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President Obama Talks Tough; Kucinich's Mystery Talk; Casey Anthony Trial Wrapping Up; Painting a Path to College

Aired June 29, 2011 - 23:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.

Breaking news tonight in the Casey Anthony trial: we have just learned that the defense plans to rest tomorrow. The case could go to the jury by Sunday evening. It was an extraordinarily emotional day in court, with George Anthony weeping on the witness stand.

But if the defense is resting tomorrow, it now seems highly unlikely they are going to be calling Casey Anthony to the stand to testify.

Martin Savidge is outside the courtroom, joins us now. Marty, do we know, will she testify tomorrow?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, we don't know. That's the real question mark tonight.

Here is the way this has been going down. It's been three years now that this case has been under investigation, 31 days that the trial has been going on. And as you point out, it could all come to an end tomorrow for the defense. That's what they have said.

However, that doesn't mean the end of the trial, because the prosecution says they want time for rebuttal. That could take them two days. On top of that, both sides have said for closing arguments they need a half-day each.

And then you have the judge that has to essentially charge the jury, give them the dos and don'ts, before he sends them off. That could take anywhere from 45 minutes to maybe three hours.

And here's the real question mark here before they start deliberations. This is a holiday weekend that's coming up. Do they really want to hear closing arguments on a Sunday and really get into deliberation on the Fourth of July? The judge says he'll leave it up to the jury -- Anderson.

COOPER: Marty, we're going to check in with you a little bit later on.

We have got a lot more on the Casey Anthony case later on in the hour. We will also hear from court watchers Sunny Hostin and Jean Casarez. And we will have a really interesting conversation with Dr. Phil McGraw, who as you may know, used to work as a jury consultant. That's later in the program.

Right now, though, "Raw Politics" and President Obama today throwing down the gauntlet to Republicans on cutting the budget and passing legislation so America can pay its bills. The country is facing an August 2nd deadline to do the second part, raising the debt ceiling, something no Congress, Democrat or Republican has ever failed to do.

This time, though, Republicans say it won't happen without big spending cuts and no tax increases. Today, responding to a question from chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin, the President slammed Republican leaders for not budging on taxes and for playing chicken, he believes, with that August 2nd deadline.



And -- and if -- if by the end of this week, we have not seen substantial progress, then I think members of Congress need to understand, we are going to, you know, start having to cancel things and stay here until we get it done.

You know, they're -- they're in one week, they're out one week, and then they're -- they're saying, "Obama's got to step in." You need to be here. I have been here. I have been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis and -- you stay here. Let's get it done.


COOPER: Well, a moment before he said that, he compared lawmakers to slacker kids.


OBAMA: You know Malia and Sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time. Malia is 13; Sasha's 10. It is impressive. They don't wait until the night before. They're not pulling all- nighters. They're -- they're 13 and 10. You know, Congress can do the same thing. If you know you've got to do something, just do it.


COOPER: Well, that drew this response from the GOP House Speaker John Boehner -- quote -- "The President's remarks today ignore legislative and economic reality and demonstrate remarkable irony. His administration has been burying our kids and grandkids in new debt and offered no plan to rein in spending. A debt limit increase can only pass the House if it includes spending cuts larger than the debt limit increase, includes reforms to hold down spending in the future, and is free from tax hikes."

Tough talk now on both sides.

Joining us now is senior political analyst David Gergen; Tea Party organizer Dana Loesch; and Democratic strategist Paul Begala.

Paul, was it really fair for the President to claim the Republican congressional leaders aren't working as hard as he is? I mean, he has been known to enjoy a golf game or two in his time.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they're certainly not making enough progress. And I guess that's kind of where I would take it.

There's reports that the -- the Democrats, the President, is willing to accept as much as $2 trillion in cuts and that the Republicans won't even accept like $400 billion in revenue. And I thought the President was exactly right. His party, my party, is going to have to agree to cuts, painful cuts in constituencies that we care about.

The Republican Party is going to have to agree to new revenue. They're just going to have to. It should be focused on the rich. He pointed out tax breaks for corporate jets and for oil companies. I mean there's some low-hanging fruit that the Republicans, for reasons I can't understand, are defending.

So, I thought that he made a very good point about the Republican intransigence here.

COOPER: Dana, the -- the -- the private jet thing, though, I mean, as Paul said, that's kind of low-hanging fruit. If the President is really serious about cutting spending, I'm not sure that's the biggest item he should be talking about.

DANA LOESCH, EDITOR, BIGJOURNALISM.COM: Yes, I think that only saves $3 billion.

And he actually continued that tax break in 2009 with the stimulus. I think that the $2 trillion, I believe, was over a 10-year period. That's a drop in the bucket over what can be cut. We really have to look at entitlement reform. And we also have to realize that history shows when government seizes capital, revenue for the government goes down. It doesn't increase. You have to have that private sector incentive, the job creation, all of that.

