroit.

He's accused, of course, of smuggling those explosives sewn into that underwear aboard Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam -- never have a pair of underwear been so viewed around the world -- failing to detonate them on approach to Detroit.

He's being tried, like the shoe bomber Richard Reid was in criminal court, not before a military tribunal.

Senior legal at the Jeffrey Toobin joins us, along with national security analyst Peter Bergen, and Kirk Lippold, former commander of the USS Cole, which was of course attacked in Yemen.

Jeff, 22 Republican senators wrote to President Obama this evening complaining that this guy was being tried in criminal court, that he's not being tried in -- in military. What they're saying is, look, in a military investigation, he could be questioned for as long as necessary. Though the U.S. no longer tortures, he could -- you know, he couldn't just lawyer up, basically.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, in theory, that might be true, but, in fact, the rules aren't really that different between a criminal court and a military tribunal.

And the incredible advantage the government has in a criminal court is certainty. We don't know that the military tribunal system will be approved by the United States Supreme Court. No major cases have been prosecuted in a military tribunal since World War II. We know that, if he goes into the United States district court, he is going to come out with a life sentence without parole, and that will be the end of it. I think that's a safe and appropriate bet for the government to take.

COOPER: Commander Lippold, you think, though, he should handled by the military?


I mean, that argument that Jeffrey just made sounds real good, but the reality of it is, this administration has recognized that the military commission system has -- is a proper venue. They're going to take the principal conspirator for the attack on USS Cole and try him via the military commissions process.

I doubt the administration would do that, especially after the president met with those families in February and looked them in the eye and said that they would see justice served, put the principal conspirator through a process that they didn't believe would work and, in fact, render the verdict that we need to see.

COOPER: Commander, do you think it was a mistake to try Richard Reid in -- in criminal court, which he was, and he was convicted, and he's serving time?

LIPPOLD: I think you have to look at the time he was tried. When Richard Reid was tried, we did not have a fully up legal operating and legally tested military commission system.

It has undergone some of the legal challenges and scrutiny that are necessary for it to function properly. Congress has looked at it. They have tightened it up a little bit to make sure that it could withstand what they view as the necessarily litmus tests to pass Supreme Court scrutiny, And that hopefully it will withstand that type of look and be able to successfully prosecute some of these terrorists that deserve to be tried via that system when they get out of Guantanamo.

COOPER: Peter, where do you stand on all this? I mean, the argument goes, if this guy has information that's time-sensitive about possibly other folks out there who may be trained along with him or he knows about others who are receiving similar training, authorities want to get that information out as quickly as possible.

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, there's no enhanced interrogation techniques now, so, I mean, I think that -- that argument is sort of moot. If he doesn't want to talk or cooperate in a military tribunal, that's also his option.

But, I mean, I'm really with Jeffrey on this. You know, in Guantanamo, we have had 800 Guantanamo prisoners. There have been three successful prosecutions in the past eight years there. Commander Lippold, of course, is correct that the system has sort of been improved there.

But, I mean, why -- why even bother with the military system, when you know that you're going to get life without parole in the civilian court, and you don't have the whole question of sort of undermining our own credibility by going to a system that really doesn't, at least around the world, certainly, is seen as not credible, compared to just a regular civilian court?

It's just -- it's an unnecessary move. And, basically, I don't think it would be politically particularly useful.

COOPER: I want to hear more from Commander Lippold and Jeffrey and Peter in a moment. But just stay right there. We're going to continue with the conversation after a quick commercial break.

Also, we want to talk more about the handling of this alleged bomber.

And, also, Sarah Palin tonight turning down an invitation from establishment conservatives and accepting one from the tea party movement. We're going to talk to Congressman Ron Paul about her move and the tea parties movement's pact. Could the tea party become a viable third party in the United States?


COOPER: We're back talking about the fight against al Qaeda, as an alleged follower enters a not guilty plea to six charges in the attempted murder of nearly 300 airline passengers on Christmas Day.

Continuing the conversation now with Jeffrey Toobin, Peter Bergen, and Commander Kirk Lippold, former commander of the USS Cole.

Jeff, you thought this guy -- the other day, you said you thought this guy was going to plead guilty.

TOOBIN: I still do.

COOPER: But he has pleaded not guilty.

TOOBIN: Well, just -- just in the first initial appearance. His lawyer will want to work this case slowly, let the passions cool for a while, try to work out some sort of deal. I don't think the government is going to give him anything other than life without parole, but maybe some sort of deal where he gets some access to his family or access -- you know, he doesn't have to be in the absolute maximum security prison in Florence.

