Return to Transcripts main page


Bachmann's Double Talk; Syria: Deadly Crackdown; Casey Anthony Murder Trial

Aired June 27, 2011 - 23:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up a little later on 360, Casey Anthony's defense tries to get the death penalty taken off the table. But will the move work? We'll tell you the latest. And we're getting closer to the answer of whether or not Casey Anthony will testify. That's later tonight.

But we begin tonight as we always do "Keeping Them Honest" with the candidate for president who's campaigning against big government even though she and her family are personally benefitting from government money.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: I want my candidacy for the presidency of the United States to stand for a moment when we, the people, stand once again for the independence from a government that has gotten too big and spends too much and has taken away too much of our liberties.


COOPER: Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann jumping into the Republican race for president today, declaring her candidacy in Waterloo, Iowa. She chairs the House Tea Party Caucus and her anti big government record is nothing new.


BACHMANN: After the $700 billion bailout, the $1 trillion stimulus and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks.

No more earmarks.

I voted "no" not once but twice on the $700 billion bailout. I voted against every bailout that came after that. I voted against the stimulus bills.

Our heads are spinning right now with the bailout mania.

Out of control spending has consequences.

The federal government continues to spend more money than what it takes in.

And we're spending and yet again, spending that this country simply cannot afford.

Cut the spending.

Stopping the spending.

Stop spending money that we don't have.


COOPER: Michele Bachmann speaking out against government bailout, the earmarks of handouts. But keeping her honest it turns out she's not only benefitted personally from government money over the years, it seems she's also lobbied for it.

There is her husband's counseling clinic; Bachmann and Associates. He's a psychologist whose clinic offers what they called Christian counseling.

According to the "Los Angeles Times" citing Minnesota state records, the clinic received nearly $30,000 in government money since 2006. We did our own digging and learned that $24,000 of it came from a state grant financed totally by federal money.

Then there's her late father-in-law's farm in Wisconsin in which she is a partner. We got this information from a government watchdog group called "The Environmental Working Group". According to the EWG's farm subsidy database, the farm got more than a quarter million dollars between 1995 and 2008 mostly in federal corn and dairy subsidies.

Congresswoman Bachmann was asked about both the clinic and the farm over the weekend.


BACHMANN: The money that went to the clinic was actually training money for employees. The clinic did not get the money and my husband and I did not get the money either. That's -- that's mental health training money that went to the employees.

Number two regarding the farm, the farm is my father-in-law's farm. It's not my husband and my farm. It's my father-in-law's farm. And my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm.


COOPER: Well, as for the clinic according to the "L.A. Times," yes that money was earmarked for training employees, training which obviously benefits the clinic.

As for not getting a penny from the farm, her own financial disclosure documents show that isn't so. They reveal between $32,000 and $105,000 income between 2006 and 2009. In public, meantime, she was railing against and voting against federal foreign payments voting "no" on a 2008 farm subsidy bill yet the very next year she wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack praising government prize support programs and asking for more.

Quote, "I would encourage you to take any additional steps necessary to prevent further deterioration of these critical industries," she writes, "such as making additional commodities purchases."

In other words more government intervention in the marketplace benefiting her constituents and herself while she rails against big government intervening in the marketplace.

Bob Schieffer asked her about that contradiction yesterday on CBS's "Face the Nation" and she dodged the question. Watch.


BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS HOST, "FACE THE NATION": What about farm subsidies? You -- you benefit from farm subsidies on your family farm. Do you think we ought to think about cutting those back?

BACHMANN: Well, I think everything needs to be on the table right now, every part of government.

I'll tell you one thing that should be on the table, under Barack Obama, the last two years the number of federal limousines for bureaucrats has increased 73 percent in two years. I can't think of anything more reprehensible than seeing bureaucrats on their cell phones in the back -- 73 percent increase in the number of federal limousines in the last two years, for heaven's sake.


SCHIEFFER: But Congresswoman, you're not seriously saying that eliminating limousine service is anywhere equal to reducing farm subsidies?


BACHMANN: What I -- what -- what -- what I'm saying is that I think that's an easy one that we need to do. Clearly, President Obama is not serious about cutting spending.


COOPER: Well, we invited her on the program tonight, by the way, and her people refused saying Mrs. Bachmann was, quote, "booked solid all week". She did however appear on Sean Hannity tonight where she was not asked about this at all. She also plans a full slate of appearances on tomorrow's network morning shows, we'll see if they asked her.