And tax cuts or an extension of the current tax rate is going to be the thing to do it, coupled with massive, massive cuts.

COOPER: David, it's interesting, though, because I mean, while -- while the debt ceiling talks were under way, the White House was pretty quiet about it. Does this seem to signal that they think the whole thing has fallen apart and the President is just kind of going campaign mode?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Anderson, it certainly suggests that the mode -- the tone the President set today is a -- is a tone set by someone who thinks that talks are near collapse or not going anywhere and he's trying to scold the Republicans into action. If he really were truly near an agreement, I imagine he would have dropped all those snide comments about Republicans. It would have been a much more constructive, sort of encouraging kind of press conference. Instead, what we had were these snide comments, which I think will -- and some of the arguments. I think Paul is right. Some of the arguments are going to play pretty well with the public that the President made.

But the snide comments are really going to alienate Republicans, I think, and make it less likely they will come to the table in a compromising mood. And I think ultimately, Anderson, we're not going to get a big mega-deal. I think we're looking at some sort of patch.

COOPER: So, Paul, what is the strategy behind him doing this, do you think?

BEGALA: Well, I think David makes a point. I think David is right. It looks like the Republicans are not going to right now agree to anything.

So, the inside game has not worked -- and they have been at this for weeks -- if the inside game has not worked, well, then maybe you try the outside game.

I hate to even use phrases like game. Most of what I do and talk about is politics and its fun and there's no real harm done. People who really know the economy -- and I don't -- but people I trust say that the potential damage to the economy if America defaults after two and a quarter centuries is really serious. People use words like "cataclysmic".

I thought the President on that was pretty muted today. He said, well, it's -- it would actually be very unpredictable and it could cause a lot of damage, it could hurt jobs.

People are telling me it could be a whole lot worse than that. Can you imagine being the President knowing that we have to cut spending, knowing that we need new revenue, especially if we have to, from the rich and from big corporations -- it's an obvious deal -- and not having partners who are willing to accept the obvious?

COOPER: Dana, I think you have said, though, you have expressed doubts that it's as cataclysmic as Paul is indicating. Is that right?

LOESCH: Well, right. I mean, as -- well, as Jessica Yellin questioned the President at the press conference today, she asked him, well, there's been four dates that have already gone by and all of this apocalyptic stuff that Democrats keep saying is going to happen never actually happened. And we have gone past these dates and we have kept -- we keep having these extensions. So how do you reconcile that?

So, I don't think it is. I think there's a little bit of fear- mongering there. I don't think it's as bad. And it's definitely not as bad as what is going to happen, as what the CBO has said is going to happen, if we don't get entitlement spending under control. And if we look at Medicare, the spending for that is going to double in 25 years. We're talking about having the possibility of Medicare spending being 11 percent of our GDP. I mean, it's astronomical. It's -- there's no way we can sustain spending like this.

COOPER: David, I see you shaking your head.

GERGEN: I'm sorry. Just let's get -- factually, the administration has never set four dates and said it's -- we're going to have real consequences if we don't hit this date. They have always -- they have said for a long time --


LOESCH: Oh, yes they have.

GERGEN: -- August 2nd is the big date. That's just been very clear right from the beginning.

And secondly, listen, we're playing with fire here. Every major economist, every major financial institution -- the International Monetary Fund today issued a report saying there's going to be a severe shock to the economy nationally and internationally if we don't -- if we go into default.

Standard & Poor's has warned that they're going to cut our credit ratings. I don't know how many different kinds of warnings you have before you realize this is going to be really a very dangerous game we're playing. And both sides need to act like adults.

The President sort of accuses the Democrats, I mean, of -- I mean the President accused the Republicans of going off and loafing. He's going off to fund-raisers. He's got another one tomorrow night. He's had a series of fund-raisers.

I mean, you know, if both sides are going to get serious, let both sides stay in town.


LOESCH: Right. Right.

And can I add one quick point onto what David said -- David said? We would not even be having these Biden debt talks; we would not even be having these discussions if Democrats had produced a budget in the past two years.

COOPER: Paul, I want to give you the final thought. And then we have got to go.

BEGALA: If -- the budget the past two years doesn't have anything to do with it. We have a debt crisis. The American economy is facing default. The American government is facing default.

It has potentially really damaging consequences. And it's not an even-steven deal. The Democrats don't like the spending cuts. They hate it, but they're agreeing to it. Republicans have got to agree to ask wealthy people and big corporations and big oil companies to pay a little bit more.

And -- and until they're ready to acknowledge the obvious, then we're -- they're going to plunge this country -- I worry that maybe they're rooting for America to fail, so that Obama can be defeated. I hate to think that.


LOESCH: No, no, no.

