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Congressman Anthony Weiner Under Fire; Victim Drowns, Rescuers Watch; Interview With Rep. Anthony Weiner About Twitter Scandal; Obama Meets with Republicans; Deputy Testifies at Anthony Trial; Casey Anthony's Brother Testifies; Possible Tornado in Massachusetts

Aired June 1, 2011 - 16:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And to our viewers, we're crossing the top of the hour here. We're standing by on another story about Congressman Anthony Weiner. He is expected to, any moment, talk to our Wolf Blitzer.

This of course all over this -- some would say it certainly has ballooned into a scandal now over a Twitter picture that seems to have come from his Twitter account. A lot of questions have been asked. Not many have been answered, however.

Take a look at this.


HOLMES (voice-over): Rescue workers stand by and watch as a man drown? Why? because of a policy issue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What were they thinking when they did nothing?

HOLMES: The horrifying scene plays out in front of dozens of people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's damn frustrating. That's --

HOLMES: Now, as outrage boils, one city is making big changes.

A human rights group says it has never seen such horror. And now the group is making an urgent request before more die in Syria.

Plus, Casey Anthony says her brother sexually abused her. Today, he takes the stand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why couldn't we or anybody just go get Caylee and bring her home?

And Lee Anthony holds nothing back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told Detective Edwards that she said -- I'm paraphrasing -- "Because maybe I'm a spiteful (EXPLETIVE DELETED)."

HOLMES: Sunny Hostin is on the case. And they are calling it a Wal-Mart of weed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really sort of a one-stop shop to get your supplies to grow marijuana.

HOLMES: Today, the pot store is open to the public.



HOLMES: Let's tell you about more news that is unfolding right now. It is our rapid fire, so let's do this now.

Libya's oil chief has defected. He appeared in Rome today. Listen as he explains his reasoning.


SHUKRI GHANEM, FORMER LIBYAN OIL MINISTER: The continuous war there, you know, and the -- seeing the bloodshed every day, and seeing young people get killed, and seeing people are fighting, and seeing people are -- start to suffer from shortages in certain commodities, and seeing no end to this fighting. It makes you feel you should abandon the situation.


HOLMES: Well, turn now to some video out of Arkansas. There's a woman stranded in that SUV. She was stranded because she's surrounded by rising floodwaters and she had driven into what she thought was shallow water. Don't they always tell you, turn around, don't drown? You're not supposed to drive through this kind of stuff.

Well, as you see now, someone is going over. That is actually a local reporter wading into the chest-deep water, tries to reach her with a rope. He's finally able to get to her, help her get to safety. And her abandoned SUV eventually sinks.

Well, parts of Utah bracing for even more flooding. There appears to be little relief in sight. Flooding has already swamped hundreds of acres of farmland, forcing many farmers to relocate cattle. Now, warmer weather is expected to melt snow in the mountains. And that would could make the whole thing even worse.

Turn to Phoenix now. They call it the Wal-Mart of weed. It opened its doors to the public today. The giant store is called weGrow. And it markets itself as a one-stop shop for all things marijuana.


DHAR MANN, WEGROW FOUNDER: We cater to the growers that have no idea for how to grow their own medical cannabis. Typically, they're setting up their very first garden. And weGrow is the only store where you can come and learn how to do it safely and responsibly. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Well, it's legal to grow in Arizona if you have a marijuana medical card registered with the state health department.


KELLY, HUSBAND OF CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS: The space shuttle is an amazing vehicle to fly through the atmosphere, hit it at Mach 25, I mean, steer through the atmosphere like an airplane, land on a runway. It's really, really an incredible ship.


HOLMES: Yes, that's Endeavour Commander Kelly talking to mission control after the landing. The shuttle landed and completed its 25th and final mission. Endeavour has racked up a whopping 123 million miles over the years and earned its retirement at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will eventually go on display. NASA's shuttle program ends after the Atlantis shuttle mission set to launch on July the 8th.

And also to our viewers, we are standing by. And appreciate you standing by with me, but have been waiting for Congressman Anthony Weiner sitting down with our Wolf Blitzer. The congressman has been doing a round of interviews today, including one with our Wolf Blitzer that we're expecting at any moment.

We have been standing by for it, expected to bring that to you live. He, of course, trying to answer more questions about this later -- Twitter lewd photo scandal that he has been trying to answer a lot of questions about over the past several days. When that happens, we will bring that to you.


HOLMES: And, also, to our viewers, we're being now that our Wolf Blitzer has just sat down with Congressman Anthony Weiner. We expect to bring that to you live.

It's just about to get under way. We're going to bring that to you live -- stay with us -- right after the break.


HOLMES: Well, a lot of people shaking their heads today over a story that is developing out in Alameda, California. Police and firefighters called to a beach -- they stood there and watched as a man drowned himself.

We have spoken now to two witnesses, a man and his wife, Warren and Sharon Brunetti. They were the ones who called 911. They ran into the victim and his stepmother shortly before all of this unfolded.

