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Farewell News Conference for Secretary Gates; Hit List for Jihadists; Interview with Senator Dianne Feinstein

Aired June 16, 2011 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Brooke, thanks very much.

Happening now, the disgraced New York congressman, Anthony Weiner, makes it official, announcing his resignation in a dramatic news conference just a little while ago. This after weeks of struggling to ride out a scandal.

And just weeks after the death of Osama bin Laden, a new leader takes al Qaeda's top spot.

What will it mean for U.S. security now that Ayman Al-Zawahiri is in charge?

I'll ask the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Diane Feinstein.

And GOP presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, on the defensive again, this time slamming those questioning his wife's role in his very troubled campaign.

Is she being targeted unfairly?

I'm Wolf Blitzer.


First to the dramatic moment countless members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, have been waiting for since the scandal took on a life of its own. Anthony Weiner of New York surrendering to their calls to resign from Congress. He did it just a little while ago.


REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: I am here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused. I make this apology to my neighbors and my constituents, but I make it particularly to my wife, Huma.

I hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it.

Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible.

So today, I am announcing my resignation from Congress.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodbye, pervert.

WEINER: So my colleagues can get back to work...


WEINER: My neighbors can choose a new representative and, most importantly, that my wife and I...


WEINER: -- can continue...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people demand to know.

WEINER: -- to heal from the damage I have caused.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not with us. Throw him out. He's not with us.

WEINER: To repeat, most importantly -- most importantly, so that I can continue to heal from the damage that I have caused.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you fooling around?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not with us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Throw him out. He's not with us.

WEINER: To repeat, most importantly -- most importantly, so that I can continue to heal from the damage that I have caused.

I want to thank my colleagues in the House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike. They come from different places around the country, but fundamentally, we all agree. They're all patriots and I will miss them all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you fooling around?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you more than seven inches?


WEINER: Thank you.


WEINER: I also want to express my gratitude...


WEINER: -- to members of my staff.


WEINER: They're young people who are not paid very much. They're people that work very hard and very long hours. Ultimately, those people define the notion of service.

I want to thank, of course, the many people who have helped me, the people who have volunteered, the people who have given me advice, the many of my constituents who have offered me good ideas.

And, of course, I want to express my gratitude to my family. To my mother and father, who instilled in me the values that carried me this far; to my brother Jason; and, of course, to my wife, Huma, who has stood with me through this entire difficult period and to whom I owe so very much.

I got into politics to help give voice to the many who simply did not have one. Now, I'll be looking for other ways to contribute my talents to make sure that we live up to that most New York and American of ideals -- the idea that leaving a family, a community and, ultimately, a country is the one thing that all unites us, the one thing we're all focused on.

With God's help and with hard work, we will all be successful.


BLITZER: All right. Let's go straight to Capitol Hill right now.

Our senior Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, broke this story early this morning, that he was about to resign -- what's the reaction, Dana, first of all, you're getting from Democrats?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it is relief, politically, from Democrats about Weiner finally stepping down; but certainly, sadness for him and his family personally about what has happened. Look, no one here, especially Anthony Weiner's fellow Democrats like to see the self -- rapid self- destruction of someone like him and -- and the end of a promising political career. But, you know, Wolf, we'll hear from many of his fellow Democrats that obviously a big problem was the fact that he sent these lewd pictures to many women, we now know. but it's also what -- what one fellow colleague said is the cover-up, the fact that he did not answer questions at first, did not tell the truth and then lied to people like you and to me about what he had done.

Listen to what one of his colleagues said.


REP. BILL PASCRELL (D), NEW JERSEY: If he came out straightforward in the very beginning, as reprehensible as his actions and behavior admittedly were, I think that he could have survived this. I think that's the straw that broke the camel's back. And I think that we pray for his family. It's important.


BLITZER: A week ago, 10 days ago or so, at that news conference -- emotional news conference, Dana, he said he was not going to resign. Even this weekend, Saturday, when our own Jason Carroll caught up with in New York, he said he was not going to resign. He was digging in.

So what happened?

What made him change his mind?

BASH: He was really dug in. In fact, that is a term that one of his colleagues who spoke with him, who I talked to last week, used to describe his state of mind. He was absolutely insistent that he was not going to resign, even though he was getting call after call from his colleagues privately -- we talked to several of them last week -- saying, you've got to go, enough -- enough is enough.

