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Pentagon Brass Slam War Logs Leak; Auto Industry is in Need of Boost; Private Tour of the White House; Hotly Debated Arizona Law Goes Into Effect, Amid Protests, Lawsuits

Aired July 31, 2010 - 18:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR, THE SITUATION ROOM: Protests, arrests and uncertainty in Arizona. The state's controversial immigration law goes into effect but without some key provisions. This hour, what's next in the courts and on the streets?

Also more than 100 days of disaster. The worst spill in U.S. history marks a milestone. And we're asking the tough questions about how and why so much oil seems to have vanished.

And art in the White House from every angle; join me on a fascinating tour of historic paintings, antiques and decor, that presidents get to see and enjoy every day.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Arizona's controversial immigration law went into effect as scheduled this week. Minus key provisions blocked by a federal judge. Now no one in the state seems satisfied. Governor Jan Brewer quickly launched an appeal of the ruling.

And opponents of the immigration crackdown launched a series of street protests leading to a number of arrests. Both sides are preparing for the next round of the legal fight. I spoke with CNN's Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin about the ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, which focused on the most controversial elements of the law.


MALVEAUX: Jeff, we've been watching this very closely. Basically, she split the difference here. Were you surprised?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYSTS: Not really, given her arguments that-her response to arguments at the oral argument a couple weeks ago. She seemed very interested in this argument that immigration was a federal area, that states intruded on at their peril. But I wouldn't say it's a splitting the difference. This is really a win for the Obama administration.

This is the key part of the law. If you ask anyone about the Arizona immigration law, the provision that is known is the provision that says cops can say show me your papers at any time. That's why there's a consumer boycott and a tourist boycott of Arizona. That's why people have been so outraged. That's why conservatives like the law so much, because it really gets the cops involved in enforcement of immigration law. The judge said, too much involvement. It's just the beginning. There is going to be a significant appellate process. I think this is a close difficult question. Higher courts may see this differently.

MALVEAUX: Do we see this, Jeff, possibly, going all the way to the Supreme Court?

TOOBIN: I think there is a very good chance this case goes all the way to the Supreme Court. Because it's the kind of fundamental issue that really only the Supreme Court can resolve. What is the relationship between state and local governments and the federal government when it comes to this very incendiary issue of immigration? One that's of concern all over the country?

And there is not an obvious or clear answer here. It's obvious that Arizona does not have the right to declare war on Mexico. That is a unique federal responsibility. But when it comes to immigration, traditionally it has been mostly a federal responsibility, but not exclusively. So drawing those lines, that's really a responsibility of the Supreme Court. And I think they'll find it obligatory to step in and settle this question.

MALVEAUX: Jeff, there are a lot of other states that are looking at Arizona as a potential model, and even introduce their own legislation. What does this mean now that this ruling has come down for these other states and the kinds of immigration laws that they're putting forward?

TOOBIN: Well, it means that no state can come up with precisely the law that Arizona did and think that it's going to be confirmed, at least for now. But, you know, I don't think politicians care, frankly, a great deal about what a district court in Arizona said. They want to get political advantage. If they think that a tough immigration law, even one very similar to this, will get them attention, will get passed, they're going to go ahead and do it. And they'll worry about the courts later. I think politicians really see this as a political issue, much more than a legal issue. They'll worry about the courts when the courts get involved.

MALVEAUX: All right. We'll be following the courts. Thank you so much, Jeff.



MALVEAUX: It is safe to say these are not the kind of images that Arizona's tourism board wants America to see. I spoke about the unrest and the uncertainty with a vocal supporter of the immigration law. Penal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.


MALVEAUX: Thank you for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM. SHERIFF PAUL BABEU, PINAL COUNTY, ARIZONA: Thank you, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: I want to start off first by asking you this new law takes effect, went into effect today. Allows officers to go about their business enforcing the law, but does not require them, allow them to ask about the immigration status of those they've apprehended. We've seen a lot of protests spilling out to the streets, mostly obviously peaceful. But some arrests. How has the day gone today?

BABEU: Actually pretty well. We see a lot fewer folks that are out there protesting, in part because of the ruling by the judge. And this is just one of several legal battles that are to be expected. But for us in law enforcement, it doesn't change a whole lot for us that enforce the law. Penal County is not a sanctuary county.