Here is what Sharon Brunetti just told us. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARON BRUNETTI, EYEWITNESS: She was just shaking and saying, my son is going in the water, and -- or he was standing next to her when we first got there.

But she just was shaking. And then, when the police did arrive, she said, oh, thank God. And then they didn't do anything, other than question her and walk around the beach and observe.

They didn't say anything the whole -- during the whole 45 minutes, but, at the end, I stormed up to one of them. I said, why didn't you do something? And they said, well, we don't go into the water. I said, well, where was your boat? Because there is a -- I know there used to be a fire -- a police department boat. And they said that the boat is in dry dock and they don't go in the water, so that was that.


HOLMES: We have also been speaking with CNN's Dan Simon. He's been talking to the authorities out there.

This is the last we heard from Dan. This was just a short time ago.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You say to yourself, how does something like this happen?

And we know that there were as many as nine firefighters here at the scene standing by as this man was drowning in the water. What we know is that it was about 11:30 a.m. on Monday, this man apparently distraught, intent on killing himself, 53-year-old Raymond Zack. He goes into the frigid San Francisco Bay behind me. His mother is nearby.

A bystander calls 911. Within minutes, police and firefighters arrive at the scene and, as you put it, T.J., they basically just stand around and watch this man die. After about an hour, a witness, a bystander, she attempts to go in, but by the time she reaches him, the man is dead.

It is something that -- that is outrageous, and nobody here can understand it -- T.J.

HOLMES: Dan, can you help us to understand how much time again actually went by from the time they got there and were on the scene until the man we guess was dead?

SIMON: The timeline is a little sketchy, but we understand it was somewhere about 45 minutes to an hour.

And these firefighters, at one point, they had the authority, they had the training to actually conduct these ground-to-water rescues. But about two years ago, the city, facing some budget problems, stripped the funding and the department issued a policy where they said these firefighters could not enter the water.

And, so, they adhered strictly to that policy. Some say, well, why didn't they just ignore it? A man's life was at stake. That is a very good question. Firefighters -- at least the chief was having a difficult time answering that, but, basically, what he is saying is that the funding is now back in place and that this will not happen again.

But, still, the citizenry is very, very upset, as you can imagine, and, right now, there are still more questions than answers -- T.J.

HOLMES: And, Dan, one thing here quickly. And you said he is having a hard time answering some of those questions even about, OK, policies in place, that is one thing.

But at some point -- and have you gotten an answer to this? At some point, it just appeals to you as a human being when you see another human suffering and literally dying, why they still didn't jump into action, aside from any policy.

Are you getting any answers to that? Are they saying the policy is so strict and that was first and foremost on our minds, that we still had to do what was against human nature, which is to help our fellow man?

SIMON: The sense that I'm getting, T.J., is that this is a man who wanted to kill himself. I think that played into it.

He was also, from what I understand, a very large person, and they felt like, at least this is what -- how the chief explained it, if they attempted to go into the water, that they might put their own lives in danger by trying to save this man's life.

I'm told that if perhaps this was a child or another circumstance, that firefighters may have reacted differently. But based upon the situation and what they encountered here at the scene, a distraught man, 53 years old, apparently weighing 240 pounds.

Police officers also saying they weren't sure if, in fact, he was armed and could have posed a risk which, basically -- I'm not sure how you could make that argument, if he was in the water, how he could pull a weapon or something like that.

But I just don't know how to explain it other than the fact that that is apparently what they thought, that he was intent on killing himself, that they didn't want to put their own lives at risk by trying to save him.


HOLMES: All right. Thanks to our Dan Simon there.

In just a moment, we will bring you the interview -- we hope to -- the one that we've been telling you about here for a little while. Congressman Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, has been dealing with questions about a lewd photo that was sent, allegedly sent from his Twitter account. He has been answering questions about it for the last several days, but some questions have not been answered with the specificity some would hope. He is sitting down with our Wolf Blitzer right now. That interview after the break.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm Wolf Blitzer. We're on Capitol Hill with Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York.

Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.

REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: Thank you, Wolf. It's my pleasure.

BLITZER: Did you send that picture to that college student in Washington state?

WEINER: I did not. She says she never got it and doesn't know me; I don't -- certainly don't know her.

This seems like it's a prank to make fun of my name. You know, when your named Weiner, that happens a lot. Got 45,000-some odd Twitter followers, hundreds of people that I follow. This seems like a prank that has gotten an enormous amount of attention.

BLITZER: This is the picture -- I'm sure you've seen it by now. Is this you?

WEINER: I can tell you this. We have a firm that we've hired -- I've seen it, it's -- I've seen it -- a firm that we've hired to get to the bottom of it.

I can tell you this, that photos can manipulated. Photos can be of one thing changed to look like something else. We're going to try to get the bottom of what happened. Maybe Jon Stewart last night had it right, unfortunately, but we're going to find out.

Look, this has turned into this kind of international whodunit. What it really is was, I think, a prank. I'm treating it like a prank and trying to get back to the work I'm trying to do. I understand you want to pursue the story, and we're going to try to help you the best we can.