BEGALA: But the only -- it's the only possible explanation here. Why would they -- because they don't want -- why would they want to drive our country into default?

COOPER: We have got to go.

Dana, I appreciate it. Paul, David, thank you.

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

Up next: a congressman goes to Syria, Democrat Dennis Kucinich, sits down with the dictator of Syria, and has taken heat for praising him. He claims he was mistranslated. Well, we'll show you what -- what he said. You can decide for yourself. And we asked him some tough questions about whether he was being a diplomat or just being duped.

And later: more on the Casey Anthony trial, her first words in the trial, her tears, and Dr. Phil McGraw on her credibility on the stand.


DR. PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, "DR. PHIL": Her likability is not good right now. Her believability, her credibility is not good right now. And it will do nothing but go down if she takes the stand.



COOPER: By now, Syria's dictatorship is well-known for brutalizing its own people and lying to the world about it, troops killing six people today -- new video surfacing daily of scenes like this, a brutal beating on what appears to be a rooftop. And as we have shown you night after night, we have seen worse than that.

We have also shown you the many explanations offered by the dictator for the uprising against him, blaming 64,000 roving criminals -- that was the most recent one, blaming religious fanatic, outsiders, anyone but the people you see, Syrian forces, doing the beating, the shooting, the jailing, and the torturing. Against that backdrop, Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich traveled to Syria, met with Assad, and made remarks that Syria state media jumped on. They quoted the congressman as saying that President al-Assad is highly loved and appreciated by the Syrians. That stirred up a storm, as you can imagine, both here and among the Syrian opposition.

Now, the congressman then issued a statement saying he was mistranslated, mischaracterized.

Well, we obtained an audio transcript. And it's true; what he said isn't exactly what was reported by Syrian state media. What he said was -- quote -- "People have separated their estimation of the regime and their estimation of the President, that people still have a love and respect. Many people still have a love and respect for the President, but they do not have a love and respect for the regime."

Now, clearly, the phrase "many people still have a love and respect for the President" is not quite the same as saying, "President al-Assad is still highly loved and appreciated by Syrians." On the other hand, it's not that much different.

And the congressman is under fire not just for what he said, but for making the trip at all. He won't answer questions about who paid for the trip, by the way, when asked by "The Cleveland Plain Dealer." But making this trip at a time when Assad is massacring his own people, opposition groups say he was duped into giving the regime legitimacy.

The congressman claims he met not just with the government, with the dictator, but with opposition figures as well. But the truth is he wasn't allowed to go to the regions where people have been shot to death in the streets and where tortured bodies have returned from. He hasn't been able to meet with the families who have had tortured bodies of their loved ones, of their children returned to them.

He didn't get to meet with any of those opposition figures. He also said in his statement -- quote -- "The process of national dialogue which has now begun is a step in the direction of identifying necessary reforms."

Well, "Keeping Them Honest," neither nonpartisan human rights group, nor dissidents, nor our own two eyes can make out any dialogue here. And as for reforms in Syria, the dictator Assad has been promising reform since before he took power 11 years ago. He did it again around 2005 in advance of a Ba'ath Party congress.

But there have been no reforms, other than a few banking reforms. There have just been promises he hasn't delivered. CNN's Hala Gorani did manage a brief with the congressman. I spoke with her and Arwa Damon earlier.


COOPER: So Hala, you were at Congressman Kucinich's press conference. Did Congressman Kucinich seem at all concerned that his visit would be used by the regime to add legitimacy to their brutality and their violent response to peaceful protests?


I asked him that question. And he said: I'm here on a fact- finding mission. I'm here to listen to all sides. So he didn't seem as though he was somehow concerned that this would be used for propaganda purposes.

COOPER: He also, according to SANA, said that the international media had exaggerated the violence in Syria, and urged people not to jump to conclusions. Do we know, is that true that he said that?

GORANI: Well, that's not what we heard him saying. He said it's important that the international media are now in the country because you need to see things firsthand.

It seems as though SANA's transcription, translation, or characterization of what Kucinich's said is off-base from what was actually said, but it is not as far from what he said perhaps as some may want us to believe -- Anderson.

COOPER: Arwa, more deaths at the hands of government forces were reported today in the northern part of Syria. What's the latest you're hearing?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, that's part of that ongoing military sweep throughout the northwestern part of the country, the same sweep that sent those thousands of refugees across the border to Turkey.

Now, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, another six people have been killed in two different villages, both of them along the Turkish border.

COOPER: It was also reported, Arwa, that the military had largely withdrawn from Hama and other towns throughout the country. Activists are saying that move was a sign the crackdown was maybe draining the regime's resources and finances. Do you think that's the case?

DAMON: Well, Anderson, it was definitely challenging to try to pierce through exactly what the psyche and logic of this regime is.