But the fact this story didn't end, Wolf. It was drip, drip, drip, one picture after another. One of them was extremely explicit. And the story -- the fact that it just didn't end, that really is what convinced Democratic leaders to come out publicly last weekend, and I think, I'm told, ultimately, really convinced him, you know, enough already, that he realizes that he simply can't survive.

The president of the United States coming out didn't -- didn't help, either. But it was really him just wanting to wait until he had a conversation with his wife, who was traveling abroad with the secretary of State, who she works for, that that was the final decision for him, which happened -- which happened yesterday.

BLITZER: Tell us, Dana, how he informed the Democratic leadership of his decision to resign.

BASH: You know, they were on pins and needles, Wolf, because they were also waiting for his final decision, because it had been -- it has been five, six days since they publicly came out and said, you've got to go.

It was a phone call that the Democratic leaders -- in fact, Steve Israel, how is a colleague from New York, the Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, got while they were actually at the White House picnic for Congressional -- members of Congress and and their families. He called and said, look, I've made my decision, I'm going to resign.

I'm actually told, Wolf, that it was so crowded that they kind of moved aside near a tree to have some privacy to speak with him.

But, you know, in that call, I'm told that he was actually very remorseful and he was a lot less emotional than he had been in many other calls I was told about over the last couple of weeks, kind of resigned to the fact that he could not stay here any longer.

BLITZER: He was resigned to his own resignation, as we say.

BASH: Exactly.

BLITZER: All right, Dana.


Thanks for the good work, as well.

There's also reaction coming out of the White House right now.

Let's go to our senior White House correspondent, Ed Henry.

What are they saying over there -- Ed?

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, they're trying to say as little as possible. As you can imagine, as Dana was laying out, this has been a huge headache for the Democratic Party, particularly the White House, as they try to focus on jobs and other issues.

And when I pressed Jay Carney on that very subject, does this now allow you to go back to focusing on jobs, he had a very quick answer.

Take a listen.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We never stopped focusing on jobs. I think when the president was asked about this, he made clear that, you know, he expressed his opinion, but he also made clear that this is not an issue that he has been focused on, because he has, obviously, much more significant priorities.


HENRY: So they essentially have this sort of, what, me worry, kind of attitude. But the fact of the matter is, there was a huge sigh of relief that was let out from the building behind me today -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Ed, do we know anybody at the White House at all, from the president on down, actually spoke with Anthony Weiner or...

HENRY: They...

BLITZER: -- or just his Democratic colleagues in the House?

HENRY: They say they were letting Congressional leaders, as Dana reported, handle this and that there has not been a direct conversation between Anthony Weiner and the president in the last couple of weeks. The bottom line is, they didn't want to touch this thing and they point out, in fact, that the president only commented and suggested that he would resign if put in a similar situation because Ann Curry of NBC News asked him. It's not that the president volunteered that information. In fact, that was his only comment, when a reporter had a direct interview. He's tried to avoid this at all costs. They realize that with the reelection bid coming up next year, it's going to be all about jobs. It's going to be about -- about these high gas prices. They want to turn to that as quickly as they can -- Wolf.

BLITZER: With good reason.

All right, Ed. thank you.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says al Qaeda's new leader is no Osama bin Laden. Why he says Ayman al-Zawahiri has some challenges ahead.

Plus, are jihadists now targeting Americans in a possible hit list?

Details of a new warning coming in right now from the FBI.


BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here.

He has The Cafferty File -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, THE CAFFERTY FILE: All right, Wolf, scintillating not a word I'd use to describe the current field of Republican candidates for president. Stultifying is more like it.

So far, Mitt Romney has emerged as the frontrunner. It might not last. It probably won't. He's already lost this race once. The universal health plan of Massachusetts on his watch. It's being compared to ObamaCare and that's not helping him. Neither is the criticism that he has trouble talking to real Americans. Some say the fact that he's a practicing Mormon could eventually hurt him, too. It did the last time.

Other candidates not exactly lightening it up, either. There was some buzz about Michelle Bachmann at the CNN debate the other night. Former Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty, is campaigning his heart out. But so far, neither of those two is keeping President Obama awake at night.

Rick Santorum is -- well, he's Rick Santorum.