Joining me now: John King, host of CNN's "JOHN KING USA", every week night; also, chief political analyst, Gloria Borger. So John, relatively speaking, I guess, a relatively small amount of government money over many years but it does raise questions for a candidate who's made her name attacking big government spending?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "JOHN KING USA": It absolutely does. And it raises those questions even at a higher volume because she is rising in the polls and she is right now, Anderson, like her or not, the most influential person, the person most shaping the Republican race for president right now because of her rise in Iowa. She's now tied with Mitt Romney for the lead in Iowa because of that, Governor Pawlenty's campaign, Speaker Gingrich's campaign and all of these other campaigns are now reacting to Michele Bachmann.

So she faces a higher credibility test and she will face these questions. What did you do with the money? What exact money did you get? And the credibility questions that you're asking. How can you rail against all of these government spending, government involvement in the marketplace when, to a degree, even though there's no evidence she's done anything wrong, she's eligible for these payments, or applied for the grant, for the business that she took government money at a time when she's out there saying it's such a horrible thing.

COOPER: Gloria, I want to show our viewers the poll that John is talking about. It shows Congresswoman Bachmann statistically tied as the frontrunner for the Iowa Caucuses, she's clearly got momentum. What does it mean for the primary at this point?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think you know to me, she seems to me so far, to be at least the Howard Dean of this race on the Republican side. Remember when Howard Dean gave John Kerry a run for his money in 2004? Nobody kind of expected him to do that. He came up from out of nowhere but he had a very strong base within the party. He had the liberal base within the party.

She's got the Tea Party, fiscal conservative base and until somebody like Rick Perry gets in, Governor of Texas, which I believe he will, she's going to take up a lot of the oxygen. And I think, you know, today it was interesting, Mitt Romney himself complimented Michele Bachmann for the, quote, "traction" she's getting in the campaign.

COOPER: It's interesting, Gloria though. You know, a lot of liberals today and liberal commentators were attacking her for she misspoke and she thought she was talking about John Wayne and she was talking about John Wayne Gacey. Clearly candidates make mistakes, misspeak all of the time so we're not focusing on that at all tonight.

But I do want to play the question that had a lot of people talking over the weekend, put to Congressman Bachmann by Chris Wallace over the weekend.



COOPER: Let's watch.



BACHMANN: Well, I think that would be insulting to say something like that because I'm a serious person.


COOPER: You know, Chris Wallace has since apologized. Would that question ever be asked to a male candidate?

BORGER: Look, I think it's just easier to ask it of a woman. For some reason there's seems to be a different threshold. I looked back to Governor Moonbeam of California, Jerry Brown, I'm not sure anybody ever directly asked him whether he was a flake.

But you know, in the end in talking to some people who work for Michele Bachmann they say it worked to her advantage because she was able to kind of chastise Chris Wallace. He did apologize later, as you say.

But she was also able to recite her resume and tell people why she should be taken seriously but I do believe that there is a different threshold for a woman candidate. Just ask Hillary Clinton about that.

COOPER: John, a lot of people like to put Michele Bachmann in sort of a Sarah Palin mode, but the fact is she's not Sarah Palin.



COOPER: And if the polls are accurate she seems -- at this point a lot more formidable as a presidential candidate?

KING: There are a lot of people right now, Anderson, who understand Iowa very well who believe she is the favored to win the Iowa Caucuses. Now it is very hard -- this is my seventh presidential campaign, it's very hard for me to sit here tonight and give you a reasonable scenario that shows Michele Bachmann being the Republican nominee for president.

However, I can give you a very good scenario that shows her having a dramatic impact on this race. If she wins Iowa, that essentially kills the Pawlenty candidacy. It probably kills the Gingrich candidacy if it lasts that long. If you're Governor Romney you're liking Michele Bachmann right now because you're the frontrunner in this race.

The first race now if you're not Governor Romney of the other eight candidates and maybe Governor Perry will get in and there'll be nine other candidates is to emerge as one of the alternatives to the frontrunner. Michele Bachmann has stolen that mantel at the moment, a long way to go. But she has surprised a lot of people, she's going to raise a lot of money in this first quarter and with that though, Anderson, with the success comes the tougher questions. That's her next challenge.


BORGER: And I --

KING: She's a House member and she has to prove now she can be a serious candidate for president.

COOPER: John King and Gloria Borger thank you.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I'll be tweeting tonight.

Coming up, news signs of horrific torture and murder in Syria: victims as young as 13 years old, other videos of people just being beaten by security forces. The Syrian government is still insisting there's no crackdown. They actually say that, there is no crackdown. They say they are -- that its extremist groups who are doing the killing. We'll hear from a government spokesman and a woman in hiding in Syria right now.