But the fact that he didn't plead guilty today doesn't mean he's not going to plead guilty down the road. Richard Reid didn't plead guilty at his initial appearance either, but he ultimately pled guilty. Look, there's no defense in his case. They can't go to trial on this evidence.

COOPER: Peter, do you think, if Osama bin Laden is caught -- and let's hope that happens, and happens soon -- do you think he should be put on trial in federal court in Lower Manhattan, or do you think he should be handed over to the military?

BERGEN: I mean, I think it's not going to happen. I mean, by bin Laden's own account, he's -- his bodyguard is tasked with the task of killing him if it appears he will be captured. And he has said repeatedly that he wants to go out in a sort of cloud of jihadist glory.

And I -- and, by the way, the U.S. government has gamed this out already. They don't want to capture him. There's a very good reason for this, which is, if you think back to the Sheik Rahman, who's the Egyptian radical who has been in jail for a long time, springing Sheik Rahman from prison is one of al Qaeda's sort of underlying rationales for its attacking the United States.

If you had Osama bin Laden in an American jail, you would have Americans kidnapped all around the world repeatedly, in an effort to get him sprung from jail. And, so, people who are actually involved in the hunt for bin Laden have told me specifically that, as early as 2003, they already gamed this out. There is no capture option with bin Laden.

COOPER: Interesting.

Commander, do you think we have dropped the ball over the last, you know, many years since -- since the Cole was attacked in 2000, basically dropped the ball in Yemen in terms of -- you know, in Yemen, they say, well, look, we have been warning about the presence of al Qaeda for a long time. The government there clearly is not control of their borders, let alone much of their country.

Have successive American governments not paid enough attention to Yemen?

LIPPOLD: I don't think we have.

If you look at Cole, it's a classic example of the disconnect that you get between administrations and national security policy. One administration felt constrained to act and did nothing. Another administration came in and said, we're forward-looking, not backward- acting. Nothing was done. And it really wasn't until after the 9/11 attacks that Yemen began to truly cooperate with us -- with the Cole investigation, and give us some of the evidence we needed to track down people and hold them accountable, like al-Nashiri, allow us to build the intelligence to go after al-Harithi, who was killed in Yemen by U.S. drone attack.

And it's also allowed us, the Yemenis' government in sharing of evidence, to capture al-Badawi, who, unfortunately, they have turned loose as a demonstration of their non-commitment to terrorism.

But, after that, we essentially lost interest as Afghanistan grew in stature and became the focal point of the war on terror. And, consequently, we have been able to see it grow to a point where now it presents a clear and present danger to our interests.

COOPER: Jeff, when do you think this guy is actually going to go to trial?

TOOBIN: I don't think he will go to trial at all.

COOPER: You think...


TOOBIN: I think he will plead guilty in the -- in the next couple months, probably some time by the spring. I don't think you will ever see a trial in this case.

COOPER: All right, Jeff Toobin.

Commander Kirk Lippold, always good to have you on.

Peter Bergen, as well, thank you.

Still ahead, we're following the breaking news about the White House party crashers. A grand jury has been convened, is reportedly issuing subpoenas. We have new information coming in about the pair and what criminal charges they could face. That's ahead.

And what does the future look like for your finances? We're going to ask Suze Orman about the outlook for next year and the decade ahead, part of our series "What's Next" -- coming up.


COOPER: The alleged Christmas bomber trained in Yemen. President Obama says we have to work with Yemen to fight al Qaeda and stop the next would-be bomber. It's easier said than done.

Paula Newton found that out firsthand when she was visited a school in Yemen run by a man the U.S. considers to be a terrorist who has publicly called for jihad against Israel, now, the very same man who is both esteemed and respected in Yemen, which is why the government there has not investigated the school you're about to see.

Here's Paula's "360 Dispatch." (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab disappeared somewhere in Yemen for more than two months just before the Christmas Day attack.

Investigators want to know, did he head the call to prayer coming from the hills above Yemen's capital, the prayers at Al-Iman University. The Islamic haven has helped Yemen earn its reputation as an incubator of extremism. But the students who pray here now say the university has been made a scapegoat, and what Abdulmutallab is accused of doing is wrong.

"It's against Islam," they say. "Those thoughts go against Islam."

Al-Iman's leader is Sheikh Abdel Majid al-Zindani, a provocative cleric with a flaming beard. To the U.S., he's a terrorist, accused in 2004 of supplying weapons to al Qaeda. In Yemen, he is a free and very influential man.