But the good part of the law is that it actually outlaws any sanctuary policies that a city or town may have. So, no longer can there be an internal policy that restricts an officer or a deputy from being able to call the border patrol or ICE when they have a situation like that. That's a good aspect and it also criminalizes any human smuggling and transporting illegals, or picking them up for say for jobs and so forth.

MALVEAUX: You seem pretty satisfied to day that things have gone fairly well? Is that mood of the officers?

BABEU: Well, in the end, this is not the solution. Even if the entire law was passed-and we've been saying this forever-is that here the federal government has said, in the supremacy clause, inherently, this is our job to enforce the immigration laws. We couldn't agree with them more. We just ask President Obama to do his job. We wouldn't even be in this situation today. We're talking about 250,000 that were apprehended by the border patrol. By their own estimates, it's over 600,000. We don't even know who the rest of these people are that are coming in here.

MALVEAUX: But Sheriff, what about the president? He has given a hand to on the border. He has pledged some 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S./Mexico border to be deployed, set to deploy August 1st. Is he not helping you out at least?

BABEU: Well, we need 3,000 armed soldiers just in Arizona alone. And to take 1200 soldiers and divide them among four border states, 2,000 miles, you can picture that in your head on a 24/7 operation. It's a half hearted measure that is certain to fail. I invite the president to come to Arizona himself, separate and apart from his advisors. He's spending the last few days raising millions of dollars for candidates for office.

This is a public safety matter and a national security threat when we have people from foreign countries coming in here, armed. And now they promise a second follow on lawsuit, against who? Against law enforcement. Waiting for us to either trip up or a claim made saying that we're racially profiling. Which we know people are going to say that, because he's even planted that in their heads saying this is an ill-advised law and it is certainly going to lead to racial profiling. MALVEAUX: Well, Sheriff, one of the things that you mentioned, you have talked about as well as those who agree with you, has been this idea, the notion of crime and dealing with crime. But according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, we know that violent crime in Arizona is at its lowest since 1976. And we also know at the same time that the illegal immigrant population has doubled in the last decade. How do you square that? I mean how do you justify this when you talk about crime when, in fact, crime has gone down while the number of illegal aliens has increased?

BABEU: Well, the number of illegal aliens has decreased. I was part of that mission under President Bush. I was deployed as a tactical commander in Yuma. Where we reduced the illegal immigration in that sector by 95 percent. There was 134,000 and now there's just over 7,000 in direct support of our heroes, the Border Patrol.

And so with the numbers falling dramatically, the reverse number is true when you look at the percentage of those illegals who's have a criminal record already established in Arizona. It used to be only 8 percent. Now it's 17 percent. So the volume of the illegals has dipped. But the volume of criminals, a part of that, is still very high. And in our county, we have seen homicide last year double in the first half of the year. We have seen just in the past six months indicators of violence that haven't been captured in years prior. Pursuits, we had one of my deputies that was ambushed by a squad side element of drug cartel members, 80 miles north of the border. We have cartel members killed likely by other cartel members just south of Phoenix. This didn't happen before in the uniformed crime statistics aren't reported until the following year.

MALVEAUX: Well, Sheriff, I know we will have to continue this debate another time.

BABEU: You bet.

MALVEAUX: Obviously, there's a lot going on the border there with your state. Appreciate your time here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

BABEU: Thank you very much.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Sheriff.

It's the big mystery of the disaster in the Gulf. Where did all the oil go? There are two experts explain what happened and whether there is still a threat that we cannot see?

The Obama administration condemned the leak of thousands of military logs from Afghanistan. I'll ask Pakistan's ambassador to the United States about the leak and fears that his country is playing a double game.

And it's like living in a museum, only better. Join the White House curator and me on a tour of amazing works of art.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: Millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico for months. But now a little more than 100 days since the start of the disaster there is very little sign of all that crude. So what if all the oil is gone? I asked two experts, Ed Overton, professor emeritus at Louisiana State University, specializing in environmental toxicology, and Stan Senner, director of conservation science with the Ocean Conservancy.


MALVEAUX: Gentlemen, thank you for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

This is a question that is bothering a lot of folks here. It remains a mystery. Can you help us explain how it is that all of this oil has vanished, has disappeared. That we don't see this oil anymore? Ed?