And later, the lead investigator in the Casey Anthony case is back on the stand in her murder trial. Plus, why the court proceedings suddenly and mysteriously screeched to a halt over the weekend. The latest on that coming up.


COOPER: Well, we've been getting new video in all day posted online by people in Syria; and every clip, revolting as it is to watch, is part of a growing pattern. Every clip shows a person, often a child, each person has been killed, each body again, some as young as 13, each one has been brutalized and some have been mutilated.

Now, I'm going to tell you right now most of what I and our producer saw today we simply can't even show you on the screen. But some of it must be seen so that no one can deny the truth of what is happening in Syria because that's what the government there is trying to do. They're trying to deny the truth of what is happening.

If you feel you have to -- to look away, look away now but please listen if you can at least; 13-year-old Rita (ph) was killed allegedly by security forces in a place called Alkiswa (ph) just outside Damascus. We're not showing you the other side of his face which is smashed to pieces.

More new video, this is the tortured body of someone named Obeida Ahkram (ph). He was detained on June 17th, we're told. Ten days later his body was returned -- this is the way the government operates -- the bodies are returned to send a message to strike fear.

This is from Tareq (ph) from Homs -- this is Tareq from Homs taken two months ago the voice saying his body shows signs of electric shock, whippings, stabbings, and various burns on his arms and other parts of his body. An activist telling us Syrian forces returned his body on the condition he'd be buried immediately. They told the family not to open the coffin.

They told the parents of Hamza Ali-Khateeb who was tortured and murdered and returned a month later brutalized, his penis cut off, just 13 years old.

And there are more like Hamza but the images are simply unwatchable including a 13-year-old tortured to death after disappearing May 29th. His body returned in June 18th almost unrecognizable.

And as this is happening the government goes on saying it's not happening. Here's the regime's Vice Foreign Minister with CNN's Hala Gorani.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But why are Syrian security forces and the military -- and this has been the testimony of many people in some of those cities -- why are they shooting at demonstrators and in some cases, killing them? Why -- why is that crackdown happening in Syria right now?

FAYSSAL MEKDAD, SYRIAN VICE FOREIGN MINISTER: There's no crackdown. There is a crackdown from these military groups against the government and against the civilians.


GORANI: So who's doing the killing? Who is doing the killings?

MEKDAD: The killing was initiated and is still going on by these extremist groups.

GORANI: Who are they?

MEKDAD: They are extremist groups, extremist religious groups; groups that are financed from outside Syria and groups that do not want to achieve reform in Syria.


COOPER: Unnamed groups. No evidence. Unnamed extremists, financed by unnamed outsiders. In his last speech to the country, Syria's dictator, Bashar Al Assad blamed 64,400 roving Syrian criminals. Clearly the regime needs to get its story straighter. It doesn't really have a story that fits the facts or video that keeps pouring in.

Chilling pictures, these from outside Damascus on Friday: security thugs literally jamming a protester into the trunk of a car beating them. You watch as someone rush into the crowd with sticks and batons and jack boots and fist trying to rescue the guy. You see him beaten senseless as the trunk is shut. And another -- and another person, someone's father, uncle, best friend, is hauled away like human freight.

Or no less chilling video of a young man being led away by security forces his face unmarked for now. His future? Well, we can't tell. We don't know what happened to him.

Each new tragedy seems to bring more people into the streets. This weekend was no different I spoke about it with a woman whose husband was taken away weeks ago, Razan Zaitouneh. She herself is a fugitive and she's on the run right now in Syria her life in danger. We talked by phone earlier.


COOPER: There were more protests and more brutality over the weekend. What can you tell us about what happened?

RAZAN ZAITOUNEH, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST (via telephone): During last week actually the protests became daily. At the same time the security campaign against the protests and the protesters are still continuing. More than one thousand persons get arrested during last week only, and many of them are students of the university.

COOPER: We're watching the video right now of people being beaten by security forces in the street. When somebody gets injured like that, can they go to a hospital? What happens to them?

ZAITOUNEH: Most of them get scared to go to hospital because usually what's going on that if anybody go to national hospital they will be arrested by the security inside the hospital. In another case, somebody got killed even inside the hospital and we reported one such case, actually. That's why most of injured people prefer to be at home and get medical treatment at home and not to go to the hospital.

COOPER: There's a meeting of opposition leaders in Damascus today, a public meeting that the government said that they would allow. You did not attend. Why?

ZAITOUNEH: I believe they have those people who were in this meeting, have the right to meet and to discuss the situation about their countries. But at the same time, this meeting held while many hundreds and dozens of people got killed and arrested during last week.

