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Anthony Weiner to Announce Resignation; Interview with Sir Richard Branson; New Jersey Town Hit Hard by Foreclosures; Rape as a Weapon of War
Aired June 16, 2011 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Suzanne. Thank you.
And we begin with a major development on Capitol Hill. After nearly three turbulent weeks, Representative Anthony Weiner does plan to resign today. The move follows revelations of his lewd online exchanges with women. You will recall that Weiner, a New York Democrat, initially lied about his involvement before admitting that the reports were in fact true.
Weiner has come under fire from both Republicans and Democrats to resign. According to his source, Weiner made a decision to resign after talking to his wife and house minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, and fellow New York Representative Steve Israel yesterday. Weiner is expected to announce his resignation at a news conference at the top of the hour. We'll bring that to you live, right here on CNN when it happens.
CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin will join us in just a moment, but first let's get to our Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. She's on Capitol Hill and she was the first to break the news of Weiner's plan to resignation, right here on CNN. Dana, many were expecting his wife would weigh in on this decision. Do you have any indication how those conversations went or how he came to this decision?
DANA BASH, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know how the conversations went except that we do know that there were conversations. We know that his wife who is a top aide to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was traveling abroad with her, returned yesterday, and everybody here on Capitol Hill was waiting for that moment, because Anthony Weiner was telling them he did not want to make decisions until they could talk face-to-face.
That happened and it was late yesterday that Anthony Weiner made the call, we are told, to Democratic leaders, finding them actually on their cell phones at the White House, they were attending a Congressional picnic at the White House, but to inform them that he was, in fact, going to resign. And I'm told, according to a source familiar with that conversation, was a very remorseful, very apologetic about the fact that he has caused a kind of distraction that has so angered his Democratic colleagues and especially Democratic leaders, and of course, apologized about the pain that he has caused his family. There is definitely, at this point, I think it's fair to say, a sense of major relief -- KAYE: Yes, I was going to ask you about that.
BASH: -- among his Democratic colleagues, because it's -- yes.
KAYE: The news released nearly three weeks, and I was curious what the mood there was, not only on Capitol Hill but also at his office there at Capitol Hill?
BASH: Well first of all, among his colleagues -- it's relief, because they want this to be over, they want to go back to really focusing on the things that they want to talk about which is the Republican budget and Medicare and things like that. But also there actually some sadness. Jerry Nadler, who was one of his colleagues from New York, just told our Deirdre Walsh that there's a sense of loss, that he is somebody that was definitely an articulate spokesman for the causes of mainly progressive Democrats. So, it's definitely -- this is a really sad, sad awful story. So, not a lot of happiness certainly about that, but they are happy that it's over.
It -- very interesting, Randi, what's going on, though, at his office, his Capitol Hill office, right now. When word spread that he was, in fact, resigning, Xuan Thai, who is our producer, has been over there and he said that it's starting to become like a tourist attraction. People coming by and taking photographs of his name plate -- there you see a name plate, at his office, to -- you know, for memorabilia, because it's not going to be there very long.
This morning, Randi, we are told from some of our folks that are outside his office that they just -- there were a couple of staffers in there, they came out at about 9:00, 9:30 in the morning and they closed the door, shut the lights, and it's been locked ever since.
KAYE: All right, Dana Bash for us, keeping very busy today on Capitol Hill. Dana, thank you.
And joining us now on the phone is CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Jeffrey, I want to ask you, what is your take on this move? I mean, do you think that Anthony Weiner had any other choice here?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST (via telephone): I don't, really, Randi. When you have the president of the United States of your party, you have the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, of your party, telling you to resign. There really is nothing for a member of Congress to do. He cannot really serve on committees, he can't really do any legislative work. I think Pelosi and Obama really made Weiner's decision for him.
KAYE: And do you see any legal ramifications coming out of this at all? I mean, where can this go?
TOOBIN: I don't think so. Certainly, I don't think there is any even conceivable criminal activity to be associated with Weiner. It's hard for me to imagine how anybody could sue him. I think his problem is personal. He's got to decide of how he's going to save his marriage, what he's going to do for a living. You know, Anthony Weiner has been an elected official since he was in his 20s. He's in his seventh term as a member of the House. He was in the New York City council before that. He was an aide to Senator Chuck Schumer before that. I mean, he does not have a profession other than the one he's been in. So, I think that's going to be a very difficult adjustment for him.