ED OVERTON, PROF. LOUISIANA STATE UNIV.: Well, I can give you my opinion. You know, we're not at the end of this. We're still in the middle of a spill, that's not quite the middle. It's on the backside of the spill. So we can give you an estimate about where the oil is.

But what I think has happened is over the last 87 days, prior to the shutoff, the Gulf became acclimated with a petroleum degrading bacteria. So we had a gigantic petroleum degrading treatment pond, if you will. And on day 87 the flow of oil was cut off. You still have all those bacteria out there. And they're degrading the residual oil that's floating around in the environment very quickly.

I think they're degrading the easy to degrade components of the oil first. Those are the components that would sheen. So the residual components of the oil out there that don't sheen very much, and makes it much more difficult to see. I think there's a lot of oil in the environment. There is a lot of bacteria, or biomass, in the environment. There is still going to be some shoreline impacts over the next several days.

I think we also clearly are on the down side of this thing. And the environment is incredibly resilient. It will return to normal. The bacteria are out there. There they're helping. We're also helping with some tropical weather that dispersed residual oil and breaks it into much smaller components. The concentrated oil can't be degraded very fast. The dispersed oil can be. And Bonnie helped in that respect.

MALVEAUX: Stan, do you agree? Do you believe that there's been bacteria that is eating the oil? That the soil so dispersed that that's the reason we can't see it?

STAN SENNER, OCEAN CONSERVANCY: Well, there's no doubt that there's action by things like bacteria that can degrade the oil. It's really way too soon to say where all this oil has gone. Who knows where it's going to pop-up next. One of the things we're concerned about is that oil can get buried in sediment and work its way under marsh grasses, where it may take a lot longer to degrade. It could linger for years. And following the Ectox (ph) spill in Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico, 30 years later, there's still oil several inches down buried under sentiment in the mangrove swamps.

MALVEAUX: How dangerous is that potential, that the oil is there, but we can't see it? We can't detect it? We saw Rob Marciano, he had a wonderful piece and showed UV rays that's actually could detect the oil, but we couldn't see it ourselves until he actually shined that special light on it. Could that be harmful for people, on their bodies? On their clothes? If you eat the fish? If you swallow the water? How dangerous could this be that the oil is still out there, Ed?

OVERTON: Well, oil that's in the aerobic environment, that is, where there is oxygen, up where the fish swim, degrade pretty quickly. So right now undoubtedly there is some oil, even parts per million levels, oil into the water column and maybe even washing up on the beach. That will be fairly quickly degraded.

Oil that gets buried down in the sediments, under the marsh, that's in what we call the anaerobic environment, no oxygen. It will stay there for an extremely long time. But the good news is that it doesn't cause gigantic impacts. Some of it leeches out. It is having impacts. But they're not massive impacts like we've seen over the last 87 days.

I mean we've seen an acute horrible disaster coating of the marshlands, coating of animals, killing dolphin. That portion of the spill is over. There will be a long term impact. We don't know what they are. I'm predicting that they will be relatively mild and that they will start decreasing in intensity. Some long-term impact will be found.

MALVEAUX: Stan, do you agree with that assessment? And also the same question about the dispersants. Do we have enough information to know whether or not the dispersants are dangerous?

SENNER: No, we don't have enough information on the dispersants. It's really a massive uncontrolled experiment. And the concern now -- there are two concerns with the lingering oil. One is that if it's buried under sediments and under the marsh grasses, you may have storms that stir up that toxic soup again, and that oil re-enters the environment.

Also, we learned from the Exxon Valdez experience where I worked for seven years for the State of Alaska that even concentrations of oil as low as parts per billion can reduce survival of the salmon that come out of eggs that were exposed to that oil.

MALVEAUX: Do we know if this oil is still in the Louisiana marshes? We've had many of our CNN crews and reporters who have been there who saw all of that oil. And you saw the piece with the fishermen who says there's no life. Do we know if that oil is still existing there?

SENNER: Well, I --

OVERTON: I'm sure it does. I think it's down in the marshland and it's, of course, causing a deprivation of the amount of oxygen down in the coastal marsh. That is, I think, probably what he's seeing is that the biomass down there uses up the oxygen and causes it to -- the biotic life not to be normal. That's what you're seeing.

But that oil that's being degraded, as long as it's in the anaerobic environment. One other point I'd like to make is, you know, we've seen these pelicans, for example, totally covered with oil. This is a heartbreaking scene. But those pelicans are captured, they are treated by humans, cleaned up and released, and by and large are surviving. That ought to tell us a little bit about the toxicity of this oil.