You know, some people are saying that, look, this is a regime that feels that it is increasingly being backed into a corner; it does, on the one hand, perhaps feel as if it does have to at least make a superficial effort to try to change its tactics, because there is the realization that we have been hearing too from government officials that the very country is at stake, and the government is acknowledging that.

GORANI: And one last point, Anderson. For more than three months we were kept out of the country. And in the last three days alone, the government has put forward three senior officials to speak on camera. There's definitely a desire to try to control the message coming out of Damascus at this point. COOPER: And they're certainly controlling your movements and where you guys can go.

You know, Kucinich talked about that he met with members of the opposition. He wasn't allowed to go to the military hospitals where we know protesters have been injured or forced to go, and not allowed to go to regular hospitals.

So he wasn't in the areas where he was actually meeting with protesters, correct?

GORANI: The opponents of the regime that Congressman Kucinich spoke with probably are those that are tolerated by the government right now.

But Arwa and I have spent several days now just trying to persuade a few people to speak off-camera to us, just the audio of their -- of their interview. So, it's virtually impossible to say that anyone at this stage can meet all the opposition in Syria.

COOPER: And if -- if the congressman is right and he did not say all these things, then this would seem to be a clear example of yet again the Syrian government media, controlled media, putting out fake stories, making up things, I mean, literally making up quotes and putting words into a congressman's mouth.

GORANI: Well, when you look at the quotes on SANA, the Syrian news agency, and then the actual quote from Congressman Kucinich, they sort of look -- they look like cousins. You know, they're not twins. I mean I think that's how you can describe it.

But yes, if there is a wilful mischaracterization of what Congressman Kucinich said, then what you're saying, Anderson, is fair.

COOPER: Because the congressman is saying that there was a mistranslation or perhaps a problem with the translation. But the SANA news release was in English. And the congressman was talking in English. So there was no translating that (AUDIO GAP) --

GORANI: Well, I think his communications director said something about how there may have been Arabic translators in the room translating Congressman Kucinich's words into Arabic, and then the translation back into English created confusion, because SANA is both in Arabic and English. I think that is the theory put forth right now.


Hala Gorani, Arwa Damon, I appreciate the reporting. Thank you.

DAMON: Thank you.


COOPER: We're following a couple of other stories tonight.

Isha Sesay is back with us, yay.

And she has a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Isha.


The Afghan government says a militant group based in Pakistan is to blame for yesterday's deadly attack on a Kabul hotel. The siege which left 12 victims, including all nine attackers, dead was believed to be carried out by the Haqqani Network, which is thought to be linked to al Qaeda.

Officials say the attack will not stop the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan starting in July and scheduled to end in 2014.

It could be a crucial legal victory for Amanda Knox in her bid to overturn her conviction for the murder of her British roommate in Italy. Court-appointed experts told an Italian court that the DNA evidence used to convict the American college student and her co- defendant was contaminated.

Bank of America is paying $8.5 billion to settle claims from angry investors over mortgage securities gone sour. Those investors include big financial firms like BlackRock, Pimco, and MetLife. Bank of America also says it will post a second-quarter net loss of up to $9.1 billion.

And a 360 follow: remember that Southwest Airlines pilot who insulted gays, women and older workers in an open-mike rant back in March? Well, he's now apologizing. In case you didn't hear it the first time, here's some of his rant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eleven (EXPLETIVE DELETED) over-the-top (EXPLETIVE DELETED) homosexuals and a granny, 11. I mean, think of the odds of that. I thought I was in Chicago, which was party land.

After that, it was just a continuous stream of gays and grannies and grandes.


SESAY: Well, in a lengthy letter to his co-workers, Captain James Taylor wrote, quote, "I deeply regret the derogatory remarks I made and the hurt I have caused. I take full responsibility for those comments. It was truly insensitive of me. And I would like all of you to know that, from now on, I will show nothing but the utmost respect during my interactions with all employees."

Southwest says Taylor has been reinstated in his job after being reprimanded, suspended without pay, and given diversity training.

Well Anderson, as it would turn out, pilots aren't the only ones causing some trouble at the nation's airports. Have you heard this, that fertile turtles -- yes, I did say turtles -- invaded the tarmac at New York's JFK Airport today? Did you know this?

COOPER: I did not.

SESAY: Well, it turns out more than 150 turtles crawled across a runway and disrupted air traffic in order to find the perfect spot to lay their eggs.

COOPER: Really?

SESAY: Yes. That's right. Love knows no bounds.

COOPER: I was going to ask, how did you know they were fertile turtles? But I guess that answers it.

SESAY: All you need to know is that the turtles are on Twitter.

COOPER: Of course they are.

SESAY: At JFKTurtles. This is their feed. They nearly have 3,000 followers. Their last tweet was posted 23 minutes ago. To questions of what they were doing for July Fourth, they say they're having a barbecue at the beach outside runway four.