KAYE: And what's the next step here in terms of the politics of it all? I mean, what happens now in New York?
TOOBIN: Well, once the seat is vacant, and we don't know exactly when Weiner is going to step down, but Governor Cuomo is going to have to set a special election, because you know this term is not really very far along. It's only really been about six months since the last -- you know, the last new group of Congressmen were inaugurated.
So, you know, there's a year and a half left, and this seat, unlike others in New York City, is not an overwhelmingly Democratic seat. It is -- definitely leans Democratic, but this is a seat conceivably, especially given the circumstances, that a Republican might make a strong -- a strong run. So, it's going to be a very competitive primary here in Brooklyn, Queens, on both the Democratic and Republican sides. And I'd say the Democrats would be favored, but this is not an automatic win for the Democrats in this vacant seat.
KAYE: It's going to get even more interesting, apparently. Jeffrey Toobin, appreciate it, thank you so much.
The defense admits Casey Anthony is a liar. They claim she was sexually abused by her dad and brother, that Caylee drowned in the family pool and it was all an accident. The defense shocked the jurors and us with those details when the trial opened and those claims that kept us wondering, left us hanging now for weeks.
But today, Anthony's defense team began backing up its case, calling its first witnesses. And there was no shortage of surprises, including a strange request to add a convicted kidnapper to their list of key witnesses.
We have much more on that into a -- in a moment. But first, I want to talk about the defense's two experts and what they did not find that is really peeking our interest.
Let's bring in Martin Savidge who is monitoring the trial closely for us in Orlando, he joins us now. Martin, we were all pretty shocked as we watched this today to learn that the FBI did a paternity test to see if Lee Anthony, Casey Anthony's brother, was Caylee's father. How did that sit in court?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it wasn't so much that the test had been done, it was the way that the information about that test was introduced by the defense attorney. Let me get into this. First of all, the FBI did this paternity test, it was known -- it was requested by one agent, it wasn't like this was a major effort.
Apparently, there had been some rumors, and to put any rumors to rest, they decided to go forward and do the paternity test, and it was known that the paternity test would come back negative, no one in the Anthony family was the father of little Caylee Anthony. And that's the reason the prosecution was so angry, because here's the way it was introduced.
You have the -- all morning long, you've got the jury that listening to very involved, very complicated, some might say even rather dull testimony regarding DNA, and then just before the break at lunch, bam. The defense raises the issue of paternity and about this test. And that, of course, it's going to linger in the minds of the jurors as they go off to lunch, it's going to add this question mark, and that's exactly what the defense wanted to do, which is why the prosecution was so upset. The answer is already known, it was negative.
KAYE: And prosecutor also pointed out that there was hair and chloroform in Casey's car trunk, but the crime scene investigator and the FBI expert today said over and over again that they or on her clothes. Was that pretty striking? I mean, did they find blood on anything? And if not, was that a big deal?
SAVIDGE: No, it wasn't seen as a big deal for this particular reason. Number one, the passage of time. There has been - there had been months in which -- when her body -- when she had been reported missing, when her body was found. A lot of that material had been exposed to the elements. The experts will tell you that DNA can degrade greatly once exposed to the elements. Also, keep in mind that this crime or the way in which Caylee died, whether you believe the prosecution that she died by her mother's hand or whether you believe it was an accident according to the defense, did not involve a lot of blood.
In other words, she wasn't shot, she was stabbed, she didn't suffer some sort of injury that would create a lot of blood. She either drowned or she smothered, and as a result, one reason why you would not necessarily have a lot of blood.
As for DNA, well again, the report says she was wrapped not in one, but several plastic bags, which could also eliminate transfer of DNA. So again, interesting but not shocking.
KAYE: I also want to ask you about this ex-con who is a convicted felon, I mean, they've claimed in court documents that he is somehow linked to Casey's father. Why is this critical?
SAVIDGE: Well, again, this is trying to introduce the question mark here. Could there have some way been the involvement of Casey Anthony's father, George, here? And here's the real question. Supposedly, cell phone records indicate that the number used by this ex-con or that goes back to the ex-con is found on telephone records with George Anthony's telephone the day before Casey is -- or Caylee rather, is reported missing. Why that contact? What is going on here? It's the idea, was George associating with somebody that might be considered the wrong kind? And if so, what were they talking about? Again, raising the question marks, planting the seeds, that's what the defense is trying to do.