MALVEAUX: All right. Ed Overton and Stan Senner, thank you so much for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We appreciate your analysis.

SENNER: You're welcome.

OVERTON: Thank you very much.


MALVEAUX: President Obama talks about race and says Americans need to do the same around kitchen tables and water coolers. I'll speak with National Urban League President Marc Morial.

And leaked Afghan war documents suggest Pakistan's spy agency is aiding America's enemies. We'll get a response from Pakistan's ambassador to the United States.


MALVEAUX: President Obama says his own administration was at fault in last week's ouster of veteran Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod. She was pressured to step down after a conservative blogger posted a video clip of comments she made about race. Her comments were later found to have been taken out of context. The president spoke about it to the National Urban League. Take a listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When a bogus controversy, based on selective and deceiving excerpts of a speech, led to her forced resignation, now many are to blame for the reaction and overreaction that followed these comments, including my own administration. What I said to Shirley was that the full story she was trying to tell, a story about overcoming our own biases, and recognizing ourselves and folks who on the surface seem different is exactly the kind of story we need to hear in America.


It -- it's exactly what we need to hear because we've all got our biases. And rather jump to conclusions and point fingers, and play some of the games that are played on cable TV, we should all look inward, and try to examine what's in our own hearts. We should all make more of an effort to discuss with one another in a truthful and mature and responsible way the divides that still exist. The discrimination that is still out there, the prejudices that still hold us back. A discussion that needs to take place not on cable TV, not just through a bunch of academic symposia, or fancy commissions, or panels, not through political posturing, but around kitchen tables and water coolers, and church basements, and in our schools and with our kids all across the country.


MALVEAUX: Joining me now is the president of the Urban League, Marc Morial.

Marc, good to see you.

Thanks for having me.

MALVEAUX: Congratulations to the National Urban League, 100 years of good service.

You heard the president. Do you think this national discussion that he's talking about, race, at the kitchen table in, churches, in schools, should it come from the White House? Should he say we need to have this kind of conversation. I'm going to use the bully pulpit to do it here to bring the country together?

MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NAT'L. URBAN LEAGUE: I think there has to be presidential leadership on issues of race. But I also think it's a broader responsibility. I think we need leaders at every level to do it. I don't think the full burden should fall only on President Obama to have a discussion about race.

But I think what's interesting is that this week while we're talking about it here, over at the Convention Center in Washington, we've got 4,000 people having a discussion about race and education, race and jobs, race and health care. And talking about how we can act. And maybe what we need is not only dialogue, but dialogue that leads to action.

MALVEAUX: We're going to talk about the education component. But in terms of the president's responsibility, do you think that he handled the situation, the controversy with Shirley Sherrod in a way that you are satisfied? Did he need-did he jump in at an appropriate time? Now he's talking about race today. Or did he need to do more?

MORIAL: Let me tell you what I think. I think what he found, found out that an injustice had been carried out with respect to Miss Sherrod. But people had overreacted to a doctored tape that was designed to create confusion and ill-will towards the NAACP. His administration very, very quickly recanted. He had that personal conversation with Shirley Sherrod, which I think was important to her, important to him. I think it demonstrates an important human quality about President Obama, which I think is important. When you have these kinds of issues, sometimes the toughest thing for people to do is talk about it. And look each other squarely in the eye.

MALVEAUX: We heard from Shirley Sherrod today. She was in San Diego, at the National Association of Black Journalists. In an interview, she actually said that now she would pursue a lawsuit against the blogger, Andrew Breitbart, for putting that edited tape out there that began this whole controversy in the first place. Do you think that's an appropriate response?

MORIAL: I absolutely think it's an appropriate response because what Andrew Breitbart did was absolutely wrong. To doctor a tape and to put the tape out in an effort to portray an innocent, private citizen in an inappropriate hateful fashion is absolutely wrong. I think she owes us -- I think she -- by taking legal action, she's going to send a message to others who might be thinking about this kind of mischief, about any issue, but particularly the issue of race that there are consequences. There have to be consequences to doing it, not just public criticism. But I think consequences. Miss Sherrod, her story with the Spooners, is exactly the kind of thing that the Urban League lifts up. And that is the idea of people working together, the idea of cooperation, the idea of reconciliation.