A lack of experience hurting former pizza CEO, Herman Cain.

Congressman Ron Paul, who has a small but devoted following, will likely find out that the third time is not a charm, either.

People don't know too much about Jon Huntsman, who's going to announce he's in the race next week. He's the popular governor of Utah, ambassador to China under President Obama. Then he resigned earlier this year. And he, too, is Mormon. Texas Governor Rick Perry could throw his cowboy hat in the ring -- another Texas governor, that's what the country is crying out for. And some say he could shake up the field.

But so far, it's pretty much a snooze. Even the voters from the candidates' own states are not excited. According to a report on, polling data shows that most of the current candidates have higher unfavorable ratings than favorable in their own states. And some wouldn't even be able to win their states in a general election. Feet to the fire -- come November 2012, most Republican voters will pull the lever for whoever the candidate of their party is, no matter how dull or charismatic. But if the Independents and frustrated Democrats don't get excited about the candidate, then Obama is a shoo- in for a second term.

Here's the question -- why is the Republican presidential field such a yawn?

Go to and post a comment on my blog.

They need a little sizzle -- Wolf.

BLITZER: It might get a lot more exciting in the coming weeks.

CAFFERTY: Well, let's hope.

BLITZER: Yes. Probably.

All right, Jack.

Thank you.


BLITZER: Robert Gates has had some impressive runs as Defense secretary. He served under two presidents, overseeing troop surges for two wars, won the respect of a lot of Democrats and Republicans.

With only two weeks left in his job, Gates held his last news conference at the Pentagon today.

Let's go there.

Our Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence, is joining us now with more on what the outgoing Defense secretary had to say.

What did he say -- Chris?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, after four and a half years now in the office, this was a mix of sort of looking back on his term and looking ahead to the challenges that are still going to be there for his successor.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LAWRENCE (voice-over): As Defense Secretary Bob Gates prepares to leave the Pentagon, al Qaeda is getting new leadership, too. But Gates says Ayman al-Zawahiri is no Osama bin Laden.

ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think he's got the some challenges.

LAWRENCE: For one, Gates says there's some suspicion within al Qaeda because Zawahiri is Egyptian, not a Saudi like bin Laden and he doesn't inspire the same level of devotion.

GATES: In that particular context, he had a peculiar charisma that I think Zawahiri does not have. I think he was much more operationally engaged than we have a sense Zawahiri has been.

LAWRENCE: Gates poked fun at al Qaeda's succession process when asked why he thought it took them seven weeks to name a new leader.

GATES: Probably tough to count votes when you're in a cave.

LAWRENCE: Gates avoided the question of whether the U.S. is winning or losing the war in Afghanistan, but he said the mission is on the path to success.

He also urged his successors to continue to deal with Pakistan despite massive criticism and accusations elements of its government hid Osama bin Laden for years.

GATES: I hate leaks, maybe more than most.

LAWRENCE: In looking back on his time in the Pentagon, Gates said he hasn't always liked what reporters have written about him and his team.

GATES: But I have great respect for your role as a watchdog on behalf of the American people, and as a means for me to learn of problems that the building is not telling me about.


LAWRENCE: And obviously, one of the problems that he is leaving behind is the U.S.'s deteriorating relationship with Pakistan. Both he and chairman of the joint Chiefs, Mike Mullen, both repeatedly over and over and over again hammered at the fact that they would like to see the U.S. to continue to try to work with Pakistan despite the criticism, saying Pakistan is just a key player in that region and the key to going after some of the insurgents and terrorist operators in that part of the world -- Wolf?

BLITZER: And, Chris, you've covered him now for several years. He's a very tough guy, but he's also an emotional guy. You could hear it in his voice a little bit. We've seen him break down a few times, get emotional, especially with troops, start to cry a little bit.

Did you see any of that today? LAWRENCE: Not with us. Perhaps the press doesn't quite bring out that aspect of him, Wolf. Maybe -- maybe he cries for other reasons when he thinks about us.

But yes, you have seen that softer side of the secretary, most especially when he's out there with the troops. We saw it during his very last trip to Afghanistan just a couple weeks ago, where he broke down a couple times in talking about what the troops meant to him and the fact that he had a hand in putting a lot of them there and now he would be leaving the office, won't be able to weigh in on decisions that affect them.