(on camera): Sheikh Zindani has so far denied our request for an interview, but he has allowed us to come here and basically get a sense of what the university is like. He's built it from the ground up since the early '90s.

(voice-over): Every year thousands of Islamic students from Yemen, Africa and around the world are cocooned in this compound, studying their faith, but also instilled with a strident defense of that faith.

Last year, Zindani made a public plea that millions of young men should be recruited to fight jihad against Israel.

(on camera): Was Abdulmutallab here?

(voice-over): The answer is, "We don't think so." But more telling, still?

(on camera): Did they come here to investigate after the attack?

ISMAIL AL-SUHAILI, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, AL-IMAN UNIVERSITY (through translator): To my knowledge, no security and no investigation teams came here. Nobody thought that Abdulmutallab was here.

NEWTON: Yemeni authorities have taken a hands-off approach to this university. In Yemen, it is highly respected, its leader admired. It won't be easy for investigators to find out if Abdulmutallab was here during those mysterious two months.

Paula Newton, CNN, Sanaa, Yemen.


COOPER: All right. Let's get caught up on some other important stories we're following.

Erica Hill has a 360 news and business bulletin.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, two men linked to an alleged al Qaeda associate accused of plotting to attack New York City with homemade bombs are now under arrest. Both men had been under surveillance. One suspect pleaded has not guilty to charges he lied to the FBI about a trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The other suspect is due in court tomorrow.

President Obama today unveiling a plan to create 17,000 green jobs. The program will provide $2.3 billion in tax credits for the clean energy manufacturing sector. That money comes from the $787 billion American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

And, in the South, a dangerous mix of ice and snow turning roads into sheets of ice, making driving difficult, to say the very least -- at least nine deaths across the country blamed this week on the severe weather.

And, in Florida, it's actually so cold, freezing iguanas spotted falling out of trees -- seriously. It turns out, scientists say, the iguanas aren't trying to commit suicide or harm themselves because of the cold. They actually hibernate. So, when the temperature drops below 40 degrees, the iguanas' bodies essentially turn off.

COOPER: Yikes.

HILL: It allows their hearts to pump the blood. And, then, when temperatures rise again, the iguanas revive. Interesting.


COOPER: It happens to me as well.

HILL: Yes, when you get below 40, or is it more like 32?



HILL: There's a new battle in the hummus wars in the Middle East. The winner in the Arab Israeli village of Abu Gosh, which broke the record for the world's largest plate of hummus.


HILL: I hope you're hungry. The monster dip weighs more than four tons. It includes two-and-a-half tons of chick peas, one-and-a- half tons of sesame paste, hundreds of freshly squeezed lemons, and a vat of crushed garlic.


HILL: I didn't see the truckload of pita, but it can't be far behind.


COOPER: Yes, and, hopefully, a truckload of like mouthwash, also, for all the garlic.

HILL: Yes.

COOPER: For our regular viewers of this program, you're going to want to stick around until the end of the program tonight. Erica and I have a big announcement to make, a very important announcement. So, I hope you stick around for that.

Sarah Palin's power play is coming up, agreeing to speak at the first ever Tea Party National Convention -- what her decision means for her party and future. We're going to talk live with former presidential candidate Ron Paul next.

Also, though, following the breaking news on that couple that crashed the White House state dinner, the Salahis. A federal grand jury has been convened to determine whether criminal charges should be brought. We will have the latest on the story -- coming up.


COOPER: "Raw Politics" tonight: Sarah Palin making big political news on two fronts. Palin has reportedly decided to skip the upcoming CPAC conference, which is a major event for conservatives, especially those seeking the White House. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Governor Bobby Jindal and others have been invited to speak.

Palin was asked to be a speaker, but turned it down. At the same time, Palin's agreed to be the paid keynote speaker of the first ever National Tea Party Convention. That's taking place next month in Nashville. She's apparently, according to political observers, sending a message to her party and her base, but those messages are being interpreted differently, of course, by different groups.

With us now is Ron Paul, Republican congressman and a former presidential candidate.

Congressman, appreciate you being with us.

REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: Thank you.

COOPER: What do you make of -- of Sarah Palin's decision to -- to not go to CPAC, but, instead, go to this first ever Tea Party Convention?

PAUL: Well, I don't think -- I don't think I could make a whole lot out of it. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens. I have been invited to CPAC. I'm -- I'm going to attend that. And I think that's a good function for a conservative Republican.

But, exactly what she's up to, I don't know. And once you get paid for something, it's a little bit different. As a member of Congress, I don't get paid, so I make my decisions in a different manner.