COOPER: Three thousand followers? That's more than Piers Morgan has, isn't it?


COOPER: Ooh. Ooh.

SESAY: Ooh. No, he didn't. No, he didn't.

COOPER: Oh, now I'm going to hear from it, although Lord Sugar is very pleased.

SESAY: Lord Sugar is going, thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Who is Lord Sugar?


SESAY: Never mind.

COOPER: Oh it's a long story.

We'll check in with you a little bit later, Isha.

A lot more ahead -- much more on tonight's breaking news, the late word now that the defense is going to rest tomorrow in the Casey Anthony trial, and a striking contrast between Casey Anthony and her father today; the father sobbing on the witness stand, she pretty emotionless watching him sob. We look at today's testimony, what prompted the roller coaster of emotions. Also, Casey Anthony's reaction to -- to her daughter's death; can it be explained by looking at the alleged sexual abuse that Casey says she suffered at the hands of her father? I will speak to Dr. Phil to get his take about that.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight, back to our breaking news. The defense says it's going to rest tomorrow in the Casey Anthony trial. After prosecution rebuttal, the jury will be hearing closing arguments. They could start deliberating Sunday night.

Today the defense continued its focus on whether alleged sexual abuse by her father and brother can explain her behavior after 2-year- old Caylee went missing. But frankly, they haven't proved any sexual abuse occurred at all.

George Anthony was in the witness chair again today, sobbing as he recalled hearing Caylee's body had been found. As he wept, you can see his daughter there, sitting stone-faced, listening. Later, she turned emotional when a grief expert testified that losing a child could lead to bizarre behavior, like telling lies and not showing emotion.

We start tonight with a major surprise. This morning, for the first time in the trial we heard Casey Anthony speak in the courtroom. Martin Savidge reports.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): Eight-thirty a.m. As the court took up a critical issue of a possible mistrial, there sat Casey Anthony, completely alone. Her defense team was late. Not a single one of her attorneys was in the courtroom. And only one, Ann Finnell, was on the phone.

The arrangement led Judge Belvin Perry to ask a question directly to Anthony. And it was the first time she would speak at her own trial.

BELVIN PERRY, JUDGE: Ms. Anthony, do you want to ask that question now or do you want to wait until Mr. Baez and Mr. Mason and Miss Sims arrive?

CASEY ANTHONY, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER: I can answer that now.


CASEY ANTHONY: I agree with Miss Finnell.

PERRY: Thank you, ma'am.

CASEY ANTHONY: You're welcome.


SAVIDGE: The drama was just beginning. For most of the morning it was Anthony's father, George, who found himself in the cross hairs of defense attorney Jose Baez, who walked Caylee's grandfather from one emotionally charged subject to the next, including incest.

JOSE BAEZ, CASEY'S ATTORNEY: You know, of course, that sex with a child under the age of 12 years old is life in prison, don't you, sir?

GEORGE ANTHONY, FATHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: Sir, I never would do anything like that to my daughter.

BAEZ: My question is, you would never admit to it, would you, sir?

G. ANTHONY: Sir, I would never do anything to harm my daughter in that way.

BAEZ: Only in that way.

SAVIDGE: Then Baez took George Anthony, a former police detective, back to the smell in Casey's car, which the prosecution says came from his granddaughter's remains. The defense says it was something else.

BAEZ: There's also a difference, sir, of saying it's human decomposition and not human decomposition?

G. ANTHONY: I didn't say anything about not -- I said decomposition. I'm going to clarify that again. I think I've done that very well.

You're trying to take this joy of my life away from me, sir. And you can't do it anymore.

BAEZ: Would you --

G. ANTHONY: I'm going to answer this to you, sir. The decomposition that I smelled in the trunk of my daughter's car on July 15, 2008 at Johnson's Towing smelled like human decomposition.

BAEZ: Would you like --

G. ANTHONY: To me, sir. That's what it smelled like to me. I can close my eyes at the moment, sir, and I can smell that again. How dare you, sir, try to tell me that I -- that I did something different than what I did?

SAVIDGE: The prosecution took Anthony back to his attempted suicide six weeks after Caylee's remains had been found.

JEFF ASHTON, PROSECUTOR: Why on that particular day did you decide to take your life?

G. ANTHONY: Why that particular day I picked, I really don't know. All I know is my emotional state even through today is -- is very hard to accept that I don't have a granddaughter anymore. But for that particular day, I don't know. It just felt like the right time to go and be with Caylee.

SAVIDGE: But for George Anthony, the final emotional straw came when he was asked how he felt when his granddaughter's body was found.

ASHTON: What effect did that have on you when you learned that Caylee's remains had been found?

G. ANTHONY: A deep, deep hurt inside. Tears. The whole gamut of just an emotional loss, a breakdown inside of me and seeing what my wife and my son went through.

ASHTON: Up to that moment, had you held out the hope that Caylee would be found alive?

G. ANTHONY: Absolutely. Every day from July 15 until the day we were told it was Caylee.

ASHTON: In January of 2009, you went -- I'll give you a minute.

BELVIN PERRY, JUDGE: Do you need a break, Mr. Anthony?

G. ANTHONY: No, sir. I need to get through this. I need to have something inside of me get through this.

PERRY: Do you need a break Mr. Anthony?

G. ANTHONY: No, sir, I'm fine.

SAVIDGE: Through it all, Casey Anthony sat stone-faced and emotionless.

But that would change in the afternoon, when the defense put a grief counselor on the stand, trying to show that Anthony's partying lifestyle while her daughter was missing wasn't a sign of guilt but grief.

OLIVIA PITKETHLY, MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR: They'll then act out because they've decided that they don't want anyone to be near them because everyone that's near them leaves them. And so -- and it doesn't -- I know you all know that death isn't the only loss in the world.

SAVIDGE: These are the final days in this trial. Each one, it seems, more emotionally strained; each one closer to justice for Caylee or Casey.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Orlando.


COOPER: For more on what we can expect for the next few days, we turn now to Jean Casarez and Sunny Hostin, who's covering the trial for "In Session" on our sister network, TruTV. So Jean, the defense was trying to paint George Anthony as someone who was throwing his daughter under the bus, as they put it, but you say it actually ended up backfiring on the defense?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": You know, the defense tried so hard to get testimony out of George that could lend itself to help the defense. But it seemed like the harder they tried, the more it failed.

Let me give you one example. A question was posed: you were walking in the woods around here, weren't you? And the response from George Anthony was, "Yes, we were finding a new command center so we could try to find Caylee. At the corner of these two streets it is a wooded area, and that's where we set it up."

At one point also he said, "Look, I never wanted to believe that my own daughter was capable of killing her own daughter." That stunned everyone in this courtroom.

COOPER: And it certainly seems to verify what Gary Tuchman learned from his attorney days ago, that his attorney told our Gary Tuchman that the Anthonys do not believe their daughter is innocent. They didn't say what she was guilty of, but they just said they don't believe she's innocent.

It was, Jean, an incredibly dramatic day in the courtroom to see George Anthony just breaking down on the stand like that.

CASAREZ: He was sobbing on the stand. And Anderson, in that courtroom the jury is so close to the witness. And the sobbing and the emotion, the distraught in that man. But then right across the courtroom was Casey Anthony. And she was not only stoic but she was -- there was an expression on her face of just disdain.

COOPER: Sunny, you said the defense made a mistake when they opened up the door for the prosecution to enter George Anthony's suicide note into evidence. Why?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CONTRIBUTOR, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": That's right. Because I think that argument cuts both ways. The defense started talking to him about this suicide attempt, and he did leave a note. And Jose Baez, the defense attorney, started saying, "And that said suicide note, it showed a little bit of guilt, didn't it?"

Well, the prosecution then wants to open that door and put in place -- into evidence, rather, that suicide note. Well, that suicide note doesn't talk about anything of a cover-up. It doesn't say anything about his guilt. And one can assume that, if you're going to commit suicide and you're involved in this cover-up and if you're involved in the death of your granddaughter, you would admit it at that time, right?

COOPER: The breaking news tonight at the top of our program was we learned that the defense plans to rest tomorrow.

You believe that Casey would take the stand, because you couldn't imagine any other way for them to kind of salvage what they have to make the case of the sexual abuse.

HOSTIN: That's right.

COOPER: Do you -- do you -- it doesn't seem like she's going to take stand tomorrow. Do you think --

HOSTIN: I'm going to stick with my prediction, Anderson.

COOPER: Really?

HOSTIN: I think they have to, and that is because Jose Anthony [SIC] talked so much in his explosive opening statement about the fact that Casey Anthony was sexually abused by her father.

COOPER: Jose Baez.

HOSTIN: Jose Baez --

COOPER: Right.

HOSTIN: -- the defense attorney. He also said in his opening statement that Caylee died an accidental death by drowning.

In my view, there is no evidence of any of those statements in evidence, only the opening statement. How else does the defense bring that in front of this jury?

And I think it really runs the risk -- the defense does -- by not putting Casey Anthony on the stand, not putting that evidence in, and the jury's been waiting for it for what? Thirty-one days? And so I'm going to stand by my prediction.


HOSTIN: I think it's still possible that Casey Anthony saves herself by testifying tomorrow.

COOPER: Jean, do you -- because I think you had said, Jean, also you thought she was going to testify. Do you still think that if in fact they're resting tomorrow? And if they don't call her to the stand, do we know what witnesses they have left to call?

CASAREZ: You know, Sunny is so right. There is no evidence of accident. There is no evidence of sexual abuse by the brother or the father. But I don't think they're going to put her on the stand. I just don't. I think they may believe they have some strength in what they have done.

COOPER: It's going to be an interesting day; another one of many. Sunny Hostin, thanks very much. Jean Casarez as well, thanks.

HOSTIN: Thanks.

COOPER: The breaking coverage continues: with the defense resting tomorrow; the jury possibly getting the case Sunday evening. Up next we'll talk with Dr. Phil about whether Casey Anthony should take the stand. He has a strong recommendation on that, and a prediction on that. And he has a strong opinion on Casey Anthony's allegations that her father abused her.

And later, "The RidicuList": elegance may be learned, but the countess apparently hasn't learned a lesson. A "Real Housewife of New York" is out with a new song, and it's on tonight's "RidicuList".


COOPER: More now on tonight's breaking news in the Casey Anthony trial. The defense team saying it plans to wrap up its case tomorrow. They haven't said if Casey Anthony will testify. It's a tough decision, obviously. If she doesn't, she looks like she has something to hide, and they have no way of actually proving or even discussing really, the alleged sexual abuse which is what they said in the opening statement.

If she does testify and the jury doesn't believe her, it certainly could damage her case very badly.

As we told you, today the spotlight was still on the relationship between Casey and her dad, the alleged abuse and her reaction to it. Simply put, the defense needs to explain the bizarre disconnect between her strange behavior of partying, shopping, telling lies in the weeks after Caylee went missing.

This afternoon the defense brought in a grief expert who said that a young parent reacting to a child's death may engage in very risky behavior, might even deny the child has died.

Not everyone agrees, though. Earlier I spoke with syndicated talk show host and psychologist, Dr. Phil McGraw. He used to make a living as a jury consultant.


COOPER: So Dr. Phil, the defense is alleging, as you know, that Casey Anthony was sexually abused by her father starting when she was eight years old and that this alleged abuse is why she was able to disconnect and lie repeatedly about Caylee's disappearance. There's no evidence of sexual abuse to this point. But does that make any sense to you? Is that common among victims of abuse?

MCGRAW: Well, it's not. And look, Anderson, I don't ever want to do anything to trivialize if a child has been molested in any way. But in this case, first off, A, we don't know that that took place. It came out very conveniently, timing-wise, to try and explain the unexplainable.

But also let me tell you. The fact that someone has been sexually abused when they were a child in no way justifies, causes or underwrites the kind of behavior that she is being accused of here. And it is a complete disconnect.

I am surprised that this is their strategy. I think it is desperate. And I think it will not resonate with the jury.

COOPER: It was also interesting today. George Anthony took the stand again, denied sexually abusing his daughter, broke down when answering questions. I mean it was very emotional. He talked about this attempted suicide effort that he made after Caylee's remains were found. You know, he was sobbing on the stand.

And it was interesting to watch Casey. She sat there kind of expressionless. I mean I guess you can't put too much on how somebody reacts under a pressure situation, but does that signal any red flags to you?

MCGRAW: Well, it does at many levels. And I think you have to go back. And what everybody is doing right now -- every parent in America, not just parents but certainly parents, are asking themselves how out of touch, how disconnected, how bizarre their thinking would have to be to have done something like she is accused of doing.

And I can tell you that, in order to do that, to make that ok in your mind, you've got to be way out of touch with reality. You've got to be so narcissistically self-absorbed that you could unplug from virtually anything.

And the fact that she is emotionless when she sees her father in meltdown, at this point that just tells me that we're seeing more of the behavior that she is reported to have exhibited when her child first went missing. She was out partying. She was laughing. She was joking with people, when allegedly her child's body was in the trunk of her car.

So you just have to ask yourself, how strange does your thinking have to be in order for that to happen? So for her to be emotionless just with her father on the stand is no stretch for her, given what she's done so far.

COOPER: It's interesting, because we saw this grief counselor on the stand late today who was talking about how different people react in different ways to grief and handle grief. And that kind of acting out in different ways, you know, can be a normal way some people handle grief. Did -- did that ring true to you?

MCGRAW: Well, it doesn't ring true to me. Look, one of the things I'm concerned about -- and as you know I've spent a major portion of my career as a litigation consultant. I did post-doctoral training as a forensic psychologist. So I've been in these situations a lot. I've evaluated these people. I've looked at what the cause and effect are when people do the things that they're often accused of doing.

And when you're trying to connect dots that are so far apart, it just smacks of desperation.

COOPER: They're trying to throw up whatever they can to see what sticks, basically.

MCGRAW: Again, it's a smoke screen. She was molested. Look, how many people have tragically been molested in their life that don't become murderers, that don't do this kind of unconscionable actions that she is accused of doing? I mean, it's just a huge stretch. And I think that it is an insult to the jury.

And Anderson, I've worked with juries for years and years. And I am a huge fan of the jury system. I think they basically get it right. I think they really try to get it right. And I think that, if people think that this jury is buying this, I see no evidence whatsoever that this is doing anything except delaying the inevitable.

COOPER: It's also interesting, because to me, and the jury has seen these jailhouse videos with Casey interacting with her family back in 2008 before Caylee's body was found. And in the exchanges, I mean her dad and her appear very close, telling each other how much they love each other. He tells her how he'd do anything to help her. She tells him he's the best father, the best grandfather.

That's got to have an impact on the jury now that they have seen these and that the defense hasn't presented any evidence of any kind of sexual abuse.

MCGRAW: It just doesn't fit, does it? And I can assure you, there's been a lot of controversy about whether she is going to testify in this case or not.

COOPER: Do you think she will?

MCGRAW: I think she absolutely will not. And if the defense puts her on the stand, I think it's tantamount to malpractice. I think to do so -- there are questions that she just simply doesn't have answers to.

Anderson, you can't make sense out of nonsense. And what they're going to ask her to do if they were to put her on the stand, is to try to make sense out of a menagerie of lies, a menagerie of misdirection poised with the authorities at the time that she simply doesn't have any answers for.

And her likeability is not good right now. Her believability, her credibility is not good right now. And it will do nothing but go down if she takes the stand. There is no way she should take the witness stand. And I don't believe that she will.

COOPER: Dr. Phil, always good to talk to you. Thank you, sir.

MCGRAW: Thank you, Anderson.


COOPER: We'll have more on the trial in our next hour on 360.

Also ahead, "Raw Politics": President Obama taking some tough shots at GOP lawmakers in the budget standoff.

Still ahead tonight, painting a better future for themselves; a program that's helping to send kids to college while sprucing up their neighborhoods. "Perry's Principles" is next.


COOPER: Tonight on "Perry's Principles", some New York City kids who are out painting the town, literally. It's a program that brightens their community and their futures. Education contributor and high school principal, Steve Perry, explains.


STEVE PERRY, CNN EDUCATION CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): Thierno Diallo (ph) had no idea a paintbrush would change his life. He moved from Guinea in West Africa to New York City when he was 10.

(on camera): What is the reason you came to the U.S.?

THIERNO DIALLO, STAFF MEMBER, PUBLICOLOR: Better education. My mother thought that I would have opportunity, you know, to just succeed in life.

PERRY (voice-over): Thierno had a hard time fitting in at school. He didn't speak English, kept to himself and eventually started hanging out with the wrong crowd. But then he found Publicolor.

DIALLO: I basically came every day.

PERRY: The non-profit puts paintbrushes in the hands of students to brighter up schools, neighborhoods and low income areas across New York City.


PERRY: Ruth Lande Shuman founded Publicolor 15 years ago with the idea that color can positively affect attitudes and behaviors.

(on camera): So in these places where you change the color, what impact do you think that has on people?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The colors that we choose, they're very bright and like they brighten up a person's mood.

PERRY: Just a change of color? That does that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just the change of color, everything -- like your whole perception of the place changes.

PERRY: What impact do these colors have on you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, when I finish a project I just look back and say, wow, I really helped a community, I really made this place look way better than it already did and it makes me feel proud of myself.

PERRY: It's often said about children in general in this generation specifically that they just don't care about anything. SHUMAN: Oh, I don't think it's true. I think society is letting kids get away with not caring. I put a lot of blame on us, on all of us. These kids, they'll become what we help them become. They are walking potentials.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So when you put a dam in the middle of a river what's going to happen.

PERRY (voice-over): To help kids realize that potential, Publicolor provides tutoring, mentoring, college scholarships and career workshops.

SHUMAN: Last year, 100 percent of our students went on to college.

PERRY: Thierno graduated from college two years ago with the help of a Publicolor scholarship. Today he works as an analyst for a Fortune 500 company and volunteers with Publicolor on the weekends. His dream is to return to Guinea and open his own business.

DIALLO: Publicolor was always around to make me, you know, come back -- come back to who I truly am and what I need to do in life and stay on my path and try to reach success.


COOPER: So Steve, it's great to see those kids having fun and also brightening up their communities. How can more kids be encouraged to give back?

PERRY: Well, get them to paint a bridge. In the case of Publicolor, what they're doing is they're not just painting bridges but they're changing the way in which the community looks at itself and the kids who are in the community look at the community. Just by adding a little color to a police station or a school or in some cases a bridge, they're creating a whole different aesthetic and a sense of pride within their community.

COOPER: Principal Perry thanks.

PERRY: My pleasure.

COOPER: We'll be right back.


COOPER: That's it for 360. Thanks for watching.

Piers Morgan starts now.