KAYE: Raising doubt, that's all they need to do. Martin Savidge, thank you so much, from Orlando for us today.
Turning now to the fight against Al Qaeda. Osama Bin Laden's number two, Ayman Al Zawahiri is taking over the leadership of the organization. He's to the left of Bin Laden in this video here, the move announced on Jihadists (ph) Web site comes less than two months after the Bin Laden was killed in a U.S. Navy SEAL raid. Zawahiri is 59 and an Egyptian who served for years as second in command to Bin Laden. His appointment was expected, he's been indicted in the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Cantina in 1998 which killed 224 people. The FBI is offering a $25 million reward for his capture.
No letup in the battle between President Obama and lawmakers over U.S. military involvement in Libya. Opponents led by house speaker John Boehner accuse the president of violating the war powers resolution which requires the president to seek Congressional approval for military action in Libya.
Mr. Obama sent a report to Congress saying permission isn't needed because U.S. forces aren't engaged in hostilities and are only serving in a support role. The 1973 law says presidents must end a mission 60 or 90 days after notifying Congress that troops are engaged in hostilities, unless lawmakers give the OK for the operation to continue.
Another celebrity is speaking out against same-sex marriage. On the same day that the New York state assembly approved a same-sex marriage bill, former New York Giants' receiver, David Tyree, warned of dire consequences if the legislation became law. And its today's "Sound Affect."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID TYREE, FORMER NFL PLAYER, NEW YORK GIANTS: If they pass this gay marriage bill, you know, in -- you know, I guess you can say my peace is in god's sovereignty. You know, what I know what will happen if this does come forth is this will be the beginning of our country sliding toward, you know, it's a strong word, but anarchy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Tyree made the comments in a video released by the National Organization for Marriage which is leading the charge against the bill.
Billionaire businessman, sir Richard Branson is marking a new milestone, he joins me live to talk about that, as well as drugs and space tourism. He'll be here next.
KAYE: And we want to remind you, as you look at this live picture from outside Congressman Anthony Weiner's apartment in Queens, New York, we just want to remind you, that coming up at about 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We should hear from him, he is expected to resign at 2:00 p.m. today. This all started -- this whole scandal started May 27th, nearly three weeks ago to the day. But, last night, we're told that he alerted colleagues, including Nancy Pelosi, that he does plan to resign today, and we will bring you that resignation, that press conference live right here on CNN.
He is a billionaire whose talents touch everything from music to your mobile phone to space tourism. In all, Sir Richard Branson owns more than 200 companies in more than 30 countries. He joins me now from Miami today.
We're happy to have him on the show.
Sir Richard Branson, so glad to have you with us today. And also, today, I know that you have some good news. You're marking yet another milestone.
SIR RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER, VIRGIN GROUP: Yes, in the airline business, it's always good news when you celebrate that you're still alive and still in existence. So, we've actually had 25 years of flying from Miami to London, 25 successful years. And so, we're here to have a bit of partying and celebrate that fact.
KAYE: And you celebrated the 25th anniversary of Virgin Atlantic's first flight from London to Miami?
BRANSON: That's right. We've been doing it in style. We've been doing (INAUDIBLE) on our planes. We've obviously done the Miami vice boat chase, and anyway, just generally having a good time. So, it's always nice to have something to celebrate.
KAYE: Yes. You look like you are having a good time right now with that gorgeous weather behind you.
But let's talk about commercial space tourism, another passion of yours. We're familiar with that. You are selling tickets for $200,000 a pop, hundreds of people, as far as I understand it, have already paid down a deposit for this space travel.
What will this look like? And when do you expect this will actually happen for these folks?
BRANSON: Well, it's enormously exciting. I mean, I think commercial space travel is just -- Virgin Atlantic will be the first company to offer it. And in about a year's time, I'll be going up with my children into space, and we hope after that, we hope hundreds if not thousands of people will have the chance to become astronauts to go to space and it will be a whole new -- whole new era of space travel.
And we hope that from there, from sub-orbital space travel, we'd be able to offer orbital space travel. And then, one day, we hope we'd be able to offer intercontinental flights, maybe the Virgin Galactic or Virgin Atlantic slogan on it at a fraction of time that it currently takes to fly continentally.
KAYE: I'm not sure how old your kids are. But how did they react when you first told that you're going to take them into space? Because I don't know of any other children that have an opportunity to go to space.