COOPER: What do you make of -- of the tea party? I mean, it's -- it's clearly, I mean, in a very short amount of time, you know, grown, gotten a lot of attention. What do you make of it, as you observe it?

PAUL: Well, I think it's very interesting. I think it's very, very important.

I feel, in many ways, that our campaign in the presidential race was part of this, because it was, more or less, the first tea party. That was the day they raised so much money for me. And it looks like what has happened is, a lot of people love the tool, the tool of the tea party.

But I think -- I don't think it's a monolith in any way. I think there are a lot of different groups coming together trying to get out in front. They know there's a lot of people out there who want change and they want different government and they're angry at Republicans and Democrats. And then certain individuals are sort of trying to get out in front and lead this charge.

But I don't think it -- it represents one single group of people. For instance, when I go to the college campuses, I'm looking for groups that come out, and I want to talk to them about personal liberty. I want to have them talk about sound monetary policy. And I emphasize foreign policy a whole lot.

And some of these tea parties will emphasize and talk about it, but some of them totally ignore it. And -- But I'm more choosy about what I want to do, because the things That I have been talking about for 30 years -- and especially these last two years -- are important to me. And I believe sincerely they're important to the country, so I'm going to keep pursuing those goals.

And they don't fit neatly into every package. I mean, everybody that attends a tea party isn't going to necessarily say, oh, I agree with everything that Ron Paul says.

And I think that might be true of Palin or anybody else.


PAUL: And I think it's too early to sort all this out.

COOPER: Well, I mean, I thought one of the things that was so fascinating and important about your running for the president was a lot -- when you talked to your supporters, they were people who were -- maybe before Democrats or independents or Republicans, it seemed to be kind of a -- you know, putting aside part, and it was really about ideas and specific issues. And there was this energy.

And I do get the same sense from talking to people, you know, who go to tea party rallies that it's maybe people who haven't even been involved in politics in a very extensive way, but who are mobilized in a way. Do you think they can become a third party? I mean, there are those who are saying -- you know, there's now those who are saying there are tea party candidates, and they hope that it can become, you know, a viable third party. Do you -- do you think that's possible?

PAUL: Well, it's always possible. It's not likely, because of all the laws biased against third parties.

But I think you're right that people are coming in and joining, and they don't necessarily all have the same views. And I think that's what's happening, is, it's being sorted out. I don't think that you can have one party.

And, you know, I have tried to promote the ideas of liberty as an independent and libertarian, and it's very, very difficult, because, you know, you don't get on the debates. You don't get coverage. You don't get on ballots. And we -- we have a very biased system. We don't have a real democratic system, because many of us have come to the conclusion -- and this tea party movement would agree with me on this -- that they don't get a fair shake with the two-party system.

And they're tired of Republicans and they're tired of Democrats. And, therefore, the two parties are the same. I have been complaining for all along they really don't have a different foreign policy. I mean, how did the foreign policy change under Obama? We were supposed to see some changes. How has it changed on personal liberties? No. I mean, we still have big government spying on Americans.

Has monetary policy changed? I think we're making little inroads there with my efforts on auditing the Fed. But, basically, the leaders of both parties support the big issues. And I think the American people are catching on, because they're facing a bankruptcy. They know the federal government can't deliver the goods anymore. And the people are getting worried. No matter where -- which spectrum they're coming from, they know that the federal government is not able to deliver the goods anymore.

COOPER: Do you see anyone on the Republican side that excites you for 2012? And if not, or even if you do, are you planning to run again?

PAUL: Well, I think it's too early. I haven't said no, but I don't have any plans to do it. You know what kind of a job that is for somebody. I'm just going to take a year at a time. I'm up for re-election.

But I feel like I'd do the same thing, steady, constantly over 30 years' period, promoting one issue: personal liberty. And to me that was what America was all about: the Constitution, limited government, property rights. And that's where our prosperity comes from.

So I think it's a great philosophy, and there's such a need now to go back to the beliefs that we once had. And that, to me, means you have to change foreign policy, and you have to change the concept of personal liberty in the free market. And that's what I work on, and I do it in the party and out of the party and education. But ultimately, I have a lot more respect for education than I do for the politicians. Politicians really don't change the world. It's only the ideas that change the world. And that's what I work in mostly.

COOPER: I've asked a lot of potential candidates that question about whether they're going to run again, and they always have a cutesy answer. I think you had the most honest answer, where you said, "I haven't said no." You're thinking about it, but you haven't made up your mind.

Appreciate it. Congressman Paul, appreciate you being on the program. Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you, good to be with you.