BLITZER: It's a life-and-death decision when you're the Defense secretary of the United States, and that's understandable that you can get emotional looking at the consequences of what you're deciding.

Chris, thanks very, very much.

Greece is facing a huge threat right now unlike it's confronted before. Protesters unleashed their fury over the country's budget, and the outcome of this epic clash could determine the future of Europe's currency with enormous ramifications for those of us in the United States as well.


BLITZER: Lisa Sylvester is back. She's monitoring some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now, including the turmoil in the Greek government.

What's the latest there?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's a lot going on there, Wolf.

Well, the prime minister of Greece is fighting for his job, as the public shows its frustration over austerity measures with angry protests. State Television reports he'll face a vote of confidence on Tuesday, but the opposition isn't satisfied and wants early elections. Greece is trying to rein in spending and a failure to do so could cause a catastrophe for financial markets in Europe.

Well, Tunisia, it may conjure up images of revolution and upheaval, but tourism officials want you to think instead about beautiful beaches. So to that end, they are launching an unorthodox ad campaign. One ad describes heavy-handed treatment while showing a woman receiving a massage. Tourism is slowly recovering, but is likely to fall by 50 percent this year. The ad company says it wants to show that things have changed in Tunisia by using a little humor.

California's governor is drawing a line in the sand and starting a major budget battle with his own party. Jerry Brown today vetoed a budget passed by Democratic lawmakers saying it doesn't address the state's crisis. Brown says the budget adds billions of dollars in new debt and contains legally questionable maneuvers. The state faces a $26 billion budget deficit. And snow leopard triplets, triplets are making their debut at a zoo in Switzerland. The cubs were born eight weeks ago, they are part of a zoo breeding program for the endangered leopards. The species has been pushed to the brink of extinction by farmers and poachers who sell their fur and body parts, and there may be as few as 3,500 still living in the wild. So very cute, adorable indeed, Wolf.

BLITZER: Adorable, indeed.

You know, I was in Tunisia not too long ago and it's lovely. The beaches are great, the hotels are -- it's empty right now, a lot of tourists haven't come. So much of that country relies on tourism, but if there's a little political stability and they get their act together, tourists will come, especially from Europe, even here from North America and they'll have a wonderful time. The people are very friendly, very nice. We're hoping that Tunisia gets its political act together and that tourism industry can be robust once again.

I love -- you like the Mediterranean?

SYLVESTER: You know what? I've heard really gorgeous things about it. Last time I was on the Mediterranean Sea was when I was in college, so it's been many, many years, Wolf. But it's supposed to be gorgeous there in Tunisia.

BLITZER: I hope they get their act together.

Thank you.

A new warning from the FBI coming into THE SITUATION ROOM about a potential terror hit list targeting Americans. We're going to tell you who may be at risk.

Plus, can the disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner make a political comeback? Our "Strategy Session" just ahead.


BLITZER: Let's get back to our top story this hour, the New York Congressman Anthony Weiner announcing he's resigning from office. Let's discuss in our "Strategy Session."

Joining us, our CNN political contributors, the Democratic strategist Paul Begala, he's the senior strategist for the Democratic fundraising group's Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action. Also joining us, Republican strategist Mary Matalin.

Guys, thanks very much for coming in.

Let me ask the Democrat first. Can Anthony Weiner ever come back politically? Is there going to be a second act for him?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, ever is a long, long time. He's got to repair his marriage, you know. Everyone who knows his wife, and I do, just feels heartbroken for her. He's got to get that straight. But ever is a long time. If he can repair his marriage and repair himself, but that's the right process, right?

And I will draw the contrast, this is really important, to United States Senator David Vitter, a Republican who ran on family values and then was caught on the list of the D.C. madam's list of customers. He never came clean. He never answered questions. You know, CNN is not camped outside his office.

But David Vitter, who committed a crime, apparently -- what Weiner did is very creepy, but apparently not a crime -- Vitter, what he did is a crime, and he's still in the Senate with no resignation, no therapy, no nothing, not even any accountability for his actions.

BLITZER: He got himself reelected, Mary. You're there.

MARY MATALIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I love how the Democrats love to change the subject on this. And Paul hit the nail on the head, voters are discriminating. They voted Vitter back in, his wife forgave him, he did start there, and he's been a successful senator for this state.