BRANSON: Well, I didn't tell them, they told me, that they weren't going to let me go unless they came, too. But, actually, they are now -- when I first told them, they were teenagers. They're now in their early 20s, and -- since a couple of marriages around, I wouldn't be surprised if my grandchildren would be going soon as well.
KAYE: Yes. Well, that actually brings to me to my next question, because how much room do you have. I mean, how many can your aircraft actually carry at one time?
BRANSON: We'll be able to carry eight people. We got massive windows so people can look back and marvel at the earth from space. And they will have the ride of a lifetime.
And, you know, I mean, to go up into a Russian spaceship cost $60 million. To go up on Virgin's spaceship would cost $200,000. And we hope that we can bring the cost down and down and down so that, you know, in years to come, a lot of people watching this program we'll be able to become astronauts.
And one day, you know, it will be -- shall I go to Australia on the holiday or shall I go to space? That's what we want to, you know, get the sort of price level down to one day.
KAYE: Yes. Well, you can certainly get there really fast.
I want to ask you this about your part -- you played a part in this very high-profile drug panel that recently recommended that the U.S. government needs to come up with more creative ways to legally regulate drugs, especially marijuana.
Why was it important to you to be on the panel? And do you see actually any movement and anything coming out of those recommendations?
BRANSON: I was on the panel because we looked at -- we examined the war on drugs and seen if it had been working. It hasn't been working. More and more people take drugs every year. Your prisons have got some like 2.4 million people in the American prisons, many of them just for taking drugs.
And so, the Global Commission on Drugs examined what's been going on in different countries. We found that places like Portugal, Switzerland and Germany, they treat drugs as a health problem, not a criminal problem.
So, they don't put -- you know, Portugal puts nobody in prison for taking drugs. They help those people. And as a result, the number for people taking heroin has halved. And the number of people who got HIV from dirty needles is more than halved. The number of people on marijuana is the lowest in the whole of Europe.
And, you know, what we're urging governments to do is, you know, to treat drugs as a health problem in the same way that somebody has too much alcohol. They should be treated as a health problem. Somebody smokes too much, that should be treated as a health problem.
And, you know, do everything that you can to help people get off the drugs. And, you know, that we believe is the way forward.
And we would urge the American government to take the Global Drug Commissions report seriously and read it because it was 18 hard months of study, and it seems to scream out from the pages what needs to be done.
KAYE: All right. Sir Richard Branson, you certainly have your hands in a whole lot of things from drugs to space. We certainly appreciate you making some time for us today in your busy schedule. Thanks for coming on the show.
KAYE: Well, it is no secret, foreclosures hurt the community around them. We'll visit a town where nearly one in 10 homes are affected. That's next.
KAYE: We're going to take you to Brooklyn right now. You see a live picture outside the senior center. We're just 35 minutes from now Representative Anthony Weiner is expected to resign following his sexting scandal.
You can see reporters there lined up. We certainly have reporters there as well on the scene and we'll bring you that announcement, that press conference, the official resignation after nearly three weeks of following this scandal. That should be coming up here live on CNN at about 2:00 p.m.
Meanwhile, Plainfield, New Jersey -- a town that has been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, so hard, in fact, that nearly one in 10 homes is in foreclosure.
CNN's Poppy Harlow takes a look.
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM (voice-over): At a bird's eye view, Plainfield, New Jersey, may look like lots of small towns across America. But when you walk the streets and talk to the folks here, you start to realize something. The bank own as big chunk of this city.
REGINA PERRY, PLAINFIELD RESIDENT: I moved in three houses and three of the houses that I've lived in have foreclosed and I was forced to move.
HARLOW: Of the roughly 9,000 homes in Plainfield, nearly 900 are in foreclosure. That's almost three times the national average.
LEA MCDONALD, PLAINFIELD RESIDENT: It's terrible. I mean, my kids have to walk past these empty houses. And -- I'm afraid for them.
HARLOW: You won't find padlocks or boarded-up windows. But it's not tough to find people thousands of dollars in debt on their homes.
(on camera): Right here on East Front Street alone, there are 25 homes in foreclosure. And just down the way, on Berkeley Terrace, you'll find eight more.
(voice-over): Crime is now rampant in Plainfield. The police spend their time breaking up gang activity.
And determining which came first is a chicken-and-egg situation for Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs.
(on camera): Do you feel that the amount of foreclosures, really, the foreclosure crisis, in this city, led to this increased gang violence?