COOPER: All right. Monday we're going to take a look inside the battle for the White House. We're going to talk to the authors of a new book on the 2008 presidential campaign, a fascinating book called "Game Change."

It reveals details in the turmoil in the McCain camp over Sarah Palin. Also a lot of interesting stories about what was going on in the Hillary Clinton campaign, as well as Senator Edwards' campaign and then-Senator Obama's campaign. I'm going to talk with the authors on Monday.

We also -- I also already interviewed McCain's former top strategist about Sarah Palin and about what was going on in the McCain campaign and why they pivoted from Senator Lieberman at the last minute to Sarah Palin.

Here's some of what he said about the preparation for the debate.


STEVE SCHMIDT, FORMER MCCAIN CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: He told us that the debate was going to be a debacle of historic and epic proportions. He told us she was not focused. She was not engaged. She was really not participating in the prep.


COOPER: That was Steve Schmidt, former campaign strategist for Senator McCain, the top McCain strategist. Also talked to Democratic Senator Nelson about some things going on with the Obama campaign and Hillary Clinton's campaign. It's going to be on "60 Minutes" on Sunday. We'll have the program on Monday here on 360.

Let us know what you think tonight. Join the live chat at I've been having some computer problems, so I haven't logged on yet. But I will in a moment.

Breaking news up next. CNN has learned a grand jury is investigating the Washington socialites who crashed President Obama's first state dinner. Did they lie to the government about how they got in?

And our "What's Next" series continues with personal financial expert Suze Orman giving advice like only she can.


SUZE ORMAN, PERSONAL FINANCE EXPERT: Go to your cookie jar, and there's no cookies in your cookie jar. You can't have a cookie.


COOPER: Hear what she thinks is next for the economy.

And you're going to want to stick around for a big announcement Erica Hill and I have for you. It will be a big announcement that we'll have at the end of the program tonight. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Breaking news tonight on the now infamous couple who managed to crash President Obama's first state dinner. Federal grand jury has been convened to investigate whether the Salahis lied to government officials about how they got into the November 24 dinner without an invitation.

Two witnesses, stylists who helped the Salahis get ready for the dinner -- yes, they needed stylists -- have been subpoenaed to testify.

We're joined once again by CNN national security contributor and former Bush homeland security adviser Fran Townsend.

Fran, I want to ask you to comment on their style or their stylists. What do you know about this grand jury?

FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Anderson, what we're hearing now is -- and it's not a surprise, frankly -- that investigators are trying to pull into this grand jury information that will help them to understand how did the Salahis pull this off?

So in doing that, of course, what you want to do is look at what were their activities earlier that day? What were they saying to people as they prepared to go to this? Because, of course, it's very interesting.

You had on Irwin Gomez, one of the individuals reported to have gone into the grand jury. She didn't have an appointment. She didn't book until the last minute. Very unusual. Because of course, people plan for weeks and months their attendance, what they're going to wear, how they're going to prepare. And all of this is an indication that they weren't invited, or arguably, it's an indication they weren't invited.

COOPER: I understand they also had camera crews with them at the -- when they were getting styled. Would those videotapes be subpoenaed? Is that something that they can do?

TOWNSEND: Sure, they'll subpoena all of that. They'll subpoena -- in fact, there had been reports that investigators had asked to look at those tapes and to look sort of at the outtakes, as we call them. And I imagine investigators have looked at all of that.

You know, you can gather information. Not everything here necessarily put into the grand jury, but you would look at things like bank records, phone records, receipts, videotapes. All of that would go in.

COOPER: What kind of charges could they be facing?

TOWNSEND: Well, probably the most serious, Anderson -- of course, there could be trespassing onto the White House grounds -- but more serious than that would be the lie, the lie to federal agents.

When they approached the gate they were no doubt asked to not only identify themselves but, if their name wasn't on the list, they would have been asked if they were invited.

And so no doubt, you'll have the uniform division Secret Service agents who were there at the gate and talk to them in the grand jury -- certainly interviewed, potentially, in the grand jury, as well as the individuals who were at the party, the other guests that the Salahis are pictured with as you're showing. They will certainly all be interviewed, and some may be asked to testify before a grand jury.

COOPER: I should point out this story was broken by "The Washington Post." I think Politico is also reporting it right now.

Frank, we appreciate you sticking around for the breaking news. Thanks so much.

Coming up next, Suze Orman speaking out about what's next and what you need to know for your finances in 2010.

And Scott Roeder, the man accused of killing abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, may have a new defense to avoid life in prison. Details on that, ahead.