What Weiner did was -- it was just creepy -- let me finish -- but never -- Paul's exactly right politically. I do believe, however, his higher aspirations, mayoral and beyond are probably off the table, if not with the voters, with funders. Funders are very practical, and this is not something that they would feel comfortable with, I don't think, not his behavior, but his judgment and his behavior in the aftermath.

BEGALA: There is a real chance that Anthony Weiner's voters would have returned him to the House. Certainly if you look at the polling today, they did not want him to resign. He resigned for the reasons he stated.

But his party's leadership, Nancy Pelosi, who is strong and was very angry about this, publicly called on him to resign. The chairwoman of his party called on him to resign. The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called for him to resign. The whip called for him to resign. All the leading Democrats called on him to resign, even though his voters might have kept him.

Nobody called for Vitter to resign in the Republican Party even though he was caught on the list of customers of a prostitution ring and claimed to be a guy of family values. In fact, 19 Republican senators gave money to Vitter's reelection.

Now, I have to say I did some consulting for his Democratic opponents. I have a conflict of interest that our viewers should know about. Maybe that's why it irked me so much.

BLITZER: Why couldn't -- why couldn't the Democrat get himself elected in the face of those accusations against Vitter?

BEGALA: He may -- well, why couldn't a Democrat? Well, because it was Louisiana and they're conservative people.

BLITZER: Democrats get elected in Louisiana. BEGALA: Yes. Sure, they do. My point is -- my point is thinks about hypocrisy. I don't want to indict the voters of Louisiana. They have a right to vote for whoever they want to.

Republicans lined up to call for Weiner to resign for something that was not a crime, and now he has resigned. Why won't they hold Vitter to the same standards?

BLITZER: I want to move on, but go ahead and respond to that, Mary.

MATALIN: You know, this is -- Paul is trying to do what he's quite good at and famous for, which is maligning the entire party for mistake (ph) of one person. Vitter made it up with his wife and his God and his constituents and that's the end of that story.

BLITZER: All right. Let's move on to Mitt Romney, arguably the frontrunner right now for the Republican presidential nomination. I'm going to play a little clip.

Mary, we'll start with you. And he's trying to show a different side. A lot of people think he's always stiff, a little awkward. But watch this.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Maybe I should also tell my story. I'm also unemployed.



ROMNEY: And I'm networking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Better than what we've got.

ROMNEY: And -- but I have in sight a particular job I'm looking for. So, I know exactly what I mean (INAUDIBLE) it's a lot of work.


BLITZER: I don't know if you could hear it completely, but the keyword was, "I'm also unemployed." I guess that's true, he is unemployed. He's looking for a job, namely to become the president of the United States.

MATALIN: We should also have his challenges.

Listen, Mitt Romney is no doubt the now earned front-runner. He was the front-runner by default, by name ID, et cetera. After his debate performances, his five-point plan responding to the comparison of Romneycare and Obamacare, and his campaigning, and it helps to have been around the track once. He is the earned front-runner, and everybody close to him, those not even affiliated with the campaign saying he's a much better campaigner and much more suited to this cycle. He's on his way.

BLITZER: Is it his nomination, Paul, to lose?

BEGALA: I defer to Mary on that. She says he's the frontrunner. He probably is.

But I'm struck that he hasn't seemed to learn much from going around the track. That comment was callous. It was an insult to the 14 million Americans who are out of work.

BLITZER: But he was trying to be funny and cute. He wasn't being serious.

BEGALA: That's deeply insulting. He's got hundreds of millions of dollars in his bank, and he is not unemployed at all. And for him to mock people who are, or trying to pretend he's in the same boat -- he did the same thing last time, Wolf, remember? He was running and he said his kids, riding around in a Winnebago in Iowa campaigning for him were serving their country, just like the soldiers in Iraq.

The guy is out of touch. He has a tin ear. He's so insulated by his wealth and his privilege and CEO background that he has no clue what's going on in the real lives of real people. I think that's what you saw on that clip.

BLITZER: Mary, go ahead.

MATALIN: As opposed to -- as opposed to Barack Obama, because everybody in America has been a community organizer and has lived the life that Barack Obama did. This is nonsense, but I love the level and decibel of the Democrats' protestation to Mitt Romney suggests to me that they find him the greatest challenge to their incumbent.