MAYOR SHARON ROBINSON-BRIGGS, PLAINFIELD, NEW JERSEY: There may be a relationship in terms of certain areas in the city of Plainfield where some of our residents have been laid off, who feel kind of hopeless at this point.
HARLOW (voice-over): The highest density of foreclosures is near the gang violence, 123, within a half-mile. But there are hundreds more all over town.
MCDONALD: The town is going down. Taxes are going up. We're suffering.
HARLOW: Today, home prices continue to fall. There are layoffs in the schools and the city has cut 50 percent of its workers since February.
At Rise N' Shine Restaurant, the owner says business is slumping.
SAUL GUIDARDO, RISE N' SHINE RESTAURANT: There are ups and downs. Some days are better, some days are slow. It's tough.
PERRY: Unless like something can turn around, we need a miracle. You know --
HARLOW (on camera): A miracle?
PERRY: We need a miracle.
HARLOW: And from the looks of it, she's right. That resident right there that said we need a miracle, she told me she feels trapped, and if she wanted to sell her home which she is current on her mortgage on, she couldn't. She feels trapped because of the situation.
As for the banks, the mayor said, look, we need help from these banks in terms of the mortgage modification. So, we reached out to the two biggest lenders in Plainfield, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Bank of America had no comment. Wells Fargo said they are working with borrowers to find an alternative to foreclosure.
But, Randi, we asked to come on camera with us to talk about it, neither of them would, Randi.
KAYE: I hate to see that happening anywhere, Poppy. Thank you for that report.
And, of course, for all the latest financial news, be sure to join Christine Romans for "YOUR BOTTOM LINE" each Saturday morning at 9:30 Eastern. And don't miss "YOUR MONEY" with Ali Velshi, Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern and Sundays at 3:00.
And we will get the White House's reaction to Representative Anthony Weiner's plan resignation right after the break with our Ed Henry. He's standing by.
KAYE: And just about 30 minutes from now, we will take you live back here to the Council Center for Senior Citizens. You're looking at a live picture there, that is in Brooklyn, New York. That is where Representative Anthony Weiner is expected to officially resign. We're told he will be there.
His wife, Huma Abedin, returned this week from a trip abroad. Apparently, according to sources here at CNN, they had conversations about this and the representative called his colleagues last night to let them know that he did plan to resign today. We know that he is in the area and expected there at 2:00 p.m.
We'll bring you the live press conference here on CNN just about 30 minutes from now. So be sure and keep it here.
President Obama talked about Representative Anthony Weiner this week, offering up what he would do if he were in Weiner's shoes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARAK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ultimately this is going to be a decision for him and his constituents. I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Senior White House correspondent Ed Henry joins us from the White House.
Ed, hi there.
Once the president weighed in was the writing on the wall, do you think, for Representative Weiner?
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think you're absolutely right. I mean, this had been dragging on, all kinds of Democratic leaders had coordinated their efforts to get him to resign. It hadn't quite worked. But once the president weighs in, it's pretty much over since he is the party leader, de facto or otherwise.
And it's interesting because I just asked Jay Carney what's your reaction? Does this allow you now to focus back on jobs and other issues? And his retort was, look, we never stopped focusing on jobs. We didn't even really want to talk about the Anthony Weiner story.
The only reason why the president commented in that interview is because Ann Curry of NBC News asked him about Anthony Weiner. He never offered up, he never walked to the White House briefing room and said Anthony Weiner did a bad thing. You know, the president tried to stay out of this for a number of reasons. He wanted Anthony Weiner to work it out with his family, undoubtedly, but he also wanted the Democratic Party to deal with this, far, far from this president who has his own reelection coming up and the last thing he wants to do is get intertwined with Anthony Weiner.
KAYE: Yes, I'm sure. Well, he also has another issue that he's dealing with, of course, which is this situation with this group of House members suing the president regarding Libya.
What is happening with that? I certainly know the president is pushing back.
HENRY: Absolutely. Interesting line of attack that just came out from Jay Carney in the last few moments. What he was saying was, look, we've dug up a quote from John Boehner, the current speaker of the House, when he was a back bencher in the House in 1999, saying that he believed then that the War Powers Act was quote, "constitutional suspect," that basically it didn't hold water and essentially was pointless.
What they're trying to say here and asset at the White House is, Republicans are now flipping on the notion and believing that the War Power Act is constitutional and that the president needs to end any U.S. operations in Libya without congressional approval.