COOPER: We've been looking into the future in our "What's Next" series. And tonight we tackle a subject on everyone's minds. What's ahead financially in the next year, in the next decade?

2009 was brutal for a lot of people. Many saw personal finances implode. More than 15 million Americans right now are out of work. Personal finance expert, best-selling author Suze Orman was the obvious choice for this interview. Her book, "Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny" is now out in paperback.

Suze, thanks for being with us.

ORMAN: Any time, Anderson. COOPER: As you look at what's next, I mean, for someone sitting out there watching tonight, what is -- what should be next for them in terms of their personal finances for the year ahead? What should they do?

ORMAN: Depends on their situation. Listen. And how many times have we sat here? Some people were touched by what happened in 2008/2009. Some people, they still feel like nothing's gone on.

However, you still need to be careful. I don't care who you are, what you have going on. Everybody will need an eight-month emergency fund. Everybody needs to be out of credit-card debt. Everybody needs to get involved with their money. We can no longer be like, "Oh, I'm going to sleep, and it will be OK."

No, you have got to watch it. You have got to invest it. You have to trust yourself more than you trust others. You can't go out there and just think some financial adviser's going to have your best interests at heart. You have got to learn from the past as we walk into the future.

COOPER: Are we moving toward an increasingly cashless society, to people just using credit cards more and more and debit cards?

ORMAN: I don't think so. Here's the thing. If this had never happened, yes, we would have been a society that we never, ever, ever touched cash. One of the reasons we got into trouble, Anderson, is because we were a plastic society. We never touched money anymore.

COOPER: so you think people should get in touch with cash?

ORMAN: Yes. I have this movement called the back to cash movement. Touch your cash. Go out there. Take an amount of money from your ATM and just spend money. So we need to start touching our money to get back in touch with money.

COOPER: When you actually are holding cash, I think you spend less because, I mean, it feels much more real than just putting it on a card.

ORMAN: Listen, you go to your cookie jar and there's no cookies in your cookie jar, you don't have a cookie. When it comes to money, it used to be it doesn't matter if there's nothing in your bank account. If you had credit on your credit card you could still spend those financial cookies. You could have dough, so to speak.

That's kind of good. Financial dough.

Anyway, the truth of the matter is, with the credit crisis now, a lot of people don't have access to even credit cards anymore, so they have to spend cash. I will forever think if we could just start touching cash -- line up your dollars, ones, fives, tens, 50s, whatever it is. Just spend what you have. Oh, you will save a lot of money.

COOPER: We've got a viewer question. Mary asks, "Last year when the recession hit you advised people to not pay down credit cards too much in order to conserve cash. Are you still advising this?"

ORMAN: Today this is what I think. If you have a credit union credit card, credit unions aren't going to close you down. Credit unions, if they're federally chartered, oh, they can't charge you more than 18 percent. You should all have a credit union credit card.

If you have a credit union credit card then I'm fine with you starting to pay down your credit card and be OK with not saving cash.

If you are going to stay at some of these major banks like Citibank, Chase, Bank of America. I know, everybody freaks when I say those names. But those three banks should be so ashamed of themselves, Anderson. I can't even begin to tell you.

COOPER: Are there trends that you see coming down the pike that people should be aware of in terms of personal finance?

ORMAN: I think you're going to find that the role of financial advisers, while they're still very important, good financial advisers are worth their weight in gold.

But more and more people are going to want to do it themselves, and they're going to be able to do it themselves because of technology. Because the cost is going to decrease. And a lot of things are going to be free that people have charged. I think the trend is going to be to do it yourself, people. Do it yourself.

COOPER: We've been asking this question to everyone who's involved in the "What's Next" series. What are three items you can't live without?

ORMAN: One thing I could absolutely not do without is my K.T. Second thing I couldn't do without is money. Are you kidding?

COOPER: You're the only person who has said money so far.

ORMAN: Well, all these other things that they want to buy and they have, they couldn't buy without money. So, you know, let's get real, everybody. Money.

And I think the third thing that I couldn't do without, it's a tossup between my Crest White Strips for my teeth and maybe my reading glasses.

COOPER: Isaac Mizrahi said orthotics.

ORMAN: There you go, but you see, I don't walk that much. I just get in the car and go out.

COOPER: Suze Orman, thanks.

ORMAN: Any time.

COOPER: All right, coming up next, a daring jump. Take a look at this sky diver, setting a world record from a building. Amazing. And news of the late-night shakeup inspired us to create our own top ten list with -- in homage of David Letterman. Stay tuned for tonight's "Shot" and David Gergen's cameo.

A big announcement coming up at the end of the show. A hint: it involves the talented woman sitting next to me. We'll be right back.


COOPER: As always, we're following other important stories tonight. Erica Hill has a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, a Kansas judge has ruled a man accused of killing abortion doctor George Tiller can present evidence that he thought the slaying was necessary to save unborn babies. That ruling allows Scott Roeder's attorneys to argue for a voluntary manslaughter conviction.

He faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder. If convicted of manslaughter, the sentence could be closer to five years. That trial starts Monday.

A judge court will hear charges that Shell Oil is responsible for environmental damage in Nigeria. Farmers and fishermen in the Nai-jur Delta -- or Niger, depending -- have accused the company of polluting farmland and fisheries.

Shell says the oil leaks in the area, though, are not its responsibility. It blames guerilla groups that control much of the oil.

And in Dubai, a new world record at the world's new tallest building. Two men breaking the record for the world's highest base jump after parachuting from the top of the Burj Khalifa tower. Just watching it really creeps me out.

COOPER: Yes, unbelievable.

HILL: The tower opened Monday. It's more than 2,700 feet tall.

COOPER: Ai, yi, yi. Hate watching that.

All right, so -- sorry. Doing some stuff on the computer there. For tonight's "Shot"...

HILL: Are you on to the blog?

COOPER: ... some lighthearted fun at NBC's comedy shakeup. The network has reportedly decided to bring Jay Leno back to late night. David Letterman may be getting a kick out of all this. So we thought a Letterman-esque top 10 list seemed appropriate.

So here, then, are the top ten reasons why Leno's 10 p.m. show is having problems. We have some guests helping us out. So here then is the No. 10 reason that Leno's show is having problems.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Needs more breaking news or anchors with beards.


COOPER: All right. The No. 9 reason.


DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, as a senior political analyst for CNN and as a former White House adviser, I have to tell you, I don't have a clue.


COOPER: Now, the No. 8 reason.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Because, Anderson, it's not the Rick Sanchez show. Por que, Anderson. Rick Sanchez.


HILL: I think he tweeted that one, as well. Didn't he?

COOPER: The No. 7 reason why Leno's 10 p.m. show is having trouble.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Jay Leno, who the hell is Jay Leno?


COOPER: And the No. 6 reason.


ORMAN: He's not the silver fox I want to be with at 10.


COOPER: The No. 5 reason.


PETER BERGEN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: If only he'd interviewed bin Laden. Then maybe he might have had a chance.



COOPER: And the No. 4 reason.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who wants to watch a network that doesn't advertise Ped Eggs, Snuggies, or Slankets?


COOPER: Bob, excellent.

HILL: Hello, Bob.

COOPER: No. 3 reason.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Because Jay Leno can't do this.




HILL: He did it!

COOPER: Tom Foreman. The No. 2 reason.

HILL: There's a back story there.

COOPER: Yes, exactly.

HILL: We're happy that Tom didn't break anything or bleed.

COOPER: This is a video. No. 2 reason, that Leno's crew doesn't have dance moves like our crew.




COOPER: Erica joins us with the No. 1 reason Leno's 10 p.m. Show is having trouble -- Erica.

HILL: Because frankly, Anderson, Americans watch this show at 10 because everyone knows sooner or later you will dance.

COOPER: No, no. I'm not going to dance.

All right, so I said we had a big announcement to make involving Erica. And just a couple words on that.

In television news every now and then, if you're really lucky, you find yourself working with someone who's smart and who's funny and who's a truly decent person. And on this program, I've been working with such a person for the last couple years. Of course, I'm talking about Erica Hill.

Erica's changed a lot since I first met her. In fact, this is how she looked that first day that I saw her. I'll never forget it. It was in the CNN commissary. Seems just like yesterday. There she was, bright eyed, big-haired, young lady getting her start at news. She was lost and -- oh, truth is I made that entire part up.

But the truth is, the first time that Erica and I interacted together on air I knew I'd found someone who I wanted to work with every night. And it's been one of the great pleasures of my professional career to be with Erica on this program.

She can not only take a gentle joke. She can throw one right back at me. That's because she is smart and sharp and is confident enough in her own abilities that she doesn't need to be anyone but who she really is. And in TV news that is a rare thing, indeed.

I bring all this up because, with a heavy heart, this is Erica's last night on this program. She's moving on to an exciting future at CBS News. And while I'm very happy for her and her entire family, it is with a very heavy heart that I say good-bye.