BLITZER: Yes, I think they're worried about Mitt Romney, because they have strong talking points already aimed against him. Not necessarily some of the other Republicans, but Mitt Romney, a lot of opposition research being down on him right now. So, maybe we'll see how that plays out.

Guys, thanks very much.

BEGALA: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: The U.S. has certainly had a long -- a most wanted list for terrorists, but now the FBI has a new warning about jihadists making a list of their own. Standby. A very worrisome development.

And after bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, several lawmakers said the U.S. needs to rethink the billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Pakistan. We're going to ask one key U.S. senator where she stands on the issues.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: Threats against Americans from Islamic terrorists are nothing new, but a new hit list on jihadist Web sites raising lots of eyebrows right now over at the FBI.

Our homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve is joining us with more on this story.

What's going on here, Jeanne?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, hit list is exactly the word. This is being warned about by the FBI. They put out an intelligence bulletin which says that Adam Gadahn, the American al Qaeda member and propagandist, encouraged acts of individual jihad in a June 3rd video.

In response, the bulletin says, an extremist web forum posted guidance on collecting personal information on potential targets, information like work and residential addresses. Then the FBI says, others posted the names of over 40 people, individuals in government, industry and media. The bulletin says the list included people associated with think tanks and U.S. contractors supporting the U.S. military. Photos of 26 of those people were also included.

One posting suggested booby-trapped parcels to the residential addresses of the people on the list.

The FBI says this all does appear to be aspirational in nature. They put out the bulletin and contacted the people whose names and photos were posted out of due diligence, they say.

BLITZER: So, all those individuals' named there, they have been alerted by the FBI?

MESERVE: I asked a law enforcement official, had they all been contacted at this point. That official couldn't answer that question, but this bullet was put out a week ago. I'd imagine, yes, Wolf. I imagine, they all have been contacted.

BLITZER: OK. Thanks very much, Jeanne Meserve, reporting.

Just after the death of Osama bin Laden, there are now growing questions about what action Pakistan is taking to hold accountable those who may have helped harbor him.

And joining us now from Capitol Hill, Senator Dianne Feinstein. She is the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Senator, thanks very much for coming in.


As far as you know, has anyone in Pakistan been arrested for protecting bin Laden during all those years he was there? Has the Pakistani government arrested anyone who helped bin Laden?

FEINSTEIN: I believe it's been reported that one person may well have been reported -- may well have been arrested.

BLITZER: One Pakistani who may have helped bin Laden hide all those years. Was that a Pakistani government official? Do you know?

FEINSTEIN: I'm not going to get into it, but I believe it's true of one person.

BLITZER: Because, as you know, there's a lot of outrage here that the Pakistanis have gone ahead and arrested informants who helped the CIA break open the whereabouts of where bin Laden was hiding, allowing the U.S. go ahead and kill him. This is a country that receives about $2 billion a year in U.S. economic and military assistance.

So, I guess the question to you is: is this money well-spent?

FEINSTEIN: Well, there's deep concern here. As you know, the House has essentially fenced 75 percent of the appropriation until there is a statement as to how this will be spent, and sort of conditions.

I think what's happened is over bin Laden, the mutual suspicion, and the lack of cooperation has really crystallized. And I think the Pakistanis have to understand that this is the number one terrorist in the world that had been living -- sheltered, so to speak -- in their country for five years, had bought land, had built a home. It is a substantial home right in the middle of a major suburb that housed a military academy. And nobody in Pakistan questioned it.

I think they have to understand that we would like very much to work with them jointly, to be able to go after people that are making IEDs that are being used against our troops in Afghanistan.

But if they're tipped off, that's a big problem -- so that the trust and the credibility has now deteriorated.

BLITZER: Do you -- I was going to say, do you believe there are elements in the Pakistani government, military intelligence service, who are now protecting, helping the new number one leader of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is now the number one leader?

FEINSTEIN: Well, we believe he is likely in Pakistan somewhere.

Do I believe that the government is harboring him? No.

Do I believe that the government might know or the ISI might know likely places where he would be? Yes.

Do I believe that the ISI could find him if they really wanted to? Yes.

But what I'm also concerned about is when there were joint operations set up on two IED factories, those -- the people making the IED in the factories were warned and disappeared before the Pakistani troops got there. That's a big problem, because it says we can't trust you. And let me say, I think we want to trust. We want to believe that we can work together with this nation. It is important that we do so.

But, you know, we suffered a big blow at 9/11. No American forgets it. You know, I remember it like it was yesterday, what happened.

And we would expect Pakistan to do the same thing if the situation was reversed. It hasn't been.


FEINSTEIN: And the United States doesn't do that kind of thing.

BLITZER: Well, what would it do if the Pakistanis -- and you suspect there are some Pakistanis who are harboring, helping Ayman al- Zawahiri hide out right now, you believe he's in Pakistan. If the Pakistanis, you know what they decided to do? Help the United States get the new leader of al Qaeda, who probably was just as involved in 9/11 as bin Laden was himself. Is there any chance the Pakistani government will do that?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I think that would go a very long way in showing that we can work together. It makes no sense for the Pakistanis to want to harbor terrorists, because if they're real terrorists, they don't stop. They will one day come after Pakistan.

I deeply believe that. I believe it for the Taliban, I believe it for the Haqqani, I believe it for al Qaeda, and I think, you know, terror spreads.

Terror has root causes. I think we need to address those root causes.

I also think that we have to take out the leadership, and that's what this is all about.

BLITZER: On Libya, do you agree with the White House, the presidents of the United States, when he says the War Powers Act -- and you're familiar with that -- does not apply right now to U.S. military operations in Libya?

FEINSTEIN: Well, as you know, this is a greatly contested part of law. The president for, I guess, decades has believed that he has a degree of executive authority to move here.

I think the facts in Libya are not distinct in that regard. In other words, the United States is not playing a full role. There are no boots on the ground. We are providing some intelligence and some technological service to NATO that is the main body here.

Having said that, this has gone on for substantial period of time -- beyond the 60 days. That's right. I believe shortly, if not already, Senator Kerry and Senator McCain will be introducing a resolution, of which I am a co-sponsor, and I think eight others are as well, that would essentially also have an authorization bill in it which would authorize exactly what the United States' involvement is today.

So, that should set us all four square and we can go on from there. And I think there's no need to make a huge issue over there.

BLITZER: When will that legislation be introduced to the Senate?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I think it's either today or tomorrow. I reviewed it yesterday and signed off on it for my participation in it. So, I suspect as quickly as they can get the sponsors on and get it introduced.

BLITZER: Well see what happens.

Senator, as usual, thanks very much.

FEINSTEIN: Oh, you're very welcome. Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Anthony Weiner certainly isn't the first lawmaker to leave Congress in shame, but how much does he have to fall back on? Stand by.

And a presidential candidate's spouse is an invaluable part of any campaign, but some people blame Newt Gingrich's wife for a lot of his woes.


BLITZER: Now that the disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner has resigned, there are new questions about what he can do with the millions of dollars he has in campaign cash.

Brian Todd is here with us for the story.

He's got a lot of money on hand.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He does, Wolf, and it may seem implausible now, but there is a chance that Anthony Weiner could run for some office in the future, possibly mayor of New York. If he does, he's got some decent campaign nest eggs to tap into which top his personal wealth pretty significantly.


TODD (voice-over): The outgoing congressman references his humble financial background.

REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: The middle class story of New York is my story and I'm very proud of that.

TODD: As for his current finances, Anthony Weiner has a few hundred thousand dollars in assets to fall back on if he needs it. According to disclosure forms, that includes a stock portfolio worth between $190,000 and $285,000. Election records show he's got more than $365,000 cash on hand in his chest for congressional reelection and $4.5 million in his perspective campaign for New York City mayor in 2013.

(on camera): What he can do with all this money?

KENNETH GROSS, CAMPAIGN FINANCE ATTORNEY: Well, he can't take it with him and go to Disneyland. It's not -- he's not able to convert it to personal use.

TODD (voice-over): Campaign finance expert Ken Gross was once chief of enforcement for the Federal Election Commission. Gross says Weiner could keep those accounts intact if he decides to run for either of those offices in the future.

But if he doesn't, he'd have four options for those accounts. He could give to other candidates. He could give to charity. He could give it to a party committee. Or he could give it back to donors.

Ken Gross said donors to disgraced politicians often demand their money back. As for other candidates --

(on camera): If he wants to give it to other candidates, would they take it or is he radioactive?

GROSS: I don't know. That's a tough one in his case, because, yes, he is leaving under a cloud, but he's not going to prison. He didn't violate the law.

I think some, for the time being, may think the money is a little radioactive. But overtime, I would not be surprised if others accepted contributions from him.


TODD: But since the scandal broke, Democratic candidates have been under increasing pressure from Republicans to return the money that Weiner give them. According to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the Republicans have targeted 20 of the Democratic candidate who Weiner gave money to during his time in Congress and demanded that they give it back. The NRCC says, so far, only seven of those candidates have actually given the money back, Wolf.

BLITZER: I suspect he's going to keep that nearly $5 million in a bank account, let it get interest, and wait maybe a year from now, five years from now. He'll have a chance --

TODD: He can wait it out if he wants.

BLITZER: -- to get back into politics if in fact he wants to that.

TODD: Right.

BLITZER: He doesn't have to start giving to charity or giving it to other candidates. But he will collect -- he was in the House of Representatives for 13 years, six times elected, he will collect a pension from the House from U.S. taxpayers. Do we know how much?

TODD: Well, we did calculations. Yes, from the taxpayers, they're going to be on the hook for some of this. Based on his yearly salary of $174,000 and a minimum they took out every month for his salary for his pension, he has a total of just over $19,000 in his pension fund, that's at the very least. But it could be a lot more, depending on any separate contributions that he made, or anything that his employer might have matched, if they matched it. It's a very byzantine system, a lot of confidential information, very tough to calculate this down to the last dollar.

We also he's not eligible for that pension right away. It's not clear when he can collect it. But at a minimum, he's got $19,000 in there.

BLITZER: Brian, thanks for doing the math and doing the work, as you always do.

A heated reaction to Anthony Weiner's resignation now coming out of his congressional district. Just ahead, we are going there to hear what the constituents are actually saying.

Mary Snow is on the scene.

And a recent hacker attack on hundreds of thousands of Citigroup credit card accounts now said to be much bigger than first reported. New details coming into THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: Jack is back. He has the "Cafferty File" -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CAFFERTY FILE: The question this hour is why is the Republican presidential field such a yawn?

Larry in Rhode Island, "There's no diversity in the Republican Party. Everyone must think and act the same. There is no room for anyone else. It's been said millions of times, but it's true, they only cater to the rich.

It baffles me how a middle class person can possibly vote for them. But, obviously, they did since they won the House. This country has gotten very scary and I fear it might get worse."

Jeff in Georgia writes, "Mr. Cafferty, I'd rather have an experienced, intelligent, competent, patriotic bore than an unvetted, detached, narcissistic empty suit that is elected based on meaningless slogans and media type."

Bob in Kansas City, "A yawn? The whole lot of them spouted nothing more than the party line Monday night, 'Everything wrong is Obama's fault. We can fix it with more tax breaks.' Give it up. Standing for no more than the status quo has gotten very, very old."

Russ in Pennsylvania, "Republican field is only a yawn for those who are interested in sound bytes, but no substance. You have a true conservative in Ron Paul who speaks and votes consistently on the message of property rights, sound money and liberty. But the mainstream media and citizens want to spend more time reading Sarah Palin's e-mails. Everyone gets what they deserve in the end."

Nate in North Carolina says, "Jack, there is no Sarah Palin. You remember that interview with Katie Couric. At least President Obama has charisma that matches his intelligence. Whether or not he uses intelligence is each person's opinion, but this is what the current presidential field lacks. Yes, they may have a level of intelligence, but where is the charisma?"

Overby writes, "What's wrong with a yawn once in a while? It appears the Democrats have all the exciting ones: Clinton, Rangel, Spitzer, Weiner, et cetera. Maybe people will want to yawn this time around after all of this rather disgusting excitement."

And Steve in Illinois says, "Oh, I don't know about that. Ron Paul-Michelle Bachmann? That would be must entertaining." Indeed, it would.

If you want to read more on this, go to the blog, -- Wolf.

BLITZER: You said earlier, Jack, in the over-under, that Weiner would be gone within a few days, and guess what? You were right.

CAFFERTY: Well, there was -- you know, I think Ray Charles could have seen that one coming.

BLITZER: Yes, a lot of people did. All right. Jack, thanks very, very much.