Now we had 1,005 people got killed, civilians. Only today, another prisoner got killed inside detention under torture. So the whole security practices are continuing. The regime cannot say that they are allowing dialogue at the same time when they are continuing to kill people and arrest people.

COOPER: I saw a video of a -- of a person, a man who had died and it looks like there were marks on various parts of his body, possibly, where there were electricity put. It was hard to tell. Do you know what kinds of torture they subject people to?

ZAITOUNEH: All kinds of torture they are practicing against the detainees started from beating all over the bodies; also using electricity, burning by cigarettes, using another method to beat hardly on the head, especially.

So it's all kinds of torture which leads to kill. They torture to kill. It's not just an accident that those people got killed under torture.

COOPER: There are also reports and video of a 13-year-old boy who was reportedly shot and killed by Syrian security forces in al- Kiswah (ph). What do you know about him?

ZAITOUNEH: Alawiyah wasn't the only child who got killed during last week. During last week, eight children got shoot by the security during the peaceful protest, in Homs, in Hama, in al-Kiswah and other suburbs of Damascus.

Now the number of children who got killed since the revolution has started is about 100 children. And they don't make any difference when they started to use the force, when they started to shoot people, they made no difference between boy or a child or an adult, between girl, or boy. It's just using force and all kinds to stop the protest and to force people to stop their movements.

COOPER: Thank you for talking to us. Stay safe.

ZAITOUNEH: Thank you.


COOPER: You know, part of the regime's mythology is that they're not brutalizing their own people but in fact they're saving them from thugs and extremists. That's what they keep saying. They've made a point of describing their occupation of a town called Jisr Al-Shagur that way.

Thousands of residents knowing that's simply not true have fled to neighboring Turkey. We've talked to them. Our Arwa Damon was with them last week.

Well, this evening I spoke with CNN's Arwa Damon who is now in Damascus but who was allowed into the city by Syrian authorities under very, very tight restrictions.


COOPER: Arwa, a new video posted this weekend of a 13-year-old boy reportedly shot and killed by Syrian military, do you know anything about what happened to this boy?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, that incident is said to have taken place in one of the Damascus suburbs during the demonstrations where activists were reporting that Syrian security forces indiscriminately opened fire on those who were protesting and among those who were killed is this young child.

There's video posted to YouTube whose authenticity CNN cannot independently verify, but it shows a woman who is identified as the boy's mother sobbing hysterically, cursing the Syrian security forces, cursing the president himself.

And Anderson, it's because of images like this that now we do have the position that the opposition is taking, one that has moved from what we saw at the beginning of this uprising, a demand for reform, to now a demand for the removal of the regime.

And we do have to say that this specific Damascus neighborhood is one of the neighborhoods that we asked our government minders to go to on Friday, but we were told that that request had not been fulfilled. We have not been able to receive that permission.

COOPER: The government minders, though, did take you to this town Jisr Al-Shagur this weekend. That's a place that has been hotly contested, where many people have fled from now and are across the border in Turkey. What did you see in this town? And could you actually get an accurate account of what happened there?

DAMON: Well Anderson, we very much saw what the government wanted us to see and hear. And they were very much showing us what they said was evidence to corroborate their claims. Their narrative is that they were simply targeting armed gangs. They said there were thousands of armed individuals when they entered Jisr Al-Shagur. And they say that this terrorist element was trying to establish an al Qaeda-style Islamic caliphate inside Syria, and that they went in and targeted it at the request of the residents.

They also took us around to a number of buildings that visibly had sustained heavy damage. There were bullet holes in one of them. A lot of the walls had been broken down by what appeared to be an explosion. And this is where the government is saying that assault took place that killed more than 100 Syrian security forces, and that is what led to the military crackdown.

Of course, this differs greatly from the numerous stories that we had been hearing in recent weeks from those refugees that we were talking to along the Syria/Turkey border. They were saying that they were simply peaceful demonstrators, that the security forces were targeting them indiscriminately, and that they fled fearing this military crackdown because they believed that they would be massacred.

But, Anderson, it's always very difficult, if not impossible, for us while we're in Syria to get an independent idea of what is happening, because we're constantly operating in the shadow of our government minders.

COOPER: Arwa Damon in Damascus -- Arwa, thanks.


COOPER: Well, up next, a stunned Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, hears the verdict in his corruption case. Did he try to sell President Obama's Senate seat? Find out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Just ahead, surprise in the Casey Anthony trial. Today we found out why the judge shut down the court over the weekend; plus, today's dramatic testimony.