MALVEAUX: Mark, you talked about the whole conference with the National Urban League, it's really about the state of black America. And we know from your own statistics, your own studies, that the state of black America you have more unemployed. You have less educated, more incarcerated, that there are still deep-rooted, deep-seated problems in the black community.

Some would say, look, we have an African-American president here. What is the problem? What is the most pressing issue now that is facing the black community that needs to be addressed so that can you get folks out of this circumstance?

MORIAL: You know, I think it's jobs. And it's education. Education is a long-term situation. It's going to take a long time to fix the deep educational disparities. But we have to work on it. And the president talked about that. Secretary Duncan made an important commitment yesterday towards an equity and excellence commission. But in the short run, I think it is jobs.

I'm deeply concerned, for example, that a jobs bill has been filibustered in the Senate that would have put maybe a million teens to work this summer. On the issue of jobs, we need to put some of the politics aside, and do the things that are necessary to help.

MALVEAUX: Has the president done enough? There are a lot of people I talk to in the black community who say, look, you know, we don't think the programs that he's put out there adequately focuses, targets on African-Americans who need the help.

MORIAL: You know, I would like to see more targeted programs. There's no doubt. I've been very, very candid about that from the design of the stimulus.

MALVEAUX: Have you told that to the president?

MORIAL: I said that to the president. I said that to members of Congress. My experience at the Urban League and as being -- and as mayor of New Orleans, teachers have taught me that if you really, really want to deal with the problems of unemployment, in distressed urban communities, you have got to target the response. In other words, you need the most medicine where the problem is greatest. I think that as things evolve, I think that those are the kinds of things we're going to have to do. To a great extent, a lot of the stimulus -- I think the stimulus has had a good benefit. It was placed in the hands of governors, state governments to implement.

MALVEAUX: I want to talk about education. You brought that up. Now that was obviously a point that president was making.

Here in D.C, the D.C. public school system, we saw the superintendent just last week announcing firing 241 teachers. That's about 5 percent of the teachers in the District of Columbia. Do you think that that I was a good idea?

MORIAL: You know, I'm not familiar with the specific circumstances of it. I believe teachers should be well paid and held accountable. What I do have a problem with is utilizing one single test as a measuring stick on either students or teachers.

Not absolutely familiar with the specifics of the situation in the District of Columbia. But from a principal standpoint, we should pay teachers well. We should train them well and hold them accountable.

MALVEAUX: Charlie Rangel, Congressman Charlie Rangel, obviously 40 years serving his community in Harlem. We've got 13 now accusations, counts, if you will, of misconduct. What's your reaction? What's your response today? Should he have tried to cut a deal to help save the party, perhaps should he resign?

MORIAL: You know, I think that you use the operative word, they are allegations and I think he's entitled to a fair shot, a fair hearing on those allegations.

Whether he should cut a deal -- since these things are shrouded in a degree of confidentiality, we're not sure what the specifics are and what evidence has been behind those the allegations? One thing I do know is that when I walk the streets of Harlem, the people of Harlem are still behind Charlie Rangel.

MALVEAUX: All right, Marc Morial. We have to leave it there. Thank you so much.

MORIAL: Thanks so much.

MALVEAUX: President Obama and the auto industry have something in common. I'll talk about that and about Democratic prospects in November and a possible Supreme Court nomination with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granhole.

Plus top Pentagon officials lash out of the leak of thousands of Afghan war documents saying those responsible may have blood on their hands.


MALVEAUX: The leak of tens of thousands of Afghan war documents is getting a very tough response from the Pentagon brass. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the leak could have severe consequences for U.S. troops and allies. And listen to this from Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.


ADMIRAL MIKE MULLEN, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: I think we always need to be mindful of the unknown potential for damage in any particular document that we handle. He can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is, they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.

Disagree with the war all you want, take issue with the policy, challenge me or our ground commanders on the decisions we make to accomplish the mission we've been given, but don't put those who willingly go into harm's way even further in harm's way just to satisfy your need to make a point.


MALVEAUX: Many of the leaks war logs suggest that Pakistan is aiding the insurgents in Afghanistan. I spoke about that with Pakistan's ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani.


MALVEAUX: Mr. Ambassador, thank you so much for joining us in "The Situation Room." I want to start off with, you know this is 90,000 plus documents.

But the main concern here, obviously, is the fact that there's the accusation that Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI, met with the Taliban to plot attacks against U.S. troops and NATO forces is that true?

HUSAIN HAQQANI, PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: Susan, first thing, is the nature of these documents, we haven't seen them all. We haven't read them all.

But what we do know is that they are first takes written in the log of war based on unprocessed intelligence. So somebody comes in, tells an officer this is what I'm hearing, that's what is in the documents.

The United States government knows better. That is why the White House, the Pentagon, the state department and even congressional leaders have said that these are outrageous perspectives that Pakistan remains an ally of the United States.

MALVEAUX: An ally nevertheless, you are saying this is not true? Are these documents forged? Did somebody make it?

HAQQANI: No, I'm not saying that. I explained already that these documents deflect the first state n a police station, many 911 calls come, not everyone is true.

So a lot of these things are basically people saying this is what we heard. This is the rumor. This is something that I know. It's not processed intelligence.

More important than that is what is happening on the ground today and we all know that the Pakistani military and Pakistani Intelligence Service, they are losing men as they fight alongside the Americans. It wouldn't make sense for us to help the Taliban who are killing our own soldiers and our own intelligence officers.

MALVEAUX: I don't think that is disputed that things got better and there is progress. We heard from White House spokesman Robert Gibbs who said this information is not new.

That this is in part why the Obama administration has changed strategy inside of Afghanistan because there were problems with Pakistan.

So he is not saying, he's not denying that some of these allegations may, in fact, be true. Are you saying that categorically that this is not?

HAQQANI: I'm saying that as the government of Pakistan works with the United States to fight the terrorists, allegations of any arm of the Pakistani government collaborating or cooperating with the Taliban is absolutely wrong. As far as history's concerned, I'm sure you and I will be around to read various accounts of history as it takes shape in the future.

MALVEAUX: Why do you suppose these allegations are in these documents that are classified and now been revealed? Do you think that this is some sort of plot? Do you think it's a strategy?

HAQQANI: No, I don't believe in conspiracy theories, Susan. Basically --

MALVEAUX: Forged documents?

HAQQANI: First of all -- I didn't say anything about forged. All I'm saying is these are snapshots in time at different times how Afghanistan is, you know, has had a lot of difficulties in building the government over there in the last several years since the collapse of the Taliban after 911.

And their intelligence service had people until recently who had a certain perspective. We have all heard about intelligence going wrong. Do we all not remember before the war in Iraq? Everybody in the United States thought and believed in the first draft of intelligence that seemed to indicate that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

I think the first unprocessed intelligence is not always correct. That is what this was. That is why the United States has persisted in maintaining the alliance with Pakistan instead of just believing all of this and saying, you know what? Every rumor we believe is true and we should act on it.

MALVEAUX: Mr. Ambassador, I want to bring up the response from Afghanistan today. From its own spokesperson for these documents saying the Afghan government is shocked with the report that has opened the reality of the Afghan war.

There should be serious action taken against the ISI, who has direct connection with the terrorists. These reports show that the U.S. was already aware of the ISI connection with the al Qaeda terrorists network.

The United States is overdue on ISI issue and now the United should answer. How do you respond to your partner, your partner in war, the Afghan government that believes these accusations about the ISI?

HAQQANI: We are mature partners. We understand the difficulties faced by our brothers in Afghanistan. We understand the difficulties of a war of the nature of the war that we are fighting against the terrorists. People have different views.

There are people with sympathize with the terrorists in Afghanistan. There are people with sympathize with those in Pakistan. We have to make the distinction between rumor and fact.

Right now, all of us are working together to defeat the terrorists. The CIA knows what the ISI is doing. The ISI is trying to work together with both the CIA and the Afghany Intelligence Service essentially with one objective, which is to contain and defeat the terrorists. That's exactly what we are going to do.

MALVEAUX: Has your government reached out to the government of Afghanistan to reassure them?

HAQQANI: The Pakistani government and the Afghan government as you well know have come a long way since the days when the president of Afghanistan and the then president of Pakistan who wasn't an elected leader wouldn't even shake hands on the lawn of the White House.

The president of Pakistan and the president of Afghanistan are very close right now. And our intelligence services are trying to work together as well. Look, the misgivings of the past cannot always easily be overcome. But what we can change is the future and that's what we will do.