You heard the White House last night in this report from the president to Congress say, look, we don't believe the War Powers Act applies here because there are no U.S. boots on the ground. This is not hostile military operations in a traditional sense where we've seen in other places all around the world.
That may not hold water with not just some Republicans like John Boehner, but some Democrats in the president's own party, who as you mentioned, part of the lawsuit, but also frustrated with the president not consulting them more in their opinion.
But as Jay Carney just said a moment ago, by their account here at the White House, they consulted with Congress including that report last night, 41 times in recent weeks. Various briefings, phone calls, et cetera. So there's a stalemate here. But I think they're going to face increasing pressure from the Hill, no doubt about it on this issue, Randi.
KAYE: All right. Ed Henry for us at the White House on the Stakeout. As always, thank you, Ed.
HENRY: Great to see you.
KAYE: And a live report from New York, from Brooklyn, New York, where Congressman Anthony Weiner is about to resign a short time from now. We'll have a look at the events that led to this upcoming resignation.
Right after a short break.
KAYE: Well, we are continuing to follow breaking news here. Of course today's big story in just about half an hour or so from now, Congressman Anthony Weiner is scheduled to hold a news conference to announce his resignation.
Jason Carroll is live in Queens, New York, right outside Representative Weiner's apartment.
Jason, is the Congressman, as far as you know, still inside there? Any sign of him?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As far as we know, Randi, he is still inside. We saw him show up just a few minutes ago. As you know, that press conference scheduled for 2:00. Unsure of how he's going to be able to make that. We're in Queens. If I can just sort of lay the land here. We're in the borough of Queens. But he's got to make it all the way over to Brooklyn, that's at least a 45 minute drive.
When we saw him walk-up to his apartment building that you see behind me, you see all the press out there, he was still wearing jeans and a T-shirt basically. So, unclear how he's going to be able to -- in terms of timing, make that 2:00 presser.
But, when we did see him show up here, he did not speak to reporters as he entered his apartment. His wife was with him. No idea if that's an indication if his wife will end up being with him at the presser. But, just a few minutes ago, both of them are here at his residence here in Queens, Randi.
KAYE: And have you had a chance to speak to any of the people there? I mean, any of the residents in the area? Any reaction from them now that the news has finally broken that he does plan to resign?
CARROLL: Absolutely. And it's really a mixed bag. Definitely he still has his supporters out here. You remember that poll from last week, Randi, that showed some, what, 56 percent of registered voters here in his district still support him.
Some of those who we spoke to this morning that once supported him feel as though at this point, things in terms of the way the story has developed, the Congressman has become too much of a distraction to be effective. So there are some that support what he did while in office but feel as though the time has come for him to step down. But there are still some of those that we ran across this morning who still say, look, what happened in his private life is his private business. It doesn't affect his job as a Congressman. So we're still hearing both sides on that issue.
ROMANS: All right. Jason Carroll, do us a favor. Let us know when you do see a sign of him. Let us know when he has finally left Queens, if you would.
CARROLL: You bet.
KAYE: So how did this whole Weiner scandal start as we continue to watch these live pictures at the senior center where representative Weiner is expected to make his official resignation. How did it all start? We're going to take a look back coming up right after this very quick break. So be sure to keep it here.
KAYE: Once again, we want to take you back live to the Council Center for Senior Citizens in Brooklyn where Representative Anthony Weiner is expected to announce to make his official resignation. You can see there just from pictures earlier, there were crowds of reporters outside and now you can see that those folks have gone inside.
Although CNN's Jason Carroll, who was waiting at Weiner's apartment in Queens told us that he doesn't believe he has left yet, which means it may take him a little while to get over to Brooklyn.
We'll let you know as soon as the press conference starts and the official resignation begins and we will bring it to you live right here on CNN. You will not miss it.
As we've mentioned, Anthony Weiner has scheduled this news conference at the top of the hour to announce his resignation. But here is a look at how the scandal toppled his 12 year Congressional career in just 22 days.
KAYE (voice-over): Trouble for Anthony Weiner first surfaces about three weeks ago, May 27th, when a picture from his Twitter account is sent to a 21-year-old college student across the country in Seattle. The lewd photograph shows a man's bulge in his underwear. The image goes viral. When conservative commentator Andrew Brietbart's biggovernment.com gets a hold of it, the media are all over it.
Monday, May 30th, the college student tagged in the photo tells the "New York Daily News" she never met Weiner. Weiner's office announces they're seeking legal action to investigate who hacked his account. The congressman calls it a hoax, then a prank, then a hack. On May 31st, he officially denies being involved.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But you were the one who said that it was hacked --
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: Dana, let me --
BASH: -- that you were hacked.
WEINER: Dana --
BASH: And that's a criminal, a potential crime.
WEINER: Let me, I'm going to have to ask that we follow some rules here and one of them is going to be you ask questions, I do the answers. Does that seem reasonable?
BASH: I'd love to get an answer.
WEINER: That would be reasonable, right? You do the questions -- that would be reasonable -- you do the questions, I do the answers and this jackass interrupts me.
KAYE: The questions keep coming.
June 1st during a round of network interviews, Congressman Weiner again claims innocence and stands by the hacking defense.
Listen to this interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER": Did you send the picture to the college student in Washington State?
WEINER: I did not. She says she never got it and doesn't know me. I certainly don't know her. This seems like it was a prank to make fun of my name.
KAYE: In the following days calls for his resignation begins and then more pictures emerge.
June 6th, Andrew Breitbart announces he has more incriminating photos of Weiner that he does not plan to release. That afternoon, Congressman Weiner finally comes clean.
WEINER: I have made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people I care about the most and I am deeply sorry. I have not been honest with myself, my family, my constituents, my friends and supporters and the media. Last Friday night I tweeted a photograph of myself. I then I continued with that story to stick to that story, which was a hugely regrettable mistake.
KAYE: Weiner refuses to step down.
WEINER: I am regretting what I have done and I am not resigning.
KAYE: Two days later, June 8th, we learn Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is pregnant. That same day Brietbart's incriminating photo of Weiner's exposed groin is made public after two radio talk show hosts got a shot of it from Breitbart's cell phone. On June 10th, tweets to a teenager girl in Delaware are called into question. They're later deemed harmless. The next day, June 11th, under growing pressure to resign, Weiner announces he's entering treatment at an undisclosed location and requests a leave of absence from Congress.
Still, Democrats, including party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz call for him to step down.
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, CHAIRWOMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: It is with great disappointment that I call on my colleague Representative Anthony Weiner to resign. The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible.
KAYE: June 13th, President Barack Obama tells NBC's Ann Curry that Weiner should, quote, "probably step back."
Then Wednesday, this week, June 15th, former porn star Ginger Lee holds a news conference and announces Anthony Weiner told her to lie about their online communication.
GINGER LEE, FORMER PORN ACTRESS: I put out a three-sentence communication that he told me to say. I didn't want to say anything further. I refuse to lie, so I went silent and went into hiding.
I think Anthony Weiner should resign because he lied to the public and the press for more than a week.
KAYE: June 16th, Anthony Weiner tells colleagues he plans to resign. Almost three weeks after he tweeted a lewd photo of his groin, his political career is over.
KAYE: And don't worry, we're not pulling away too far from too long from this Congressman Weiner story. But we will continue to watch the senior center there in Brooklyn as we wait for his official resignation coming up here live on CNN. We'll have it for you.
But in the meantime, news from around the world is coming up right after this quick break.
KAYE: And we take you live now once again as we continue to follow this breaking news here on CNN. You're looking at the Council Center for Senior Citizens in Brooklyn, and we do have news for you as we await the official resignation of Representative Anthony Weiner.
We understand he has left his apartment in Queens. His wife, Huma Abedin, had been with him when he arrived at his apartment, we were told by reporters there on the scene, but then she was not seen leaving the apartment with him. So we can tell you that.
But we do know he is on his way to the senior center here where he will make the official resignation announcement, and we will bring that to you very shortly here.
Meanwhile, as promised, let's do a little bit of international news now.
The next story is disturbing and graphic. It's about rape as a weapon in Libya's civil war, and evidence of those assaults that rebels say is often found on captured cell phones. As CNN's Sara Sidner explains from the Libyan city of Misrata, the videos are so awful that even the rebels are trying to erase the evidence to avoid humiliating victims and their families. We have blurred almost all of the video to make it possible for Sara to file this story.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the front lines of Libya's war, rebel fighters say they are finding a lot more than weapons on captured or killed pro-Gadhafi soldiers. They say they have confiscated cell phones that contain videos showing Gadhafi loyalists torturing and raping Libyan citizens.
(on camera): After weeks of hearing of the cell phone rape videos, we, for the first time, have a copy of one. This was given to us by a source who does not want to be identified in fear of being punished by this very conservative society.
To be clear, we have been unable to verify its authenticity. We do not know where it was taken or when or by whom, and all we can do is watch it and listen to it.
(voice-over): In this video provided to CNN from what rebels say was the cell phone of a Gadhafi loyalist, two men in civilian clothes stand over a naked woman who was bent over with her face on the floor. The man standing behind her is sodomizing here with what appears to be a broomstick. "I can't bear, it I can't bear," it she says.
A male voice off camera says let's push it farther. "No, no, that's enough," the woman begs.
One of the men puts her sock-covered foot on his face. In this culture it is considered the ultimate insult, but in this case it pales in comparison to what the victim is already enduring.
(on camera): We blurred this video because it's extremely difficult to watch. Arabic speakers who have examined the video say the voices are distinctly Libyan with clear Tripoli accents. There is no date on the video, and the men in the video are not wearing military uniforms. The victim's face is barely seen so we have not been able to identify her.
It has been extremely difficult to get anyone to talk about this video on camera because of the cultural sensitivities here.
(voice-over): We asked Abdullah al-Kabier, a spokesman for the opposition in Misrata whether rebels have found many of these kinds of videos. His answer, yes. ABDULLAH AL-KABIER, SPOKESMAN, MISRATA MEDIA COMMITTEE (through translator): We were able to confirm that rape was used as a weapon of war because it was systematic.
SIDNER: The International Criminal Court in the Hague says the allegations are credible; it is investigating.
But in a surprising admission to CNN, spokesman al-Kabier tells us some of the very evidence of war crimes prosecutors want may have been destroyed.
AL-KABIER (through translator): There was a commander here at the Eastern front in Misrata named Mohammed al-Haubus (ph). He ordered all the revolution's fighters to give them all the rape videos they found on Gadhafi's soldiers' cell phones. I heard that he used to destroy every rape video he got.
SIDNER (on camera): Why in the world would you destroy video evidence of rape that could be used as evidence of war crimes against your enemy, against the Gadhafi regime?
AL-KABIER (through translator): Because aside from being a heinous crime, rape is perceived here in our culture as damaging not only for the girl, but also the whole family.
SIDNER: Rape is such a taboo in this culture, even some of the victim's families would rather erase potential evidence against the attackers than risk living with the shame.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Misrata, Libya.
KAYE: And Sara joins us now from Cairo, Egypt.
Sara, such a disturbing story. Is this the first time that we've heard that videos like these exist?
SIDNER: No. In fact, a lot of us have heard them from different parts of Libya, actually. We spoke to a psychologist that said they exist. Nic Robertson spoke to a former Gadhafi soldier that said that these videos exist. Other reporters have also gone out and interviewed people who said, yes, we've seen these videos and there are certainly more than two or three.
The disturbing thing, though, in this particular case is a lot of times the women that are attacked often won't even go to the hospital because it's considered such a stain on the family name and on the woman. That they just don't want anyone to know so they won't ever go and get help, Randi.
KAYE: Sara Sidner for us.
Sara, thank you.
Well, we want to remind you, we're just minutes away from Congressman Anthony Weiner's news conference and expected resignation.
We have some new video into CNN that we can show you. This just in. This is Congressman Anthony Weiner flanked by media there, reporters, just outside his apartment in Queens, New York trying to make it to his car so he can make his way to Brooklyn to the Council Center for Senior Citizens where he is expected to announce his official resignation.
You can see there, it's very difficult for him. A lot of people trying to get a shot of him there as he leaves his apartment getting into even just a little bit of a scuffle.
There's our Jason Carroll who we spoke to just a short time ago trying to get some answers.
And once again, these are inside pictures here, live pictures from inside the Council Center for Senior Citizens in Brooklyn. We expect Representative Weiner to be there very shortly to make his resignation, and we will bring that to you live right here on CNN, so keep it here.
KAYE: And welcome back. We want to show you a live look inside the Council Center for Senior Citizens. That's in Brooklyn, New York, where a lot of folks, reporters, are waiting for Representative Anthony Weiner who is now on his way from his Queens apartment to announce that he will officially resign from Congress.
I want to bring in my colleague Wolf Blitzer who is in Washington who will pick up our special coverage of Anthony Weiner's resignation from here.