But first, Joe Johns joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Libya's head man, Moammar Gadhafi, is officially a wanted man. Today, the International Criminal Court issued warrants for him, one of his sons and a brother- in-law, charging them with crimes against humanity. A Libyan official says the charges are a cover for NATO's military operations.

In Illinois, former Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted on 17 of 20 counts in his corruption trial. The charges were in connection with his attempt to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

In Nebraska, officials are fighting to keep the flooding Missouri River away from two nuclear reactors. So far they say they've kept water away from the power sources that help keep nuclear fuel under control, so there's no danger of meltdowns like those at Japanese reactors earlier this year.

A picture may be worth a thousand words. But over the weekend in Denver, an old picture of Billy the Kid was worth $2.3 million to billionaire William Coke. The 130-year-old photo is said to be the only authentic picture of the legendary outlaw. And here's the thing, Anderson, the Kid reportedly only paid 25 cents to have it taken.

COOPER: Plenty of serious stuff ahead, though; a lot more tonight.

Up next, another bombshell in the Casey Anthony trial; today we learn why the judge called an unexpected recess on Saturday. It was kind of bizarre; we'll tell you about it. And also, the latest on why the jurors were asked to smell garbage from Casey Anthony's trunk of her car.

Plus the TSA agents made a 95-year-old woman take off her adult diaper as part of a security check. They said it was official policy. Does the TSA stand behind that policy? What really went on, details ahead.


COOPER: "Crime and punishment": a marathon day in the Casey Anthony trial and the mystery solved. Today we learn why the judge called an unexpected recess on Saturday which brought the trial to a halt. The reason which you'll hear in a moment surprised a lot of people.

Judge Perry had been adamant about keeping the trial on schedule. Today he kept court in session until after 7:00 p.m., possibly to make up for Saturday's delay.

Martin Savidge has all the details.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Casey Anthony was all smiles as court started today, chatting with her defense team. She seemed almost refreshed, which is surprising considering how she spent her weekend.

JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, NINTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT, FLORIDA: The legal issue has arisen unrelated to the issue that we talked about first thing this morning, dealing with Dr. Furton (ph) that would necessitate us recessing for today.

SAVIDGE: It was an interruption that stunned court observers and a mystery too, until today.

PERRY: On Saturday, the defense filed a motion to determine competency to proceed. Based upon that motion, the court ordered that the defendant to be examined by three psychologists to determine her competency to proceed.

SAVIDGE: A competency evaluation for Casey Anthony, recommended by her own defense team. After she was examined by two psychologists and a psychiatrist, the judge reviewed their findings and said --

PERRY: Based upon the reports that the court has reviewed, the court will find that the defendant is competent to continue to proceed.

SAVIDGE: Then, it was on to the day's first witness.

JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: Your honor, the defense calls Detective Uri Melich.

SAVIDGE: He's the lead investigator in the case. Defense attorney, Jose Baez wanted to raise doubts about how well the investigation was handled.

BAEZ: Let's talk about Mr. Anthony's cell phone records.


BAEZ: Do those include cell tower locations?

MELICH: No they do not. It's a pdf and not a spreadsheet so they do not have cell tower information.

BAEZ: And would that information have been useful to you as -- being able to determine Mr. George Anthony's movement? Or his cell phone movement?

MELICH: Yes, if I had a reason to even believe that that would play a part in this case which at the time I did not.

SAVIDGE: Baez also brought up Roy Kronk, the continue to cast suspicion on the meter reader who discovered Caylee's remains in December of 2008.

BAEZ: You also testified that you never confiscated Mr. Kronk's computer?

MELICH: Yes, I don't recall getting his computer.

SAVIDGE: The next expert witness of the day was Kenneth Furton, a forensic expert. The goal for the defense, call into the question the presence of chloroform found in the trunk of Casey's car. Furton noted the chloroform could come from a household cleaner like bleach. But under cross-examination admitted there was no evidence of any bleach in Casey's car.

JEFF ASHTON, PROSECUTOR: You would expect that if bleach were spilled upon a dark fabric surface the dark fabric surface would reflect some evidence of bleach having been spilled on it, wouldn't you?

KENNETH FURTON, FORENSIC EXPERT: If the source of the bleach was being placed directly on the carpet, then, yes.

SAVIDGE: Before the day ended the defense showed the jury a November, 2008 search for Caylee's remains. The search was at the same area where Caylee's body was found a month later. The defense implying as they have all along that Caylee's body was dumped after November when Casey Anthony was already in jail.


COOPER: So Martin, that's the defense' hope that they can prove that the body was moved after Casey was already in jail but there's another side to the story?