MALVEAUX: I remember that day at the White House when they would not shake hands. So thank you so much, Mr. Ambassador. Appreciate your time here on "The Situation Room."

HAQQANI: Pleasure being here.

MALVEAUX: Thank you.


MALVEAUX: A top Democratic governor speaks out on her party's prospect in the upcoming midterm elections. I'll talk about that.

And President Obama's sagging ratings with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Plus, an inside look at presidential treasures. We get a private tour and see some surprises with the White House curator.


MALVEAUX: President Obama returned to Michigan this week partly in an effort to boost the U.S. auto industry. But the president himself could use a boost in his approval ratings. I talked about that and more before Mr. Obama's latest visit with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.


MALVEAUX: The latest polls are showing that it's at an all-time low, the approval in terms of how he is handling the economy. It's at 40 percent. How does he change that perception that he's not doing enough?

GOVERNOR JENNIFER GRANHOLM, (D) MICHIGAN: You know, part of the challenge is, of course, that we're in an election year and it's an -- there's an incentive for the Republicans to continue to beat the drum that you're not doing enough, right?

Michigan had up until last month the highest unemployment rate in the nation. We've had that for a long period of time because of our concentration in autos and the fact that we had not had a partner in Washington before the Obama administration.

We're now seeing every single month for the past three months we are seeing growth, net growth in jobs. We hadn't seen that since the year 2000. So all I'm saying is you are not going to see it overnight.

But coming to places like this and showing people stories of how this is happening across the country is one way to tell people, yes, we have not arrived yet. But we're making progress.

MALVEAUX: Governor, what do you make of the fact that the White House is now enlisted former President Bill Clinton to go out to some of the states that would be difficult for President Obama because he doesn't have a lot of support? Do you think he makes a better spokesman for the party?

GRANHOLM: Well, I think he makes a great spokesman for the party. I think you need all hands on deck. So I think it's great that he's enlisting his help and the help of others. You know, I hope all of us out there that support this president and what he's trying to do will be a spokesperson for him.

MALVEAUX: Can I put you on the spot? Would you take President Clinton or Obama to campaign for you?

GRAMHOLM: Well, unfortunately, but I would take either one. I think they're both tremendous leaders. We're fortunate to have had both of them.

MALVEAUX: What side do you come down on? Is it the White House spokesman Robert Gibbs who says that he believes that the Republicans could take control in Congress in the fall or Speaker Pelosi who says that's fun?

GRANHOLM: Well, I completely understand that she is going to fight tooth and nail to hang on to the majority in the House and I would totally respect that.

I do think it's going to be hard for any incumbent because people are angry at incumbents, period. So when you got the majority and you are the incumbents, then it becomes a little bit more of a challenge. I do think we'll lose the House? No way.



MALVEAUX: Are you going to bet on it?

GRANHOLM: All right. I got you right here.

MALVEAUX: OK, last question. The last two times I covered the openings for the Supreme Court nominations, it was reported that your name was on the short list. I know you love your job as governor, but were you just a little bit disappointed?

GRANHOLM: I think he picked absolutely the best candidates for those. I mean, both (Sudamayor) and Kagan are phenomenal. I couldn't hold a candle to them. I think he picked well.

MALVEAUX: If you got the offer next go around?

GRANHOLM: Well, listen, that's total speculation. I'm sure he's got a lot of great candidates, but he picked the perfect people for it.


MALVEAUX: Being in charge of art work at the White House isn't all fun and games. You worked for many different presidents as curator. Did anybody come up with anything outrageous, outlandish and said this just isn't going to work?

Stand by for the answer and our tour of remarkable art around every corner in the White House.


MALVEAUX: Have you ever wondered what's in the White House? The rare art treasures? The unexpected finds? How the Obamas have changed what's inside?

Well, ever since first lady Jacquelyn Kennedy turned 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue into a museum, thousands have flocked to find out. Recently I got a private tour. Let me show you what I found.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the red room. It's the sort of mirror image of the greenroom. The two rectangular parlors that flank that oval-shaped blue room in between.

MALVEAUX: What kind of art, in general, is here at the White House?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we have, I mean, principally, our collection is portraits of presidents and first ladies.

MALVEAUX (voice-over): We'll get to that with White House curator, Bill Olman in a minute. First, some surprises.