I cannot imagine doing this program without Erica Hill, and I cannot really express how much I'm going to miss you. I speak for a lot of people here at CNN, Erica's a rare talent, and I feel lucky to have been able to work with her and laugh with her and learn from her for so long.

So, Erica, thank you very much. And I will miss you and, yes, we're all going to miss you an awful lot.

Here's a look at some of our funnier moments.


COOPER: Erica Hill from Headline News joins us at about a quarter past with the latest.

Hey, Erica.

HILL: Hey, Anderson.

That's right. The world famous Times Square naked cowboy.

COOPER: This is Erica Hill.


HILL: I love you, too, Oscar. This is going to work out very well.

COOPER: I found this picture of you from your first day here. That's a mullet to beat all mullets.

HILL: Not a mullet.

COOPER: Looks like one of those toys that kids play with, the Why? What are those things?

HILL: The Wii?

COOPER: The Wii.

HILL: Coming up next, it's time for something a little different.

COOPER: Oh, no.

HILL: Well, you know, if you didn't work your birthday, you wouldn't have this problem. No one to blame but yourself. There's a lot of love for you, Anderson.

COOPER: It is. Is it a Why -- is it a Wii?

HILL: It's a Wii. Better yet, Anderson Cooper, this way, please. Oh, yes. Come on.

It's a workout.

COOPER: This is a workout?

HILL: Yes. You're going to go home and figure it out.

COOPER: I actually used to collect snakes as a kid.

HILL: You did? So you learn something new about Anderson Cooper every day.

COOPER: Erica, would you like to hold it?

HILL: No thank you.

COOPER: Really?

HILL: No, really, I'm sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Richard Heene, science detective.

HILL: What do you think? Who should the Obamas get for a dog? What do you think? One of you? Yes?

I'm sure this comes as a shock because of my spiked hair. I loved Poison. Loved.

COOPER: Really?

HILL: Yes.


HILL (singing): Richard Heene, science detective RICHARD SIMMONS, FITNESS EXPERT: Anderson, Erica, I'm here in the studio.

HILL: About time, I should say.

SIMMONS: How's it going?

HILL: It's about time. We've been waiting.

SIMMONS: This is so exciting.

HILL: The problem was you just didn't have the right attire. So today I went out and got a little something.

COOPER: Really?

HILL: I think purple is good. And I got you a matching head band.

You want me to help you?

COOPER: I'm panicked.

HILL: This is Indiana right here.


HILL: It's all about teamwork at CNN.

You don't eat (ph). You don't call. You don't write.

Introduce you to all of my friends here.

COOPER: What was your first concert?

HILL: You know what? You asked me earlier, and I thought it was Janet Jackson, "Rhythm Nation 1814," because I won tickets on the radio baby sitting. But then I remembered I went to see Peter, Paul and Mary with my dad.

COOPER: Really? OK.

HILL: You can't define me. You can't put me in a box, Anderson Cooper.


HILL: There's so much more to me.

COOPER: You're full of surprises.

Rock on, Erica Hill, rock on.



HILL: That was good stuff.


HILL: I promised I wouldn't do any crying. I promised that earlier, but it is -- thank you, Anderson, and everyone here, the crew and the crew behind the scenes, the crew that you see dancing every night, and the crew that controls is. Really is just an amazing place to work.

And Anderson, I am so thankful that you made me a part of it for so long. I can't do much more, because then I'll break my promise not to cry.

But it was a very -- a very tough decision to leave, but you know that I'm -- I'm not going to be far. And I sincerely hope it's not the last time we work together. We're a good team.

COOPER: We are, indeed. And I have no doubt we'll work together and have lunch together and...

HILL: I look forward to that. You know, though, we've never had lunch, Anderson.

COOPER: That's true. We haven't.

HILL: What if we have nothing to talk about?

COOPER: I know. I don't know what we would talk about unless someone was videotaping it. Then I'm sure we'd have lots...

HILL: We'd have plenty to talk about at that point. Just don't like Kelly Ripa more than me. OK? I mean, I like her but don't like her more than me.

COOPER: Well, you both have special places in my heart.


COOPER: But sincerely, thank you so much for all you've done. And I mean, there's a lot of very sad people around here today, but we know you're going on to great things, and we wish you the best.

HILL: Thank you.

COOPER: All right.

We're going to -- we'll have more news at the top of the hour. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Good evening. Breaking news on two fronts tonight. Remember that guy who breached security at Newark Airport, brought the place to a halt and then apparently got away? He's not a mystery anymore. He's in custody and being questioned tonight.

Also tonight, breaking the Salahis. They breached security at the White House. Now a grand jury wants answers, and criminal charges could follow.