SAVIDGE: Well, that's right. And the prosecution would maintain that, no, the body was never moved; that in fact little Caylee had probably been in the woods where her body was discovered very shortly after the time in which she disappeared. And they began trying to poke holes in the case of those private investigators, and these were the fellows that took the video that the jury saw at the end of the day. What they basically did was they said well, how carefully did you really search the woods? You say you went in there and you had a video camera but did you thoroughly or would you say you thoroughly searched the woods?

In fact they got one of those private investigators to say no, it was not a thorough investigation by any means which, of course, is what the prosecution is saying, they missed it. Her body was there, they just simply didn't see it.

COOPER: Martin Savidge, thanks Martin.

Well, a day of surprises. Sunny Hostin and Jean Casarez are covering the trial for "In Session" on TruTV; I spoke to them a short time ago.


COOPER: Jean, do we have any indication as to why the defense filed the motion to determine Casey's competency and why now? JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": You know, I don't think we'll ever know because that's the product of a confidential communication but we can go by the motion that says that with conversations with Casey, they believed there was an issue as to her competency, her ability to aid and assist her attorneys. But Anderson, the devil's in the details because if you look at number six of the law for competency, it includes testifying relevantly.

So if they had a concern whether she was competent to testify and appreciated and understood the potential penalties that she's up against, they may have felt in good faith they had to file this motion.

COOPER: I mean Sunny, isn't this kind of unusual for competency hearings to be happening this late in a trial?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's extremely unusual. This is something, Anderson that is generally dealt with at the beginning of a trial. We hear that all the time. I've dealt with it myself as a prosecutor.

This was very unusual. But as Jean said, it likely came up during their discussions with her; either Friday or Saturday morning. Because the legal standard here is whether or not she understood the legal proceedings in front of her and whether or not she could aid in her defense.

COOPER: And jurors, Jean, were given pieces of trash from Casey's car to sniff. What was the prosecution trying to prove by having them do that?

HOSTIN: This was the defense witness. And the defense's witness, Dr. Furton, said that the smell in the trunk was decomposition, but it was the smell of trash.

So on cross-examination the prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, said, "OK, you want to see the trash. Let's look at the trash." He takes it out, and there's no meat products. There's no cheese products, and the prosecution is saying there never was. It was just the wrappers.

And he asked for it to be passed around to the jury. So they were to look at it. Anderson, some of them just decided they wanted to smell it. And some jurors took out their hand sanitizers after that to sanitize their hands.

COOPER: It's also interesting, Jean, because we heard so many prosecution witnesses earlier on talking about the distinctive odor of decomposition. Clearly, if they're sniffing trash, you know, that's -- that's an odor, but it's not that distinctive odor of decomposition.

CASAREZ: You're so right. Because what this signifies is they wanted to smell, so odor is important to them in the jury. You're right.

COOPER: Sunny, the defense filed another motion, asking the court to declare Florida's death penalty unconstitutional and urging the judge to declare a mistrial. It sounds like they're just trying to, again, do throw up whatever and see what sticks. I mean a competency hearing, a mistrial, the death penalty unconstitutional?

HOSTIN: Well, certainly, it sounds like that but they're doing their job. They have to do that.

I think their motion about the death penalty has a bit of meat, because earlier last week, a Miami federal court judge did find that there was a problem with the procedure, with the death penalty procedure.

And that is because in Florida, although you need 12 people to reach a unanimous verdict, you don't need 12 people to unanimously recommend the death penalty. And they don't even have to explain to the defendant or the judge, why they determined the death penalty was appropriate.

So no one really know what is the aggravating factors are so this Miami judge said no -- this is the death penalty you have to give the judge and defendant the reason why you determined that death is an appropriate penalty here. And so really, Judge Perry may or may not have to deal with it.

COOPER: Jean, I'm always wary of kind of critiquing how people appear in court, because you never know how people are going to react under stressful situations. But a lot of people were talking and kind of taken aback today by how smiley Casey Anthony was in court today.

CASAREZ: She was. When she walked in the door this morning, she had a big smile on her face. But you know, to play devil's advocate for a second, she's in protective custody. She never has visitors. She doesn't have any interaction. So I'm sure it is very exciting for her to just have human interaction, and that may have produced the smile.

COOPER: Jean, is the defense still talking about ending by Wednesday or Thursday?

CASAREZ: You know, we'll see. Because there was no court on Saturday, they're a little bit behind schedule. But I think the big issue is, is Casey going to testify? And we still don't know. Three forensic psychiatrist-psychologist panel deemed her competent to go forward so the trial continues.