BLITZER: Well, we just want to resolve it once and for all.

You would know if this is your underpants, for example.

WEINER: The question is -- I appreciate you continuing to flash that at me.

Look, I've said the best I can, that we're going to try to get to the bottom of what happened here. But you know, I just want to caution you -- and you understand this, you're a pro -- that photographs can be manipulated. Photographs can be taken up from one place and put in another place, photos they can be doctored. And I want to make sure that we know for sure what happened here.

It certainly doesn't look familiar to me, but I don't want to say with certitude to you something that I don't know to be the certain truth.

But I do know some certain truths here. I didn't send any Twitter picture. The person who allegedly it was sent to, this poor woman who is, frankly, a victim in all of this, didn't get it. She put out a statement saying as much. I don't know her, she doesn't know me.

It seems to me that this is what goes on in the Internet world, in the social media world of 2011 that sometimes this happens. Hundreds and thousands of times, just about every week, people have spam and hacking that goes on. It seems like I was a victim of that, and I don't consider that big of a federal offense, but people want to pay attention to it and I guess I get it. When you're named Weiner, it kind of goes with the territory.

BLITZER: Have you ever taken a picture of yourself like this?

WEINER: I can tell you this, that there are -- I have photographs. I don't know what photographs are out there in the world of me. I don't know what things have been manipulated and doctored, and we're going to try to find out what happened.

But the most important reason I want to find out what happened is to make sure it doesn't happen again. Obviously, somebody got access to my account; that's bad. They sent a picture that makes fun of the name Weiner. I get it. You know, touche, Dr. Moriarty, you got me.

At the time it happened, I tweeted right away that I got the joke and I continued on with my life. And I think that, frankly, that's what I would encourage everyone to do. I don't believe that this is a big federal issue, but people are free to pursue it if they like.

BLITZER: But you would like to get to the bottom of it. So the questions is, have you asked Capitol Hill Police or New York Police or FBI or law enforcement authority to investigate?

WEINER: Have I called -- have I called the cops or the FBI because someone sent spam? No. However, I did get a firm, a law firm who specializes in these things, who specializes in white-collar crime. I've got someone who is -- and they're going to get someone who is an Internet security expert to get to the bottom of how we secure my accounts.

Every day, Wolf, people have stuff like this happen. It's regrettable, but it's true, every day. Every day it doesn't become a federal case. Just because it happened to Congressman Weiner on his personal account doesn't mean the taxpayers should pay for some investigation of this that winds up going on and on for years and years to find out who -- wait for it -- who sent a picture of someone in shorts on the Internet on the account of a guy named Weiner. I just don't think it rises to that level. I don't think it's a federal case, but I'm going to turn it over to some people who are going to give me advice on what to do next.

BLITZER: Have -- but have your lawyers suggested to you that a crime may have been committed if somebody broke into your Twitter account --

WEINER: Perhaps.

BLITZER: -- and sent this out?

WEINER: That's one of the things -- it's a fair question.

BLITZER: Cause you're a United States congressman.

WEINER: I know, but I'm a citizen, too. And I'm a guy who is on Twitter jousting with people all the time. I follow you, by the way. Excellent Twitter feed.

I have to say that it doesn't necessarily mean that because it happened to Anthony Weiner means it should become a big federal investigation. I've watched federal investigations going on for years and chew up millions and millions of dollars. For what? Because someone sent a picture to someone who never got even it who says they don't even know me?

I mean, I understand people may be curious about this particular case, but at home people there are people who are watching this saying, you know what, I get spam all the time and I don't call the cops. Or, you know what, I mean, it's a terrible thing that happened, but I lost thousands of dollars in a hacking and I couldn't get a federal investigation. Why should Congressman Weiner get one just to find out who sent a randy picture from his -- from his Twitter feed?

BLITZER: Did you send direct messages or private messages to this woman in Washington state, Gennette Cardova?

WEINER: I'm going to -- I'm going to -- look, I'm not going to get into how I communicate with people on social media. I'm not going to open the door to like, did I send someone a note that said, thank you for following me, please tune in for the in the future. I don't want to open the door to you saying, well, what about this person, what did she say back, what did this person say.

All I can say this. There was nothing, as she said, inappropriate. There is standard communication that people have on social media. I tweet all the time. I've got thousand -- 45,000 followers, more than just about any member of Congress. It's a playful combative feed. I encourage people to sign up @RepWeiner, and this is what happens, sometimes people zing you back and that's what happened in this case.

BLITZER: Do you do all of your own personal tweeting or do your staff members do it for you?

WEINER: I do, with some limited exceptions that -- we have a firm that does mass mail for us that sometimes links to it, but it's me, it's got my voice. I was tweeting at the moment this happened --

BLITZER: I mean, does anybody else have your pass code?

WEINER: Well, that's one of the things, unfortunately, we're going to be looking into.

Not that I know of, but, you know, as I tweeted that night, I have had problems with getting access to my Facebook accounts and I've have had to change that account a few times. And perhaps.

We're going to find out what happened. I don't know. You know, I fear we're going to find out that perhaps our security here was not particularly good, and maybe it's going to turn out to be a worse situation than it looks right now.

Now it looks like a prank. We're treating it like a prank and we're desperately trying just to get back to business, and that's why we're sitting down with CNN today.

BLITZER: So here's what raised some suspicion. Back on May 27th, you tweeted this, you were about to be on "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC. You said, "Heading to 30 Rock to chat with Rachel at 9:00." And then you said, "That's 5:45 in Seattle, I think. "

The woman in question here is in Seattle.

WEINER: Right. I had tweeted previously -- I know, it's a terrible coincidence and that's all it is. And frankly, I didn't even know the girl was in Seattle from her feed.

Look, let me say this. In the past on my Twitter feed, I had done a similar joke about other cities.

BLITZER: Why Seattle?

WEINER: It was pure, pure coincidence. I have no idea.

You know, part of the Twitter ethos is they're playful, dopey things. I don't think it was 5:45 in Seattle.

It was a pure coincidence. And frankly, you know, it's questions like this are why I was a little bit testy yesterday. It's like at what point does the line get drawn where you say, you know this is just ridiculous now? You want to go back and look at my Twitter feeds, and you find some time that I reference Seattle to link it back to this -- you know, I tweet hundreds of times and I say all kinds of things. A lot of the things I said are very combative about Republicans. Very -- you know, I'm a very feisty --

BLITZER: I follow you on Twitter, so I know.

WEINER: Right, and you know how feisty I am. I mean, you know how I lean into it and how I take pokes at them all the time. And, you know, a much more reasonable line of questioning would be like, you know, maybe someone punked him back, you know, to get even for all of those times. That's what I thought at the time. And yet -- and I would just say, you know, this person or anyone else who follows me, what do they do wrong here? They've done nothing wrong. Why should they be getting reporters hounding them, why are you following Congressman Weiner?

Why should I have people showing me pictures of your followers -- do you -- you know, why do you follow this person? Well, this is Twitter. You follow people sometimes because they ask you to follow them. Why does that person deserve to have their face splashed in "The New York Post"?

It's just -- there's a level of this, Wolf, that it's gotten a little crazy. And maybe I contributed to it by maybe not being direct about it, maybe the statements I put out on Saturday and Sunday, maybe being -- having a gaggle of cameras follow my wife and me taking a wife taking a walk on Monday didn't do the trick. I came here yesterday convinced. I want to talk about the debt limit, I want to talk about health care reform.

BLITZER: Let's go through a couple things --


BLITZER: -- and then I'll let you move on --


BLITZER: -- to the debt limit, health reform and all of that.

WEINER: I appreciate it. Thank you.

BLITZER: Back on March 13th, a woman named Ginger Lee, who is a stripper, apparently, she tweeted this, and I'll -- I'll put it up on the screen, "You know it's a good day when you wake up to a DM (direct message) from @RepWeiner. I'm a fangirl, y'all, he's my trifecta of win."

Do you have any idea who this woman is, sending her direct messages?

WEINER: This is another person who I -- has gotten dragged into this for no reason other than she was following me and asked to be followed by me. She was following, and asked to be followed.

It's -- I think what this is about is a fairly pro forma thing that goes out that I send out to people as I follow them. Thank you for following me, please check in at

But honestly, Wolf, just take a step back and listen to where we are now. You're going back to my Twitter feed, and other people who are not even me, not even a congressman, somebody who didn't sign up for this, someone who said at their tweet about a congressman and now you're asking me to explain why they did that.

Where do you, in your mind, does this investigation or this story -- at what point does someone say, you know what, we've kind of jumped the shark here, this has gotten a little bit crazy?

I don't know who the woman is. I followed her for a moment. And then someone started tweeting, oh my goodness, Anthony Weiner is following someone in that industry. And I immediately, not wanting to cause trouble for her or --

BLITZER: Did you send her a direct message?

WEINER: I -- most likely what she's referring to is, as a pro forma thing, thank you for following Congressman Anthony -- thank you for following me, please stay tuned to for updates of other things going on. That's probably what she's referring to.

But please, I want to ask you. Does this person -- what did she do, beyond tweet something that she's a follower of mine? You can probably find hundreds of people that did that. And I just would hope that you would leave these people alone. I mean, come hound me, but they didn't do anything wrong for following me on Twitter. I mean, honestly, is that really where we've come to?

BLITZER: I guess one of the questions is, you deleted some photos from your Twitter account. Why did you do that?

WEINER: I had no idea what happened that night, and I was a little bit freaked out by it. I deleted everything.

BLITZER: Have you asked some of your followers to delete photos --

WEINER: From my Facebook account?

BLITZER: No, from your Twitter account.

WEINER: No, I haven't. I mean, I'll tell you what happened that night. I mean, I was literally there tweeting about hockey. For those of you who follow my Twitter, my bloody TiVo didn't record enough time, so I missed the end of the Tampa Bay-Boston game. I'm a big hockey fan, and I tweet about hockey.

And I see this thing pop up. I immediately delete it. OK? I immediately delete the photo -- I thought I deleted - I mean, I'm not a hundred percent sure - I deleted the photo and then this - this -- without any password or anything, I was able to get into the account where this photograph was hosted somehow. And I deleted that and other photographs in there as well, although it was nothing very controversial in there. But I deleted everything, and I immediately tweeted "my system has been hacked." You know, darn it.

BLITZER: Are you protecting anyone?



WEINER: I'm protecting my wife, who every day is waking up to these insane stories that are getting so far from reality. You know, we've been married less than a year, to watch her watch these stories, get crazier and crazier about what essentially a prank, a hoax. You know, we went to bed that night not batting an eye. This was a goofy thing that happened.

She married a congressman. She knows a little something about living in public life. She knows with that goes a certain amount of, you know, aggravation. I don't think she imagined that it would be this, these bizarre stories about people who are connected to me by eight or nine rings of connection on social media. I'm protecting her the best I can.

I can handle myself. These poor people getting dragged into this with these more and more bizarre conspiracy stories. I'm protecting people who are so offended when CNN puts this Breitbart guy on and says the most outlandish things about complete, innocent people. You know, I can take the flack, but at some point I say I'm not going to do any more questions about that, it is to some degree to protect a certain amount of integrity to of all of us. That we are in this place, that we're constantly having this conversation about something that was essentially a prank.

BLITZER: I know your wife. She's a great lady --

WEINER: She doesn't deserve this.

BLITZER: And you're a very lucky man to be married to her.


BLITZER: She works for the secretary of state house for a long time. How is she handling all?

WEINER: Well, she's bemused. She's got some experience, and she's not a public person, as you know. She went the entire campaign in 2008 with probably most Americans not knowing that she was the traveling chief of staff to Hillary Clinton. She's a remarkable, remarkable woman. As my friend Heath Schuler once said about her, I've out-kicked my coverage.

And you know, that something like this would take on this -- that I would wake up this morning and see on a blog, you know, some of the attractive women that Anthony Weiner follows and one of them is my sister-in-law. I mean, it's gotten bizarre.

And I know that you're doing your job. You know, I get that. You're trying to follow the story. Maybe it's because it took place on Memorial Day weekend, there's a lot of pent-up demand or something like that.

But I would just hope that you would understand that you know what? Sometimes things are what they appear. Sometimes a prank is a prank. And that's what I'm trying to treat it that way. But hopefully my marriage survives my first anniversary.

BLITZER: I hope it does, too. I --

WEINER: Thank you.

BLITZER: I know you could have resolved this. That performance yesterday was terrible with our Dana Bash.

WEINER: I know that. I would agree with that. I would agree with that.

BLITZER: You're calling Ted Barrett what you called him - he's such a nice guy.

WEINER: He was -- he didn't act it the other day. Listen, you have certain -- I have a certain rights as a citizen, as a human being, to be treated with some level of respect. Someone yelling at me, someone hectoring me - I --

BLITZER: He wasn't yelling at you.

WEINER: No, he was actually hectoring me in the middle of Dana Bash's questions.

But let me just stipulate to this rather than relitigating (ph) in whether he is or is not a jackass. I'll leave it to someone else to decide.

Let me just say this, is that I did not do that well yesterday. But look at it through my lens. Saturday this thing breaks in the middle of the night - or in the wee small hours of Saturday. I tweet about it, basically saying that I was hacked. Saturday, we put out a statement resolving questions about it. It wasn't me, I don't know this girl, etcetera. The next day, well, we're going to report it. Then somebody put a statement out about that.

The following day - Monday is our Memorial Day Weekend, by the way, Wolf. Memorial Day weekend, we take a walk, some cameras out there staking out my house. Talk to them. A crew I think, from CNN. Talked to them. So when I got here Tuesday, this notion that I don't care what is going on on the House floor, I don't care what issues the middle class are facing today, I don't care what kind of challenges there are, we are going to talk to you about this whether you like it or not.

OK. I had made a decision, I'm drawing the line. I'm not going to talk about this anymore. Did I draw it in too stern of a way? Was I too - was I too taciturn? That's why you and I are sitting here today. That I regret the way I handled it yesterday, and I'm trying to deal with it better today.

BLITZER: Do you still want to be mayor of New York?

WEINER: Put it this way: it's the only better job than the one I have, and just imagine how many Weiner jokes will be in play, you know, when you become mayor. But you know, the thing I'm really focusing on now is it's a tough two years coming up. The presidential reelection. I've got to get re-elected.

And we have this really seismic battle going on, the likes that I have not seen in my 13 years of Congress. That - you know, the Republicans are really laying out a firm ideological stand. They're not trying to fudge it too much, that is diametrically opposed to the things that I believe on Social Security and Medicare and the like. And it's that rare moment in American civic life where sides aren't blurring. They're really going to their corners. And I - I -- here's a lot of work to do here because I know which corner I'm in

BLITZER: All right. We're going to leave it on that note. Just to recap, you didn't send that photo to that woman in Washington state.

WEINER: I did not send it to that woman in Washington state.

BLITZER: But you're not 100 percent sure whether the photo is actually you?

WEINER: What I am going to say is that we're doing everything we can to try to answer that question, but we're doing an investigation. I want to caution you. Photographs can be doctored, photographs can be manipulated, can taken from one place and put in another. And so - that's -- and I want to make it clear this is, in my view, not an federal case. In my view, this is not an international conspiracy. This is a hoax, and I think people should treat it that way.

BLITZER: And you're still leaving open the possibility of going to law enforcement?

WEINER: Look, as I've said a couple of times in this interview that I've left this in the hand of people that know this stuff far better than I. I am not treating it like a federal case. It doesn't look to me like one. It looks to me like what it is. When your name is Weiner, people do Weiner jokes about you on the Internet all the time. Unfortunately, people get hacked and people -- you know, identities get blurred all the time. So, I'm leaving it up to the investigation but I'm certainly not treating it like a federal case.

BLITZER: Congressman, thank you very much.

WEINER: You bet, Wolf. Thank you very much.

BLITZER: You could have done this yesterday, by the way.

WEINER: Touche.

BLITZER: That's it from here.

HOLMES: All right That's our Wolf Blitzer there live with Representative Weiner. You can't make this stuff up, folks, but he's answering some questions saying, yes, in fact, it was not him. He said he did not send that lewd picture. However, he says he cannot say for sure that the picture is not of him. So, that could possibly leave some more questions there.

But strange stuff. You can't make it up. Story about a lewd photo of a man's crotch involving a congressman by the name of Weiner. You cannot make this up in Washington, D.C., can you, folks? Well, here we are, about 20 minutes to the top of the hour. Just asked our Chad Myers to come over and have a seat here with me. You've been watching these tornado watches and warnings for the Northeast. One on the ground --

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Westfield, Mass. Kind of the Shaker Road area (ph). Now, that's going to move into Springfield, Massachusetts very quickly. If you are in the Springfield, Massachusetts area, you need to take cover now. We know that this tornado is on the ground. It's not the size of the Joplin tornado. But any storm that's on the ground can take off a roof, can put trees down. You get a tree down on top of your house, all of a sudden, if you're very close to the outside, near a window, window can break, you can get hurt. Get to the inside of your house, the smallest room inside your house, away from windows if you are in Springfield, Massachusetts right now.

HOLMES: You've been telling us about watches and warnings. How much longer will they be under these watches and warnings in the Northeast? Major cities right now --

MYERS: Until 8:00 on the watch, but that will probably be into the ocean by then. I think the warning goes for about another 15 or 20 minutes there. But this is one town right now that needs to take cover. Just Springfield, Massachusetts, right now.

HOLMES: Springfield, Mass, right now. Take cover. OK. Chad Myers, we appreciate you hopping in and being ready for us here. Thanks so much.

He, of course, will keep a close eye on that. We're still keeping a close eye on all things politics, including Sarah Palin playing a cat-and-mouse game with the media. Alaska announcing the release of more than 24,000 pages of records from Palin's time as governor, in the meantime, including a lot of e-mails.

Also, keep in mind, news organizations have been requesting those records since 2008. So, what might they might reveal? That is next.


HOLMES: Well, our senior political analyst, Gloria Borger, joining us now with the latest news from the Political Ticker. Gloria, always good to see you. How are you?


HOLMES: All right. Well, I happened upon your column today talking about Sarah Palin's vacation that was a bus tour. It was a kick-off to a campaign, what exactly is it?

BORGR: I think it's -- I would call it a re-branding tour. I think Sarah Palin is looking for a way to reintroduce herself to the American people. Whether that's because she's running for president or because she wants to continue writing books or on the lecture circuit, we're not quite certain.

But what I think what happened to Sarah Palin is that first of all, she has been crowded out by lots of other Republicans. Donald Trump, as you recall, took up a bunch of oxygen. There are now, real authentic candidates in the race who have announced that they want to be president, like Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, for example.

Barack Obama took up a lot of oxygen because he got Osama bin Laden. Now she wants to get some of that attention back, and is deciding quite publicly about whether she in fact wants to run for president and wants to present a positive image of herself. Because one thing people don't like about her so much when you ask them is that she seems to be too negative. So, I think we see her on this One Nation tour, in which she reminds us in a relentlessly positive way about what is good with our country. So, not much controversy in that.

HOLMES: OK. Will there be more controversy when these records, these e-mails that some people have been after for quite some time. When they come out, what are they really going to show us?

BORGER: Well, there are 24,000 pages of e-mails that come from the days when she was governor of Alaska. And I think what we could learn from those e-mails, which have been requested by news organizations like CNN, these e-mails could shine some light on some past political controversies in her life, including what we used to call Trooper-gate, the firing of the head of the state troopers in the state of Alaska. And that was quite a matter in the vice presidential campaign. So, I think we're going to learn a little bit more about the way Sarah Palin managed her state government.

Now, I should add that lots of these e-mails have been redacted, so we're not going to see all of the e-mails but we will see enough to get a flavor of just how she did govern, and when you're trying to decide whether somebody should be a presidential candidate, those might be sort of interesting things to look at.

HOLMES: All right. Gloria Borger, always good to see you. You have a good one.

BORGER: Good to see you. You too.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), WAYS AND MEANS BUDGET CHAIRMAN: We had a debt crisis coming, and we want to deal with this.


HOLMES: Congressman Paul Ryan has had some strong words for the president. Had more today, and it was just minutes after he and other House Republicans met with the president at the White House. We're now finding out, what kind of happened behind closed doors and which principle neither side is willing to budge on. That is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOLMES: So the president meeting with Republican leaders at the White House today pushing for a deal on raising the debt ceiling. Dan Lothian is at the White House for us. Dan, hello to you. They get this worked out today?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, if it were only that easy. Listen, you know, the message really didn't change today as Republicans came over here. They were looking for deep spending cuts before they will support raising that debt limit, which essentially allows the federal government to borrow more money to pay its bills.

You saw Speaker Boehner come here today just ahead of the meeting. He said that he released the letter from 150 economists who sort of back up that claim. There are big differences between all sides here. This was a meeting where they weren't expecting to knockout any sort of deal, negotiated deal, really a chance for them to come and meet face-to-face.

On that end it was successful because they have a dialogue and that's what you heard from all sides. It's important for them to sit down and talk, but this was not a meeting where they rolled out spreadsheets and hammered out any details, T.J.

HOLMES: OK, you talked about the things that they differ on. But was there anything that came out there that maybe they got common ground they could at least start working on?

LOTHIAN: You know, in terms of the agreements, no agreements coming out of this. I mean, nothing really changed. What you do hear from the White House is that the president has been very willing to compromise and so that is encouraging when you hear both sides talking about compromise, but no deal here.

The real deal will have to be hammered out in these meetings taken place led by the vice president. The next one is going to be on June 9th. That is really where they will get down to the real matter, the meat of the matter here.

Pull out those spreadsheets, hammer out those details. Let's hope that they can reach some kind of an agreement, but no deal here struck here today, T.J.

HOLMES: All right, I know wishful thinking on my part. Dan Lothian, good to see you, as always. Thanks so much.

To Florida where emotions are running high at the murder trial of Casey Anthony. She claims her brother sexually abused her and now he's taking the stand. You'll hear what he said next.


HOLMES: Well, day seven in the Casey Anthony trial, we heard from the first police officer to arrive at the Anthony household after 2-year- old Caylee was reported missing. Our good friend, Sunny Hostin is on the case for us. Sunny, good to see you as always. I want - we're talking about that police officer. I want to get to something else that a lot of people were talking about, got a lot of people's attention.

Her brother got on the stand today. To our folks in the back, I'm going to skip and I want to roll this second sound bite. This is from the brother who was on the stand and I'm going to ask you about it. Sunny, so let's take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you offer to go get Caylee that night?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you say to your sister? What was your suggestion?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I could go get Caylee, could have my roommate at the time go get Caylee. There was - in my mind, no excuse why anybody couldn't go get Caylee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what was your sister's response to having somebody else go get her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At one point she was actually receptive to it, but for the most part it was, I don't want to disturb her or I don't think mom would allow it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During this time period, are you getting frustrated with your sister?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very. Yes. Why couldn't we or anybody just go get Caylee and bring her home? There is nobody to fight with mom at this point.


HOLMES: Sunny, that's the brother. What do you make of his testimony today?

SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, "IN SESSION" ON TRUTV: Well, you know, I think he tried to help Casey Anthony, quite frankly. There's been testimony that she accused - or opening statement, she accused him of being sexually abusive towards her.

But what I saw on the witness stand, T.J., was someone that loved her, someone that was her friend and someone that really tried to help her, so much so that I think his answers appeared to be a bit evasive.

He just answered the questions directly and didn't try to move around a lot so helpful to the prosecution. I think he did everything he could to help his sister. HOLMES: How is this going? For people who are not watching day in and day out, maybe they get updates here and there, how is this case, how is this testimony, how is this trial starting to shape up and is there, not even a consensus yet, but are some in the legal field, like yourself, starting to see this thing lean or tilt one way or the other just yet?

HOSTIN: Well, not yet. We're only in the second week, but certainly the prosecution, T.J., is putting this case forward in a very chronological way, a very linear way. It's a circumstantial case. Remember so no one is going to testify that they saw Casey Anthony kill her little girl, Caylee Anthony.

So the prosecution is trying to put together its case with a lot of little pieces. So it's not clear what the picture will look like, but the prosecution certainly is getting there. The defense is doing a very good job as well at keeping the prosecution to its very, very high burden, beyond a reasonable doubt.