(on camera): The most famous portrait inside the White House is this portrait of George Washington and as famous as it is it actually has a mistake.

Here, it says the Constitution Laws of the United Sates, it's missing a "t."

(voice-over): The painting is the only piece of art saved from the original White House that burned down. Officially, there are more than 500 works of art here, but nearly everything is considered part of a collection from the cloth walls, carpets, furniture and odd objects.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the most interesting pieces is this silver- plated hot water you were. It is engraved with the initials J.A.A. for John and Abigail Adams.

MALVEAUX: And this unique chair -

(on camera): Can I sit in this chair?


MALVEAUX: Tell me who has sat in this chair before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most often, it's the first lady. I think, you know, Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Clinton, both particularly liked this chair and the guests got to sit in this chair.

MALVEAUX: This is considered part of the artwork? This is considered a part of the historical collection?

WILLIAM ALLMAN, WHITE HOUSE CURATOR: Now, unlike most museums where everything is under glass and behind ropes, here, the nature of the White House collection is for people to come in and actually be able to enjoy it in the sense of sitting on the chair, walking on the carpet, eating off the China.

MALVEAUX: Bill, I have to say, I'm enjoying this chair, it's very comfortable. You let me know when I can eat off of the China, OK?

(voice-over): Most of the pieces on the first floor are from the 19th century. Traditional portraits and landscapes with a few recent modern additions like this abstract by African-American artist, Jacob Lawrence. There are fresh flowers are everywhere.

ALLMAN: Fresh flowers were not in the White House until the 1850s. It was considered unhealthy.

MALVEAUX (on camera): Really?

ALLMAN: They had glass -- or cloth flowers and they asked all the time. They're always asking me the species. Those are roses. I got roses down. Beyond that --

MALVEAUX: Very beautiful, part of the art as well.

(voice-over): Three hundred fifty thousand visitors straight through each year.

MALVEAUX (on camera): Does Bo, the dog, does he ever get to run on these carpets? Are there any room that will are off limits?

ALLMAN: As far as I can tell, no. Bo is a really, really good dog.

MALVEAUX: Has he ever messed up the carpet honestly?

ALLMAN: Not that I've been told.

MALVEAUX (voice-over): And like I promised, all the past presidents and first ladies are here.

ALLMAN: This is Monroe. It was painted by Samuel Morse, who invented the telegraph.

And this one, based on the idea that Lincoln sitting in this chair listening to his generals and his admiral advised him on how to bring the civil war to a conclusion.

President Kennedy was done by Aron (Shikler). This is a very sort of contemplative looking down, you know, with the weight of the world on your shoulders kind of painting here.

MALVEAUX (on camera): That's what Mrs. Kennedy wanted?

ALLMAN: Right.

MALVEAUX: So let's go take a look at the first ladies.

ALLMAN: OK. So this is the ground floor corridor.

MALVEAUX (voice-over): Here, Hillary Clinton, Jacquelyn Kennedy Lady Bird Johnson and Eleanor Roosevelt.

(on camera): The art collection of the first family, their private collection is in the residence, in the east and west wings. That's where you see their personality and their taste reflected in their artwork. If we were in the Obama residence what kind of different art would we see?

ALLMAN: Well, it's this large, generally, abstract works by, you know, famous American artists.

MALVEAUX (voice-over): Also more works by African-Americans women and other minorities. In the oval office, a bust of Martin Luther King and a Norman Rockwell of the Statue of Liberty torch.

But before we let Bill go, we just had to ask one more question.

(on camera): There have been lots of rumors about the White House being haunted. Any of these paintings ever seem to talk to you or --

ALLMAN: I'm not big in on the haunting story. But there are people, President Truman thought it was true. He claimed that President Lincoln's ghost was here. He claimed that the paintings were moving because of President Lincoln's ghost.


MALVEAUX: Bill, the curator also told us at one point the White House used to auction stuff off and people would buy it and then they occasionally come back to him with pieces they say their grandmother told him came from the White House.

Well, he can test it and tell them whether it indeed it originate from the White House. Sometimes they'll buy back the pieces and put it back into the collection. We'll be right back.


MALVEAUX: I'm Suzanne Malveaux, join us weekdays in "The Situation Room" from 5 to 7 p.m. eastern and every Saturday at 6 p.m. on CNN and this time every weekend on CNN International. The news continues next on CNN.