COOPER: It's amazing, Sunny. You think about this. You know, they brought up all the stuff in the opening statements about sexual abuse with the father and the brother. There's no evidence of it. They haven't introduced any evidence whatsoever at this point, and they're still talking about, you know, ending at the end of the week.

HOSTIN: That's right. And that's why I've said from the very beginning. He put -- Jose Baez placed Casey Anthony on the witness stand during his opening statements. I mean who else is going to testify to the sexual abuse? Who else is going to testify that Caylee actually died an accidental death by drowning?

The only person that holds the key to that testimony is Casey Anthony. They have to put her on the witness stand, Anderson. And if they don't I think it's game over for this defense because they made all those promises in opening statements, and they're going to break every single one to this jury.

COOPER: Sunny Hostin, appreciate.

Jean Casarez, as well, thanks.


COOPER: Fascinating stuff.

Coming up, outrage over the story of a 94 -- excuse me, 95-year- old cancer patient patted down at an airport. Her daughter says she even had to take off her adult diaper to get on the plane. The TSA has released a statement about how agents treated the elderly woman. We'll tell you what they are saying next.

Also ahead, "The RidicuList": tonight, Kim Kardashian's haters. Dare to doubt the proverbial junk from the proverbial trunk, and they wind up on "The RidicuList".


COOPER: Coming up, "The RidicuList" and it's Kim Kardashian's haters join the list; no ifs, ands or buts. But first, Joe Johns joins us with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Joe.

JOHNS: Anderson, the TSA is defending agents who patted down a cancer-stricken 95-year-old woman at the northwest Florida regional airport. Her daughter says agents also made it clear she couldn't get on the plane unless they could inspect her adult diaper, so she took it off. In a statement the TSA says it reviewed the incident and that agents followed proper procedure and that they didn't order removal of the diaper.

A victory for video-game makers: in a 7-2 ruling the Supreme Court today struck down a California law that would have banned the sale of video games, violent video games to children. The law was called an "infringement on First Amendment rights".

The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection today. Owner Frank McCourt, who's been locked in a bitter divorce, said baseball commissioner Bud Selig has forced the team into the situation. Last week Selig refused to approve a $3 billion TV deal for the team, saying the deal was structured for McCourt's personal needs.

And the jacket Michael Jackson wore in the "Thriller" video was auctioned over the weekend with a big price tag, Anderson. The winning bid -- $1.8 million.

COOPER: Wow. Really?

JOHNS: Huge. Don't wear that out on the street.

COOPER: Yes, I guess not. Joe thanks.

Time now for "The RidicuList" and tonight we're adding Kim Kardashian haters because of what they've driven Kim to do.

For a while now I've had this unsettling feeling that, I don't know, something just -- it was off, like the universe was slightly out of whack. Something was missing. I couldn't pinpoint the source of the feeling, but then it hit me. No one has really been saying much about Kim Kardashian's butt lately.

Well, Kim remedied that situation quite nicely on last night's episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians".


KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY TV STAR: If this is what it takes to shut up the entire world that my butt is real, then I will happily do it.


COOPER: You heard her right. Unbeknownst to me, the entire world will not stop talking about -- will not stop with the cracks about her butt, its veracity, so to speak.


KARDASHIAN: I can't even take this seriously. I've said numerous times, like, I haven't had plastic surgery. I haven't had butt implants.


COOPER: Are butt implants really a thing? I mean, I've always thought they were kind of like snuff films. People talked about them, but has anyone actually seen one?

Any ways, Kim and her sisters have had enough of the lies, and frankly, I don't blame them. Last night in a very unscripted moment on their very unscripted reality show, Kim and the other one were on the computer and found the straw that broke the camel's backside.


KARDASHIAN: Tragedy struck Kim Kardashian last night on a private plane from New Jersey to Las Vegas. Her left butt cheek exploded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They can make up completely fake stories. This is the same Web site that said that Kim burned a raccoon.


COOPER: Forgetting the exploding butt cheek. I want to hear more about that raccoon.

But alas, it's all about the bun-jamins (ph). With Kim looking on, the other one came up with an idea of how to set the record straight, once and for all.


KARDASHIAN: Who the hell of a normal person gets butt implants?

KHLOE KARDASHIAN, REALITY TV STAR: I mean, if you want to prove them wrong, get like an x-ray and --


KHLOE KARDASHIAN: Of your ass to show there's no silicone (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in there.

KIM KARDASHIAN: Khloe, I think that's an amazing idea.


COOPER: It's kind of like watching Edwin Hubble first realized the universe is expanding. But would Kim go for the idea? Would she be willing to put the "ass" back in classy?