So too soon to tell, I'm not going to call it yet, but certainly every day my jaw drops when I observe this trial, T.J. a lot of bomb shells, a lot of things going on.

HOLMES: All right, Sunny Hostin, we appreciate you. Hope to have more time with you. Had a little breaking news we had to get to, but Sunny, always good to see you.

Part of that breaking news to our viewers, was of course what you saw with Representative Anthony Weiner giving an interview here with our Wolf Blitzer.

But another thing we are following is a serious situation with a tornado watch and warnings that have been in place. In particular, in Springfield, do I have this right?

Chad Myers, I'll bring you in. Have we got video of this already? Tell me what I'm looking at here.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): You're watching a tornado cross over the river from West Springfield to Springfield and it did miss most of the downtown buildings, but there are the two bridges there across the river, the one there on the right.

This was probably 100 mile, 120 mile per hour tornado. All that stuff you see in the sky, that's all debris. That's parts of buildings, trees, shingles, all in the air here crossing over. This is the picture you need to see if you live in the city and you think you're always protected by the heat island of the city, that tornadoes don't hit cities.

Yes, they do. WSHM here, this is out of Springfield, crossing the Connecticut River now and moving to the south of this location. I assume this camera is going to keep panning. There it goes. There it goes following. It doesn't look like a Kansas tornado where you see the edges and it's nice and dark in the middle.

That's because it was over water when we were looking at it and the water doesn't make a dark cloud. Actually water can make it look like a white tornado or like a water spout. This was not a water spout even it went over the Connecticut River.

This was still a tornado with connections all the way up into the sky. We see this storm now as it move just to the south of Palmer in Massachusetts, and Palmer, Massachusetts, a little bit farther off to the east, I can't imagine that it's still not on the ground.

On the other side here near the rotary, on the other side of this bridge, looking towards West Springfield, there's a truck that has flipped over on to its side and there are cars that are trying to make their way over across the bridge into Springfield one after another and now there's a police officer right there stopping those cars.

We don't have any idea what happened to the driver, but cars were driving around and around and around this truck for a very long time and now finally a police on the scene here. This was just literally been tipped over from the winds.

HOLMES (voice-over): OK, how long ago this video we're seeing from our affiliate. That was on top of their building there, their tower. How long ago was this?

MYERS: I don't know, eight minutes ago.

HOLMES: Just minutes ago?

MYERS: No question about it. Yes, we're watching it on some of the other streams, too, from some of the other affiliates in Springfield, Massachusetts. They all have these same cameras on the exact same buildings downtown and had that thing come right at the camera, it was on one of the skyscrapers in Springfield, you know, 20, 30 stories up.

It missed it. It missed those buildings, but so much debris in the air. I can't imagine that some of those buildings don't have a lot of window damage as the debris flies around. It's not the tornado that is going to pick you up. It's going to take you to Kansas that is going to kill you.

It's getting hit by 120 mile per hour shingle, right and that's what was blown around. Look at this debris up in the sky. This is 20, 30, maybe 300 feet up into the sky. And all of the stuff is all blowing around because the suction of the tornado there on the ground, picking up the debris.

I saw a bunch of pictures from West Springfield were houses - they've lost their roof. Not just shingles. The roof structure is actually gone. That happens at about 110 to 120 miles per hour and then that moved right across. It died off a little bit as it got over just south of here.


MYERS: And then reformed again south of Palmer and I probably believe that this storm is still on the ground south of Palmer, Massachusetts. So that's 20 miles east of Springfield itself, but still moving to the east. There's not much population there to the east yet.

But this one still has a long way to go before it runs offshore. It could even sneak down maybe into northern Connecticut and then to Rhode Island because it's right there Springfield in this area, right on the line between Connecticut and Massachusetts.

HOLMES: All right, as we continue to watch these pictures, just coming into us, again Chad Myers standing here with me. Chad, we got about one minute, about 60 seconds before we have to join Wolf Blitzer.

But as we continue and wrap this up here, you've been telling me about this dangerous weather. Tornado watches and this is a warning here for them, but these watches are in place for several major population centers for the next several hours?

MYERS: Yes. And although we know that this and there's even a rotation there, this is going towards Wester, the southern storm, you see two red dots, the southern dot down there, the southern storm that's the one where they actually made the tornado in Springfield.

But the northern part could actually put down - could spin again, it did spin again as it was over north Hampton. Spun for awhile, but we don't have any reports of tornado on the ground. There has been damage there.

But this watch extends all the way down to almost Philadelphia, including New York City. Now, there was a fairly big cell north of Patterson in New Jersey, maybe headed up towards Yonkers, but that storm - simply it died off.

But that doesn't mean that for the next - at least for the next two or three hours, storms can't pop up, do a little damage and then fade away, but you need to watch yourself if you're in the northeast.

HOLMES: Chad Myers, we appreciate you and again to our viewers as we hand this over to Wolf Blitzer. This literally was just 10 minutes ago, tornado hitting right in the heart of Springfield, Massachusetts. More to come here. Right now, let me hand it over to Wolf.