KIM KARDASHIAN: I really just want to get, like, a butt x-ray so I can show the whole world.


COOPER: Well, congratulations, whole world. But wait a second. Will an X-ray really help us get to the bottom of this world crisis? I'm thinking that we need some kind of control group. Luckily, the other one being the Marie Curie of her times, has it covered.


KHLOE KARDASHIAN: Can we x-ray Kourtney's boobs so I can see what an implant looks like?


COOPER: I bet when that doctor was in medical school, he dreamed of one day being able to save lives, to really help people.


All this X-raying seems like overkill, though. Anyone who's ever read a comic book knows all you really need to put this to rest is $1, plus postage and handling. But since Kim went to all the trouble of getting an X-ray, since she got on the table and turned sideways and held her breath, while the entire world simultaneously held its breath, we might as well hear the results.





KIM KARDASHIAN: I am so glad that I did this X-ray.


COOPER: I think I speak for the whole world when I say, we are so glad, too, Kim. We are so glad, too.

Coming up, HLN Robin Meade gets a little bit country. The "MORNING EXPRESS" host has just puts out her first album -- she's a really good singer. I talk to Robin next.


COOPER: Tonight in the "Big 360 Interview", a member of the CNN family, you know Robin Meade as the host of "MORNING EXPRESS" on HLN but you may not know that she's also a really good singer. Her first album, "Brand New Day" is on sale now on iTunes and at Target.

I spoke to Robin about her many talents.


COOPER: So Robin, I think a lot of people didn't even know that you sing. Have you always sung?

ROBIN MEADE, HLN HOST: Yes. You know what? Long before I was a public speaker, I guess, music was just really natural for me. I grew up a preacher's kid so some of my first memories are learning how to sing at church and harmonizing against other voices.

COOPER: So I have to ask you, the first release from your album is the cover of Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry", which is interesting because --

MEADE: Do you remember the song?

COOPER: Yes. I had no idea -- and I want to play just a part of it because it's sort of a critique of the news business, actually. I just want to play some of it.

MEADE: Sure.


COOPER: Are you trying to say something about the news business here by having this be your first release?

MEADE: How did you like that little blue grassy version of Don Henley? COOPER: I thought it was great.

MEADE: Thank you. I don't know what was going on with Don Henley when he wrote that song but he was sure cranky about the news at the time. And I loved it in junior high when I first heard it. And when I knew that I was going to be making an album the first thing I said (INAUDIBLE) was I want to do a remake of this.

Because for me it's like a tongue-in-cheek kind of wink at, yes, this is what I do for a living. I think that when I listen to the words it's really contemporary today.


MEADE: You know, it still applies all these years later.

COOPER: You know, it's one thing to love singing and to have it be a passion and to even do it in church or something. It's another thing to put out an album. When did you finally decide -- you know what; I'm going to go for this?

MEADE: You know, I kept having assignments for the news that kept bringing me interfaces with people out of Nashville and the country music world like I interviewed Kenny Chesney and he invite me out on stage to sing "Uncle Cracker's" part when --


COOPER: Wait a minute I did an entire profile of Kenny Chesney on "60 Minutes". He never invited me out on stage to sing. He invite me on stage but not to sing, which thankfully, he was probably wise.

MEADE: I love it. Well that day, you have the video right here. There were like 20,000 people in the audience and I was interviewing them. At wasn't long after the Renee Zellweger and I knew he wasn't comfortable with the media. So my whole thing was to make him comfortable. And I was like plucking around on some guitars on stage during the interview. And he was like, what do I have to give you to come out here tonight and play the guitar.

And I was like, I don't play the guitar but if you ask me to sing I will do it. So don't ask me, I will. As a result of that even I did like guest-hosted some other competitions in Nashville and I met this wonderful producer, who I had read, the liner notes of a little band called Lady Antebellum. She produced our first album.

Victoria Shaw, she says I stalked her. I say that I just went out to her and said I know how to write news --


MEADE: I know how to write news. I know how to write books, which I've done. But I really want to learn how to write country music and luckily she was generous with her time and her talent and that started this whole process. COOPER: You're already thinking about putting out the second one. Does that mean you're going leave the news business? This cannot be.


MEADE: No, I mean love what I do at HLN. I want to have my hiny in the anchor seat, so to speak, Monday through Friday.

COOPER: Cool. Well, it's nice to see you as a real person and with all your interest. It's cool and I just got the album today or the record. And I look forward to hearing so congratulations.

MEADE: Thanks Anderson, so much.


COOPER: Well, that does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching.